My first serious gun was a Norinco 1911. At the time internet was still pretty new and there simply wasn’t the massive amount of information that is available today. Back in those days if you wanted to learn about something you bought these things called “magazines” (for you kids, its like a website or blog, but printed in paper every month or so) Guns & Ammo Magazine said the Norinco 1911 was great for a “street custom” and that’s exactly what I did. I took a perfectly functional 1911 that never had a hiccup and spent almost a thousand dollars worth of dual tone finish, hammer, sights, trigger, springs, guide rod, walnut grips, fancy torx screws, brand name magazines, etc. After enough messing around I managed to end up with a gun that jammed more often. Cutting a couple loops from the new recoil spring helped greatly. Going back to the original guide rod solved the problem completely. At the end of the day the only thing that made a real difference was the nicer sights I installed. The rest was mostly cosmetic. Here it is in all its glory:
In my case as well, for years this was the only handgun I used. I learned to love the 1911. Learned to shoot it, clean it, repair it.
But a Glock it is not, Most of the parts required careful hand fitting. Every spare part in the Glock just drops into place. Even then the 1911 is less reliable and more sensitive than the Glock. It’s heavier, holds less rounds and in those 500-1000 round weekend classes you’ll get cut and scrapped by every single sharp edge of the gun. You shoot slower with the single stack 1911, need to reload more often and unless you have a big magwell its harder to reload too compared to that huge gap where you slap Glock magazines in.
You mention Glock 19s for beginners and that is true, every single person I taught how to shoot for the first time they all shot better with Glocks. But that doesn’t mean its not a gun for elite shooters too. In fact Navy SEALs recently adopted that same Glock 19 as their sidearm. Most world class professional shooters from the tactical community that I know of also use one kind of Glock or another, mostly 19 and 17.
Gun nuts, we love all kind of guns. Shoot as many as you can, collect tons of them, but when it comes to your sidearm, make sure it’s a Glock.
Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.