29 July 2008


Xavier has an excellent post up about choosing your first 1911. It is truly fabulous, and if you don't have some 1911s, but think you might need one, you should go and read it immediately. Then don't forget to come back here.

I came to the 1911 platform...probably the way a lot of us do, although it's not a very glamorous tale.

I'd heard about the 1911, and why it was the best handgun ever made, and why the military had to be out of it's collective mind to have ditched it. But I'd never fired one (we were not a handgun family). After I got out of the Marine Corps, I made a friend who one day let me shoot his 1911.

It was a few rounds at an outdoor range. I squeezed them off generally in the direction of the target, handed the pistol back, thanked the man, and went home. And thought about it. Gosh, that's a big round, but that was a comfortable gun and it didn't have a bad trigger pull...

So I decided that I wanted a 1911. The Mister and I were not yet married (although we were Living In Sin Together), and we were po'. That would be poor, but we couldn't, at that point, afford the last two letters.

The Mister, being a pretty romantic guy in his own creepy, militant way, saved his nickels and pennies and, come Christmas, Santa brought me a 1911 - of a sort.

He bought me a Ballester Molina. This is not, strictly speaking, a 1911, but it sure feels like a 1911. And we could afford it, and I had it, and I loved it.

Loved it, loved it, loved it. But it would only feed FMJ, and so I, of course, eventually, needed another 1911.

Around that time, we became foster parents for an insufficiently loved Springfield Mil-Spec.

I have to admit, I disliked that pistol intensely. The grip safety felt sharp at the edges, the whole thing didn't quite seem...put together. And, of course, it was stainless steel. I find stainless tacky in the extreme. But! It convinced me that I really needed to find a good, well-finished 1911.

Which led to my Warrior.

I may well have fallen victim to Kimber's excellent advertising, but this gun makes me happy. It ran like a clock out of the box, it's phenomenally easy to shoot very well, all the bits and surfaces were pleasing from the get-go... Loved it.

But, of course, it's a railed 5-inch 1911, which is a little hard to tote, right? Which meant I needed another 1911.

And thus came the Pro-Carry. Which is also a sweet shooter, after a significant amount of effort and profanity were devoted to extractor issues.

But here's the point, for anyone who read Xavier's excellent post, and is still on the fence: You just have to buy the first one.

When you start asking question of the Learned (and I am not counting myself among them) about the 1911, and you start surfing the gunnut websites, you can get so much information that you don't think you should buy anything until you can afford a high-end piece by a master pistolsmith (not that I wouldn't swap a couple of toes for one). But it can keep you on the fence and off the range.

If you think you want a 1911, get thee to the local gunshop and buy one. Some weird mil-surp knockoff? Sure! A truly entry-level gun from one of the big manufacturers? Get down with your bad self.

Don't get sidetracked or disheartened by all the information and opinions out there on this most popular of firearms platforms. It's a fun pool to swim in (even down here at the shallow end), and you won't know unless you jump in.