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katdadee 08-17-2009 10:15 AM

New to handguns, especially 1911's...
Ok gang please don't beat me up too bad regarding this question. I am new to handguns and all the different makes and models and genders and generations and yadda yadda yadda. When I was in the Marine Corps I was proficient with all things rifles, mainly the M16A2 SR, so no wise cracks about being a Marine that doesn't know handguns. Anyway, my question is what exactly is a 1911, and what really makes them the "Gold Standard"? I keep hearing a wide range of people rave about them; some of these people I think would actually marry their 1911 if the county clerk would allow it.


NGIB 08-17-2009 10:22 AM

A 1911 "loosely" is a single stack .45 caliber auto pistol based on the John Browning design and first built by Colt as the US service pistol. What a 1911 is to me is the most natural pointer and shooter ever built with a trigger all other guns aspire to have. Lot's of companies make 1911 pattern pistols so there's a wide variety out there. There's double stack hi-cap models, calibers other than .45, alloy vs steel frames, different barrel lengths and configurations (bull vs bushed), etc.

Here's a picture of my Norinco, it's a very basic 1911 modeled very closely after the original design:

Here's my 1st series Kimber Gold match. While both of these guns are 1911s, there are subtle differences as the Kimber was built to be a target grade gun:

katdadee 08-17-2009 10:28 AM

Hey thanks for the reply NGIB,
What does it mean when you say that the 1911 is a single stack?

Shotgun Shooter 08-17-2009 10:31 AM

I think he means the ammo in the magazine is stacked 1 on top of the other. Some magazines, I think glock, has 2 stacks inside the magazine. Maybe I'm wrong, I've been up all night. :p


katdadee 08-17-2009 10:35 AM


Originally Posted by Shotgun Shooter (Post 145920)
I think he means the ammo in the magazine is stacked 1 on top of the other. Some magazines, I think glock, has 2 stacks inside the magazine. Maybe I'm wrong, I've been up all night. :p


Hey S.S.,
That makes sense, thanks. I guess I could do a search on "the google" (sometimes I really do miss GWB), anyway I've been up all night too. I work the night shift and am pretty darn tired right now.

Shotgun Shooter 08-17-2009 10:39 AM

No problem. Well, I'm sure Cane will be able to shed some light on 1911's. Not to mention, there are quite a few people on here who are pretty knowledgeable on these guns. Check the thread later in the day and you'll have plenty of answers. ;)


NGIB 08-17-2009 10:46 AM

Single stacks do stack the rounds one directly on top of the other. The capacity of these mags is limited to their length and diameter of the shell. Double stacks use a staggered layout (think zig-zag) which increases the width of the magazine and hence the grip width of the gun.

A standard 1911 holds 7 (many folks use 8 round mags but the original design was 7) in the magazine, a double stack (like the Para P-14) holds double that amount but increases the grip width considerably to achieve the capacity. Both of the ones I showed are single stacks...

FCross7 08-17-2009 12:24 PM

When thinking about double-stack magazines, think about the mags for your M16, they're double-stack. Only difference with pistols is that being either single-stack or double-stack affects grip width.


macro01 08-17-2009 07:26 PM

single stack magazine
double stack magazine

double stack magazine is like those used on M16A2.. the ammo zigzags so it can hold more rounds without adding length to the magazine but it's width

katdadee 08-17-2009 11:18 PM

Hey gang,
Thanks for the helpful info, now I get it.

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