The Best 1911 Pistol – Is There Such A Pistol?

The 1911 served as the standard-issue side-arm for the United States Armed Forces from 1911 to 1986. It was first used in later stages of the Philippine-American War, and was widely used in World War I, World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. The pistol’s formal designation as of 1940 was Automatic Pistol, Caliber .45, M1911 for the original model of 1911 or Automatic Pistol, Caliber .45, M1911A1 for the M1911A1, adopted in 1924. In total, the U.S. procured around 2.7 million M1911 and M1911A1 pistols in military contracts during its service life. The M1911 was replaced by the 9mm Beretta M9 pistol as the standard U.S. side-arm in October 1986, but due to its popularity among users, it has not been completely phased out. Modernized derivative variants of the M1911 are still in use by some units of the U.S. Army Special Forces, the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps. Designed by John Browning, the M1911 is the best-known of his designs to use the short recoil principle in its basic design. The pistol was widely copied, and this operating system rose to become the preeminent type of the 20th century and of nearly all modern centerfire pistols.

So what are some of the best 1911 pistols out there?


Wilson Combat

Many folks will tell you that the best 1911 pistols are made by Wilson Combat…but you are going to have to pay a lot of money as they are definitely not cheap weapons! Wilson Combat is a custom pistol manufacturer located in Berryville, Arkansas, that specializes in customizing and manufacturing M1911A1s. First started under the name “Wilson’s Gun Shop” in 1977, Bill Wilson started his new gunsmith business in the back of the family jewelry store, “Wilson’s Jewelry” on the corner of Berryville’s public square. In 2000 the company bought “Scattergun Technologies” and markets combat shotguns under the name Wilson Combat Scattergun Technologies. Wilson’s handguns have a quality guarantee of 1 in (25 mm) groups at 25 yd (23 m).

A Wilson Combat 1911 Pistol worth looking at:

The Bill Wilson Carry is a pistol whose specifications were dictated by Bill Wilson himself and designed to be the ideal handgun for concealed carry. The pistol is based on the Wilson Combat CQB Compact with some custom upgrades. The front of the slide has carry cuts to narrow the muzzle, the top of the slide is serrated at 30 LPI, the frame has the round butt modification to provide a more comfortable carry and minimize printing and the slide stop post has been recessed and the hole chamfered to allow the use of Crimson Trace laser grips if so desired.

Rock Island Armory 1911 Series Pistols

The Rock Island Armory  (RIA) 1911 series is a product line of single-action recoil operated semi-automatic pistols. They are designed and manufactured by Armscor in Marikina, Philippines, and distributed in the United States by Armscor USA, located in Pahrump, Nevada. Most RIA models are targeted for the low-end price point of the 1911 pistol market and are basic entry level MIL-SPEC versions of the 1911, however, the RIA Tactical, Compact, and Match models offer additional semi-custom high end features. The Compact model features a skeletonized hammer and beavertail grip safety while the Tactical model also adds a target-grade hammer and trigger as well as an ambidextrous safety, and enhanced contrast combat sights. RIA 1911 series pistols are constructed of 4140 chromoly steel with a cast frame, and are available in .45 ACP, 10mm Auto, .40 S&W, .38 Super, 9mm Luger, and .22 TCM chamberings.

An RIA 1911 Pistol worth looking at:

The Rock Island Armory Tactical VZ Grip is a baseline 1911 that  has TruGlo front sight, ambidextrous safety and VZ Grips. The firearm is also equipped with front and back wide-angled slide serrations and a tactical rail.


Les Baer 1911 Pistols

Les Baer Custom Inc. is an American weapons manufacturer of semi-custom M1911-pattern pistols and AR-15 type rifles. Les Baer Custom was founded by the gunsmith Les Baer, Sr. in 1991 in Hillsdale, Illinois. This company, along with Smith & Wesson is currently the only pistol manufacturer who has authorization to use and display Clint Smith’s Thunder Ranch logo, and currently offers a line of pistols and rifles that use the name. When asked for the reason that Les Baer would be given the authorization to use the Thunder Ranch logo, Clint Smith cited the outstanding accuracy and reliability of Baer’s guns. All Les Baer pistols come with a guarantee of at least 3″ accuracy at 50 yards, and many models are available at extra cost ($295.00) with a guarantee of 1.5″ at the same distance.

A Les Baer 1911 Pistol worth having a look at:

The Baer 1911 Ultimate Tactical Carry 5″ Model is a 1911 specifically designed for self defense purposes. The .45ACP caliber  features a 5-inch National Match Barrel with Stainless Match Bushing, Baer National Match Steel Frame, Deluxe Slim Line Grips, dovetail front sight and LBC Deluxe Fixed Combat rear sight, Baer Aluminum Match Trigger, rounded for tactical use, Beveled Mag Well, 30 LPI Frontstrap, 20 LPI MSH, and a blued finish.

Other 1911 Pistols Worth Looking At

Browning 1911-22 A1 Black Label

It is only fitting that a Browning be on the list of the best 1911 pistols. It is a .22 LR caliber that is polymer framed and is 85% of the full size 1911, making this Browning lightweight and durable. You can also mount accessories thanks to the rail that is in a option for this 1911. If you are looking for a 1911 that you can take to the range and shoot .22 ammo, then this a great and fun gun for you! It is a little expensive for a nice-to-have gun, with an approximate MSRP in the $600+ range. For that kind of money you are better off buying a higher caliber and more modern Glock or H&K if you are looking for a personal carry weapon.

Remington 1911 R1

The Remington 1911 R1 is a semi-automatic pistol modeled after the classic Colt 1911. Like the Colt 1911, the Remington 1911 is single action only. It also has features such as the beavertail grip safety, a manually operated thumb safety, and a firing pin safety. If you decide to go with the Carry variant of the R1, its slide is blued steel, with Novak-like sights front and back. The front is a night sight, with a tritium, insert, courtesy of Trijicon. The rear is a plain steel sight, no dots, lines or inserts.

What Do You Think – What Is The Best 1911 Pistol?

What do you think the is best 1911 pistol? There are many variants of the 1911 that it is difficult to point to one pistol as being the best 1911 pistol. What are your thougts on 1911 pistols like the Kimber, Smith & Wesson and Colt Rail Gun options? If you have any thoughts on the subject, please share it in the comments section below!

One Response

  1. John Squire July 25, 2016

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