Nighthawk Counselor – Karen Hunter Pistol Review

Concealing a firearm for protection is not as simple as it may seem. Many aspire to become advocates of their own safety, only to find they have walked into a multitude of frustrations. Finding the right gun, carry position and holster can be an overwhelming process. Add the reality of the essential training needed to become proficient in gun safety, firing, drawing from concealment, etc. – and people often become disheartened. There are hundreds of options and millions of opinions to filter through when making these important and essential decisions. Nighthawk Custom has taken part of the guesswork out in the firearms category with the Counselor.

The Nighthawk Counselor was designed for conceal carry. Mark Stone, CEO/Owner of Nighthawk Custom, wanted to offer a gun that would eliminate many of the areas that cause issues for conceal carry. “There are many things that go into carrying a gun for self-defense. Nighthawk has listened carefully to the needs of our customers and created a solution; the Counselor and it is what I personally carry.” – Mark Stone.

nighthawk counselor

I was able to shoot the Counselor while visiting the Nighthawk facility and instantly became a fan. After my return home, Stone generously sent me his own personal Counselor to test and evaluate specifically for this article. Through my T&E I found that Stone’s words proved true as the Counselor is a well-engineered conceal carry firearm. Low profile sights, officer sized, slim grips and smooth, rounded edges make this gun perfect for everyday carry. Add in the fact that it’s hand fit and crafted start to finish by one gunsmith – and you now have certainty of reliability in performance.

The Counselor is a 9mm, officer model 1911 with an eight plus one capacity. It has an aluminum frame as well as aluminum mainspring housing and grip safety. Additionally, Nighthawk added their new bobbed-concealment beavertail and hammer, all making the Counselor much lighter and more conducive for carry. A unique feature of the counselor is the all-new slide design. Instead of the usual “negative serrations”, (material that is machined away), Nighthawk created “positive serrations”. These positive serrations at the front of the slide protrude outward to offer a better purchase on the slide, especially for press checks, while also giving it a unique look.

The Counselor offers attributes that reinforce its design for conceal carry. Nighthawk’s patent-pending Flush-Fit Magwell is one of the most interesting. The Counselor has the same overall length of an officer frame but with the magwell included. Nighthawk cut the officer frame shorter and added a channel for its custom-engineered magwell which slides in from the front and only adding back the length of the frame removed. The magwell is what holds the sear spring in place, which is ingenuity that has never been attempted before. Other features would include an ultra-high, undercut trigger guard that enable a better grip for fuller sized hands. Also, they have incorporated G10 scales custom engineered with Railscales that are thinner than the thinnest 1911 grips available on the market today.

The Nighthawk Counselor is one of the finest 1911 pistols for conceal carry. I would be remiss if I failed to mention that it is imperative to train and become proficient with the platform and specifically the gun you have chosen. No matter how well-made, accurate and reliable a firearm may be, it does not fire itself and results will only be as good as the shooter controlling it.

The Nighthawk Counselor has an MSRP of $3,899.00. To some, that may seem too steep and far beyond their budget. In my opinion it is well worth every penny to have a firearm of this caliber, no pun intended. Nighthawk has even gone one step further and offers a financing plan. To learn more about Nighthawk Custom and specifically, the Counselor, please visit


  • Frame Size – Officer
  • Caliber: 9mm
  • Light Rail: No Rail
  • Safety: Single
  • Height: 5.12 inches
  • Overall Length: 7.01 inches
  • Width: 1.10 inches
  • Slide Width: 0.92 inches
  • Grip Thickness: Thin
  • Empty Weight: 27.9 ounces
  • Sight Radius 5.14”
  • Barrel Length 3.5”
  • Rear Sight – Heinie Straight Eight Slant Pro
  • Front Sight – Tritium
  • Finish – Anodized Frame/Nitide Slide and Controls
  • Firing Pin Material – Stainless Steel

Being able to experience Nighthawk customs from behind the scenes was an unforgettable opportunity. Learning step by step the process of the Nighthawk gun from start to finish gave me an all new respect for this company and what they have to offer. I was so fortunate to be able to spend a week getting to know the Nighthawk family and discovering the magic behind their philosophy of: one gun, one gunsmith.

It was during this trip that I fell in love with the Nighthawk Counselor. The Counselor is a truly unique 1911 as it is built for concealed carry and it is far beyond anything in its class. Boasting an aluminum frame, grip safety and mainspring housing, it is much lighter than other 1911s similar in size while giving you an 8+1 round capacity. The key features making this pistol stand out among the rest are quite ingenious. The features mentioned here are truly what made this gun stand out. The Counselor is one of the most comfortable, accurate and reliable guns I’ve ever run. It offers very minimal recoil, and is extremely comfortable to carry.

nighthawk counselor

Related Videos: Mossberg MC2c – Karen Hunter Pistol Review

Related Videos: Cutting Edge 1911 Pistols: Firehawk & President From Nighthawk Custom

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