The 1911 Sucks

I have said it before and I will end up saying it again: the 1911 an old design that is more trouble than it is worth. I don’t say it to be confrontational, or to draw attention to myself. I say it because I see my fellow shooters mindlessly parroting the gun equivalent of Chuck Norris Facts whenever the 1911 comes up in conversation, and I just don’t get it. I am not surprised that the 1911 is out of place in today’s world, and you shouldn’t be surprised either. What other 100-year old design is still in daily use? In the comment section of another blog, I summarized my skepticism of the 1911′s attributes thusly:

It’s a 100-year old design. It needs tools to disassemble. It has unreliable magazines. It is finicky about ammo. And, as a single-action pistol, it is unsafe for 95% of its users to carry.

In my original complaint, I forgot to mention the issue with slide-stop failures, and the whole internal extractor/external extractor situation. Either of which would be serious enough to kill any other design’s reputation in the shooting world.

In response to some knee-jerk defenses of the 1911 from fanboys who drank too much John M. Browning Kool-Aid, who told me how all that I needed to do was buy a bunch of aftermarket parts and send the gun to a gunsmith, I added:

Why does a reliable 1911 cost so much, and need so much gunsmithing?

To be fair, I have some of the same complaints with the Walther PPK. Which is also a very old design, one which has been eclipsed by more modern designs which can do everything it does better.

I mean, is it unreasonable to expect an affordably-priced pistol for defense to reliably feed hollowpoints out of the box? What Smith & Wesson pistol of recent manufacture won’t feed hollowpoints? What about Glock? SiG? Beretta? (I know Kahrs need to have some rounds through them before they are reliable, but it says that right in the owners manual).

The shooting public would not accept an unreliable gun of a more modern design. But for some reason, the 1911 gets a pass for all of its flaws. “Just use hardball” is not a valid defense of the 1911 design, nor is it a valid strategy for selecting ammunition to defend yourself.

And God help anyone who buys a used 1911. Everyone and their brother seems to think they are qualified to take a Dremel to their 1911. Guys who can’t change their own flat tire somehow have no reservations about playing doctor on their 1911. Who knows what wacky “custom” parts have been put into the gun because someone read about it on the interweb tubes?

It was the best military sidearm of its day, and for a long time afterward. I do not dispute that. But its time has long passed. And a military sidearm is not the same thing as a handgun for personal defense.

Leave aside the lack of reliability with hollowpoints, and the other problems. The 1911 is too big to conceal. And the smaller versions are less reliable due to the shorter slide-travel and a tendency to limp-wrist the gun.

Some people protest by saying that the 1911 is the best gun for defense, because the most “realistic” shooting sports are heavily populated with 1911 users. And everyone knows that you should train like you fight, so that you will fight like you train, right? Well, that would be a more convincing argument if those “realistic” shooting sports didn’t have intricate rules that somehow disqualify most non-1911 designs. Purely by coincidence, right? Sure, they come up with semi-plausible rationales for some of those rules, but there is no way to disguise the overall bias towards the 1911.

I don’t hate 1911 fans. I merely pity them, because they are victims of marketing hype and groupthink, the lemmings of the gun world. And if someone sinks thousands of dollars into a 1911 (and isn’t using it to compete for money), well they are just gullible. Like the kind of people who pay money for tapwater in a bottle.

So what if Jeff Cooper liked the only handgun in use when he was in the military? It’s not like he had a choice of other handguns to use. And, on a related note, Jeff Cooper has a reputation that exceeds his accomplishments. The best information that I can find shows that he spent the battle of Guadalcanal as the training officer on Gen. Vandegrift’s staff. Not leading a platoon. Not on the line, pulling a trigger. And his coy evasions when asked about his real-world experience with gunfighting are revealing, if one cares to view them objectively.

If you have documentation about Cooper’s real-world experience, please drop me a line. I am happy to revise my opinion. I have no doubt that he was qualified to teach people how to shoot on a range. Beyond that, a grain of salt is required. I prefer to get my advice on defense & gunfighting from men who have actually been there & done that; Massad Ayoob, Jim Cirillo, etc. Am I a qualifications snob? No, I am an results snob.

Ok, got it out of my system.

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137 Responses to The 1911 Sucks

  1. One good thing about 1911′s is that they can, and very reliably do so, is work well with black magic (aka black powder for nondarksiders) 45acp loads. Nothing like working a 1911 while it’s belching hellfire and brimstone, and spitting lead.

  2. I have to respectfully disagree with you. I have a very affordable Taurus PT1911 – reliable, accurate, shoots whatever I put in it – cast lead reloads to hollow points.

    3,000 + rounds and no problems.



    • avatargunlover says:

      i agree and i think this guy needs to get his facts strait. yes all of those problems were there in the VERY FIRST MODEL then they started fixing them over the years and several comanys make its design, Remington, Taurus, Browning, and Colt makes several diffrent ones go to there website and check it out.

  3. avatarRabbi says:

    I agree with most of what you said. A few years ago, many if not most 1911s needed work when new out of the box. Many have gotten better since then.

    It was stated by more than one 1911 expert that the 1911 was designed when manufacturing consisted of handwork and the 1911 design does not translate well to modern machining.

    In terms of carry, John Farnam says of the 1911: “It is a great design for killing someone. A terrible design for not killing someone.” I say that of all guns with single action triggers.

  4. avatarTTACer says:

    But it’s sooooo comfortable.

  5. avatarJames says:

    Well, OK. 1911s suck.

    That’s not necessarily my opinion. I’ve owned two separate 1911 pistols in varying degrees of “newness” in the not-too-distant past, and I found both to be comfortable to shoot, highly reliable, highly accurate, and all around good guns. Field stripping one for cleaning is a little more involved than other semi-autos I’ve owned, but once you get the hang of it, it comes as second nature. I’ve never took one far enough apart that I needed tools to do it, as you suggest in your article.

    All that aside, though – What do you suggest for a modern .45 pistol?

    • avatarOddbodkin says:

      Even bigger than the 1911 but oh so nice to use:-)

    • avatarJeremy says:

      for out of the box reliability on a .45 go with H&K or Glock. I had a 1911 in the army in the 80′s but it had been fired alot and abused for 20 years before I got it so the slide was wore out and I couldn’t hit anything with it.
      I fired a Kimber 1911 at the range and it was like butter baby. I handled an STI 1911 at Ronnie Barrett’s gunstore and it was one step up from the Kimber.
      I think alot has less to do with the blueprint for the 1911 and more to do with the various manufacturing standards and tweaking of the product as far as feeding problems etc.
      The 1911 was supposed to take 230 grain ball with the gunpowder of that era. Any change from that will have to be accounted for in new manufacture.

  6. avatarRabbi says:

    45s: The Sig (don’t remember the model), Springfield XD45, S&W M&P45, Glock 21

  7. avatarwhatweneedhearismoreadahs! says:

    Geee…. I shot distinguished expert with mine.

  8. avatarJohn Moses says:

    Don’t buy one. I have owned two Kimbers that were duds from the start. My other 15, 2 Colts, 2 Wilson Combats & 11 assorted Springfields have fired thousands of rounds without fail. Good enough for me.
    Great to live where we can choose isn’t it?
    I also love my Sigs, indifferent about S&W & Glocks, think Rugers are for minor leaguers. To each his own.

  9. Ahh…it’s pre-Christmas link-whoring time, eh?

    I’m not a 1911 Kool Aid drinker. I carry a .38 snubbie or my new Kahr CW9. However, my perfectly reliable RIA 1911 cost me $425 plus tax ($9 less than I paid for the Kahr). I’ve never had a misfire, FTF or FTE in about 500 rounds of range time with all kinds of ammo using the factory and off-brand Midway mags.

    Maybe my experience isn’t indicative of the 1911 platform as a whole, but your generalizations are just that. Generalizations. I can see not buying into the mumbling 1911 cult-like followers. Like all blind worshippers, they can be more than a little creepy. To each his own. But please, if you’re going to link-whore, at least post more pictures like the one of Emma Gibbs, mkay?

    Merry Christmas!

  10. avatarEvan says:

    I don’t have carry one mainly because I don’t want to have to remember to disengage a safety during a stressful moment. That could be said of a lot of other carry guns though.

    That said, 1911s are the most comfortable guns I’ve every shot.

    • avatarPatrick Carrube says:

      FWIW – forgetting to disengage the safety isn’t a gun problem, it’s a training/practice problem.

  11. avatarKW says:

    Just about the only way to guarantee a larger number of responses to a post is to come on a gun blog and say all gun owners suck. Or FMJ rounds suck.

    I would think someone advocating new designs could come up with a new idea to invite debate.

    • avatarRobert Farago says:

      KW I saw this post over at and thought it would make a nice addition to our cannon. I mean, canon. Sure, I reckoned it would generate the usual sort of debate. But I was not trolling. Much. I mean, what do you think of 1911s? Really. I’d like to know.

      • avatarKW says:

        Fair enough. For handguns I have three 1911′s and a 3inch S&W 686. I shoot them all relatively well and I’ve shot all three 1911′s competitively. Right now, as usual, there is a 1911 on my hip. For someone like myself, that is meticulous about training and maintenance, it is as good a choice as any. For most people it’s not. For any self defense scenarios I’m likely to encounter, I think it will be fine. If I thought I had a high probability of encountering a number of armed terrorists in a sand box I’d opt for the H&K 45 that Todd G just finished running 50000 rounds through. It’s truly a sweet piece of modern handgun design. But it would need new sights and a trigger job first, so there goes the “out of the box” disclaimer.

  12. avatarDogman says:

    Well, you pretty much summed up my feelings on this out-dated design.

    But the gun magazines continue to rave about them, use them on covers and write odes to their perfection in virtually every single issue (with lots of corresponding advertising from Kimber, Wilson, Nighthawk, etc.). This pretty much guarantees brain-washed shooters with continue to buy them while living in a state of denial.

    • Dogman,

      What is the aftermarket for Glock parts & gunsmithing? (insert a brand of your choice) And then look at the huge industry that is supported by making the 1911 work properly.

      Like Willie Sutton said: “That’s where the money is.”

  13. avatarAndy says:

    “Well, that would be a more convincing argument if those “realistic” shooting sports didn’t have intricate rules that somehow disqualify most non-1911 designs.”

    Yup! Funny how 1911s and Glocks are somehow “stock” service pistols, but the other plastic guns are “enhanced”.

  14. avatarRB211 says:

    While I agree that the out of the box 1911 was a pain in the butt some time ago, things have improved. I bought my Colt SS 80 series in about 86. It would not feed FMJ, forget about HPs.

    After at least three trips to the gunsmith (a real one, not a guy with a dremel), it would feed anything, including what were called the “flying tea cups”. I refer to the 200 gr (I think) JHP round from Blazer. Yea, they also polished the hammer / sear, replaced the sights (just because they had a cool tritium set in stock) and other things too numerous to mention.

    The new generation of 1911s will shoot anything out of the box. A mention was made of the Taurus 1911. It is a great shooter. Accurate and reliable out of the box. I would never spend money on a Kimber or Wilson. You can get a reliable 1911 for far less money (sorry BK). I don’t need detailed checkering on a combat gun, sorry.

