Welcome to today’s Photo of the Day! Here we have a unique 1911 platform. This is the Rock Island Arsenal M15. The M15 pistol replaced the old Colt Model M for Generals in the late 1960s. Colt wasn’t making the Model M anymore, so Dale Hoffman at Rock Island Arsenal whipped up his own shortened 1911 with a 4.25-inch barrel and submitted it to the Army. They tested Hoffman’s 1911 against some other pistols in 1971, and his DIY 1911 won out. So in 1972, it was officially adopted as the M15. The Arsenal converted over 1000 old 1911A1s into M15s and issued them to Generals until 1982 when they finally ran out. After that, Generals went back to regular 1911A1s and later Berettas.
“This is an exceptional example of a U.S. Army issue M15 General Officer pistol. The M15 pistols were manufactured solely by Rock Island Arsenal starting in the early 1970s through approximately 1985 when the US Army adopted the Beretta M9 Beretta pistol. These pistols were fabricated by using a standard M1911A1 pistol, milling off old markings and then applying the new markings and shortening the slide and barrel assembly to 4 1/2 inches, installed a high profile front and rear sight, serrated main spring housing with the National Match style checkered front grip strap. The left side of the slide was marked with “General Officer Model/RIA”, and “Serial No. GO 247” is on the right side of the frame above the grips. The grips are checkered walnut and the right side has inlaid into it a cast Ordnance emblem that consists of the “crossed-cannons/leather belt” insignia with “ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL” on the belt and the Shell/Flame and Ordnance Bomb. While the left grip panel is inlaid with a small silver name plate, this one is still blank.”
Lot 591: U.S. Rock Island Arsenal M15 General Officers Pistol – Exceptional U.S. Rock Island Arsenal M15 General Officers Semi-Automatic Pistol. (n.d.-ae). Rock Island Auction Company. photograph. Retrieved August 9, 2023, from https://www.rockislandauction.com/detail/77/591/us-rock-island-arsenal-m15-general-officers-pistol.