It is pretty clear that changes in manufacturing and metallurgy have improved the quality of firearms these days. This may well be most obvious with the 1911 pistol. The 1911 is easily one of the most well tested and proven combat pistols on the planet and remains mostly unchanged in design. Advancements have pertained to fit, finish and build quality, leaving John Browning’s basic concept intact. Contemporary models have simply taken a proven combat pistol and made it even better.
These changes allow for the production of pistols once reserved for custom builders. The “out of the box” pistol today easily rivals some of the customized 1911 in years past. They are more accurate, more reliable, and reach a much larger market. It has kept the venerable 1911 pistol in the holsters of professionals and concealed carry holders for years, with no indication this will change soon.
Steel is still the primary build material for a 1911 pistol, thereby making it roughly a two-pound pistol. The application of materials like scandium, titanium, and aluminum has lightened the weight for sure, but some might claim at a loss of longevity. Given my everyday carry of a full-sized 1911 pistol, generally made of steel, the fact they are heavy is not lost on me. There is no doubt it can be inconvenient, and at times uncomfortable. It is a concept not lost on our warriors either. Anyone going into combat these days is aware the “combat load” is critical. Shaving even a few ounces from your overall load adds up on a ten-mile hike in full kit. Either way, lighter frames are simply more comfortable to carry, so long as they do not give up reliability in a fight.
In the case of the more exotic materials, they