Entire books can be, and have been, written about the Colt 1911 pistol. This handgun was developed by legendary gun maker John Moses Browning, and was adopted by the United States Army as its standard sidearm. More than 100 years later the same basic gun is still in service in the US military, as well as being carried by many law enforcement officers and armed citizens.
The original Colt 1911 pistol was built around the .45 ACP cartridge, but the design has been adapted to chamber many different rounds including the 9mm, .40 Smith & Wesson, .38 Super, 10mm and even the .357 Magnum.
There are many different models, sizes and manufacturers of this 1911 pistol. It seems that every gun manufacturer is making at least one version of the handgun. The gold standard, however, remains the Colt.
Ergonomics and Recoil
Any shooter will agree, the ergonomics of the Colt 1911 are excellent. While some manufacturers have deviated from the single stack design, most 1911 pistols are thin and easy to grip. Although full size, it remains easy to conceal for those who choose to carry one for self-defense purposes.
You will feel a bit of recoil of the .45 ACP. However, it is not harsh, and the 1911 does a good job at managing that recoil. The guns tend to be heavy, which helps with muzzle flip. However, because of the weight, it is not the best gun for packing all day.
Trigger and Accuracy
The 1911, with a few exceptions, are single-action pistols. You will find the trigger on the Colt pistol tends to be very good with a light pull and clean break. Accuracy on modern Colt 1911 pistols is generally very good, but can vary with the use of different ammo.
Reloading and Disassembly
Shooters will find reloading the 1911 is simple. You simply press a magazine release button to drop the empty magazine and slide a loaded one into its place.
Disassembly can be challenging for the novice 1911 shooter, as it is not intuitive. However, with a few repetitions, it becomes easier. A 1911 owner will definitely want to keep the manual handy for the first few field strippings. YouTube videos can also be very helpful in showing how to take down the pistol.
Reliability and Durability
You may not appreciate the reliability of the 1911 pistol, as it is a bit spotty. Some guns run well from the factory, while others do not. Many are sensitive to different types of ammunition. Modern manufactured guns tend to be more reliable than older guns.
Many people rely on the 1911 pistol for self-defense. Many of them also invest thousands of dollars into custom work to enhance reliability. While many 1911 owners bristle at the suggestion, there are a number of firearms trainers, who state the factory stock 1911 is not reliable enough to be carried for self-defense.
The 1911 is a classic pistol and has served the US military well for many decades. You will enjoy the nice ergonomics and there are a wide range of options and calibers available. However, its relatively high cost plus you will need to invest additional money into reliability enhancements. Because of this. it does not make this the best choice for self-defense work.