Case In Point

I bonded with the 1911 .45 pistol in 1960 at the age of 12. I had been reading Jeff Cooper’s essays on that pistol and it was as if a messiah had risen in the West. Dad, who owned autos but preferred to carry revolvers, indulged me, and soon I was carrying one loaded and concealed while working part time in the family jewelry store. It was a 1918 production Colt — the original 1911 configuration — and I still own it. Soon it was joined by others. In time, I carried it as a police service pistol and as a personal defense gun. I shot 1911s in bulls-eye and PPC, IPSC and USPSA and IDPA, Bianchi Cup and more. I shot one or another 1911 .45 exclusively at the National Tactical Invitational for six years straight. I won a lot of stuff with those guns.

Time went on. After being an instructor for a while, I made it a habit to teach with a different gun on each training tour, just to stay competent with everything. After all, the students all brought different guns so it made sense to stay on top of each system.

In recent years, I grew complacent in that regard. Instead of changing each tour, it became seasonal, with the occasional exception of a gun I was testing for an article. In seasons when I taught a lot in 10-round limit venues, a revolver or a single stack like the 1911 made sense. Other seasons it would be a traditional double action Beretta or
SIG Sauer, and more often than anything else in the time of striker-fired pistols, one or another Glock. In 2017, the long-dormant Second Chance match resurfaced as “The Pin Shoot” every June, and it seemed logical to go back to the 1911 for that. To re-familiarize with the 1911 .45 beforehand, that has become my “second quarter teaching gun.”

Strapping one back on for the duration, I got that “bittersweet” taste again.