Friday, July 13, 2012

On The 1911

I finally moved all of my gun stuff out of storage and into my semi-finished basement on the 4th. I've been really busy at work, so I haven't gotten to the range for a while, hence no new articles for a week. But as I rooted through my stuff I found my old parts box. I have bits of a Ruger GP100, most of an AR15 lower, various springs and small screws, and a Wal-Mart bag full of my Springfield GI's old guts. What caught my eye was the arched mainspring housing and the "U.S." marked wooden grips. So I grabbed my punches and a screwdriver and attached the stuff to my Para LTC. Results below: 

I prefer the arched housing, and I put the grips on for pure irony, as my LTC is old enough that it was made in Canada.

I really like my 1911s for range use, and I do a lot of hunting with a .22LR-converted 1911. But that's about where my love affair with the old warhorse ends. There are just too many other better options these days. 

Most, if not all plastic great-grandchildren of the 1911 weigh far less and carry far more ammo. They're also cheaper, and unfortunately, usually more reliable. Even if you spend upwards of $1200 on your 1911, it will probably have certain types of ammo it won't shoot. It will probably not like to run dirty, and if the trigger wasn't honed properly, it will bump-fire under otherwise normal circumstances (I've seen it in a 1970s Detonics, an AMT, and about a half dozen Kimbers). That's not mentioning how much "tuning" has to be done on the internal extractor (S&W and Sig run externals on their variants). Then there's the narrow mag well which slows down reloads. And it only holds 7 or 8 rounds. And good 8 rounders are hard to find. For practicality's sake, the 1911 is an antiquated platform. And this is coming from a guy who thinks the S&W Model 10 is the pinnacle of firearms development. 

The Glock 21 and M&P45, just to name two contenders, are better options for someone who just wants a nightstand gun or something to carry afield. They're lighter, they hold more, they come with good sights, a decent trigger, they're easier to use, and they much, much cheaper. It's hard to justify a $1000+ gun that holds half as much ammo and weighs twice as much as its $550 competitor.

That said, I learned to shoot handguns on an AMT Hardballer, and will probably always have a 1911. But my nightstand will be occupied by an M&P of one type or another for the foreseeable future. 


James said...

Blah blah blah I still want a Dan Wesson because it's cool and it's Americana.

The Flatland Gun Nut said...

I like 1911s, I just don't think they're relevant anymore for operators operating in operational operations. If I had the cash, I'd get a Valor. I think the Valor is one of the best looking guns out there. It isn't flashy, it's just a very well made gun with almost nothing milled into the slide.