Friday, June 10, 2005

The Superior Pistol

In several posts I have mentioned that I believe the Colt Government model of 1911 and it's clones and variants, are collectively the greatest automatic pistols; if not the greatest handguns, of all time.

I dedicated a post to deciding on the SECOND best (and third and fourth etc...) and came up with this list (in order):

H&K USP (and derivatives)
SIG P220
Glock 21, 30, 36
CZ75 derivatives in .45 (CZ97, Tanfoglio, Baby eagle/Jericho)
I recieved several responses as to why I would think the 1911 was superior to my second choice, the HK USP (and my third, the SIG p220), which I also happen to own, and love (in general my respondants agreed with the list members, if not their order).

So why is the 1911 superior to the USP?

It's entirely subjective, but there is no weapon that feels better in the hand than a well made 1911; for certainly more than half of the handgun enthusiast population, myself among them.

I truly love my USP compact, in fact it is currently my bedside gun (DA and better safety system for groping in the dark with) and the feel of it is excellent (as is its accuracy) but it just doesn't match my 1911s.

The 1911 and it's derivatives are also the most easily modifiable and customizable auto pistol; available in every caliber from .380 (mustang) to several .50 caliber options, and in every length, weight, and material.

Finally, a well made 1911 is among the most accurate centerfire pistols.

Go to any centerfire practical pistol competition other than bowling pin and silouhette (which have a much higher proportion of revolvers), and you will see that the 1911 and its variants are by far the dominant competitive weapon, with generally only a few custom Glocks, HKs and SIGs representing other pistol types (and a very rare custom BHP or two).

Given the huge number of competitors, and competitive gunsmiths and manufacturers, if there were a better design for practial speed and accuracy (because of course there are more accurate handgun designs, such as olympic free pistols), one assumes it would have been found and developed extensively by now.

I'll tell you this, I've seen Rob Leatham shoot; and as nice a guy he is off the range, he's a hard core competitor. Guys like him wouldn't shoot a gun that didn't guaran-damn-tee they could use their natural abilities to their fullest

Given all these, surely this preference for the 1911 can't only be from tradition?