The classic 1911 pistol design remains a competition favorite in both precision-orientated bullseye competitions and speed-driven practical shooting.
With more manufacturers putting up new versions, the 1911 continues to attract new and accomplished pistoleros, and with more compact versions entering the market, the design is becoming a top choice for concealed carry as well.
Here are a new 1911-style handguns for 2015.
COLT GOLD CUP NATIONAL MATCH
For 2015, Colt unveiled its newest, and arguably its best, Gold Cup iteration. The .45 ACP 1911-style pistol features an aluminum match trigger, a match-grade barrel, a Bo-Mar-type adjustable rear sight with a dovetailed front sight, and a serrated flattop slide. This is a ready-to-compete match pistol that will be sold at a price point that will beat other contenders. With the recent National Rifle Association and Civilian Marksmanship Program rule changes, Distinguished High Master shooters such as Master Sergeant Robert Kolesar (ret.) predict that this Gold Cup variant will soon become a new favorite for competition. (colt.com; 800-962-2658)
SPRINGFIELD MARINE CORPS OPERATOR
Springfield Armory’s Loaded series feature a culmination of the best, most useful and most popular 1911 features, such as extended ambidextrous thumb safeties, ergonomic beavertail grip safeties, lightweight delta hammers and extended trigger. The new Marine Corps Operator adds a new pattern on the frame for an improved grasp without tearing up your hands or clothing. A standard accessory rail allows user to mount a light or laser. The 43-ounce design also features a 5-inch barrel, night sights, an ambidextrous safety, G10 grips and Commander-style hammer. The .45 ACP pistol ships with two seven-round magazines. (springfield-armory.com; 800-680-6866)
Browning now offers a line of 1911 handguns that are 85-percent the size of the original .45 ACP 1911 models. For those smaller-statured shooters or those interested in concealed carry with lighter cartridges, this could be the perfect fit. Browning’s 1911-380 pistols are authentically designed, full-featured 1911-style handguns chambered in .380 ACP. The longer frame yields better shooting comfort for the whole hand, the longer slide increases sight radius, the 3 to 5 extra ounces of weight soaks up recoil better, and each pistol features the exquisitely tuneable trigger the 1911 design is famous for. Browning’s 1911-380 has features found on custom 1911s, such as an extended ambidextrous thumb safety, a beavertail grip safety, an extended slide lock, a lightweight hammer and trigger, and low profile combat-style sights, but at 85 percent scale and chambered in .380 ACP. For those looking for a smaller carry gun or backup but who want something beefier than most polymer options, this is an ideal fit. (browning.com; 800-333-3288)
RUGER SR1911 LIGHTWEIGHT COMMANDER
Officially designated as Model 6711, Ruger’s newest SR1911 is a compact Commander-style .45 ACP 1911 built on an aluminum frame. Like other Ruger 1911s, this pistol has a Series 70-type fire system with a lighter titanium firing pin, a heavier spring and an integral plunger tube for the slide stop and thumb safety. A visual inspection port allows for visual confirmation of a loaded or empty chamber. This particular model features 7+1 capacity, drift-adjustable Novak sights and an anodized aluminum frame. The feed ramp is an obvious wear point on any 1911 frame and aluminum frames are especially susceptible, so Ruger uses a polished titanium feed ramp to enhance frame longevity. The overall length is 7.75 inches with a 29.3-ounce weight. (ruger.com)