1911 Popularity: How Browning’s Iconic Design Has Stayed the Course
By Jacki Billings
The M1911 has been in production for over 100 years. (Photo: Don Summers/Guns.com)
John Moses Browning’s M1911 persists as one of the most prolific handguns in the modern era, but how has this pistol maintained its popularity more than a century after its inception?
The Model 1911 surfaced in the early 1900s after American soldiers realized they needed more firepower and capabilities than the standard M1892 revolver, which had been found wanting during service in the Philipines. Browning answered the call for a more robust handgun, introducing the Model 1911 which was adopted by the U.S. Army on Mar. 29, 1911. As the best Valentine’s to gun culture, Browning’s patent on the design was issued Feb.14, 1911. The M1911 offered a .45 ACP chambered pistol with a standard 8+1 capacity and versatility that made it a sensation.
From 1916 through the late 1990s, the uniforms changed but the M1911 remained a common denominator. (Photos: Library of Congress)
Seeing service during both World Wars, the M1911 was renowned for its reliability in combat. In fact, during initial military testing, the gun underwent an intense 6,000 round torture test with no malfunctions.
After seeing action in World War II the Model 1911 underwent refinements to its design