FN Herstal Firearms banner

1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
114 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Yup.... you heard right. Now before you all stone me to death allow me to explain.


As a child of the 1980s I grew up in the age of the Wonder Nine. Beretta, GLOCK, Sig Sauer, HK, and Smith & Wesson. Everyone was dropping the wheel gun and adopting a 9x19mm of some sort or another. Hell, even Uncle Sam saw the writing on the wall and ditched the rattle trap 1911 for the Beretta.


Films like Die Hard, Lethal Weapon, RoboCop, The Rookie, Predator, Commando, Terminator, etc.... all of them had a ton of Wonder Nine action. They fueled the fire in sales long with every article in every gun rag about the next agency that just adopted a Wonder Nine. The LAPD, NYPD, FBI, etc... police sales do drive civilian market sales.


What was happening to the 1911 at the time? Well, it was being made by Colt and a couple of other folks. There was a small problem. The majority of them sucked! Standard procedure back then was you bought a 1911 and then sent it off to your gunsmith so it could work right. They were rattle traps that didn't feed anything but ball ammo and that's if you're lucky. They were low capacity, large, heavy, and a money pit. Why spend your hard earned money on an outdated piece of crap when you can buy a new hi tech GLOCK or an Italian Stallion Beretta 92? What about the ultra well crafted Sig P226?


The 1911 was starting to fade away..... than President William Jefferson Clinton came into the picture and signed into law the Assault Weapon Ban. A hideous piece of legislation that banned magazines over 10 rounds..... Gasp! That should reduce crime! Well, it didn't and we all know that. But we're not discussing the AWB itself.... more on the effect on the popularity of the 1911.


Now post 1994 you can still buy a GLOCK or a Beretta but why would you? Unless you had a source of pre-ban magazines you'd feel screwed and cheated. Why would you carry a fullsize pistol that can hold 15 to 17 rounds of 9x19mm when by law you were limited to 10 rounds max. All of a sudden the 1911 becomes in vogue again. Here you have a fullsize pistol that is also now all of a sudden "slim" and carries a cartridge that has more "knock down" power. 8 rounds of .45 will do what 15 rounds of 9mm can do! Everyone and their mother started cranking out 1911s.


You started having companies that made 1911s update the design. Make them work better, feed better, feel better. The 1911 I have today is 110 times better than one produced in the 1980s. I have a 2011 production Colt Combat Commander and a 1986 Colt Series 80. The Series 80 still can't feed JHP even after sending it off to a great gunsmith in the Miami area. But the Commander feeds everything and anything right out of the box. No tweaking needing.


The AWB helped fuel the 1911 market because folks thought "if I can't carry or own a fullsize 9mm pistol with proper magazines I might as well own something that is more powerful even though it has less capacity". Caliber effectiveness isn't being discussed here either. Just marketing and sales. Gun magazines were pushing 1911s and the .45 ACP for the simple reason that the AWB gutted the Wonder Nine market. what sold the Wonder Nines was capacity. Restrict it and the market drops like a rock.


The .40 S&W also gained market share due to the AWB. A Beretta 92FS, Sig Sauer P226, and S&W 5906 all held 15rd of ammunition. But their .40 caliber cousins held 11rds. Buyers wouldn't feel as cheated with the loss of one round than with the loss of five. Also agency sales drove that market too. Because in the mid 90s a ton of agencies swapped their Wonder Nines for .40 cals. It also drove the CCW market too. Before the AWB most companies didn't produce compact pistols. During the AWB a ton of companies did due to the 10rd limit. If you had to work with 10rd max, why build it a huge pistol around it. Compact and subcompact power house pistols started to show up. Those 9mm and .40 and .45 pocket pistols spelled the death of the Beretta 84 or browning copy...the .380 high capacity pistol was killed. GLOCK came out with the subcompacts because of that very reason. But that is also another discussion.


