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By Travis Pike

More than a century ago John Moses Browning created the 1911 automatic pistol. Over time the design has evolved slightly to be mass-produced as well as safer in general. However, the 1911 itself is still essentially the same platform it’s always been.

Josh Wayner for TTAG

The 1911 is a single stack, single action only platform with a manual safety and a grip safety. The design is reflective of its time, but it still continues to be a popular choice for many individuals.

I dare to say the 1911 is likely produced by more companies than any gun outside of the AR-15. You can even build one from an 80 percent lower receiver. The question remains is the gun outdated? Even hopelessly outdated?

Courtesy Colt

The evidence is against the 1911

What makes me think the 1911 is an outdated platform? There are a number of reasons why I wouldn’t carry or employ a 1911 in a defensive role when better choices are offered.

The reasons include the gun’s capacity, weight, reliability, and even its price. I want to elaborate on these reasons in depth.

Dan Z for TTAG


How much does capacity matter? Can you get the job done with seven rounds? Of course, you can. The 1911 holds anywhere from seven to nine rounds depending on size and caliber which isn’t that different from a gun designed for concealed carry.

However, the 1911’s capacity and size aren’t comparable to a concealed carry gun. Even small 1911s like the Springfield EMP in 9mm have a low capacity compared to their size.

The Springfield EMP is nearly as tall and as thick as a GLOCK 19, but holds only nine rounds. The SIG P365 with its 12-round magazine is still thinner and shorter than the EMP. The 1911 doesn’t offer comparable capacity when size and purpose are put into perspective.

Courtesy Travis Pike


The all-metal design of the 1911 adds significant weight to the platform. As we’ve discovered the design of modern handguns can utilize substantial amounts of polymer without compromising the weapon’s integrity. This cuts weight without sacrificing capacity or size.

The SIG P320 in .45 ACP weighs 39 ounces when loaded with 11 rounds of .45 ACP. A comparable Springfield 1911 weighs 43 ounces empty. Even the big CZ 97, another all metal gun, weighs 46 ounces loaded with ten rounds of ammo.

The gun is just heavy due to its design. Trimming weight is possible, but it’s tough to consider a polymer 1911 a real 1911, though these polymer-frame 1911s can cut nearly 11 ounces off of the design. The 1911 is a sturdy design which does make it a harder gun to carry. That boat anchor weight will be felt as the day wears on.

Courtesy Jason Bayne


The 1911 was designed to be a very simple weapon, and it was intended to shoot a 230-grain hardball FMJ round in the so-called Government configuration. If you keep the 1911 in this configuration and test it for the right ammo, you are usually good to go.

Problems have occurred with these guns when you try to shrink them or get crazy with the ammo. In my experience, you have to find the right ammo that fits the gun. My RIA 1911 is one of the cheaper models and only likes 230-grain FMJs. Some JHPs will be worth it, but not all.

Size is an entirely different issue. Small 1911s are famously finicky. Advances have been made, and companies like Colt, Springfield, and Remington have made reliable production compact 1911s. Not all companies can claim this however and purchasing a compact 1911 should be done after plenty of research.

1911, 1911 holster, 1911 holsters, 1911 guns, 1911 firearms, 1911 handgun
Courtesy Travis Pike


Rock Island Armory rules the current budget 1911 market, and other small companies like ATI also have a hand in the market. Even budget, bare bones 1911s are still nearly as much as a modern polymer pistol.

The Ruger Security 9 sells for less than the cheapest 1911 I can find on the market. 1911s are not the most inexpensive guns, and even budget guns are costly compared to modern pistols.

Do we write off the 1911?

I enjoy the 1911 as a fun gun to shoot the same way I enjoy single action army clones. They are interesting and integral to firearm’s evolution, but I feel their times have passed. With modern ammunition, the 45 ACP no longer rules the roost.

The 1911 platform is a big, heavy, and expensive option compared to the rest of the market. I don’t doubt someone with a 1911 can defend themselves. However, I can do the same thing with a lighter, easier-to-carry weapon with double the capacity.

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About the author:

Courtesy Travis Pike

Travis Pike is a former Marine Machine gunner who served with 2nd Bn 2nd Marines for 5 years. He deployed in 2009 to Afghanistan and again in 2011 with the 22nd MEU(SOC) during a record-setting 11 months at sea. Travis has trained with the Romanian Army, the Spanish Marines, the Emirate Marines, and the Afghan National Army.

He serves as an NRA certified pistol instructor and pursues a variety of firearms based hobbies.


This article originally appeared at and is reprinted here with permission. 

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    • I’ve been shooting / carrying 1911s for over 40 years with no issues. Your personal 1911 is a cheap , low quality example . The 1911 platform is ergonomically superior to anything out there as is the trigger . Since civilians expend an average of 2 rounds in a gunfight capacity is no issue . If I must fight using a handgun let it be my 1911.

      • I been carrying a 1911 .45 since 1965 with no issues . I’ll continue to dance with the gal I brought to the dance . She has gotten my tit out of the wringer several times .
        I CC in a Galco shoulder rig with 2 spare mags for balance . If that won’t get me to safety or my AR , then I performed poorly in the situational awareness category .

      • Could buy them @ army surplus for 11 dollars when I was about 11 so I did, would ride my bike out to the dump and shoot at rats with them hardball was so cheap. Got back from NAM in 1965, put one in the small of my back. Still there only much upgraded. I carried one 3 years in Nam, 4 years in college, and about every day since Feb. 8 1962 landed in Nam. The one I carry now is a Commander size, but still a 1911 45 acp, the years have had a effect on me 77 now, weight became a problem is why I went to the commander size. I still shoot about 50 rounds a week, range in backyard, not as good as I used to be, however still better than a lot

      • David Robinson has it completely correct. 1911s are the best handguns out there. Travis Pike has a severe case of H-I-A syndrome.

        • “1911s are the best handguns out there.?

          That’s quite a bold statement, especially since its inventor, John Mosses Browning, didn’t consider that to be so. The 1911 is so passé. I’ve owned my share of 1911s, and still own a number of handguns in .45 ACP. Both are old hat, and have clearly outlived their genuine usefulness. Some are simply incapable of seeing the present, for the lure of the illusive past.

      • I hate these writers that try to make a 1911 look outdated it’s just a political one world system move to make all weapons interchangeable and simpletons fall for the its got more capacity it’s really about making Americans not stand out and be part of nato we made those weapons to stand apart from the rest of the world and won now we are copying the losers

    • Yes he did. I love my 1911, and while I admit that it wasn’t my first pistol (I’m 50 now), I have to say I wish I’d gotten mine long ago. The 1911 is so timeless that I have no doubt that people will be rocking it 100 years from now, even!
      Also, mine is fairly light because mine (a Springfield Mil-Spec) is made from modern lightweight alloy, and I dont mind keeping a couple extra mags tucked away because they’re slim single stacks. And as for the caliber, I must ask, which would you honestly prefer to be shot with, a 9mm or a .45?? I dont know about you, but if I had to choose between the two, I’ll take the 9.
      Finally, I may be old fashioned (I am 50 after all), but I prefer hammer-fired guns to striker-fired, even though I have a Springfield XDM. Save for that one exception, all my pistols are hammer-fired.
      The 1911 is as universal as the Glock, except it’s for men.

    • The 1911 is so damn good, that it is scary. If you don’t handle these mudder fockers with caution, they can kill you. The 1911 45acp is the baddest pistol out there. As for carry, they are heavy. As for capacity, 8 or 9 or 10 is not as good as 18 or 19 …….9mm that is, but an extra mag solves that problem.

    • Nanashi, the Hi-Power didn’t obsolete the 1911. In fact, it’s an all steel single action semi-auto. Just like the 1911. As to the authors argument about weight. My uncles carried a 1911 across Europe. I carried one on duty for 12 hours a day and often off duty in a Sparks Summer Special. No problem. Magazine capacity. Para Ordinance. If that’s a real concern for you. It can even be had in an alloy frame. In case weight bothers you. .45 vs the puny calibers. Bigger, deeper holes! If the 1911 is out of date, let’s shit can the Ma Duce too.

      • The 1911 may not be the best carry out there, but it has a purpose, it shoots well, is very accurate, is the best looking gun ever, is a LEGEND, the trigger is the best of any pistol, and that 45……is the baddest bullet around dollar for dollar.

        • Stopping power, or dropping power. Many of us know people who have survived being shot with just about every caliber out there. Personally, I don’t know anyone who has survived a .45 ACP hit. I suppose it happens, but it certainly isn’t frequent.

          The gun, and the round, were DESIGNED to drop some of the biggest, baddest warriors on this planet. Few guns, and few rounds, can claim the .45’s efficiency in doing so. Common concealed carry weapons, such as the 9mm don’t come close.

      • Yup, I have a Springfield all alloy full size 1911. Shoots everything I have fed it including Federal 230 grain HST, which was my department issued round. It’s a pleasure to shoot and to carry. Always carried my 1911’s in a Bianchi horizontal shoulder holster with 2 spare mags for balance and quick mag changes.

    • Except the magazine disconnect and hinged trigger make the hi-power trigger suck compared to a 1911. Feels good in the hand though.

  1. I hope not. I’ve been carrying a Kimber Ultra for the last year. 8>) I was carrying a SIG P239 in 9mm, but that’s almost as big as the Ultra and only has 9 rounds of 9mm.

