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The iconic Colt Model 1911 handgun, more commonly known as either the Colt .45 or simply the 1911, has been in service with militaries around the world for more than 100 years, yet it remains as American as apple pie.

And while it is likely the most recognizable handgun in the world and something almost every shooter has fired numerous times – almost nobody really understands whats going on during a firing cycle.

Thanks to all former Delta Force operator Larry Vickers and this cut-out 1911, we can actually see how each part functions throughout the firing cycle to create this finely tuned piece of engineering: