USMC (part of it, anyway) goes back to the 1911 in .45 ACP

Discussion in 'The Barber Shop' started by Topgumby, Jul 28, 2012.

  1. Here's the Marine Corps Times article.

    Awhile back the USMC changed the T/O weapons assignments so that the only Marines carrying pistols in most units will be Colonels and above, as well as sailors above the rank of E-5. More junior officers and SNCOs who used to get a sidearm get an M4 carbine. The few Marines carrying pistols under the new T/O will continue to use the M9, I gather.

    This Colt built 1911 with a frame rail is going to be used by special operators and Force Recon Marines.

    I always thought that it was a shame when they took away our 1911A1s and gave us the Beretta. I never had a problem qualifying expert with the .45, and I confess to feeling better armed with the bigger round.

    It's been awhile since my time with the USMC. When I started there where still a few tangible links to WWII...steel helmets, .45 caliber pistols and C-rations. Now about the only thing from those days still in use is the .50 caliber machine gun.

    For no logical reason that I can point to, it does my heart good knowing that some Marines will continue to carry the M1911 into battle for some time to come.
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2012
  2. The Nid Hog

    The Nid Hog Moderator Emeritus

    I thought the same thing when I read about this. I took my kids to see the USS Constitution a couple of weeks ago. When I looked across the Navy Yard from the pier, I could see the old Marine Barracks. It made me feel kind of sad to see it there--no more a real part of the current military than Old Ironsides herself. While my kids were rummaging around in the gift shop, I thought about all the things that have chanced since I was on active duty. There was just something about that old M1911. Knowing that my uncles carried them in in the Pacific, and that my big brother had one before Vietnam. That was a cool feeling. I never cared much for the weird woodland cammies or the kevlar helmet--just didn't look salty enough (I cringe now when I see Heartbreak Ridge, which really captures that moment in the 80s). But the loss of the M1911 was really sad. I remember the first time I had to qualify with the Beretta. I thought has it come to this? I'm glad to see that they'll be around somewhere, even if they'll be restricted to the high speed guys. Who knows, maybe they'll catch on again.
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2012
  3. Coming from the Beretta age, I always found it strange that they gave us weapons that lacked the stopping power for the famous "one shot, one kill" motto. Sure you can kill someone with a 9mm, or a .223, but hopefully this is a sign of things to come and we do away with the M16 and M9. If not, at least it goes back into use for those that most need it.
  4. Last edited: Jul 28, 2012
  5. Very nice!
  6. I'm not claiming that the 9mm round is not up to the task...Hell, I'm sure my father thought the MP40, P-38 and Luger were effective enough weapons when he experienced them as a potential target. I'm just saying that in my own mind, the M9 never gave me that feeling of being the right tool for getting out of the last ditch like Old Slabsides did. I know some probably felt, and still feel, better having the higher magazine capacity of the M9. I also had some issues with brand X magazines for the M9 that Uncle Sam got on the cheap, certainly not the fault of the original Beretta design.

    I think the Nid Hog has touched on what made the 1911 such a powerful talisman for me, ballistics and functioning aside. When I put my hand on that grip, I was grabbing a little of Alvin York, my old man, the Chosin Resevior and Hue City, too.

    Granted, the worm turns, and years from now, young Marines will probably talk in reverent tones of the iron men who took Fallujah with their trusty M9 pistols, and hint that the old lead and powder weapons put 'em down faster than these new energy blasters.

    For me, and perhaps for more than a few others my age and older, the 1911 had two links, the swinging one under the barrel, and a living one, to warriors and deeds whose names were like rounds of confidence that went into that pistol as surely as the actual rounds did.

    I recall being in a joint exercise with some Canadians, and we "captured" a couple of their scouts. After the obligatory exchange of rations and smokes, a comment was made and one of our "prisoners" agreed to show us his Hi-Power, and in turn was handed a Colt. John Browning would have been proud of that moment.

    As he handed it back, he said with just a trace of envy, "You Americans pack a bloody big pistol!" It made me feel good to hear that, although I would have gladly traded him my M16A1 for his .30 caliber SLR, but that's another story.
  7. That's funny that you say that. Because John Browning designed both guns, the 1911 was first and then he did the Hi-Power which was in his own words the pistol the 1911 should have been. Admittedly, part of the reason was because the .45ACP was too powerful to be shot by women and children so the 1911 was not suitable as the hand gun for everyone. Another gripe Browning had with the 1911 was the low capacity due to the single-stack, and the 9mm HP was able to pack 13 in the magazine compared to the 7 round mag in the 1911.

