I read two articles today about the 1911. One was in Shooting Times by a retired law enforcement officer who has carried a 1911 for 40 years. He said he was going to tell us all the reasons the 1911 was better than any other handgun out there. His first premise was that it was available in multiple calibers. Yeah, like every other semi-automatic handgun is not! Come on. He got so wrapped up in shooting 1911s in every caliber from 22 to 45 that he forgot to tell us all the other reasons it is better. He didn’t come up with a single one. I was hoping for some, because I like my 1911, I really do.
The second article was in Concealed Carry Magazine by a 20 year firearms instructor. It wasn’t an article about the 1911, but about how expensive doesn’t necessarily mean better. He mentioned that during his shooting classes the one type of handgun that has the most failures is the 1911. Then he mentioned that the second gun in his handgun classes that has the most failures is the 1911. He just doesn’t experience failures with any other type of gun on a regular basis, but he does with 1911s and the more expensive they are the more they fail to feed or fail to eject.
I really enjoyed that article because it reflects the experience we have at Texas Gun Pros. We conduct several Concealed Handgun Classes each month with anywhere from 10 to 20 shooters per class. The only guns we see jam or fail to feed or eject are 1911s. On rare occasion we’ll see a new gun of some other model that will fail to feed or eject maybe once, usually because it wasn’t cleaned before firing and has had no break-in period at all. The love affair with the 1911 is blind. Come on, admit it!
UPDATE May 206:
Boy has my perspective changed since writing this. I discovered the world of 1911s that really work well and really shoot well and darned if I don’t make a 1911 my daily carry gun more often than not. What changed? Learning the gun. Learning what it’s all about and finding I really shoot 1911s well. So fast forward and read some of my later blogs about the 1911 and forgive me for this.
Do I still see 1911s jam? Yep, but usually it’s the small ones, or ones that have not been cleaned and maintained properly. Modern marvels, not so much.