When you think about handguns that have made their mark in the public’s mind, there is, hands down, no firearm more iconic than the venerable creation of John Browning, the Model 1911-AI. Call it a “1911,” a “Colt .45 auto” or a “Navy .45,” this was the gun that got us through WWII, the Korean War, and just about every conflict since. But if you’re late to the party, you might not realize that 1911s were not always held in such reverence. Nope. After WWII, a huge number of surplus 1911s flooded the market. Some good. Many of them not so good. In fact, it was far more likely to find a 1911 that wouldn’t even run, than it was to find one that was a lean, mean, fightin’ machine. As well, there were certain design idiosyncrasies that made the 1911 less than fun to shoot – especially the combo of grip safety and hammer that had a nasty tendency to take a bite out of your shooting hand at inappropriate times.