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Old 02-28-2013, 01:29 PM   #24

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Originally Posted by Rohirrim View Post
When I was in the Army, every officer I knew carried a .45 and called it a "45 Auto."

Hmmm. That's what Colt calls them too.
That's not Colt's website. This is:

Colt pistols have long represented the gold standard in magazine-fed semi-automatic handguns.

Modern semi-automatic pistols all trace their roots to the famed Colt M1911 pistol, designed by John Browning and the standard-issue U.S. military sidearm from 1911 to 1985.
I think they called them auto in the early days as a differentiation from revolvers, since at that point there was no such (practical) thing as a fully automatic handgun. In the modern vernacular, calling a semi-automatic weapon an "automatic" weapon is an odd duck, since folding two very different meanings under one word only serves to confuse. You can do so as part of a textbook or historical discussion if you like. But when the topic of the day is gun control, using automatic in place of semi-automatic only serves to confuse issues. Intentionally or not.
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