Colt Rail Gun M45 MEUSOC 1911 Contender

The photo below is of Colt’s entry in the Marine Corps competition to find the next M45 MEU(SOC) pistol used by Force Recon. It is based on the Colt Rail Gun 1911 (O1980RG) with a custom desert-colored finish and Novak night sights. A very nice looking gun.

Photo © Lionel

[ Many thanks to Lionel for emailing me the image. ]

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.


  • Nater

    Why a 1911? There are superior pistols to be had at less cost.

    As far as the caliber goes, I’d say the Smith and Wesson M&P or the HK 45 would be about the best choices, in that order. The Glock 21 is also favorable, but I don’t think the US military would ever adopt a pistol without a manual safety.

    I understand the appeal of a DA/SA pistol for military applications, where you might get a batch of sub machine gun rounds with very hard primers. Still, you have to wonder how much, if any, “sub gun” .45 ACP the US still has lying around. I’d guess not much, I’d guess none is actually finding it’s way to the field.

    I still think the ergonomic benefits of a striker fired pistol are substantial enough to go with one over a traditional DA/SA hammer fired pistol.

    • Bob Z Moose

      I totally agree. 1911 is a wonderful design and makes a lot of sense for civilian handgun shooters, but there are a ton of new designs that could take it’s place in the .45 Auto category. Although, the Marines might want a 1911 so they don’t have to retrain armorers on a new system. Either way, the new Colt looks really good. Expecting it to be available to the public by next week.

    • 18D

      The 1911 is SAO. It doesn’t fire from the double action mode and Is meant to be carried cocked and locked.

      I agree that there are other guns that are probably more reliable and less maintenance intensive. The 1911 however has superior ergonomics, adaptability, shootability, and an amazing trigger. There is no other gun on the market in this genre that allows the user to custom tailor the gun to his specific shooting style. The 1911 is a mainstay of Force Recon, and I see no reason why they shouldn’t go with the system that has worked for them for many years.

      • Nater

        I’m fully aware of that. I was talking about why a DA/SA pistol like the HK 45 would be preferred over a striker fired pistol like the M&P 45.

      • Lance

        Sorry NATER

        But the large size and the price of the HK makes it last pistol for wide spread adoption the 1911 worked in all conditions from African deserts to SE Asian Jungles just fine. If HK goto a smaller size and a single stack mag it could then be a contender if it losses its bulky size.

      • Nater

        Maybe you should look up dimensions sometime?

        The HK45C is 7.2″ long, 5.6″ tall, and 1.42″ wide counting the safety/decocking lever. It weighs 1.38lbs unloaded

        A full-sized M1911 is 8.7″ long, 5.6″ tall, and 1.3″ wide. It weighs 2.4lbs unloaded.

        The HK is .12″ thicker, the same height, 1.1″ shorter, and an entire pound lighter. All while being an order of magnitude more reliable, far less armorer intensive, and much easier to suppress.

      • Lance

        The 1911 is longer barrel wise but its slimier in the grip and is more balanced than a plastic framed HK John Browning made the gun to be soild yes can be heavy in some ways but balanced and slim for all shooter to be able to use.

      • Nater

        Do you just avoid reading anything posted that goes against your personal beliefs? The 45C is at most .12″ or 3mm wider than a 1911. That’s going from control lever to control lever, the thickest portion of the pistol. The measurement on the 1911 may or may not count the thumb safety, we’ll just assume it does. That might, MIGHT, make a difference for carrying inside the waist band. It will not make any significant difference for a combat side arm. They’re both very slim pistols. The 45C is in no way bulky as you claim.

        The balance issue may be important if you’re shooting one handed bullseye competitions, but I’ve certainly never noticed polymer frames causing any balance related issues when shooting from an isosceles stance. That’s a non-issue as well.

    • Marc


      • abprosper

        I agree..

        Honestly the USG should just get Glocks or a US made Glock-a-Like and be done with it.

        Its more durable , less maintenance trouble, lighter, a more reliable platform and hold more ammo as well. The ergonomics and shootablity and accuracy are a push

        And yeah sure the 1911 has a better trigger and is more mod rich, its IMO not worth the trouble.

        If we feel really spendy go to the .40 , it is about as effective as a midrange .357, has a handy subsonic load and is ubiquitous in the US.

    • subase

      Real reason is obviously cost. A 1911 is alot cheaper to run than a HKUSP/HK45. This is especially the case when you consider SOCOM already has experienced armourers and trainers for the 1911 platform. Probably a better shooter once optimized too.

      The reason they don’t use a Glock 21 or some other good value polymer pistol is due to it being less accurate than a accurized 1911. Taking out sentries with a suppressed pistol is always a possibility and for that you need as much accuracy as you can squeeze out of a pistol.

      Further looking into cost though, I would wager that due to the gun needing to be ‘rebuilt’ after a certain amount of rounds, the cost in armorer labor + employment would be higher than a pistol like a Glock which can be serviced by the user and only needs a couple of springs changed.

      Further looking into accuracy, a pistol that allows a slide mounted optic, like a RMR, would be more accurate than one that only allows traditional sights. But I can understand the cost of this being a problem.

      Also magazine capacity isn’t as important for this pistol, since you’ll always be with a team. Also no doubt cost to maintain a 2011 platform is alot higher.

      So all up it makes sense why they would pick a 1911, certainly a valid choice over a HKUSP/HK45 or a Glock-like pistol.

      • Nater

        I highly doubt a pistol as finicky and armorer intensive as the 1911 would be cheaper to run than a very reliable, modern pistol like the HK or a Glock no matter the level of armorer familiarity.

