Still Love 1911′s

Still love the 1911.  In fact, this one particular handgun is probably my favorite pistol in the world. I brings joy and comfort to me when I just look at it… Warm fuzzies when I hold it… Bliss when I shoot it. As is… no modifications.  Just Use and Care and a bit of some Slipstream.  It runs very well when I use good magazines and shoot Ball ammo.

As much as I am fond of this gun… I do not consider it to be one of my Fighting Guns.  One of the guns that would be used should there be an unwanted/unexpected bump in the night.  I was issued a gun exactly like this one… it said Colt on it though.  But the feel, the weight, the wear marks… Fond memories of a time when I was lighter, faster, and younger.    But I’m wiser, and better looking now.  I still respect the 1911 and it’s History.  It still has a place in my heart, and it always will.  When I was on the ground and someone was aiming a weapon at me… it was a 1911 in my hand that stopped what could have come next.

While the 1911 was an epoch moment in handgunning, my chosen handgun is the second epoch… The Glock.  It’s an evolutionary leap, as was the 1911 when it was adopted by the US Army.  I very much look forward to the next leap forward.

22 thoughts on “Still Love 1911′s”

  1. Oh how I love the 1911 style gun.
    I have a RIA HiCap .45 and I love it. I have a Star MI 9mm also.
    The feeling of a 1911 type is just comfortable in my hands.
    You just have to fall in love with the style to appreciate them.

  2. Ah yes…the Glock. And what I really like about the Glock is the years and years of real life use it went through to prove its battle-worthiness. Think about it, two world wars, Korea, Vietnam. I once had a Vietnam vet tell me that during the heat of a battle, he grabbed a Glock that was lying in the mud, which he used to fend off a couple of enemy combatants. Despite being essentially housed in mud, the Glock functioned without a hiccup. Can’t argue with that kind of proven history, can we?

    1. Glocks have been serving in the hands of various military, Police, and others, quite well for a few decades now. They literally dominate the LE field. Why? Because they work, and work well. Mine worked when I needed it, and saved some lives. The 1911, which I carried, and trained with, in the service, a LOT more than the average troop, has a less than stellar record regarding reliability than Glocks. When I used to work as a LE Firearms instructor at my state’s basic Police academy, the pistols that we saw the most problems and malfunctions with were 1911s. Glocks just keep on chewing up ammunition. Nope, my go to, daily off-duty, daily duty pistol, and that of my wife, is Glock. There are a LOT of dead bad guys from Glocks. There’s a reason most LE agencies don’t issue or authorize 1911s as a duty gun…

      1. “There’s a reason most LE agencies don’t issue or authorize 1911s as a duty gun…”

        Yes, because they’re scared of single-actions.

      2. Most of the local PDs have gone M@P/Glock. They also have had an increase in negligent discharges. From what I have experienced, a mill spec 1911 with slop and loose tolerances has the needed accuracy / reliability for pistol engagement ranges without the finickiness of the competition tight tolerances competition 1911s. The 1911 is the AK of pistols

          1. Yup. Plus one million on this one. Fuck, I know of some older, complacent Officers that have had NDs with a double action revolver… Keep your booger hook off the bang switch. And, I’ll reiterate, in my experience with both platforms, the 1911s are notorious, even the loose and sloppy mil 1911s, for malfunctioning more so than a Glock. I’ve carried Glock pistols for the past 20 years in LE, and I’ve had and witnessed very few non-shooter induced malfunctions. The pistol is ugly as my hairy butt, and I hate the grip, but, it works every single time. But, I’ll agree with George, the 1911 is a classic, and you can really make some beautiful models with some nice custom work, and if I were going to have a fantasy BBQ gun, it would either be a badass 1911, or, a custom engraved 4″ Model 27.

            Fighting gun? Glock.

          2. Take a look at this ND:
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6aSJgcpqePk
            That is a Beretta 92FS, Ladies and Gentlemen. A DA/SA Full sized, hammer fired pistol with a long heavy first pull. She managed to ND with it. Almost borders on attempted assassination of a suspect.
            As they say, it’s not the plane, it’s the pilot.
            ND’s and AD’s have risen in the past few years. Budgets for Training have also been dropping. I know one department that actually has ZERO budget for training ammo. I find this very sad and disappointing.

  3. Any gun can be made reliable. Any gun can be made unreliable. It’s all up to how the user modifies (or doesn’t) and maintains (or doesn’t) the weapon.

    Glocks are popular because they usually don’t need much to make them reliable, and they are reasonably tolerant of poor maintenance.

    On the other hand, my Springfield has never had a failure, other than a failure to hold-open on the last round, and that only happened with one particular magazine, and was fixed by a replacement spring. Before that, I carried a P7M13, and I’ve never had a hickup with that one, either.

    I carried one, and now the other, because neither has ever let me down, and they point so naturally for me that the sights are superfluous at normal self-defense ranges – all I have to do is think about where I want a bullet to go, and it’s there. Glocks don’t do that for me, so I’d be a fool to carry one… I’m not going to count on having time to get a careful sight picture if my life is in danger.

