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Swiss Arms Colt 1911

The original pistol and history

Due to the amazingly vast history of this popular pistol, I can only include a brief excerpt here.

Designed by John Browning, the M1911 or 1911 is the best-known of his designs to use the short recoil principle in its basic design. The U.S. military procured around 2.7 million M1911 and M1911A1 pistols during its service life.  It was the standard-issue sidearm for the United States Armed Forces from 1911 to 1985.

The 1911 pistol

The M1911 pistol originated in the late 1890s as the result of a search for a suitable self-loading (or semi-automatic) pistol to replace the variety of revolvers then in service. Following its success in trials, the Colt pistol was formally adopted by the Army on March 29, 1911, when it was designated Model of 1911, later changed to Model 1911, in 1917, and then M1911, in the mid-1920s.

There are no fasteners of any type in the 1911 design, excepting the grip screws. The main components of the gun are held in place by the force of the main spring. The pistol can be “field stripped” by partially retracting the slide, removing the slide stop, and subsequently removing the barrel bushing. Full disassembly (and subsequent reassembly) of the pistol to its component parts can be accomplished using several manually removed components as tools to complete the disassembly.

TV & Film

Being so popular, the 1911 has appeared in hundreds of films and tv shows, my favourites being Deathwish (1974), Escape From L.A., James Bond “Moonraker”, The Professionals (TV) and Under Siege 2.


  • Calibre: .45 ACP
  • Capacity: 8 rounds
  • Weight: 1.2kg
  • Length: 216mm

The CO2 Replica

Just like the original, the CO2 replica is made by different companies and also in various styles and markings. My one is the Swiss Arms version by Cybergun. I chose this one as it seemed extremely close to the original.

The Swiss Arms CO2 1911 left side
The Swiss Arms 1911 right side

Apart from a few manufacturer markings, the replica is almost identical in appearance and function. It is a full blowback action, the slide will also lock back when the magazine is empty as seen below, the slide release lever works and is also used to field-strip the pistol, just as the real one does. The safety is the same as the original and is built in to the rear of the grip – wrapping your hand around the grip also releases the safety.

The slide locks back when magazine is empty

The magazine is a full “drop-out” style – these hold the BB’s and the 12g CO2 cartridge. Drop-out magazines are preferred wherever available as they mimic the original magazine action and weight for the most realism.

Magazine CO2 installation

Loading the BB’s is easy, retract the spring plunger, feed in the BB’s and you’re ready to shoot. CO2 loading is very simple – drop the magazine out, slot in a 12g CO2 and tighten the screw at the base with the key provided. Accuracy is very good at the usual 6-12m distances involved in can-smashing. The blowback action gives a good kick when firing which mimics the original action well.

I think every replica collector should have at least one 1911 in their collection it as it is such a popular and recognisable pistol.


  • Calibre: 4.5mm BB
  • Capacity: 18 BB’s
  • Weight: 1kg
  • Length: 220mm
  • CO2 usage: 60-70 shots