Saturday, May 4, 2013


From the Mailbag:

Dear Uncle Stormy,

I'm thinking of getting a firearm to help defend my family. Yes, in will get professional training and qualification before bringing the weapon into my house, where it will be stored responsibly.

So my question is: is ~$1,000 about the going rate for a mod 1911 45 Acp?

Best regards,


My Reply:

In the Army I learned there IS such a thing as a stupid question but no question seeking information about guns is a stupid question.

Guns vary in price according to condition, availability and demand - overall they are a great investment because they always go up in price. The downside is they require storage, maintenance and are not easy to liquify when you need the money.

I bought my first 1911 - a variant known as a Colt M1991A1, the compact model - as a wedding present to myself back in 1994, for under $500. Even then this was a steal. A couple years ago I purchased a Remington R11 which is a modern copy of the first Government Model 1911 fielded in World War I; I paid under $900 for it - another great deal.

Read a well-written review on the R11 HERE

I am a traditionalist when it comes to handguns; to me the important thing is that it functions under harsh conditions without jamming, and I can draw fast from a concealed carry, in the dark from beneath layers of clothing. Tricked out sights, bells & whistles don't do it for me; my weapons are 100% utilitarian. Most engagements with handguns take place at 2-to-7 meters, and maximum effective range for a handgun is 25 meters. To me this means in a street situation, if it's further than that I'm going to either break contact or seek cover and wait for them to come to me. I can instinctive shoot and hit a human torso center mass at 15 meters practically without aiming; that's why I keep it simple with the sights, etc. Bottom line; none of my guns are Cadillacs they are all pickup trucks and tractors.

Regarding storage - all my guns are kept in a safe with the exception of my daily carry piece, which is with me all day and by my bedside at night, and my wife's .38 which is in her purse. I keep the ammo hidden away from the guns. When I carry these days, I do the "Israeli carry" - weapon in cold condition, w/o one in the chamber - I only lock-and-load if I percieve I have entered a threat environment. In the car, I don't even slap a mag into the weapon, on the grounds that I am already behind the wheel of the most lethal weapon known to man; the automobile, which has killed more people than even the Atom Bomb. If the situation gets so bad I have to launch bullets, I'll have time to weaponize my bullet launcher.

The 1911 is a great gun but it requires a bit of training; Glocks do not therefore most cops & private security forces carry Glocks. nothing against the Glock - I own a Glock - great gun; it's my throwaway. For me, the 1911 is iconic, the .45 round is a masterblaster and I like the reaction I get from cops when they become aware I am carry "Old Slabsides"

Here's a great source of information: Gun Digest® Shooter's Guide to the 1911



  1. Well said, well said. Straight and to the point;....just like the 1911.


  2. TomR,armed in TexasMay 4, 2013 at 5:22 PM

    I hate all the rails, bells and whistles put on guns these days. Optics on handguns?? No. Anyway, the added junk seems to look cumbersome and breaks up the sleek and deadly outline of the weapon. Of course, I'm old enough to prefer guns made of steel and wood to today's alloys and plastic.

  3. The only external modification to my Officer's Model is an extended slide release.
    I did install a full length guide rod only because the recoil plug is fragile, prone to breakage and even worse, getting hard to find.

  4. I bought an early production Kimber Custom Classic, because I was tired of building a Springfield to suit me and then having someone offer stupid money for it, and since I can resist anything but temptation...

    Currently have three Kimbers, two Customs, one of which normally wears a Kimber .22 conversion kit, and one Pro Carry which I had bobtailed. Other than ambi safeties and night sights, I haven't seen any need to change anything.

    And if I can see a deer-sized target at 50 meters, it's in the freezer.

  5. Hmmm - I remember the days when the maximum effective range of the .45 M1911A1 was considered to be 50 yards - of course that was back in the days before we went metric..........................and of course I will neither confirm nor deny that I 'may' have any of the standard JMB designs ;-)
    Of course my eyesight was a tad better back in the olden days so it is entirely possible that I 'may' have a laser sight (yes I know they work both ways) - I can see that red dot even without my specs....................................