History of the 1911: The 1909, its predecessor, from Forgotten Weapons

TFB Staffer
by TFB Staffer
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In the world of firearms it’s always exciting to see the latest and greatest advances, whether it’s in ammunition – like Hornady’s recent announcement – or guns. While it’s fantastic to live in such technologically advanced times and you’re unlikely to find someone longing for the germ-ridden days of yore, there are still pieces of the past worth cherishing. When it comes to firearms, one of those pieces is the 1911.

The original was, of course, created by John Browning in 1911. The United States Army wasted no time in adopting the M1911, and neither did the NRA. In fact, M1911s were being manufactured for NRA members by the summer of 1912, and the next year the Navy and Marine Corps followed in the Army’s footsteps by using the popular pistol as well.

Today the 1911 remains quite popular with an extensive group of dedicated fans, and sometimes it seems gun aficionados either love it or hate it. Many new pistols are made with 1911 frames of all sizes; it seems unlikely this particular model will ever go out of style. After all, it’s going strong after more than 100 years.

Forgotten Weapons decided to take a closer look at one of the pieces of the 1911’s historical puzzle, the 1909. Apparently a 1909 is about to be auctioned off at an upcoming Rock Island event and he was able to take a closer look beforehand. If you’re a fan of the 1911, you should find this fascinating.

TFB Staffer
TFB Staffer

TFB Staff, bringing you the latest gun news from around the world for a decade.

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  • Gunsandrockets Gunsandrockets on Nov 13, 2015

    I find most interesting that the original 1905 had no safety device, either grip or manual. Its 'safety' was the same as a SAA revolver, control of the exposed hammer.

    • Zebra Dun Zebra Dun on Nov 13, 2015

      @gunsandrockets The pistol was designed in the era of the single action and double action handguns which had no safety except for the half cock notch.
      People used guns a lot then and understood it is the brain and common sense which made a gun safe or not.
      Darwin weeded out the unsafe gun handlers fast or the local judge and jury did it for him.

  • Rock Island Auction Rock Island Auction on Nov 13, 2015

    What's the story on that SN 18 in the lead photo? It still looks pretty darn good as well.

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