Celebrating 100 years of the Colt 1911A1 .45 ACP
Next year will mark the 100th anniversary of the Colt 1911A1 .45acp. A design of the legendary John Moses Browning, the greatest firearms designer of all time, the design of the 1911 is still very much in use today and is as popular as ever before.
Born in the Philippines, the 1911 pistol was conceived as a much needed substitute for then U.S. Army .38 caliber new army revolvers which miserably failed to stop muslim fanatics in combat in Mindanao. There are several historical accounts of a number of U.S. Army officers who got chopped to pieces by the wiry muslim "huramentados" who after having been shot numerous times in vital places, continued on to kill.
The U.S. army Ordnance acting upon such reports of "unstoppable savages", commissioned the Thompson La Garde tests, Thompson being Gen. John Talafiero Thompson (ret) who later went on to his own fame in designing the Thompson submachine gun M1921. Several cadavers were shot in a Chicago Slaughterhouse, the bullets extracted, and the results of the bullet deformation analyzed. It was determined that a bullet diameter of at least .45 caliber was needed to produce the necessary stopping power. Colt was given the contract based on a John Browning design, and a legend was born.
The 1911 soon proved its worth in wars that followed. World War one saw the medal of Honor winner Sgt. Alvin York, who single handedly with his 1911 killed 8 charging Germans and captured nearly 200 others. In World War 2 Audie Murphy earned his medal of honor by killing attacking Germans with his 1911. And of course, the legandary Col Jeff Cooper USMC, who used his 1911 to "secure" three Japanese soldiers in three separate incidents, one of whom was armed with a fully automatic weapon.
Korea and Vietnam soon followed with U.S. Army soldiers re-affirming the legendary stopping power of the .45 ACP against the enemies of freedom. In 1993 in Mogadishu, Somalia, we saw how Delta Sgt Randall Shughart held off 800 angry Somalians with his 1911 pistol, when his primary weapon ran out of ammo.
To see all the legends of the 1911 pistol in combat click here: http://www.sightm1911.com/
No other instrument or industrial design, of whatever nature, has endured 100 years of continued use as the 1911- a tribute to the brilliance of John Moses Browning. Still alive and well, and defeating all comers in open IPSC competition, the Philippines is still very much "1911 country" and we look forward to many more years of popularity and service of the pistol we claim as our own.