Over the waning decades of the 20th century, we went from full-size, solid steel 1911 pistols to alloy frame shortened-barrel 1911s to shortened frame shortened-barrel 1911s and just about every combination in between.
Due to the advent and popularity of the HK SOCOM and USP lines, users got drawn in to handguns with flashlights mounted thereon. This was something that was previously unheard of. The USP Compact also had a light rail, like the USP’s proprietary that fit one light only.
So-called “modern” pistol designs were made with dustcover light rails and some of these were quite popular. The 1911, enjoying a rebirth of popularity due in part to companies like Kimber, Springfield Armory and some high-end makers like Wilson Combat, was seen as being “light free.” The Dawson add-on rail helped move the 1911 into the light mount age. This was followed by 1911s of various makes that showed up with light rails integral to the frame.