7 Starter Pistols for 1911 First-Timers


Everyone’s got to start somewhere. Whether you’re new to guns, pistols or just the 1911 platform as a whole, there are a few things to look for when buying—and we can help you out.

Here are some great options to fulfill your newfound love of the 1911 platform.


Have you ever heard of 22TCM? It’s pretty great. Imagine a huge fireball and a blazing fast bullet all emanating from a pistol cartridge fired from a 1911. That’s what 22TCM offers. Best of all, you don’t have to commit your pistol purchase to the caliber. With our 22TCM line, you have the option to shoot both 22TCM and 9mm from the same pistol—just swap out the barrel. (And, no, you don’t have to go buy the 9mm barrel—it comes with the pistol.)

Going with this option, you’re gearing up for a ton of fun without busting your budget on a dolled-up 1911 that only offers aesthetic or low-utility “upgrades.” This thing is a workhorse that’s meant to be shot, not gawked at through a polished glass case.

TCM Rock Ultra CS

What makes the 1911 great for concealing? It’s slim, but we didn’t think that was enough—so we sized it down a bit more without sacrificing much in the capacity department, thanks to the use of our 22TCM 9R cartridge. You can also carry this in 9mm, thanks to the included 9mm drop-in barrel.

GI Standard MS

All right—if we didn’t sell you on the 22TCM, take a look at a the GI Standard Series, specifically this mid-sized model in 45ACP. It’s got the classic military look and feel. That makes it pretty cool, especially if you’re a war history aficionado. It’s not too big, not too small and you don’t have to worry about being too rough with it. We gave it a durable, parkerized finish, and it shoots great, thanks in part to the trigger’s clean, consistent pull.

GI Standard FS

Have you sworn to fight the 45ACP fans to the bitter end? Dying caliber, you say? All right—we still got your back. Try out this full-sized 9mm model. You get all the great perks of the 9mm caliber and the tried-and-true 1911 pistol. Win-win.

Rock Ultra FS

Do you prefer a modern look? Do G10 grips, a skeletonized hammer and fiber-optic front sights fit the bill? Well, here you go. A modern-style 1911 with an accessory, because tactical attachments just wouldn’t “feel” right on a 1911.

TAC Ultra

But never fear—we have love for you tactical types, too. Enter the TAC Series. It checks all the boxes—full-sized, 5” barrel, high-cap mags, five-slot accessory rail, front and rear slide serrations and high-visibility sights. You can even get one in 10mm and all for under a grand MSRP. Now channel your inner Elaine Benes.

Baby Rock

Ah, how cute—it’s a "Baby Rock." (Don’t let the name fool you, though.) It’s chambered in the zippy little 380ACP and features low-profile sights to help avoid snagging when carried concealed. It’s comfortable to hold and reliable.

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