Despite countless polymer-framed, striker-fired pistols flooding the market, the pistol that saw American soldiers through two World Wars — the 1911 — continues to captivate shooters.

Whether the reasons are aesthetic or pragmatic, the popularity of the 1911 shows no signs of slowing down. So it should come as no surprise that even more 1911-style pistols haven been released in early 2016. Here are some of the finest new additions to the 1911 family of small arms.

Colt Competition Pistol

The first new addition to Colt’s product lineup for 2016 is the Colt Competition Pistol in 9mm or .45 ACP. Based on the popular M45A1 military sidearm, the Colt Competition utilizes the same Dual Spring Recoil System to reduce felt recoil for competitive shooters whose greatest enemy is the clock. Other keen new features include an adjustable Novak rear sight and a high-visibility fiber-optic front sight post. The latter speeds up target acquisitions—a crucial advantage for the target-rich environments of competitive shooting. (; 800-962-2658)

Colt Lightweight Commander

As the name implies, Colt’s new lightweight M1911 is a fair bit smaller than full-sized Government models. Available in either .45 ACP or 9mm, the Lightweight Commander is designed for shooters in search of a concealed-carry 199 that won’t weigh down their pants or wear out their backs. Like the M45A1 and new Colt Competition Pistol, the new Lightweight Commander also utilizes the new recoil-reducing Dual Spring Recoil System. It also includes handsome and very effective Colt G10 grips as well as Novak carry sights and a skeletonized trigger. (; 800-962-2658)

Coonan .45 ACP

Coonan is a 1911 maker of a different sort. Where 99 percent of companies that specialize in 1911s start off with a standard Government Model in .45 ACP, Coonan took a very different approach. The first Coonan pistol was a 1911-style handgun chambered in .357 Magnum. The projectile’s length necessitated a total redesign of the 1911 to accommodate it. Now, Coonan has come full circle, developing a 1911 chambered in .45 ACP for the first time. The new handgun features several design changes that separate it from standard M1911 pistols. Instead of a traditional straight trigger, the Coonan .45 utilizes a pivoting trigger. Also, it utilizes a linkless barrel and appears to be milled from a single block of steel. (; 763-786-1720)

Dan Wesson Discretion

Dan Wesson has unveiled the Discretion, a tactical .45 ACP 1911 designed from its inception to be the ideal sound suppressor host. It features raised Trijicon tritium night sights for use in low- or no-light situations while providing a proper sight picture above a mounted suppressor. Other desirable features include Hogue aluminum grips, an extended thumb safety, a skeletonized slide and a railed dust cover. (; 800-955-4486)

Dan Wesson Valkyrie

Like the fictional angels of Valhalla, the Dan Wesson Valkyrie comes ready for battle. It features die-hard Micarta grips, a match-grade trigger and barrel, and a set of high-visibility Trijicon night sights. This new Commander-length pistol was developed as a mid-sized carry option for lovers of the 1911 series of pistols. (; 800-955-4486)

Kimber Amethyst Ultra II

Few firearms can capture the high-gloss appeal of fine jewelry like Kimber’s regal Amethyst Ultra II. Adorned in a mirrored purple PVD finish on the slide, grip and controls, the Amethyst’s brilliant colors are even more striking thanks to it’s contrasting stainless frame. The Officer-sized 1911 is available in 9mm, feeds from an eight-round magazine and features the same controls 1911 lovers know so well. The diminutive purple pistol weighs in at 25 ounces and includes Novak-type low-profile carry sights. (; 888-243-4522)

Kimber Custom TLE/RL II (TFS)

Kimber has made a name for itself equipping elite law enforcement units with tough-as-nails 1911s. The new Custom TLE II (TFS) is based on one such handgun used by the LAPD SWAT team. The pistol separates itself from previous TLE handguns with the addition of a threaded barrel for sound suppressors. The barrel comes with a knurled thread protector. The TLE/RL II (TFS) is designed for silencer owners as well as law enforcement, military and individuals in need of a high-quality, ultra-reliable personal-defense pistol. (; 888-243-4522)

