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Good luck with the front sight and trigger pull.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ok, got it out of my system.

[Text courtesy Please click over to their most excellent blog to convince their writers that sharing original content with TTAG is worth their while.]


More from The Truth About Guns:

Gun Review: Colt 1911 Government Series 80 .45 ACP

Gun Review: Kimber Camp Guard 10mm 1911

Gun Review: Springfield Armory 1911 Range Officer 9mm

Taurus Adds a New 1911 Commander 9mm

The History of Mauser – As Told Through Its Pistols

Wilson Combat’s Brand New X-TAC and X-TAC Elite Commander 1911 Pistols

New from Taylor’s & Company: 1911 A1 Full-Size and Compact Carry 9mm 1911s

New-ish From Rock Island Armory: XT 22 Magnum 1911

NRA Gun of the Week: Browning Black Label 1911 in .380

Double-Action Semi Pistols Have Become The Manual Transmission Of Handguns

You Know, A 1911 Goes Great in a Kydex Holster

Forget the Spare Magazine, Give Me a ‘New York Reload’

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

      • Agreed, I got the commander size bull barrel from Desert Eagle and I love it, and carry it every day.

      • Yeah the 1911 is an antique, and less reliable than plastic fantastics. However the 1911 is 1000% cooler and more fun and retains its value and there is a beyond healthy aftermarket to play in. The 1911 is classy. Poly guns are not. I am a citizen not a special forces operator. The 1911 is somewhat of an experts weapon and should not be carried by any but very expirenced shooters, but I’ll take my Colts and Rock Islands any day. Because they do the job I need to do very well and very reliably. If I need to fire 10,000,000,000 rounds this week or join combat is extreme conditions I’ll use my hi cap HK USP9. It’s a toolbox. You use the tool you want or need for the job at hand. Long live the 1911!

        • 1911 ruled over them wars look at how many they won none with a dessert gun ha 2911 A1 best ever made west Germany sig to New gins or junk pure shit u should no a gun j browning made is best ever he new how build a war gun 1911 A1 good one hangs out shoots any new plastic junk a sig west Germany was best ever made hk Walter old school or no school

        • Is that gay as in “happy” or gay as in “damn, he has some style and flare” or gay as in “he likes to take homophobes like you from the back just to show them who the real fag is”. Not sure which you’re referring to, so that’s why I’m asking.

      • Springfield 1911 45 acp
        what a Piece of junk…. i have shot league for years using various guns from my collection and always had done well. till my Springfield came along no one could put 2 holes in the same embarrassed i set it up and we used it for target practice. it was a lot more fun then shooting it. and looking bad well every was looking bad.. what a piece of junk>>>

        • Son Springfield won wars look history up Springfield colt sig west Germany best ever made they run tons rounds it’s the new crap made now days u guys Bragg about I put a 2911@1 up against any that plastic junk and a sig west Germany up to. U buy guys made today not all but lots cheap crap u shoot a real war classic u good to go like they say they dount made um lk they use to 57 chev or a new cheap china juke car ha do the math u get what u buy workhorse s run and they better then new cheap made guns

      • Springfield 1911 45 acp
        what a Piece of junk…. i have shot league for years using various guns from my collection and always had done well. till my Springfield came along no one could put 2 holes in the same embarrassed i set it up and we used it for target practice. it was a lot more fun then shooting it. and looking bad well everyone was looking bad.. what a piece of junk>>>

        • Hi Ricky, had the same experience you did with Springfield. I had the Loaded 1911A1 .45 and the fitting left a bit to be desired. Even after I removed the ILS parts for the standard Colt parts which improved the trigger feeling significantly, it still didn’t shoot very accurately. I ended up selling it and getting a Colt Government Model (one of the new Series 70s) which shot a lot better. Springfield’s fitting must just not be very good.

          • This thread has been beaten to death; amazing, really. The 1911 seems to elevate passions on both sides of the argument and yet it continues to sell in huge numbers. That would seem to counter those who don’t like it.

            Yes, the design is 109 years old but so what? The wheel is almost as old as humanity itself and is still relevant. It only holds 7 or 8 rounds? The typical revolver holds 6 and few complain about that. It’s heavy? So are a lot of other handguns. It’s unreliable? Not in my experience which is extensive. If you have small hands, the grip is too large. OK, so nature gave you small hands; that’s not the fault of the 1911. Your small hands won’t do well with a large frame Colt or S&W revolver either.

            The 1911 isn’t accurate? The average, untuned 1911 is plenty accurate enough for normal handgun distances. An accurized 1911 will shoot groups with the best of them. I own five 1911A1 pistols and all are basic military spec and configuration. All are factory and all are reliable with FMJ, HP, SWC and truncated cone/flat nose bullets. I don’t care if the design is 109 years old; it works and works well.

            As I’ve previously said, if you don’t like the 1911 the DON’T OWN ONE!! But don’t tell me what I need to own or not own. That’s NOT your decision. It’s your OPINION and worth what I paid for it.

    • The author of that opinion piece could fertilize a sizable farm with the crap he spread. Tools to disassemble? None needed for a field cleaning and the whole thing can be taken apart with a screwdriver and a small punch. Maybe those are beyond the mechanical skills of the author.

