Life Imitates Art

This film has taken on new meaning for Cowboy Action Shooting (CAS) through a new category called “The Wild Bunch” added in recent years. In it, the single-action sixgun has been replaced by the 1911 Government Model. Shooters who wished to really be authentic began looking not just at any .45 semi automatic in the 1911 pattern, but rather either an original or an authentic replica of the Government Models dating back to the second decade of the 20th century.

Today, most 1911’s are fitted with extended and/or ambidextrous thumb safeties, excellent sights of either the tactical or fully adjustable variety, and a beavertail grip safety. The latter makes a huge difference when firing a long string of .45’s as the original tang has a habit of pounding on the back of the hand — or at least it does with me.

The original 1911 also had a flat mainspring housing instead of the arched version, which appeared in the early 1920s with the 1911-A1 Model. Thankfully, most manufacturers have gone back to the flat version. Sights have changed tremendously, and all to the good. My original 1911, a commercial model from 1914, has miniscule sights just about impossible to see. While it does shoot right to point of aim with 230-gr. hardball, it takes much concentration on my part to make it perform.