STOP arguing about which one is better! This will be the article to end all debates.
Anyways, I’m not claiming to give you an unbiased review or say “both” are good (that’s just a cop out for not having an actual argument). I definitely have a position on this debate, and I will say right now that I side with the 1911 platform.
But I will give you the most concrete and clear debate as to why I make my points!
ESTABLISHING GROUND RULES
Rule 1. “Better” is not Best
Using the word “Better” to make your claim is the dumbest thing I’ve seen gun people do. In fact, in practically any argument, simply trying to debate over which is “better” is the worst way to debate. First we must define what “better” means to you and why you think one gun is “better” than the other.
Rule 2. “1911” is not a Gun
The 1911 is a platform just like the AR-15. There are many manufactures from many different countries and quality control standards. Just blatantly saying things like “The 1911 is a terrible gun” already shows that you don’t know what you are talking about.
Now, if someone wants to talk about the general design of the 1911 (things most 1911’s share with each other) that is a totally valid argument and we can discuss these things and move forward.
Both Glock and the 1911 are able to be customized, have 80% lowers, and have many different variants, but for the sake of this argument we are talking about the guns you can buy at a typical gun shop. Otherwise, it defeats the whole purpose of the debate if you can just buy a customization and make yours better!
These are based on popular debates as well as actual conversations I have had with gun people in stores, at the range, etc. Some of these are pretty bad.
Argument 1. Glock has larger Magazine Capacity
Glock Fan boys: “The Glock is better than the 1911 because it holds more capacity!”
Two words, “Double Stack.”
They make double stack 1911’s and STI has a line of what they call 2011’s which are also double stack. It renders this argument totally pointless.
It’s crazy how many people still pedal the “Glock has more magazine capacity” argument. Just as there are many types of 1911’s, this also includes magazine capacities and double stack. This particular argument shows ignorance for the other side’s platform.
Now, if we are strictly talking standard 1911 vs a typical Glock, then yes, the Glock would have 15 round magazine capacity 9mm, vs a 1911 .45 with 8 round or 9mm with 10 rounds. for us lucky California gun owners, this argument is also pointless since civilian guns are restricted to 10 round magazines.
Argument 2. No Safety’s Are Safer
Glock Fan Boys: “The Glock is superior in a self defense situation because it has no external safety switches to complicate the draw. When you are in a high stress situation you will not remember to switch off the safety and you will die!”
This argument is used a lot by gun instructors, which is ironic because it basically sounds like a lot of instructors are advocating for very poorly trained CCW holders to walk around with loaded guns. Shouldn’t you practice with your firearm frequently so situations like that don’t happen?
Glock Fan Boys Response: “Even highly trained military soldiers slip up sometimes, I’ve seen it, so why do you think you are any better?”
Do you even know how to properly hold a 1911? When you hold a 1911, your thumb rests over the safety and depresses it, that’s why it’s called a thumb safety. Yes, the Glock argument does have some merit, but if you know your gun, train with it, and know how to even hold it, then you should be regularly training with your carry gun! I don’t advocate for untrained people to be walking around with guns.
The Glock argument has some merit, but it doesn’t necessarily imply good ethics for new shooters and the argument doesn’t consider individual shooter skills but appeals to the lowest common denominator. But untrained is untrained, safety or no safety. I would love to see statistics on CCW holders getting into trouble because they forgot to flick the safety on their 1911.
In fact, so many people shoot themselves in the leg with their Glock that the gun community has coined the term “Glock Leg.”
Argument 3. 9mm is Superior
This goes into an unrelated debate about .45 vs 9mm. The reason I believe this is mostly irrelevant to this debate is because both 1911 and Glocks come in .45 and 9mm variants. Why so many Glock fan boys advocate for the 9mm? I do not know. Probably because 9mm is cheap, like Glocks.
Argument 4. 1911 is Heavier and Harder to Carry
there’s nothing to debate here, the 1911 is heavier and generally more difficult to carry? That second part is debatable. On one hand you have a thinner gun (1911) but longer, and on the other you have a thicker gun (Glock) but shorter. Which one is harder to carry?
