Why I Have Never Owned a 1911…

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.

About the Author:

John Bibby

John Bibby is an American gun writer who had the misfortune of being born in the occupied territory of New Jersey. His parents moved to the much freer state of Florida when he was 3. This allowed his father start teaching him about shooting prior to age 6. By age 8, he was regularly shooting with his father and parents of his friends. At age 12, despite the strong suggestions that he shouldn’t, he shot a neighbor’s “elephant rifle."

The rifle was a .375 H&H Magnum and, as such, precautions were taken. He had to shoot from prone. The recoil-induced, grass-stained shirt was a badge of honor. Shooting has been a constant in his life, as has cooking.

He is an (early) retired Executive Chef. Food is his other great passion. Currently, he is a semi-frequent 3-Gun competitor, with a solid weak spot on shotgun stages. When his business and travel schedule allow, you will often find him, ringing steel out well past 600 yards. In order to be consistent while going long, reloading is fairly mandatory. The 3-Gun matches work his progressive presses with volume work. Precision loading for long-range shooting and whitetail hunting keeps the single-stage presses from getting dusty.
The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (103)

  1. They are just hammers..

    I happen to have used a few old hammers for 40 years.. I can attest for me both here and abroad they drive nails fine and has for me. I will stick with what I know.

    Please stick to your plastic .. it is much better..

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

    1. Ive used 1911 during contra ossie of 1970’s. Ive jept it ckesn and never modified it. My experience with killing the enemy is 8 shots was more than enough for the work we had to do. And not once did i have to shoot twice.

  4. 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 donÔÇÖt 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 ÔÇÿ93 and we were issued HK P7 M13ÔÇÖs an expensive weapon now and then. But it is the safest auto anyone can carry bar none. I wasnÔÇÖt 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:)

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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….

  9. 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.

    1. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. I own a couple of 1911’s, including an authentic 1914 Colt, and a new Remington R-1. Plus there is a brand new frame and slide set in my safe waiting to be assembled into my dream pistol. I love the old Colt, but the new Remington-not so much. Waiting for delivery of a Spanish Star in 9mm which is close to a 1911. I personally don’t believe that one can beat the .45ACP round. I am amazed at the accuracy of the old Colt. To each his own, but the plastic and aluminum-framed pistols probably will never last as long as the steel framed ones. revolvers, semi-autos etc.

  12. Got my first 1911 in 83. It was a mil spec Colt Government Model and I was relatively unimpressed since I didn’t just know any better. I got rid of it to get a Glock 17 when they came out in 87 and kept upgrading to newer Glock models (8 total) for the next 20 years. Everything changed when I shot an upgraded 1911 for the first time. The accuracy is unmatched due to the trigger and superior ergonomics and as for the lower round count that’s why they sell extra mags. All of my Glocks are gone now although I have a couple of XD mod 2’s. I have 1911’s in several different calibers/capacities. The Springfield EMP4 Concealed Carry 9mm is as close to the perfect handgun as you can get in my opinion.

  13. Got me a Rock Island 1911 in 9MM, not 45ACP. I carried the 45 for my first 2 years in the Marine Corps before we switched to the 92FS.

    The 45ACP is just to much bullet for my taste, now my 9MM 1911 is probably my favorite gun,
    I take it with me when I’m at our family property in Central Florida, it’s had hundreds of rounds fired through it and it’s never had a mis-feed ir jam.
    And it was made in the Philippines. So there.,,, even the far East can make a solid 1911….

  14. I own 1-1911A1 Springfield, 1- 1911 1911A1 Colt Gov’t model, 1-1911A1 Remington R-1. They’re all wonderful. They each have a little different “feel” to them. I recommend them highly. All man-stoppers.

  15. I purchased my first handgun at a pawn shop when I turned 21. It was a Smith & Wesson Model 59. Short story, it sucked. About a year later, I bought a brand new Colt .45 “Combat Government Model”. I’ve fired tens of thousands of rounds through it and, I’ll never part with it. In the mid 80’s, I bought one of the first gen Glock 19 pistols. I hated it. I really tried to like it and, I fired at least 500 rounds through it in a three month period. It just didn’t do it for me so, I traded it for a stainless Colt Officers ACP. Fast forward to 2015 and, I’m carrying a Smith & Wesson Shield in .40 S&W. I never felt like I had enough ammo with it. Thinking about all the advancements in bullet technology, I decided to try a 9mm again and, Glock was on Gen 4 by then. Another Glock 19 was calling my name. The Gen 4 won me over. It felt much better than the first one I had. I did have to make a couple of upgrades. The sights were the first things to go, in favor of some tritium fiber optics. Then, I swapped the trigger for a smooth trigger with some titanium nitride coated internals. Now, I confidently, and happily, carry it everyday.

  16. I can understand having more rounds with a 9 or 40 but as far as a 45 used in door, i will not have to be cleaning up walls or anything beyond a person’s body, a 45 caliber bullet would most likely stay in the body and would not make a mess going through a body and through whatever is beyond the body..

  17. I don’t own a Tupperware gun and probably never will. I do own a pristine Colt Python 4 in. polished and a Kimber 1911 CDP II. Plastic is for butter tubs etc.

