Marines looking for procure M1911A1 frames

Daniel E. Watters, who is always vigilant, alerted me to the fact that the Marines are looking to procure M1911A1 frames. The frames are for the MEU(SOC) pistols that are used by Force Recon.

Picture 15-19

Up till now they have been using surplus 1911 frames. I guess the supply of quality surplus frames in their inventory has finally run out, nearly twenty years after 1911 pistol was replaced by the M9.

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • Carl

    What is the requirements for this pistol other than the ability to endure lots of training (and the usual military attributes like reliability etc)? Do they need the .45 caliber for suppressor use, for instance?

    With the number of companies manufacturing 1911’s you’d think they should be able to have someone build them complete brand new firearms.

    Nice of Wikipedia to point out that this is an air-cooled pistol, by the way…

  • Matt Groom

    Guess they finally wore out their Union Signal and Switch 1911s.

    4 years in the USMC, and I never saw anyone using a 1911 in any official capacity. Several of my friends still serve, and I have never heard tale of any of them seeing one either.

    Why is it okay for them to buy 1911 frame that require an extensive amount of hand fitting, but they can’t simply buy M-16A4 upper receivers instead of entire rifles when the lower is exactly the same and interchangeable to boot?

    This is the kind of thinking that kept me from getting promoted.

    • jim sandervaul

      I agree as a whole the corps went to the barretta 9mm back in the mid 80’s. I was one on the eval team. (I flunked it!) the Elite units kept the 1911. The plan now is to goto the .300 blackout all they need to procure is the barrel everything else on the 5.56 is the same. ergo cost effective. I would ass u me that special forces will most likely get them 1st. Semper Fi.

  • Valhalla

    Well, I think the excuse as far as A4s go, is then you can’t hand down the old rifles to the guard or put them into some armory some where in case it turns out all the A4 uppers do is explode in the operators hands.

    Because then you’d have a bunch of A2 uppers, and no lowers.

  • EzGoingKev

    Why aren’t they using the HK .45 that is part of the SOCOM gear?

  • Matt Groom

    They could SELL the non-machine gun parts, I.E. the UPPER, to the civilian tax payers who paid for them originally, thereby removing obsolete equipment from service altogether, generating additional revenue, and providing cheap and usable A2 upper receivers for interested parties. The government used to do this kind of thing all the time, before they realized the biggest impediment to their total control of the country was that portion of the populace who would be so inclined as to buy surplus military goods.

    At the quantities that they purchase uppers, they could probably buy one or perhaps two uppers for every old one they sell. They can keep parts they can’t sell, like the bolt carriers, and recycle them until they are too worn out, then toss em. They could have done this even during the AWB if they had just cut off the bayo lug and the threads on the barrel, or permanently attached a muzzle break.

  • jdun1911

    EzGoingKev, the only time that the HK Mk.23 pistols are use is in video games.

    In real life they stick to Sig, 1911, and Beretta.

    Here is the size comparison between Desert Eagle and Mk.23.

  • CMathews

    Yeap… The use the Mk. 23 in movies too, lets not forget about that. I don’t know why they thought a delayed roller system would work well in a pistol. I have shot one at the range and it is just too massive. For the weight you might as well carry a lower magazine capacity Desert Eagle and have the .50 AE. Put the fear of god, or really anything, into your enemy lol. (that is if you can wield that brick)

  • Matt Groom

    According to the H&K Mark 23 manual, the action type is a “Modified Browning type, linkless”. The P9 and P9S used the roller locking mechanism, and they were much smaller, but still larger in the hand than one imagines.

  • EzGoingKev

    I have never seen the HK in person so I never realized it was that big.

  • kerrmudgeon

    Has anyone asked “why not acquire GLOCK 21 or Sig P220?” Have no other ‘modern’ .45ACP designs met reliability standards for a service pistol?

    • Doctor Jan

      Has anyone asked “why not acquire GLOCK 21 or Sig P220?”
      Yes, they have.

      Have no other
      ‘modern’ .45ACP designs met reliability standards for a service pistol?
      No, they have not.

  • Valhalla

    Umm, kerrmudgeon, what other pistol has survived in combat since what, WWII? Unless you include revolvers which I am not sure on, then only the 1911.

    That thing is solid in your hand, it almost begged to beat in a persons skull when I held on at a gun show. The Glock, Sigs, XD-40s, pfft… looked and felt nice, but didn’t come across quite so threatening, so it’s probably some old general who likes the 1911 and isn’t into plastic pistols who keeps the other .45s out.