        Furthermore, the advantage in accuracy you’d get with a 1911 would make it even more unreliable under adverse conditions. In order to get acceptable durability, you’d not going to be able to build them to exceptionally close tolerances. The accuracy advantage would be minimal at best in either case and shouldn’t offset the disadvantages of the 1911 as a whole.

      • 18D

        The 1911 isn’t going to be cheaper by a longshot!
        Nater, you’re wrong about that. The myth that the 1911 has to be tight to be accurate isn’t true. The 1911 has 4 lookup points that the barrel uses in order to be consistent. That’s what makes a 1911 accurate, not tight tolerances that would make the gun hard to use.

      • Nater

        That’s a fairly interesting idea, but why don’t you hear the same thing with the Hi-Power? It has a very similar amount of lock-up to the 1911, albeit without the toggle link, and I don’t hear people extolling it’s amazing accuracy (though it is pretty accurate).

      • subase

        Sure in the long run it’s more expensive, but in the short term it’s cheaper. The difference in the meanwhile might be quite alot of the budget left to purchase pistol shooting ammo.

      • 18D

        Do you know how much this gun costs? It’s going to be more expensive in the short term and the long term.

  • Netforce

    I love Colt 1911. Don’t get me wrong but that pistol’s color is like the pistol itself had a mud-wrestling match.

  • Brian

    Nice looking gun, except the puke color. Already mentioned, much more reliable and effective guns than 1911 like HK45, in this day and age.

  • JC

    Does anyone know when the competition is supposed to take place?

  • Lance

    The Military,com already said Colt won the competition against Springfield Armory. This is the 21st Century .45 and hopefully will see much ore than just SOCOM usage. HK45s lost out because they are too BIG and bulky. The weird need for high capacity for ammo makes modern XDs HKs and Glocks too BIG for average shooters. One of several reason 1911s beaten newer designs.

    • A.K. for T-7

      HK45C is smaller, lighter, more reliable, has more carry options, less perceived recoil, is less maintenance dependent and feeds from more reliable magazines than a Colt 1911. Don’t get me wrong, I have some Colt 1911’s and love all of them, specially my Special Combat Government, but the HK45C is a lot more of a combat weapon, hands down.

      • Lance

        The HK45C Is a CCW pistol and is NOT a combat frame pistol. The Mk-23 is what the company made for a military sidearm and its way to big and heavy. The M-45 is far better in trigger pull size and weight. Plus many countries have 1911 parts and ammo not the same for HK.

      • 18D

        What are you talking about? The HK45C is the MK24 pistol. It has been used as standard issue for SOCOM for awhile now.

        Lance, don’t take this the wrong way. What country are you from?

      • Bandito762

        the hk45c and mk23 are not the same weapon

    • Lance

      HK 45C is a commercial USP made for CCW for civilians and cops the MK-23 IS NOT a 45C its uses the USP action BUT was blown out in size for a offensive weapon. It was too BIG much like Cops ive meant who hated Glock 21 due to there large size.

      • Nater

        You’re just a font of incorrect information. The HK 45/HK 45C were developed by HK specifically for military adoption and were entered in the Joint Combat Pistol program before it was cancelled. By the end of the competition, they were the favorites. HK sought a lot of input from military users and Larry Vickers, among others, were involved in the development cycle of the pistol.

        The HK 45 series combines elements from the USP, the P2000, and P30 series pistols. No one said the HK45C is the Mk 23. The Mk 23 is the Mk 23 Mod 0. The Mk 23 Mod 1 is the HK USP45CT, and the Mk 24 Mod 0 is the HK45CT.

      • Lance

        The HK 45 was in the 2nd line of the JCP competition but was losing to the Springfield XD mostly due to its large size. XD is a good experiment into high cap but low size for a .45 by making the fram longer at the butt it made the pistol just slim enough for small shooter to handle something HK or S@W never did.

      • 18D

        Thank you Nater. The HK45C was developed specifically to be a modern 1911. It is now the MK24.

        Lance, I ask again. What country are you from?

      • Lance

        USA pal and I worked for the DoD and shot alot of weapons. Ive shot HK and Beretta SiGs Colts and Springfield. The HK USP is near bottom of the list its top heavy expensive and is bulky compared to a High end 1911 .45.

      • 18D

        Sorry, I assumed you were from another country since your grammar and punctuation are not at high school level.

  • Andrew Racek

    Its…. Beautiful.

  • jaime

    What we need is a Glock (or like it) in .45acp with a single stack magazine.

  • tomaso

    Bottom line is theirs plenty of better options out their for a military side arm….and all of them are double stack designs…..if they don’t need double stack capabilitys…..why are all AR platforms double stacks? because fire superiority is what military actions require. this is politics…plain and simple…as such i do have one consesion…if this was chosen by the SF…or what ever high tier ..than thats their right, they have earned it….and as a badge of Honor….i cant see a better weapon.

    • John Doe

      The 1911 was chosen by the reconnaissance element of a special operations capable MEU. It weighs over 2lbs, but I know it’s durable, because there are frames that have fired OVER 300,000 ROUNDS. I honestly don’t mind the weight since I already carry a crap ton of weight on my back.

  • jim

    The Marines are moving backwards with the .45 pistol.

    Both the .45 and 9mm are obsolete cartridges when compared to the killing power and Armor Piercing ability of the FN 5.7 round. Its also more accurate at longer distances and quicker to master. Pistols like the FN57 weigh less, have less recoil and the magazines hold more ammo that also weighs less.

