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Poink88 07-18-2010 12:52 PM

Dumb? What makes 1911 a 1911?
Must be very dumb sounding but I want to know what a pistol must have to be a 1911. What makes it distinct? What do I look for?

Thank you,

spittinfire 07-18-2010 01:01 PM

The basic design of the 1911 is what people are talking about. Do a quick google search for Browning 1911 and read a bit. There are some differences between makers and models such as my Pro Carry has an external extractor, the original design had an internal.
What to look for? What are your plans for the weapon? It's a tool, you buy the tool to fit the job it's intended to complete.

Poink88 07-18-2010 01:06 PM

I am just curious due to rave reviews.

I already have a couple pistols but won't mind buying a 1911 if I find a good deal. With all the new design upgrades, I am wondering where the line (if one exists) is drawn before a newer design is considered a different gun.

Sadly, some design changes are done for the sake of change, not to improve the gun. I want to know what those "bad" changes to watch out for too if possible.

If I ever buy one, it will be a home defense gun.

canebrake 07-18-2010 01:14 PM

Two things:


Just ask,

JonM 07-18-2010 01:22 PM


Originally Posted by Poink88 (Post 316749)
some design changes are done for the sake of change, not to improve the gun. I want to know what those "bad" changes to watch out for too if possible.

this is almost entirely personal opinion.

to me the 1911-A1 is a perfect handgun right out of the box as-is for a full size. for conceal carry the colt new agent is ideal. compare the two and there is a vast gulf of design change. are those changes bad?? some folks like extended safeties and slide release; some like nite sights. i cant stand those things in a handgun. doesnt make them bad design just means i dont like em.

you should prolly go to some ranges where you can rent various 1911 and try some out fore you buy.

danf_fl 07-18-2010 01:36 PM

A 1911 is a platform of handguns that has been thoroughly tested on the battle fields, defense circles, competitions, and local ranges. As said above, some changes are only that, changes, and do not necessarily make it "better".
I like the idea that anywhere I travel in the US, I can get ammo, spare parts should something break, and almost any smith can fix one.
Does the 1911 have any bad points? What is it being compared to?
If there were only one type of handgun in the world, IMO it would be the 1911 platform.
When I purchase a 1911, the only changes I want from the original design are decent sights, and a decent trigger.
Considering that 2011 is coming up, how many other handgun platforms can say that they are still being produced after 100 years.

skimbell 07-24-2010 12:57 PM


Originally Posted by danf_fl (Post 316761)
Does the 1911 have any bad points? What is it being compared to?

I remember when I was a boy listening to my dad and uncles as they discussed hadnguns. All of them were WWII vets so I sort of figured that they might have some valid ideas about what they were talking about. They all had opinions and they all tended to believe that their "opinions" were more or less facts.
From listening to these "discussions" I noticed that the relative merits of any gun that these guys talked about, centered on how that weapon compared to a 1911A1-they also tended to look at any rifle in the light of an M1-but that's another story.
Anyway, I distinctly remember my dad telling me in sort of a final analysis of the subject that "if everything you consider about a gun is a comparison to a 1911, why not just get the 1911?"
It's worked for me.

pioneer461 07-27-2010 06:04 PM

A 1911, regardless of who makes it, is based on the design by John Browning, for the US Military. The design was adopted by the US Army in the year 1911, which is where the name came from. The original design was changed slightly following World War 1, becoming the military designation 1911-a1, but still functioned the same.

A 1911 must be a semi-automatic, blow-back design, with grip safety, thumb safety, slide lock, and single action trigger. This web site may be beneficial for you;

The basic design is a time and combat proven one, which has enjoyed a rebirth of popularity in recent years. The reason is, I believe, that the .45 acp is a very effective combat round, especially when compared with the smaller, but faster 9mm NATO. The .45 vs. 9mm debate is an ongoing dispute by those who advocate their favorite.

The 1911 was designed to be carried with a round in the chamber, "cocked & locked" with the thumb safety engaged. The Army brass of the day was horrified at seeing a handgun with a cocked hammer, because until that time their experience had been with revolvers. They accepted the gun, but ordered they be carried with an empty chamber, and in some cases without a magazine inserted into the grip.

Many options and design variations have become available since the pistol's rebirth and can be compared to the "small block Chevrolet" engine with all of the options and modifications available.

Here's mine;

hiredhelp 08-11-2010 01:24 PM

Just wanted to add my thoughts too! We have 50 of the 1911's/1911A1's with the oldest being a three digit manufactured in 1912 and the newest being a three digit LW manfactured in 1950. Of the regular frame 1911/1911A1 platforms, you can interchange any part from any year and the firearm will function properly and consistantly. What more can you ask for? With regards to the .45 acp; it will knock almost anything off its' feet. What more can you ask for?

1911....enough said!

gadrooning 08-11-2010 01:49 PM

Other than the fact that 1911's have a very distinctive appearance. The most visible recognized feature of true 1911 is first and foremost all metal construction, slide, frame, etc. The second most recognized feature is the beavertail grip safety, single stack magazine and the visible barrel bushing. There are plenty of other visible and internal features that makes it unique to a 1911, but from outward appearance this is the easiest way to recognize it.

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