A Pint-Sized 1911? Browning’s Black Label Pro 1911-380—Full Review.

To learn more, visit https://www.browning.com/products/firearms/pistols/1911-380.html.

To purchase on GunsAmerica.com, click this link: https://www.gunsamerica.com/Search.aspx?T=1911-380.

A Pint-Sized 1911? Browning’s Black Label Pro 1911-380—Full Review.

The 1911-380 BrowningBlack Label Pro is a dead ringer for a .45 ACP 1911, but downsized for .380 ACP. Image courtesy of the manufacturer.

When I first received word that a Browning 1911-380 was on its way to me for a gun review, I was less than enthusiastic. That is two things I generally dislike, a 1911 and a 380, wrapped into one. Before the Saint John Moses Browning (peace be upon him) 1911 secret police get their panties all in a bunch, I have carried one. In the USMC, to do the Lord’s work, for a very long time, so the peanut gallery can hold its fire for a second. I feel about 1911s the same way I feel about a horse cavalry. Its neat, but its time has passed for serious work. My usual response if a student pulls one out for a class is, “Wyatt Earp called, he wants his gun back.” And about that .380 caliber, which is like 9mm set to stun, I am not a fan. Yes, it will kill a human being, but so will a toaster with enough hits. My general feeling on .380 is, you don’t want to shoot a person with one. If they find out, they are going to be pissed.

A Pint-Sized 1911? Browning’s Black Label Pro 1911-380—Full Review.

The author was very impressed by the fit, finish and handling of the 1911-380 from Browning.

I was expecting a full-sized 1911 in the box, which would have made all my arguments valid. Instead what popped out looks like a 1911 made by pygmies, and my first thought was “How Cute!!!”. The 1911-380 is actually a totally new gun, an 85% scale version of your gran-pappy’s Chosin Reservoir edition. A pretty remarkable feat of engineering actually, that was enough to get my attention. Many have tried this before, and they usually make something that looks kinda like a 1911. The Browning Black Label IS a 1911. Replicated in almost every detail, it is a sight to behold. No need to consult the manual on this one. If you have ever been issued a 1911, you already know how to take it apart and make it work. It is absolutely adorable, and if you are a 1911 aficionado, you are going to want one.

A Pint-Sized 1911? Browning’s Black Label Pro 1911-380—Full Review.

The Browning Black Label Pro 1911-380 tested here came packed in a nice plastic case.


  • Chambering: .380 ACP
  • Barrel: 4.25 inches
  • OA Length: 7.5 inches
  • Weight: 18 ounces
  • Grips: G-10
  • Sights: Three dot
  • Action: Single-action
  • Finish: Matte black
  • Capacity: 8+1
  • MSRP: $799.99

Hands On

Fit and finish is what we would expect from a name like Browning, which is to say flawless. Right out of the box, the slide is smooth, not like some of the gritty finished product I have picked up in other 1911s. Also not much wiggle in the slide to frame fitting, like you get in a surplus rattle trap. Not as tight as a full custom gun, but that tends to reduce reliability in real world conditions, anyway. There is checkering on the front and back straps of the gun, and even up onto the fully functional beavertail safety. The beavertail is an extended version, and looks exactly like the one on a full-sized gun. No skimping on detail here, or scaling down mil surplus parts. The safety is ambidextrous, and textured just like a big boy gun. The slide release is absolutely tiny at this scale, but it is also textured. The grips are a scaled micarta in black and grey. There is actually a little bit of bite in these grips, not that you would need it for .380.

A Pint-Sized 1911? Browning’s Black Label Pro 1911-380—Full Review.

Anyone who knows how to take down a 1911 will be right at home with the 1911-380.

The trigger is smooth faced, which I prefer in a 1911, with just a little bit of take up in the test model. The trigger wasn’t as clean as some 1911s I have owned, but one wonders if the same full-size polish and file tricks would work on this little guy. The sights are a familiar notch and post, with white dots on all three. The sights have been dovetailed in, and secured with embedded allen screws, which offers at least a little flexibility for movement. The hammer is a skeletonized modern styling, instead of the original 1911 spur type. The barrel has been blackene, though the chamber portion, which you can see in the ejection port when the slide is closed, is highly polished steel, just like a regular size model.

