Talk to anyone at the gun shop or the shooting range and get ready to listen to all the things they “know.” Of all the opinionated, self-righteous, pretentious gun guys (and yeah, I’m one of them), no two are as high and mighty as the self-proclaimed “1911 Guy” and the “Glock Guy.” One has been overbearingly mocking all other firearms since Jeff Cooper declared the 1911 the “service pistol of choice.” The other believes that 2/3 of all law enforcement and the winner of the most stringent reliability testing in history can’t be beat. Both hold their convictions with equal fervor and despise anyone that views things differently.
Glock Guy Vs 1911 Guy: The Battle
I decided a face-to-face, moderated debate would be the easiest way to settle this once and for all. I cast a wide net looking for the most blow hard, I mean die hard fans, then invited them to sit down and chew the fat. Tom “Dubya Dubya Eye Eye” Wilson was chosen to represent the 1911 crowd while Gavin “Glockaholic” Wilson was chosen to represent the Glockaphiles. Interestingly, they are grandfather and grandson. I bet Thanksgiving dinners are a real joy.
The scene is a dinner table adorned with a red and white checkered tablecloth. Tom and Gavin sit across from each other, scowling. I sit in between as the moderator.
FM: Well Tom, we will begin with you. In 50 words or less, can you tell me why the 1911 is the superior handgun of choice?
TW (angrily): Do I need to explain it again? When John Moses Browning went up on the mountain and received the 1911 design from our Lord and Savior himself, it was the greatest gift ever given to man! It was far better than the Bible! Or life! This gun was given to us to save all mankind from all forms of evil and wielding it is the equivalent of becoming a god yourself.
FM (long pause): …Uh, OK. And Gavin, can you please give me your reasons for believing the Glock is the ultimate handgun?
GW: Well, duhhhh. Gaston Glock designed the first Glock frame from a single piece of space-age polymer. He did it without any tools, just his teeth. Then he carved the slide from a meteorite that fell to earth in his backyard. Also with his teeth. When he was done, the Glock 17 was born in all its glory. The first one fired over a million rounds without a single malfunction and the bullets it fired were so lethal that bad guys died just from hearing the gunshots as they reverberated around the globe. You can Google it.
FM: …Yeah… OK, let’s move on. There are lots of different versions of each of these guns. Tom, describe to me your ultimate 1911A1 for everyday carry and self-defense.
TW: First, it should be a 1911, not a 1911A1. Those so called “improvements” were for mollycoddles who can’t handle a real gun. Next, it should be made of American stainless steel. None of that aluminum frame stuff to make it lighter for ninnyhammers. The grips should be real ivory from a poached elephant with the USMC globe and anchor scrimshawed into them. Other than that, everything is stock. The gun is perfect from its inception.
FM: I see you are a real traditionalist. Why mess with a good thing? Gavin, describe your ultimate Glock for everyday carry.
GW: Bro, Glocks were born awesome and then redefine greatness every year as they get better. First, it would be a Glock 19 Gen 5 with a Battlefield Green frame, Grey Ghost Precision slide in Flat Dark Earth with threaded barrel that has been gold phosphate plated, Aimpoint Acro P-1 sight, Night Fision tritium suppressor height sights, Surefire X300 Ultra light, Zev Fulcrum Ultimate Trigger and titanium skeletonized striker. Oh, and I would change out the back plate to one made from Beskar steel that has the Mandalorian crest because I like to subtly personalize my gat.
FM: Wow, I see. Gavin, I see you have picked the 9mm as the caliber of choice. Tom, am I right in assuming your 1911 will stick with the traditional .45?
TW (face turning bright red): There is no other caliber you Gollumpus! .45 is, was and always shall be the only caliber that is guaranteed to kill a man dead just from the sheer terror of know that is what is going to be shot at him! I load my magazines every other round with 230-grain ball ammo for penetration, then a Speer 200 gr jacketed hollow points. The “Flying Ashtray” bullet can turn a human being inside out. In fact, I once saw it happen on the battlefield with my own two eyes!
