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Best 1911 Reviewed & Rated for Quality

last updated Mar 07, 2019

This pistol was created for the United States Miltary and was first put into service starting in 1911. The gun is still used by the US Military today and it is also used widely by law enforcement as well as gun enthusiasts. The technology of this gun is well understood and many gun shops are familiar with the design. Many gun owners even assemble their own models by collecting parts that are available on the market.

Due to its popularity, many people love to own 1911s. They are great for self-defense, competitions, and even hunting purposes. This guns can be customized in gun shops or even do-it-yourselfers who love to work with and collect guns. 1911s fire a wide variety of different caliber bullets and are made in four different sizes. This leaves owners with more than enough choices when it comes to purchasing this handgun. Regardless of your needs, chances are high that you will be able to find a 1911 sidearm for what you are planning on using it for. There are sizes that are great for self-defense, competition, and even hunting purposes. Additionally, there are plenty of custom models that make great collector’s items as well.

Sorting Options
Accuracy Advanced Features Style Brand Value Adjustability Stability By Default
Rank
PictureProduct
Name
Rating
Shops
#1
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.8
Accuracy
98%
Advanced Features
96%
Style
92%
Brand
92%
Value
96%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.03.19)
$839.99
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#2
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93.2
Accuracy
98%
Adjustability
96%
Style
92%
Brand
90%
Value
90%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.03.19)
$819.99
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#3
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91.2
Accuracy
92%
Adjustability
90%
Style
92%
Brand
92%
Value
90%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.03.19)
$979.99
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#4
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90.8
Accuracy
94%
Adjustability
90%
Style
90%
Brand
92%
Value
88%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.03.19)
$979.99
See Deal
#5
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89.4
Accuracy
99%
Advanced Features
84%
Style
90%
Brand
90%
Value
84%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.03.19)
$799.99
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#6
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88.4
Accuracy
92%
Advanced Features
90%
Stability
86%
Brand
88%
Value
86%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.03.19)
$449.99
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#7
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
86.2
Accuracy
86%
Adjustability
88%
Stability
84%
Brand
88%
Value
85%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.03.19)
$699.99
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#8
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
86
Accuracy
88%
Advanced Features
78%
Stability
88%
Brand
90%
Value
86%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.03.19)
$599.99
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#9
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
85.2
Accuracy
86%
Advanced Features
78%
Style
86%
Brand
90%
Value
86%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.03.19)
$549.99
See Deal
#10
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
82.8
Accuracy
86%
Advanced Features
78%
Style
76%
Brand
90%
Value
84%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.03.19)
$749.99
See Deal
In Depth Review Top 10
  • Ruger SR1911
  • Kimber Custom
  • Sig Sauer Centerfire
  • Sig Sauer Ultra Nitron
  • Kimber Pro Series
  • Rock Island GI Series
  • Remington R1 Semi-Auto
  • Browning Black Label
  • Browning Semi-Auto Rimfire
  • Springfield Armory
Table of contents
  • Criteria Used for Evaluation
  • Frequently Asked Questions

10 Best 1911

1. Ruger SR1911

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.8
Accuracy
98
Advanced Features
96
Style
92
Brand
92
Value
96
best offer for today
$839.99
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Pros:

The trigger is made of aluminum and is lightweight and skeletonized.

It's made of high stainless steel that is high quality.

The side and the frame are finished with a low glare finish.

The grip is oversized and has a beaver-tail design.

It's has a front sight that uses the three dot system.

Cons:

The firing pin can wear out prematurely which may require service.

The trigger does not always feel smooth which can make it uncomfortable.

This is a .45 caliber sidearm that follows the same design as the M1911 that was used by the US Military between 1911 up until 1985. Ruger outfits it with additional features that you would expect from the brand making this into an excellent gun that is safe, reliable, and accurate. All of this comes together to make a product that you will absolutely love.

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This is a .45 caliber sidearm that follows the same design as the M1911 that was used by the US Military between 1911 up until 1985. Ruger outfits it with additional features that you would expect from the brand making this into an excellent gun that is safe, reliable, and accurate. All of this comes together to make a product that you will absolutely love.

2. Kimber Custom

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93.2
Accuracy
98
Adjustability
96
Style
92
Brand
90
Value
90
best offer for today
$819.99
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Pros:

All of the bushings and the barrel are held to exact tolerances for perfect balance.

