Why I Have Never Owned a 1911…

I am not opposed to the 1911 platform. Most of us can agree there are some gorgeous 1911s. So, why do I own more than a dozen handguns and not a single 1911?

Glock 1911 Gen 4 Prototype
Glock 1911 Gen 6 Prototype – Not yet, but a fun pic just the same!

One could start by saying I came of age at the same time as the Tupperware guns. Gaston Glock had really gotten his marketing ball rolling when I bought my first handgun in the dawn of the ’90s. Back then, I was a wee lad and actually had to wait for my birthday, to take possession of the gun. At that point, I didn’t really know all that much about the choices. But, I did know that our local gendarmes had mostly transitioned away from revolvers and into Glocks. My reasoning was it fit my hand, “good enough for them, good enough for me,” and I shot it well.

I still have that first pistol. My first pistol was a Glock 17 Gen 2 and it is still shot regularly. My girlfriend uses it as a 3-Gun pistol. She chose that, as it is slightly cheaper to shoot than her duty weapon, a Glock 22 Gen 3 and she is a bit faster on follow up shots with the 9mm as compared to the .40 caliber.

The 1911 has seen a fair amount of time in my hand. Lots of my friends own them. Dozens of times I have test fired them for reviews or to help diagnose a problem. They, with few exceptions, have been great guns that worked exceptionally well; but none has ever spoken to me. Don’t get me wrong; no Glock has spoken to me either. But, I judge the two types on a different standard.

EAA Tanfoglio Witness hunter pistol left profile
Tanfoglio designed the Witness “Hunter” model after requests poured in for a true six inch barrel semi-auto pistol. The “Hunter” model is also built in the Tanfoglio custom shop, and has many of the outstanding features found in the Elite series pistols. These features include a premium 6″ barrel, drilled and tapped frame for optics platform, single action trigger, checkered front and back strap, extended safety, and adjustable rear sight. The Witness “Hunter” is available in .45 ACP and .10mm.

If you don’t count the Philippine imports, the 1911 platform starts at about the $900 price point and quickly goes up, from there. The poster child for the great Tupperware Revolution, Glock starts at about the $450 and is difficult to spend more than $700 on a factory gun without an optic. Just based on these price realities, I view the Glock and similar guns from Smith and Wesson and Springfield Armory as tools. For better or for worse, I view 1911s as collection guns / art. I am a guy who loves having lots of tools and needs art to really speak to me before I part with my money. This is the primary reason I don’t own a 1911.

If we are going to get down to brass tacks, there are a few other reasons too. If I am going to spend “art” money, then there are some amazing revolvers that I would much prefer. It is much more likely for me to part with $3,000 for a pristine Colt Python than a STI 1911. There is the simple fact that the grip angle of a 1911 is dramatically different than my plastic fantastic guns and that makes me have to focus on mechanics to shoot them well. The ultimate heresy is perhaps that I am not a great fan of the .45 ACP round and that is the ammo of choice for true 1911s.

With all that in mind, I currently lust after a certain 6-inch slide 1911 chambered in 10mm. When I buy that gun, several people are going to harass me about finally getting a 1911—and some class. I am fine with that. She will set me back a little over $1,000 and will be a fine tool for up-close Hog Hunting. She is pretty, but not art. I am a sucker for long slide guns and at 14 + 1 in 10 mm, she is plenty of gun, with plenty of ammo. I like her. So maybe, a 1911 has finally spoken to me.

Are you a 1911 or Glock fan? Which model tops your list of dream guns you do not currently own? Share your answers in the comment section.

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Comments (103)

  1. IÔÇÖve carried a glock 21 as a duty weapon and spent a lot of time on the range with it. Love the 21. I inherited a military issue Colt 1911 from my grandfather and absolutely love shooting it on the rare occasion I take it out. I own Sig, Springfield, Glock, Colt and just ordered a Taurus 1911 that I hope I enjoy shooting as much as I enjoy the Colt which I have locked away and shoot only occasionally now. I just love shooting. Hope I never have to pick just one. ItÔÇÖs not marriage.

