Welcome back buckaroos!!! The next time you are in your local gun shop, we want you to do a little experiment. Take a look at all of the employees that are present and take stock of what they choose to carry on their hip. We guarantee that you will most likely spot a couple of 1911’s. What’s more…you will most likely catch these 1911’s “cocked and locked.” What in the world does that mean, and why are all these crazy shooters in LOVE with this platform! Well as always, PSA has the answer for you!!! In today’s post we will discuss the 1911 and the different ways that you can carry this pistol if you so choose.
First things first….a little history lesson. The M1911 is a semi-automatic, single-stack magazine fed, recoil operated pistol introduced in 1911 (many firearms simply take the year of their introduction as their call sign) and was chambered in .45ACP. This was the GI sidearm for our Armed Forces for the span of over 70 years (from 1911 until about 1985-6). John Browning, often hailed as the father of modern firearms, designed this pistol in the early 1900’s while working with Colt (major firearms manufacturer). After several trials and tests, the pistol beat out all the other competition and was adopted by the U.S. Army and subsequently placed into service. The original designation Model of 1911 was shortened to Model 1911 and finally rested on the common name M1911.
1911’s are highly regarded and often considered the most trusted firearm for many shooters around the globe and for numerous reasons. The stopping power of the .45ACP cartridge is thought of as unmatched in many circles and a necessary round for personal defense by many. 1911’s are thought of as durable, reliable, consistent, and easily handled. The 1911 platform has evolved over the years, and is now offered in many different calibers including 9mm, .380ACP, and .40 cal. Most respectable handgun manufacturers offer a 1911 in some form (many offer standard variants as well as compact and micro variants), and shooters can find standardized replacement parts very easily. The impact that 1911’s have had on the firearms industry is unparalleled and has forced many manufacturers to include 1911 features in many of their firearms.
If the 1911 platform intrigues you and you desire to carry one for personal protection, understand that there are five “conditions of carry.” Jeff Cooper, former U.S. Marine, was one of the industry’s most influential shooters. Besides being an avid shooter, Cooper was an expert on firearms history, small arms, and often identified as the father of modern handgun shooting techniques. Throughout his history with firearms, Cooper was always a proponent of large caliber handguns, often being spotted with a 1911 as his carry pistol. Cooper was so infatuated with the 1911 platform, he developed what we still to this day consider as the commandments of 1911 carry…AKA “The Conditions of Carry.” These conditions are mostly self explanatory, and we will briefly explain them for you:
- Condition 4: Chamber empty, empty magazine, hammer down.
- Condition 3: Chamber empty, full magazine in place, hammer down.
- Condition 2: A round chambered, full magazine in place, hammer down.
- Condition 1: A round chambered, full magazine in place, hammer cocked, safety on.
- Condition 0: A round chambered, full magazine in place, hammer cocked, safety off.
Most times when you see 1911’s holstered, they are in Condition 1, and those persons that carry in that condition are trained extensively on the drawing techniques in order to safely remove the safety and discharge the pistol in the most timely and efficient manner possible. To those of us that are not familiar with the 1911 manual of arms, Condition 1 looks scary as the hammer is cocked (which leaves the pistol looking scary!). Conditions 3 and 4 cause the most actions to be completed by shooters prior to discharging a round, and for that reason are thought of (by experts) as less desirable conditions. With either condition of carry, it is imperative that shooters be familiar with their firearm and the processes included in drawing and firing safely.
Because we know you love 1911’s just as much as we do, we will give you guys a quick look as some of the coolest 1911’s we have found…..enjoy!!!
***If you are unfamiliar with firearms, ammunition, or you just want to learn more, PSA strongly suggests that you find, enroll, and attend a comprehensive and reputable firearms safety course. Firearms safety is all of OUR responsibility.
We want to thank you for taking out the time to stop by our lane at the shooting range!! We hope that you enjoyed your stay and hope that you stop back by early and often to catch up on all PSA updates! We truly hope that we were able to hit the target, and if you ever have any questions please don’t hesitate to shoot them our way!! We look forward to shooting the breeze with you soon again!!
And as always….remember to watch your six and stay low!!!