How the 1911 Can Compete With Modern Micro-Compact Carry Guns

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    • Only problem I ever had with the 1911, was wrapping my hand around it. I’m not sure if I simply adapted, or my hands actually grew a little. But I do remember wiggling my thumb around to reach the safety, then wiggling back to squeeze the grip safety.

      • I’d say they used to not be able to compete but now that they’re available in 9 mm, even single stack 1911s are now capable of competing with modern defense pistols. Having moved into the future and being chambered shooting this premium round of DEATH (9x19mm parabellum luger nato) when compared to the old crappy .45 ACP, means you can have your Glock and eat it too. I mean gosh, president Brandon said a 9 mm blows the lung right out of somebody’s body, Killing them before the bullet even hits them. What better endorsement can you get than that?

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    • You might say they “blow away” the competition.

      “I like big butts calibers and I can not lie …”

  1. There’s a stainless 1911 sitting comfortably in my galco iwb holster on my hip and the polymer wonder pistols are all at home in the safe…..

    • There’s a polymer wonder pistol in my IWB holster at my appendix and my 1911 is at home in the safe…

      • There’s a Dan Wesson 1911 sitting comfortably within arm’s reach as I type this, and my polymer wonder pistols are hidden in plain sight in the tupperware cabinet.

  2. The only true semi-automatic pistol is the M1911 as created by John Moses Browning. Everything else is an imposter, and only Alpha Males are allowed to own one.

    There can be only one, and it is the M1911.

    • I have two 1911s and I love them. One is in 38 Super and the other is a Gold Cup in .45 ACP. I also have a Ruger SR45 which is for social use. I have not experienced shooting a micro-compact; the closest thing we have is my wife’s Ruger SR9C which is about as small as I consider useful.

  3. Most of the micro compact pistols are uncomfortably small for me to shoot. Same reason I seldom carry my derringer. And, I could be the fact my first experience with a semi-auto pistol was with the 1911. Just as my first experience with a semi auto rifle other than 22 LR was the M-14. Which is still my favorite actual military rifle.

  4. A Para Ordnance 14.45 hold 15rds (no feed issues), has a grip size similar to a Walther PPQ 9mm with the large backstrap installed.

    FYI, Caspian/Para resolved the 1911capacity issue decades ago.

    • Had a pretty well used Para that that I snagged from a pawn shop years ago. Outside of a worn out extractor it ran fine. Kind of regret selling it, but at the time I tended to flip guns a lot on a whim.

    • …and then Remington bought it, and promptly ran itself into the ground.

      I would very much like to see someone making double-stack 1911s in .45 ACP (or 10mm), but my options right now are 1) overpriced race guns, or 2) Filipino manufacture of unknown quality.

      Remington ruined a good thing.

      • Exactly.
        The Para 14.45 became a must buy when Remington bought them. R was where everything good went to die.
        Found a NIB GI Expert at a local FFL. It was part of a large collection of firearm from the estate of a hardcore collector. Couldn’t pass it up.
        Found a GB seller with stainless Clark/Para threaded barrel kits a few months ago. Barrel, link, pin and bushing for $100 each shipped. Bought both kits he had available. Purchased four more PO/MecGar mags and set of G-10 grips to finish it off.

      • Springfield has a 9mm version in the $1200 range but the idea of a double stack 1911 capable of full house 10mm or. 45super is appealing. Not in the budget but appealing.

        • To be honest I saw the initial offering of the 2011 and then the price and found other things to pursue at the time so will have to look into Para to see what related alternatives are around.

  5. The correct question is “how can the modern, DAO, striker fired pistols compete with the 1911?”. The answer is that they cannot.

    • Having it on your person unnoticed in all seasons and potentially capacity. Otherwise yes do like the 1911 better for a lot of things just haven’t gotten to it on the list yet.

