Sunday, September 19, 2021

The Perfect 1911 Pistol

The truth be told, there is no objectively perfect 1911 pistol. It is unlikely there ever will be one that is actually perfect by the definition of perfect. That is not to say there are not any excellent ones but rather that the 1911 design does not lend itself to being perfected but rather to being modified to fit varying objectives. Most things that we can produce are like that. The proof of that is the fact that not only a multitude of individual owners seek to modify them with perfection in mind but that many gun manufacturing companies constantly try to perfect the design and evidently none have succeeded to date. If they had been successful, no other modifications would be needed or even wanted; yet, 1911 aficionados and manufacturers strive to improve them almost constantly.
While being modifiable can be a very good thing, to a certain point, it simply is never to the point of perfection. That is because true perfection (which is an absolute) would completely eliminate the need for any modifications. Perfection is pretty much an unobtainable fantasy when it comes to most manufactured items. That is so if only because human nature rarely allows us, that is every one of us, to accept and agree upon anything as being perfect or in other words flawless, without fault and meeting all desired requirements. Heck, we cannot even agree upon what objectives would constitute a perfect firearm let alone agreeing upon whether or not the finished product has achieved those goals.
As for myself, I find it quite desirable that no one, not even Glock despite their logo, has ever achieved perfection when it comes to making guns. Where would the interest, fun, ingenuity, change and productivity be relative to firearms if even just one gun designer reached true perfection with his/her creation? I am quite happy that gun designers constantly strive to make the better mouse trap (so to speak) because it assures a wide variety of new and sometimes improved guns.
All that said, I am not attempting to denigrate the design of the 1911 nor to dissuade those who find the 1911 design very appealing. Although the design certainly has its less than desirable aspects, it also has its high points (no pun intended) and it is still desirable enough for me to own a few of them as well as for many others to adore them. Subjectively speaking, the perfect 1911 for me would be the one that comes out if the box as perfect and that requires no modifications to better it nor that even encourages the desire to modify it. I do not think I will ever find one like that but who knows - sometimes faerie tales do come true. 
Right now, I own three pistols based on the 1911 design: A Remington R1 1911, a Rock Island Armory 1911 A1 FS and an Argentine Systema Colt 1927. I like them all but if I was to make one my carry gun, it probably would be the RIA model; it is more reliable than the Remington as to feeding, firing, extracting & ejecting and has less wear and tear than does the System Colt 1927. Then again, I doubt I would ever make a 1911 my carry pistol - that due to personal preference as to what I carry.
All the best, 
Glenn B


skybill said...

Hi Glenn,
My 1911-A1 Sports the handle of "John Wayne!!!!" 'Remember all those WW-II movies with him ... sportin' a 1911 at his side!!!!!!!
Got GUNZ!!!!!!Outlaw!!!,

riverrider said...

i would say the 1911 is perfect right out of the box bone stock government spec, no frills. i find the more bells and whistles they add the more trouble comes. maybe they shoot better for a time but then as wear sets in things get wonky. i have an old ballester molina that is ugly as hell, no blue left, but shoots flawlessly if i use good mags. i have a colt that will seldom make it thru a mag w/o a jam, even after i had it worked. i was literally teethed on a 1911 slide, mom has the pictures, and until a couple years ago owned nothing else pistol wise but i carry a ruger snub and a glock now. if i suit up n hit the woods, or should i ever have to clear my house i would want the .45 though.

Jeffery in Alabama said...

In all my years as a gun enthusiast, I had never owned a 1911. I've got a good friend who is a 1911 junky. I asked him if I were to buy one, what should my first one be. He recommended hands down the Rock Island Armory 1911 (this was before Tisa's made the scene). Well, it wasn't the RIA. I ended up with a Colt U.S. Property marked 1913 production 1911 I obtained in trade at a local gun show. It was a good gun, but I sold it. In the next year I had three more 1911s. All were good guns. Today I have two Tisa 1911s. One has all the "government property" marks on it the other does not. Both are very good guns being accurate and reliable. I really like them both. Are they perfect? Of course they are not. Are they well built representations of what JMB's original design and intent were? Indeed they are.

tsquared said...

If my father was still alive he would argue with you. He was a 1911 fan who had five or six and was constantly tweaking them to make them better. Once he was satisfied with it he would sell or trade it to get another one. In the 70's he got a 1911 that was made by Bill Wilson. It was the first 1911 he said was right out of the box. He had at least 2 more Wilson Combat 1911's before he passed in 2009. He said those were perfect also.

I have a Colt Government model that is about 5 years old and my dad's carry piece, a Colt Commander. I can't justify the $$$$ for a Wilson Combat.