The 1911 is one of the most iconic firearms in American history. Its decorated service record is a direct result of its simplicity, reliability and stopping power in the field. The firearm is equally popular amongst civilians, regularly being used both in competition and concealed carry. Even with its widespread popularity, there are some things you probably don't know about the iconic sidearm.
Here are a few fun facts about the 1911:
1. The 1911 was designed by famed firearms designer John Browning.
The M1911, capable of firing 45ACP rounds, was created by John Browning in 1911 in response to the US military's need for a powerful, standard issue sidearm. The gun was quickly adopted by the US Navy and US Marine Corps. Browning, who is credited with designing some of the most widely successful firearms in American history, also designed the popular M1895 Machine Gun, the M1919 Browning Machine Gun, and the BAR.
2. 1911s have a rich Filipino history.
More than 10 years before its official release, the M1911 played a crucial part in helping the U.S. against the Moros during the Philippine-American war. The United States' current pistols weren't ideal against the close-quarter guerrilla warfare tactics of the Moros, so they adopted the new design. Today, it continues to thrive in the Philippines as all Armscor Rock Island Armory 1911s are manufactured in the Philippines.
3. The original design for the 1911 was tested by firing 6,000 rounds over two days without a single malfunction.
Whenever the gun overheated, it was simply dipped in water. Other guns in the same test malfunctioned 37 times under the same conditions.
4. The M1911 was formally adopted by the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps in 1913
The gun was replaced by the 9mm Beretta M9, but—due to its widespread popularity—modernized versions of the firearm remain in use by some units of the U.S. Navy and U.S. Army Special Forces.
5. The 1911 is the "official firearm of Utah."
John Browning, designer of the 1911, was born and raised in Utah. In 2011, as a way of honoring Browning, Utah declared the Browning M1911 the official firearm of the state.
6. The military issue M1911 can be "field stripped" without any additional tools.
Outside of its grip screws, he M1911 doesn't have any fasteners. Using some of the components of the gun as tools, it can be completely disassembled by hand in the field.
7. Compact versions, such as the Baby Rock - 380 ACP, are popular concealed carry weapons.
The inherently slim width of the 1911 makes it a popular everyday concealed carry pistol. Add the shorter barrel and a low-profile sights of the Baby Rock, and the choice becomes obvious.
8. The military required that the 1911 have both a grip and manual safety.
Calvary soldiers mandated that the gun be equipped with a grip safety to avoid accidentally shooting their horses in battle.
With such a vibrant history, it's no wonder the 1911 remains one of the most popular platforms in the United States today. From the armed forces to civilian use, the gun remains a staple in any gun owner's arsenal, and that isn't going to change anytime soon.