Colt Model 1911 Automatic Pistol
Colt Model 1911 and Colt Model 1911A1
Gift of Mrs. Jim Riddles / Catalog# 1997.011.009-010
Photo courtesy of Robert Langham III
When the Colt Model 1911 automatic pistol was introduced, it was promptly adopted by the armed forces and used throughout both World Wars. Called the “most powerful, accurate and rapid firing pistol that has yet been produced”, it has been in production ever since. Minor improvements were made to the trigger, hammer, and grip, resulting in a new variation, designated the Model 1911A1 in 1926. These Model 1911 .45 caliber pistols were carried by Ranger Captain Jim Riddles. The Model 1911 (with bone grips) was manufactured during WWI, while the Model 1911A1 was manufactured during WWII. Few Model 1911A1 pistols were manufactured before WWII until the U. S. entered the war and demand sharply increased.
Jim Riddles began his career as a high school mathematics teacher in 1936 and coached basketball and baseball at Windom High School in Windom, Texas. In 1941, Riddles joined the Texas Department of Public Safety as a highway patrolman but resigned within a year to enlist in the U. S. Army. After WWII, Riddles rejoined the Department of Public Safety in 1946. Col. Homer Garrison recognized his ability and appointed him to the Texas Rangers where he became widely known for his skills as an interrogator and investigator. He quickly earned promotion to Sergeant and in 1967 was promoted to Captain of Company E.
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