I’m a 1911 guy. I became a 1911 guy when I was a teenager. My girlfriend’s father, Dave, instructed me on the ways of the Old Slab Sides. I think I was the only guy that dated his daughter that he liked. He was a cool guy too. But he introduced me to the gun and how it operated. Which is good. Because not very long later the US Government put a 1911 in my hand without any instruction. I really liked the 1911. Dave too. Looking back, I liked hanging out with Dave more than his daughter. I’ve had a lot of 1911’s since.
1911’s have developed a reputation for being less than reliable. This is because saying “1911” is like saying “Pickup Truck”. You can’t say all pickup trucks are unreliable. Make, Model, Condition, and Maintenance Records are all important, no? I’ve found 1911’s can be just as reliable as Glocks. Can. Not all. There’s one specific word though that when combined with “1911” that should always be avoided. That word is “Ultra”. Don’t get any “Ultra” 1911. Any 1911 that has the word “Ultra” on it, or even near it – just don’t do it. Also, any barrel length below 4″ is best to be avoided. This goes along the same lines as the word “Ultra”.
For some reason I can not fathom, 3″ 1911’s have become a thing. A bad thing. And here’s why. Timing. When a pistol cycles, it does so not just in a certain sequence of mechanical events, but also in a certain period of time. 1911’s were developed with a certain timing window for functionality. How much of a delay to unlock, how fast the slide moves to the rear, how much time it take for the magazine to push the next round up into position before the slide starts to move forward again. Well, when you take a gun that was designed to be a 5″ gun and turn it into a 3″ gun that is cycled by the same ammunition – that’s going to effect that timing and problems are going to arise.
Also, generally people just don’t understand the 1911 anymore. The institutionalized knowledge of the 1911 is fading out. This happened with the M1 Garand and M14 rifles. It used to be that you could toss an M1 or M14 into the hands of your average Shooter, and they would be able to strip it and reassemble it without a problem. Used to be the same with the 1911. But times have changed. One day, the same will be with the AR-15… But right now, the 1911 is in this declining golden years. It’s sunsetting.
The market has never been more full of fantastic 1911 options! But at the same time the interest in 1911’s have been declining. Fewer people are interested and fewer are buying and Dealers are sitting on a fantastic inventory of guns that are just not moving. This is sad.
I’m a Revolver Guy too. Shortly after I got married, I was heading to the Police Academy. The gun I took with me was a S&W Model 10 with a short barrel. It came to me from my Uncle, and it was stamped with the crest of the California Highway Patrol. At the Academy, the class was a diverse one with students bringing SIG, Glock, Beretta, Colt, and such. Your usual suspects. There was one other guy in the class that brought a revolver – a Colt Python with a barrel long enough to be a walking cane. And I pulled out a snubby. There was much laughter. That didn’t last long. I took highest score with that Model 10. It was a great gun. I’ve had a lot of revolvers since. There are two in my carry rotation… Oddly enough both Rugers. My first Firearm that was ever “Mine” and not passed down or issued, was a Ruger Single Six. When I played a role in a Western production, I was given a very cheap revolver to fire the blanks. I went out and bought my own, a Ruger New Vaquero to use instead.
What’s kinda funny… the next 1911 I’m likely to get?
A Ruger. Ruger’s Lightweight Commander.