6 Outstanding 1911 Pistols From SHOT Show 2019
Look, the 1911 pistol isn't going anywhere no matter how much you might not like it. If you do, however, there are a LOT to choose from because it seems like everyone and their darn brother makes them.
Which ones, though, should you look for? Which makes/models are the proverbial cream that rises to the top?
These 6 1911 pistols from SHOT Show should be among the first you look at. There's a pistol in here for almost anyone, from value guns to the pinnacle of finery and blistering tactical wonders.
Charles Daly Superior Grade 1911
Charles Daly is something of a sleeper, as you aren't likely to find a pistol as well appointed as the Charles Daly Superior Grade 1911 for the same price anywhere. They are as well-made and appointed as guns with double the price tag.
The Superior Grade pistols start at $699 MSRP, but you should find them for a little less. You have your choice of 9mm or .45 ACP. They only make Government frames at the moment, so it's full-size or bust. You get ambi safeties, combat rear sight and fiber optic front, fore and aft cocking serrations, wood grips, skeleton hammer and trigger, an upswept beavertail grip safety and a crisp trigger with the Series 70 firing system.
Charles Daly is owned by Chiappa. Their pistols are made in Italy (CD pistols were previously made in Turkey, but are now made by Brixia, who are normally known for making fine double shotguns) but don't let a fear of imports trouble you. The build quality and features would command double the sticker if under a different name. Based on handling them, these might be THE value guns to acquire.
Springfield TRP 10mm RMR Longslide
And now for something completely different: the Springfield TRP 10mm RMR Longslide. The power of the 10mm cartridge is well-known, but the worst recoil you'll experience is from the $2300 price tag. However, that investment is in a gun that will hammer anything and everything you can imagine.
A 6-in match bull barrel and slide go into a National Match frame and slide, which are hand-fit for the utmost in precision and accuracy. Trijicon night sights for co-witnessing join a Trijicon RMR sight for impossibly easy sight acquisition. The pistol features ambi competition safeties, a beavertail grip safety, a crisp tuned match trigger and skeleton hammer, a magwell for fast reloads, G10 grips and an OD green frame and Black T finish on the slide.
The TRP 10mm doesn't make a great concealed carry gun, but it will make quick work of targets at the range. If you're looking to put meat in the freezer by stalking whitetails or hogs in thick brush, this pistol will get you on target quickly and accurately. Shooting it at SHOT Show was a joy, and it will soak up 10mm recoil like nothing. If you want to shoot a powerful pistol round, this gun makes it impossibly easy…though for a price.
Dan Wesson TCP
First, apologies for the photo. The TCP is on the left, and the picture I took from the SHOT Show floor went missing somehow. Anyhow, if you prefer a high-tech tactical carry gun, but don't mind spending a bit to get it, the Dan Wesson TCP (Tactical Commander Pistol) is a thoroughly modern take on the Commander frame platform. A 4.25-inch match-grade bull barrel makes it a bit shorter than a Gov't slide and the alloy frame reduces weight to 32 oz unloaded.
The slide is beveled at the front and top of the slide, with a top rib added to reduce slide glare. The slide and frame are finished with DW's Duty finish, which is a molecular bonding (passivized) for even more durability than Cerakote. The frame is railed for adding a laser or light. The grip has a magwell for easy reloads, and 25 LPI checkering on the front and rear of the grip, along with G10 panels. A left-side tactical safety, skeleton hammer and K-style skeleton trigger, tuned to a crisp 3- to 3.5 lbs, round out the controls. A combat rear ramp sight goes on the back, and a gold bead sight goes on the front.
Dan Wesson firearms are known for actually being great value for money, as they get about 90 percent of the work a custom 1911 pistol does for about half the price of one. No MIM parts to be found, and the slides, barrels and (when applicable) bushings are always hand-fit. The TCP starts at $1700, but a Wilson Combat pistol with the same features would cost double that. Having handled the TCP, I can tell you that there's no way it would be double the gun.
Springfield 911 9mm
Want small, cheap and cheerful? Springfield has a new micro 1911 in 9mm, the 911 9mm. If you like the idea of a Sig P938 or Kimber Micro 9 but think they're too expensive, the 911 9mm is the same general idea but at a price that's actually nice, starting at $638 MSRP.
The 911 9mm has a 3-inch barrel, and wears ProGlo night sights on all models. You just choose the slide finish (black or stainless) and the grips you want (we recommend the Hogue model) as there are several models. Crimson Trace laser grips are available too! The rear beavertail is upturned, so you get a higher and tighter grip than you'd think, which we noticed at SHOT Show, and the ambi manual safeties are a nice touch. It ships with a flush-fit and extended magazine, holding 6+1 or 7+1, respectively.
It's easier to shoot than you'd think for being a micro 9mm 1911, and it's better appointed than you'd think for the price point. If you want an easy packing pistol, few make it as easy as the 911 9mm.
BUL SAS II Streetcomp
The BUL SAS II Streetcomp approaches the description of a competition gun for the street. It looks like something out of science fiction and is ridiculously easy to shoot. It has the 1911 operating system and is recognizable as one...but with some serious updates.
The SAS II Streetcomp switches capacity to double-stack magazines of 9mm (17+1) or .45 ACP (13+1) with a Commander-length ramped bull barrel. A compensator is added to further tame muzzle rise. The slide wears fore and aft angled cocking serrations, with a ⅞ length rail on the dust cover of the frame. A squared and undercut trigger guard, 25 LPI checkering on the front and rear of the grip housing, tactical/competition safety with skeletonized hammer and trigger, which is tuned to a crisp 3.5 lbs.
The SAS II Streetcomp will probably retail for north of $1,500 as they are handmade in Israel. They're currently awaiting government certification for sale in the US. It sounds like a lot, but you'll know where the money goes (into quality) if you shoot one. We were flabbergasted with how easy this gun was to run.
Ruger SR1911 Competition
However, the reigning king of 1911 pistols at SHOT Show 2019 (arguably ALL pistols at SHOT Show) was the Ruger SR1911 Competition. Made in conjunction with competitive shooter Doug Koenig (18-time Bianchi Cup champion, 3-time Steel Challenge champion, 1990 IPSC world champion) and Ruger's custom shop, it's one of the finest pistols available right now, full-stop.
It is a fully hand-made pistol, hand-lapped with a hand-fit slide, bushing and match barrel. It comes standard in 9mm, holding 10+1 in a single-stack magazine. A competition hammer and (impossibly crisp) flat trigger, ambidextrous competition safeties, target sights with a fiber optic front, a flared magwell for fast reloads, 25 LPI checkering for the grip and G10 grip panels adorn the pistol. But it's not really the features that sets it apart from so many other guns. It's the fitment and attention to detail.
It is, without exaggeration, the finest pistol I've ever shot. The flat blade trigger breaks so easy and barely travels back. Ringing steel at 100 yards was ridiculously easy. If you ever handle one and still don't "get" 1911 pistols, you never will. This is as good as handguns get.
Granted, you'll pay for the quality. MSRP is $2,499. It should be stressed, however, that the Ruger SR1911 Competition is actually a bargain due to the name on the slide; a comparable pistol from Wilson, Ed Brown or Les Baer would run you $4,000 or more.