The Curious Case of the .50 Caliber 1911

This pistol from Guncrafter Industries is chambered for .50 GI

Some folks just need to pack the largest round possible. If you're a 1911 fan, that means toting one of the unique .50 caliber 1911s from Guncrafter Industries.

Alex Zimmerman immigrated to the United States to pursue his dream of becoming a competitive shooter. Gun laws in his native Denmark were so prohibitive that he had to leave his homeland if he was going to make his dreams a reality.

Shortly after arriving in America, he got himself a job at Wilson Combat, one of the world's premier builders of 1911s. After honing his craft at the world-class manufacturer, he struck out on his own, founding Guncrafter Industries in 2002.

Guncrafter's flagship product is a 1911 chambered in the company's proprietary .50 caliber round, the .50 GI (Guncrafter Industries).

Introduced at SHOT Show in 2004, the new round, which isn't a magnum cartridge like the .50 Action Express, features a rebated rim that is the same diameter as.45 ACP so it will work within the 1911’s geometry without scaling up the design.

The Guncrafter Industries Model 1 in .50 GI will run you about $3,300.
The Guncrafter Industries Model 1 in .50 GI is a custom gun, so it will run you about $3,300.Guncrafter Industries

Zimmerman wanted to create a larger-diameter round, without the harsh recoil of a magnum round like the .50 AE of Desert Eagle fame. To that end, he loaded the .50 GI to pressures similar to the .45 ACP, around 15,000 psi, just moving a larger bullet.

Those that have shot Guncrafter’s .50-caliber 1911s report that felt recoil is similar to .45 ACP. Rumors also indicate that the round is very accurate, but that may also be due to the tight tolerances of the custom handguns made by GI.

If you simply must have the baddest 1911s ever built, check out Guncrafter Industries’ .50 caliber 1911s. There's just something about that half-inch bore...

The Model 1 pistol from GI with a .45 ACP conversion kit will run you $3,939 to start. GI also makes a number of other 1911 pattern pistols in more conventional calibers like 9mm and .45 ACP.