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The Browning 1911-380 Black Label Pro Speed is a beautifully realized 8+1 capacity .380 ACP hammer-fired semi-automatic. There are two models. The first mounts a 4.25” barrel in a package that’s 7.5” overall. Somehow, this squeezes into 18 feathery ounces, or just two ounces over a pound! The other is even smaller: a 3 5/8” barrel in a package that’s 6 7/8” overall with a 16 ounce weight. Both models are 8+1 capacity.

It’s always fun to recall that the original M1911 now proliferated to seemingly every arms maker was originated by John Browning when he was doing design work for Colt. Browning also invented the .380 ACP cartridge. It’s smaller than the .45 ACP permitting the 1911-380s to be, as a rule of thumb, 15 percent smaller than their .45 ACP 1911 counterparts.

John Browning’s namesake Browning Arms Company has been in business over 140 years. It’s now owned by Belgian Group Herstal SA, and it still makes M1911 guns. They’ve been modernized and tweaked to be better than before yet never stray so far from the originals to where a layperson would know the difference. And that is after almost 110 years.

Both front and rear sights are steel white dot combat sights. The larger 7.5” long model has a relatively generous 5 3/8” sight radius while the smaller model’s sight radius is 4.75”. In either guise, the gun has tall diagonal cocking serrations at the back of the slide. Nearby is a loop hammer and a gently upturned beavertail. Below that is a raised tab beavertail safety grip, and the mainspring housing is flat and ends in an acute, rather than rounded, corner.

The thumb safety is ambidextrous. Yet other than that, the gun is set up for right-handed shooters. So the slide stop and magazine release are on the left. The matte barrel is tough steel. The grips are molded and checkered.

The gun is matte black overall, but the polymer frame and grips have a desert motif. More specifically, the frame is black polymer but it’s been covered by an A-TACS AU (Arid Urban) camouflage treatment.

Let’s delve into that. A-TACS, of Columbus, Georgia, has designed its AU camouflage with a palette of desert tans and greens that eschews both the trendy pixelated patterns and the older World War II “blob” style camouflage. Instead, AU uses smaller organic patterns that group into larger ones. These have neither horizontal nor vertical orientation. From afar, they quickly and all too effectively obfuscate anything they cover.

Both the trigger and trigger guard are matte black. However, the trigger itself is alloy and ported with a pair of curved rectangles. Both these measures save weight. Along the same lines, the trigger guard is weight-saving polymer.

This 380 is designed around single stack magazine architecture, and thus comes with a pair of 8-round magazines. The Browning 1911-380 Black Label Pro Speed is a good-looking, lightweight take on a classic.

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