By Lars Dalseide | March 26 2011 11:56

The April issue of American Rifleman went online the other day. Included in this copy is an excerpt from an April 1911 edition of Rifleman's predecessor, Arms and the Man on the Colt .45.

“The Greatest Pistol In The World”

American Rifleman reviews the Colt .45 1911 on NRAblog Up to March 29, 1911, the official military hand arm of the United States was the Colt’s .38 caliber revolver. But on that day, as a result of the movement of powerful forces too strong to be resisted and which have been acting for very long, that good old revolver became obsolete and in its stead there was marked for the holsters of this Nation’s defenders the .45 Colt’s automatic; the latest, the most deadly, the finest
and the best hand arm which had yet to be produced
by man.

From the very beginning of those definite steps that the War Department people have taken to investigate the usefulness of the automatic pistol as a hand arm, the readers of Arms and the Man have been fully advised. It is known to you that the present Chief of Ordnance, Brig. Gen. William Crozier, his chief assistant, Col. John T. Thompson and other officers of the Army have long had an abiding faith in the ultimate demonstration of the superiority of the automatic pistol over the revolver for military use. Perhaps Col. Thompson was one of the earliest as well as the staunchest of these believers in ultimate automatic supremacy.

For a decision to be rendered it only remained that there should be developed an automatic pistol which should show a marked superiority over the present Service revolver and to any other known pistol. A pistol which should be reliable, full of endurance, and which should meet the essential requirements of a military hand arm.

A board sat upon this matter, trials were made, tests were undertaken, automatic pistols were bought and issued, but for the purpose of this narrative, it shall be chiefly useful to recapitulate in the briefest possible terms those events which have transpired in the last four years since the board of officers headed by then Colonel, now General, Philip Reade, brought in a finding that the automatic pistol—if possessed of the qualities which we have lately enumerated— would be superior to any revolver, to which finding was added the statement that the Colt’s and Savage pistols were found to show most promise of being ultimately satisfactory.

Read the complete story on American Rifleman's digital edition.


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