    Its time to get modern people. Shoot a Colt 19911 .45 and a FN 57 5.7 side by side and you will quickly realize that the Colt is closer to the Cap and Ball world than the Jet age.

    • Nater

      Are you kidding? The FN 5.7x28mm doesn’t have much “killing power”. It’s a solution looking for a problem. It’s armor piercing capabilities, with AP ammo, are no better than 9x19mm AP. It’s terminal effects with standard ammunition are far, far less devastating than 9mm NATO.

      • Lance

        Yes BUT like 9mm it overpenatraits and dosnt have knock down power very bad in CQC.

      • Nater

        I wasn’t talking about the relative merits of 9x19mm NATO, I was talking about how ineffective 5.7x28mm is for pretty much any application short of shooting small varmints.

        9x19mm performance is more than adequate with expanding ammunition, especially with higher pressures and middle weight projectiles (124-127gr). The over penetration argument seems to be more of a myth than a reality, at least with expanding projectiles. The ballistics get tests I’ve seen show the over all penetration of 9x19mm, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP to be virtually identical.

        I can understand sticking with .45 ACP if you’re stuck using non-expanding projectiles. Otherwise I’d say something like .40 S&W or .357 SIG would be ideal in a combat pistol.

      • Lance

        I can agree 9mm is fine with JHP bullets i carry a M-92FS 9mm for my job BUT the military uses FMJ bullets and ive talked to solders who said 9mm FMJ over penetrates and can have 15-17 rounds unloaded form a M-9 or Glock 17 into a terrorist and still have them come after you. Heaver bullets like 147gr ammo can also hlp but the military uses light 124gr FMJs not the best load for a 9mm.

        i can agree that .40 S&W would be a great military caliber and the M-9 can be modified to shoot .40 ammo. the 180gr FMJ has good killing power to it.

      • Nater

        Find me an AAR where someone dumped 17 rounds of 9mm into a guy and he was still coming. At that point, it’s not the fault of the cartridge, it’s the fault of the shooter. The only AAR I’ve read with any similarity to that is one involving a man being shot with 9 rounds of 200gr Speer Gold Dot and not going down. I don’t see people blaming the .45 ACP cartridge for that, because it’s not the cartridge’s fault. It was the shooter.

        I can’t speak to the effectiveness of various bullet weights in FMJ, but the 124gr and 127gr projectiles are far superior to the 147gr when you’re dealing with expanding projectiles. The only advantage to the 147gr is that it’s quieter when suppressed due to it’s subsonic velocity.

      • Lance

        Try men from the 41st Infantry Division ive talked to. Also know Portland cops same thin one reason they went to 147gr JHP is that lighter 9mm puches threw too much due to its much higher speed. slower bullets knock over better since they stop in the body of a victim.

      • 18D

        LANCE! STOP! The 180 gr .40 S&W had extremely poor stopping power, and overpenetrated even with hollowpoint designs. It has a poor performance history.

        Also, why would a police department go to 147 gr 9mm to avoid overpenetration? They wouldn’t. The lighter the bullet, the less penetration. The 147 gr 9mm has a bad reputation for being overpenetrative. Just like the 180 gr .40. If I want less overpenetration in a 9mm, I will go with a 115 gr load at 1300 fps. Slower rounds tend to overpenetrate human tissue, which is why most police departments have gone to lighter faster hollowpoint ammo. Slower projectiles tend to have poor stopping power, except for the .45 acp.

      • Nater

        So in other words, you have hearsay? I still doubt that a man was hit 17 times with 9mm and failed to stop. Supposing it’s true, I don’t think that 8 rounds of .45 ACP would have a dramatically different effect.

      • Lance

        Hearsay I know and meet the men who done it and I wouldn’t call him a lairer. M-882 has a bad reputation for stopping power.

        @18D Overall I can agree with you 9mm period isn’t the best man stopper. Im stating what the Portland Police Department stated when it switched to Glock 17 using 147gr ammo. I carried 147gr 9mm HST and it has never failed me in test I did it did well in accuracy and hitting power over 124gr 9mm. The 180gr FMJ is the round the USCG adopted and I was stating what they said about the Mk308rd.

    • 18D

      The 5.7 is an extremely weak cartridge. It’s sole purpose was for PDW use. It was designed to penetrate body armor and helmets and to give the shooter a fighting chance in the event all else fails. The 5.7 is weak, and has much less capability than the .45.

    • 18D

      The 5.7 is an extremely weak cartridge. It’s sole purpose was for PDW use. It was designed to penetrate body armor and helmets and to give the shooter a fighting chance in the event all else fails. The 5.7 is weak, and has much less capability than the .45. The 5.7 has less energy than the 9mm and is about 5x lighter than a .45 all in a .22 caliber package. What’s the point?

      • fw226

        Re: modifying M9s to run 40S&W – It’s not a good idea. You’ll end up replacing failing parts too often.

  • Joe

    “If you want a full size .45 for a duty pistol, the best one you can get, the best money can buy, is without a doubt is the HK45.” – Larry Vickers

    I trust these guys…

  • Lance

    Its not much wider than a 1911 well it still thicker im talking about a weapon a women may carry and there hands may not be the largest every mm may count for smaller people. the fact they are lal polymer is another problem since if damaged the whole frame would need to be scrapped. 1911 is better due to it can be taken apart to repair.

    • Nater

      For one thing, polymer pistols can be made with replaceable frame rails. The frame rails being the only part of a polymer handgun frame that you generally cannot replace. Not that it really matters, frame rails are one of the more durable components on a handgun.

