OK - I'm jumping in a bit later than I thought I would so since some "stuff" has already been covered I'll add a different angle.
It is pretty much a "given" that the 1911 (properly tuned) is one of the most reliable firearms out there. There are other handguns (of course) that are equally as reliable.
The single stack 1911 is probably ergonomically one of the finest firearms ever designed and built. It also has one of the triggers.
I would have to truthfully say that the custom built 1911 CAN BE one of the finest personal defense handguns ever & especially these days and here is why.
Start off with a forged frame and slide. The forged & machined 1911 slide is overbuilt and can easily handle .44 Magnum pressures which has been proved by hand-loading steel cased .45ACP up to not quite .44 mag velocities (of course) adding a much heavier recoil spring. The slides and standard COLT factory barrel handled that HOT HOT loading hundreds of rounds - without a hitch though the factory Colt extractor took a beating.
Now add a custom barrel (Barsto - Ed Brown - etc.) which are true works of art with regard to the precision machining & they are hardened & cryogenic treated AKA some of the finest, toughest, strongest & most accurate handgun barrels ever manufactured...ever...in the history of MAN on this planet.
Now we also have the finest indestructible "tool steel" firing pins, firing pin stops, Chrome Silicon recoil springs (which can easily do 50,000 cycles) & still maintain their integrity.
We now also have THE finest EDMed Tool Steel hammers & precision sears & let's also mention some of the finest aftermarket magazines ever constructed - the "parts" list goes on & on.
In short Every Single Part of the 1911 has been aftermarket manufactured by various manufacturers to some of the highest & most incredible standards in the firearm industry.
Inclusive of that I need to mention the Evolution Gun Works parts like the Thumb Safety & the Slide Stop that are now completely CNC machined from solid blocks of the finest steel & then hardened & tempered. Those & the other EGW parts are absolutely the best. Expensive...but, you get what you pay for.
Now it is possible to add say....a Nowlin extractor...overbuilt, fully machined, hardened tool steel, cryo treated - basically unbreakable for its function.
OK...I could go on for every single 1911 part down to the grip screws & bushings.
SO....now we can have a personal sidearm...admittedly an expensive one...:biggrin2: that is an astounding 100% overbuilt for the .45ACP cartridge - with the best trigger - fantastic ergonomics & inherent (shoots where you look) point-ability - in a firearm that can be easily & completely fully disassembled & popped back together again....in the field if necessary. That's a huge plus. :yup:
The 1911 can be run with full reliability completely devoid of all traces of lubrication which has been tested and proved in extreme Arctic conditions.
The gun eats up dirt, grit, & sand. It will function filthy dirty.
Look at the long history of the FACTORY Colt firearms and how incredibly well they have survived for ages with standard Colt factory parts/internals but, they were machines and small parts broke occasionally & very sporadically. Replacing those was pretty much a (pop in a new one) "total breeze" though.
And my bottom line is that....
Remember the "age old" argument is that "every gun is a machine & all machines can break" well, with the modern day 1911 & the totally mind boggling quality of the aftermarket parts that are now available...it really is now possible to build a "machine" that for all intent and purpose just won't break under the harshest and most abusive of SHTF conditions.
But, of course that firearm needs to be properly assembled by an expert that knows the 1911 inside and out.
Also keep in mind that there are tons of 1911 clones floating around out there.
Many of them are cast, tossed together, with inferior & MIM parts or sub-standard parts & I consider them to be "clones" and copies of various quality (some are just fine - some are better than others & some just plain crap)
I would say for The Ideal & Best Personal Defense Combat Handgun (for me) it would be a Custom Built 1911.
A great post QKshooter!
"Also keep in mind that there are tons of 1911 clones floating around out there.
Many of them are cast, tossed together, with inferior & MIM parts or sub-standard parts..."
I hope I live long enough to see the shooting world bedeviled by clones of all the favorite "modern" designs along with the uneven quality of the myriad renditions of their component parts.
Glock has served well in both Afghanistan and Iraq
Originally Posted by TheOhioan
Not formally, but I know of several people who carry a Glock 17 or Glock 19 in Serpa holsters on their MOLLE webbing of their chest armor. They're personal weapons, but those guys just do not trust the reliability of their Beretta M9s in the conditions of Iraq and Afghanistan.
Originally Posted by TheOhioan
I love the 1911, but I'm pretty sold on a Glock 19 Gen4 as my next pistol when money permits.
Best? Well, it is not an exaggeration to say there are none better. I truly love my SIG P229 DAKs, that I use for police duty and much personal-time carry; they are 100% reliable. It makes sense in several ways to use the same platform almost all the time. But, I started handgunning with a 1911 in the early 1980's, which was actually a forgettable off-brand I soon sold off, and still have a Les Baer Thunder Ranch Special. The TRS has been 100% reliable over time. The SIGs and TRS are both great, evolved, mature designs. I think the SIG DAKs have an edge for police duty and what Mas Ayoob termed threat management, whereas the 1911 is a great battle pistol. Either pistol can perform either job, but each pistol has an edge for each task.