The 1911-380 comes apart just like any other 1911, but once the slide is removed you can see the few engineering changes needed to make the gun work in this size. The normal floating barrel link is now a solid extrusion of the barrel, and the guide rod is plastic. I am not sure what to think of the plastic guide rod, but it would take a lot of rounds to decide if it is a point of failure or not.

The Downside

With all that good, must come some bad. I was sorely disappointed that the 1911-380 includes a magazine safety; it will not fire without a magazine inserted. Not only do I see this as bending to the to the whims of California (or the Clintons back when they had a Presidency. Zing! How’s that taste?), I think it makes the gun less safe. Yes, we all know most original Browning High Powers also have a magazine disconnect safety. Inserting a magazine to dry fire or drop the hammer on a 1911 though, just feels wrong. This is obviously a matter of personal preference, but it is a deal breaker for me on gun purchases. This is America, not Occupied Europe, I should be able to fire the gun with the magazine removed if I damn well feel like it.

A Pint-Sized 1911? Browning’s Black Label Pro 1911-380—Full Review.

The author did not care of the design of the grip safety, and was disappointed that a magazine safety was part of the design.

What else? The only real problem I had in shooting the gun came from the beavertail safety. This gun is billed as fitting more hands, but it didn’t work great for mine. The beavertail safety, despite being extended, wasn’t big enough for me to reliably engage with a normal firing grip. I think this has a lot to do with the thinness of the new frame. I am not exactly a small man, but I am also not a giant. I am 6’3” ish, and I normally wear a size large glove. There is absolutely not enough gun here to get a two-handed firing grip, and engage the safety every time. If I owned this gun, the first thing I would do is have the safety pinned.

How did it shoot? Fantastic, actually. Once we got past our grip safety disagreement, the gun shot like a dream. The relative long sight radius makes accuracy a breeze, and recoil might as well not exist. Despite being a featherweight, the 1911-380 is still heavier than most .380 pocket pistols. It feels like you can dump a full magazine without the gun ever coming off target. Small size water bottles were no problem at 15 meters, and if we hadn’t run out of ammo, probably not a problem at longer range.

A Pint-Sized 1911? Browning’s Black Label Pro 1911-380—Full Review.

The Browning is shown here for size comparison under a standard-sized Kimber .45 ACP 1911 pistol.


So, was this a useful gun? I would say it definitely has a niche. Some people insist on a carry gun with a manual safety, and the 1911-380 would do that job nicely. The controls are big enough to actually use, unlike a lot of purpose-built carry guns. It’s light enough and small enough to conceal, for certain. This is one of the thinnest guns I have ever seen, rivaling the Glock 42. It also has a place with students that are very recoil sensitive, such as new shooters and the elderly. The place I see this gun as the most useful though, is with young shooters. This would be a perfect platform for teaching kids, both in terms of ergonomics and recoil management. Going from .22 to 9mm is a big jump for little ones, and this bridges that gap nicely. The mild recoil of .380 at least makes them realize recoil is a thing, and should help them on the way to managing grown sized guns.

A Pint-Sized 1911? Browning’s Black Label Pro 1911-380—Full Review.

The pistol comes with nice G-10 grip panels with excellent traction.

Let’s revisit that statement about the elderly. I didn’t just mean your grandmother that sold me the lightly used corvette, only driven on Sundays to church. Very crafty, Mrs. Odometer-roll-back. Let’s face facts. Pearl Harbor was 75 years ago, and many of our WW2- and Korea-era veterans are old as dirt now. Those grey-haired warriors might be harder than a coffin nail, but strength does eventually sap. At least if you buy your great grandfather one of these, he already knows how to use it. And there might be enough John Wayne in him still he slaps you for not getting it in .45.

To learn more, visit https://www.browning.com/products/firearms/pistols/1911-380.html.

To purchase on GunsAmerica.com, click this link: https://www.gunsamerica.com/Search.aspx?T=1911-380.

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  • Judge (Ret.) Paul W. Schwarz May 16, 2024, 6:48 pm

    I thouught largely thr same thing. If this had been chambered in 30 cal SC I would have already bought one.

  • J. d July 18, 2020, 3:11 pm

    I always preferred the caliber of 45, from Colt to the acp. During my professional career the authorized carry went from .38 special to plus p… eventually allowing .40, 9mm, and run what you brung. I have seen first hand what a little 38 would do… It will keel!
    With modern 380 bullets out of a 4 inch barrel. It’s a game changer. Carry 2 8 round mags in your pocket. It is more comfortable to carry than my light weight .45 commander.
    If the author thinks it’s enemic, let me shoot him.

