5 reasons I love the 1911

There’s something about shooting 1911s that reminds me how much I love the platform. No matter how many times I divest myself of them, sell them, I always seem to end up back with them. In fact, I’ve done some of the best shooting of my life with 1911s of various flavors.

Caleb on the Mover

The 1911 has a lot going for it, and here are five reasons why I just can’t seem to quit the platform.

1. Shootability
Right up front, here’s where it is for me. The 1911 platform lends itself to being easy to shoot. Regardless of the chambering, whether it’s .45, 9mm, .40 S&W, or .38 Super, 1911s just tend to be easy to shoot. Part of it’s the steel frame, part of it’s the (generally) light single action triggers, the fact that the grips give you tons of gun to hold on to; 1911s are just easy to shoot well.

Sig 1911 Carry Scorpion

2. Endless customization
One of the great things about being a 1911 armorer is that if there’s something about a 1911 I don’t like, I can probably find parts to make it into something I do like. Don’t like the sights? Change ’em! Don’t like the trigger pull? Change it! Hell, if you’re a proper crazy person like me you can even buy a part to disable the Series 80 safety that a lot of modern 1911s have.

3. So many flavors
So maybe a Government sized all steel .45 ACP 1911 isn’t your flavor. That’s fine, because you could get a Commander sized aluminum frame 1911 in 9mm instead! Or a double stack 6 inch gun in .40 S&W! While the 1911 tends to run the best in it’s intended format as a 5 inch .45 ACP, you have so many options when it comes to selecting your 1911 to the point where it’s easy to get decision paralysis. Do you want a Colt Defender in 9mm? Do you want a Springfield Operator? So many choices.

Kimber Team Match II

4. Pop culture and historical connections
Magnum P.I. World War II. Last Man Standing. SWAT. Jeff Cooper.

The list of famous movies, famous people, and historical events that the 1911 has been involved in goes on and on and on forever. Whether you’re a fan of the classic GI models used in World War II or Vietnam movies or modern 1911s like the ones used in SWAT or Battlefield Hardline, there is a fictional universe where you can watch your favorite 1911 play. That doesn’t even touch on the real, legitimate historical connection that the 1911 has to some of the most important military events of all time; or it’s connection to some of the founding fathers of modern pistol shooting. Let’s face it, the 1911 is as important to the development of the shooting sports as the Modern Technique itself.

5. John Moses Browning
Need I say more? Only the greatest firearms inventor of all time. JMB.

I really do love the 1911 platform, ever since I shot my first one years and years ago, and I continue to love it to do this day. I also hate it a little bit, but honestly you can’t love anything and not hate it a little at the same time. Why do you love the 1911?


  1. I love the 1911 because when I was little I had these toy pistols from Walmart. They shot little rubber darts and (except for their blue color, however they did have realistic brown grips) were realistic 1911’s with a functioning slide that you used to cock it before firing the dart with a small burst of air out of the barrel. I had no idea what a 1911 was back then, but I loved playing with those two dart pistols. When I grew up and got older, guess what kind of gun struck a special chord in my heart? 🙂

  2. I’m at the point where I wish I could stop receiving these 1911 essays. Boring.

    Flavors? Pop Culture? JMB? Boring. Seriously.

  3. First handgun I qualified with as an MP. A little PMI, a moment of one-on-one with my PSGSid, and bang.

  4. As a temporary duty I was assigned pistol instructor duty when I was in the Navy. We used 1911s in those days, and even my students who had never shot a pistol before could qualify on a 1911 (if they listened to our instruction). My first student was a young lady (the girls listened to instruction much better than the guys) who could barely get her hands around the grip and she qualified on the first day. Maybe the expert instruction by me contributed to my high qualification rate, but it was likely the inherit shootability of the 1911. Points well, balanced, trigger is great. Awesome gun.

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