Per Wikipedia, the Colt automatic pistol caliber-45, was adopted by the U.S. Army, Navy, and National Guard in 1911. It was the standard-issue side arm of the U.S. armed forces from 1911 to 1985, and it is still carried by some U.S. forces.

The drawing above is from the publication: Description Of The Automatic Pistol, Caliber .45, Model Of 1911.

Both Microsoft and Google have made copies of the 1912 manual which was updated in 1914. They are in the public domain with reservations.

Here is a link to the Microsoft version.

On the left side of the page, you can read the manual or download it as a PDF, B/W PDF/ EPUB, Kindle, Daisy, Full Text, or DiVu. I have checked out the PDF's, and text versions.

Here is a link to the Google version that is on the web. Click on the arrow and PDF on the right side to download.


Because of a design of the slide stop pin, AIMED Point Shooting or P&S can not be used with the 1911. I consider that to be a design fault. See the index for a separate article and a video about this problem.

P&S calls for placing the index finger along the side of the gun and pointing it at a target, and pulling the trigger with the middle finger.

And therein lies the rub, as the slide stop design of the 1911 excludes placement of the index finger along the side of the gun for fast, natural, and accurate aiming by pointing at a target. The US Army in its 2003 Combat Pistol Manual, says that a soldier can do that.

The problem is very simple, the slide stop pin projects out from the right side of the gun, and if pressed on when the slide recoils, the gun can jam. The slide stop was added by Browning to his pistol in 1902, and incorporated into the 1911.

Specific cautionary language against using P&S with the Model 1911 is found on page 12 of the manual.

Here is that language:

"3. The trigger should be pulled with the forefinger. If the trigger is pulled with the second finger, the forefinger extending along the side of the receiver is apt to press against the projecting pin of the slide stop and cause a jam when the slide recoils."

Similar cautionary language is repeated in other military manuals of that time and later manuals as well. Those that I have found are dated: 1912, 1915, 1917, 1918, 1920, 1921, 1922, 1925, 1926, 1927, 1929, and 1941. And I am sure that there are many many more that I am unaware of, and which are out of print or relegated to the dust bins of history. Click here for a listing of books that caution against the use of P&S, and to others that mention its use.

I believe that the result of the cautions against the use of P&S in a variety of military manuals published in 1912 and up until 1942, was to effectively squelch the use of P&S, which obviously was known to the US Military because of the specific cautionary language against using it. I also believe that the cautionary language repeated for 30 years also resulted in the dogmatic thinking in the US, that the only way to shoot a pistol is with the index finger on the trigger.

For 70+ years our service men and women did not have the option of using P&S which is an effective method of shooting at close quarters in life or death situations, and just because the "Military" did not choose to make a small fix to the 1911.

That probably resulted in the injury and death to thousands of our Armed Forces members during WW1, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, and up to the present time, as modern science and combat studies have established that you will not use the sights in CQB situations.

1911 users were, and still are left with only ad hoc instinctive shooting to use in their self defense, which according to the literature, results in the recognized CQB hit of less than 20%.

Whether past casualties and those that still are to come, are the fault of the brass or those who favored and who still favor Sight Reliant Shooting over effective Point Shooting for use in CQB, is an open question to many I am sure.

Here is a picture of a Tokarev TT-33 with the end of its slide stop pin held in place with a two pronged clip. The Tokarev has features that are similar to those of the Browning pistol. The Tokarev was used by the Soviets and over 1.5 million were produced. The Tokarev photo is by: Mike Killebrew.

Tokarev spacer Tokarev

That is one fix, and surely there are other more elegant fixes available. Maybe one day, even gun makers will offer a fix for the millions and millions of 1911 owners, to give them the option of using P&s in close quarters life threat situations, where there is the greatest chance of their being shot and/or killed, and where Sight Reliant Shooting can not or will not be used per modern science and the study of thousands of Police combat cases..

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