Kimber Micro 9 Stainless

Born from the need to shrink the venerable 1911 into a pocket-carry package, the Kimber Micro 9 Stainless is the ultimate in form follows function. With every corner aggressively dehorned, the stainless Micro 9 ships with handsome hardwood grips, a skeletonized hammer and a blended beavertail tang for ease of use. The aptly-named Micro is chambered in 9mm and feeds from flush-fitting six-round magazines. (; 888-243-4522)

Kimber Micro DC

Kimber’s new Micro DC is a mechanical solution to the hard-kicking .380 ACP pistols. Utilizing the same method of operation as John Moses Browning’ magnum opus, the Model 1911, the Micro DC fully subdues the recoil of the .380 ACP round. Designed for shooters familiar with the 1911 and its controls, the Micro DC feels familiar yet different, in no small part thanks to its truly diminutive size, though it strikes a solid balance between concealability and ergonomics with its classically comfortable 1911 controls. (; 888-243-4522)

Llama MAX-I Series

The MAX-I, made by Llama and available through Eagle Imports, is a tight-fitting, accurate 1911 with a nice trigger pull. The MAX-I looks like a classic 1911 with a matte blued finish on the 4140 steel slide and frame and custom hardwood grips. More features include a throated, forged steel barrel; a lowered and flared ejection port and mil-spec serrations at the rear of the slide. (; 732-493-0333)

Llama Micro Max

Eagle Imports is the U.S. distributor for some of the best brands of firearms from around the world, including Llama. Taking advantage of the popularity of the 1911 and concealed carry, Llama has a new pistol, the Micro Max. This 1911-style, single-action pistol is chambered in the popular .380 ACP caliber in a scaled-down version for improved concealability. The pistol features an external extractor, a flared and lowered ejection port, a combat trigger and hammer, an ambidextrous thumb safety, and front and rear slide serrations. (; 732-493-0333)

Nighthawk Silent Hawk

Nighthawk Custom is known for creating high-end works of art that are also functional, reliable 1911s. The company’s newest creation, the Silent Hawk, is a Commander-sized pistol designed for use with a suppressor. Chambered in the venerable.45 ACP, the Silent Hawk features raised, serrated iron sights to clear a silencer. In fact, the pistol was co-developed with popular suppressor-maker SilencerCo; it even features the SilencerCo logo on the slide, and includes serrations designed to match those found on the popular Osprey .45 silencer. (; 877-268-4867)

Oriskany Arms 350FP Dual Tone

Oriskany Arms has been manufacturing 1911s since the late 1940s, and it’s continuing this tradition with the latest addition to its Commander-length 350FP series of 1911s with the 350FP Dual Tone. On the outside, this 1911 doesn’t look any different from any other .45 ACP 1911 on the market. But like our parents told us, it’s what’s on the inside that counts. The Oriskany Arms 350FP is expertly hand-polished and cycles like the well-oiled machine it is. (; 315-737-2196)

Oriskany Arms 425FP Stainless

This handsome, Commander-sized 1911 offers shooters another high-quality, all-American option to scratch the .45 ACP itch. Like most mid-sized .45 ACP 1911s, the 425FP feeds from both standard seven-round USGI magazines as well as flush-fitting six-rounders. It features a skeletonized hammer, frag-grenade-type polymer grips and a stainless trigger, bushing and barrel. (; 315-737-2196)

Rock Island Armory TAC Ultra FS

Chambered in .45 ACP and feeding from standard 1911 magazines, the TAC Ultra FS from Rock Island Armory also includes a full-length railed dust cover, a fiber-optic front sight and G10 grips. The entire pistol is Parkerized, and the slide is topped with Trijicon post and notch iron sights—perfect for low-light situations. (; 775-537-1444)

