First designed by John Browning in the early 20th Century, the Colt Model 1911 is a semi-automatic pistol that saw heavy use by the US military particularly in the World Wars and in the Vietnam war, though it was officially in service since its invention in 1911 until 1986. It was originally designed with U.S. military use in mind, and was first used during the Philippine-American war as a replacement for the .38 revolvers of the time, which were seen as less effective against attackers. From there, this .45 pistol came into use. There were several initial candidates intended to replace the standard issue revolver of the time, and several designs were submitted by multiple firms, including Smith & Wesson, Bergmann, Knoble, and of course Colt. Initially, none of the designs were deemed adequate, but after some more experimentation and development, Browning's design was demonstrated to be superior. It was found that the Colt M1911 was easier to take apart, more reliable, and allowed for more accuracy. It is for these reasons that the weapon is still in heavy use, in spite of the fact that it was replaced as a standard sidearm by the U.S. government with the Beretta M9 in the late 20th century. The M1911 is not uncommon among military and police forces even to this day, due to its reliability and relative ease of use. It's popularity and ubiquity has been particularly enduring among the U.S. Marines, though it is also a commonly-used weapon by other military populations around the world, and the military forces of several countries use them as official sidearms, including Turkey, Thailand, the Philippines, Argentina, and Greece. Because of its small profile, due to its single-stack magazine, it's a popular choice for civilians was well who are interested in a weapon for concealed carry purposes. Being simple to use and fairly simple to repair (depending on how extensive its customization), it is also fairly cost-effective. It is a very versatile weapon, as there are many models available for different specialized uses, and it is a an easy weapon to customize. Because of this, the M1911 has seen wide usage in all kinds of applications, both military and non-military. Colt produced three models for civilian use: the Colt Government Mk. IV Series 7, the Colt Government Mk. IV Series 80, and the Colt 1991 Series. However, Colt is not the only manufacturer of this design, and there are a number of manufacturers that produce this basic weapon. These can vary slightly in design, or in level of customization. Some of these manufacturers include: |
• Remington • Springfield • Wilson • Les Baer • Rock Island • Nighthawk
There are also many others, including smaller manufacturers that can produce highly customized versions of the M1911. Customization of the M1911 may include changing the sights, adding custom hammers or triggers, or even adding accessories like scopes. Many gun enthusiasts or competitive pistol shooters begin with a basic model and add modifications to increase accuracy or reduce recoil.
The 1911 is already in the history books as a great piece of American ingenuity. If you have never had the pleasure of shooting one I would suggest that you find a friend that has one and try it out or rent one at a range, you wont regret it! John Browning was a man ahead of his time. Send me a message letting me know what you think at Bluegrass Hobbies and happy shooting!!
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