The Future of the Past

Some of the best designs in the gun world today are firearms first released over a century ago. Many professional gunsmiths specialize in these classics. Over a hundred years old, the 1911 remains a high performance standard.

by Dr. Osiris Carter

It was an amazing year to say the least! In January, the world saw the first shipboard landing of an aircraft. In May, the first Indianapolis 500-Mile Race had revved-up cars blazing around the track, with the winner having an average speed of a whopping 74.6 miles per hour! In July, American explorer Hiram Bingham discovered Machu Picchu, the Lost City of the Incas. But more importantly than all of these events and dozens more, the most significant event to occur in the year 1911, transpiring in late March. The Colt pistol, designated “Model of 1911,” was adopted by the United States Army. Over 100 years later, this iconic pistol continues to “keep em’ in the 10-Ring!” With such an amazing start, the future of the 1911 looked bright.

John Moses Browning, often hailed as the father of modern firearms, designed the 1911 pistol to operate off of a recoil operated slide and chambered in the venerable 45 ACP round. Throughout much of the history of the 1911, not much has changed design-wise. The grip angle has remain unchanged, single stack magazines have prevailed, and the slim profile has continued to dominate. As an avid lover of the 1911 platform, the consistency of the effectiveness of this firearm reminds me of an age-old adage my sweet grandma used to tell us growing up: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” More than a century later, and thousands of different firearms being introduced to market, the 1911 has sustained its dominance.

Between 1911 and 1983 very few changes to this…

Read more in the March 2022 issue.

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