The Colt M1911 and M1911A1 are without question the most famous sidearms of the United States military. The M1911 was developed and adopted by the US army in 1911 as a replacement for their revolvers, and beating out the only other competitor in the form of the Savage 1907. The M1911 was ultimately selected because it was the only entry that went 6,000 rounds without a single stoppage, whereas the 1907 Savage had thirty seven failures in the same round count.
The M1911 served with distinction in World War I, where it proved to be a very reliable pistol. The M1911A1 was developed in the 1920s with improvements, including an arched mainspring housing and a shorter trigger. The M1911A1 was produced in great numbers during World War II, to the point that post-war production was cancelled as the army just continued to use the World War 2 made guns.
The Colt M1911A1 in .45 ACP continued to be issued and used throughout World War 2, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. It was officially replaced by the Beretta M9 in 1985, but has never been totally phased out as there are still certain soldiers who continue to use it to this day.
Nearly three million M1911A1 pistols were issued to the United States army. As with the 1873 Colt, it remains a timeless design that will never be forgotten and will always be remembered as a part of America’s arsenal.