  • Tim Davis January 26, 2020, 11:13 am

    I don’t know what qualifications people have to have to be a gun reviewer but this guy is full of crap. I’ve shot and carried 1911’s in the military and as a civilian in many configurations and calibers. The fact is it has a 100 year battle proven reputation. And no ones narrow minded opinion can challenge that fact.
    This little 1911 in 380 is an excellent piece. The marvel of Browning’s engineers to downsize this weapon is commendable. I have a 4.25 in barrel medallion model. It shoots, functions and performs excellently. And as far as the opinion of the 380 being anemic in defense situations, that is absurd also. If you ar comparing it to the .45 acp yes, the 380 is anemic. But on its own used within its limit (which most actual self defense apply) 380 ball ammunition is very effective and deadly within 5 to 15 yards. Given the user is proficient with their weapon.

  • Matthew Steven Cuddy June 17, 2019, 3:25 pm

    I have the pistol my grandfather carried in the depression, a 1908 Colt 380 Hammerless pocket automatic. This pistol has saved my life twice, can function with everything from FMJ .380 ammo to Winchester Silvertips. From top flite maintenance, the pistol still looks like new, with that beautiful deep blue finish Colts had at the turn of the last century. While this downsized 1911 is neat, I’ll just stick with the original. It also is the pistol every good/bad guy used in movies. My better half gets miffed when I roll back the movie to the .380 Colt being used to hold a crook at bay. It’s manufactured so well, I’m sure my great great grandson will be using it in the next century, God willing.

  • Jim Dennen June 17, 2019, 7:02 am

    I own over forty hand guns.This pistol is one of my favorites. My favorite is a Les Baer Stinger. It is extremely accurate and easy to shoot. It is, however, heavy to carry and difficult to conceal in Florida clothing. The Browning is very accurate, much more accurate than any of my ‘mouse guns’ including my Glock 380, which is very inaccurate and the trigger is uncomfortable on my finger after a few rounds. This Browning is easy to carry, very accurate and loaded with contemporary ammunition, is probably pretty effective at concealed carry distances. It shoots like a “real gun” with none of the disadvantages of the typical 380. It is my main carry pistol!

  • Greg Hamblin March 10, 2017, 11:11 pm

    Very disappointed in what I had hoped to be one of my favorite pistols. But with that on a bench stand it drops 6 inches from 20 feet to 30 targets very unlike normal running products that are usually high quality, but very disappointed that it has no adjustable rear sites and now I have to deal with this drop

  • Gene Elliott February 14, 2017, 7:53 pm

    Oddly enough, I have a pistol just like this that I bought in 1966 for $69.95. I still have that Llama .380 (9mm Corto) and it is in as good condition as it was when I bought it brand new, not a single problem in 48 years. As far as .380 being ineffective, it will make someone “quit doing what they are doing”.

  • Arnold Arnold February 14, 2017, 2:09 pm

    I have this li’l guy {NOT the “Pro”} to match up with my Springfield 1911-A1… IMHO—It’s TOOOOooo cool!!!

    Put this down innnah ‘nother posting some time back…..: .380acp {aka the 9mm Kutz} is barely adequate and barely inadequate said someone other then I… and it is my smallest close quarters caliber as it is not that much smaller then the 9mm Parabellum nor will it stick in a cheek-bone so you can get an ass-kick’n…… I have heard same stories ’bout the 9mm so my battle caliber is the 45acp….

    Now Clay…. The 2017 Shot Show must’ve been the land of Giants as you look’d more like 5′-10″.
    Also grab’n the mini-1911 looked exaggerated as far as your grip’n troubles… IMHO

    LOL! Keep up the good work!

    • Arnold Arnold February 15, 2017, 10:51 am

      Ya’ll ever hear of a YouTube Channel …. “Hickok45″???? The man is 6′ 8” with “king kong” hands…… Feb 10, 2016 did a PROPER review of this Browning Black Label 1911-380 & .380 caliber…. https://youtu.be/vKC2jBEqVDM

      Clay can learn a lot about “how to do” firearm reviews from Hickok45…. just say’n…
      HOWEVER! I really-really do love how Clay Martin can get the yo-yo’s to negative air-pressure their backsides into the ol’ anal-pantie inversion!!!!