  18. I’ve worked on a USMS Fugitive Task Force for over 12 years. As to ‘Pretty Boy’ guns, I suppose the 1911’s are a good gun… for functionality and practical usage for ‘shtf’ work, I’m happy as hell with my Glock(s)…

  19. I own 1911’s for the same reason you own tupperware. They fit my hands, naturally point, totally reliable and cost effective. I don’t count some of the examples as ‘real’ 1911’s. STI’s may be great, maybe a Wilson is wonderful but I’ve never spent close to that on any of mine. Mostly Springfields, couple of Colts, a Ruger and a few I’ve built reside in my safe. My Springfield Champion was constantly on my side for 25 years or so, never once failing me when I shot it. Go with what works for you of course. Glocks will never be my choice. They just don’t fit my hands at all well. I was blown up in 1992 and my hands are not the same as before, so I have to go with what fits and works well. That is the 1911. I do own a few tupperware pistols, XD’s fit and work better for me. But my go to will always be the one that fits and works – 1911. For the record I do already own a Python, cost me around 300 IIRC, got it years before the first tupperware appeared on the scene and still have it.

  20. I can relate to your points, even though I carry a 1911 .45 almost every day. I prefer the 1911 design because it fits me, and I can shoot it more accurately, with faster follow-up than any other. I also own and use Glocks 17s and 26s, the 26 being my preferred pocket/deep concealment pistol. With modern ammunition 9mm and .45 are a toss up. Accurate shot placement is what counts.

  21. I have owned a variety of hand guns in my 70 years of life. I have carried hand guns as duty weapons in the military, civilian law enforcement and security professions. I know that Glocks are good products with high capacity magizines, light weight and made of modern materials.
    In my law enforcement and security professions, when given the choice of my personal duty weapon I have always chosen the M1911A1 automatic pistol in 45 ACP. My last duty pistol ( I retired in 2011) was a Taurus 1911 with an 8 round Chip McCormick black stainless magazine. I carried this great pistol for 6 years daily on and off duty and qualified with 14 times never scoring less than 285 of a possible 300. It is still my favorite pistol.
    In my 26 plus year military career I carried a government issued M1911A1 as a military police commander and physical security officer.
    A well made 1911A1 is extremely reliable, rugged and accurate. It is an excellent personal defense weapon and will end the threat when properly applied.
    In the final analysis the choice of a personal defense weapon is a personal choice. People are as different as the number of weapon choices available. I have the advantage of personal experience and knowledge framing my choice. You, reader, may have a different background and experience and prefer a different pistol platform and caliber. If so, that is great but I will trust my life to God and my M1911A1.

    1. I just retired in June and carried a Taurus PT1911AR on patrol and SWAT. As soon as I showed up to work with it I started catching grief. FIrst SWAT training changed everyone’s mind when I hit the 100m gong (12″ round plate) which we shoot at until you miss, or run black on ammo. I hit it 41 times, before I was out of ammo. That was 2008 and that record still stands. Needless to say everyone STFU after that. I attrbute some of it to the Hienie Straight 8 sight that came on the gun. Best sights I’ve ever used.

  22. It wasnÔÇÖt very long ago you couldnÔÇÖt have paid me to own a Tupperware gun now I own 2 both Glocks. I didnÔÇÖt replace my 1911ÔÇÖs with these just bought them some company. My wish list is a long one so letÔÇÖs just get that S&W 500 off of it and spend the rest of the $3000.00 on reloading supplies to feed it.

  23. Except for being few years older and getting a gen 1 G17, that article could have almost been written about me. I would really like a Python to go with my Anaconda and still kick myself for passing on one in the mid ’90s for $600.

  24. My first was a pair of Springfield 40S&W, liked them ok till I bought a Springfield TRP, LOVED it so much I wanted to keep the mileage low. So I picked up a Glock22, a gun worthy of burying in a hole to be retrieved whenever the SHTF, and be expected to work. Today, my dream guns are a pair of 80% 4140 steel frames that I milled myself. One is a full-size 45ACP with my absolute favorite being a 10mm Commander. Very fulfilling for the DIY alpha-male. (Retired AF)

  25. To the author- im a huge fan of the 10mm, and the Tangfolio looks to be a promising gun. Someone correct me, but this is really an adaptation of the Hi-Power not the 1911. Yea, I know they are both Browning designs and share some of the same features. But what stands out to me is the grip design and the trigger identifing it as a Hi-power clone.

  26. I have two 1911 pistols and both are fun to shoot and I can honestly say that I have received a great return on my investment.
    But on the other hand I just recently purchased my first Glock, a 27 that I fell in love with. Loved it so much that I turned around and purchased a Glock 17 to keep the 27 company in my safe.
    Both have their strong points and their drawbacks but the Glocks and the 1911’s have a bunch of assorted revolvers to make a big happy family.

  27. You say you don’t own a 1911 I believe it since you don’t even have a picture of one. If your buy the tangfolio witness you still won’t have a 1911 since the witness is a CZ-75 clone not a 1911 clone. Which makes me think you may not own a 1911 because you don’t seem to know what they look like.

    1. If you ‘ve never owned one you come off sounding like a priest talking about sex. Comparing the 1911 100 + year old design to modern tech guns is unjust. Throw out your 1911s, SSAs, High-powers, and Lugers if you want. Us old guys will take them any day.