  2. IMHO,…….Not at all, especially in looking at sales of the 1911, and the amount of gun manufacturing companies that produce them.

    There’s a couple of gun stores in the Marietta, OH area that I frequent. RIA 1911s, including the Double-Stacks they sell, fly off the shelf. Even the Para-Ordnance Double Stacks sell nice. S&W, Ruger, and Kimbers are in those shops, and customers seem to love ’em because they keep selling.

    • Not related to topic. More to geography. Am 10 miles south in Belpre. Never expected a Marietta, OH reference!

      Just got my first 1911. Not my EDC but once i get a decent holster and more trigger time, it will be tried out. As a non-carry gun (as of yet), it’s a sweet shooter. Works for me!

      • Congrats on your new gun buddy, welcome to the club. Your gonna love it, they only get better with use too. You might notice a couple draw backs later, 8rds, more intricate takedown, no rail depending on model. None of mine have it, but none of that stops the huge smile i get on my face when i pull the trigger.

  3. 108 years old and it’s overall principal still the same. Old doesn’t translate to inefficient….. It’s an antique, but a reliable, trustworthy and durable antique

    • Old Region, I have a Sig P220. It’s the only double action I actually like. But, it ain’t twice the pistol the 1911 is. It’s not even half.

      • I wholeheartedly agree with your comments, my tuned P220 is nowhere near my Springfield Armory Professional or my Pop’s Pachmayr Signature model.

        • Love my P220.
          Love my 1911.
          I shoot both well, but for some reason not if I shoot both the same day.

          The P220 us the home defense gun. I’ve never had issues with with the p220 or 1911. I simply prefer the modern go to war gun.

    • They say that Mr. Browning was watching other companies fire their prototypes for acceptance for military service and the other brands/makes would overheat and jam due to the large amount of rounds required to be fired. Mr. browning go a bucket of water and when his pistol began to get hot , he would shove it underwater and ssssst, cool it and resume firing. how many of our ” plastic fantastic ” pistols and others would stand up to this ? few if any.

      • Dunking a plastic fantastic in a bucket of water to cool it down wouldnt affect it at all. Whether you love em or hate em you cant seriously be suggesting a Glock isnt the most reliable (albeit ugly) handgun out there are you? Especially compared to a 1911. You can treat a Glock, Walther PPQ, CZ P10 etc like crap and they keep working.

        • have shot a few plastic fantastics and the only one i liked was a glock….. but the only original glock part left of that one was the frame. That one shot like a dream. Otherwise i will stick with 1911

        • Hey D.C.Boy,

          No sorry, glocks are not ” the most reliable handgun out there “. Any of the firearms you later mentioned are just as reliable(or more so), and further they do not come with the inherent weaknesses and flaws of the glock (or are glock overpriced; $500 plus for a $300 gun).

          But spending an extra $200 so you can brag about “the most reliable gun ever” …Dang that glock-cool-aide must be hard to put down.

      • I was actually on my way to the bottom to make a pro-1911 post, but couldn’t pass this up. I don’t know that a Glock or other serious polymer pistol is more reliable than the best 1911s, but I assure you there is absolutely nothing you can do to harm them with a bucket of water, including freezing them in it and thawing them on a gas grill (I’ve seen it done).

        Celebrate the trigger, the slim profile, the Argos and shootability, neck, I’ll even champion the fact that an unloaded 1911 serves decently as a sort of war club, but let’s not try to pretend that Glock, FNX, HKUSP and similar pistols aren’t reliable or durable, because that’s just ignorant.

        • Thanks ardent for the common sense all this talk about best gun all calibers about the same etc etc I took a 41 Magnum round in the back and thanks to Christ survived it’s an old round but not obsolete my EDC is a Glock 21 and my obsolete 586 SW 6in barrel I wouldn’t trade either of those for any other gun and I like the 1911 and as far as the worse round to get hit with is anyone of them is bad get hit with an obsolete 45acp survive it and tell me how bad it hurts cause I already know

  4. About as much as a Ma Duce!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! which will be in use longer than the Mosin or the B-52. Notice I said Mosin, NOT the 7.62×54 round! For it’s age and that rim it is not a bad round at all. I do shoot a Mosin.

  5. The 1911 has made it’s mark in history, I doubt the platform will be leaving us anytime soon. As for applications YES there are better suited firearms out there, “modern tech” gotta love it. But I don’t see many of us hanging up our 1911s because of it, I sure as hell won’t. Actually, i’m at my work bench and got one in front of me right now to be honest with you.

  6. I don’t carry my 1911, even though with an aluminum frame it comes in at 27 oz empty, and with a McCormick mag it carries 8+1. Yes, it has its shortcomings, and it is not the ultimate carry piece, but it is hardly obsolete, especially for those of us who live in jurisdictions with a 10+1 capacity limit. Mine feeds HPs with no difficulty at all, and it thus makes an excellent home defense pistol. I am hoping to by another pretty soon.

        • Shoot 10 out of a short barrel and you’re not getting 10mm performance, if you’re shooting jhps. Ball, different story. Just make sure that your round is designed for your barrel length and will perform at the velocity your barrel will allow. Lea Baer makes an awesome 6″ 1911 in 10mm.

        • There are numerous short-barrel powders out there, ‘roll your own’…

    • Got handed my first government model in 85 at basic when I was 18. Eight round Commanders are my favorite handgun of all time.

  7. Ho hum another 1911 hater (apparently) – if ‘nearly’ and ‘feel’ were eliminated from the author’s opinion piece all of his negative arguments fall apart.
    He is certainly free to bash – it is still America after all, but to be dismissive of a proven platform and round because he ‘feels’ there are better choices is just that – his opinion. I’ve carried various makes of 1911s over the decades (4+) and had no issues with any of them. And no, it is nunya what I do (or don’t) carry.
    Let the end user decide.

  8. To answer this question, I refer you to the Brownells printed catalog, available for $5 for those of you who don’t order enough to get one sent to you.

    If you open said Brownells catalog, you will see the pages grouped together by gun type/model, with the most popular guns appearing first in the catalog. It should come as no surprise that the AR-15 parts section comes first, and numbers many pages.

    The next section in the Brownells book is the 1911 section. There are many, many pages of 1911 parts, accessories, etc.

    Judging by this metric alone, I think the answer to the title question is “If it is, it sure as hell is the single most profitable antique in the gun industry.”

    • I’m a wee-bit disappointed, I was expecting a bit more ‘fire’ from your response… 😉

      • Yea, yea.

        There are days that I take kids to the woodshed, and other days I just roll my eyes. This is one of the latter, mostly because I have too much work set up in the machines in the shop to write a point-by-point rebuttal. I have a pile of swarf I need to make tonight…

    • Might be reaching out on a limb here, but could that possibly have anything to do with the fact that the AR15 and 1911 are non-poprietary? I mean, if Colt still held the patents to the AR15 and Ruger let the Mini-14 patents go, isn’t there a chance that everyone would be shooting (and modifying) Mini-14s instead?

      • The Hi-Power, CZ-75, etc are non-proprietary and/or are have patents that have expired. There are literally dozens of other semi-auto pistol designs out there – most of them have never been heard of by most shooters. I’ll give an example of an American pistol that was easier to manufacture than most designs, but sank nearly without a trace: The Remington Model 51. They produced a version in .45 ACP, the Model 53, and the US Navy found that it was superior to the 1911 in terms of ease of maintenance, lower parts count, etc. The patent has long since run off the Model 51.

        Heck, the Luger is better documented than most all other pistols in the world, down to complete sets of blueprints available all over the place. The US tried to qualify the P-08 in .45 ACP, and there’s all manner of documentation on those tests. Shooters the world around have a Luger obsession… but you don’t see a dozen companies lining up to replicate Luger P-08’s, do you?

        What I think most shooters fail to appreciate was that the 1911 was a convergence of design, form, function, (relative) ease of manufacturing, reliability and lethality. That’s what continues to keep the 1911 in the game over 100 years after its introduction.

        • Perhaps I should flip that around. It might not be the only factor, but the 1911 and AR15 wouldn’t be what they are today if they were both still proprietary. How big of a market share does Colt have in both? Would Kimber buyers buy Colts? Or would there be another pistol they’d be drawn to. Perhaps one that was never even invented because the 1911 was already public domain. Would Bushmaster buyers buy Colt AR15s? Probably the farthest a proprietary design can go is the Glock 17/19.

          And of course if these were never America’s infantry rifle and sidearm they also likely wouldn’t have the popularity they have. As good as the CZ is it’s just not American. I’m not knocking the design of either, but these are huge factors in their popularity that don’t actually have anything to do with their functionality.

      • Patent protection only lasts for 20 years, after which the design is in the public domain.. So Ruger could not stop any other company from manufacturing and selling “Mini-14” style rifles. Anybody (either Ruger or somebody else) developing improvements to the basic design can seek patent protection for their innovation. If granted they would have protection for their improvement but not the basic design.

        “Mini-14” is a registered trademark for Ruger. Protection for trademarks only lasts for 10 years but may be continually renewed. So although another company can manufacture and sell “Mini-14s” but they have to call them something else so long as Ruger holds the trademark.

    • Interesting article and hard to pick apart. I love my 1911 and it has never failed me…but I’m running Chip McCormick mags, 185 – 230 loads, my gun is slick from extensive firing, is clearly in .45, and lived on me for years back in the mid 90s. I’m basically everything they said to be with a 1911 and have checked all the boxes on gun, mag and ammo choices. It’s no wonder I like the platform and wonder why so many do not! My equipment and skills list for it is exactly what the article suggests they should be…and funny enough, I actually now carry a G19.

