JMB's 1911


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SquirrelNuts
December 24, 2002, 06:20 PM
I always read about how the 1911 is not exactly what Browning wanted. I know this may cause a little trouble, but does anyone know what he wanted? It is not possible to know what a person is thinking or wants, but did he write any of it down?

-SquirrelNuts

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burrhead
December 24, 2002, 06:56 PM
There are probably other things but, JMB's design did not originally have a thumb safety. It was mandated by the military.

Erik Jensen
December 24, 2002, 07:01 PM
actually, I believe the *grip* safety was mandated by the military?

burrhead
December 24, 2002, 07:08 PM
Nope, thumb safety. After a few horses got capped in the fanny the brass wanted something more than just a grip safety.

Erik Jensen
December 24, 2002, 07:23 PM
weird... ok, now I know.. heh.

C.R.Sam
December 24, 2002, 08:42 PM
According to his biographer John Browning...(eldest son)

What he wanted was another sale.
Assorted iterations of two guns were offered.
What the Army selected; the Army declared the 1911.

Sam

Jim V
December 24, 2002, 09:06 PM
Yep, what he wanted was the sale. He designed the pistol to meet the military's specs for the new pistol. The thumb safety was added at their request. If they had wanted the pistol to play "Jingle Bells", JMB would have figured how to make it do it.
It was part of his genius that the pistol came out so well that it served for 80 years as standard issue and is still being used by various units.

C.R.Sam
December 24, 2002, 09:18 PM
And another part of his genious was that he was a very astute and successful businessman.

Sam

BigG
December 24, 2002, 11:53 PM
Colt actually first tried to sell the army the 38 ACP autoloader that it currently manufactured. When military demanded 45 cal w/ 200 gr bullet (IIRC) Browning tried to adapt the two link design to the larger ctg but the links kept breaking.

Browning came up with the idea of the one link/bushing combo and made a 45. I believe it was called the 1905 Model and marketed by Colt's. There were a lot of steps between that gun and the one that was finally adopted as the M1911 US Army. Lots of the ideas came from the army, as you noted. Quite fascinating story.

Archer
December 25, 2002, 03:25 AM
I do find myself occasionally wondering what the P35 would have been, had Browning lived to complete it.

Browning intended to design a simpler pistol, easier to manufacture, but improved in several ways over the 1911.

If Browning had lived to complete the project, I imagine it might have been a bit larger, sans magazine and grip safeties, single-stack, and chambered in a serious caliber.

Other items in Browning's original designs included a striker rather than a hammer, the substitution of a connecting bar for the trigger stirrup of the 1911, and the substitution of a cam block for the pivoting link.

A key to the design was a more modular approach eliminating all tool requirements for assembly or disassembly (although an original 1911 requires nothing more than a .45 ACP cartridge to initiate complete disassembly)

The P35 realized part of the Browning simplification goals, eliminating a couple of items that are troubling to some on the 1911 (barrel bushing and plunger tube, for example) but was truly a product of F.N. designer Diedudonné J. Saive. It was Saive who was largely responsible for the minor caliber, mag safety, spurred hammer, and double-column magazine.

It seems that FN was smart enough to realize the Browning reputation would sell the pistol better than if it had been called the "Saive Grande Puissance."

One wonders what might have become of the 1911, had the P35 been chambered in .45 ACP.

Wildalaska
December 25, 2002, 03:33 AM
I always have a silent laugh when I see that the 9mm is considered by some not to be a "serious" caliber......

Double Naught Spy
December 25, 2002, 10:30 AM
Apparently what JMB thought was ideal was his original submission of his 1905 version in 1906. I read somewhere that the military mandated some 40+ changes to the gun.

So the result that many of us consider as the work of genius of JMB is not so much a gun that JMB would have designed for himself, but something of a stepchild gun beset with compromises, improvements, and detractions required by the military.

Along the longs of what JMB wanted and nobody knowing, nobody seems to know if he really did mean for the gun to be carried in Condition 1 or Condition 3, or even if he had a specific opinion on the matter. What JMB intended is lost to history on such matters.

