We keep hearing the never-ending “1911 vs. Glock” argument. The two guns are as different as apples and oranges. It’s time to step it up and compare apples to badass apples with the REAL argument: which is better, the 1911 or the Sig Sauer P220?
Here are the 4 reasons why the Sig Sauer P220 is better than the 1911, this is the short version answer:
Ok, back to the long version of this debate:
I’ve always been a Sig Sauer fanboy and it all started when I got my first Sig Sauer P226 then wandered over to the P220 in .45 ACP years ago. At the time, I was sporting a Colt M1991A1 that I had spent hours working on, lovingly going through and modifying, upgrading to suit my needs so it would run reliably.
I had used the Colt in many tactics and self defense courses, and was comfortable with it. I grew to like it more and was carrying it lots until that fateful Sig Sauer fell in my lap courtesy of a friend.
‘Yep, was lust at first sight. The Sig P220 was the same basic concept as my Colt: a single-stack .45 ACP full sized combat pistol. (Though, oddly enough, 9mm, 10mm, .38 Super and .22LR are other available calibers for both pistols).
However, the Sig Sauer P220 benefited from another 65 years of pistol evolution and got almost everything right from the start. The P220 felt superb, was stunningly accurate, and—get THIS—I didn’t have to do anything to it. It was perfect, straight out of the box. I immediately relegated the Colt to the safe (archives), and haven’t looked back.
The P220 is a far superior carry gun to the 1911 platform. There, I said it. I will champion the following statement till the day I die: Anything the 1911 can do, the Sig Sauer P220 can do better.
Yell at me all you want, I know I’m right after years of using both platforms—and here’s my justification.
This first reason a Sig P220 is better than a 1911 is a no-brainer. If you were in a situation where you knew people would be shooting back at you, and you could only choose between a Sig P220 or a 1911, both loaded with modern hollowpoint defense ammo, which would you grab? I know that P220 would be in my hand faster than you could say, “tap-rack-bang.”
I can tell you from extensive experience with both platforms that the Sig Sauer P220, no matter its vintage, will run pretty much whatever ammo you can put through it like greased corn runs through a goose. The 1911 can be… well, we’ll go with “finicky.” I’ll go one step further: I have such complete confidence in the “To hell and back reliability” of the Sig Sauer P220 that if there were a pile of 50 unknown stock P220s in front of me and I had to choose just one to use as a carry gun to protect my life with, I could close my eyes, grab one, and be certain the gun would run 100%, as long as it had been properly maintained.
Would you say the same about a pile of 50 unknown stock 1911s? Especially with self-defense ammo? I rest my case.
2. Simplicity in operation
Some might argue that a 1911 is as simple as it gets, with one trigger pull to master. I see your one trigger pull, and I raise you the the two separate external safeties (grip and thumb) that must be correctly actuated for a 1911 to go off, plus the need to carry “cocked and locked” (hammer back on a loaded chamber, thumb safety engaged) for the pistol to be truly combat-ready (argue all you want on condition one/two/three, but this is a generally accepted statement.).
If you only use 1911s for all your pistol needs, I can see this being acceptable, maybe even preferable. However, for new gun owners or people who switch up their carry pistols, this can get confusing and possibly unsafe very quickly. I’m not saying that you need to be a rocket scientist to run a 1911, but it takes more far attention to the pistol, safety, and handling.
A Sig Sauer P220 only needs to be run one way: hammer down on a loaded chamber. Sig Sauer even provides a thumb-operated de-cocking lever to let the operator accomplish this safety. Sorry, but John Moses Browning in all his wisdom still made you lower your hammer manually, which is less safe by definition. Yes, I am fully aware that carrying a P220 in this aforementioned fashion means (God forbid) TWO trigger pulls to master: one heavy double-action first, single action thereafter. But you know what? You train through this process.… you know, just like 1911 drivers train to clear stoppages, disassemble full-length guide rods, or be just a little too smug.
Or, hey, get yourself a P220SAO (single action only) or P220 with a DAK trigger. Those P220 variants are easier on those who can’t wrap their heads around two different trigger pulls from one gun.
3. Only one company builds Sig Sauer P220s
Here’s a fun exercise: go to your favorite online gun auction site: Gunbroker, GunsAmerica, whatever you like. Type “1911” into the search bar, Go ahead.
Who makes the first ten guns that pop up? My GunsAmerica search brought up the following: Smith & Wesson, two Colts, Kimber, CSC Arms, Springfield, Dan Wesson, Detonics, Taurus, and Ruger. Hmmm, interesting. You think all those guns, with sell prices ranging from $499 to over $2,000, all have the same level of quality standards? Do you think you could take those ten guns and disassemble them all and throw their parts in a pile, then make ten completely new, fully functional guns with those jumbled-up parts? Didn’t think so.
