Ever since Colt introduced its first Gold Cup pistol in the late 1950s, it has served competitive shooters admirably with features designed to glean the most performance from the 1911 platform. Unfortunately, the price accompanying some of these features, and those found on high-end, competition-style 1911s made by other manufacturers, can push away some buyers with less disposable income.
The shooting world seems absolutely awash in "custom" 1911-type pistols these days. There was a time when the typical 1911 was of the "mil-spec" variety, meaning that if you wanted something better (or simply more unique) than the average GI-issue pistol, you had to have your gun worked over by a pistolsmith who specialized in customizing .45s for defense or competition use. Many of these modifications made perfect sense to have done. Larger sights, trigger work, reliability tuning, etc were considered a means of improving the 1911's capabilities, and in fact many of these changes did indeed rectify some of the stock GI pistol's shortcomings.
The 1911 needs no introduction. As the standard service pistol for the U.S. Armed Forces from 1911 to 1985, the 1911 served our country for a literal lifetime. This storied heritage of performance, in combination with the 1911’s ubiquity, translated to a steady and enthusiastic adoption in the civilian market. Without question, the M1911 .45ACP enjoys one of the most fervent fan bases in the civilian shooting world for a number of reasons. The ease of obtaining aftermarket parts, the typically crisp single-action trigger, and the patriotic symbolism of this old standard have made this one of the most popular guns on the market today.