In the end... the 1911 market is what it is today because of Bill Clinton and the AWB. The AR-15 also is where it is today because of that. But that was more of the "If I can't have it I want it" mindset.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
169 Posts
Interesting concept, still would probably go with a 10 round 9mm over an 8 round 45. I just dont trust the 1911 as a defense platform, but thats just me.
 
  • Like
Reactions: SLP262

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,731 Posts
I have to disagree. I think the 1911 would have remained popular regardless of what's happening in the civilian gun world. There are tons of LE and military organizations (those who aren't affected by Clinton gun control effort or AWB) who stick with the 1911 platform by choice because it works.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,561 Posts
Yeah, sorry, but if those Wonder Nines were so awesome that the 1911 was doomed before.... shouldn't the preban mags have kept that market going? And since '04, shouldn't the 1911 have died a quick death? Shouldn't all of those new hi-capacity Wonder Nines, .40S&W, and .45ACP have killed the 1911 by now? Another thing you're kinda ignoring is that the pistol market really has exploded since the sunsetting of the AWB, and Conceal Carry, while on the rise in the '90s, didn't become THE thing until the aughts. Following your logic, the 1911 never should have become a major player in that market, or, at the very least, should have far less of one. I won't argue that the AWB had an influence, but it wasn't like all 1911s were going to dry up and blow away if the AWB hadn't happened.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
641 Posts
Sorry, not in agreement here and definetly not thanking Clinton for the 1911s success.

I thank only John Moses Browning for the 1911 and its incredible design that has persisted over 100 years now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
398 Posts
I have to say, after all the guns I've bought, shot, etc., I find myself taking the 1911 to the range as much as anything. I have never had a FTE or FTF in my 4" kimber. Browning was a time traveler.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
114 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
1. The 1911 has never been and will never be in the majority of Police Holsters and it was replaced from general military service by the Beretta. Spec-Ops community is but a drop in the bucket in terms of users in the military.

2. The 1911 is going to stay for a long while because of the rebirth it got during the assault weapon ban. The 1911 was on the way to the dustbin of history due to poor quality during production. The AWB made companies start improving quality due to a slump in sales on the wonder nines by the AWB. Also gun publications started pushing them again and the 45 ACP due to the market. Consumers didn't want to purchase a large pistol with a half empty magazine. They wanted a large pistol that was full. The single stack 1911 was just right for the AWB market place. Also the AWB pushed the design of compact and subcompact pistols chambered in calibers larger than .380 auto.


3. The 1911s of today are not like the rattle traps from the 1980s and early 1990s. Quality has improved due to market shifts. A 1911 produced today is far better in terms of quality and out of the box reliability than one from the 1980s.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
114 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
I have to say, after all the guns I've bought, shot, etc., I find myself taking the 1911 to the range as much as anything. I have never had a FTE or FTF in my 4" kimber. Browning was a time traveler.

Kimber didn't start cranking out 1911s until the mid 1990s. That was during the AWB. I own a COlt Series 80 made back in the 1980s..... had to be sent off to a smith to run right and it still doesn't feed JHP very well. My current 2011 production Colt COmbat Commander XSE is leaps and bounds better than the Series 80. Quality improved due to demand for the pistol. That demand was spawned by the AWB.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
226 Posts
Kimber didn't start cranking out 1911s until the mid 1990s. That was during the AWB. I own a COlt Series 80 made back in the 1980s..... had to be sent off to a smith to run right and it still doesn't feed JHP very well. My current 2011 production Colt COmbat Commander XSE is leaps and bounds better than the Series 80. Quality improved due to demand for the pistol. That demand was spawned by the AWB.
Kimber was nothing until the 1911. They focused on making a 'custom' style 1911 at stock prices. I would credit them in part with the Renaissance. Remember through almost all of the 90's you could still get hi capacity stuff, it was just more expensive. During that period, I sold a high capacity Glock 22 to fund a Les Baer purchase. I also purchased a Para P14 that was both a 1911 and hi capacity.

