December 21, 2022
By Joe Kurtenbach
From its manufacturing headquarters in Westfield, Massachusetts, Savage has announced its newest product — the Savage 1911.
With news of this launch, much ink will be spent revisiting the 1907 Army Pistol Trials in which John Browning’s most renowned design bested a field of competitors, including the scarcely remembered Savage Model 1907 – itself a .45-caliber semiautomatic pistol. And while the new Savage 1911, and all modern 1911 pistols, offer a tip of hat to JMB and his two-time World-War-winning handgun, I’d argue the newest Savage offering is looking more toward the future than the past.
Until the 2020 introduction of the Renegauge shotgun, Savage’s catalog was defined by accurate rifles offering excellent value. Then, in late-2021 going into 2022, the company showcased a new micro-compact 9mm pistol in the Stance. Now, Savage is applying modern manufacturing techniques to take on one of the most respected and longest-serving semiautomatic handgun designs extant.
So, to me, this isn’t about looking backward, it’s about fulfilling CEO Al Kasper’s promise of making Savage a complete firearms company. What better way to secure a foothold in the handgun market than to offer a fresh take on one of its most stalwart designs.
Interestingly, rather than introduce one new model, Savage has launched a dozen. The guns are all Government models with billet-machined 5-inch steel barrels, offered in either .45 ACP or 9mm. The biggest differentiations have to do with the guns’ finish and whether or not they have a dustcover rail for accessories. With these considerations, six 9mm/.45 pairings emerge: Black Melonite ($1,350); Black Melonite with rail ($1,500); Stainless ($1,350); Stainless with rail ($1,500); and Two Tone, black-over-stainless, with ($1,500) and without ($1,425) rail.
Machined from steel forgings, the slide and frame obviously replicate the classic 1911 profile, but functional aesthetics provide a very modern feel. Wide, slanted cocking serrations facilitate a firm grasp at the front and rear of the slide. Too, a machine-stippled pattern provides texture for the mainspring housing and runs the top-side length of the slide to reduce glare and guide the eye to the front sight.
Speaking of sights, depending on the model, Savage 1911s will feature either a Novak Lo-Mount blacked-out rear paired with a white-dot front, or an adjustable Novak rear sight with a high-visibility yellow front – both with tritium for low-light use. Other features include ambidextrous safeties, VZ G10 grips, fully-machined hammers and sears, and Nitride-coated firing pins.
The intent with the new 1911 series of pistols seems to keep with my perception of Savage’s brand promise – high-quality firearms built for accuracy and durability, offered at a competitive price.
For more information, visit Savage’s website, and for Guns & Ammo’s full review, keep an eye out for the February 2023 issue!
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