  28. I gave my Taurus .45 to my son, so my only remaining 1911 is my Colt custom Govt model.
    I dislike plastic guns, but appreciate a light weight like my alum frame Beretta 92F. But my main carry is a small steel frame Sig P220 SAS Compact.
    Dream gun? I’d still love to acquire a full size Colt Python. And a Walther PPS for pocket carry.

  29. ÔÇ£$900 and goes upÔÇØ
    Get out of your armchair
    Colt Governments arenÔÇÖt even $900
    A higher price tag does not mean a higher quality gun. IÔÇÖm sick of that mentality in the gun community and itÔÇÖs mostly portrayed by armchair enthusiasts.

  30. I started out with a mod 19 S&W and then got my hands on a 1911, a true 1911 not an a1, I shot and carried that thing from the time I was 18 till I was 48. My wife made me call Colt to check on the history. I still shoot it occasionally and let my students shoot it since it is 101 years old. I do like the Glocks, but have a problem with no external safety but that is from the years of carrying the 1911 ‘cocked and locked’. they both have their pros and cons, and with big dogs I won’t ever have the excuse ‘the dog ate my gun’. lol

  31. I got my first 1911 in 1948 as war surplus, NIB and covered with cosmoline. Since then I’ve owned 1911s in all three sizes and even have one in 9 mm .The 1911 just speaks my language. I had a Glock 19 once that I gave to my son. Nothing against Glock, they’re good weapons, but they don’t feel right in my hand. To each his own.

  32. I own both platforms (Glock and 1911). Since I am a smaller than average adult man, I find the slim profile of the 1911 is much more comfortable for CC than my Glock 27. I usually carry an American made Colt officer sized 1911 but will also carry my Smith and Wesson alloy framed Commander sized 1911. I am comfortable and shoot very well with both platforms but for reasons stated about comfort, I also prefer 45 acp to 9mm. Both of these excellent guns were far less than $1,000.

  33. The 1911 in.45acp is my go to gun i carry one litteraly everyday it was “the gun that spoke to me”,ive got other guns (tupperware and wheel guns) but it fits well,i shoot extreamly proficiently with it,but i agree its not for everyone though it is for me ,i love my kimber 1911 and it is a work of art!

  34. In about 2 months I’ll be 66yrs old but back when I was a “young buck” I shot a 1911 for the first time and I was hooked. When I hit 21 I bought my first 1911 style handgun’ a Ballister- Molina. It looked like a Government Model except it didn’t have a grip safety. I shot the devil out of that old girl but eventually got the bug for something else so she was traded off. It didn’t take long for me to miss the feel of that piece of iron in my hand and I ended up with another one. Time went by, I got married,{ we’re still together after 43 yrs] started a family and ended up selling the Ballister to a friend. Well in 1984 we visited a gunshop I had done business with before just to look around. I went by one showcase and did a double take. Lo and Behold there lying on a felt mat was a Colt Combat Commander with a tag of $360.00 on it. Found out it had only had 1 magazine run thru it when the guy decided it was too much gun for him. Well jump forward to today and I’ve still got that Colt. Over the years there was a little tweaking done here and there but that Commander has been my everyday carry and not one time has it ever let me down. Not very long ago I picked up a Rock Island Armory Gov. Model 1911 in the 10mm. A few modifications to handle loads like the original loadings and now the Colt has a companion. I have never regretted picking up that first 1911 and never will.I have several 9mm but whenever I head out any where I carry and depend on a 1911 to step up if the need arises.

  35. As for me, I have owned quite a few pistols in my life and held off buying a 1911 due to the price of the weapon and the ammo both. I purchased a Taurus PT1911 about 5 years ago for less than $600.00 brand new in the box with mags, ambidextrous safety, and a life time guarantee on it as I am the original owner. Also, I’ve located a gun shop that sells .45 ammo for a very reasonable price so I’ve had a great time shooting my 1911. I recently installed new Tritium night sights on it which is nice for low light shooting.

  36. I owned a 1911 back in the early 70s, one I acquired when I was in the military in SEA. Sold it for $75 a couple of years later and regretted it ever since. Only fired it a few times, and don’t really remember much about those events. Currently waiting for the CMP “lottery” results to see if I can get one that may cost a little over $1000.

    With my first one I remember wondering “if guns could talk” as to how it came to be where it was when I acquired it. What route did it take from being manufactured in 1938 (or so the serial number indicated) to where it ended up when I came in contact with it?

    Call me sentimental, call me crazy, but I just want to try to replace something I once had and, in my estimation, foolishly got rid of.

  37. I just don’t understand why anyone would criticize the most beautiful handgun ever. I’m and older man and when I see the 1911, I think of all the war movies I saw with the head man in charge walking around with one in his hands while everyone else had rifles. HAHAHA. But seriously. I just think it is the best looking gun out there. To heck with the idea they shoot 45 rounds. It’ll do damage if need be just like the 9’s and the 40’s. And the Philipine 1911’s are some really good handguns. Like it or not.

  38. IÔÇÖve carried a glock 21 as a duty weapon and spent a lot of time on the range with it. Love the 21. I inherited a military issue Colt 1911 from my grandfather and absolutely love shooting it on the rare occasion I take it out. I own Sig, Springfield, Glock, Colt and just ordered a Taurus 1911 that I hope I enjoy shooting as much as I enjoy the Colt which I have locked away and shoot only occasionally now. I just love shooting. Hope I never have to pick just one. ItÔÇÖs not marriage.

