The 1911 pistol is an American classic, but it’s time for a new breed of next-gen double stack 1911 handguns that take the best of this icon and built on it to create the modern day 2011.
1911 fans can be a puritanical bunch and if it’s not a single-stack 45 ACP then they’re just not interested.
The thing is, though, that guns are just better than that these days and you can have all the good bits of a 1911 with some serious technical breakthroughs. Call it a 2011 pistol if you like, but we’re not sure that has trul caught on.
Now you can have the metal craftsmanship, the solidity, the safety and a few other things besides, but you can also have the capacity. These are the next gen 1911 pistols that are missing from your life.
9mm vs 45 ACP? Next Gen 1911 Pistols Favor 9mm
The 45 ACP vs 9mm debate will rage forever and we do get the argument for the 230gr .45s over the svelte 130-150gr 9mm. But if you can get double the number of bullets in your gun, then two 9mm in the same place as one 230gr changes the equation completely.
Not all of these are 9mm, but most are.
We hope you enjoy this blend of craftsmanship and modern tech as much as we do. These are the best 1911s and spiritual successors in the modern world. They are also some of the very best guns in the world.
1. Staccato P DPO
- Price: $2,722.99
- Caliber: 9mm
- Barrel Length: 4.4 inch
- Weight: 2.1lb
- Magazine Capacity: 17+1
This is one of the few handguns approved by the US Marshal’s Special Operations Group and over 280 Law Enforcement agencies across the United States. Either US Marshals get paid serious money, or the police get a big discount…
You get a slightly chopped down bull barrel and a match-grade pistol that is almost recoil free.
The company started out as STI and forged an incredible reputation, even starring in John Wick 3, but somebody must have pointed out the Sexually Transmitted Infection thing, because it has rebranded as Staccato. It’s a good business move honestly.
And the gun is one of the best semi-automatic pistols on the market. It’s a competition level pistol with wraparound stippling, a flared magwell and a host of performance features. It’s a thoroughly modern twist on the old school 1911 and we would have one in a heartbeat.
Is this the best 9mm double stack 1911 on the market? Yes, we think so.
2. Rock Island Tac Ultra FSHC
- Price: $902.99
- Caliber: 9mm
- Capacity: 17+1
- Barrel Length: 5”
- Total Length: 8.5”
- Weight: 2.7lb
Rock Island Armory guns are some of the cheapest 1911 handguns for sale in 2023 and this is the cheapest here by a mile.
Don’t be put off by the bargain basement price, though, Rock Island do make really good guns, as long as you’re looking for a forged steel shooter and not a showpiece.
The company saves the money on the finish, the fine touches. This Rock Island Armory Tac Ultra is actually one of its more expensive offerings, but it still gets a parkerized finish that won’t be to everyone’s taste.
The grips could fit flusher and the screws stand out too, but those are the only faults we’re going to pick with an otherwise fantastic gun.
Serious Tactical Touches for Next Gen 1911
The tactical rail is pretty advanced for a 1911 and the fiber optic front sight and anti snag rear sight is actually pretty cool. The contrasting finish on the beveled and flared ejection port is a nice touch and the trigger and hammer are skeletonized.
The slide serrations are functional and then there’s that 17+1 increased capacity with the Rock Island Armory Tac Ultra FS.
This is a gun that the owners love. It’s a pretty traditional 1911 with the double-stack magazine and Glock+ capacity. It’s accurate, it’s reliable and it’s pretty easy to strip and maintain.
At this price, we think the Rock Island Armory Tac Ultra FS is a great modern day 1911 and are easily the best guns on this list for the money.
3. Springfield Armory Prodigy
- Price: $1,399.99
- Barrel: 4.25 inch
- Weight: 2lb
- Capacity: 26+1
The Springfield Armory Prodigy 1911 is a new arrival to the world of double stack 1911s and so far it has proven a smash hit. Available in 5 inch bull barrel or 4.25 inch carry spec, this new Prodigy 9mm pistol is a great handgun.
A polymer grip module helps keep the weight off the Springfield Prodigy, but then you are packing 20 rounds of 9mm ammo in there or 26+1 with the extended mag.
Work the considerable weight of all those bullets into the math with the polymer grips of this new Prodigy 9mm pistol. But man that’s a lot of ammo for one mag and that kind of has to be a tactical advantage. Peace through superior firepower and all…
Features include a forged steel frame and slide in the finest stainless steel and the new Prodigy is black cerakote finished in stylish matte black.
