The 1911 pistol is still a viable carry option, even 122 years after its design and development.

That’s pretty damn impressive, given there are very few guns that have shown such longevity.

What is so special about a 1911 Pistol?
Pure American

I love polymer-framed, striker fire pistols. Especially with a nice aftermarket or well broken-in trigger. But the 1911 still holds a very special place in my heart and this old gun isn’t out of the fight yet. Here are 5 reasons why.

Ease of Use and Ergonomics

Everything about this weapon besides the slide lock levers is well designed. I’m a 6-foot, 200-pound man and it fits my hand such that I have no issues reaching any of the controls.

My 5 foot 4 girlfriend has an easier time gripping my 1911 as opposed to her duty weapon (Gen 3 Glock 17) or her carry weapon (Gen 4 Glock 19). Because of this, we’re looking at getting her into a commander-sized 1911 chambered in 9mm.

What is so special about a 1911 Pistol?
Equal Representation

Like the AR-15 with all sorts of handguards, grip, stock lengths, etc., the 1911 platform has models for all kinds of people and needs.

Widespread Acceptance

Even under New York’s super restrictive SAFE act, a standard capacity 1911 in .45 is allowed. In most other states a 45 ACP extended magazine or standard 9mm magazine of 10 rounds each is acceptable.

And it is true that 10 rounds of .45 are the equivalent bullet mass of 15-20 9mm rounds. So, in the eventuality that either national concealed carry reciprocity or our nation’s gun laws get stricter, the 1911 will continue to be a viable option for owning/carrying in all 50 states.

1911 Trigger

How come so many aftermarket triggers use a comparison to the 1911 trigger as a marketing ploy and the 1911 makers never have to use any such comparison in marketing? Because the trigger is simply phenomenal; one of the best in the world of pistol shooting.

It’s designed for accurate, proper, straight-to-the-rear trigger control. no play or sluggish take-up, just a smooth pull to the rear with a clean break. You can ring steel with a Glock 19 at 50 yards all day. But you can generally do it better with a 1911. That’s in no small way thanks to the 1911 trigger job. The elements of a 1911 trigger come together to deliver superior accuracy over most other semi-auto pistols.

45 ACP Caliber

A hole in the heart is a hole in the heart and a 9mm 124gr +P hollowpoint has similar effects on ballistics gelatin as 45 ACP hollow points. But back when they were allowed to shoot cows in the Chicago stockyards to figure out what caliber kills living things that weigh 1000+ pounds, they developed the .45ACP out of those tests.

What is so special about a 1911 Pistol?
Girth Always Matters…

And, if you want one in 9mm or other calibers, they’re out there. But no .45 handgun launches 230 grains of bullet better than the 1911.


Are 1911s reliable? The Springfield professional model that FBI HRT uses went 20k rounds with no malfunctions during testing to select a handgun for HRT. When the 1911 was being tested, it wound up being the first firearm in history to fire 6000 rounds, cleaned every 1000, without a malfunction.

Are there bad models out there that aren’t very reliable? Sure. But I also wonder if the Glock clones live up to Glock’s name in reliability. Well-made 1911s are more reliable than the internet warriors think.


Even without getting into all the technicalities. I think a valid case that the 1911 is not obsolete can be easily made. This weapon comes from a time when guns were developed to win global conflicts, not line the pockets of stockholders.

You don’t have to be anti 1911 to be pro Glock, likewise you don’t have to be anti Glock to be pro 1911.

Both platforms are great in their own right. The fact that the 1911 is still in service 122 years after its initial development says something about its ability to hold its own against a flooded market of new designs and new materials.

An old bear is still a damn bear. This old gun isn’t out of the fight yet.

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