      That argument is a non-starter anyway. A 1911 will require far more maintenance and upkeep over a life of 20,000 rounds than will an HK or Glock. Even if you have to throw out a polymer pistol’s frame after 20,000 rounds, it’s still going to be less expensive to maintain than a 1911.

      I found a grip width measurement for the HK45C as well, it’s 1.1″. It’s narrower than the 1911. It’s narrower than the M9. So the 1911 looses out to the HK45C in every objective measurement barring sight radius. The 1911 is heavier, wider, has less capacity*, is less reliable, and is more difficult to suppress, has a grip safety, and is more difficult to disassemble.

      The only thing the 1911 has going for it is nostalgia. There is no justifiable reason for choosing the 1911 over a modern DA/SA or striker fired pistol based upon objective measurements and testing. I’ve always maintained that if the 1911 came out today, no one would be particularly impressed with it.

      *Unless you further compromise the 1911’s reliability by using eight round magazines instead of the normal seven round magazines.

    • Lance

      No the replacement of polymer farms is aw more expensive than replacement a few parts on a 45. The HK has a horrible trigger pull if you truly must have a plastic gun a Glock is far better than a crappy HK. The USP style frams even in a 45C are bigger than a 1911 with standard pistol grips. The fact the USMC agrees with me affirms that.

      You can argue with me over this or you can stay on subject and talk about Colt .45s at the AUSA show. I prefer we can agree on stuff and stay on that than argue and name call all week.

      • Nater

        The HK’s frame is good for at least 50,000 rounds, probably much more. shot the HK45 for 50,000 rounds in six months with three malfunctions and very little degradation in accuracy. I’d imagine that the number of malfunctions that would occur with any semi-custom 1911 would be greater by an two orders of magnitude. The constant stream of parts needed to keep the average 1911 going will be a lot more expensive than maintaining an HK. No question.

        Again, you prove your ignorance on this subject by remarking about the “USP” style grip frame of the HK45/45C. The HK45 uses the P30’s grip, the 45C uses the grip frame of the P2000. Both grips are vastly different from the USP and you’d know this if you even bothered to check facts before posting something. You’d also know that the grip width difference is a wash. The 45C is 1.1″, the 1911 (with fairly standard grip panels) is 1.3″. Don’t argue with hard numbers.

        Lastly, the trigger pull on the 45C, at least the variant one, isn’t bad at all. You’d know this if you’d actually shot one, but you haven’t, so you don’t. That aside, trigger pull is way, way down on the list of what is important for a combat side arm. Reliability and durability are first and the 45C has this dead to rights over the 1911. It’s not even close. No internal extractor that gets knocked out of adjustment, not finicky when it comes to magazine springs, no goofy grip safety to negotiate. Next would be accuracy, feed ramps that are part of the barrel, not the frame, and testing has born out that the HK45 is at least as accurate as any semi-custom 1911. I’d put weight next on the list, and it’s not even close, the HK is a pound lighter.

      • Nater

        Lastly, the USMC has a horrible record with procurements. They get it wrong all the time, maybe more than any of the other services. The Osprey? In development since the 1980s and still of questionable utility, still requires very high levels of maintenance, and doesn’t even have a door gun. Meanwhile, they’re still using Hueys, Sea Knights, and Cobras instead of Blackhawks, Chinooks, and Apaches. The EEV? Again, in development since the 1980s, vastly over budget, and of questionable utility considering the Marines haven’t done an amphibious operation on a hostile beach since Inchon. The F-35B? It’s a boondoggle too. Not to mention that an airplane designed for CAS but lacking a gun seems a bit short sighted.

        The Marines are procuring the 1911 because someone up the chain wants 1911s. Notice that they didn’t hold a competition between the 1911 and more modern pistols, because it would have been pretty difficult to justify buying them after it lost badly to an HK or Glock. The HK45, was after all, designed with input from the head of CAG’s small arms training to replace the 1911s in service with at the time.

      • Lance


        The USMC has done well with upgrades and new version of tested weapon you going ballistic and your NO Marine and I think you should not be criticizing a service your not apart of. I’ve shoot HK USP many time in all military and civilian types and the trigger pull is far worse than any SiG Beretta and 1911 out there. Im not talking about replacing frames when they get old I was talking about then damaged in the field and Polymer frame require more money to replace parts. Glock is the only one who proved to make parts cheap enough for cops to replace. Seems SOCOM after talks with some experts online said they ditched HKs long ago and Glocks and 1911s seem to be the most used weapons any way.

      • John Doe

        The 1911 is damn reliable. I’ve used the MEU(SOC) and it’s SOLID. I’ve seen rebuilt ones that have fired over 300,000 rounds through their frame.

      • Nater

        So what? I’m a taxpayer, I foot the bill, I can critique this government and it’s institutions all that I want to. The Marines aren’t some scared cow. They’ve been responsible for some of the most egregiously bad development and acquisition programs in recent memory as I illustrated. I don’t suppose you refrain from criticizing the US government because you’re not a part of it, do you?

        SOCOM has been using HK pistols for a long time and continues to do so. The USPCT was type classified as the Mk 23 Mod 1 and the HK45C has recently been type classified as the Mk 24 Mod 0. They’re out there, they’re being used. Something I’m not positive you could say about any Glock, considering they don’t have a type classification. If you spent five minutes researching anything before making embarrassingly bad posts, you’d know this.

        I’m certainly not going ballistic, but some of the things you post are so far beyond ludicrous that it borders on comedy.

