Nine 1911 Myths

The Army wanted a .45 because of the .38's poor performance against the Moros.
In actuality, what everyone wanted was a caliber that could stop a charging horse. The Army had been using a .45 sidearm before the .38 Colt, liked it, and wanted more of the same.

The 1911 has to rattle to be reliable.
A loose gun can be reliable, but it is a symptom, not a cause. A reliable pistol works in a repeatable fashion, loose or tight. Reliable is reliable, loose is loose, and a pistol may be both.

You need a light trigger to shoot a 1911 well.
A clean, crisp trigger that works the same way every time is easier to build correct habits around. A light trigger can encourage trigger-snatching and anticipating the break of the shot.

The best way to test a 1911 trigger is to drop the slide on an empty chamber.
When you crash the slide home, it bounces the trigger back and forth in its slot, and that taps the sear. The barrel lugs also take the full force of the recoil spring and slide momentum, without a feeding round to slow them down. That hurts.

You shoot faster with a lighter recoil spring
No, light springs are not a means to shoot faster. They are something that very fast shooters use to "time" the gun to their shooting pace. The difference is so small, if you aren't consistently second in matches, tuning the springs won't help.

Shock buffers increase frame life.
With all due respect to those who make shock buffers, I've never worn out a frame. Some 1911s actually are made less reliable with a shock buffer installed. If they don't make your gun cranky, and you are comforted by them, go for it. Otherwise, skip the buffers.

Every 1911 has to be gunsmithed to be reliable and accurate.
Back in the old days, maybe. Today, not so much. I'd go so far as to say that if you find a newly bought 1911 to be inaccurate or unreliable, I'd look first to your own reloaded ammo before blaming the gun.

The feed ramp has to glimmer like mercury to be reliable.
If the feed ramp is in the correct place in the frame and tipped at the right angle, it will feed everything regardless of toolmarks. Does your pistol work? If yes, leave it alone. If not, find the real source of the problem and don't go polishing everything in sight just because you have power tools and are itching to use them.

The recoil of a .45 1911 is too much for many shooters.
If you really believe that, I have a group of women shooters I'd like to introduce you to—national-level competitors who are under 51â'„2 feet tall, some barely five feet, who have no problems with the .45 ACP. The recoil of the .45 is not nothing, but it certainly isn't an oppressive impact.

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction.

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Handguns stories delivered right to your inbox.