At one time, I had three Sig P220s of the same generation (P220s had slight generational changes to the slide and extractor setups over the years) and I conducted that very exercise. What do you know? They all worked just fine afterwards. Funny how that works when only one manufacturer makes a gun. When you buy a P220, you know you’re getting a quality gun. When you buy a 1911, well, I’d guess you’d have to say “that depends.” Yes, I know having a variety of manufacturers increases accessibility to the masses due to gentler price tags. However, in the wide world of guns, it’s universal that you do indeed get what you pay for.
Also worth noting: my experiences with Sig Sauer’s customer service team have been nothing short of exceptional. Is Colt’s customer service widely lauded as exceptional? How about Taurus? Remington? Something to think about before you pick up that 1911. Just in case it doesn’t, y’know, work all the time. I hear it happens.
4. You don’t need to $&!# with a Sig Sauer P220
If you get a Sig P220 with the Siglite night sights, you don’t need to do anything else to it. Done. Design perfection attained. The triggers are almost always quite-good-to-excellent for a DA/SA gun. Accuracy is always excellent. Reliability is top notch. What else would you need to fix? Quick answer: nothing.
Unless you spend the dough for an already upgraded 1911 with enhanced accessories, your run of the mill original design GI-style 1911A1 will have miserable sights, no beavertail on the grip safety, standard safety size, and probably a little short trigger that has a pull that ranges anywhere from mediocre to acceptable. It will probably need a “fluff ‘n’ buff” to make it feed defensive ammo, too. In fact, any 1911 that would be generally be considered to have the “correct” accepted upgrades to be a modern fighting pistol is so vastly removed from the original 1911A1 design that it could be considered a new design.
What did Sig have to do to the P220 to make it a modern fighting pistol? They put an accessory rail on it. Check and mate.
But… but… but…!
I know most of you 1911 guys and gals are sputtering, “yeah, but…!” and stating counterpoint after counterpoint based on different models and options and personal opinions. That’s cool; this article is my personal opinion. I know the 1911 is “God’s Gun” (though I bet when I get to the Pearly Gates, Saint Peter will be rocking a Sig) and the physical manifestation of “America!” in forged steel. I can’t argue the symbolism, patriotism, and outright “hell YEAH!” that holding a kickass 1911 brings forth. However, “hell YEAH” won’t keep you safe in a gunfight. It’ll probably keep you reasonably safe in a bullseye match… but I still would lay odds that a nice P220 Match Elite will probably kick the crap out of a 1911 Gold Cup at the target range too. (I know, the heresy! The horror of even SAYING that!).
So let us know below which would you choose.
Sources: Monkey Wrench, Sig Sauer, Colt, Drew Perez
How well did the iconic 1911 pistol do in trench warfare?
Ian from Forgotten Weapons Youtuber cakes on the mud to see just how well a 1911 pistol can run.
Weapons used in the trenches had to battle lots of mud. With heavy mud fouling inside and outside firearms had a rough time staying in function. How did the iconic 1911 pistol do with heavy mud? Well Ian uses a Ballester Molina 1911 style pistol to try out an experiment with mud and pistol.
As you’re about to see, firearms have a rough time with mud.
Even though Ian was able to get some shots off there were jams taking place left and right.
Special thanks to Ian for using his pistol to prove this point while ours stay clean, oiled and happy.
Sources: Forgotten Weapons Youtube, Ian McCollum, Eric Nestor
We’ve all heard of the quasi-mystical ‘Gun runners’ and ‘illegal gun trade’, but if you’ve ever wondered where those illegal guns could come from, wonder no more.
The Philippine city of Danao has a few manufacturers, making copycat Colts and other 1911s with templates and hand tools. Unfinished though they are, they get handed off to finishers that make these guns look like the real deal. They fire, they’re dangerous, and they’re being imported. At $230 a sale, these illegal guns aren’t all that expensive, but they are massively illegal. They’re even given fake serial numbers and branding to match the real deal. The manufacturers make a barebones living, the shippers get a sizeable chunk of profit, and we get shafted with more gun crime.
If it’s this or starvation for the manufacturers, I can hardly blame them, but I can absolutely blame those who stand to turn a profit from these activities.
Maybe it’s time to do something about it, but what?
