Firearm: Savage Arms 1911 (MSRP: $1,499)
Proving that yes, firearm companies have long memories, Savage released its take on the 1911 in 2023. For those not steeped in 1911 lore, Savage was one of three manufacturers at the turn of the 20th century who submitted handguns to the U.S. Army for consideration as the newest sidearm issued to troops—and the first semi-automatic. Luger submitted three prototype pistols in .45 ACP, but bowed out of the competition first, resulting in a race between Savage and Colt, and we all know how that turned out. One hundred and twelve years after the adoption of the 1911, Savage has released its take on that storied handgun.
And, what a take it is. Savage currently offers two options for its Government-size model 1911, one with a rail as we have here today, and one without. Three finish options can be selected: black nitride, stainless and the two-tone version here. Savage is planning on adding a 9 mm version to the lineup in the near future, and it wouldn’t be the least bit surprising to see a Commander-length option added to the product line down the road.
As it is a Government-size 1911, the Savage has a 5-inch barrel, 8.45-inch overall length, 5.2-inch height and weighs 40.6 ounces. Magazine capacity is eight rounds, sights are Novak with a tritium bar rear sight and Mega Dot front sight, grips are G10 and the Savage 1911 comes with ambidextrous thumb safeties. There’s a slight departure from 1911 scripture with the Savage 1911: there’s a dual-recoil spring rather than single, although it is a standard guide rod, not a full length. Glare-reducing serrations abound, as do cocking serrations; the beavertail is generous and the grip safety has a bump for positive engagement. Just like you expect from a 1911.
So, I guess there are a couple questions this brings up. First, why a nine-round, 40-ounce handgun when there are so many lighter pistols with greater capacity? Realistically, it’s about personal preference. Some prefer the light trigger and comforting heft of the 1911, and there’s nothing wrong with that at all. The second question, then, is why the Savage? Well, first and foremost, it’s a well-made, well-equipped pistol. The Savage 1911 has a lot of standard options that would cost extra on less expensive versions. Second, well, there’s a bit of irony in a Savage 1911. And lastly, well, why not? It’s another option, and options are a good thing.
Holster: Falco C105 (MSRP: $85.95)
It’s pretty much guaranteed that a 1911 will be carried in a leather outside-the-waistband holster, and we’re staying true to that trope in this kit. We’ve opted for the C105 leather holster from new-to-us manufacturer Falco Holsters, out of Slovakia. Now, yes, we’re fans of buy American, but the Falco story could easily be an American success story. The company started as a niche business making falconry gloves in a garage-based workshop and evolved into a holster manufacturer offering hundreds of fits available worldwide.
The C105 we have in today’s kit is a standard open-top, pancake-style holster formed to the 1911 and double-stitched for durability. It has a modest sweatguard for comfort and can be ordered either canted or as the straight-drop style that we have today. One note on the C105, and this applies to a good number of leather holsters we’ve received for “I Carry:” A break-in period may be required to adjust the holster to the specific firearm. We’ve had excellent success with putting the pistol in a plastic bag and letting it sit in the holster a few days, allowing the holster to conform to the tiny extra bit of room that allows for a quick draw and reholster.
Accessory: PowerTac E9R G4 flashlight (MSRP: $129.95)
A stout flashlight is a worthy addition to any kit, and the powerful E9R G4 from PowerTac fits right in with the Savage 1911. Somewhat on the larger size, the E9R fits in the hand but is a little on the bigger side for carrying in a pocket; however, it comes with a molded carrier to be attached to a belt if desired. Chock-full of features, the E9R has four brightness settings as well as a strobe feature, and has power output ranging from 71 lumens on low to 2,550 lumens on what PowerTac calls a “Turbo” setting. Rechargeable battery life varies from 21 hours on low to 2 hours on Turbo.
We’ve commented on the slick recharging system from PowerTac before, where the charging cable plugs into a standard USB outlet and then attaches to the flashlight via magnet. It’s easy and doesn’t require opening the light to access the battery. The four power levels and strobe are cycled via a side-mounted button, while a tailcap has momentary-on and constant-on functionality depending on how hard you press the cap. It’s useful, powerful and has a lot of options, which is a good thing in a handheld light.