One of our industry colleagues recently took a photo of the gun magazines on a newsstand display he was perusing at his local bookstore, pointing out that, out of 12 magazines available, nine featured a 1911 of some sort. If he’d waited another week, he could have counted 10, as our October 8 issue of Gun Digest magazine—out on newsstands 9/26/12—has the uber-cool Kimber Custom II on the cover.
With that kind of intensive coverage of just this one single pistol type, the ubiquitous 1911 of John Browning design, we inside the gun industry are sometimes tempted to say “Enough already!”
But the truth is there is an undeniable craving by America’s gun consumers for this wildly popular semi-automatic pistol and the seemingly unending variants its many makers can come up with.
And you know what? You’re all gonna need a book or two on the subject to go along with this most famous piece of firearms hardware. Here are my top three picks that every 1911 owner should have in their library.
• 1911: The First 100 Years by Patrick Sweeney—No one knows this gun and its history like Pat Sweeney. Part tribute, part historical evaluation, part current-day state-of-the-1911, this all encompassing look at everyone’s favorite .45 ACP is a thoroughly satisfying read.
• Gun Digest Big Fat Book of the .45, by Patrick Sweeney—Pat wouldn’t know the gun as well as he does and not know the ammo it was designed for. In this volume, you’ll learn about this round’s origins, get tips on handloading, and see the many places in history where this round has left its mark.
• Make Ready with Dean Caputo: 1911 Armorer’s Bench—There are more ways to customize a 1911 than you can shake a holster at, and expert law enforcement armorer Dean Caputo helps you sort through what works and doesn’t on this fabulous DVD. You’ll want to hook a TV and player up on your workbench for this one, because Dean walks you through everything from basic disassembly and trigger pulls to maintenance, getting through mechanical difficulties, parts fittings, and more. An invaluable tool for the avid 1911 shooter and home gunsmith.
About the Author: Jennifer L.S. Pearsall joined Gun Digest in summer 2011 as a books editor. She began her career selling guns in a retail gun shop and handgun range in Northern Virginia in the early 1990s. Recruited by the NRA to join its editorial staff in 1999, she then went on to succeed as a freelance writer and photographer. She's been a competitive shooter in many disciplines, including sporting clays, IPSC, and metallic blackpowder cartridge silhouette, and she has been an avid hunter for many years.
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