Looking forward to buying a 1911 pistol but want to know more before you pull the trigger? It is one of the most popular pistol designs ever made, still recognized more than a century after it was released.
Furthermore, a large variety of 1911 accessories is available. Also, there is a big number of 1911 holsters and concealed carry holsters to choose from for 1911 pistols in every size and configuration.
While originally designed as a military sidearm, the gun has become one of the foremost popular civilian guns on the market today. With numerous options, it is vital to mention that not all 1911 pistols are created equal, however. Variations start from GI 1911s barely different from the pistols issued to the American military decades ago, to concealed carry 1911s, tactical models, and every one point in between – and now are available during a wide selection of calibers beside .45 ACP. As a result, the 1911 platform can suit almost any need.
The 9mm 1911 Pistol
The Colt Model 1900 was the testbed model for what became the 1911. John Browning started working on the pistol design in the 1890s, and the first iteration – the M1900 – was actually chambered in .38 ACP, a really similar cartridge to the 9x19mm round in many respects.
Muzzle velocity of .38 ACP and 9mm are almost the same, though the ACP has slightly more muzzle energy. Initial factory loads actually had to be detuned a bit as the Colt M1900 and subsequent versions (as M1905) couldn’t quite handle the ability of early ACP loadings, which had important zip – early .38 loads had a 130-grain projectile moving at almost 1,300 fps out of the barrel.
However, ammo makers turned the heat back up in the end of 1920s, reloading .38 ACP to its primary higher-power characteristics and branding the hotter loads as .38 Super.
What sets apart the .38 ACP and 9mm is that .38 ACP has a longer case (0.9 inches vs 0.754 inches) and is semi-rimmed, while the 9mm is rimless. Given the shorter case dimension, the 9mm Para also has higher chamber pressures. Anyway, the army wanted a .45, so the .45 ACP was devised and first used in the Model 1905 and eventually adopted within the Model 1911. So, it might be said that the 9mm or a minimum of a really similar round was employed in the platform from the very beginning.
In addition, the first production 9mm 1911 was actually released by Colt in 1950, the Colt Commander on commission from the Armed Forces. They were searching for a lighter-weight and compact pistol for officers.
Advantages of a 9mm 1911 Pistol
There are several advantages of a 9mm 1911 pistol.
The first and the most important is the extra capacity. Granted, the single-stack magazine means that you get an additive two rounds in most magazines, so up to 9+1. Although, several magazines for 9mm 1911 pistols can bring that up to 10 rounds, giving the shooter carrying up to 11 rounds.
Additionally, the standard procedure for adapting the 9mm cartridge to the platform is sometimes done with a thicker barrel. It may be done with or without a bushing. The extra front-loaded weight will soak up recoil and make follow-up shots a breeze. Normally in a full-size recoil would be mild.
Also, the single-stack capacity is only three fewer rounds than the standard capacity of the Browning Hi-Power. BHP is going to cost you about double the price of 1911. While there are some mechanical deviations, they’re pretty slight – either way, it’s a John Browning-designed single-action 9mm. One of them just has a grip safety and has to be reloaded a bit more often at the range. So, if you have a jones for a BHP but don’t want to spend much money…this would be ideal.
Concealed Carry a Bit Easier
Another good aspect is 1911 concealed carry. While many of us carry a Gov’t frame every day (and there’s nothing wrong with that!) the actual fact is that the recoil of .45 ACP in a smaller gun (such as a Commander or Officer frame) may be punishing to some shooters. It will be much easier to deal with one of the compact frames, chambered in 9mm.
There’s also the running costs. While .45 ACP is hardly the foremost expensive round ($20 for a box of fifty hardball rounds is common, though it might be more or less at your LGS) the 9mm round is really inexpensive in some cases (even cheaper if you run the real cheap stuff). Over some years of shooting, that adds up.
Additionally, the reality is that no handgun caliber has anything close to “stopping power,” except maybe the massive magnums. The position and quality of ammo have far more impact.
Among the Tamest Pistols
In the kingdom of centerfire firearms, few options are friendlier to the recoil shy or make better trainers for new shooters than a 9mm 1911.
Forgiving with Aluminum Frame
Dovetailing off the last point, the 9mm is great out of an aluminum-framed 1911. Not heavy and more conducive to concealed carry, these featherweights can demonstrate too much for a few in .45 ACP.
More Affordable To Shoot
Amid an ammunition drought (this was written in 2020), this time loses a number of its salience. Nothing seems cheap or accessible immediately.
In good times, however, the 9mm mostly proves much more efficient to shoot in volume—especially when pitching range fodder. In most cases, it’s not unusual to find FMJ 9mm as much as 40-percent cheaper than .45 ACP, though 30-percent is perhaps a more common range. The ammo budget is proportionate to range time. If you want to shoot more, the 9mm 1911 is usually a safer bet.
Perfect Companion To A PCC
Say you’re like most of the shooting world and really crazy with pistol-caliber carbines a 9mm 1911 is more likely for you.
One of the attractions to the PCC is the ability to run equivalent ammo through both it and a handgun. That option is there for .45 ACP—take the wildly effective Heckler & Koch USC 45 for example. Pickings get slim moving on from there, like Hi-Point, TNW, JRC, Kriss, and some others.
Options abound if you count AR-style pistols into the combination. Require more selection and price ranges matching a 9mm 1911 and PCC, thus a better chance of getting the precise handgun-carbine system you desire.
1911 Pistol Variants On the Market
- Citadel 1911
- Colt 1911 – Special Combat Gov’t, Defender Series
- Kimber – Match, Pro & Royal Series
- Para Ordnance 1911 – Black Ops, Elite, & Expert Series
- Springfield 1911 – EMP and TRP series
- Wilson Combat 1911s 4 inch & 5-inch barrels
- Remington R1 1911
- Springfield Armory Mil-Spec 1911
- Taurus 1911FS
- Rock Island 1911
- Auto-Ordnance 1911
- ATI 1911