On Range Day, I got hands-on with the highly anticipated 2311 from Oracle Arms. The company looks to provide a new modular twist on the 1911/2011 platform. The 2311 from Oracle Arms takes the functionality of a 1911 and the modularity of SIG P320 and unites them together. Let’s take a closer look at Oracle Arms 2311 and see if it can potentially shake up the 2011 market.
By Drew Bryant
February 22nd, 2023, theloadoutblog.com
The Blending Of Old And New Ideas
In late December 2022, the internet and the firearms world were introduced to Oracle Arms and their 2311. For a week, the new handgun from Oracle was teased and hinted at on social media. It appeared to be a hybrid design of some sort. What type of Frankenstein monster were they producing? The looming question on everyone’s mind was, “What is a 2311?” That question was answered a week later by Oracle Arms.
Oracle Arms took the function, design, and aesthetics of the iconic 1911 and the modularity of SIG’s P320. From there, the talented engineers at Oracle Arms fused those ideas to create the 2311. The modularity of the P320 allows the user to flip the magazine release quickly and uses P320 magazines. Using SIG’s magazines significantly lowers magazine costs for the end user. A Staccato or Atlas Gunworks magazine will easily set you back $100 without breaking a sweat and making buying a magazine a costly affair for end user.
What the team over at Oracle Arms has been able to accomplish is to further modernize the 1911/2011 platform with their 2311 pistol. Hopefully, this modularity will be built upon by Oracle Arms and others within the industry. Now, let’s take a closer look at Oracle Arms 2311.
Before we go any deeper into this assessment, I want to go over a few disclaimers. First, the 2311s at Orcale Arms booth on Range Day were working prototypes. They were not final builds or sample production builds. That still doesn’t mean I won’t be honest about what I saw. Yet I want that to be made clear before I start laying down my issues with these handguns.
Second, during Range Day, I only shot the Combat Elite and the Compact Elite. On the range, Oracle did have all four of their 2311s there, but those are the ones I was able to get my hands on. The only pistol that didn’t make an appearance at Range Day was the Competition variant of Oracle’s 2311. I shot two 10-round magazines through both pistols. I have minimal experience with these guns, which means my initial assessment is of a minimal sample size.
Third, I will compare Oracle’s 2311 against a popular 2011 on the market. In this article, I will compare the Oracle Arms 2311 to a Staccato P. Both pistols are at the same price point and will provide a proper baseline for comparison. It would be unfair to compare the 2311 to an Infinity or Atlas Gunworks pistol because they are sold at different price points.
Those are my disclaimers/caveats with this initial assessment of the 2311. Now, let’s get into the heart of this assessment.
Fit & Finish
The most significant factor in the quality of any 2011 is its fitment. When I discuss fitment, I am talking about the relationship and interaction between the slide, barrel, and frame of the pistol. To achieve the highest precision, accuracy, and reliability from the 2011 platform, fitment is critical. If not, reliability and accuracy will be diminished or come into question. This relationship between the slide, barrel, and frame has to work in perfect harmony to produce the accuracy and reliability that the 2011 platform is known for. So, when I am handling Oracle’s 2311, I am looking for that attention to detail regarding its fit and finish.
When comparing the fit and finish of Oracle’s Elite series, I will use the Staccato P as my baseline for comparison. The Elite series 2311s from Oracle will run between $2199-$2599. While the Staccato P will run about $2500.
When comparing the fit and finish of the Elite Series to the Staccato P, it was very underwhelming. When racking the slide of the 2311, it didn’t have that clean, crisp interaction between slide, barrel, and frame that I expected from a 2011 platform. It felt a little gritty, to be completely frank. Was it smoother than other 1911s or 2011s out there? Yes, but not by much. It was honestly on par with a Springfield 1911 DS, which costs $1500. The Elite series from Oracle Arms is substantially more than that. In regards to the fit and finish, in my opinion, it is underwhelming and at the bottom of its weight class.
