Great podcast and as always, it's great to hear John's knowledge about guns.
Let me first say that as a Former US ARMY Soldier, my first service weapon was a Colt 1911A1.
There was something mentioned on the podcast that I wanted to talk about. Near the end of the podcast the discussion came up that an advantage of a 1911 is that you can buy piece parts from multiple manufacturers and build a 1911.
You mentioned this as a good thing and it very well could be, but here lies the real issues with 1911's.
Let me share a perspective before people get mad at me.
The original 1911's where hand built or hand crafted because automation at that time was expensive in comparison to manual labor. Today the opposite is true. Today a hand crafted product is more expensive because automation is cheap.
The original 1911's had far better reliability due to this simple fact. A hand crafted 1911 was very reliable because the tolerance is so tight between the moving parts. Back in the day, if you took 3 1911's and dumped their parts in a bucket and shook it around. Now you take these parts out and randomly put them together, what do you end up with. 3 1911's that are not reliable. The original 1911's were hand crafted to fit the parts perfectly which was very important due to the tight tolerance between the moving parts.
Fast forward 100 years.
Today you have a lot of automation and less hand crafted 1911's. The most expensive 1911's today are the most reliable because they are hand crafted to high tolerances that makes all the parts fit together. This makes the $2,000 1911 a rock solid reliable gun.
You take the below average 1911 that is mass produced using automation and you loose the reliability due to the high tolerance required between parts on that platform and you end up with a gun that you must take to a gun smith and work on it for some time, before you get decent reliability out of it.
So I don't agree that building a 1911 piece by piece from a catalog by different manufactures is a good thing.
If the polymer pistols of today, ever get such a catalog to buy the parts individually from different manufacturers, you can still build a rock solid gun because the tolerance is loose on the modern hand gun.
There is a reason for this. My background is in Mechanical Engineering and I can tell you that tight tolerance between moving parts is much more difficult to make work. When it does, it's a smooth operating machine. But if you design something with moving parts that has looser tolerances, you gain reliability and eliminate many potential failure points.
There is NO WAY that multiple manufacturers can make 1911 parts and keep the exact tolerance required by the original design. They use different equipment that vary in the accuracy of their tolerance.
Why is the 1911 so accurate? It's because the original design was built around tight tolerances that allows the moving parts to work with minimal deviation and produces a highly accurate gun. So if you buy a custom built (Hand Crafted) 1911 that cost you $2000. You will not only get a rock solid reliable 1911, but you also maintain that high accuracy that 1911's are known for.
You piece one together from different manufacturers, you will end up with a 1911 that will have reliability issues due to the parts not working with each other as designed. You can still get some good accuracy out of these 1911's because when they do run, they have tight tolerances, but you will probably have some reliability issues until you work the kinks out with a gun smith.
1911's are fantastic. If everyone could afford a custom 1911, you have a thing of beauty, reliability and accuracy in your hands. If you go the mass production route or piece by piece route. You will have some issues.
Polymer guns are very reliable because of the loose tolerances but they do suffer some accuracy due to their design. For self defense or combat, you need something reliable that is accurate enough to do the job. If you are trying to shoot at 100 yards to win a long distance shooting match, you will fair better with a quality 1911 at that distance. In combat, this level of accuracy is not as important as reliability when the gun falls down on the dirt in the heat of battle.
John mentioned that special forces use 1911's. I can bet you they don't purchase the run of the mill 1911's for their purpose. They have the quality built 1911's that give them both accuracy and reliability. Due to this extra cost, you don't see all military carrying the type of 1911's that the special forces use.
I love guns and don't care what model it is. The one I carry is based on the needs I wanted and this is different for all of us.
Just wanted to mention my thoughts on this.
Keep up the great show and keep inviting great guest to your show like John H.