The Guncrafter Industries 50GI Model No. 1, or M1, one of four Guncrafter 1911 models, is perhaps the ultimate fight-stopper. Chambered in .50 GI, the 5-inch-barreled, all-steel M1 is sized, and purpose-built, for everyday carry!
Seemingly novel, Guncrafter Industries’ 50GI Model No. 1, or M1, pistol is anything but new to me. I’ve carried a 50GI No. 3 Commander pistol for years, and I’ve seen the No. 1 regularly at training and media events. I can attest to the fact that founder Alex Zimmerman and his crew at Guncrafter Industries (GI) have built a very high-quality pistol. It ranks up there with any 1911 for fit, finish and function. Each pistol is built one at a time and with great attention to detail. Typically simple, rugged and purpose-built, the M1 meets my preferences for a self-defense pistol perfectly.
While working as a custom 1911 builder, Alex Zimmerman had an idea for a practical .50-caliber 1911 built for self-defense. Most .50 calibers are huge, creating high chamber pressures leading to serious over-penetration, recoil and downrange issues. Zimmerman wanted to keep the platform as lightweight as possible while at the same time utilizing a typical 1911 frame. An experienced gunsmith and outstanding engineer, Zimmerman came up with the M1. He believed in it enough to start Guncrafter Industries. Guncrafter builds some superb .45 ACP 1911 pistols, along with several custom projects; it even makes a 50GI conversion for the Glock 21 pistol that has become quite popular, offering higher capacity over a 1911 at a much smaller price tag. But the M1 occupies most of its time.
It come in three basic models, all of which are handcrafted. The M1 is a simple, straightforward, full-size combat pistol. With its cartridge base sized to .45 ACP, the rebated-rim .50 GI cartridge keeps to the standard 1911 platform—so much so that a .45 ACP barrel can be fitted to the slide. Coupled with the company’s excellent magazines, you get two pistols in one. And though .45 ACP and .50 GI magazines are a bit different, the pistol fits in any standard 1911 holster.