Is there a good compromise between Glock and 1911?


July 17, 2008, 01:16 AM
I've been looking for a pistol that would combine in itself reliability of Glocks (Feeds any kind and any brand of ammo well. Requires very little maintenance. Not susceptible to water, salt, dirt and sand. Simple in construction. etc) and would operate similarly to 1911. (at least one reliable and easy to operate manual safety, and preferably other things like open hammer, thumb and grip safety, SA etc...)

Trigger must feel the same on the first and every consecutive pull.

Springfild XD and HK USP seem to satisfy my requirements pretty well. (although both have drawbacks: Springfiled XD is still unproven, USP has a very large trigger guard so something might get snagged on a trigger, and it has only one safety)

So what I wanted to ask you guys is if there are any other pistols out there that meets such requirements. Any other good compromises? If not, what do you think of Sprinfgiled XD and HK USP?

Thanks in advance!

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July 17, 2008, 01:23 AM
A "1911" that is correctly built in spec is as reliable as any other pistol and possible better than many.

Zak Smith
July 17, 2008, 01:31 AM
I strongly recommend getting a Glock - specifically a Glock 19 or 17.

Most objections to the Glock as a fighting pistol fall into the general category of mindset failure, including objections of the forms: "I don't like it", "It doesn't fit my hand", "I need a manual safety", "The trigger is bad."

Scores of new shooters try to make pistol selection much more difficult than it need be; I did so myself when I was new.

The vast majority of people who buy a pistol for self-defense would be better served by a Glock than something else. If that's hard to swallow, at least grant that the mental energy and hand-wringing over what pistol to buy (or what brand of ammo to shoot) would be better spent in training and mindset development.

Now back to your regularly-scheduled handgun thread...

July 17, 2008, 01:32 AM
I'm not sure what you mean by the XD being "still unproven". They have been through the ringer in testing and have performed beautifully. I own the XD40 and for me it's probably the most comfortable gun I've shot as well as accurate.... Als I've yet to have one FTF or FTE with it after about 500 rounds. Really haven't heard anything really negative about them. Just wondering what you meant by that?

July 17, 2008, 01:53 AM
Hunter, according to your sig I'd assume you are talking about Colt 1991, correct? :) As far as I know, it will feed hollow point, but I don't think it feeds all brands of ammo reliably. I also heard that it requires relatively high maintenance compared to modern designs. Or am I wrong?

XDelicious, I really did not hear much about XD, and it doen't seem like there is alot of information (reviews, tests) posted on the web. That's why I arrived to that conclusion. But if you know of any reviews or test of this pistol, please let me know. If it's posted on the web I'd especially appreciate that. :)

Zak Smith, I'll probably end up getting Glock 19 exactly for the reason that you posted, but I don't want to give up just yet. Still trying to find something closer to what I ideally want. :)

July 17, 2008, 02:01 AM
Q: Is there a good compromise between Glock and 1911?

A: Yes: a CZ 75-D Compact (PCR), or a CZ 75 P-01.

July 17, 2008, 02:02 AM
Sig is an average of sorts between GLOCK and a traditional 1911 in many respects. THe alloy frame is kind of a middle ground between S.S. and polymer's weight and feel. T.D.A. trigger means no safety like the GLOCK, yet all but the first shot are still S.A. (and if consistent from 1st to last shot is a must, you can always get the L.E.M. trigger). Has the reliability of a GLOCK, but still has "real gun" heft, feel, and visible hammer like a 1911.

But if you want more 1911-like, aren't they making X.D.'s with M.S.'s now? I mean, that's kind of on the nose, isn't it? Grip safety, manual safety, more traditional grip angle, etc. I don't care for them, but I wouldn't rule it out by saying they're uproven. Every year proof you add to that threshold requisite is that many more platforms you are denying a possibility of. I.M.O. only and Y.M.M.V.

EDIT: also look into a Sig P220 S.A.O.! There's your high quality, manual safety, and T.H.A.B. reliability!

July 17, 2008, 02:03 AM
Interesting, I'll check the these CZs out. Thanks, borntwice!

July 17, 2008, 02:06 AM
Springfield XD

Tried, tested and true:

July 17, 2008, 02:11 AM
Thaks jih26oo. I gotta look into p220 SAO. BTW, what does M.S. stand for? (fist line in your second paragraph)

Thanks for the links Defensory! So thay actually did test it!