  39. I also have gone away from the 1911. My “one day” pistol is the Sig 226 Legion. Just a gorgeous firearm that feels as though it was made specifically for me.

    1. I will never disown my Kimber 1911, but I agree with you that at least for me, nothing shoots like a Sig Sauer, and no Sig shoots like a P226. I also love my P220,and P229 chambered in . 357 Sig. But the king is P226. My Glocks are fun and Trustworthy, but they are not Sig’s, not even close.

  40. Whole heartedly agree with the article. 1911s are technologically irrelevant. Only art, history. Especially now with glock, sig and Springfield offering quality 10mms that hold more rounds and that a far more reliable and less complicated than the old 1911…

  41. If you guys can only afford or just want to shoot a POS Glock do it.
    No need to dog on a superior weapon like the 1911 to make yourselves feel big and to justify said POS Glock.

  42. I am glad that the author is happy with the Glock. I have this and the other manufacturers/models of semiautomatics as well. I think it does help you to learn more about shooting to try the other models. Also, to shoot different ammunition. If you have these different designs and shoot multiple ammunition and use different modifications, when you have a problem like feeding or other, it makes it a little harder to figure out. But still a lot of fun!

  43. I have several of each. I also have several revolvers. IÔÇÖm not a LEO. My Glocks are carried regularly as truck guns and as traveling protection. I own a M22, M19 an M43. I own two government issued 1911ÔÇÖs. One is a Colt and the other is an Ithaca. Both were gifts but the Ithaca was given by the gentleman it was issued to in Manila in about ÔÇÿ43. Both are pristine. They are treasures. I also have a 45 and a 9mm in RugerÔÇÖs SR1911 that are great shooters. One of the comments spoke to the safety of the 1911 and thatÔÇÖs a positive. All of my 1911ÔÇÖs are great guns and shoot very well but so are my Glocks. If I were left on this earth with but ONE handgun I would choose my Ruger GP100 357. It is absolutely indestructible, incredibly accurate and can be used to actually hunt with. A friend of mine in the car business always says, ÔÇ£thereÔÇÖs an ass for every seatÔÇØ!!! Same theory here for handguns.

  44. I am afraid you lost my attention when you started pricing 1911’s. “Non-Filipino” 1911’s have come down quite a bit in price over the years, just as the top of the 1911 market has gone through the roof. Prices are far more comparable to Glocks than you have suggested. I am assuming this is a lack of experience and research on your end. You can buy a Remington 1911 R1 for $489 on other sites, $545 on CTD. The R1, which comes in a dozen variants, not unlike Glocks, goes up in price as you add more features. Just to note, I think a close comparison in the Glock world would be the 17, i.e. the one that made Glock what it is. On CTD, the 17 G4 is $539 and the 17 G5 is $594.

    Perhaps you can spend your next $500 on a 1911 “tool-priced” pistol. You may well come to understand what so many people find enjoyable about this platform. Until then, you may wish to check your facts if you want folks to take you seriously. I don’t mean this as a snub, just honest, constructive feedback.

  45. As usual it all boils down to personal preference and experience of a certain platform that you carry . I have a Magnum Research 1911G. I also own Ruger P90, P89 , Security Six 357 mag , Baretta P92/M9, Glock 22, 17 and 41. I practice with and carry all of my pistols in order to broaden my experience with different platforms. You always see arguments about make ,model and calibre. What works for one person won’t necessarily work for others. I don’t like 40sw in the Glack platform at all. I’ve shot 9mm, 45acp and 10mm perfectly fine in the Glock platform but just didn’t like the 40sw caliber instead converted my G22 to a G17 with a Lone Wolf conversion barrel. Which gives you a bull barreled 9mm.

  46. The 1911 can be tricked out to shoot the most accurate groups possible and that is why they are still the dominate gun among personnel shooters. IÔÇÖve shot everything from a $400 Springfield to a $4500 Infinity Arms and everything in between and all were dependable after a minimal amount of tuning by a component gun smith.

