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John Browning's 1911 evolution from 1910

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by bds, Aug 12, 2012.

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  1. bds
    • Contributing Member

    bds Member

    Jan 10, 2010
    Northwest Coast

    While watching a relatively "objective" video response to another video linked from a thread that got closed, verified and learned some interesting new things about 1911's evolution from 1910 "experimental" design by John Moses Browning:

    - According to "owners manual of most newer production 1911's", 1911's require 200 to 500 rounds to break-in when new due to tighter tolerances.

    - 1911 was an evolution from Colt model 1910 which did not have a thumb safety, not a grip safety (the poster in the "other" video incorrectly stated the original 1911 did not have a grip safety). The safety design was approved at Springfield Armory in July of 1910.

    Picture of 1910 model without thumb safety but with grip safety

    Picture of 1910 model with "experimental" thumb safety and grip safety

    - On the testing and qualification day, 1910 model did not experience any malfunction during the 6000 round continuous firing "torture test". John Browning attended the first day of testing/qualifications only to make any modifications that may be needed and since the 1910 model did not experience any malfunction, he did not attend the rest of testing/qualification days.

    - After the testing and qualification, the Army's Ordnance Department requested a thumb safety be added as they were concerned the grip safety would be engaged while holstering and unholstering. After the thumb safety was tested, model 1910 became the model M1911 in March of 1911.

    - US Army obtained several contracts from different vendors using non-standardized specifications and dimensions varied from vendor to vendor. These mass produced pistols would not readily interchange parts from one pistol model to another pistol model and would require hand fitting to function reliably (I can attest to this as even in 1980s, new M1911 models my Army unit received for our officers would require quite a bit of disassembly/reassembly and lubrication/range testing before they reliably fed/chambered and cycled). However, with the advent of CNC machining, current production line Mil Spec 1911s hold tighter tolerances and often can be reliable after the initial break-in.

    - Regarding the "grip angle" comment from the "other" video thread, the original John Browning's model M1911 DID NOT come with arched mainspring housing - it came with flat mainspring housing. The picture below of 1919 model M1911 pistol from the NRA museum clearly shows a flat mainspring housing. If you recall, the original 1910 did not come with an arched mainspring housing either. It wasn't until 1924 when model M1911A1 came out with arched mainspring housing. So changing the arched mainspring housing is not "modifying" the grip but returning the 1911 back to the original design John Browning started out with. ;):D



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    Last edited: Aug 12, 2012
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