I carried a 1911 .45 for almost 30 years as a Texas peace officer and Texas sheriff, first as my off-duty pistol and later as my primary sidearm. It is still the pistol that I carry the most in civilian life. When properly cared for, the 1911 is as reliable as anything that man has ever invented. Out of the box, most of today's 1911s will group hits at 2-3 inches at 25 yards, which is plenty adequate for personal defense. In addition, it is one of the thinnest big-bore handguns, which makes it easy to carry concealed. In my case, I found that the 1911 .45 auto was the most powerful handgun that I could handle quickly and accurately. And, trust me, the .45 ACP cartridge, especially with today's hollowpoint ammo, is a substantial fight-stopper.