What 1911 is Closest to the Original?


The 1911 is a well-established American handgun and, for many, the classic gun is a symbol of the country's never-ending pursuit of liberty and justice. When shopping for a 1911, you may find yourself wondering which is the closest to the original, and we've got the answer.

Read on to learn which 1911 is closest to the original.


The 1911began as part of the American military's search for a semi-automatic pistol that shot nothing less that .45 caliber and that could hold up to the rigors associated with military use. What followed was a competition between six different firearms manufacturers to see who could build a gun that met the government's standards. The top three entries came from Savage, Colt, and Deutsche Waffen und Munitionsfabriken (DWM). Over the course of testing, which involved firing 6,000 rounds from a single firearm over two days, one gun came out on top: John Browning's Colt 1911. 


Part of the success of the 1911 came from the simplicity of its design. The gun uses recoil operation—meaning the gases that push the bullet out of the barrel are used to cycle the gun and load a new bullet into the chamber. Additionally, the gun is held together merely by the force of the recoil spring and can be disassembled by hand—which allows for easy stripping and cleaning in the field. Prior to field use, the military demanded that the gun be equipped with both a grip safety and a manual safety—to prevent accidental firing while on horseback. 

The True 1911

The 1911 was a simple firearm that got the job done while holding up to the rigors of military use. The most similar gun to the original 1911 would need to have all the features that popularized the 1911, including its simple design, dual safety, and crisp trigger pull. For our money, the Rock Standard full-size is the closest you can get to the original M1911 without purchasing a 1911 that was actually built in 1911. 

Keep Your 1911 Working Until 2111