The Colt M1911 Pistol

Recently, a client of ours sold us a real beauty of a gun – a Colt M1911 pistol. This fabled firearm has seen action in several armed conflicts throughout history and made a name for itself on the civilian market as a sharpshooter. When a gun like this comes into Cash My Guns, we love digging up history to further educate ourselves on what we’re looking at. In this post, we’ll highlight why the M1911 gained its following and how that plays into its desirability in today’s gun buying market.

At the turn of the 20th Century, the U.S. Armed Forces were seeking a replacement for their aging revolver inventory. Self-loading technology was developing at an astounding rate, and officials wanted to stay on top of these trends. Notable companies including Bergmann, Savage Arms, Webley, and DWM jockeyed over who would receive the government contract to produce the next standard-issue pistol, but it was John Browning’s design that won officials over.

During trials, the Colt M1911 stood out amongst its competitors because of its stopping power (ability to cause immediate trauma to a target) and durability after shooting multiple rounds. In one test, officials fired over 6,000 consecutive rounds from the M1911, and when the gun became hot, it was simply plunged in water. There were no reported malfunctions with the Colt, while the competitors’ guns saw numerous.

Colt M1911 Pistol

Due to its success in trials, the Colt M1911 was adopted by the U.S. Army, Navy, and Marine Corps as a standard-issue pistol. The mechanism that the M1911 operates on, the short recoil system, came to be an indispensable firearm design of the 20th Century. Many big-name manufacturers were licensed to produce the handgun in their own factories.  Variants of the gun saw action in both World Wars, the Korean War, Vietnam War, War in Afghanistan, and Iraq War.

Though the M1911 was replaced by the Beretta M9 pistol in 1986 as the standard-issue pistol, it is still widely used due to its popularity among shooters. Some law enforcement agencies, notably the FBI, and some U.S. Special Operations soldiers, still carry M1911 pistols as their primary handgun. In addition, it is renowned for its reliability in target-shooting competitions and carried by many civilians because of its slim design.

Because of the Colt M1911’s versatility and patriotic appeal, it is highly sought-after by gun enthusiasts. Truly ahead of its time, the gun has changed little since its inception at the dawn of the 20th century. Cash My Guns doesn’t always receive such legendary pieces, but when we do, we like to share it. If you have a Colt M1911 that you no longer want or need, there is certainly a collector out there who would love to own one. When you’re ready to sell, Cash My Guns would be glad to facilitate the transaction and keep legendary guns like the M1911 in the hands of responsible gun owners.






Pistol, Caliber .45, Automatic, M1911 Technical Manual TM 9-1005-211-34 1964 edition. Pentagon Publishing. 1964. p. 64.

Poyer, Joseph; Craig Riesch; Karl Karash (2008). The Model 1911 and Model 1911A1 Military and Commercial Pistols. North Cape Publications. p. 544.

Taylor, Chuck (1981). Complete Book of Combat Handgunning. Boulder, CO: Paladin Press. p. 200.

Vasquez, Maegan (28 July 2012). “Sticking to their guns: Marines place $22.5M order for the Colt .45 M1911”. Fox News.