    Having shot neither myself, I do prefer the 1911 because of the aesthetics and the fact that it packs more of a punch. Would love to shoot it.
  8. Big bullet hole beats small bullet hole. .45 forever! 9mm is for ladies of delicate constitution.
  9. They went to the 9mm because the NATO 9mm round... That kind of says it all... I loved my .45. Hated the berreta.. I still own a 1911 B... Only a few of those around, and it shoots fine still..
  10. Phog Allen

    Phog Allen Contributor

    I won't speak for TopGumby but I think this is what he was alluding to. Maybe not. Anyway, I love both pistols but after handling a few 1935's I can say the trigger mechanism of the 1911 is much better. Like all things I suppose the more you use something the better it seems. I do lust for a 1935 though. One of the nicest looking pistolas ever. Well that and a toggle top Luger.

    Back to the topic at hand. I have shot a number of 1911 types and a number of the ubiquitous double stack nines and found the feel and function of the 1911 superior. Now mind this would have been from when I was a kid. Adding in the nines in the late 1980's through 2000 or so through various friends. I have not handled any newer models. Suffice it to say the wondernines had a LONG way to go concerning hand grip placement and comfort and ease of use to my mind. It is why I did not purchase any of them. I would have much prefer Hi Power Browning to them. And as for the .45 ACP I never found it too hard to control. And for it supposed weight issue it always seemed to fit better both in hand and holster. Just what you're used to I suppose. Long live the .45. 100 plus years old and sticking arse the world round.

    Cheers, Todd
  11. You took the words right out of my mouth.

    One of the highlights of my military career was getting some range time in with a Browning Automatic Rifle. My dad was a BAR gunner in the ETO during WWII, and getting to shoot that thing was something else.

    John Browning was the King Camp Gillette of the firearms world.
  12. The Nid Hog

    The Nid Hog Moderator Emeritus

    Other than the M1911, the only pistol I've ever loved (and owned) is the BHP.
  13. Same here. I have several 1911's a couple in full target configuration, and one BHP, which came with adjustable sights. I had it worked over at Cylinder and Slide, with a BarSto match barrel, cnc machined hammer and sear extended slide release, larger safety and a wide trigger that eliminates the magazine safety. It shoots better than my Colt Gold Cup or a Kimber Eclipse.
  14. In .45ACP perhaps, but certainly not his first commercially successful pistol.

    1903 and 1908 were also excellent guns.

    Here's my 1903... serial number dates to 1917:

    $right.jpg $grip.jpg $horse.jpg
  15. Hi Topgumby;

    This announcement gladdens my heart as well. Our youngest son is currently deployed to Afghanistan as an 0331 and is issued the M9 as a side arm. He longs for his own 1911 that I'm currently babysitting in the safe. He sees no new Colt in his future though and figures he's stuck with the M9. He admires the old, tried and true. He's carrying an original World War II Kabar M3 and spends a lot of time surveying the local real estate behind this.

  16. Shooting the 50cal BMG is absolutely the most fun I have ever had with my pants on.
  17. Oh, certainly not his first handgun designs, but out of the 2 that topgumby listed, the 1911 was first off the drawing board.
    Sorry TopGumby, I read your post quickly so I missed the point. Whoops. :blink: And yes, Browning virtually designed all major advancements in modern firearm technology. Perfecting the lever action, pump-action, long recoil, short recoil, gas operated... you name it, John Moses Browning did it.
  18. Carried an M1911 as personal sidearm in Viet Nam. I never had the need to use it but it was nice. I think a M1911 would be ideal for home protection....all you would have to do is holler out...I have an M1911 .45 cal can sit down and wait for the police with me, or I can shoot and you will bleed out before they get here....the choice is yours.
  19. As a Stinger Operator in the Navy I did not get a sidearm issued to me. My experience with the Baretta (italian) 9mm and 1911's are from putting thousands of rounds thru both at my local range.
    1, I love the Baretta, it is one sweet shooting 9mm, even the biggest 1911 fan can not argue that point.
    2, My Springfield 1911 is the only weapon on my nightstand.
  20. Agreed on both counts.

    My wife would be shooting a 1911 if she were more comfortable with the 45.
    But the added bonus of the 92FS is she has a few high-caps that were given to her before the California ban, so since she was wanting something in a 9mm, it was a logical choice when she couldn't handle the recoil of the .38 and moved to a semiauto.

    I love my G26... but my RIA 1911 is the last gun that "they" will pry from my cold dead fingers.

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