Articles, Blog


The best designs are timeless. The wheel, lightbulb, sliced bread: this weapon ranks among them. The M1911 is an American semi-automatic pistol
whose use spans over a century. So what set this weapon apart from early semi-automatic
designs? How has it influenced later pistols? And how on earth has a wartime design remained
so popular? Around the turn of the 20th century, the earliest
self-loading pistol designs appeared. Inspired by Maxim’s machine gun, weapons like
the Borchardt C-93 and Mauser C96 attempted to scale down a repeating mechanism into a
handheld package. The first American to do the same was John
Moses Browning, a legendary arms designer credited with many firsts. Amongst them was the first production handgun
with a slide: the FN M1900. His semi-automatic pistol designs saw iterative
improvements over the next decade, culminating in one manufacturered by Colt and subject
to trial by the US Army. Six designs were submitted, but only two were
in major contention: a Savage Arms design providing a rival to Browning’s. Over an endurance test of 6,000 rounds, the
Savage had 37 malfunctions: the Colt had none. Its superlative performance led to its official
adoption in 1911 – as the M1911. One of the weapon’s defining traits is its
calibre: .45 Automatic Colt Pistol. The rimless straight-walled cartridge is designed
for two things: reliable self-loading operation; and stopping power. The US military’s earlier experience with
.38 Long Colt revolvers led to one conclusion for any future sidearm: Nothing less than a .45 would do. Browning’s design has been particularly influential:
many modern pistols follow its form, and mode of operation. It does lack some modern conveniences: it
is single-action only, meaning that the hammer must be cocked for the first shot, either
manually or by racking the slide. However, an uncomplicated design does have
some perks: a crisp trigger and reliable function. Its short recoil operation is equally elegant:
the barrel pivots about a swinging link, seamlessly locking and unlocking with the slide during
firing. This principle has subsequently been imitated
in a surprising amount of modern pistol designs: models by Glock, H&K, SIG, and more. All have an action with a tilting barrel – and
all owe this operation to Browning’s 1911 design. In the early 1900s, the US military was relatively
small: a product of non-interventionism and reticence for war. However, the increasing scale of global conflict
proved impossible to ignore: and with America’s entry into World War 1 in 1917 a period of
rapid military expansion followed. In response to wartime experience, the 1911’s
design was slightly revised, as the M1911A1: principally to fix minor ergonomic gripes. The changes include a smaller trigger with
smoother frame moulding, and a longer backspur to prevent any painful interaction with the
hammer while firing. The weapon really came into its own during
World War 2, with a huge ramp in production during this time. Nearly 2 million such pistols were procured
by the War’s end – plenty to go around, and enough to ensure surplus for years after. Unsurprisingly, the weapon turns up in World
War 2 shooters quite often – where American GIs are found, so too is the Colt. True to life, the weapon is shown as a sidearm:
a comrade to weapons like the M1 Garand or Thompson. It’s rare that it’s given a prime role, but
it’s often at your side. Saving Private Ryan shoulders the blame for
the popularity of World War 2 games at the start of the millennial decade. It was the Medal of Honor series that opened
this trend: an attempt to recreate some of the moments a soldier might have experienced
from a first-person perspective, with a full complement of wartime weapons, 1911 and all. It’s also here that the Call of Duty series
first emerged – and as interest in wartime shooters waned, there was instead a transition
to modern warfare: but of course – the M1911 would remain. There was simply no hurry to replace it: most
modern pistol designs use a similar principle, and while there are lighter designs of a higher
capacity, the 1911’s bulk does help to tame the recoil of its powerful cartridge. Still, its time in mainline service did come
to an end with the US Army in 1985: when it was largely replaced by the Beretta M9. A controversial decision, but one needed for
NATO standardisation. Nevertheless, the M1911 does remain in use
with some units – notably with the US Marine Corps, and some Special Forces. For those with the freedom to choose, it absolutely
remains a favourite. A relic perhaps, a holdover from a different
age – but a worthy elective for those who respect their elders. It’s a signature weapon of Captain Price in
Call of Duty: someone who clearly holds military tradition dear. It plays a pivotal role at the climax of Modern
Warfare, and its reunion with Price gives rise to a brief ceremony in Modern Warfare
2. A torch passed from one generation to the
next: a remembrance of roots, and a nod to the series’ origin. While the 1911’s military role has been reduced,
it is now more popular than ever in civilian hands. Commonly seen in competitive shooting, recreational
use – or in concealed carry courtesy of its low profile single-stack magazine. Its long service lends it a potent dose of
patriotism: it is a strong symbol of America. It’s a display of allegiance for irregular
forces: Soldiers of Fortune who might not bear rank, but stand for freedom nonetheless. A fitting match for the machismo of Duke Nukem:
with a big enough bore to shake any feelings of inadequacy, there’s little doubt that the
.45 is all man. Spanning multiple genres, filling various
roles: the 1911 has seen widespread use since its introduction. A century of service, and ready for a hundred
years more. A classic without compromise. The perfect intersection of ergonomics, reliable
operation and .45 calibre power. The pistol that forgot to become obsolete. The M1911. Antique. Veteran. Patriot. Thank you very much for watching – Iconic
Arms will return – and until next time, farewell.

