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Battle of the Secondaries: Glock versus 1911

Battle of the Secondaries: Glock versus 1911

Steven Sattler / SWAT Digest

These two side arms are said to be the most argued in the self-defense world, law enforcement and military included. Let’s focus for now at these pistols in the back-up role.

The most important quality of a secondary weapon is reliability. This quite simply means functioning 100% of the time, no matter what. This being said, the Glock pistols are known for their ability to function all of the time. Be it dirt, broken internals, or trauma, nothing will stop the Glock. We have all seen or at least heard of the tests done on these pistols. So to say the least, a Glock is reliable.

What about the 1911? Many would say it depends on what manufacturer made it. Since we are talking about police department and military side arms, let’s assume that no department or government is going to purchase a sub-par firearm just to save some money. Firearm manufactures such as Springfield Armory and Kimber are known for their quality and reliability. For an example, we will take the Springfield Armory Milspec 1911A1 in 45ACP. This 1911, since it is based very closely to the original given to our boys in WWII, its reliability is unquestioned. I own one of my own and can personally vouch for its reliable functioning, having never experienced a malfunction using FMJ or JHP rounds. The milspec model has a stronger recoil spring, making it more reliable than other 1911’s. I have heard others comment on the unreliability of 1911’s in general, and I see no reason to place such a generalization on such a fine weapon.

Pistol action is another factor in choosing a secondary. The single action gives a generally lighter trigger pull while the double action of the Glock takes a lot of getting used to. The 1911 trigger, in contrast to the Glock, has a rearward sliding trigger. This, coupled with the light pull, lets a less experienced shooter put more rounds on target than the same shooter using a hinged trigger, such as the Glock’s. In my opinion, the Glock’s trigger is the biggest obstacle in firing the Glock well. Training is essential for accuracy and speed. In contrast, the 1911’s trigger is simple and smooth to fire. In this category, the 1911 wins, hands down.

Safety is a key issue in law enforcement today, as it has always been. Many officers have been shot by their own pistol in the line of duty. With the 1911 carried on safe and hammer cocked, the person who pulls the weapon from the officer’s holster must find and deactivate the safety, thus giving the officer time to react. On the other hand, the Glock has three internal safeties but no external ones. The scenario here is a little more grim. Criminal draws officer’s weapon and pulls the trigger, possibly hitting the officer’s vest, possibly shooting him in the side, between the panels. This category is of course very debatable given the new retention holsters and other advances. Even so, in this category the 1911 gets the nod.


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    Mrmerlo

    about 1 year ago

    4 Comments

    I have shot Remington 1911 and Smith & Wesson 1911 both fire arms are accrete even at fifty yards and would consider them to be reliable. Although when I took my CPL I used a Glock 22 gen1 I was surprised at how well it shot compared to my Kahr k40. Even though the Glock 22 is a foul size I would rather carry my Kahr it is heavy with a steel frame but it keeps the recoil down and I have never had one problem. It comes down to what you feel is most committable with a decent capacity

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    Andreqqqqqq

    about 2 years ago

    2 Comments

    The 1911 is a great range gun.While the glock with a 10 pound trigger pull is the best police gun.

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    bluebrother

    over 3 years ago

    774 Comments

    Never owned, shot, or carried a 1911, on the other hand I have carred, owned, and concealed a Glock model 21 45 cal. for over 25 years, and would never consider anything else. I remember in the very basic Police Academy many many centuries ago..the bottom line is this: An officer should carry what they are first of all comfortable with, second of all proficient with, and third of all prefer over all the others.

