Why I Have Never Owned a 1911…

By John Bibby published on in Firearms

I am not opposed to the 1911 platform. Most of us can agree there are some gorgeous 1911s. So, why do I own more than a dozen handguns and not a single 1911?

Glock 1911 Gen 4 Prototype

Glock 1911 Gen 6 Prototype – Not yet, but a fun pic just the same!

One could start by saying I came of age at the same time as the Tupperware guns. Gaston Glock had really gotten his marketing ball rolling when I bought my first handgun in the dawn of the ’90s. Back then, I was a wee lad and actually had to wait for my birthday, to take possession of the gun. At that point, I didn’t really know all that much about the choices. But, I did know that our local gendarmes had mostly transitioned away from revolvers and into Glocks. My reasoning was it fit my hand, “good enough for them, good enough for me,” and I shot it well.

I still have that first pistol. My first pistol was a Glock 17 Gen 2 and it is still shot regularly. My girlfriend uses it as a 3-Gun pistol. She chose that, as it is slightly cheaper to shoot than her duty weapon, a Glock 22 Gen 3 and she is a bit faster on follow up shots with the 9mm as compared to the .40 caliber.

The 1911 has seen a fair amount of time in my hand. Lots of my friends own them. Dozens of times I have test fired them for reviews or to help diagnose a problem. They, with few exceptions, have been great guns that worked exceptionally well; but none has ever spoken to me. Don’t get me wrong; no Glock has spoken to me either. But, I judge the two types on a different standard.

EAA Tanfoglio Witness hunter pistol left profile

Tanfoglio designed the Witness “Hunter” model after requests poured in for a true six inch barrel semi-auto pistol. The “Hunter” model is also built in the Tanfoglio custom shop, and has many of the outstanding features found in the Elite series pistols. These features include a premium 6″ barrel, drilled and tapped frame for optics platform, single action trigger, checkered front and back strap, extended safety, and adjustable rear sight. The Witness “Hunter” is available in .45 ACP and .10mm.

If you don’t count the Philippine imports, the 1911 platform starts at about the $900 price point and quickly goes up, from there. The poster child for the great Tupperware Revolution, Glock starts at about the $450 and is difficult to spend more than $700 on a factory gun without an optic. Just based on these price realities, I view the Glock and similar guns from Smith and Wesson and Springfield Armory as tools. For better or for worse, I view 1911s as collection guns / art. I am a guy who loves having lots of tools and needs art to really speak to me before I part with my money. This is the primary reason I don’t own a 1911.

If we are going to get down to brass tacks, there are a few other reasons too. If I am going to spend “art” money, then there are some amazing revolvers that I would much prefer. It is much more likely for me to part with $3,000 for a pristine Colt Python than a STI 1911. There is the simple fact that the grip angle of a 1911 is dramatically different than my plastic fantastic guns and that makes me have to focus on mechanics to shoot them well. The ultimate heresy is perhaps that I am not a great fan of the .45 ACP round and that is the ammo of choice for true 1911s.

With all that in mind, I currently lust after a certain 6-inch slide 1911 chambered in 10mm. When I buy that gun, several people are going to harass me about finally getting a 1911—and some class. I am fine with that. She will set me back a little over $1,000 and will be a fine tool for up-close Hog Hunting. She is pretty, but not art. I am a sucker for long slide guns and at 14 + 1 in 10 mm, she is plenty of gun, with plenty of ammo. I like her. So maybe, a 1911 has finally spoken to me.

Are you a 1911 or Glock fan? Which model tops your list of dream guns you do not currently own? Share your answers in the comment section.

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Comments (101)

  • Burt

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    Well I have a passion for 1911’s. I have a 1945 issue which has never failed but a little large. My favorite is a Colt Commander. That said my EDC has become a Sig P365 with NOVX ammo for summer. Now that cool weather has arrived I will go back to my Colt.