100 thoughts on “M1911.

  1. Pistols in the beginning we're Colt 1911s, well most. I think the was a berreta to I'm not sure. Sorry for looking like a nerd

  2. “The wheel, lightbulb, sliced bread, this weapon is among them”.
    Top 10 rappers Eminem was afraid to diss

  3. 3 of 4 generations of my marine core family used this beautiful weapon in the service. From word war 2, the Vietnam war, and the iraqi freedom war.

  4. M1911 we still use it in zombies isnt that odd that even when u play as richthofen u use the m1911 instead of a german pistol <:]

  5. in 300 years we will be fighting the Great Martian War, and while there will be later rifles and plasma guns all around, a dedicated few will still be carrying their M1911s, and they will stand victorious at the end

  6. I’m retired military are I’d rather have an M1911A1 over the stand issue sidearm. The M9 is good but the M1911 is better.

  7. It remembers me of that story of an American pilot who took down a japenese Zero with an M1911 while parachuting during World War 2.

  8. John Browning passed away 96 years ago, and we still use his firearms. Seriously, even though the 1911 might be used on a smaller scale, the m2 browning machine gun is still heavily used globally. What a legacy

  9. Well… There is a saying, what if Browning were to design something other than a gun? Say a fridge or something, heck even a computer…
    How would that be? A computer that stayed relevant for 50 years? 😀

  10. I was shooting my own 1911 the other day, thought I’d share some funny stories. When I was shooting the first expended brass flew into my eye (thank god for eye pro) then the second went into my dad standing next to me and the third flew and hit my grandfather standing next to him. Then the same day when I was shooting the bottom of the magazine crapped out and everything spilled out, spring bullets and all. So the mag exploded. I have no doubt this is because the 1911 is built like a tank so instead of just exploding itself like other guns it redirected the force into the one weak point, the decades old magazine.

  11. Here, let's just forget that .45 ACP is perhaps one of the slowest slugs in the world. It's got a good bore, yeah, but no fucking power. No ACTUAL power.

  12. Please review walther ppk. The gun that a famous tv personality in the Philippines Ted Failon use to kill his wife.

  13. The feeding ramp is polished to a mirror sheen. The slide's been
    reinforced. And the interlock with the frame is tightened for added precision.
    The sight system is original, too. The thumb safety is extended to make it
    easier on the finger. A long-type trigger with non-slip grooves. A ring
    hammer… The base of the trigger guard's been filed down for a higher grip. And not only that, nearly every part of this gun has been expertly crafted and customized….

  14. The USA should have gone with the Browning Hi-power, instead of the Beretta in my opinion. It was closer in form and function to the 1911, while having comparable cartridge capacity to the Beretta….the best of both worlds.

  15. I sure hope they have machines that test this or a large pool of guns or there were some people with sore trigger fingers after 6000 bullets.

  16. Don't forget about the other gun Browning made that refuses to die. Ma Deuce! The beautiful M2 50. Cal Machine Gun. Based off of the M1919 but made to be the Heavy Machine gun variant. Unlike the 1911, this one is still in service!

  17. Me: why arent you obsolete yet?

    M1911: look son busisness is booming with the rebels wich is why ok?

    Me: Oh.

  18. Let's be real here, when laser based weaponry become a thing, armour will have to change for it. Logically, ballistic armour is different from what would be laser based armour. Therefore, when laser weapons and it's resistant armour become common practice, projectile weapons will only be more powerful.

    Thus, the the ballistic weapons time tried to replace will take their place once more.

  19. To put this into perspective, A 1911 is like the game CS:go or Dota.

    You can put better skins in your game (1911 decor and grips), but it's not necessary to make the perfect game (firearm) better.

  20. Not a fan of the m9 honestly I love my ruger american pistol in.45 acp any day over most pistols on the market but my super. 38 colt 1911 now that is just a dream come true

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *