I have been shooting M1911 steel-framed Colt .45 ACPs for more than 35 years, and up until now, I’ve always considered myself a M1911 die-hard. But through those years, I’ve seen the price of Colt pistols and spare parts radically escalate. My first M1911-series pistol was a slightly-used Colt Commander that I bought in 1981 at a San Jose, California gun show, for $160. (In those days, you could pay cash for a pistol from a fellow private party, and walk out the door with it, sans any paperwork. Sadly, things have changed in California–and that was one of the main reasons that I migrated to a free state at my first opportunity.)
I have bought and traded my way through a dozen more 1911s, since the early 1980s. In the early 1990s, when stainless steel Colts became available, I sold off my blued-steel Colt pistols and bought a pair of stainless steel Gold Cup .45s, for around $350 each. I remember that The Memsahib was aghast when she heard that the price jumped to $505, just a few years later. More recently the retail price of the same pistols has galloped up to $1,116! In my estimation that is an absurd price, when you can buy a polymer-frame Springfield Armory XD .45 for around $500, or a polymer-frame Glock 21-SF .45 for around $550. (And even less, if bought used.)
The 1911 design is nearing its 100th birthday (sniff!), and although it is still a great design, I can see the wisdom of moving on to a more modern design with two-column magazine. And even though I have a lot of training hours and muscle memory invested in the M1911 platform, I consider it now well worth the time and trouble to transition to polymer. I can literally buy twice as many pistols if I sell off my Colts. I will also end up with pistols with considerably larger magazine capacity. (13+1 , versus 8+1 for the single-stack Colts.) The other advantage is durability. In so-called “torture tests”, the reliability of both the XD (20,000 rounds in one test) and the Glock (still shooting after insane levels of abuse) have been well documented.
Selling off my accumulation of spare parts (nearly a tackle box full), extra magazines (about 40), and various holsters and mag pouches will be time consuming, but again, I think that I’ll come out ahead.
Now that spare parts are becoming available for Springfield Armory XD .45s, I think that will be my logical choice. Speaking of XD pistols, I highly recommend that SurvivalBlog readers take advantage of the “Get a Gun” package deal at Front Sight, that was recently extended for a few more weeks. This training plus XD pistol plus field gear plus references package is a tremendous bargain. Effectively, you’ll end up with a free pistol. I’ve had overwhelmingly positive feedback from the SurvivalBlog readers that have taken advantage of this offer. I realize that he offer sounds almost too good to be true. But it isn’t a fantasy or some shyster come-on deal. It is a genuine offer, and hundreds of people have already completed the training and gone home very well trained as the proud owners of very reliable XD autopistols. (BTW, I’d like to hear from more of you. E-mail me your impressions of the training.) Don’t miss out. OBTW, the winter months are the ideal time to take a course at Front Sight. In the desert climate of southern Nevada, January and February can be in the 70s. You do not want to go there in July! The Memsahib and I both took the Four Day Defensive Handgun course, and loved it. It is truly outstanding training!