The 1911 is still a viable carry option, 107 years after its development. I own and have owned many Glocks. I’ve built one of my plastic fantastics. I love polymer frame, striker fire pistols. Especially with a nice aftermarket or well broken in trigger. But the 1911 still holds a very special place in my heart and this old gun ain’t out of the fight yet. Let me explain why.

Accessibility:
Everything about this weapon besides the slide lock levers is well designed. I’m a 6 foot, 200-pound man and it fits my hand such that I have no issues reaching any of the controls. My 5 foot 4 girlfriend has an easier time gripping my 1911 as opposed to her duty weapon(Gen 3 Glock 17) or her carry weapon (Gen 4 Glock 19). Because of this, we’re looking at getting her a commander sized weapon chambered in 9mm. Like the AR with all sorts of handguard, grip, stock length, etc. options… the 1911 platform has models for all sorts of people and needs.

Widespread Acceptance:
Even under New York’s super restrictive SAFE act, a standard capacity 1911 in .45 is allowed. In most other states an extended capacity .45 or standard 9mm magazine of 10 rounds each is acceptable. And it is true that 10 rounds of .45 are the equivalent bullet mass of 15-20 9mm rounds. So, in the eventuality that either national concealed carry reciprocity or our nation’s gun
laws get stricter, a 1911 will continue to be a viable option for owning/carrying in the 50 states.

The Trigger:
How come so many aftermarket triggers use a comparison to the 1911 trigger as a marketing ploy and the 1911 makers never have to use any such comparison in marketing? Because the trigger is simply phenomenal. It’s designed for accurate, proper, straight-to-the-rear trigger control. You can ring steel with a Glock 19 at 50 all day, sure. But you can generally do it better with a 1911. That’s in no small way thanks to the trigger.

The Caliber:
A hole in the heart is a hole in the heart and 124gr +P 9mm hollowpoint has similar effects on ballistics gelatin as .45ACP hollowpoints. But back when they were allowed to shoot cows in the Chicago stockyards to figure out what caliber kills living things that weigh 1000+ pounds, they developed the .45ACP out of those tests. And, if you want one in 9mm or other calibers, they’re out there. But no .45 handgun launches 230 grains of bullet at once better than the 1911.

Reliability:
The Springfield professional model that FBI HRT uses went 20k rounds no malfunctions during testing to select a handgun for HRT. When the 1911 was being tested, it wound up being the first firearm in history to fire 6000 rounds, cleaned every 1000, without a malfunction. Are there bad models out there that aren’t very reliable? Sure. But I also wonder if the Glock clone
Norinco is producing for Peking PD lives up to Glock’s name in reliability. Well made 1911s are more reliable than the internet thinks.

Even without getting into grip angles, bore axis, etc. I think a valid case that the 1911 is not obsolete can easily be made. This weapon comes from a time when guns were developed to win global conflicts, not make money for the stockholders. You don’t have to be anti-1911 to be pro Glock, you don’t have to be anti Glock to be pro 1911. They’re all great weapons in their own right. But the fact that the 1911 is still in service 107 years after its initial development says something about it’s staying power. An old bear is still a damn bear. This old gun ain’t out of the fight yet.

*Photo courtesy of DVIDS


Author – Seth Lewis served as a reconnaissance infantryman in the 82nd Airborne with two deployments to Iraq as well as 18 months in Afghanistan doing High Threat Protection for the Department of State. He has a bachelor’s degree in economics and is currently working as a security contractor for DHS and a firearms instructor.

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