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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.

      • 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 [email protected] 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.

        • Agreed, even though I prefer the term “forgot and left my brain behind at birth” syndrome instead… 🙂

    • 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.

  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.

  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.

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

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

    Which are reliable with hollowpoints and which are not?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    “Can’t we all just get along?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      • Is it just me or do others have a difficult time reading an article written by someone who based their opinions on what others have written rather than personal experience.Every article I’ve ever read about a firearm started with the phrase” I just recieved this gun and couldn’t wait to get it to the range” Now I understand why.Opinions based on others opinions rather than personal experience have zero merit and tell more about the author than the subject.

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

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

    Opinions are like,……

    Merry Christmas.

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

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

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

      “all have been reliable out of box”

      Read the other commenters’ statements above.

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

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

      “Anyone who disses a time tested platform that works”

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

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

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

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

      So you find it a hassle to conceal a 1911?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      • There is another reason why the 1911 is loved by many .A factor that seperates it from all other semi auto handguns.not only does it not require any tools to field strip but an owner equipped with minimal knowledge can also replace any of the parts .most don’t even require tools.the tools required to replace the few parts that require them are inexpensive and easy to master.every part is readily available and reasonably priced as well.its one thing to eliminate the need to trust a gunsmith that will have your gun for sometimes several weeks and charge you for his expertise but it’s quite another to be in a SHTF scenario and have a gun in need of repairs that is now a paper weight because you don’t have the knowledge or tools to make it function as a deadly weapon again.1911 owners that have taken the time to educate themselves and stock up on replacement parts rest easy knowing that they can get their guns back in the line up when sending them out for repairs is no longer an option.When was the last time you replaced the firing pin or any part other than a recoil spring on your Glock or XD?Anyone that will argue that this is not a huge bonus is either ignorant or lying because its huge.We don’t swap out parts because its necessary to make our 1911s work properly.We do it because we are able to customize them to fit our personal preferences aesthetically and functionally.The fact that a car could drive over our all steel gun and it would be scratched but still function is just a bonus

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Don’t feed the troll.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  39. “It’s a 100-year old design.”


    “It needs tools to disassemble.”

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

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

    “It has unreliable magazines.”

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

    “It is finicky about ammo.”

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

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

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

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

    • ““It’s a 100-year old design.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Here are the stats:

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

      Retention strap? How quaint.

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

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

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


  41. Simple facts.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  43. Another fatal flaw of the ubiquitous and beloved 1911.

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

    Here’s a link to the video:

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

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

    Here’s a link to a video on it:

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

    Your welcome to copy/use the materials.

    Best regards,


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Go figure.


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

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

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

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

  54. 1911’s are steeped in history, but I would never think of carrying one for self defense. Your more likely to shoot yourself! Almost every AD i know of involved a 1911. The sig220 blows it out the water. AR-15’s suck too. Those two guns are among the biggest frauds perpetrated on the gun buying public.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Larry Vickers said it best: (paraphrased)

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

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

      Facts, the antidote for the internet.

      Go figure.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • “unsafe? read, thats why it has half cocked. Thats what soldiers from WW1 to vietnam used to be safe.”

      Half-cocked safety is a common misconception about the 1911. While what you say may be true (soldiers carried half-cocked), if anyone uses the half-cocked hammer position, they’re putting themselves at a serious disadvantage.

      First, the half-cock has one design function – a back-up sear engagement in case the primary sear fails. That’s all it was designed to do.

      Second, if you carry your 1911 half-cocked and think you’re safe, you’re no safer than if you carried it hammer down. You’ll still have to cock it to fire it. That’s also contrary to the design.

      The 1911 was designed to be carried in condition one – full mag, one in the chamber, hammer cocked, safety locked. There is no safer way to carry it and be ready to use it.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  72. 1911’s are really nice, I like to shoot them, hope to buy one soon.

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

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

  73. Very common with 1911 owners…

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

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

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

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

  74. ALL:

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

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

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

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

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

  76. 1911s are like HARLEY DAVIDSON and GLOCKs are like a japanese sports bike (GSXR,NINJAs etc). Can you turbo a V-twin,nitrous and make it fast like a Terry VANCE H.D.? YES,will it cost much,much more than just buying a GLOCK(750-1300cc sportbike) well yes..will that deter people from buying a basic pushrod tractor motor,parts,clothes with the H.D. Badge on it,NO! People like american muscle and some go with technology like a SKYLINE GTR NISSAN. I am a fan of both. I built custom 1911s andnim the first person to say to newbies, “I COMPETE WITH A GLOCK-34”. Before i built my own 1911(single/double stack 2011s),the only ones that i found that were accurate and out of the box reliable were well over $2-3k, SVI,LES BAER,NIGHTHAWK. Tool steel internals,F.L.G.R.,KART-N.M. Barrels hard fit, all this does cost alot of money. Im sorry to say to the newbies with your SAM/ARMSCOR made 1911s are junk,yes they may run for a static indoor range shooter,but nobody uses them in any combat theatres or competiton because they are just inferior built products hence the low price. Anything wrong with M.I.M.,CAST? Depends on if you going to take your YUGO and try to race the 24-hour ROLEX with it,if not then its fine,but dont tell me your $600 1911 is as good as a $600 GLOCK. Ive won production division with My E.D.C. GLOCK,they are ugly as sin,but they work and ive never had failures w the pistol nor the factory mags. Unlike 1911s you need to have disposable income,because your going to want to run chip power mags or wilson 47s and they are not cheap. So in conclusion if you want a good looking piece of history that runs,your going to need to spend over $3k easy on a quality 1911,especially with front strap checkering,flat or tri top slide and a quality dehorn/2000grit finish. Why not buy a GLOCK-34 or if you are a GLOCK hater you can spend big bucks on a SIG X-5 or X-6 or TANFOGLIO stock II/III,LIMITED,GOLD CUSTOM,which is another great choice since the CZ-75 style frame is basically EUROPE’s 1911. The choices are subjective and really based on how much cash you can spend and whether you want to tinker with your pistol or just clean and run it. Thats my .2 and my experience in real pistol shooting (using trigger reset etc) started in 1988. Ive shot almost every brand and did not want to buy a GLOCK to replace my 1911 until i was in my 30s and was handed a GLOCK-17 and 17L. Again i still build 1911s,they are my HARLEY “panheads”,and my glocks are my sportbikes. Think of them like that and you wont have to decide just buy both,and educate yourself on the platforms before you go bragging that you have a measily case or two of ammo though a particular pistol so you think its the best pistol made…
    Sorry for the rant,reply if you disagree or agree.

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • It was designed specifically for ball rounds – military application only. Strangely enough, I have yet to find an old (ordnance spec) 1911A1 that didn’t fire hollow-points as well as ball. A lot of the problem arises from the wear inside the chamber. When the ball round is loaded, it noses up the feed ramp and scrapes the top of the chamber, eventually wearing it out (though this takes many years of heavy use). This can cause some serious problems with hollow point ammo. A barrel change (done correctly) will fix this.

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

  82. Some love ’em, some hate ’em. I’ve owned 4 betimes. Don’t own one anymore. Never will again. Had a series ’70 Gold Cup….pure crap. A commander style Kimber……not pure but mostly crap. A ’70 series gov’t model…..very decent. And lastly a WW2 GI issue made by Ithaca….best of the four by far. My biggest gripe with all 1911s is actually kind of a pseudo gripe: they simply do not fit my hand. I have large strong hands with long slimmish fingers (professional guitarist and bassist). My particular ideal handgun is a Ruger GP100 or Smith 686. I still shoot quite a bit of 45 acp though…..with my Ruger Blackhawk 45 convertible and my Smith M-625. To each his own!

  83. I own a Colt 1911 US Army manufactured in 1913, At some point it went through an arsenal re-work as it is now parkerized. I have owned it since the early 80’s. I am no competition shooter. As far as reliability goes it’s been flawless through thousands of rounds, and have no feed issues with any ammo I’ve used, flat nose, hollow points, lead etc. in the 180 to 230 grain range. off all the mags I’ve purchased, only one needed slight filing on the catch slot to work as it should
    I have never had to replace any parts so far, slide is still tight, has the solid barrel bushing ( since I’ve had it)
    Anyway, I agree that there are many fine modern handguns out there that far surpass the 1911, I love the sig 220 and the HK .45, never owned a Kimber but a good friend of mine has one and I must say his works very well, I don’t like that it’s “mag specific”.
    The 1911 with all its antiquated technology simply does what it was designed to do, it works, There is not much you can do to improve a shovel or a hammer, they are tools, that work in the manner intended.
    The 1911 was designed as a reliable combat weapon, keeping in mind it wasn’t meant to be a first line weapon of war, it was a last line of defense, at typical combat ranges, for handgun it did it’s job very well.
    You must also keep in mind that the 1911 was replaced by the US military, not because they were looking for a more modern design, but because the standard NATO handgun round is 9mm. That’s a huge disadvantage when none of your allies ammunition could be interchanged with the .45
    It’s not the “safest” pistol for some, lacks double action which some would call a disadvantage, it’s old technology, there is more modern, user friendly, firearms out there, yes there is, many of them.
    My 1911 does exactly what it was meant to do, and does it well, as stated I am not a match shooter, nor is anyone in a combat or defensive situation, Mine is instantaneously unhealthy to man sized targets out to about 80 yards. I didn’t say 10 ring or head shots, but that’s not using a bench rest either.
    So in any defensive situation I myself might ever find myself in, God forbid anything ever comes to that. I would feel quite safe behind my Colt 1911. are there better “target” guns available? of course.

    • You have one of the finest handguns ever made. No need to look any further. Enjoy the sure knowledge that it will never fail as long as you take semi-reasonable care of it.

  84. This article was apparently written by someone who hasn’t a clue about the venerable 1911 design. These modern wannabes are not true 1911s, in that they have strayed from the path of ordnance specifications. The 1911 design is perfect. When that perfection is deviated from, you will experience failures in all aspects of the design. Most “modern” 1911s deviate dramatically from the original design, in dimensional specs, steel type specs, hardness specs, tolerance specs, etc. I’d be willing to put any ordnance spec 1911 up against any other semi-auto handgun in the world. The only handgun more reliable is a quality revolver. As for concealed carry, people all over this country carry full-size 1911A1s as their EDC gun, all day long. Drinking the JMB Kool-Aid? How about the author of this misinformed article drinking the anti-1911 Kool-Aid, the same as all the other attention-seeking “know-it-alls” on YouTube? Browning’s genius has permeated the firearms industry in every aspect. There’s not one single semi-auto handgun that can claim it doesn’t have some part of it that it owes to the genius of Browning. The same can be said of semi-auto shotguns.

  85. You were trying to hold your own until you tried to compare Massad Ayboob to Jeff. Cooper. Then it became apparent that you missed your last dose of medication.

  86. I don’t get what people are saying about 1911s. I own 8 of them and never have had a issue with them. I can shoot all of the very well and they are all reliable. Maybe you guys just don’t know what you are doing.

  87. First off, the 1911 requires NO tools to be disassembled. So, your ignorance is obvious from the start of your silly rant.
    The use of the word “fan boy” only shows your juvenile mentality. As a 57 year old retired Sheriff, I am certainly not a “fan boy” of anything.
    No machine is perfect but, for a firearm to achieve such longevity and such universal acclaim, to be copied around the world for over 103 years is overwhelming proof of the excellence of its design.
    I suggest that you go back to your video games in mommy’s basement for you are obviously no firearms “expert” and only seek to provoke a reaction rather than contribute anything useful.

    • I think you hit the nail on the head. This guy is nothing more than a troll fishing for reactions. He’s obviously never owned a true M1911A1.

      • Amen to that. I hope John Browning’s ghost visits our little troll in the wee hours and has a word or two with him.

      • 1911’s suck balls, you’ve been defending the POS for months on this comment page. It is the most customizable and one of the most enjoyable firearms to work on i give it that. You can make all kinds of claims about upgrading parts, use WC mags, buildone from the ground up with a Caspian frame and slide with the rails milled down so you get a perfect frame and slide fit, you can custom fit every part on the gun but at the end of the day….. it’s still a POS that will lock up when enough rounds go do down range in bad conditions. Not even the good ol’ 1911’s from ww2 my grandfather used will stack up with modern combat pistols if he was still alive I can promise you he’d grab a more reliable sidearm like a glock or HK. And we are talking about a sidearm for backup or concealed carry. I wouldn’t trust my life with the most valuable best built 1911 on the planet.

        • It’s strange to have so much hate for a gun.I think someone forgot to take his meds today.this ones played out buddy.everything there is to say has been said.

        • It’s all been said buddy.just cuz you ran out of actual people in your life to vent on doesn’t mean we have to put up with your psychiatrist and tell him it’s an emergency.

        • Thanks for letting everyone know right off the bat that you’re an idiot and proud of it. That takes some small amount of courage.

          But, hey. If that offends you, why don’t you just find some actual evidence of the “suckiness” of the 1911 and bring it here to prove me wrong? Oh, right. There is none.

          Nice talking to ya. Have a nice nap now that we have that resolved.

        • That doesn’t offend me dumbass, your just a loud mouth. Hey man any day you want meet up at a range. Bring your best 1911 and I’ll bring my HK we’ll do a torture test. You’ll still have an excuse for why it jams up though.

        • Your 1911 comments are idiotic but you have convinced me that we may need stricter gun control laws.its scary to think that this country allows a person with uncontrollable and misguided rage to posses firearms.If the system works a coworker or neighbor will alert the authorities about your late nights spent in the basement under a 10 watt bulb plotting against everyone that you perceive to have done you wrong and trying to figure out how to kill John Browning again.its obvious to all that there is no Mrs 9 mm and you need proffesional help and meds.

        • Seems like I struck a nerve. Maybe you should come out of your mothers basement since you have nothing better to do than be a defender of the 1911 sucks page. If you have a 1911 cape and underwear and jump off your mom’s coffee table that’s cool man.

        • Strange that you use the term struck a nerve.the weirdest guys on these forums always use that phrase.Freud probably wrote about guessing its an attempt to convince yourself that you have the power to effect someone else.I can assure you.this forum is no different than the rest of your life and you have no power over anybody or anything.youve gotten all the attention you’re gonna get out of me Napoleon.

        • All this because you got your feelings hurt over a dumb gun. Your problem is you can’t make a legitimate defense on the 1911’s behalf and know no matter how much money you dump on one they have a track record of malfunctioning. You spent way to much on one and get showed up at the range with a $500 glock so you resort to elementary school style tactics. You my friend have serious problems.

        • Is it just me, or do the trolls get more obvious as the years go by? This tool says that anyone who says the 1911 is anything but trash has no evidence to back them up. He then claims that HK, Glock, and other fine firearms are far better than the gun that actually made those possible, and that they were designed after. He then decides to call people names like a child on the playground, and thinks (somehow) that this elevates his arguments to some superior level.

          Whatever in the world will we do? All of us who love the 1911 for what it is (not for what you claim it’s supposed to be) are at a loss to provide evidence of the 1911’s greatness. Oh, woe is us! It’s too bad there’s not some record of the 1911 and its reliability, durability, and serviceability…

          Oh, wait… there is!

          It’s called history, you moron. You know, the thing that those pistols you love so much don’t actually have? More than a century of service with the military. Not to mention a renewed contract with the Marines just this year.

          It’s kind of stupid to even ask (because I already know the answer), but do your pistols have a track record longer than 100 years?

          lol… of course they don’t.

          But it’s so nice you stopped by. Maybe you should change your name to “Johnny-come-lately’s suck”.

          Obnoxious troll has been trolled.

        • Nicely said but don’t waste your time with this one.hes not trying to have an intelligent discussion.hes just using this forum to vent his frustrations .

        • Oh, I know. Intelligent anything would be wasted on him. I thought I’d see how he likes being trolled himself. Kind of amusing when you realize he has nothing whatsoever to back up his claims against the evidence of history.

        • Amazes me that anyone can be so ignorant as to question a design that millions of men far more worthy have trusted their lives with for more than a century and even if you can get by that its a design that the Marines,a fighting force that I can personally attest to as far as their expertise and knowledge of all things deadly,just chose out of the finest handguns in the ignorant do you have to be to ask if you’d trust it to protect you next to your bed when so many have trusted it and tested it in the worst environments history has to offer?

        • He’s the opposite of a fanboy. He doesn’t feel his opinion is validated unless he makes the attempt to invalidate some other opinion (or fact even). It’s the weakest sort of logic, and suggests also that he lacks self-esteem. Perhaps he’ll mature and grow out of it one day. We can only hope.

        • I’ve been lurking here the whole time, but not getting involved. So, just picture me saying: “Yeah, what Robert said! Exactly correct!”.

  88. Para Elite Carry,

    3″ 1911, flawless. Needs 0 tools for take down. holds 7 rounds of 45ACP and recoils less than my Glock 26. Has a firing pin block safety AND a thumb safety, AND a backstrap safety… In what way is it unsafe to carry compared to a cheap striker fired gun.

    You need to experience some of the 21st century 1911 designs before writing stuff like this.

    BTW got mine from Bud’s for $560 made in North Carolina… You really cant beat that.

  89. Strongly disagree. I own 2 Colt commanders and I have NEVER had a single malfunction in shoot thousands on rounds. Like a retired cop told me once, “if I’m going to bet my life on it make sure it has a horse on it!”

  90. Sorry Peaches,
    Any credibility you had ended when you stated the 1911 needed tools to takedown…Really? As far as 100 year old inventions still in use today think of: The bolt action rifle, the incandescent light bulb, let alone the 4 stroke internal combustion engine. My circa 1944 Iver Johnson will feed empty cases as it left the factory. I have several others with between 50 -100 thousand rounds through them ( easy count from my old montana gold invoices, I buy bullets by the case.) In over 40 years shooting pistols and revolvers the semi auto centerfire pistol begins and ends with the 1911. There hasn’t been a leap forward in pistol design in over 100 years. Enough said.

  91. Not one of the arguments in this article against the 1911 are true in my experience. It is heavy and has low capacity. Other than those two issues it’s a fine firearm. The original, unmodified gun is easy to disassemble without tools. The single action trigger is perfectly safe for shooters using proper gun safety techniques. If you can’t practice basic firearm safety then you have no business owning a firearm, be it a single action, safe action, double action or whatever. The full size 1911 is not too big to conseal and you can always get a commander or officer size.

  92. I have a $600 Remington R1 that feeds anything I’ve ever thrown at it, and I’ve put north of 1000 rounds through it without any failures. It goes bang and hits what I aim at, and I dropped it out of an 18-wheeler and watched it slam into the ground barrel first without discharging. What more do you want out of a carry gun?

  93. I get annoyed by poeple who say this. I shoot a 2011, and have never had any issues at matches. Meanwhile people with glocks around me are always clearing malfunctions. This being said, the reliability of a glock comes from the a simple design, looseness of parts and tolerances, and polymer frame that bends under the stress of fire. Not a bad characteristic, but it will not give you the same level off accuracy (along with other variables such as trigger design). And a the light polymer frame will not be as shooter friendly as a heavier steel frame 1911. Sure there are other steel frame firearms, but none with the level of aftermarket parts that you can get with 1911.

    there is a reason why competitive shooters use 1911, and why the design has been around over over 100 years. So to say it sucks is a false statement and a quite ignorant one.

    • I think the real problem stems from the name. They shouldn’t all be called the 1911. You should be talking about your Colt, Kimber, Para, Ruger, Sig, Springfield, S&W, STI, ect……
      They may all be similar, but they are different. Some more so than others.
      How many gun have used the Browning High Power design??
      I don’t call my CZ75 or my EAA’s a High Power. My Rugers aren’t Volquartsen. It goes on and on and on…. Just look at firearms down through history….
      Your falling into the same trap that the anti-gunners use when talking about assault rifles or “automatics”.
      I love my STI’s, Sigs, and yes, my Glocks! I have had problems with Kimbers, Smiths, and Springfields.
      The 1911 or Colt was replaced by the Beretta because it was better than what the Colt could put out.
      Yes, the Special forces, I believe switched to a pretty expensive Sig 45acp design of the 1911. Think they would have chosen an ATI or Taurus.??
      Nobody that I came across in Iraq carried a “1911” if they could get their hands on a Glock though……

      Maybe we’re just expressing ourselves wrong because nobody wins this kind of arguement.

  94. you are a stupid apparently you were not taught in the corp how too use and clean weapon properly I have never had a jam or misfire in my 26 years in the service with my 1911 a1 side arm .

  95. The 1911 is obsolete and should only be used in competition. There are far better choices to use in the “real world” when lives are on the line. The two main problems with the 1911 that make it unfit for duty are the feed ramp and extractor spring designs. John Browning corrected the feed ramp problem on the Hi-Power by making it integral with the barrel. All modern reliable auto pistols are made this way now. Since the 1911 has that feed ramp in the frame, the barrel must be throated to use hollwpoints. This sacrifices case support and compromises the strength of the chamber. Also, all modern pistols use a small coil spring on the extractor unless they are a 1911 clone. The leaf spring design of the 1911 imparts more stress upon the spring which greatly reduces the life span of the spring. This also requires the extractor tension to be checked and adjusted more frequently. This is why you no longer see cars using leaf springs on the rear like they did in the 60s and 70s. The coil spring has a far greater life span. Modern auto pistol designs are far more inherently reliable than the 1911, which is a very poor choice for self defense or duty applications.

    • Too funny… the 1911 sucks for everything but competition? Like no one in professional shooting matches wants to win? Why do you think they’re good for competition shooting? Because they’re good everywhere else too! I love reading entertaining comments such as this one.

      • I said the 1911 is obsolete, not that “it sucks for everything but competition”. A malfunction in a match could be funny I guess, but not in any life or death situation. Perhaps you should critique my comments based on mechanical aptitude instead of ignorant mockery.

        • “The 1911 is obsolete and should only be used in competition.” Those are your words. Which very strongly imply that the 1911 is good for nothing but competition. Actually, they just plain say that. Like competitors want a gun that isn’t reliable.

