Walking away

In a great post at Modern Service Weapons, Hilton talks about his path away from the 1911.

It is easy to get caught up in the mystique and history of the 1911, but the design is over 100 years old, and we have learned a few things about designing and manufacturing since then.

However, if training, shooting, and performance is your primary goal and you lack the resources, time, patience, or knowledge to keep after a 1911, then be realistic and choose something more modern.

It’s interesting whenever people discuss topics like this, because it reminds me that no matter how seriously we take our training, whether it be for competition or self-defense, that we sometimes forget that “fun” is an important part of it. If you’re burned out on 1911s, you’re quite likely to view shooting them as a chore, and make excuses to not go to the range and train. I’ve felt that way, where shooting was a chore and not something I enjoyed. A big part of what’s gotten me revitalized in shooting is shooting guns I find interesting, like revolvers. I’m much more likely to hit the range and train with a six-gun than I am with another disposable flat-black people-popper semi-auto.

Passion isn’t everything. But it is important, and it’s most important when you’re trying to avoid critical burnout. Remember that even when we’re training for blood or money, if you can’t look at an afternoon shooting guns as a good day, you might be doing something wrong. It’s not always easy for me to remember that, so don’t feel bad if you don’t always either. Train hard, and take your training seriously. But don’t let it burn you out because it’s not any fun, either.


  1. Yeah, I read that article. I can’t really disagree with anything he says on a technical basis, but it just doesn’t matter. My 1911 is easy to shoot, easy to carry, and reliable…if not as reliable as my M&P. In the bazillion to one chance that I have to use it to defend myself I’m sure it will work just as it has always worked in competition. It may fail, but so what? I’ve had Glocks and M&Ps sit down and quit working, too. Tap, rack, continue to march. I’m sure I would feel differently if I had to maintain dozens of pistols for an LE organization, but I don’t. I just have to keep one up and running.

  2. I’d read about that small PD Kimber problem the author of the linked piece mentioned. And I’m glad he likes his M&P.

    Here’s a five year old article Caleb might recognize…


    The M&P must be sorted out now because LASD just ordered 13,000 of them to issue instead of the Beretta 92 they’ve been handing out for about 30 years.

    Just had to chuckle that he cited problems a thirty officer force had with 1911’s but not the 10.000+ officer force that quit his favorite for five years.

  3. I carried a 1911 exclusively for 10+ years. Two years ago I switched to a black plastic gun. I still love my 1911s, and while I no longer carry one, I tend to bust them out when I train new shooters. The response is almost universal, take a young guy and let him shoot the plastic fantastic, then the 1911, and they usually prefer slab sides. It is the Harley of handguns. With that said, the Harley is not always the most practical ride. I do all of my own gunsmithing, and I simply tired of changing springs, tensioning extractors, and playing scrabble with magazines since every other day a once trustworthy magazine decides it wants to expire. Still, there is nothing else like that particular chunck of steel.

    1. I guess I’m just lucky. Over the decades I’ve owned various 1911 pistols from Springfield Armory, Para Ordnance and a 1927 Argentine/Colt. I’ve put thousands of rounds through them and never needed to anything but clean, lube, load them and press the trigger.

  4. Ultimately, there has to be a balance between the practical and the passionate.Without the latter, range days become a chore. Shoot 100 rounds though Gun X. Get grocoeries. Fix pipe under sink. So on.

    Without practical considerations, people might walk out the door with a gun they can’t hit with, a gun they can’t maintain, or a gun based exclusively on sheer emotion alone. Those are the people who carry a pistol-it doesn’t have to exclusively be a 1911- which stovepipes every 50 rounds, and they have a different excuse why they’re carrying it instead of fixing it.

    I know because I used to be “that guy”. Walking around with a super cool 4506 Smith on my hip, totally unable to hit something in the same hemisphere as the sights in DA,but damn if the pistol didn’t look sharp.It was a character building lesson for me when I sold it, realizing after a humiliating range session that I had no logical business hauling that iron around when my previous handgun was a .22LR.

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