BigG
December 25, 2002, 10:57 AM
Archer, it is interesting to speculate exactly what Moses was thinking as he built his Gran Puissance, but he was first and foremost a salesman who tailored his work to the buyer's specifications. The HP was built to try to win a French contract and he could not break his agreements with Colt and FN so he had to use other means to gain the ends. The 45 Auto, imho, is a better overall design than the HP as much as others like it.

The French, in typical Gallic fashion, chose the Petter designed 32 French Longue (same as 30 Pederson, BTW) 35A and 35S, IIRC. Why am I not surprised?

Jim V
December 25, 2002, 11:24 AM
BigG, the Colt 1905 still had the dual links. Several were submitted for testing but they failed. One thing that Browning really had going for him in the US trials, the military wanted his design to win.

Lots of information at: http://www.m1911.org

Brian D.
December 25, 2002, 12:43 PM
Handguns Of The World I think the book is called, by Edward Ezell. Gives me a kick in the pants to realize that both the U.S. and Great Britain had looked kinda seriously at the Luger a few years before. Both nations felt the caliber was too small, but liked it well otherwise. The Brits were also a bit "auto-phobic", as one of their higher ranking military firearms-testing officers had been killed in an accident when he'd apparently inadvertently dropped the piece. Even though it happened to be a revolver that had discharged, their pistol trials folk were leery of just about all advances in design for some years. Especially if there wasn't a rebounding hammer, or manual hammer blocking device installed. Humorously, they stopped doing pistol trials for a while about 1911, right before Colt sent out their newest design for evaluation by the world. Kept using Webleys til after WW2 I believe.

Wildalaska
December 25, 2002, 05:22 PM
Originally posted by BigG
The 45 Auto, imho, is a better overall design than the HP as much as others like it.


Care to share your reasons why, mine are exactly opposite....

RustyHammer
December 25, 2002, 08:58 PM
does anyone know what he wanted?

.... a Ruger?

:D ;) :p :cool: :)

Archer
December 25, 2002, 10:59 PM
Wildalaska says:

I always have a silent laugh when I see that the 9mm is considered by some not to be a "serious" caliber......

This is an old subject and the matter has long been resolved. It is why those with more serious needs than the average rent-a-cop- people such as the FBI HRT, LAPD SWAT, USMC MEU(SOC) and many others choose to use the .45 when they given a choice.

The truth is, NO handgun caliber is adequate in a situation in which you really need to stop a fight. However, the .45 is clearly less inadequate than the parabellum round.

Wildalaska
December 25, 2002, 11:17 PM
This is an old subject and the matter has long been resolved

Sorry, I dont think so....

It is why those with more serious needs than the average rent-a-cop- people such as the FBI HRT, LAPD SWAT, USMC MEU(SOC) and many others choose to use the .45 when they given a choice.

And the 9mm is used by such lightwieghts as Israeli Commandos and police, SAS and GSG9, among others. Im sure the Israeli's take down more armed adversaries in a month that FBI HRT and LAPD Swat take down in a year...

However, the .45 is clearly less inadequate than the parabellum round.

Guess it depends on your choice of loads. Regardless, this was all brought about by a poster referring to the 9mm as not a "serious caliber"

PS...as the proud holder of a CCW since the early 80s in NY, Florida, Penn and Alaska, I usually carry a 45...but I never feel unarmed with my custom 9mm HP...

Jim V
December 25, 2002, 11:21 PM
C.R.Sam, the salesman in the Browning family was JM's brother Matt.

Orion
December 26, 2002, 12:12 PM
*Snifffffffffffff* (ahhhhh)

I just love the smell of controversy in the morning.

Simply put in locker room talk everyone can understand.

(Me holding a .45acp cartridge and you holding a 9mm cartridge)

Mines bigger than yours!

C.R.Sam
December 26, 2002, 12:12 PM
Jim...
Agree.
Mat seemd to have the people skills.
John seemed to have the business flair.

Probably a mix tho.

