This M1911A1 was manufactured by the Ithaca Gun Company in late 1943 according to historical records. The M1911A1 is a recoil operated, self-loading, semi-automatic pistol that has been chambered for the .45 ACP cartridge. The pistol has been designed to operate as a single action firearm that utilizes an external hammer. The steel frame has a grey parkerized finish. The sight system includes a square blade front sight that is milled as part of the slide, and a square notch rear sight that is housed in a dovetail slot and drift adjustable for windage only. This pistol is fed by a single column 7 round detachable box magazine. The pistol utilizes a push button magazine release that is located on the frame at the bottom rear corner of the trigger guard. An empty magazine will easily eject from the pistol under its own weight. The pistol also features a thumb safety located at the rear of the frame behind the left grip panel. This sidearm weighs in at just about 2 1/2 pounds and has an overall length of 8.25 inches and a barrel length of 5.03 inches. This weapon does employ a slide hold open mechanism to inform the operator that the last round has been fired. The checkered grip panels are made of plastic and were manufactured by the Keyes Fiber Co.
John M. Browning came up with this pistol design which was formally adopted by the U. S. Army on March 29, 1911 and has been the standard issue side arm for the United States armed forces until 1985. Although the M1911A1 style of pistol is still being carried by some U.S. forces to this day.
When Ithaca started manufacturing the M1911A1 in December of 1942 the only other firm to be doing so at the time was Colt. Ithaca produced a total of about 336,000 pistols during WWII. When production started in 1942, the Ithaca company did not have the equipment to manufacturer many of the smaller parts for this pistol. As a result, they ended up receiving parts from other suppliers that included 6,200 WWI Colt receivers that Springfield Arms still had in storage along with numerous small components.
During the manufacturing process, a gentleman by the name of Harry Howland whom was employed by the Ithaca company designed a stamped trigger assembly which was later approved by the Ordnance Department. This stamped trigger assembly became known as the Yawman Trigger due to the fact that it was fabricated by the Yawman Metal Products Co. of Rochester N.Y. During any conflict and especially during a world war every one involved tries to produce weapons as fast as possible and as cheap as possible. This Yawman Trigger was said to reduce the cost of the 1911A1 by 5 percent. Maybe Ithaca had these measures in mind as the pistols that they produced had the roughest finish of any of the 1911A1's produced during the war even though the company manufactured fine shotguns before WWII.