Browning Firearms is one of the most recognized names in all of firearm history. The reason for this storied past goes no further than the master designer himself, John Moses Browning. One of the most recognized and iconic Browning designs is the Colt Model 1911.
This year at SHOT Show, Browning Firearms has introduced a compact 1911 pistol in a caliber that was also designed by John Browning – the .380 ACP. Being advertised as “The Right 380”, the new Browning pistol is officially the Browning Black Label 1911-380. Combining the proven 100-year old designs of the Model 1911 and the .380 cartridge, Browning adds the advantages of modern manufacturing techniques to produce a high quality, modern handgun that anyone can shoot.
Traditionally the Model 1911 was a slim, single stack, all-metal pistol in .45 ACP. However, the original design also called for a 5-inch barrel, with an overall length of 8.25 inches, making the pistol far from ideal for concealed carry. The new Browning 1911-380 is 85% of the original 1911 size, reducing measurements in overall length and height. The best thing about the Browning 1911-380 is that all of the original 1911 features remain. In effect, the shooter is getting a “minimized” 1911.
Browning 1911-380 Specifications:
- Action – Locked breech, recoil operated, semi-auto
- Slide material – Matte black steel
- Frame material – Black composite polymer
- Overall length – 7.39 inches
- Barrel length – 4.25 inches
- Width – 1.13 inches
- Weight – 1.08 lbs.
- Trigger pull – 5.5 lbs.
- Sight radius – 5.37 inches
- Sights – Fixed target
- Caliber – .380 ACP
- Capacity – 8+1 (2 steel magazines)
- Grips – Composite black
- Comes with custom fit ABS pistol case
- MSRP – $700.00
- Available – January, 2015.
The Browning Black Label brand was established a few years ago, and reserved for the best products Browning has to offer. The new Browning 1911-380 appears to be well-though out and engineered handgun. The fit and function were very smooth, as to be expected.
The BlueSheepDog crew was able to fire the Browning 1911-380 at the Industry Day at the Range this year. The pistol felt just like a 1911 in smaller form. The features were the same, and the composite frame helped keep the overall weight very reasonable. Despite simple metal target sights, the 1911-380 was quite capable of target acquisition during the daylight hours. Accuracy was very good on the short 15-yard range we were firing on, and recoil was very manageable.
Browning 1911-380 Features:
- Crisp trigger pull with no creep and manageable pull weight
- Natural grip angle famous of 1911 designs
- Low bore axis for increased control
- Extended, ambidextrous thumbs safety
- Beavertail grip safety that aligns shooting hand to proper grip
- Extended slide lock
- Allows for “Condition 1” carry
- Lightweight hammer and trigger
- Low profile combat-style sights
- Skeltonized trigger
- Mechanical parts are same size as full-size 1911
- Combat style enclosed loop hammer.
Overall the Browning Black Label 1911-380 was a joy to shoot. I’m not much of a .380 ACP fanboy, but there have definitely been some improvements in recent years with reliability and defensive ammunition options. The Browning Black Label 1911-380 could be a great back-up weapon for those already carrying full or commander sized 1911’s, or would make a nice off-duty or CCW handgun.
Do you use .380 ACP handguns? What do you think of the Browning 1911-380?