"In a way, S&W did as well, but in a different way. Rossi, Taurus and the low quality Spanish copies, copied S&W, notably the M&P."
And no one has ever made a lesser copy of the 1911?
Hint... They have.
As for S&W, the company alone has made better than 4 million Hand Ejectors.
"Ok but what might be a really good reason for that? Maybe a high pct of production going into two separate world wars?"
Colt was producing commercial versions of the 1911, and offering them for sale in the United States, almost from the day that it was adopted into military service.
The predecessors to the 1911, such as the 1900, weren't particularly good sellers in the commercial market, either.
As for price, what has that really got to do with it?
If it were truly such a wondrous piece of equipment and truly deserving of the title of America's Gun, it would stand to reason that people would see through the higher price to its greater benefits and it would be an instant hit upon its introduction.
That didn't really happen.
The difference was that the American public didn't start purchasing them in any substantial quantities until well after World War II, and the "legend" of the 1911 didn't start manifesting itself until the 1950s, when everyone and their brother started writing about how wonderful it was (apparently largely in comparison to all of the inexpensive surplus handguns that were coming int the United States at that time).
Even with all of those millions of American servicemen coming back from war, having experienced the 1911 first hand, it still didn't start outselling the simple revolver until the 1980s.... and then the Wonder 9s blasted right past both the revolver and the 1911.
"The S&W was largely issued to police and agencies because the 1911 was considered over kill IMO AND the M&P was cheaper."
Police sales were a part of it.
But it doesn't take away from the fact that for every revolver Smith & Wesson (or Colt) sold to government service (Federal, State, or Local) they sold 10 to 15 to civilians with no governmental connection at all.
"The M&P was also reliable, in a proven caliber so it worked. It is and was a great design, but was not near as ground breaking as was the 1911."
Hate to disagree with you, but the 1911 wasn't particularly ground breaking at all. It was a solid design, derived by Browning through an iterative process that spanned the better part of two decades and ended up with a lot of the features of the 1911 (swinging link, the barrel bushing are the two biggies) being dropped in Browning's later designs.
It also wasn't even particularly groundbreaking in that it didn't even lead the way for military semi-automatics around the world. The United States at that point was like the 12th or 13th nation to adopt a semi-auto.
" the saa 45 and the 45 cal 1911 in all their forms. they are the most natural feeling of all handguns."
Hate to disagree with you, Dale, but if I wanted to pick a "natural" feeling handgun, the SAA and the 1911 would be among the last handguns I'd pick...
At the top of the list for natural handguns would be the ultimate Browning design, the High Power.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not one of those people who claim that the 1911 design is crap. If it were, I wouldn't have a 1911 in my safe.
I don't don't get all misty eyed and start saluting and standing at attention and swearing eternal loyalty to John Browning when someone mentions those four numbers... 1 9 1 1...
But hell, even the freaking Russians took the Browning design and made a LOT of improvements...
"The gift which I am sending you is called a dog, and is in fact the most precious and valuable possession of mankind" -Theodorus Gaza
Baby Jesus cries when the fat redneck doesn't have military-grade firepower.