Rock River Arms 1911 Carry

Known for its affordable AR-15s, Rock River Arms (RRA) has recently made a name for itself creating all-steel 1911 pistols. The latest entry in RRA’s 1911 lineup caters to shooters looking for an affordable, reliable, concealed-carry option that is a little smaller than a Government-sized 1911. The RRA 1911 Carry is RRA’s answer to that problem. Equipped with a no-nonsense, all-black finish and black polymer grip panels, the Carry is serious business. The dust cover is smooth for ease of drawing from concealment, and the polymer grips are extra slim to reduce its profile. RRA is so proud of its new pistol that the company even guarantees 2.5-inch groups at 50 yards with 185-grain Federal Gold Medal Match semi-wadcutter rounds. (; 866-980-7625)

Springfield Armory EMP 4” Lightweight Champion

After the resounding success of the 2-inch-barreled EMP, it was only natural for Springfield to introduce a Commander-sized, 4-inch-barreled model. The EMP 4” Lightweight Champion is a two-tone 1911 designed from inception for concealed carry. The single-stack EMP 4” is available in both 9mm and .40 S&W chamberings. With its Novak-style rear sight contrasting with its red fiber-optic front sight, acquiring targets in failing light is a cinch. The pistol also features a host of additional features that make it ideal for concealed carry. (; 800-680-6866)


Three-Gun matches have seen an explosion in popularity in the last few years. So it should come as no surprise that the largest competition-grade 1911 maker, STI, got in on the action with the DVC 3-Gun, a double-stack pistol with everything a 3-Gunner could want, including a DLC finish, a skeletonized slide, a fiber-optic front sight and an adjustable rear sight for precise targeting. (; 512-819-0656)

STI DVC Classic

STI’s line of pistols now includes the DVC classic, a competition pistol designed from the ground up to be legal for the USPSA’s Single Stack division. The DVC Classic’s race-gun roots shine through with the addition of fully adjustable sights, an extended Dawson Precision D&T magazine release, an ICE magazine well and tool-less guide rod. (; 512-819-0656)

Wilson/Bravo BCMGUNFIGHTER 1911

Wilson Combat and Bravo Company Manufacturing (BCM) have teamed up to create the BCMGUNFIGHTER 1911, a pistol that handles like a race gun but delivers the high-quality, tough-as-nails features both companies are known for. Features include VZ G10 grips with X-tread pattern checkering for control, a light rail, a Bullet Proof mag well, a solid trigger, a tritium front sight and finally Wilson’s renowned Armor-Tuff finish. (; 800-955-4856)

Wilson Combat Protector Compact

Wilson Combat’s Protector was designed from the ground up as a next-generation, all-around carry 1911 pistol with modern styling and performance enhancements. Built on a rugged steel or lightweight aluminum frame with a light rail, the Protector will help you own the night in every possible fighting scenario with the legendary reliability, accuracy and detailing that a Wilson Combat custom pistol is known for. Every Protector features a fluted tactical cone barrel, a round butt, a one-piece Bullet Proof mag well and a unique slide profile that wears Wilson’s signature carry cuts and abbreviated front cocking serrations. (; 800-955-4856)

Wilson Combat Tactical Carry Compact

Bill Wilson designed this 1911 as a next-generation, everyday-carry piece when maximum concealability is required. The Bullet Proof one-piece mag well enhances reloading under stress. The Tactical Carry also comes complete with many of Wilson’s most popular performance and cosmetic options, like carry cuts, ball-mill slide cuts and a countersunk slide stop post. The reduced-profile grip safety and hammer, in conjunction with the round-butt mag well, guarantee that the Tactical Carry Compact will be a true performer for you on the range or streets. (; 800-955-4856)

Zenith Firearms Tisas ZiG M45 Stainless

The last thing anyone expected out of Turkish arms maker Zenith Firearms was a high-quality 1911 pistol. Not because the company doesn’t make fine firearms, but because the vast majority of its products are HK-inspired roller-delayed pistols and carbines. Even still, Zenith proves it’s more than capable with the ZiG M45 pistol. Chambered in .45 ACP, the all-stainless ZiG M45 features Novak-style iron sights and perfectly contrasting black controls and grip panels. It feeds from eight-round magazines, and three mags come with the gun. (; 434-202-7790)

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