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1911 Pistol Review

Of all the achievements we can check off on the list of John Browning’s genius creations, it can be argued by very few that the most well known and most widely used design is that of the 1911 .45 caliber pistol.

With literally thousands of variations on the worldwide market today, the base platform of the 1911 remains essentially unchanged for the operation, functionality, disassembly and reassembly of the firearm. With only the “bells and whistles” modified to make the gun manufacturer specific or attention to quality and detail dictating the sale price of the gun, in one way or another and despite these changes, the 1911 platform remains mostly unchanged.

1911 pistol image 199x300 1911 Pistol Review The 1911 was created to be a man-stopper. Plain and simple, after enduring fifteen years of guerrilla warfare and tribal hand to hand combat in the Philippines, the US Army at the time was in desperate need of a handgun that could effectively make short-range use of the newly developed .45 caliber “ACP” cartridge (Automatic Colt Pistol). John Browning’s design for the Colt was the clear winner and the 1911 (although officially released in 1912) was the result.

For today’s shooters, and hence the reason for this 1911 pistol review, the pistol chambered in 45 ACP (although now also offered in a myriad of different caliber options) is a harmony of ease of use and shooting pleasure. While some newer shooters express fears about the robust recoil of any handgun using a .45 cartridge, most find that the 1911 weight and design features more than compensate, and many shooters find the action of the gun quite pleasant. The usual, single-stack design (referring to the lineup of bullets in the magazine dictating the width of the grip) allows for comfort for most hand sizes, shooting one-handed or two, and with a usual magazine capacity of eight rounds.

Perfect for use in competition shooting, home defense, plinking, and concealed carry (concealment usually relegated to the smaller versions of the 1911), there are few shooting activities that the pistol would not excel at in use. From the weekend plinkers feeding their inexpensive 1911’s garbage ammo for the sheer fun of shooting paper and soda pop, to the serious competition shooters wielding wildly expensive, custom works of 1911 art that form little 2.5 centimeter groups of holes at fifty meters. But…M1911 Mark IV Series 80 pistol 300x199 1911 Pistol Review

If there have to be negatives to the 1911, first and foremost it would have to be the disassembly (field stripping) of the pistol for cleaning and basic maintenance.  Not that it’s hard to do, but it is somewhat tricky until you get used to doing it (and thanking God for YouTube videos). Interestingly enough, for the 100+ years that the pistol has been in production, no manufacturer producing 1911’s have ever been able to make disassembly simpler or alter it in any way without staying true to the operation of the gun.

With the limitless variations of the pistol available to shooters today and the fierce loyalty that its enthusiasts hold for the platform, it’s easy to see how the 1911 pistol remains poised for the future to continue being one of the greatest handguns ever devised in use. If you haven’t shot one yet, you don’t know what you’re missing.  Literally.

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