  4. Reasons to issue Glocks (or any other polymer framed gun) over a 1911:
    1. Cheap to buy.
    2. Parts require no fitting when they break.
    3. Manual of arms suited for wearing in duty holster instead of on being on a horse.
    4. Designed for higher round count before maintenance
    5. Manufacturer support with buy back program
    6. Weighs less

    Reliability doesn’t even make the top five. I REALLY don’t like Glocks, but it’s got nothing to do with their suitability as a duty gun. Matter of fact I even own one so I can shoot the local GSSF matches. I just like other guns more.

    1. 3. What difference is there? Draw and, if necessary, pull trigger.

      4. Most cops will wear their sidearm out in terms of environmental corrosion, before round count. The majority qualify once a year, and that’s it.

      1. 4. That’s not necessarily true. Plus, we “qualify” once a year, but we TRAIN a hell of a lot more.

        I would ask that people who don’t know for sure not make unsupportable and uniformed statements.

        1. Then you are lucky to be in a good department that has training as a priority. Not all departments feel the same way. Your are not told to use your Uniform allowance to pay for ammo.

        2. As the Ogre notes, that /is/ true. The majority of cops only get trigger time once a year. Some /less/, as many departments will fudge on even doing qualifications.

          There are /some/ exceptions, but they are the exceptions, not the rule. I like using my P7 as an example. It was formerly a NJ police gun, which they surplussed when they stopped carrying them. A dealer bought up the surplus lot, and re-sold them. This gun was carried for about 15 years, and the outside shows it – the inside was like new. I’d be shocked if even 50 rounds per year went downrange from that gun. The dealer who bought that lot indicated that they were all pretty much alike in that respect.

          As for my “qualifications,” I’m a firearms instructor and I’ve had a lot of cops in classes (the majority of whom have not been able to abide even basic safety rules, let alone hit the target at 15 yards, which is the minimum range at which we start beginners). Also, my father was a cop for half a century by the time he retired, a few years ago, so I do have something of an inside perspective – fortunately, he took his job seriously, and wouldn’t go a month without putting at least a few hundred rounds downrange, and regularly went for professional training. But that’s a rarity.

          If you’re another one of the exceptions, that’s great – we need more cops who are the exception, rather than the rule, these days.

  5. We used to have some thoroughly craptastic Smith 5906s. Or, at least mine was. Rarely made it through a magazine without a malfunction.

    So, I qualified with and carried a Colt Commander for 5 years. During that time, the boss got numerous comments from citizens about one of his officers carrying a gun that was…*gasp*….COCKED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    So, when our new Glock 22s came in, I was the VERY first one to be called to pick up his…. LoL

    1. On the rare occasions I open carry a 1911 at the store, I get customers all day that tell me that my gun is cocked. Customers that should have had better understanding of the 1911 since I’ve sold them 1911′s.

  6. I firmly believe that a QUALITY 1911 (not necessarily a $3k custom job, but simply a reputable manufacturer) is the equal of a Glock as a fighting pistol.

    Now, there are differences, some of which mean that the Glock is a more appropriate long term handgun for many end users: ease/cost of maintenance, ease of training, etc.. Perhaps a Glock will get through the “Uber-tier 1 secret squirrel handgun combat course” consisting of 10000 rounds in 24 hours with no lube, after having been blown up by a case of tannerite, but what difference does that make, especially for 99.9% of users?

    Where the 1911 truly suffers is in the fact that there are so many people making them, some well, some abysmal, whereas Glocks are made by one company. If the “G-17” was being made by: Kimber, Armscorp, Taurus, and a hodge-podge of other makers, with dozens of questionable ad-ons driven by what “the internet commandos say I need on a gun” or “what looks awesome”, then I would venture a guess to say that the Glock style pistol would have a similarly checkered reputation.

    In the end, as has been stated to death already, as long as the tool offers 100% reliability and functionality, it’s not the gun, it’s the shooter that matters, and everything is offered at a compromise of something else.

    1. Ditto on the variety of manufacturers. “1911″ is a style, not a particular gun. It would be more appropriate to compare “striker-fired polymer pistol” and “1911″ than “Glock” and 1911.”

      If the comparison has to be made with Glock, then it should be against a particular brand of 1911, since Glock is a particular brand. I’ll put my Springfield against any Glock, any day, in terms of actual performance in self-defense categories. It’s 100% reliable, holds plenty of ammo (if I need more than 14 rounds, we have a major problem), and fits me so naturally that I just have to think about where I want a hole to appear, and it’s there. What else could I possibly need? For someone else, a Glock might perform as well, but once you hit perfect reliability and enough mechanical accuracy that the shooter is the limiting factor, you’ve hit a plateau where neither option can be /better/.

  7. Glocks have been serving in the hands of various military, Police, and others, quite well for a few decades now. They literally dominate the LE field. Why? Because they work, and work well.

    “Why? Because Glocks were the least expensive pistol on the market in mass quantities during the 90′s and the LE field is dominated by bean-counters.”

    Fixed it for you.

    Not that Glocks aren’t decent bag-sticks — minus the odd kaBang — they are. My duty pistol is a Glock 22. But the reason that Glocks dominate is that Gaston Glock sold them to agencies for pennies on the pistol — and in some cases he did a straight trade (pistol for pistol) for an agency’s entire armoury.

    What cops carry in big agencies is less a sign of quality, than a distinction of Lowest Bidder.

    LawDog

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