5 Reasons a 1911 is a Great Sidearm in the Apocalypse

    1911 apocalypse

    Let’s do this! Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it is yet another apocalypse-themed article by yours truly. I will admit to you that while reviewing Springfield’s¬†MIL-SPEC Defend Your Legacy 1911 I was bitten by the Browning bug and picked my side if need be. I have never had any desire to do a SHTF article, especially when other TFB writers do them so well so I just wanted to try something similar but different. Follow me down the rabbit hole and I will discuss five reasons a 1911 is a great sidearm in the apocalypse!

    Now, fair warning to anyone out there that gets triggered when they hear boomer buzzwords like “metal frame”, “tight tolerances”, and “historical significance”. All of those are probably going to be mentioned while I raddle off five completely valid and not cringy reasons why a 1911 is a handy tool to have for the end of the world. For the sake of the article, I should mention I am referring to any 1911 that is built to Mil-Spec dimensions which is almost all of them and exclusively all that are in good old 45 ACP!

    1911 apocalypse

    Reason number one: durability

    If I found myself at the end of the world with a selection of average guns, a 1911 would almost certainly be amongst them. After I sorted through the miscellaneous Glock’s, SIG’s and HK’s, I would dust off the beautifully crafted chunk of Americana, load eight rounds of “big bullet equal big hole” goodness, and smack that magazine in the well as hard as I please cause that gun is not going to be harmed…the magazine might be a little harmed but let us move past that.

    The picture I just painted was worthy of an action movie quote in an Arnold voice but my voice is not made for TV so I will leave all that stuff to the TFBTV guys. 1911’s have metal frames and more often than not they will be forged carbon steel frames. Pick any finish you want and they still are susceptible to rusting but not anything a light oiling in between running for your life in the zombie-ridden nuclear fallout-scaped land you inhabit won’t fix. In all seriousness, you can use these guns as hammers if need be and the chances of any deformation or breakage are drastically slimmer than the same scenario with something made from polymer. Now, that’s a tool!

    1911 apocalypse

    reason number 2: Parts availability and Compatability

    Even though the 1911 is a nearly indestructible boomer beast due to its better material composition, the world is not perfect, especially if it’s the end of the world and so on. Parts break or wear out long after most other gun parts. Fret not! Being a Mil-Spec firearm just about every1911 part is compatible with each other. If something is a little too tight that is nothing even the most primitive gunsmith can not fix. New parts are widely available too! This is most notably due to the 1911’s popularity and value as a preserved and constantly reproduced piece of history.

    Below is a showcase of a couple 1911’s that are Frankenstien’d together and an example of a broken 1911 fixed with spare parts. All parts fit well and communicate together in perfect Bald Eagle screech harmony.

    1911 apocalypse

    Smith & Wesson SW1911 E-SERIES and Springfield MIL-SPEC 1911

    reason number three: Tolerances

    It is no secret that since its adoption into numerous militaries that a 1911 style firearm, in general, can be an excellent, accurate and comfortable firearm to wield and trust in battle so long as it is not a clunky piece of junk. I have quite a few people in my life that I am honored to know that would attest that even though they may have been stuck with a maraca of a 1911 when they served in the military, their service pistol rarely malfunctioned.

    Tight tolerances are not just great for providing good reliability and consistent accuracy. They are also fantastic at keeping foreign material out of moving parts and spaces. Hard to slip in and reak all sorts of malfunction havoc when you can not fit through a space, to begin with.

    1911 apocalypse

    reason number four: Trigger

    It is kind of a simple fact that even the cheapest 1911 clone out there will have a decent trigger and if one is a true to form 1911 it will be even better. This is due to its single-action nature and very few meeting of parts on the slightest of surfaces. The trigger on a 1911 is a valid reason solely because it is on a 1911. An already well-rounded handgun.

    1911 apocalypse

    reason number five: stopping power!…just kidding…foot-pounds of energy

    I know that one is a little cringy but it is not an invalid reason. “Stopping power” is an outdated term so talking foot-pounds of energy generated by 45 ACP is wholely acceptable in an end of the world scenario. The cavitation generated by a 45 hollowpoint only going around 870-900 fps is twice the size of 9mm and it is a slug of a projectile that is much more apt to stopping in whatever beast it’s fired at and transferring a whole host of energy. I will not argue 45 is better cause it’s just not but coming out of a 2.5-3 pound handgun with a five-inch barrel feels just as pleasant as a 9mm coming out of a Glock 19.

    1911 apocalypse

    In closing, I should recognize that there are all kinds of fantastic end of the world sidearms out there and a lot of the people here at TFB have probably touched on them more times than once. Is the 1911 the definitive end of the world gun? No, probably not, but it is in the top 10 for sure! At the end of the day, the best sidearm for you is what you are most comfortable and effective with. Rest easy folks. I am done thumping on the boomer bible for today.

    1911 apocalypse

    As always, thank you for reading TFB! Be safe out there, have fun while shooting, and we will see you next time! Also, let us know what you think in the comments below! What is your go-to apocalypse sidearm? Any other nostalgia guns good for the end of the world? What 1911 do you own or hope to own? We always appreciate your feedback.

    We are committed to finding, researching, and recommending the best products. We earn commissions from purchases you make using the retail links in our product reviews. Learn more about how this works.

    Writer | TheFirearmBlog
    Writer | AllOutdoor.com

    Instagram | sfsgunsmith

    Old soul, certified gunsmith, published author, avid firearm history learner, and appreciator of old and unique guns.