History of the 1911 Pistol

If you’re looking for a legendary firearm with a storied history, you’d be hard-pressed to find one with a more epic story than the 1911. With more than 100 years of history under its belt, it’s seen plenty of use across the entire face of the world. In this post, we’ll look at the history of the 1911 pistol, including the man who invented it (John Browning) along with some holster options for the pistol.

History of the 1911 Pistol

As its name implies, the 1911 first hit the scene in the year 1911. That’s not the year it was first invented, though. Instead, the pistol traces its origins to the 1890s. John Moses Browning had been designing a pistol to work with his new cartridge: the 45 ACP. His concept, for one of the first self-loading pistols ever, would eventually become the 1911. 

The 1911 wasn’t just accepted into the army on face value. The firearm had to beat out several other designs by world-renowned companies like Steyr, Savage, and Colt. The military put the 1911 through the ringer, shooting 6,000 rounds through it over the course of two days. The 1911 passed with flying colors, without even jamming a single time.

1911 Custom Holster

Early Use

The Army fully adopted the pistol on March 29, 1911, and the Marine Corps and Navy followed suit in 1913. It didn’t take long to see service. American soldiers used the pistol during the Punitive Expedition into Mexico to capture Ponco Villa in 1916, and it also saw service in Europe during the First World War.

Second World War

With the 1918 Armistice, the great powers in Europe ceased large-scale conflict. But that wasn’t the end of the 1911’s role in combat. With another large-scale war on the horizon, the 1911 would once again need to step up as the US military’s main sidearm. It saw combat in every theater of the Second World War, from Africa to the Pacific, and on the Western Front in Europe.

John Browning: the Man Who Invented the 1911

The story of the 1911 isn’t complete without mentioning the man behind the pistol: John Moses Browning. Browning was a gunsmith and tinkerer who built the 1911 in his Utah workshop. Born in 1855, he was the mastermind behind several innovative firearms designs, including the Browning automatic machine gun and the Hi-Power pistol. Between all of his firearms, his designs are some of the most-copied in the world.

Browning 1911 Holster

Holsters for the 1911 Pistol

For most of its life, there was only one single style of leather holster for the 1911. Fortunately, we’ve expanded significantly beyond that in the last few decades. Now, you can find all kinds of holsters for your 1911. But leather may still be the best option.

Leather can prevent your 1911 from taking damage, and it also acts as passive retention. As a result, they’re a great choice for anyone who carries their 1911 for any reason. If you want to learn more about our holsters and their 100-year guarantee, check out our complete selection of leather holsters here.

1911 Black Leather Holster

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