      Personally, I really don’t care what he thinks of the 1911. He’s entitled to his opinion… no matter how wrong it is.

        • I know this is ancient but I was compelled.

          NO TOOLS for field strip.

          Punch and screwdriver to tear down the entire pistol to a heap of parts.

          You need “tools” for every firearm on Earth to reduce it to a pile of parts.

        • Yes, I too know that this is ancient, but I too could not resist.

          I must say that absolutely no tools are required to completely disassemble the 1911 and 1911A1, in their original military design.

          I first trained on a 1911A1 in the US Army in the first two months of 1958. We field stripped the pistol without any tools, and then used removed parts to complete a full disassembly. The firing pin, removed during a field strip, is used, for instance, as a punch to push out the Mainspring Housing Pin. The Sear Spring, as I remember, can be used to remove the Grip Screws.

          Anyway, no tools needed, as envisioned and designed by the esteemed Mr. John Browning to meet every Army specification.

          After leaving the Army in January 1965, I purchased my first 1911, a Colt civilian model Series 70. Carried it as a peace officer in California. Went on to carry it as a federal agent. Later, I started learning to modify these wonderful pieces of equipment. Then, I trained to hand build them from oversized frames and slides and parts. At 77, I am rebuilding an SA now, and have two Caspians in progress, one stainless and one carbon steel. My grandson has my original Colt. Besides three that I have built under the watchful eyes of three different master pistolsmiths, I also own a Wilson Combat, built to my order. As I mentioned, I have three in the works.

          Needless to say, the Wilson sailed through its paces during my testing regimen and break in. Five hundred rounds with various cartridges, rapid fire, limp wristing, ejection without a magazine in place, with nary a hiccup, and hits exactly where it is pointed. The three I built also function the same way. Two of them have gone through a four-day defensive pistol course firing over 600 rounds, and neither had a single failure of any kind. Neither were cleaned during their course, either, but only kept well lubed. I run my guns wet.

          I generally run Glocks through defensive pistol courses, as 9mm is cheaper to shoot than .45 ACP, and the training facility does not allow reloads. Also, my Glock 19s never need cleaning during a course and never have suffered any kind of failures. I like Glocks. I carry Glocks. If I could have only one pistol, it would be a Glock. Simple, few parts, durable, reliable, weather and wear resistant. Combat accurate. I can shoot them. I would trust my life to them. I have several, in both 9mm and .45 ACP. Full size, compact, and sub compact. But, my 1911s too are reliable, durable, accurate, easy to shoot, and lovely to hold, fondle, admire, handle, carry, shoot, and appreciate as fine examples of a time when American craftsmen used American tooling to create fine pieces of machinery from American steel.

          I suppose that is why us old farts who broke in on them still love them. But, you know, lots of young folks who never carried them in the military or on the job have learned to love them. Just look at the number of companies currently making them, production models, semi-custom models, custom pieces, Texas BBQ models, and variations, sizes, and calibers of all sorts from the old 5″ 1911 and 1911A1.

          To all detractors of the 1911 and its variations, I say, “Hail to JMB and his emblematic creation which has endured now for well over 100 years and continues to be produced, sold, and used around the world, but particularly here in its home, the good old USA. May it still be around for many years to come.”

    • Yankee guns nuts is just another Glock-fanboy who trolls 1911 users. I own both and there is no way anyone who is objective can say that a polymer whatever shoots nicer than a 1911 or similar all steel offering. Absolutely clueless.

      • I don’t think it’s do to much about hatred as it is just raw stupidity. I don’t care is 75%. but I sure as hell am concerned about my firearm being made the same way. And yes, Glocks DO FAIL” at about the same rate the other plastic pieces of shit do. I carried a .357 Magnum during my entire career It never failed, not one time However when a Glock Rep came in one day and wa finished blowing the Chief, we ended up with about 40 nw Glocks. First day at the range, I was watching a rook, imagine his surprise when he puller the trigger on his shiny new Glock and the slide, recoil spring, and whatever came off the front of his new super-gun. I don’t know which made it downrange first, the bullet or the slide. Seems that the plastic, yes you heard right, PLASTIC, recoil retaining rod snapped and the whole shit and kaboodle took flight.The Rep, the Chief, nor the sergeant knew what to say. I went to my vehicle, got my gift from the city, went back, handed it back to my sergeant and told him straight up, “if I have to carry that piece of shit I’m done”. I came back the range day 2, and qualified and was never again bothered with Glock’s “wonder weapon”.

        • Very well written. The only thing positive about plastic guns are the prices. Same goes for long arms. When I was in Nam, we had M-14’s. Orders came in to trade off the M-14’s for M-15 plastic rifles. I’ve never seen as many stove pipes, clogging and definitely no punch power. I used the AK-47 and was as close to perfect as possible. When the armorer said I had to supply my own ammo, here came the plastic, toy, rifle. I was not ready to check bodies for ammo. Some politician must have made a million dollars by switching, not only to plastic, but a bullet that was easily deflected and led to the refrain “Spray and pray.”

