March 19th, 2018

The 85% Scale 1911-380 — What Would J.M. Browning Think?

Browning 1911-390 Black lable .380 acp 1911 pistol

The classic John Moses Browning-designed Model 1911 pistol was created for the .45 ACP cartridge. Many believe the M1911 represents the pinnacle of .45 ACP pistol performance. The 1911 has served the nation in combat, and even today, full-size, hot-rod model 1911-type pistols dominate the top classes at action pistol shooting competitions (though typically shooting smaller caliber cartridges).

Which raises the question — does it make sense to shoot a down-sized .1911-type pistol with a smaller, lighter-recoiling cartridge? Browning, the company named after genius inventor J.M. Browning, thinks so. In 2014, Browning introduced an 85%-scale version of the 1911 that shoots the .380 ACP, another cartridge that Mr. Browning favored. What happens when the Model 1911 is reduced to 85 percent of its original size and paired with the .380 ACP cartridge?

WATCH: Check Out This Cool Animation to See How the 1911-380 Works:

This gun, with its polymer composite frame, is a LOT lighter than an all-steel 1911. The Browning 1911-380 tips the scales at a mere 17.5 ounces. Gun reviewers have praised Browning’s new 1911-380, saying that it functions great and fits well in the hand. NRA America’s 1st Freedom Editor Frank Winn states: “This is precisely where the [1911-380] Black Label .380 ACP excels so dramatically — as a transitional pistol. The 85-percent scaling caters to those with smaller hands and less grip strength. In every test we conducted, on paper, on steel (plates to 35 yards), and through defensive and competitive drills, the Black Label performed flawlessly.” Testers have praised the pointability and function of the down-sized 1911. It operates like a full-sized 1911*, and the “take-down” procedure is the same. This video shows the features of Browning’s 1911-380.

To be honest, we think this is sort of sacrilege. We like the full-size 1911 and we love the original .45 ACP cartridge. That classic fat round is accurate, easy-to-reload, and makes nice big holes in paper. One could also ask, if you want to shoot a .380 ACP, why not shoot it from another J.M. Browning design, the lovely little Model 1908. This beautiful design also served the U.S. Military, and it’s still one of the best-looking semi-auto pistols ever made. The NRA’s Frank Winn notes: “A revamped Browning design (based on the Colt M1903 “Pocket Hammerless”) became the M1908, the first mature, successful .380 ACP handgun. In 42 years of manufacture, several hundred thousand were sold.”

J.M. Browning 1908 Pocket Hammerless .380 ACP

So, much as we applaud innovation, we’ll stick to the original, full-size 1911. If we want to shoot the little .380 ACP cartridge, we’ll do so with J.M. Browning’s lovely little M1908, or another great .380 ACP pistol, the Sig P230/232. This editor owns a sweet Sig P230 in stainless. It is thin, handsome, durable, and easy to carry. It’s also an appreciating asset.


* The Browning 1911-380 has one main functional difference — it has a magazine disconnect. this means “with the magazine removed, the hammer won’t fall, even with all safeties disengaged”. LINK.

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July 16th, 2017

Army Model 1911 Pistols for CMP? Report from Congress

1911 pistols surplus Army CMP Congress Legislation

Report by NRA Institute for Legislative Action
On July 14, 2017, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 2810, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2018. Included in the bill is a provision that would make U.S. Army surplus model 1911 .45 ACP pistols available to the American public through the Civilian Marksmanship program (CMP).*

In November of 2015, then-President Obama signed the NDAA for Fiscal year 2016 into law with language that authorized the Secretary of Defense to transfer 1911s no longer in service to the CMP for public sale. That language made the transfers subject to the Secretary’s discretion and capped them at 10,000 per year. Unsurprisingly, no actual transfers were made under the program while Obama remained in the White House.

This year’s language, however, would effectively make the transfers mandatory and would remove the yearly cap. Currently, the military has some 100,000 excess 1911s sitting in storage at taxpayer expense. The CMP’s sales of 1911s would be treated as other retail sales under the federal Gun Control Act, including the attendant background checks and point of sale record keeping.

TAKE ACTION TODAY
If you would like to see 1911 sales return to the CMP, please contact your U.S. Senators and Representative and urge them to keep the House language on this matter intact in the final bill they send to the president. You can contact Senators and Representative at 202-225-3121.

1911 pistols surplus Army CMP Congress Legislation
Pistol photo courtesy NRA-ILA

* Upon completion of the Senate NDAA, the House and Senate will convene a conference committee to resolve the differences in their bills. Please urge your representatives to retain the House language regarding the 1911s in the final bill.

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July 16th, 2013

Kimber Rimfire Target m1911-Style .22 LR Pistols

accurateshooter.com Kimber rimfire target .22 LR pistolWhile viewing Panteo’s Training with a 22 DVD, we noticed a sweet-looking, silver-tone m1911-style rimfire pistol in the hands of host Michael Bane. At first, we thought this might be a new stainless version of Sig Sauer’s popular 1911-22. But, in actuality, Bane was shooting a Kimber Rimfire Target pistol. Michael’s aluminum-framed Kimber performed great in rapid-fire drills.

Kimber’s line-up of rimfire pistols includes matte black and silver-tone Rimfire Target models ($871 MSRP), plus a deluxe, two-tone Rimfire Super model ($1220 MSRP) with Rosewood grips, front strap checkering, and KimPro II finish. The rather pricey Rimfire Super model is guaranteed to put five shots in 1.5″ or less at 25 yards. Both standard and deluxe models feature aluminum frame and slide, steel barrel, and adjustable match-type sights.

accurateshooter.com Kimber rimfire target .22 LR pistol

Watch Slow-Motion Video of Kimber Rimfire Target (Black Version)

accurateshooter.com Kimber rimfire target .22 LR pistol

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July 14th, 2012

Bonnie and Clyde’s Colt Handguns to Be Auctioned in September

Bonnie Clyde gun auctionWould you like to own guns carried by America’s most infamous criminal couple? Well here’s your chance — the personal handguns of Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker (Bonnie and Clyde), go up for auction in September, along with other personal memorabilia. Bonnie’s personal Colt .38 SPL Detective Special will be auctioned, along with Clyde’s favored Colt .45 ACP Government Model 1911. Bonnie’s revolver was recovered from her bullet-ridden body after the famous 1934 Louisiana roadside ambush which brought a bloody end to Bonnie and Clyde’s notorious crime spree. The snubnose was found strapped to Bonnie’s inner thigh with medical tape. Clyde’s 1911 was found tucked in his waistband.

Both guns have been thoroughly authenticated and carry a rock-solid provenance. Experts predict each handgun will bring $100,000 to $200,000 at auction. Along with the guns, there will be other Bonnie and Clyde possessions up for bid, including Clyde Barrow’s gold pocket watch and Bonnie Parker’s cosmetic case. In addition there’s a letter from Clyde to his brother L.C. Barrow signed “Bud” (the name Clyde used when running from the law). The auction, conducted by RR Auction, will be held September 30, 2012 in Amherst, New Hampshire.

Bonnie Clyde gun auction

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