There are great controversies that carry on, sometimes leading to wars, or at least bar fights and ruined family gatherings. Are the Yankees the greatest baseball team ever, or a bunch of prima donnas? Who is the greatest rock band of all time? Is global warming a real phenomena, and if it is, does human behavior have any effect on it? Buddha, Jesus, or Mohamed? Reagan or Obama? And so on.
But all of those pale against the greatest controversy. More ink and more electrons are consumed every year on gun forums, magazines (the paper kind), and gun blogs on this topic than any other.
The 1911 pistol. Is it the ultimate fighting pistol, handed down to us by John Moses Browning (PBUH), winner of wars, still carried by the effa-bee-eye and Spec Ops, capable of shattering the spine of bad guys when it hits them in the knee, tack driving accurate, shooting the mighty .45ACP?
Or is it an outdated, finicky design, requiring an epic reworking by a master gunsmith to run reliably, superseded by safer modern pistols like the Glock and XD that don’t have to be carried Condition 1, heavy and hard to conceal, slow to cycle, and prone to breakage, shooting an outdated, slow moving, round and only holding a maximum of 8 rounds?
Here’s one side of it covered pretty well by Yankee Gun Nuts. The comments are predictably split down the aforementioned lines.
Here from The Sight is the other side of the coin. I read this a couple of years ago and it, along with the testimonials, says most of what I think about 1911s. Since 2011 will be the 100th anniversary of the design, stand by for a lot more electrons spilled on this in the coming months.
Of course the 1911 is an outdated design. It came from an era when weapons were designed to win fights, not to avoid product liability lawsuits. It came from an era where it was the norm to learn how your weapon operated and to practice that operation until it became second nature, not to design the piece to the lowest common denominator. It came from an era in which our country tried to supply its fighting men with the best tools possible, unlike today, when our fighting men and women are issued hardware that was adopted because of international deal-making or the fact that the factory is in some well-connected congressman’s district. Yes, beyond any shadow of a doubt, the 1911 IS an outdated design….and that’s exactly what I love about it.
–Rosco S. Benson