January 2013

Alternate 1911 Cartridges and Loads: 9mm, 38 Super, 10mm

The 1911 pistol is well known for shooting the 45 ACP. But how do some other rounds fare in the platform? We shoot 13 to see.

No matter what one man may think is the ideal handgun cartridge, there is always another opinion. There are some cartridges too popular to ignore, and others that are chosen by simple necessity and practicality. The three cartridges discussed in this feature are not the results of careful experimentation and development ó as was the 45 ACP; rather, they are the result of a response to marketing and commercial interests. These cartridges were chambered in the Colt 1911 to sell pistols. They offer alternatives to interest those who may not have purchased a 1911 otherwise. They offer some advantages over the 45 ACP, real or perceived, practical or even legal, to one extent or the other. The advantage may be in ease of control or in penetration. Economy is also an issue. The true history of each cartridge is a little different and more involved than usually narrated in the popular press. We are going to give you the lowdown on performance with a bit of history in the mix. Without the history you may not understand the dynamics of each cartridge and why they were designed to perform as they do or why the individual cartridge is popular, even though other cartridges may be more powerful.

Letís take a look at the 9mm Luger, 38 ACP Super, and 10mm and how they perform in the 1911 platform ó and what loads we recommend.

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