There is an extremely smooth finish that makes it look great.

The barrel features serrations in the side that add to the aesthetics.

It only weights between four and five pounds so it's easy to aim.

The barrel and bushings are made of a high quality

Cons:

It is not available for left-handed shooters.

It has tight feed lips that can occasionally cause the magazine to jam.

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.

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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.

3. Sig Sauer Centerfire

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91.2
Accuracy
92
Adjustability
90
Style
92
Brand
92
Value
90
best offer for today
$979.99
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Pros:

You can store up to seven bullets in the magazine and one in the chamber.

This is a government sized version of the 1911 sidearm.

It features a high-quality finish that will protect it from corrosion.

The parts are machined to tight tolerances and monitored for quality.

The trigger feels nice and crisp when you pull it.

Cons:

It weighs 41.6 ounces and may require more arm strength to use.

Users have needed to have the trigger adjusted at the gun shop.

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 Centerfire.

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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. Sig Sauer Ultra Nitron

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90.8
Accuracy
94
Adjustability
90
Style
90
Brand
92
Value
88
best offer for today
$979.99
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Pros:

It has a small profile so it's easy to carry and aim.

The gun is sold with night sights so that you can use it in the dark.

There is an easy to use thumb safety on it.

You can field strip is without having to use any tools.

It on weighs 28 oz. so it's easy to carry and steady.

Cons:

The gun can sometimes jam and will sometimes require service.

The trigger pull isn't adjusted properly and may require adjustment.

The Sig Sauer is an ideal choice for consumers who are looking for a weapon that can be easily concealed. It's based on the 1911 specification but is also small and has a dark finish so that it's less likely to be noticed. The gun on weighs 28 oz. and has a short barrel so it's great to have in an emergency.

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Small and Light

This is a small, semi-automatic pistol. It only weights 28 oz. which makes it easy to carry and aim steadily. The barrel is only 3.3" long, making it easy to tuck into a holster, purse, or other means of storage.

Easy Maintenance

You can take the Sig Sauer apart without having to use tools. This makes it easy to clean and maintain even when you are in the field so that the gun lasts longer and functions better.

Cost and Value

This is a premium item so you will need to plan on spending an amount that is higher than the average price. The high-quality materials and design provide it with extra value.

5. Kimber Pro Series

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89.4
Accuracy
99
Advanced Features
84
Style
90
Brand
90
Value
84
best offer for today
$799.99
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Pros:

It's been designed to be highly accurate making it great for self-defense.

The magazine is beveled so that you can load the gun quickly.

Its small size makes it into an ideal concealed carry weapon.

The frame is made of aluminum to help keep the weight down.

The gun is sold with a magazine and you can purchase extra ones.

Cons:

Users have had problems with the gun jamming on a frequent basis.

The gun's light weight can make it hard to handle recoil.

The Kimber Two-Tone II has been designed to be a highly accurate pistol meant to be used for concealed carry purpose. 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.

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Small

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

Quick Loading

The magazine has a bevel shape 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.
PROS

6. Rock Island GI Series

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88.4
Accuracy
92
Advanced Features
90
Stability
86
Brand
88
Value
86
best offer for today
$449.99
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Pros:

The product has been designed to look like the original 1911.

It features fixed sights that will help you aim accurately.

The barrel is rifled so that your shot is more accurate.

The trigger is adjustable and breaks at 4-6 lbs of pressure.

It has a full finish that will protect it from corrosion.

Cons:

The gun doesn't always feed properly and may require service.

Its finish can wear off easily if you aren't careful.

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.

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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. Remington R1 Semi-Auto

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
86.2
Accuracy
86
Adjustability
88
Stability
84
Brand
88
Value
85
best offer for today
$699.99
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Pros:

It can be used by left hand and right-hand shooters.

You will find many features that are found in the original pistol.

The ejection port has been lowered and features a flare.

You can adjust the front and rear sights for wind.

The grip has been designed with safety in mind and makes it easy to cock the gun.

Cons:

The gun will start to lose tolerances quicker than expected.

It can jam more frequently than other models due to the magazine.

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.

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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.

8. Browning Black Label

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
86
Accuracy
88
Advanced Features
78
Stability
88
Brand
90
Value
86
best offer for today
$599.99
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Pros:

This is a compact version of the original pistol.

