Single Stack vs Double Stack – Pros & Cons By: Allan Smith


By Marcie Young

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The words “single stack” and “double stack” are used to describe how ammo is arranged in a magazine. While double-stack 1911 magazines store two tightly packed rows of vertically staggered bullets, single-stack magazines hold ammunition in a single vertical row. Therefore, double-stack weapons have the benefit of carrying more ammo. Single stacks are often lighter, thinner, and easier to hide because they contain less ammo but are noticeably less broad.

Most frequently, single and double stack comparisons are performed while deciding on the best-concealed carry firearm. The most common choice for concealed carrying has always been a smaller, single-stack pistol. However, for those who value the additional ammunition capacity, double stacks are becoming more and more well-liked. It frequently boils down to personal preference when deciding between the two. Additional things to think about in your decision-making will be outlined in the article that follows. First, though, a brief history of the double stack

Clothing and Body Type

In other cases, such as when it comes to your body shape and the clothes you wear, the decision between a single and double-stack rifle may already be decided for you.

Clothing is one of the variables to take into account. A double stack carry might be a fantastic option when you have to wear heavy layers of clothes due to the chilly weather. It’s quite improbable that even the largest double stack would leave any sort of recognizable outline or “print” in your clothing while you’re wearing a jacket or a heavy coat. If, however, they are heading out in shorts and a t-shirt during warmer months, someone who prefers a double stack carry could choose a single stack option.

Pros and Cons of Single Stack vs. Double Stack

Single Stack: Benefits

A traditional favorite for concealed carry.

Lightweight and better concealed (particularly when wearing light clothing).

ideal for most ladies and smaller-framed guys.

Most of the time simpler to manage for those with tiny hands.


smaller magazines that can only contain seven or eight shots.

Check out the Best Single Stack 9mm Pistols we think are the best.

Double Stack – Advantages

magazines with a higher capacity that can handle double-digit rounds.

A double stack could be hidden just as well as a single stack by larger people or those wearing layers of clothing.


For smaller people or those wearing light garments, an increase in size might make hiding more difficult.

For all-day carrying, more weight and thickness might not be as pleasant.

For people with small hands, more size might make general handling and accuracy more challenging.

To know more about which pistol is best for you, visit our page.

The best decision is to just select the handgun that works best for YOU because there are so many factors to consider when deciding between a single stack and double stack pistol for concealed carry. The only way to choose the best rifle for you is to test out many models and personally experience the differences. You will finally have all the knowledge you need to make your decision after spending time at the range. Find a weapon that is accurate for you, pleasant to carry, and appropriate for your body type.


After doing her BA from ASU, Marcie Young held various jobs in different industries. She is now passionate about growing her blog where she writes about various topics related to gun safety, firearms ownership, and self-defense. She is a strong advocate of the 2nd amendment after a horrible experience she has had on the streets.

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