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Best 1911 Pistols

last updated: Apr 05, 2021

Though various makers submitted their designs, eventually it was Colt who designed the model that we know today. Adopted in 1911 by the U.S. Army, then accepted by the Marines and Navy in 1913, the M1911 began an extremely long life with the U.S. Armed Forces, seeing modern variants still being used today in the special operations community. Though it was replaced officially in 1990 by the Beretta M9, it didn't quite fade away as expected.

The hard-hitting .45acp did a better job knocking the enemy down, and the magazine-fed system gave soldiers the relatively new advantage of faster reloads. The pistol saw action against Pancho Villa, throughout WW1 and WW2, Korea, Vietnam, conflicts small and large up to the present day. If you're thinking about picking one up, here are some of our favorites.

In a Hurry? The test winner after 4 hrs of research

Kimber Custom II
Kimber Custom II
Why is it better?
In a Hurry? Editors choice:
Kimber Custom II
Test Winner: Kimber Custom II
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Price Comparison Last Updated (25.07.21)
Price Comparison Last Updated (25.07.21)
Price Comparison Last Updated (25.07.21)
Price Comparison Last Updated (25.07.21)
Price Comparison Last Updated (25.07.21)
Price Comparison Last Updated (25.07.21)
Price Comparison Last Updated (25.07.21)

7 Best 1911 Pistols

1. Kimber Custom II

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Kimber also makes a high quality pistol that is highly recommended and loved by owners. It features a well-designed construction that uses high-quality internal parts, excellent grips, a smooth trigger, and a high-quality finish. This is a semi-automatic action, .45 caliber pistol that gives you the true feeling of a high quality 1911 that you will proud to show off.

Match Grade Barrels

The barrel and the bushings are made of a match grade stainless steel that is high quality and designed to last. This will help the gun continue to look and function like it's new for years.

Artistic Design

The stock and the barrel feature an artistic design that makes the gun look as great as it feels. there is a diamond pattern etched into the barrel of the gun and the stock features a wave pattern.

Cost and Value

You will be able to purchase the Kimber Custom Pistol at a price that is considered to be around the average price. This makes it into an excellent value considering its quality.

2. Kimber Pro Carry

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The Kimber Pro Carry has been designed for concealed carry. The carbon slide has been brushed polished and the frame is made of aluminum to reduce the weight. You can quickly load the gun thanks to the bevel in the magazine. It's the perfect sidearm to have in self-defense situations.

The gun has a short barrel, is lightweight, and easy to store. This makes it well-suited for concealed carry purposes. The gun itself is also highly accurate which makes it great for self-defense.

The magazine well is beveled, which makes it much easier to insert the magazine into the gun when you need to load it quickly. It's sold with one magazine to start with.

Cost and Value

You can purchase the Two-Tone II at an average price, which makes it an into an excellent value for anyone who is looking for a quality gun to use for self-defense.
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3. Sig Sauer Campaign Series

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This is another great option for a sidearm that offers you a classic look and feel. Although the look is classic, the technology isn't. This firearm features a performance that is loved by both law enforcement and military personnel because it boasts of excellent tolerances and uses only the best parts. You will love the feel and performance of the Sig Sauer 1911.

Modern Technology

Although the Sig Sauer features a classical design, the gun itself is manufactured using modern processes. All of the parts are machined to exact tolerances and specification and they use high-quality materials to make it.

Full Size

This is a Government (or full size) version of the 1911 and is most similar to what is used by military or law enforcement. It's excellent to use for self-defense or at the range.

Cost and Value

You will need to plan on spending an amount that is much higher than the average price for the Sig Sauer 1911 centerfire. This is because it is a premium weapon made of high-quality materials.

4. Springfield Armory

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This is another government sized model that has been designed to reproduce the original product. It offers modern technology in its construction such as parts that are CNC milled to exact tolerances or 3 dot sights. This makes it into an excellent sidearm to use at the gun range, hunting purposes, or even self-defense. You will love the look and feel of this sidearm.

Two Magazines

It's sold with two magazines rather than one. This makes it more convenient to use because you can have a backup magazine ready for when you need it without having to purchase it separately.

Carbon Steel

It's made with carbon steel which is stronger and more durable than regular steel. This will help the gun last longer and function better as compared to guns that are made of a lower quality steel.

Cost and Value

You will be able to purchase this item at a price that is around the average price. This makes it into an excellent value since you get a high-quality sidearm without having to pay a premium price.

5. Remington 1911 R1

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Remington is a well-known brand in the gun industry and this semi-auto pistol based on the 1911 design lives up to the brand name. It features technology such as well engineered ejection part, grip safety, and front and rear sights. This makes it an excellent choice for use at the range, hunting, or self-defense. It also looks great as part of a collection.