      • Nater

        Oh, and for the last time, HK45/45C /= USP.

      • Lance

        @NATER your arguing over anything again no one outside of the Seals used USP based HK pistols in .45 they where too BIG. You can argue over the Glock which most SOCOM members used with 1911s they are both reliable and in the case of the Glock21 SF just small enough to accommodate small shooters and doesn’t have crappy triggers like the USP.

        The USMC has a far better set up than the US Army the AH-1Z is far more up to date than the AH-64D which entered service in the late 1990s. AH-1Z entered service around 2005 and can carry same load and weapons as a AH-64D. The fact they don’t throw everything away because there a new model every year out from Beretta Colt and Bell helicopters isn’t because there cheap its because they know current weapons work.

      • 18D

        @Nater- Agree with you mostly. But, the Glock Is used quite a bit more than the HK.

        Why are you even arguing with Lance? He’s a child commenting with excerpts from Wikipedia. All you have to do is read his comments to realize that. His grade school level grammar shows that he’s not who he says he is. I say we just quit responding.

      • Lance

        @ 18D and NATER

        It seems all the real solders and Marines who comment here like John Doe and Jdun1911 agree with me. You and Nater are the kids who keep arguing and geez most of my info not from solder ect come from Military times American rifleman and you keep stating your own opinion as fact. And you now are resulting to personal insults that’s your problem pal.

      • Nater

        18D: The left-field responses he comes up with amuse me. You have to admit, the manner in which he’s constantly dead wrong is rather entertaining. I only do it once in awhile, anyway.

        Lance, your lack of the facts never ceases to amaze me. The AH-1Z is a product improved version of a helicopter that’s been flying since the Vietnam war. The AH-64 was the helicopter the Army acquired to replace the Cobra. The 1Z Viper has a less effective cannon (and it jams constantly), half the combat radius, and no armor protection to speak of. The Apache is the foremost attack helicopter in the world. It was one of the reasons that NATO began to believe that they wouldn’t have to use tactical nuclear weapons to contain a Warsaw Pact invasion through the Fulda Gap or across the North German plain.

        You think no one outside of the SEAL teams used the USPC because it has a Navy type classification. So does the Mk 12 SPR. So does the Mk 11. So does the Mk 18 CQBR. Most weapons used by SOCOM have Navy designations because Crane is the center for special warfare small arms.

        As for ‘real soldiers’. Maybe you should put on your thinking cap for once. 18D. 18 Delta. Special Forces Medical Sergeant. Not that you have to be in the military to understand that there are better pistols to be had than the 1911.

  • Lance

    Only down side of the Hi power its that its 9mm and the gun is too small to accommodate .45 AUTO. The Hi Power is a great gun anything JM Browning mad was.

    • 18D

      John Browning had little to do with the development of the Hi-Power.

    • Lance

      Dont know where you get your history 18D JM Browning made the design just before he died in the late 20s.

      • 18D

        Dieudonne Saive had more to do with the development of the P35 than JMB. JMB designed prototype P35’s before he died, but those designs were vastly different from Saive’s finished product. The gun we now know as the Browning Hi Power was named so by FN to increase sales of the pistol on the civilian market. JMB laid the ground work, but Saive was the developer of the P35.

  • Rhino

    Lets see is that the same Marine Corps wanting to equip their troops with 1911s that sent their young Infantry Marines to Afghanistan in 04 with designated marksman Rifles with scopes that were tilted to far to one side or the other making it impossible for their guys to hit targets beyond 300 meters? From what I heard from the Lads a Gunny from Quantico mounted their scopes for them. Since the Marines are so fond of 1911s why dont they bring back the 1903A3 as well. Hell while there at it how bout a BAR to. I think the Marines would do well to research what the Chinese are doing as far as Combat Handguns specifically caliber choice and why. I’ll take technology and all its advantages. Oh and also the Marines would do well to study the Mexican cartels and the success the’ve had with small very fast pistol cartridges. Whether 5.7 or whatever. the modern age is here. Might be time to hang up some of the gear from the past lest we start sounding like Civil War guys that were very sure that their 1860 Army revolvers were superior to the new cartridge guns of the 1870s. The Marines at the beginning WW2 didnt even want to switch to the M-1 Garand. Lets not go backwards boys and girls. To much Nostalgia over technology is retarded!

    • Lance

      Calm down Rino

      The 1911 in use now are far form obsolete. The fact is the modern 1911 has all the features most modern design have. Fact is you mention China they still use TT-33s which are less capable than a 1911.

      • Jim

        Currently the front line Chinese military pistol is the QSZ-92-5.8 that shoots 5.8x21mm armor-piercing ammunition with a bottle-necked case that resembles the FN 5.7x28mm. The TT is obsolete for the Chinese military.

      • Lance

        QSZ is only in use in limited number most still use TT-33 or Type 54. Most QSZ are 9mm not 5.7 they found the round not to deliver knock down power and was mostly dropped in favor of 9mm. Chinese Special Forces use QSZ while regular PLA use Type 54.

  • rhino

    Gee Lance, When was the last time you saw an actual casualty hit by a 7.62 x 25 round from a T33? I got news for ya “devastating” round. A 45acp is older than that. Lighter, Faster, AP capable, large Mag capacity, extremely flat shooting and last but not least: Higher hit probability do to greatly reduced Recoil impulse. I would contend that any Combat pistol issued to Soldiers in the Modern world and not La La land needs to have these atributes. A 45acp out of a 1911 will have a hard time penetrating an old GI steel pot at 20 yards. I dont know of any 45acp AP rounds do you? On the other hand a 5.7 round or rds of that type render a a kevlar helmet useless at up to 100 yards! I think you need to do some more research. I highly doubt that the Fort Hood shooter would have been able to kill 13 and injure another 20 something people with a 1911. I mean really, do you? The math on that is incredible for a handgun. A complete bloodbath. He was able to do that because of most of the reasons stated above. Think about this, when the 1911 was invented airplanes were made out of cloth and wood. Observe the timeline and get some perspective.

