It seems the popularity of the 1911 will never wane—a fact for which I am not at all dismayed. I cut my shooting teeth on the platform and find the variety of iterations available today to be phenomenal. There is a plethora of production ready-to-go 1911s being offered to today’s enthusiast that exceed anything available off-the-shelf during my early years by a quantum leap.
Three attractive ball radius cuts along the slide do well to break up glare on the sighting plane and draw the eye toward the front sight.
But by the same token, as production pistols have improved, custom 1911s have also made great strides over the decades. With those great strides has come an influx of new custom 1911 ’smiths. Where once the number of qualified custom crafters could have been counted on a single hand—and the kitchen table butchers were running rampant—there is a welcome abundance of true custom 1911 ’smiths. Folks still tinker on their 1911s on tabletops, but thanks to the improvement in production guns this is mostly parts swapping, with little butchery.
The rear sight is a Heine unit with glare-reducing grooves on its rear face. Note the flat “cocking” edge on its forward face.
Why all this excitement over a 100-year old platform that “surely” has outlived its usefulness? Well, despite the pontifications of the internet pundits, the 1911 remains a viable option for a defensive handgun. Ergonomically sound, with a crisp single-action trigger, the 1911 is one of the easiest handguns to learn to shoot well. Running the platform may take a little more effort, requiring mastery of the manual safety, but that is where such problems end. However, the platform has limitations, as do all platforms.
The triggerguard is undercut to allow a higher grip—closer to the bore axis—and houses a long skeletonized trigger wearing a serrated face. Grips are unique golf-ball dimple pattern G10s, available in a choice of Coyote Tan, Black or OD Green—with or without the Nighthawk logo.