Here are the sidearms the US military has carried into battle since first taking on the British

A U.S. Marine fires an M1911 during a training exercise January 2016.US Marine Corps/Cpl. Joshua W Brown
Since 2017, US military branches have been releasing new M17 and M18 handguns.
The new weapons are just the latest in a history of sidearms that stretches back to the earliest continental soldiers.
This story was originally published in November 2020.
U.S. Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines have quickly received the military's latest pistols in large numbers.
The US Army placed the order for the new Modular Handgun System with Sig Sauer in January 2017. By 2018, additional service branches had placed their own orders for the M17 and M18 variants.
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By November 2019, Sig Sauer had delivered well over 100,000 of the new handguns. Shipments reached 200,000 in November 2020 - the first month the pistols were shipped simultaneously to all military branches.
The M17 and compact M18 variant are the latest in a long line of sidearms that US troops have carried into battle since 1776.
The stone locks
A painting of the Continental Army Infantry by Henry Alexander Ogden.Library of Congress
The American military's early sidearms were often privately owned. Officers who could afford more expensive weapons usually had dueling pistols, while enlisted men made do with whatever they could get from local gunsmiths. This resulted in a range of guns of different calibers and qualities.
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The Continental Congress tried to get a standard sidearm for the Continental Army. The pistol chosen was a direct copy of the British Model 1760 flintlock pistol. Congress purchased 2,000 of the pistols, named Model 1775, which were manufactured by the Rappahannock Forge in Virginia.
The smoothbore .62 caliber single-shot flintlock, which contained an iron or ash ramrod under the barrel, is believed to be the first handgun issued by the United States Army.
The pistol was well received during the revolution. After the war, a new version known as the Model 1805 was manufactured at Harper's Ferry. This flintlock saw action in the War of 1812 and remained the US Army's standard pistol for over 50 years.
Two models of the Model 1805 are featured on the US Army Military Police Corps insignia and a similar pistol is featured on the US Navy SEAL emblem.
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Colt revolver
Colt Walker Percussion Revolver, serial no. 1017.Metropolitan Museum of Art
In 1836, inventor Samuel Colt revolutionized warfare when his first revolver design was patented.
The new weapon allowed a soldier to fire six bullets in as many seconds without pausing to reload. Primers were also used, allowing soldiers to fire reliably in wet weather.
Colt revolvers were important weapons in the US arsenal for much of the 19th century, with at least four designs - the Colt 1847, the Colt M1848 Dragoon, the Colt Army Model 1860, and the Colt Single Action Army - in service.
The Colt 1847, known as the "Walker" for the Texas Ranger who helped develop it, was based on earlier Colt designs in service with the Republic of Texas and became the first mass-produced revolver in US service.
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Another .44 caliber revolver adopted by US Army cavalry and mounted infantry units, the Walker and the Dragoon saw service in the Mexican-American War and on both sides of the US Civil War
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Lt. Gen. George S. Patton with his ivory Colt Single Action Army "Peacemaker" pins a Silver Star to Pvt. Ernest A. Jenkins in October 1944.National Archives
The most popular Colt design of the 19th century was the Colt Army Model 1860, a .44 caliber revolver introduced just before the Civil War. It was used in large numbers by the Union and Confederacy - 130,000 were built for the Union alone, and by the time production ceased in 1873 over 200,000 had been made.
The invention of metallic cartridges revolutionized firearms again, eliminating the need for primers, a separate powder container, and ramrods. Colt's most famous model with this innovation was the Colt Single Action Army.
Firing a .45 caliber centerfire cartridge, the new revolver was a huge success, becoming a standard sidearm for the United States for more than 20 years. It was in service in every US war and military campaign up until 1905, and was used on the US western border by bandits and government personnel alike, earning it nicknames such as "the Peacemaker".
Some soldiers, such as General George S. Patton, carried their personal Colt SAAs as late as World War II.
The last revolver in US service was the M1917, a six-shot pistol manufactured by Colt and Smith & Wesson and introduced for intermediate use. After World War I, M1917s were mainly used by support units, although they were again used on the front lines with the Tunnel Rats of the Vietnam War.
M1911
A US Marine reloads an M1911 .45 caliber pistol during marksmanship training August 2013.US Marine Corps
In 1911, the US military introduced one of the most iconic firearms in history - the M1911.
Designed by firearms legend John Browning, the .45 ACP pistol was a single-action, blow-back, semi-automatic pistol capable of firing seven rounds from a magazine held in the pistol's grip.
The M1911 was one of the most popular guns in American history. It was the standard sidearm, with few modifications, for all branches of the US military for more than 70 years and has been used in nearly every American conflict during that time, including both World Wars, Korea, Vietnam and the US invasion of Grenada in 1983.
The M1911 was officially replaced in 1985, but a number of special forces carried it into the 21st century. It was so popular that the Marine Corps brought it back to restricted service in 2012 in the form of the M45A1 CQBP.
M9
An M9 in action.US Army
In 1986, the military chose the Italian Beretta 92 as the new sidearm for all branches.
The light and modern pistol used the smaller 9x19mm cartridge, which allowed it to carry 15 rounds in the magazine, twice as many as the M1911, but at the cost of less penetration.
In service as the M9, the pistol was used by US troops for 30 years and saw service in Yugoslavia, the Gulf Wars, Afghanistan and other operations during the War on Terror.
The Pentagon bought more than 600,000 M9s, but they had reliability issues and had gotten a bad rap by the 2010s. In 2015, the US Army and Air Force began searching for a replacement.
M17/M18
US Soldiers with new M17 at Fort Hood Texas in January 2018.US Army/Staff Sgt. Taresha Hügel
In January 2017, Sig Sauer's P320 was announced as the winner of the XM17 Modular Handgun System competition. The pistol has two variants: the full-length M17 and the compact M18.
The Army received its first M17s in June 2017. The Air Force began procurement in June 2019, and the Marine Corps officially began deploying the M18 in September.
The pistols can be configured for different missions and feature a rail to mount accessories such as lasers and optical sights. Its standard capacity of 17 9mm rounds can be increased to 21 with an extended magazine.
The Pentagon plans to purchase 420,000 M17s and M18s for $580 million over 10 years.
Read the original article on Business Insider
Sam Colt
19th-century American industrialist and inventor (1814–1814)

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