Single Action Auto

My favorite of all shooting matches is the Pin Shoot in Michigan the second week in June. Blasting heavy bowling pins three feet back off a table requires powerful rounds and doing so at winning speed demands a shootable gun. The general choice of champions is the single-action 1911 in 10mm, .50 GI or — most commonly — .45 ACP. Having bonded with the Colt .45 auto at age 12, it’s a natural for me and for most of second quarter 2018 in the run-up to the match, I tried to carry and teach with a 1911 .45 to get the most trigger time I could.

I generally wore a Springfield Armory Range Officer .45. It is in my opinion the best buy in an all-around sub-$1,000 pistol of its kind: extremely accurate, utterly reliable and user-friendly with its short, easy (4.5 lbs. in the case of this specimen) trigger pull. Flat and thin for its power level, it carries with surprising comfort inside the waistband. Things to bear in mind with this type of pistol: It should be carried cocked and locked. Cocked gives high probability of a center hit with the first shot due to the sweet trigger pull, locked with the thumb safety engaged gives you a proven life-saving edge if an opponent momentarily gains control of the weapon. However, keep it on safe, with your thumb on the lever ready to drive it down to the “fire” position until you are certain firing is necessary. And, in the same vein, practice pushing the lever back up to “on-safe” as soon as you lower the muzzle at the point the firing is done.