    • Lance

      I didn’t say 7.62×25 was a bad round but it has only a 8rd capacity and .45 has more knockdown power I don’t know why your hysterical opinion that new always means better not always the case. If the gun was crap it wouldn’t have been adopted.

    • Nater

      Sorry, but gunning down unarmed people that can’t fight back isn’t a very good test of a combat handgun. For what it’s worth, the Virginia Tech guy did the same thing with a Glock 19 and a Walter P22. Are you going to suggest that we switch to .22LR?

      The 5.7x28mm simply does not have good terminal effects. It’s easy to shoot because it’s not at all potent. It’ll kill people, but so will any bullet. What you need is something that will rapidly incapacitate and the 5.7x28mm FN (or the 4.6x30mm HK) are not the cartridges for that job.

      The armor piercing capabilities of the 5.7 (with AP ammunition) are roughly analogous to 9mm AP ammunition. The difference being you loose effectiveness against unarmored targets and you get decreased terminal effects after penetration on armored targets with the 5.7.

      I’d say the military should adopt something like the .357 SIG. Firearms chambered in it have moderate recoil and fairly high capacity. The cartridge itself has very impressive terminal effects and with AP projectiles I’m sure it would be very good at penetrating soft armor with it’s combination of high velocity and small cross section. However, most of the benefits of it would be lost unless they started using expanding ammunition. I find it rather humorous that while the US Government has no qualms about torturing people, they don’t want to violate the archaic 1899 Hague Convention.

      Unfortunately, I don’t think this will happen. The desire for standardization among NATO seems to outweigh the desire for better performing cartridges.

    • John Doe

      Please don’t have us carry the 5.7mm. The 5-7’s trigger is flimsy, it’s not effective on unarmored targets (which are the majority of insurgents, by the way) and there will most likely be supply problems.

      Personally, I want something in 10mm Auto or .357 SIG. Near .357 Magnum power, near 9mm capacity.

  • Jim

    Does MEUSOC stand for “Museum of the Marine Corps?”

    The .45 is a throwback and its time to throw it back. There are better, lighter and more capable pistols and ammunition out there. Who wants to run up mountains with a 42 oz pistol strapped to their leg? Its a ridiculous choice for a handgun when you have to carry so much other gear.

    • John Doe

      These are for the Recon guys. In Recon Indoctrination ALONE, there have been times I carried over 250lbs. I’m not going to be concerned with 2lbs, if I know it works well. I’ve seen Marine rebuilt Kimbers with over 300,000 rounds fired through their frames.

  • abprosper

    The proponents of the 5.7mm have a valid point. Body armor is getting to be cheap and ubiquitous and it makes no sense to use a round that has low and slow and will not penetrate armor (but still blows through targets)

    And yes 11.25 mm holes are more effective than 5.7mm or 9mm holes when (not if, when) the ball ammo blows through, so what? Neither will get the job done.

    Whatever the choice is AP ammo should be the norm in combat

  • Klip

    Is the toggle link one of the keys to 1911 accuracy?

    I’ve always advocated a 1911 with a camming link and chamber block that takes the place of the barrel lugs. Put that over an allow frame with integrated grips (so the grip’s internal width can be widened without widening the overall grip) no grip safety and I think you’d have a modern 1911. Maybe add lightening cuts like on the BHP.

    Hell, a .45 BHP is essentially what I’m asking for.

    • A cz75 is pretty much a BHP. And they make a version in .45. If CZ made one in 10mm I’d be all over that.

      And the primary reason the 1911 is so accurate is because we have spent 100 years tweaking it to perfection. Other pistols are probably just as accurate in general, and if you spent $3000 honing them to NASA level tolerances. The luger is a good example. The fixed barrel allowed amazing accuracy. If it stayed in production and stayed cheap enough for people to tinker with it for 100 years it would probably be more accurate than a 1911.

  • Mobious

    Annnd what do people think about the grip of the FN57 then?
    I personally despised the shape, it was uncomfortable to aim with
    and I wasn’t even using any gloves. But then again my hands are
    on the smaller side… A 1911’s straight grip allows for that fast grip
    and draw.

    And in the end the side arm won’t see such significant action, even though yes, it’s the last firearm that could be used as defense on the battlefield. If anything it should be replaced by a compact submachine gun/machine pistol such as the PP2000, capable of utilizing those 9mm AP rounds which seem to prove quite effective against most armor and still retain good force to stop a target.

    • Nater

      No, just no. The whole point of a side arm is to save your life. It may not be used much, but it absolutely has to when you need it. If you’re using your pistol, it likely means that you’re in a fight so intense that your primary has run dry or malfunctioned and an enemy is moving on you. You may be shot, you may be bloody. Maybe you can’t use your dominant hand. That’s when you need a pistol.

      Something like the PP2000 is massive compared to even a large framed pistol. It’s twice as heavy even without being loaded with a high capacity magazine. It would also be very difficult to operate with only one hand. All of this for a weapon that doesn’t offer much of an increase in lethality over a Glock 17 or other 9mm pistol? No thanks.

