| Features: The M-1911A1 Colt
.45 is arguably the most famous
semiautomatic handgun in the world. As its name implies, it was adopted
by the U.S. armed forces in 1911.
.45 caliber semiautomatic pistol M1911A1 is a recoil-operated hand
weapon. It is a magazine-fed semiautomatic weapon, which fires one
round each time the trigger is squeezed once the hammer is cocked by
prior action of the slide or thumb. This design is referred to as
"single action only." The thumb safety may only be activated once the
pistol is cocked. The hammer remains in the fully cocked position once
the safety is activated. (Note: More modern pistol designs of the
"double action" type will allow the hammer to move forward to an
uncocked position when the thumb safety is activated.) The M1911A1 was
widely respected for its reliability and lethality. However, its single
action/cocked and locked design required the user to be very familiar
and well-trained to allow carrying the pistol in the "ready-to-fire"
mode. Consequently, M1911A1s were often prescribed to be carried
without a round in the chamber. Even with this restriction on the user,
numerous unintentional discharges were documented yearly.
Background: The M1911A1 had been the
standard handgun issued to Marines for many decades. Selected weapons
were modified in the 1980s to meet the requirements of the MEU(SOC) in
lieu of arming them with the M9 9mm pistol.