      That said, I’ve personally said since I put down my 1911 for a HK USP. 40 in the late 90s that the 1911 is an experts gun. In the right hands it typically outshoots “tactical” pistols and good ones are very accurate and reliable. However, if i were talking to a newer pistol shooter now I’d have to recommend something in a XD/XDM, USP, FNX, Glock or even a SIG 2something or CZ75 (in no particular order). Capacity and reload speed are the dominate factors in a fighting handgun in a world where extremely reliable pistols abound.

      For civilian personal defense there isn’t anything wrong with a 1911, and given the nature of handguns in combat it is still viable, but it has been surpassed by newer designs.

  9. I hate to steal a line from Ian McCollum, but I’d argue that the M1911 is obsolescent but not obsolete.

    Is it outdated? Yes, just like a snubnose revolver or even a larger K frame, but people still go out and buy them, shoot them, and carry them.

    Is it obsolete? No, not compared to the likes of say a single action revolver or derringer. If someone’s willing to spend the money on a 1911, spend the money on JHP ammunition that feeds reliably in it, can train to draw and shoot it under pressure while putting shots on target, and spend the money to carry it and carry it regularly, then I’d argue that it isn’t obsolete.

    It might be my two cents, but while a 1911 would not be my first choice for a carry piece, it would still pull ahead of carrying a SA revolver, derringer, and most pocket pistols, because it has a large enough caliber that I know it will get the job done and I know I can shoot it accurately enough to put rounds right where I want them to go.

    • The SSA came in a variety of facts, including the hard hitting .45 Colt, which of course can be loaded with JHP. Mine is. So I don’t get you point. Heck, you can even load them with black powder and send hot lead down range while creating your own little smoke screen. Try THAT with a Glock!

    • Glad someone knows the difference between obsolete and obsolescent. The 1911 is obsolescent
      (newer stuff is better) but not obsolete (no longer capable of doing the job).

  10. I used to carry a 1911. Then more reliable, higher capacity handguns came to market and I never carried it again. Many years ago I moved to Springfield Armory XD45 which never failed me. I recently changed to an S&W M&P9 M2 for capacity with the increase in gang violence nationwide.

  11. I love the 1911 for the range but for home defense I prefer the Glock 21. For carry the G-19 or even the G-30S.

  12. I carry concealed (1911) every day close to 40 yrs (occasionally two) – not heavy by normal standards and easy to conceal if you know how to do it. There are a few 1911’s out there
    not worth money to buy starting with Colt and Kimber (jam-a-matic)…don’t care for Springfield so much-heard they donate a lot to anti-gunners and socialist/dems. I’ve had couple F:ilipino 1911’s not so hot.
    good one for under $500, need to check out Turkish 1911’s, or find used Para in gun or pawn shop-good stuff. I’ve got other calibers, but my “go-to gun” is my 1911 45. you can shoot hollow points out of them as long as got nice polished ramp and buy quality hollowpoints.
    They carry 7 rounds, carry extra mag 14 rounds but if in place need that many rounds, might want to consider getting the heck out of there. my thoughts on 1911’s. RET/DAV/USA

  13. The only handgun better than a 1911 .45 acp is a S/W .44 mag. mdl 29, PRE- CLINTON HOLE! Keep your female guns. 9mm and so on are absolutely worthless to this old school police!

  14. Comparing a P365 to a midsize 1911 like the EMP is like comparing a Smartcar to an S class Mercedes. The only advantage that the P365 has is that it is small and has reasonable capacity but if you want to maximize your first hit probability which is the most important MOE for a DGU there is no comparison. The 1911 has a better trigger than any other pistol and in 9mm very little recoil even with +p ammunition. I grant the a full size 1911 in 45 is heavy but unless you are an 11B or walking around with a 15lb tool belt no pistol is too heavy to carry. Weight is not strictly a negative because weight counteracts recoil making following up shots faster and more accurate. 7 or 8 +1 covers the 3 sigma DGU with out a reload. Are there better pistol for war or police work, probably but you are not going to be underarmed with a 1911.

    The Yankee Marshal has a good video on this subject, while not strictly a comparison with a 1911 it pretty much debunks the size and weight arguments.

    • Most of us with tiny peckers are not trying to compensate for them. In fact we rarely think about it at all. They don’t bother us. We simply could not be total cads unconcerned with the woman’s pleasure and rely solely on size to provide our partner with some measure of enjoyment. We had to give some thought to our partners needs. So, long ago in most of our lives, we had to develop superior skills. Those skills themselves, and the habit of developing skills have served us well both in the bedroom, and in other areas of our lives. We are not trying to compensate for our peckers by carrying bigger guns. We don’t need to.

      Now, those sports car guys………………………………………………..;)

      • That large and long diatribe just to tell everyone you are a tiny d’ick c’uck?

        You might be trying to overcompensate.

  15. Capacity: Not a valid argument. If you can’t get it done with 7 or 8 rounds of .45ACP, or if you are like me, 10 rounds of 38 Super, a reload is about 1.5 seconds away.

    Weight: a heavier gun is a plus, not a minus. Recoil ain’t just a magazine. The folks that say they can’t “get the same thing done” with a lighter gun are full of shit, especially when you are shooting the gun single handed. The 1911 is an extremely easy gun to carry. A Government framed 1911 is a concealed carry gun, although I prefer a 4″ slide because it doesn’t stab into my butt when I sit down IWB.

    Reliability: Supreme amongst the auto loaders. Supreme. What other common pistol is still shooting more than 100 years after it was made. I don’t mean models, I mean the actual gun? I used to crow about my 1911s having more than 30k rounds in them. Then I met shooters who lost count after 50k rounds through the same gun.

    Cost: Yup, good ones that are both reliable and accurate are rarely cheap. This is the only legitimate downside of a 1911.

    1911s are still popular and in demand. It’s not because millions of people are just too stupid to know it’s obsolete. It’s because they are great guns and people shoot them well.

    • {The 1911|

      “Reliability: Supreme amongst the auto loaders. Supreme.”

      Once properly sorted-out.

      Just because it has ‘Wilson’ or some other supposedly ‘proper’ name stamped on it doesn’t mean it’s properly sorted-out.

      I’ve heard far too many stories of big-money 1911s going tits-up in competition and on the firing line at the range…

      • About the only sorting out I have done is buying some Wilson Combat magazines and my 1911s have been very reliable.

    • I have experienced and heard of more problems with 1911s than any other type of handgun.

      As for capacity I carry 17-rd mags with plus 5 extensions. Total of 47 rounds with one chambered and a spare mag

      I will never go back to 1911s

  16. This article, right here, is what is wrong with the First Amendment. It allows someone to speak blasphemy about St. JBM, and critique his masterwork. There oughta be a law !

  17. I don’t think it’s “obsolete” at all. Revolvers certainly aren’t. Dated, maybe, for both. But there are still certain benefits for both revolvers and 1911s over other platforms.

    Online everyone likes to rag on both revolvers and 1911s, and .45, as stupid fudd items, but they fail to realize 9mm and striker fired guns are both just as old. Just because something is old doesn’t make it obsolete. The AR platform is approaching 70 years old. The M2 is 100 years old and still one of the most effective weapons in the US Arsenal.

  18. No. Seems to be popular.

    Yes, you can carry a lighter handgun (and I do).

    Lighter weight makes it easier…not more effective.

    When they bring out something that goes “zap” instead of “bang” all cartidge guns will be obsoleted.

    They will still be effective for use. Get over it.

    Now, where my revolver?

  19. Geez… If you want to bash a gun, at least make the effort to know what you’re talking about… Heavy? Full size steel, yep. Ever heard of aluminum frames? No? I guessed so… Outdated? Well, show me something that shoots better than a good 1911 off the shelf (no, not a cheap-ass $300 version… these are not injection molded, $2.49 per lb plastic marvels: machining costs money to be good). Unreliable? Yep, with 40 or 50 manufacturers churning out copies going from dreadful to sublime, some won’t work as they should. Expensive? Sure, a Mercedes Benz costs more than a Ford pickup – but it doesn’t drive the same either. The best craftsmen in the country work on… Glock 19. Er, no, JMB 1911. Because you can spend skills to groom and dress a thoroughbred, but no matter how much lipstick you put on a pig, it’s still a pig… The pig will give you bacon, quite OK, I’m not contesting that. But… Nevermind.

  20. I submit that the G.I. 1911A1 has been obsolete for decades. Most people I know get hammer bite from a standard spur hammer and grip safety. Almost everyone carries 1911s with a rounded hammer and extended beavertail, like all of those pictured in the article. No one uses the standard military sights. Hardly anyone uses a 1911 with the standard military feed ramp. Almost everyone has the weapon modified to feed hollow points. If I were serving in the military, I’d hate to be stuck a 1911A1, but the highly modified modern 1911s will probably be used by civilians until the Democrats succeed in importing a permanent electoral majority and confiscating them all, which could happen any day now.

        • Mark,

          What’s your point? Bow and kneel to the powers who are breaking their own oath to support the Constitution by violating it and trying to subject you to their will by taking your means of defense?

