The semi-automatic is the most popular handgun among those who frequent our store. Maybe this popularity is because this is the handgun style that is most used on television and in the movies. Certainly, the auto has its strengths. The quick drop of the magazine enables an almost instant reload by the most seasoned and practiced hand gunners. It could be that many of the semis carry double stack magazines enabling a 15 and in some cases as many as 30 rounds in a single magazine. And, of course, in today’s high tech handgun world, these guns are available in all sizes, weights, calibers, colors, grips and brands. They come with hammers and safeties and in the “striker fired” configuration they have no external hammers at all. They come with long barrels for hunting or target shooting or the ultra short for easy concealment and, of course, everything in between. In short, the modern semi-automatic pistol is as versatile and varied as your imagination.
What about the historical handgun? When you think of the guns of old, your mind immediately jumps to the cowboy pistol or the army Colt, the revolver. No doubt, that takes you back to the beginning of the modern handgun but the semi-automatic patented in 1911 predates World War I and is still popular today. The semi-auto dates back over 100 years.
At Nashville Gun & Knife we pride ourselves on our seemingly endless collection of 1911 style semi automatics. For the most part, they are a bit limited on magazine size carrying only 7 or 8 rounds (with one in the chamber). They all have a safety and most have a “grip safety”. As a result they are a bit limited compared to the more modern striker fire pistols. Few will argue, however, that no handgun collection is complete without a nice sampling of the 1911. I hate to play favorites, but I must admit, the 1911 was the first pistol I shot and is my favorite today.