Aside from that these double stack pistols come with optics ready AOS plates and the high riding front sight is designed to co-witness a red dot sight up top.
Accessory Rail For Light and Laser Shows
There’s also an accessory rail underneath so you can go full tacti cool with the new Prodigy 9mm pistol. The Springfield Prodigy AOS plates, the Agency Optic System plates, mean you can slot your favorite sight on top with ease.
There’s an extended ambidextrous thumb safety, skeletonized hammer and deep forward slide serrations on the Springfield Armory 1911 DS Prodigy. That Adaptive Grip Texture is solid, too, and looks the part.
It is also one of the most complete 2011s on the market today. We like the Springfield Armory 1911 DS Prodigy a lot and it’s even better with a Hex Dragonfly Red Dot Sight up top that turns it into a total marksman.
Obviously you can choose your own, but Springfield Armory produced the Hex Dragonfly red dots and so it’s inevitable that they go together pretty perfectly.
However you do it, the new Springfield Armory Prodigy is potentially a gamechanger.
4. Wilson Combat Experior Commander
- Price: $3,348.99
- Barrel: 4 inch
- Weight: 1.6lb
- Capacity: 15+1
The Wilson Combat Experior pistols are as good as it gets. If money is no object, then this might still be your overall winner.
The company makes some of the finest 1911 handguns on the market, and some of the best AR pistols, and rifles. You get the idea…
This Wilson Combat Experior 1911 gets a flush cut reverse crown cold hammer forged barrel. The flatter TRAC grip texture is a new asymmetrical grip that reduces snagging on clothing while retaining security. Other features include a rear battlesight and fiber optic front, a Bullet Proof High Ride Beavertail safety and 3.5-4.5 Crisp Trigger Pull.
We like to think we’ll treat our $3000+ pistol better than that, too, but the Wilson Combat Experior does come with WAVE frame rail clearance cuts. So with minimal lubrication and a slide full of mud and sand, it should still fire.
A new barrel locking lug design also helps improve cycling reliability when using garbage ammunition in a gritty gun.
Lightweight Construction for Carry
Designed as a carry gun from the outset, the Wilson Combat Experior comes with an aluminum frame, polymer grip module and stainless steel slide. It’s a tri-top slide, contoured for an easier draw, the bottom of the slide gets a heavy machine chamfer.
There’s a fluted chamber, an extended thumb safety and lots more with these Wilson Combat new double stack 1911s. If you just want the best, you might want to start here and you can see more Wilson Combat pistols here.
5. Dan Wesson DWX
- Price: $2,345.99
- Barrel: 5 inch
- Weight: 2.68lb
- Capacity: 19+1
That side profile looks familiar right? Maybe a CZ Shadow grip and frame? Yes, that’s it, this is a hybrid CZ fitted with the best Dan Wesson DWX 1911 parts, which honestly sounds like a pretty amazing start for a custom 1911.
CZ now owns DW and decided to blend the best of both worlds to create a Dan Wesson DWX competition pistol that built on the other worldly success of the CZ 75 and Shadow. That target shooting specialist is still our best full size 9mm handgun, but this single action handgun could be in with a shot before long.
Not a Letter of the Law 1911
It isn’t a pure 1911 thanks to a locking breech barrel system rather than the traditional link system. And the CZ 75’s takedown system, via the slide stop, is also different.
But these are details and this is basically one of the best double stack 1911s you’ll see with some of the best DA/SA pistols touches. We also like the weighted Picatinny Rail underneath that is also a counterbalance to help quash muzzle rise and that grip texture is 1911 2.0.
This semi-auto uses standard CZ 75 grips and the only real problem is that the slide isn’t optic ready. They say a red dots slide is coming soon…
Dan Wesson makes great pistols, revolvers are historically their thing too.
6. TTI Sand Viper
- Price: $10,299
- Caliber: 9mm ammo
- Barrel: 5 inch
- Total: 8.78 inch
- Capacity: 22+1
John Wick will take the TTI Pit Viper into action in John Wick 4, and you can buy that soon. Right now its sibling, the Taran Tactical Sand Viper, is the 2 Gun competition shooting pistol you’re looking for.
Taran Butler built this gun from the ground up after starting out modifying STI handguns for John Wick 3.
