History of the 1911: Slinging Lead Through Two Centuries

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April 1, 2024  
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Categories: Guns

For today’s MilSurp Monday, we’re looking at the Colt 1911 pistol in .45 ACP. It was adopted on March 29th, 2011 in the year that gives the pistol its name. And, as it happens, the quintessential version of the 1911, the M1911A1, came out in 1924 one hundred years ago. That’s right, 2024 is the Colt 1911 Centennial. The 1911 has seen refinements large and small over the last many decades, but the design has stood the test of time and paved the way for the modern service pistols we have today. A history of the 1911 and subsequent M1911 derivatives will require far more material than what we could do in one article, but we’ll start with the obvious: Colt’s Model of 1911, chambered in .45 ACP. 

Take a look at how we got to the Colt 1911, how it inspired later designs, and what the 1911 still offers today. 

More at the link: learn about the Colt 1911.

History of the 1911

This piece was published to announce the beginning of a series (beginning, obviously, with the Colt 1911). Please check back regularly to see what else we have for ya. 

In the meantime, scroll down for some interesting images, anecdotes, and trivia. 

The story of the Colt 1911 automatic pistol usually begins with the failure of a Colt revolver. But the 1911 is just as much of a creature of its ammunition as it is its design and that aspect dates back to another successful and effective Colt revolver – the Colt 1873 or Model P. 

The story of the Colt 1911 automatic pistol usually begins with the failure of a Colt revolver. But the 1911 is just as much of a creature of its ammunition as it is its design and that aspect dates back to another successful and effective Colt revolver – the Colt 1873 or Model P. 

 

GIs on the firing line with WII era M1911A1 pistols. The War Department's demands necessitated a much broader production base than Colt alone (or even Colt, Remington, Savage Arms, Springfield Armnory, and Ithaca Gun Company together) could provide. Hundreds of thousands of the pistols were manufactured during the war, including many built by typewriter, railroad equipment, and sewing machine companies.

GIs on the firing line with WII-era M1911A1 pistols. The War Department’s demands necessitated a much broader production base than Colt alone (or even Colt, Remington, Savage Arms, Springfield Armory, and Ithaca Gun Company together) could provide. Hundreds of thousands of pistols were manufactured during the war, including many built by typewriter companies, manufacturers of railroad equipment, and sewing machine manufacturers. 

 

 

 

 

Further reading: 

 

 

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Terril Hebert

Terril Hebert

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