The 1911 pistol and the .45ACP round it is chambered for have proven themselves time after time to be highly effective “problem solvers”, but there are always people looking to improve on this classic design and cartridge. One recent development is for a 1911 pistol chambered for a new round- the .50 GI. That’s right folks, a .50 cal 1911 is available! Now, there might not be an overwhelming requirement for such a round (and I’m sure Jeff Cooper will comment on this development as being totally unneeded) but for fans of big-bore handguns (of which I most certainly number myself) this is good news.
The latest edition of Guns and Ammo (October) has a small review of Guncrafter’s .50 GI pistol. Even next to a .45ACP round, the .50 GI looks surprisingly chunky and the gun can put out a 300-grain bullet at a fairly sedate 700fps- but at half an inch across that’s going to make a big hole. It can also purportedly be loaded up to put that same 300-grain projectile out at up to 900fps, but I’m sure controllability will suffer greatly with such a hot load.
The gun itself seems to be built to tight tolerances with a match grade barrel and match tuned four pound trigger pull- but in the G&A review they were not overly impressed by the groups they fired, blaming the ammo- although the author admitted this was a common problem in early production runs. A standard .45 cannot be customised to fire .50 GI due to the size of the new round but a .50 GI can be adapted to handle .45ACP. At nearly $3000 it’s not cheap but the development of a new round is always good news I feel- it may turn out that it doesn’t work as advertised but I’m sure that before long someone will take note of it and then try to improve on it. Maybe this could start a trend in big-bore 1911s?