The 1911 model semi-automatic pistol has been one of the most enduring and popular handgun designs for more than a century. Omaha Outdoors offers a wide range of these guns for sale online, from basic 1911 models to compact pistols for concealed carry and finely tuned versions suitable for competitive shooting. Our large selection of these firearms for sale includes models made by Colt, Springfield Armory, Sig Sauer, Smith & Wesson, Remington and many other manufacturers. Although the 1911 is best known for its .45ACP caliber, we also have models chambered for 9mm, .40 S&W, .380 ACP and even .22 LR rimfire. The 1911 pistol, in all its variety, continues to be one of the most popular handgun platforms in the United States.
Designed by the legendary John Browning in the late 1890s, the 1911 pistol was introduced as the standard sidearm in the United States Armed Forces from 1911 until 1986. The pistol was carried by American servicemen during the Moro insurrection in the Philippines, in World War I, by marines during expeditions in Latin America during the 1930, throughout World War II, Korea and Vietnam. It was also provided to allies during both world wars, including Great Britain (chambered in .455 Webley Automatic) and Russia (both Imperial and Soviet armies used them). The design was also licensed to gun manufacturers in other countries (most famously in Spain, where it was sold as the “Star”).
It is not just a military sidearm, however: Civilians quickly came to appreciate the simple, robust design that offers a reliable and accurate firearm. Both veterans – who came to know and appreciate the 1911 during their service – and those who were never in uniform — came to depend on this pistol for defense as well as casual target shooting. In the early 1950s, the International Practical Shooting Confederation (IPSC) was established in California as a group that offered competitive shooting matches for various types of firearms – particularly the 1911. Today, IPSC matches around the world showcase some of the greatest shooters displaying the full potential of the 1911 platform.
Semi-automatic (self-loading) pistols were developed in the late 19th century to overcome the limitations of revolvers. The design was meant to increase the capacity of a handgun and the speed of reloading. Browning’s design is a single-action, magazine-fed semi-automatic. The first round is loaded into the firing chamber by pulling and releasing the slide, an action that also cocks the hammer. (Many shooters then eject the magazine and replace the now-loaded cartridge with another, thereby increasing the capacity of the pistol by one round.) When the trigger is pulled, the cartridge is fired and the short-recoil action ejects the spent shell of the round just fired and loads the next one from the magazine.
The 1911 design is unique in that it uses both a manual safety and a grip safety. The pistol cannot be fired unless the manual safety is off and the frame is gripped so that the grip safety (the upper backstrap of the grip) is fully depressed. This dual safety system allows the handgun to be carried with a round in the chamber, hammer at full cock and the manual safety on; in this condition, the pistol can be brought into action quickly. (Note that carrying a 1911 in this state of readiness is not accepted by all shooters.) With practice, the dual safety system of the 1911 becomes second nature.
The popularity and loyalty which the 1911 attracts among many handgunners ensures that this pistol platform will continue to be enjoyed for many years to come. Whether you are looking for a particular model or just want to browse through our selection, we are sure that you will find exactly the right 1911 for your needs.