March 24, 2022

Glock Versus 1911 – A Battle of the Titans

In the world of this versus that, the Glock and 1911 debate rages on eternal. While I’m merely throwing one more opinion into the ring, I think mine’s valid. Why? Well, I’m not a super fan of either pistol. That doesn’t mean I dislike them, and it’s just that neither would be my first choice in the world of handguns. I feel I can be objective and use my experience with both platforms and use a critical eye not subjected to the whims of being a’ fan’ of either system. Let’s kick off the Glock versus 1911 debate with what they have in common.

Bot are semi-auto pistols, both use a detachable magazine, and both come in a wide variety of calibers and configurations. Saying Glock versus 1911 is a lot like saying truck when someone asks you what your favorite make and model of car is. Throughout the article, we will try and use like versus like to compare the various models.

Both the 1911 and Glock are produced by a variety of companies. Obviously, the 1911 is made by everyone from Colt to Rock Island Armory to custom shops like Les Baer and Nighthawk. Glock brand Glocks might be the most popular models, but Adams Arms, Zev, Polymer 80, and Rock Island Armory all make a Glock style pistol under their own brands. You can scare anti gunners and make your own with a Poly80 frame and 80 lower jig.

Both of these firearms have been called to service across the world in the holsters of soldiers and police officers across the planet. They’ve both been fully embraced by the professional world and offer a remarkable platform. It’s easy to see why the Glock versus 1911 debate shows up so often. We’ve covered what they have in common, so let’s see who excels in each category.

Glock Versus 1911 – Accuracy

I’m going to start with a relatively silly one. Accuracy comes down much more to the user than the gun. Most shooters will never outshoot the inherent accuracy of their firearms. If we put both in a Ransom Rest, we’d argue to the moon and back that the Glock needs this barrel, and the 1911 needs this ammo to provide the best accuracy. ayjr 1011 has a slightly longer barrel than the Glock 17 barrel, but the Glock 34 has a longer barrel. It’s tough to go tit for tat.

Courtesy of Wilson Combat

Accuracy arguments really belong in the world of rifles. As for handguns, the practical differences in accuracy between two full-sized handguns can be a rather silly debate. Both offer short and light trigger pulls, and custom shops can clean up either trigger exceptionally well. Ultimately this pans out to be a tie between these two heavy hitters. Declaring one a winner for some vague reason just isn’t our style.

Steel Vs. Polymer Ergonomics

Oh boy, ergonomics can often be a function of personal taste. That creates a certain argument between the two. That being said, Glock doesn’t seem to care about the ergonomics of their pistols. They make the ergos good enough to work, and that’s about it. It’s a big blocky frame. The first four generations often gave big-handed shooters slide bites, and the phrase Glock huckle is a thing. The Glock trigger pinched and prodded at higher round counts as well.

John Browning’s M1911 seemed to take ergonomics quite seriously. By design, the single stack magazine allows for a thin, comfy grip. The 18-degree grip angle has also been replicated by numerous gun manufacturers over and over. The controls are easy to reach and engage, and complaints about hammer bite were eliminated a hundred years ago. I think it’s safe to safe the 1911 provides a more ergonomic platform in this Glock versus 1911 contest.

Capacity and Efficiency

I’m pretty sure we know who is going to win this one, right? Easy to say that Glock takes the cake. The M1911’s magazine capacity taps at around 8 with a flush-fitting 45 ACP magazine. The little subcompact Glock 26 taps out with ten rounds of 9mm. Heck, most full-sized 9mm 1911s only hold ten rounds.

If we compared a full-sized Glock in 45 ACP to a full size 1911 in 45 ACP, the difference is still stuttering. The Glock 21 can hold 13 rounds of 45 ACP. With an extended magazine, the 1911 taps out at 10. At the same time, the Glock series does this more efficiently for its size. The Glock 21 weighs 38.8 ounces fully loaded, and a Government-sized 1911 weighs about 48 ounces with only eight rounds.

Glock is the without a debate winner in this category of our Glock versus 1911 contest.

Complexity

For a pistol made over 100 years ago now, the 1911 isn’t a simple gun. A lot of the complication comes from the multitude of safeties the weapon has. The steel-framed design is tougher to work on and does take more skill to be an armorer with. The Glock platform offers nothing but simplicity and ease of use.

The armorer’s course takes all of a day or so, and all you need to fully disassemble a Glock is a punch. That’s it. That’s why a big aftermarket exists and why shooters everywhere customize their own Glocks to high heaven. It’s easy to do so. The Glock’s simplicity makes it easy to repair and upgrade, whereas a 1911 requires a more skilled hand.

Price

The reason this is tough to call is because 1911s are all over the place in price. Glock clones are also all over the place. However, a good reliable Glock brand Glock costs around 550ish for a Gen 5 model that’s guaranteed to be reliable, accurate, and very capable. You can spend less and even get Gen 4s fairly priced.

A bottom barrel 1911 imported from a third-world country will cost at least as much as a Glock. From there, the sky’s the limit. Higher-end Glock’s certainly exist but often pack high-end features. To purchase a reliable, American-made 1911 without any fancy features, you can expect to spend at least 700 dollars. If you’re on a budget and need a competent handgun, then the Glock is your choice in this Glock versus 1911 debate.

A Day Late and a Dollar Short

If I needed to pick one handgun to defend my life with, it would be a Glock. They offer a higher capacity, a more efficient, less complex design, and they do it at a more affordable price point. The 1911 was a fantastic firearm when it premiered, but it’s been more than a century since then, and guns have moved on.

 

 

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