    As for used guns? That’s easy, don’t buy them unless you are willing to replace a bunch of parts. Its just like buying a used car, don’t expect it to be new. It sounds obvious, but people see a nice paint job and assume the car has been properly maintained. A clean bore means someone cleaned the bore, nothing more should be assumed. This applies to any gun, not just 1911s.

    As for disassembly, the 1911 CAN be completely disassembled without tools. There are a few places to find the procedure, but I found one at Moreover, it can be reassembled without tools. JMB is the man.

    As for the single action trigger, well, I agree there. You can deliberately make a 1911 trigger stiffer to prevent an over adrenaline powered finger from causing problems, but that cant compare to a smooth DA trigger. Lots of travel, maybe a little “stacking”, but a lot more safety in a high stress situation.

    After my 1911 experience I started to see 1911s as the small block chevy of the gun world. Any of you that have even considered hot rodding a car have probably noticed that this is the most “do-able” engine for the purpose. Like the 1911, there is a plethora of parts available to built it just the way you want. You control the look, the feel and the performance. Build for reliability, or for race. There are options that do not exist for any other gun I know of (although there is a growing market of hot rod parts for Glocks now).

    To me, the 1911 is a piece of history. It is amazing to hold a gun that was designed a hundred years ago. It may not be the best gun for any single purpose any more. Mine is a joy to shoot, but I would not carry it. There are too many modern alternatives. Lighter, smaller, higher capacity, and more reliable alternatives.

  15. I carry a stock Llama XI (1911) daily. With the exception of a polish job on the feed ramp and a trigger job (3.5 lb) I have never had a issue with it. Whatever I put in the mag comes out the Bbl. I have looked at the Sig 220 and the Springfield XDM45. Nice guns and I’ll probably add one of each to my stable. But for now I’ll carry my old XI, I have no problem concealing it.
    I also do all of my own work, it’s nice to be a gunsmith :)

  16. avatarMike says:

    Ok…..Your calling the gun UNSAFE….SAME tactics used by California to keep guns from being sold…..Your turning into what you despise.

    2. Every gun you mention in this article (besides the 1911)

    Drum roll please…….ALL of them are based off the basic 1911 design!!!! (or the other John Browning design the Hi-Power (most widely used gun design in law-enforcement WORLD WIDE.)

    Or how about Other browning designs that ARE STILL IN USE IN THE US MILITARY today!!

    Or how the 1911 has been sought after for EVERY war in the world since its invention…..the troops cant get their hands on one fast enough!

    Or Mabye its organizations like the LAPD swat team that could use any firearm they wish and they choose the 1911.

    You lost a lot of credibility with this article…..Your going to have to work hard to regain that credibility.

    • Mike,

      I wrote the article, not Robert.

      Allow me to point out some of the amateurish mistakes you made in constructing your “retort”.

      John Browning was working within the limitations of metallurgy and machining that existed when he was designing guns. The M2 .50 machinegun that people keep parroting in response to my “what other 100-year old design works?” question…has a tendency to jam when subjected to lateral g-forces. Like when it’s used as the the main armament in a fighter plane. Furthermore, it is hard to change barrels on the M2 (essential to maintain the readiness of the gun in protracted engagements). The army is trying to upgrade the design as we speak. Browning is not perfect and neither were his designs. (I am a huge fan of his 1903, by the way).

      Most troops aren’t issued pistols. But in a combat situation, many people would like one. And until recently, the only pistol available to the military (except for special forces types) was the 1911. So, it’s not much of a shock that they try to get a 1911.

      While some highly-trained SWAT officers might be permitted to carry a 1911, rank&file officers are not trained enough to safely operate a 1911. If everyone who had a 1911 adhered to a strict training regimen, I would feel more comfortable with people carrying them.

      • avatarJust a guy says:

        Real quick. You have obviously never operated, and/or have NO real world experience with the M2 or M2HB.

        1. When was the M2 used as a “main aircraft armament?”
        2. If you have ever headspaced and/or timed a M2, you would know how extremely easy it is to change the barrel.
        3. I didnt know you were in the Army, or were working with Crane to develop an replacement for the M2……in fact I had no idea that the M2 was being replaced…..interesting that you have this knowledge. What will the CROWS be fitted with for light armored defense?

        4. that last point was sarcastic, and was meant to point out that you have no idea what you are talking about.

        5. Most troops arent issued sidearms????????!!!!! That is just full retard right there. How many deployments have you completed? Operators, Forward Logistics, EOD, and regular Infantry, Even Fobbits have side arms…..always.

        6. I dont even care about the 1911 debate, but certainly nobody has taken you seriously after the comment above. If you are going to make a guess, dont make an uneducated one, and quit getting your info from Reservists, or the AirForce (unless the are JTAC).

  17. avatarMartin Albright says:

    I wouldn’t say the 1911 “sucks” but it’s not the be-all and end-all gun design that some shooters seem to think it is.

    I qualified with an M1911 in the Military Police back in the 1980s. Of course, the ones we had in the Colorado National Guard were well used but I managed to qualify expert just the same. Still, because of the single-action design we were required to carry them in condition three (i.e. hammer down on an empty chamber) so in terms of gunfighting it was about as useful as a club.

    After nearly 25 years of gun owning, I finally got a 1911 in 2005, a Springfield GI model. Gorgeous gun, and quite affordable at about $450. Kept it for less than 5 years and then sold it because I couldn’t think of one reason to keep it. Nice piece of history, sure, but in terms of shooting, there are better guns out there.

    I do like the .45 round but if I get another one it will be something more modern. Until then my 9mm Glock suits me just fine as a CCW piece.

  18. avatarMartin Albright says:

    BTW the Model T and the Willys GP were both great, classic designs that had a significant influence on all the vehicles that followed them, but I wouldn’t want to drive either one to work, especially on a cold day.

  19. avatarGMA says:

    Anyone who starts their list of complaints stating that a 1911 needs tools to disassemble doesn’t know a damn thing about 1911′s.

    • avatarMartin Albright says:

      Yeah, that one threw me as well. The only tools I ever used to “field strip” a 1911 were my hands. Unless you mean detailed disassembly (removing the extractor, trigger, hammer, etc) which requires tools on most weapons, not just 1911s.

      • Dear fanboys,

        Like I told the last fanboy who acted like the 1911 doesn’t need tools to disassemble:

        “The manual for the Springfield Armory GI.45 says that you need a screwdriver or Allen wrench. Page 26 if you want to check for yourself.

        Ok, to be fair, let’s try a different model. The ParaOrd GI Expert. Oh, darn. Page 29 of the user manual says you need a barrel bushing wrench.

        Wow. Maybe the people who claim you don’t need tools should check their facts before pointing anything out to anyone…”

        2 different base-model guns from major, reputable manufacturers. And there are plenty more.

        • avatarRB211 says:

          Mine does not have allen head screws anywhere. The barrel bushing wrench is a nice to have but not “required”. On a very tight custom gun, maybe. On a standard 1911, no reason for it. Follow the link and look fro disassembly instructions. You should not need tools.

        • avatarDave says:

          So because the manual states the 1911 needs a bushing wrench, you assume that it does? Is all of your 1911 expertise derived from factory manuals or have you actually held one before?

          You can field strip a 1911 without any tools. You may or may not be able o detail strip one without tools.

          What firearm out there can you detail strip down to every single sub assembly without tools? None.

        • avatarZM 1306 says:

          You can completely field strip and detail strip a 1911 with only the gun its self. I know this is old but I was looking for detail strip instructions for my 1911 and found this. Not only did I find instructions but it is tool free! Not only did I just completely disassemble but reassembled my SR1911 without tools.

  20. avatarJD says:

    Have had none of the issues you claim above..
    unsafe??….you have to pull the hammer back and by your std., a revolver would be too.

    the glock superceded the 1911 and still holds the title 20 something years later. and like the 1911, parts are everywhere. That’s the only reason I need, parts availability (i.e. Freedom).

    So get a double stack one, add a safety and or DA trigger…aluminum alloy reciever, change the grips and reduce the slide.

    While the industry wants to sell you something new/shiny yearly, these are the reliable hold outs.

    The glock and 1911 are core pillars of the industry, without either of which there’d be far less choice, options, freedom, fun, profitability, stability, etc.

  21. avatarPatrick Carrube says:

    It seems like Yankee-fool redneck, or whatever his name is, has never actually owned, used, or shot a 1911. Just from his tone and demeanor, he seems to be a “desktop shooter”, blurting out what he reads from blogs, forums, and other various websites. Good thing this is “The Truth About Guns”… First, check out my Wilson Combat XTAC Review to see me field strip a 1911. I can tear one apart, sans any tools, in about 8 seconds. Secondly, as I have shown on the XTAC, and as others how shown on many other 1911′s (Brad’s Kimber Review), 1911′s can feed JHP/FMJ just as well as a modern polymer gun. It all comes down to magazines. Get a quality magazine (I suggest a Wilson Combat 8-rd), and your feeding issues will practically disappear. You know what, forget this – I’ll just post an article titled “Why the 1911 DOESN’T Suck!”. Keep an eye out…

    • Guess again, Pattycakes.

      1911s are nice target guns. But lousy carry guns.

      How much is a Wilson XTAC? “Base Model Starting at $2,395.00″ Wow, that is so totally worth the extra $1900 more than a ParaOrd GI Expert to eliminate the need for a bushing wrench.

      Why so many aftermarket parts to make the 1911 “right”? Why so much gunsmithing to make it “reliable”? Why not buy a better design and not waste your money? Oh, that’s right…you need a 1911 to be a fanboy.

      Who was it who said that a fool and his money are soon parted?

      • avatarPatrick Carrube says:

        haha, Pattycakes – I like it! Then agian, fruitcakes are much more appropriate this time of the year. In all your ranting, you still have not detailed ANY experience you have with a 1911. Making a blanket statement that all 1911′s require tools by giving 2 examples is the kind of detailed reporting I expect on CBS, not TTAG. Then, after giving no detail on where you’ve attained your great knowledge, you give the XTAC as an example. Yes, the XTAC is an awesome gun, but very expensive. It is designed for people who can afford one – such as the Corvette ZR1. Is the stock Corvette still a pretty impressive car? Sure it is. Is the ZR1 an even more impressive car? Having personally watched one tear up a road course, I can say yes it is. A $600-900 Springfield, Kimber, etc will offer owners great accuracy, exceptional reliability with all ammo types, and a life-long appreciation for all the is “single-stack”.

        • LOL. You need to proofread before you hit SEND.

          I was not aware that I had to post my resume & CV. But, I have shot multiple 1911s over the years, from bone-stock models to tricked-out fanboy stroke-fodder.

          “Making a blanket statement that all 1911′s require tools by giving 2 examples is the kind of detailed reporting I expect on CBS, not TTAG.”

          You said that wrong. Try it this way: “Making a blanket statement that NO 1911′s require tools is the kind of detailed reporting I expect on CBS, not TTAG.”

          Now, I have seen that sort of comment multiple times from the 1911 fanboys, and I have documented how it is false with examples from ParaOrd and Springfield owner’s manuals. Or are they not “real” 1911s?

          “Then, after giving no detail on where you’ve attained your great knowledge, you give the XTAC as an example.”

          Actually, YOU furnished the XTAC as an example, not me. I just did some research on the model you raised as an example and presented what I found.

