Battle of the .45s: Glock vs 1911

  1. Editor
    With the heaviest gun bag I've carried lately, I headed off to the range with my two 1911 models and my Glock 21SF and Glock 30. I have shot all of these many times but never in a test like situation. This is going to be about the most unscientific analysis there could be but I wanted to experience a hands on comparison since I have no other automatics except for Glocks.

    First off: the guns.

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    The Remington 1911 was bought from an older gentleman back in the mid-70s. He got it in the 50s. It is completely stock except for a pachmayr wrap around grip I put on. I love finger grooves. I was told it was a surplus WW2 or Korea conflict era gun having the stamping of United States Property + serial number, then US ARMY 1911A1 on one side and Remington Rand Inc. on the other. Fixed sights. Has never failed to fire a round...ever.

    The other is a Charles Daly 1911 Officers model, it has failed to fire a round due to hard primers but operates reliably most of the time with certain ammo. It is one of those guns that is ammo sensitive. No issues with the right ammo. I like the sights as they are larger than the Remington and adjustable, which I need to tweak as I found out today. Both have excellent standard triggers anyone would like.

    The Glock 21SF was my first 21, it is older as shown by the Picatinny rail. Not a great deal of info on this model except it was the first release of the 21, it has an ambi mag release, and did not find favor with a lot of people. What I read was holster issues, not being able to find one, and the rails edges would cause excessive wear to anything it met. A few reported the mag release would fail during a full mag drop. I have never experienced any problems personally. This one has a 5-inch Lone Wolf barrel and Zev trigger kit. Pull is around 3.5-pounds

    The Glock 30 is the standard 30 not the SF. I held both switching back and forth for 5 minutes trying to decide. Where the 21SF was an easy choice, this one was harder; it was not obvious like the 21 was. In the end, I went with the standard. It just felt better and this is why when someone ask me what to buy I reply, "you have to hold the gun". Stock, except for a Zev trigger kit, pull is around 3.25-pounds.

    The shoot used Sellier and Bellot 230-grain FMJ. To me it was not the hottest or cleanest ammo I have shot but was consistent and easy on the hands. Geco brand is hotter and cleaner to me, just didn't grab that today.

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    Now I have always shot the Remington very well, it has been a while but felt confident it would equal or even beat the Glocks as it has that stabilizing weight going for it, and I have had it and shot it for so long. I was wrong.

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    (1911 Remington flip)


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    (1911 Officer's flip)

    At 30 feet, I shot five rounds in each gun twice, and the results were instant to me. Now a number of factors came to me almost as fast too. The number one factor was the sights, Glocks are better. The old 1911 has a very thin front sight and corresponding rear sight, no outlines or color. This was a major issue given the dim lighting in the range. The Officer's model had better sights but clearly needed a small adjustment. The number two factor to me was the triggers. As good as the 1911s triggers are, they cannot compare to a tweaked out Glock. A lighter trigger equals better grouping and of this, I am sure. Your mileage may differ but I am certain it makes a big difference...to me.

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    (G21 flip)


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    (G30 flip)

    During the replay of the video I took, it became apparent to me that the Glock had a bit more visible recoil observing the second frame after fire from the barrel. Shooting at 24 frames per second, the 2nd frame was consistent with the highest level and angle of the guns used each time. Not surprising since the 1911s are heavier, it was not as obvious during the shoot. The G30 did feel like it did go a touch higher than the G21 at the time though.

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    Now given this very rough test I have concluded the following, I need to practice more with the 1911s if I want to get better results, I shoot the Glocks 20 times more than I shoot the 1911s. The 1911s could use better sights and more ambient lighting along with better triggers to compete with a Glock. But at the end of the day, I will not modify my old 1911A1, it is what it is, the classic all American side arm weapon system. Reliable as it gets, an honorable history from day one and a gun no one would not want to have in their collection.

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    The Glock 45 platform is one of the most formidable weapons anyone could ask for. Lighter fully loaded than an empty 1911 with 6 more rounds in the mag. Full size G21, 13 rounds, full size 1911, 7 rounds. Officers model 1911, 6 rounds, G30, 10 rounds. Excellent sights and trigger with the only downside being a striker fire pistol meaning hard primer ammo may cause FTF. The only issue I ever had was with a batch of RWS ammo. No other brand ammo has failed to fire.

    The Glock 21/30 .45 is a wider than normal weapon and some folks may not like the way it feels due to this, but I like it fine. It fills my hands and is nicely balanced. As most of you have heard the old question, "Why a Glock .45? Cause they don't make a .46."

    Everything here is just my opinion and observation subject always to correction. Be safe and practice hard.

    -Robert G. aka cudaviper

    PS. Bless her heart, at 20 feet, my wife's first shot with the Glock 21 busted the center X and the next 25 could not find the red....go figure.

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