.45mm Colt M1911 A1 (Government Model) – American Semi-automatic Pistol

Colt M1911A1 pistol USA
.45mm Colt M1911 A1 semiautomatic pistol (Government Model) at the WTS in Koblenz, Germany

The .45mm Colt M1911 A1 pistol is a single-action, recoil-operated, semi-automatic pistol designed by John Browning. The “A1” designation behind the original M1911 model name was added in 1926 after some improvements were incorporated based on the handgun’s operational experience from the First World War.

World War Two

Around 1.9 million were procured by the U.S. Government from various manufacturers during World War Two. Some alterations were made to speed up it’s mass production, like the use of a parkerized metal finish instead of bluing and the replacement of the wooden grips for plastic ones. The M1911 A1 was a popular small arm within all Allied military forces during the war.

With over 72 years of service and immense production volumes, the M1911 A1, developed on the basis of the original Browning patent from 1900, is Colt’s most successful model. The pistol is still produced today and used in active service in many armies around the world.


The .45mm Colt M1911 A1 (Government Model) displayed in the pictures of this article has the following specifications:

  • Manufacturer
    Colt’s Patent Firearms Manufacturing Company, Hartford, Connecticut, USA
  • Year of manufacture
  • Propulsion
    Self-propelled by direct gas pressure, short barrel recoil, rigid locking with a swivel-lock breech
  • Caliber
    11.43mm (.45mm), 6 grooves, right hand twist
  • Barrel length
    128mm (Government Model)
  • Initial Velocity (Vo)
    262 m/s
  • Magazine capacity
    7 rounds or 8 rounds
  • Standard ammunition
    .45 ACP
  • Weapon length
  • Weight
Colt M1911A1 pistol technical drawing
A technical drawing of the Colt M1911 A1 pistol in the WTS in Koblenz

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