As a single-action, semi-automatic pistol, the M1911 was a standard-issue sidearm for US Armed Forces from 1911 through 1986. During World War I, World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War, the M1911 was one of the most widely used pistols. While it was in active service, the United States announced that over 2.7 million were produced and in use under military contracts. The model was very reliable, however, it was later replaced with the 9mm Beretta M9 in October 1986.
While it is no longer standard issue, the M1911 maintains its prominence and is still the choice of many service men today. Some units of the U.S. Army Special Forces, the U.S. Marine Corps, and the U.S. Navy still issue the M1911 today.
The M1911 was initially designed by John Browning, who is known for using the short recoil principle in his gun models. With the success of the M1911, the design ended up being widely copied. In fact, the operating system of the M1911 powered the design of nearly all modern centerfire pistols available today. It remains popular with both civilians and servicemen today, and is a favorite for competitive events like the IDPA, USPSA, and Bullseye shooting.
The more compact variant of the M1911 model is a favorite for concealed carriers in the United States, since the design is slim and has excellent stopping power with the .45 ACP cartridge. It’s in use in over 28 nations today, and weight just under 2.5 pounds when empty.