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45 ACP Model 1911,
100 Years of Excellence!

By Dan S Defense

The model 1911 was invented by John Browning, a brilliant engineer that brought several innovations to the firearm and ammunition field. It was one project out of many for John Browning, but one that changed the world.

Going back to its inception, Browning created the 45 ACP cartridge in 1904 specifically for an early experimental version of what later became the model 1911. Because he worked with Colt at the time, the cartridge and the handgun were both named after Colt. The cartridge was named 45 ACP and stood for Colt Automatic Pistol and the handgun was simply the Colt Model 1905.

In its early years, it was just one out of many new handguns. It became popular after doing a good job in the Philippines, where it proved it proved to have excellent stopping power in difficult conditions. In fact that experience is still relevant today because of the context for its adoption. Back then, soldiers had 38 special revolvers, and they found that when used against a fanatical or drugged opponent, a much stronger cartridge was required.

At the time, Filipino Moro tribesman who were hard core militants, proved to be hard targets to stop. Not only were they fanatically driven, they also took drugs to buffer pain and fear, and also set tourniquets ahead of time, to help stop fatal bleeding and related shock from blood loss. Does this type of warfare and enemy ring any bells?


Unfortunately, yes, it rings true today too, where the enemy that faces our troops is a suicide bomber who wants to die, or a set of fanatical terrorists whose only goal in life is to die while killing their enemy, in order to go to heaven. The location of the events has changed and so have the faces, but the same mentality still exists.

Closer to home, you sometimes hear about a crack addict or a criminal intoxicated with alcohol, who, despite being shot, continued to function without conscious awareness of their injuries. Such assailants are especially dangerous, and it is then that a gun's stopping power becomes vital. This analogy is equally valid on the battlefield, in Taliban-controlled, dark, forsaken corners, and on the streets of US cities.

It is important to clarify that a 45 ACP cartridge in a 1911 is better than most handgun cartridges, though it is still underpowered. Handguns by their nature are inferior self defense weapons, and yet they are easy to carry and conceal, and therefore are best suited for everyday existence.

Having said that, in the context of self defense handguns, the model 1911 handgun and the 45 ACP shine. They do the job John Browning built them to do all those years ago. How many objects can you point at today that were designed nearly 100 years ago? Most things changed or evolved so much, that the original is unrecognizable or shows its age with an obsolete look or function.


The 1911 is the most copied handgun in the world. Walk into a gun store or shop online, and you'll quickly see that the 1911 design is often emulated by others. It's interesting to see how little has changed, in essentials, from Browning's original design. After nearly 100 years in its current form, the 1911 is as relevant and trustworthy today as it had been then.

Until next time, stay safe by staying alert.

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