          “Yes, the XTAC is an awesome gun, but very expensive. It is designed for people who can afford one – such as the Corvette ZR1. ”

          So is a gold-plated Desert Eagle. How much did you pay for yours?

          “Is the stock Corvette still a pretty impressive car? Sure it is. Is the ZR1 an even more impressive car? Having personally watched one tear up a road course, I can say yes it is. ”

          Gosh…it sounds like you have no personal experience with the ZR1 Corvette. Just what you hear second-hand.

      • avatarDave says:

        You can not win this debate, nobody can. Your argument is based off your opinion. Why are you even bothering?

  22. avatarJohn Krzos says:


    I own 9 1911′s , Springers, Colts & 1 Essex framed/Remington slide. Never had a problem with any. The Colts, 2 original 1911′s & 2 reissues are for investments. Colts never go down in price. Springers are in various config, including a 14 round mag. Got rid of most glocks, I like a manual safety, so I bought some FNP9′s. These are great also.

  23. avatarmiforest says:

    I like shootiing the 1922. I think the winchester 94 , smith and wesson mode 10 , and the mauser 98 are also perfectly releivant 100 year old designs. The ergonomics of the design are very good. points nicely .

  24. avatarmiforest says:

    I like shootiing the 1911. I think the winchester 94 , smith and wesson mode 10 , and the mauser 98 are also perfectly releivant 100 year old designs. The ergonomics of the design are very good. points nicely .

  25. avatarKW says:

    Your quite amateurish dissing of the 1911 left out the vital criticism that a left handed shooter with a thumbs forward grip can pop the slide stop pin loose during firing. That’s not a very easily cleared malfunction, and doesn’t go a long way toward saving your life. You seem like you need a little help from someone who has actually used a 1911. Simply regurgitating 100 yrs of other folks criticisms isn’t too impressive.

    The generally demeaning tone of your rants here might be passed off as a wish to educate the blind people you “pity” if you didn’t throw in little barbs like “pattycakes” and “fanboy”. It’s going to take a little more work and polish not to come off as desperate to start an argument.

    • If you are left-handed and use a weird grip on your handguns, that’s your problem to deal with. Don’t try to drag the rest of us down because of your physical impairment. If you want to carry a gun that is unreliable with hollowpoints, it’s your life at risk.

      • avatarKW says:

        Listen Buttnutmugger, I never said I was left handed, butI’m sure all the left handed readers appreciate knowing that you think they’re physically impaired. Apparently you not only can’t do your own research, but you can’t read english either. If you knew anything about handguns you’d know what a thumbs forward grip is. Referring to it as “weird” only proves your ignorance of the subject and confirms you as a lazy, attention seeking troll. If I had trouble with “big” (now theres a descriptive modifier) words I’d be over on your blog instead of this one.

        • avatarCameron says:

          He wasnt saying all of them are impaired. I am holding my 1911 right now, holding it left handed (normally im right handed) but it is a serious stretch to reach the slide stop pin on mine. Also the pin wont come out on mine unless the slide is in a very specific position (maybe an upgrade from previous models to solve the pin’s problems?) but at any rate, it would be very profound on my 1911 for even a left handed, extremely long fingered shooter to knock the pin out

      • avatarMitch14 says:

        Yeah left handed over here, thanks jerk. If you’re left handed, then you can find ways to adapt to anything, as all of my firearms are right-handed, I’ve found ways to use them all proficiently. You realize you are losing every reader to your opinionated article. Not to mention, just reading all of your comments, you sound desperate and frustrated in your responses. I’m going to go ahead and go through with my decision on buying a 1911 because all of these other people actually sound experienced and know what they are talking about. It sounds like you’ve been to the range a couple times with 1911 and couldn’t hit anything with it. It also sounds like you just spent a day on the Internet reading instruction manuals to these guns, just to back yourself up. Congrats you’ve successfully convinced me to go against your review. To be honest I was completely interested in your reasoning until you made it obvious that you personally dislike 1911′s.. “Fanboys” that’s really cute by the way, are you trying to piss people off, or are you naturally that inconsiderate? Good luck in your articles, you need work on your statements rather than knowing fine print and page numbers.

  26. avatarDiamondback says:

    Blah, blah, blah, BANG!

    Oh, sheeett!!!

    OMG there’s a DWTS commercial on.

    I’ll get back to ya.

  27. avatar2yellowdogs says:

    Forgot to mention the field stripping in my comment. My “mil-spec” type RIA can be field stripped without any tools that aren’t already on the ends of my arms on about 20 seconds. Sure, a bushing wrench might be nice, but I don’t own one. It’s not necessary.

    Lots of folks use mag-loaders to make topping off their magazines easier, too. Does that mean the mags are poorly designed?

  28. Martin and Gunnut…

    In its original guise, the 1911 can be detail stripped using nothing more than its own parts as tools in about a minute, and reassembled the same way in about two. If the grip screws are also original spec, a case rim can be used to remove those. Field stripping can be accomplished in 10 seconds…reassembly in 15.

    I’ve done this many times in front of witnesses who have timed me. If you’re within driving distance of Lexington, NC…I’ll be happy to demonstrate.

  29. Well, folks, which 1911 flavors can be stripped without tools, and which require tools?

    Which have ramped barrels, and which don’t? Which have full-length guide rods, and which do not?

    Which are reliable with hollowpoints and which are not?

    That’s the real problem. There is no standardization of the “1911″. There is the Wilson flavor, the Kimber flavor, the ParaOrd flavor, etc. Which is the “real 1911″?

    The parts aren’t truly interchangeable between brands or even between models within a single brand.

    Just look at the contortions that people have to twist themselves into to defend their loyalty to the 1911: “I tried 16 guns and 3 were reliable”…”It’s reliable with hardball”…”After I put in thousands of $ on parts and gunsmithing, it worked”…

    If your best friend introduced his girlfriend as a herpes-infected, serially-unfaithful unemployed woman with 7 special-needs children from 7 seven different men, but she’s from a good family and looks good with a quarter inch of makeup on, how excited would you be for him?

    Or would you be more excited that you aren’t him?

    • avatarPatrick Carrube says:

      THE 1911 can be field stripped without hand tools. Those with full-length guide rods, bull-barrels, etc are all deviations from JMB’s original design.

  30. avatarKW says:

    The author’s anemic blog has seven replies to this post that aren’t his own. Nice move RF!

  31. avatarChris Dumm says:

    I haven’t seen such (figurative) blood spilled on the pages of TTAG before. If the Brits and the Bocces could observe a Christmas truce on the Western Front in 1914, perhaps we could agree to disagree and set aside the ad hominems.

    I guess you coudl say I have a dog in this fight, but it’s just not a fight worth fighting. My 1911 is reliable with all ammo, it doesn’t require tools for disassembly, it weighs a ton and is a bitch to conceal. And its not terribly accurate.

    “Can’t we all just get along?”

  32. avatarFederale says:

    Here, here. The 1911 is not bad, it is just not that great. Add to it inherently unsafe. Also why are so many obsessed with an exposed hammer on a pistol? 19th century technology. Striker is better. The only think I like about my 1911 is the narrow grip. More comfortable than the 4 Glocks I own in various calibers, from .45 to 9mm. But then I can carry my Glocks safely and they are reliable out of the box.

  33. avatarGunner442 says:

    I inherited a GI 1911A1, qualifiied with one in the Marines( pre-M9 days), and previously owned a Auto-Ordnance( a steaming POS!). Like the .45 ACP caliber, so I bought a Glock 21. Goes bang everytime, accurate, Marine proof, and holds 13+1. The 1911A1 stays in the safe, and the Glock is my prefered pistol. If I had to pick an end of the world gun, it would be a Glock 21! Just my 2 cents…

  34. avatarG.A. Heath says:

    First off, if your talking about the 100 year old design and not some new age variant then no tools are needed to field strip the gun. If we are only going to consider newer variations on the design then we have to give up the complaint about the old design.

    If you don’t get quality magazines for any gun then you have unreliable magazines, find me someone who uses reliable non-Glock made mags in their Glock. You can’t, because no such magazine exists. If you buy quality magazines for any firearm then this issue does not exist.

    Yes, it is a single action pistol, but I don’t see how that makes it unsafe. If someone follows the four rules the 1911 will not discharge unless the operator intended for it to do so.

    The only slide stop issue I can think of the 1911 having is if you listen to that guy who thinks you should shoot with your middle finger, instead of your index finger. The slide stop pin is too far forward for most people to ever contact with any part of their hand besides the index finger while gripping the gun properly.

    The internal extractor is part of the 100 year old design, the external extractor is a more recent variation.

    As for the price and gun smithing, I can take $450 and buy a brand new 1911 and feel relatively well about its reliability out of the box without any gun smithing involved. The reason I say relatively is because I trust no firearm for carry until I have put enough ammo through it to ensure it will work properly, no matter the caliber and/or brand.

    As for the whole point of it being to large to conceal, I hate to break it to you I have been known conceal a full sized 1911 in west Texas triple digit summer heat.

    You sir show your bias, lack of knowledge on the topic, and unwillingness to research or even learn the truth with this article and your responses to the comments.

    • “First off, if your talking about the 100 year old design and not some new age variant then no tools are needed to field strip the gun.”

      Which currently-available model is that? I furnished examples of 2 basic models from ParaOrd and Springfield that DO require tools. Are they not real 1911s?

      “If you buy quality magazines for any firearm then this issue does not exist.”

      Are ParaOrd magazines reliable? Kimber? Springfield? Or do you have to buy the special Wilson mags?

      “Yes, it is a single action pistol, but I don’t see how that makes it unsafe. ”

      A single-action pistol with an exposed hammer, on a design that requires 2 safeties. Sounds like Browning himself thought it was unsafe.

      “As for the price and gun smithing, I can take $450 and buy a brand new 1911 and feel relatively well about its reliability out of the box without any gun smithing involved. ”

      A lot of other people (including some posting replies here) have had the opposite experience. Are they all “wrong” or “lying”? No. They are working with a 100-year old design that pre-dates hollowpoint ammunition.

      “As for the whole point of it being to large to conceal, I hate to break it to you I have been known conceal a full sized 1911 in west Texas triple digit summer heat.”

      Which says precisely nothing. If I was 6’7″ and weighed 400 pounds, I might be able to conceal a 1911 under normal clothing. And, what do you mean by “conceal”? Do you wear a Shoot-Me-First vest to “conceal” that 1911?

      “You sir show your bias, lack of knowledge on the topic, and unwillingness to research or even learn the truth with this article and your responses to the comments.”

      That opinion is at variance with the words I have written. Readers can judge for themselves :)

      • avatarG.A. Heath says:

        Take anyone’s “GI” or “Mil-Spec” models like the ones from Springfield or Rock Island Armory. Standard tool-less take downs. I can also take down the Taurus PT1911, Kimber TLE and guns with similar full length guide rods without tools, it just takes knowledge.

        I don’t know about Para’s mags, but I have to say I’ve had no issue with Kimbers mags, or Novak mags, or even the quality budget mags like those made by check-mate.

        Ok it has two safeties, how many does Glock advertise? Three isn’t it? I guess those are unsafe too, and they have a double action trigger.

