Glock vs 1911

Highly customized Glock pistol.

If you’re not into firearms, you might be completely unaware of a major battle that has been waged for many years: the question of whether or not if you only had one pistol, would it be a Glock or a 1911? This is nearly identical to nerds arguing over whether the iPhone is better than an Android.

Pistols might be completely foreign to you because of your upbringing or incorrect political beliefs, so let me cover the major differences between the two

This is a Glock as it comes out of the box.

Glocks are Austrian made pistols that have a polymer frame. They are all made by the same company (there aren’t really clones) and are renowned for their simplicity and reliability. Some people think they’re boring or ugly, but I quite enjoy their brutally efficient aesthetic. If you want a pistol you’ll never have to worry about and never really need to modify, a Glock is a great choice. They’re reasonably priced and come in a wide range of calibers.

This is a very slick Kimber 1911.

1911s were originally designed by John Browning, but they are made by several different companies now. You can find budget 1911s, but what you want is a good one made by a great company like Kimber. They are more complex and can be a lot more finicky, but there is an enormous aftermarket for them that allows for a tremendous amount of customization.

Glocks don’t really have much of a safety. It’s actually on the trigger. Despite this, they are quite safe. You could probably throw one on the ground as hard as you can and it wouldn’t go off. There are hundred of videos online of people doing all kinds of stress tests on their Glocks. I watched one where they left one in salt water for a week, then buried it in mud, dug it up, and it still fired perfectly. They are extremely tough.

1911s have a safety as well as a mechanism that requires your hand to be on the pistol to fire. They are far more ergonomic than Glocks and to my eye, have better aesthetics. They require a bit more care, but can be every bit as reliable as a Glock. That said, you can’t be nearly as negligent with their maintenance and expect good results.

The author and his ridiculous hair putting lead through dead trees.

I was always on #TEAMGLOCK because they’re a bit easier to clean and operate, but after today, I might have to switch over. My buddy Jon has a really nice Kimber 1911 and it was an absolute pleasure to shoot. The damn thing costs twice the Glock I want, but it is super fine and accurate. I may just have to get both.

Some of you may wonder why anyone would need either of these. I can only answer for myself. I enjoy shooting and consider it a martial art. Like all skill based endeavors, there is a pleasure in achieving mastery. The weapons themselves require mechanical skill to keep operating properly. To be accurate requires technique and practice. People at gun ranges, gun shows, and gun shops are almost universally pleasant and helpful.

I also believe it’s foolishness to believe your safety can be outsourced. Hurricane Katrina opened my eyes to what you can expect if bad things happen. When the lights go out, the cops are not coming. Most people are not trying to kill you or harm you, but enough of them are, and if you don’t have a weapon, they can take everything you care about from you.

The enjoyment of shooting is by far my focus. I’m not expecting to shoot it out with home invaders and I am dubious about the success one might have fighting tyranny when the government has Predator Drones.

If you’re uncomfortable with firearms, I’d encourage you to find one of the millions of law abiding citizens you share the country with and have them take you to the range. I don’t expect you to have a conversion and join the NRA or anything, but when you learn about something, it reduces fear. You might even enjoy it. It’s like a cross between fireworks and archery.

If the other side has these, then you better run.



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