All of us in this special class have done GUNSITE classes with 1911 .45s, so we're all cocked-and-locked advocates. Since I was using an unconverted (that is, no transfer bar) Flat-Top, I would normally carry it with 5 in the chamber and an empty under the hammer (a la Cowboy Action Shooting) or use the old cowboy trick of carrying 6 with the hammer carefully lowered BETWEEN the chambers. On the Rugers with transfer bars, everyone carried 6.
BTW, the Ruger Montado, designed for mounted cowboy action shooting, is a SUPERB S.A. carry gun (in fact, my partner Marshal Halloway bought the Montado he shot in the class). Right now it's available only in .45 Colt, but we're lobbying Ruger for .357 and .44 Special versions (we may do a poll on DRTV on that). We also had a couple of Vaqueros that Dave Biggers from XS Sites had set up with a Big Dot Tritium and express rear...they were 'way cool! Three of the guns, including 2 .44 Specials, had been "dinked" by Hamilton Bowen...they were, as one might expect, beyond excellent. My old friend Gary Paul Johnson had a Vaquero he'd had rebuilt on a custom titanium frame...light and scary!
We had holsteres from Ted Blocker, Tombstone, Blade-Tech, Andy's Leather, Mitch Rosen and Bob Mernikle. The Rosen was a traditional pancake; the mernicle a superbly designed concealed carry holster, as was the Ted Blocker I used part of the time. I'll probably use the Blocker or the Andy's Leather holster when I open carry when hiking.
Haz, the S.A. self-defense class was filmed for SHOOTING GALLERY because of the huge positive response we got from the lever action show last season.
Depending on the response from SG and the magazines, GUNSITE would really like to make the class a standard offering. We had breakfast with GUNSITE majordomo Ed Head yesterday and talked about an "advanced" S.A. self-defense class that would include night shooting (tricky on the reloads), more shooting/reloading on the move, and using two guns.