          How about you make your comments based on facts rather than ill-informed opinion? Then you won’t have people like me, who actually know the 1911 design, laughing at you.

        • Why do all modern auto pistols have the feed ramp integral to the barrel, and use a coil spring extractor instead of the leaf type like a 1911? I’m open to debate this issue like adults, as long as you are willing to rise above childish mockery. Enlighten us all with your superior knowledge of firearms design.

        • First I would like to invite you to stop playing the victim. I haven’t mocked anything but your laughable opinion (which is well worth mocking) on a handgun design that has proven through longevity and reputation its worth – a design that every single semi-auto handgun has taken a part of for their own design. The very same design that has been copied (to varying degrees of accuracy) by almost every single handgun manufacturer in the world. The very same design that, when followed exactly, produces a handgun with reliability above and beyond that of any other semi-auto on the market today.

          To answer your question, not all modern semi-autos have a coil spring extractor. As I said above, the 1911 design is still being copied today, and a very large number of people who are knowledgeable on the subject of firearms prefer that design. Why is the leaf spring better? Less moving parts and the ability to “tune” it to your taste, just to name two reasons. These reasons are why the leaf spring is more reliable. I have a 1911 Government Model manufactured in 1933. The extractor is original and functions superbly. Please explain how this can be if it’s a flawed design that requires tuning and replacement frequently. My barrel is also without a feed ramp (in the sense that you’re using the words), and yet it functions perfectly with any ammunition I’ve put through it. How can this be? How can this “obsolete” design still be functioning, much less be preferred by gun-savvy people the world over?

          As a gunsmith, I’ll give you one point only on the superiority of modern pistols over the 1911 – the newer designs are more CNC-friendly. The 1911 is a finely crafted pistol, best represented by custom fitting the parts. It is not a disposable tool. It was not made to break. It was not made to be cheap to manufacture by today’s standards. When the ordnance specs are followed precisely, the 1911 is the elite pistol – the handgun all others are measured against. It is costly to produce such a firearm. It is not a pistol to be bought on a budget. If you’re a modern-type person and prefer “inexpensive” over quality, the 1911 is, perhaps, not the pistol for you.

          Rather than take my word for it, I would suggest you obtain your own, and find out for yourself. Buy a quality 1911 from Colt or Springfield Armory, or one of the custom builders like Les Baer or Nighthawk. Then take it to a reputable pistolsmith who knows the 1911 design and have it examined (if you go the route of a company other than a custom builder). Then take it and shoot it. Find out for yourself why it has the longest and best reputation of any semi-auto handgun out there today. Or, if you don’t have the money for that, just do a little unbiased research on the 1911 (and I don’t mean the clones like RIA, Taurus, etc.; I mean the true ordnance spec design). Alleviate your ignorance, then you can reasonably expect to avoid public humiliation with an informed opinion. Visit some fora that specialize with the 1911. Just web search “1911 forum” and see what comes up. Go talk to real people who have used them and understand them. Ask them why they prefer them. I guarantee you won’t find many fanboys; most of these guys shoot all kinds of guns, but still prefer the 1911. Ask them why instead of just taking the word of people biased against a design they haven’t had the pleasure of truly experiencing.

        • I’m not playing anything. You opened up with several insults before attempting to refute my positions intelligently. Thanks for helping me make my case. What type of user has to “tune” their tool – a competitor. A cop, soldier, or armed citizen just wants their weapon to function reliably under various conditions WITHOUT having it “tuned” by an expert. If your original 1911 feeds hollowpoints (not “flying ashtrays” – truncated cone types) then you have throated the chamber, and reduced the amount of case support. Why did Browning make the feed ramp part of the barrel on the Hi-Power? Why are all modern pistols made that way? I have owned many of the “quality” 1911s you speak of. They either failed to feed hollowpoints and/or exhibited subpar accuracy in their “ordinace spec” configuration. This is why Wilson Combat, Les Baer, Nighthawk, ect. exist – to rework an obsolete design into something that will compete with a stock Sig, Beretta, or Glock. What kind of user MUST have their device reworked by a pro shop to use effectively? A competitor, get it? I’ll take a hand fitted Colt positive lock over a S&W revolver, but they get out of time easier, don’t they? Let’s get down to science. First, a leaf spring imparts more stress per unit of travel than a coil spring (which is a long torsion spring). It’s spring rate changes much less per unit of travel, so it does not have to be tuned for various parameters. I can do the math if you want. Look, I try not to insult people I do not know, and I’ll bet you are an ok, but opinionated guy like me. I just want to spare you the public humiliation that comes from a gunsmith arguing with a mechanical engineer. It’s like bringing a knife to a gunfight. FYI – the best 1911 I ever fired in competition was a Clark Custom .38 wadcutter. It was converted from a .38 Super, not one of the rare .38 Wad factory Colts. However, I would not bet my life on one.

        • Okay, you believe what you want. There are hundreds of thousands of 1911 owners who already know that you don’t know what you’re talking about. FLAME DELETED

      • The one thing about 1911 owners — above everything else — is that they are thin-skinned (and, they know that they are right — with their over-priced guns that needs regular maintenance to function).

        • but — to be clear — I have many assortment of pistols — including the Glocks an such — but, if I needed a gun in my hand, it would be one of my 1911’s

        • Thin skinned? For trying to remove the misinformation about the finest handgun design in history? Even you don’t understand – a true 1911 does not need regular maintenance. Yes, once it’s been manufactured, it should be gone over (which is nothing more than the Quality Assurance any gun requires after manufacture) for flaws, but that’s a one time thing, not something required periodically. The only other maintenance it needs is the same as any other pistol – cleaning and lubing when it needs it (which is a lot less often than most pistols).

          I really don’t understand why the crybabies are so butt-hurt over the 1911 to the point they have to write articles like this one and make comments like the one I replied to. I guess it’s the same as always… the lowly feel the need to drag down the mighty in an effort to hide their own inadequacies. Sad, really.

    • Funny thing about springs. I have a Remington Rand built in 1943 and as far as I know, the extractor is original. It still functions perfectly and the old pistol just rocks along at the range.
      As far as trusting my life to a 1911, I would and do feel well armed with a 1911 in my holster. I’m a retired Sheriff and have carried several different duty pistols. They were all perfectly reliable including the last issue, my Glock model 22.
      Your uninformed criticism of a classic, combat pistol shows how little you actually know about firearms in general.
      It sounds like you have no experience actually carrying a sidearm for a living and your technical knowledge regarding the 1911 design is incomplete.
      As far as how safe the 1911 is, that’s the responsibility of the shooter not the gun.
      I don’t think the US military would have kept it in service for nearly 90 years if it was as ineffective a tool as you say it is and some special units still insist on using it.

      The .45 ACP cartridge in a 1911 is a proven fight stopper even with ball ammo, if it was not, why would the Texas Rangers and other elite police officers insist on carrying it ?
      The .45 operates at low pressures, about 17000 psi, which results in very manageable
      recoil and low muzzle rise. The 1911 has the fastest trigger reset of any handgun and a low bore axis. An 11 degree grip angle is just about perfect for most human hands and the pistol points naturally.
      Modern 1911s have polished feed ramps from the factory and modern CNC machinery results in very good slide to frame tolerances.
      None of my 1911s malfunction unless I have used sub standard magazines which are the primary cause of malfunctions.
      Kept reasonably clean, lubed and fed with quality mags, and a good 1911 will motor on for many years.
      Browning designed the 1911 for a man who will be fighting for his life at some point, in harsh combat conditions, wet and muddy or dry and full of grit the 1911 functioned.

      The 1911 is a solid, durable, workhorse and the excellence of it’s design is obvious to those who use it for the very serious business that it was designed for.
      Old “slabsides” has survived 104 years of criticism from those such as yourself and you haven’t made a dent.

  96. Wow, five years already. In defense of the OP, we live in a free country where anyone can say anything about anything. Doesn’t make it right but it sure stirs controversy. Ask Michael Moore.
    Having said that, I think that the 1911 is not going anywhere, it is here to stay because it is simply perfect, easy to operate, easy to maintain, simple design, and simply beautiful. Now, I have to agree that they are a little hefty for CC. I also think that some manufacturers (excluding custom made brands) have gone crazy with their prices. I’m no competitive, or professional shooter just a CC permit holder, so I cannot justify $,$$$.$$ for a big name or a custom made one, when I can buy a more economical name that does the same, may not be as pretty but it spits lead just the same.
    I’d like to dedicate this lines to my trusty old Taurus PT1911, my dear Citadel officer’s, and my lovely ATI Commander who are watching at home. Special mention to my Glock and assorted Taurii. I love you all guys.
    1911s are to men what barbies are to little girls.
    And remember, opinions are like a$$holes, everyone has one.

    • I like the Tarus 92 (cock and lock option). Their cowboy SAA clone is nice, too. Ruger never got the feel right, and the Italian ones lack the quality. The 1911 will be around awhile, like the small block chevy and the Harley-Davidson. My point is that you are paying for NOSTALGIA, not engineering. For a fraction of the the price of a 1911 you can get many pistols that do not need to be reworked for reliability and accuracy. For the price of a “tuned” 1911, you can get a nice pistol, rifle, and shotgun.

      • There is some incredibly ignorant posts here.
        And I don’t mean from the 1911 proponents.
        Fast draw from CCW?
        How the 1911 is slower is beyond me. This somewhat reminds me of the gunfight where Old John Selman shot Bass Outlaw after Bass Outlaw shot Selman in the leg twice….
        Reliability? This has been well proven for over 100 years.
        High maintenance? Good Grief.
        Its safer than a Glock and is all metal. Will a polymer frame still be usable in 100+ years?
        How many people have shot themselves with a Glock when not touching it. Or shot holes in the chair or floor? There is good reason for the safeties on a 1911.
        That a Colt made 1911 in 45 ACP was just adopted by the United States Marines speaks volumes. Apparently where the rubber meets the road the Marines trust the 1911 and they have been using Kimbers for some time and decided to go with Colt. Search M45.
        I have been shooting 1911s since 1970 in infantry school and I have never had a Colt that did not work. The Para-Ordnace I cannot say that for.

  97. I will bust out my single action Les Baer lightweight commander in 45acp, and you bust out your double action only Glock 19 in 9mm – see who can more accurately hit a target & with how much power. Then you won’t say a 1911 sucks!
    I’m sure I am in the “5%” who know the platform well enough to carry, but I’m no shooting wizard by any means.
    Show me a situation where I need 16 rounds & my gun to function with mud and sand in it & where I am on round 1500 between cleanings & I will gladly change platforms!

  98. The 1911 has movie star appeal. It handles well, is accurate, and rugged. I have had a Nighthawk turn into a jam-matic at Buds in Lexington Ky, yet my Para Ordnance P14 didn’t choke once, even on Tula or Wolf…ever.

    The article is worded very strongly, with verbage suggesting an apparent bias on the design. The truth is, the 1911 design is much like the AR platform: If kept clean and well maintained, it will work, and it will work well. *The 1911 can indeed be disassembled without tools without a tool, but the bushing wrench Para supplied me did indeed make it an easier task.*

    I carry an HK USP Elite 45 or Sig 220 Carry DK Elite. Power and reliability incarnate.

  99. I love the 1911 but it wasn’t designed for CCW or even LEO Service Carry. It’s slow and awkward to draw. I know you guys love your 1911 and so do I but they just aren’t good CCW guns. The bad guys will always have the advantage of surprise so whatever you do, the response needs to be lighting fast. Lighting fast and the 1911 just don’t go together. If you’re in a situation that grants you some time, then great, the 1911 will work well.

    • Sounds like you need to work out a little. The speed with which you draw your firearm isn’t ever the gun’s fault.

    • It has been my experience that any kind of “lightening fast” presentation from a modern,
      police holster is a fantasy. You have to deactivate two retaining devices and then rock the pistol to the right angle before it will completely disengage from the holster.
      I practiced this like a fiend for years. I would balance a dollar coin on the back of my hand just above my holster and try to draw and dry fire before the coin hit the floor.
      I could do this about 70% of the time and it was not a safe technique as far as I was concerned. For real, that first round could have gone anywhere.
      The most lethal old time gunslingers, like Hickok, relied on cool deliberation and nerve, not speed.

      • Slow is smooth; smooth is fast. If you’ve trained with your firearm adequately, you’ll never feel the weight.

  100. I’m not sure Massad Ayoob is one of the “been there, done that” guys. He was a cop in a very upscale NH town. He spent his free time reviewing stats and writing. He has no personal experience that I’m aware of…….

  101. When all is said and done, all that matters is the preferences and needs of the user.

    I’m sure its fun to get into an argument on online forums about:
    * “Which caliber is the best for self defense?”
    * “Why [a particular gun] sucks, or is awesome:”
    * “What’s the best handgun for carrying concealed?”

    At least, it seems like fun, as all the gun-related websites are doing it. Maybe its more about drawing people to a particular site. It IS good to hear people’s experiences & preferences–those that I agree with, and also those that I disagree with (if well explained).

    Personally, I like to carry a 1911 in Condition 3: there’s a little more time (possibly crucial time) to think/assess the situation as the weapon is drawn and a round chambered. Also, there is a low likelihood that a drawstring toggle (or whatever) getting fowled-up in a holstered pistol’s trigger guard causing an accidental discharge. Condition 3 doesn’t involve any safeties, the decision to chamber or not IS the safety.

    I also own a more-modern design, SA/DA handgun, that opens up the possibility of carrying in Condition 2 (or Condition 3). My preference is to only use a firearm’s safety when I am interrupted while shooting. So it seems like Condition 3 is where my comfort lies.

  102. Shot two Dan Wessons yesterday. Both malfed. Ball ammo, even.

    That’s supposed to be a maker of good ones. Instead they behave like all the other ones I see–far more prone to malf than any other common design.

      • I’ve been told by many different people that that makes a big difference. It makes me wonder why I almost never see a plain jane 1911, then. People are going out of their way, apparently, to buy overworked and overpriced jam-o-matics instead of economy (relatively speaking) models that work. What gives?

        • They want rails, forward grip serrations, undercut trigger guards, external extractors, or any number of bells and whistles that are unnecessary (or even contrary) to the design. They want better accuracy, or safety features like the Series 80 Colt (firing pin block). Or they simply want to be able to tell their friends that they paid twice what a good 1911 is worth. Or they want one with a certain name on it. I really don’t know – any reason is about the same as any other, except some of those reasons make the pistol unreliable. Then come the nay-sayers like the mall ninja that wrote this article claiming that ALL 1911s are crap. Would he say the same of Glock because many of the pistols based on the Glock design are not reliable? I don’t think he would.

          You really have to judge for yourself. Get a Colt or Springfield Armory Government Model made to ordnance specs and see how reliable they are. As with any firearm, you will sacrifice accuracy for reliability; there’s no way around it. With a 1911, you can still get it pretty accurate before it becomes a liability, as long as you don’t expect it to function flawlessly in harsh conditions like mud and dirt, or not being cleaned for ten-thousand rounds. My Colt 1911A1 (manufactured in 1933, all original parts except for the disconnector) rattles when I shake it, but it still gives me six-inch groups at twenty-five yards, and a lot of that is simply my lack of practice/skill. And that’s with the rifling about half-worn out in the barrel and lands with rounded edges.

          Just do your own research. Don’t take my word for it, or any others. Check out the people who use them all the time. It’s not a pistol for the novice, but train with it as much as you would train with anything else, and it all becomes second nature, just like everything you train for or with.

        • It’s not a pistol for the novice, but train with it as much as you would train with anything else, and it all becomes second nature, just like everything you train for or with.

          This is another oft-repeated point, and I’m never quite sure what it means. (I suspect it depends on who is saying it.) Is this an issue with how it operates, or how much work it is to maintain? Let me expand on that a bit:

          It could simply mean that you have to train to take the safety off. Well my current EDC has almost exactly the same “operating system”–a cocked-and-locked safety mounted on the frame. (The only difference is, it actually is an SA/DA so it has second strike, but otherwise you carry it condition 1.) That would be no barrier to me, obviously. Furthermore, I really never saw that as a huge barrier to entry even for a novice. You can hand a gun like that to a novice and teach them to push that lever down as they draw, no big thing, and it doesn’t even slow them down. It’s one extra motion to teach but IMHO it’s actually easier to teach a total novice to do it (he’s not accustomed to any of the motions of draw, point, click, get bang immediately) than to get some guy who’s fired a revolver or glock 10000 times and already has much of that down, to start doing it, to change an established routine.

          Or it could mean that in buying a 1911 you’re setting yourself up for a lot more work just to get the gun running and keep it running reliably. It would be like buying a used car you know you are going to have to tinker with, because you actually want to do that. That of course is a matter of personal preference. But honestly, if that’s what’s meant, I’d rather someone be more explicit: “This gun needs some work, but on the upside you get to customize it to be exactly what you want. If you aren’t the sort who’s willing to tinker, stay away from this gun.” One of the oft-repeated complaints about “1911s” (lumping them all together) is that they “don’t work out of the box.” Now my suspicion is that that complaint is really brand/variant dependent (and I believe you’re actually saying so); but it’d be nice if the manufacturers themselves were open about what to expect, if in fact the gun is a project in a box rather than a works out of the box. Saying nothing whatsoever leads to expectations that it’s supposed to work out of the box, and people (rightly) get pissed when it doesn’t.

          (This applies to break in periods as well. Yeah, people are expected to RTFM but unfortunately, manuals tend to be filled with so much lawyer-mandated boilerplate people begin to ignore them. Yeah, I know not to point the thing at my dog and pull the trigger to make sure the chamber is empty. Though that’s probably a good thing to say to novices. Etc.) A statement that the gun needs 500 rounds for break in before it will function reliably WILL be lost in all that bravo sierra, which is an argument for putting distinctive information separate from the “every gun has this” stuff. (This is the same dynamic that’s at work on airliners’ pre-flight safety stuff. People tune it out because they think they’ve heard it all before, but if anything is truly peculiar to that model of plane, they won’t know it. Every once in a while you get someone who finds a way to make the thing entertaining and more power to them.)

          Then come the nay-sayers like the mall ninja that wrote this article claiming that ALL 1911s are crap. Would he say the same of Glock because many of the pistols based on the Glock design are not reliable? I don’t think he would.

          The two situations aren’t quite parallel.

          He’d be unjustified in saying that about Glocks. A Glock is a specific brand. Other pistols ape or imitate it, but while doing so, they don’t call themselves “Glock.” They are hoping their customers will do that in their own head, but they don’t themselves do it. So when Brand X turns out to be a piece of crap, you will see “Brand X is a piece of crap” not “Glocks are a piece of crap” because that glockalike didn’t self identify as a Glock.

          On the other hand, all these 1911 manufacturers DO call their pistols 1911s. Because the 1911 is a style, not a brand. So if 1911 style manufacturer Y makes a crappy item, then it is a 1911 that went bad. Even if it’s not what purists call a “true” 1911, that’s how it will be scored. Fair? Perhaps not, but it’s the reality. Anyhow, if enough manufacturers do that, the perception will be that a large percentage of self-labeled 1911s suck and that a randomly chosen one will be too likely to be a lemon that doesn’t function well. And it will be true. Certainly if one looks deeper, they can see that some of the manufacturers put out a good product and others put out crap, but by labeling their product “1911” the manufacturers themselves are helping to discourage this. They are inviting their product to be lumped in with other “1911s” and that could either help or hurt them. But anyway, the person determined to look deeper then runs into a problem. He goes out and finds a bunch of reviews that laud the product (i.e., typical gun magazine bullshit); those aren’t helpful. Or he tries to find comments from real people. But those come in two flavors. Brand X will get some guy kvetching about what a piece of crap it is, followed by someone swearing his has never malfed. Brand Y, on the other hand, will have some guy praising it to the heavens, followed by someone reporting that, well, dummy, his was a turd. And this can be true no matter how good or bad a particular manufactuer is. A good manufacturer will occasionally release a lemon, and a bad one may accidentally produce a good gun despite all their efforts not to. 🙂 So there will always be someone around to contradict reported personal experience, and there’s no real way to tell whether the original comment was more typical, or the response.

          There doesn’t seem to be a place where one can get good info on which brands and models of this huge diverse thing called “1911” are good and which ones aren’t, and that forces people to generalize. Which is why some people make blanket statements that they suck. But it’s just as wrong to make an unqualified statement that 1911s are wonderful too, because some of them do, in fact, suck. If yours happens not to be one of them, that does NOT mean they all are, and behaving as if they do makes you one of those fanbois everyone hates. You’ve disregarded all those models and manufacturers that produce items likely to turn out to be jam-o-matics. I guess where that leads me is to suggest that 1911 owners who want to brag on their favorite kind of gun really ought to me sure to specify which one they have, and be willing to criticize other brands that are junk, instead of simply getting defensive because that other one is a 1911 too. Or to put it another way, start policing your own ranks. Condemn the bad ones instead of getting defensive and shielding them when people complain they see a lot of malf-o-matic 1911 and issuing such retarded statements as “this is a time proven design…” which may or may not be true but is irrelevant when many of the ones produced today are lemons. It’s not the fault of the design, you say? Fair enough. But don’t let the bastards get away with perverting that design by getting defensive about it when someone complains about the job they did. The fact that they can get away with calling it a 1911 is a problem, frankly, that you must deal with, because 1911s will be judged by the crap these people produce.

          Or to put it another way, I’d love to see more conversations like this: “I’ve seen brand X Y Z 1911s fail a lot” “Yeah, well those people produce a crappy product, try a brand W” and less like this “I’ve seen brand X Y Z 1911s fail a lot. They’re pieces of crap.” “You heathen! The 1911 is the best gun ever made. Bugger off!” Now to be sure the start of the conversation is generally more like “I’ve seen 1911s fail a lot, they’re crap” but that STILL doesn’t make the best response “You heathen! The 1911 is the best gun ever made. Bugger off!” The complainer is responding to the crappy ones he’s seen, and if they are giving your favorite desing a bad name, you should say so, instead of pretending they don’t exist. An unfair generalization can’t be effectively be countered by an unfair generalization in the other direction, it basically just tells him he hasn’t seen what he has seen, and he’s right to reject that and decide the fanboy is full of it. One should explain why the general statement is inaccurate (“it depends on which brand and model it is”) and a candid admission that there are bad ones out there. That explains why he sees what he sees, and that it is part of a larger picture, instead of telling him implicitly, he didn’t see it.