          Of course nobody wants to be the one who “goes out in a blaze of glory”. Or at least, we don’t want such a sacrifice to go unnoticed and worthless. We all want to survive any confrontation with LE, but when they unlawfully come to your neighborhood to subjugate everyone, what will you do? Perhaps – if we’re honest – we’ll allow them to take what they *think* we have (a huge reason not to ever register anything), but that’s what the proverbial “sealed pipe buried in the garden” is for. Venezuela took the people’s guns a few years ago, and then took the entire country on a sightseeing tour to economic Hell. Now their military is literally running their MRAPs into crowds. That’s when a handful of skilled marksmen would come in handy…they would act as a check against the gov forces and make them think twice.

        • You meant to reply to Mike not Mark. I’m Mark, and unlike Mike, I’m perfectly fine with dying if the day comes when the government comes for our guns because at that point America is no more and there is no reason to be here any longer. I refuse to let this country become Venezuela Part 2. I’ll die fighting and I’m at peace with that. I’ve lived long enough.

          I hope there are millions that share my sentiments.

        • i’ll second that sentiment Mark. better to die on your feet a free man/woman than live on your knees

    • They can only confiscate what they know about or can find. My former state, CA, knows about my daughter’s pink Crickett and a Marlin 60. My current state knows about a G2C and maybe a couple stripped lowers. If there ever was anything else they were lost in a freak boating accident.

  21. I carry the Colt Combat Commander in .45 acp. Is it outdated? Who cares, only opinion that matters is mine. The weight never bothered me, nor does recoil (talking to the guys with a comped out 9mm to ensure faster follow up shots and mitigate recoil… blah, blah, blah. Couldn’t help taking that dig at the modern operator /ninja keyboard commando 🙂 Anyway, there are lots of options for lots of folks, to each their own. I my self have tried the polymer pistols and came back to my commander every time. The feel of a gun is as important to me as anything perceived as a deficiency by others, weight, capacity, etc… My wife has the 43X, she has no opinions either way and I happily purchased it for her after she had the G43. Carrying a 1911 is like having a 67 GTO (hard or soft-top) in the driveway, you really could give a f@#$ what others think about your outdated car….

  22. I do not think the 1911 will ever go out of style or use I have one I target shoot with don’t carry because of health limits and because of what it is Colt 1911 S.S. Gold Cup National Match Gun wish I could find a collector that would give me what it is worth I have case and book that came with it

  23. Virtually (if not all) modern semi auto handguns carry forward at least one attribute of Brownings’ brilliant design. That fact alone means the article is based on a false premise. In reality the 1911 lives in nearly all semi auto handguns., thus not obsolete.

  24. I agree with the author, Travis, for all the reasons he listed. I have a CZ Shadow 2 and I can do really well with it at most any distance but I’d never carry it. People who are attached at the hip with their 1911would never change their mind , but that still doesn’t make the 1911 a good carry pistol.

    • If it is good for me, then it is good. I have sold every plastic striker fired pistol I have ever bought. No matter which plastic wonder I have bought they all have awful triggers and horrible grips. 1911 or a revolver is the only way to go.

      • Sorry but not all striker pistols have crappy triggers. If your willing to spring for around $200 on an aftermarket trigger there are awesome triggers available.

        • David, the Apex trigger kits are excellent. I put one in my M&P 45. What a huge difference.

  25. At the risk of receiving threats to burn one at the stake for blaspemy (😂), I agree with every point you’ve made. While it filled its role for 70+ years as THE service pistol, it wasn’t the end all/be all of Browning’s genius, that award goes to the Browning Hi-Power. Browning did what the army brass wanted with the 1911, but he wasn’t happy about having to add a grip safety (He felt it was redundant with the safeties already built in to his first prototypes). Single Action is single action. Its advantages are offset by its disadvantages. Double Action and Striker Fire are both superior from a purely tactical point of view, as well as easier to use for most people. Modern propellants and projectiles have equalized and in some cases surpassed the old .45 ACP GI Hardball that most 1911’s still prefer. None of the entry level 1911’s I’ve handled and fired do consistantly well with anything but the old FMJ Ball ammo, malfunctioning too frequently with the pallette of Hollow Points and Terminal Performance bullets on the market. To get that level of reliability, it’s necessary to spend a lot more than entry level price point on a 1911. While the .45 ACP still has a loyal following even in other platforms, that’s still a matter of subjective choice. Porcine Carcass Oscillation measurement by bullet strike is hardly the most scientific of tests (incidently, a .38 Special firing a 200 grain Wad Cutter in +P loading will nearly match the number of oscillations Porky or Petunia make with the .45 ACP). In the long run, shot placement is still the key factor in terminal performance.
    Would I own a 1911 for carry? No. Would I own one to enjoy shooting at the range? Yes. Just as I enjoy silhouette shooting with a SAA revolver, but it wouldn’t be my first choice for open or concealed carry.

  26. Don’t like the 1911? Don’t own one… it’s just that simple.

    It was so bad that it only took our military 75 years to replace it.

    Assuming people will still be allowed to own guns, in 2119 there will be writers claiming that the 1911 is finally obsolete while it still soldiers on in the hands of those who appreciate a fine handgun.

  27. I followed the link and bought the 80% lower receiver. Anyone know where I can buy a 1911 upper receiver? Glocks must be so much simpler. I bought an 80% FRAME and only had to get the slide, barrel, and internal parts.

  28. I don’t like 1911s and I’ve tried quite a few. I don’t care for the controls and the gun is rather thin for my hands. I don’t own one but won’t criticize anyone for their choice.

  29. Whatever. What’s next, writing off the revolver as outdated? I’d like to see one of these self appointed experts stand in front of one of these outdated weapons and show us just how ineffective they are.

  30. I guess if you’re a blind, poor, 98 pound weakling who has no ability to care for your pistol to keep it reliable, then yes, it is not a good choice…( I say those things tongue in cheek)…TTAG, among other similar sites, seems to think it is necessary to stir things up for no other reason than to get people to come to their site…not the best way to win friends and influence people…

  31. The 1911 isn’t outdated. This discussion is outdated. As is normal for these forums, just skip down to JW Taylor’s response and ignore all others. The 400 rounds I put thorough my .38 Super Caspian HiCap and my Series 70 Govt Model 45 ACP this afternoon seems pretty up to date to me. By the way, the Colt is 40 years old and has well over a 100,000 round count with the stock Colt barrel.

  32. Everyone is entitled to an opinion. Just because this little guy is not man enough to handle the recoil from anything above 9mm does not make him right or wrong. His bio states that he spent time just being a passenger. There is probably a good reason that the Squids had to carry him around. I have my likes and dislikes as far as guns are concerned, but I am willing to let everyone else have their opinions. Just remember, when you start bashing a firearm design which has stood the test of time you had better have a darn good reason. This author had some poor reasons.

  33. His feeling that the 1911’s time has passed sure hurt a lot of other people’s feels that the 1911’s time has not passed.

    Hilarious to me. I just bought a gun this afternoon and the clerk had to take a few minutes off my transaction to talk to some lady who bought the wrong gun and wanted to return it. She was screaming at him so loud I could hear every word through the phone from 20 feet away.

    He comes back, apologizes to me and starts back up finishing the transaction. My response was “Don’t worry about it. People get emo about guns. I can think of two mechanical objects that turn grown adults into oversized children at the drop of a hat. Guns and classic cars”.

  34. I like the 1911, even carried one when I served in the MP’s. Yes, this was before the transition to 9mm so I am dating myself. I have had a few 1911’s but I actually prefer a SAA Ruger in .45 long colt. No competition, I can draw and fire my Ruger .45 Vaquero much faster than a 1911. I am older but not stupid, , my semi auto pistol choice is a Glock .40 model 35. For me it is reliability, and Glock never fails, Just my opinion, your mileage may vary. That being said, John Browning was a brilliant engineer and deserves status with those as Leonardo D’avinci and Eugene Stoner and others. Those brilliant men who changed the world. I am humbled.

  35. Can I write an article about how outdated an AR15 is? The design is old, the cartridge needs replacing, the ergonomics suck – you shouldn’t have to move your support hand more than the length of a loaded cartridge to do anything but reload a magazine, and everything else should be accessible from either side with your dominant hand, everyone replaces the mil-spec hand guards, stock and pistol grip at a minimum, usually much more than that, like sights, springs and bolt carrier group components. The cheap ones aren’t worth risking your life on (or so the internet tells me).

    Really, this article is just click-bait. Until someone comes up with a gun that is as ergonomic, has as good a trigger, is as reliable (when manufactured to specs and not messed with by Bubba), the 1911 will keep putting rounds downrange and taking care of bad guys.

  36. Is the 1911 Finally Oudated?

    No Travis, it is not “outdated”. Firearms do not do “outdated”. Applications vary, there are even fashion trends sometimes. There are enough people interested in black powder guns to maintain a healthy and profitable industry in percussion caps and even in flints, so those guns are not “outdated” either.

    If your preferences point you in some particular direction on boom sticks, well, you do you and have a sweet time doing so.

    “Outdated” ….

  37. His premise is dumb and his arguments do not stand up to the facts. I wouldn’t choose a 1911 for general military issue, but that is an entirely different argument from civilian carry. Apparently he does not know how to tune his extractor or choose proper magazines for his RIA which would solve his feeding issues, no does he have the brains to take it to a gun smith to have it done for him. Learn to shoot and hit what you’re aiming at seems to be lost on a lot of these people. To them, capacity and light weight mean everything, and hitting the target is somewhere far down the list.

