Every year, on Saint Valentine’s Day, we celebrate the purest of loves and the deepest of passions…for the 1911. On February 14th of the year 1911, the pistol now known as “the 1911” was patented. While the same cannot be said about many other devices or machines crafted in that era, the 1911 lives on over 115 years later. It is still commonly used and relatively unchanged. Now days it’s hard to unwrap a new device from its package before it is obsolete, so how does the 1911 still remain a mainstay in the commercial pistol market?
Certainly part of the 1911’s mystique is that it harkens back to the era of sacred American craftsmanship. 1911’s are built with steel, precisely fit and assembled by skilled craftsman. The 1911 comes from an era when guns were built to win wars instead of make a buck. At a time when tactical polymer is the norm, the 1911 fills one’s hand with something that feels like a GUN. Most of all, the clean and crisp trigger is often imitated, but never duplicated.
While most pistols of the modern age have more in common with a Swingline stapler than a finely crafted firearm, a 1911 is about as close as one can get to holding a V8 engine in their hand by comparison. They have a crisp trigger that snaps like a mouse trap, and is the purest fire control interface available in a pistol. The full length slide rails and locking lugs make a 1911’s action feel as solid and smooth as a bank vault door. When all the factors and intimate details of a 1911 come together and are set in motion, it does so with a locomotion that seems as if the pistol has a life of its own: the trigger break is second nature, the hits are telepathic, and the cycling of the action is smooth and precise.
So once again this February, let us celebrate another birthday of the 1911. As it has for 116 years, so shall it continue for 116 more. Be it for recreation, competition, duty, or self-defense the 1911 remains a strong and relevant force in the pistol world. The 1911 has been everywhere a pistol can go, done everything a pistol can do, won everything a pistol can win…and is still hungry for more.