          Anyhow YOU, Robert, aren’t doing this–you’re actually doing everything I’m suggesting should be done–but this is a general comment about the sorts of things I see going on. The sort of fanboyism I am complaining about here deserves the condemnation it gets every bit as much as this article does because it is committing the same category of fallacy.

        • I don’t mean to say that it’s an insurmountable barrier to a novice, only that anyone unfamiliar with firearms might choose another pistol to begin with. The .45 ACP has a bit more recoil than, say, a 9mm, which would be a better choice for the novice to begin with. It’s also heavy (which actually helps with the recoil), and those unused to the weight often complain of it. As far as a novice doing their own gunsmithing, this is obviously not advisable. Any handgun bought for the purpose of EDC should be taken to a reputable gunsmith for a once-over to ensure its functionality and reliability, if one values one’s life. The true 1911, in that regard, requires a bit more than the average pistol. But a novice needn’t worry about that – take it to a gunsmith and let them check it out. I also have the same wishes as far as manufacturers letting people know what to expect. A true 1911 (ordnance specifications) will work out of the box every time. The tolerances are such that it will run with no lube (though I don’t advise that if you want it to last), dirty beyond imagination, in water, in any position, with any ammo, etc. It’s when you get into the tighter-tolerance variants such as the customs like the Ed Brown you mentioned and match grade 1911s.

          Too true about psuedo-Glocks not transferring their sketchy reputation directly to Glock. That’s a gripe I have with every Tom, Dick, and Harry manufacturer claiming their pistol is a 1911. People rarely say, “That Taurus 1911 sucks!” They almost always say all 1911s suck, when they have little to no knowledge of ALL 1911s. But the analogy, in the bones, is correct. Glock has been copied quite a bit (not quite as much as the 1911), and there are some truly shoddy copies out there. If I recall correctly, S&W made a Glock-a-like that actually worked better than Glock. They were immediately sued. It seems to go both ways.

          I agree completely with your assessment of the critiques surrounding the 1911. That’s why I suggested you talk to others (a great many if you have the time or inclination) and form your own opinion. You’ll find the vast majority of knowledgeable 1911 users will say very close to the same things I’m saying here. In my own personal opinion, Colt and Springfield Armory are two of the best 1911s ever made, and their prices aren’t ridiculous.

          As far as policing the ranks of 1911 owners and manufacturers, that’s really not a practical option. Sadly, it isn’t a patent infringement when Taurus makes a pistol they claim is a 1911, yet the extractor and ejector are cast parts that will, sooner rather than later, shatter and leave your pistol nonfunctional. It is only a testament to the fact that the design was not at fault, especially when you talk to people who have pistols true to the design, and who have never had problems. Of course, as you say, there are lemons and gems within the ranks of both the true-to-spec and the wannabes, though I think you would find there are far less of the former. That can only be attributed to the QA of the company making the pistol.

          And I agree that no one can say all 1911s are great. This is why I always qualify my comments with the caveat that only true (ordnance spec) 1911s are great. You may have gathered I have very little respect for the Taurus brand 1911. I would include almost all of the cheaper brands with those. About the only “cheap” brand I would say would be worth the money is a Rock Island Armory 1911. While they’re not exactly ordnance spec, they’re a decent copy. Being cheaper though, I would definitely take it to a ‘smith to be checked out before trusting it with your life.

          As an afterthought, even the Taurus can be a nice pistol if given the proper attention. Change out the sure-to-break parts, give it a decent action job, and you’ve got a nice cheap pistol. I’m doing this with my nephew’s Taurus PT1911 right now. I did an action job on the Taurus owned by the guy that runs the gun shop I have my ‘smithing shop in, and he couldn’t believe the difference.

          Regardless, it all boils down to having an informed and educated opinion on whatever subject you’re discussing. I’m glad to see that you’re someone who isn’t just swallowing the party line. Thank you for the civil discussion.

        • Thanks for the clarification on what you meant. I’d not considered the differing recoil issue. I suspect it bothers some people more than others. The Dan Wesson Valor (not Ed Brown) I rented was actually painful to shoot. (I’ve owned and shot 10mms that were snappy to be sure but not painful.) It went after the joint at the base of my thumb in a big way and the grip and forestrap texturing were very sharp, like files. And I too consider all metal a virtue but peoples’ mileages vary. (I’d love to find a little single stack subcompact with a tungsten frame to give it some recoil reducing heft, instead of a polymer one. I’m sure that would be expensive as heck though, tungsten being fairly inexpensive as a chemical but also being difficult to machine.) Anyhow the caliber issue can be made worse by the specific individual gun, as we both know. (The CZ-97 I tried out months ago was a phenomenal tack driver and pleasant to shoot, other than at least FIVE FTFs in the box of range ammo.)

          The same range does have a Springfield I will try sometime. I will try to remember to ask if it has been lubed. Sometimes they forget and demo a “crappy gun” that isn’t.

          The 1911 owners I run into in real life fall into a few categories:

          One of my best friends went through eight different models (and no, offhand, I don’t know what they are but I don’t believe any of them were “spec” 1911s–I could end up standing corrected on that point). All but one were problematic and the one that wasn’t was an expensive clone–and got confiscated by the police because he carried it “illegally” (bullshit!).

          Then there’s the range guy, usually with a semi fancy one, who brags it has never failed him and invites my friend to shoot a mag. It jams right there and then. I of course don’t tail the guy but I’d not be surprised if he has a bad case of amnesia and a week later repeats the same claim. Frankly I’ve seen that sort of thing so often I was beginning to suspect it was a mental disease that afflicted all 1911 owners.

          I don’t see too many spec 1911s out there in the wild. (Though that friend of mine tells me that one of the ones I am remembering as a jam-o-matic was a Rock Island…he pays more attention to such things than I do, or I should say, did.)

          I guess I shouldn’t have said “police” in that one paragraph as it implies arresting or suing people, but it’d be nice if people got called out by other 1911 people for a) producing trash, especially fancy models that don’t work well and b) covering for it. (I suspect 1911 owners would rather do that than have the Glock people do it.)

          But I do have to stand with the author of the OP on one thing (though I wish they’d not made the tools comment…it gave people an obvious error to focus on and few addressed the other points they made). If I were to consider ALL 1911s as a class, I’d have to agree…high rate, unacceptably high rate, of malfers and lemons. I think that’s just reality, and as I’ve said earlier, the 1911 fans who can’t acknowledge that there are bad apples, refuse to make the distinctions that need to be made, and get defensive instead aren’t doing themselves any favors. The first post in response should be “you’re confusing a bunch of different guns together some of them bad some of them good” not something about how it’s a time proven design and the best design ever. If it’s a mistake to consider all 1911s as a class, then explain that that’s the mistake they made, instead of making the same mistake yourselves in your reply. Yes, that sucks that you have that burden because of the way people advertise their products. But there you go. (I suppose you could work it into the JMB is God joke/meme, by claiming to be His Chosen People with extra added burdens.)

        • I’ve heard good things about the CZs, though I’ve never tried one myself. And the comment about needing tools… that was too much to let slide. It really hammered his credibility. But I seriously think he simply has a bias against the 1911. As far as the 1911 being a group of pistols, that’s not exactly correct either. It’s the model designation for the M1911 adopted by the military before WWI, even though it was produced by several different manufacturers. I’m thinking it’s more of a household name type issue. People say Clorox in place of bleach of any brand, or in the UK, Hoover to say vacuuming. I suspect the conundrum of the 1911’s “reputation” won’t be solved easily or soon.

          To address your wish for a heavier framed large caliber: if you get the chance, try a 1911 long slide. I’ve not used one myself, but that extra length on an already heavy gun could make all difference. Nighthawk Custom makes a 10mm long slide for about $3,800 MSRP. A bit steep for my tastes, and not to ordnance specs, but might be fun to shoot on the range.

          I guess you could say I’m a purist, not so much in the way of what a pistol should be, but what you should call what the pistol actually is. While the 1911 will always be my favorite pistol, there are plenty of others out there that are just as reliable. Even polymer frames (which I can’t help but despise on general principle lol), probably because of the weight. But I get that same “bite” in the heel of my thumb from shooting +P+ rounds out of my 1911.

          About the sharp checkering on your pistol. I’ve heard that mentioned before with customs, and people have said that after you use it a while your hands build up a thin layer of calluses that not only dampens the cut from the checkering, but will also give you a better grip. If you haven’t had it for long, maybe give it a workout for a few weeks and see what happens. If it continues to bother you, it would be an easy thing to fix for a ‘smith. or even yourself if you’re mechanically inclined. A fine file run along the points parallel with the checkering, 45 degrees to the “peak” of the points, then run a rough wire wheel over it all. Obviously, you’d have to have that area refinished afterward. If you’re not too worried about what it looks like, Brownell’s sells a plethora of cold bluing products. Oxpho Blue and Dichropan IM are my go-to products, and fairly easy to apply. Good luck with it.

        • Oh, I guess I didn’t make it clear. These guns I shot were range rentals. (No way am I going to buy one of these things “blind” for all the reasons previously hashed. I can’t reduce the lemon risk to zero, but I find the risk unacceptably high at present without a lot more homework.) And in any case it was the grip panels that were the worst on that Valor. That’s REALLY easy to change, no need to chimp about with power tools. Okay, with that out of the way, the good news is the range has a Springfield to try.

          Another issue I remembered was ball vs. hollow point. If I were going to have to guess beforehand, I’d suspect the ordinance specs will probably tend to have difficulty with hollow point simply because such things didn’t exist when they were designed, whereas a later model *could* be OK with them. (OK, so I’ve thrown that out so now I get to see if I had a logic failure.)

          CZs are generally quite good, and if you try a non-decocker model, you’ll probably like it a lot. Safety right where you expect it, etc. etc. and it cocks and locks. I don’t know why that -97 was such a disaster. But I have an assortment of -75Bs. They point almost perfectly for me, and the grip angle seems right–it’s fairly close to 1911, not Glock. The grip is shaped a little more like your hand (even a bit of a cut in for the web of your hand, so your thumb-heel is safer). Hickok45 said of the 75, “If you see one of these, whatever you do, don’t pick it up.” And they are less ammo fussy than the (aggregate, lumped together) 1911. One could call it the 1911 for people who wish they could trust real 1911s. But be sure you are working with a safety model, not a decocker model; if you’re used to a 1911 safety you will HATE the decocker. (That having been said, the CZ decocker is probably as good as one gets IF you actually swing that way, it really puts the gun at half cock.) CZ is also doing polymer pistols, with exposed hammers, and they have a solid rep there but they don’t excite me (for one thing, they buggered up the grip shape somehow and they point very poorly for me). At least the trigger assembly is also metal so you don’t get that grungy Glock feel to the trigger [and let’s not even go into the pointlessness of the Trigger Dingus]. (Glock to me is the Volkswagen Beetle of guns…basic but they work, whereas CZs are midrange and a fancy 1911 (if only it worked) would be a Benz or Cadillac. Esthetically, I agree with you, Glocks are fugly. And we both like metal. But I can’t deny they work. And I do own two of them, one a G20.)

        • JHP rounds run fine in every 1911 I’ve ever used, though I have heard some others complain that only certain shapes (the O-give) work in theirs, and very few others claim they can’t feed it anything but FMJ. Just from my own point of view/experience, the vast majority of ordnance spec 1911s eat whatever .45 ACP they’re fed. In my opinion, I’d say that “problem” was a gun-specific one in the majority of instances. On the other hand I have heard that wadcutters are tricky to make work in the old 1911s. I can’t say anything to that, as I’ve never used wadcutters myself. But the shape of a wadcutter is very similar to some of the JHPs, and may be the reason those particular JHP rounds don’t work.

          To be honest, I used to be completely biased against Glocks, period, and I still don’t like them (from a gunsmith’s perspective). However, I can’t deny that they work and are as reliable as any other pistol out there, and more so than some. I’m not really impressed with the “safety” on the trigger – it seems completely contrary to the function of a safety to be able to defeat it by simply pulling the trigger. Seems to me that’s what the safety is for – to keep you from pulling the trigger accidentally. But the fact that Glock has modified (sometimes drastically) every model of their pistol from the very beginning doesn’t speak to me of design perfection. Really, exactly the opposite. Compared to the 1911, which has had only one design modification in its history (the M1911A1), the Glock is struggling for that same prestige that the 1911 has earned and enjoyed for over a century of existence. I don’t see it ever being as legendary as the 1911, the same as I can’t imagine a Glock ever seriously being handed down as an heirloom.

  103. I have a friend with a 1991A1 Officers ACP that he has shot 10000 rounds through. No broken parts, and not one malfunction NOT ONE. I suspect that this is just a piece written to generate controversy so the web site gets more traffic. Or the guy really is a fool. This whole thing would be laughable except the inexperienced might think its true.

  104. SteveInCO
    Do you actually work for Glock or do you REALLY believe all that stuff about 1911s? I started shooting the 1911 in Infantry school in 1970. I have owned at least one continuously since. It has NEVER, NEVER occurred to me that the design took too much maintenance. I have not the slightest idea where this comes from. I have never had the idea that it would not work when needed. These screwed up 1911s you run into, some questions.
    Are they Colt some other brand? Have they been modified? Are the MAGAZINES in good order? What ammo is being used? I have a 1911 with the old GI feed ramps and it feeds everything but lead Kieth semi-wad cutters and these about 90-95%. Do you honestly believe that the United States Military would adopt and continue to use for 104 years a firearm that DID NOT WORK? Yeah , folks, M9 or not, the 1911 was never completely removed from the inventory and in fact new ones were bought and used all along and the Marines just adopted a bottom rail 1911 from Colt. Why you might ask? Because it works. It does what its supposed to EVERY TIME and it is a better, far better, stopper than the smaller calibers using hardball.

    So for all you that don’t know. Buy a COLT 1911 or maybe a Kimber. I would avoid the rest. Buy it in 45 ACP. Take it home and with an empty pistol learn to use the safety and such so that when the gun comes up clear of your body you snick it off as the finger goes on the trigger. Dry fire it a few hundred rounds. Oil the slide rails lightly and put a drop on the slide where it rides on the hammer, oil the recoil spring with a few drops 2-3 and the link pin, cock the hammer and put a drop in the 1/2 cock notch. I use 5w30/0W30 Amsoil I drain from bottles after oil changes. Take it to the range with a box or two of hard ball and shoot the whole box using every magazine you have for it. It should run fine. Now shoot it with carry ammo to check its zero. Unless for some strange reason it has some manufacturing problem (its out of spec, humans make them after all) you can rely on it utterly. Now or 100 years from now. If its a Colt there are no critical parts made of powdered metal or plastic. Once it was adopted by the US military there were two mods done in 1927, the grip safety had its shape changed and the frame had cuts made to give more finger clearance. The operation and other parts (aside from the firing pin lock stuff) are still interchangeable with the original 1911 TO THIS DAY. This is a flawed design? The Glock and the other such pistols were designed to be made as cheap as humanly possible and still work. The 1911 was originally designed to WORK and it always has. Problems occur when the modifications start or they are made by companies who don’t really understand the pistol…

    • No I don’t work for glock. I own a couple but I don’t love them, I carry CZs. You don’t have to like Glocks to dislike 1911s.

      I report what I personally see. I see lots of 1911s (of some kind or another) malf. Others do too. For what it’s worth, I don’t think condemning a design merely for being old makes sense, nor do I particularly care whether or not tools are needed to take it apart. Those criticisms in the original post are off base, and I wish the guy had never made them because they allow all the 1911 suckups here to focus on them instead of the real issue: I care about whether they function. The ones I see other people fire, and the ones I have fired myself, jam far more than is acceptable. That’s a simple FACT. Glock isn’t paying me to say this. I am just sick and tired of all the love lavished on what, every time I have experienced it, has been a piece of crap. And half the time I say this, I get responses like “fine american craftsmanship” and “not made out of cheap plastic.” You know what? I don’t CARE. If it doesn’t work, it doesn’t fricking WORK and pouring more expensive materials and labor into it does NOT increase its actual value. (Thinking so, by the way, is the Marxist theory of value.)

      When I had a friend go through EIGHT DIFFERENT 1911s trying to find ONE that would function, before he finally gave up and switched to the Beretta 92 (he noticed two things: his friends’ 92s never failed to function, and his friends wondered why he was so anal retentive about dealing with malfs–he was anal retentive because he had to be, and thought it was “normal” to have to deal with malfunctions until he finally gave up on the 1911), that made an impression on me. When I see, time and time again, people swear their 1911 has never failed them, then see a feed ramp jam in the next two mags they fire, I wonder what sort of delusional mental illness they have. Or maybe they have a different definition of “failure” than I do. I’ve seen people proudly take their new 1911 to the range, and proudly report “only” a handful of one kind of jam or another, then say in the very next sentence “no issues.” Performance like that means I will NEVER carry that gun. This guy continued to slobber all over the thing. In fact, he’s probably telling people right now his gun has never failed. Bullshit. Utter bullshit.

      I just gave a couple more 1911s a chance (as I reported above). Both malfunctioned, after the people at the range swore they had shot them and that they were wonderful guns. What causes such blindness? What is it that makes people fall in love with such a fricking lemon, to the point where they ignore the real possibility it will kill them in a gun fight because the bullet is burrowing into the feedramp?

      • “The ones I see other people fire, and the ones I have fired myself, jam far more than is acceptable. That’s a simple FACT.”

        That’s not fact; that’s anecdote. And basing an opinion on anecdotal evidence… well, that’s blindness. There’s far more real evidence out there supporting the flawless functionality of the 1911 design than there is against it. Actually, there’s far more evidence supporting 1911 functionality than there is supporting any other semi-auto handgun in the world.

        If anecdotal evidence is that valuable to you, here’s mine: I have never had any ordnance spec 1911 pistol fail to perform any function with any type of ammunition. I have never witnessed any ordnance spec 1911 fail to perform any function while being fired by another competent shooter.

        I wish I could have you shoot mine. It’s sweet – action smooth as glass, trigger is a bit long on the pull (I don’t want to modify the bow with it being all original) but it breaks clean and crisp, mags slide in and out like they’re riding on butter. You’ve had some crappy luck with pistols it sounds like, and I reckon your opinion isn’t going to change if you give up looking for a decent 1911.

        • Robert, fair enough. YOU are talking about ordnance spec 1911s. DanP–who I was responding to–was NOT. This is what I was talking about during our earlier exchange. Those other 1911s give yours a bad name, and since their sycophantic fan boys just go around referring to “1911s” guess what, he’s talking about ALL of them. Not just the Ordnance Spec ones. And if you throw ALL of them together, the average reliability stinks–even if what you say about Ordnance Spec is correct, those can’t pull the average up enough. Which makes what he said bullshit. Your postings here can be right, and my previous rant can also be right, and DanP’s can be wrong, because, despite superficial appearances, they aren’t actually talking about the same thing.

          (I’m going to start abbreviating it “OS1911” just to save typing.)

          If someone handed you a featureless box, and said there was “a 1911” in it (and then said, “It may or not be OS, I picked one at random at the gun shop”) would you be willing to bet money it will work right out of the box? Don’t you get tired of having to defend OS1911s with all those polished turds out there as well? I’d love to see OS1911 owners pile on these guns and give an honest assessment, and make a distinction. Instead it’s about as rare as seeing a non-terrorist Muslim condemn a terrorist one, it happens, but not nearly often enough. Or as rare as seeing a police officer actually get punished meaningfully (paid leave isn’t it) for overstepping his bounds.

          At this point I am entertaining the hypothesis that I wouldn’t have trouble with an Ordnance Spec 1911 (I’m going to start abbreviating it “OS1911” just to save typing). There’s no way, though that I can believe that ALL 1911s are trouble free, other than the occasional lemon that no manufacturer can completely avoid, because I see far too many of those supposedly rare lemons. One lemon out of one *could* be bad luck. (Such appears to have been the case with my Beretta Nano, which although of recent manufacture, behaves like the early problematic ones.) 20 lemons out of 30 really can’t be mere bad luck; you have to conclude a high percentage of the larger population probably does just plain suck. Of course one then asks questions like, “is it possible the 20 bad ones were all from the same run at the same manufacturer.” (In which case, “larger population” means that lot of 1911s.) Well, you’re telling me, basically, that those 20 are NOT OS and the 10 others probably are. Fair enough. I admit I didn’t keep track, but I have noticed that Shiny 1911s tend to be the worst offenders. Given that the braggarts whose guns then choke are generally showing off “shiny” 1911s and invite one to drool over the finish and how oh so smooth the slide is and how it feels like a vault door closing (i.e., all secondary/cosmetic attributes), I can see that. Now I am going to test that as best I can (given that I can’t try out ten randomly selected OS1911s); there’s a Springfield OS at the same range that rents the Dan Wessons. For various reasons I probably won’t get around to testing it in less than a month. My friend with the eight failures actually volunteered to film it, because HE is sure that it will be a dog.

          I do have to admit that I lost my temper with DanP. I resented like hell the implication that I’d lie about my personal experiences just so Glock would hand me money (as if a shiny 1911 hater must necessarily be a glock suck up). I don’t work for Glock; I don’t work for ANY gun manufacturer, and I *will not* lie about what I have seen with my own two eyes, either when others shoot, or when I do. When a company I actually *like* turns out to have made a flaky gun, I say so. I reported a massively unreliable CZ-97 (even though I carry CZ-75s) and Dan Wesson is also owned by CZ. I’ve seen the occasional Glock malf too, but they are *far* more occasional and tied to either extremely dusty conditions or specific shooters (who are probably limp wristing). See Glocks are particularly susceptible to that, and I can say it, and other bad things about them, because I don’t take their money. I’ll say that even though they’re fugly (to my eyes) and I hate the way the trigger feels, they are on the whole good guns. I agree, I don’t see one of them being passed down as an heirloom (unless it ever comes to pass that they become “grandpa’s service weapon”)

        • Sorry to express an inconvenient truth to the worshippers of “Ordnance Spec” 1911s, but the chamber must be throated to feed hollowpoints. No modern design requires such a procedure which reduces effective case support under firing pressure. This makes the “1911OS” OBSOLETE! Only the modern 1911s that have the feed ramp integral to the barrel like every other modern pistol can be compared to them as serious duty weapons. I’m sorry if I have offended anyone, or spoke above anyone’s level of firearm comprehension.