        As for my experience with reliability, I’ve done it. I purchased a RIA GI model new a few years ago for $375(prices have increased since then) put about 1000 rounds through it before my friend wanted that two month old gun more than I did. I took his money, and he took his new gun. I used that money to buy another toy and ammo for it. To my knowledge that gun still has had no issues and has fired many thousands of rounds, mostly reloads and lots of those have been hollow points.

        I may be a bit heavy, but I’m not 400lbs, and I am less than 6 feet tall. The trick to concealment isn’t body mass, its quality gear (holster, and belt). BTW, I find it harder to conceal double stack guns due to their width. I typically wear a dress shirt to cover my weapon, the slim profile works to conceal it well.

        I will not call someone a LIAR or say they are WRONG because they have had different experiences than I because I do not know the conditions that they were in when they had those experiences. For example I do not know if they were shooting a gun covered in grease , or if they have had proper training, ect, or if they were shooting a gun that is actually defective. In my experiences 9 times out of 10 reliability and accuracy issues are user induced via operation, magazines, or reloads. Can say that is the case for everyone that has had issues with a 1911? No, because I know that there are defective guns made and sold just like every other design.

  35. avatarTom W. says:

    Given the modern and historical combat effectiveness of the 1911, and the technology to improve it’s fundamental design, fit and finish, and reliability; the 1911 is not a participant in the “dumbing” down, striker fired new whiz bang tupperware models. My S&W 1911, is out of the box reliable, after thousands of rounds fired. I choose to buy good mags, for all my pistols, and also own some plastic fantastic one’s also.

    To each his own, the 1911, as a carry weapon, requires training, practice, and not just a weekend range warrior bit of knowledge rampant in this article, full of generalizations and fodder. OBTW, I love my Walther PPK/S, and I’m left handed.

    Opinions are like,……

    Merry Christmas.

  36. avatardavid l spencer says:

    The OP in my opinion has no practical experiance with the 1911 or he would not publish such ignorant opinions.I dont need any tools whatsoever to field strip my 1911′s,all have been reliable out of box and are not all that difficult to carry concealed from an inexpensive High Standard to a Colt government 1991a1.I use good mags,the stock ones did fine but I use match grade Chip Mc Cormics.Sure there are oodles of aftermarket parts and treatments but for the most part it’s not for reliability but personal preferences.Anyone who disses a time tested platform that works simply have been brainwashed by someone first hand or through the grapevine that had a lemon,and yes ALL manufacturers produce one now and again.I’m not a 1911 nut as my usual carry piece is either my FNP9m or my Ruger SR9c.FYI,you loose credibility publishing such drivel and more when you start name calling as you did.In closing,I’ve heard unsupported opinions just like this,when I was in junior high.

    • “The OP in my opinion has no practical experiance with the 1911 or he would not publish such ignorant opinions.I dont need any tools whatsoever to field strip my 1911′s”

      Other people do need tools. So, are you claiming that those people do not exist, or are somehow all lying in unison?

      “all have been reliable out of box”

      Read the other commenters’ statements above.

      “are not all that difficult to carry concealed from an inexpensive High Standard to a Colt government 1991a1″

      Conceal HOW? What holster, in what carry position? Or are we talking about Shoot-Me-First vests and I-Have-A-Big-Gun-In-Here fannypacks?

      “Anyone who disses a time tested platform that works”

      The comments above indicate that it DOESN’T work a significant portion of the time. Are all of the other commenters lying?

      “simply have been brainwashed by someone first hand or through the grapevine that had a lemon”

      What about the people who have been brainwashed to ignore genuine shortcomings of the 1911 design and its execution?

      “I’m not a 1911 nut as my usual carry piece is either my FNP9m or my Ruger SR9c”

      So you find it a hassle to conceal a 1911?

      “FYI,you loose credibility publishing such drivel and more when you start name calling as you did. In closing,I’ve heard unsupported opinions just like this,when I was in junior high.”

      Well, if someone comes in swinging, I am not going to retreat. If my words make one person smile, I am OK with what I write. And yes, that one person can be me :)

      And, maybe I just went to good schools, but the mindless 1911 cheerleaders have a long way to go before their arguments are as well-documented and cogent as the ones I remember from junior high. I wish Mister Avery could see me now.

  37. avatarJOE MATAFOME says:

    The 1911 DOES NOT SUCK. enough said. LMAO

  38. avatarThe Mechanic says:

    I prefer to get my advice on defense & gunfighting from men who have actually been there & done that; Massad Ayoob,

    that sentence killed all the credibility he purported to have….what actual experience other than hypothetical does Ayoob have? Part time LEO? WOW

    I carry BHPs and 1911s and have for many years they will still be running when glocks are recycled into easybake ovens

    • Risks taken by Jeff Cooper as Gen. Vandegrift’s staff training officer: potential burns from spilled coffee, possible papercuts, callouses from too much typing.

      Risks taken by Massad Ayoob: being shot by a suspect, being stabbed by a suspect, being bludgeoned by a suspect.

      Who has broader experience to draw upon? Who has tested more different types of handguns? Decades of writings from both men are clear: Jeff Cooper’s expertise is very narrow, and centered on several well-documented biases.

      Maybe you think a one-trick pony is the best teacher. I do not.

  39. avatardavid l spencer says:

    Most people i know do NOT need tools.All of mine have been reliable out of the box and if you read any of the forums you will see that MOST folks have them work reliable out of the box although I will concede that was NOT the case some years back but these issues have been adressed at leat with the majority of 1911 manufacturers.No they are not difficult to conceal,you dress around your carry piece whether its a glock,sig 1911 or anything else,its no trouble at all.No matter what the school you went to the babble is still them same.You are entitled to your opinions of course but don’t try to pass them off as facts.

  40. avatarBayouGlocker says:

    I thought about leaving a logic based reply, but then I thought about your post and realized it would be a waste of time and energy. Instead, I’m just going to say that your reasoning is flawed from the get go.

    Anyone who wants to win a debate instead of simply arguing from their petty soap box, will use reasoned and logical arguements based on facts or expert opinion. They will not spout off their own opinions as being fact, without presenting evidence that they are qualified to offer that opinion.

    At the end of the day, your rant will fade away into the sands of time…. But the 1911 will still be around for the forseeable future.

  41. avatarBig Jake says:

    This is exactly why liberal gun grabbers are continuing to be successful in their efforts. Infighting and personal opinion is defeating common sense and trampling our rights and keeping gun owners from becoming a collective voice and cohesive group. Who gives a damn what you think about a particular handgun or your bias towards it. Opinions are varied and based on your experience, often limited in nature and scope. I have carried and owned most firearms, I have used them extensively in a variety of environments in both the civilian and military arena and all have their shortcomings and strengths respectively. I personally prefer a 1911 platform because it is comfortable and works for me and fits in my training scope. People need to get over their egos and get off their high horse and remember it is a tool and the most important thing is finding common ground, defeat anti-gun idiots, inform the uninformed and keep the right(s) strong and train and educate themselves. Remember what is important. Just the thoughts of a trainer, combat vet and experienced individual with a background in the field. Merry Christmas all.

  42. avatarSkwurl Nutz says:

    Man, I think I would have thought twice about airing my ignorance in the public forum.

    This qualifies as the most ignorant paragraph I have read since I started surfing the net:

    “It’s a 100-year old design. It needs tools to disassemble. It has unreliable magazines. It is finicky about ammo. And, as a single-action pistol, it is unsafe for 95% of its users to carry.”

    • LOL, Skwurl. I really appreciate all the research you did in documenting the errors in my writing.

      • avatarSkwurl Nutz says:

        I don’t need to. About the only true statement is that the design is 100-years-old (it;s actually a little older).

        Anyone who need tools to disassemble a 1911A1 probably should stay away from guns. Anyone who has half a brain can carry a 1911A1 cocked and locked (the way it was intended). Anyone who has trouble with the magazines should probably quit buying cheap Chinese crap.

        The issue I have is that you are spouting (uninformed) opinion as fact. Maybe the 1911A1 isn’t for everyone (obviously not you), but a real pistolero will have few issues with the design, and the ones they might have, you have not mentioned.

        • avatarCzechsum says:

          “Anyone who has half a brain can carry a 1911A1 cocked and locked (the way it was intended). ”
          No. It was not intended to be carried C&L. Read up on the subject.

        • Hope you have kevlar underwear, Czech. They are going to be gunning for you now…

  43. avatarDave says:

    Don’t feed the troll. This man discredits Jeff Cooper saying the Cooper has never been in a gunfight so he knows nothing about combat shooting. He then states that Ayoob is a better source of real world gunfighting expertise. Guess what. Ayoob has never been in a gunfight.

    Have you ever been in a gunfight? You sound like another armchair commando.

    You also fail to mention the FACT that without this archaic design of Brownings, there would not be so many of your more contemporary designs.

    If you like the 1911 platform or not makes no difference to me. Every one I have bought or built up has worked flawlessly. If you are not competent enough to operate one effectively, you need to look inward to your training.

    Don’t feed the troll.

    • “This man discredits Jeff Cooper saying the Cooper has never been in a gunfight so he knows nothing about combat shooting. He then states that Ayoob is a better source of real world gunfighting expertise. Guess what. Ayoob has never been in a gunfight.”

      That’s not exactly what I said. I just told the truth; it’s not my fault the facts don’t enhance Cooper’s qualifications. The only risk that Cooper faced in using his guns was that of an accident on the range. Ayoob runs the risk of being the victim of deliberate injury and death while using his guns, and can speak with authority on what tactics will or will not work in such situations. And he draws on the lessons of men who HAVE survived many gunfights (Jim Cirillo, etc.) to train his students in tactics that work. Where did Cooper get his knowledge from? Having his boots licked?

      “Have you ever been in a gunfight? You sound like another armchair commando.”

      I have had to draw and point a gun at precisely one person. Which is one more situation of actual peril than Jeff Cooper has ever been documented to have been in. I am perfectly willing to revise my opinion of Cooper’s qualifications if you can show me some documented real-world experience he has. But I have said that many many times and none of Cooper’s fanboys has ever documented a damn thing. Like the bozo who proclaimed Cooper a “hero”, but ran away and hid when I asked what decorations Cooper received and what campaign ribbons Cooper was authorized to wear.

      Why don’t you get your google on and check out: Rex Applegate. Jim Cirillo. W. E. Fairbairn. You can find their books on Amazon. Who do you think can provide you better information on how to survive a gunfight?

  44. avatarJohn Veit says:

    Found the 1911 article an interesting read.

    I have nothing personal against the 1911 as it passed its military test with flying colors.

    I have a problem with the slide stop design.

    Here’s a link a to video about that and a link to an article on my site which also addresses that issue.

  45. avatarIman Azol says:

    I have never had any of the problems you describe, and I don’t find most of the “flaws” to be so.

    I can only deduce you simply don’t know how to use guns properly.

    In which case, you should send me all your 1911s at once, for proper disposal.

  46. avatarIman Azol says:

    “It’s a 100-year old design.”


    “It needs tools to disassemble.”

    I have never used a tool to field strip mine. I’m aware of very few if any guns that don’t require tools for full disassembly. I believe you meant the former. So apparently your use of English is on par with your familiarity with the 1911–second rate.

    If you believe a tool is necessary to remove the bushing, you don’t know as much as you think you do.

