Colt 45


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One of the Most Popular Handguns in History

The legendary Colt 45 pistol is unlike any other gun in history!  The same basic gun design has been in use for over 100 YEARS.  This extraordinary heritage is largely due to it's exceptional design and outstanding manufacturing quality.  This handgun has truly stood the test of time!  Initially designed by John Browning and manufactured by the Colt company, this firearm was produced in response to a need presented by the US military.  The Colt 45 handgun was designed by John Browning in response to the US Army's request for a handgun that packed more stopping power for combat duty.  Other side arms issued to soldiers earlier proved to be marginally effective in stopping the enemy, and so the search was on for a better pistol to issue to American servicemen.  The military subjected the Colt and other handguns to severe evaluation tests, and the Colt 45 passed these grueling tests with great success.  It was head and shoulders above all the rest.  In one severe test, a single Colt 45 was fired 6,000 times over the span of 2 days with NO malfunctions.  When the test gun got too hot from the repeated firing, the pistol was dunked in water to cool it down and then it was shot some more.  Amazing pistol!  John Browning had come up with an extraordinary design.

Colt 45

Given it's outstanding performance and reliability, it's no surprise that in 1911, the Colt 45 was selected as the pistol of choice for the US Army.  Soon after, other branches of the US military adopted the 1911 as their official sidearm.  The original model number M1911 comes from the year 1911 when it was accepted.  Some very minor changes were later made and the model number was changed to M1911A1, but the same basic original design has stood the test of time.  John Browning had designed a handgun that not only provided superior performance, reliability, and accuracy, but it was also destined to become a legend.  Colt is known for its production of quality firearms, and this outstanding handgun is no exception.  Widely used by military, police, special forces, and consumers, it is perhaps one of THE most popular handguns ever produced.  Nearly 3 MILLION of these guns have been produced by Colt alone, and that doesn't even consider the countless copies of the 1911 style pistol that have been produced by other gun manufacturers over the years.  The long history of use of the Colt 45 is remarkable.  This is not just your average gun that is soon to be forgotten.  This handgun saw military duty in 2 world wars, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, Persian Gulf War, and up until recent history, it was STILL the sidearm of choice for the US Armed Forces.  Even after the US Military switched over to the Beretta 9mm as standard issue sidearm, certain parts of the military insisted on keeping the 45 because of it's superior performance, reliability, and stopping power. 

Colt 1991 Pistol 

Let's take a look at the bullet that makes this handgun so effective.  The 45 ACP cartridge was designed by John Browning to meet the requirements of the US military that a bullet of no less than .45 inch, because this was deemed as the smallest diameter bullet that would be effective.  Testing had been conducted, and real world battle experience, had proven that the anemic .38 being used at the time was not effective.  They determined that a large diameter bullet was the answer.  As he usually did, John Browning rose to the challenge and come up with a cartridge that had a superior blend of power, effectiveness, and reliability.  The large .45 slug did not travel very fast because the chamber pressures were kept relatively low by modern standards.  What this meant was the 45 ACP did not produce as much recoil.  This in turn meant that the shooter could more easily control the pistol and be able to get back on target faster.  In addition, the lower pressures and moderate recoil meant that the guns themselves did not take such a beating.  This made the 1911 a very rugged and reliable gun design that could stand up to the test of time and repeated use.  History has proven this to be true.  

The reality is that many people think that the US military should move back to the Colt 45 pistol because of its long history of proven effectiveness.  The US military felt compelled to switch to the 9mm because it was the standard issue round in many of the armed forces around the world.  NATO wanted the US to standardize with its allies and make the change to the 9, and this pressure along with other political factors, eventually led to the US military abandoning the proven 45.  Because of the Geneva Convention, expanding hollow point bullets are not allowed during times of war.  As a result, full metal jacket (FMJ) bullets (also known as ball ammo) are required to be used.  It is a proven fact that ball ammo is not as effective in quickly stopping a threat, especially when dealing with smaller diameter bullets.  That means that a 9mm bullet with a diameter of .354 inches will make a much smaller wound channel, especially when you consider the rounded tip of a FMJ bullet tends to make a less dramatic wound.  What this means is that when a soldier is fighting for their life and an enemy must be stopped quickly, it has been found that the 9mm ball ammo is inadequate.  On the contrary, through several wars, the 45 ACP has proven itself to be much more effective in stopping a threat quickly.  Because of a bullet that is nearly 0.1 inches larger in diameter, the 45 produces a larger wound channel that is more likely to stop a threat quicker than the smaller 9mm round.  Now, if expanding bullets were allowed in times of war, then this situation would be very different.  It is possible to find 9mm rounds that have been proven to be effective when firing well designed hollow point bullets at high velocities in +P or +P+ loadings.  They are effective because these hollow point bullets can expand to a larger diameter and create a much larger wound channel, while also stopping and depositing their energy inside their intended target rather than zipping right through.  So, it would be possible for a smaller diameter bullet to be effective, but given the reality that the armed forces are required to use FMJ bullets, the 45 ACP is a much better choice because of its inherently larger diameter.  There have been many soldiers, especially those that have been in actual combat and seen the limitations of the current 9mm, that would like to see the Colt 45 brought back into service.  The fact that such an old gun design has still proven itself to be superior OVER 100 YEARS later speaks volumes about this amazing firearm.  Truly, gun designer John Browning and his Colt 45 pistol are legendary!