1911 Colt and Beyond: Legendary Handguns of John Browning

Colt 1911 Government .45 National Match Barrel 45 acp 1911 Colt CLASSIC - GunBroker.com
Colt 1911 Government .45 National Match Barrel 45 acp 1911 Colt CLASSIC – GunBroker.com

1911 Colt and Beyond: The Game-Changing Handguns of John Browning

John Moses Browning is the most successful and innovative gunmaker in American history. Chances are you have shot one of his designs as his contributions to firearms are reflected in thousands of gun models still in use today. He created and improved guns for Winchester, Remington, Colt, Savage, and FN Herstal, to name a few. Among his designs is the 1911 Colt, arguably the most-copied handgun in history. After the Colt 1911, he went on to create the 50 BMG and 25, 32, 380, and 45 ACP cartridges. The following are just a few of John Browning ‘s handguns that changed the gun world forever.

FN M1900 in 32 ACP

Many might consider an AR-15 chambered in everything from 22 LR to 50 Beowulf a classic example of American firearms. However, Browning’s influence on modern American weapons is just as iconic. That influence began with the FN M1900 in 32 ACP. For one, the FN M1900 is a handgun designed so solidly that many perfectly working models can still be found. This was the first production pistol in history to operate with a slide cocking mechanism.

FN Browning Model 1900 (FN M1900) 32 ACP 7.65mm Brevete Pistol - GunBroker.com
FN Browning Model 1900 (FN M1900) 32 ACP 7.65mm Brevete Pistol – GunBroker.com

1911 Colt in 45 ACP

In addition to being the most copied, the 1911 Colt is among the most recognizable handguns in history. Browning’s design for the 1911 Colt pistol platform was so forward-thinking and ingenious that it remains in service today, over a century later. In fact, the 1911 Colt features a versatility similar to the AR 15, as an AR 15 receiver can host both 22 LR and 50 Beowulf. The 1911 Colt platform has been used for 22 LR, 38 Special, 10mm, 357 Magnum, and many more calibers. If you are in the market for a historic, reliable handgun, you want a Colt 1911.


Related Articles: 6 Vintage and Historical Handguns That Have Gained Cult Followings

Colt Model 1903/1908 Pocket Hammerless in 32/380 ACP

The Colt Pocket Hammerless is a precursor to the 1911 Colt. Along with being lighter and smaller, it featured a rounder, almost art deco outline. Additionally, the hammer was covered by the gun’s slide, making it easier to draw from a pocket or holster. The 1903 Colt Pocket Hammerless in 32 ACP created a new generation of pocket pistols. It was an extremely popular handgun, as was the 1908 variant chambered in 380 ACP. In fact, the Colt Pocket Hammerless was an apparent favorite of everyone from Al Capone and John Dillinger to Gen. George Patton.

Colt Model 1903 Hammerless 32ACP – WW1 (1917) Dated Serial!

Related Articles: 5 Things To Know About Buying Antique Firearms on GunBroker.com

Browning Hi-Power in 9mm Parabellum

The vaunted AR 15, whether chambered in 22 LR, 223 Remington, or 50 Beowulf, was born as a military concept. The same goes for a variety of John Browning’s gun designs. One of his later designs, finished after his death by legendary Belgian gunmaker Dieudonné Saive, was the Browning Hi Power. Like the 1911 Colt, you can still find the Browning Hi Power in service nearly a century later. It would go on to kick off the era of high-capacity “super nines” that continues to this day. After a brief production hiatus, the Browning Hi-Power is officially back in production with new features such as an ambidextrous slide lock and an enlarged ejection port.

Browning Hi-Power in 9mm Parabellum - Find it on GunBroker.com
Browning Hi-Power in 9mm Parabellum – Find it on GunBroker.com

Related Articles: Handguns Used in World War II by Allied and Axis Powers

Related Content: Collectible Firearms: Heirloom & Vintage Guns

Related Articles: 3 High-Quality but Underrated Handguns From World War 2

Related Articles: 7 Historical Firearms Worth Owning