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Browning 1911-380 Black Label


A few months ago,  I visited our local Palmetto State Armory (PSA) and was just browsing and watching to see what was of interest to others, when I saw one of the Browning 1911-380 pistols. This gun has been out for a while but I'd never held one and I asked the young man behind the counter if I could see it.

"The Browning 1911-380 combines two of John M. Browning's most lasting innovations - the Model 1911 and the 380 ACP cartridge - into a modern, lightweight pistol. Unlike most of the modern "pocket pistols" that chamber the snappy 380 ACP cartridge, the 1911-380 is slightly larger to better manage recoil for improved control that makes follow-up shots faster and more accurate. The longer barrel increases bullet velocity for more downrange punch and improved accuracy. The grip is compact, yet is long and wide enough to allow the shooting hand full purchase for added shooting comfort.

It has a high strength/lightweight composite full size frame at 85% of the size of the original 1911, machined steel slide, target crown, fixed combat sights, eight round magazine, extended ambidextrous manual safety, and skeletonized hammer."

This pistol was almost impossible for me to put down. It fit my hand perfectly. I had to have one and chose the full-sized Black Label model with black grips that are fully checkered. It's a great looking gun with combat sights and is "all business" in every respect.

I like the ambidextrous safety since I carry the gun cocked and locked with a round chambered. It's very easy to check the safety even when it's holstered. I also found that the bump on the grip safety forces me to have my hand in the same position each time. It requires a good high grip and that's a very good thing because it keeps my hand closer to the bore axis and does not allow any space between the web of my hand and the backstrap.

There were only two things I didn't like. It came with only one magazine which was easily corrected and it has a magazine safety, not easily corrected.

I have never seen the need for a magazine safety on any gun but I have learned to live with this feature and always make sure that the magazine is fully seated, a good practice with any self-loader.

Taking this gun to the range is pure pleasure. I have put every brand of .380 ACP ammo through it that I can find and all function flawlessly. It is so comfortable to shoot that it's easy to gain confidence with it quickly. The extra barrel length and great purchase on the grips ensure that very little recoil is felt in the hand. I found that shooting it accurately with both my strong and off hand were equally easy.

For my last range trip, I took plenty of ammo and offered the gun to my son, an excellent shooter and my 2 grandsons, ages 12 and 14. The grandsons weren't too excited about the 1911-380..until they shot it and then we went through all the ammo I'd brought. They both totally blistered the targets!

"The new Browning 1911-380 is the Right Design, the Right Size, with the Right Features. Based on the John M. Browning’s 1911 pistol design and using the cartridge he created, the new 1911-380 pistol gets it right in every way."

This gun is so much fun to shoot and with the proper defensive loads, it makes an excellent EDC gun. It's one you'll want to shoot and that's always a good thing.

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