Ammo & Gear Reviews

Everyday Carry Training With 1911-Style Air Pistols

Guns and Gear Contributor
Font Size:

By Dennis Adler, Personal Defense World

There’s a whole new world of air pistols out there, and if you carry a Colt Model 1911, then using one of the latest Umarex 1911 air pistols could save you big bucks and still provide all the training advantages of a real .45 ACP!

There are numerous advantages to using 1911-style air pistols for training exercises, as these duty-sized handguns operate the same way as a cartridge-firing Colt .45 ACP. Specific training regimens can be practiced with blowback air pistols, right down to loading the magazine, chambering the first round and pulling the trigger. Their use can also improve skills such as trigger control and sight acquisition since the slides on Umarex 1911 Colt Commanders and Remington 1911 RAC models actually function with each shot. All that is missing is the recoil! You can train for only pennies with steel BBs, rather than .45 ACP ammunition, since every function on the Umarex 1911 air pistols is identical to a Colt or 1911-style semi-automatic pistol.

The Umarex/Colt 1911 and Remington 1911 RAC (both are manufactured in Taiwan and share identical working features) are the most exact in detail and operation to a 1911-style pistol. The Umarex/Colt and Remington models are fully licensed products and are accurate down to the smallest details. Closely duplicating the physical appearance, weight and balance of the cartridge-firing models, the Colt Commander and Remington 1911 RAC pistols operate with the power of a single 12-gram CO2 capsule within the magazine (rather than inserted separately into the grip frame). In addition to the CO2 capsule, the precisely sized 1911-style magazine also contains a channel for 18 precision steel .177-caliber BB rounds. Extra magazines can even be purchased and used for tactical reload drills.

Umarex’s Colt Commander features a modern skeletonized trigger and Commander-style hammer, fixed front and rear white-dot tactical sights, a checkered/raised mainspring housing, diamond checkered hard plastic grips, a fully operating beavertail safety, a thumb safety and a slide release. The Remington 1911 RAC features an early-style 1911 hammer and trigger, early-style front and rear sights and checkered wood-finish grips. Every aspect of handing these 1911 air pistols provides a worthwhile and budget-friendly training experience.

For a full roundup of 1911-style air pistols, see the “Super-Hot Air” column in the May 2015 issue of COMBAT HANDGUNS, available on newsstands and digitally on January 27th, 2015. To subscribe, go to

Guns and Gear