And the Winner Is: The .45 is the 'AK-47' of Autoloaders


About 10 days ago we posted a poll here asking Kit Up! readers what they thought was the so-called AK-47 is pistols.

The criteria were pretty succinct: can any swingin' Richard pick this bad boy up and fire it after it's been soaked in a swamp for a day and run over by a truck. And it's gotta be an autoloader -- no old-school revolvers here.

I picked the most popular or most used autoloaders in the military/LE profession and polled them for readers' input.

At first, the Glock was ahead, but after more than 10 days, nearly 13,000 poll-takers and 370 comments, we have a clear winner: the Colt .45 at 49 percent, with the Glock 19 coming in at a distant 29 percent. The Beretta 92, Sig P226 and H&K USP hovered in the 6-8 percent region.

From the readers:

(Lance)The Glock is no AKM. The 1911 is due to that its lived in US and allied service since 1911 and unlike the crappy 9mm Glock can KILL badguys with a hit rather than a mag dump.

Personally the USP and Beretta 92 are better than Glock but they aren't as cheap and hey don't have as many generic parts available.

(Nick)I love a 1911, probably more than the next guy, but it is NOT the AK of pistols. It isn't a weapon that's easy to strip and clean in the field. A standard GI will not eat any ammo thrown at it, and will defiitely not function in the grit and mud that an AK would. A glock would do all of that mentioned above. Is it pretty or as ergonomic as a 1911? Hell no. Does it function? Yup. there's a reason that they developed the lowered and flared ejection ports, yet they still won't eat some ammo. The 1911 is a refined weapon that requires skilled armorers and gunsmiths to fix them.. The Glock is none of that. It's easy and cheap to work on wherever you are, will eat up whatever you throw at it, and goes bang in almost every condition while still maintaining relative accuracy.

(lt_cdr kent) 1911 is the AK of semi-auto pistol. It was first, it is rough tuff weapon with a lot of history, both good and bad. Many others have improved upon it. Real question is; who is best now?

(bbb) OBVIOUSLY the 1911.

It's not about reliability and the ease of use, or even the lethality; it's about the historical significance and it's impact on armed conflicts.

The AK and 1911 have killed more people than the rest of those guns combined.

The AK and the 1911 were a revolution in designs. Before the 1911, there are virtually no other basic firearm designs still being used by militaries today besides the Mauser pattern rifle and maybe the pump shotgun. No, it's not the first semi-auto pistol, and the AK wasn't the first assault rifle. But it was the first historically significant one.

The 1911, despite it's age, is basically the golden standard for modern handguns, especially if you include double-action and double-stacked variants. A slide lock, thumb safety, thumb accessible modern magazine release became basic features on most modern service pistols.

The AK basic design and action has been used since the original, in everything from shotguns and machine guns to sniper rifles and submachine guns. And it's been copied in many other families of firearms such as the FAL, etc.

The Glock is a close second, but it is a modern handgun with modern materials and construction, and modern performance. The 1911's primary flaw is the single stack magazine and sharp recoil, whereas the AK's primary problem is accuracy and poor ergonomics.

The Glock has also not gone over nearly as many small innovations and improvements like both the 1911 and AK family.
Couldn't have said it better myself...

Thanks to all who engaged in our poll. We'll make this a regular feature and we'd appreciate suggestions for poll questions and options.

And a big thanks to Moondog for posing the original question!

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