    • “His premise is dumb and his arguments do not stand up to the facts. I wouldn’t choose a 1911 for general military issue, but that is an entirely different argument from civilian carry. Apparently he does not know how to tune his extractor or choose proper magazines for his RIA which would solve his feeding issues, no does he have the brains to take it to a gun smith to have it done for him.”

      Without realizing it you just stated why most people hate the 1911. They do not want to spend big bucks at the gunsmith especially with today’s outrageous hourly charges when they can get a plastic pistol that works right out of the box and in most cases at a lower cost and have a lighter weight gun and a smaller size one as well.

      • I just got a new Springfield TRP and it is FLAWLESS!!! NO gun smithing required, works with whatever mag I have put in it! I guess you get what you pay for! Yes it was an expensive gun but I wanted one for a long time. Also have my dads original colt from WWII carried in Europe, 76 years old this month!!! STILL shoots fantastic!!!

  38. I don’t own a 1911. I considered one but bought my .45 in HK USP. It’s simple and reliable. I DO own the .45 1911’s tall, strapping nephew, the M-1 Garand in .30-06. It is a gun that speaks with authority and doesn’t fail me. Ever. And I was smart enough to get it when it was $169 from the CMP.

  39. Why hell yes its out of date and obsolete. The HS 2000 put to bed the 1911 20 + years ago. Today it is known as the XD or XDM 40.

  40. 1911s are very thin guns. The grips are what make up most of the thickness. You can change the grips to make the gun thinner or thicker.

    The .45 ACP is not the best caliber for the current American environment; it’s still good if you don’t have to shoot through something first. Since 1911s are a large frame handgun they can easily be made into 10mm guns. 1911s tend to have longer barrels, which is a very good thing for 10mm.

    Weight is really the major issue with the 1911. Some people carry many heavy items already. To have even more weight pulling down your pants is not ideal. I would like to carry two extra mags, which means I will have pounds of extra weight on the hips. There becomes a balance issue…

    Weight is really the main reason I wouldn’t want to carry a 1911. The cost is not so relevant because the gun is a tool to save my life or other people’s life.

    The 1911 won’t ever be outdated because some states restrict what handguns you can have. The 1911 will be more available in those areas than the latest concealed carry guns. Same applies for revolvers. What is old becomes new again…

  41. I carry a Glock 21 and love it l was a revolver fanatic most of my 71 years carried 586 SW in a shoulder for years if you can’t get good shot placement with 1 or 2 rounds you need more practice you don’t want to be on muzzle end with me shooting.more capacity brought us spray and pray look at the cops some shoot so bad I don’t know how they qualify with that being said I will stick with 357 revolvers and 45 semi auto including 1911’s btw just carry more mags

  42. I have nothing against the 1911 but I’ve never seen one make it through a class without at least one malfunction. I average about 10 defensive pistol classes a year. Anyone can shoot a 1911 at a range and say it is reliable. Run one in a class. I’ve seen even the top tier ones from Wilson and Nighthawk have issues. I still laugh about the .45 vs 9 mm argument. It is 2019. Both rounds suck, because all pistol rounds suck. However, the clinical results of being hit by Hornady Critical duty in either .45 ACP or 9 mm will be the same because both rounds are as good as they get in terms of pistol rounds. So many old fuckers here thinking about the ball ammo days when .45 ACP reigned supreme. Those days are gone with today’s modern ammo.

    • So how many rounds do you expect to use in a DGU? Not getting through a class is not a realistic MOE for reliability when it comes to defending yourself.

      • If your gun can’t make it through a class (some malfunction during the first 50 rounds) then what makes you think it will be ready to go when you need it to? Sporadic reliability is not inspiring.

        • You should be maintaining your EDC on a regular basis whether it’s a Glock or a Jennings. How do know what the maintenance state of the pistols in the class were? And if can get through 50 rounds at worst that is 40 rounds more than you are probably going to need.

          It is true that a 1911 requires more maintenance than modern striker fired pistol but so does an AR platform when compared to Garand patterned rifle. I have gone 2000 rounds on a Mini-14 without a problem. You can’t do that with an AR yet it is far more popular platform than a Garand despite requiring more maintenance.

    • I can give an example from a class I took last year. It was a 3 day class and we went through 2,400 rounds in 3 days. My 1911 didn’t miss a beat. Perfection. Now an admission. My 1911 is very well tuned and is kept in top condition all the time. So it’s definitely possible.

  43. Ehhh…real men carry whatever the he!! they want. If you like your 1911 you can keep your 1911. Just(poor) clickbait anyway😏

  44. Will it still throw bullets at whatever needs bullets thrown at it? Then it isn’t outdated. These arguments are ridiculous. A revolver or a 1911 may be old tech, but they’ll still kill you just as dead as a Glock 2390176890486-whatever.

  45. I find the 1911 grip especially with thin grip panels the most comfortable full size semiautomatic pistol to shoot, no plastic fantastic can do better. The tuned trigger on a 1911 is what every Glock owner wishes he had.

  46. WTF does Travis Pike know? 1911’s “obsolete”? Bullshit to obsolete and Bullshit to Travis Pike, too! Lay any 1911 down, put ANY other semi-auto pistol next to it, and what do you see? Looks like everyone copied that design even one made today. Too heavy? Damn right it’s heavy and made to last! I’ve got my grandfather’s 1911 that turns 100 years old this year and it’s still going strong. It’s all original except for the recoil spring I replaced about 25 years ago. Accurate? Dead on with 230 grain FMJ or even JHP’s, too, and it’s a pleasure to shoot. That’s the ammo this weapon was meant to shoot. Capacity? Sure, it’s just 7+1 but if you can’t “get it done” with 8 rounds you better get your ass out of there or grab your shotgun. I have to give it to Travis on size but I like the 1911’s so I carry a Combat Commander and have no trouble concealing it. You dress for concealment no matter what you carry. Now here’s a question for Travis. “Are your plastic guns going to be around in 100 years and still work as well as they did the day they were new.?” Personally, I think Travis Pike is full of shit when he says the 1911’s are obsolete.

  47. Still shoot safely? Still get rounds and mags? Then how the hell is it outdated? Might not want one but that does not make it outdated. Be more than glad to take one off of, or out of, someone’s hands.

  48. My wife and I both enjoy our 1911s. She has a Government Model and I have a Commander model. They shoot great and are extremely accurate. My first pistol was a 1911, back in the early 1980s and I qualified on one in the Army.

    Having said all that, neither of us carry a 1911 as our EDC. Too heavy, low capacity, and not as reliable as other guns we can carry. Neither of us carry our EDC with the safety on, preferring either a striker fired or DA/SA that can be deployed quickly. So, I guess I have to say I agree with the author, although I know that the 1911 fanboys will rip on me. But, in the end we carry what we like and what we feel most competent and comfortable with.

  49. “Don’t worry, Junior. That’s a .45 ACP, and it *probably* doesn’t hold enough rounds for him to hit either one of us.

    “Junior? Junior??”

  50. I don’t care what anyone says.
    Shooting a 1911 is the best feeling in the world of shooting hand guns.
    Others may be stronger carry more rounds. But none give one the same feeling as a 1911 does.
    A solid well preforming chunk of steel beats a piece of plastic any day.
    I own both. Ill take 1 of 5 overweight 1911s over any of the other 14 handguns I own.

  51. There is no replacement for accuracy. Most quality 1911’s are accurate. The fastest in a gunfight doesn’t mean crap if you miss. Spray and pray or just hit em once. I’ll take my 1911. It’s accurate and reliable. Have never had a issue jamming in a class. That’s just talk from a hater. Plastic guns have no soul. A 1911 is like a piece of me. I’m at one with it. If you need extra rounds in a self defense situation you can’t most likely shoot anyway. Extra mags reload pretty fast. The 1911 is still around today because they are reliable and sexy. You can actually tell your holding a gun not some plastic fantastic. If he or anyone else thinks they are outdated don’t buy one or sell what you have. This piece really sucks in my opinion. I want to see someone write about why glocks are a piece of shit and why to stay away from them.

  52. If the U.S. Military had demanded Germany send the original order of 200 Luger pistols rather than just forget about the order the U.S. Military pistol would have been the German Luger not the 1911. One of the gun mags some years ago provided the original documentation showing all this was true. A clerk at Abercrombie & Fitch lost the order the U.S. sent to Germany after the U.S. tested and wanted to adopt the Luger.

    Never the less since the U.S. did not adopt the Luger but the 1911 Colt its been worshiped by the Far Right despite just about everything believed about the History of the gun having been proven false. The Col. Thompson tests of 45 cal revolvers v/s smaller caliber automatics in Chicago Stock Yards proved to be rigged and much of a farce. Lurid tales of drug crazed Moro warriors impervious to pain making suicide charges and chopping up U.S. troops armed with anemic .38 Colt revolvers never happened either. Moro warriors found out in their first battle with U.S. murderous storm troopers that their hide shields were no match for U.S. machine guns or high power military rifles so they then went to a hit and run guerrilla war much as the American Indians did. The U.S. then decided to beat the Moros using the same tactics that proved so successful in wiping out the American Indians and that was to find the women and children and rape and murder all of them. The so called drugs the Moros took were leaves that were little more potent than taking aspirin.