I’m not that tall, but I can conceal carry a full sized 1911 no problem. It’s heavy but it doesn’t feel like my pants are just going to fall down. It’s not THAT heavy.
This one is up to you and your preference. I don’t always like carrying heavy guns in every situation. The Glock owners might have victory over this one.
Argument 5. Glocks are More Reliable than 1911
Again we have a flaw with comparing all 1911’s to all Glocks.
However, I have seen a fair share of Glock torture tests and seen some really impressive results! Even though I have not seen any empirical evidence or studies on Glock failure rates, I would concede this argument to the Glock side. I think, in general the tolerances are looser on a Glock and allows for a more reliable shooting experience in mud or frost (I’ve seen a lot of test videos).
For some gun owners, this particular argument is the end all to the entire debate. If it’s more reliable that means it is better right? I mean we’re not talking about Honda Civics here, we’re talking about something that can save your life. It doesn’t have to be beautiful, it just has to work!
The following is an actual argument someone who works at a gun shop (wearing a Glock Shirt) said to me:
Glock Fan Boy: Glocks are so much better than 1911s. The tolerances on a 1911 are too tight, you’d get killed in a gun fight!
And this is the reason that I do NOT think this argument is the “end all” to this debate. I’m not sure what kind of 1911 this guy was referring to, but it is ridiculous to assume that a 1911 wouldn’t even be able to shoot through its own mag. the tolerances are too tight? Like I have to clean it after ever mag or every shot???
Most conceal carry holders only have a single magazine with them. All your gun needs to be able to do is shoot through a single magazine for the most part. Unless you’re a horrible shot, maybe explains why Glock owners are so proud of their non-existent edge in magazine capacity. If the 1911 is so terrible that it can’t even shoot though a single mag, you’d think it wouldn’t have been in two world wars, competition shooters wouldn’t gravitate towards it, and there would be lawsuits all over the place by now?
The only case in which the Glock’s ultra reliability is actually an advantage is in the case that you are too lazy to clean your gun and in a post apocalyptic situation where you really have no time or access to materials to clean your gun.
So if you plan on preparing for the apocalypse, then by all means, go for the Glock! That might be the only situation in which this argument really has some merit.
I would choose the Glock if we were in some apocalyptic situation and I can see why so many military branches and police stations would turn to the Glock as their standard issue.
The arguments that Glock owners love to use are all pretty much pointless against the 1911. The Glock may have an edge on “reliability” but then the argument boils down to what you define as a “better” gun.
I think the 1911 is a “better” gun than the Glock even though I concede that most 1911’s are not going to be as reliable as Glocks. Why? Because my definition of a “better” gun is not as narrow as “will it shoot 10,000 rounds without jamming,” something most Glock fan boys believe their Glock is capable of doing with 100% reliability.
I haven’t touched upon all the things which I think the 1911 does better than the Glock and even most Glock owners concede to:
- 1911 Grip angle (this is subjective to the shooter)
- 1911 Trigger (You have to be a noob not to agree the 1911 trigger is superior)
- Aesthetics (To me it is important, to survivalists it might not be)
- Magazine capacity, for me the argument is irrelevant with Double Stack and since the 1911 slide is thinner, I think it’s even better than the Glock!
- Thumb Safety, great feature to have on a loaded gun and that thumb rest helps get you very high on the grip for recoil management
- After market parts are more readily available for 1911 though Glock has plenty of parts as well and is growing with Glock’s popularity
Now both guns are great, but some people have their own definitions of what they mean by “Better.”
As I just described, my criteria for “Better” involve a gun with all the above bullet points. At the end of the day, you will gravitate towards the gun which you shoot better and more accurately with. I can’t stand the Glock grip angle and I am a terrible shot with 9mm, so I gravitate towards a 1911 in .45. Others suck with it and gravitate towards 9mm.
If your only definition for “better” is more reliable then enjoy the Glock! But if you have different criteria for “better” you are really going to have a difficult time debating how the Glock is “better” than the 1911 in the arguments above or any other debates.