This is all TTI’s work and it’s the complete match-grade pistol with a single port compensator and a host of other features. The frame is machined from billet, natch.
Everything is Perfect
A DLC coated barrel, enlarged and flared ejection port that borders on an open slide, Aftec Extractor and insane fire control unit combine to create the ultimate pistol. The Cerakote finish is inevitably top quality on the best double stack 1911s.
Night sights, a seamlessly blended beavertail grip safety, 22 round magazine and wraparound stippling complete one of the most compelling optics ready guns we’ve seen in a while. If only it wasn’t quite this expensive, it might just be the winner…
Single stack 9mm 1911s never looked so dull and uninspiring right?
7. Smith & Wesson CSX
- Price: $549.99
- Barrel: 3.1 inch
- Total: 6.1 inch
- Weight: 1.2lb
- Capacity: 10+1
The Smith & Wesson CSX isn’t a true 1911 by any means, and it’s an intentional hybrid pistol that tries to bring you the best of both worlds: 1911 and striker fired pistol.
It sort of works, and you get a lightweight single action pistol that’s easy to conceal and has a proper hammer and safety.
The E Series and Performance Center 1911s are some of our favorites. The Smith & Wesson CSX is interesting, but lacks some basic 1911 features.
Do most people care? Frankly no. It’s a sales hit just because it’s different, and it’s fun to shoot.
What About a New Double Stack 45 ACP?
9mm pistols aren’t the only option if you want more bullets, although you might be surprised at who is giving you the option of a staggered 45 ACP magazine. Just take a moment, though, come at this with an open mind, because this is a hell of a gun…
8. Rock Island Armory BBR 3.10
- Price: $623.99
- Caliber: 45 ACP
- Barrel: 3.1 inch
- Capacity: 10+1
So this is the dream: a sub-compact 1911 with 10+1 rounds of 45 ACP and it’s wild that this breakthrough comes from the likes of RIA, at this insane price.
Because any other manufacturer on this list would charge $1000 more for 45 ACP 2011 and we’re not sure we would blame them.
Weighing in at 2lb on the nose, the RIA comes with quality night sights and a modern design, including a 3.1 inch barrel and a grip angle that suggests a slight update to old school single-action 1911 thinking.
Aside from that it’s kind of a purist’s gun, including the grip safety. ambidextrous safety on the frame and skeletonized hammer. As well as a flush fitting mag that all looks California compliant to us.
Is This Suspiciously Cheap?
OK so it’s almost too cheap for this spec and you might want to send 1000 rounds at the shooting range, work through the break-in period and do some internal polishing and fettling to make sure you’ve got a perfect concealed carry 45 ACP.
Do that and this might just become your everyday carry and you might start investing in other RIA double stacks, including the 10mm Auto. Crazy right?
9. Sig Sauer P226 SAO
- Price: $1,299.99
- Barrel: 4.4 inch
- Total: 7.7 inch
- Capacity: 15+1
Now the Sig Sauer P226 isn’t even close to a 1911. But it is a high capacity 9mm pistol that has passed most of the same endurance tests on its way to active service with military and law enforcement.
Opt for the Single Action Only and the differences start to come down to aesthetics more than engineering. You may well prefer this trigger pull too.
And the Sig Sauer P226 is an exceptional handgun that crack military operatives carry to this day. If they don’t carry a Glock, this is normally the next in line.
For home defense, too, it’s an icon.
Striker Fired 9mm Pistol Options
You get a lot more choices when you go looking for a 9mm pistol with a striker action. That’s just the way the world is going and the likes of the cutting edge Glock, Smith & Wesson M&P Shield and more now sell way more plastic pistols as carry guns than they do 1911s.
These metal pistols, revolvers etc really are fighting against the tide of progress, but we still love them, and we think there is room in this world for both.
By the way, if you are a Glock guy, you might want to look at Agency Arm’s new AOS Agency Optic System, where you send in your slide for a $235.00 makeover and it comes back optics ready.
Where to Buy a 1911
Not every store focuses on the trusty old 1911 these days, but thankfully some of our favorites still have great stocks.
Palmetto State Armory has emerged as the best gun store in 2022 in our humble opinion. Palmetto State Armory makes the best cheap AR-15s, but they also sell the world’s biggest name firearms at the right prices.
So if you can find your gun at Palmetto State Armory, buy there. Otherwise head to Guns.com and you’ll almost certainly find what you want. Including red dot sights.