From The Naval Institute Blog comes this reminder of an anniversary we should all celebrate.
10 November 1910 was the day on which convened the Ordnance Officers’ Board to begin testing of two designs for a new pistol. The entries were the Savage Arms .45 caliber Model H, and the Colt .45 Special Army Model of 1910, a design of the legendary firearms genius John M. Browning. The tests were grueling 6,000 round affairs, fired in strings of 100 rounds. In the end, the Colt weapon proved more easily field stripped, more accurate, and more reliable, with 12 malfunctions requiring replacement of 4 components, while the Savage had 43 malfunctions requiring replacement of 13 components.
The tests would be repeated in March of 1911, with each firm able to make repairs and improvements to the respective designs.
In the subsequent tests, the Colt weapon functioned flawlessly, with no malfunctions in 6,000 rounds fired, and no parts requiring replacement. The Savage entry suffered 37 malfunctions, and needed eleven components replaced.
The Colt entry was accepted after the decisive second trial, adopted officially on 28 March 1911, as the Colt Caliber .45 Automatic Pistol, Model of 1911. The designation “Model of 1911? was changed to “M1911? in 1940.