July 17, 2008, 02:50 AM
Roman, I did a quick search and found an article from someone on the torture tests of a XD.... This was just a quick search mind you, and not done by a professional (that I can tell). I will look a little longer but I am tired. Maybe I can find something concrete soon. I have to admit my comments about the XD's are based on owning one (of course I haven't put my gun through any torture tests:D), and from hours on gun forums and reading reviews and the like. I will continue to look for some solid tests on the XD's.

Here's the article.

July 17, 2008, 03:01 AM
I'll throw in this review by a 1911 guy.

July 17, 2008, 03:02 AM
Nice find, thanks!

July 17, 2008, 03:04 AM
No problem.... Time for bed :cool:

July 17, 2008, 03:20 AM
Springfild XD and HK USP seem to satisfy my requirements pretty well. (although both have drawbacks: Springfiled XD is still unproven, USP has a very large trigger guard so something might get snagged on a trigger, and it has only one safety)

I dunno where you get the unproven part of the XD from? When I was doing my research there were quite a few articles around including torture tests. Ive got a video CD that Springfield was giving out when they came out with the XD, and they torture test it pretty well in the videos (Sand, water, bake, freeze, toss off a 2 story building). Its also been out long enough that Im not hearing of any endemic problems (mostly praise). My main CCW is an XD40 SC, and over on another thread (Best Handgun Surprise in a Positive Way) there are 3 posters that have listed the accuracy of the XD40 SC as their biggest positive surprise.

Only 1 safety on a USP?
Ill confess, Im not an expert on HKs, but a USPC 40 is in my CCW rotation (along with XD40 SC and SIG P229R/357 SIG) and one reason I like the USPC is the availability of Variant 1 (round in chamber, de-cocked, safety on).
YeahI guess technically that is only 1 safety?, but the fact that its a manual safety (and is well designed) and you have the long trigger pull for the first shot when de-cocked probably makes it one of the safest guns around?
Im assuming you can get Variant 1 in a USP-the USPC is bout the only HK that fits my hand.

Might do a Google search for Springfield XD Torture Test for some research.

BTWguess Im just one o those folks with a mindset failure!
Years ago (before buying my first polymer gun), I found Glocks just didnt fit my hand at all. HeckI ended up buying (a few) Sigmas! :what:

July 17, 2008, 08:24 AM
USP has the firing pin block safety too

July 17, 2008, 08:54 AM (

my thought process says... if it's good enough to defend your life, it's good enough for competition. if it's good enough for life and competition, it's probably a good pistol. the poster above is for USPSA production division, but there is also an entire division (single stack) dedicated to the 1911. the 1911 has been around for nearly a century for a darned good reason, with a massive aftermarket. the glock is probably the most widely used law enforcement pistol and has an aftermarket that approaches the 1911. the CZs are an excellent, accurate, and durable, all steel pistol used widely around the world. berettas are used by the armed forces. SIGs are used by top military forces and law enforcement as well, and are fine machines. the smith M&P is doing extremely well for a new pistol and probably has the best ergonomics thanks to interchangeable backstraps if you got smaller hands. the XD is plenty proven and has more safety features like the grip safety, and a conspicuous striker and loaded chamber indicator that are impossible to miss and an ambi mag release. not a taurus fan, nor have seen any on competition - but the folks at are more than happy to share the joys of carrying their taurus pistols with you.

find a few guns that fit your hand and you can easy work the controls on, then rent them all and shoot them at the range. then pick the winner that's right for you and buy it. it's better to spend $100 test driving a bunch of guns than to lose 150-200 every time you trade a gun in.

July 17, 2008, 08:57 AM
CZ, can't go wrong.

July 17, 2008, 09:00 AM
oh and for your original question..... if i had to name a compromise between a plastic DAO glock and a steel SAO 45... and has exposed hammer and an external safety... then here it is:


if you like the stopping power of the .45, there is the CZ-97 with the 45 auto round, 10 in the magazine, and manual safety for cock-n-lock. it's DA/SA, so you can also carry hammer down, or strike a cartridge twice if needed.

if you like light weight, there's the P-01 or 75 compact, which are alloy frames, available with a decocker (75 compact can come with plain manual safety), and are available in 40 if you need more stopping power than a 9mm.

if you want capacity, the 75 compact holds 14+1, the 75b holds 16+1, and the 75b using SP-01 mags can hold 19+1.

if you want familiarity with a 1911, the 40b is designed externally as a 1911, uses the 40sw cartridge that has good stopping power, and holds 12+1 with aftermarket flush fitting mec-gar magazines. it is also an alloy frame, so it feels about the same as a full sized plastic pistol. comes with a manual safety, and is available for $289 + shipping + FFL through cdnn.

maybe i'm biased because i'm a CZ nut, but read the above for yourself and see why i think they are a good middle ground.

