American Rifleman - October 2016 - 64

GUNS ON THE BORDER
M1903 was a superb rifle, the Warner & Swasey telescope
proved to be less than satisfactory and was dropped from
the Army's inventory in the 1920s.

Colt Model 1911 .45 Pistol
The '03 Springfield was not the only firearm used during
the Punitive Expedition that would become an icon of the
U.S. military. Designed by the legendary John M. Browning,
the semi-automatic Model 1911 pistol was chambered for the
potent .45 ACP (Automatic Colt Pistol) cartridge and utilized
a seven-round detachable magazine. The .45 ACP cartridge
was adopted, in large measure, because of the failure of
the .38 Colt revolver as a reliable man-stopper during the
Philippine Insurrection, which occurred in the aftermath of
the Spanish-American War. The double-action .38-cal. Colt
revolvers were adopted in the early 1890s and intended to
be a replacement for the obsolescent .45 Colt Single Action
Army revolvers. The .38s demonstrated a lack of stopping
power during close-quarter combat in the Philippines,
though, and the Model 1911 pistol and .45 ACP were eventually adopted to rectify this problem. It soon proved to be one
of the best military combat handguns of all time. Prior to
World War I, the Model 1911 pistol was manufactured by Colt.
In addition, a relatively small number were also made by
Springfield Armory in 1914 and 1915.
The M1911 saw extensive use during the 1916 Mexican
Punitive Expedition by both U.S. Army infantry and cavalry
troops. The pistol performed its duties in an exemplary
manner, as it did on countless battlefields over the subsequent 80 or more years.
The M1911 remained the standard U.S. Army
handgun during World War I and saw widespread
combat use in France. It proved its value in
the small-scale, but often brutal, actions such
as the "Banana Wars" in the 1920s and 1930s.
The slightly improved M1911A1 pistol was

manufactured and used in large numbers during World
War II, along with many refurbished M1911s. As was
the case with the '03 rifle, the M1911 was one of the
most popular arms used during the 1916 Expedition and
served our troops well.

Model 1909 Benet-Mercie Machine Rifle
While the '03 Springfield and the M1911 were superb
and routinely performed in an excellent manner, the same
cannot be said for the standard U.S. Army light machine
gun of the era, referred to in official documents as an
"Automatic Rifle." Developed by two employees of the
French firm Hotchkiss, the gun was adopted in 1909 as the
"Model of 1909 Benet-Mercie Machine Rifle." The standard
U.S. infantry machine guns of the early 20th century were
belt-fed designs mounted on heavy and bulky tripods;
the Model 1895 and Model 1904. Both guns generally
functioned satisfactorily, but they were quite heavy and
cumbersome. The air-cooled Model 1895 weighed more than
90 lbs., and the water-cooled Model 1904 exceeded 150 lbs.
There was an obvious need for an automatic arm that could
be more easily transported by infantry and cavalry.
The Model 1909 Benet-Mercie Machine Rifle, which
weighed only about 30 lbs., was deemed to be the gun the
Army was looking for. Chambered for the same .30-'06 Sprg.
cartridge as the M1903 rifle, the Benet-Mercie utilized a
30-round metal feed strip and fired at the rate of approximately 400 rounds per minute. The U.S. M1909 BenetMercie was manufactured by Springfield Armory and Colt
with a combined production of 670 guns. Interestingly, the
Model 1909 Machine Rifle was fitted with the previouslymentioned Model 1908 Warner & Swasey Musket
Sight to aid in long-range firing.
The Benet-Mercie's baptism of combat
occurred during the Punitive Expedition-
during which its inherent flaws became

The first sergeant of the U.S. Scouts (l.) was said to be able to
track anyone over any terrain. He and his comrade are armed
with Model of 1911 U.S. Army pistols, shown here with a U.S.
Model 1912 holster.

64

OCTOBER 2016

AMERICAN RIFLEMAN

Photo courtesy of Rock Island Auction Co.



American Rifleman - October 2016

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Rifleman - October 2016

Contents
American Rifleman - October 2016 - Cover1
American Rifleman - October 2016 - Cover2
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 1
American Rifleman - October 2016 - Contents
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 3
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 4
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 5
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 6
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 7
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 8
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 9
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 10
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 11
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 12
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 13
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 14
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 15
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 16
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 17
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 18
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 19
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 20
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 21
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 22
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 23
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 24
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 25
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 26
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 27
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 28
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 29
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 30
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 31
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 32
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 33
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 34
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 35
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 36
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 37
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 38
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 39
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 40
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 41
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 42
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 43
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 44
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 45
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 46
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 47
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 48
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 49
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 50
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 51
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 52
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 53
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 54
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 55
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 56
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 57
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 58
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 59
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 60
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 61
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 62
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 63
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 64
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 65
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 66
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 67
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 68
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 69
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 70
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 71
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 72
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 73
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 74
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 75
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 76
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 77
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 78
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 79
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 80
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 81
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 82
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 83
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 84
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 85
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 86
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 87
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 88
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 89
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 90
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 91
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 92
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 93
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 94
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 95
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 96
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 97
American Rifleman - October 2016 - C1
American Rifleman - October 2016 - C2
American Rifleman - October 2016 - E1
American Rifleman - October 2016 - E2
American Rifleman - October 2016 - MW1
American Rifleman - October 2016 - MW2
American Rifleman - October 2016 - S1
American Rifleman - October 2016 - S2
American Rifleman - October 2016 - SW1
American Rifleman - October 2016 - SW2
American Rifleman - October 2016 - W1
American Rifleman - October 2016 - W2
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 100
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 101
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 102
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 103
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 104
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 105
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 106
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 107
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 108
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 109
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 110
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 111
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 112
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