Photos by Michael Anschuetz
General Dwight D. Eisenhower, Supreme Commander of Allied Expeditionary Forces, was just one of the great men who led American forces during World War II, and Auto-Ordnance’s “The Generals 1911” proudly commemorates the service of a few of the war’s iconic leaders. As a monument to courage, wisdom and determination, the General’s 1911 D-Day pistol features an engraving on the left side with the image of Gen. Eisenhower speaking with troops at Newbury, England, prior to their embarkation.
“The General wandered through formless groups of soldiers,” wrote his grandson David Eisenhower, “stepping over packs and guns. The faces of the men had been blackened with charcoal and cocoa to protect against glare and to serve as camouflage. He stopped at intervals to talk to the thick clusters of soldiers gathered around him. He asked their names and homes ... affirming an awareness that the general and the men were associated in a great enterprise.”
Gen. Eisenhower’s words, “Only our individual faith in freedom can keep us free,” is engraved on the slide.
The right side features an image of Gen. Omar Bradley; Admiral Alan Kirk; a battle-worn American flag; and the D-Day 75th anniversary commemorative emblem. Both panels of green G-10 grips are engraved with detailed enhancement of the U.S. Army’s eagle and shield crest.
The Model 1911A1 is finished in Cerakote with the slide and frame receiving the Patriot Brown color and all other parts in Olive Drab. The engraving is given contrast with Armor Black Cerakote.
The Generals 1911 is based on Auto-Ordnance’s 1911A1 with a 5-inch barrel and GI sights. Auto-Ordnance notably markets various models with “GI Specs.”
I’m a stickler when it comes to the Model 1911 and Model 1911A1, and am pleased with the number of correct style parts on AO’s 1911A1 tribute models. Given that The Generals 1911 features engravings to honor D-Day, we can look past the absence of period-correct markings and finishes.
The sights are in the correct 1911A1 style with a fixed serrated ramp at the front and the drift-adjustable U-notch rear. These were an improvement over the sights original to the Model 1911.
The rear slide serrations are a fair representation, as is the ejection port cut. More importantly, most of the touch points are correct in terms of style and texturing with the exception of the serrated or ribbed trigger shoe and slide-lock lever. The wide-spur hammer, tab-lever thumb safety, magazine release button and recoil spring plunger all feature checkering.
Functionally, The Generals 1911 features the Series 80 safety system, which would have been incorrect for World War II. That said, it’s quite common on modern 1911s. The Series 80 includes a firing-pin block that prevents the firing pin from moving forward should it be dropped or severely impacted. The firing pin block is a plunger that’s pushed up as the trigger is pressed and when the slide is in battery. This system has an additional lever that has to overcome the plunger’s spring, which adds weight to the trigger pull. No surprise, the trigger pull on The Generals 1911 measured more than 7 pounds. However, since it’s a single-action pistol, the pull doesn’t feel that heavy.
Auto-Ordnance has released other made-in-the-U.S.A. editions of their 1911A1, M1 Thompson and M1 Carbine, each aimed at honoring World War II veterans. Several models pay tribute to the U.S. Army Air Corps with aircraft nose art editions, while there is an M1 Thompson “Tanker,” a “Vengence” M1 Carbine that remembers Pearl Harbor, and an Airborne carbine with appropriate folding stock.
Auto-Ordnance The Generals 1911
Type: Recoil operated, semiautomatic
Cartridge: .45 ACP
Capacity: 7 rds.
Barrel: 5 in.
Overall Length: 8.5 in.
Weight: 2 lbs., 7 oz.
Grips: G10, laser engraved
Length of Pull: 2.75 in.
Trigger: 7 lbs., 1.5 oz. (tested)
Sights: Blade, fixed (front); 1911A1 U-notch (rear)
Safety: Thumb lever; grip lever; firing pin block
Manufacturer: Auto-Ordnance, 508-795-3919,