Over at Gun Nuts, we’re talking about how the 1911 may not be the best choice for someone looking for a .45 ACP for serious carry or competition use. Lately I’ve come to believe that most shooters would be better served by one of the many polymer alternatives out there to the 1911, so here at Cheaper Than Dirt! we’re going to take a look at your options for polymer .45s.
First and foremost on the list is the M&P45, probably my personal favorite gun on this list. The price point on the M&P45 is very attractive, at less than $500 for a brand new gun. Extended magazines that hold 14 rounds are available, doubling the firepower of the traditional 1911 pistol in a package that’s lighter and easier to carry. The M&P even comes from the factory with good sights – while 3-dot combat sights aren’t my favorite, they’re a step up from a lot of the sights offered on many other pistols out there, especially the next gun that we’ve got on the list.
The Glock 21 would be my second recommendation to people looking for a “fighting .45”. What keeps it from being number 1? The sights. Because of ATF import restrictions, Glocks are imported with plastic sights, which are not exactly the best sights on the market. However, these sights are easily removed (with a pair of pliers) and can be replaced with significantly better parts from 10-8 Performance, Heinie, Warren Tactical, etc. The Glock 21 does offer three more rounds than the M&P45 in its factory configuration, however I personally prefer the ergonomics on the M&P.
The M&P and the Glock are definitely at the top of the list of polymer .45s. It’s an interesting side note that the of the last four National Custom Defensive Pistol IDPA champions (CDP being IDPA’s division specifically for .45s) 3 of them have been won by shooters with Glocks and M&Ps.
After Glocks and M&Ps, the sea becomes a bit murkier. There are offerings from Springfield’s XD line, and Sig has the most attractive price point on their P250. However, if you base your purchasing decisions off which guns win matches and are chosen by law enforcement for when their lives are on the line, the M&P and Glock win hands down.