  • Charles Bailey February 14, 2017, 10:17 am

    When my daughter comes to visit she brings my son-in-law. Since we are both gun we head for the range. Although I carried a 1911 45 in WA I had bought into the literature that touted the 9mm and da/sa as being superior and I owned several Sigs. As I began firing my Bill gave me a look that seemed to say, “Who are you and what did you do with Nell’s dad?” He handed me his Sig ultra compact in 45 and said, “Try this.” Ah Ha, a long lost love. I tried one of the super 9 loads on a cube target and it rolled over. I switched to the 45 and it drove the cube across the grass. I am 83 and my carry is now a Sig ultra compact in 45 acp. I still have several Sig 9’s in my safe but they now have a ferment home there.

  • Art Mauk February 14, 2017, 12:47 am

    I’m an old Navy Veteran with arteries in my hands and have some trouble with racking the slide on my sub compact 9mm and a hard to take down system (partly holding back the slide with one hand while using the other hand to push out a pin with a punch) for taking down to clean the firearm its a Kahr cm9 that is a good shooter and a good trigger too, But had to trade in on a Glock 42 (380) because it has an  EZ slide racking & take down controls & lower recoil too. 
    I have a 1911-45acp-well broken in & I can still rack its slide ok too. I may look into one of The 1911-380 Browning Black Label Pro 380.

  • Dan February 13, 2017, 11:46 pm

    Overpriced. They did a cool little .22 awhile back. Also overpriced. Don’t want one that bad.

  • Fred February 13, 2017, 7:45 pm

    A tolerable and somewhat positive review.
    That said, Martin… Your mommy ain’t here to say “Blow, Sweetie”, so go wipe yer nose, kid.

  • Fred February 13, 2017, 5:20 pm

    So, the significant difference between this and the ol Llama .380 is …..what?

    • Noel P. February 13, 2017, 8:34 pm

      Price ! The major difference and finish. I still have several older Llamas including a gold plated safe queen and a tiny .22 model with a fine blue finish that is a pleasure to shoot.
      Llama is back in production and will be a more attractive piece at less money that any of the Browning modern products. In fact I’d probably bet that Browning is getting Llama to make them for them.

  • Roscoe February 13, 2017, 4:28 pm

    “It’s almost like they scaled down the entire gun.”

    You think?

  • Tom February 13, 2017, 2:37 pm

    Next time you do a gun review, don’t wear black clothing. Your black 1911s with a black background simply disappeared during the size comparison. Look behind you… do you see a whiteboard?

  • 67NamVet February 13, 2017, 2:37 pm

    Bought one for my wife because she has small hands and weak wrists. Works well for her, she can rack the slide and handle the recoil. Not so good for me, I wear XL gloves and find that I have to really concentrate to keep the grip safety engaged. The ambidextrous safety pinches the web of my hand. Not a good choice for me. As to the power of the .380 round being too small to take down a bad guy, Shot placement beats caliber every time.

  • Tony February 13, 2017, 1:31 pm

    What if I said all your weapons suck??? 1911’s have proved themselfs over 100 years. That’s why the Marine Corp bought several thousand more of them a couple years ago. Since they suck so bad, let me put one of my loads in the Browning and stand 25 ft in front of me & see how it feels when you get hit? ? Unbiased reviews is suppose to be unbiased opinions!

  • David Keith February 13, 2017, 11:56 am

    I agree with the first part of your article. I’m sick of 1911’s and the people who can’t evolve beyond them. The .380 caliber also stinks.

    • ncwbob February 13, 2017, 6:01 pm

      I’m sick of 1911’s…
      That is why you came here read/watched the review and then took the time to comment right?
      The 1911 shoots so much nicer then most any plastic guns, I kind of doubt you have ever even shot one to make such a comment.
      Until about 3 yrs ago I never shot one, then my son bought a SA MC Operator. Shot that and fell in love so went and bought a TRP Operator.

      Plastic guns are fine, I own a few but they cant touch my TRP for pure pleasure and accuracy in shooting.
      Yes the plastic guns are great for CC and the 1911 is not but that does not make the 1911 bad.