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    mushin

    over 3 years ago

    64 Comments

    WHILE ON THE JOB I CARRIED THE BERETTA 9MM LOVED IT, LOVED IT LOVED IT. NOW AS AND OLD HAS BEEN PAIN IN THE ASS TO ALL YOU YOUNG GUYS I WENT BACK TO A WHEEL GUN. 6 SHOTS YES, A TACTICAL DISADVANTAGE FOR A MODERN DAY URBAN SOLDIER. BUT FOR A RETIRED GUY KNOWING THAT THOSE SIX ROUNDS WILL 99.9 PERCENT OF THE TIME LEAVE THE GUN AND BECAUSE I DO NOT HAVE THE LUXURY OF WASTING 10-12 ROUNDS, I MAKE EVERY ROUND COUNT. I KNOW WHAT YOUR SAYING, GO HAVE A NAP AND LEAVE THE POLICE WORK TO US. PS. A 5 SHOT WHEEL GUN IN YOUR BACK POCKET MAY COME IN HANDY.

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    Recondo99

    over 3 years ago

    2538 Comments

    Great Article.

  • 19349_100660739968037_100000723342468_16707_8016347_s_max50

    RichyC0009

    over 3 years ago

    2 Comments

    Glocks are nice and cool guns. But I will always be a 1911 kind of guy! Especailly when it comes to Kimbers!

    X-D

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    wasimtiger1

    almost 4 years ago

    274 Comments

    Nice article. I love my G30 .

  • Me_max50

    forensicinvestigator

    almost 4 years ago

    252 Comments

    Caz...how DARE you compare our beloved Ford to the politically chosen Ch...ch....ch....other car!! Blasphemy I tell ya. But with that said, I would and do carry the 1911 as my choice for a secondary firearm and for the reasons stated in the article. Ease of use, putting more rounds on target and faster than the Glock. Nothing against the Glock fellas since my department requires the Glock as our primary but come on, the 1911 has been around and improved on since.....let me think.......1911!! Oh and why a 45?? Like they say....we carry the 45 because they don't make a 46 yet! Happy shooting boys and girls no matter you choose to shoot or shoot at

  • Fallenherobadge-3-1_max50_max50

    CAZ

    almost 4 years ago

    1428 Comments

    I like both the 1911 and the Glock. It basically comes down to one thing and that is the shooter. Its like driving a car. Some love Chevy, some love Ford and so on.

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    Spectre3

    almost 4 years ago

    12926 Comments

    Have a Colt Combat Commander, I have also shot numerous Glocks, however if I were to have to chose between the 1911 and a Glock...the 1911 wins with me hands down, every time. Capacity is not an issue when you have a weapon of this high caliber. Besides you can always carry more mags....

  • Thinker_max50

    darsavmo

    almost 4 years ago

    11354 Comments

    Have a Colt 1911 and numerous Glocks to include the 21. All are great weapons and all have their advantages and disadvantages. Want better accuracy and easier trigger pull go for the 1911. Want larger round capacity and simpler operation, go for the Glock. Can't loose either way...

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    catgirl38

    almost 4 years ago

    4 Comments

    I absolutely love my G19,happy with it

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    lonerangersheriff

    almost 4 years ago

    110 Comments

    I like the 1911 for plinking and the Glock for work. The ammo capacity of the Glock has made me a believer, being short handed with police and outmanned with crooks. I have had some 1911's jam on me, never the Glock in stock form. I like anything 40/45 caliber-they bring em down.

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    major530

    almost 4 years ago

    2 Comments

    i would not carry a glock 45 as a primary weapon. ask any armorer at los angeles pd about the failure to fire in the field, of course give immunity first . light strikes. even after being recalled for a retro fit, i witnessed light strikes on the weapons repaired. i dont have an answer for the problem, possibly rail pressure. i carry a glock 34, thats 9mm,best gun i ever carried. i would never carry a 45 cal in glock. just an opinion after seeing several hundred be 'Fixed and then witness the same problem after a test fire.

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    Bart3054

    almost 4 years ago

    18 Comments

    The deadliest weapon in the world should be the one in your hands. I own both, like both, shoot both. I am the rangemaster for a department of just under 200 sworn. the one thing about Glocks that are nice is they are almost cop proof.....aside from the whole pulling the trigger to take it apart. They can take a ton of abuse and still work. Arguing best caliber in a handgun is silly, 9mm, .40SW, .45ACP it is still a handgun. If you want it to stop right now, hit it with a slug or a rifle round.

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