Skip to Content

1911 Versus Glock | Which Is Best for Survival?

Glock is the closest you can get to a perfect survival gun. It’s lightweight, easy to use, and affordable. But the 1911 is a classic for a reason. It’s reliable, robust, and durable. The best survival gun for you depends on whether you prefer the tried-and-true classic or the modern reiteration.

This article will dive into the details of both the 1911 and Glock to help you make the best decision for your survival. I’ll also provide you with some general tips and tricks you’ll want to keep in mind when choosing a handgun.

Basic Similarities Between the 1911 and Glock

The 1911 and Glock are both handguns that have been used for years in the military and law enforcement. They are both extremely popular among gun enthusiasts, known for their reliability and accuracy. Not to mention they’re also coil-operated, semi-automatic pistols with a fool-proof trigger safety. 

Their semi-automatic build allows you to fire as quickly as you can pull the trigger without needing to cock the gun between shots. This is one of the most important reasons they’re both so popular among law enforcement officers.

Both guns use a detachable magazine, which holds the ammunition. This makes them easy to reload, even in the middle of a shootout. However, the Glock holds 13+1 rounds of 9 mm, while the 1911 holds 8+1 rounds of .45 ACP.

The guns are both recoil-operated, which means the recoil is used to cycle the next round into the chamber. This helps ensure that the weapon will continue to fire accurately, even under stressful conditions.

The Differences Between the 1911 and Glock

There’s a wide range of differences between the 1911 and Glock, but the most distinctive one is that the Glock is simpler to operate, while the 1911 has a more classic look and feel. The Glock is also less prone to jamming than the 1911.

Thumb safety is another one of the most significant differences between these two firearms. The Glock doesn’t have one, which some people see as a downside, while others find it an advantage because it is simpler and faster to operate. The mechanism works in the same way as a double-action revolver – once the gun has been cocked, the trigger will do the rest.

The 1911, on the other hand, has a manual thumb safety that must be disengaged to fire the weapon. This mechanism can easily be forgotten in the heat of the moment, which is why the Glock is seen as the better choice for self-defense.

Another important difference is that the Glock holds more rounds than the 1911 does (13 rounds vs. seven rounds). Additionally, the Glock takes the 9 mm, which is smaller ammo than its counterpart’s .45 ACP.

Although it carries more ammo, the Glock is also significantly lighter than the 1911 when fully loaded. This is partly because it’s made of polymer, while the 1911 is all metal. The Glock also comes in a simpler design than the 1911, which means fewer parts can break.

The 1911 has been around for over 100 years and is a classic choice for a handgun. It has two world wars under its belt and a reputation for reliability and accuracy. However, the Glock is a relatively new gun that has quickly gained popularity due to its simplicity and ease of use.

The Glock is also hardier than a 1911 gun. It can take quite a beating and still function, while the 1911 is more prone to malfunction when subjected to stress. For example, you can submerge a Glock in water and still fire it immediately after. You don’t want to do that experiment with your 1911.

Here are some additional differences between these two handguns:

Country of OriginAustralia United States
Weight (Fully loaded)1090 g (38.44 oz)1286 g (45.36 oz)
Length209 mm (8.22 in)222.25 mm (8.75 in)
Height139 mm (5.47 in)139.7 mm (5.5 in)
TriggerGlock Safe ActionSingle Action
CapacityUp to 13+18+1
Units Manufactured2.5 million2.7 million

Is Glock a Good Survival Gun?


Glock is an excellent survival gun due to its ease of firing and simple design. It also carries more ammo than the 1911, which can be an advantage if you have to defend yourself.

The Torture Test

A Glock was once submitted to a torture test that involved burying it in mud and submerging it in water. The gun still fired after being pulled out of the sand and cleaned, but not without a few hiccups. This is one of the reasons why many people consider the Glock to be a more reliable firearm than the 1911.

Check out this video from Texas Plinking to see the torture test:

In another experiment, this gun enthusiast subjected a Glock to freezing, heating, and other forms of torture. It was a bit extreme as the guy was deliberately trying to junk a perfect gun, but he says there’s a reason why law enforcement trusts the Glock with their lives – it is reliable even in the worst possible conditions.

You can watch the video yourself here:

When it comes to survival, you can’t go wrong with a Glock. It’s a simple gun that is easy to operate, and it can withstand a lot of abuse. It doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of a high-end 1911, but that’s not what you need in a survival situation. The Glock is a workhorse that will get the job done.

Knockdown Power

A .45 is always going to have a bigger knockdown power than a 9 mm, but the Glock still has enough punch to take down an attacker. The 9mm is a robust round that can cause a lot of damage, and it’s the standard cartridge for the Glock.

In a self-defense situation, you want a gun that will be reliable and easy to use. The Glock meets both of these criteria, while the 1911 falls short. The Glock is also lightweight and easy to conceal. That makes it a good choice for those who want to be prepared for anything.

Is 1911 a Good Survival Gun?