  • DaveW February 13, 2017, 11:48 am

    I lack the stats to back up what I think, so I may be in error. I believe today’s .380 is far superior to the .380 I carried as a backup in the mid to late 1970s. I still have that .380 and am in the process of restoring it to it’s original factory specs. It is a Firearms International Model D (originally a Colt Pony .380 and manufactured by a number of different companies). It is quite small though it looks like a 1911 that has gone through the wash and shrank in the dryer. It lacks the grip safety, but everything else is basically the same. I’ve run JHP and FMJs through it. Like any small firearm, it is best suited for up close and personal situations, which most self defense situations are. Most confrontations take place between 3 and 10 feet. At that distance, I believe the .380 is an effective round. For CCW use, it is lighter than many others. Yes, it is limited to 7 rounds (6+1) but so are many compact .45s and 9mms. My Kimber Ultra Carry II is heavy on my belt compared to my Mod D, and is more easily concealed.

    As for the 1911 comment, ‘to each their own’. I carried one in Vietnam. It did then what it was designed to do against the Moros… take ’em down. It’s simple to operate, and to take care of. Modern versions are far better. It’s pretty easy to teach. And it is customizable.

    Just my view. Other views may vary.

    • KBSacto February 13, 2017, 3:26 pm

      I watched a YouTube video a year or so ago where a guy with a Bersa Thunder (which I have; awesome little pistol) fired factory .380 rounds from ten feet into a 12 inch block of ballistic gelatin, covered by four layers of denim, and backed by a row of 3 one gallon jugs of water. All the rounds went through the denim, gelatin, and exited out the side of the second jug of water. He then recommended hollow points for anyone wanting to avoid over penetration and exiting. I was quite surprised . For 1911 fans, I expect this Browning will create elevated appeal. If you just need a simple, dependable, DA/SA pistol with a decocker, the Bersa Thunder can make it into you safe for about $350.

  • Tug February 13, 2017, 11:48 am

    I have a couple 1911’s both full sized and a compact Sig. I also own a Colt Mustang .380 which is the handiest little EDC carry gun I have ever owned! So DON’T KNOCK THE LITTLE GUY! I don’t have to remember a couple sets of drills depending on my carry preference since they all work the same and as for the caliber … .380 ,with proper shot placement and proper defensive ammo will do just as well as my big boys

    • richard sharpe February 13, 2017, 3:37 pm

      i have a colt government model 380. best handgun i own. i love it

  • Dick Pfeifer February 13, 2017, 11:25 am

    You sure did not describe my 1911-380. The slide on mine is loose as a goose. On the first shot the front sight popped off, plastic crap. My 1911-22 is no better. Neither will shoot accurately for me. Why Browning didn’t dovetail the front sight is beyond me.

  • buhbang February 13, 2017, 11:17 am

    i too am disappointed in the review, the author doesnt know much and shouldnt start out by saying he doesnt like this and this and that. you are supposed to be unbiased and you clearly are not. and I guess you havent seen plastic guide rods before either, they are in several guns and work just fine. your military issue 1911 was probably crap and it appears you havent learned how much better made they are now, I hear the same b.s. from another former jarhead who knows nothing about them, hasnt shot one in over 30 years but has the same attitude you do, one of ignorance.
    the article should be about the gun and not about your likes and dislikes. you never took into account, that though it may be too small for you, it fits others just fine. you also never consider who else might shoot this gun. I have an elderly neighbor with arthritus, this might be perfect for her. so get out of your me me me box and realize we all have different reasons and environments. just because you don’t like it, doesnt make it a bad gun. just not for you.
    terrible review, im not watching the video. either learn how to write a review or go find something else to do,

    • Jo Ann February 14, 2017, 9:05 pm

      Many women start out with the .22 version of this then go to this in .380 for carry.. In CA the 1911.380 is not on the Stupid List so I then try to steer them to a Ruger LCR in .327 or a G26 (Gen 3) for a variety of reasons. If the 1911.380 were available to them, that would be my recommendation for concealed carry – also for a variety of reason. Get practical, people.

  • Bruce February 13, 2017, 10:54 am

    Well Mr. Jar Head, seems you come to a review with a strong mind set (if possible for a Jar Head) and ruin the review. This old man carries a 1911 every day in 45 or 38 super (Light Weight Commander) and when not serious a Kimber .380 1911 knock off.
    Like everything else in life it is what you are trained for and know. I was trained.to carry cocked and locked and it works every time. You just need to get a grip on the gun (and perhaps yourself) and the grip safety will always operate.
    The next time you denigrate one of the most famous and straight forward personal defense weapons in the world because it is not plastic remember it’s the Indian not the bow or the arrow.