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

    3,000 + rounds and no problems.



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

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

        Let’s say I’m carrying my loaded/locked 1911 in a holster. I’d have to move the safety to “fire”, depress the grip safety, THEN pull the trigger in order to discharge a round. How often does this accidentally happen? Also, have you tried to rack the slide with the hammer down? It takes a good amount of force.

        “It’s a 100-year old design.”

        THE CREAM ALWAYS RISES TO THE TOP. Why would the design last this long? I guess because it works?

        “It needs tools to disassemble.”

        I can field strip a 1911 with no tools ,, just like every other pistol known to man. Name a pistol that doesn’t take tools to “completely disassemble”.

        LOL,, this guy knows ” The Truth About Guns”. I’m totally convinced……..

        • the 1911 is an icon ,it has been around for a long time and will continue to be. i had an old u.s army issue 1911-a1 that was loose as heck it ratteled bad but at 15 yards rapid fire i could put all rounds in a 4inch circle. name a gun that dont require tools to take down, let me introduce the broom handle mauser the gun was held in place by tension. the only screws were for the grip. that gun is even older and its a good gun too especiallt the chineese .45acp. ones. people fell in love with the 1911. i have !!!

          I agree with you, i am far from a 1911 “fanboy” but i own a colt 1911 that i bought brand new about 5 years ago…….i definetly think nastolgia played a big roll in the purchase and it never crossed my mind to even conceal carry the gun…….i bought it as a shooter for the range and as an “open carry” gun when i go hunting upstate……..i can field strip it in 30 seconds with no tools……and what does this even mean “And, as a single-action pistol, it is unsafe for 95% of its users to carry.”

          my personal opinion of this author is that he is an idiot and has no business writing articles on this level……..he makes false generalizations about a gun and considers them “facts” that are impossible to backup and continues on to the next topic without explaining his reasoning……..he does this to play on the feelings of the “plastic gun FANBOYS” which he obviously is……..

          lets talk “facts” about this authors generalizations………heres your “TRUTH ABOUT GUNS”

          1) LIE – you need a tool to disassemble the gun…….
          TRUTH – you need no tool to field strip the gun…….most firearms in existance will require a tool to completly disassemble the gun……..

          2) LIE – as a single action it is unsafe for 95% of users to carry
          TRUTH – WHAT? so a Glock with no safety other than the internal safety (which will still go off you pull the trigger? idk why they even pedal such garbage as a safety) is safer than a 1911 in the cocked position with its safety on??? im confused here……

          3) LIE – it has unreliable magazines
          TRUTH – have you ever heard of chip mcormick or wilson combat or are you continuing to talk about of your ass again

          4) LIE – Direct quote “the issue with slide-stop failures, and the whole internal extractor/external extractor situation. ”
          TRUTH – since you just throw out generalizations and peddle them as facts while quickly moving on to the next topic before things can be fact checked then its hard to know exactly what your refering too here……..but 1911’s original design has an internal extractor – John Browning came up with the external for later semi auto pistols because it was more cost effective……..the only drawback with the internal extractor that is have heard is that dropping a round through the ejection port and dropping the slide was bad and a strain on the extractor…….if that is such a bad thing that you have to bad mouth a 1911 than shame on you……..or just buy one with an external extractor…….

          5) LIE – 1911’s needs after market gunsmithing
          TRUTH – no they don’t – the guys who do are professionals who do a TON of shooting and want there guns exactly a certain way – as they would for any firearm……this is not a 1911 thing…….

          6) the definition of a “fanboy” – 1. A person who is completely loyal to a game or company reguardless of if they suck or not. 2. A pathetic insult often used by fanboys themselves to try and put down people who don’t like whatever it is they like.
          – This sir is you…… the only fanboy i see in this article……….i have nothing against black plastic guns……i own many of them…….i feel that every gun has a place and everyone has there own preferences…….just because its not your cup of tea does not mean it sucks…….

        • The 1911 frame has been molested by imposter firearms manufacturers for years. Any bad reputation comes from poor and pointless engineering. Firearms are not toys like building blocks and will always be a tool for adults to respect. That being said, people need to stop calling an excellent firearm out of place simply because society changes. The 1911 isn’t bad because it’s harder to conceal than a Saturday night special or any other polymer plinker. They shouldn’t have to be concealed anyway, problem solved. I don’t care how well you maintain your plastic firearm, it’ll be junk as an heirloom. Remember the gun trust? Pointless with plastic! Sure the poly’s may work. I have one, but they won’t last my lifetime. They’re disposable!

          • Have you ever done ballistic test with heavier .45 ammo in very short barrels? The bleed a lot energy and fail to stabilize rounds.

        • Actually, the original 1911 design allowed for complete disassembly with just the use of a spent casing. I think (not willing to try it) I can fully disassemble inglis hi power with nothing at all external to parts of the gun…

      • This is all just internet click bait. Now I concede something, I would never carry a 1911 because it is humoungous (I carry a Smith Bodyguard or a PPK, the other ancient, yet accurate gun on the hit list). I use Critical Defense loads, by the by, and the PPK eats them like candy. I would pity the fool shot with it, really, like any other gun on earth.

