Weapon of the Week: 1911 Pistol

Posted: February 11, 2012 in Weapon of the Week
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Weapon of the Week: 1911 Pistol

She’s lean, she’s mean, she’s over a 100 years old.  The fact that this pistol was first made in the early 1900’s speaks volumes to its design that it’s still a top seller today.  I know many of my firearm aficionados out there own one (at least) and most will swear by them.

It was designed by the legendary gunsmith John M Browning for Colt’s Manufacturing Company to fill the need for a self loading semi-automatic pistol.  It was officially adopted by US Army on March 29, 1911 as it’s standard issue side arm and from that point on was called the M1911.  Initially manufactured only by Colt, with each war we fought, demand branched production out, until the 1911 was a model that almost every gun manufacturer produced.  It was the main sidearm of the US Armed forces for 70+ years and is still used by some branches and special forces today.  She’s also used by some Federal branches, state, and local law enforcement, and by some foreign military’s.

It’s a favorite gun of competition shooters and can be customized to an individual shooters liking.  D, my firearms expert, has been building his custom 1911, adding a little bit here and there, for the past year now and I got to say, she’s a sexy little bitch and a ton of fun to shoot.  In fact, an entire manufacturing industry blew up around custom 1911 parts, pieces, and bling.  Google image search “custom 1911” and prepare to drool.

The .45 caliber pistol has a standard 7 round magazine but you can purchase 8 round after-market mags, so at best you’re going to have 9 rounds (if you keep one in the chamber) to defend yourself with before you have to reload.  She’s a big girl too.  A fully loaded (with 1 ready to go) is gonna weigh around 2.5lbs, with each additional 8 round magazine weighing in at 1/4lb. Her length is 8.25in so there’s no slipping her in a pocket and calling it a day; where ever she is on your body, you’re going to know it.

She’s a bit more trouble to take apart for cleaning than most pistols and a common complaint is that the 1911 is “too safe”.  Why?  It has two safeties; a beavertail or grip safety (which is built into the handle of the gun and must be depressed in order for the gun to fire) and a manual safety switch.  While I understand the complaint, for me personally I like this feature.  I’m not an expert with guns and most everyday people are not, so the more safety features a gun has the more comfortable I am around it.  And, if you’re going to purchase a gun for personal protection, GET FUCKING COMFORTABLE WITH IT!  Make sure you know how to disengage the safeties so if you have to use it, you’re not fumbling around trying to figure it out.

The price on these guns varies widely depending on what you want out of her.  You can get cheap, simple models for around $400 and super crazy cool ones for well over $1000.  Then again, you can always buy a cheap model and turn her into your own crazy cool one over time when funds permit.

Overall, she’s rugged and reliable; if she wasn’t, then the US Military wouldn’t have bothered with her for all this time, marksmen wouldn’t sink thousands of dollars into customizing their own, and every firearm manufacturer in existence wouldn’t produce her.  She’s stood the test of time and proved herself worthy and capable of protecting our asses.

So, how does the 1911 rate?

  • Ease of use = 7
  • Accuracy = 9
  • Size & Weight = 6
  • Reliability = 8
  • Ammo Availability = 8.5
  • Fire Power =  6
  • Cost (for pre-apocalypse procurement) = 5

Overall Score: 7

  1. Math has never been my strong suit. In my original post I had the 1911 weighing a whole lot more than she actually does (6lbs fully loaded). When my weapons expert read it he quickly corrected me. I’ve since edited this post to reflect a more accurate weight.

  2. zomb1etron says:

    I just wanted to say I thoroughly enjoy your blog and I love reading the weapons posts. I live in Australia and we don’t really….have guns….so it’s pretty fascinating to read all this easily digestible information about different types of guns that you put out every week.

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