These days, it seems anyone with a small shop can put together 1911 handguns and offer them for sale.
When it comes to personal defense ammunition, the first criterion to meet is reliability. This criterion is closely followed by accuracy, clean burning and a good primer seal. That is the bottom line. No ballistic advantage is worth pursuing if the ammunition is not completely reliable.
Revolver history is interesting. I am leading up to something because the revolver on my desk as I write this has me going back over everything I have learned about the revolver.
A Bit of Revolver History
The revolver is older than commonly believed. Double-barrel and combination barrels were common during the flintlock era, although they are not true repeaters. Revolvers with multiple chambers were not rare—they were expensive. The revolving-cylinder handgun dates back to at least 1540, so it was a case of the technology of the day not catching up with the thinking man’s dreams.
There are two great service-grade types in the 1911 handgun—stainless steel handguns are good, serviceable pistols for hard use and commander-size handguns are a good choice for concealed carry. After all, if there were a legitimate criticism of the 1911 pistol, it would be size and weight. The 1911 is thin and heavy. Ergonomics are excellent and beyond question. The attributes of the type make modification, and even redesign, desirable as long as you keep the advantages.
One of my associates recently showed off his brand new AR 15 type rifle at the firing range. The difference between that rifle and the others on the range —it was chambered for the .22 Long Rifle cartridge. He bragged about how the stock, sights and firing mechanism mimicked his .223 so closely that he was able to practice tactical rifle shooting for a pittance. I nodded my head, put the eyes and ears on and began firing my Daniel Defense .223 caliber rifle. My cohort busily ripped through a brick of .22-caliber ammunition.
Most of my handguns are all around-do-anything-go-anywhere handguns. I most often carry a Commander-size 1911 .45, although sometimes carry a .40 or .45 caliber SIG pistol. When hiking, or in an area where large animals might be a threat, a four-inch barrel Magnum revolver is on hand. These handguns are versatile, accurate and, most of all, reliable.
The history of men and women and machines is fascinating. The revolver may not be the most in demand at Cheaper than Dirt! but there are none more interesting. The first cartridge revolver in the United States was the little Smith and Wesson Number 1 in .22 Short. Colt was making thousands of cap-and-ball revolvers for the Union Army and Smith and Wesson sold its revolvers through private sale. Soldiers could tuck the little .22 into their shirts or jackets. Colts were the horse pistols, and the revolvers used by fast moving cavalry units.
Long slide and ‘Pro’ model self-loaders with elongated slides and barrels are popular. Used by tactical teams as well as serious shooters, the long-slide Glock pistols in 9mm and .40 are great competition handguns. If you have never handled one, well, you have missed something; they shoot like a dream. But Glock has not offered a long slide .45 until this year.
The .44 Magnum is something of a wonder cartridge. It is all that most of us are willing to handle in a sidearm. There is no sugarcoating the recoil of the big magnum—it can be brutal. Yet the .44 Magnum is among the most accurate handgun cartridges. It is as deadly as a high power .30 caliber rifle against game at moderate range—perhaps more so.
Over 100 years ago, the U.S. Army adopted the John Browning designed 1911 Model .45 Automatic pistol. Proofed in the most grueling test of
After many years on the top of the charts in sales, the Columbia River Knife and Tool M16 folder qualifies as a modern classic. Although CRKT has several different designs, and an extensive line up of quality knives, the M16 folding knife is far and away the most popular among the many offered. It seems as if all my close friends and acquaintances own one or more of the affordable M16 knives.
Whether you love or hate the AK-47, you must admit the rifle is among the most successful designs of all time. Mikhail Kalashnikov designed the rifle for reliable operation in the harshest conditions. The rifle has not failed to meet his expectations. The AK-47, adopted by the Soviet Union in 1947, has been around long enough for many to have an opinion about it.
As a fan of science fiction, I was intrigued by the introduction of the Taurus Judge. Here was the
Today we see a great deal of revisionist history in the media, often tainted with rose-colored glasses and a personal agenda. Young people seem to demand more continuity from their comic book epics than from their history professors. However, when you level the criticisms and fallacies toward a firearm that has served Americans well for over 100 years it is more than irritating. When that same firearm has saved your life more than once, perhaps it is time for a report.
The need for economical practice has been hammered home during the past few months.
It is scandalous; here in the land of plenty, there hasn’t been enough. If there is a good side to the ammunition shortage it is that we have come to appreciate rimfire trainers so much more. One of the handiest and most effective trainers is a .22 caliber conversion unit for the 1911 .45 caliber pistol.
One of the most famous icons among American firearms is the Thompson submachine gun (SMG). Originally developed as a trench broom for use during the horrific battles of World War I, the Thompson was not fully developed until 1921, missing the Great War. However, it saw widespread use in America. Admittedly, both sides heavily used the Thompson SMG—with lines often blurred—during the Prohibition Era.
Accuracy can be expensive. This keeps quite a few young people and interested shooters from investing in more expensive target-grade handguns. An affordable, accurate, 1911 handgun suitable for many forms of competition fills an important niche—if it can be done reasonably. Springfield recognized the market, and the need, and gave us the affordable, highly accurate Range Officer handgun.