1911s Refuse to Die
Say what you will about the 1911 platform, it refuses to die. Partly because companies like Springfield Armory perfected the art and continue to produce one shooter after another. I recently shot the new Ronin Operator in 9mm, and it got me thinking about the staying power of the 1911 platform.
I walked into the gun store to pick up some firearms for filming. It wasn’t a revolver or a new 1911 from Springfield. It was the standard stuff—standard for me anyway. I picked up two long-range rifles, a sub-compact MOS pistol, a full-size super-duper range beauty, and lastly, a tricked out AR-15 pistol. That is about as standard as we see these days in the gun shops. I rarely go to pick up revolvers or 1911s. However, a comment in the gun shop took me by surprise. Here’s how the conversation went. We will do this in three parts. There’s Mark who helps run the shop, and Jake who's an everyday customer. And finally, you’ve got me, KJ.
Mark: Ol’ Jake is in here about every other day.
KJ: You shoot a bunch Jake?
Jake: Every chance I get.
KJ: Huh… Can I ask what you like to shoot? Before the words slipped out of my mouth, he’s rattling off AK variants, ARs, and different kinds of pistols. Then, what he said next stopped me in my tracks.
Jake: Oh, and I’ve been shooting this 1911.
KJ: Wait, what?
Mark: I told you he was a shooter.
Jake: KJ, that 1911 is a shooter man. I tell ya. I’ve never felt a grip and trigger like that.
This brief interaction made me realize that 1911s are alive and well. John Browning would have been smiling ear-to-ear. When Jake told me about his experience with the 1911, I never would have expected it. Goes to show you what I know.
I’m lucky enough to be in a position to have regular crossings with the 1911—most recently a couple of Ronin Operators. Every time, I walk away thinking they couldn’t get any better, and every time I’m proven wrong.
Take the Ronin Operators for example. You can get these firearms at a phenomenal price, which makes it an easy spend for the first-time buyer. It has a fiber-optic front sight, crossed-cannon laminate grips, tactical rack rear sight, and a hammer forged barrel. Many of these features are typically found on more expensive 1911s. Plus, the Ronin Operators are forged using the finest unicorn tears. That part is mostly a joke, but once you start shooting them, you’ll swear there is sorcery in the machining.
I don’t walk around strapped with a 1911, but if I am on the range and want to hone my trigger skills, the Ronin Operator is perfect. The trigger breaks nice and crisp without creep or grittiness that sometimes rears its ugly face on those polymer guns.
It’s easy to get sucked into the new guns. I just spent a week in Wyoming, and there wasn’t a gun out there that didn’t look like a car you’d come across on Miami Beach. Okay, there was one revolver, but it was filled with snake shot. I guess I fail to take a step back and examine how this all started and to appreciate where we are as an industry. I can honestly say I’m thankful for companies that carry on the legacy.
Who knew that all it would take was a trip to the gun store and holding the Ronin Operator to convince me that 1911s aren’t dead yet? ~ KJ
Kevin Jarnagin (KJ) hails from Oklahoma but quickly established Louisiana roots after joining the Gun Talk team. KJ grew up as a big game hunter and often finds himself in a bass boat. Whether it’s making his way to British Columbia for elk or training with pistols, Jarnagin always seems to find a gun in his hands and adventure on his mind.