        • Steve, just to address one point, I wouldn’t make the claim that the 1911 clones always fail. That would be as absurd and narrow-minded as claiming all 1911s suck. Sure, there are individual examples of any gun functioning perfectly. All I can say to that is the oft-repeated saying: even a blind hog finds an acorn occasionally…

        • Robert, you sound like an arrogant liberal debating politics. The 1911 design does not have the feed ramp integral to the barrel like the Browning P-35 and all pistols designed after that are not 1911 clones. The original 1911 design must be throated to feed hollwopoints, especially the truncated cone types. One might work with Speer’s ogive “flying ashtray” design only. Please expose your ignorance and refute my points specifically without any “broad brush” comments that require no firearms knowledge. When you are finished, I’ll instruct you as to why the 1911 leaf-type extractor is obsolete.

        • Mike, we’ve already had this debate. And despite your childish propensity for attempting to insult those you disagree with, I’ll give you two points that are actually relevant to this discussion.

          1. The burden of proof is on the claimant. You made your claims – you back them up.

          2. I seem to recall you claiming some “facts” about the leaf spring design before. Let me clear things up for you… The ordnance spec 1911 was designed by a gunsmith. That’s why it works. All the modern clones (and yes, they are clones if they are not true to ordnance specs) were designed by mechanical engineers. And that’s why they’re less than perfect.

          Now, to keep yourself from seeming like a liberal arguing politics, how about you bring some facts to the discussion? No one here who is knowledgeable about 1911s is going to believe what you say just because you say it with conviction.

          Not even when you attempt lame insults.


        • The 1911 and it’s clones have the feed ramp on the frame, and not part of the barrel. True or false?

          John Browning’s next design, the P-35 High Power, has the feed ramp integral to the barrel as do all modern designs that are not 1911 clones. True or false?

          Having the feed ramp integral to the barrel is essential to feed various types of bullets. The original 1911 was designed for FMJ ball ammo, and must be throated to feed hollowpoints. True or false?

          Since the last comment is true, the ordnance spec 1911 is obsolete. Can you refute any of these points?

        • Sorry to disappoint you, but straw man arguments do not need to be refuted. Your assumption that the feed ramp being located on the barrel rather than the frame makes the firearm more reliable is simply false. It is nothing more than your opinion. It’s misinformation that can only be attributed to your lack of knowledge where firearms design and construction are concerned. You’ve also claimed (once again) that the Hi Power is somehow the pinnacle of Browning’s pistol designs. This is also false, as any fool can see the 1911 and the Hi Power are two similar but different firearms; the caliber being only the most obvious of the differences. In effect, you’re claiming that the revolver is obsolete because the original revolver design is antiquated. No one but a fool would make such a claim. Refutation isn’t necessary.

          Your question regarding the barrel feed ramp of all modern pistols is also plainly false. Not all modern pistols (even those within groups not considered 1911 clones) have a frame feed ramp. This is also, incidentally, another indication of your lack of knowledge of firearms in general. Consider your second “point” refuted simply by virtue of the facts.

          The Government Model 1911 (M1911 and M1911A1) does not require the chamber to be throated to reliably feed JHP ammunition. Perhaps you’re not familiar with what “throating” actually is. This would not surprise me considering the blundering way you’ve handled your “facts” thus far.

          In conclusion, you’ve proven yourself to be akin to the jackanape who wrote this article – full of “facts” that you cannot prove, backed up by opinions that only the uninformed would espouse, and convinced that no one else could possibly have any greater knowledge on the subject than yourself. In short, you’re a fool on a fool’s mission.

          Once again, our conversation is done.

        • John Browning’s assistant, Dieudonné Saive, completed the design of the P-35.

          All custom 1911 makers throat the 1911 chamber mouth making it wider than the original 1911 design for reliability. Most makers since the 1980’s make barrels this way. To claim otherwise is foolish. Name one modern pistol (not a 1911 clone) barrel that does not have an integral feed ramp that goes below the chamber mouth. There is a reason for this. I’m done with this because you have exposed your egregious ignorance to my satisfaction. Let others on here decide and chime in sharing their thoughts on pistol chamber and feed ramp design.

        • Steve, just to address one point, I wouldn’t make the claim that the 1911 clones always fail. That would be as absurd and narrow-minded as claiming all 1911s suck. Sure, there are individual examples of any gun functioning perfectly. All I can say to that is the oft-repeated saying: even a blind hog finds an acorn occasionally…

          Yeah, my bad if I made it an absolute. I should have said something more along the line that the clones have an unacceptable rate of individual guns turning out to be lemons. Or to borrow Harkrader’s term from below, they all too often have been “butchersmithed” before they left the drawing board.

        • Yep, I can agree with that. But you know, if there’s any gun that’s perfect for butchering, it’s a cheap one. I bought a Ballester-Molina when I started ‘smithing, just to get a feel for the 1911 design. While it’s even less similar to a true 1911 than most clones, it still has a lot of relative parts, and it was a great “primary” for learning the 1911. The best thing was, I paid $300 for it and wasn’t too worried about trashing it.

      • Hmm, I just came back from the range after test firing a brand new Kimber Custom.
        150 rounds of GI hardball with exactly 2 FTFs. Both FTFs were with the issue Kimber mag.
        My Colt mags and my stainless ACT-Mags worked flawlessly.
        The Kimber got no cleaning during this and ran just fine. The accuracy was excellent straight out of the box.
        The moral of the story is test your mags and relegate any that don’t exhibit perfect function to be used on the range only. They’re good for practicing immediate actions for stoppages.
        Any firearm can and will malfunction, that’s why the military and police still train for this inevitability. A stoppage cam be induced by a squib, deformed ammo, faulty ammo, damaged parts, fouling in the mechanism, cheap mags or a combination of things.

        Bill Jordan would not carry a semi auto pistol because, he did not trust them with his life.
        He stuck with his beloved S&W model 19, as elegant and reliable a revolver as was ever made.

        • I do have to wonder why sucky mags are so prevalent in the 1911 (and clones) ‘verse, and why you put up with it, instead of pounding the table and demanding that these high end manufacturers actually supply a decent mag, rather than just shrugging your shoulders as if an expensive gun with shitty accessories was an acceptable norm.

          A bad mag for me is an extreme rarity, and I shoot much cheaper firearms.

        • SteveInCO, the problem of magazines isn’t so different from the problem of cloning. Clone a cheap version of a legendary pistol and you get a higher rate of malfunctions. It’s almost the same with magazines. The original 1911 magazine was made for ball ammo only, and it does that fine. One of the points the tool below made was that 1911s don’t run JHPs very well, and in the context of the original magazines, I would agree. However, there are companies that have studied this problem and come up with solutions – Colt and Wilson Combat to name a couple. Timed magazine lips are all you need to make a 1911 run JHP ammo flawlessly. Said tool’s opinion that the barrel should be “throated” is completely ignorant of the simplest solution, and reveals his lack of knowledge in the area of actually ‘smithing and troubleshooting 1911s.

          As it turns out, you’ll find decent magazines from the same companies that you find decent 1911s. It isn’t a search you can make in just a couple of hours and expect clear results, but it’s well worth the time if you want a quality 1911 that really showcases the reasons why the design has such a sterling reputation even a century later.

        • I have proven the 1911 is obsolete, using your own logic. John browning meant for the 1911 to be carried cocked and unlocked. The grip safety is a another useless feature that has moving parts and can fail. Now, the 1911 needs special mags to feed hollowpoints? I did use special mags for my 9mm and 10mm 1911, but it was not designed for those calibers.

          What other pistol requires “special” mags to feed HP ammo? It would be considered a joke, and the company making them would be out of business pronto. I feel sorry for someone that pays a 2X – 5X markup for obsolete nostalgia.

        • The only thing you’ve proven is that you have little to no experience where the 1911 (at least) is concerned. You said yourself that the 1911 was designed for FMJ (which it was) and that it requires “throating” to fire JHP rounds (which it doesn’t). You’ve also said that you used different magazines for non-standard ammunition, but you imply that this is a weakness in the 1911 when a magazine needs timed lips to run non-standard ammunition. I wonder if you’re capable of making up your mind.

          Conclusion: you’re clueless about, not just the 1911, but also the very things you just said. Send me your phone number so I can call you to remind you to breathe.

        • Ok, the combined design and manufacturing experience of FN, HK, S&W, Beretta, Sig, and Glock are inferior because they do not have a barrel bushing, barrel link, grip safety, and leaf spring extractor. They are inferior because they have the feed ramp integral to the barrel and do not require special magazines that require feed lips that are an extra part that can get damaged. Got it.

          I feel your expertise is more suited to a 1911 forum, not a general firearms forum. Here, we like to discuss design and technological advancements that occur over time.

          WWI technology is great if you like motorcycles that vibrate, but it’s not winning wars anymore. I’m done with your foolish worship of obsolescence.

        • Nice try at putting words into my mouth. My opinion is what it is, while your opinion has been nothing but a claim that my opinion is inaccurate, which goes to show you have no idea what an opinion actually is. I’ll repeat what I’ve said before: while you’re welcome to your own opinion, you’re not welcome to your own facts.

          Also, I’m not seeing this as a discussion board, but rather the comments section on an article clearly biased against the finest semi-auto handgun design in the world, and trying to pass itself off as factual, which several people have shown to be false. You have also offered no facts, but conjecture and circumstantial “evidence” to support your claims. Your lack of critical thinking has undone you.

          As for the age of the technology… perhaps you should check again. Last I saw, the Ma Deuce (also designed by JMB) was still “winning wars” as you so quaintly put it. Actually, the 1911 is still in service with MARSOC and other individuals in the Spec Ops community, meaning it is also still “winning wars”. Consider your fallacious assertion refuted by the facts. Perhaps this will also educate you as to what facts are versus opinions.

        • My previous post presented all the design features that make the 1911 obsolete. I also proved, using your own criterion of excessive parts, why the 1911 is inferior. You seemed unable to grasp the concept of what an integral feed ramp even is when I presented it. I’m sorry these facts destroyed your case for the 1911, but do not try to obfuscate the situation by calling facts opinions. Good day.

        • Fact: the leaf spring extractor is fewer parts than the coil spring., making it more reliable.
          Fact: every part in the 1911 is necessary and performs at least one function, some two or more.
          Fact: your fallacious assertion was and is that the age of the design makes the 1911 obsolete.
          Fact: the ramped barrels are not better, evidenced by the problems that many ramped barrels have of splitting at the seam of the ramp and barrel, which does not happen to standard 1911 barrels.
          Fact: you have an unreasonable bias against a design you are grossly unfamiliar with.
          Fact: the 1911 design fathered every other design that you refer to.
          Fact: after more than a century, the 1911 is still effectively used by military units, police, and civilians, in real-life situations.

          If you’re not afraid to admit ignorance and maybe learn a thing or two, read these articles from police magazines extolling the design that you claim is good for nothing other than competition (which still doesn’t make any sense, since competitors want the best).

          Happy Easter.

        • I’ll agree with your fact that the leaf spring has fewer parts and is more reliable. However, you then must make the claim that all of the 1911 parts are necessary. Fact: all of the modern designs I listed earlier DO NOT have a barrel link, barrel bushing, and grip safety parts. They are far more accurate than stock 1911s, and they are arguably more reliable. They do not need special magazines to feed hollowpoints. Magazine lips are the most delicate part of a semi-auto, and the #1 cause of failures. I know you have seen AK mags.

          If the 1911s barrel design was better, then all of the makers I previously identified would do it that way. I’ll also claim that pistols that require more fitting are obsolete because it takes them longer to get back into service when they need repair. A pistol user is more likely to be able to drop in a part that requires no fitting, and get back to work the same day.

        • “If the 1911s barrel design was better, then all of the makers I previously identified would do it that way. I’ll also claim that pistols that require more fitting are obsolete because it takes them longer to get back into service when they need repair. A pistol user is more likely to be able to drop in a part that requires no fitting, and get back to work the same day.”

          Not true, but thanks for the further example of your logical thought process. You assume it’s because a ramped barrel is better, yet you offer no evidence of this other than “because all modern guns use that system”. The very basics of critical thinking say that if A = B, and B = C, then A = C. You have yet you prove that B = C. It could very well be that they make barrels like that because it’s a cheaper method, or it’s easier to CNC, or it allows them to use polymer frames (placing the only part that needs to be metal on the barrel rather than the frame). You have yet to prove neither that the reason IS your claim, nor that it IS NOT some other claim similar to my suggestions.

          As far as fitting replacement parts, the ordnance spec 1911 has loose tolerances which allow the vast majority of parts to be “drop in”. You can continue to imply that I’m claiming every single variant of the 1911 design is an actual 1911 and subject to my criteria, but I’ll say again: one does not simply make a pistol and slap the 1911 label on it with any expectation of the sterling reputation for reliability that the design has established for more than a century.

          And accuracy? I haven’t claimed the ordnance spec 1911 was anything but accurate enough for combat/self-defense, but I wonder why a great many competition shooters use the 1911 match variant? Could you perhaps enlighten us as to why this is? You even said yourself it’s only good for competition. But I’ve come to expect your backpedaling.

          Please come back with your new and improved arguments (read this as “rationalizations”) now that I’ve ruined all your old ones.

        • Sorry, but the only person you are convincing is yourself.

          Why did John Browning put an integral feed ramp on the P-35 Hi-Power?

          Why do all designs but the 1911 that have an integral feed ramp feed hollowpoints with stock magazines and do not require “special” ones.

          Why can one use any modern design as a reliable duty weapon and shoot different forms on competition without extensive modifications like the 1911?

          Why does a 1911 have unnecessary parts like a grip safety, barrel bushing, and barrel link which can fail?

          The only thing special about the 1911 are the users that think an obsolete, inaccurate jammamatic is better that obviously superior modern designs.

        • BZZZZZT! Sorry, questions are not evidence, only proof of your ignorance. Not to mention, every question you asked screamed loudly of your assumptions. No consolation prize for morons, but thanks for playing!

        • When you look straight into the chamber of a 1911 barrel, the inside and outside of the chamber walls make concentric circles. Looking at any other newer pistol barrel shows the inner circle of the chamber wall, but the outer circle is broken by the feed ramp’s downward protrusion into the magazine well. This feed ramp is clearly visbile when viewed from the side as well, but the ramp is absent on all 1911s. The burden of proof is upon you to present examples of other pistols that have the feed ramp on the frame like a 1911, and not on the barrel like all others. This is a simple fact that you cannot disprove. You sound like you cannot even grasp the concept, which is unacceptable for a gunsmith.
          The only other option is that you are just too intellectually dishonest to admit that you are wrong (and ignorant). Why don’t you just provide all of these examples of world renowned, reliable pistols that have their feed ramps on the frames instead of the of the barrels? All you are doing now is embarrassing yourself.

        • Hey, welcome back! I thought you’d finally gotten a little bit of sense, or actually learned a bit about critical thinking. Apparently I was wrong, because you still seem to think I have the burden of proof where your ramped barrel argument is concerned. You have yet to submit evidence that a ramped barrel is better than a non-ramped barrel, or what the reasons for ramped barrels are. You simply assume that they make ramped barrels predominantly these days because they’re better. You’re very good at assuming. If it were a useful skill, I would be SO proud of you!

          You also fail to realize that I haven’t made the claim that there are a lot of non-1911 pistols out there without ramped barrels. All I’ve claimed is that not all modern pistols have ramped barrels. I would love to see you disprove something I’ve actually claimed.

          When you become a gunsmith (and not some puling “mechanical engineer”), you can talk about gunsmiths all you want. Until then, your opinions on my profession are little more than what all of your other opinions have been thus far – assumptions amounting to nothing more than BS.

          See you in another couple months! Don’t forget to study up on your critical thinking!

        • Your claim is not true just because you made it. I have destroyed all of your points, but you are such an arrogant fool you think your opinions are universal truth. I have given you a chance to validate your opinions, and all you can come up with is that you have “claimed it”. Name a pistol that is not a 1911 clone that does not have an integral feed ramp. Since you can not. just go away and take your arrogance with you.

        • You’re not the crunchiest Chicken McNugget in the Happy Meal, are you? You have yet to realize that the existence of a non-ramped barrel semi-auto other than a 1911 is beside the point – it’s actually nothing more than your straw man you hope I will try to knock down. Your claim (which is based on nothing more than your assumptions) is that the ramped barrel is superior, while you have yet to present any evidence supporting this claim. You continue to say it, but offer no proof other than “It has to be because it’s modern”. lol (If nothing else, I have gotten a few chuckles out of this.)

          You have not destroyed one single point I’ve made, yet you call me arrogant and a fool while making this preposterous claim. It’s sort of the same as your claim that the leaf spring is inferior to the coil spring – you’ve offered no evidence, only your opinion. Sorry, but your opinion is not fact, even if you want it to be really, really, bad!

          I do see, however, that you’ve failed to understand critical thinking… again. It’s too obvious when you make statements such as, “The ramped barrel is better because modern pistols use them”, without providing evidence as to WHY modern pistols use ramped barrels. I made this perfectly clear in one of my other replies to you. Apparently you’ve forgotten… or you never read it (and that would explain a few things).

          It’s also pretty obvious that you are incapable of supporting your arguments. Your wish that I leave is nothing more than a last ditch effort for you to be able to tell yourself that you’ve “won” something, or that you’ve, at least, saved face. Neither is true. All of your words are here for anyone to read. All of my words are also here for anyone to read. Perhaps you should go back and reread our exchange before making grandiose and premature claims of victory. Actually, I don’t see how you could even consider this a conflict. We aren’t fighting, I’m simply pointing out to you the fallacies in your assumptions. You should be grateful rather than petulant.

          Please return and offer some evidence that a ramped barrel is superior, or that a coil spring is superior, in the function of a semi-automatic handgun. And I do mean evidence, not conjecture and opinion as you’ve offered so far. Are you capable of even attempting this? I certainly hope so.


        • So let me see if I understand this: The same company that just shipped you a custom job 1911 (yes, altered somewhat from OS) packages with it a magazine they know will not work with that gun, ofttimes even with ball, even though they sell magazines of their own (or at the very least know of magazines) that do work?

        • I don’t think they knowingly sell defective mags, but I also don’t think they put enough effort into quality control. I think their mentality runs along the lines of, “We sell guns; the mags (cheap to produce) are free.” Either way, the first thing I do with a new gun is throw the mags in a drawer and buy good ones. Saves a lot of headache. And, like the other guy said, you can always use the crap mags for practicing malfunction recovery at the range.

        • So is there a good mag manufacturer, or does the best magazine vary by individual make and model of 1911?

          And I can’t emphasize enough how fricking shoddy that manufacturers’ attitude is. There are plenty of other firearm companies that don’t screw their customers needlessly like this. And they only hurt their own reputation shipping a lemon of a combined system when they could fix it for cheap.

        • Wilson Combat is my go-to mag. Having an antique 1911, and not wishing to permanently modify it in any way, I use the 47D model timed-lip magazine from them. Eight rounds, an extended bumper on the bottom (my hands are large and it makes it hard to reload a flush magazine), easy disassembly for cleaning and lubing, all make this magazine the perfect choice for me. My gun eats everything I feed it. I haven’t tried wadcutters yet, but I suspect it will eat those too. They’re a bit pricey at over $30 a mag, but considering how often you need to buy mags (if you have good ones), I’m willing to pay for them.

          I had a Ballester-Molina once that wouldn’t feed anything but FMJ. I put one of these mags in with JHP and it shot them as reliably as a revolver. And that was with a barrel that some Bubba-smith had tried to “throat” and screwed up. After that, I haven’t used anything but the WC mags.

        • Fallacy alert:

          “Fact: the 1911 design fathered every other design that you refer to.”

          This is actually an argument that the 1911 is historically significant (which it certainly is, regardless), not that it is still worth using today. One could claim that every handgun’s design descends from a matchlock, but no one advocates for that being current. In fact, this claim leaves one open to the counter-argument that all those descendant designs were necessary to overcome the 1911’s deficiencies. (I’m sure he’ll jump on that; he harps on the feed ramp being one of those “deficiencies” that no descendant design uses.) Thus, it’s just as silly to use this as an argument that it’s NOT obsolete, as the other side is to use the age of the design as an argument that it necessarily IS obsolete.

          With that penalty flag dropped, I’m going to go back to munching popcorn watching this play out.

          (For some reason the comment I’m quoting appeared above the ones dated four days before it, where Robert and I were discussing mags.)

        • Not exactly a fallacy. I wasn’t asserting that the design, having fathered almost every modern semi-auto handgun, was still viable for modern use. Rather it was simply a fact stated among other facts, some of which are also not arguments in supporting use of a 1911 today.

          To educate him, he must have examples of what facts are versus opinions. If he has any chance of learning at all, this is the best way, if not the only. I wonder if he read the articles…

        • Thanks for the comment about newer designs overcoming the 1911s deficiencies. It makes this case I have been trying to make in one short, clear sentence.

          I’d like to put my Sarsilmaz Turkish CZ-75 clone up against a slew of 1911s in an endurance test. It was built in the Turk’s military armory and has NATO cert numbers on it, so I’m 99% sure the metallurgy is proper and Mil-spec.

          I paid $299.95 new for it, and I would LOVE to watch it keep firing as $1000-$3000 1911 jammamatics choked.

