Guy Kawasaki describes a great product as being “deep, indulgent, complete, elegant, and emotive.” I think the 1911 platform is a great product and I think his definition applies. Being relatively new to the platform (we all are, to some extent, since it’s been around for well over 150 years), I learn new things almost all the time and am often reminded of Guy’s description.
The depth of the platform is easy to judge based on the number of functions it can perform (from carry to top level competition to collectors item). It can be a bullseye gun, run in the IDPA Custom Defensive Pistol division, or the USPSA Single Stack division. As you advance in your shooting skills or change the focus of your competition, the 1911 will stay right there with you.
Rack the slide on a Wilson Combat and you’ll be introduced to indulgence. Look at the close hand-fit parts of a Nighthawk and the pearlescent finish on a stainless steel Ed Brown. Hold a Guncrafter No Name and see its simple, classic design. These makers are not the cheapest brands, but if you own one, you have that special sense of a first-class firearm.
The wide range of options available and the huge market of accessories speak to the completeness of the product. There are forums dedicated to it, pistolsmiths expert in it, and detailed technical manuals for it. If you need something or need to know something, there are many resources available.
Elegant? Just look at one. This is no brick or hammer, this is one of the finest looking pistols ever made. When Obi-Wan Kenobi said “Not as clumsy or as random as a blaster, but a more elegant weapon for a more civilized age” about a Lightsaber, he could have been describing the difference between a polymer-framed striker-fired handgun and a 1911.
1911 owners evangelize the platform, not to defend their choice, but to spread the good news. Many folks have not been exposed to all metal guns for a number of reasons. But they can learn about them!
All this is why I started this blog. I want to collect the things I learn, explain the ways of the 1911 as I discover them, link the resources I have found helpful, and offer these things to those new to the platform.