Despite being one of the oldest weapons available in DayZ, the 1911 does an admirable job of keeping up with newer handguns. It offers the same level of stopping power as an FNX, but is much easier to acquire than that gun, and puts the even more common 9mm and .380 pistols to shame.
Having been in the game since 0.42, players have had lots of time to get familiar with this battlefield veteran and find its place in the weapons ecosystem. Let’s take a closer look at this old standby, including the role it plays and how it compares to its peers in the pistol category.
Properly designated the M1911, this is a pistol that has been around exactly as long as its name implies. Yes, seriously, over a hundred years. In fact, it served as the official handgun fo the US Armed Forces from 1911 to 1986. It saw action in the Phillipine-American War, both World Wars, the Korean War, and the Vietnam war, and continues to be carried by personnel in the US military even to this day.
What we have in-game is a fairly accurate representation of a late-model 1911 pistol. The picture above is a Smith & Wesson SW1911PD, which features a tactical rail built in ahead of the trigger and an anodized black finish for durability. The in-game 1911 seems to be a generic (but well done) late-model 1911 representative of something like this one, but featuring a standard light grey finish and a “Spartan” logo on the grips instead.
In this case, the behavior we get in-game isn’t far off from the real thing either. Your esteemed author even happens to own one himself, so he would know! A mouse and keyboard will never replicate what it feels like to hold it in your hands, being that it’s a very heavy pistol. The weight is worth it though, because it has easily controlled recoil and more than acceptable accuracy in spite of the powerful .45 ACP rounds that it fires.
Image by Great-Lakes.org.
We have two variants of the 1911 available to us, which are visually unique but functionally identical. The standard 1911 is exactly what you’d expect to see from something manufactured more recently, with a plain metal finish, black grips, and black accents. The less common 1911 Engraved features a dark gray finish, white grips with a skull logo, and actual engravings in the metal used for the top half of the gun.
Both models feature the same rail for attaching a flashlight, provisions for attaching a suppressor, and the same thirst for .45 ACP ammo.
Go the Distance
Though it would never be advisable to use a pistol over long distances, the 1911 handles the task better than you would expect thanks to the heavy rounds that it fires. Accuracy will certainly suffer, but it’s good to know that if you’re able to hit your target that you’ll do some actual damage.
If you need a compact weapon for delivering rounds over long distances however, you may want to look to the more ideal LongHorn pistol.
Choices to Make
Unlike its .45 brother the FNX, the 1911 is unable to be fitted with a red dot optic, so you must rely on the (admittedly excellent) iron sights standard to the gun. It will accept all the rest of that weapon’s attachments however, so it can play a tactical role — particularly in close quarters where it does its best work anyway.
It is capable of using the same pistol flashlight that works with any other handgun, and ditto for the suppressor. Fitted with the latter, it is particularly well suited to the task of stealthily eliminating zombies to allow for safe passage through an area, delivering a one-shot kill without announcing your presence.
Where this gun shines brightest is in the role of backup to a heavier weapon — say, a dedicated rifle such as the Mosin or Winchester Model 70. As part of a combination, it can fill the need for short-range protection while a more appropriate weapon is used for long-range targets. Playing that part, it is exceeded in its utility only by the uncommon FNX and much larger weapons like SMGs that take up significantly more space.
Since it is able to kept in a holster, this hefty sidearm can be ready to go at a moment’s notice. It also looks pretty intimidating on display, particularly the engraved version with its menacing skull logo.
There may not appear to be anything special about this gun, and that’s okay — that’s part of what makes it so great. It has no pretenses, and you expect nothing in particular from it, so it will pleasantly surprise you with its ability to put heavy-hitting rounds into a target without fuss.
Reloads are fairly quick, or at least average, meaning the only disadvantage facing this gun is its smaller magazine size relative to weapons like the Glock, CR75, or FNX. There are few situations where you would need that kind of capacity to unload on a target however, so for most players this would not be an issue.
Many would automatically dismiss this old standard-bearer as inferior to the FNX, but only without considering the bigger picture. With that modern handgun being exclusive to helicopter crash sites, the far more common 1911 is much more accessible and serves 95% of the same needs thanks to the powerful .45 ACP rounds.
Next time you’re out looting Chernarus and making a decision about which handgun you’ll be toting, consider picking up this overachiever in lieu of the safer choices littering the nearby police station. The first time you use it to put down a handful of zombies or another player, you’ll become an immediate fan.