Pistol Review: Ed Brown’s New CCO LW 9mm – Quality & Reliability

Over 50 years ago Ed Brown opened his doors as a one-man custom shop. Over the following five decades Ed Brown has become known as one of the leading manufacturers of high-end 1911s and gun components in the country. Now in its second generation of ownership, Ed Brown is still leading the way in premier quality handguns.

Ed Brown CCO LW
The CCO LW is an exceptionally comfortable pistol that represents everything we expect from Ed Brown.

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So, when a company with that type of lineage releases a handgun it is absolutely worth our time to listen. New this year is the Ed Brown CCO LW, the Concealed Carry Officer Lightweight. Like other pistols, Ed Brown makes this gun available with over 100 custom options that can be chosen by the customer. Everything about the gun is designed for comfortable everyday carry. This includes the lightweight aluminum frame, concealed carry beavertail and round butt housing. The gun is designed with a thin single side safety and flush cut slide stops to give it a more slender profile. The gun includes Ed Brown’s unique Snakeskin treatment on the front strap, mainspring housing, and the slide. The unique finish offers the shooter a solid grip while protecting the hands from irritation that overly checkered grips usually bring. Gone are the days of having your flesh grated away during long shooting sessions. With the focus on longevity and understanding the needs of real shooters, Ed Brown has reinforced the feed ramp with a steel insert to avoid erosion that is found in many aluminum bodied guns. This normally shows up with ongoing use of hollow point ammunition.

Ed Brown makes this gun available with over 100 custom options.

Ed Brown CCO LW
Carrying the Ed Brown CCO LW was a comfortable endeavor with a new Italian leather holster from BLACKHAWK.

Continuous Innovation

Ed Brown is very excited about this new pistol and believes it will be one of the best products they have produced. Sales and Marketing Director, John May stated, “We are just continuing to do what Ed Brown is known for; building the best custom 1911s you can buy. While recognized most for traditional 1911s keep in mind that Ed Brown invented some of the most innovative and highly imitated designs such as the Bobtail, Kobra Carry and Snakeskin. So, producing custom edge 1911s is in our DNA. Our 50th year is almost here, and we are going to remind you all of our history.”

Ed Brown invented some of the most innovative and highly imitated designs.

Running the Ed Brown CCO LW was more enjoyable than I anticipated it would be. The gun I received was chambered in 9mm. It has the distinction of being the smallest, lightest 1911 Ed Brown has ever offered. I’ve had the luxury of shooting many Ed Brown guns in the past but found this gun to be one of the best that I have handled.

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Ed Brown CCO LW
The Ed Brown CCO LW has the distinction of being the smallest, lightest 1911 Ed Brown has ever offered.

Testing was much more than just a quick trip to the range. With winter in full effect, I grabbed a new Blackhawk leather holster and strapped in for a week of everyday carry. It was as comfortable as they promote it to be. On the range, I found the gun easy to manipulate and it proved itself to be very accurate. Out of curiosity, I ran a spectrum of ammo through the gun ranging from budget ball ammo to law enforcement grade hollow points and the gun never blinked an eye. The trigger broke smoothly and cleanly and had the expected short reset that I am accustomed to with Ed Brown guns. While not what I am accustomed to, the fixed black rear sight with its high visibility red fiber optic front sight was easy and fast to acquire. The gun was very comfortable in my hands. The heavy slide chamfer recessed slide stop and carry cuts made this gun a pleasure to shoot. A quick note about the Snakeskin finish — It is no joke. The finish made things like press checking and general gripping much easier. I can see why other companies often copy it.

Ed Brown CCO LW
The small light frame combined with a round butt housing and concealed carry beavertail allows for maximum concealability.

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One of the things that have always drawn me to Ed Brown is their willingness and desire to customize a gun to truly fit their customer. As I mentioned earlier, they offer over 100 different options ranging from metal treatment to trigger tuning, which gives customers the opportunity to have a gun that truly fits their needs. This is a fantastic everyday carry gun designed by people who carry. Every detail has been considered including a flush cut and reversed crown barrel that protects the rifling. With a suggested retail of just over $3,500.00, the CCO LW is by no means an impulse purchase. What it is though is an investment in an exceptional handgun that if maintained correctly can be passed down for generations. There is a phrase I like to use that says, “you buy once, you cry once” and that certainly applies to the Ed Brown CCO LW.

Ed Brown CCO LW
The pistol has a flush match barrel with a recessed crown.

Surpassing Expectations

While I pay attention when Ed Brown releases any new product, this gun has surpassed my expectations. Few companies are able to leverage their experience and knowledge to create a pistol that so perfectly fits our concealed carry needs. I have had the fortune of being in this industry for a very long time and during that time I have seen the obituary on the 1911 written multiple times. While it’s true that the 1911 design does have a few pages of history behind it, Ed Brown has proven it’s still an exceptionally good handgun for personal defense. I completely respect and own striker fire guns, but there is something magical about holding a gun that bridges the gap between function and art. While obviously not for everybody, the Ed Brown CCO LW should be considered if you’re serious about a high quality concealed carry firearm.

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Ed Brown CCO LW
Even as a light weight gun, there was minimal recoil and ensuing barrel flip.


  • Caliber: 9mm, 38 Super, 45 ACP
  • Barrel Length: 4.25″
  • Weight: approximately 29 ounces with an unloaded magazine inserted
  • 25″ Commander slide, single stack compact (officer’s size) frame
  • Snakeskin treatment on forestrap and mainspring housing
  • Snakeskin rear cocking serrations
  • Fixed black rear sight, red fiber optic front sight
  • Custom options included: Heavy chamfer, recessed slide stop, round butt,
    concealed carry grip safety, carry cuts
  • Fully customizable with over 100 options
  • MSRP: $3,585

For more information, visit www.edbrown.com

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Ed Brown CCO LW
The accurate pistol ran a variety of ammunition flawlessly.

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