    “It has unreliable magazines.”

    All of mine have been more reliable than any other handgun in this department.

    “It is finicky about ammo.”

    I guess you’ve tried to “improve” yours and screwed it up. Mine feeds flawlessly.

    “And, as a single-action pistol, it is unsafe for 95% of its users to carry.”

    How do you figure? The retention strap goes between hammer and pin. Easy. Unless you’re a moron. What is the methodology you used to conclude 95%, btw?

    Perhaps, when you run into trouble, you should ask questions of those with more experience, than making pronouncements that point out your ignorance.

    • ““It’s a 100-year old design.”

      If it still works reliably, it would be irrelevant. But it doesn’t work, so it IS relevant.

      ““It needs tools to disassemble.”
      “I have never used a tool to field strip mine. I’m aware of very few if any guns that don’t require tools for full disassembly. I believe you meant the former. So apparently your use of English is on par with your familiarity with the 1911–second rate. If you believe a tool is necessary to remove the bushing, you don’t know as much as you think you do.””

      Tools required:
      ParaOrd GI Expert manual, page 29.
      Springfield GI.45 manual, page 26.

      And those aren’t the only 1911s that need tools, either. The tool thing isn’t a problem, as such. It is just a symptom of the 1911 being a 100-year old design.

      ““It has unreliable magazines.”
      “All of mine have been more reliable than any other handgun in this department.””

      The 1911 community disagrees with you. I have been told repeatedly that you need to buy the expensive special Wilson mags. The actual reviews I have read confirm this (72 different full-size 1911s reviewed by Gun Tests magazine from 1996 through today).

      ““It is finicky about ammo.”
      “I guess you’ve tried to “improve” yours and screwed it up. Mine feeds flawlessly.””

      I don’t buy unreliable junk, or guns that need to be worked on to function. I have shot a few, and been with plenty of people who had theirs jam while I was with them. Unfortunately, a lot of people were talked/bullied into buying 1911s and learned that they don’t reliably feed hollowpoints.

      Here are the stats:

      ““And, as a single-action pistol, it is unsafe for 95% of its users to carry.”
      “How do you figure? The retention strap goes between hammer and pin. Easy. Unless you’re a moron. What is the methodology you used to conclude 95%, btw?””

      Retention strap? How quaint.

      As to the safety issue, even 1911 fans acknowledge that the safe operation of a cocked&locked 1911 requires a greater level of training and practice.

      ““Perhaps, when you run into trouble, you should ask questions of those with more experience, than making pronouncements that point out your ignorance.”

      A lot of other people have had problems with the 1911. Heck, some of them have provided their comments in this very thread. Did you somehow “forget” to read them? Or are we all lying?

  47. avatarW.L.W III says:


  48. avatarmdntepoet says:

    Simple facts.

    Nearly all 1911′s can be field stripped without tools. Barrel wrenches are listed as needed only so that one does not scratch the finish using the bottom of a spent magazine to push the barrel bushing sideways. Once the slide is stripped off, The links pin can be used to remove further pins (mainspring housing/thumb safety) once mainspring housing is removed the leaf under it is the screwdriver that removes the grips. In fact it was a design idea that every part of a 1911 could be removed WITHOUT tools in the original design so that survivors of battle could make serviceable weapons out of whatever junk was left if needed.

    I’ve owned numerous 1911′s, and none required tools. It is an addition/modification of the original design if the aftermarket pistol “requires” tools. I own a springfield, it does not require tools as the manual suggests. Often tools are just to “make the job easier” but not actually required.

    Adding a full length guide rod makes stripping a 1911 remarkably similar to stripping a glock. Easier in my opinion. This less than 20$ addition made it easy to configure mine to shoot multiple calibers on the same lower frame with a less than 15 second conversion time.

    I shoot mine, and carry it every day. Granted I’m 6ft tall and 225 lbs. Concealing a larger gun is easy for me. I actually find it easier than many others as it is “slim” in thickness and therefor does not “print” under light clothing. To someone shorter/smaller another option would obviously make more sense.

    They’re not all expensive. Yes there are expensive ones out there. My first I bought for under 400$. At the time it was 100$ less than any comparable “modern” design. My most recent stainless one ran me just over 500$ Hardly the 2000$ price tag for a custom part.

    Yes You have to break them in a little. Nearly all guns “should” be broken in. Even if the gun doesn’t need it, owning a gun You haven’t put a few hundred rounds through to “break in” the user is foolish. From my experience every new gun needs at least a few rounds through it just to break free the moving parts, flush out the preservatives they pack/grease them with, and get the surfaces all oiled. All of the 20+ guns I’ve owned shot BETTER after some rounds were put through them and the burrs are worn off. In my experience 100-200 rounds generally is about average for any gun by any maker before it should be “trusted”

    I understand Your point. People “hype” the model up as if owning one will make You bullet proof an instantly a better shot. I do not believe I”m more of a man for owning one. I carry it for a few simple reasons:

    1. Being all metal, they barely wear. I’ve put more than 10,000 rounds through them with little more than cleanings and no parts replacements.

    2. They’re very easy/fast to field strip and clean. They’ll usually tolerate 500+ rounds between cleanings (varies by model and setup)

    3. They’re very solid. I can run over it with a truck and not dent or disfigure it other than finish scratches.

    4. They can be used as a club in CQB if needed.

    5. Parts are easy to find. If I want to modify or repair it, it’s cheap and plentiful to do so.

    6. The most important reason, I hit what I am for better with it than anything else I’ve shot to date.

    They really are the “small block” of gunsmithing. Do other designs have merit, sure. does that mean they suck? definitely not. They are a large portion of the gun market for good reason. They are comfortable, safe with the same minimal training needed for any firearm and exceptionally durable. You can expect one to only increase in value and still be functional 100 years after the plastic has dried out and crumbled of most “modern” guns. My great grandchildren will probably enjoy mine!

  49. avatarBen says:

    Gunnutmegger Just curious if you realize that one of the two you mentioned as the men from whom you prefer to get your advice, (“I prefer to get my advice on defense & gunfighting from men who have actually been there & done that; Massad Ayoob, Jim Cirillo, etc.”) Mas Ayoob considers the 1911 to be his single favorite gun.
    Here is an excerpt from his blog May 29, 2011. “March 29, 2011 is upon us, the hundredth anniversary of the 1911 pistol’s adoption by the United States Government. OK, OK, I know I seem to be obsessing on it…but I’m a gun guy, dammit, and this is my single favorite gun that we’re talking about here…”
    The whole blog can be veiwed here.

  50. avatarJohn Veit says:

    Another fatal flaw of the ubiquitous and beloved 1911.

    1. Here are links to a video and an article about the 1911′s grip angle that in CQB situations, can result in low shooting and get the 1911 user shot or killed.

    Here’s a link to the video:

    Here’s a link to the article w. pics:

    2. The other fatal flaw of the ubiquitous, beloved, and much celebrated 1911, is the 1911′s faulty slide stop design which can result in the 1911 jamming when fired. It prevents the 1911 user from using an effective shooting method in CQB which the U.S. Army says works, and as such, can result in the 1911 user being shot or killed.

    Here’s a link to a video on it:

    Here’s a link to an article w. pics on it:

    Your welcome to copy/use the materials.

    Best regards,


    PS Added a comment earlier to this post/and/comment which had a link to a slightly different article on the slide stop problem of the 1911. I think the one linked to here is better.

    Here’s a link to a pic that shows the difference in the grip angle of the 1911 and some other guns. An article in the American Rifleman says it’s 74 degrees which is about what I measure on photos in mags and from the web. – worth a look

  51. avatarAngelo Cos says:

    I love these posts that say a certain handgun sucks. It really helps me study human behavior. The guy who wrote this article comes across like he needs a sandwich and a nap. If the writer thinks 1911′s suck, okay! It’s not going to make me stop carrying mine. I’m one of those people that can love my personal carry/work gun (1911) and still admire other more modern designs that I don’t own IE: Glock, S&W, SIG and guess what Gunnutmegger? They have great points and flaws also you F-in MO MO! In closing if you don’t like something fine. But, you still don’t need tools to break down a 1911. So, I hope you recover from your sugar crash and don’t ever shoot yourself in the foot with whatever piece you carry…cus you sure did in this shitbag article you wrote. Maybe next you’ll have a tantrum and tell us all how much Glocks suck too right? Spare us the bandwith Moron…

  52. avatarJay says:

    Huh, for an outdated gun, the USMC must be pretty foolish to give their Special operation units the MEU(SOC) pistol. Hell, their even replacing them with an even newer ICQB due to being used over and over! But hey, what does Force Recon and the Marine MEU know about guns?

  53. avatarRick_A says:

    All I can say is that my example and others I’ve had experience with are good. The design does not lend itself well to mass production (by today’s standards) as many parts require hand fitting despite the efforts of modern manufacturing methods. Replace the recoil spring when needed, and keep a occasi0nal eye on extractor tension and there should be no problems with any modern 1911.

    Hollowpoints have not been an issue for decades as all manufacturers have been using factory throated barrels. Vintage or surplus examples are the exception.

    It is my favorite sidearm by far, points the most naturally in the hand, and is the pistol I am most proficient with.

    The one thing I do agree with, is that the end user can be the 1911′s worst enemy. They are definitely not for everyone, and that’s just fine.

    I rank it up there with the Browning Hi-Power and CZ-75 as the best out there…and yes, I like Glock too, with all the affinity of a good appliance.

    Most who hate the design tend to diplay an air of arrogance coupled with a fair bit of ignorance on the subject.

  54. avatarDan says:

    My two cents. You can’t criticize a 1911 because of how it was designed. No one complains how lousy a Geo Metro is in the quarter mile because that isnt it’s function. Most reasonable people wouldn’t hold that against it. Same with a 1911. You can’t complain how bad it is for concealed carry. It was never intended to be used for that purpose. You can’t complain about how it can’t feed hollow points (even though mine eats it like candy) it wasn’t designed to shoot it. It wasn’t designed to be taken to a range. It was designed for a battlefield and picked up and used successfully with minimal training. In that regard it functions brilliantly. It just so happens to excell at a million other tasks as well. Most of the knocks on 1911s that you site are generalzations. Not sure where you get that you can’t disassemble it without tools. I take mine apart at least monthly without tools. There are maybe millions of 1911s out there and over 100 years of history. I’m sure there are some crappy 1911s floating around. Bottom line is my 1911 is the most. comfortable semi auto pistol I’ve ever shot. Period. Follow ups are easy. Grip becomes part of your hand. Not too wide and bulky like most double stacks today. If you can’t hit something in 8 shots then your not going to do much better with 17. Am I right? Do what you want but I’ll take my 1911 over any semi any day. Although I really liked my P89……why did I ever sell that thing?

  55. avatarTom says:

    I too own many 1911s in just about every caliber that has been made and I have had some custom calibers made. at 65 and an instructor, I have not one complant about the 1911. I keep 6 different styles for class weapons an at the end of the day most every student ends up buying a 1911

  56. avatarTom says:

    I too own many 1911s. I have just about every calibor made and some custom made. At 65 and a instructor, I have 6 different styles of class weapons and at the end of the class, students are always wanting to buy a 1911. Just my $0.2

  57. avatarFrederick says:

    I started Carrying the 1911 for business in 1966. Used it in a few real firefights, I am still here. I also used a 38spl S&W Victory model for a couple also. just a few between them, although i have been a lot of firefights. Was a Marine DI, later an NRA certified instructor in a bunch of disciplines. Started NRA competitions in the late 1950′s as a boy, and still compete today. Let’s say I can certify my combat experience with the 3rd Marine Division for two tours in Vietnam, and I presume to have enough purple hearts to make the writer happy.