  • Bob February 13, 2017, 9:45 am

    How about wearing a light background colored shirt while demonstrating the gun. It’s hard to see black on black in your video.

    Please, don’t give us your thoughts before even starting a video … I eventually shut the video off, because of these two suggestions I’ve give you.

  • Nigel Brown February 13, 2017, 9:20 am

    Hard for me to take your review seriously when the first words out of your mouth were “I despise 1911’s and 380’s”.

    • Jay Star February 13, 2017, 3:00 pm

      Yes, me too. I cant afford the super duper guns these and have a cheap .380 I purchased long ago. It always worked fine for me and I’m still happy with it. And I’d love to have a 1911 if I could afford one. So theres my 2 cents worth. lol

  • Harold February 13, 2017, 8:57 am

    Maybe next time have someone review a gun they don’t profess to hate before the actual review starts.
    Also the reverse should be true. Don’t have a 1911 hater review a 1911 and don’t have a Glock hater review a Glock.

  • Charlie Lambert February 13, 2017, 8:34 am

    Please note firing into rocks may not be the safest thing. Ya hear em ricochet to christ knows where. Otherwise good review, I agree not the best caliber to deal with a bad guy, but it is better than nothing & plesant to shot for recoil sensative people. I bought a G42 for those resons & I dont regret it. Great training piece for my kids for sure.

    • Jo Ann February 14, 2017, 9:10 pm

      Have you tried Horny Critical Defense in the G42 and loved it? If yes, try Buffalo Bore hard cast ammo in it – very fine indeed.

      • Chet Hribal February 16, 2017, 2:57 am

        Is that Horny Clitoral Defense ammo only available in Ca.?

  • Rex Burkheimer February 13, 2017, 8:25 am

    Most of the 1911-380s have polymer frames, but I understand a few have (had?) alloy frames. Was the review gun all metal or an unholy alliance of steel and Tupperware?

  • Chuck Roast February 13, 2017, 8:13 am

    This was a good review. Even though a 1911 fan, I like the rib Mr. Martin used about Wyatt Earp calling and wanting his gun back. Wyatt died in 1929, so there was an 18 year period (approximately) in which he could have owned one, though no evidence exists of it. But Mr. Martin’s point is illustrated well about 100 year plus technology. However, a lot of folks have medical conditions making it hard to rack any type of semi-auto pistol except a blow-back operated pistol. And a lot of folks can’t handle recoil. So that pistol may just be perfect for someone who would rather at least have that, rather than try to take on a 25 year old assailant with only a cane.

    • Mike King July 29, 2017, 4:11 pm

      Ya got it wrong about tacking this slide. This is a locked breech system, making it much easier to rack than the blow back system of , say a SIG P232. I also have a SIG P238. Same result.

  • Mike February 13, 2017, 7:53 am

    Just to point out a comparable gun which was re released due to its popularity , a colt mustang pocketlite…Nice laser under dustcover too.

  • Jamie February 13, 2017, 7:29 am

    I feel like I need to point out the obvious, regarding your criticism of the plastic guide rod….

  • Frank February 13, 2017, 7:03 am

    Well Jarhead, I recently acquired a 1911 that wasn’t in 45 acp (9mm/22 TCM) and I got it mostly because of the slide being a lot easier to manipulate than the slide of a stock 1911. And yes I carried 1911’s (Springfield, Para-Ordinance, Auto Ordinance) for many years but a motorcycle wreck (cars and cellphones don’t mix..;( ) forced me to rethink my firearm choices (revolvers are nice, but damn how I love 1911s…and Wyatt Earp can’t have my gun…this one is mine..:) I find it ironic that the 1911 I now own is made in PI, a country I spent many nights in. Subic Bay in 1970’s was the place to be if you were young and dumb and full of you know what…:)).

    I really thought my days of carrying a 1911 were over. But I’m glad they’re not. I totally understand 1911ers talking trash about non-45 acp versions. But everybody gets old and weak, unless of course they die before they get old..:) And as we age we get weaker. Even though I have quite a bit of martial arts training, I’m too old to go toe-to-toe, so now my focus is to fight my way to my knife or gun. I really never thought I’d ever have to say that, but that’s my life now…:(

    I’m almost fully recovered from the accident (it took over a year and a half and I still have 12 screws in my neck). So I’m now focused on which firearms I can handle and shoot accurately. 1911s have always fit my hand like no other pistol (ok a Sig P220 comes close…:))

    So before a 1911 lover bashes a non-45acp version, think about how tough it would be to manipulate a slide if you could barely walk. And how even a little crack in the sidewalk might cause you to fall. And how going to the bathroom is not an easy chore. Then maybe you’ll get an idea of how some the things older Veterans have to go through.

