Here are the reasons why the Glock is not in the same conversation for "America's sidearm", compared to the 1911:
1) Foreign development
2) Foreign development of the caliber
3) Prior success of the 9mm, IE there was no gamble in chambering the Glock 17 in 9mm and many other glock models. In other words, a big part of the design was based on something ALREADY proven, the 9mm.
4) The intent was to make a sidearm for the Austrian army, not the US army, which was the intent of the 1911.
5) The glock borrowed elements of its design from prior pistols. The 1911 was almost completely a brainchild of John Browning.
6) The 1911 has been around over 100 years, and is still going strong. The glock 17 has been around since approx 1983.
7) The 1911 served in 2 world wars, the Korean war and the Vietnam conflict.
8) The 1911 was a sidearm of the greatest military in the world from 1911 to 1985.
9) The 1911, is completely copied, by many makers other than its originator.
10) The 1911 beat out several other state of the art / modern designs during the pistol trials to win a contract for US sidearm.
11) The 1911 faced off against many other excellent sidearms in WWI and WWII, and yet the winners had 1911s. Of course, the 1911 did not win the war, but it sure saved many lives and killed many enemy soldiers.
12) The 1911 was originally only made by a US manufacturer.
13) The 45 cal in general is an American caliber and can trace back all the way to when the black powder Army pistols such as the 1860 Army and 1858 Remington were being replaced by cartridge revolvers.
14) If you look at all of the 1911 makers total production, it vastly surpasses glocks total production. For fairness, the glock 17 should be compared to the 1911, not variation vs variation.
I do not believe the Glock is in the same convo for all of these reasons, and perhaps a few more. I also think the glaring difference in production, service life, etc between the 1911 and SAA exclude the SAA from the convo. The SAA was also not nearly as ground breaking for the time as the 1911 was. As far as the SAA winning the west vs the 1911 being in wars - the SAA was not a very common civilian arm compared to percussion revolvers, or small pocket pistols, which were more common in the wild west. The SAA was one of the most expensive side arm options in its day.
The only other arm that one could argue for is the S&W M&P / or perhaps the 38 special swing out cylinder revolver, of which the M&P was first, arriving in 1899. The M&P is there, and was great in all ways, and still is, but there is a vital category it loses out vs the 1911, which is the fact that its service life as a main arm was very short compared to the 911. The 1899 arrived in 1899, and the 1911 arrived in 1911. Suddenly, the M&P was now a substitute standard sidearm rather than the main sidearm which the 1911 was for decades. Even though the M&P enjoyed great commercial success, the 1911 had just as much commercial success in its time ALONG WITH great military success, and the M&P military wise pales in comparison.
Winchester 73, the TFL user that won the west
Last edited by Winchester_73; March 24, 2013 at 03:43 PM.