Hi Airgun Experience readers – this is Kristen, Marketing Director with Pyramyd Air. Dennis is feeling under the weather and will be taking a break from the blog for a bit. Be sure to check periodically – he will be posting as soon as he is able to. He is in good spirits and looking forward to getting back to blogging! Thank you!
Barra 1911 vs. Sig Sauer WTP and Swiss Arms TRS
May the best gun win
By Dennis Adler
Let’s go with an assumption that the Barra 1911 is the second best blowback action 1911 on the market.First,authentic stylinghas to make it better than the Swiss Arms TRS and the Umarex Colt Commander. As for the Sig Sauer 1911 We The People, it is exactly the same in appearance as its .45 ACP Sig Sauer 1911 WTP counterpart, and whether you like the patriotic heavy-handedness of the gun’s design or not, 1:1 is 1:1 no matter what the centerfire gun looks like. I happen to think the Sig is one of the best looking 1911 designs that is not a Colt, not particularly for the “1776” and “We The People” embossing on the right and left sides of the slide, which is fairly subtle against the finish, but rather for the rugged, distressed finish itself, the 13 stars on top of the slide, and the 25 stars on each grip panel, the flat mainspring housing, fine grip checkering, and polished black grip safety, ambidextrous thumb safeties, hammer, and slide release. It is one of the most well thought out and finely-executed blowback action air pistols that has been built. Being second to that is no mean feat.
Barra 1911 Part 3
What makes a good 1911 CO2 model?
By Dennis Adler
That’s a question I ask every time a new CO2 version of the Colt Model 1911, 1911A1, or 1911 variant comes out. What manufacturers want to do is make air pistols that will sell. Umarex recognized that in 2014 with the Colt licensed Commander model, which wasn’t actually a Commander but a Government Model 1911 with a couple of upgrades to the sights. Back in 2014 it was the only game in town but the components to manufacture it in Taiwan were not exclusive. Others came (and went) but the designs rarely upped the game until Swiss Arms started having Rail Guns built. They have been few in number and now the Barra picks up the mantle with a gun that is more authentic than the Swiss Arms model. But is it any better? Is it a good 1911?
Barra 1911 Part 2
A 1911 by any other name
By Dennis Adler
The Colt Model 1911 is timeless. A fair enough statement considering that aside from the Colt Peacemaker, it is the longest continuous production handgun in history, to be specific, 110 years for the 1911 and 148 years for the Single Action Army, though you could deduct 15 years when manufacturing was suspended at Colt’s between 1941 and 1956, but that still leaves 133 years by the original manufacturer.
As a company, Colt’s has gone through bankruptcies and reorganizations quite a few times, as have many American manufacturers, including Colt’s biggest competitor Smith & Wesson. It is not unusual in American industry. Some great American companies, companies we once called American institutions, have failed to survive such events in their original form or name (though some do survive). Colt’s is on that footing once again, and soon may become part of CZ (just as Dan Wesson did some years ago). Will Colts manufactured by Colt, even if owned by a foreign company, still be Colts? It’s a reasonable question. Will a Colt’s Manufacturing Co. owned by CZ still build 1911s and Peacemakers? Most likely, but will it still have the same prestige?
Barra 1911 Part 1
The first “new” gun of ’21
By Dennis Adler
Why did I put “new” in quotes? Well, there’s nothing new about a blowback action 1911, even a modern tactical version like the Barra. Why then is the first new model for 2021 based on a design that was used for one of the very first blowback action CO2 models introduced seven years ago? The answer is that the 1911 is the most successful handgun of the 20th century; the fundamental design is literally 110 years old! If you think about it, there isn’t much from 1911 that is still around today in its original form. What else is memorable from 1911? The first bi-wing seaplane was put into service in 1911, and flying boats would become highly successful in commercial aviation by the 1930s. In 1911 GM introduced the Kettering electric starter on the Cadillac and hands and wrists have been thankful ever since. Crossword puzzles….OK, that’s one that really hasn’t changed too much, but when it comes to handguns a whole lot has changed since 1911 and continues to change, yet the 110 year-old Model 1911 design endures even in the age of polymer-framed Glocks and Sig Sauer M17s. Why? Because John M. Browning designed the most rugged, reliable, and easy to service handgun for the U.S. military in 1911, a gun so good it remained the standard issue sidearm from 1911 to 1985, that’s 74 years; through two World Wars, Korea, Vietnam, and the early conflicts in the Middle East, and even since it was replaced (twice in a little over 30 years time), the 1911 has remained in use with some specialized military units and with law enforcement. In spite of newer, higher capacity, lighter weight handguns, the 1911 is still that good in 2021.