Colt M1911 Semi-Automatic Service Pistol
The Colt M1911A1 is regarded by many as the most successful semi-automatic pistol design of her time - seeing consistent action in a plethora of conflicts during the 1900s.
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The Colt model M1911 series of pistols is one of the most successful small arms designs of the 20th Century - and in all of warfare history for that matter. The handgun has been produced in quantity in the United States, Argentina and Norway (the latter two under license production as the m/1914 and the Model 1927 respectively) and was fielded in both World Wars and many of the major and minor conflicts of the century - eventually becoming a commercial success for the Colt concern. The M1911 continues service in many forms today (2012) and is still a favorite among sporting, security and casual operators the world over.
The M1911 was a design by famous American gunsmith John Browning and was based on his earlier Model 1900 design. By 1905, the system was refined to the point it could compete for government contracts. With so many like-minded automatic weapons companies vying for such lucrative government deals with the US military, it was decided that all interested parties should compete through trials to be had in 1907. The requirement of the government was for a modern, semi-automatic pistol capable of firing the lethal 230gr bullet - a bullet which had already been made for another Colt product. By the end of the trials, only the Colt M1911 remained against a Savage sidearm with Colt eventually earning the US military deal.