Gun and Cartridge Profile: M1911 and .45 ACP
K Kyle Petersen

Gun and Cartridge Profile: M1911 and .45 ACP

Mar 19, 2024
The 1911 Pistol, also known as the M1911 or Colt 1911, is an American original and one of the iconic firearms of the 20th century. Designed by John Browning for the US Military, the M1911 and subsequent variants became known as the standard military sidearm from their adoption in 1911 through the end of the Vietnam era. Accordingly, the firearm is frequently represented in historical fiction and is an important part of any propmaster's historical weaponry inventory.

The history of guns and ammunition is one of innovation and improvement. Constantly changing threats and opportunities drive the need to develop more effective weaponry. Firearm technology evolved rapidly starting in the mid-19th century, primarily triggered by the adoption of cartridge-based revolvers. By the 1890s, we see the first semi-auto pistols. Semi-auto pistols can be quickly reloaded with extra magazines and provide a significant upgrade from revolvers, which must be reloaded by hand after 5 or 6 shots.

The limited stopping power of the standard issue .38 Long Colt revolver led the US Government to search for a suitable semi-automatic sidearm, and John Browning's M1911 and its accompanying .45 ACP cartridge were the solution. 1911 saw action in World War I, World War II, Korea, and Vietnam, among other conflicts and engagements.

Eventually, the .45 ACP cartridge would fall out of favor for military use. The Beretta M92, which chambers a lower-recoil and more affordable 9mm Parabellum cartridge, offered several advantages over the high-recoil and costly .45 ACP. The M1911 began to be phased out in the 1980s, although it is still used in some areas of the US Military today.

Western Stage Props offers several products associated with the 1911, including blank-firing models, non-firing replicas, and plastic polyurethane models. We also carry blank-firing .45 ACP cartridges for use in real firearms designed to chamber that caliber. Additionally, .45 ACP blanks can also be purchased from our sister site


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