While there are many contenders over the years, the title of "Greatest Handgun of All Time" certainly goes to John Moses Browning's 1911 pistol.
Originally adopted as the workhorse semi-automatic service pistol of the U.S. Military in the early years of the 20th century, the 1911 has proven to be both effective and reliable in fulfilling the purpose for which it was designed.
The 1911 was originally built around the .45 ACP cartridge which was considered powerful enough to overcome the problem that U.S. regular forces were having with Moro guerrillas over the course of the Philippine-American War. Moros were fierce fighters that were known to use drugs in order to deaden their sense of pain in order to be able to continue fighting while greviously wounded. The stopping power of the .45 matched to the reliability of the M1911 pistol's short recoil single-action dependability was a most effective combination indeed.Colt was the original producer of the service pistol and enjoyed being the only trade name associated with the platform for decades. It might have been assumed that as a host of new high-capacity "wonder guns" flooded the market starting in the late 1970's, the popularity of the 1911 would wane. Nothing could be further from the truth. The guns has proven to be such a consistenly strong seller that now Colt is a minority producer on the 1911 scene as nearly one out of two gun manufacturers creates some variant of the design. For many companies, such as Springfield Armory, the 1911's sell at a much higher rate and often are difficult to find in comparison to plastic framed guns.
Today you can find the 1911 chambered for a number of different rounds. The .45 continues to be the most popular but companies have been able to successfully market smaller cartridge versions of the gun such as the 9mm as well as in high powered variants such as the .38 Super.
The single-stack magazine allows this pistol to assume a low profile that concealed carry types love. More than one sworn Glock lover has been turned form the dark side after experiencing the world of difference that comes with carrying a 1911.
The newest 1911 pistol reviews are found below. Service, compact, and sub-compact variants are all listed here in an effort to keep all the 1911 "things" together in one place but you can filter the various reviews by using the sort links below. At the bottom of the page there is another link to the complete index of all 1911 pistols organized by title.