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The purist definition of a 1911 might be an a pistol that exactly copies John Moses Browning's famous design produced in the year, you guessed it, 1911. But even that was tweaked by the military a few years later with the A1 model. Since that time, thousands of gunmakers have produced 1911-style pistols with various tweaks to the original design. At what point do "design enhancements" cause a gun to be something other than a 1911? Are there design features that, if tampered with, cause a 1911 to morph into something else? Perhaps the best way to define a 1911 is by a collection of characteristics:

Short recoil operation with tilting barrel and swinging link
Grip safety
Trigger geometry
Single-action trigger
Slide lock safety
.45 ACP caliber


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