Some of this was remedied when they lubed the pistols, and I understand that these pistols have been firing all day. Also, these are prototypes, but I have shot a Staccato P with thousands of rounds through it without cleaning, and when I racked the slide it was smooth as silk. That’s what happens when fit and finish are taken to the next level. That’s not even the mountaintop of what can be done. The best fit and finish in the game comes from Cabot, Atlas Gunworks, Infinity, and Nighthawk Custom. I also understand those are in another price bracket, and I would expect anything less from those firearms. But, the Elite series doesn’t stack up to the standard of the Staccato P, which is the quality baseline for all duty-style 2011s.
This fit-and-finish situation could be ironed out in the final production builds of Oracle’s 2311s. Again, I understand these were working prototypes, but I am still looking for Oracle’s A game. I will admit there is an excellent foundation to improve upon but fit and finish must come a long way by the time the handguns hit the market.
The triggers in the Elite series 2311s from Oracle are good. Did they blow me out of the water like an Atlas Gunworks trigger? No. Were they up to par with the Staccato P? Uhh…not necessarily. Again, the Elite series of 2311s fall into that realm of the Springfield 1911 DS, where it’s a good and serviceable 1911 trigger. It is a situation where yet again, the 2311 is underwhelming in performance compared to the Staccato.
Oracle’s 2311s provide a competent and serviceable triggers. Both 2311s have a distinct wall, a clean and crisp break, with a solid tactile reset—nothing to write home about but competent. The Combat Elite seemed to have a lighter trigger pull of about 3-4 lbs, while the Compact Elite had a trigger pull of 4-4.5 lbs. Those are estimates but in the ballpark of those pull weights. The trigger is solid, but it won’t be blowing you away or winning any awards.
One element that separates 2011s from all other pistols is its impressive ergonomics. When it comes to that, the Oracle 2311 does not disappoint. This pistol allows you to get high on the gun’s frame to help you better control the recoil while shooting. The grip texture was solid, allowing you to lock your hands in place while shooting. Oracle’s engineering team built-in gas pedals into the frame, allowing shooters to get even more leverage to cinch that grip into place even more. A proper grip will aid in appropriate recoil management and a flatter shooting pistol. Overall the ergonomics are on par with a Staccato P. I would be bold enough to say, “Slightly better than Staccato’s.”
Shooting Orcale’s 2311s
The shooting experience on both of Oracle Arms 2311s impressed me. I know I have been rough on fit and finish and on the triggers, yet the shooting experience left a good impression. When shooting Oracle’s Elite series of pistols, recoil impulse was low, muzzle flip appeared reduced, and the trigger came into its own. I feel like the trigger from a tactile perspective was better when shooting live ammunition versus dry fire, which is odd to me because, for most 2011s, it’s a straight one-for-one translation. I don’t know why this case is different, but for me, it was.
Another thing that I noticed when shooting was the reduced muzzle flip. When I was shooting, the red dot mounted to both Elite pistols did not deviate from my original point of aim drastically. I conducted hammered pairs with both firearms, and both dots stayed on target with ease. I was pleasantly surprised by this when I was shooting Oracle’s pistols.
The big draw to shooting 2011s is how easy they are to shoot. The 2311s from Oracle keep up with that heritage. These firearms would be suitable for a fun day at the range or in a competition. Then, after a fun day at the range or after a match, you could easily transition your 2311 into a duty role. This versatility adds value to the end user allowing them to choose how they use their pistol. These 2311s were designed with duty and versatility in mind. Yet, they are still fun pistols to shoot.
Overall, Oracle’s 2311s have a solid foundation to build upon. A lot of work has to be done in the fit and finish department to bring it up to the level of a Staccato P. If you are charging Staccato prices, I expect a Staccato level of fit and finish. I want to be an air-racking maniac with these pistols. The trigger needs some work as well but has an excellent foundation to be built upon. If Oracle Arms can hammer out these shortcomings, they have a winner on their hands. I am optimistic they can pull it off and bring another great 2011 platform to market.