  2. I also have gone away from the 1911. My “one day” pistol is the Sig 226 Legion. Just a gorgeous firearm that feels as though it was made specifically for me.

    1. I will never disown my Kimber 1911, but I agree with you that at least for me, nothing shoots like a Sig Sauer, and no Sig shoots like a P226. I also love my P220,and P229 chambered in . 357 Sig. But the king is P226. My Glocks are fun and Trustworthy, but they are not Sig’s, not even close.

  3. Whole heartedly agree with the article. 1911s are technologically irrelevant. Only art, history. Especially now with glock, sig and Springfield offering quality 10mms that hold more rounds and that a far more reliable and less complicated than the old 1911…

  4. If you guys can only afford or just want to shoot a POS Glock do it.
    No need to dog on a superior weapon like the 1911 to make yourselves feel big and to justify said POS Glock.

  5. I am glad that the author is happy with the Glock. I have this and the other manufacturers/models of semiautomatics as well. I think it does help you to learn more about shooting to try the other models. Also, to shoot different ammunition. If you have these different designs and shoot multiple ammunition and use different modifications, when you have a problem like feeding or other, it makes it a little harder to figure out. But still a lot of fun!

  6. I have several of each. I also have several revolvers. IÔÇÖm not a LEO. My Glocks are carried regularly as truck guns and as traveling protection. I own a M22, M19 an M43. I own two government issued 1911ÔÇÖs. One is a Colt and the other is an Ithaca. Both were gifts but the Ithaca was given by the gentleman it was issued to in Manila in about ÔÇÿ43. Both are pristine. They are treasures. I also have a 45 and a 9mm in RugerÔÇÖs SR1911 that are great shooters. One of the comments spoke to the safety of the 1911 and thatÔÇÖs a positive. All of my 1911ÔÇÖs are great guns and shoot very well but so are my Glocks. If I were left on this earth with but ONE handgun I would choose my Ruger GP100 357. It is absolutely indestructible, incredibly accurate and can be used to actually hunt with. A friend of mine in the car business always says, ÔÇ£thereÔÇÖs an ass for every seatÔÇØ!!! Same theory here for handguns.

  7. I am afraid you lost my attention when you started pricing 1911’s. “Non-Filipino” 1911’s have come down quite a bit in price over the years, just as the top of the 1911 market has gone through the roof. Prices are far more comparable to Glocks than you have suggested. I am assuming this is a lack of experience and research on your end. You can buy a Remington 1911 R1 for $489 on other sites, $545 on CTD. The R1, which comes in a dozen variants, not unlike Glocks, goes up in price as you add more features. Just to note, I think a close comparison in the Glock world would be the 17, i.e. the one that made Glock what it is. On CTD, the 17 G4 is $539 and the 17 G5 is $594.

    Perhaps you can spend your next $500 on a 1911 “tool-priced” pistol. You may well come to understand what so many people find enjoyable about this platform. Until then, you may wish to check your facts if you want folks to take you seriously. I don’t mean this as a snub, just honest, constructive feedback.

  8. As usual it all boils down to personal preference and experience of a certain platform that you carry . I have a Magnum Research 1911G. I also own Ruger P90, P89 , Security Six 357 mag , Baretta P92/M9, Glock 22, 17 and 41. I practice with and carry all of my pistols in order to broaden my experience with different platforms. You always see arguments about make ,model and calibre. What works for one person won’t necessarily work for others. I don’t like 40sw in the Glack platform at all. I’ve shot 9mm, 45acp and 10mm perfectly fine in the Glock platform but just didn’t like the 40sw caliber instead converted my G22 to a G17 with a Lone Wolf conversion barrel. Which gives you a bull barreled 9mm.

  9. The 1911 can be tricked out to shoot the most accurate groups possible and that is why they are still the dominate gun among personnel shooters. IÔÇÖve shot everything from a $400 Springfield to a $4500 Infinity Arms and everything in between and all were dependable after a minimal amount of tuning by a component gun smith.

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