  6. it can’t, but the Sig P938 and Kimber micro-9 can. Rechamber a spare barrel to 9x21mm, drive a 45 gr bullet to 2200 fps, for 500 ft lbs of power and no more recoil than a makarov. Practice with a similar belt 9mm and a similar 22lr pocket piece, as well as a few wussy loaded 9mm’ thru the actual carry gun. ‘starting hand in pocket averages saving you half a second and that’s worth a LOT in civilian sellf defense situations. It’s worth half a million $ that you DONT have to spend on lawyers, moving, etc, cause you didnt have to shoot the guy. I’ve pointed guns at men 6x in my life. They all froze and fled. Most attacks are not made with guns.

    • Geez I don’t care. I’m old & shoot plastic nines that work perfectly. Make up your mind TTAG meme makers…

  7. The Far Right Hillbillies like to glorify the 1911 because it was for decades a U.S. Military pistol.

    Here are the real facts on the 1911.

    Contrary to popular belief the 1911 was actually hated by the majority of G.I.’s and it was no accident many carried captured 9mm pistols. They hated the 1911 because men of that era were actually much smaller and so where their hands which often did not wrap around the large grip of the 1911. Few could reach the slide release without shifting their hand. They also hated its recoil as many were not accomplished pistolero’s and they hated its terrible accuracy and poor trigger pulls. Remember the WWII 1911 was a hastily and shoddily made weapon and even gun writers like Skeeter Skelton and Elmer Keith spoke WWII 1911’s having washtub size accuracy.

    I might also say even with modern made 1911’s the recoil prevents most people from getting as good as accuracy as they do with the milder recoiling 9mm.

    The 1911 is still a big heavy and large gun and not the gun that is comfortable to carry or conceal and its limited magazine capacity does not appeal to most people today.

    It is true you can get smaller 1911 style guns but the capacity goes down even more.

    Few people shoot the .45acp as accurately as the milder recoiling 9mm. So it does you little good if you miss with a .45 acp when you could have scored with a 9mm. Remember due to the cost of ammo and the shortage of ammo (which may never be again plentiful) the average person today will never become as proficient with this hard kicking cartridge as he will with the milder recoiling 9mm.

    The 9mm is flatter shooting making hits a longer ranges more likely both in battle and with civilian encounters.

    Penetration is key to incapacitation and the 9mm has it all over the .45 acp, especially at longer ranges because the slower moving .45 acp runs out of steam very quickly.

    At our shooting range we once had some surplus “empty” 55 gallon drums. I was looking at them and wondering if someone would hide behind one and open fire on me, could I shoot through one of them to take out the bad guy???? I shot one of the barrels with the 9mm whose loads were lower velocity practice loads and they zipped right through both sides of the barrel. I then shot the same drum with the .45 acp and it barely made it through one side of the barrel. If a bad guy would have been hiding behind one he would have been perfectly safe from the .45 acp. Seeing is believing.

    I have practiced just for fun shooting the 9mm and .45 acp at 100 yards and getting hits with the 9mm was way easier than with the .45 acp because of the .45 acp’s inferior looping trajectory.

    I have shot very large whitetail deer with the 9mm, some weighing at over 180 lbs and with the 125 grain bullet had no trouble killing them proving it is indeed a lethal cartridge.

    Lets face cold hard facts, the plasticky guns are lighter in weight, hold more ammo, smaller in size, more comfortable to carry and way less expensive and most are more reliable with todays expanding ammo. Remember the 1911 was never originally designed to be reliable with flying ashtray expanding bullets like modern handguns are.

    In 1945 (see the book The Inglis Diamond) the U.S. military compared the penetration of the .45 acp to the 9mm and found that the .45 acp bounced off a military helmet at a scant .35 yards while the 9mm penetrated it at 125 yards and may have done so even further away but no one could hit the helmet beyond 125 yards.

    Considering the fact that the average soldier could carry more ammo with the 9mm, shoot it more accurately and hit targets further away and shoot more easily thorough doors or other objects the 9mm was and is the superior battle cartridge.

