Six Years Off a Century Old
featured pistol is the venerable Colt autoloading
pistol Model 1911. The notes come from Colonel
Arcadi Gluckman’s United States Martial
Pistols and Revolvers as published by the
Stackpole Company in 1956.
“Caliber ·45, recoil operated, magazine fed,
self loading. The magazine has capacity for seven
rounds of rimless, alloy jacketed ammunition,
Model 1911. The barrel is five inches long, and
is rifled with six grooves making one left turn in
sixteen inches. The total length of the pistol is
about eight-and-one-half inches. Weight of the
pistol with empty magazine is 2 pounds, 7 ounces.
A blade front sight and a U-notch rear sight are
mounted on the slide. Checked walnut stocks.
pistol is equipped with three safety devices as
A safety lock on the
left side of the frame, in front of the
hammer. When the safety is raised while the
hammer is cocked, the latter is locked in that
A grip safety which must
be compressed into the grip by the yoke of the
hand while the trigger is being squeezed.
A disconnector mounted
inside the receiver in rear of the magazine
Though at first but few men of an infantry
regiment carried pistols, the effectiveness of the
arm in trench and close fighting proved the
desirability of more extensive issue, and created
an enormous demand that exceeded the capacity of
the Colt Company facilities, as well as the
facilities of the Springfield Armory, where these
pistols had also been manufactured, but which were
now strained to meet the demand for rifles.
Through the cooperation of the Colt Company
drawings and plans were made available to the
Remington-UMC Company, whose production augmented
the Colt output, all parts of the pistol of both
companies being interchangeable.
1918, in order to fill the constantly growing
pistol requirements of the American Expeditionary
Forces, contracts for these pistols were given to
the National Cash Register Company of Dayton,
Ohio; The North American Arms Co. of Quebec, and
Caron Bros. of Montreal, Canada; The Savage Arms
Company, Utica, N.Y.; Burroughs Adding Machine
Company, Detroit, Mich.; The Winchester Repeating
Arms Company of New Haven, Conn.; The Lanston
Monotype Co. of Philadelphia, Pa., and The Savage
Munitions Co. of San Diego, California.
coming of the Armistice resulted in the
cancellation of the contracts before production
began, and the only pistols obtained during the
World War were made by Colts and Remington Arms.
the outbreak of the war the army had approximately
75,000 automatic pistols in storage and in hands
of troops. At the signing of the Armistice this
number had grown to 643,755. Between April 6,
1917, and December 1918, the Colt Company produced
425,000 automatic pistols, and the Remington-UMC,
who did not begin production until September,
1918, made 13,152.”