It fires .380 rounds rather than the standard .45 caliber.

It only weighs 18oz. so it's easy to steady and aim.

You can use it with either the left or right hand.

It has a semi-automatic action that allows for quick firing.

Cons:

Some of the parts are made of plastic rather than metal.

Users have reported that it can jam frequently.

If you are looking for a scaled-down version of the 1911 gun, then this sidearm is for you. It has been designed to have about 85% of the size of the original .45 pistol so it's an ideal weapon to own for self-defense purposes. You will love the light weight of the gun which makes it easy to steady and aim.

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Compact Design

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.

Thumb Safety

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.

Cost and Value

You will be able to purchase this item at a price that is lower than the average price. The lower price is due to it be a compact 1911 which costs less.
PROS

9. Browning Semi-Auto Rimfire

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
85.2
Accuracy
86
Advanced Features
78
Style
86
Brand
90
Value
86
best offer for today
$549.99
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Pros:

It's been designed to act like the .45 caliper 1911.

The magazine release is next to the trigger guard making it easy to use.

The barrel is made of stainless steel to help it last longer.

It has a larger round capacity compared to the .45 model.

The grip panels are checked so that you get a good hold.

Cons:

The sights are all black which can make them hard to see.

The trigger can feel crunchy and requires extra pressure to pull.

The Browning 1911-22 is an ideal choice if you are looking for something to use at the range or for self-defense purposes. It fires a .22 LR round, so it has a larger magazine capacity than larger round models. The barrel is also shorter and the entire handgun weighs less which makes it easy to carry and aim when needed.

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Larger Magazine Capcity

This gun uses a smaller bullet which means that there is space for additional rounds in the magazines. While most products only hold 8 bullets, this one is able to hold 11.

Lightweight

The weapon only weighs 15.5 oz. which makes it a great choice for self-defense purposes. Its small size makes it easy to carry and the light weight makes easy to aim.

Cost and Value

You can purchase this item at a price that is lower than the average price. The lower price is due to it having a smaller size which costs less to make.

10. Springfield Armory

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
82.8
Accuracy
86
Advanced Features
78
Style
76
Brand
90
Value
84
best offer for today
$749.99
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Pros:

It features a combat trigger that is nice and short.

The gun is made of carbon steel that will last longer.

It's sold with a pair of 7 round magazines rather than one.

The gun is equipped with a 3-dot sight designed for combat.

The ejection port has been lowered to prevent jamming up.

Cons:

Some users have reported that the safety fails after a few hundred rounds.

Other users have had issues with the gun jamming up easily.

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.

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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.

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Potency

Caliber

Like most firearms, the 1911 sidearm is sold in a variety of different calibers. For readers who are not familiar with guns, the caliper generally refers to the size of the bullet that is fired by the gun. Generally speaking, smaller bullets have a shorter range and less killing power than larger bullets, but of course, you should keep in mind that even small bullets are still deadly. When you are purchasing this gun, you will want to consider the size of the bullet that you will want to use with the gun. A larger bullet will more likely have more recoil than a smaller one and you will need to make sure that you have the strength to control the gun when you fire. If you are new to handguns or do not have a lot of wrists and arm strength, it is generally safer to use a lower caliper gun than a large one.

While this models are sold in a large range of different caliper sizes, the big most popular tend to be .22, .45, and the 9mm along with their variations. The .22 is the smallest caliber and is a great size for beginners, while the .45 is the caliper that the gun was originally designed to use. More recently, law enforcement tends to prefer the 9mm which is why this size is also popular with users of the 1911 handgun. It pays to know the differences between the different calibers and how they will affect how the gun acts which is why you should be well informed about the gun and make sure that you are getting one that is best suited to your skill and needs.

Accuracy

Accuracy is also an important part of gun ownership since it will affect how likely you are to hit your target. The consequences of an inaccurate shot can range from issues such as missing your target completely, shooting an unintended target, or even causing severe injury or death. For this reason, it pays to know about the accuracy of your gun and what factors will affect how accurately the gun will shoot. The more accurate the gun, the better it will be and the more reliably you will be able to fire.