        • If you’re talking about putting it up against an ordnance spec M1911A1, there’s a better than good chance you’ll lose. If you’re talking about putting up against what YOU think of as a 1911, it’s anybody’s guess.

  105. Guys…c’mon, this is ridiculous. Are there Camrys with blown engines 70xxx miles in? Sure. But does it occur on greater frequency than most GM products? Probably not. The fact is, the toyota and GM are both popular car brands with reliable enough reputations. Please don’t retort to this comment with ” Oh, but my 87′ Sierra has ‘X’ miles”; there are always exceptions.

    The fact is, most modern handguns should suit your needs just fine with proper maintenance and training , be it Glock or 1911 or …

  106. Geez, I haven’t had any of those problems, so all mine must be faulty.
    I have or have had everything from US Government surplus to Performance Center S&W 1911s.
    Even my 1970s era Colt Government Model has never hiccuped.
    My “tight as a drum” S&W PC and my Sig Scorpion Carry and my Springfield Operator Light Weight have been problem-free.
    I have two series 80 OMDEs that have no problems, and two 10mm Delta Elites that never balk whether I use commercial ammo or my own.
    I have a 1991 that some idiot “butchersmithed.” After correcting the internals it has been perfect.
    I once fired a surplus model with only what came in it, 700 times without so much as lube and IT worked fine.

    Troubles I have seen at the range usually came from guns that had been modified to make them “better.” Or faster. Many of the popular mods were created to address the needs of really fast competition shooters but do little or nothing for the rest of us except cause problems.
    I have two 1911-pattern guns I rotate in my CCW choices, and one of them – or one of my others – will almost always go to the range for workout or play. I have not had the issues described.

    As to operating it:
    1. I can disassemble any of them with my bare hands.
    2. Magazines are consumables. They must be maintained or replaced.
    3. No ammo problems, even with the “Flying Ashtray” hollow points.
    4. It has a manual of arms, just like any gun, and the user should be proficient or leave it at home. I’ve seen people behave questionably with revolvers.
    5. Accidents attributable to its design? Please cite some. Yeah, I know there are some, but no more than for any other type of handgun.

  107. All of the points iterated by the author are valid. To quote the author:

    “I have said it before and I will end up saying it again: the 1911 an old design that is more trouble than it is worth.”

    The first part of the sentence is undeniable, and the second half is valid for debate (although I wonder if the author has a Harley Davidson in his garage, and therefore sees the irony in his remark.)

    To quote Hilton Yam at 10-8 Performance: “The 1911 has unequalled ergonomics, is easy to customize for each user, and is capable of excellent reliability when properly set up and maintained.”

    Those three points, in a nutshell, make the entire argument for using the 1911, aside from whatever Jeff Cooper may have said.

    And my father, who was involved in multiple gun & knife fights with criminals, still carries his S&W Model 19 because it was is service pistol and he used it to qualify for decades. But boy does he love to take his Guncrafter to the local hardware store to talk gun porn with the local retired guys at the lunch counter.

    • The 3rd point you quoted says everything one needs to know about the 1911, “…capable of excellent reliability when properly set up…”. No other firearm design would be considered serviceable, let alone “the best”, if it had to be “set up” by a gunsmith before it would even work with hollowpoints. This is because the feed ramp is integral to the barrel on ever pistol designed after the 1911. What I find pathetic is that some 1911 worshippers on here are too immature to admit this undeniable fact, or too just ignorant about firearms design to grasp it.

      • And that is the point. The fanboys are engaging in the most blatant and prevalent double standard I’ve ever seen in the firearms “world.” Other firearms have to work right out of the box. But not the sacred Shiny 1911; it’s expected to have to send them off for “tuning” (as if it were a Selmer Paris Signature clarinet or a Stradivarius–what pretentiousness). Apparently it’s part of the customer experience, to be able to brag about which whiz-bang custom shop worked on your gun–which would be OK, it’d be fantastic even, if you sent it to get it customized, rather than sent it in just to get it to freaking work.

        (Contra Robert Howard, I’ve seen this attitude expressed re: Ordnance Spec ones as well. If what he has told me is right, this should be very much a minority opinion. I just don’t see all that many of those in actual use so I’m withholding judgment.)

        Heard tell at the range yesterday of a $3200 Les Baer that was a total jam-o-matic at an IDPA match. Gee it seems to me Les Baer is supposed to be one of the good ones. But that’s ok, it’s “the best” gun out there.

        As an aside, I wonder about a “defensive pistol” event where people bring their race guns instead of what they will actually carry, and let’s not even discuss the “shoot me” vests. On the other hand, it’s possible the competitor, smitten with his shiny toy, actually is foolish enough to carry it. I’d love to see an event where the competitors have to sign an affidavit beforehand certifying that the gun, rig and clothing they are wearing are what they actually carry and wear in real life. No “shoot me” vests and no race guns unless, of course, they are actually stupid enough to live “real life” that way.

        • To clarify some earlier statements of mine, the only reason one should take their “true” 1911 to a shop to have it checked out is the very same reason anyone should do the same with any pistol before firing it. Any company, any model can have machining burrs, tool marks, and/or out-of-spec parts straight out of the box. This is not a model or brand problem; it’s a QA problem that every company in the world has from time to time. This is also why you can get a Les Baer that fails regularly – because people (not the design) are fallible

          As for why ordnance spec 1911s are even more prone to need this, there’s a simple explanation: the 1911 design does not lend itself to CNC machining very well. This design came about during a time when machining tools were much more simple and more crude than today’s, which means the 1911 from back then had a great portion of its functionality owed to hand-fitting the parts. Obviously, one craftsman is going to be better or worse than another, and this will cause varying degrees of success with any individual pistol depending upon how well it was QAed.

          Concerning today’s 1911s… I believe one of the biggest problems with the modern clones is that the manufacturers are relying too much on machining and not enough on hand-fitting. Also, the 1911s that have been redesigned (which are a great many of them) are getting away from ordnance specs – the original design. This, by definition, is a redesigned firearm and not a 1911, regardless of what they call it. The original 1911 design was created by a genius gunsmith, namely John Moses Browning, not a mechanical engineer as today’s are. As with most of Browning’s designs, simplicity is the dominant factor. It’s obvious in the Auto 5, the Ma Deuce, the Hi Power, and a lot of the lever and pump action rifles he designed while with Winchester. When that simplicity is deviated from, the design becomes unreliable. So when I say “ordnance spec”, it’s not from a purist’s perspective; it’s from a logical perspective.

          As an aside concerning differences in designs, take a look at the Auto 5 and the Winchester model 1911 shotguns. The first was designed by Browning. The second was created as competition for the Auto 5 and very closely resembles the Auto 5. However, if you’ve ever had a Winchester 1911 apart, you’ll very quickly see that it’s a mangled mess as far as design goes. It’s has none of the simplicity and “grace” that the Auto 5 has. They couldn’t even come up with a solution for a bolt handle that avoided infringing on Browning’s patent. They simply knurled the barrel and expect you to cock it by shoving the barrel backwards into the receiver. This translated to people placing the butt of the shotgun on the ground, leaning over the barrel, and pushing down to cock it. It soon earned the unofficial name, Widowmaker when instances of people blowing their own heads off became public knowledge. A simple design redesigned, and it was arguably more than just a flop.

  108. “As for why ordnance spec 1911s are even more prone to need this, there’s a simple explanation: the 1911 design does not lend itself to CNC machining very well.””Concerning today’s 1911s… I believe one of the biggest problems with the modern clones is that the manufacturers are relying too much on machining and not enough on hand-fitting.”

    This is why firearm manufacturing companies pay engineers to design reliable pistols that can be mass produced, and not hand fitted. Pistols like the Colt Positive Lock revolvers and 1911 are obsolete because too much hand fitting is required. A tuned Python or 1911 may be the ultimate performing handgun, but it’s not the best tool for mainstream duty applications. They are like race cars that require more maintenance than the daily driver.

    • So now you’re backpedalling again, from “1911s are useless” to “they’re not great for duty weapons”.

      Yeah, okay…

      • 1911s are useless to me. I said they are more suited to competition that duty because the original design has reliability issues with HP ammo, and must be modified.

        You keep trying to discredit me after you have claimed everything I said is false. In order to save face, you have tried to justify the most outrageously false claims about 1911 design that I have heard. Namely, that the original 1911 design is reliable with ammo other than FMJ ball, and that the integral feed ramp is not superior to that original 1911 design.

        If you compare the two barrel designs from a machining standpoint, the integral ramp requires many more steps. Why do Beretta, Browning, CZ, Glock, HK, Sig, Springfield, ect. all put cost into their pistol manufacture if it is not required for reliability?

        • You made the claim about the feed ramps. I called you on it. You’ve offered no evidence, while the evidence for inferior type barrels is abundant.

          What it boils down to is, you think you know pistols, but you don’t, evidenced by your claim that a pistol good for competition is no good for anything else.

          Once again, I’m done here. Perhaps I’ll entertain your fantasies when you bring some proof supporting your opinions.

        • Am I wrong in concluding that you believe 1911 chambers do not need throating to feed HP, or that you think the integral fed ramp design is not superior to the original 1911 for feeding HP ammo? This is what I am concluding based on your comments.

          I am the only one here bringing any examples for proof. All major pistol manufacturers like Beretta, Browning, CZ, Glock, HK, Sig, Springfield, ect. machine a feed ramp into their barrels. All reputable 1911 custom shops throat the barrel’s chamber as rework or make the barrel throated from scratch. Please name one modern pistol design used by a military or police force that does not have an integral feed ramp or throated chamber to ensure reliable feeding.

          Can you prove with examples that the original 1911 barrel does not need throating to reliably feed HP ammo?

          Can you prove with examples that the integral feed ramp design on pistols is not superior to the original 1911 design for reliably feeding HP ammo?

          I will accept any correction you can give me with practical examples, but all you have presented so far is your opinions.

        • I don’t need examples to disprove your conjecture. You claim the ramped barrel is superior. That’s simply your opinion. The fact that most modern pistols use ramped barrels is not evidence that they’re superior. If you believe it is, I’d like to introduce you to a concept called “critical thinking”. It is also nothing more than your opinion that the 1911 design is obsolete, cumbersome and/or flawed.

          When you can actually back up your claims, come back and we’ll talk. Until then, enjoy your opinions, but don’t tout them as facts. It makes you appear as silly as the author of this diatribe.

        • I have backed up my claims, which you conveniently ignore. If you knew how to run a lathe, you would understand the extra steps and costs involved in making the feed ramp on the barrel. Just because it’s popular does not make it right, but if every successful maker of reliable pistols is adding costs to put a design feature on their product, there must be a reason.

          That is critical thinking.

          Places like Clark Custom, Kimber, Wilson Combat, ect. all have similar features on their 1911s that are different from the original spec 1911. Just because they do it does not make it better, right? But if all of the top experts agree on a feature, it should be implemented, right? How is that critical thinking working out for you?

          Name one major 1911 Custom Shop/Manufacturer that does not include some form of throating on their chambers for reliability. Can’t you give me any examples to prove your opinions are facts?

          I am looking forward to whatever absurdity you will come up with next to justify your foolish ideas about pistol design. However, if you can’t come up with any real world examples like I have, please stop wasting time and just keep it to yourself.

        • “… there must be a reason.”

          And you just assume that it’s because it’s more reliable. I can see more clearly the type of person I’m dealing with now. Especially with your very next words claiming that your assumption is critical thinking.

          Hey, tell me more about the leaf spring design being obsolete… I just love that part. I laugh for hours! lol

        • All you can do is keep insulting me rather that give examples to prove your points vs. mine. That speaks volumes to everyone reading this about your ignorance and immaturity. I feel sorry for you.

          A leaf spring has far more deflection than a coil spring doing the same job. The coil spring’s deflection is divided by the number of coils, so it has far less stress put upon it. This results in a much greater number of cycles before the coil spring must be replaced.

          Why can’t you get some documented info about spring design to prove my ignorance instead of attacking me with childish insults?

          I welcome anyone reading this to chime in and enlighten us on these issues.

        • Playing the victim again? I say I laugh at your ludicrous claims, and that’s an intentional insult from me rather than you making laughable claims? Please…

          As for the leaf spring design, it has nothing to do with “deflection”. As any fool knows (or the ones smarter than you anyway), the more parts, the more likely something will break/malfunction. A leaf spring extractor is one part vs. three parts for an external spring extractor (spring, extractor, plunger).

          Reliability, functionality, simplicity – those are the things modern pistols have gotten away from, and why they’re inferior to the 1911 design in every way.

          By the way, the fool comment? THAT was an insult. Now you can cry about my immaturity all you want with perfect justification and not sound like a whiny kid whose toy broke.

        • Springs are specified by the force rate per units of deflection.

          “the more parts, the more likely something will break/malfunction.” A 1911 has a barrel bushing and a barrel link which modern designs do not have. Using your own words, the 1911 is inferior due to unnecessary parts. Anyone familiar the 1911 design knows it must be tuned up for reliability, whereas modern pistols do not. Once again, you have failed to give specific examples as proof to back up your ludicrous claims about the 1911. Your own words about simplicity make the 1911 obsolete because their are too many parts.

          Please keep responding to this thread because your gross ignorance of firearm design keeps getting proven more and more with each new comment. You obviously have no examples to prove your ridiculous claims about the 1911 design. The fact that it must be hand fitted makes it obsolete because factories can make CNC weapons much faster and cheaper to supply an army in times of war.

        • Thank you. That comment says it all, and I can finally leave you to your misspellings in good conscience.

  109. Wow! This has been a REALLY fun read. Thanks for the OP, Gunnutmegger! Fanboys really do get their panties in a wad over generalizations regarding their weapon of choice. I’ve seen Glock fanboys have aneurysms over the same type of discussions over bad grip angle, crappy sights and staple-gun trigger! Guess I should weigh in. I put between 5K and 8K rounds per year through whatever pistol I carry, trying to keep about 150 rounds per week the standard, and I am in a better position than most shooters to make judgements about the individual firearms. Two observations from my 25 or so years of shooting hundreds of thousands of rounds through many different pistols:
    1. Buying a stock pistol of ANY kind is a crap-shoot, and you don’t really know if the one you purchased was produced under consistent quality control. Most stock pistols DO need some work right out of the box. All of the stock 1911s, Beretta M9s and Sig P-series pistols I have owned have some noticeable creep in the triggers that needs to be smoothed out from the start, and some Glocks come out of the box with an insane grittiness to the trigger. Once you take care of that, and begin replacing sights and springs and mags to get better function, you no longer are shooting a stock pistol, but are using a certain PLATFORM. Currently, I am shooting a pistol that looks like a Glock G23 but I have tuned it with certain parts to be 100% to my liking. Therefore it is no longer really a Glock but rather a Glock-platform pistol. The only pistol I ever shot 100% stock for thousands of rounds was an HK USP Compact .40, and that reliability may have been the exception rather than the rule.
    2. All pistols will break if you shoot them enough. I have broken firing pins, ejectors and even slides on 1911-platform pistols. On Glocks it is trigger pins and locking blocks that tend to fail after thousands of rounds. Just keep some of those parts on hand and keep shooting. A pistol is a tool and tools wear out eventually.
    Kudos to the original poster. Very enjoyable banter. I would not carry a 1911-platform pistol, no matter how reliably it could be tuned, but I would never bash someone who carries one. They are just not for me and most of the other people who carry them daily.

    • For what it’s worth, I shot thousands of rounds through a Beretta 92 without altering it in any way. I don’t believe it ever failed to function. I eventually had to fix a broken part. Likewise my CZ-75s (my full size has had an occasional failure to function under certain circumstances I can avoid). I replaced the front sight on one with a night sight, and the recoil spring started getting weak so I fixed it–that’s wear and tear as you mentioned.

      I really don’t get into modifying the heck out of my guns, I pick em up out of the box, lube em, and if they don’t work, I condemn them as pieces of crap. put them in the safe and let em rust. I don’t have time nor the willingness to suffer brain damage to send it around to three different gunsmiths and/or the factory and argue with them about it. They love to try to blame the shooter. And I’d say my record has been pretty good. Only one POS carry gun (my Beretta Nano), the other eight or so have been good.

      That aside, taking the grunginess out of a trigger (which bothers some people more than others) is not the same as having to “tweak” a gun to get it to function reliably. A gun with a gritty trigger can still function. A gun that just jammed? Who cares about the trigger at that point?

      I maintain, and continue to maintain, that so-called 1911s taken together as a class suffer from an intolerably high rate of lemon-age. This is based on my personal experience and observations, and GunNutMegger actually did a different post where he analyzed a bunch of reviews of different models of guns and found so-called 1911s were much more prone to failures to function. Now you will notice I said “so-called 1911s,” I am willing to provisionally credit the hypothesis that Ordnance Spec ones taken as a group and excluding all the bastardized (oops, I mean “enhanced” and “tuned”) ones out there, might not be so lemon-prone. I haven’t tested that yet. (It’s going to be tough persuading the range to let me shoot hollowpoints through their rentals.)

      • Agreed about the 1911-platform pistols, and I agree with Gunnutmegger in the original post that 1911s right out of the box suffer from a higher rate of operational problems than, say, a Glock or an HK right out of the box. To be fair, though, every manufacturer out there seems to have their own brand of “1911” with their own brand of quality control to go with it, whereas a Glock is a Glock and an HK is an HK. I dont think the 1911 design actually sucks, though, as it was good in its time. It’s just WAY outdated. My former STI Tactical was great right out of the box for 14000 or so rounds before I sold it (with a few minor hiccups with some of my questionable handloads, of course). Yes, it was a $2000 pistol (and not right out of the box), but most of my $500 Glocks end up being about that cost by the time I add the RMR sight, match barrel and trigger system, etc. I guess my point in all of this is that most of us who shoot seriously (with the intent of continuous improvement) do optimize our pistols to function to the best of their ability so that we can push ourselves to be better, and a 1911 clone can be optimized as well as the rest of them for range use–I just do not like them personally. Defense is another story. I would never trust a 1911-platform pistol of any kind as a carry gun for the reasons the OP stated. Nor would I trust any DA/SA hammer-fired pistol including Beretta, Sig or HK although I DO enjoy shooting each of these. Defense is much too critical to trust to 19th century design (hammers!).

        • I come at it from a self defense perspective, not a match shooter perspective, and that I think explains most of the differences in our outlooks.

          I do try to shoot under stressful conditions (training off the square range), but I do my damnedest to duplicate my clothing, mode of carry, and EDC gun. In other words I show up wearing what I wore to work, carrying the gun I carry. No point in going through all that with a different gun; then I won’t be accustomed to the gun I am asking to save my life if the SHTF. I honestly don’t care about that last half inch of tightening a group (though I do hate it when the target shows unmistakable evidence I pulled the shot), and unless a trigger is truly atrocious–it’s good. Hence my predilection for guns that work well out of the box. Thus for people with my mindset, it’s simply not true that every gun needs a ton of work done to it.

          I do stay away from da/sa pulls only because the two different trigger weights strike me as begging for one shot to go wild (generally the first one). But I am perfectly happy with a hammer (I never saw why people made a fetish of “no hammer” unless its because they think that’s the only way to get away from DA/SA) as long as it’s the same pull every time. Hence I could go with a Browning Hi Power, and I do go with a CZ-75 with the safety (not the decocker)–a DA/SA that lets you use it as if it were SA only, 1911 style. Actually, it’s a lot better for dry fire practice than having to partially rack the slide on the glock’s not-really-single-action, not really-double-action as I do not have to take my hands off the grip to ready the next dry shot. (And the CZ-75 does let you do double action if you really, really want to, so it has second strike.)

  110. This has to be the most misguided/wrong information on guns I’ve ever witnessed.

    “Just a guy” destroyed all of your ‘arguments’. “The 1911 sucks”…

    I don’t even know where to begin with that kind of school yard BS

    never trusting this site again that is for SURE

  111. Tons have been written here but for the most part nicely, accurately and completely discussed by “Billbob” and “Augie P” in some of the earlier (1/15) responses. My comment(s) are not about the 1911 but about I had previously viewed their website as both highly informed AND highly credible. Yankee Gun Nuts article so undermined my trust in TheTruthAboutGuns that I can no longer rely its being a valid or trustworthy source of information. I would urge others to be cautious also.

  112. Well…..I can say from owning HKMK23s and sigs and glock and many 1911s that if I has to choose it would be between my wilson combat or my Mark23 booth have had over 1500 rounds without failure and the wilson I once fired 300 rounds non-stop to see if it was relieable as the MK23 and it did not fail to fire even once.

  113. All I need to take my 1911 down is my hands and maybe the bushing tool if my thumb is tired. As far as being Finicky my colt has 30,000 rounds through it at least 1,000 of them JHP from cheap wolf to federal hydroshock it loves them all. The only work I have had done to it is taking the trigger down to 3lbs. I’ll put it up against my glock, xdm or xds any day of the week and twice on Sunday. Its my favorite to carry my second being a j frame 2 inch barrel 357 magnum. Yes there is mag capacity but with 45 acp or 357 one shot center mass ends the fight. Shooting at a range is one thing and yes I can put rounds through the same hole with any of my weapons. The thing is when your heart is racing, the andrenaline is flowing and your in that moment Hit center mass with 45 or 357 you get to go home and live another day. 9mm is a fine round for plinking and self defense. Your article reeks of bias and maybe I am just a fanboy… but my expierence tells me your argument is invalid.

