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Handguns Used By U.S. Military in WW2; Colt M1911A1 Semi Automatic Pistol & M1917 Revolver

During World War 2, handguns or pistols were generally associated with NCO’s or non-commissioned officers. However, many soldiers, such as machine gunners, paratroopers, military police along with a wide range of military regiments, would also carry a handgun or pistol for some more fire power. While handguns weren’t issued to every soldier, most would get and carry their own pistol. Therefore, not every soldier would all have the same sidearm. However, the two most commonly issued pistols during WW2 were the Colt M1911A1 and the M1917 Revolver. Shooting Range Industries would like to share more about these two pistols and how they were used during one of the most remembered wars of history.

Colt M1911A1

The colt M1911A1 was a 45. caliber pistol that uses a 45. ACP cartridge and was a semi-automatic pistols. The M1911A1 was designed during World War 1. The design held true and was used again during WW2. The designer of the Colt M1911A1 pistol was a man named John M. Browning, back in 1911. These pistols were used by Calvary soldiers originally and become a standard issue sidearm in the U.S. Military from the year 1911 to 1985. To this day many officers will still carry a 1911 model pistol. Because the Colt M1911A1 pistol was a sturdy pistol that was easily and quickly loaded and had the fire power to penetrate body armor, there were about 1.9 million pistols manufactured during WW2. There were some contracts made before the war where the Colt M1911A1 was manufactured in Norway production. These were still in motion when the Germans took over and occupied Norway. Therefore, there are about 900 Colt M1911A1 that have the Nazi Waffenamt codes stamped on them. To this day, these pistols are highly sought after by collectors. Due to the demand and desire of the model M1911A1, many other firearm manufactures began creating their own model of the M1911A1. Today you can find many firearm manufactures such as Colt, Smith & Wesson, and Springfield Armory with their own version of the M1911A1. Many of our current Law Enforcement and military still carry 1911’s as a side arm.

M1917 Revolver

Formally known as the United States Revolver, the M1917 was another 45. caliber pistol used during WW2. Nevertheless, the M1917 revolver wasn’t the most desired sidearm for a few reasons. The M1917 did have a good push, but many soldiers had a hard time reloading as quickly as they did the M1911A1. However, these pistols were issued due to shortage problems. Because it was hard to equip every solider with a colt M1911A1, they were given a second choice. However the frame of the revolver did impact the soldier’s when it came to carrying it. Later during the war, manufacturers were given the task to make the revolver lighter. The M1917 revolver was issued to the non-deployed troops during the later part of the war. Even though this firearm wasn’t the most popular, it did become an iconic WW2 item. The M1917 revolver can be seen in many films of the era and is the primary sidearm of Indiana Jones in the movie Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Custom Shooting Ranges Designed & Made in the United States of America

These two weapons gave our troop a little extra fire power during time of war. To this day many law enforcement and military will use sidearms as a secondary or even a primary weapon. Shooting Range Industries hopes you enjoyed this small slice of history.

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