Archive for July, 2020

HighCalJay speaks out! #1

~July 16th, 2020

Colt for Zoot – Pros and ConsThe Colt 1911 is as steeped in American history and Americana as any other firearm. The 1911 was released in… you guessed it, 1911. It was designed by John Browning, the designer of another great autoloader, the Browning High-Power. It was created when the US military wanted a semi-automatic autoloading pistol to become their official sidearm. The Colt 1911 beat out 5 other competitors to win the contract. It went on to become the main servicepistol for the US Armed Forces from WW1 throughout much of the 20thcentury with few changes along the way. It lasted until 1985 when it was replaced by the Beretta M9. This goes to show how revolutionary the gun was in the 1910s and 1920s. As firearms technology kept getting better, it never lost its relevance. It was not just the military that used it though. A high-quality autoloading pistol was a great choice for any gangster looking tobe somebody. It wasn’t necessarily the only one on the market, but it only had a couple of worthwhile competitors. The only problem here is that the lawmen also understood how special the firearm was and eventually followedthe adage of “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em”.One major pro for the Colt 1911 is the round that it shoots. For a handgun, the .45 is a pretty powerful round. You basically had to purchase a bolt-actionrifle to find one with more punch. If you have a Tommy Gun, then even betterbecause you can buy the same round for both of your firearms. The .45 occupies a balanced place in the round hierarchies. It is incredibly powerful and will never leave one outgunned. It also doesn’t pack so much of a punch that it is difficult to fire. The recoil is noticeable, but definitely controllable. If you want a smaller round however, you can still carry a Colt by your side. A version of the gun was also made that fired .38 Super rounds. It had the same engineering behind the .45s with a smaller round which some find more suitable.A downside to using a more powerful and larger round is being able to carry less. The magazine of a Colt .45 only holds 7 rounds. While 7 bullets can takedown 7 coppers, what if there’s 8 of them? Or what if you’ve spent your nightat the local speakeasy, and heaven forbid, you miss a shot? Even the .38 Super version only holds 9 rounds. One good thing about the magazines is that they are plenty plentiful though. The gun is so popular that magazines can be found cheaply. Another thing the magazines have going for them is that you see how many rounds are left through a simple system of holes on the sides that show each round.
The 1911 is also just a plain good shooter. Even when knowing bettermagazine capacities exist, it can be hard to not favor a 1911 once you’ve fired one. It weighs a bit more than some other pistols. Some may not like this, but for others this means that it is easier to control while firing. It is alsoincredibly comfortable in your hand, and the simple wooden grips work like acharm for staying stable in your hands. Its accuracy is top notch as well. It is a staple of shooting competitions, even ones where modern firearms are used. The magazine release, slide release, and safety all feel very smooth to use. Some shooters don’t like safeties on their handguns, but the 1911’s safety is positioned in a way where it is incredibly easy to access with your thumb. It’s a great performer for a Zoot shoot.It is also reliable. As long as you clean it before every Zoot meetup, it should function well. Cleaning them can be a small hassle. It isn’t so complicated that it’s hard to remember how though. The main problem for me is taking it apart without the screw shooting across the room. This won’t be a real problem though for most lawmen and outlaws though. One last pro it its looks. It has a stylishly rugged appeal. It looks like it belongs next to glass of whiskey, a cigar box, and a mahogany table. While guns are tools, it never hurts to have one that looks good! Due to how heavily they were used, authentic ones from the time period aren’t as hard to find as other guns from the era. You can also find modern ones that fit the older aesthetic at reasonable prices, as they still manufacture them in roughly the style they had back in the day. On the subject of finding these fine works of art, keep in mind that .38 Super ammunition is harder to find and is a bit more expensive. .45 rounds are still common though, so this isn’t a problem with the classic .45 version.There are a lot of guns that make their ways to Zoot shoots, but the Colt 1911 is undeniably one of the classics.

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