FM: That must have really been something. What battle was it?
FM: I asked what battle were you in where you saw a man shot by a .45 and turned inside out?
TW: Uh… it was the uh Mexican American War.
FM (quietly): That was in the mid 1800s…
TW: You calling me a liar boy?!!! (Tom fumbles a small container out of his shirt pocket and puts a nitro pill under his tongue.)
FM: And you Gavin, why do you choose the 9mm when Glocks are available in at least a half dozen different calibers?
GW: Dude, the 9mm is actually the 9×19 parabellum. Para Bellum! That means “for war.” .45 is .45 ACP. ACP stands for “Army of Cadet Pedophiles.” You can look it up.
FM: I’m not sure that is what ACP stands for, but we will move on. Could each of you describe what is wrong with the design of the other man’s preferred firearm. Gavin, you can go first this time. What do you not like about the 1911?
GW: What’s to like? It weighs 8,000 pounds, it holds about five rounds, it has 14 unnecessary safeties levers and buttons, and it jams on everything but ball ammo. It takes 30 minutes and special tools to disassemble, two hours to reassemble and may or may not work afterwards.
FM: Again, I’m not sure all of that is 100% accurate, but we will give Tom a chance to respond.
TW: Blasphemy! I am no longer your grandfather you milksop! I always said you looked more like that travelling Bible salesman than anyone in this family, you ungrateful lubberwort!
FM: Let’s try to stay on topic. Tom, what do you dislike about the Glock?
TW: Dislike? I loath that hunk of plastic refuse. It is inherently dangerous because it has no safeties. Why I have seen them go off just sitting on the shelf in the gun store. Three innocent children were killed! And a dog! You have to pull the trigger to disassemble them. I read that more than 10 million people get killed every year due to this design flaw alone! They feel squishy in your hand and speaking of squishy, have you tried that trigger? Atrocious! And talk about ugly! They look like they were born at the top of the ugly tree and hit every limb on the way down. Kind of like my grandson’s pink-haired freak of a girlfriend!
FM: That is about enough of the personal attacks. I’m sure Rai is a lovely girl. We are trying to have an honest debate here. However, in hopes of salvaging this family, let’s take a minute and each of you have to say something nice about the other one’s preferred gun. Tom, can you find one good thing to say about Glocks?
TW: (grumbles and stares at the floor, kicking at the table leg) I guess the case for them is OK.
FM: The case?
TW: Yeah, I keep sandwiches in it when I go fishing. It keeps the bread from getting soggy. I hate soggy bread.
FM: That wasn’t quite what I was looking for, but I will let Gavin respond. Gavin, what is something you like about the 1911?
GW (eyes roam about the room as if looking for something): Well, since it weighs a ton, I guess you can jam it under the door to keep it from swinging closed.
FM: A doorstop? Yes, well, I see neither of you is going to make a sudden change in your core beliefs. I’ll leave off by providing you with this card that has the number to a local family counselor and remind you both that you can pick your nose but you can’t pick your family. …you also can’t wipe your family on the couch.
No one has more undying, steadfast belief in their weapon system than the Glock Guy and the 1911 Guy. The only thing that brings them together is scoffing at every other type of firearm they encounter. Often their facts about these guns are mired in misunderstanding and unbridled hatred. Which is what makes it so fun to get them riled up. So, the next time you meet a Glock Guy, be sure and ask him about why it’s called tactical Tupperware. And greet your local 1911 Guy with a comment about stacking tolerances. Then sit back and calmly watch their heads explode. It’s possibly the most entertaining thing you will do all day.
THAT’S A WRAP
Editor’s Note: We hope you enjoyed this first installment of Ballistic’s Roundtable. If you care to shoot us over some other “gun debate ideas,” we’d love to entertain them. Hit us firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article originally appeared in the April-May 2022 issue of Ballistic Magazine. Get your copy or digital subscription at OutdoorGroupStore.com.