The Legendary Colt .45 Essay

2554 words - 10 pages

The Colt .45 M1911 is often considered the most successful handgun ever created. Although John Moses Browning designed the innovative gun for the U.S. military in 1911, it has been used and beloved by many to the present day. The world-renowned handgun has generated an abundance of imitators due to its simplicity and adeptness, however Browning had the intellect to create the very first model. Since its adoption by the U.S. Army in 1911, conveniently before the outset of World War I, the M1911 has become an “an iconic part of military and American history.” (“Multi-million Dollar Order for Colt .45 M1911”) In addition to being featured heavily in World War I, World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War, the gun has also played an incredibly significant role in recreational use by American citizens. Furthermore, the Colt .45’s status as “the most famous automatic firearm in handgun history” is largely because of the fact that American culture has embraced its presence so readily and graciously (Elliot). Indeed, John Browning’s simple, yet incredibly pioneering design of a single action, semiautomatic pistol, greatly influenced the gun industry and U.S. Military while also leaving an impact on American culture.
While the legendary .45 caliber, M1911 pistol first made its debut in 1911, a complete insight into its formulation begins approximately 15 years prior when the United States engaged the Spanish in a war in response to the “sinking of the battleship USS Maine in Havana Harbor (Engen). After a trouncing of the “Spanish fleet at Manila Bay in March 1898,” United States troops entered Spain, including the southern islands, to abolish the colonial government (Engen). Not coincidentally, the Moro tribesmen of the southern islands maintained their efforts to rid the presence of outside government in their homeland as they had formerly done to the Spanish government (Thompson 7). As a result of the combination of guerrilla warfare and “close quarters combat,” the Moro warriors kept the United States Military preoccupied in battle for close to fifteen years (Engen). The U.S. Army’s choice of weaponry during that time span was a .38 caliber, Long Colt revolver and a .30 caliber, Krag rifle (Bennett). Moreover, it became critically apparent that those specific firearms were not sufficient in surmounting the Moro tribesmen of the southern islands. The .38 caliber revolver and .30 caliber rifle simply did not possess the stopping power to efficiently kill the abundance of drugged Moro warriors who appeared to be impenetrable by bullets and unaffected by pain (Engen). Thus, had it not been for the less than competent performance of the two firearms, Browning may never had had the opportunity to showcase his novelty and savvy in the form of a .45 caliber pistol, which contrastingly did have the necessary level of stopping power that the United States Army was seeking.
Incidentally, following the diagnosis of...

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