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M1911

Semi-automatic pistol

M1911

The Browning's M1911 pistol is still very popular even though it was introduced a century ago

 
 
Country of origin United States
Entered service 1911
Caliber 11.43 x 23 mm (.45 ACP)
Weight (empty) 1 075 g
Weight (with loaded magazine) 1 130 g
Length 219 mm
Barrel length 127 mm
Muzzle velocity 253 m/s
Magazine capacity 7 rounds
Sighting range 50 m
Range of effective fire 50 m

 

   Development of this semi-automatic pistol began at the end of XX century. It was developed by the John Browning, a legendary weapon designer, for the Colt company. Later Browning sold the rights of this pistol to the Colt company. In 1906-1907 the US armed forces announced trials for a new pistol, that would replace a number of older pistols revolvers. In 1911 after extensive testing the Browning's pistol was adopted by the US Cavalry and Navy fleet as the Model 1911. It proved to be a highly successful weapon. Since its introduction it was used in almost every military conflict, including the WWI. In 1924, its modified version, the M1911A1, was adopted by the US Army. During the WWII several millions of these pistols were produced in the USA by various companies. Later it was used in the Korean and Vietnam War. The M1911A1 remained the main sidearm of the US Army until 1985. This pistol was widely copied and cloned.

   Even though the M1911 was introduced a century ago, and is generally out-dated, it is still very popular. This weapon has been in use longer than any other small arm in the US armed forces inventory. The second weapon after the M1911, that has been longest in the US armed forces inventory, is the M2 machine gun, which was also a creation of John Browning.

   Currently the M1911 is still in service with the US Navy, US Marine Corps, US Navy Seals and other special operation units, FBI, SWAT teams. Since its introduction this pistol it has been exported to more than 50 countries from all around the world. Currently it is still in service with nearly 30 countries, although numbers are reducing.

   The M1911 is chambered for a powerful .45 ACP (Automatic Colt Pistol) round. This round was developed alongside this pistol. The US armed forces required their new pistol to have a caliber of .45 inches. This round has an extreme penetration and man-stopping effect. The M1911 is one amongst the most powerful pistols, that are currently available.

   Operation system of this pistol proved to be reliable and was widely copied. The M1911 has a single-action trigger. This pistol has an automatic grip safety mechanism and manual safety lever.

   It is fed from a 7-round magazine. However by modern standards such magazine capacity is no longer sufficient. Most current military pistols have 15- or even 20-round magazines. The M1911 is relatively slim due to its single-stack magazine.

   The M1911 is very accurate. Some sources claim that the M1911 can hit targets at a range of 100 m.

   Various clones and copies of this highly successful pistols are still being developed and produced. However in most cases the only differences from the original are the external trim, shape of the grip, or sight. Some clones are chambered for different calibers. Some have a double-action trigger mechanism.

 

Variants

 

   M1911A1 is an improved version, adopted by the US Army in 1926. It has some minor improvements, such as wider front sight, shorter trigger, and some other improvements. It has been the main US Army pistol until 1985, when it was replaced by the M9 (Beretta 92FS).

   Colt Government Model 1911, a civilian version. In 1929 this pistol was introduced, chambered for a new .38 Super Automatic round. This version has a 9-round capacity magazine. The .38 Super Automatic version is extremely accurate and is often used for target shooting.

   Colt Commander, a compact model intended for civilian market.

   Colt Combat Commander is a compact model, introduced in 1970.

   M15 is a compact model, developed by Rock Island Arsenal. In 1972 the M15 was adopted as a self-defense weapon for high-ranking US Army and US Air Force officers. It is very similar to Colt Combat Commander.

   Colt Defender is an even more compact version of the M1911A1 pistol. It is also intended for civilian market. This pistol has a shorter grip. Its magazine holds 6 rounds.

   Colt Officer's ACP. It is a compact pistol, introduced in 1985.

 

 

M1911

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