Very few handguns have a history as rich and long as that of the M1911 pistol. As its name suggests, the .45 caliber firearm was introduced in 1911, and was standard issue for all branches of the U.S. military from that year until 1985. The gun was designed by John Browning and was originally only produced by Colt.
The history of the gun’s design stems back to the 1890′s, when there was a call for semi-automatic handguns. This eventually led to the test of six different company’s designs in 1906, with that number being cut to two in 1907. In 1911 Colt’s model beat out its competitor, becoming the sidearm of choice among the military, and given the title “M1911.”
Changes were made to the original model, with the M1911A1 being released in 1924. Among these changes were a shorter trigger and a longer safety spur above the grip (protection from shock received from the hammer). After these changes were made, the pistol never looked back, so to speak.
The M1911 pistol is among the most used firearms in the history of the U.S. military, with two million models produced, and serving as the the standard issue handgun in the military for 74 years. The gun saw action as an official military firearm in both world wars, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. The gun has also served during the Gulf War, Operation Enduring Freedom, and Operation Iraqi Freedom.
The gun is currently used only by a limited number of military personnel. Several law enforcement organizations still use the gun, such as L.A.P.D. S.W.A.T. and S.I.S., the FBI, and Delta Force.
So why should you get a M1911 pistol? Well by now, you probably aren’t questioning the gun’s capability or its durability, based upon its long history. The gun is very popular as a concealed carry firearm for defense purposes since it’s so thin. It also has hobby purposes (i.e., target practice, sporting). The gun is attractive to the less-serious marksman due to its simple design and ease of use. There are several accessories available for the M1911 to help you customize the firearm to your liking.
It’s not just real military and law enforcement personnel who have used the M1911 pistol, but also several heroes from well-known blockbuster movies. Among these are Ben Affleck as Captain Rafe Cawley in Pearl Harbor, Arnold Schwarzenegger as a T-800 Terminator in Terminator 2, Tom Hanks as Captain John Miller in Saving Private Ryan, and Adam Baldwin as Jayne in Serenity (a modified M1911).
Written by Craig Kent, member of the Best Military Surplus team.