Everybody who knows his way around guns knows that the 1911 pistol is the pinnacle of handguns. It went all downhill from there. OK, it might not be that bad and there might be some real good firepower for your hand out there that is not a 1911, but who cares about that, right?
OK, let’s get real for a moment. The 1911 has its place in the history of firearms, and it is a very important and honorable place, but it is not the only good handgun out there. However, that does not diminish neither the air of a 1911 nor its greatness or functionality. So, it makes absolute sense to want one. It is and remains an icon of American firepower.
Being such, even the 1911 could not completely escape the temptation to go 9mm. We all know that originally, the 1911 was meant to shoot the .45 ACP. This is a great round that handles well out of this old gun, and it comes with a lot of power. Who wants to shoot a .45 ACP? Somebody who does not want to shoot a target twice to neutralize it. Such and similar are the reasons to carry a .45 or be it just for the fact that they do not make a .46. However, there might also be a reason to go 9mm.
Going 9mm is not only a question of capacity. Let’s face it, the 1911 is a single stack and packing this with 9mm does not change that. It just adds about 1 or 2 rounds. It is more about the price and recoil. You need twice as much material to make a .45 as you need to make a 9mm round. For this, you pay twice the price. In other words, shoot 100 rounds of .45 ACP or 200 rounds of 9mm, both will cost you the same.
When it comes to recoil, the .45 ACP, especially its most common variants with the 230 grain bullet, can really make itself felt. The 9mm to the contrary is almost impossible to feel. It is just so tame that it does not have great requirements for recoil management or a high threshold for pain. This is the reason why many old shooters of .45 ACP make the switch to 9mm while the younger generation appreciates the price advantage.
The Ruger Custom Shop SR1911 Competition comes with a 5-inch barrel that gives even a 9mm some punch. The barrel is hand fit, the rear sight is adjustable, and it has a fiber optic front sight. Furthermore, it comes with a beavertail grip safety, has a match trigger and 25 lpi checkering. Here you get all the good stuff that you expect in a 1911 and more.
However, all the goodies in one package want a lot of goodies from you, 2500 of them. This is not a good price for everyone, but there might be some folks out there who can easily cash out $2500. For all others, you might want to look at a different gun.
Ruger has also some standard model of the 1911 in 9mm that should not be forgotten. They range from 5-inch barrels to 4.25-inch in the Commander and only 3.5-inch in the Officer models. It is a question of weight, power, optic, and purpose. There is even a lightwight model. This one comes with a skeleton trigger, thumb safety, Novak sights, and two 9 round mags. Unloaded, it puts 29.3 ounces on the scale, and it is really easy to handle. The MSRP stands North of $950, but the real price is more in the range of $800.
Let’s face it, when it comes to a 1911 pistol, only Colt is original. However, how much that applies to a 9mm, this means not a .45 ACP, is a different topic. Anyway, of course, there are Colt 1911 on the markets and the are doing well. It does not have to be a Colt Defender stainless steel in .45 ACP. You want 9 mm, just go for the Colt Defender 9mm in blued steel finish.
Having a beavertail grip safety does not set it apart, just put it right where the other 1911s are. What does set it apart is its 3-inch barrel. That might cost you some punch using the 9mm, but it does add a lot to its concealability. Also, it weighs only 24 ounces. This makes it light enough to comfortably carry it around all day. With an MSRP a Dollar below 1000, it does not come in as ultra-expensive, but also not as ultra-budget. However, it is a 1911, even at 9mm and a bit smaller, thereby, it is one of the greatest guns humanity has ever invented. That alone is reason enough to consider this little package.
Wanna go for the whole 5-inch and shoot a lot further than just 9 yards, get yourself the competition model of the Colt 1911 in 9mm. It does not break your bank, coming in the SS variant with an MSRP a bit below $1000 or in blued steel finish below $850. If you are not really convinced of the 9mm, you can get the same model range in .45 ACP. However, sticking with the 9mm, we have a skeleton trigger, National Match Barrel, Novak sights, fiber optic front sides and G10 grips. This is a model to shoot exactly where you aim and to spray the target with rounds because you can. Who said that in 9mm you shoot a target only once?
Springfield Armory is well known and it brings its own version for a 9mm 1911 gun, the Range Officer Model. It comes in standard with target sights or as an Operator model with rails and combat rear sights and fiber-optic front sights.
With a 5-inch barrel and a 9-round mag, it gives you a good bang for your buck. A skeleton trigger and hammer gives it a great look and the MSRP revolves around $940. This does ot make it the most affordable gun but also not the most expensive one.
When it comes to great guns, one name should not be missing from the list, and this is Sig Sauer. Of course does this manufacturer also have a contribution to the 1911 legacy, even in 9mm. The 1911 Match Elite in 9mm offers you all the good stuff you want in this great pistol. You have a skeleton match trigger, a 25 lpi checking on the front of the grip and a 20 lpi checking on the housing of the main spring. That gives you a perfect grip, and then there is the inherent precision in this gun. It shoots like no other, but it also costs you close to $1100 MSRP.
Dan Wesson Firearms is another maker offering a 9mm variant of the 1911. With a barrel length of 4.25 inches, it is just a tiny bit smaller and handier than other 1911 platforms. It has a forged aluminum frame, an adjustable rear sight, and a 25 lpi checkering at the front and rear. This makes it a gun that is good to hold and easy to handle. The MSRP stalks the $1300, but the real price in a shop is more around $1150.
This model is for all, who are looking for a good budget price. It comes in at $460, so it is definitely affordable. For this price, it does not have to hide itself. It comes with a 5-inch barrel, a beavertail grip safety, kelleton trigger and more. The latter includes an ambidextrous safety and cocking serrations. When it comes to Taurus, these are one of the best guns this manufacturer produces.
Looking for a half-way between a 5- and a 3-inch barrel? Look no further. Here is the 4-inch model from Kimber. Here too, you get a skeleton trigger and hammer, beavertail grip safety and a nice finish. The wood grips give it an extra nice touch. It shoots pretty well, and with a 9-round magazine, you can get some led on the target. To really feel this gun and use it as your own, you have to cash out an MSRP of $900.