British M1911 Pistols

WEAPONS OF WAR

However, many thousands were also wielded by British forces, as Spencer Lane explores

One of Colt’s finest and most famous firearms, the M1911, is still being produced after 110 years and has long been carried by the American soldier.

It is a classic image from the Great War: the British officer ‘going over the top’, sidearm in hand. The standard-issue British handgun of the time was a revolver, which is usually what is depicted, but there was a good chance he’d actually be carrying a Colt M1911. 

Famous as the quintessential American military sidearm, the M1911 was carried by US troops in both world wars and in many smaller ones. However, its service with British forces has passed with little note. Although not as prominent as the Webley revolver, the M1911 was a popular sidearm among British officers, spies, commandos and airborne troops. 

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