        Now the 1911… Let’s see… It has killed machete wielding Philipino insurgents at close quarters, Indians (both kinds) Mexican banditos, Canadians, Americans, Germans ( both kinds) Japanese, Malaysians, Afghans, Iraqis, Al Qaeda, ISIS, Koreans ( both kinds) Chinese, Cubans, Angolans, Vietnamese (both kinds)….

        You get the point. To this day, it is the most revered, dependable, and deadly combat small arms round ever developed and used fired from the most revered, dependable and deadly handgun design of any period in human history. And yes, Virginia, using non Navy SEAL, Delta Force, Green Beret, high speed low drag, laser powered fast expanding special sauce ammunition. Ball Ammo. Now it just so happens that Navy SEALS, Special Forces soldiers, and anyone else with a desire to live still prefers them.

        Because it is still the best war gun ever made. Who cares what John Civilian wants to carry? Let’s face it, 99.675 percent of those guns will never be fired in anger. Its fun to talk on the internet about ballistic gelatin and blah blah blah… The 9mm is a replacement for marksmanship skills and my .380… Well it also has killed millions of people with ball ammo, is, well, not very big.

        But ho ho… Take one look at .357, .38, and.45 ACP. Nuff said… Anyway, carry what fits and doesn’t break the number one rule of gun fighting ( have a gun); but don’t leave behind John Browning’s turn of the previous century firepower if you are actually going to need a handgun.

        And yes, I am a handgun combat survivor, 1980’s vintage, the reason why… Yep, an antiquated design that has yet to be equalled for combat power and effectiveness. Everything else is just a convenience or safety compromise.

        • Very well said.I especially love your closing sentence.Ive never heard it put that way but I think your premise does account for the large majority of changes and/or new designs post 1911.

        • I have a theory myself… all the new guns (1911 clones or not) are simply here to give fledgling engineers jobs redesigning something that doesn’t need redesigning. Sad thing is, mall ninjas really go for bullet-slinging Tupperware, making a huge market for them (because we all know about 75% of “gun people” on the internet are mall ninjas, at heart, if not in actual words and deeds).

          • 75 percent sounds about right .Ive noticed that pretty much everyone that gets on the internet to tell the world the 1911 sucks ends up giving us the clues we need to realize they’ve never actually had one.the original story is a great example.once you tell me about all the tools required to field strip a 1911 you’ve lost all credibility with me .Its not limited to the 1911.It looks to me like approximately half of the people in our country ,the ones with the strongest opinions,don’t let the facts get in their way.Theyre also quick to villainizing those with opposing opinions.

    • Opinions are like a part of the human anatomy; unless surgically removed and replaced with a tube and plastic bag – we all have them.

      I’ve carried a 1911A1 (I believe it was an Ithaca, probably older then I by 10 years) on active duty in the Coast Guard, a Glock 17 for 5 years and an HK USP 2000SK in .40 S&W for 5 years; the Glock and HK while serving as a CBP Officer.

      Surprise; my off-duty carry (now retired carry) is some variation of JM Browning’s design of the 1911. I have numerous Colts in .45ACP and .38 Super; Sig Sauer 1911s, Rock Islands, two S&W (Commander and full-sized), a pair of Coonan .357 Magnums, and also a Taurus PT1911. I also have 8 High Powers that include 3 Israeli Police surplus guns, a T Series, a Practical, a functional Inglis, and two matched Inglis slide/frames waiting to be built.

      I’m not a fanboy of any gun; if it functions as it is supposed to, is accurate, and reliable – I will carry and/or use it.

      It’s a little funny that the OP assailed the 1911 but didn’t give his opinion about what he would carry, real world.

      • To the guy who doesn’t like 1911a1 Ihave carry better 40 plus years with special forces I it for me killing asshole. Don’t write any more bull

    • I wonder how our rack armory issued colt M1911a1 pistols were able to get sand or mud in them and still function without a single problem, these were older 1911s that some of the outdated issues hadn’t been addressed on them yet they performed flawlessly in desert storm.

      Our marksmanship team took those very same rack armory issued 1911s to pistol competitions with over 1000 competitors & sometimes 3000 shooters showed up yet out of the DEA, ATF, Army, Marines, AF, Navy, civilians, police officers, SWAT teams the top 5 scores at 25 yards with 1″ being a 10, 5lb trigger pulls checked at entry were all scored with plain old M1911a1 pistols with scores like 292/300 286/300 our team had zero failures.

      As for a safe weapon to carry we loved them as MPs, the slide stop safety is firm and you have to push the grip safety in to fire the pistol so we were very comfortable carrying in condition 1.

      The design is good enough that all of the pistol companies went through and upgraded things that could be improved so they must have figured it was worth it to modernize the 1911, The marine corps seem partial to the 1911 and if it wasn’t for NATO all of our branches would still be carrying the 1911.

      The biggest problem that the 1911 had was when ammo was put through it that the original design hadn’t prepared for such as some hollow points when it was designed to shoot 230 grain ball ammo. The angles of the ramps have been addressed along with the other minor issues but it’s very safe to carry and extremely reliable & accurate & I know that breaks a lot of hearts but I’ve trusted my life and the generals I was guarding to a M1911a1 and my M16.