July 17, 2008, 09:44 AM
I would have to say that the XD IS the middle ground between the Glock and the 1911.

The XD has ergonomics close to a 1911, especially the new ones with the interchangeable backstraps. And it has the reliability, accuracy and plastic of the Glock.

July 17, 2008, 10:05 AM
^^ yes. the XD was designed with the following in mind:

glock (plastic, striker)
1911 (grip angle and grip safety)
plus modern safety features (good loaded chamber and striker position indicator)

... which is why we bought it for my fiance as her carry. :) easy for her to see what's going on inside the pistol, and with her extra small hands, she uses her trigger finger to release the magazine. she cannot reach the mag release on any right-hand-thumb-only carry-sized gun that i've seen so far.

July 17, 2008, 10:20 AM
Sounds like you are asking for a USP to me. The safety mechanism on a V1 USP is my favorite control lever of any weapon, ever. The tough part about USP fullsize models is that the enlarged trigger guard makes many of their holsters one gun only, but if you are buying high quality then your holsters will already be fit for one gun.

Gary A
July 17, 2008, 10:26 AM
Get yerself a good sixgun and be done with it. (Just kidding)

July 17, 2008, 12:26 PM
Just get a reliable 1911. From what I understand, most of the unreliability of 1911s is due to tightening things up for accuracy.

Of course the HK lineup is very similar to a 1911 and has a polymer frame. Also well known for their reliability.

July 17, 2008, 01:10 PM
The M&P 45 has all you are asking about.

Thumb safty & all. My 9mm has bee 100% reliable.

July 17, 2008, 01:36 PM
A Glock 35; same length of a 1911.

July 17, 2008, 01:37 PM
+1 on the M&P.

July 17, 2008, 02:05 PM
The M&P 45 has all you are asking about. Thumb safty & all. My 9mm has bee 100% reliable.

I've never seen a thumb safety on an M&P! :confused:

July 17, 2008, 02:23 PM
the new XD-45 does for 2008.

July 17, 2008, 02:28 PM
My M&P has a thumb safety.
Now you have seen one :)

July 17, 2008, 02:42 PM
A Sig is a good compromise. They are as reliable as Glocks, but have the grip angle and feel that is closer to a 1911.

July 17, 2008, 02:58 PM
My M&P has a thumb safety. Now you have seen one :)

That I have…I come looking for information, not affirmation!
(At’s why I didn’t drop the “you’re full of ****" bomb on ya!) :D

BTW…I assume that’s a factory thumb safety? I did a quick look/see at Smith & Wesson’s site before making my last post and saw no thumb safeties in any pix, and looked at a few “Features” pdfs and saw no mention made of thumb safeties (did see mention of an optional magazine safety for LE/Government).
Now that I’ve taken a second look, I see the 45 thumbnail (in the dark earth brown only, ONLY in the LE section) shows a picture of a thumb safety, but when you download the features pdf it’s not there and no mention made of it!

So what’s the story on your thumb safety? Does it come only on the 45, and is it special order?

July 17, 2008, 03:00 PM
Thumb safeties suck, trigger safeties and backstrap safeties are good.

Anyways, if you want a compromise, put a list together of what properties you want in the gun.
For example:
Polymer frame
Thumb safety
Double stack
Single Action trigger

Now, take those properties and look around, theres PROBABLY already a gun that fits that description.

July 17, 2008, 03:12 PM
The thumb safety is only an option on the .45 models. I believe on the pdf the thumb safety is actually listed under the internal lock section. The DE colored guns all have a thumb safety, and black models are available with or without them. I got mine with the thumb safety, as there are times I would rather have it, and times I would rather not, and it is very easy to remove.

July 17, 2008, 03:54 PM
Is this going to be your self defense gun?

Have you shot many different semiauto handguns?

Did you have good success with any of them as far as accuracy goes?

If the answer to the first question is "yes" and the second is "no" then it is best to talk about basics instead of make/model. If the answer to the second question is "yes" then look for a gun with the features you want in that "family".