The AWB may have been a factor, but another was the longevity of the 1911 and the availability of improved parts and smiths that knew how to work on them. For a long time 1911's were the only choice if you wanted a hot rod custom gun.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,731 Posts
1. The 1911 has never been and will never be in the majority of Police Holsters and it was replaced from general military service by the Beretta. Spec-Ops community is but a drop in the bucket in terms of users in the military.
That has more to do with cost of the pistol than any other factor. Plus the military went to the M9 in the 90s and that's driven by NATO sidearm ammunition standard. And IIRC that was a controversial decision because many had issues (real or perceived) with the "down grade" to a 9mm. Even then, the marines actually kept some of their units on the 1911 instead of converting. Again, there's a reason why units that aren't hampered by financial limitations choose the 1911.

2. The 1911 is going to stay for a long while because of the rebirth it got during the assault weapon ban. The 1911 was on the way to the dustbin of history due to poor quality during production. The AWB made companies start improving quality due to a slump in sales on the wonder nines by the AWB. Also gun publications started pushing them again and the 45 ACP due to the market. Consumers didn't want to purchase a large pistol with a half empty magazine. They wanted a large pistol that was full. The single stack 1911 was just right for the AWB market place. Also the AWB pushed the design of compact and subcompact pistols chambered in calibers larger than .380 auto.
I disagree. The drive toward smaller calibers is by no mean a product of AWB. That's been a historical trend well before the term gun control came into public consciousness.

3. The 1911s of today are not like the rattle traps from the 1980s and early 1990s. Quality has improved due to market shifts. A 1911 produced today is far better in terms of quality and out of the box reliability than one from the 1980s.
Back in the 70s and 80s, 1911 was widespread as todays polymer design. As with polymer pistols today, the quality run the gamut. So it's not like quality has improved only that cheaper 1911 has been replaced by cheaper polymer pistols which are more reliable than low quality 1911. High end 1911 always existed. And none of that was a result of the AWB but improvement of manufacturing technology and techniques.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
398 Posts
You bring up some good points Miami, but alas, we'll never know what role the AWB took on the 1911. I personally believe that there's a reason it's been able to stand the test of time: It's a really, really good design and a great caliber. We're just fortunate we have so many options to choose from in firearms.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,731 Posts
Kimber didn't start cranking out 1911s until the mid 1990s. That was during the AWB. I own a COlt Series 80 made back in the 1980s..... had to be sent off to a smith to run right and it still doesn't feed JHP very well. My current 2011 production Colt COmbat Commander XSE is leaps and bounds better than the Series 80. Quality improved due to demand for the pistol. That demand was spawned by the AWB.
1911 has always been popular. Advent of cheap and reliable (relatively) polymer pistols killed the cheap 1911 pistol market and left only the market demand for quality 1911s which has always been there, AWB or no AWB.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Donnie

·
Registered
Joined
·
514 Posts
My uncle had a Gold Cup in the mid 80's and that gun shot great. He never had a problem with it. Shot everything he fed it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,212 Posts
The only thing Willy 42 deserves credit for is the refinement of stain resistant clothing and carpeting. :-D
I believe the 1911 perseveres due to it's crisp SOA trigger, and not a decade long AWB.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
226 Posts
Yep, stormbringer, the trigger has ruined me. Hard not to compare everything to a 1911 trigger. And yet, disappointing to do so.
Me too. Since I got the 1911 bug, I prefer to buy SAO pistols, and stay away from striker fired. Although I did drop a Pyramid trigger in my Glock, and it works pretty well, for a striker fired.

Get yourself a Browning Hi-power, strip the mag safety, put in a C&S trigger, sear, and hammer and you can feel 1911 style bliss. The Sig X5 (SAO) is that good out of the box, and can be tuned with included allen wrenches. My X6 rivals my Wilson Supergrade in every way, for less money. The Colt 1908 380 is pretty fun to shoot too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
398 Posts
Yeah the sig p238 is the summer carry gun for me. It's a mini 1911! And I really like the .380 round for a pocket pistol.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,109 Posts
1911's are way sexier than any other pistol. Period.

It's my favorite.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Alpha-17
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top