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A Century old Work Horse Still in the Light of Glory

on . Posted in Gun Reviews

Written By: Michael Thompson
Some folks say that years are hard on things. How the years can where something down and make it irrelevant. That new technology makes it irrelevant and out of place. But I can think of at least one item that breaks the mold. At least one exception of the rule. Of course I am talking about john Browning's 1911. The most time testing chunk of steel that I can think of. I still think it is the one of the best firearms you can purchase. Shoots true and keeps shooting. I love mine and mine is a fairly low end one by way of 1911's. I have a standard Rock Island Armory G.I. model. I love it. And man can shoot. I hit have a clay pigeon at 75 yard within 3 shots. It was all because of the design. It is so easy and functional that anyone can shoot it.

The form and function of this pistol is truly amazing. The Hi Power was his previous design and the real beginning of the revolution of the auto loading pistol world. Quite a few of the things on the 1911 are similar to the Hi Power. The main similarities are the appearances of the two pistols. They look very similar but the Hi Point is a lot like the rough versions or the rough draft of the 1911. The function is much similar as well. Both being Browning designs they share some of the same features. The 1911 just stepped up the game. First upgrade is from 9 mm to .45 auto. Next on the block is the frame. It is bigger obviously to accommodate the .45 caliber but it also makes it more comfortable to handle. And since the only technology at the time was steel so recoil is vary tame for the caliber. The grip has more meat to hang onto as well. Another of the fantastic side affects of the .45 upgrade. The sights even got some tinkering. There lower and closer to the slide. It seems to me like it was the beginning of the combat sites. They pulled better when drawing the pistol and where easier to acquire in close combat.


One of the best things you will notice when shooting the 1911 is just how comfortable it is. I think that this alone may be the attribute as to why it is still so popular and why everybody who is anybody makes one. Put it in anybody's hand and they can shoot. This is the most comfortable gun I have ever shot. It just feels so natural to me. I have gone out with several inexperienced shooters and all of them have been able to pick up my 1911 and shoot comfortably with it. It’s a great gun. It most certainly is not a starter gun though. When I say inexperienced I mean that they are still building skill and familiarity not that they are completely new to the sport or to the sport of pistol shooting. It is a all steal frame so recoil isn't bad but it is still a .45. That is not that light of a cartridge to shoot.

So down to the nitty gritty, what really separates the men from the boys in the 1911 world. Brands. Which ones are the men so to speak and which are still wobbling around. I have a Rock Island. It is in more of a puberty state in the progression of things. It is a great gun for a great price and it shoots a whole lot like a higher end one. But it still isn't no Springfield or Colt. Those are the real men of 1911s with a few exceptions. Dan Brown, Wilson Combat, and Kimber rate right up there. But you got to give top spot to Colt just fore the sake of being the original. Lower end, still toddlers if you will, are Citadel and similar brands you probably never heard of. I would tend to stay away from these. Granted 1911s are pretty standard and hard to screw up, and of course all the upgrades on the market, but there is still a reason you have not heard of them. I have found a list of close to 100 different brands and manufactures. It is ridicules who all makes a 1911. Stick to brands you know and are more common because; 1. They are more common and will be easier and cheaper to find replacement parts if something does go wrong and 2. There is a reason they get popular.

An item of this natures popularity will not last unless it is worth its salt. If it’s a piece of crap people don’t tell there friends and suggest for them to buy it. If you are in the market look at your price range and seriously consider, even if you have the money for something really high-end, brands like Taurus, Rock Island Armory, and Remington. They are not supper expensive and shoot almost as good if not as good as something your going to have to sell your kidney to found like a Springfield or Kimber. And don’t scoff in the face of a Taurus. They are a great gun for a great price. Some of there things are a little cheesy but they are just cornering to a market and you cant blame them for that. But there 1911 platform is really solid and it functions and shoots really well. I have had people swear to them over there Springfield's. Still never disown there Springfield's because they have the aesthetics going for them but other than there is not to much of a difference on the range. Still something you can trust your life to with the needs you are going to have. Granted I would pick a Springfield or Colt over the rest if I was going into a situation where the firearms was going to have to endure a high level of stress for a extended period of time. But how many of the folks who are reading this really require that in there firearm. All the 1911s I have listed will hold up just some are built for poor maintenance and end of days stuff.

So the big thing is to shop for what you need and what needs to suit you. A good Remington or Taurus will do just fine in any situation. Any one 1911 will. I think they are imposable to mess up. Plus some of the best combat arms brands in the world make all sorts of upgrades for any 1911 because they are all clones besides the Colt. It doesn't take much to turn a middle of the road 1911 into a really nice one that operates as well or better that a high-end one. Just go look at the Wilson Combat website for all the delectable goodies you can get for your 1911.

And there it is in a few words. A glorified work horse for over a century now. It is still a beautiful piece of steal that has not truly been outdated. I think it still ranks up there with all single stack .45 and quite a few double stacks. I think the only thing that the 1911 needs to set it off is a good double/single action. But even in its single action configuration I believe it is one of the best handguns on the market that you can buy.

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