Tactical

The Best 1911s to Hit the Floor at SHOT Show 2024

We live in a world where the continued evolution and development of products seem to have lost their luster. However, it is refreshing to see just what is still being done to the venerable 1911. A recent trip through the SHOT Show and a visit with a variety of 1911 builders demonstrated that this old workhorse is still capable of evolution and improvement. So, I was happy to compile a list of some of the best 1911s I saw this year.

The Best 1911s of the 2024 SHOT Show

In an almost cryptic way, the 1911 is the same but different. The body and soul of Mr. Browning’s work remain, but the fine-tuning and improvements continue. While the market seems to be favoring the polymer striker-fired guns, the 1911 has proven itself and will always remain. Here is a brief look at some of the new products and developments in the 1911 world for 2024.

Cabot Insurgence

Cabot Guns is known for high-end precision 1911s, and it has now entered the double-stack realm. Introducing the Cabot Guns Insurrection. It is a doublestack 1911 pistol with meticulous craftsmanship to redefine the very essence of American firearms innovation.

This exceptional pistol has been two years in the making, and every moment spent in development is evident in its flawless design and performance. Crafted exclusively from 100% US-sourced stainless steel, the Insurrection is not just a firearm; it’s a testament to Cabot Guns’ unwavering commitment to quality and precision.

For more information, please visit CabotGuns.com.

Springfield TRP

Best 1911s: Springfield TRP.

Based on the Springfield Armory Professional 1911 chosen by the FBI’s Hostage Rescue Team, the TRP family of pistols was created to deliver a premium, hard-use 1911 platform. And now, the line gets a refresh to offer six new .45 ACP models. Likewise, the line has a wide range of impressive new features.

The six .45 ACP models consist of two Classic models, two Rail models, and two Carry Contour models. The Classic pistols are offered in 5- and 4.25-inch versions, with both featuring all-steel construction as well as two-piece magwells. Likewise, the Rail models are both 5-inch all-steel guns with two-piece magwells and a Picatinny rail on the dust cover. They are available in Black or Coyote Brown finishes.

The final two Carry Contour (CC) models feature 4.25-inch barrels along with a bobbed, lightweight aluminum frame for easy concealment. These two variants, which do not feature extended magwells, are also available in Black or Coyote Brown.

For more information, please visit Springfield-Armory.com.

Vudoo Gun Works Commander Priest

Vudoo Gunworks Commander Priest.

One of Vudoo Gun Works’ newest double-stack 1911s to hit the SHOT Show floor is the new 9mm Commander-sized Priest. It’s built around the Cheely grip module—an all-metal part favored by many high-end custom pistolsmiths. Most notably, the Cheely module has very aggressive texturing that really helps a shooter lock in their grip.

While the traditional 1911 single- or double-stack design has always made use of the original grip safety, the Cheely module omits these for a more streamlined function and feel. Vudoo Gun Works is offering customers the choice of having these new Commander Priests built with or without barrel porting.

For more information, please visit VudooGunWorks.com.

Springfield – New Garrison

Best 1911s: Springfield –New Garrison.

Springfield Armory has announced the newest addition to its award-winning family of 1911 pistols—the Garrison 4.25-inch in .45 ACP and 9mm. The 1911 features forged materials and heirloom-quality construction. Likewise, the 4.25-inch-barreled Garrison 1911 combines modern construction with a heritage spanning back more than a century.

The 4.25-inch Garrison is available with classic hot salt-blued carbon steel or rust-resistant stainless steel construction. As a result, is a rock-solid 1911 that gives you a host of upgrades along with the strength to provide a lifetime of service.

The pistols feature forged frames, slides, and barrels for durability. In addition, there are modern enhancements such as low-profile yet high-visibility sights, extended thumb safety, thin line grips, and much more.

For more information, please visit Springfield-Armory.com.

Les Baer Queen Bee 

Les Baer Queen Bee.

Without a doubt, one booth to never miss at SHOT is Les Baer. This year, he featured his new Queen Bee. This single-stack 1911, chambered in 9mm, stands out with its crimson-hued “Cranberry Frost” finish.

Dimensionally, the Queen Bee features a slightly shorter Commanche (not quite Commander) length slide. This is something proprietary to Les Baer builds. Likewise, the single-stack frame is based on Les Baer’s Stinger’s Officer-size frame. As a result, the gun is designed around carry and personal protection, especially for shooters with smaller hands.

For more information, please visit LesBaer.com.

Nighthawk 10mm Firehawk 

Best 1911s: Nighthawk 10mm Firehawk.

This year, Nighthawk Custom is showcasing its new single-stack 10mm-chambered Firehawk. The full-sized pistol has a single-port compensator that is custom fit to the muzzle. This compensator redirects the fired round’s gasses upwards to help keep the muzzle level when shooting.

The 10mm handgun cartridge is, in most offerings, comparable to magnum cartridges. So, shooting one with a compensator makes a lot of sense. Nighthawk Custom also engineers the Firehawk 1911 with a lightened slide. As a result, this improves the gun’s cycling reliability when used in conjunction with the compensator.

For more information, please visit NighthawkCustom.com.

Nighthawk VIP Silver

Nighthawk VIP Silver.

