Ah yes. The legendary 1911 pistol. The 1911 or M1911 is one of the most popular pistols in the world. It is a favorite among shooters and collectors. It was designed by John Moses Browning, who has a reputation as one of the best firearm designers in history.
The 1911 is a popular handgun, and it’s easy to see why. It’s reliable, durable, and accurate. It has a high capacity and can be easily concealed.
However, the main reason why it is so popular is not that it has a great history or because it’s practical – but because it’s iconic.
Let’s talk about some of the reasons why the 1911 pistol became so popular and what makes this particular pistol so iconic.
The 1911 And Why It Is Still Popular With Gun Owners Today
It is often said that the 1911 is the most popular handgun of all time. However, it has been around for over 100 years. It’s not because of its design but because people love it and have a sentimental attachment to it.
A lot of people still love the 1911 even after the introduction of automatic pistols. They are popular because they are reliable, easy to use, and they have a long history.
The gun was originally used by military forces in World War I before being adopted as a civilian weapon during World War II. It’s still used today as a backup weapon by law enforcement agencies across the country and worldwide.
Despite its design dating back over 100 years, the 1911 continues to serve its purpose. There aren’t many machines that have endured as long as that, let alone guns.
How did John M. Browning’s design stand the test of time? Throughout the years, semi-automatic pistols have been redesigned and updated, as well as new materials used to make them have been developed.
There are many reasons why the 1911 has been so successful. The pistol just plain delivers, from its top-notch design to its outstanding manufacturing and performance. There are a variety of Colt 1911 models, from the economy Armscor model to the Gold Cup Trophy version.
The iconic pistol has certain characteristics in common no matter the model or price point, and we’re taking a look at those today. So, without further ado, let’s look at the top reasons why this gun continues to be so popular.
1. History Of The 1911
It’s safe to say that we all know what the 1911 is all about by now. With a history of honorable service in two World Wars and countless conflicts, the John M. Browning design is still in use today.
It is rare that a gun in production is as deeply rooted in American history as this handgun. You carry a piece of your history around with you when you holster the 1911. The majority of people might dismiss this as little more than nostalgia. It is practical, however, to see why a pistol’s past is relevant today.
Whether in Cantigny or the Mekong Delta, the 1911 has repeatedly proved itself, and rarely, if ever, been found wanting. That’s the only thing that will give you peace of mind when you’re holstering that pistol.
2. Accuracy Of The Gun
One of the reasons why the 100-plus-year-old design still dominates competitive pistol shooting isn’t its striking aesthetics.
Kimber, Dan Wesson, and Colt 1911s, among the most accurate pistols available, easily print 2.5-inch five-shot groups when shooting from 25 yards. It is further reduced when the gun is tuned by a competent gunsmith.
The 1911 can also be modified to function like a Gold-Cup pistol. This level of craftsmanship requires money and a craftsman who knows his trade, but the design provides the possibility.
In addition, the ergonomics of the gun are excellent. Almost like a second hand, the pistol’s ergonomic grip allows for easy target acquisition and intuitive sighting.
Furthermore, the controls are in the right place. Many modern guns have been modeled after the 1911, which is a testament to how well the 1911 is laid out.
Durability is another concern. We’re not talking in the short term, polymer-frame fans. It’s not uncommon for polymer pistols to withstand rough and tumble use; they can handle just about anything.
Although the jury is still out on whether they will still be functional in a century’s time, there can be no doubt that they will survive, but will they resist degradation or become dangerous? We will have to wait and see.
The polymer frame is the king of contemporary handguns. Nowadays, concealed carry is all the rage, so it should come as no surprise that lightweight materials are in high demand. Despite this, cold, hard steel does have its advantages. The material’s weight is one of the most important factors.
It takes a bit of adjustment to carry a heavy pistol like the 1911, but you will have a more shootable pistol in return. There is a direct correlation between a gun’s weight and how much recoil it produces.
Shooters generally encounter less muzzle flip with 1911s, especially the heavier Government and Commander models. There is a considerable difference in weight between an aluminum-frame lightweight Commander and a more comparable polymer-frame model.
6. Platform Diversity of 1911 Pistols
1911 pistols are also known for their diversity. There were not many features on the original gun. Wood grips, thumb safety, grip safety, and fixed iron sights.