      There were issues with the M16 too but the M4 and AR variants are outstanding from durability to accuracy & if you’re worried about it not working while dirty just throw a nickel boron BCG in it.

    • I agree with Mike. In over 30 years of using a 45 I have never had a jam, problem of any kind with them. You might try a weapon that is more your size, like a .22 pistol.

    • I agree that Taurus makes a fine gun. I think the 1911 is legendary and any one who would write such an arcticle as above really don’t really know guns. I just purchased the Taurus G2 9mm. Can’t wait to get it. Paid $224 with a $50 rebate on top of that.

        • Kentucky gun company.

          You can also get the new Taurus TCP 738 .380 for 150.00 with the $50.00 rebate. It puts all the other pocket.380 pistols to shame with the exception of the Seecamp.

    • I have own some of the best striker fired pistols out there… GLOCK, CZ, FN… All good… Like the CZ best out of all… But I carry a 1911 .45… Has never failed me… I am deadly accurate with it… If I need more than 7 rounds in a pistol, I should have brought a battle rifle…

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

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

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

      • Not really. Yeah, they don’t have double action capability, but they are technically referred to as pre-set striker designs. To make things more confusing, the ATF incorrectly classifies them as double action only.

    • Ain’t that the truth. Big, heavy (by today’s standards), and plenty of recoil. But, the grip angle is oh so good, and pretty the way pick-up trucks were before they became so aerodynamic..

  4. Well, OK. 1911s suck.

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

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

      • Owned a CZ97B. It was extremely accurate, I will give it that. Way too big and bulky to carry, particularly concealed. As for reliability, it was reliable–after it was worked on a bit. To reliably feed hollow points, the feed ramp had to be leveled out. A new, stronger recoil spring had to be installed to ensure consistent return to battery. This work was done per instructions of the CZ factory gunsmith.

        Eventually, I sold it because I found myself never carrying it and more or less stopped taking it to the range as I would rather shoot the pistols I carry.

        I still own six 1911s and passed along to my grandson my original Colt from 1967. I do carry these pistols, but also carry Glocks and various revolvers I have a few other semi autos and some revolvers I should get rid of as they too mostly sit around waiting for me to notice them. The 1911s, though, those I sometimes fondle between periods of carry and shooting.

        Glocks are my go-to functional hand guns, but there is nothing like having a full-size 1911 in .45 ACP on the hip or in the hand to warm an old boy’s heart.

      • I tried a CZ97 once. Absolute tack driver, but it had five failures to feed out of a box of fifty ball ammo. It being a range rental, perhaps it just wasn’t lubed properly.

        The range does itself no favors this way, since I and others will have to assume it’s the gun, just in case it really is the gun, at fault–and then not make the purchase. I don’t know why it failed, I just know that it failed. One time when they knew I was serious about a gun, they made damn sure it was a) brand new and b) lubed, and after three boxes of no malfs I bought it. Round count is up to 600 or so now, still no malfs (except one defective magazine that won’t let the slide release drop if there’s exactly one round in the mag–and that mag may be the one I bought later. Can’t tell.) That gun, by the way was a 9mm RAMI. The 40 cal RAMI I tried the week before was horrifically bad; you could feel the slide slam shut after the recoil impulse and then on round 37 it did FTF. “No lube” they said. They’re lucky that wasn’t the caliber I wanted so they got another chance.

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

      • Why does it seem like the majority of the guys that hate the 1911 have never even held one let alone shot one long enough to know what they were talking about.If you think it requires tools to break down a 1911 you’ve obviously never done it therefore it’s difficult to respect your opinion.Same goes for 45 ACP.Most of the guys I know who don’t like it have either never used it or are not strong enough to handle it.Its worked out great so far for me .I can’t tell you how many lop sided trades Ive made over the years that involved me getting a gun much nicer than the one I gave that is invariably owned by a guy who is too small to handle a 45.It always amazes me when someone picks up my 44 year old Colt Series 70 that weighs 3 pounds loaded with 10 rounds and tells me it’s too heavy.Seriously? If 3 pounds is too much you better carry a gun because you’re not gonna fight your way out of a conflict.As a side note I also take great comfort in owning an all steel gun with only 3 MIM parts.None of which are high stress parts.( 2 of the 3 being the mag release and release lock.) it’s also the only platform that I can completely break down and replace all of the parts on my own and with no tools.I use to tell people the grips were the only parts that required a tool until I realized I could use the slide stop to unscrew the straight blade screws.Hell Mr.Browning even had the foresight to allow a 45 case to replace the recoil spring plug.The smoothest trigger in the industry and more accurate than 99 percent of the shooters out there.My stock 1911 will survive Armageddon and the 45 ACP it fires will stop anything dumb enough to challenge it.

        • Many of us small guys like the 1911 also. With my small hands the 1911 single stack grip fits my hand like a glove.
          I’ve also seen many big guys unable to handle the recoil of some handguns, shotguns, and rifles.
          Personally even though I’m small I’ve never had a problem with recoil, It’s all relative.