    I might also say I have had more jams with 1911 guns using expanding bullets than with modern made 9mm guns with their lower inline feed ramps.

    • As i recall from my military service unlike yours, oh wait you have none.

      No one had a problem with the 1911 other than they were old and worn. The M9 that replaced it was big a pistol, even more so in the grip.

      When you have some Real World knowledge from actually doing something get back to this blog.

      • To Ranger

        One does not have to have walked on the moon to know what it was like to have been there. Its called acquiring an education, something you definitely lack and have never learned how to acquire.

        I have owned, examined and shot many original 1911’s, so yes, I have plenty of experience with them including commercial models. I have interviewed and personally known many WWII G.I.’s including my relatives, so yes again I have plenty of real world experience.

        And as far as not having served, I am very proud to say I refused to serve a military that during the Vietnam war deliberately murdered 3 million old, men, women and children. Those were the years I grew up in and educated people did not fall victim to the Governments propaganda and drum beating.

        • Still telling those lies. How does a man that preaches gun control so fervently as you have so many guns and experience? And you were doxxed, jerry p. of canton ohio. You were not around to have draft dodged in Viet Nam.

          You are a mentally ill pathological liar.

    • There goes the lil’dtard again.

      Defining over 95% of those on TTAG as “The Far Right Hillbillies”, just because they don’t agree with the opinions of his syphilitic addled brain.

      Wear that sash an crown proudly now…………

    • I have a Springfield Arsenal, made in 1914 that is in great shape, that will shoot 2 inch groups at 25 yards. The reason that the 1911 got a reputation for being inaccurate by our fathers in the Korean War is that they were using beat up, worn out guns that had been used to train soldiers and in battles for 2 World Wars. It was still common to get a mixed parts guns that the Army cobbled together.

      If you think that a liberated Luger was a good combat pistol you must be on drugs. They were war trophies and not really meant to be used. Next you will be saying that Sergeant York used a Luger to capture all of those soldiers. Yea in the movie he used a Luger in real life he used a 1911.

      By the way pistols are used to defend yourself when you don’t have your rifle with you or your rifle jams. You don’t usually take shots at over 25 yards, and at 25 yards the drop between a 9mm and 45acp is negligible.

      I learned to shoot with my dad’s Colt 1911 at the age of 13 and I did not have a hard time with the recoil. Maybe in your pu$$ified world you have trouble with recoil, but with proper technique anyone can shoot a 1911 45acp accurately.

      Next time stop being a keyboard commando and just don’t say anything because you only show your ignorance when you do.

      • re: The Luger. You are so very correct.

        The Luger, in .45 ACP, was trialed against the pistol that became the 1911 in 1907. The Luger didn’t make it. Lugers are great guns to fondle and fiddle with – they’re a piece you marvel over the machining, the fit, the finish, the absurd Teutonic complexity of the mechanism itself, they’re like few other mechanical mechanisms which fascinate adult men. But reliable, the Luger is not. That’s why it didn’t make it to the final trials for US sidearm in 1911.

        Those .45 ACP Lugers made for the 1907 trial are today some of the most valuable handguns extant.

        Maybe some folks should read up on the 1907 trials:

        Kids today who propound that the 1911 is “unreliable” are ignorant of history. The trial for the acceptance of a pistol design for use by the War Department (so named a century ago when we actually won wars) was that the pistol had to fire a total of 6,000 rounds, in groups of 100, pausing every 1,000 rounds for lubrication and light cleaning. The pistol that had become the 1911 won over all other contenders over the series of tests over the previous seven years to become the next sidearm. The choice of .45 ACP wasn’t random either, it was the result of the Thompson-LaGarde Report:

        (See kids? If you studied history in school instead of finding new ways to put condoms on bananas, you might have learned something…)

        The US Army and War Department chose the best handgun they could get to answer their tests at the time, and they chose well. They invited 20 designed submitted to the tests, including a couple of revolvers. Unlike most other national forces’ handguns, the 1911 was meant to be used by infantry, not merely as a piece of officer’s uniform and status. The fact that you can detail-strip a 1911 with no tools other than a .45 ACP case to take out the grip screws is another factor in the success of the pistol.