  114. I just wish more people would accept valid points from both sides and leave the brand religion out of the argument. When I worked in gun sales and as gun collection buyer for 3 of the largest gun stores in los angeles during the 80’s, I sold, owned and shot most every make and model available at the time, both new and used. Since then, I have added many of the new models available to my collection. Of the dozen or so browning hi-powers, eight 1911 pistols, four sigs, two beretta 92’s, one glock and countless colt and s & w revolvers in my collection, the ONLY model that gave me any grief was the 1911. None of the model 70 or 80 colts would feed anything but ball ammunition reliably without having the ramps and barrels throated and polished. Even then their were occasional problems with lead round nose as well as keith style bullets. Countless failures to feed, stovepipes, slidestop malfunctions and sticky safeties. Not one of the hi-powers or sigs or beretta 92’s had similar problems. Don’t get me wrong – I LOVE my 1911s. I just couldn’t trust them in the same way I could trust the other models. I had a custom Pachmayer Signiture 1911 – expensive gun with lots of hand fitting. It went full auto on me during a practice session. I had a custom “shorty” 1911 customized for me that was a thing of beauty and was one of the most accurate guns I have ever owned made by anyone. But the slide stop was getting torn up by spring design on the shortened barrel. Just yesterday, my series 70 Colt that I finally have working reliably with any ammunition blew the thumb safety out of the frame after firing a single round of Federal HST 230 gr hp +p. This is an all steel gun with proper tensioned springs for modern high powered ammunition. The gun was inoperable after that malfunction and if my life depended on it functioning, I would be dead. No similar experiences with any of my other pistols that weren’t 1911s except my 22 cal firearms including s & w 41, high standard victor, ruger semi autos and both colt and s & w 22 cal revolvers. All failed reliability testing mostly due to inconsistent ammunition which is the major problem with 22 ammunition but also because of light primer hits with the revolvers. The only 22 that was 100 percent reliable was my 22 cal ruger single six. Never a malfunction over thousands of rounds – but not a practical defensive handgun. I’ve shot lots of other unreliable guns including mac 10’s, bersa’s, walthers, MABs that were unreliable for many different reasons even including badly designed triggers that allowed debris to get under them and not allowing them to function, but none of these have the devout following of the 1911 model.
    As I said before, I love the 1911 and my best most accurate most reliable (at least as reliable as my sigs, cz75s and hi-powers) is my Les Baer 1911. It is guaranteed to shoot 1 1/2 inch group at 50 yards and the test target grouping is half that size. It has never jammed once, will feed anything and makes one ragged hole with any good ammunition I have shot with it up to 25 yards. Haven’t tried anything further. But this is a $2,000 gun and should be better or at least as good as the out of the box models costing a quarter of its price. It the Les Baer is so tight it needs an assortment of tools to take it apart and not something I look forward to. The wonder 9’s that I listed can be broken down in 15 seconds or less with no tools, no fuss and no muss. I like the 1911 but it is more of a pain to deal with, repair and take down. I guess I love it for the same reason I love steam punk. Its a classy old design with great lines, great feel and its flat and conceals well for its size. It just feels good in the hand. So I still carry it for CCW on occasion, but my Les Baer is too nice and too expensive to let rust in some police evidence room for a year or two if I ever actually need to use it. So mostly I carry my Sig 228 which has never malfunctioned for me in over a decade.

    • Thanks for the sensible reply, Bob. I had an awesome 1911 Delta that was blued and near new back in 97. I found some white fake bone grips with a blue delta round symbol at a funshow. Since I had not learned to weak hand the slide stop, I put an extended one on it. The slide started locking open with full loads. I had a 10mm Glock do this with that brutally 200 grain Norma ammo. That 1911 Delta would feel all day. I had a 9mm series 70 the next year. I worked across the street from Briley, and had them smith the trigger. It would feed all day, but shoot horrible groups. The High Power became my tool of choice in ’98. I started shooting plate matches with it, and shot an IDPA match in Tyler near my hometown. I got first in stock pistol. Keith Pridgen sent me the certificate, but it got lost in a move. I use a DA for home defense now, but with the “cock and lock” option for matches. I got a brand new mil-spec Sarsilmaz CZ-75 clone for $299 last Labor Day. It has NATO cert numbers, and the whole barrel is chromed. It shoots just like a Hi-power once I fixed the trigger creep, and the low bore axis helps control recoil (unlike the Sig pistols). I had an early 17L Glock that was a jammamatic. The factory sent it back saying it was ok. I guess I had the wrong bullet weight (not NATO). Same deal with my CETME built from a new kit. It would not eject thin wall commercial ,308. Had to use NATO 7.62. My first CETME form a well used kit shot .308 fine, but I had not learned how to check the headspace on a roller lock weapon yet,

      • Have you acquired any proof of your claims yet? I feel as if I’ve given you ample time. I do, however, see that you’re still basing your arguments on anecdotal evidence and conjecture. To clarify, your stories of the fraction of a fraction of a sample of 1911s you two have personally owned doesn’t prove anything when stacked against the guns others have owned that have never failed.

        There – I’ve disproven your anecdotal evidence with more anecdotal evidence. By your logic, that should convince you.


        • Robert Howard has a problem those who were blessed to have a higher education. His ridiculous engineer bashing proves it. Engineers and machinists working together got us to the moon. He does not really understand critical thinking that involves sampling, so he must have taught it to himself on the internet. His histrionics about it show one personality disorder, and his need to make it public on the internet show narcissim.
          These desperate cries for attention and validation are immature and show flaws in childhood psychological development. Robert, please do not teach yourself psychology on the internet. Browsing the DSM-IV will only make you look worse. Don’t go away mad, please just go away and let the rest of us have mature discussions. You are wasting bandwidth could be put to better use.

        • Mike Steel – If you can do nothing other than attack me personally, please do so if it makes you feel better. It says nothing about me, though it speaks volumes about you. Otherwise, please bring some evidence to back up your claims.

          Critical thinking does not involve “sampling”, in any way, shape, or form. This confirms for me that you really have not one clue what critical thinking actually is. Allow me to explain it to you: Consider… if it is true that A is exactly the same as B, and also true that B is exactly the same as C, it is true that A is exactly the same as C. This is the simplified explanation; I’d be happy to go into more depth on the matter for you, but I do feel I actually would be wasting bandwidth then.

          Now, when you can find evidence that supports a reason WHY most modern pistols have ramped barrels (other than your opinion that they’re “better”), please bring it. I’ll happily admit I’m wrong if you can actually prove it.

          I would also ask that you explain why you keep insisting that I enumerate models that don’t have ramped barrels when you have yet to prove the veraciousness of your claim that they are better. Also, feel free to add any evidence that you find to support your claim that leaf springs are better, as you have yet to do that.

          Thanks in advance for refraining from your childish attacks. Have a nice day.

        • As I said, you started with the insults (forget much?). Ramped barrels allow for the elimination of the barrel link and barrel pin (-2 parts) of the 1911. The feed ramp under the barrel allows for for an angled slot to be machined there, which is the slide stop ramp on early designs like the P-35 and CZ-75. The entire firearms industry (examples-sampling) does this for two reasons feed reliability (no throating which is hand finishing) and fewer parts. I proved why the coil spring is better than the leaf two ways. I used engineering terminology you did not understand, and gave an example of the entire auto industry (examples-sampling). The coil spring design has (+2 parts) more than the leaf, so that is a wash.

          The 1911 has a grip safety (-many parts) made useless due to the advent of the DA auto and striker fired designs. The 1911 now has a needless barrel bushing and spring cap (-2 parts) the modern pistol industry (not 1911 clones) does not need.

          Now lets talk about your blatant LIE that I said the leaf is better. Do honestly (forget so much) that you cannot be held accountable for what you state here? Do you even know what a critical thinking (also known as a Venn TRUTH diagram is? Truth and lies are mutually exclusive. You should apologize for your original insult, or just leave this alone and stop wasting bandwidth. Have a good weekend, Robert.

        • Seriously? You’re coming out of the gate with “But, Mom! He started it!” lol

          I did say you favored the leaf spring when I do know that you don’t, A simple mistake transposing “leaf” for “coil”, but hardly a LIE (like caps make it true or something…)

          Also, once again, you have failed to provide evidence. Let me explain… again… that evidence is not you just saying something is true, no matter how much you want it to be.

          It’s a shame you typed all that conjecture, when you could have used the bandwidth for presenting your evidence.

          Oh, yeah. You don’t have any evidence.

  115. Robert, the difference in ramped barrels and the 1911 design is pretty straight forward. Think of it like a wheelchair ramp with the bullet being the wheelchair. A one piece ramp allows the wheels of the chair to move unobstructed up the ramp (ramped barrel) while the 1911 design is a two piece wheelchair ramp that must be précisely aligned or the wheels (bullet) get stuck from a misaligned edge, an improper angle between the two pieces or a damaged edge where the two pieces come together. That is why low end 1911 products without throating and polishing of the feed ramp would only feed full metal jacket hardball reliably. Soft lead bullets would deform and stick when hitting a sharp edge or change in angle or rough surface of the ramp or barrel throat. Full metal jacket would for most part simply bounce off of rough surfaces or misaligned edges because the bullet was hard enough to do that.

    For that reason, every salesman in every major gun store in los angeles was told to recommend throating and ramp polish of every 1911 leaving the store if anything but hardball ammunition was to be used. This was the case for B & B Sales, Pachmayers and Turners when I worked there, and sold hundreds of colt 1911 pistols that needed to have this done for reliable functioning. This wasn’t for a few misc 1911s but every 1911 leaving the store for year after year – hundreds and hundreds of guns. I personally have dozens of 1911s that customers asked me to take down down so they could see how bad the slide to frame fit was and how rough the feeding ramp and barrel opening was on each gun so he could choose the smoothest one with the least number of poor machining mistakes. Many of the Colts – both series 70 and series 80 had such bad quality control that the rails were different size and thickness not to mention craters on the feed ramp and rough edges on the barrels. That is why 1911s need hand polishing and fitting – much more than ramped barreled guns – and are therefore more expensive to produce a reliable end product. A beautifully fitted and polished 1911 is a work of art and very reliable but very expensive. That is why a premier Ted Yost or similar gun will cost 4 to 8 thousand dollars added to the price of the original gun sent in to be customized. In my mind these guns are the finest examples of pistols being produced anywhere in the world, but a long way from a stock $500 to $700 firearm. Colt didn’t ramp or throat its 1911s because that would have driven the cost way up and they couldn’t compete pricewise with the newer designs and ramped barrel guns. Those guns cannot compete with either the accuracy or the reliability of the newer designs because the original 1911 was designed to have sloppy tolerances so sand and mud wouldn’t cause it to malfunction, use only ball ammunition to prevent having to polish ramp and barrel, and hitting a dinner plate at 25 yards being acceptable combat accuracy because that was all that was needed in combat at the time. The newer design guns cost no more, would function without additional polishing and fitting and were far more accurate because they didn’t need a tight fitted barrel bushing which cheaper 1911 designs couldn’t afford to do. Why would someone buy a gun that wouldn’t shoot hollow points or lead bullets reliably, would be half as accurate as the competition for the same amount of money? They bought it because they liked it well enough to fix it. Thus was the birth of the custom 1911 industry.

    I don’t know how to state it any clearer than this.

    • I’m sorry to all of the machinists and mechanics I insulted. The evidence here shows Robert clearly insulting me first.

      Thank you Bob! My first 1911 was a Springfield Armory back in ’88. I did not keep it long due to a post college spending spree. It was way more accurate than I was, but I’m not sure about ammo choices (lead,truncated cone, or ogive (ball). Now I know why the “flying ashtray” bullet was so popular. I had a Colt “Combat Government” with some mods like the lowered ejection port, but it was traded for a “new toy”. My next Colt was the 1991A1 “Combat Government” about 10 years later. I did not know it had to be throated to feed reliably – but I was not aware of the details and Colt’s marketing wordplay (combat unreliable?). I next had that series 70 9mm, then the Colt Delta. I started to catch on then. I recently got one of the Rock Island 9mm “series 70” pistols, but had to order the “special mags” online. My new CZ-75 clone has all of the benefits of a HiPower and DA for home nightstand use, but “cock and lock” for matches.

      Ignorance is no reason to insult people. I’m sorry Robert got insulted, but false accusations tend to damage one’s credibility. Good day, Bob and Robert.

      • Your attempts to insult me have failed, and I’ve made no accusations that weren’t true. Please jump down off the cross. There are others who would like to play the martyr, and you’re in their way.

    • Bob, thanks for the in depth and civil reply. Mike could learn a thing or two from you. However, it’s obvious you haven’t read the rest of the thread, or you would have realized that this has been gone over before.

      Being a gunsmith, I’m well aware of the problems that 1911 clones have. These are not true 1911s, just as the Glock clones that Hi-Point puts out are not true Glocks. This is a pertinent point within this discussion, because the blatant ignorance of the author of this (I hesitate to call it an “article” and give it any validity) hate letter distinctly calls into question the character of the 1911 design. That design is a specific thing, regardless of what anyone calls any gun that is simply based on that design. As much of a fan of Colt as I am, their Series 70 and 80 pistols are nothing more than clones. Anything other than an ordnance spec, government model 1911 is a clone and a deviation from the original design. The argument that Mr. I’m-an-engineer-not-a-gunsmith and I are having is based on this important distinction.

      Your throating point has also been addressed, and I have admitted that an M1911A1 does not always reliably feed anything but FMJ. However, there is no need to throat the barrel, or polish anything at all. These days, magazines with timed lips are designed to eliminate this problem.It seems a small price to pay for a highly reliable firearm that was designed to feed only FMJ ammunition.

      The ramped barrel point is lame at best. Being a gunsmith myself (as the designer of the 1911 was, and not an engineer) I have seen just as many malfunctions in ramped barrels as I have in non-ramped barrels. To be honest, most of the time people think they have a barrel malfunction, it is simply a magazine malfunction. They exacerbate the problem then by “polishing” the feed ramp or the chamber mouth. It could be argued that the ramped barrel design facilitates the feeding of JHP, and I’ll concede there’s some merit to that, but it is not proof that the non-ramped barrel is a poor design by any means at all.

      The 1911 is not designed to be a marksman firearm. It is a combat pistol, and accurate enough for its intended purpose. No argument there. It is also not a cheap gun. If you buy a cheap 1911, be prepared to spend the money you saved on making it reliable. The same applies if you want a highly accurate one. Again, no argument there.

      Long story short, if the 1911 design were so faulty and obsolete, I would still like to hear some explanation as to why it has been in military and law enforcement service for over a century, and why it is the single most popular civilian semi-auto design (even counting the inferior clones) in the history of handguns. On top of this, it has only had one major design modification (M1911 to M1911A1) in its history. No other semi-auto handgun can make the same claim.

      Simply put, the only evidence I need for my arguments is that the 1911 is still being used reliably over one-hundred years later, despite the cost of producing a good one. I have the best proof in the world – history. No need to copy/paste that.

  116. Colt 70 and 80 series as clones? That may be a stretch. Colt was making 1911s because singer sewing machine company and remington rand were no longer doing so. Any company that takes over making an established design always makes a few changes to simply make it a viable economic business. Sometimes the changes are good, sometimes not so good. Technically, by your definition of clones, Smith and Wesson is now making clones of their own revolvers because along with obvious design changes, they no longer provide the hand fitting, polishing and attention to detail that their early revolvers exhibited. Personally, I don’t much care for the new s & w revolvers, but they are still s & w revolvers and not clones.

    I agree that the 1911 was not created to be a marksman’s firearm. But it has become so. The old established design in many ways has been improved on to create an extremely accurate as well as reliable firearm. Reliable from the standpoint that most of us don’t drop our 1911s in sand and mud anymore so tight tolerances and improved accuracy are the norm. Also, most companies are offering several models if not all models that have the feed areas polished and improved to feed most kinds of ammunition albeit at higher cost to the purchaser. This is something Colt should have done early on with its 70 and 80 series guns in the 1980’s.

    Personally, I don’t care so much for the glocks, h & k and polymer framed guns in general. But I can appreciate how well many of them work, the benefit of lighter weight and the lower cost of production. And I certainly won’t fight over which design is best, as they all have certain advantages and disadvantages. But there is nothing better in my book than an all steel firearm made with the best expertise and equipment, accumulated over decades of experience and created with precision rather than cost in mind. Production guns are not that gun but fortunately for us, many of the custom 1911s are. So in some ways, the old venerable 1911 has become the pinnacle of modern firearm production, although often with a cost in dollars that is prohibitive.

    • You have to understand that when I say “clone”, it’s from a purist’s point of view. The design (which is arguably the entire point of this) is what is (or should be) static. The design is the 1911; not the particular eccentricities of individual manufacturers. As an example, Singer, Colt, Remington Rand, etc. all made 1911s for the military, and they were all to exact specifications. All parts were interchangeable with any other manufacturer. There were no modifications. They adhered to the design. Colt (and others) got away from this after the military contracts were downsized. In that I agree – they opted for lower production cost over quality. For instance: RIA makes a 1911 that is very close to ordnance specs, although they don’t bother with cleaning up their tool marks and the occasional burr on a critical part. And I suspect it isn’t high grade steel either, but it seems sufficient from the ones I’ve handled. Probably not as durable, but you get what you pay for. I would consider it a 1911, though a very low quality one. However, Taurus also makes what they call a 1911 for nearly the same price that is not to design specs. Inferior cast steel (causing common breakage of extractors and ejectors), shoddy machining, and out-of-spec parts makes this model an obvious clone. If S&W has changed the steel they use or the dimensions of the parts in their revolvers, I would consider them clones. Or, at the least, a new model, since it is S&W still making them.

      The original 1911 (the M1911 and A1) had a polished feed ramp and chamber mouth. The grade of steel, the hardness of individual parts, etc. are all part of the specs. Every part was finely crafted. Loose tolerances were also a part of the design specs, which made it nearly infallible in any environment, and ultimately durable. No, we civilians today don’t really need that in most cases, but the goal of supreme accuracy comes at a price that the early tolerances highlight – reliability. Tighter tolerances make a more accurate firearm, but they also make it more prone to malfunction when dirty, with deformed ammunition, and/or a less than knowledgeable user (limp wristing comes to mind). And these malfunctions are what give people a low opinion of a fine handgun design, without them realizing it isn’t the design that’s at fault.

      I’m with you in having a distaste for the modern polymer guns these days. Ignoring the questionable durability of these firearms, the lighter weight in itself is a disadvantage, allowing for more felt recoil that you won’t experience in the heavier steel frames. Glocks seem at least as reliable as any 1911 clone, but I’d be willing to put an ordnance spec 1911 up against any handgun in the world, including a revolver, for durability and reliability. Military testing was a 6,000 round test. When the gun was too hot to hold, it was dropped into a bucket of water to cool, recovered, and fired again. It was tested with deformed ammunition, and in mud and icy slush. I don’t think Glock would make the cut in a test like that.

      My entire gripe is simply that the author of this diatribe obviously has no experience with quality 1911s, evidenced by his statements that tools are needed to field strip, and… I forget the rest and can’t be bothered to look again. Apparently, this is enough to attract any number of fools who think they can rationalize ignorance.

      • Robert Howard says “My entire gripe is simply that the author of this diatribe obviously has no experience with quality 1911s…” I specifically Stated my problems with a:

        Colt Series 70 9mm – Special Mags

        Series 80 Combat Government – Why does a “Combat” handgun require special sights and a modified ejection port?

        1991A1 Combat Target – Why does a “Combat handgun require throating to feed HP ammo?

        Robert Howard says “1911 design were so faulty and obsolete, I would still like to hear some explanation as to why it has been in military and law enforcement service for over a century…”

        Combat = military = Ball Ammo Name me one example of a modern user (Personal Defense User or Law Enforcement Officer) that would only use ball ammo and the original, small sights.

        LEO or PDU Name one example of these that a responsible firearms dealer would only recommend using ball ammo or the original sights. See “flying ashtray”, which is an ogive HP, not truncated cone.

        People who do not have time to remember facts (or look them up) should not falsely accuse others when trying to have a rational discussion. It damages their credibility and proves they are immature, ignorant, arrogant fools. (Like I stated earlier) Bob and I have to tried to reason with you Robert, and cannot state this any clearer. Please leave this alone Robert and have a good day.

        • “Combat = military = Ball Ammo Name me one example of a modern user (Personal Defense User or Law Enforcement Officer) that would only use ball ammo and the original, small sights.” – Another example of your straw man arguments. Before I knock this one down, please explain how it is pertinent to the relevance of the 1911 design. Ball ammo is a viable choice for service or self-defense in the form of EFMJ. Why would it matter if I could name one single user of ball ammo? It’s a moot point as the fallacy that 1911s do not feed JHP has already been revealed. And the small sights? You’re really grasping at straws now, aren’t you? Not only are they viable, but they’re preferred for concealed carry pistols – rounded edges, small profile. What could be better? Your unreasonable dislike of the 1911 has turned on you and bitten you.

          Funny… you keep saying “Bob and I” while apparently failing to read his comments: “So in some ways, the old venerable 1911 has become the pinnacle of modern firearm production, although often with a cost in dollars that is prohibitive.” It’s true that a drowning man will grab anything to save himself. Sadly, Bob was the closest thing to you.

          Try standing on your own merits. It does you (which you obviously don’t care about) and the person you cling to a grave disservice when you misinterpret them. Bring the evidence. I’ll admit I’m wrong when you show me I am, not before. I’ve given up on you admitting anything. History stares you in the face and you still deny its truths.

        • Do you even know what in the hell Novak style sights are, and why they are ramped like early S&W revolver sights with the orange inserts?

          Robert, please stop before you make a complete idiot of yourself in front of everyone reading this board.

        • So now the sights are a design flaw. lol

          Is there anything at all you won’t try to rationalize? And why do you even mention Novak sights? I haven’t mentioned them, and you didn’t before now. What you did was call into question the viability of the military sights, which are perfectly viable. If you don’t like them, change them – easy enough, and it’s a personal preference, not a design flaw. What I did was explain to you (in the simplest language I thought you might be able to understand) that they’re small for a reason – it’s a combat pistol (which I seem to keep repeating to you, but you don’t seem to grasp). It was meant to be used as a last defense (when your rifle was empty or jammed) or in close quarters (tunnels, structures, trenches, etc.). The sights are more than adequate for this.

          Look… you’re never going to comprehend why the 1911 is a great pistol. The concept is not within your mental grasp, and you refuse to consider what anyone else says. You even deliberately misinterpret other people and twist their words to mean what you want them to mean. Just admit it – you’re here to argue, and that’s all. I would be fine with that actually, I like to argue myself at times, but you’re not very good at it.

