I’ve been doing a lot of reading on handguns and the guns people recommend for both beginners and for conceal carry. I’ve noticed there is a consensus that the historic 1911 should not be considered for either.
Why? There are several reasons and I list them below, dispelling each as a myth.
Many think it’s too “complicated” a handgun for beginners, which is a bunch of shit. It isn’t any more complicated than any other handgun. Seriously, a beginner has to learn how to use any handgun in the first place, so why would learning a 1911 be any more complicated than say, a Beretta, Ruger, S&W, or *gag* a Glock?
Others complain about the size or weight of a full-sized 1911. Well, just as other guns come in a variety of sizes, so do 1911s. Seriously. The 1911 comes in Commander and Officer styles, both smaller and more carryable than a full-size. Browning, in fact, has a 1911 that is scaled down to 85% of the original. And Colt makes the .380 Mustang, which is a very concealable 1911.
And as far as weight, let’s be honest, the 1911 comes in a variety of different materials, like aluminum or plastics, just as other handguns do. It also comes in a variety of cartridge sizes. So weight isn’t an issue either.
People also complain about the supposed kick of a 1911 because it shoots the massive .45 ACP. I have no idea what they mean. I first learned to shoot on a M1911A1 while in the Navy. Never noticed any kick or muzzle flip. That’s because the weight of the gun reduces the recoil limp-wristed shooters whine about.
Another complaint is it is an inaccurate shooter. You can’t really get a good sight picture on those small blade fixed sights. Well, unless you’re buying a Mil-Spec version, that isn’t true. The 1911 comes with as many sight options as any other pistol, including brass/gold bead, Novak-cut, fiber optics, to name a few.
Poor shooter? The 1911 is, in fact, one of the top performing pistols in shooting competitions. Additionally, the 1911 has one of the best triggers on the market. And since it is being used in competition shooting, then obviously the infamous recoil isn’t effecting them.
Other people complain the 1911 is old. These are usually Glock fanbois who like their little ugly plastic squirt-guns. Just nod, laugh, and say, “Good story, bro.”
Is the 1911 old? Sure. It’s been a wildly successful handgun platform going on 109 years. But too old? Sorry, no. That’s bullshit. This gun still performs as well now as it did when John Moses Browning first created it. In fact, the 1911 has seen a resurgence in popularity recently as more people discover what a great weapon this is. It is still used by militaries and police around the world and by some special forces here in the United States.
But the biggest complaint against the 1911 as either a beginner’s or concealed carry gun is that it has *gasp!* a safety!
Their logic is that in the heat of the moment you will forget to take off the safety.
Well, if you’re that hair-brained that you’ll forget to disengage the safety then, yes, I agree: You should never ever own a 1911. You probably shouldn’t even own any gun, not even a BB gun. You’ll shoot your eye out. Stick with cap guns, kid.
The truth is, if you train with your 1911, just as you should be doing with any fucking firearm, then disengaging the safety becomes second nature. I don’t understand these anti-safety people. When I pull my 1911 out of it’s holster, my thumb is already on the safety, instinctively thumbing it down as I get ready to fire.
It’s instinctive and spontaneous. No thinking involved whatsoever.
It seems to me that the people making this claim have never really shot a 1911 very much, if at all. In fact, the proper way to hold a 1911 is with your thumb resting on top of the safety, not below it, where you could accidentally engage it while in a firefight.
Look at the M1911 or M1911A1 pictured above. The safety is on the left side of the beaver tail. As you pick up a 1911, your thumb automatically, without any thought will rest on top of that. Heat of the battle. At the range. Doesn’t matter the situation. That should be your natural grip.
Then with a mere flick down of the thumb the safety is off and you’re ready to shoot.
These critics also fear the concept of “cocked and locked,” which means there is a round in the chamber and the hammer is cocked.They think it’s dangerous to carry the 1911 this way and it’ll accidentally fire. No. The 1911 is designed to wear it “cocked and locked.” With the safety on, the gun will not fire, even if you drop it. Stop being a nervous Nelly.
Name anything else that is still in use relatively unchanged 109 years after it was invented. The reason the 1911 is still here, still used, and still loved by so many is it is a fantastic and extremely reliable handgun. And it looks sexy as hell.
So don’t let those namby-pamby 1911 critics or Glock fanbois sway you. If you want a 1911, go get a fucking 1911.
T-shirt wisdom: The .45 ACP 1911. It’s kind of like a 9mm, but for men.
Or as the adage goes, “the 9mm will kill the body, the .45 will kill the soul.”