Firing My First 1911

Stephen Gutowski
By Stephen Gutowski | February 26, 2013 | 10:34 AM EST

Recently my girlfriend and I went up to Pennsylvania for my birthday. We brought our new handguns with us. Mine a Remington 1911 R1 Enhanced and hers a Smith & Wesson M&P 40 compact. It was the first time I got to fire my 1911.

I loved it.

In my humble opinion, the 1911 is the culmination of handgun design. John Browning knew exactly what he was doing when he designed this gun over 100 years ago. It shoots like a dream.

Now, I'm in no way a firearms expert, but I did test out quite a few different proprietary designs from Smith & Wesson, Glock, Sig Sauer, and others while figuring out what gun to get for myself. A lot of them were nice, especially the Smith & Wesson M&P my girlfriend ended up getting - but, nothing felt as nice as the Kimber Custom II 1911 I got to shoot.

There's simply nothing that feels like a 1911. It's buttery smooth with almost no recoil. And, even in my relatively inexperienced hands, it's a tack driver.

The Remington 1911 R1 Enhanced, which was just introduced last year, is particularly great. It has a number of enhancements (hence the name) that ever-so-slightly improve on the standard design. From the skeletonized trigger and hammer to the extra round held in the magazine and the fiber optic front sight, the upgrades improve the gun without getting in the way.

Beyond the basic function of the gun, which was fantastic except for two occasions where the slide didn't lock open after the magazine was empty; I learned a couple other lessons from this round of testing.

First, unconventional things like pickled beets and SpaghettiOs make awesome targets.

Second, never stand too close to a can of creamed corn you're shooting .45 hollow points at.

And, finally, if my girlfriend, my best friend, and I can't hit a stationary can of tomato soup with 30+ rounds from her M&P 40, then I sure as heck don't want to be limited by law to seven rounds in my gun.

Oh, also, green beans make awful targets. I shot a can of green beans three times with no reaction at all. It was extremely disappointing.

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