Even though it’s October, with two more good months for companies to come up and share with the world their innovations and alterations of the 1911 for the Year of the 1911, we thought we’d talk about a few of the 1911s that really caught our attention.
There have been a lot so far. For every $4,000 Predator Tactical there is a $400 Rock Island Armory, and they’re all great.
The six we’ve picked out today are special because they all run in the middle: they’re not priced out of people’s reach but they also all show off a good bit of class and finess.
In no particular order, here we go.
1) SIG’s TACPAC
SIG has had a line of SIG-stylized 1911s for some time now, and they’re quite popular. SIG also likes to put rainbow finishes and diamond plate textures on their guns. So for TYot1911 they, get ready for it… changed nothing!
Yep, instead of dressing up a gun for 2011 like the SIG Scorpion, they took a solid performer off their line and bundled it up with a decent holster, a good carrying case, and tossed in three magazines. There are two TACPACs, actually. One with a 1911 Nitron without a rail, three mags, and goodies, and a 1911 Nitron with a rail, two mags, goodies, and a laser.
The guns both have a lot of great features, including front and rear checkered straps and super-grippy rubber grips, and with a sub-$800 pricetag, are very competitive.
2) Smith & Wesson’s E-Series
Smith & Wesson’s been making 1911s for ages now, and fine ones at that. The only complaint is that, well, they’re pricey. The E-Series brings things down a whole lot, for a grand or less. That’s not budget, but you really get a lot of 1911 for the money.
“They all have tritium night sights and recessed barrel crowns, and are available in the following configurations: gov’t with rail in matte or stainless, gov’t without rail in stainless with or without Crimson Trace grips, bobtailed commander with scandium frame (29oz!) in matte or two-tone. All the guns have new half-checkered laminate wood grips (with a big “E” on them).”
They are all hand-fitted and also have scalloped front and rear slide serrations as well as front and back checkered straps. And are dead sexy.
3) Ruger’s SR1911
Beloved gun manufacturer Ruger really took their sweet time to get to market with their 1911. It’s not like we aren’t happy that they’ve come up with one for TYot1911, but damn, took long enough. Was it worth the wait? Uh, yeah.
“There are a handful of other little touches that make the SR1911 unique, at least for The Year of the 1911, like the rear-only slide serrations, bead-blasted satin polish, chamber peep hole, over-travel adjuster, gaping ejection port, high LPI checkering on the mainspring housing (including a flat mainspring) and full-length guide rod. And while yes it is cast, purists rejoice: look ma, no rail.”
The gun’s got 3-dot target sights, a solid, Ruger-class single-piece cast frame, is also hand-fitted, and does one thing demonstrably right: it’s priced at about $600. You can’t beat it for quality in that price range.
4) Springfield’s Range Officer
Another gun with a budget, the Springfield Range Officer is a 1911 with competitions in mind. It features a competition hammer and trigger, fully-adjustable target sights, a beveled magwell, and a long beavertail safety. It’s good-to-go for shooting matches, and well, let’s just let the man talk about it:
The price: $700.
5) Remington’s R1 Enhanced
Another entry-level competition 1911, the Enhanced builds on the Remington R1.
“The Model 1911 R1 Enhanced represents Remington’s first no-holds-barred attempt at a competition handgun and singular word used to describe changes to what was already a pretty competitive shooter friendly 1911line is “aggressive”. Extreme serrations on the slide and a highly adjustable, highly visible ‘danger red’ fiber-optic front sight round out a match trigger, wide thumb safety, faster hammer and heavier patterned custom grips—clearly all features that would be appreciated in the heat of competition. It retains a beavertail grip safety with a checkered memory bump, thumb groove, ambidextrous cut and stainless steel finish.”
You can enjoy these machines for $750.
6) Browning’s 1911-22
The last 1911 has got a lot of people scratching their heads, although we’re like kids and Christmas waiting for this thing. Why? It’s an 85% reduced-scale 1911 chambered in .22. It’s got regular 1911 mil-spec sights, and in every way operates like a 1911, only shrunk. It’s also mostly aluminum, and weighs 15.5 ounces. Why does that excite us? Because anyone can carry and shoot this thing, even kids. Well, not carry it.
John Moses Browning may have invented the 1911, but this is the first Browning 1911. And we like it because clearly, it’s a 1911 to be shared, much like his legacy. The 1911-22 might very well become the first handgun many people shoot for a very long time. If you stop shooting it long enough to let them, heh.
It’s been announced but hasn’t quite hit shelves; when it does, it’ll run about $500.
The Year of the 1911 isn’t over, and we all hope to continue celebrating it well into 2012, and each year after that, but there is still time for companies to get on the wagon and show us what they’ve got to add to this iconic American platform.