    I am down to about 73 handguns right now, 22 of them are 1911′s. I find the thin 1911, even the full size Government model very easy to carry and/or conceal. I am not a caliber maven. I have three of my 1911′s in 9mm. My 4’10″ 25 y/o daughter prefers a 45acp cal government model.

    What a lot of folks that talk a lot and don’t know quite enough believe is funny. One reason the 1911 is so succesful is that it can be made to fit almost anyone. Grips, backstraps, long/med/short triggers, round, square/flat. Thumb safety that can be high, medium or low, thin or wide or inbetween. Magwells wide, thin, short tall, and don’t require a change of any of the other elements. Some of the “newly” designed guns are starting to allow back strap choices. (notable exception the HK P30 it comes with three sizes of grip sides seperate from the backstraps).

    Some folks are terrified of the thumb safety, which if you “learn” how to handle a 1911 properly will come off automatically as you pick it up and bring the weapon to bear. The only way I have seen a 1911 AD is exactly the same way I have seen Glocks and company AD. Someone pressed the trigger. Some intended to, some didn’t.

    As to the example of folks who should instruct, I find it an interesting collection. Ayoob who I have met, has never been in a ‘real’ firefight. Jim Cirrilo has been in many using revolvers, M1 Carbines and double barrel 20 gauges. His partner used a 1911 until the NYPD told him to stop using it. Cirrillo was always pro 1911. Sorry.

    My 1911′s don’t FTF. They just don’t. It is true, if you are going to run one, learn it. It is a harsh task master. I think Larry Vickerts said it best. (poor paraphrase)

    “If you ride and take care of your own Harley Davidson, use a 1911. If you use your gun like your lawn mower, use a Glock.”

    I fundamentally agree. Most folks who carry them should not. But for those who really do make the committment, There is nothing sweeter.

    As to cost, I find it interesting that very few of the folks that complain about the cost, don’t drive Yugo’s or the cheapest KIA’s. Most often large and very expensive four wheel trucks that don’t go off the road much. Funny how that works.

    Frankly most folks need to learn how to maintain their fighting weapons properly, what ever it is. Most don’t and don’t know how.

    Go figure.


  58. avatarRob M. says:

    The above article is easlily the most outrageous crock of horse manure I’ve ever read on the topic of guns.

    Amazes me how a pistol that supposedly “sucks” so much just happens to be the design everyone wants to build – including some names you might have heard of before – Smith & Wesson , Ruger , Sig , Dan Wesson and Remington just to name a few.

  59. avatarjackoff says:

    What an ass bag,how much you bet he lovessss his glock.Bet he has an iphone too.

  60. avatar1911ftw says:


  61. avatarWannameetFred says:

    I like unbiased info. Give me pros & cons, be a gentleman, not a sarcastic jerk, & I will listen. Air Jordan’s can go for $500, go buy pro pacers, it’s your choice. S&W made the horrible SAUVE or whatever, cost them a lot of LE contracts to Glock, does that mean S&W sucks. I personally carry a Colt Series 70 Commander, have for 10 years, I carry it cocked w/ thumb safety on, & I don’t own Kevlar underwear. I practiced till I was confident to defend my life. The Sherrifs in my town carry 1911′s cocked. If the OP would have left out that the 1911 platform is overrated and Sucks, I would have no problem w/ the post. Next I guess he’ll say the the Stoner AR design sucked. I have short fat hands, so I of course hate Glocks, and have almost sold my P-14 several times, but I would never say they suck just because I find a flaw in them. I do not use a tool to take down my GI, P-14, Colt, full length guide rod or plug. If I wasn’t poor, I would pay $3000 and carry an Ed Brown. Fred, I would have coffee and talk guns w/ you any day. I also have an article here where Ayoob says the 1911 is his favorite. I enjoyed reading a lot of these comments and am glad I found the site.
    PS. I still have all my fingers and all my toes
    “Practice makes Perfect”

  62. avatarJoe Cool says:

    Is this article serious? If it is then the author ( and I use the term loosely) is just looking for page hits at the expense of looking like a fool.

    • avatarBob Campbell says:

      Amen, Amen, and Amen. This guy probably belives the Federal Government is here to help also..

  63. avatarRichard F. Paauwe says:

    1911′s are steeped in history, but I would never think of carrying one for self defense. Your more likely to shoot yourself! Almost every AD i know of involved a 1911. The sig220 blows it out the water. AR-15′s suck too. Those two guns are among the biggest frauds perpetrated on the gun buying public.

  64. avatarFish says:

    That design is proven by 100 years of service it shoots better and is more reliable that any new automatic made by American companies and almost every single ever made has to use tools to take apart that 45 is made for combat and defense you are not supposed to be sniping with a pistol it is for close quarters combat I would rather have a 45 that wil blow the guy across the room than a 9mm which will only wound him you also don’t need 17 rounds of ammo in one clip it is a pistol I am still confused at why the military dosnt issue them except the special forces still do

    • avatarFrederick Strobel says:

      I have owned and now own a lot of different pistols. Presently I own 26 different 45acp pistols. I also own 37 9mm’s. A bunch of revolvers of 357mag, and some 38spl only. Several other calibers and such.

      The only calibers I have used to fight with in handguns is 45acp and 38spl. Not once did the 45 knock anyone down any more than the 38spl.

      When I placed my bullets where they needed to go, either caliber worked. When I didn’t do my job, and place the bullets effectivelyl either caliber didn’t do much to the guys trying to do me in.

      If you think caliber is the question, your really don’t understand the question.

      I like the 1911, simply because I have used that model weapon successfully more often than my 38 revolvers.

      I do like the new plastic guns. 9mm is a good caliber, and makes excellent sense. Still trying to figure out why anyone would want or use a 40 S&W. I presently CCW a 45acp Colt LtWgt Commander, and my secondary Home Defense weapon is a Beretta With a 20 round factory magazine and Surefire X400 with CG switch of course in 9mm. (Home defense primary is a either a shotgun with #1 Buck or my FNH SCAR with Aimpoint T-1 on 24/7)

      Talk to any scientific terminal ballistic researcher, including those with gun experience, and they all will tell you that as long as you stay with the “fighting Calibers”, with modern high quality bullets, you will see no difference in combat effectiveness. This has been confirmed by both the British SAS and the US Navy SEAL’s and many high speed outfits around the world.

      Larry Vickers said it best: (paraphrased)

      If you ride a Harley you MIGHT be a good fit for a 1911. Better know how to maintain and run both. I you Ride a Honda, and/or treat your gun like your lawn mower, a Glock (Or in my opinion any other of the quality plastic 9′s) is probably a better fit. I agree.

      I have carried the 1911 into harmsway for over 45 years, I have and know I can maintain, run and win with it. I do not recommend the 1911 for any tyro.

      Facts, the antidote for the internet.

      Go figure.

  65. avatarFish says:

    I have never liked the idea of wasting ammo my 45 is meant to protect me and my family and it will do so much better than that piece if crap beretta and btw a gun is already dangerous you are jut an idiot if you are pointing the gun at someone with the safety off and you deserve the consequences

  66. avatarFish says:

    I have never liked the idea of wasting ammo my 45 is meant to protect me and my family and it will do so much better than that beretta and btw a gun is already dangerous you are jut an idiot if you are pointing the gun at someone with the safety off and you deserve the consequences

  67. avatarCindy says:

    I have always been cautious around guns. I was facing my husband’s side watching him unload a 1911. I saw that gun go off as he was unloading it, and I know that his finger was not on the trigger. I watched that gun go off, and it kicked 80 degrees. I was raising my hand, and the bullet went through my palm, in my wrist, and stopped halfway up my arm. I met 5 people in the same day at St. Joseph’s Hospital that had either been shot, or had been holding a 1911 that went off. The 1911′s also jam bad. They shoot when you don’t want them to, and they don’t shoot when you want them to.

    • avatarBob Campbell says:

      The gun did not make the misstake. Accidents occur due to mishandling a weapon.

      • says:

        “Springfield Armory® is initiating this voluntary safety recall to upgrade 3.3 XD-S™ 9mm and 3.3 XD-S™ .45ACP pistols with new components, which eliminate the possibility of a potentially dangerous condition. Apparently, the gun “could experience an unintended discharge during the loading process when the slide is released, or could experience a double-fire when the trigger is pulled once.”

  68. avatarJames says:

    The thing that all gun users need to understand is it’s the end user who pulls the trigger, not the pistol. It’s the end user that has to have the state of mind to pull that said trigger in a manor that puts projectiles on target. Stress needs to be trained out with practice & an honest conversation with yourself. Any pistol in the hands of a stressed shooter is an accident waiting to happen or at the vary least, missed shots. No matter what the pistol, the user needs to be trained & IMHO there is no better pistol to train people on than a 1911. Drawing, pointing & pulling do not require live rounds for anyone first starting out, or even the expert needs to practice. You pull the trigger, you can see the hammer down on a 1911 {& a lot of others}, not so on a striker fired pistol. The safety with training will become second nature & will not slow or hinder the draw, even with other pistols. The grip angle of a 1911 for most people is natural, once the proper stance is taught. Once the shooter gets a handle on all the above, you move on to live fire. By this time the shooter will not pull the trigger unless they intend to {if they do, repeat the first step until they do} & confidence is then further improved. The recoil in the .45 ACP in the 1911 is a good thing, because it shows every flaw in the shooter. This gives positive feedback to any particular problem & with a diagnostic target all problems can be eliminated. Once a shooter becomes comfortable with a 1911, shooting other pistols will be even easier. The best part of the 1911 is the trigger. That is the single most favorite feature of competitive shooters, experienced combat operators, & tactical instructors. Outside of Todd Green {love ya, Bro}, most instructors have a 1911 on their hip. Expense is a non issue, because you can get a decent operating 1911 from RIA, Ruger, or even Taurus. MIM parts can be swapped out & fitted by a good smith without breaking the bank. If a smith is good he gets repeat costumers & will not charge you an arm & a leg. Any pistol right out of the box needs at the vary minimum 500 rounds though it to break it in & check for problems, including a Glock. Custom 1911s are works of art & accuracy is honed. These pistols are worth every penny. A good holster will distribute the weight more evenly & so long as your not under 5’5″, with the right clothing, a 1911 is vary concealable. To say a 1911 sucks means you don’t have the patience to put in the time necessary & the ignorance {not stupidity} of a anti gunner. We owe a lot to JMB & the 1911, because it’s a cherished pistol in our gun culture. Without that love of this pistol, we might have seen less enthusiasm for our 2a. A 1911 is like a good woman. You treat her right, she’ll treat you right. If ether bites you, you did something wrong, & you deserve the consequences. If you say that a woman has no place on the battle field, then you must not be married. She’s supposed to be your best friend, right? Marry your pistol.