  • mach37 February 13, 2017, 5:19 am

    This may not apply to all .380/1911 copies, BUT: I bought a Llama mini-1911 back in the 1960s, and I blame it for my deafness today. The first shot with it, without hearing protection as we all did back in those days, rang my ears painfully, and they continued to ring before finally stopping on the third day. I experimented with my other guns and found no problem with ringing from either a 12-gauge shotgun or my Colt 38 Special revolver. I have often wondered why a small 1911 was so much louder than a 38 revolver.
    I eventually traded the 380 for an S&W 357 magnum. Actually my hearing remained good years after that episode, but I’m sure some physical damage was done, marked by the pain, that helped me along to my very-hard of hearing condition today, even though I have religiously worn hearing protection since that first “shot heard for three days.”

  • Dr. Strangelove February 13, 2017, 4:20 am

    I bought one of these because I’m invested in .380 but I hate shooting a little pocket pistol any more than I need to for practice. I reload the cartridge for less than $0.10 a round so it’s cheap to shoot and the Browning is a great range gun. I have big hands and did not have a problem with the grip safety, although I did hit the ambidextrous safety with my left thumb (I’m right handed) occasionally.

  • Martin B February 12, 2017, 4:53 pm

    Dear Clay,
    Please don’t wear black clothing while reviewing black guns. Can’t see a damn thing.

  • Ed H February 10, 2017, 11:15 am

    We bought one of these for my wife. She couldn’t handle (or more accurately, strongly dislikes) my 9mm, so that left us looking at .380. Her hands are weak enough that there were only two pistols we found that she could fully manipulate: the Sig P238 and the Browning 1911-380.

    Yes, a gunsmith can work on the trigger and also remove the magazine interlock.

    I’m surprised you’re having trouble with the grip safety. I have no trouble with my XL hands, and neither does my wife with her small hands.

    • Wayne Cook February 13, 2017, 7:40 am

      All of our family have small hands, so I appreciated your comment.

      It also strikes me as disengenuous that the author would pout about having a free gun to review, notwithstanding his history. Here we are in one of the very few nations where gun ownership is hard fought every day in the courts, and I’m afraid I view his first comments most irritating. I’ve lived in three countries where gun ownship was viewed with great suspicion, while drug cartels in all three nations brandished them openly. I would offer that a thankful attitude would be far more in order!

      • richard from willow springs February 13, 2017, 7:53 pm

        OFF TOPIC. re: small hands. my grandma always told me to marry a girl with small hands. when I asked her why, she said that it would make my pecker look bigger. LOL. lighten up guys, and best regards.

        • Jo Ann February 14, 2017, 9:19 pm

          Richard – good one, you go Granny. I think she’s right and yes, lighten up folks as MY granny said, “To each his own, said the old lady as she kissed the cow”. Credit to a dear feiend from Johnson City, TN.

  • Will Drider February 9, 2017, 11:55 pm

    A very good Review. Covered the good, personal disliked features then viewed it with a open mind for applications.
    You hit a note of familiarity with older folks racking slides. My Uncle can’t do his 1911 in the normal method. Just about every piece of wood furniture in his house has chunks missing from his two handed racking against them. He could not do it with the easy racker I bought him until I drilled it and screwed it down! He shoots 7 rounds every six months, cuts paper and says good enough. He won’t even take a backup wheel gun from me. I will find a shop that has Browning 1911-380 and do a little surprise window shopping with him. Lol

    I normally cut a strip of beer can and wrap the mag disconnect so it positions to allow firing without a mag inserted.

    • Tim February 10, 2017, 10:58 am

      FYI. I have one of these and realised that you can fire without a magazine so long as the mag release button is pressed while firing.

      • PeterC February 13, 2017, 8:19 am

        Both the Browning 1911-380 and 1911-22 have this “feature.” You won’t find it mentioned in any of their literature…it’s sort of like a fast-food “secret menu.” I suspect that Browning’s legal counsel advised them not to mention it.

        • Jo Ann February 14, 2017, 9:24 pm

          I love it! Lawyers, not shooters, write those manuals. Trust me om this.

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