Recently I saw the general discussion come up on why someone doesn’t trust the 1911 for self defense. I found it interesting in that it seems many people trust guns based on manufacturer or model reputation rather than individual firearm itself. Nonetheless, hate for the 1911 has seemed to be growing.
First, the 1911 type handgun has enjoyed a tremendous amount of success for the last 25-30 years or so. I’m sure many can remember when it was unusual to see a non-1911 relative on the cover of the various gun magazines.
Right off, generally everything extremely popular eventually loses its luster. This is what I think we’re now seeing the downward trend in the popularity of the 1911. Everyone remembers Nickelback, right?
That said, I believe this has partly been due to the 1911 falling victim to its own success. The more popular it got, the more companies began producing them. Some were producing good quality guns for quite a while. More recently, there have been more and more tales of woe of various makers’ 1911 clones not working properly. I’m convinced we would hear a lot more if more people actually shot their guns for more than a couple of hundred rounds.
That said, the real turn seemed to come about around the time the FBI announced a switch back to 9mm. With that, the increase in demand for 1911s chambered in 9mm took off. That said, many people looking for a handgun for self defense are more likely to opt for something with more capacity, that currently has a better reputation for functioning, weighs less, is more compact, and is a lot more affordable. The modern polymer framed 9mm chambered handguns are proving to be a force to be reckoned with. Few modern handguns approach the beauty of the graceful lines of a nicely made 1911. That said, the reality is that a Glock 19 or Sig P320 is a lot more affordable and both are very effective tools for the job of self defense.
In essence, that hate for the 1911 largely stems from it being big, heavy, and for a good reliable model you will likely need to cough up the cost of at least 2 P320s or G19s. Lastly many also see the 1911 as antiquated due to its first generation auto pistol design.
I don’t expect the 1911 to die any time soon. Be that as it may, I do think we will continue to see its popularity decline for the foreseeable future.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a 5″ 9mm 1911 to take to the range…