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GUNS Magazine November 2012 Digital Edition - Page 8

STORY: Massad Ayoob “T he 1911 is a whiny thing,” said my girlfriend The Evil Princess. She then did her best imitation of Elizabeth Taylor’s nasal bray in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? “’My chamber’s too tight! My bushing’s not tight enough! Does that arched mainspring housing make my butt look big? I’m too dirty to work today! Waah! Don’t take me out shooting in the rain, I’ll ru-uust!’” Then she rested her elbow on the polymer-framed 9mm Springfield Armory XD(M) in her White Dog Kydex holster, and glared pointedly at the Old School hardware on my hip. I was wearing a Springfield Armory pistol, too, but it was a 1911 Range Officer .45 in a Safariland scabbard. The 1911 and I both did the logical thing. We surrendered… but we survived. It’s the time of the polymer pistol, but metal-framed handguns ain’t dead by a long shot. “WiLL that be PaPer, MetaL or PLastiC?” Springfields, modern and traditional, include (left) the XD(M) 9mm and (right) the 1911 Range Officer .45 ACP. Modernity Vs. tradition The scene of the discussion was the Power Line gun club range near Ocala, Florida. We were shooting an IDPA match run by champion shooter Deon Martin. I had happened to walk up to where The Evil Princess, behind the firing line, was chatting with another “shooter chick” (again, her term, not mine). Something old and obsolete had inadvertently entered the discussion, and just happened to be carrying a 1911 pistol on his hip. IDPA, the International Practical Shooting Association, focuses on “street guns.” At this particular match, there was exactly one double action revolver, and some 1911s, all absolutely swamped in a sea of Glock pistols, Smith & Wesson M&P autos, and XD-series Springfields. That’s pretty much the lay of the handgunning land these days. familiarity factor I had just come off of carrying one or another flavor of Glock for six months, and was due for something with some tradition to it, so I had chosen the 1911. I had worn one for a good bit of the previous year, that being the centennial of the gun and all, and had been shooting one since I was 12. I wasn’t wearing it just for tradition. Heck, my granddad carried a .32, but I ain’t that traditional. A part of it went beyond tradition and into habituation: I’d been shooting a 1911 for more than half a century, and it wasn’t a cliché to say that it felt like the handshake of an old friend. Yeah, I know, “familiarity breeds contempt.” But familiarity also breeds, well, familiarity. The old cocked-and-locked Colt and its clones fit my hand well, carry flat and comfortable inside the waistband, and point naturally for me. The 1911 shows its controllability: arrow shows .45 hardball brass in the air, but the Springfield Range Officer’s muzzle is already back on target. two-sided argument There’s an old saying, “Beware the man with only one gun; he probably knows how to use it.” Not always true, but true most of the time. Of 8 W W W. G U N S M A G A Z I N E . C O M • N O V E M B E R 2 0 1 2

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