Colt M1911 Pistol

The M1911 is a single-action, semi-automatic, magazine-fed, recoil-operated pistol chambered for the .45 ACP cartridge. It served as the standard-issue sidearm for the United States Armed Forces from 1911 to 1986. It was first used in later stages of the Philippine-American War, and was widely used in World War I, World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. The pistol's formal designation as of 1940 was Automatic Pistol, Caliber .45, M1911 for the original model of 1911 or Automatic Pistol, Caliber .45, M1911A1 for the M1911A1, adopted in 1924. The designation changed to Pistol, Caliber .45, Automatic, M1911A1 in the Vietnam era.

Colt M1911 Pistol
Class Manportable
Type Handguns
Manufacturer Colt's Manufacturing Company
Origin United States of America
Country Name Origin Year
United States of America 1911
Country Name Operational Year Retirement Year
Afghanistan 2001 2014 View
Iraq 1990 1991 View
Iraq 2003 2011 View
Korea 1950 1953 View
Syria 2011 View
United States of America View
Vietnam 1955 1975 View
ManufacturerName Production From Production To Quantity
Colt's Manufacturing Company 1911 View
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. It is popular with civilian shooters in competitive events such as USPSA, IDPA, International Practical Shooting Confederation, and Bullseye shooting. Compact variants are popular civilian concealed carry weapons, because of the design's relatively slim width and the power of the .45 ACP cartridge.

Type Semi-automatic pistol
Place of origin United States
Service history
In service 1911–present
Wars As standard U.S. service pistol:

World War I

World War II

Korean War

Vietnam War

In non-standard use:

Persian Gulf War

War in Afghanistan

Iraq War

Syrian Civil War
Production history
Designer John Browning
Designed 1911 and 1924 (A1)
Manufacturer Colt's Manufacturing Company
Number built Over 2.7 million
Variants M1911A1


RIA Officers
Weight 2.44 lb (1,105 g) empty, w/magazine
Length 8.25 in (210 mm)
Barrel length Government model: 5.03 in (127 mm)

Commander model: 4.25 in (108 mm)

Officer's ACP model: 3.5 in (89 mm)
Cartridge .45 ACP (11.43 mm)
Action Short recoil operation
Muzzle velocity 825 ft/s (251 m/s)
Feed system 7-round standard detachable box magazine

End notes