Now let me clarify combat for those that may have a different definition. We are talking about light infantry combat. Not police and civilian skirmishes that are limited and defense based in nature. Think going out for days in the field in hostile territory with the risk of being killed or captured by an armed enemy, whether regular military or irregular insurgents. This is the type of combat we are talking about, so keep that in mind, shall we?
There is no denial that the 1911 has a great reputation for being ergonomic and easy to naturally aim. Not only that, but the trigger on the pistol is legendary and allows new and experienced shooters to screw up less, as long as they don't dip or twitch before the BANG. The last part is that once the pistols have been verified to feed and function properly, you can rest assured that the pistol will give you some of the best reliability out of the all the .45 ACP semi-autos on the market. This may be a short list of pros, but they are very important.
Now it is time to look at some of the things that are critiqued about the 1911 often. First thing people dislike about the pistol is the relatively low capacity. People these days seem to think they need a belt fed pistol in order to get any hits at close range. This is a smack my head critique, personally. The next thing people don't like about the 1911 is the fact that it weighs almost 2lb. This mostly comes from people that have a weight obsession but little experience in carrying any weight. Last thing on the list would be the fact that there is a thumb and grip safety. Personally, I see little issue with these features as they tend to be disengaged intuitively by those who actually care enough to practice to a level of instinctive handling. other than that, I have no opinion.
First standard I would say people put a priority on is capacity. Many people like the 9mm because they can have alot of rounds on tap. This isn't a bad thing since the 9mm still struggles with effectiveness, but I think people get a little overzealous about capacity using the common excuse that no one wants less rounds in a gunfight. Well duh, but if you are hitting your target right and not machine gunning your pistol unnecessarily, you will be fine with just having a reload or two. having a million blank rounds isn't gonna do you much good compared to effective bullets. I guess this is where the caliber debate comes in...oops. Plus it depends on what your pistol is doing for you. Is it just a backup to respond when you don't have time to reload your rifle, or is it all you have left and you are breaking contact? Either way, it is nice to have alot of rounds, but in the end we need to be reasonable about what the pistol is being used for.
The next standard people like to have is lightweight overall. Many people seem to think that cutting down on a few ounces will make carrying the pistol a bit more palatable. I do not find weight to be the issue, but rather bulk. Next is your pistol must have an accessory rail for lights or lasers. Now this one is kind of niche, but can be useful, depending on the role the pistol is playing. For a combat pistol, I think you will be okay to have a light on the pistol, but I don't know of many cases where it is universally necessary for the uses of combat as I defined at the beginning.
The feature I agree with being a universal standard is undying reliability. I am not counting the break in period, but there is no reason why we should settle for a pistol that has trouble feeding and extracting ammo. Of course, I understand maintenance has to be on point with any gun being used.
The last thing people seem to be sensitive about is the trigger. People seem to think that triggers are all the rage and high on the priority list of mads to make. Usually I see this as being indicative of inexperience and lack of skill.
The priority I have for every pistol is absolute reliability. The USP40 has a weak extractor spring and is failing, but I am not worried too much about that. One other standard I have is it needs to be easy to manipulate with gloves on. This is where these two pistols fall short. The Beretta safety and trigger are not easy to find and manipulate and the USP trigger is just out of reach. This is where pistols like the Beretta PX4 Storm or 1911 would come in. The PX4 has the lowest recoil I have ever experienced in a .40 caliber pistol. However, the 1911 is perfect with gloves on, as long as it doesn't have an ambidextrous safety to get in the way.
As you can see, I am not crapping on guns for maintenance needs, or for triggers. Rather, I am getting to the meat and potatoes on what is important. I need to be able to reach all the controls and the trigger. Then i need to be able to shoot it in practice and combat without worrying about if it will give out even with fresh parts. I have spent alot of time with pistols and I have narrowed down the important characteristics I need them to have. I will take care of the rest through compitent and committed training and constant repetition.