During fighting in the Phillipines almost 100 years ago, the Army decided that a handgun with more stopping power was needed. The insurgent group the Moros made fanatical charges while on drugs, and the 38 caliber handgun in use at the time just wasn't stopping the drug induced charge. The Army tested several guns to replace the 38 revolver. The test consisted of first firing 6000 rounds, with 100 rounds being fired rapid fire, then 5 minutes of cooling allowed. At every 1000 rounds, the pistols would be cleaned. After firing the 6000 rounds, a group of misshaped and defective rounds was fired, and then the guns were soaked in acid and rolled in sand and mud, and test fired again. The Colt model 1911 pistol, made be John Browning, came through with flying colors, and was selected as the Army's sidearm in 1911. The Colt model 1911 served in WWI, WWII, and continues to be made today, with only small modifications to the original design. A good site for Colt Model 1911 history is 1911 History.