Firearm & Gun Forum - FireArmsTalk.com > Handguns > Semi-Auto Handguns > 1911 Forum > Why is the 1911 so popular?

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Old 06-16-2013, 11:17 PM   #31
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The 1911 was all but disappearing when the AWB resurrected and catapulted larger calibers like .45 and .40 -- "if you can only have up-to a 10-rnd mag you might as well get as much as will fit into one."

It was also around that time that the flat mainspring housing really took off and brough the gun back into popularity because that curved one has an odd feel (which is why it is rarely produced today) to many.

Marketing is everything!

Last I saw 9mm ammo outsold .38/.357 and .45 combined.

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Old 06-16-2013, 11:39 PM   #32
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There are multiple reasons. Some are valid and some are emotional and even irrational.

It was truly ahead of its time when designed. Many manufacturers had no concept if ergonomics. Looking at other auto loaders at the time will show some truly awkward concepts. It was originally designed around a 9mm round but army cavalry units still got some day in the design. They were still using .45 Colt revolvers to have a caliber heavy enough to finish off a downed horse. They also requested an extra safety in case the pistol was dropped from horseback to prevent an accidental discharge. The grip safety was not part of the original concept.

John Browning delivered a pistol with the features the army and cavalry wanted. The grip points very naturally, the bore sits low to the hand to help reduce muzzle flip, and make follow up shots faster and more controllable. The trigger is short and predictable. The gun can be detail stripped using only its own parts( in military form, with the short guide rod). It wasted at a time when labor was cheap and final hand fitting if parts was the norm.

It served our military in two world wars and multiple other wars and engagements around the globe. Gangsters used them, cops used them. When FMJ ammo was the norm for reliable feeding a .45 was a slim bit desire able advantage. Nostalgia set in over its decades of use. War stories, gangster/Fed battles were waged, stories became legends and myths. The 1911 became a verbal legend to be reckoned with.

John Browning moved on in design when he made the P35 high power. He eliminated the redundant grip safety, because tanks and close air support eliminated cavalry charges. He also eliminated the weakness if the swinging link. Unfortunately he took a step back in the trigger on the P35, which was not as short or crisp as the 1911.

Today the great features if the 1911 live on. Great feel and ergonomics, a heavy caliber, low bore axis, etc. But labor is not as cheap and the design still requires some final hand fitting to get the best performance out if it. So, prices are high. Target and competition shooters love them for the pointing ability, low bore axis, good workable trigger, and a bigger bore diameter to increase chances of breaking a higher scoring ring. Gunsmiths love them because they are highly customizable, and replacing parts usually requires some smithing. Turkey artistic gunsmiths like them because a truly well assembled 1911 is a true thing if beauty to hold and shoot, and the large flat sides if the slide give a great canvas to custom engravers.

It is a great pistol. It has some weaknesses, but most fans are willing to look past those minor flaws because the total package is not really available in any other form. To find other designs of similar thought and craftsmanship you would pay as much or more, such as the Sig 210, or high end Smith and Wesson target models from the custom shop.

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Old 06-17-2013, 01:34 AM   #33
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I have many handguns and none of the semis come close to feeling as good as my 3 1911s. Either the recoil doesn't feel as good, the trigger is not as good or the gun just doesn't have the right heft. The only triggers that come close are shooting the revolvers in SA.

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Old 06-17-2013, 01:50 AM   #34
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Old 06-17-2013, 02:21 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by txpossum
My love for the 1911 is difficult to put into words, because the enjoyment I get out of shooting a 1911 vs. just about any other gun is the combination of attributes particular to the 1911, and make shooting it a unique experience.

When you pick it up, it FEELS like a gun is supposed to feel -- heavy, serious, and business-like. It fits solidly in your hand. You rack the slide back, and the sound is authoritative. The gun does not feel like a toy, there is a sense that it is made for deadly purpose. And the trigger -- there is nothing like the feel of a nicely tuned 1911 trigger that breaks like a glass rod at 3-4 pounds of pressure. No creep, no overtravel. It has spoiled me for all other triggers. When it goes off, there is deep, low bark rather than an excited yelp, and you feel the heavy slide come back and rock the gun, but the recoil is very controllable and easy to get back on target for subsequent shots. You fire it, and you KNOW you've got the Daddy. You watch it eat up the target, and the gun tells you, "common' Bud, that's what we're here for".

God, I love 1911's.
You nailed it
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Old 06-17-2013, 02:52 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by txpossum View Post
My love for the 1911 is difficult to put into words, because the enjoyment I get out of shooting a 1911 vs. just about any other gun is the combination of attributes particular to the 1911, and make shooting it a unique experience.

