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The Role of 1911 in WWII

Posted by Team Armscor on Feb 3, 2020

The 1911 is deeply rooted in the hearts of so many shooters and gun collectors.

Invented by the legendary John Browning, it’s been impressing shooters for more than 100 years. From its fascinating history to its peak performance, the 1911 has plenty of validation for being such a celebrated weapon. For most of the 20th Century, the M1911 was the weapon of choice for the Army – starting in World War I and going all the way through the Gulf War. Today, we’ll be focusing on its singular history during the Second World War and how it helped the Ally powers save the world.

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The Leadup

The 1911 was originally designed during the Philippine-American War in response to the ineffectiveness of the previous side-arm, the Colt M1892 revolver. It was then formally adopted into the Army in 1911 just before WWII.



Having been used and proven during the modern and trench filled warfare of WWI, the Army decided to modify the 1911 to become even more mighty. Some of the changes included a shorter trigger, adding a longer safety spur, wider sights and a shortened hammer spur.


The Model 1911 was the common sidearm for most of the U.S. military forces during WWII, and it saw action in all environments of war - by land, sea and air. Nearly two million 1911 pistols were produced for the war and played an important role in helping the Ally forces win the war. Many soldiers, paratroopers, military police, machine gunners and more all carried side 1911s for added fire power.


Due to their popularity and the fact that so many 1911 pistols were produced during the second world war, the government canceled all postwar contracts for new production, instead choosing to rebuild existing pistols with new parts, which were then refinished and tested for functioning.



After WWII it became a standard sidearm for U.S armed forces throughout the years, including in the Vietnam War, the Korean War and the Gulf War. Today it serves as a powerful weapon and reminder of its colorful history. If you’re looking for your own 1911, learn more here!

Topics: 1911