The "basics" are, fit the gun to you and not you to the gun and pick a gun that goes "BANG" when you want it to. Fit means find a gun that has a grip angle that allows you to point the gun naturally so that the sights come right up to your eye properly aligned without having to change your grip or adjust the angle of your wrist. Find one that has a comfortable reach to the trigger and has a grip width that doesn't require you to throw your wrist out of alignment with your forearm to point the gun at the target. Find out what grip angle/reach/width fits You, then you can find what steel/poly gun has the features you want. Then you can look at reliability and ability to feed ammo.

If it turns out you point a CZ better than a 1911/XD/M&P you'll find that you will be comfortable shooting heavier recoil ammo out of it than a gun that doesn't fit you as well. If the Glock fits better than the CZ, the same applies. If you don't like any of those, look at the newer generation of handguns with interchangeable backstraps that allow you to alter the grip angle to fit You. Guns like the M&P, new XDs, even the Walther may give you the fit and features you want.

No one make/model of gun is "the right gun" for everyone. Make sure it fits you and you're gun will be right for You.

BTW, I fit the BHP best of all, but the 1911 is close enough that I've retrained my body to shoot it naturally and I'm thinking about a new poly pistol that has the grip angle of the 1911 to replace my old P12 (which has had 10,000 rounds through it without a hiccup).

July 17, 2008, 03:59 PM
Thumb safeties suck...

Well there ya go-just when I was trying to keep it HR and not drop the "you're full of ****" bomb on him! :banghead:
Then again, I never professed to be young enough to know it all... :D

I rather enjoy my thumb safeties, thankyouverymuch!
I'm jest gonna toss the "thumb safeties suck" in with the rest of my knee jerk reaction know:
1. I need a trigger job
2. Guns don't need no stinkin' safety
3. Magazine safeties suck (read Ayoob's take on magazine safeties fer another point of view)
4. Light rails suck
5. Glock is KING (HANDS DOWN or PERIOD)!

I'm sure there are others in there...

July 17, 2008, 04:40 PM
You forgot to end it with a HANDS DOWN! or PERIOD.

July 17, 2008, 05:45 PM
Thumb safeties suck
^That WAS my knee jerk reaction. Then I stated my less kneed jerk opinion. ;)

July 17, 2008, 05:46 PM
So what’s the story on your thumb safety? Does it come only on the 45, and is it special order?

The thumb safty was put on the .45 because that is what the Military wants & the gun was to be submited to the Military for test (as well as other brands)

July 17, 2008, 05:49 PM
contracts usually specify a manual safety.

July 17, 2008, 08:12 PM
Roman2in I have had not had any trouble with my Colts for sure with any feeding issues and maintenance is not bad at all but I have also shot several other "1911s" that also gave me the same reliability such as Springfield and Para.
The current AO are also nice pistols.
I believe there are many manufacturers of quality "1911s" that work great. Colt just happens to be my favorite.
"1911s" do not require any more maintenance than any other pistol and built correctly they will work and feed anything from JHP to LSWCs.

The Lone Haranguer
July 17, 2008, 09:04 PM
The SAO version of the SIG P220.

CZ75 (9mm or .40) or 97B (.45). The manual safety models allow for cocked-and-locked carry or double-action first shot.

S&W M&P.

July 17, 2008, 09:11 PM
"1911s" do not require any more maintenance than any other pistol and built correctly they will work and feed anything from JHP to LSWCs.

Just get a reliable 1911. From what I understand, most of the unreliability of 1911s is due to tightening things up for accuracy.

True and true. I would also add that bad mags usually are to blame in most cases. And most of those just need stiffer mag springs, such as my stock Springfield Armory/MetalForms. My 1911 was one of those that just needed a tad of tweaking to run perfectly: Wolff 11 lb mag springs, Wilson Combat Bulletproof extractor and 200 rounds to break her in. Likes all ammo I've fed it, except cheap 230 grain Blaser CCI FMJ. And I am rewarded with a pistol that points better than any other auto in my hands.

It's been said that part of the reason for the 1911's reputation for unreliability is due to their being dozens of manufactures, many of which don't know how to build a 1911 correctly. I'm sure if you had 34 different companies making Glocks under license, with many straying from the original design specs, you'd have a quite a few more Glock lemons.

In the end, if you are concerned about 1911 reliability you can always go with a company with an excellent customer service reputation. Springfield Armory is at or near the top. I've also heard that Rock Island Armory and Smith & Wesson are pretty good too.

Oh, and yes, the CZ-75s are very nice pistols to ... I would certainly give them consideration.

