Semi-Auto Handguns

Although John Browning didn't invent the semi-automatic pistol, it was his design and locked-breach action (which he did invent) that made the guns ever so popular.

Colt Government Model .45 in shoulder holster 1971 Colt Government Model .45 in Blue & Grey Ostrich and Alligator Shoulder Holster

John Browning developed a semi-automatic pistol in .32 caliber in 1896 and went on to chamber the guns in .25, .380 and .45 ACP cartridges. Note: ACP is the acronym for Automatic Colt Pistol. In 1911 the U.S. Army adopted the Browning designed and Colt manufactured .45 ACP as their official handgun, hence the name 1911.

1971 Colt Government Model 1911

The 1911 remained in service in that capacity for the next 75 years (1911-1985). Many say it was a mistake to replace it, to this day, this former soldier included.

A semi-automatic pistol functions by using the energy from the recoil of a single round of ammunition to extract and eject the fired cartridge from the pistol's chamber and load the next round from a magazine into the chamber for the next shot.

So just to be clear, the term automatic describes the reloading function, not the firing function. You do have to pull the trigger each time in order to fire a semi-automatic pistol.

The word "semi" gets dropped a lot

And while the automatic-reloading has caused these guns to be referred to as automatics or autos, you still have to pull the trigger each time to fire the gun.

1903 to 1976
Colt Research

The Serial Number Tables linked at the bottom of the page can identify more than 4 million Colt semi-autos from 1903 to 1976.

  Colt Database Search

Colt Semi-Autos

Gun Collectors Club


Colt Officer's ACP 45

Colt Officer's ACP .45

Slightly smaller than a Government Model, with the barrel length reduced from 5" to 3.5".

1903 Colt .32 Pocket Hammerless

1903 Colt .32 Pocket Hammerless

The Pocket Hammerless was produced from 1903 to 1945.

1992 Colt Mustang .380

1992 Colt Mustang .380

It's like a baby 1911. This gun has a nickel finish and real factory Mother of Pearl grips.

1908 Colt Vest Pocket .25

1908 Colt Vest Pocket .25

The genuine Mother of Pearl grips added $5.75 to the $16.50 base price of the gun for a total new purchase price of $22.25 in 1916.

1971 Government Model 1911

1973 Government Model 1911

For more than 100 years the Colt Government Model 1911 has been

Colt All American Model 2000

Colt All American Model 2000

20,000 of these guns were produced from 1992 to 1994. Double Action with 15+1 rounds of 9mm ammo.

1908 Colt .380 Pocket Hammerless

1908 Colt .380 Pocket Hammerless

Pair of .380's, 24kt gold plated, fully engraved with mother of pearl.

1968 Baby Browning .25

1968 Baby Browning .25

The 1968 Gun Control Act stopped the importation of these guns.

1911 Military Model

1911 Military Model

Back in 1980 I purchased one of the Remington Rand guns listed here. On the second day I owned it...

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