        • Pistols were given only to officers in black powder days to take care of friendlies running the wrong way.

          Watch many movies?

          The SEALS in Vietnam carried a S&W 39 suppressed and called it a hush puppy. Do you know the difference in subsonic 9mm and NATO 9mm?

          Do you know how subsonic rifle rounds are made?

          Not every USGI was issued a pistol. The Nazi were prolific pistol users because they are good for executing unarmed folks.

          Have you seen a Nazi proofed P-35?

          A .45 ACP Luger was made to compete with the 1911 in the military trials. Commercial Lugers had grip safeties. One original .45 Luger exists. do you know what it was valued at?

          Why do most modern LEO and civilian market pistols have Novak sights. Do you undersand the need for rapid target aquisition?

          Why did my Colt 1911A1 need throating?

          Please let this go.

        • The only question that has any relevance (straw man much?) is: “Why did my Colt 1911A1 need throating?”

          The answer is: It didn’t. You think it did because you’re an idiot to the 1911 design.

  117. Robert do not forget what you said “The ramped barrel point is lame at best.” and “The original 1911 (the M1911 and A1) had a polished feed ramp…”

    The original 1911 does not have a feed ramp.

    Did you forget, are you confused, or can’t decide? Bob and I are getting tired of trying to explain this.

    Please let this go.

    • Once again, you provide evidence of not being the brightest in the class…

      You know that slope on the frame that the bullet nose rides up to enter the chamber? That’s the feed ramp.

      Your education has advanced. You’re welcome.

      • Robert, the “ramped” design that you berated, and Bob V. and I tried to explain to you REPLACES that part of the ramp by having the entire ramp on the barrel. That is why the ramp goes down. Bob V. said TWO piece ramp vs 1 piece.

        If you lack the spatial cognizance to grasp what we have been trying to tell you, PLEASE stop bringing your mental “knife” to this intellectual “gunfight”.

        • “… while the 1911 design is a two piece wheelchair ramp that must be précisely aligned or the wheels (bullet) get stuck from a misaligned edge, an improper angle between the two pieces or a damaged edge where the two pieces come together. That is why low end 1911 products without throating and polishing of the feed ramp would only feed full metal jacket hardball reliably. Soft lead bullets would deform and stick when hitting a sharp edge or change in angle or rough surface of the ramp or barrel throat. Full metal jacket would for most part simply bounce off of rough surfaces or misaligned edges because the bullet was hard enough to do that.”

          I can only assume this is the part that you’re belligerently referring to. What he says here is only partially true. He fails to mention that a perfectly aligned barrel/frame feeds just as well as a ramped barrel. Yes, it’s a bit more work to make it right, but that'[s what a 1911 is – a hand-fitted, precision machine, not a carbon copy clone of some engineer’s wet dream.

          Learn to read (and comprehend), son. It’ll save you a lot of embarrassment in the future.

        • This is the last time I’m going sink to to your level you have falsely accused me of starting the insults, of not understand critical thinking, not having experience with quality 1911s, ect.

          I heard some thing about not bearing false witness against someone…

          Your lying and trying to crawfish or rationalize out of it makes you look like the biggest lying sack that ever held a political office.

          Military history? Armies and Law Enforcement have budgets and spend a LOT of money on pistols. Why spend money on a “hand fitted pistol when a ramped design works just as well and costs a fraction?

          Why did the seals carry a S&W 9mm in Vietnam. Why has HK made a 45 for SpecOps that is NOT a 1911?

          Why did Harry Reid call the TEA party terrorists? I guess guys like him and Robert Howard are just peas in a pod. I’m done stooping to your level, Robert. I tried to ask you politely to let this go. Prove you are like Harry Reid and PLEASE drop this.

        • Seems my last reply to you was kind of prophetic. Here’s yet another comment filled with straw man arguments. I think I’ll embarrass you again and answer them the way they should be answered.

          “Why spend money on a “hand fitted pistol when a ramped design works just as well and costs a fraction?” Because they want quality, longevity, and reliability. Why else?

          “Why did the seals carry a S&W 9mm in Vietnam.[sic]” Because they could and they preferred it. Why do many Spec Ops operators carry the 1911 STILL? Because the .45 ACP is a subsonic round that hits like a sledgehammer. No need for special rounds.

          “Why has HK made a 45 for SpecOps that is NOT a 1911?” Because they could, and they hoped it would sell. Where’s the relevance?

          Why are you still here carry this on when it’s apparent that you want it to end? Because you’re like Obama. You’re always going to blame someone or something else for your own poor judgement.

          You’d be lucky to be able to “stoop to my level”.

        • Robert is looking like a Politically Offensive Snake here. Falsely accusing is lying. Insulting is childish. “Not remembering” or “too busy to check facts” is how politicians lie, insult, and crawl their way out of it. Throwing your fact checker under the bus is Politically correct.

          Arguing on the internet is like winning a gold medal in the Special Olympics.

          Robert is going “Full Special” and you don’t do that.

          Goodbye to this thread.

        • Finally! At least you left with a fine example of the only reason you were here: to get revenge for the earlier perceived slight. If I had known you were so sensitive, I would have just agreed with everything you said, and saved your feelings! At least now you’re free to go get some counseling and maybe recover from this tragic experience.

  118. Please tell me what gun does not require tools to completely tear down? If you can’t field strip a 1911 handgun, then you have issues. Not the gun. Sure no rail to attach fancy do dads to it. I don’t need a fancy gun. BTW just about ever modern handgun out there is based on that design. so by saying it is an old out of date weapon would also apply to all those as well. Maintain your clips and you wont have problems. Once in a blue moon I might have a stove pipe jam happen or a dud round. Other than that, I haven’t had one major issue with my gun. Perhaps because I take care of it.

    • Basing your design off another design is an indication you think that design is pretty good but can be improved on. It qualifies that older design as historically important but actually means someone thinks it CAN be improved on.

      On the other side of the coin, there are a lot of guns that call themselves 1911s even though they are themselves modifications of the original design, and it’s entirely possible for something labeled “1911” to be a complete piece of junk. I know, because I’ve seen many. Contrariwise, it’s also possible for it to be a good gun. You apparently got one of those. (And a dud round doesn’t count against the gun, and a stovepipe *might* be weak ammo; I have one gun that can’t reliably cycle federal champion aluminum case; when it doesn’t stovepipe the brass bounces off my strong forearm. Undercharged stuff, that Federal Champiosquib). The trick is knowing which one is which before you drop a huge amount of money on it.

  119. Yes, it is a 100 plus year old design…however, no firearm I have ever had the pleasure of shooting compares to the beautiful Colt Government model in its original form (curved mainspring housing, short trigger, etc). As far as the 1911 goes, I love the balance, weight, feel and looks of it above all else. The feel of a blued or stainless Colt is absolutely beautiful to me…although beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. The 1911 can also be rebuilt over and over again. Would I carry one for duty as a law enforcement officer? Probably not…there are many modern choices that are better suited for that in my opinion, however opinions vary. And thats ok. I have had three 1911 style pistols in my life (two Colts and a Springfield Mil-Spec) and, while I loved them and lament the fact they are not in my collection anymore (for various reasons; mostly I’m a gun swapper, which has left me very sad on occasion), none had the nearly complete reliability one needs in a duty handgun…perhaps I wasn’t patient enough with them? I don’t know. The Colt (and its variants) 1911 will always be my all time favorite pistol.

    • I know what you mean about reliability. High end custom builders use a ramped barrel on their 10mm versions. That also allows for full case support in the chamber.

        • People who cannot understand the difference between having a feed ramp on the barrel and having a feed ramp on the frame that uses part of the chamber as the ramp should not make fun of his moral and intellectual superiors.

          He would need an enema with Birdman .50 BMG Nucleonic ammo just to dislodge his foot from his hot air orifice.

        • Because you think I don’t know the difference between a ramped and non-ramped barrel doesn’t make it true, I never claimed to be ignorant of that; it’s your assumption (deliberately made to mask your own ignorance, I suspect). You, on the other hand, specifically stated that the 1911 has no feed ramp. Well, that and a lot of other stupid stuff that completely destroyed your, admittedly meager, credibility.

    • I’m not sure how many of you remember that the cartridge for the Milspec 1911 was a USGI Spec .45 acp. That cartridge had higher pressures than the .45 acp rounds made today. The low recoil and the lighter projectiles that are JHP weren’t designed with the 1911 in mind. I love my XDM because it will shoot anything I put in it. A newly designed 1911 should have some custom work done to shoot the low recoil personal defense rounds manufactured today. To my knowledge, 99.9 % of the time an individual will not need a USGI Spec round for personal defense.
      Because I shoot USPSA with my Smith & Wesson 1911 I have became more familiar with the frame and hold. I have found that I prefer the 1911 even as my EDC. I simply select (Atomic, .45 acp +P) the ammo very carefully or handload my own for comps.

  120. From the “1911” Malfunction Amnesia Files:

    Guy proudly shows off his “1911” (I don’t know what brand, as I got this story secondhand, so I’ll assume for now it’s one of those over-engineered purdy clones), and swears it’s utterly reliable. He even calls up a video on his phone to prove it. There was, quite plainly, an occurrence of a feed ramp jam in the video. Then it develops that this individual has only fired two hundred rounds through it. He’s carrying it, chamber empty.

    Personally, even if the gun had not, in fact, jammed once I’d be hesitant to brag about reliability (without carefully qualifying it with a “mind you, it’s really too early to tell but so far…”) after only 200 rounds.

    I see enough of this sort of thing to wonder whether there is some huge contingent of people out there who don’t consider a feed ramp stoppage (or a failure to completely go into the chamber) a malfunction, or whether people just truly forget.

    (Supporting the first alternative, I even saw one person post elsewhere that his brand new Rock Island had had three or four of them in his first four hundred rounds, then ended his post with “no issues.” Apparently to him an “issue” would have been an actual broken part. In which case I have an impeccably reliable Beretta Nano to sell him.)

    • I understand what you are saying, Steve. I’ll take a TSW 3913 over that Nano for concealed carry, especially in warm, humid climates. I left my Bren Ten, Galco shoulder holster, and designer jacket back in the 80s (when I was thinner).

    • Nicely said. I think memories are short on both sides, and qualifying a pistol (of any brand with tight tolerances) as being reliable without even having broken it in is typical of those who are ignorant of advanced firearms knowledge. Sure, they may can shoot and hit the target, maybe even field strip it without breaking something, but they really shouldn’t be offering “informed” opinions about firearms in public. There are far too many of those type around, and they’re all convinced they know everything already. Some of them might even be mechanical engineers…

    • Anecdotes go both ways as can be seen by cops shooting themselves with Glocks and folks picking shrapnel out go their face from Glock kabooms. Obviously an unsafe, poorly designed handgun. After 100’s of years of hand gun development, Glock cleary failed to execute.

      • Where do you get this idea that people who are anti 1911 must therefore be Glock fans?

        You’ve pointed out that some users are too dumb to use Glocks. Is that the fault of the Glock?

        You’ve pointed out that Glocks have been known to go Kaboom; and indeed some models and calibers have been known to do that, rarely, but frequently enough to be alarming (and it’s more frequent than with 1911s). How does that make 1911s more reliable than they are?

        How does responding, in essence, that Glocks are crap too make 1911s any less crappy than they are? If your only argument is to assume that every 1911 hater is a Glock man (many aren’t) and then try to tear down the Glock, you have no argument, it’s like a brat on a playground saying “well they do it too” when called on his misbehavior.

    • I like my 9mm CZ-75 clone, especially the “backwards” safety operation. After getting the creep out of the trigger, it shoots like a Hi-Power with a DA option.

      i w upould like to have a .40 Short and Weak CZ-75 set up for .357 Sig as a personal defense weapon.

      For hunting, I’d like to have a custom 1911 (maybe a Hi Cap frame) set up for full power 10mm loads.

  121. I find the authors comments laughable. I have put thousands of rounds thru several different model 1911’s that I own without any problems, save a handful that I chalked up to an occasional faulty round, even the cheapest Auto Ordnance base model I bought 20 yrs. ago for $365 new, (I couldn’t resist the price), ate anything I put in it including my own lead reloads. You do have to be careful of used ones that people have messed with, and dumped on the used market as there are plenty of those. “Unsafe”? What an asinine statement. They are just as easy to field strip as anything else out there, and I’ve found all of them to be very accurate as well. I do agree they are difficult to conceal with anything other than winter clothing, but so are many others. Do I carry one in summer? No, not usually but I do when feasible. If, and when my state legalizes open carry I might do so more often. I own about 35 handguns of all types, and sizes, but my favorite remains the 1911. Old and “maybe” outdated as you say, but I bet in another 100 years from now the “old” 1911 will still be around while many of the “new” ones will have faded away.
    Of course opinions are like assholes, everyone has one, including me. Lol

    • I would like to add as I forgot, none of my 1911’s have needed a gunsmith to get them working properly. They all worked fine right out of the box !!!
      None have needed repair of any type either.

      • Here I go again…

        “Safe” refers to the condition of carry and level of training,

        Reliable, yes – but use the right magazines for truncated cone JHP (or throat chamber).

        I commend the author for opening up an interesting discussion.

        • How is the condition of carry unsafe? The same as any other pistol with a safety, if the safety isn’t on, it’s not safe. Correct? How is that specific to the 1911 design? And how is the training (or lack thereof) of the user relevant to the firearm itself?

          What the author of this article did was blather on about things he knows nothing about. He claims that it’s an obsolete design because it’s over a century old. The M2 is also a century old design, and yet the military still uses it effectively today, same as the 1911. He makes several other preposterous claims that he has no evidence for. This article is filled with conjecture and hyperbole; overwhelming proof that the author has no other intention than besmirching a firearm that he has incorrectly identified and is obviously ignorant about.

          Having “discussed” this with you previously, I’m not surprised that you commend the author of this diatribe of ignorance. Apparently you’re going to argue with everyone who makes any comment that actually clarifies the issue rather than blindly supporting your and the author’s myopic view. Why don’t you offer the evidence that the author so blatantly refuses to present for his “arguments” rather than parroting his moronic nonsense?

  122. Robert Howard, I agree the author is obviously a moron, or deliberately wanted to stir up the pot. I don’t know which.
    The “unsafe” comment s/b undefendable, and is truly asinine. Not many other handguns I know have two safety’s. So I guess my mini .380 pocket pistol, and all of my revolvers without any safety at all are truly a VERY DANGEROUS evil invention? LMFAO.
    I suppose the military should also get rid of the ancient Browning .50 cal. machine gun, after all it’s another 100 yr old design like his 1911.

    • I honestly don’t know where he came up with the drivel that it requires tools to field strip. It’s actually possible to completely disassemble the M1911A1 without tools other than the parts of the gun.

      If he wants to go on about dangerous, that safety on the Glock – the little lever on the trigger, which is no safety at all – is literally dangerous. A safety is supposed to prevent a loaded firearm from being fired when the trigger is pulled. I wonder what they were thinking by putting the “safety” ON the trigger? But then what can you expect from a company that makes garbage cans?

      I’ve had quite a few laughs reading some of the comments here. I’m glad that there are many people, like yourself, who read this and know the author is full of crap.

      • It’s kind of funny thinking back on my thoughts of the 1911. I really didn’t think much of it in my earlier shooting days, I had seen a couple of bad examples at my local shooting range at the time, and thought what absolute trash they were. I was fortunate enough to meet an older gentleman who I talked with about his, and he let me shoot it. Damn if I didn’t fall in love with that pistol after I emptied the first magazine, it was pure “magic”. No other handgun has ever felt as good in my hand, and shot so well as a single stack 1911.
        My favorite shotgun also happens to be an over 100 yr old John Browning designed Sweet Sixteen Auto 5.

        • Yes, that’s one of the biggest selling points – the ergonomics. People say it feels as if it was built for their hand. I say it feels like my hand was made for it!

          The two most famous Browning designs that still grab people today – the 1911 and the Auto 5. Both were groundbreaking, though the Auto 5 a bit more than the 1911. A lot of his lever action designs were way ahead of their time too. The man was, simply put, a genius. Just look at any other 100 year old handgun design and where it is today. Actually, any other semi-auto handgun design you look at is going to owe its existence to the 1911.

      • There are a lot of opinions out there about what is the safest way to carry a pistol, or keeping one for home defense. A law officer would carry a 1911 cocked and locked, and he has trained himself to use the safety when he draws. Another might carry his S&W revolver. Now, for the sake of discussion, lets say they are both home at night asleep. Their wives know how to shoot, but are not trained shooters who practice regularly. The 1911 guy’s wife might not be able to use the safety or put a round in the chamber quickly, but the revolver guy’s wife can pick up the weapon and pull the trigger.

        The Israelis trained their folks to carry chamber empty and rack the slide when drawing. There are different schools of thought on what the best way to carry a pistol are. I have seen versions of the Beretta 92 that decock only and the lever springs back up. I read about a case where a perp got a weapon from an officer and pulled the trigger, but the officer was saved because the perp did not know how to use the safety.

        Some like a DA revolver or auto for home defense because you can just put it away and not be concerned about the level of training other adults in the home may have that have access and need to use it.

        Its just opinions for discussion, guys – no offense intended.

        • Valid points, though I think those potential problems are more training issues than firearms issues. I mean, saying someone can’t use a safety… that’s simply a matter of ignorance, not strength or skill. Myself, I wouldn’t want anyone else using my pistol without knowing they had the knowledge required to use it safely. If I’m ever living with another person, I’ll make sure they know how to use it before leaving it generally accessible. But even then I’d much rather they had their own gun.

          In the military, people are checked out on different weapons. Those who aren’t trained with M60s don’t carry or use them. Granted, if it came down to a life-or-death situation, and all you had was the M60 that someone dropped, by all means, pick it up and use it. Worst case scenario is you can’t figure it out and die anyway, but there’s a chance you’ll save your own life or other lives if you do figure it out.

          I think it would be a bit more problematic in a self-/home-defense situation. There are other noncombatants around and you could endanger them with your lack of knowledge. That’s actually one of the reasons I got into gunsmithing. When I realized just how much I didn’t know about guns, despite being raised around them, I decided (since the opportunity was there) to learn all I could about any/all of them. I think anyone who wants to carry every day should learn at least the different styles of pistols there are, and how to use each of them in a pinch. It’s not that large of a knowledge base, and it just might save your life one day.

        • I totally agree with all of your points. My wife shot my pistol at the range, but the bulk, recoil, and operation were a little much for her. I am going to get her a medium sized .38 revolver. We have a snake problem here, and I have some of those CCI shotshells for it. Those things are also good for a carjacking defense as a quick first shot to stop the threat and move to safety or finish the situation. You really can’t beat the simplicity and reliability of a revolver.

          If I were a law officer in rural sheriffs department that allowed one to carry his own weapon (within certain make and caliber restrictions), I can think of three pistols I would prefer to have. One would be a .40 Hi-Power chambered for .357 Sig, one would be a 1911 properly set up for full power 10mm loads, and one would be a .357 Colt Python or pre-Mark III Trooper. I would not shoot thousands of rounds through the 1911 without having it checked for wear, and I would need to know a good gunsmith to keep that old Colt Positive Lock action on the Python in time.

        • Agreed on your choices, except for the Hi Power. I don’t have anything against them, I just haven’t used one for any extended period of time, and have no opinion on them. That being said… it is a JMB design, and I think I wouldn’t have an issue with it. My own three choices would be pretty much what any three-gun shooter would carry – a pistol (1911 of course), a rifle (I’m a huge fan of the AK simplicity), and a shotgun (a good old Model 12 would be perfect). That would also be my load out for any “SHTF” situation.

        • I like the AK simplicity as well. I got one of the Arsenal SAM-5 rifles about 10 years ago. I just had to have a good .223 AK. It had the milled receiver, and it would shoot groups as good as any Colt SP-1 I had owned. Arsenal came out with their new SLR-106 rifles after the “BAN” sunset in 2004, and I traded it for one. My SAM-5 did not have the sight mount, and my eyes just got bad enough to push the deal for me. The new SLR-106 did not fit the old black mags I had (and did not seem to group as well), so I traded it all away and went back to the AR platform for awhile.

        • I too have a Bulgarian milled reciever AK (SLR-95) in 7.62×39. I prefer it over the AR.
          My top 3 “SHTF” picks are my 1911, Rem. 870 12ga., and AK, but I’d have to add a 4th, my little Browning .22 semi auto rifle.

  123. The 1911 fits and feels so good in my hand, and I’ve shot it so often, it has become second nature. I can honestly say it has such a natural feel that I scarcely notice the sights when I shoot for defensive practice. On close quarter defensive shooting I really just keep the top of the slide level. I started this type of instinctive shooting when I got older and my eyesight had deteriorated. The only time I concentrate on sight picture is when I’m target shooting for score.
    Sorry, I guess I’m going off topic here.

  124. For the record, I’ve been another one of those 1911 bashers. My sole complaint about it has been the huge number of times I’ve seen unreliable ones in action (and no, I can’t tell just from looking whether they’re ordnance spec–Robert, you’ve raised my awareness of this distinction recently). I don’t care how hard it is to disassemble (it is a bit complex compared to many firearms), I don’t care how old the design is. Plenty of new guns out there that are crap. I care about the probability that the gun will go “bang” once and then, for whatever reason (aside from empty mag) not return to battery with a round in the chamber, ready to go “bang” again.

    I see so many 1911s (again, I don’t know whether they are, or are not, Ordnance Spec) malf, it’s truly sad. People dump a ton of money into these guns, often on the basis of people drooling on them online, and saying they are the greatest gun ever, so they go out and buy one, and it’s a malf-a-matic, particularly with defensive ammo. The number of times I’ve seen someone swear their gun is reliable only to have it fail within the next five minutes is staggering. This is enough to genuinely make one wonder just what the heck people mean by that word.

