Prior to the 1911 pistol, the military used revolvers, one being a .38 double action. During combat in the Philippines (Spanish-American War) the ineffective stopping power of the .38 cal was regrettable proven by the Moro tribesmen during close quarter fighting. The military reactivated older retired stocks in .45 cal that could stop an attacker.
It was this battlefield background that prompted US military testing and subsequent requirement of sidearms using the 45. Improvements in gunpowder and auto-loading pistol designs were incorporated into the Army's 1906 testing. The rest is history as the Browning designed Colt pistol was officially accepted by the Army in 1911. The M1911 was the first reliable auto pistol of it's day and proved is service in countless battles until the Beretta M9 replacement in 1985.
A weapon of historical and service longevity is going to have a significant following with good reason. The 1911 has not been a static relic, design improvements and model offerings have made a remarkable handgun with enduring popularity.
Rest easy my friend, it's reasonable to use caution when purchasing a used 1911. Having a check list of potential issues to evaluate pistols of unknown origin/condition along with user modification in a design that's been copied within it's hundred-plus years of production is a good thing. I suspect that when the G17 reaches these ages there will be a similar, albeit smaller list of concerns.
The 1911 of it's day was as revolutionary as was the 1982 Glock Model 17. No doubt, innovations and progressive technological enhancements will produce the next "revolutionary" weapon that will have the Glock crowd either changing and/or clinging to a nostalgic remembrance of the good ol' days.
I like the 1911 for what it is and I do own Glock, Beretta, Sig and Ruger; each have unique qualities and none perfect.
Last edited by willieH; 12-08-2012 at 11:50..