FWIW, the .40 Glocks I briefly used as duty pistols between the 1911s and the present SIGs were NOT 100% reliable. They were quite good, but not 100%. IMHO, folks should stay away from .40 and .45 Glocks if they don't like drama; whereas 9mm Glocks are truly great pistols, almost certain to run reliably over time.
Credit where credit is due. The Glock is yet another incredible handgun innovation. Uber reliable and & certainly tried & torture tested and I don't know of any other handgun that has gone the # of rounds endurance testing in a test handgun as as Glock.
And of course DO remember that the SIG Handguns began life years ago as The Sig/Sauer System SIG/Browning BDA .45 & is a J. M. Browning design also. :biggrin2:
I agree. It was not built to such tight tolerances in the beginiing but as shooters started to push for bullseye accuracy it became less reliable. They are great guns but I feel that there are better choices. However these choices are better for me and may not work for you. In my opinion the Glock 17 is probably the pinnacle of the combat sidearm. Any of the Glock 9mm guns would be my choice as a sidearm should I enter a combat zone. My personal carry gun is a Glock 19 unless I need a smaller gun. If I do need a smaller gun I take my Glock 26. I will not go smaller then the Glock 26.
Originally Posted by azchevy
I do feel the 1911 is a great gun and has a great history. I carried one for a little while but I am much more comfortable with my Glocks. They are lighter and I prefer not having a manual safety on the gun. It is also nice to have a larger capacity then the 1911 has.
Actually the Glock has been used in both Iraq and Afghanistan. That is two. I also believe it was used in the Balkans during the 1990s as well.
Originally Posted by TheOhioan
The 1911 has been used in many wars. On many different sides. Same as the Glock.
So, what is the definition of the “best personal combat sidearm”?
To me this is a subjective question and dependent upon multiple factors. Would a glock or a 1911 be better? For me, the answer would be no. I currently own 2 1911s as my only handguns. While I am familiar with the operation of the platform, i will admit that my knowledge of the platform is not the best (I am attempting to rectify that as I type this). FOR ME, my best combat weapon would be a revolver. I am more familiar with it's operation and I shoot them better. I am more comfortable with it and trust them more than any other handgun. So for me, the answer would be the revolver. Are they the most effective weapon against multiple targets? No, based on the amount of ammo available at any given time. Because of my familiarity of the revolver, i can reload them (with speed loader) as fast as I can an automatic. Granted, that is my own limitation but it is an honest evaluation. My next purchase for concealed carry will be a ruger sp-101 or LCR in .357. Based on MY personal threat evaluation, it should be more than I will ever need. The 1911 is, in my view, one of the sexist weapons available and once i become comfortable with its operation (emergency action requirements), it may become my weapon of choice. I would never throw rocks at another persons selection as they may be more comfortable with some other platform. Who am I to say what is right or wrong for someone else. I know what works for me and I am well aware of my limitations and knowledge base.
What's better? Ford or Chevy? It is all an opinion and fun to argue about. Yeah, I prefer a 1911 and I am carrying one right now, but there are so many good guns available to us. We are lucky in that respect. We all have loyalties to certain things - my pistol loyalties belong with the 1911 (and I like Chevy pick-ups), however, I would not feel handicapped carrying my Beretta 92 and someday I will own a Sig 220 (maybe, I will even go with a Ford F150 someday).
Ever wonder why no one has ever cloned a Glock?
Originally Posted by bmcgilvray
Because of copyright and patent issues. They go after anyone who does. See S&W and the Sigma.... and ASA and the M22. Angry Austrians :smile:
Originally Posted by Rem700
The m1911 patent has long since expired. Same deal with the M4. Colt had the exclusive contract to supply the M4 to .gov and Colt actually sued the government several years back when the government released the technical details of the M4 to other manufacturers as part of RFP when the government tried to add other manufacturers to the M4 contract. Colt won. Colt has also sued people over the m4 design.....
Most of the Glock patents have expired, at 17yrs and 20yrs from 1987.
The suit brought against Smith and Wesson was actually a trade dress action, or suit based on the looks of the Sigma rather than patent of the semi auto action.
Participated in more american battles, fronts and theaters than any other firearm in American history.....................bar none.
Simply existing for a long time is no garauntee of anything other than...existing. The M16 platform has served the US military longer than ANY other rifle, by a pretty good margin. And yet I would bet dollars to doughnuts that many folks extolling the virtues of the 1911 (and there are many, don't get me wrong) would scoff at the "plastic fantastic" and choose another rifle for their purposes. That is, of course, their absolute right - but it breaks down any argument that pure longevity is any sort of 1:1 correlation to "best-est-ness."
As for all the after market parts...ever think that there are so many because (gasp!) in many cases the factory ones aren't good enough?
And finally (and more to the OP's point), I would again bet dollars to doughnuts that Glock outsells - worldwide and including police/government contracts - all 1911s combined. Even if they don't, the fact that it's even a question says something...one manufacturer outselling, in effect DOZENS of combined manufacturers is a reasonable endorsement for that one manufacturer, IMO.
BTW, my P228 loves these Glock vs. 1911 (or any one else) discussions a good deal. :)