You Are Not Smarter Than John M. Browning

Great Video!

1911 is my go-to handgun, and in most cases my daily carry gun. While if it came out today I’d call it a “Complicated Design with multiple failure points”, it didn’t come out today, and the first working 1911 .45s were made in Utah in 1908.

It’s an old design, and it has been updated a lot, and it’s a great choice for concealed carry. It is one of the best guns for concealed carry in my opinion because of how damn slim it is. That makes for good concealment, and comfortable carry.

Other guns are good, but none are better than the 1911!

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14 Responses to You Are Not Smarter Than John M. Browning

  1. The_Jack says:

    Now if you want a slim polymer pistol Kahr makes some very nice pistols ;p

    Which is what I like to go with in the 1911 vs Glock fights.

    Full confession my carry piece is a 1911 S&W E series. With a Kahr PM45 as backup.

    Now if I had to do it again… yeah I might go with a full size Kahr in 9 and a PM9 for backup.

  2. bluesun says:

    Why is there even a half cock?

    • Why is there a “Half Cock”?

      Because J. Browning was building a platform for the U.S. Military, according to specifications.

      This was one of the specification.

    • Geodkyt says:


      Remember, the US Army had plenty of experience with single action handguns, and knew that half cock notches help protect against Unintended Loud Noises(tm) — it can save you from a hammer follow AD from slipping off the full cock notch due to wear or breakage. Metallurgy not being as precise an art as it is today (and, yeah, at the edges of it, metallurgy is more art than science. . . sort of like medicine.) Since the half cock notch doesn’t get used as frequently (the full cock notch being vigorously engaged with every shot fired, and less vigorously worn with every slide cycle by hand), the odds that it will fail as well at the same time are nealy nil.

      Also, carrying a 1911 hammer down on a loaded chamber was considered to be a viable carry method. The Army knew that whether or not they advocated that method, it would be used.

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  5. Stuart the Viking says:

    I suspect this post came about because of the rash of anti-1911 articles lately. It really annoys me when I read a “That carry gun sucks” piece.

    Hey! Here’s an idea… Maybe everyone should carry whatever they WANT to carry!

    I have in the past for instance CC’d a full size Rugar Bisley Vaquero in .44 Mag. Why? BECAUSE I WANTED TO! Sure it’s a poor choice for a CC gun, and that almost bit me on the ass. The last night I carried it was the one night I actually thought I might NEED to shoot someone. In the city… With a number of bystanders around… and almost nothing I could use to angle for a backstop… AND the dude was SKINNY, like there is NO WAY the .44 wasn’t going to over-penetrate. Luckily, the situation resolved without having to resort to shooting, but it was a near thing there for a bit.

    Having seen, rather first hand, that the Rugar was a BAD choice for my situation, do I go about writing articles telling people that they are dumb if they carry a Rugar Bisley .44 Mag? No, because maybe some Rancher Rick somewhere carries that particular gun, and it is PERFECT for him (having a .44 would be handy for dealing with Chupacabras out on the range). I can attest to the fact that with the right holster, it can be carried quite easily and comfortably. In my case, I hand-sew my own leather, so I could fit the holster to myself and make any adjustments needed. I have been around a LOT of people while carrying my Bisley, and nobody had a clue. That gun has nothing in the way of hard edges to give it away. If it wasn’t for the other issues that make it sub-optimal for carry, it would be an awesome carry piece.

    Anyway, putting soap box away now. Carry what you like because you are more likely to want to practice with a gun that you like. Better to have a sub-optimal carry gun that you’ve put hundreds of rounds through, than the perfect carry gun that you maybe shot once, and didn’t inhale, and didn’t enjoy it.


  6. AZRon says:

    Everytime I start getting cocky about my “smarts”, I look to Mr. Browning to bring back my humility. 100+ years ago, he was designing guns that are still in use around the world. He did all of this without computers, CAD, CNC, a group of lawyers, and a supportive media team. No twitter, no facebook…just a brilliant mind with a vision, who succeeded at most everything he put his hands on.

    JMB: a rare breed, a true legend, and a personal hero. I’ll take him over Einstein or Hawking anyday.

  7. Wally says:

    And yet, you still have to charge a 1919 twice…

    • Geodkyt says:

      Just like the M2HB, which the Army has been trying (and failing) to find a cost effective replacement for that meets the same performance criteria (including weight and RAM-D (Reliability, Availability, Maintainability, and Durability).

      Nothing wrong or odd about the Browning MG feed cycle if you understand how the feed mechanism works. Also, not at all unusual for the period – the 1919’s action (i.e., the M1917) was actually designed around 1900 — it was only adopted by the Army in 1917.

      Keep in mind that the Browning MG feed was designed around pull out cloth belts in a short recoil operated system — having the feed cycle broken in half was mechanically simpler than jiggering it so a single cycle withdrew the round full length backwards, then reposition and drove it forward to chamber and fire. And it has NO practical effect on any gunner who knows how to load it or clear it.

  8. Wally says:

    mechanically simpler than jiggering it so a single cycle withdrew the round full length backwards, then reposition and drove it forward to chamber and fire.

    You know that is exactly how the 1917/1919/M2 feed system works, right?


    • Geodkyt says:

      Single cycle doesn’t fully feed — that’s why you have to charge it twice, and when you finish firing before running out of ammo, you’ll have a loose round in the feed that has to be removed by hand.

      • Weerd Beard says:

        You do know that Wally builds MGs right? We were shooting an AR-upper that uses a 1919 action to feed .22 from a cloth belt and Wally was showing me how to run it: “You have to pull the charging handle twice, because John Browning was lazy!”

        Frankly MG innards are like revolver innards, too many moving parts for me to follow. I just laughed at his glibness!

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