1911 Handgun on Camo Background

1911 is a decent survival gun. It’s durable, reliable, and has stood the test of time. It can be a bit clunky to use, especially if you’re not experienced with handling a firearm, but the gun makes up for it in power.

The 1911 is a classic gun that has been around for many years. It’s known for its accuracy and reliability. But is it the best choice for a survival gun? Let’s look at a torture test and knockdown power to find out.

The Torture Test

This 1911 was put through a torture test by being submerged in water, covered in dirt, and then fired. And it proved to be a reliable handgun. This is partly because it is made of all metal parts.

However, the 1911 you choose for the stress test plays a significant role in the results. So a $500 1911 might not withstand the same stress level as a $3000 option. That’s because the cheaper 1911s are made of less durable materials.

Overall, the 1911 is a reasonably reliable gun – just be sure to get a good one. And that starts with choosing the right manufacturer and price point.

Knockdown Power

The 1911 has more knockdown power than the Glock, as it fires a larger bullet. The American-made gun fires .45 rounds, which are capable of more damage than the Glock’s 9mm rounds. 

Still, the recoil on the larger ammo can be challenging to manage, especially if you’re not used to shooting 1911s. This makes it harder to re-aim and take down an attacker. So we could say a .45 could slow you down a tad bit in a self-defense situation.

Pros and Cons of a Glock

A lot has changed since Glock launched their firearms in 1980, but one thing remains the same – Glock is still a top pick by both law enforcement professionals and civilians. Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of this iconic firearm.

The Pros

  • Easy to use: One of the qualities that makes Glock so popular is how easy it is to use. It doesn’t have a lot of fancy bells and whistles, just a simple design that’s easy to operate. This is one of the main reasons why hobbyists and professionals all love Glocks.
  • Durable: Glock firearms are also known for their durability. They can withstand a lot of abuse and are perfect for survival situations. We have seen Glocks tested in pretty extreme conditions, and they always come out on top.
  • Lightweight: Another advantage of the Glock is its lightweight design, even though it has more ammunition than the 1911. This makes it easy to carry around and conceal, which is important for self-defense.
  • Low price: You can pick up a Glock for a fraction of the cost of a high-end 1911. However, there’s a world of difference between a $500 Glock and a similarly priced 1911. And that has a lot to do with the materials, construction, and features of the two handguns.

The Cons

  • Lesser knockdown power: The 9mm round doesn’t have the same knockdown power as a .45 round. So if you’re looking for a gun with more stopping power, the Glock might not be the best option for you.
  • Safety: More people have accidentally shot themselves with a Glock. This is due to the gun’s design – there’s no external safety switch, just a trigger. So it’s important to be extra careful when handling a Glock and always keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot.

Pros and Cons of a 1911

Most people in the US will swear by their 1911. It’s an old design, but it still has some advantages over the Glock. Let’s look at some of the pros and cons of this classic firearm.

The Pros

  • Excellent trigger: The trigger on a 1911 is much nicer than Glock’s. It’s easy to pull and has a nice, smooth feel. This makes it a more comfortable firearm, which could be necessary for self-defense.
  • Style: 1911s have a classic look and feel that Glock lacks. This might be important to some people, especially if they’re looking for a gun to use as a collector’s item.
  • Price: You can get a 1911 for around the same price as a Glock or go all out on a $3,000 piece. The materials and construction of a high-end 1911 are usually better than those of a standard Glock.
  • Customizability: One of the best things about 1911s is that they can be customized to fit your needs. There’s no shortage of different parts and accessories available, so you can make your 1911 fit your style.

The Cons

  • Lesser ammo capacity: 1911s typically hold fewer rounds than Glocks. This could be an issue if you find yourself in a self-defense situation and need to reload often.
  • Heavy: 1911s are also heavier than Glocks, which could be a problem if you have to carry them around for extended periods.
  • Recoil: 1911s are known for their powerful recoil, which could be a problem for some people—especially those who are not used to shooting 1911s.

What Should You Look for in a Survival Handgun?

Here’s the thing:

There is no perfect gun for survival. Every person’s needs are different, and the best gun for one person could be the worst option for another. But there are some things you should look for when choosing a survival handgun.

  • You want a reliable gun that will work when you need it most. You don’t want to be stuck with a firearm that jams or malfunctions all the time.
  • Ease of use is important. You want a gun that is easy to operate and doesn’t require much maintenance.
  • You want a durable gun that can withstand a lot of abuse.
  • It’s important to have a comfortable gun to hold and carry around easily.
Post apocalyptic survivor in gas mask holding a handgun destroyed city in the background
Which gun would you choose for this world?

Final Thoughts

So, which is the best survival gun? 

It depends on your needs and what you’re looking for in a firearm. If you want a reliable and easy gun to use, the Glock might be the better option for you. 

However, if you’re looking for a weapon with more stopping power, the 1911 might be a better choice. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide which handgun is the better choice. Just make sure to do your research before pulling the trigger on a purchase!

For more, check out 12 Best Quality Handgun Manufacturers.