Military Pistols & Revolvers

Pistols and revolvers have always been an important component of military firearms. These lightweight and portable weapons have been carried on the belt of officers, military police, and others with specialized missions. While the average G.I. was issued a rifle, the powerful automatic pistol was often decisive in close combat.

M1911 pistol, in U.S. service from 1911 until the 1990s.  Photo taken at Fort Knox, KY in June 1942
M1911 pistol, in U.S. service from 1911 until the 1990s. Photo taken at Fort Knox, KY in June 1942.

Today in WW II: 2 Jun 1940 Adolf Hitler makes a tour of the North of France, meeting with German military leaders and visiting places where he served in WW I.  More 
2 Jun 1941 Hitler and Mussolini conferred for five hours at the Brenner pass on axis military and political moves.
2 Jun 1942 German air and land bombardment of Sevastopol resumes at the Siege of Sevastopol.
2 Jun 1943 99th Pursuit Squadron (Tuskegee Airmen) flies first combat mission, over Italy.
2 Jun 1945 Soviet delegates to proposed United Nations insist that permanent members of the Security Council, including USSR, have veto power in international disputes.
Visit the Olive-Drab.com World War II Timeline for day-by-day events 1939-1945! See also WW2 Books.

Military Pistols & Revolvers

While rifles, submachine guns, and automatic weapons have been the dominant firearms for ground forces, military pistols and revolvers have also had their important role to play. For officers, guards, crews of armored vehicles, and others the sidearm automatic pistol or revolver has provided portable firepower, easy to carry while quite effective when deployed.

For much of the 20th Century, the signature pistol of the U.S. military was the M1911 or M1911A1 Colt .45 automatic. Revolvers or other side arms were used but in much smaller numbers. In the 1990s, the venerable M1911A1 was at last replaced by the M9 Beretta, a change that many found unsatisfactory.

This section of Olive-Drab.com has individual pages for most of the important pistols and revolvers used by the U.S. military since World War I. A few pistols from other countries are included as well.

Training with the M-1911 service pistol, Air Service Command, Daniel Field, GA, July 1943
Training with the M-1911 service pistol, Air Service Command, Daniel Field, GA, July 1943.

Recommended Books about Military Pistols

Find More Information on the Internet

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