It has been said that imitation is the highest form of flattery. If
so, there are many countries that have paid homage to an American
icon - the Colt Government Model 1911, chambered in .45 ACP.
Prior to the United States'
involvement in the Great War (1914 to 1918), the Browning-Colt team
unveiled its short recoil Colt 1911, officially designated the
Automatic Pistol, Caliber
And as someone else once said, "If you build it, they will
And gun manufacturers, gun owners and militaries throughout the
world have done so...
...as well as law enforcement agencies and those they hunt - the
Many have gotten in on the action since John M. Browning built the
It's that good of a gun. So why not the French?
Swiss gun designer Charles Petter
teamed up with France's Societe
(SACM) in Cholet, France in 1935. And before Hitler's armies were
able to occupy France in 1940, the Model 1935A was produced there to
the tune of some 10,000 units.
After the fall of France, twice as many 1935As were made and
deployed by the Germans.
Modeled after the American-made, Colt M1911, the Model 1935A uses
the same locked breech. This single-action, self-loading pistol
weighs about 1 and 3/4 pounds, unloaded, and is chambered in the
7.62x22mm Longue (long) round. Its single-stacked magazine holds 8
The Model 1935 is recoil-operated with a muzzle velocity of about
Of note, it was fielded by the
French army, the French Foreign Legion and
Its overall length is about 7 1/2 inches with a barrel length
somewhat longer than 4 inches. The gun's sights are fixed - with
a front blade sight and a rounded, notched rear sight.
Compare these stats with those of the Colt M1911, at about 2 and
1/2- pounds empty; a magazine capacity of 7 rounds; an overall length
of 8 1/4-inches; and a barrel length of 5 inches and a larger, more
powerful 230-grain, .45-caliber bullet. All things considered, I'll
keep my Colt 1911.
Overall, Mle. 1935 was a worthy pistol for its day, if not as
potent and decorated as the M1911.