Macho. A Harley Davidson.
Antique. Unsafe. Inaccurate.
I got acquainted with the 1911 U S Army .45 in basic infantry training in 1962 at Fort Ord (Monterey County, California).
I saw it demonstrated with tracer ammo (to show the trajectory). The trajectory is like throwing a rock. In the same demo a "grease gun" was demonstrated, which was the same. No surprise, they both use the same cartridge.
We were required to field strip the weapon as part of the familiarization. The barrel comes out and is short (about four inches). But what I noted was it flopped around when the weapon was assembled. You could put your finger on the muzzle (the end of the barrel inside the frame) and move the barrel up and down, sideways.
We fired on a range with it. I don't think I hit a thing firing at a man-sized target at about 100 feet.
Safety-wise it is bad news. I don't recall an indicator to say there was a round in the chamber.
The main problem safety-wise was it was not double action. So it might be cocked (you wouldn't know) and all it would take would be a light squeeze on the trigger to fire it.
The double action pistols (like the Walther P- 38, roughly contemporaneous with the Colt 1911), of course require a long trigger pull to fire the first round. Then they go to single action. Much safer. Also the Walther has a pin that indicates a round is chambered.
I live with my great aunt and we would sit at the kitchen table. There was a gouge in the wood wall sheathing by one end of the table. That was a reminder of when my great uncle (passed away by that time) was cleaning his 1911 .45 and it went off. The bullet didn't penetrate the wall even though the distance from the barrel was about a foot. If it had penetrated it wouldn't have come back to hit my uncle's leg. Instead it ricocheted off the wooden wall and hit my uncle. A 9 mm would have gone right through the wall and left my uncle uninjured.
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