America’s Greatest Pistol

The Colt 1911 Government Model America’s Pistol: The 1911 Turns 100

In the year 1911, the airplane was less than 10 years old, Henry Ford was already making cars and Chevrolet tooled up to compete with Ford. When’s the last time you saw someone driving a 1911 Ford or Chevy? About the only thing today’s cars have in common with those 100-years ago is the fact they have four wheels. Airplanes have changed tremendously, travel and communication have increased exponentially, however there is one exception to the rule when it comes to change—firearms.

In 1911, Colt introduced what would become the most popular big bore semi-automatic pistol ever, the 1911 Government Model chambered in .45 Automatic Colt Pistol. The 1911, in spite of all the new semi-auto designs offered in the past quarter century or so, is still the number one choice among civilians when it comes to a dependable, big-bore, self-defense or combat pistol. The same basic 1911 made 100 years ago is still found coming out of the Colt factory. There have been minor changes mostly in sights and grip safeties; however, the .45 ACP Colt 1911 of 2011 is virtually indistinguishable from the original.

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By John Taffin and Mike “Duke” Venturino


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One thought on “America’s Greatest Pistol

  1. Jan Gerstner

    The 1911 design has a legitimate claim to being the most famous handgun in history. It has been used by or copied to some degree by almost every military force in the world. It has had a run with only modest modifications (I know that might be disputed) longer than any other firearm. It has been adapted to many cartridges. My first was given to me by a U.S. Army captain in Vietnam. My most recent was given to me by our professional military son, 42 years later. They are remarkably similar.

    There are many excellent handguns available to us today, making it even more remarkable that so many still choose the 1911.


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