        I was taught to shoot the 1911 at about the same age as you, but by a couple of Marine vets of the Pacific Campaign. They had nothing but praise for their 1911’s.

        • Great post DG. Lots of useful info and link to details of those handgun trials.

          The earliest Lugers, such as the 1900 DWM American Eagle examples, are some of the finest quality Lugers ever produced. I planned on only adding a single Luger to my collection, picked up an early 1900 DWM Am Eagle in the 7k S/N range.
          The fit, finish (salt blue, strawing, flame blue), and workmanship are all impressive to say the least.

          No handgun collection is complete without at least one 1911 and one Luger in it.

        • Well I was not going to respond to the Dyspeptic Gunsmith but someone has to set the record straight and cut through all the patriotic nonsense about the 1911.

          Let us start with the Thompson-LaGarde tests. Thompson was a charlatan and outright liar of the first degree. Some years ago in the Gun Digest they ran an article entitled “Shooting Holes in the Stopping Power Theory”. In this article the author proved that Thompson’s own tests proved that the smaller calibers tested such as the .30 Luger killed the large steers every bit as good as the large .45 caliber revolvers he used. In a blind panic Thompson even cheated like hell and ran out and bought “Man Stopper expanding bullets” which Thompson said actually did indeed expand as advertised but low and behold the large caliber revolvers still did not kill any better than the smaller calibers he tested, partially because the larger calibers had way less penetration to the vitals.

          Thompson not wanting to admit his stopping power theory was pure bunk went before the Ordinance Board and then lied between his teeth extolling the mythical stopping power of larger caliber pistol rounds and the Ordinance Board, not even bothering to do its own testing, swallowed this bullshit hook line and sinker.

          Later in the Philippian Insurrection it was found that the .45 caliber revolvers and the later introduced .45 acp killed no better than the .38 Colt pistols and that is in U.S. Army Records as revealed by Jan Libourel the former and now retired gun writer, one of the few gun writers that I respected because of his consistent honesty in the articles he wrote over the years.

          In Fact the U.S. wanted to adopt the .30 cal German Luger and its first order of 200 pistols was indeed delivered and even issued. When the troops gave the Lugers nothing but pure praise the U.S. Military then went ahead with a large order. The order was lost by a clerk who worked for the importer which was Abercrombie and Fitch and when the mess was finally straightened out the Far Right Fanatics of the U.S. Military convinced the ordinance board that a U.S. pistol should be adopted because they feared during a war that the U.S. arms industry was incapable of making the Luger or ammo consistent enough to work the complex Luger mechanism which was probably true as when the U.S. tested the .45 ACP Luger the ammo used was U.S. made and of such poor quality the .45 Luger failed to work as well as the 1911,

          In fact in a mud test I witnessed a “clean” Luger was stomped into the mud and so was a 1911 military gun and guess which gun jammed up? It was the military 1911 they used in the Test. The Luger shot off its entire magazine without a jam. The Luger is actually sealed much better than the 1911 is but it soon fails with the accumulation of burnt powder in its tightly fitted parts.

          I have noticed that parts Lugers that have sloppily fitted parts often function much better than matching numbered guns whose fit is so fine you wonder how they work at all.

    • A handgun has no political affiliation. To say it appeals to the “Far Right” or “Far Left”is beyond stupid. It is a tool. Nothing more and nothing less.