July 17, 2008, 09:14 PM
Thanks alot for replies guys! Lots of useful info here! :)

July 17, 2008, 09:34 PM
Scores of new shooters try to make pistol selection much more difficult than it need be; I did so myself when I was new.

+1; I did the same.

July 17, 2008, 09:58 PM
Oh Goody a Zealot mosh pit.... I'll go read the whole thread
and then dive right in there....

Wait for me, oh, you need some paper towells as
the froth spittle is dripping out on your chin as
you try to convert more and more disciples to the one
True <fill in your choice>

I'll be back...

July 17, 2008, 10:07 PM
usp 45

July 17, 2008, 10:11 PM
Maybe the new HK45..............slimmer grip than the USP45.

July 17, 2008, 10:52 PM
I'd like to remind Glock guys who must think everybody must know the
size frame and calliber - we don't your simplistifc

GLOCK NN tells me nothing my shooting buddy has a 19 so oh,it's a 9MM

Later he showed me a 17 at a Gun SHow oh,99MM and FULL size, I thought it freaking huge

I have no idea what the heck calilber the others are so why don't ya'll state something like,

Glock 17 Full SIze 9mm LUger. zat too much to ask?

You might educate the unwashed masses.

rant off.

I've shot the 19
Don't like
Trigger as well as striker fired one chance
Grip angle
mag release

the front grip shape
it is accurate

the SHow Stopper is the plastic magazine. The Seals found
the aluminum with plastic coating would not hold up
in the salt borne environment.

July 17, 2008, 10:59 PM
I have a S&W 1911 5" Bbl. stainless steel
Same tyhpe gun I carried in the USN on Duty
it's manual of arms is second nature & I qualified for the ribbon

I also have a CZ 75B 9MM - recent acquisition as a range gun, but
it's 100% reliable after 500 rds, very accurate, I like the trigger for an out
of the box service pistol, the sights are three white dots like my S&W 1911
AND it has a nice full length serrated rib along the slide. DA first shot makes the first shot not an uncertain event, if I want to pause I can put the thumb
safety on, or carry cocked and locked if I want to - I like the back strap curves without the grip safety.

Next CZ will be a .40 S&W of some sort, undecided.

Whatever y'all like is fine with me - I don't have to carry or shoot your
cjhoice but I respect your decision


July 17, 2008, 11:08 PM
I caught a link to US LEO, Military, and Fed Agencies, as well as Non-USA LEO and Military links - seemed to be a survey of how each unit/country has for inventory of small arms.

In Europe, if there is a pistol built in that country - that's what they shoose for general service
Germans - SIgs
French MAS 15
Spain Star 30M
Italy Berretta M92
Czech Rep.- CZ 75B
Poland Sig and 75B
Brits BHP version
Belgian Fn whatever
AUstria Glock

ANd S&W revolvers in .38/.357 show up throughout EUrope
not just J-frames either. The french like the 686.

Special forces of all the above - HK USP and they up gun to .40 S&W or .45 ACP - seems the USA is the only one with widespread adoption of this cartridge, so why doesn't the Military just do it

Elsewhere there's a lot of Sig 226/229 some 228 followed by
Clock 17 and the fading BHP or copies and the CZ or COpies of the CZ

Oh, the city cops and SHeriffs in this county carry .45 ACP
Glock and Kimber respectively in SE Wash. State.



July 17, 2008, 11:12 PM
In a world of compromise, some men don't! -- just ask HK ;)
Go w/ the USP -- probably a compact model & carried cond 1

July 17, 2008, 11:46 PM
Since we're talking about gun manufacturers, and the countries they produce weapons for.

Over 70% of the small arms used by the United States are made by FN. The FNP line has a lot going for it; stainless slide, stainless forged barrel, a rich history of quality within FN, and a great price.

July 18, 2008, 01:02 AM
FN makes Sigs, Glocks, S&Ws, Colts, KImbers et Al???? 70% what hole of make bellieve did you pull that out of?

July 18, 2008, 01:05 AM
whoops! sorry. over 70% of the small arms currently in use by United States MILITARY. my mistake

take it from me; don't try to type after a tall Scotch and water or two.

July 18, 2008, 04:51 AM
I like the USP design. It is available in 9mm, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP. The compacts are also available in .357 Sig.

It is available with a SAO trigger like the 1911. It is a polymer as well, like the Glock.

Of course the XD is polymer like the Glock but has a grip safety and no manual safety (it is an option though).

Its really up to you. My advice though, is to get a Sig P220. ;)

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