    • avatarBob Campbell says:

      Bobs257; I have carried a colt for many years. Carried one during Viet Nam and for over 20 years as a law enforcement officer. I still carry one to this day.I have also owned and carried other weapons of various calibers. The 1911 and the Browning Hi-Power are my favorites for combat situations, The Glock is also a great combat weapon. The guy writing this article may have shot a lot of paper targets but if he thinks the 1911 is not a great combat weapon, I don’t think he knows what he is talking about. The 1911 will be around for many more years and those who know combat situations will never sell it short. You do not always need a machine gun or a weapon that will shoot a mile to be effective in close range combat. The main thing in combat is to know your weapons and your own capabilities. Oh by the way, you do not need any tools to breal a 1911 down. I think to many times people write and say things when they do not really kmow as much as they think they do. This guy is no expert. I do not consider myself one either when it comes to various weapons. I just know I have been there. I got that out of my system and I still like the 1911.

  69. avatarDave says:

    Tools to take apart? I have three. Two of them require tools and only because of the bushingless barrel. The other does not. But there is a way to strip without the tool. Check it out on youtube. I would trust no other gun to carry locked and loaded like the 1911. I have carried my older one on horseback loaded with the hammer back with no fear of accidental discharge at all. It has several different safeties but can still be ready to fire very quickly. I don’t feel the need to carry a gun that shoots 17 rounds. I always liked revolvers because they were dependable if you needed them. A misfire just means you pull the trigger again. But after having my oldest 1911 for about 14 years and only having one hang up, I have changed my mind. The 1911 is the basis of most modern handguns today, but IMO, it is still the best. I will only even consider carrying another type when I am wearing clothes that allow better concealment. Newer is not always better. I have two .45′s and a 9mm. My friend, 8 rounds from a good 1911 in a 45 caliber is all you’ll ever need.

  70. avatarDave B says:

    Tools to take apart? I have three. Two of them require tools and only because of the bushingless barrel. The other does not. But there is a way to take it down without the tool. Check it out on youtube. If you want a big caliber that is easier to carry, then yes, you will need to learn how to break it down without a tool or use your tool or a paperclip. But keeping it with a gun cleaning kit shouldn’t be a problem. I would trust no other gun to carry locked and loaded like the 1911. I have carried my older one on horseback loaded with the hammer back with no fear of accidental discharge at all. It has several different safeties but can still be ready to fire very quickly. I don’t feel the need to carry a gun that shoots 17 rounds. I always liked revolvers because they were dependable if you needed them. A misfire just means you pull the trigger again. But after having my oldest 1911 for about 14 years and only having one hang up, I have changed my mind. The 1911 is the basis of most modern handguns today, but IMO, it is still the best. I will only even consider carrying another type when I am wearing clothes that allow better concealment. Newer is not always better. I have two .45′s and a 9mm. My friend, 8 rounds from a good 1911 in a 45 caliber is all you’ll ever need.

    Oh and I really only got through the first two paragraphs of the OP because I realized he has no idea what he is talking about. He is bashing a gun that he has not spent much time with. The only thing I have done to mine was get ambidextrous safeties. And buffalo horn grips on one of them. Fourteen years on my oldest Kimber with only one hang up. And it must have been the round because it has never happened again with hundreds of more rounds through it. Someone just wants to be a rebel. Don’t feel bad. Just get your 1911. I did the same thing when I bought a Wildcat instead of a RZR XP. Eventually, I had to admit it to myself. I made a wrong choice. Working on getting my XP, but I went through a phase where I tried to defend my decision.

  71. avatarJay says:

    The only tool here happens to be the guy who wrote the article…
    All his ignorant generalizations aside, there are those of us who purchase and collect firearms for their historical value too. I didn’t’ buy my 1911 for CCW or for hollow points. It feeds 100% and is dead on accurate. It works for what I use it for, can’t say it “sucks” , maybe all of my guns suck, since each and every one is a 100+ year old design, maybe my car engine sucks too…..
    My 1848 Colt Dragoon black powder revolver is 5 lbs of steel that no one will ever conceal carry and it won’t take hollow points, laser grips or high cap mags either. Or my 1860 Henry rifle, which was the “assault rifle” of it’s day, 13 rounds, lever action. Set it next to an AR and some idiots might say it sucks and publish some articles online.
    Practicality and relevance of anything is all about the application. Blanket statements don’t work when every person and situation is unique. A 1911 is not the answer to every situation, no gun is… but a 1911 is every bit as good as any gun, depending on it’s applied use and need. Saying it “sucks” is a stretch, even if the arguments against it were in fact rational or researched. I wouldn’t say all internal combustion engines suck, just because a briggs won’t power a race car…. 1911′s weren’t designed for CCW or hollowpoints. However, these days you can buy smaller 1911′s and all have feed ramps and internals better suited to feed HP.
    This article was just really a pointless, useless joke, with the feel that it was written in junior high….
    I don’t think any guns suck, buy what you like, leave the rest. When you start pioneering revolutionary firearm designs of the future, I’ll start taking your opinions more seriously .

  72. avatarGiri says:

    The 1911 is the chevy 350 of guns not perfect or efficient but big, old design , reliable , plentiful in parts , and sexy

  73. avatarJosh W says:

    Really? its an opinion,but your so called facts are not right at all. if your is jamming, you dont have the exractor set right. The early military models are bitchy about ammo because guess wut? in 1911 they didnt have hollow points to worry about. plus in war you can ONLY use FMJs and special fmjs, so who cares if it cant use hollow points. also, unsafe? read, thats why it has half cocked. Thats what soldiers from WW1 to vietnam used to be safe. and a tool for takedown? i have a 1911a1 made by colt from 1934, i take it apart with my man hands. no idea about a tool, i do know some of the newer fancy people ones take tools,but fuck them mine works fine. also 1911s (should) be all steel, not like glocks. that means in battle, no worries about your frame cracking because its gay plastic like material.

  74. avatarJohn Rambo says:

    This article is ridiculous. They’re two different platforms. With two different philosophies governing them. As an offensive weapon a 1911 may not match a glock or other polymer gun. But as a defensive weapon it is amazing. When gun fighting was based on MARKSMENSHIP and stopping power ie hitting a bullseye and not pumping a million rounds into a silhouette as fast as you can like a factory floor robot and waiting for the smoke to clear to see if you killed something, the 45 calibre round was unmatched….My kimber and my beat up old Colt are great weapons. I’ve had no issues with them. I have polymer guns and 1911′s. two different tools for two different jobs.

  75. avatarJeff says:

    To answer your question about what other 100 year old design is still in daily use; The M2 50 cal for one. The Mauser style bolt action rifles. Lever action rifles. The revolver etc. Just because it’s old doesn’t mean it doesn’t have its place.

  76. avatarDan says:

    FYI anyone who jumps reads this article in more modern times – keep in mind that opinions may have changed since the article has been written.

    I’m not sure if yankee still follows the same philosophy regarding the 1911. I’ve seen him purchase at least one on his channel (the kimber raptor).

  77. avatarJohn says:

    A 1911 is like a lightsaber, to use a geeky analogy. It’s an elegant weapon for a more civilized age that does take some skill to use and it’s not for everyone. It comes from a time where guns were designed to kill people (45s, 30-06s, etc) and not remove them from the battlefield or because of conformity. Being over 100 years old is a moot point, it still does the same thing as any other gun and it’s battle proven in that it’s been in every war since. The internal combustion engine is over a hundred years old too. You don’t need tools to disassemble, a bushing wrench might be needed if the barrel bushing is tight but usually it takes no tools to strip if you can turn the bushing easily with your hand. Or you can do it the unorthodox way of dropping the mag, pulling the slide back, and pushing out the slide stop. How reliable the magazines are depend on which magazines, a Wilson Combat magazine doesn’t have the original GI-style look and feel with the flush base but it’s far superior to a cheap $10 mag. Modern 1911s usually have no problem feeding JHPs, but for the record .45 even as hardball is still quite devastating as also proven for many years. Being single action doesn’t make it inherently unsafe, a double action just has the benefit of being able to keep the hammer decocked during peacetime without having to manually cock it. For a 1911 to shoot-provided there’s no malfunction or human error-the thumb safety would have to be disengaged, the trigger pulled, and the grip safety depressed. It is not too big to conceal, it’s thinner than most other modern pistols like Glocks and short versions are as reliable as any other full sized where limp-wristing can still happen.

    But I do agree in terms of reliability issues. A 1911 is perfect IF it doesn’t malfunction because a jam or premature slide lock can cost you your life or someone else’s. And a 1911 is a high maintenance gun, unlike modern pistols that are low maintenance, with lesser parts, field strips easily with a button, and the parts aren’t crammed in under spring pressure. It’s a stubborn hunk of steel that feels solidly built but it’s not something you want to work on at home if you don’t have the expertise and right tools. You don’t want to put on aftermarket parts for essential components either that could not work properly with the other parts plus the fact there are so many variations of the 1911, so many companies that make different parts, the parts are specific required depending on what you have, and fitting can be a real pain in the ass if it’s not a drop-in part. You will have to go to a gunsmith, and that takes time and money and time = money. Other than that it’s a very well designed pistol, very accurate, very powerful, feels proportional in the hand and is a legendary combat pistol. But it’s not for beginners or the short tempered.

  78. avatarDanny Richard says:

    About to take my new, Ruger (that is correct) SR1911 to the range. Only heard good things about Ruger’s ability to balance design with modern manufacturing ability, as well as the BEST customer service any gun-owner will encounter. Break-in period is why most people do not understand what firearms are capable of. I have owned Glock and Smith and Wesson, but will I argue which is better? No. The best gun is the gun that fires when you pull the trigger (something older police officers, hunters, and security professionals have been humbly saying for decades). The best gun is the one you train with, and routinely carry. The best gun is the one that is on your person; the one that you’ve spent a great deal of time with. No gun ‘out-of-the box’ is going to be magically perfect. Glock snobs, H+K snobs, FNH snobs, 1911 snobs are just that….opinionated snobs. People who buy a firearm new, then take it to the range only to judge it based on that trial only are just amateur collectors of firearms. Keep it awhile, give it a good SEVERAL trials, then feel free to talk any sort of critique about it. Oh, and BTW, arguing 9mm over 45ACP is a joke. Once again, its not the gun, its the shooter. 17 rounds versus 7, doesn’t matter. You only need one and if you can’t put down your target with fewer than a burst, maybe you should pick up knife-fighting skills at the local “I wish I was Norris” karate school.

  79. avatarSimasuma says:

    Mission accomplished, Gunnutmeger. It’s 2014 and your thread is still alive and kicking. However, I take your post with a grain of salt as it is close minded and short sighted. The 1911 is still a great platform for the RIGHT end user. You are obviously not one of those. Cheers!