    Reply

  • Tarpon Hunter

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    I have an aversion to plastic, DA/SA and the grip angle of the Glock. I love 1911’s. At the moment I have 4 Springfield’s (9mm and .45 in government and commander each) , a Les Baer Conceal Carry Comanche and the 15 round Wilson Combat EDC X9. I can point them straight with my eyes closed unlike the Glock which is pointing high. I shoot the 1911’s far better than all the other guns I owned or tried. The only plastics I have are the Sig 320 RX and a HK VP9 which I like but not like the 1911’s. I had been using a M&P 9mm Shield for EDC but now a Springfield .45 RO Elite Champion 1911. With 8+1 and a spare, I’m satisfied with the capacity.

    Reply

  • Andrew

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    I am late to this party but my two cents. I bought a Ruger SR1911 and it is a very nice gun. I carried a Colt 1911 in RVN even though I am left handed. Our training, contrary to what some would tell you was one handed shooting, I don’t think two handed pistol shooting was invented yet and if it was it was not mainstream yet. I found the gun to shoot well, but it is a heavy gun to carry especially if one is also carrying a 100 pound rucksack an M-16 and the required 20 20 round magazines plus another two hundred rounds for the M-60 and 6-8 grenades. So I never really shined on to it. After RVN I became a cop and the standard cop weapon at the time was a Model 10 SW in 38 special. We transitioned to autos circa ‘93 and we were issued HK P7 M13’s an expensive weapon now and then. But it is the safest auto anyone can carry bar none. I wasn’t a gun guy then. Later I bought some Glocks and was amazed at the reliability, simple operation and disassembly, interchangeability of parts and magazines and ability to work on them without extensive knowledge. Contrary to some comments I have come to like the stark utilitarian look of the Glock more and more plastic sights notwithstanding. My most beautiful guns are my Colt Replica blackpowder revolvers. Now those are beautiful works of art:)

    Reply

  • Phillippe Falkner

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    Springfield Armory 1911’s all day for $600. Best 1911 you can own if you actually intend to use it and carry it. Disagree with article completely. Own a dozen handguns, 9 are 1911 or 1911 style.

    Reply

  • wolf ryet

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    I own both a colt 911 and a tangfoglio in .45. The colt is a rugged military grade pistol designed to shoot 3 to 4 inch groups at 25 yds. and function under adverse conditions. It was never intended to be a target pistol. However due to it’s appeal it can be massaged into this role. The tangfoglio was purchased from a family member.It is the 4 inch version , and is quite accurate. It however has the comp cuts in the slide and barrel. I don’t see a real need for them . They cause a great deal more muzzle blast and flash in low light . Personally I don’t notice any difference in recoil between it and the colt. It is however very accurate as I have shot groups at 50 yards with it. For accuracy comparison I prefer my Ruger Redhawk. We used to place found clay pidgions at 70 yards and could break them with open sights.

    Reply

  • Nmacret

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    A 1911 spoke to me several years ago. The funding justification never arrived. Recently the pistol gods smiled and I won a raffle winners choice. No dishwasher guns here, but a Sig Emperor Scorpion full size. Little brother thought I should sell immediately. I finally explained to him that I had been stocking.45 ammo for 6 months. Got it to the range and fell in love. The 9mm sub compact is relegated to the nightstand. Big Brother is my new traveling companion. I am told I am crazy.

    Reply

  • Stephen

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    I can’t believe this author wrote an article about 1911’s, and went with an illustration of a cz-clone Tangfolio. Dude that’s a nice gun, but not even close to a 1911 except that they’re both handguns….

    Reply

  • John Nygard

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    In the 80’s I had a video production company and shot IPSC, so I taped a lot of our matches. Sooner or later, every 1911 malfunctioned. The only High Power and Glock malfunctions were due to reloading errors. Every 1911 shooter that got above “C” class spent hundreds of dollars on gunsmiths to make them more reliable. If in the early days, if competition shooters had made Colt fix them to be more reliable, the shooters wouldn’t have had to do it themselves.

    Reply

    • KIEL G KATZ

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      That was the 80s, almost a half of century ago. I will put my 1911 against any gun you bring forward for a reliability test. Glocks malfunction regularly by the way, I’ve seen numerous slide blown to pieces so not only was it failure it could of caused serious injury possible death.

      Reply

  • Hubcap

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    I have a 1911- 10mm a Tanfoglio.40 and a 9mm carry pistol. I pretty much like them all the same. The 10 is for hunting the .40 I carry in winter the 9 I carry everyday.

    Reply

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