It’s as simple as inserting a magazine, charging the pistol, pointing at the bad guy, and pressing the trigger. With the advancement of the platform, nearly any need can be met.
Check out some easy-to-use sight pushing tools if you need to adjust iron sights. The 1911 is, after all, a tool, and over time it has gained a kind of modularity (at least in a broader sense) unlike anything else on the market. As a result, almost anyone can find a variant that suits their needs.
7. Single Action Pistol
There is a lot of complaining about the manual safety, but the truth is that single-action operation is relatively simple. The skill can be learned, but it’s not difficult or takes a long time.
Give your thumb a little wiggle. That’s all there is to it. Your draw stroke will be improved if you deactivate the safety. It’s really not that hard. You’ll become accustomed to it in no time.
Single-action autos are easy to learn; you just need to deactivate the safety or cock the gun, and you’re good to go. While there is a learnable technique for single action revolvers, they are a whole different story. When you recoil, the support hand makes sure that the hammer is cocked as well.
8. 1911 Pistols Are Highly Sought After Because Of Their Nostalgia
“Two world wars!” is one of the things that people talk about when it comes to the 1911 pistol. In the armed forces, it was the standard-duty handgun for a very long time.
Originally designated as the M1911, it was redesigned in 1927 and renamed the M1911-A1 before retiring in 1986 as the primary sidearm of the US military. The Beretta M9 replaced the M1911-A1 as the primary sidearm in 1987.
During that time, many people served, and many were able to fire the M1911 or M1911-A1. In addition to law enforcement officers, a great deal of civilians purchased them for target shooting, personal defense, or sidearms for law enforcement.
With its uniquely American design – created by the genius gunmaker John M. Browning – the 1911 pistol represents American culture for better or worse.
As with the Colt Single Action Army or Winchester lever action, it is an icon of Americana. There’s no denying that nostalgia is a part of its appeal, even if it has evolved beyond that. That’s totally fine!
9. It Is Actually Very Viable To Carry a 1911 Concealed
1911s remain popular because they are very practical carry guns, whether they are used for packing outdoors or as concealed carry .45s or whatever caliber you prefer.
The gun belt is necessary, but if you can handle the weight, it can do a lot for you. In most models, the slide is about 0.9 inches wide, which is perfect for conventional concealed carry.
At the widest point of the grips, non-ambidextrous pistols typically measure 1.2 inches wide. The gun is pretty svelte for its size, regardless of carrying capacity.
If you commute daily, I highly recommend installing a vehicle safe so that you can keep your carry gun inside.
There’s no denying that the M1911 has been immensely popular in all spheres even as it retires from professional shooting. Thus, the Browning 1911 likely arms thousands of concealed carriers, as its proven design has performed extremely well in the competitive arena.
Individual companies have made external and internal modifications to improve the ergonomics, reliability, and accuracy of the gun. As a result, from concealed carry to bullseye shooting, M1911s can be built for any purpose.
In nearly every pistol task, this firearm can be honed, and it will do it well. This is one gun that is unlikely to disappear from our consciousness ever.
Is The 1911 The Most Popular Handgun?
Over the past decade, Colt Government Model 1911s have prevailed as the most recognized, imitated, influential, and widely used semi-automatic handguns in the world without any challenge. It is referred to by some as the best pistol ever made. As a revolver, it is the Colt Single Action Army for autoloaders.
My love for the 1911 came about after watching dozens of WWII movies. I cannot speak for anyone else, but personally, I love it. In my opinion, it is the most beautifully crafted firearm I have ever seen. One of the most beautiful guns ever made. Having a 1911 would give me a sense of belonging to the “greatest generation.”
The weapon has seen two World Wars, has been in service since 1911 and is still being purchased by the military today. Our relationship with them spanned four major wars. Due to their military experience, many people trusted the design because they had experience with them.
Aside from that, after WWII, the US had already developed the machinery to mass produce them. This resulted in them being relatively inexpensive in comparison to tooling up to make a new pistol. Therefore, the 1911 platform continues to be used today.
The Bottom Line
There has been no doubt that the 1911 pistol has been a very useful weapon since its invention. It is, therefore, no surprise that it is still in use 100 years later. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with a dated old gun, but it has lots of potentials.
That’s pretty impressive for a design that’s over 100 years old. Now, if you happen to own one, I suggest you keep it protected. Why not get a good pistol safe for your precious 1911?