Remington is a well-known brand in the gun industry and this semi-auto pistol based on the 1911 design lives up to the brand name. It features technology such as well engineered ejection part, grip safety, and front and rear sights. This makes it an excellent choice for use at the range, hunting, or self-defense. It also looks great as part of a collection.

6. Rock Island GI Series

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The Rock Island GI Series features a classical style that closely resembles the original look and feel of the early 1911 series. This brand offers excellent engineering such as a six groove barrel, a 4.6-pound trigger, and fixed sights. You will love how this gun looks and shoots and it's a great item to have in your collection.

Six Groove Barrel

It has a rifled barrel that will increase the range and accuracy of the gun. The barrel features six grooves and offers a 1:16" rate-of-twist to help increase the speed and accuracy of the bullet.

Classic 1911 Design

The manufacturer has followed a classic look of the 1911 gun. This makes the gun resemble the early 1911 series guns which makes it ideal to keep in a collection of guns.

Cost and Value

You will be able to purchase this item at a price that is well below the average price. This makes it into a great starter gun since you don't have to pay a premium for it.

7. Browning Black Label

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If you're looking for a .380, but in the 1911 platform, this is for you. The .380 round has some advantages to certain shooters, the cost of ammunition being one. Also, there is a slight weight reduction in a full mag, when compared to a magazine full of .45 ammo

The gun's compact design makes it an ideal choice for people who are looking for a concealed carry weapon. It's small and lightweight which makes it easy to hide and conceal.

The safety has an ambidextrous design meaning that the gun can be used with either hand. This makes it great for left-hand shooters who may have trouble finding a gun.

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The Famous 1911 Handgun

This handgun was designed in 1911 by John Browning. This model has been copied by several manufactures over the last 107 years. This is a testament to the quality and reliability of this design.

Other Factors to Consider

Effectiveness

The .45acp is a heavy-hitting round that delivers a lot of knockdown energy. If what you're looking for is something that puts the target down quickly while delivering enough shock to keep the target down, the .45 is a good choice.

In fact, there was, and still is, a lot of discussion among military members ad vets regarding the military's decision in 1985 to switch to the Beretta M9, which is chambered in 9mm. Though 9mm is a fast round, it seriously lacks the same amount of energy and stopping power that you get from the 1911 chambered in .45acp

For a lot of shooters, the 1911 platform is as good as it gets, and it is almost impossible to convince those people otherwise. With advancements in ammunition manufacturing, there are variations of the .45acp round that deliver even more stopping power and overall energy than ever before.

Accuracy

The .45 is famously accurate in the right circumstances. The longer barrel of a full-size or tactical variant of the 1911 platform helps a lot too. Even if you're not into accessorizing your gun like crazy, the stock 1911, even many budget models, are extremely accurate inside their effective range of roughly 50 meters or so. Obviously, give or take for some models.

Aside from the simplicity of the operating system, the overall accuracy takes the lead among shooters who favor the gun. Reliability is a huge one too. You can beat the hell out of the gun and it will still hit what you're aiming at. But remember, if you pick up the gun for the first time and miss, don't blame the gun, Just because the gun is accurate, it doesn't always mean the shooter is...

Frequently Asked Questions

q: Who designed the 1911?

a:

The M1911 was designed by John Browning and was first put into use by the U.S. military in the year 1911, for which the gun is named. It is an easy to use single action firearm that was originally designed to fire a .45 cartridge. The weapon has great stopping power but its small size makes it into a great choice for open or concealed carry which is why the gun is still used to today.

q: Can I build my own 1911?

a:

It isn’t uncommon for many people to acquire parts and assemble their own 1911 handguns. Many gun enthusiasts have done this exact thing. If you decide that you are going to build your own model, you should check the local regulations to make sure that you are not violating any gun laws first. Additionally, there are plenty of gunsmiths that will take custom orders for a 1911 gun. The design is very common and well understood.

q: Are 1911 pistols dependable?

a:

One of the reasons for the 1911’s popularity is that the gun is highly dependable. Some users have experienced issues with the gun jamming up and lower end models can be sensitive when using certain kinds of ammo. It’s worth your time to take your pistol to the gun range to make sure that it is working properly before using it for self-defense or hunting purposes. However, overall this handgun is a reliable firearm design.

q: Do I need to get a left-handed gun if I shoot left handed?

a:

One of the nicer features of the 1911 design is that it can be used by both left handed and right handed shooters. Most manufacturers put the safety on the back side of the gun so that it’s accessible from either hand. Nevertheless, you should check ahead of time to make sure that the gun can be shot left handed if you are a left-handed shooter. Otherwise, you may end up with something that you can’t use.

q: Should I spend extra on a 1911?

a:

Some models are made cheaply, using inexpensive materials and inferior manufacturing processes. For this reason, it may be worth it to pay a little bit of a premium for a 1911 gun to make sure that the gun was manufactured properly. There isn’t much of a price difference between a gun that was made internationally as opposed to the US made guns, so it may be worth spending a little extra to get the US made firearm.