      As far as the nonsense about how the troops who used the .45 hated it…that’s simply not true. I served and used it. Didn’t hate it at all and didn’t know anyone who did. I also used the Beretta 9mm and felt the same way about it. It was ok, within its own constraints. The grip was much larger and not comfortable, but the sights were better , so it was a trade off. I served with many veterans of Vietnam and none had any issue with the .45, and I have relatives who served In WWII and Korea who felt the same way. Your comments simply make no sense. I guess repeating them over and over makes you feel like they do, but they don’t.

    • Well, duncian, you’re all wrong again. First time I fired the .45, I was a bit fearful because I was TOLD that it kicked hard. Surprise, surprise, surprise! It don’t kick like most people say it does.

      Poor accuracy? Issue government model is actually pretty accurate. I’m talking about the standard weapon, stored in a small arms locker, abused by one person after another, receiving routine maintenance at the hands of a gunner’s mate, for decades. Yes, pretty accurate. No, not competition accuracy, but you can and will hit a man-sized target at any range up to 50 yards, if you simply take time to AIM!

      “Penetration is key to incapacitation and the 9mm has it all over the .45 acp”

      That statement proves you an absolute idiot. My squad leader was the great-grandson of the Moros that the gun was intended to incapacitate, instantly. The man stood 7′ 10″, and often stated that he was the runt in his family. His SISTERS were all bigger than him. He loved and hated the .45, because it so effectively pruned his family tree.

      The rest of your stories are pretty obviously straight out lies. You’re no shooter, that’s clear. You know Jackshit about the subject.

  8. Theres already been double stack 1911 types on the market.
    They did not sale as well as expected.
    Because they were not 1911’s.
    It’s more then just a gunm model, it’s a piece of America history. A firegunm that American heroes carried into battle. Its really not about capacity or serrated hood scoops with stippled hand jobs.
    A model T ford is not a model T ford if it’s got a 429 wedge stuck in it.
    It’s about owning an American classic, just the way it was 100 years ago.

    • My marsupial friend I understand “old” better than most. Been an antique dealer for 30 years. Sold antique art & antique furniture for thousands of bucks. A far as gats they need to work & work well. Period. If I had the yen I’d collect fast cars!

  9. Nothing wrong with a 1911, they were a great design and work well. I prefer a Glock but I wouldn’t mind a nice 1911 commander model.

  10. The “best” carry gun for any individual is the gun that you can carry comfortably (with reasonable concealment), shoot accurately, and feel comfortable with. What particular model/caliber that is varies from person to person. What is the “ideal” carry gun for me, isn’t necessarily appropriate to someone else.

    It happens that the grip size and grip angle on a 1911, AND on a Beretta M9, both fit my hand pretty comfortably. Unfortunately, neither is particularly concealable (except maybe in the dead of winter). For concealable carry, I find a Sig P365 has about the least objectionable ergonomics, and I can carry it in anything other than swim trunks, so that works for me. Not perfect, but ALL options are compromises in one area or another.

    Pick a gun you can carry, conceal, shoot comfortably, and has at least decent ergonomics. I’m a fairly large guy, and I find it impossible to conceal a 1911 or an M9 in less than winter clothes, without “printing” like crazy. YMMV. I would rather carry the P365 than not carry, and I’d rather stay concealed than walk around with a large, gun-shaped bulge in my clothes. I guess I could just front carry, and tell all the ladies, “Yeah, baby, that’s all me!”


  11. Hmmm . . .my Micro 9 is a mini 1911 technically, works great, just like my full size 45 1911. They both hold the same number of rounds 8+1 if you like to top off, I don’t. I just carry 2 spare mags all the time. Easier to CC the Micro 9 than the 4” 1911. If I’m spending a lot of time outdoors, especially in the back country, then I’m carrying the 45 1911, or maybe both.

  12. For further proof there’s *massive* professional advertising talent behind Ukraine’s defense messaging, I present to you, St. Javelin’s latest, with help from Sir David Attenborough, no less :

    • Brilliant video.
      I am impressed with how much the Ukrainians have done with so little.
      Russia has a similar to HIMARS system yet can’t seem to leverage it well.
      I’m also surprised that there are more Kalibre shoot downs, even if the models with supersonic terminal phase.