  47. First of all, 1911s, with few exceptions, are NOT art guns. They are professionals’ pistols. I will agree with the fellow who stated that he could teach the average shooter to be fairly proficient with a Glock in a half hour or so. The same can be and has been said of the AK47/AKM, and rightly so, but I would MUCH rather have an M4 or some sort of M4 based PDW. I used to be a Glock enthusist, as well. I bought the very first Glock 17 (The only model made at the time) to hit the gunshop shelves in 1987. It was one of the most accurate out-of-the -box pistols I have ever fired. It was also NOT the most reliable. HydraShock hollow points would occasionally just about center the bottom edge of the barrel’s feed ramp. Might have been a magazine problem. ’87 was quite a while ago. I have owned two 19s & about five 17s since then, & only one was as accurate as that first Gen1 17, but they were all 100% reliable. Not a FTF in thousands upon thousands of rounds. Then one day, I received my first 1911. It was a POS Federal Ordinance 5″ Government Model. I didn’t know a thing about them then, past how to field strip one. That thing was a nightmare at the range, never firing more than 3 rounds without a failure of some kind. Never failed to fire, though. I quickly got rid of it & didn’t get another one for a couple of years.
    Then one day I bought the book “The .45 Automatic, A Shop Manual” & my love affair with the 1911 began. That book taught me the basics of how it works & how each part works with the others & how to fix them. I then taught myself more advanced stuff like checkering, trigger jobs, grip safety installation, etc. I bought all the right tools & accessories and quickly became the most sought after 1911 ‘smith in town. I have built or customized about 80 to 100 of them since. I retired from gunsmithing & holster making a few years ago, just before the flood gates of factory custom 1911s flew open. My checkering still looks better than ANY factory job I have ever seen. I currently own 6 of John Browning’s masterpieces, with only two being Colts. These include a Light Weight Commander with Combat Commander slide, Briley ramped barrel & spherical bushing, 20 LPI checkering, Ed Brown grip & thumb safeties, Wilson Combat night sights & Bullet Proof hammer, Cylinder & Slide Marine Corps sear, STI carbon fiber and titanium trigger and a few other odds & ends. The only Colt parts left in the gun are the slide, frame, slide stop, sear spring & mainspring housing. The other Colt is an early Combat Elite with similar treatment, but retaining the factory barrel with an Army NM bushing hand fitted by myself. The others include an RIA 10mm Tactical with railed frame all the way to the end of the slide. No modifications. Yet. A Para USA GI Expert in need of a new finish, a “New Detonics” (Robbie Barrkman era gun from the late ’80s), and finally, an early super melted Kimber Custom Shop Pro CDP II. Again, the checkering looks like somebody’s first attempt.
    I also have seven SIG Sauers (three P226s, [Legion, Mk25 & ’80s era plain old 226] three P229s [Legion, Scorpion & regular 229R] & one P938. Others include my Dad’s old duty gun, a S&W 4586, an M&P45 & pair of Colt Peacemakers.
    Notice anything missing? A Glock. I just can’t bring myself to pay that kind of money for something with no personality & no soul. BTW, I would love to know where I can get one for $450. You must have been referencing their .380. You can NOT buy a new 17 for anywhere NEAR that price. Some people’s kids, huh?
    I guess I’ve bored you guys enough by now, so I think I’ll go play with my lightweight FN Hi-Power & contemplate what it needs done to it…

  48. So I know there are a lot of Glock fans but really, there’s more going to be a really ugly 45 acp Glock. Please leave well enough alone I would c rather get a Colt government or a nice Kimber than that ugly square box of a 45…
    Just saying

  49. I dislike the Glock for the same reason you dislike the 1911. I started shooting about 10 years before you and have always shot pistols with the same grip angle as the 1911. When my Sheriff switched to Glocks and supplied me with one, I could not qualify with it because of the odd grip angle and other quirks unique to the Glock. RO’s offered to work with me to change my grip and other tweaks to help me shoot the Tupperware, but I declined. I asked myself why I should change everything that allowed me to shoot all my other handguns well, so I could shoot one gun my department supplied. Since I am not a full time LEO, I simply transitioned to a non-armed position in my organization. I still don’t own a 1911, but the Sigs and Springfields I do own share the same grip angle with it, and I shoot them all better than the Glock.

  50. In working with handguns, shooting handguns, and carrying handguns for 29 years; I have learned that all semi auto platforms can have a place based on your needs and situations.

    A glock is the ak of handguns, as you can do anything to it, and it will still go bang when needed.

    1911’s are beautiful, smooth, and extremely accurate, but many require a deal of care. For left handers, almost all 1911’s need retro fitting to include new sites. They are great for day to day, but not extended time out and about.

    I compromise and prefer to use another Moses Browning design: Browning Hi Power family. Its action is the best of both worlds. CZ and Tanfoglio make accurate and high reliable handguns.

    That said, I use versions of all three platforms and enjoy all three: Striker fired, 1911’s, and Hi Power. Adaptability is the key to surviving the ultimate natural selection: “death.”

  51. I carried the 1911 as a sidearm in the 1970s and finally bought a Springfield Mil-Spec in stainless about six years ago kind of just to have one. I enjoy it, have a military holster and belt to take it with me when the SHTF, as they say. (I am convinced that probably will not happen in my lifetime.) If I thought really hard about it I could probably count the times I have taken it out. I just keep buying all kinds of 9mm pistols and it get lost in the shuffle. I have blown it up twice with overcharged rounds, made repairs, and it keeps going. Anyway, it is a nice to have for me. A lot of 1911 fanatics out there just like with every other gun. I think it’s a classic and can’t imagine nt having one in my eclectic collection.

  52. This guy is an IDIOT and needs to look at prices before opening his IDIOT mouth!!! Also the 1911 is the safest gun on the market, if you shoot something with one you meant to shoot it, there is NO accident with this gun. 45ACP is probable the best round on the market!!! Learn what you are talking about before opening your mouth!!!!

    1. The 1911 is nowhere near the safest gun on the market. To be ready for action it must be carried with a cocked hammer secured by a safety. Any number of other pistols are much safer and quicker to draw. Does cocked and locked work….sure. Can the hammer snag on clothing and can the safety fail….yes also. The .45 is a good, reliable round……but only 7 of them in a standard mag is a bit low for today.

    2. I guess you don’t feel as though people are allowed to have opinions, other than you obviously. I have looked at some 1911 models, but chose a Sig instead. Sorry if you do not approve, but not sorry really.