  80. avatarAlan says:

    Excellent debate-stirring post, Gunnutmeger, and I agree with you about the 1911 design. Human behavior is certainly an interesting thing to watch. I think all of the 1911 fanboys mistook your post as trolling and missed out on the main point of your post, which was that the 1911 is an old design, and that there are much better designs out there for carry, combat or general self-defense. I love 45-70 lever actions too, but that does not make them better or more dependable than a modern assault rifle. It’s pitiful to see people worship at the alter of JMB or GG or to regard their Sigs, HKs or XDs as Holy grails of gundom! Makes me cringe. I have owned several 1911s over the years, and still have a Colt Commander that I will never sell. Has had a trigger job with match hammer and sear, but everthing else is stock. Cuts bullseyes consistently, and is very reliable with Ball ammo. But……it is what it is–a great TARGET gun that stays in the safe most of the time. Flaws: Due to single action and weight, it is not practical or desirable for me to carry or even use as nightstand defense. That said, when I carry concealed, I dont even carry a 45–I carry a Ruger LC9 because of the ultra slim profile and the long, stiff trigger pull. Flaws: The long, stiff trigger pull! For open carry, I carry a Glock G20 or G21 in a Serpa holster, because they are essentially ready to go when you pull the trigger. Flaws: Well, for open carry any full size pistol, including the 1911 will work, I suppose. There is no such thing as an all around gun, though, especially in full size.
    The OPs point is that we have more and better choices in what to shoot or carry compared to what was available when the 1911 was designed, and that there are much better and more reliable models out there. Dont drink the Kool-Aid with ANY brand of gun.You would have to be a flamin’ fanboy to concealed carry a full size 1911 everywhere. They are just not meant for that purpose. You would also have to be a flamin’ fanboy to consider a Glock or the Ruger LC9 to be good target pistols. 1911s will likely be around as long as cartridges are used for ammunition, so this article was not an attack on the design. Take the article for how it was intended–a treatise on why the 1911 (a good design for its time) should be considered a 20th century gun. Have a good week!

  81. avatarBilly says:

    1911′s are really nice, I like to shoot them, hope to buy one soon.

    However if you had two guns in front of you, a RANDOM glock and a RANDOM 1911, knew nothing about either gun (how it was maintained, what brand ammo was in it, what mags it has,etc…), an armed bad guy running up to you and you only had time to pick up one. Which one do you trust your life on that it would go bang?

    Despite the fact I like 1911′s, I personally would pick up that glock every day of the week.

  82. avatarJason says:

    Very common with 1911 owners…

    “I would rather have a 45 that will blow the guy across the room than a 9mm which will only wound him”

    People who believe movie physics stuff like this shouldn’t own guns. Both are just as deadly. While the .45acp has size, the 9mm has velocity.

    The more energy a bullet can transfer to the target, the more damage it can do. A 9mm has around 650ft.lbs. of energy, while a .45acp only has around 425ft.lbs. This means that if NEITHER BULLET exited the body, the 9mm would do far more damage than the .45acp, This is assuming your 1911 can even feed a hollow point, if not then it’s even less energy transferred with ball ammo.

    Velocity x mass= total kinetic energy. A lot of people forget that velocity part of the equation when discussing 9mm vs .45.acp. Size means nothing without velocity. I can throw a rock at you too, its way bigger then a .45…probably wouldn’t do as much damage though.

  83. avatarEdmund says:


    I used and loved the 1911 when I was in the service, not so much that Beretta 9mm, a very clumsy looking pistol with a slide safety that I did not like. Concerning the 1911 combat carry, it was supposed to be ‘locked & cocked’ in which mode it is perfectly safe; it is not ‘safe’ with a loaded round in the chamber and the hammer down on that chamber.

    Today, I like the Glock, it is sturdy, high-capacity, highly reliable and high capacity. Again the safety to be considered is keeping one’s finger out of the trigger guard and off of the trigger unless immediate firing is required, again training is key here.

  84. avatarjim says:

    what other 100 year old design is still used?
    the m2 .50 mg….
    no big deal though

  85. avatarNocturnal Nathan says:

    Oh and Jason RE: 9mm vs 45 acp.
    I know of no 9mm round that has 650 F.P.E. Most are considerably less than that. Even if you had a load that generated that much, F.P.E. is a basically meaningless number when it comes to firearms. Contrary to popular belief, the most destructive 9mm loads are not the hyper-velocity +p+ rounds, but rather the generally subsonic 147 grainers.

    The 9mm does not cause more damage than the 45 ACP, given equal bullet designs. Check most any ballistic tests, or run your own.

    That said, these are my two absolute favorite handgun cartridges. Against bipeds, both are extremely effective with decent bullets. When limited to FMJ or wadcutter, though, 45 sucks a lot less than 9mm.

  86. avatarCustom 1911s vs GLOCKs says:

    1911s are like HARLEY DAVIDSON and GLOCKs are like a japanese sports bike (GSXR,NINJAs etc). Can you turbo a V-twin,nitrous and make it fast like a Terry VANCE H.D.? YES,will it cost much,much more than just buying a GLOCK(750-1300cc sportbike) well yes..will that deter people from buying a basic pushrod tractor motor,parts,clothes with the H.D. Badge on it,NO! People like american muscle and some go with technology like a SKYLINE GTR NISSAN. I am a fan of both. I built custom 1911s andnim the first person to say to newbies, “I COMPETE WITH A GLOCK-34″. Before i built my own 1911(single/double stack 2011s),the only ones that i found that were accurate and out of the box reliable were well over $2-3k, SVI,LES BAER,NIGHTHAWK. Tool steel internals,F.L.G.R.,KART-N.M. Barrels hard fit, all this does cost alot of money. Im sorry to say to the newbies with your SAM/ARMSCOR made 1911s are junk,yes they may run for a static indoor range shooter,but nobody uses them in any combat theatres or competiton because they are just inferior built products hence the low price. Anything wrong with M.I.M.,CAST? Depends on if you going to take your YUGO and try to race the 24-hour ROLEX with it,if not then its fine,but dont tell me your $600 1911 is as good as a $600 GLOCK. Ive won production division with My E.D.C. GLOCK,they are ugly as sin,but they work and ive never had failures w the pistol nor the factory mags. Unlike 1911s you need to have disposable income,because your going to want to run chip power mags or wilson 47s and they are not cheap. So in conclusion if you want a good looking piece of history that runs,your going to need to spend over $3k easy on a quality 1911,especially with front strap checkering,flat or tri top slide and a quality dehorn/2000grit finish. Why not buy a GLOCK-34 or if you are a GLOCK hater you can spend big bucks on a SIG X-5 or X-6 or TANFOGLIO stock II/III,LIMITED,GOLD CUSTOM,which is another great choice since the CZ-75 style frame is basically EUROPE’s 1911. The choices are subjective and really based on how much cash you can spend and whether you want to tinker with your pistol or just clean and run it. Thats my .2 and my experience in real pistol shooting (using trigger reset etc) started in 1988. Ive shot almost every brand and did not want to buy a GLOCK to replace my 1911 until i was in my 30s and was handed a GLOCK-17 and 17L. Again i still build 1911s,they are my HARLEY “panheads”,and my glocks are my sportbikes. Think of them like that and you wont have to decide just buy both,and educate yourself on the platforms before you go bragging that you have a measily case or two of ammo though a particular pistol so you think its the best pistol made…
    Sorry for the rant,reply if you disagree or agree.

  87. avatarJoe says:

    Sgt. York, need I say more…

  88. Pingback: 1911s SUCK! says the interweb gun experts!

  89. avatarFlim says:

    I don’t care for the allegation that single-action pistols are “unsafe”. The only unsafe tool in that equation is the untrained trigger finger. Plenty of law enforcement still carry “cocked and locked”, and I have always done as well. I’ve never heard of a 1911 safety failing when it is engaged, have you?

    A long sloppy trigger reduces accuracy, both in single and follow-up shot situations. In some of the striker-fired Ruger and Glock pistols, the trigger pull is so long that the gun actually pulls to one side before it breaks! How is it helpful to have a system that guarantees wildly inaccurate shooting with anything less than perfectly sized hands?

    Any enthusiast can disassemble a 1911 without a bushing wrench as long as he knows how to use his hands. I’ve owned several models, most of them very low-end, and never had a jam, failure to fire, or failure to extract. I imagine any jam the author has suffered might be more due to limp-wristing than any perceived fault of the firearm in question.

  90. avatarDenny Symes says:

    I always get to the party late, dangit. Missed the idiotic diatribe against Heckler and Koch by that fantasy author (can’t think of his name), and I missed this one. I’m not a fan of 1911s, never owned one I could trust my life to. Of course, I’m not rich either. Maybe if I could afford a Wilson, or Les Baer, or whatever, then it would be different. Then again Nighthawk recommends against using Speer hollowpoints in their guns. $3000 for a gun and you can’t use one of the best ammunition companies out there? I’m not on the side of gunnutmegger, because he made some dumb statements and generalizations. The issue of single action guns being unsafe is idiotic. Really. It is a stupid thing to say. Sometimes gun owners are our own worst enemies. Imagine a bloomberg type needing “ammunition” to get misinformed people to vote a certain way. Any victory is a victory for those jackasses. But we keep telling them stupid shit like that. As for the debate at hand? If the poop were to hit the fan and I had to pick a Glock or a hi end 1911, it would be a Glock every time. I’ve only shot a half dozen or so 1911s- including a Wilson, owned a couple Kimbers, and a Para-Ordnance. None of them were reliable out of the box or having had the obligatory two hundred rounds through them. To me, a modern fighting handgun should be reliable out of the box. But that is my opinion. I don’t think 1911s should be banned, or anybody beat up for liking them. Hell, I like Johnny Cash, Metallica, and Adele. And many others, but my memory doesn’t work too good at the best of times. The 1911 I would love to have? A Wilson KZ45…

  91. avatarEric says:

    The thing in this article that caught me was “It needs tools to disassemble.” The gun was and is designed to have pieces removed by using another piece that was already removed. I do carry a 1911, and am able to do quite a bit of work to them myself. I am also a trained mechanic/machinist, but even with that on my resume I still consult and employ a gunsmith for and work that actually alters the way the action functions. I do not like the trigger feel of DAO or strikerfire pistols. I appreciate and respect whatever iron anyone carries, I personally have 2 side-arms; a 1911 and a Blackhawk .45. This article is a bit inflammatory just based on the bias, I believe it would have be just as inflammatory if it were entitled “Glock 21 Rules!”

  92. avatarJustin k says:

    Wish I ran across this article 2 years ago when the “author” posted it. Love seeing misinformed people get all defensive trying to make a point when they have no idea what they are talking about. I own several 1911′s from par, colt, and Springfield. Can strip them all down to the frame without a tool no problem even with different setups barrel bushing, no barrel bushing, ambi safety, right handed safety. As far as the gun being to big to conceal and needing to be 6 feet and 400 plus pounds. Lol. I am 5 foot 8 inches and weigh 140 lbs and can conceal IWB with a loose fitting tee and carry one daily. Yes some have their issues with feeding flatter topped rounds but there are simple ways around that you can accomplish by taking it to a good gunsmith familiar with the 1911 platform. Remember it was designed 100 years ago before hollow points were commonplace. To each their own. Just my 2cents

  93. avatarLarry says:

    Well this guy at least got his name right….NUTS! No doubt there are a lot of great handguns on the market and I own a few BUT the 1911 is and always will be the BEST one. I have never missed what I aim for, have never had a missfire, stove pipe or a jam in my 1911s. So easy to field strip and clean and the most dependable handgun I own. May have to carry a couple extra mags but doubt I would need more than two. Yeah mister nuts needs to get a good 1911 and know how to use is it, he might change his mind. :)

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