The Model 1911 .45 Automatic Pistol is the worldâ€™s most respected handgun, and has been designated by many authorities as the finest service pistol design of all time. The Browning 1911 was yet another revolutionary gun by one of the greatest gun designers of all time, John Moses Browning.
Designed by John Browning, the M1911 is the best-known of his designs to use the short recoil principle in its basic design. The pistol was widely copied, and this operating system rose to become the preeminent type of the 20th century and of nearly all modern centerfire pistols. Compact variants are popular civilian concealed carry weapons, because of the design's inherent slim width and the power of the .45 ACP cartridge.
The action of Browning's M1911 design is recoil operation. As combustion gases drive the bullet down the barrel, they also exert a reverse motion on the slide and barrel pushing them backwards. This motion ultimately leads to an extractor expelling the spent casing before a spring reverses the direction and loads a new round from the magazine. As part of the design process, the US Army directed that the new pistol possess both grip and manual safeties.
The M1911 has also remained popular with US Special Forces units which have carried variants during the Iraq War and Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. As a result of their use of the weapon, the Army Marksman Unit began experimenting with improving the M1911 in 2004. Designated the M1911-A2 project, they produced several variants for Special Forces use. The M1911 has been produced under license in other countries and is currently in use with numerous militaries around the world.
The weapon is also popular with sportsmen and competitive shooters. In addition, the M1911 and its derivatives are in use with law enforcement agencies such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Hostage Rescue Team, numerous local S.W.A.T. units, and many local police forces.
Weight: 2.44 lb (1,105 g) empty, w/magazine
Length: 8.25 in (210 mm)
Barrel length: 5.03 in (127 mm), Government model, 4.25 in (108 mm), Commander model, 3.5 in (89 mm), Officer's ACP model
Cartridge: .45 ACP
Action: Short recoil operation
Muzzle velocity: 825 ft/s (251 m/s)
Feed system: 7-round standard detachable box magazine