No 1911 4 U

There Are Other Choices

It is one thing to pick a pistol out at the gun store, another to actually carry it daily, but even more important is to shoot the pistol well. The polymer guns are all the rage, and I can’t and won’t say much about them one way or the other. Nor do I care, as even my wife Heidi lets a couple of high-end custom 1911s hang in her gun safe while she sorts through her half-dozen-plus Glocks. She carries them daily at her work here on the ranch and at her part-time job helping the local Sheriff’s office as an EMT. People like what they like, even though some carry guns they don’t shoot well, just so they can be in vogue or be sort of “hangin’ with the big dawg operators”… so to speak.

After using a 1911 for about 40 years, I can tell you why you shouldn’t buy one.

It is big. Yes, the 5″-barrelled 1911 full-size pistol is big, measuring a nominal 9″ long, 6″ high and 1″ thick. And don’t forget the full-size gun is the best and most reliable of its breed. I wouldn’t give you spit for the whole bunch of “chopped” 1911s. I own one 1911 Lightweight Commander. To put it bluntly: I was lucky. Made in 1949, I bought it in 1970 for $100 bucks. I have rebuilt it a lot of times over the years—and it is snippy to shoot well with full loads (as should be carried for defense), as it should at that weight. So there is no misunderstanding and no misquote, the full-size 1911 has the best potential to work well and consistently. There was a reason John built it the way it is.

Don’t buy a 1911 because it is big.

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3 thoughts on “No 1911 4 U

  1. James Neil

    Hey Clint couldn’t help but notice in Hedi’s Medic vest she has the Glock (good choice by the way) but has 1911 magazines in the pouch’s. Now I know from experience that no matter how hard you slam them 1911 magazines in the Glock they just will not work (long story don’t ask I think Connor has covered it in the past). Just wanted to let you know and get this fixed before Hedi needs a spare mag and doesn’t have one. Keep you powered dry.

  2. Alan Smith

    Clint Smith is a great gunwriter. This article, like most of Clint’s are informative but also very entertaining. This one I think is one of his best!

    Unlike Clint with his 40 years experience with the 1911, I am very new to this great handgun being primarily a revolver shooter most of my long shooting life (I’m 65+). I purchased my first automatic recently, a Remington 1911 R1 and couldn’t be happier. It’s a great handgun and looks and shoots like a 1911 should.

    Just tell Clint that I really enjoy his work. After reading every one of his articles I not only feel more informed but I come away with a big grin on my old mug! And like Clint…it’s off to the range I go …to shoot my 1911.

    1. Bento

      I just picked up a Walther P22 last night (after a 10 day wait… thank you, CA…) and I was eyieng the Rock Island Armory 1911. Just have to convince the wife I need another pistol. However, she wants a new 12 guage, so we’ll see…


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