Colt 1911Exploring the Classics
Colt 1911 Key Information
Although Turnbull Restoration works on multiple generations of the Colt 1911 pistol, this article will concentrate on early history, adaptations, and the Word War I era.
Original Manufacturer: Colt’s Patent Fire Arms Manufacturing Company
Model Designation: Model of 1911, also known as M1911, Colt 1911, or Colt Government
Firearm Type: Semi-automatic pistol
Designer: John Moses Browning (click to see restored examples of Mr. Browning’s many firearms designs)
Years Produced: 1911-1924
Cartridge: .45 ACP
Key Features & Identifiers: Grip safety, single-action trigger, slide lock safety, .45 ACP caliber, barrel bushing, internal extractor, no recoil spring guide rod, simple recoil spring plug
DID YOU KNOW?
- In the late 1800s the U.S. Army wanted a new, self-loading pistol for use alongside its recently-adopted service rifles. But its existing .38 revolver was deemed insufficient in stopping attackers, as experienced during the campaign against the Moros in Philippines.
- When the Army announced its interest in a new handgun firing a .45 caliber round, Colt designer John Moses Browning re-engineered his existing autoloader handgun concept to accommodate a .45″ diameter cartridge of his own design.
- So determined to prove the superiority of his pistol design, Browning personally supervised the production of the gun that would be used for later-stage selection trials.
- During one test in 1910, six thousand rounds were fired from a single Colt pistol.
- The Colt 1911 pistol was formally adopted by the U.S. Army on March 29, 1911, and then by the US Navy and Marine Corps in 1913.
- Battlefield experience in World War I led to some changes, completed in 1924. The new version received a modified type classification, M1911A1, in 1926.
- So enduring is its design, almost every major gun manufacturer in America today produces its own version of the Model 1911.
Model 1911 Up Close
Browse some our most recent examples of Model 1911 restorations (browse all), and well as pre-owned 1911s (browse all) that are either in-stock or have recently passed through our showroom.
Restored Model 1911s
Pre-Owned Model 1911s
Restored Colt 1911 U.S. Army SOLDLog Number: 6573Caliber: .45 ACP
Restored Springfield Armory 1911 U.S. Army SOLDLog Number: 6571Caliber: .45 ACP
Restored Colt 1911 U.S. Army with Factory Letter – SoldLog Number: 6570Caliber: .45 ACP
Colt 1911 U.S. Army in Restored Condition with Factory Letter – SOLDLog Number: 6569Caliber: .45 ACP
Load up on all of our favorite classic 1911 content from around the web.
1911 Pistol Videos
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1911 Pistol Articles
We’d like to acknowledge the following sources used in the creation of this article, and encourage you to visit them to learn even more about the Colt 1911 and its many variants.
M1911 Pistol, from Military History on Fandom.com
“What Makes a 1911 a 1911?” by Tom McHale on OutdoorHub.com
“M-1911 Pistol History” on M1911.org
“Colt History: A Look Back at the 1911” by Dave Campbell on AmericanRifleman.org