Utah State Firearm - Browning M1911 Pistol
The John M. Browning designed M1911 automatic pistol became the designated state firearm in 2011. Sponsored by State Rep. Carl Wimmer, a Republican, the 2011 Legislature designated the M1911 automatic pistol as the state firearm (H.B. 219). The M1911 was designed by John M. Browning (1855-1926), a firearms designer, who was born and raised in Ogden. The M1911 was originally produced by Colt.
The designation of the an official state firearm was not without controversy. Utah was the first state to designate an official firearm. Governor Gary R. Herbert signed legislation recognizing the Browning M1911 as the official firearm on March 16, 1911. "The governor has said previously, and still feels, this isn't about a gun," said Herbert's spokeswoman, Ally Isom. "It's about honoring John Moses Browning and paying tribute to the man as an innovator and entrepreneur and someone who has given a lot to the state of Utah" (Salt Lake Tribune, March 17, 2011).
2011 is also the 100th anniversary of when the Browning-designed, Colt-produced .45 M1911 was selected as the official sidearm of the U.S. Military.
Learn more about the M1911
- Description of the automatic pistol, caliber .45, model of 1911; with rules for management, memoranda of trajectory, and description of ammunition (Government Printing Office, Google Books)
- The History of the 1911 Pistol (Browning)
- M-1911 Pistol History (M1911 Pistols Organization)
- U.S. Patent 984,519: Colt 1911 (Google Patents)
- U.S. Patent 984,519: Colt 1911 (United States Patent and Trademark Office)
Learn more about John M. Browning
- Browning Arms Company (Utah History Encyclopedia)
- Browning Firearms Collection (The American Society of Mechanical Engineers)
- John M. Browning Day in Utah (Fort Douglas Military Museum)
- John M. Browning Firearms Museum (Ogden Union Station)
- John M. Browning Publications (Utah Government Publications Online Digital Library)
- John Moses Browning (M1911 Pistols Organization)