    3. All valid points Ted, but is there really a need to be so nasty about it? Can’t we disagree and be civil? I’m so tired of all this on-line vitriol.

    4. @Ted Spenser SR- there is really no accidents with any gun, just negligence. And why so hostile Ted? Bad day for you? Maybe you should learn to articulate in your writing so people can learn what your point is. You gave no real points or evidence for your beliefs. Without doing so, people may judge you as…well…an IDOT!

    5. The fellow you are attacking might be uniformed but you sir are a
      POMPOUS ASS!While I love the 1911 and have built more than a few,the glock36 is my carry gun of choice.Your attack on this individual has made me drop down to your level and this is not going to accomplish anything!

    -“PLUS P”[E.G.24 LB]SPRINGS for near -or equivalent, 460 Rowland levels
    but still I still[after 5 years]don’t have my NICS back,so all my desires are merely hyperbole.
    In the meanwhile I’ll stick with my full sized Glock 30 with Lone Wolf barrel,tritium front sight,factory ammunition.

  54. It’s just got to be me but I don’t like the 1911 because of the ugly horn sticking out the back of it. Yeah I know it’s to prevent slide bite but it makes the gun look like a horned toad.

    1. The 1911 beavertail is there to prevent hammer bite, not slide bite. I have a 1911 mil-spec and after about 5 rounds I am bleeding like a stuck pig at the web between my thumb and finger. Not everyone suffers in this way, it simply depends on each individual’s hand. The only way I can shoot that particular 1911 is to put adhesive tape on my thumb webbing where the hammer horn hits. Another fix (other than a beavertail) is to install a hammer that has a ring instead of a horn on it.

      I have and like both 1911s and Glocks. Currently, I carry only Glocks for their increased capacity.

  55. 20+years.The two modification:Lone Wolf barrel for unjacketed projectiles,tritium front sight[with standard adjustable rear sight]

    1. Not sure why, but your reply to my question got posted as a new comment– twenty years means you have a reasonable knowledge and belief in the system in your hand, and thus a valid reason for believing in it.

      But, being of a different firearms faith, I’ll still preach fewer, bigger rounds out of a pistol that I know can be passed to my great-great-great grandchild as a working old school tool for staying alive.


    2. HW Stone. If you ever need your pistol to stay alive, I promise you 8 rounds will not be enough. Some double stack 9s hold 19 plus 1(Springfield xdm). That’s more like it.

    3. Over the last forty some odd years I have several times been forced to rely on the forty five and never have felt the need to just spray bullets– period.

  56. Character is fine and good,but will it keep you alive any better than a Glock[esp in 45ACP i.e.mdl 30 or mdl 21]?

    1. Karl, my pistol was purchased new in 1971, and has been in harm’s way several times. I’m curious. How many years have you trusted your life to any Glock?

  57. So, I owned a 1911 once. An old Llama that somehow got passed down to me. It was loose, shot lead in all directions, almost exclusive of the direction you wanted! It was also the only firearm i have ever sold that brought in more $ than it was worth. Go figure. Anyhoo… i don’t own a 1911 now. My wife’s cousin brought one out with him on a visit from CA. A wilson combat tactical elite, etc. Etc. B E A utiful! I didn’t ask to shoot that one. ????
    I think I always shied away from 1911s thinking about follow up shots, and the lack of them.
    When I shoot, I am pretty darn good. But… i do not train every day. I am not in active combat areas day in and out. I can’t trust that those great groups are gonna hold up when the adrenile starts pumping. I think one commenter nailed it. It’s really up to the person and what they are comfortable and confident with. For this guy, I gotta go with the Glock.

  58. Totally Agree. While I lust for my first hot-rod I owned, a 1979 Trans Am 6.6 liter, they’re really climbing in price. Do really want it because that 2 ton 2 barrel would really smoke some cars? Na…my 2016 Dad car, Ford Explorer with 8 seats would have smoked that ole pig.

    In the bike biz, my old timers still say…’there’s not replacement for displacement’. That is until I smoke em on my 2017 worked over 600cc Yamaha R6. I tell em ‘except for technology’. At the end of the day, I really love the way the 1911 shoots. But the one I REALLY want like an Ed Brown .45, is soooo expensive, when I go to purchase one…I end up with P365, or 19X.

    So remember, there IS replacement for displacement, it’s called technology!

  59. From 1991 through 2004 I carried one sort of polymer handgun or another in an attempt to lighten the load of my duty belt. I shot them very well. Now that I don’t have a department dictating what I can carry, I choose the 1911. It has something polymer handguns will never have: character.

  60. I’ve never owned a Glock, never shot one, but I know dozens of people who do and I have never heard anyone say a bad word about them.My preference is Officer size 1911’s for carry, a 9mm Colt and a 45 cal Kimber, although I do stick a Smith and Wesson bodyguard 380 in the back pocket of my jeans in really hot weather. I like the thin grips on the single stack 1911’s and it freaks people out when they see you carrying the gun in condition 1 with the hammer back. Heck, that’s reason enough to carry a 1911 right there.