  13. I thought we finally called a truce in the *45 vs 9mm* wars. Now it’s spread to *double stack vs single stack*! Remember Col. Cooper’s response to the double stack, “How many times do you plan to miss?” It’s not quite that simple, but I think he had a point. Maybe the Bard got it right: much ado about nothing?

    Gats are like cars, boats, lawnmowers, and breakfast cereal. If 2 or 3 kinds were enough, we wouldn’t need more choices. What works for me makes you want to regurgitate. Just read the hate mail some brands generate.

    Personally, I just wish my hand was a bit bigger. Then a 1911, probably a Commander, would feel like it belonged there. I’d declare a truce and get mine in 38 Super.

  14. “Micro-Compact Carry Guns”

    Aren’t these 22’s and 25 a.c.p. caliber pistols, that’s no 1911 or any full power handgun territory.

  15. Chances are better than even that a 1911 carrier is a much better qualified shooter. He knows his abilities and limitations more so than a youngster who runs out and buys the latest wundergun, stacks it full of ammo, and puts his faith in spray and pray.

    • When attacked and it appeared as if there were no hope the mother skunk told her children, ” Let’s us Spray”.

  16. Mayybeeee… if someone had been around through the 90’s and ’00’s in USPSA/IPSC shooting, they’d know that there were plenty of very reliable, double-stack 1911’s winning practical shooting matches. Mayybeee if youngsters did their homework, they’d know there are already double-stack 1911’s slinging 9×19’s downrange with every bit of the capacity of the plastic fantastics, but with the 1911’s trigger and safeties.

    Here’s one that has been certified by hundreds of law enforcement agencies for carry/use by their employees, and available in steel or aluminum frames, with the aluminum frame coming in at 28 oz. empty:

    OK, so maybe 9×19 Luger isn’t hot enough for you. That’s completely understandable. As an answer to the 9×19’s modest ballistics, the 1911 has been yeeting (is that how you kids say it?) hot 9mm-ish rounds before your mother was a gleam in your grandfather’s eye: the .38 Super.

    In the 90’s, there were several outfits making very nice 1911’s with double-stack magazines that could hold up to 20 rounds of .38 Super, which could make “major” power factors and put it on the same scoring basis as the .45 ACP.

  17. My favorite handgun is a mildly customized ex military 1911. I built it from new parts, used the spring fingered bushing after grinding it open a bit to reduce finger pressure to avoid the cracking, used nickel plating to tighten slide fit and bushing to slide fit, and added material at chamber end. By luck the gun is extremely accurate and at one time I achieved intuitive shooting with it to hit pie plates farther away than you should believe.
    Sure it’s obsolete but it’s just so nice in the hand.

  18. My experience with a 1911 Spanish Clone in the 80’s left an impression on me, I’ll freely admit carries through to this day. That gun, was the original Jam-O-Matic, no matter what it was fed. Factory or Handloads, it never fired off a full mag. I breathed a sigh of relief when I sold that sucker. One of a handful of guns I’m glad I sold through the years.
    Now that I’m retired and on a fixed income, I’d like to try one again (especially in 10mm), but in McSniffy’s economy, it’ll remain a Pipe Dream.

  19. Hi, in Australia 45ACP pistols are rated as “High Caliber” and a lot of our ranges are not approved for “High Caliber” pistols. To get around this some of our best gunsmiths set to work and developed the 38-JWH also called 38-45 JWH. This is basically a 1911 38 Super barrel chambered to take a 45ACP case that has been necked down to seat a 38cal projectile. A few of our members are die-hard 1911 shooters and love this change. They have the high caliber permits and are able to keep the 45ACP barrel having switch barrel setup as needed.

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