  • Lance


    Sorry Who knows if 18D is real or just another name you pick. Strange that John Doe a USMC member backs my views on this topic. The USMC has different helicopter needs and the AH-1 is just as good as the AH-64D and can operate from ships the larger AH-64D cant. Your always wrong NATER and you get to name calling because you just can accept it when you wrong and throw tantrums. I told you to stay on topic you cant maybe you should quit being here if you cant stay civil. You never protected anyone any way pal.

    • Lance

      I also omit my saying 18D may be real BUT we may disagree on guns like most issues it may vary on likes person to person and though some made personal attacks In order to keep it sociable I say lets end it now pls.

      • 18D

        Lance I’ll say it like this. I think we all have a good time debating on the subject of firearms. With that being said, its all in good fun and conversation. I apologize if I lost my cool and insulted you. That is out of character for myself, and again I apologize. There are some questionable comments coming from you, but again I have fun debating them with you.

        On the subject of who Iam and what I’ve done. I’ll put it this way. Nater is very observant on what my screen name conveys. My past experience aside though, I have written for another big name blog that I KNOW you read. I know you’ve read my stories, because you’ve commented on them. If you think real hard you might realize which blog site that is. So yes, I do bring real world experience to the table, and though I can’t show my DD 214, I think the fact that I have contributed stories to one of the best blogs on the net may be a clue.

    • Nater

      I always provide hard facts when pointing out how clearly false most of your claims are. I’ve never seen you post anything resembling a fact, the best you’ve done is post some forum poll to “prove” that the G3 was inferior to other 7.62x51mm NATO battle rifles.

      As for the AH-1Z and AH-64. They have the same rotor diameter (48ft), they’re the same length (58ft), and the Apache is shorter (12.7ft vs 14.4ft) than the 1Z. The SuperCobras and Vipers generally operate from Wasp-class LHDs. These ships are big enough to launch and land Ospreys and Harriers, an Apache would be no problem. The British, in fact, operate Apaches from ships. Again, you’re obviously wrong and I’ve present actual facts to prove such.

      I’ve not called you any names, just pointed out your logical failings. Point out where I’ve done anything other that state that you’re wrong. I haven’t. You’re the one that seems to resort to ranting posts and name calling. “You never protected anyone any way pal.”

      If 18D can make up a name to claim he’s something he isn’t, could others claim to be Marines when they are not?

  • Lance

    You I got thinking over this fight and I just leave it on the fact that the military chose the 1911 not Glock HK or SiG and ill leave it on that. Keep this sociable.

    • Nicks87

      Thats because the military is run by the same morons who grew up idolizing John Wayne and Clint Eastwood and now they want to carry 1911s so they can live vicariously through their heroes.

      How is a 1911 better than a Glock 21 or HK45.

      Answer: It’s not. Some people just watch way too much TV and cant think for themselves.

      • John Doe

        The Glock 21 and USP are fine guns, but the light polymer frame feels flimsy with the power of the .45. The 1911 has a proven track record for reliability, and being SAO, has an accuracy advantage. It’s old school, but it works great.

        The M2 is a near-century old design, but it works well.

      • 18D

        What I have found is that those shooters that are inexperienced and/or lack good shooting skills generally don’t understand the use of the 1911. Once those individuals become “good” shooters with good fundamentals and obtain a knowledge of firearms in general, then they tend to understand. They may continue to hate the 1911, but they generally begin to understand why the 1911 is the greatest fighting pistol in the world!

  • Lance

    NATER ive repeated Wikipedia Military times and American rifle man on facts ive sent I leave it at that that my facts are documented too. You can go on about 1911s and all american guns scuk and How you think Marines have inferior weapons. I wont go on since you keep complaining when someone disagrees to you I go with what USMC commanders and aircrew and infantry say and it goes against every thing you say Nater.

    • Nater

      You either have poor reading comprehension or you like to attribute things to me that I didn’t say. Where did I say the Marines have inferior weapons or that US guns “scuk”? I said the Marines have been responsible for more than their fair share of procurement boondoggles, which they clearly have. Just look at the EEV, nearly 30 years of development with nothing to show for it.

      The Smith and Wesson M&P would be a fine military side arm, unfortunately it’s the only pistol made in the US that would be. All the other good combat side arms are made in Germany and Austria for the most part, or at least they’re made by German and Austrian companies.

      The US military certainly does not choose 1911s over Sigs, Glocks and HKs. CAG replaced their 1911s with HKs. The SEALs haven’t used 1911s since Vietnam, they’ve been using Sigs and HKs instead. Both USASOC and NSW are apparently using Glocks quite commonly. Probably USAFSOC too. The US Army and Marines have been using Berettas since the 1980s. In fact, Marine SOF units are the only ones that continue to use this obsolescent pistol. Which as I’ve stated numerous times and backed up with actual numbers, is inferior to any other modern pistol design in every aspect that counts.

      You’ve offered nothing but hearsay, which is unverifiable, to justify your assertions on the 1911. You can say they come from ‘infantry’ or ‘USMC commanders’ all that you want, but you could be just as well making them up. There is no way to prove them, and even so, they’re still opinions. They are not facts. You cherry picked a few figures from wikipedia to justify your stance on the 1Z without thinking about the how or the why.

  • Lance

    After again checking about the AH-1 I says the larger airframe of the AH-64 and the fact the navalised AH-64 wouldn’t be profitable would be a few reasons the AH-1 was chosen in USMC service fact is too many foreign flyer still fly cobras and AH-64 only by a few wealthy nations.

