Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Happy Anniversary!

On March 29, 1911, history was made when the US Army officially adopted a new semi-automatic pistol designed by John Moses Browning. That pistol remained in production until 1944 and served though two world wars and numerous other military deployments before finally being officially replaced in 1981 by an Italian-designed 9mm sidearm. Still, variations of the "US Pistol, Model 1911, .45 ACP" continue to soldier on today with US military special operations teams, law-enforcement entities like the FBI and LAPD SWAT teams, and countless civilians who take their target-shooting and self-defense ability seriously.

I am no exception, and to commemorate the occasion, I took my Springfield Armory 1911A1 out to the range and fired 100 rounds through it. I also took my neighbor out to the range--my non-nutty neighbor--and he brought his 1911A1.)

Here is my 1911A1 (top), pictured with it's much-older brother, a Colt-produced model 1911 made back in 1916.

As you can see, my Springfield sports different grips and sights and a left-handed safety--all added by me over the years--but other than that, most every part on these two is interchangeable, a testament to the success of the original design.

Oh yeah--the Springfield lacks that nifty lanyard ring on the bottom of the Colt's grip, too. But then these days, there's not much call for lanyards on pistols as we no longer field a horse-mounted cavalry.

It was a great gun a hundred years ago, and it's still the one that I choose to carry and rely on for my own safety today. Money says that people will still be crowing about it and carrying it come it's bicentennial anniversary in 2111.


  1. My birthday gift from my other half was an STI Spartan. I've wanted a 1911 for a few years, now, and it's kind of cool that I got mine a few weeks before the design's 100th birthday (just before my 32nd).

    I cannot imagine a better gun--though, as small as I am, it looks bigger than it is when I'm shooting it. I'm sure I look silly--the gun can't be anything but gorgeous.

  2. Here, here!

    Mine's a SS MK IV Series 80 - some folks cuss the firing pin safety, but mine doesn't trouble me.

    Currently wearing Pachy wraparounds, would love to put on some stag slabs to dress it up.

  3. Ahem!

    After a bit of research, I am given to understand that the exhortation accompanying my toast should've been "Hear, hear!", not "Here, here!", although the latter would qualify as a) An answer for where we should drill for oil, and b) An admonition for Sienna to get her furball self back in the house.

  4. Nice, and that 97 year old gun still functions just as well as it did when new... I wonder how many plastic fantanstics will be able to say the same thing???

  5. Cool! Love the old Colt.

  6. I try to remember, every time I touch one off, first time in a session, to intone,"God Bless John Moses Browning!" Seems only right.