          • Of course you’re right about apologies .I was in the Marines and as a guy who stands barely 6 foot tall I was probably in the top 10 percent of the tallest men in my platoon.I know as well as anyone that it’s not the size of the Dog in the fight etc.When I said small guys I really wanted to say woosies but I was afraid people would complain.Obviously ,that didn’t work.Im very sorry if I offended you or anyone else .

          • P.S now that I’ve gone ahead and said what I really meant .Let me just add that I’m well aware that the world is full of ” big ” guys that are ” Woosies” size plays no role in that.Once again .My apologies.I hope I made myself more clear.Now ,If any Woosies come crying to me about this there will be no apologies

            • Lol, now since we stopped being politically correct, I laughed my white Anglo-Saxon Protestant ass off. If any “WOOSIES” have a problem with that, tough shit!

            • Lol, now that we have stopped being politically correct, I laughed my white Anglo-Saxon Protestant ass off. If any wussy’s have a problem with that, tough shit !!!

        • On having firearms pointed at you. Lol, had a shotgun pointed at me once, jeeez. Barrel looked so big I wanted to crawl down inside of it an hide. Father in law chased me out of his house with a .22 he was a little guy but that .22 looked pretty large. I skedadled pretty quick

        • I own 3 1911s, all Springfield, one being a TRP. While I like the platform I think it is stupid to invest more than $1500.00 on one. It’s the law of diminishing returns, the high end hand fit ones are tight and have a specific break-in period, some can be finicky with ammo, so may need tweaking polishing and reaming. Personally, I prefer my HK45, the o-ringed barrel makes it a one hole gun at combat distances. I have an FNX-45 tactical and some USPs Elites. I find myself shooting the polymer guns. I can simply shoot them longer since the polymer acts as a shock absorbent. I agree with the OP that if you spend north of $3,000.00 or so on an Ed Brown, Les Baer, Nighthawk, Wilson Combat, etc. you’re being sold a bill of goods. I can hit the mark with any sub $1,000.00 gun, so why bother unless you like bragging rights, a safe queen or a show piece? Those that carry expensive guns must not care if their weapon is held up in evidence in case you have to use it to defend your life. Seems kind of silly to me.

    • Maybe everyone has torx or allen screws in the grips. My Randall has slotted screws that fit a .45 rim perfectly. Nothing on a 1911 requires a tool to detail strip to the point no part touches another. The sear spring is a screwdriver for the mag release. The hammer strut is a punch. I’ve done it more than once, and the Randall’s full length guide rod with a slot for the barrel bushing is easy when you know how and impossible when you don’t. Oh … and it loves 230gr Federal HST hollow points and came with a 10 groove true match barrel. Just change the mag springs and followers to WC for $16 and you’re good to go.

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

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

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

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

    Merry Christmas!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Dogman,

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

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

      • People customize 1911s because they’re so customizable not because they require it to function properly.Some people choose the 1911 because it’s the platform that allows you to personalize your handgun .Not everyone wants to carry the same exact non descript plastic gun that millions of other guys have.

    • In 105 years of faithful service the 1911 has put a lot of bad guys in their graves.No one can deny that.Its not for everyone.It requires a higher level of competence to carry than most. but for many of us that are capable ,the 1911 provides something that no other handgun can.The guys that go out of their way to talk smack about the 1911 always have one thing in common.They don’t speak from experience.They just pass on what they’ve read other people who don’t know what they’re talking about said.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Mike,

      I wrote the article, not Robert.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

        • 1. WWII: P51, P47, P40… pretty much every USAAF fighter aircraft with the exception of the P-39 (which the U.S. didn’t use in large numbers) and the P-38. You could even include the bombers if you consider their turrets as “primary armament.” These aircraft all used M2s either exclusively, or, in the case of some early-war fighters, along with rifle-calibre machine guns.

          All other nations’air forces tended to use a combination of autocannon and machineguns by 1942. By the end of the war, some aircraft(e.g. Me-262, Ta-152, certain Tempest variants and the later models of the FW-190 D series) even mounted all cannon armament.

      • Hi! I’m wondering if you have any real combat experience with the 1911. As a retired M-60 gunner I carried a 1911 as a back-up weapon. Unless you used a worn out military 1911, you’ll find that the weapon is extremely reliable if you maintain the 1911 properly if will function properly. An old ’60 gunner’s trick is to oil the weapon so it won’t rust, but use high temp bearing grease such as Lubriplate bearing grease where any metal is moving against metal. In short-know how to maintain it properly and it’ll function properly. I know that it saved my life twice in combat so I know.

        • I have not used the 1911 in combat, but I worked for a chemical engineer who had me use Lubriplate in the valves I was responsible for. If the only ammo I could get was military ball, I’d take the 1911 over the M9 any day. But, having the feed ramp on the barrel instead of the frame means that the M9 will feed hollowpoint ammo reliably, whereas the 1911 won’t. This is all I have been trying to say since I got into this discussion, and I’m sorry if I have offended anyone.

          John Browning, Mikhail Kalashnikov, and Eugene Stoner were all geniuses. Can’t we all just get along?

