May 2019

45 ACP 1911s: We Test Five From Les Baer, SIG Sauer, Colt

In this diverse quintet, we went looking for the sweet spot of price and utility that would define the best go-anywhere do-anything semi-automatic handgun.

45 ACP 1911s: We Test Five From Les Baer, SIG Sauer, Colt

Tested, from top: Colt’s Gold Cup National Match O5870A1, the Les Baer Concept VI, SIG Sauer’s Traditional Match Elite 1911T-45-TME, the Colt Series 70 01970A1CS, and at bottom, the right gun for the shy handgunner, the Colt Bright Stainless Government Model O1070BSTS.

The 1911 is a legendary handgun, and it has been offered in many variations since its introduction 108 years ago. During the time after World War I, there were attempts to make the 1911 into a more accurate handgun, primarily for use at Camp Perry. The first National Match handguns were modified by Army gunsmiths for the task. Colt made the pistol commercially available as the National Match during the 1930s. The first guns featured high-profile fixed sights and were considerably tightened over the fit of the Government Model. Colt offered the Gold Cup pistol as a target pistol set up for light loads. Today, we like to have a 1911 with a lighter trigger action than the GI gun and with superior sights, but do we really need an expensive handgun or a target gun for overall utility? For personal defense and most forms of competition, the handguns reviewed will do a good job. They are useful for personal defense, some forms of competition, and for hunting varmints, and even medium-size game, at moderate range. The trick is, how much do you have to pay for this performance?

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