Do you remember the first time you decided to try something you have never tried before? How many times in your life have you taken a chance on something new, and not only did you survive your encounter, but fall in love with it? How many times did something go from "just for fun" to "how can I do this full time?"
I live to believe that the thing you do while you are procrastinating, is the thing you should do the rest of your life.
I remember the first time I picked up a guitar. No clue what to do, no clue what any of the knobs, dials, switches, or anything else on the guitar did. I remember sitting in a music store hearing guys talk about different pick-up tones, different types of wood, or even different paint and how they all could "change" the sound of the guitar. I remember thinking to myself, "I don't hear any difference at all between this guitar and that guitar!"
As I began to educate myself, take lessons, practice, practice, practice, I found myself…developing into a musician that had certain preferences for the kind of sound I wanted from my guitar, my amplifier, the gauge of strings…although I never really cared too much about the paint!
Fast forward a few years. I don't remember how my day had started, but if I knew exactly how much it was going to alter the course of my life, I would have taken better notes. One minute, I'm hanging out with my best friend and his dad at their house, and the next minute I'm in the car with them heading to the gun range. I had no clue what I was doing there. I was shaking, and jittery, and probably couldn't stop my nervous rambling.
We made it to the range, drove up to a bay, set up a target, put on our eye and ear protection, and I was nervous! My friends dad pulled his gun bag out of the back, walked to the line, and there he pulled out the first handgun I would ever shoot. It was a two tone, Government Model Colt 1911 chambered in .45 ACP. Yeah…first handgun I ever shot, was a full size .45. It was a beauty! Just a very sexy looking gun. I didn't know anything about it, other than to keep the business end pointed away from me and my finger off the trigger until I was told to do so.
After discussing the four firearms safety rules thoroughly, I was given my first 8 round magazine of .45 ACP. I inserted the mag, racked the slide, engaged the safety, lined up the sights on target, disengaged the safety, placed my finger on the trigger, pulled it to the rear, and bullseye! What a rush!! HOLY $@#!!! BANG BANG BANG BANG!!! LET'S DO IT AGAIN!!! Whew…adrenaline rush is no joke.
A few months later, as I had now saved up enough money to buy my first handgun. Now, I find myself in the gun store listening to people talk about slide to frame fit, capacity, trigger pull, how smooth the action feels, and even the finish!
Deja Vu! I stood there looking at a wall and cabinet full of firearms. Lots of firearms. Different firearms. Different calibers, different platforms, different materials, different triggers, different finishes. I had no clue what I was looking for…again!!
It is now seven years later, and I can safely say that I have shot quite a few different pistols. Polymer, metal, double action, single action, stainless, blued, and just about everything in between. Though I do have a few pistols that I enjoy pulling the triggers on more than others, there is ONE that I will always prefer over the others.
No matter how much time and effort and resources are spent trying to develop a polymer pistol trigger, or a double action trigger, I just have not seen or felt one that can beat out the trigger of a 1911. You can just do so much to the trigger to make it the optimal platform to shoot. Minimize pre travel, over travel, lighten the trigger pull, polish surfaces to make for a smooth, yet crisp, break, and shorten the reset for blazing splits, and you have got a trigger so good, that it'll make you wanna SLAP YO MAMA!!
Then, there is just the feel of it. The way the thumb safety is a perfect place for your thumb to rest and ride during recoil. The way the grips are interchangeable so as to help the 1911 fit your hand better, yet still be aggressive enough to help you feel like the gun is secure through recoil. The feel, when the slide locks back on your last round. The way the mags feel as you punch out the old one, and reload into a fresh one.
Now, why else is the 1911 such an amazing pistol? Just look at it. No, seriously…take a look at it. Can you honestly say that it is not one of the most beautiful and amazing pieces of engineering you have ever laid eyes on? I mean, it's a pistol that has not only survived the test of time, but that is still used as a benchmark for which "new and improved" pistols are measured up too. It's a pistol that the USMC has decided to go back too!
The 1911 is a firearm that every gun enthusiast should own at least once in his lifetime. It's a firearm that every person should be given the opportunity to shoot. It's a firearm that you may not think is the best…but it is!
Realize that in a world where your car depreciates in value the moment you drive it off the lot, your cell phone or computer is considered old and obsolete one year after you bought it, and everyone is constantly looking to get more for less, the 1911 is not just another firearm. Do yourself a favor. Next time you are out browsing around looking at firearms, go get your hands on a Rock Island Armory 1911. Take a second to just appreciate the feel of the gun in your hands. Notice the way it makes you feel as you look at it. Think about all the ways the 1911 has had to survive in a world where change is a constant.
Welcome to the beginning of your very own 1911 Love Story!