I thought I would start a couple threads today to discuss the gun world's most overlooked and underrated design...the 1911-A1. Over the last 9+ decades what changes have been made to the original 1911-A1 design that you consider actual improvements? And do these improvements constitute actual design changes or just cosmetic changes or add ons? I will address a few of the changes I consider improvements... Sights: Modern sights are so much better than the older ones. Night sights, adjustable sights, dovetailed sights, etc. I do not consider sights an actual design change though. I consider them an add on since they are not integral to the design/function of the firearm. Modern grip safeties: Modern grip safeties are a big improvement in my opinion. Although I prefer ducktail safeties, the modern beavertail safety provides much better protect against slide-bite and versions with memory grooves make the safety much easier to activate properly. I also think the look cool. I do consider this a design change since it is a integral part of the design. *Modern thumb safeties: Extended thumb safeties are on almost all 1911 clones these days. I consider them an improvement because they are so much easier to operate with a quick flip of the thumb while still being stiff enough to not come off by accident during carry. I do consider this a design change since it is a very important part of the guns design. Ramped barrels: Ramped barrels are definitely a design change. They make the 1911 much more reliable with modern ammos. Whether I consider it an improvement or just a modernization I am not sure...but if you look at it solely from a stance of using modern ammo is is an improvement. Firing pin safeties: Okay, I am probably going to be alone on this one, but I consider these to be an improvement to the design...but only as far as safety is concerned and not function. it is definitely a change to the design. What are your thoughts, opinions, observations?