White-Merrill 1911
Country of origin

United States


Joseph Chester White
Samuel Merrill

Year(s) designed


Weapon type



.45 ACP


Delayed blowback

Magazine/Cylinder capacity

7-round detachable box magazine

The White-Merrill 1911 is an early American pistol.


After the failure of their Model 1907 in the 1907 US Pistol & Revolver Trials, Joseph Chester White and Samuel Merrill decided to work on this design. By 1911, they had completed this new design and Merrill himself personally wrote to the US Ordnance Department asking whether they would like to test their new design in late February of that year. While the Department was willing, the pistol was never actually submitted. This was mainly due to fine-tuning issues with the pistol and the formal adoption of the M1911 pistol; the Ordnance Department actually did write back to Merrill to ask if both White and Merrill would be sending their pistol to them. While ultimately all development of the White-Merrill pistols went to naught, White would later go on to create some rifles as competitors to the M1 Garand in the 1920s.

Design Details

The White-Merrill 1911 is a complete mechanical departure from the original 1907 model; instead of using a "tilting slide" action, the 1911 uses a delayed blowback action to cycle its rounds. The weapon relies on a heavy mechanical action when the hammer is cocked to delay the opening of the slide.