Today I took an old friend out to the range.
This is my 1911A1, made by Springfield Armory. A bit worn these days, I bought it new back in the 1980s from a then little-known pistolsmith in Redford, Mi named Patrick Sweeney.
I went into that shop as a novice shooter looking to order a frame and a slide for a 1911, having just read a magazine article that told how easy it was to build your own 1911. Now Pat could have taken my money and ordered the frame and slide that I'd come seeking, but being a decent guy, he took me back into his work area and showed me several botched "do-it-yourself" 1911 pistols that people had brought in at one time or another. Apparently, all of those parts from different manufacturers really don't go together as easily as the article implied. He then explained to me how it wasn't something that I, a non-gunsmith with no tools or know-how, was likely to pull off. Then he directed me to this brand new Springfield Armory pistol that sat in his display case--a cheap, no-frills, parkerized clone of the old GI model. "Try this one, and if you decide that you really like it, you can always trade it in and get a nicer one later."
I walked out with it, and then I spent a lot of time and money learning to shoot it. Along the way I had it's trigger reworked for a 4.5lb. pull instead of the 12lb+ pull that it came with. I also had new, hi-visibility sights put on it, added a Wilson Combat ambidextrous safety, and replaced the plastic grips with a set of Hogue wrap-around grips. And I never got around to trading it in for a "nicer" one. I like this one and I like it just the way it is.
Thing is, I hadn't shot it in quite a while, being too busy paying with newer acquisitions or repairing and test-firing other firearms. But lately, every time I'd open up the gun safe to get something else, I'd see this old pal of mine and feel just a bit guilty for not taking it out and dirtying it up.
Well today, I remedied that. I got out on the range with Proud Hillbilly, and I brought just one pistol--this one. And even though I haven't shot it in what seems like forever, it still fit my hand like a comfortable old shoe fits your foot. Then the steel plates began to fall, and the dueling tree targets began to flip back and forth.
PH's Glock may hold more ammo than my 1911, but even she noted that the .45 slugs moved the steel with noticeably more "oomph" than her 9mm. But it's like I always say: 9mm is fine if you're just shooting Europeans, but if you want to put an American bad guy in the dirt, you need to use a .45. If you hit something with a .45, it stays hit.
Nice shooting you, old friend. And we won't go so long between range sessions again. I promise.