There’s a throwaway reference inthis thread on the M1 Garand about how many people regard the Colt M1911 handgun to be the epitome of handgun development, and it’s a subject that I think merits further discussion.
The other shooters here on the boards will, of course, be familiar with the M1911 family of handguns, and there’s no doubting that it’s a very functional, practical, effective and solid gun.
Yet, for many shooters, an M1911 is more than a practical gun for target shooting, hunting, or self-defence; it’s almost a Lifestyle Choice. If you have a look at almost any US firearms magazine, there will be an article on the M1911 or a variant thereof, and the ads are full of aftermarket accessories for M1911s- extended magazines, Hogue grips, Picatinny sight railings, Tritium sights, muzzle compensators, and so on.
You could, in short, be forgiven for thinking that the M1911 is the Greatest & Best Handgun In The World*, and there are a lot of people out there who would consider you a Communist for thinking otherwise.
So why the amazing fanboyism in the US towards the M1911? Yes, it’s a great gun, as anyone who has ever fired one can tell you. Accurate, shoots well, puts .45 calibre holes in things, fires an effective cartridge, and is, for the most part, a solid and reliable gun.
But so are lots of others; from the Webley revolvers of the British Empire to the modern Sig P-226 from Switzerland. Yet “American Handgunner” isn’t full of articles on how awesome the Webley Mk VI was/is, or why you should buy a different Sig P-226 for each day of the week.
I’m not saying the M1911 is a bad gun (quite the opposite!), but I just don’t understand the fan-worship and reverence the pistol has in the US. The closest I can get is to do with it being the All-American Pistol and giving excellent service in every conflict it’s ever been involved in, but the same could be said of the Smith & Wesson Model 10 revolver and that doesn’t get nearly as much PR as the M1911 family of handguns.
Cynical me thinks its all about advertising dollars from Colt/Smith & Wesson/Kimber/Everyone else that makes M1911 handguns and accessories, but that can’t be the only reason the US gun magazines devote so much space to the M1911 and an enormous amount of online forums are dedicated to the gun.
Anyone got any thoughts on this one?