Sam

makarov
December 26, 2002, 02:22 PM
Guns designed now under a 10 round mag limit see an advantage to larger caliber bullets. Prior to this limit the high capacity 9mm has some advantages too. This debate will never be resolved. Military applications probably see an advantage to 15 rounds of 9mm or more in a magazine. I personally think the CZ-75 is the most evolved combat pistol. Proven accurate design.

seeker_two
December 26, 2002, 04:42 PM
posted byOrion
(Me holding a .45acp cartridge and you holding a 9mm cartridge)

Mines bigger than yours!


(Me holding a .50AE)

Not likely...

BigG
December 26, 2002, 05:02 PM
I still subscribe to the big heavy bullet theory as confirmed by CPT Thompson in the army trials.

Dr. Walt Welch, an emergency room physician with 20 years experience, said to use the biggest caliber you can control and punch holes in major organs until the BG stops resisting. He also said there is no practical terminal performance difference between bullet types from FMJ to all the defensive whatsis at handgun velocities (except price and hype). I agree more with his experience than all the mag articles and gelatin shooters. YMMV

BigG
December 26, 2002, 05:04 PM
BTW, the French liked 30 caliber just fine as their army pistols were used more for the coup de grace on their own soldiers than for fighting the enemy. jmho

Mike Irwin
December 26, 2002, 09:07 PM
The Thompson LaGarde studies have relevance ONLY, and I mean ONLY if you're using hardball ammo.

When you're using expanding ammo, the situation becomes a LOT less clear.

The Thompson LaGarde studies also only indicated what happened when you shoot a steer with a handgun. A steer doesn't have much physiological similarity to a human, so while you can draw some VERY broad associations, you can't really say that a round that stops a steer will have the same effect on a human.

BigG
December 27, 2002, 11:14 AM
I thought Thompson-Lagarde's study used large caliber revo ctgs w/ lead bullets (45 LC, 455, 476 etc.) which would be similar to modern expanding bullets at similar velocities. The early autos that were included used small caliber high velocity FMJ bullets like 30 and 9mm Luger. The Luger bullets were found to be spectacular on brain shots but less than sterling on boiler room performance while the heavy lead slug 45 and up would put the animals down with a couple or three good hits while the Luger rounds would be absorbed by the magazineful before any apparent effects.

Walt Welch, MD, said the expanding handgun bullet is largely a myth.

Wildalaska
December 27, 2002, 03:21 PM
Originally posted by BigG
Walt Welch, MD, said the expanding handgun bullet is largely a myth.

O really? Ever shoot anything alive with a 9mm JHP (like a Black Talon for example)? I have...

Mike Irwin
December 27, 2002, 05:54 PM
Thompson LaGarde did use a number of revolvers with lead bullets.

Given the velocities achieved by those rounds at the time, and the fact that they were either round nose or had small flat points, I SERIOUSLY doubt that there was any expansion at all in those bullets.

Any expansion achieved would likely be minor, at best, leading us right back to the T-LG's conclusions that at the time, bigger was better, because bigger was the ONLY way to get a bigger hole in the target, and a bigger hole meant more damage.

"Walt Welch, MD, said the expanding handgun bullet is largely a myth."

I don't know who Walt Welch is, what kind of MD he is, or how many bullet wounds he sees, but I'm really wondering if he's seen any of the new generation of handgun bullets at work.

I've seen photos of more than enough expanded handgun bullets, dug from humans (both living and corpses) to recognize that these AREN'T your Grandfather's hollowpoints anymore.

BigG
December 28, 2002, 10:53 AM
The point of Dr. Welch's contention was the WOUND was not significantly different from either type bullet. Dr. Welch posted on TFL for quite a few years and was an ER physician with 20 years experience. Reckon he saw a few GSWs in his day.
He made some interesting professional observations on the Miami 1986 fibbie fiasco and an analysis of the autopsies. You should look him up.
:D

PS: Mike, please don't mention the T-L cadaver shoots. Might lead to goat test discussions and like unpleasant stuff. :eek: ;)

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