When you pick it up, it FEELS like a gun is supposed to feel -- heavy, serious, and business-like. It fits solidly in your hand. You rack the slide back, and the sound is authoritative. The gun does not feel like a toy, there is a sense that it is made for deadly purpose. And the trigger -- there is nothing like the feel of a nicely tuned 1911 trigger that breaks like a glass rod at 3-4 pounds of pressure. No creep, no overtravel. It has spoiled me for all other triggers. When it goes off, there is deep, low bark rather than an excited yelp, and you feel the heavy slide come back and rock the gun, but the recoil is very controllable and easy to get back on target for subsequent shots. You fire it, and you KNOW you've got the Daddy. You watch it eat up the target, and the gun tells you, "common' Bud, that's what we're here for".

God, I love 1911's.
^^^^^^^^^
This...
Get your hands on one and dump some rounds down range. There's simply nothing like it. No other auto loader gets close to what a 1911 feels like. Sometimes things are just right. And the 1911 is simply just right. I own several types of revolver and auto loader nd the 1911 stands above the rest. I can go out all alone nad bust a few targets and after one or few mags I feel like I could shot all day. I'm a little sad when I put it down at the end of the shoot. I don't get that for any other handgun....ever. Some don't get it - Some don't want to get it. But, for those that do there is a unique love for the 1911 that stands above all that is pistol shooting. And the only way to really explain it is to feel it. I call it that lovin' feelin.
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Old 06-17-2013, 04:58 AM   #37
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To take a phrase from Porsche, that I feel applies to the 1911 as well.

"There is no substitute."

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Old 06-17-2013, 05:04 AM   #38
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For me I always wanted one for the history factor, but then in one day it all changed my brother in law got a glock 17 9mm and my dad got a taurus 1911 and I got to shoot them both in the same day. I didn't mind the feel or the look of the glock not amazing but not bad I hated the trigger but the gun over all not bad. But the 1911 felt great and the trigger was light and crisp and it was just great shooting. Dont get me wrong both are great guns but it does come down to the feel and the person behind it. Also I think another part of it is the history factor the 1911 had been in service with our troops since WW1 all that way up to Vietnam and wasn't replaced until I think the 80's.

Me personally I'm a 1911 guy but I wouldn't be opposed to carrying a glock, if you can get the chance to shoot both in the same day.

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Old 06-17-2013, 05:12 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by 308Wins View Post
I've always thought it was a cool gun, but I'm a little confused why they're so popular, because they're always pricy guns when I see them. I see the inexpensive ones for about $800, you could buy at least a couple other guns for that!
My question is, are they worth it?
Like everyone has told you, you'll need to pick one up and spend some quality time with it. Pay attention to the grip and the beavertail. You won't have that on your more tactical polymer handguns.

In addition, what's your use going to be? Are you going to be carrying it daily? I can tell you now, while 45 ACP is a beast of a round, that's a lot of weight to be carrying around 7 rounds. (2 lbs, average) Is a 1911 really suited to your daily wardrobe and movement habits? (I carry a M&P Shield. I can wear it IWB tucked under my button down shirt. It's small, but still gives me 7 40 S&W rounds to work with.)

Finally, don't let cost rule the day when buying a gun. I've bought guns because they were cheap, and you pay the price. Accessories are harder to find, support is generally shabby, and face it. You can't depend on a Taurus the way you can depend on a Glock.

Just my .02. I can't hate on the 1911. One shot and you'll see why people love them. That heavy steel soaks up the recoil and allows you to quickly put more follow up shots downrange. Plus, most of them (even some of the cheaper ones) are great to look at!
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Old 06-17-2013, 05:38 AM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andrewwanca

Like everyone has told you, you'll need to pick one up and spend some quality time with it. Pay attention to the grip and the beavertail. You won't have that on your more tactical polymer handguns.

In addition, what's your use going to be? Are you going to be carrying it daily? I can tell you now, while 45 ACP is a beast of a round, that's a lot of weight to be carrying around 7 rounds. (2 lbs, average) Is a 1911 really suited to your daily wardrobe and movement habits? (I carry a M&P Shield. I can wear it IWB tucked under my button down shirt. It's small, but still gives me 7 40 S&W rounds to work with.)

Finally, don't let cost rule the day when buying a gun. I've bought guns because they were cheap, and you pay the price. Accessories are harder to find, support is generally shabby, and face it. You can't depend on a Taurus the way you can depend on a Glock.

Just my .02. I can't hate on the 1911. One shot and you'll see why people love them. That heavy steel soaks up the recoil and allows you to quickly put more follow up shots downrange. Plus, most of them (even some of the cheaper ones) are great to look at!
I'm not sure he's thinking about buying. At least I didn't get that impression. It seemed to me he was just curious about the appeal of 1911s.
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