    Jan Libourel found that there was no U.S. Army records claiming the .38 Long Colt was any more anemic than the later re-issued .45 Long colt out dated single action revolvers. So what was the real reason for the re-issue? Its very grim and it came from letters written by the troops themselves writing home to their parents of all people. The Troops admitted they tortured and raped young women as retribution for the guerrilla attacks that struck fear into their hearts when fighting the Moro Warriors in the jungle. After raping and torturing the women they found that no revolver calibers worked very well when attempting to kill the raped women and that even rifles often failed to kill right away so they then used short barrel shotguns which they claimed to be the best weapon to carry out mass murder.

    After 13 years of mayhem and mass murder the U.S. promised the rebels they would be granted immunity if they laid down their arms which they did and then the U.S. murdered them all in prison so ending just another U.S. Imperialist invasion in Asia which was preceded in China in 1896 and would be duplicated in Vietnam years later.

    In 1945 the U.S. Military carried out a test comparing the .45 acp 1911 to the Ingles High Power and found the .45 acp bounced off a military helmet at only 35 yards while the 9×19 penetrated the helmet at an astonishing 125 yards and might have done it at even longer range but no one could hit the helmet further away than 125 yards. See the book “The Ingles Diamond”

    Since then the myth of the 1911 has never died despite live animal tests in Mexico by Pistolero Magazine that proved the 1911 was not any more deadly than the 9×19 or the .38 Special which for practical purposes was very close to the original .38 Long Colt used in the Philippine Island War.

    I might add the 1911 was only used in the last year of the 13 year war in the Philippine Islands war. And again Jan Libourel found no U.S. Military records stating that it performed any better than the pistols used before it was issued. None.

    Today with more modern pistols that are lighter in weight, have smaller grip diameters, and were designed to feed expanding ammo they make the 1911 an old dinosaur that few people out on the street carry these days. In the real world plastic is king both because of cost , reliability and light weight.

    I might add contrary to popular myth the most sought after pistol of WWII both in the Far East Theater and the European Theater of war was the FN High Power with its 13 shot magazine. Everyone wanted one, the Japanese that went to great lengths to capture the Chinese Contract Canadian Ingels pistols and the Germans used the FN made pistols and the U.S. troops that wanted one to carry as well and did so at every opportunity. Obviously they had not problem killing people with the 9×19

    I might add in the real world few people like the recoil of the 1911 or its lower cartridge capacity or its more difficult take down procedure compared to the modern high capacity and low recoil plastic pistols so popular in 9×19. And many people cannot grasp the grip of the 1911 because of its large circumference nor reach its slide release lever without shifting their grip. Without a modern de-cocker there have been many accidents using 1911 pistols which is why the U.S. Military for years demanded troops carry one with the chamber empty. Many modern pistols are far safer to carry that have de-cockers.

    If it had not been for the recently developed brittle MIM cast parts along with cheap cast frames the 1911 would now only be available to the well healed gun owners that would have one just for snob appeal but no real practical value out on the street as they would be too expensive for such use. The common man today carries what he can afford and the cast iron high end 1911’s just are not affordable to the man in the street making his minimum part time wage in 21st Century Capitalvania. Its no secret that the Glock 19 is perhaps the most popular street gun carried today and in 9mm caliber.

    • That entire story about the .45 and 9 with the army is made up. CriscoKid.

      What, did you think we forgot about you? You “joined the NRA in 1952”, are a member of a “democrat only gun club in Maine”, and you make up stories about weak .45 is, to include how it “bounces off of window shades”.

      Now get mad and threaten to sue me again.

    • “The common man today carries what he can afford and the cast iron high end 1911’s just are not affordable to the man in the street making his minimum part time wage in 21st Century Capitalvania. Its no secret that the Glock 19 is perhaps the most popular street gun carried today and in 9mm caliber.”

      Agreed and well stated VLAD TEPES. I respect owners of the 1911 BUT it is called the 1911 because that’s when it was introduced, 108 years ago. No doubt it is a handsome gun but like any piece of equipment whose technology is over a hundred years old, it requires special maintenance. Many people (at least the ones I shoot with) simply can’t be bothered. The ease in maintenance of a Glock is much preferred.

      I can understand, I think, the fanaticism off 1911 owners. I own a ’69 Camaro Z-28 which I wouldn’t part with for the world. I think it is the greatest car in exisitance. That said, I would never drive it cross-country because my Honda is infinitely more reliable and user friendly.

      If a person wants to carry 108 year old technology that’s fine with me. But I (and many others) will continue to go with more modern era weaponry for the most obvious reasons.

    • “Mom, please write our congressman and have the Army adopt a .45. The .38 isn’t killing my rape victims quick enough”

      I’d love to see Ken Burns have David McCullough narrate that!

    • Vlad, I don’t think many of us here are bothering to read your copy-and-paste drivel anymore. it was entertaining for a while but now mostly just a waste of time. Also, up to 1% Neanderthal DNA has also been discovered in Chinese populations and 5-6 more hominin species’ DNA has been found in modern humans. If you are an actual person posting you get an “A” for effort but an “F” for actually convincing anyone of anything.

  53. A few things I’d point out. I’m no 1911 fanboy, but I like the guns well enough. The first is that capacity isn’t so bad IF one wants to shoot 45. 45 double stacks are extremely wide and nigh impossible for some shooters. Now maybe that’s a strike against 45s, but let’s put the caliber war aside- if you choose 45 the 1911 platform is a solid choice.

    As for weight, this too is not solely a negative. A heavier pistol will shoot better and allow quicker follow ups especially with powerful ammo. Some people might choose added controllability over more comfortable carry. This is especially true in the case of a nightstand gun.

    Finally reliability- yes the ultra compact 1911s have reliability issues (and so do most subcompact guns). But 1911s tend to be pretty ammo permissive in my experience. I’ve NEVER heard of RIA being so picky as to ONLY run ball. You definitely got a lemon there.

    Even if all this wasn’t true, obsolete is a strong term. It shouldn’t be used just for guns that have some disadvantages but otherwise keep up just as well with the most modern guns out there. SAA- obsolete. The single action and reload make it no competition for anything a DA revolver or autoloader can do. Bolt-action rifles? Obsolete- they cannot keep up in any sense with a quality semi. But no, a handgun design with a few (relatively minor) drawbacks is not obsolete.

  54. A 1911 in 6.5 creedmoor would be better than any other weapon in history. If John Browning had access to 6.5 cm he would have used it in every design. A 1911 chambered for 6.5 CM in the hands of our military would guarantee or security forever and would likely end all future wars before they start.

  55. I was an RO for a short period in a practical pistol competition group. I used my lightly modified G23, and consistently felt well equipped in this group.

    Then one day a guy stepped up with a Springfield Range Officer and totally changed my mind. He didn’t look fast. He didn’t have many rounds. But every round went exactly where he Intended. And the times at the end of it were far beyond what I was capable of.

    I have since switched to a Springfield (I know, don’t need to be told), EMP 9, 4” conceal carry contour model. It is my everyday carry, and has totally replaced my G23. It IS thinner. A lot thinner. If you take max measurements based upon the ambi safety, it’s close. But the entire rest of the gun is way thinner than the glock.

    It prints far less. It shoots way more accurately and easily. The ergonomics and trigger are sublime. Everybody that try’s it loves it. The only way my modified glock is better is by its 3 round surplus. Every single other metric, this gun just shoots. It’s been reliable, it feels great, it carries easier, it’s big enough to shoot accurately, yet small enough to conceal, it looks amazing. I haven’t shot the G23 in months.

    • Right on. I’ve owned and carried what sounds like a wish list of high end fighting pistols. The UK USP would raise eyebrows, FNX gets attention among those who know, but whether it’s a gunner or a first timer, everyone loves my old colt 1911. It just feels right, the trigger is awesome, and most find it’s laser accurate for them. When people want to shoot my pistols, it’s the 1911 they’re looking for. It makes newbies hit and experts into surgeons.

  56. “Size is an entirely different issue. Small 1911s are famously finicky. Advances have been made, and companies like Colt, Springfield, and Remington have made reliable production compact 1911s.”

    Not a word about the many Sig 1911 models. I have carried a Sig Ultra Compact 2-Tone off and on for the last seven years. It loves 230 gr FMJ / JHP rounds. I tried the DRT 150 gr frangible HP’s in it…they work perfectly and substantially reduce the felt recoil…they are my standard carry in that weapon now.

  57. The 1911 is obsolescent.

    It will defend your house/self very well- BUT

    I have several non-1911 .45’s. They are all very accurate and have never jammed for me.

    They also cost less than my 1911.

    Its not obsolete- that’s a black powder Colt Navy, but if you have $400 to spend- there are a whole lot of non 1911’s that will fit the bill, not too many 1911’s, certainly not an American one.

  58. I don’t get why a person would write an article like this. What do they expect the reader to do? It’s almost like the writer is really an anti-gunner. Next week they’ll write an article talking about why Glocks are bad. Eventually they will have written articles saying why all gun brands and styles are bad. I guess as we read each article and get rid of the guns they’ve put down, they assume we will all disarm ourselves.


    • “I don’t get why a person would write an article like this.”

      Considering that not all gun owners have handguns, considering that the audience for information about guns is not restricted to POTG, considering that many potential new handgun owners may be uninformed about various available pistols/revolvers, considering that many who are inexperienced with the array of handguns on the market, considering that much useless and wrong information is available about handguns for self-defense, perhaps someone who observes the potential damage to be done from being very uninformed about various handguns, considering that for many the legend of the 1911 might lead to an ill-informed purchase decision, then perhaps someone of experience might be tempted to put out some information designed to allow new handgun buyers to make better decisions?