  61. The author is incorrect on several counts. An excellent 1911 can be had for well under $900; Springfield Armory, Kimber and Ruger all come to mind. Some of the less expensive Phillippine imports are very acceptable handguns; and I would postulate that most Springfield Armory 1911 pistols (my preference) and Kimbers (not so much) qualify as works of art.

  62. I shoot a 1911 for a couple of reasons. It fits my hand and it’s what I carried in Vietnam. Many shooters can not handle a double stack. I’m one of them.

    A lot of shooters, like me, carried various weapons in war (and peace) on a regular basis and it became natural to carry them. That’s one of the reason so many military arms were adopted for hunting, sport, etc.

    My 1911s include a Colt, Kimber for CC, and a Springfield. All of them are well made, solid, and accurate.

    I have no desire to own a Glock. I have nothing against them, I just see no need for one when I already have what I need.

  63. John, I believe you have missed out on life if you haven’t carried a 1911 for 30+ years. I have and may continue to do so. First there are some fine 1911 for under $1,000. There are some for around 1/2 of that that are quite well made, accurate, reliable and obtainable to be used as an EDC. They are also easy to update or change to suite you better. Grips, sights, internals, so expect a long service life. There is nothing wrong with a 9mm with proper loads, but I do prefer the larger holes made by the 45.

    After 35 years I retired my EDC a 1911 made in 1942 and switched to a new one made by Taurus. I also decided to try a Polymer gun as my EDC for this summer. I weights about the same when using the 13 round magazine. I will admit it seems to be just as accurate, carries well, and conceals just as well as the 1911, but until I have several years of practice with it, several thousand rounds down range with no problems, I will not have the same level of confidence with it.

    That is the nice thing about living in the US of A, many firearm choices for us. While I am not a Glock fan or a 10mm fan, I hope it works out well for you. I plan for my next 1911 to be a double stack 9mm or double stack 45.

  64. Which I better, Ford or Chevy? It is all experience and preference in my view. I worked in local, federal, state, and military law enforcement and have been a state and NRA CCW instructor for decades. In my pocket is a Glock 43, but the little KelTec pf9 is a better gun if I am in a Kayak or canoe and want the smaller gun. If deer hunting with my 300 BLK or 257 Weatherby, I like the little Model 60, 3 inch SW 357. It weighs 24 ounces and shoots 158 grain ammo at 1,250 fps, about 500 foot pounds. The 10 mm will produce about 650 ft pds. The 45 acp only about 375-400 ft pds. I can teach anyone to shoot a Glock well in 30 minutes, I cannot do that with a big revolver. I do poke fun at people who want 14 rounds of 10mm for protection against bears….while I have only had one encounter with a bear at arms length, I have studied them a great deal. Please look up Buffalo Bore and read Tims stuff. If a bear charges, you have 1-3 rounds before he hits you. If he takes you down and you still have your gun and wits, then you can keep shooting. Then of course we get into that reality that bigger and heavier is better. So, my little 158 grain 357 bullets and your little 180 grain 10mm rounds would not be as good as say a few rounds of 44 mag with 240-300 grain bullets. I own 3 4 mags, with 2.5, 4 inch and 5.5 inch barrels, all are superior to the 10mm and all can get off 3 shots in 3 seconds. I would also mention that if you actually need to use it as a club, the steel would be better than plastic….to each his own. I also build 1911s from blank frames and internet parts. They are simple, ez to put together and anyone can do so after simply watching 4 or 5 UTube videos. And of course you can get that magic trigger I set at 4.5 pounds and slick action using only pliers a stone and emory boards. FWIW

  65. Many high-quality USA manufactured 1911’s have slides and frames produced by Taurus and are imprinted with the manufacture’s name upon finished assembly. Taurus also manufactures a 1911 with custom features that is readily available at a $600 price point. A Texas junior pistol team had used Rock Island Armory (Philippine) 1911s for training and winning gold and silver medals a few years ago. I have been shooting 1911s for over 50 years and built up a custom competition gun from GI parts in 1975 that I shot at the range yesterday using some new +P ammo that it digested just fine. Time will tell if the plastic guns are still functioning after 107 years of service.

    1. They have torture tested these “plastic guns” to insane round counts and they’ve passed with flying colors. Try that with a 1911 and you will have issues. These plastic guns will be around for a very very long time. Deep storage favors plastic a whole lot better than metal anyways. The problem with 1911s is to get then reliable you gotta be loose with tolerances and to get accuracy you gotta be tight with tolerances. Those 2 things have to be compromised in one way or another. It’s a 100 plus year old design kept alive only by nostalgia.

  66. i never felt comfortable carrying the 1911, loaded with the hammer back, even with the safety engaged. now i have a 1911 that Leon Herbert designed that’s great. after racking the slide on a loaded magazine, you push the hammer to touch the back of the slide, the safety lever slides to “safe position”, by its self. So a loaded pistol, hammer down, safety lever in safe. When i move the safety lever off, the hammer comes back to the firing position, by its self. I pull the trigger, and the pistol fires.

    1. I am curious why you think this meathod of carry is ÔÇ£saferÔÇØ? You are still carrying a single action pistol with the hammer back and the safety on. The function is the exact same, it just appears a little different until you turn the safety off. I carry a condition 1 1911 everyday, and it is perfectly safe. To each his own, but there is no appreciable difference between what you are doing, and what I am doing. The only thing your set-up does is introduce an unnecessary point of potential failure.

