General Officer’s Pistol


First off I need to thank Vince Abangan for the lead on this beautiful and seldom seen USAF OSI General Officers Pistol. This particular pistol was owned by Lt. General John Pickett. It is by far the most complete and documented Military pistol I own. It came with 3 General Officers belts, one of which has his name engraved on the inside, one that is new in the box and another with very little wear, a new condition General Officers holster, magazine pouch, 2 spare magazines, the Ithaca M1911A1 OSI pistol and over 100 pages of documentation. This documentation contains information on Lt. General Pickett’s service history, the issuing of this pistol to him from the military and his purchase of this pistol upon retirement. A brief description of the history of this pistol is as follows:

“The last military modification of the M1911A1 came in the early 1980s. The United States Air Force wanted to issue its Office of Special Investigations (OSI) personnel something a little potent, but nearly as compact as a .38-caliber snub-nosed revolver.

Starting with the basic M1911A1 acquired from the U.S. Navy as surplus, unserviceable weapons, the slide and barrel were shortened by .75″(1.905 cm). The frame was also shortened nearly .5″(1.27 cm), requiring a special six round magazine to be created, with a finger rest to create a better gripping surface for personnel with large hands.

The front edge of the triggerguard was squared and the frontstrap stippled for better gripping. A ramp-type front sight was installed on the shortened slide and an ambidextrous safety was built and added to the pistols.

Costing U.S. taxpayers less than $100 to rebuild, only a small number of these OSI pistols were built.”

— Karwan, Charles, Air Force Custom Combat .45 Auto, Gun Digest Book of Autoloading Pistols, DBI Books Incorporated, 1983.


  1. I dormed with OSI guys in Korea (being wing staff myself)- Although OSI is not beholden to any commander on that installation. As such, I got to speak with some of them from time to time about this or that in casual conversation. They’re really good at finding out if something happened, or did not happen, or if someone lied about it happening to them. I laugh as I write this. I have genuine respect for the work they do. In my opinion, your tax dollars are not wasted on their selection, training, and their application in the US military.

  2. Inspiration for the Colt Officer’s? I like it, I would prefer a Colt Commander as the base gun but very cool anyway, especially the documentation and accessories.

  3. The AF still maintains the gunsmith shop down at Lackland but the last military gunsmith was decades ago. It’s a mix of civvies and a few military the last time I had business with them. They do the General Officer pistols for the AF. Got to see them working on one (I think it was Gen Jumper but don’t quote me…)
    The CATM folks now, of which I was one, aren’t much more than gun plumbers replacing broken parts.


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