We have all seen the argument play out hundreds of times on various forms of social media, web sites, and even in person, one of the greatest gun arguments of all time the 1911 Vs Glock debates. The debate has raged for years with each side touting the accomplishments of their pistol and it’s service history. The 1911 fans will point to winning both World Wars, with the 1911, and slugging it out against communists for nearly 50 years after that. Second on that list of bragging will be the admitted genius of John M. Browning and his history of innovation and overall contribution to the gun community. The Glock fan boys will then counter the argument and tout the marvel of polymer technology and go on for hours about Gaston Glock and his safe action system and tenifer coatings. Then they will head directly into the debate of the perceived unreliability of the 1911. This school yard dance of “Mine’s better than yours” will go on for hours it seems. In the end it’s a ridiculous debate that really should never be started in the first place, and I will explain why I feel that it’s a giant waste of time and does a discredit to both pistols.

The Facts about the M1911 

The facts that we know are indisputable, both pistols as famous as they are actually are not the first of their kinds. The M1911 was in fact the final step in the self-loading semi automatic pistol design that Colt had been working on since the 1890’s. The Colt Model 1907 pictured below was the final step in the evolution to what we recognize as the M1911. I say all that to prove a point, innovation often times comes by standing on the shoulders of past failures or successes. Progress is a normal part of human evolution.

Image: guns.wikia.com
Colt M1907 Father of the M1911

The Facts about the Glock  

Gaston Glock we all know started out by making accessories and field gear for the German Army, not by making pistols overnight. In fact Gaston Glock was over 50 before he ever designed his first pistol, a fact many forget. That being said Glock, being extremely well versed in polymer technology took a look at early polymer pistols like the Heckler & Koch VP70 and decided in the best interests of his wallet and his company, to stand on the shoulders of H&K and make a better pistol. This is over simplifying the events, but again Glock saw an idea, thought he could do it better, with more advanced technology and took a leap of faith. The results I would say paid off handsomely for the company over the last 30 years.

H&K VP70 Modern handgun in the 1970’s. Image: Wikipedia

Why the Debate is Ridiculous 

Now that we have established that both of the guns are in fact not the first their kinds lets quickly examine why the debate as a whole is ridiculous. In order to appreciate the greatness of each pistol you have to look at them independent of each other, which can be difficult if you are too emotionally invested in the argument. We will start with the elder statesman the M1911 and list why it was revolutionary for the early 20th century.

The M1911