Price will make a difference in the accuracy of a 1911 and can be used to determine how accurate the gun will be when it is fired. A lower priced gun will use inexpensive metals and may not be finished as well as a premium gun. For example, a low-end gun may start off by shooting groups of one to two inches when it is brand new but start to shoot noticeably looser groups as time goes on. On the other hand, a premium gun will maintain its accuracy over time and will continue to fire in tight groups even after many years as long as it is cared for properly.

It is always important that you consider the accuracy of the gun for your intended use. Generally speaking, low accuracy in a 1911 gun tends to be OK unless you are shooting in a competition or hunting small animals. However, this should always be balanced against the need for safety to make sure that you do not lose too much accuracy and fail to hit your intended target the way that you intended it to be hit.

Effectiveness

Reliability

This handgun is a popular handgun design and thankfully is well understood. It has been around for well over 100 years and this makes it possible for many gun shops to understand the design and carry parts for 1911s. The parts of the gun are mostly standardized at this point which is why some gun owners even assemble their own handguns. For this reason, it is unlikely that you will purchase a gun that is grossly unreliable.

Nevertheless, you will want to check over a few areas to make sure that the gun is in full working order. This is the responsible thing to do no matter what gun you own since a malfunction in a firearm can be deadly. One thing that you will want to check is to make sure that the safety works properly and will prevent the gun from firing. If you have any reason to think that there is something wrong with the safety, then you need to have the gun served.

In addition to the safety, you will want to check that that the trigger and the firing pin work the way that you expect them to work. Misfires in a 1911 sidearm tend to be rare, but once again, you will want to make sure that your gun fires when you pull the trigger to avoid any safety hazards. The action and the magazine should also work properly to ensure that the cartridge is loaded into the firing chamber properly and ejected once the gun has been fired. The more reliable your pistol is, the safer it will be to use and this will help to prevent injuries that can be caused by a malfunction.

Value

Price Point

The price point will say a lot about the quality of this gun. When it comes to 1911s that are sold to consumers, you will see models that fall into one of five basic pricing categories. The budget category is the least expensive and will generally include guns that are made in low wage countries. The metal used is inexpensive and they are made by people who are paid low wages which is what keeps the price of the gun down. The next step up is the basic commercial production category. Most of your commercial brands that do not have high-end features will fall into this category. They are generally made in the United States and will guarantee their quality. Following the basic commercial production is the premium commercial production. This tier includes the commercial brands that have higher features such as better finishing or hand fitting.

The luxury tiers are the semi-custom and the fully custom tiers. The semi-custom tiers are mass produced but receive extra care throughout the entire product lifecycle in order to ensure the highest quality. They will be hand fitted and hand finished as well. The fully custom is the kind of gun that is made by an individual. They are not mass produced by are instead created by a craftsman that works on their own or as part of a gunshop. Fully custom models are the most expensive to make but you can offer just about any kind of specification that you want which can create some excellent and artistic designs. When you are shopping for a 1911 handgun, you will want to consider the different pricing categories as it will reflect the overall quality of the finished product.

Size

Barrel

This guns are sold in different sizes so when you are deciding what sort of pistol to purchase, you will want to know about the different sizes so that you can make an informed decision about the size gun that you want to get. The sizes refer to the length of the barrel of the gun as well as the frame and there are well-known terms and the specific government terms. Both terms refer to the same size gun.

The “Long Slide” is the largest category of the 1911 sidearm. The frame is full sized on this pistol and the barrel will be at least six inches long. They have a long slide that covers the barrel and are typically used in competitions. The next size down is the “Government” (or “Full Size”). As you may expect, this is the size of the 1911 gun that is typically used by U.S. Government personal such as military or police. The barrel is five inches long and it has a full frame. The “Commander” (or “Compact”) size is smaller, with a shorter frame and a four-inch barrel. The smallest size of this handgun is the “Officer” (or “Subcompact”) size which has the smallest frame and a 3.5-inch long barrel.

When you are picking out a 1911 sidearm, you will want to think about the different frame sizes and lengths of the barrels. The size of the gun will significantly affect how it feels when you are holding and firing the gun. Additionally, you will need to make sure that your gun case or holster fits the gun that you are purchasing as well. Size matters so it’s best to try the different sizes of pistols prior to purchasing one.

Expert Interviews & Opinions

Most Important Criteria (According to our experts opinion)
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#1
Accuracy
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#2
Comfort
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#3
Effectiveness
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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.

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 make 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 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 sidearm?
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.