          • “I have not used the 1911 in combat, but I worked for a chemical engineer who had me use Lubriplate in the valves I was responsible for.”

            I guess that’s your basis for all your arguments? It’s all starting to make sense now… I’m kind of surprised that you didn’t say, “I haven’t used a 1911 before, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.”

            “… having the feed ramp on the barrel instead of the frame means that the M9 will feed hollowpoint ammo reliably, whereas the 1911 won’t.”

            This is false, as so many people have already told you. Once again – with a timed-lips magazine, no modifications need to be done to a M1911A1 to make it feed JHP reliably.

            “This is all I have been trying to say since I got into this discussion…”

            No, it isn’t. You also attacked the extractor design of the 1911 – it being an internal versus external system, and the fact that it’s a leaf spring.

            What you haven’t done is offer any actual evidence to support your positions.

            And, sure. We can all get along. As soon as you realize that your name isn’t in that list of geniuses, and that you just might not know what you’re talking about where the 1911 is concerned. Hell, you’ve already proven that; you just won’t admit it.

            • Has anyone used a 1911 in combat with a “special timed lips” magazine? I had some for the 9mm 1911, but it was not designed for that cartridge.

              Robert, please let this go.

              • What is this question? The military doesn’t use JHP, so the question is moot.

                Regardless of what you’re intending to ask, the fact is a timed-lip magazine allows the 1911 to feed JHP all day long without issue and without modifications to the pistol.

                I’ll drop it when you bring evidence that refutes my argument.

              • John Browning did not invent that special magazine. It was an enhancement, just like a coil spring extractor. Someone, maybe Dieudonne Saive, thought up moving the ramp to the barrel when he finished Browning’s Hi-Power. When i was competing with mine, I read that was what the SAS and FBI HRT used.

                I’m not your enemy, Robert. Can we just say I like Browning’s P-35 and you like his 1911 and it is ok to disagree? I’m sorry if if offended you by my comments about the 1911. As long as we both are shooting in the same direction (and not at each other) it is ok.

              • I never claimed JMB invented those magazines. I never claimed anything about the ramped barrel. I also haven’t claimed you’re my enemy. And no, you haven’t offended me. There is no agreeing or disagreeing. I have only one objective here – to correct the fallacies that you are propagating. I am stating facts versus your misinformed opinions.

                If it’s worth it so much to you to end this, admit that it is not necessary to modify the 1911 to feed JHP. Admit that the 1911 design is not obsolete, as you claimed early on in our “discussion”. I’ve proven my points by evidence, and you continue to argue, if not with fallacious arguments, outright straw man arguments.

                You became angered from a little ribbing, claiming I all but tried to cut off your head. And when you failed to prove your points, you became angered again and escalated.

                No… you don’t get a free pass on that. Man up and take responsibility for your words and actions. You don’t get to throw punches and walk away.

              • The 1911 does not need modification to feed JHP, just the right magazine. I bought a bunch of those type of mags online to get my 9mm 1911 to work. Is that acceptable? Have a happy Independence day weekend, Robert.

        • The Argument of the 1911 will on forever. The FACTS will settle this once and for all.

          1. US Marine Force Recon ordered 2500 1911’s for their Elite Troops.
          2.. US SEALS and SF troops can use any weapon they choose. Most are going back to the old 1911’s. Custom Guns and special ammo.
          3. The 9mm Beretta was introduced due to light recoil for female troops and lots of NATO 9mm ammo.
          4. Ground Troops found it took an “average” of 3 rounds to take a man down. In that time he could still unload 1/2 a magazine of AK on you on his way to Hell.
          5. In 1993 I took a 38 special round to the chest point blank, over the heart. The shock to my heart as the bullet bounced off my rib caused my heart to go out of “time” and I dropped. Had I been armed I could have returned fire, I just couldn’t stand. I still have a large wound channel across my chest.
          6. The soldiers and Marines who have a choice on what to carry … all carry 1911’s. Honestly who’d you really take the advice from a pencil pusher, or the men who put their lives on the weapon they carry ?
          7. In reality ballistics matter. The most deadly one shot kill round was the 357 Magnum w/ 125gr. HP at 1400fps. 89% one shot kills. Sig’s 229 duplicates this exactly in their 124gr. 1450 fps 357 Sig round.
          8. I carry a 1911 Kimber Super Carry Pro, 45 cal. Its a far cry from my days behind the M-60, and later in the Air on a Huey Gun Ship where I often fired 25,000 in a single long day. There I carried one 45 extra bullet with an “X” filed in the top in my pocket. Door Gunners on Gun Ships are a favorite prize for torture by the enemy. I was young, it was part of me like my wallet.
          9. After too years and too many wounds to count. I’ve returned to the 1911 just because it was with me when I was most alive. However I have found a secret…light Kimber’s like most Compact 1911’s are still heavy. A gun shop owner pulled his out and asked me to hold it. It was way lighter than mine.

          The secret ? 165gr. HP at 1200fps. Much lighter but also impressive is that 165 gr. expands the 45 caliber to 90 caliber upon impact. For home protection it also probably would not penetrate interior walls.

