Colt is one of the original makers of many of the guns that are used worldwide and this company is also the first to introduce the Colt 1911 pattern pistols for distribution to the general public. The Colt 1911 has been manufactured for both the military and commercial markets and this gun was first manufactured in 1912. This makes the Colt 1911 handgun one of rich history and one that has been made reliable through countless trials and uses throughout the world. The commercial version of this semi automatic handgun is similar to the military version and can only be distinguished from the military version by the markings that it has on it as well as by the finish of the gun. Around the end of World War II these guns were being faded out in terms of military production but the commercial production of the gun was still going strong during this time. When the handgun was made available strictly for commercial production some subtle changes were made including the inclusion of a bigger thumb safety shelf and the deletion of the lanyard loop. Many collectors affectionately refer to this gun as pre series 70 because it was made before the 70 series guns were introduced in 1970.
After 1980 the colt company began designing what we now refer to as the colt series 80 pistols which incorporated the biggest change to a colt 1911 in history. The series 80 pistols incorporated a new firing pin safety system and with this new system internal levers as well as a plunger kept the firing pin from moving until the trigger on the gun was pressed. This help to rid the semi automatic handgun of the threat of discharge if it was dropped or if it hit a hard surface accidentally. These improvements to the gun made it one of the most popular weapons in history and also one of the safest to date. With the incorporation of this firing system into the Colt series the manufacturing of colt 1911 pistols took a new turn and this system was then incorporated in all colt 1911 pattern guns.