Skip to main content

1911 Semi-Auto Pistol - 'Gun Stories'

Since its birth, America has been driven by invention. The cotton gin, the light bulb, even the microchip. These inventions were created by master mechanics, people with an inherent need to create new technologies and machines. We've all been taught the importance of people like Eli Whitney, Thomas Edison, even Bill Gates. But there's one man's invention that was so influential, that after 100 years it is still considered the standard by which all others are measured. The man's name was John Moses Browning, and his invention was the model 1911 automatic pistol.

What makes the 1911, what many believe to be, the perfect handgun? To begin with the recoil operation of the 1911 is widely considered the genesis for every automatic handgun found today. The slab-sided outline of the 1911 was an iconic image of the World War to America, as the Nazi battle helmet was to Germany. And as troops returned home, many of their 1911s returned with them.

For the model 1911, the action moved to Korea, and then Vietnam. The guns the U.S. military used continued to evolve. The M1 Garand gave way to the M14, and then the M16. Rifle development kept moving forward, but the 1911 remained unchanged. From the gunners in WWI, to the tunnel rats of Vietnam, the .45 continued to get the job done.

In the late 1970s, under political pressure from congress, the U.S. military, to standardize with NATO countries, began looking for a 9mm replacement for the .45 caliber 1911. On January 14, 1985, The Beretta 92F was officially adopted, ending the 1911's 74 year run as the official sidearm of the U.S. military.

Current Magazine Cover

Enjoy articles like this?

Subscribe to the magazine.

Get access to everything Guns & Ammo has to offer.
Subscribe to the Magazine

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

Recent Videos

Guns and Ammo Magazine Covers Print and Tablet Versions

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!


Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services


Buy Digital Single Issues

Magazine App Logo

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Guns & Ammo App

Other Magazines

See All Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Guns & Ammo stories delivered right to your inbox every week.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Guns and Ammo subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Enjoying What You're Reading?

Get a Full Year
of Guns & Ammo
& Digital Access.

Offer only for new subscribers.

Subscribe Now