"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."
I don't have the figures, but I kind of doubt that the 1911's outsold revolvers, at least not to the civilian market. Could easily be wrong. I have been once or twice in 75 years.
But honestly my impression, reading all these posts (some of them quite impassioned), is that what you consider "America's gun" finally depends a hell of a lot on what movies and TV shows you grew up watching.
"Don't let macho be your epitaph."