A Stainless .45 Made Me Open My Eyes…

In light of my search for a carry piece being derailed, I wasn’t going to go to the range today. But I did, and I don’t regret it for a second. Not that I’d regret it anyways, but today I’m especially happy I did.

See, what happened was, I decided to rent a 1911. Specifically, a Springfield Armory Mil-Spec in .45 ACP, exactly like this one:

Image from Springfield-Armory.com
Image from Springfield-Armory.com

It was purely an impulse decision, and I have to admit I was somewhat… anxious, shall we say, after I rented it. I admit it: I was intimidated by the .45. After all, the cartridge has a reputation as having very stout recoil and a very loud report, along with severe muzzle blast. And the most powerful round I’d ever fired before today was the “wimpy” 9mm, so I honestly was expecting to be beat up and knocked around by the big .45. So it was with a fair amount of trepidation that I loaded a single round into the 7-round magazine, loaded it into the pistol, pointed the big hand cannon downrange, and pulled the trigger.

…hey… wait a minute… that wasn’t bad at all. It was actually… kind of… pleasant? …the heck?

So I loaded up a full magazine and commenced firing. And my first impression of the mighty 1911 in .45 ACP proved to be an accurate one. Amazingly, the 1911’s felt recoil was noticeably less pronounced than my SIG P228’s, and while the report probably was louder (it’s difficult to tell when wearing ear protection), it was more of a deep BOOM! than the 9mm’s sharp CRACK!” It was a surprisingly comfortable gun to shoot, especially in light of the .45’s reputation.

Here’s the really shocking part: once I got the trigger figured out and got used to the gun (which took about 20 rounds or so), I was able to put the rest of the box of ammo into an area of the target that I can cover with my hand. Most of those made up one ragged hole that’s smaller than my palm. It was centered maybe an inch low and to the left of the bulls-eye, but even so I have never, never shot a grouping like that, not even with my SIG that I’ve been shooting about once a week since December. Not even my so-called “perfect pistol,” aka the Browning Hi-Power.

Figure that out, huh?

Some small part of my brain is telling me that I should be thinking about trading in the SIG for a 1911 in .45 ACP. But I’m not seriously considering that right now, so don’t come asking to buy it. It’s not on the table, not by a long shot.

Having thought it over, I think the main reason I shot the Browning, Kahr, and 1911 so much better than I shoot the P228 is because those pistols have thinner grips, whereas the P228 has a very thick, wide grip. I think it might actually be a little bit too wide for me. Fortunately, SIG recently introduced a new grip design for their double-stack pistols, which they call the Enhanced Ergonomic Grip, or E2 Grip for short. Targetmaster has a new-model SIG P229 with the E2 grip available for rent, so what I’m thinking is that next week (or sometime soon), I’ll rent that pistol and see if it fits my hand any better than my P228, and if I shoot it better. If it does, and I do, than I’ll contact SIG and see if the P229′ E2 Upgrade Kit they offer will fit my older-model (and now sadly out of production) P228. If it does, I think I’ll be ordering it.

Of course, that doesn’t mean I don’t want a 1911. I do. Badly. So much so that I think it’s supplanted the beloved Browning Hi-Power as my Perfect Pistol.

Until next time, peace.

-Raptor

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