According to traffickers, there’s one place where high-quality ghost guns are readily available: The city of Denao, in the Philippeans. Denao has been a hub for gun manufacturers for over a century, but legal gun industry experiences periodic downturns. Many families believe that their survival depends on doing what they know best: Making illegal guns.[I started doing this when I was 22, now I am 53. And still, all I do, is make guns.] [THE AMADO FAMILY; ILLEGAL GUNSMITHS]
Hiding in a workshop deep in the jungle, Mr. Amado and his sons make guns to order, and they’re all handmade.[It’s a widely-known model, the 1911. The most popular one in Danao. It’s a good gun to make.]
Developed and used during the philippean war, this gun earned its name, and it was adopted by the US military in 1911. Relying on scrap metal and simple tools, they use a template and hand-craft using simple tools.[This pattern applies to various models be it a Combat, a 1911, a mark IV. These parts need to be welded, then you need to file and polish it so it will look the same as this one.]
Working twelve hours a day, together they make five handguns a month.[For a gun like this, I get paid 5,000 pesos ($115)]
Guns help put food on the table, but they still live in poverty. In the jungle workshop, it’s every man for himself. Amado and his family are on constant alert. They fear that jealous neighbors, their competition, are out to get them.[It’s envy. Thar’s when they go to the authorities to have you arrested, and then they come for you.]
Weekly raids by the police mean that Amado and his family are forced to run and hide in the jungle, rather than face arrest.[Bail is 40,000 pesos ($920), where will I get that? It’s bad for us to be arrested, our families can do nothing. They will have nothing to eat.]
For those sucked into illegal gun making, options are limited. To make money, the guns have to move on.[This is the end result. It should look like this when it’s done.]
This 45 is ready to test-fire. But it has to work perfectly for Lumabon.[We can now test this for selling. I’m loading 5 bullets.]
Any imperfection in the gun could make it jam.[It has to fire for the downrown buyer to take it.]
Lumabon tests his own gun without protection. If it misfires, it could kill him. Luckily, his craftsmanship is right on target.[This gun shoots well and is already good for delivery to Danao.]
The mechanics of the clone Colt 45 appear to work perfectly. It’s ready for its next phase.[We have contacts downtown who we sell this to, they take this and do everything, including the finishing. They finish the job for us.]
His buyer will put the finishing touches on the gun, but to get paid, Lumabon has to do two things: Get out of the jungle, and get into town without getting busted.[We are not afraid as long as there is no checkpoint. I will take a motorcycle, ask my friends if there are checkpoints or not, so I can keep going.]
Lumaban gets a warning; there has just been a police raid nearby, so he’s forced to take a detour.[When there’s a checkpoint, we detour onto another road for Danao]
With the buyer only willing to wait until sunset, he needs to hurry. It’s a nerve-racking business. Spies are everywhere. He’s made it, just in time. The 45 has exchanged hands in its first transaction, but not its last if the gun traffickers do their job. This ghost gun’s opening price: $115. When they come this cheap, for buyers, it’s all about the profit.[We deliver them when we have stock.] [‘EDWIN’, BUYER-DISTRIBUTOR]
Edwin is the first link to a large international distribution network that will see clone 45 caliber ghost guns go all the way to the USA. But the smuggling can only begin when he’s got enough of them.[When orders start coming in for 10 or 20 guns from different places, that’s when I, as the stockholder, send them out.]
Edwin deals in a variety of untraceable guns, but he buys them all unfinished. They’re all missing one vital thing: A serial number.[Like this 45, it has no bluing, no finishing, no markings.]
He sends them to a network of highly-skilled backyard workers who specialize in making clone guns look legitimate. Most important: Original brand markings, and made-up serial numbers. Guns indistinguishable from the originals get the highest price.[We sell it here for 10,000 pesos ($230)]
On each sale, Edwin doubles his money. With customers paying Edwin top dollar, he can’t afford to lose any in transit, so he selects his gun mules carefully.[When transporting firearms, we use women to deliver them.]
by Sam Morstan
Source: RandomVidz Youtube, Underworld Inc, Nat Geographic
Larry Vickers of Vickers Tactical and his buddy Dave Royer were out testing a firearm myths whether dual-wielding versus using sight alignment with a single pistol is better. Seen all the time in the movies Dave and Larry are out to show you what really happens when you fire two pistols at the same time.
They start the test with stationary shooting at multiple targets. (5 targets) Dual shooting (using H&K .45 Compact and a custom Colt 1911) was going from inside targets to outside targets. Single pistol shooting went from left to right. The result for dual shooting was at 2.8 seconds and 3.73 seconds for single pistol. Dual shooting was faster but not as accurate as with single pistol. However, for this test single pistol shooting with good sight alignment wins the accuracy test.
Starts out at a walk towards the target from 30 yards out and at the sound of a buzzer. Shooter engages the target while still moving forward. Dual pistols will be alternate shots between left and right. Single pistol lay down some lead rapidly. The verdict single pistol wins with accuracy and speed on this drill.