          One shot to a bad guy, will leave a tennis ball size hole. That means, you shoot, sends the kids to their room, have a glass of Ice Tea and make the 911 call….by that time, all possibility of litigation due to his presence in your home “at 2:00am to borrow a cup of sugar”….suddenly become Moot. You do not last long from a 90 cal. hole in you. Tip a full gallon milk jug on its side without the cap … then you have an idea of what a 90 cal. bullet hole does in comparison to a “Normal Bullet” entry wound.

          The simple defense for the 1911 is in full size you also have a heavy club. In compact its nice, light, still hanging around after a century, and can satisfy both opinions…heavy bullet, light bullet which kills better. IMHO….speed kills. a 125 gr hp in 357 Magnum at 1400fps used to have 89% one shot kills. The 357 Sig perfectly duplicates that their Sig 229. All the mass of the 165 gr. @ 1200 fps expanding to 90 cal.

          The simple logic, Elite Troops use and order of thousands of American Made 1911’s, the facts both paper and blood … kinda seal the argument.
          Maybe the low recoil of the Beretta and the abundance of the 9mm is enough to make this AUTHOR feel comfortable and safe behind his desk… But the Real World, where a man’s life is dependent on his weapon and its “ABILITY” to stop the enemy instantly, before he can take you with him …. depends on the WEAPON your using. Baretta has shown itself unable to perform in a crisis.

          How do I know ? Beyond myself taking a more powerful 38 round in the chest, Look no further than today’s RAP ARTISTS. Lets take the famous “$.50 cent”. That man in his earlier days was a Hood Rat, and today he carries the scars from around 10-12 9mm rounds. My oldest son was shot 4 times in the back by a black drug dealers bodyguard, and left for dead after a finishing “head shot”. The head shot missed the base of his spine by 1/8th “, the other four 40 cal. rounds did not hit a single vital organ, and two just worked themselves out…that was weird as crap.

          Ask yourself “what is my life worth” ? What does the men who can carry whatever they want…use for their handgun ? What does science say about what caliber kills quickest, and saves innocent people ?

          Size matters…Speed matters…kenetic energy matters…YOU CAN USE SCIENCE TO FIND THE PERFECT HAND GUN. OR ?
          # 1 Sig 220 in 10mm light loads going really fast.
          # 2 Sig 220 in 45 cal with 165 gr. at 1200fps expanding to 90 cal.
          # 3 1911 compact with 185grs. just to split the difference. very thin for easy conceal.
          # 4 Glock 40 from in the Glove Box, 16 rounds 15+1 in the pipe with 200 gr. +P your ready for anything. Its the Dirty Harry Gun of the 21 century, It has removable sight to allow REFLEX SIGHTS to just screw on. That’s deadly even in the hands of a novice.
          I also think a new Sig 1911 full size is about a good as it gets when things come down to one man against another. Run out of ammo… you can beat him to death with the pistol. The 1911 in 50 cal. would be a consideration too.
          You may like the 9mm, its easy to shoot, and it carries a lot of ammo… (for a reason),

          When the best troops in the American Military, troops who depend on the pistol they carry to allow them to come home to their families … demand they bring back the 1911. Does there really need to be anymore argument ? A perfect shot, in controlled settings, by a marksman …and a 22 LR will do just fine. Can you bet your life on having all three situations present when YOUR LIFE is the one on the table.

          Get the 1911 45ACP, and put over 100 years of use, and in the 21st century where there are legions of high tech super match quality… fancy handguns, all capable of killing. The professionals go back over 100 years to a simple design both effective and superior in many ways. Those who depend on the handgun at their side, to bring them home safely …Today they most carry the century old 1911 ACP. The absolutely most tested and perfected hand gun in the history of the World , Springfield Arms makes 1911’s for the Marine Force Recon, and they cannot seem to make them fast enough.

          Reality, history and experience, settles most arguments.

        • . But, having the feed ramp on the barrel instead of the frame means that the M9 will feed hollowpoint ammo reliably, whereas the 1911 won’t.

          Mike You know that comment isnt 100% accurate right? There are several manufacturers using ramped barrels now…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      • Dear fanboys,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

        • The only part of a 1911 that would be difficult (though not impossible) to detail disassemble would be the mainspring assembly. How do I know this? No, not from looking at manuals, or Googling supposed facts. I’ve actually done it. There is no reason for a screwdriver of any type. There are no set screws to use an Allen wrench on. A barrel bushing might be useful, but it isn’t required. I avoid using them as they tend to scratch the front of the recoil spring plunger.

          Oh, but wait. You were looking at firearms that, technically, aren’t true 1911s. Check out an ordnance spec 1911 sometime. But do it without your preconceived bias. That may keep you from looking foolish when talking about them next time.

      • Let’s put this one to rest right now. Contrary to OPINIONS expressed by some here, the stock M1911 or M1911A1 can be completely disassembled and reassembled (except for the ejector and grip screw bases), without tools. In fact, the M1911 is its own toolbox. I wrote this article in 2001 – it fully explains the complete process.


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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Guess again, Pattycakes.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  19. Howdy,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  24. Martin and Gunnut…

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

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