      • Yeah. I’ll CONSIDER what you just wrote for at least 1 minute. Doesn’t mean we can’t be friends. LOL

  59. Out dated, most certainly. A classic firegunm, most certainly. It’s one of the few classics I can afford. And for me, can we say this and not get Red Flagged, I love my 1911. Same as I do the 03-A3,

  60. Oh and then there’s this. Would you rather get hit in the head with a Glock, a 1911 orrrr a Meat Cleaver. It seems the further back in time you go the less you want to get hit in the head with stuff

  61. Capacity, weight, reliability–a Glock 19 has all those things, yes.

    Now… shoot a 2 inch group at 10 yards that actually hits POA (and not 3 inches left of it). The vast majority of shooters can’t. With a 1911? I’ve seen beginners make all the holes touch.

    A 1911 requires more tuning to be reliable. But a gun that can put a round exactly where you want it… isn’t obsolete.

  62. Outdated, No. Still works as advertised. Have there been several technological advances in handguns since the 1911A1 came out, yes. Gun folks a a fickled lot, shifting between calibers, mag capacities, materials, the tacticool hot gun of the month going to be a popular workhorse for as long as the1911and still be in wide production after a 100 years? Probably not. Magic bullets can and do FAIL, “entry hole size” is reliable. You have cheap poor function revolvers, pistols, ARs and better quality versions in all of them, no reason to judge 1911s any harsher than others. Why would big companies like Remington and Ruger jump into the 1911 game after ignoring it for decades? Its a decent market and its not drying up in spite of the naysayers who stated the 1911 was killed by wonder-nines and before that:the 357mag killed it. Yet it survives! Weight? Really? I just LMAO when someone complains about a handgun or rifle is too heavy (carry/shoot). Too spoiled by plastic and alloy, Man-up! A 1911A1 doesn’t need to be the best defensive house gun or best CC gun or the hottest new range toy, it just needs to be what it is and there are a lot of folks that like that.

    Lastly, the 1911A1 is the most beautiful and efficient design of any handun ever made IMHO.

  63. I started my adult life with a Metro Arms Amarican Classic II. I shot it tell most of the bluing was gone and the the damn thing went full semi auto because the hammer wouldn’t stay back. I used to CC with it but I went to an XDS then a P229 and now a Glock 19. The only reason the 1911 is a safe queen now is that I had a gunsmith replace all the worn out innards with Wilson Combat parts and had a custom cerikote job done. If I have to use it I would loose my shit if it is in a evidence locker for months. Not so much with the others. Just go buy another one. I have a old marine friend that says if it’s not a 1911 then it’s not a pistol. He wont even give my G19 or G20 a try and I love trolling him.

  64. Author can word for word replace 1911 with “revolver” and sell the story again. Lol.
    A lot of Commentors are confusing Authors term “outdated” for obsolete, they are different things. But the Author is soley focused on outdated as it applies primarly to a defensive carry handgun. However, outdated does not mean it won’t get the job done, just that there are technological advances that surpass the 107 year old design. Same “outdated” statements could be said about revolvers but they also get the job done.

    One of the best and most common statements for a defensive handgun is find one you like and can shoot/handle it well, then train/practice. Other peoples choices don’t matter.

  65. Yes, the 1911 is outdated. That doesn’t mean it’s bad, just that technology and society have moved on. A Lamborghini Countach is outdated, but I still wouldn’t mind having one.

  66. Given the statistical realities that
    1)The vast majority of us will never need to fire our gun in self defense
    2)If we do the situation will be over in 2-3 rounds, meaning capacity really doesn’t matter
    3)All of the common modern defensive calibers have roughly the same performance in actual shootings meaning caliber doesn’t rally matter within the common category
    4)All of the common modern defensive calibers have roughly the same rate of totally failing to stop an assailant meaning caliber doesn’t rally matter within the common category

    It doesn’t matter what you carry as long as it is a metallic cartridge in a common modern defensive caliber such as .380, 9mm, .38, .357, .40, .45, or 10mm in any platform.

    It is not outdated and is fine to carry.

    A 1911 is just as good a SAA, Glock, Sig, Ruger, Kel Tec, Springfield, Hi Point, etc, etc, etc.

    Is a Model T or a 57 or a 1980’s Trans Am outdated? They still get you where you are going as a Smart Car will.

    • Considering point #2, it think the figure for DGUs was about 40% in the home, and home invasions often involve 2-4+ assailants, capacity may come into play. Having to use a fire extinguisher (about 350k calls to FDs per annum in the U.S.(I think)) to defend the home is a little less common but we emptied 5 extinguishers recently, glad we had them. Apples and oranges certainly but capacity and reloads relate. Insure for what you cannot afford to lose.

      • Note: I’m not bashing 1911s regarding capacity here, just the thought of “Well, I’ll only need to fire 2-3 times in a situation.” I have no experience with 1911s but am more interested in a couple now after reading comments from experienced owners. Para has some with 14rd mags in .45 so there we are with capacity.

  67. Interesting article, but you left out some important advantages of the 1911. It has a better trigger than any striker fired pistol. The extra weight helps mitigate muzzle rise and perceived felt recoil. The grip angle provides for a more natural point of aim for many people. With a proper belt and holster even a full size 1911 is extremely easy to carry concealed. I’ve done it for decades. The capacity may be an issue in rare instances. If your shooting incident turns into a firefight, then after the first few rounds you should have already moved to cover where you can reload if necessary. If you didn’t seek cover, then it’s your tactics that are flawed, not the gun capacity.

    Of all the handguns I’ve owned, and that’s a lot, the only pistol I have owned that never malfunctioned once even after 4K rounds is my full size Wilson Combat 1911. And about 1/3 of those were hollow points. As a former U.S. Army Special Forces soldier (retired), I have fired hundreds of handguns and rifles. I’m also an NRA Instructor and have participated in steel challenge competition. I have carried concealed for 44 years and my opinion is the 1911 is anything but “outdated”. It’s all a matter of personal preference. BTW, I also carry a full size N Frame 5″ barrel S&W 627 concealed and have total confidence in the “outdated” attributes of the wheel gun.

  68. Personal choice and all that, but I tend to come down on the same side as the article. I love shooting a 1911, and I would never feel inadequately armed carrying one.

    However, if I knew I was going to have to fight for my life, and I can’t have a long gun, I’ll take a Walther PPQ

    [recognizing that if I knew someone was trying to get me, avoiding the bastard is plan A]

  69. Not too sure about the limitations on ammo the author describes. My stock Springfield Loaded shoots 230gr. handball and 180 gr. reduced power target loads equally well, and I haven’t even bothered to play around with recoil springs. I do agree the full size 1911 is a bit heavy for regular carry in my situation but I would not feel under armed because of the capacity.

  70. Would like to put my non-cents into this…

    1. 1911 may be obsolete, but it is a social icon; all the gun free zone signs in my burg display both a revolver, and a semi-auto….the 1911, in silhouette. Not an M&P, not a CZ, not a GLOCK, not an XD.

    2. JBM designed the GP-35, but died before completely finishing the prototype. His replacement, Dieudonne Saive (pardon my French/Belgique), finished the produce. He improved the pistol to the point that the GP has a bad rep for a terrible trigger.

    3. If magazine capacity is the litmus test for a non-obsolete firearm, think about this….there is a cop walking around who survived a firefight with a perp. The perp was hit 15 times with .40 rounds, and still lived to get unsuccessful medical attention. That cop now carries 140 rounds when on patrol. Does everyone need 140 rounds on hand? If not, why 100, or 50, or 20? Is a handgun with 15 round capacity obsolete because another gun carries 20 rounds in the magazine?

    4. It is possible to imagine a scenario where a person would need a belt-fed handgun, but is that plausible? If a person has only a handgun, how is an attack by a full squad of screaming terrorists to be dealt with. If planning for “worst case”, how can we ignore the need for grenades? Or indirect supporting fire?

  71. Troll article is troll.

    But really, stop with the unreliable 1911 nonsense because it’s clear you’re either recycling old 1911 tropes you heard about are don’t have a clear grasp of the firearm you’re dealing with. Half of it comes from the Army recycling their inventory well past their effective shelf life, cannibalized and pieced together from similarly abused frames. The other half are scrubs using sub-par magazines, which account for a huge number of cycling issues.

    Any modern 1911 made using modern processes and machinery doesn’t exhibit these issues unless you bought the cheapest, Turkish made 1911 available or modded it out well beyond design spec. Hell, nobody was complaining about them in WW2, or you’re going to have to point me to those instances where the 1911 was the most unreliable PSO on the battlefield to warrant the reputation you’re trying to attribute it. Good luck on that. While you’re their, find me those stories about how the grip safety impeded their use. I’ll be here.

    Capacity. Your opinion is immediately invalidated by the fact that most double stack guns are fat and my not serve their desired role as well as a single stack, lower capacity firearm. By citing capacity, you are arbitrarily ruling that all single stack pistols are obsolete. Good job, gun snob.

    Weight. Were you born with T-rex arms? Are you serious? How are you carrying a double stack service pistol around if you can’t even hold a single stack 1911? My XDm 3.8 double stack easily weighed the same as my 1911. And as a minor point, weight helps with recoil. There are more than a few very light weight pistols I can name that are stupidly light, but murder on the hands.