Larry: The next movie myth we’re gonna tackle is the Dual Wield Handgun. You’re also seeing this show up in a lot of videogames. Essentially you’ve got a handgun in each hand, and you’re firing at multiple targets, with amazing accuracy on the silver screen. On the surface it looks like it might be a home run, because you can fire a lot more bullets in the same amount of time as one handgun, in theory. What do you think?
Dave: I think I’d go with one gun, because you’re throwing out sight line on it, and that’s the key to accuracy.
Larry: Well, we’ll see how it shakes out. Got two guns here, HK-45 compact 45 ACP, and a custom colt 1911 built by yours truly, 45 ACP. We’re gonna do a variety of drills, dual-wield, then we’re going to do the exact same drills single-handgun. We’l look at the timer and look at the hits, see how it shakes.
Dave: Alright Larry, we’re gonna shoot these targets, you’re gonna shoot simultaneously at two targets, working from the center out, one at each target.
Dave: On the buzzer, shoot ready. Standby [beep] [gunshots]
Dave: Let’s check it out.
Larry: What kinda time we got?
Dave: 2.81 seconds.
Dave: Well this target looks clean.
Larry: Don’t think we have to worry about pace, now remember this was the far-left target, left handed, with the HK-45, this is actually the last target I shot at on the left hand side. Same deal.
Dave: Clean target on the left on the second target.
Larry: This was double-action, the HK-45, the first target I shot. Was this it?
Dave: I believe that’s it.
Larry: Target’s clean.
Dave: Got a center hit on this target.
Larry: Now this was the target I was focusing in on. I was doing the thing that you and I talked about, actually looking at the targets, and kinda trying to do sympathetic movement.
Larry: Ok, we’ve got a shot here. Not a great one, still a hit. And I got a hit here.
Dave: So basically, you were point-shooting to the right, and you hit every one.
Larry: Right. Two very good hits, one mediocre hit, and three misses. 2.8 seconds. Now, same technique: Low ready, finger straight, one on each coming all the way across.
Dave: Alright Larry, so we can compare, we’re gonna have you shoot like you normally would: With one gun, two-handed, from the low ready, at the beep shoot from the farthest left to the right, one on each target.
Dave: Shooter ready. Standby.[Beep, gunshots]
Dave: Time is 3.73, so less than a second, but I’m betting we got better shots.
Larry: Yea let’s check out the test. Bad hit, but still outside the circle. Talking about an OK hit but not great.
Dave: Excellent hit.
Larry: Outstanding. This one’s in our circle.
Dave: Top of the circle.
Larry: So we’ll accept that.
Dave: Absolutely. About the same place.
Larry: Same thing here.
Dave: Inside the circle, ’bout one O’clock.
Larry: ‘Nother hit inside the circle, and another excellent hit. Well I think the verdict is clear on that. Clearly one handgun and point fire, using your sights and index on the target, firing one shot at a time and make that shot a good shot; far superior to any kinda dual-wield in that scenario.
Dave: Absolutely, because as we know, with any kinda real threat, the only way to get rid of it is this.
Larry: Bingo. Got another movie myth coming up, this involves two pistols, and shooting on the move while shooting forward. This one’ll be really cool, I guarentee ‘ya.
Larry: Alright Dave, what’s the drill?
Dave: The drill is, I’m gonna give you the command to walk, and at the sound of the beep, you’re going to alternately shoot at one target.
Larry: Alright, and three shots each, alternating?
Dave: Shooter ready?
Dave: Walk.[Beep, gunfire]
Larry: Hm. The hits are actually pretty decent.
Dave: And that’s what we were talking about. As long as you can acquire the target, point-shooting or the sights. If you’ve got sight-alignment on the target, it’s much easier, or you have much better accuracy.
Larry: Alright. Now I’m gonna try it with one gun.
Larry: Alright dave.
Dave: Alright we’re gonna do the same drill with one gun, command of walk you move toward the target, on the beep you engage with the target six-seven shots.
Dave: Shooter ready. Walk.[Beep, shots]
Larry: Alright. Well. Can’t argue with those hits.
Dave: No, and it’s what I expected on this drill, because this is a common drill in training, shooting on the move. You have perfect sight alignment, you have one target, shouldn’t expect anything else.
Larry: Well I think we can kinda wrap up two guns Vs. one gun.
Larry: I know what I’d pick.
Dave: You bet.
Larry: One gun. Every time.[Vicker’s Tactical Outro]
Source: Vickers Tactical Youtube, TAC-TV Crew, Larry Vickers