The legendary M1911 pistol has been around a long time. In fact, millions were produced since the gun was adopted by the US military in 1911.
The gun remains in service today with the Marines as the M45 MEU(SOC) pistol. Well, guess what else got produced in prodigious quantities? If you said the ammo, you're right.
The M1911s have proven reliable over the years. In fact, many of the original MEU(SOC) pistols were rebuilt on frames dating from 1945! But how does the ammo stack up to the pistol in terms of longevity?
A U.S. Marine with the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit's maritime raid force fires an M1911 .45-caliber pistol at a range in Jordan June 9, 2013, during Eager Lion 2013. Eager Lion is a U.S. Central Command-directed exercise designed to strengthen military-to-military relationships between the U.S. and Jordan.
Between the M1911, the Tommy gun, and the M3 grease gun in World War II, lots of ammo was needed. But even in World War I — when you not only had the M1911, but the M1917 revolver — they needed millions upon millions of rounds of ammo. And that didn't even include the civilian market in the United States.
The standard round fired for the M1911 is a 230-grain full-metal jacket round — also known as "ball" ammo. It usually has a muzzle velocity in the range of 830 feet per second, according to MilitaryFactory.com.
This box of .45 ACP ammo was manufactured by Remington in 1918, when the M1911 was seven years old. (Youtube screenshot)
The thing is, while the gun can last a long time, so can the ammo. In 2016, explosive ordnance disposal technicians had to handle cannonballs from the Civil War that were unearthed by Hurricane Matthew.
The previous year, Army EOD had to detonate a Civil War artillery round in Washington State. Souvenirs from battlefields have also caused EOD to respond, as did some folks who thought they were being helpful.
An opened box of .45 ACP ammo made by Remington in 1918. (Youtube screenshot)
But what about this pistol ammo's ability to function? The video below from 2014 involves a test from two boxes of .45 ACP ammo manufactured by Remington in 1918. So, how well did the 96-year-old ammo do? Watch and find out.