    Price. I obtained my Rem R1 *suppressed* for under six bills. That’s not much more than a new Glock, let alone one with custom work. An R1 enhanced can be gotten for less. Springfield is a bit more pricey, but not by much. Hell, RIA, dude. Those are usually good, budget 1911. Phillipines pistols, but they have a solid rep.

    Oh, and as far as truth in advertising goes, my next pistol is probably going to be a 365.

    In all, I’m getting the vibe that you’re just regurgitating internet gripes mixed in with your own bias in an effort to sound knowledgable. Good job. Your credibility suffers for it.

      • Vlad lives in Ohio, and Maine, and Europe, smells like a bad pickle, and responds with copy-and-paste paragraphs from a library. Let’s have fun and trigger the Vlad-bot. Fake blood on oranges murder America suicide angry hillbilly mass shooting blame democrats republicans obama hillary clinton trump gun control ignorance superior. Unicorns and lollipops.

  72. My wife chooses handguns on ergonomics alone. She’s picked a 5″ .45ACP 1911 and a first-gen 9mm Shield.

    Here we are in 2019 and still nothing matches a well-tuned 1911 single action trigger. Not a Korth, not a SIG P210, not a custom CZ…nothing.

  73. >The 1911 holds anywhere from seven to nine rounds depending on size and caliber which isn’t that different from a gun designed for concealed carry.

    However, the 1911’s capacity and size aren’t comparable to a concealed carry gun.

    Pick one. Not that it matters, because this is where I tuned out.

  74. The M1911 is still totally relevant. It’s the men who have become outdated. They can no longer read, write, think or change a tire, and they think they look good in skinny jeans, topknots and “man” buns.

  75. I don’t have any m1911s , but would LOVE a .38super. anyway, the double stack m1911s in .45 or 9mm ( and some but not enough in 38 super) solved the capacity issue for those that need it. and as far as it being out dated , well the all metal ones, they won’t melt if you leave it in your car in AZ . and it is a simple gun. and simple is good. less to go wrong, and not to mention how many parts there are out there if something does. until we have 40 megawatt plazma atomic death ray with doppler beam sharpening guns I think the m1911 will always have a place in peoples collections. and they will still be used to protecting people just like they have been.

  76. I used to carry my ATI 1911 because I’m a far better shot with it than my other pistols. I can put all 8 shots on a target close enough to make one big hole. Not so much with my other pistols. But now, however, I carry it because I have no other pistols.

  77. Personally I wonder what wrong with that guys RIA 1911?? I have a friend with a 45 and I have one in 9mm. Neither miss a beat.

  78. Outdated? Yes. (Don’t get butthurt yet) But it is still a gun, and carry one PERIOD. That simple.

    That said, round count recoil, and size in more modern designs makes you have to rethink your purpose for carrying a 1911. Most who do, are older. They are stubborn. PERIOD. Like this comment section proves.

    Personally, I’ll take something easier to AIWB, more rounds, and “faster” to get back on a target.

  79. NO. The 1911 does everything it needs to do,in fact it’s capabilities far e feed the abilities of the vast majority of those that use it. When your gun doesn’t get the job done it is you not the gun. In all honesty a 5 shi t chubby is more than enough. If you faints git er dun with five then you got no place being near firearms.

  80. Someone should’ve warned this poor guy against sprinkling glitter on whatever the hell he’s been sniffing or snorting. I wonder, too, exactly what color the sky is on his home planet.

  81. Is the 1911 obsolete? Yes. The plastic wondernines have it beat in price, weight, cost of manufacture, and even durability.

    Can it be updated? It already has. It’s called the 2011.

    A 2011 with an aluminum frame in 9mm addresses all of those problems to some extent while maintaining everything about the 1911 that is GOOD. If a company like S&W were to begin producing them, they would even be semi-affordable, because S&W already has one line for 1911 production and line line for plastic wondernine production with the M&P. Combine the two lines and S&W could produce a sub-$1000 2011 which would be the best of all worlds because S&W also has a functional external extractor which fixes a problem on the 1911 that JMB himself was never happy with.

    If I could choose between a CZ-P10C or M&P9 for around $500 and a S&W 2011in 9mm for $800 I would go with the 2011 every time.

  82. They have made 1911 out of Aluminum since 1949. That’s well over half a century. You don’t need fancy polymers to shave 10 or 12 ounces off a carry gun.

    Every time someone drags out this tired old strawman, they seem to forget that you can shoot a steel frame for competition, and carry an alloy frame. My carry 1911 weighs 25 oz unloaded, and is a heck of a lot easier to carry than a fat double stack block.

  83. I have carried a Sig Traditional Match Elite .40 1911 as a duty pistol as a Deputy Sheriff for many years. I too am a firearms instructor. I have shot just about every type of handgun out there, and weighed the pros and cons of each. I can’t find anything even remotely close to the 1911 for ergos, accuracy, and reliability. I have been to many classes and trainings where Glocks either choked or broke parts. I have fired 1000’s of rounds through my 1911’s, and the only issue I ever had was a couple bad rounds of remanufactured ammo that were out of spec. I can run our state LE rifle qualification at 100% every time with my 1911. Most officers I train can’t even do that with their AR’s. The 1911 is old, and a little heavier than its competitors, but saying it has reliability issues and is outdated is just plain ignorant, but to each their own. I love going to trainings and equals where everyone gives me carp about my pistol, but when it is my turn in the line, it’s all eyes on me, and afterward everyone is saying “Holy Shit, that gun can really shoot”.

  84. I’m very fond of 1911’s. Carried and shot them for almost 40 years. But if a novice asked me what gun he should buy I would say, “If you need a hobby, get a 1911. If you need a weapon to carry 24/7, get a Glock.”

  85. Enjoyed the comments. If a clan gets their religion/sacred cow desicrated they huddle together, assure each other how right they are. Use emotion, anecdotal stories as evidence. Call into question the intelligence and lineage of the author. Funny stuff.
    Never mind the man makes valid points.

  86. No other handgun trigger beats a good 1911 trigger, period. Then there is that 12 months or longer wait for a custom hand fitted 1911 from a dozen or more companies. It may be outdated but it’s been in high demand for over 100 years and shows no signs of slowing down.

  87. Former Phoenix Cop here. I can recall 3 or 4 people shot with 45acp from a 1911. One of them I had to do and he went down like a bolt of lightning hit his head, BUT he lived to go to jail. Another was shot with the muzzle against his lower back and the entry wound looked like a rifle exit wound. He was dead before he hit the ground. The third was shot 4 or 5 times in the front chest and when I arrived he was nonchalantly walking around picking up the empty brass for souvenirs. I had to beg him to go to the hospital. So you never know whats going to happen until you pull the trigger. In 1977 I built a custom 1911 with the sweetest trigger ever, but the gun felt strange to me, until I met a retired Marine by the name of Jeff Cooper. He taught me to love and respect that old Colt Government Model, and I still have it today. But I carry a Kahr P45.

  88. Another stupid article about the 1911, whining that the author isn’t quite man enough to carry a 1911.
    This ‘Marine’ obviously is just an effeminate boy who is more educated in what hair products he needs than guns.
    And yea, I’m a Marine myself, and am msn enough to handle the weight of a 1911.

    • lol i am not sure it is just about being Man enough. I am a very tall woman (6′ and australian size 16) and carrying a 1911 around all day would not bother me. I have been known (when i was younger) to carry a full wood Lee Enfield or a (again full wood) M95 styer around all day in mountain country and not just talking a slow stroll but covering about 20 miles in the day. Most men today complain about the weight of the average light barrel hunting rifle. I still only have full woods or heavy target barrels.

      • Are you talking about rifle forearms that extend to the end of the barrel? If so, have always wondered if that configuration is just style, or is there a ballistic advantage?

  89. If you want higher capacity, there are double stack 1911s out there. Otherwise learn tactical reloading. Most (not all ) gun fights are pretty well decided in the first few rounds anyway. You want lighter weight – first i would challenge the validity of the objection, anyone should be able to easily handle the weight (you are a Marine, so am I so we both know we can handle the weight). Also interms of weight, some companies are now making poly framed 1911 to reduce the weight. As for reliability, I would put the objection up that what you are referring too are the minituarized 1911’s and as we all know a basically new platform might have bugs to iron out. They will be ironed out! Full size has no issues at all in reliability and infact has a superior reputation. ergonomics, accuracy, dependability – it has it all and is still a viable, and for many of us, a preferred option

  90. A long time ago 1969 I was unfortunate enough to have used my Army issued 1911 against two individuals wanting to do harm to me after my M16 jammed both of them are now as dead as they were that day. I regard the 1911 as one of the best hand weapons ever invented on other pistol comes close to either its longevity of it effectiveness. So if a marine tell you it usefulness if over ask him if so isn’t the corps usefulness over when the Army as done everything the do marine.

  91. The superior gun is the one you can hit the target with. Somehow I can’t hit the broad side of a barn with a plastic 9mm but I’m very accurate with my basic Remington 1911 government model. Eight extra rounds don’t mean shit when they all miss, do they? YMMV

  92. The 1911 is tactically obsolete. Those that still use the platform are characterized by practicing slick on a gun game flat range using brown targets with no target discrimination and move with crab like movements from static target position to static target position.


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