  67. While I agree that the modern striker fired guns are less expensive I also say ya gets whats ya pay for or more aptly buy once cry once. I have the same problem with grip angle and fit, but the other way around, the Glock just doesn’t fit right for me. Glocks are reliable yes but feel like a Lego gun in my hand. I do own a 9mm or 2, one a S&W 9 the other a CZ75 D compact that shoots like a dream. I have a Springfield 1911A1 that I love and will never part with.

    As to the 9mm vs 45acp. Well for quick follow up yes 9mm. But I work in the Operating Room of a major city (D.C.) trauma center, before that the military, and believe me when I say that after nearly 30 years I can tell you the difference between the two by the size of the wound track and tissue damage. The 9 just doesn’t do as much damage (even modern L.E.O. rounds) so I use a 9mm to compete and a 45acp for protection.

    1. 9mm penetrates to the vitals much better than 45. They’ve proven this with ballistics gel time and time and time again. This is why the FBI went back to 9mm. Magazine count, faster follow up shot(which is all the difference between life and death), and it’s more effective. 45 is a sub Sonic round moving too slow.

  68. I have a Glock 29 10mm that is basically as effective as a 357 magnum with the right loads but I also have an old Ruger P90 45 APC, a 22 Automag, 44cal black powder, two 9mm and yes a 1911. I carried a colt 1911 in Vietnam along with a 357 a sawed off 12 gauge and an M14… Better prepared than sorry.. I shoot all of my guns, the Glock is my daily concealed carry and depending on where I am going and whether or not I feel like wearing my MAGA hat I might be carrying a compact SCCY 9mm in an ankle rig. I love the feel and the balance of the 1911, but I am addicted to power be it motorcycles, cars or guns bigger is better and at 30 to 50 yds i like the Glock

  69. I hear what you are saying but to counter, there are quite a few only a little bit off of the 1911 frames that are very affordable. I have for my carry pistol the SAR K2 in .45 which came in at $490 when I found it on sale for a .45 in a very close to 1911 frame with 14 rounds in the magazine and very decent groups at self defense range, I do not see an issue with having it with me and while I would be ticked if I was robbed when I have to leave it in the car it wouldn’t be a major financial set back.

    So there are options for high capacity and inexpensive 1911 .45 handguns that are tools.

  70. John, No one cares why you do not own an ionic 1911 ÔÇô except for maybe new shooters who are looking for input. The rest of us made that decision years ago. Some other articles you might consider writing are: ÔÇ£Why I DonÔÇÖt Shoot 9mmÔÇØ, ÔÇ£Why I Hate the Modern Sporting RifleÔÇØ, ÔÇ£Why I Despise Lever GunsÔÇØ. They would fit well with this piece. I suggest you pick a gun. Shoot it. Video it. Tell us what you think. Although after this light article, I am not sure I will care.

  71. I own [2] G-23s and [1] G-19 they are all Gen-3 – the 23s are on my CCW permit while I use the 19 frame for punching holes in paper with a .22LR slide and a Lone Wolfe 9MM/40 S&W convertible slide – I have looked at 1911s and some of them are beautiful to behold but like the author the price tag is a definite turn-off – still maybe someday – actually I am considering a G-35 for my next purchase

  72. “If you donÔÇÖt count the Philippine imports, the 1911 platform starts at about the $900 price point and quickly goes up, from there.”

    What an utter load of crap this is. There are 500 and 600 dollar 1911s available from all over the world, including right here in the USA.

    1. Great point Matt. I buy the Philippine made guns (Armscorp) and modify them to my liking. However, if you buy one like their 10mm, there is basically noting to modify. I have bought their blank frames and fitted them to Colt slides and a dozen aftermarket parts. Anyone can put 1911’s together from parts by just watching a few UTubes. I have had a lot of un matching my guns labeled RIA against the KimbersÔǪ once had a lawyer with a stainless $1,600 Kimber shoot against one of mine. It was funny because he could only shoot about 4 inches with his gun and 2 with mine. My gun cost about $300.

      You can pay $2,500 up for a polished 1911, or pay $500 and then polish it up or tweak it with the first 100 rounds of Tullamo. If you can get one 100% with that cheap ammo, then it will shoot good ammo perfectly, duh? Good comment Matt. People just do not know and guns magazines are in the business of helping market the high dollar guns, so they tell us the more you pay the better they are. FWIW

  73. A few comments re Glocks vs 1991s.I find the full size Glocks including the model 30 more comfortable to shoot than 1911s.The only tweaking I have done is to put a Lone Wolf barrel and a tritium sight on mine.I wish Glock would have put on the generation 1&2s an ambidextrous magazine release.The Colt 80deries Government 1911 needed an ambidextrous safety and adjustable sights.Colt was too cheap and lazy to do so.I gave my Colt to a friend. My next auto will be a full size Glock 21 retrofitted with a Lone Wolf barrel/24lb springs/ large tritium font sight/loaded to near 460 Rowland ballistics. I wouldn’t mind finding a 22 auto with ambidextrous safety/Magazine release.Too bad Ruger has been too cheap to do that.

  74. You might want to price the Tisas Classic 1911-A1 and the GIRSAN 1911 Series .45 acp- Gen 2 before you quote the price of a good starter for the 1911 family.

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