    I’ve long suspected that the typical “1911” owner doesn’t think a feed ramp hangup is a failure, and Yeager has noticed the same thing. (Yeah he’s a jerk, but does that necessarily make him wrong about everything?) By the way, his complaint is the same as mine; a huge number of “1911s” are unreliable pieces of junk, and/or need a ton of work to make them reliable (work that should have been done before the gun left the factory), and he has seen enough of them to be able to speak with authority.

    Even the author of this article, sloppy as he was on other issues, provided links to collections of gun test data to support this part of his thesis (I believe that he did so in a sequel posting on his site).

    M. Atkinson, if I understand you correctly, you do now recall seeing some of these pieces of junk from your childhood.

    I’m certainly not here to push Glock (I carry CZs) (and I agree the Glock trigger “safety” is just plain stupid) but I see them more often, and I see them malf less, when if the *rates* were even remotely comparable I should see lots and lots of Glock malfs, rather than very few. But of course I risk being flamed as a secret rep of Glock or something like that. As if 1911s and Glocks are the only guns out there and you have to choose one or the other. If anything, my preferred handgun should indicate that I would LOVE to have a 1911 I could trust; CZ-75Bs are all metal and come with a cock and lock safety. But I can’t trust them based on what I see, and based on what happens when someone tells me ‘Brand X is reliable, not like those other ones.’ Thus far, that has always been a lie, and my friend who went through at least five of them and found them all to be malf-a-matics would say the same (though I hedge that I’ve not yet tried a Springfield Ordnance or anything else that Robert would approve of as being a real 1911).

  125. I have lots of complaints about modern carry arms myself, but i won’t bore folks enumerating them. The perfect gun does not exist except in the mind. If it did, a lot of companies would be out of business.

  126. SteveInCO, yes, I’ve seen some used, and abused 1911’s along with some piss poor home gunsmith “specials”, that’s why I said to be wary of any used ones you don’t know the history of, however that goes for any make or model of firearm whatever it may be. Personally I don’t care what anyone shoots or likes, it’s just none of my business.
    I just took exception to the original authors whiny, sniveling, and unfounded comment that the 1911 sucks, it’s simply not a valid statement.
    Everyone should shoot whatever they feel most comfortable with whatever that may be. Just make sure your particular self defense firearm works flawlessly with the ammo you plan on using.
    Please support, and become a member of the NRA my fellow shooting friends.

    • “Everyone should shoot whatever they feel most comfortable with whatever that may be.”

      Perfectly said. Everyone is different, and what works for one might not for another. Also excellent advice that whatever firearm you use should be fully “vetted” before trusting your life to it.

    • I did not say “1911’s suck”.

      I’d use an ordnance spec 1911 with 230 grain hardball to to ballistic testing on Che Guervara’s corpse.

      I’d kill a commie to protect my mommy and sleep like a baby that night.

      Tony Montana said “I’d kill communists for fun, main”.

      Even a broken clock is right twice a day.

  127. I’ve seen so many uber-finicky comments about 1911’s. It’s like, don’t mess with guns if you’re that picky about unimportant details. Stick with hair-dos, makeup, high heels, and fancy purses. Seriously. Sissy time. Get you the cheapest Turkish made 1911 you can find, forget about silly modifications, and just enjoy that beast. It won’t disappoint.

    • Those Rock Island Armory 1911s made in the Philippines are pre-Series 70, and the fitting of the small parts is excellent. I detail stripped one down myself.

      • I hear nothing but good things about RIA, but I got a Girsan even cheaper, and it’s a really nice piece. Came with a good clip too, better made than the extras I got from Springfield!

  128. Oh lord. In order:

    >It’s a 100 year old design

    Guilty as charged.

    >It needs tools to disassemble

    You’re doing it wrong. It was designed to come apart down to the last spring and pin without tools. Now, if someone has “improved” the design with a full length guide rod, etc., then all bets are off. But a box-stock 1911A1 disassembles without tools, down to the last spring and pin. You use the lip at the bottom of the sear spring as a screwdriver to take out the grip screws, and so on.

    >It has unreliable magazines

    Stop buying the cheap ones at gun shows and get some Chip McCormick PowerMags. They cost less than Glock mags if you shop around.

    >It is finicky about ammo

    Some are, some aren’t. These days a Colt or Springfield won’t be, out of the box, not if you use good magazines. If it doesn’t you can send it back to the manufacturer. Feeding modern defensive ammo–any and all–is part of the spec these days and falls under the warranty.

    >Single action pistols are unsafe!

    No more so than any striker-fired pistol. At least the 1911 has a manual safety and a grip safety, two features that Glocks, for example, lack. You’re complaining, anyway, about a software problem, not a hardware problem. Anyone who can’t use a 1911 safely shouldn’t be trusted with any firearm. If this is a lot of people, then a lot of people have bad habits and need training.

    >something about slide stops and extractors, about which no details are provided

    uh, okay

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

    It doesn’t. My last Colt has been 100% out of the box.

    >lots and lots of complaints about 1911A1s in as-issued 1944 form not feeding hollowpoints

    Springfield, Colt, and even Elisco Machine & Tool in the Phillipines are doing ramp-and-throat jobs on the guns before shipping them. It’s 2015, not 1972. My Colt has never malfunctioned with hollowpoints, not once, not even the short and stubby 200gr Gold Dots that everyone says makes SIGs and Glocks choke. I used Kimber, Wilson Combat, and CMC PowerMags for the tests. The gun runs like a sewing machine. Even dry. Even with my filthy cast lead reloads with Bullseye. Perhaps I’m holding it wrong.

    >it’s too biiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiig

    It’s thinner than a Glock 19.

    >I got a Glock 17 with 20 round extended mags and the local IPSC group doesn’t like Zombie Apocalypse course design where we’d burn through 50+ rounds in a stage, which would give me an artificial advantage over the 1911 and revolver guys

    Can’t help you there.

    >also, Colonel Cooper was never in combat

    Odd. This contradicts the man’s autobiography, in which he claimed to have seen combat in Nicaragua, Iwo Jima, and Korea, and racked up seven or eight personal kills with a 1911A1.

  129. Sorry for the late response but the amount of gun information on the web is immense and I will never be able read it all in my lifetime.
    I agree with many aspects of your article. But your missing a history lesson that has great bearing on your article.
    Browning’s 1911 was designed primarily for the war which meant it was designed to shoot hardball ammunition not hollow points. Firearms of today it seems are designed around hollow point ammunition. Being said, any firearm that will shoot hollow points from any manufacturer should be able to handle hardball all day.

  130. Having competed with blue printed and rack grade 1911s for more than 50 years I have to disagree with you about the functional reliability of 1911s. At least 12 of those years included shooting more than 50,000 rounds per year of 185 gr semi-wadcutter and 230 grain hardball rounds through highly accurized and rack grade guns. The accuracy tuning was largely completed by Jim Clark in Keithsville La for the composite guns and also for the hardball guns used in the DCM distinguished shooting program. The rack grade guns were not modified in any way. I’ve had the opportunity to shoot many different 1911s in that 50 year time span and my opinion based on that experience is nothing but positive so far. And at this late stage in the game, I doubt that it will change. By the way, the vast majority of those guns were Colts, and as I said, some of those guns were highly accurized and others were rack grade. In that time I can’t recall very many OEM equipment failures (except for a few firing pins) and just a few for after market part guns. What I did see is approximately 5 or 6 guns that went fully automatic because of worn out sears that had been modified to reduce the trigger pull to 3 and 3/4 lbs on the composit guns. Sears can wear out rather quickly when set to break at that weight. It also happened two times that I’m aware of on the accurized ball guns. Yes they are single action only but if you are used to that type of functioning, it beats the hell out of striker fired and double action only guns. Of course, that’s just my opinion. And as far as operational malfunctions go, magazines are the cause the majority of the time. The “ears” have to be properly set which is true with any pistol. Also it’s a good practice to use rounded followers to help prevent the notorious last round jam that can occur with frustrating frequency on accurized guns. In fact I use them on my RG carry guns and have had no problems. As far as jaming goes a lot of times it’s the shooter breaking his wrist which usually results in a vertical stove pipe jam. You can’t blame that on the gun. And a lot of the other malfunctions are caused by improperly modified guns including as I said the magazines. There are a lot of backyard “smiths” out there that fancy themselves geniuses when it comes to modifing guns. My personal carry gun is not modified in any way and the magazines have been properly set. Everything is function tested at least once a month with a couple of hundred rounds of hardball. These drills also include rapid magazine changing and the clearing of various types of staged malfunctions. The guns are also tested in Ransom Rests to document their accuracy and 4 inch groups are the norm, and some at 3 inches at 25 yards for the unaltered guns. Remember, reducing group size will cost you functionability, and going from 4 inches down to 2 will cost plenty of money that could be well spent on practice ammo. Practice is conducted in extremely hot and humid weather conditions as well as below freezing temps. You have to know your limitations as well as that of the gun. No hollow points or other highly frangible ammunition is ever used. Remember, I’m looking for reliability. A properly placed 230 gr ball round will get the job done just about every time. After having said all this, I realize the selection of a firearm and its action type is a very personal matter. I just hate to see such a fine firearm like the 1911 get a bad rap that it doesn’t deserve. Of coarse I reserve that for the Colt line only. Please, I hope no one takes offense to that.

    • No hollow points or other highly frangible ammunition is ever used.

      Well, that’s a show stopper for many people right there.

      • That’s not to say that everyone will have the same results from frangible or JHP ammunition though. You know the new R.I.P. ammo that came out earlier this year? My Colt M1911A1 and my friend’s RIA 1911 both had a problem with that ammo until a simple solution was found – grind the super-sharp tips down a little (just rub the tip of the round on a piece of 400 grit sandpaper for a few seconds), then load them into your magazine. Problem solved. I don’t use that ammo though, but not for any reliability reasons. I just don’t like a projectile that disperses its mass on impact.

        Also note, he’s talking competition. Tight tolerance guns are notorious for being less reliable than your average “combat” pistol. Obviously, there’s no reason to shoot JHP in competition, so make your tolerances as tight as you like. But in the real world where your life might depend on it, use the JHP and loosen that pistol up a little. Thousands of people all over the country are doing it every single day, with any brand/make/model in production, 1911 or otherwise.

        • Lol, some people like Steve crack me up, taking an invalid point about highly specialized competition guns and their inability to digest HP defense loads.
          Some people just like to argue I guess. He’ll probably start an argument over this comment.
          The original poster of this “1911 sucks” article reminds me of the trolls on YouTube, etc., who gleefully with great anticipation await the onslaught of fiery counter comments, and relish in it.

        • Eh, you have trolls, then you have people who wax passionate on certain subjects. I don’t know why anyone would “believe” so strongly in the imagined fallibility of the 1911 design, but it’s still a free country (at least for now). And to be honest, without a devil’s advocate, a lot of people would never hear either side of the story, and they’d be left with having to decide whether their friend’s 1911 was really crap or not based only on their friend’s (possibly questionable) opinion.

          I think the majority of the comments show that the author of this blatantly ignorant witch hunt has little to no clue about 1911s in general. It leads me to suspect his “knowledge” on any gun matter.

      • I certainly do agree that a gun that is not intended to be used for anything other than competition needn’t ever come within ten yards of a hollowpoint round, much less feed it.

        But that’s not what was going on here. He actually implied in the very next sentence that even though he didn’t intend to use hollowpoints in his gun, he was going to rely on “shot placement” to get the job done. In other words, he was making a statement about the gun’s value as a defensive implement, that he’d carry it defensively and didn’t care about it usng only ball ammo–and I responded to that.

        My opinion of the 1911 is actually based on how I personally see them perform. And what I’ve seen, honestly, matches pretty closely with what Yeager said about them. Unless you’re either lucky, or you dump a ton of money into the gun, it’s liable to be a jam-a-matic, even with practice (ball) ammo. I’ve watched people swear their 1911 has never failed them, then had a feed ramp stoppage almost immediately afterwards, and (like Yeager) have to wonder whether these folks are in denial, or just don’t consider a feed ramp stoppage a failure. Rob Pincus has noticed the same sorts of things, especially with the compacts.

        Now unless you want to claim I am lying about what I’ve seen…

        • Do you want me to claim you’re lying? I thought I managed to remain civil with my responses and even defended you a bit in one response, but if you really want to have another no-holds-barred “debate”, just say so. I can still defend the 1911 design, and I can still prove (with your own words) that the guns you’re talking about aren’t true 1911s.

          Myself? I’d prefer that we keep it civil, but I’ll leave it up to you.

        • I don’t know why anyone would “believe” so strongly in the imagined fallibility of the 1911 design, but it’s still a free country (at least for now). And to be honest, without a devil’s advocate, a lot of people would never hear either side of the story, and they’d be left with having to decide whether their friend’s 1911 was really crap or not based only on their friend’s (possibly questionable) opinion.

          I don’t have to ask you to call me a liar, because you already have.

          You’re basically claiming here that complaints about the 1911 are baseless. In doing so you’ve discounted my experience, and the experience of many people who have a hell of a lot more of it than either your or I have. What else am I supposed to think you are trying to do here, other than to call us liars, that we didn’t have the experiences we have stated we have?

        • What you’ve quoted is me saying you’re welcome to your own opinion. What you’re telling me now is that it wasn’t your opinion, but fact. While you are indeed welcome to your own opinion, you are NOT welcome to your own facts.

          By your own words: “Rob Pincus has noticed the same sorts of things, especially with the compacts.” Compacts are not 1911s. They are not ordnance spec, therefor they’re outside of design specs. This tells me that you have no understanding of what that means. The gentleman whose comment you inferred the “shot placement” argument from clarified (repeatedly) that competition guns are fickle, yet you still assume the worst about EVERY 1911. If he chooses to put his mind at ease by using only ball ammo in his carry gun, by all means it’s his right, and he’s welcome to it. That doesn’t, in any way, shape, or form equate to your implication that a 1911 is only reliable if it shoots ball ammo.

          And yes, I’ll even go one further and confirm your accusation that I’m claiming complaints about the 1911 are baseless. They are baseless. What’s more, they’re the product of nothing more than simple ignorance on the parts of those people who have no clue what a 1911 is. The purblind fool that wrote this toilet-paper-worthy “article” betrays his ignorance so many times in his own article, and you’ve done (and continue to do) the same.

          You use anecdotal evidence to “prove” that the cheap knock-offs of the 1911 that you and your friends have used equate to an obsolete or flawed design while having very little knowledge of the design in the first place. And as I’ve stated before, nothing more than buying decent magazines will fix the JHP feed issue that ordnance spec 1911s have. And if you equate that with “dumping a ton of money into it”, you’re just making another lame argument that you can’t back up.

          You claim I’m calling you a liar. I say you’re welcome to your opinion, but if you want to bald-faced state that your opinion is fact, you’ve called yourself a liar. No one here yet has offered one shred of actual evidence that the 1911 design is flawed or obsolete. No one has done anything but complain about non-spec guns that have made them cry. Well, boo hoo. Any gun that goes outside of design specs is asking for failures. Go cry to the manufacturer, and stop whining about a design that is the single most reliable design in the history of semi-auto handguns. You should try one some time, because it’s obvious you never have.

        • Lmfao !!!
          Please argue, and to hell with civility!!!
          Does my previous comment come to mind now?

        • The 1911 was never intended to use HP ammo. However, high quality 1911’s will shoot anything. I’m talking in the $1200 range and up.

          Its by design to launch a huge chunk of lead at 800fps. and stop him as fast as possible. That was 1911.

          Today the gun is arguably the most accurate design ever made. I once spent almost $2000 over the course of 3 years to have a Match Quality 1911 equal or better than the $900. 1911 Colt National Match. Oh, I did match or exceed the accuracy. In the process I also totally ruined a excellent condition 1942 Military issue, under the seat Truck Gun. Those were $100-$150 all day long back them. In the mid 1960’s the military dumped a ton of them on the Public for $69 in excellent condition.

          Today 100’s of pistols later I’ve have returned to the 1911’s. Anything that has lasted over a century, and now by DEMAND is being reissued to US Elite Forces.

          I carry a Kimber Super Carry Pro…. at 25 yards its as deadly as most pistols at at 10 yards. With 165 gr. hp ammo, it much lighter than 230 gr ammo, by a wide margin.

          The 1911 is very THIN in the single stack magazine models, thus one of the most concealable of all auto pistols. The 165 gr. HP… in +P ammo is devastatingly lethal. The 165 gr. 45 caliber bullet is “reported” to expend to 90 caliber upon entry into the body. They “report” the wound has the appearance of a horizontal Soup Can Wound Channel in the Gel.

          For me this ends the argument immediately. We have Science, Elite Troops demanding it, we have over 100 years of use, experience, modifications and upgrades bringing it to the Doorstep of Perfection, if not already entering and sitting by itself.




















  131. I like the 1911 guns I’ve owned several over the years around 30 at least 3″ to 5″ currently my carry piece is a Colt Govt. Rail Gun I have had good luck with this one its everything everyone says its good, bad, fickle etc. but I will keep it. Never a dull moment.


  132. What other 100-year old design is still in daily use? Revolvers, bolt action rifles and the M2 .50 caliber machine gun. Asshole.

  133. I went over to this guy’s blog, and it is full of crap like this, “Why (popular item) is crap”. Obviously he is just someone who wants to feel better and smarter then everybody else, but in reality he is missing the forest for the trees. The point of the 1911 is that it is a good, reliable firearm. Personally, I wouldn’t carry it, but I have a lot of fun bringing it out to the range and squeezing off a few (hundred) rounds. There is going against conventional wisdom on something, and then there is crying for attention. This guy seems to be the latter.

  134. I grew up shooting a USGI 45 auto. My grandfather trained me and my 4 brothers gun safety and how to shoot. We were a farming family and using guns were a way of life, We had everything from sporting rifles to Thompson sub machine gun, The best was our Colt collection and the 1911 pistol. At the age of 10 years old I was trained and given a Colt USGI Gov. model which I carried everyday for protection and protecting my families livelihood. We lived and worked in a area not far from a capital city and we seen good time and bad time and when people are hungry they will do just about anything. That 1911 design saved my life many times and never failed me. Just like any man made machinery it will break down if not maintained. So saying this after 100 years of service the 1911 design is still around . There is a reason most of the semi auto are based on the org, 1911 design because it works. I am now 60 years old and that colt I was given is 71 years old. I trust it with my life against the new dangers. Home invaders,robbers/muggers and our home grow terrorists . I think many peole will agree

  135. What a total crock this article is. RF, I know you aren’t a gunsmith or anything, but please, do a little research before you post worthless drivel, could you please?
    1. ” It needs tools to disassemble.” -what tools might these be? FINGERS? Show me a tool made to disassemble a 1911, other than a bushing wrench, which is just for the bench, and I’ll print out and eat this reesponse. I have never needed one for a field strip, ever, and that’s after about 3 dozen 1911s of my own plus many other peoples’. I think this guy has just never had one before, and making things up out of whole cloth.
    2. “It has unreliable magazines.” Only if you buy GI surplus off a gun show table for a buck apiece from Korea! My Chip Mccormick and Wilson combats NEVER fail.Ever. Maybe used items for a buck shouldn’t be compared to brand new ones at 30?
    3. “it is unsafe for 95% of its users to carry.” Thats glocks and all the other striker fired pistols you’re thinking of. The only way a striker fired pistol is safe to carry is in condition three, or one that is designed with a DAO trigger system. All other designs carry with a cocked striker on top of a live round with only a lever on the trigger as a nod to ‘safety’. Sorry, that is not safe.
    4. “Why does a reliable 1911 cost so much, and need so much gunsmithing?” Every one I’ve ever had shot great out of the box except two old hardballers back when they were made by Arcadia Machine & Tool. Those both had to go back, and I sold em cuz they sucked. Same as happens regularly with the “more modern” designs the author is so in love with. Can anyone say “Remington R51”? Even the old hardballers weren’t recalled, they were just too cheap to function. Granted, the Colt series 80 that I have now has had about 1500 of work done on it, but none of that was really needed. The match barrel is more accurate, the comp makes it recover from recoil a little quicker, and the gadgets are just cool, and make it feel better in the hand. But it always functioned fine, even before it became a race gun.

    I could go on and on, but I think the point is made. Is there ANYONE foolish enough to support this ridiculous fantasy (number 1 on the list) in this article made up in fantasyland?

    • I don’t think you’ll find anyone who agrees with all of it, and very few who agree with most of it. And I think you hit the nail on the head – the guy has never owned a 1911 of any quality before. That or he’s just fishing for attention.

      Regardless, he has absolutely no evidence to support his claims. I think that about says it all.

      Happy shooting.

      • Thanks for the shout back. It just gets my dander up when useless wastes of oxygen just make crap up and publish it, even when they obviously haven’t the slightest idea what they’re talking about. “you need tools to field strip a 1911? What pure horses**t! It’s patently obvious that the idiot writer has never even SEEN a 1911 field stripped, much the less done it for himself! What gets me is I can;t understand how they can think that they could get away with such obvious lies. Don’t they realize that a lot of us know better, and will say so?
        Personally, i think there is only one reason for all these 1911 haters. Its not new. That’s all of it, they want the newest and the ‘bestest’, and so they just jump to the idea that anything old must be crap. Except, they know that that won’t make a magazine article, so they just make a bunch more crap up.

        • Yep, part of the clueless trend that seems to be getting worse with each new generation. The 1911 is not only easily field-stripped by hand, but it was designed to be detail stripped with nothing more than using the already stripped parts to strip subsequent parts.

          I’ve been arguing with people on this very page about the functions and designs of the 1911 for months now. What I’ve come up with so far is that what most people call a 1911 is not even a true 1911. The design is very detailed and specific; ordnance specifications leave nothing to the imagination. Dimensions, type of steel, hardness of each individual part, etc. – that’s what a 1911 is, and that’s where the (true) reputation comes from. This new crap is nothing more than deviations from the original design, and it’s to be expected that malfs, FTFs, and FTEs are going to plague the shooter. And that’s true with almost any design.

          If the author of this blathering mess of an “article” had made the distinction between modern 191