New for 2024, the VIP Silver is the latest addition to Nighthawk’s line of VIPs (Very Impressive Pistols). Completely hand-built by a single gunsmith, the VIP Silver has been tastefully deep hand engraved for those who appreciate the finer things in life. A stainless finish gives this pistol a classy look, while the highly polished engraving shines like a diamond.

As with all of their VIP models, the VIP Silver is built to be a true heirloom piece. One that will be handed down from generation to generation.

With the perfect amount of engraving, this pistol was designed and built to provide flawless aesthetics and function. Mammoth Bark grips, and a 14k gold bead front sight both take this pistol to the next level. Topping off this incredible piece, the VIP Silver comes with a custom walnut hardwood presentation case with two jeweled magazines.

For more information, please visit NighthawkCustom.com.

Nighthawk Custom Envoy

Best 1911s: Nighthawk Custom Envoy.

The Envoy is the third installment in Nighthawk Custom’s Ambassador Series of 1911 pistols. Built on a government frame, the Envoy sports a match-grade 5-inch barrel, chambered in 9mm or .45 ACP.

One of the distinguishing features of the Ambassador Series returns with the Envoy in the form of positive front cocking serrations. Standard cocking serrations on the rear of the slide offer a superb grip while racking the slide. Likewise, the protruding serrations on the front give ample grip for a press check. These front cocking serrations see material removed from the front of the slide. Thus revealing these “positive” cocking serrations for a unique look and feel.

The Envoy can be upgraded to a double stack configuration chambered in 9mm.

For more information, please visit NighthawkCustom.com.

Watchtower Apache 1911 Double Stack

Watchtower Apache 1911 Double Stack.

The new Apache follows the previous limited-edition PewView Apache. This new variant builds off a precision-machined, pre-hardened 4140 and 416R stainless steel frame. It features a 4.25-inch slide, 3- to 4-pound match-grade trigger, ambidextrous safety, integrated compensator, and Clark/Para Ramped 416R Threaded Barrel.

Deep slide serrations and a .75-inch compensator port deliver a striking appearance and performance upgrades. A wide grip and double-stack magazine round out the package.

For more information, please visit WatchtowerFirearms.com.

Military Armament Corporation 1911 DS

Best 1911s: Military Armament Corporation 1911 DS.

Working with Tisas for exacting standards, Military Armament Corporation enters the 2011 arena with its new MAC 9 DS in 9mm. The 1911 features a hammer-forged steel build for maximum durability and ruggedness. Likewise, the MAC 9 DS delivers a 17+1-round capacity and enhanced accuracy with an optic cut and light trigger pull.

The MAC 9 DS builds on a 4140 hammer-forged steel frame with a black Cerakote finish, providing long-lasting durability. In addition, a polymer grip module with a subtle yet firm grip texture offers a secure purchase and solid retention. Correspondingly, the front strap and mainspring housing include additional texturing to aid in retention.

For more information, please visit MilArmamentCorp.com.

1911 Kimber KDS9c Rail Model

1911 Kimber KDS9c Rail Model.

The new KDS9c Rail is the next step in this highly popular introduction from Kimber. With an ambidextrous safety and Picatinny rail, the pistol captures all the features consumers are looking for in the latest feature-rich concealed carry firearm. In addition, the barrel is fully fluted, crowned, and ramped.

Kimber’s proprietary bore sizing process delivers match-grade accuracy with every shot. The company’s engineers chose 7075 aluminum and sculpted a frame that delivers superior ergonomics. Likewise, serrations wrap around the front strap and grips for enhanced retention.

A reversible magazine release delivers the ultimate flexibility for left and right-handed shooters. Additionally, a crisp 3.5-4.5lb trigger pull comes standard, as well as one 15-round magazine and one 18-round magazine. This anchors the KDS9c Rail as the premier personal protection platform, enhancing your ability to defend yourself no matter the situation.

For more information, please visit KimberAmerica.com.

Girsan Witness 2311

Best 1911s: Girsan Witness 2311.

The new Witness2311 is a double-stacked 1911 built to compete with the highest quality double-stack 1911s on the market. However, it maintains an affordable price. This state-of-the-art semi-automatic pistol boasts a sleek design with ergonomic space-age grips for comfort and control. Likewise, an RMS/RMSc optic-ready slide, accessory rail, multiple barrel lengths, calibers, and model configurations deliver a robust shooting experience.

In an industry where quality often comes at a premium, the Witness2311 stands out as a true game-changer. EAA and Girsan understand the importance of providing high-quality firearms accessible to a wider audience. This is why the Witness2311 comes with competitive pricing without compromising on its quality.

For more information, please visit EAACorp.com.

Staccato CS

Staccato CS.

Staccato has made a name for itself in bridging the competition world and the personal defense world. New this year at SHOT, the company released the CS. Delivering pure Staccato shootability, speed, and accuracy, the Staccato CS helps you shoot better wherever your path takes you.

The Staccato CS is the smallest, lightest, and most concealable addition to the Staccato pistol family. In addition, this new model debuts a new grip designed for a range of hand sizes. Loaded with significant patent-pending technology, the Staccato CS embodies American ingenuity in a practical, small package that has to be experienced to believe.

For more information, please visit Staccato2011.com.

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