Technically, the M1911 is a recoil operated, locked breech semi-auto pistol. It has a single action trigger with frame mounted safety that locks the hammer and the slide. The hammer can be locked either in cocked or in lowered position, allowing the gun to be carried in "cocked and locked" state, with safety on, hammer cocked and round chambered. Additional automated safety is incorporated into the rear of the grip and locks the action, when the gun is not properly held. The Colt M 1911 was manufactured by many companies in many countries, partly in the original form, partly modified, partly under license and partly without a license. It was exported to many countries after WW II, and it was in service with the US forces for 70 years.
Silhouette (Visual Identification)
Global distribution map
This map is a reflection of data on global distribution and production provided primarily by the BwVC. It is not exhaustive. If you would like to add to or amend the data, please click here.
Global distribution list
The data on global distribution and production is provided primarily by the BwVC, but also from national and regional focal points on SALW control; data published by think tanks, international organizations and experts; and/or data provided by individual researchers on SALW. It is not exhaustive. If you would like to add to or amend the data, please click here.
|Country of origin|
|Production without a licence|
|G||Government: Sources indicate that this type of weapon is held by Governmental agencies.|
|N||Non-Government: Sources indicate that this type of weapon is held by non-Governmental armed groups.|
|U||Unspecified: Sources indicate that this type of weapon is found in the country, but do not specify whether it is held by Governmental agencies or non-Governmental armed groups.|
It is entirely possible to have a combination of tags beside each country. For example, if country X is tagged with a G and a U, it means that at least one source of data identifies Governmental agencies as holders of weapon type Y, and at least one other source confirms the presence of the weapon in country X without specifying who holds it.
Visual Identification (Silhouette)