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.45 ACP Single-Stack Pistols: S&W Pulls Out a Surprise Win

The $711 aluminum-frame Smith & Wesson Model 457 has been in the catalog since 1996, but we preferred it over two newer polymer guns, the $697 Kahr TP4543 and the $620 Glock G36.

Chances are that whenever a pistol is described as being a single-stack .45, it will automatically be assumed that the handgun in question is a Browning 1911. But that isn't always the case. Not every .45 semi-auto that feeds from a single-column magazine was meant to be carried cocked and locked. Nor does every single-stack .45 operate with a single-action trigger.

To wit: In this test we will evaluate three single-stack .45s that operate with a hinged trigger, with at least the first shot being

Single Stack .45 Pistols
Our trio of non-1911 single stack .45s were (clockwise from upper left) the Kahr TP4543, Smith & Wesson’s 457, and the Glock G36—three different guns with three different interpretations of double action operation. The Kahr had a very long trigger pull with little or no feedback. The Glock’s trigger pull was shorter and heavier. The Smith & Wesson pistol fired first-shot double action with single-action fire afterward. But decocking also deactivated the trigger until reset manually. The Glock landed this one-inch group of five shots, but note its location high above our 6 o’clock point of aim. This was not a product of the sights but rather recoil control.
fired double action. The $711 Smith & Wesson Model 457 has been in the catalog since 1996. The 457 is a traditional double action (TDA) pistol…

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