What is a 2011 vs a double-stack 1911?

Words have meanings, and the 2011 vs double-stack 1911 terminology is extremely confusing to many people… hence a lot of misuse. With a number of new entries coming into the market, I thought a refresher would be in order.

A double-stack 1911 is literally just that: a 1911 with a wider grip, and no other structural changes. Examples of these include the Para P18, BUL M-5, and RIA TAC HC. This necessitates certain parts differences (trigger bow being a big one), but the parts differences may vary from model to model; for example, Para P18s use different grip panels to hide the trigger box near the grip safety, vs the BUL M-5 which has a very specific grip safety with wings.

2011 is a registered trademark of Staccato (nee STI), but it is the generally accepted term for a 1911-like pistol that has a steel module with rails and a pair of grip bushing as its serialized part. The key word here is modular; the grip can be changed out separately, and is often polymer. Examples of these include the Staccato P, BUL SAS II, and Springfield Armory Prodigy. There may be certain parts incompatibilities (BULs use different grips and magazines) between them, but they usually use about the same parts you’d see in double-stack 1911s. One key thing to understand is that not all 2011s are double-stack. The Cosaint COS11 and Staccato R are 2011s that use single-stack 1911 magazines.

So… now you know. Don’t say 2011 when you’re look at that RIA, and don’t say double-stack 1911 when you’re looking at a Staccato P. 🙂

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