For Christmas 2016 I decided to get myself a present that I had wanted for a very long time, and that was the venerable, timeless, 1911.
For those even remotely familiar with firearms the 1911 needs no introduction. For those unfamiliar with firearms, the 1911 is a pistol that was first designed for use by the United States military by the legendary John Browning. The adoption of the M1911 was actually to help American fighting units better kill Moro fighters during the Moro Rebellion in the Philippines. Oddly enough, the Philippines are still dealing with Islamic insurgency, and the United States is still dealing with Islamic extremism all this time later. And ironically, the Philippines makes some of the most 1911s today outside of the United States and Germany.
The original design used by the military was coined the M1911, and it gets its name from the year of it’s design. Yes, the 1911 is over a 100 years old and in that time the design has seen very little change, because perfection requires very little of it. A century later, it’s almost poetic that the 1911 hasn’t changed much, and neither has the crisis that spurred it’s adoption.
The civilian model is now simply referred to as a 1911, and makes the short list of must have firearms every American ought to own.
I’ve wanted one for years. I’ve wanted one since before I was legally able to own a firearm. But 1911’s can be just a little bit cost prohibitive so I put off getting one until very recently. But I made up for it with interest and purchased a very nice, Sig Sauer 1911 .45ACP as a Christmas present to myself, and I couldn’t be happier.
Sig Sauer, or Sig for short, is one of the most reputable brands in the firearms industries. Their to hell and back mantra is baked into every weapon they design. And the 1911 is a weapon well known for it’s reliable and ruggedness. So what happens when one of the worlds best firearms manufacturers makes one of the world’s best firearms? That’s the $1,000 question.
I’ll spare you the suspense as the answer should be pretty obvious. The gun rocks. I’ve had my Sig 1911 for a little over a month now and I wish I had bought it sooner. I had originally been looking at the Sig 1911 Tac-Ops but California blows and that specific model is illegal here. But my model is almost identical sans the 1913 rail on the bottom, and I actually like the clean, classic look vs. the tactical look. It’ll probably make holstering it easier too.
I finally had a chance to take it to the range yesterday and I was impressed.
About 150 rounds through it and not a single failure. No failure to eject, failure to feed, failure to fire. The magazine always dropped. The slide always held open after the last round. Even with shitty Russian made, steel cased Tul-Ammo (shhh…. don’t tell the gun range I was using steel cased ammo) the thing never let me down. But that’s all a matter of how the gun works.
What about it’s performance? Equally impressive, if not more so. One of the defining attributes of a well designed firearm is it’s ability to extract the highest performance out of the shooter. I’m not a bad shot. I rock with trap and skeet. I’m a competent rifleman. I can shoot a tennis ball with irons from 200 yards. I’m okay with revolvers. But I’ve never considered myself great with pistols by any stretch. For one reason or another, pistols have been my weak spot, probably from a lack of experience.
But my 1911 might just change that. First shot of the day I wasn’t even sure if the thing would fire. Well it did, and it did beautifully, and my grouping with it is much tighter than it is with my 9mm which I have owned for many years, and put several hundred rounds through. See the images below of my target. Both are of the same paper target, but the second image includes color coded visual aids to make better sense of everything.
Not bad for my first time shooting it.
My first group in green was not bad.
My second group in purple got a little tighter.
And my third group was me having fun trying to empty the magazine.
This gun is so good it actually makes me a better shot. I’m even considering lowering the pull weight of the trigger to see if that helps even more. I think the target speaks volumes about the gun, and does it more clearly and concisely than I could.
Full steel frame 1911s are heavy. So if you are used to Glocks or other polymers like my Sig 2022 you’ll notice the additional weight. But this con is also a pro, as the extra weight helps keep the barrel rise from the .45ACP at bay. Follow up shots were a breeze as the front sights fell naturally right back on target after firing. This is a mere convenience while at the range, but could save seconds, and lives, under non-recreational circumstances.
The only, and I stress only thing about this gun that didn’t get a 10/10 is that the steel beaver tail safety started to hurt the right side of my thumb’s knuckle – but again this was after 150+ rounds down range in maybe a 45 minute span. Give me a leather shooting glove and this can be fired all day.
Some guns are for practice. Others are strictly for fun and there’s nothing wrong with that. However I bought this as a self defense / every day carry. It doesn’t matter if I liked shooting it at the range, in a controlled environment. What matters is would I feel comfortable using this in an emergency? Would I trust this gun with my life? Absolutely. Not only do I think the gun itself is reliable but I am confident in my ability to use it under stress.
While I think a 1911 is a must have for everyone, if you are considering a firearm of your own for self defense, my opinion doesn’t matter. What matters is your preference and how competent and how comfortable you are with whatever firearm you choose.
I have a new pistol holster, a new double magazine holster, and two new factory magazines on their way from Mother Sig as we speak. When I have a chance to try those out I will follow up with a quick review of those as well.