    The AH-1 is faster in both dive speed and cruse speed and has longer range than the Apache better for Ship born ops. This is all from Wiki, you cant say im lying.

    • Nater

      The AH-1Z is faster, that’s about the only advantage it has. You know what it’s faster? Because it has no armor. Helicopters are extremely vulnerable even over a low-tech battlefield, let alone a truly modern one. The Apache is a far more robust and survivable attack helicopter than the AH-1Z.

      The range advantage of the 1Z completely disappears when you put any payload on it, the Apache has double the combat radius when carrying a payload. An attack helo without a payload isn’t of a whole lot of use. Again, advantage the the Apache, an advantage that will only be increased by the forthcoming Block III upgrades.

      Even if that weren’t the case, the increased range is of dubious use compared to the disadvantages of the system. The Marines attack helicopters, if they’re operating from ships, will be supporting operations on shore from just over the horizon. Maybe 25nm out. The British have been flying Apaches off ships recently without any modifications that I am aware of beyond the differences between the US and British versions.

  • D. K. M.

    They shoot well and make a good club. When you wade ashore or cross a river in flood, you can take it apart using its own parts as tools to get all the sand out. It is by far the best handgun I have carried. I know handguns and have more time in the field carrying a 1911 as a Marine that it is a no brainer why we want an old fashion 1911.

    • Nicks87

      I cant tell if this^^^ is sarcasm or truth.

      It’s either very funny or very sad.

  • Lance

    NATER go on and complain your arguing to more and more deaf ears. By the way the AH-1Z has longer range faster and carries the same weapons load. No one out side of the SEALs use USPs and you can go on whining to me me and yelling but I just don’t give a crap about your insults to me.

    • Nater

      What insults? You have delusions of persecution. You’re also the only one whining. “So and so called me names”.

      The Viper is faster because it has no armor. Armor is a pretty important thing for an attack helicopter. A weapons system with a designed role of engaging armor formations at close range. Survivability is very important and the Apache has it, the Viper doesn’t.

      Next you’ll be arguing that a Sea Knight is a better helicopter than a Chinook or the UH-1Y is superior to the Black Hawk.

  • Several points. In a combat environment, we’re stuck with fmj. So that negates the need to say a 9 may expand, but a 45 doesn’t shrink.

    Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it. Why did we get the 1911 in the first place? Moro Wars. The 9mm/38 Special wasn’t doing the job, the 45 Colt did, so they developed an auto pistol and a cartridge that matched the LC, the ACP. It works.

    The 1911 is a wonderful tool, and the bugs that it may have once had have been worked out. This MEUSOC looks like an excellent example of that gift from God to His prophet, John MOSES Browning.

    HK? Glock? Neither is my first choice for purchase or carry. You like them? Buy them. The USMC looked at a historically proven weapons system, the 1911, with the new goodies they didn’t used to have, and found it worthy. I carry an M9 at work. Issued, I don’t own one. I do have a pile of 1911s, and if they told me I could carry my POW, you betcha.

  • colt is at it again. Take a look at SIG’S Scorpion 1911. They did the same with copying LMT’S monolithic upper. They copied again with their pathetic piston model. I own three colt’s. The pocklite I own has a POI of 7/10 inches high at 5/7 yards. My colt model 6921 AR. is at it’s best as a CQ/B only. My 20 in. H-BAR functions well. I wish they would re-introduce
    their Pythons + Anaconda’s revolvers. any and all calibers. To those who are content, I say good for you. This is my experience only.
    John L.

  • Kim

    My friend sent me this website. Testing post.

  • Kim

    Take it from a guy who has 20 hks & 3 1911s. I have every 45 hks except the hk45c & a top Kimber, Sw, & a Colt. The HK wins. Let’s talk facts. The hk is lighter & holds more bullets in the 45acp. That is a fact. The HK has fewer parts for field stripping, usually 4. 1911 has more. Now for the subjective. I think they are equally accurate. Can you make a1911 more accurate than a “standard” hk? Sure, but who can shoot that accurately & at what cost? I would also say that the HK is more reliable out of the box. Every 1911 I own has feeding problems, even after abreak-in period. None of my HK ever had a feeding issue, even before the break-in. I grant you that a standard usp trigger is not great but the high end usp & the 23 have match-grade triggers. The triggers on standard 1911s are not that great either. In order for a 1911 to get the relibility approaching a hk, you can either spend a lot of $ with high-end names like Wilson or Ed Brown, or spend the $ on various gunsmithing jobs for it. Just look at how many jobs are offered to upgrade a 1911 vs hk or sig.
    These are my opinions from a guy who owns & fired both types of guns. I dont care where it is made or who made it. Nostalgia & patriotism should not determine what gun you pick. You can disagree with me but you better back it up something other than the waving of a flag or how old it is. Be objective, not nostalgic. The 1911 has served the US well & is still effective, but there are other & possibly better choices

  • Being a Force Recon Marine between 90-98, I can speak first hand that the lighter, sexier pistols really wasn’t what we were looking for. We wanted dependability and accuracy. The armorers did a great job with the parts that we had available to us. If the newer models can be fabricated to match what we had in the MEU(SOC).45 at an affordable contract rate, that would be great. if not, then we still have to resort to taking the best pieces from various vendors. I was in before 9/11 so funding was somewhat limited compared to what it is now. I ended up building my own MEU(SOC).45 based exactly off of what we had in the 90’s. Take a look at it at

  • Casey

    Let’s talk facts. Marines kill people, and they do it well. They choose to use what kills people. Leave these decisions to professionals. Otherwise shut up and stand to.