So, what does? The 1911 is at once an unmistakable design loved by millions, yet it is also a platform available in a plethora of configurations and specifications. What makes the best 1911 pistol ever? Caliber? 1911 Frame? Barrel? Simplicity? Today we’re breaking down the secret formula you need to solve to own your next favorite handgun.
The Best 1911 is Reliable
The 1911 was trialed by fire in wartime America. Its sole purpose was not to handle like an accurate piece, nor was it to function as a symbolic, albeit needless, officer’s accessory. No, the best 1911 is one that boasts bombproof reliability.
Shameless plug! If you’re considering building a 1911 from an 80 percent 1911 kit, then our kits are the ones to pick from. We build 100% of our 1911 build kits in the U.S.A. by partnering with legendary gunmaker Stealth Arms. All our 1911 Build Kits feature unique, forged 7075 T6 aluminum frames that reduce weight by 60%, and all other components are 100% mil-spec!
The Best 1911 is Accurate
Okay, so the 1911 wasn’t meant to be incredibly accurate…. But naturally, it is. That full-size frame, long barrel, and its tendency to shoot .45 ACP or 9MM make the 1911 a wonderfully accurate piece – if you’ve got the right stuff.
Often, new builders forego some of the details when crafting their 1911s. Cutting the barrel seat and lapping the slide will dramatically improve accuracy while guaranteeing reliability in your new piece, regardless of size or caliber.
The Best 1911 is Ergonomic
Subcompacts can feel cramped. Big revolvers can feel burdensome. The 1911, however, is often touted for its naturally intuitive feel and ergonomic design. Thanks to a single-stack configuration, grip safety, and long, heavy slide, the 1911 often fits neatly into one’s hand.
But building an ergonomic 1911 is not just a game of accessories. The 1911 is big and it can certainly overwhelm shooters. You must consider how big (or small) you want to go: Government, Commander? 45 or 9?
The Government 1911 weighs more and sacrifices comfort for barrel length. The Commander 1911 offers a smaller profile by compromising on accuracy. Once you’ve chosen your profile, you’ll need to consider sights and grips.
The Best 1911 is Your Own!
Accessories and upgrades can improve a 1911’s existing traits, but the truth is this: The best 1911 is the one you built to your liking. All the things we’ve discussed here – caliber, size, length, material – and all the other things you need to consider (finish/coating, grip, trigger, sights) are best decided before you own a 1911.
Trying to improve an existing gun can only go so far. IF you want the best 1911, you need to make it your personal best from scratch.
Profile will determine weight, size, and accuracy. Caliber will determine ergonomics, stopping power, and capacity. Fit, finish, and configuration will determine cost and your overall satisfaction – and it goes without saying, building a 1911 is ultimately less expensive than buying a base gun and trying to improve it.