Regardless of the stance one takes toward the 1911 pistol and its efficacy as a fighting weapon, its history and legacy in America seem unparalleled.
Designed in the early 1900s by John Moses Browning, the 1911 pistol— named for the year it was adopted by the U.S. Army as its standard sidearm— still serves America today. Although the U.S. Army switched to the Italian Beretta M9 pistol in 1985 and the majority of U.S. police departments issue Austrian Glock pistols to their officers, the American born 1911—most well known as a .45 caliber automatic Colt pistol, or .45 ACP—continues to thrive in 2014 despite a few apparent shortcomings.
The 1911 is an old school design that has a lower ammunition capacity and higher price when compared with modern pistols. Still, its vast service record, especially iconic in World War II, has forever cemented its place in American history. And the legacy continues: The U.S. Marines (Special Operations Command) recently adopted a modern Colt 1911 to serve as its close quarters battle pistol.
Among firearms aficionados, the 1911 has a cult following and interested readers can find heated “1911 vs. [any other gun]” discussions abounding in online gun forums. Indeed, shooters new and old engage each other in friendly debates at gun stores and gun ranges everywhere. Regardless of the stance one takes toward the 1911 pistol and its efficacy as a fighting weapon, its history and legacy in America seem unparalleled.