Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A Brief History of the Iconic 1911 Handgun

Have you ever wondered why the M1911 was chosen as the standard-issue sidearm of the U.S. armed forces from 1911 to 1985? Here is an excerpt from

"The Colt Model 1911 was the product of a very capable person, namely John Moses Browning, father of several modern firearms. The pistol was designed to comply with the requirements of the U.S. Army, which, during its campaign against the Moros in Philippines, had seen its trusty .38 revolver to be incapable of stopping attackers. An Ordnance Board headed by Col. John T. Thompson (inventor of the Thompson sub-machine-gun) and Col. Louis A. La Garde, had reached the conclusion that the army needed a .45" caliber cartridge, to provide adequate stopping power. In the mean time, J. Browning who was working for Colt, had already designed an an autoloader pistol, around a cartridge similar to contemporary .38 Super (dimension-wise). When the Army announced its interest in a new handgun, Browning re-engineered this handgun to accommodate a .45" diameter cartridge of his own design (with a 230 gr. FMJ bullet), and submitted the pistol to the Army for evaluation"

So it was the 1911's stopping power that sealed the deal. But why did the U.S. armed forces replace it in 1985 with the 9mm Beretta M9? Was it for the improved control? ...or higher ammo capacity? ...or the more advanced safety features? It's ironic that there are military and law enforcement organizations today that went back to use the .45 caliber M1911A1 handguns including the Marine Force Recon, L.A.P.D. SWAT/SIS, the FBI Hostage Rescue, FBI regional SWAT teams, and 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment (or Delta Force) to name a few...

Did I mention that I love this gun?

We are now available on amazon.
Back to 1911 Custom Killer Grips.




  1. NATO is the reason we went to 9mm, tragic! Long live the 1911 in 45ACP!!!

  2. Another reason for the .45 cal. is that back then cavelry was still king on the feild. Infantry troops needed a side arm that could stop a charging horse. One reason the army required a larger caliber round.

  3. what you been smoking? the US ARMY did not adopt the 1911 until WW2. It was the USMC that called for a side arm that was more capable of stopping a coked up Cuban in the Spanish American war hence the designation 1911. The original issue side arm was the colt .38 spl revolver. which was under powered to say the least. You should have read your US History book instead of skipping class.