Marines Return to Colt

Matthew Sturdevant has published an article at about the USMC return to the 1911 pistol

The newest Colt .45-caliber pistol is touted for its durability and design.

It is tested to make sure it can be dropped in water, covered in mud, immersed in sand or ice, or left in a dust storm — and still be able to blast off a round when you pull the trigger.

“Virtually, it’s indestructible,” said Casimir Pawlowski, who works in international sales and technical sevices for Colt Defense LLC. “You can drive over these things with a Humvee and they’re still gonna work. It’s like a brick that shoots bullets.”

Colt gives a pair of customized guns to each standing president, though Bill Clinton was the only one not to accept the offer, Hinkley said.

The drawdown of troops a few years ago contributed to a financial slump at Colt Defense as net sales dropped from $270 million to $175 million between 2009 and 2010. Last year, sales were up to $208 million. The company also recovered from an $11.3 million net loss in 2010 to report net income of $5.2 million last year.

The return to West Hartford-made Colts from Italian-owned Beretta also carries some patriotic pride.

I was not aware Colt always presented each president with a special custom 1911. The 1911 above with the serial “GWB-001″ was presented to George W. Bush.

It is worth noting that Beretta USA employees hundreds of people at their Maryland factory.

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.


  • HalP

    I recall hearing about GWB’s 1911 a few years back – but I didn’t know they did it for every President. But we did have the same 2 presidents for 16 years and one refused – hey does that mean W can have have Bill’s as well?

  • Kenny Blankenship

    “Colt gives a pair of customized guns to each standing president, though Bill Clinton was the only one not to accept the offer, Hinkley said.”

    Are we to infer Obama accepted a pair of customized guns from Colt?

    • gunslinger

      my basic reading skills taught me to infer. from the context of the quote, all standing presidents get guns. only president that didn’t take was wjc. Obama is a sitting president. obama is not wjc, therefore obama has some nice 1911s.

    • Phil White

      You know I’m not sure if they get them on election or when leaving office. Interesting question though.

      • charles222

        It wouldn’t surprise me if alot of these gift 1911s wind up in the National Archives or a Presidential Museum. They’re obviously not range guns, and given that Presidents get Secret Service protection for life, they’re presumably not in the market for a CCW license. :p

    • T.

      Official gifts to the office of the President (which these would fall under) are not his property, but the property of the people of the US. They go in the National Archives.

      • charles222

        I’m assuming you’re not just making that up, so thanks for the clarification. πŸ™‚

      • Phil White

        No he’s not making it up. There is a cap on dollar value of personal gifts.

      • charles222

        …I guess you missed the “thanks for the clarification” part?

  • Samopal

    So where does Obama keep his presentation 1911, at his home in Chicago or in DC?

    • Phil White

      Who knows—LOL! I’d vote for Chicago.

    • DW

      Thought you can’t own a handgun in DC…before DC Vs Heller case anyways…

    • Kinetic

      Probably the city that Michelle is not in…

    • Anonymoose

      The DC handgun ban was struck down by the SCOTUS in 2008. He could have his 1911s at the White House, or maybe at Camp David, or maybe at his place in Chicago.

  • charles222

    Don’t see why President Obama wouldn’t be down with two Colt .45s. He seems to adore SOCOM, Hellfire missiles, and laser-guided bombs. :p

    • Ripley

      Michelle had issues with putting the LM presidential engraved gold plated Hellfire in the living room so now it’s stored in the back of the garage behind the unused ab-flexer and some old tyres waiting for a yard sale.

  • Skyler

    How much Kool-Aid did Sturdevant drink before writing his article? 4 out of 5 M45’s tested suffered critical failures.


    • Metalix

      Not taking a stand on this specific gun or article, but if you tested something enough wouldn’t it *always* have a critical failure at some point?

      • Skyler

        Yes, but 12,000 rounds (as per the article) is definitely not a large amount. Original Colt 1911 frames had upwards of 300,000 rounds on them before being retired.

    • In fairness the Colts that cracked cracked at the dust cover, a completely non-functional part of the gun.

      Does look like a design flaw, too many stress risers at the junction of the dust cover to the rail.

      • Marc

        Only one test gun cracked at the dust cover. Each and every test gun that went 12,000 rounds had a cracked slide. During the XM9 trials the 1911 control guns also cracked their slides within 10,000 rounds.

      • Alex-mac

        Probably the new steel. Cheaper to machine but not as strong. I don’t understand why they bought from Colt, they should have bought S&W 1911’s

    • Ripley

      Even at 12000 rounds the cost of the pistol is pretty much dwarfed by the cost of ammunition. They shouldn’t cheap out on quality.

      • Phil White

        Hiya Nicks!——- Hey it’s a prototype to the Marines specs guy. Age doesn’t matter as far as that goes:-)

        As far as better 1911’s probably so but hey it’s what they wanted——

    • Phil White

      Those were eval/ prototypes not the issued 1911. Still the rails shouldn’t have cracked like that.

      • Nicks87

        C’mon Phil, prototype 1911? The design is 100 years old and more than a few companies out there make a better 1911.

        STI, Les Baer, Nighthawk. Even the one S&W provided for the contract bid was better.

        The decision to arm Marines with the Colt Rail Gun was a drug deal made by a former Marine General and the current Marine brass. Just another example of how top military officers retire from the military then get handed high level positions in the defense industry.

    • Jeff

      I have to wonder though: how many times have those GI 1911s been rewelded? I’m not trying to challenge anything, but am rather just wondering the history behind USGI 1911s and their mileage (rearsenals, replacements, etc). I know that after the Korean War, a lot of them had to have their slides replaced.

      Anyone have a link to the specific history behind that^?

      • Phil White

        Jeff I checked pretty thoroughly after your question and I found nothing which completely answers your question.

        I’m afraid you’ll need to do some searching and glean information from many sources for a complete picture.

        I can tell you the military has never stopped using the 1911 even after the model 92 was adopted. Even as the new Marine guns were purchased armorers have still been building guns from old parts.

    • Phil White

      I read the article and I didn’t see anything indicating a 4 out of 5 failure rate?

  • Marc

    The M9 remains standard issue in the Marine Corps, only a few units that stuck with 1911s the whole time are now replacing those rebuilt guns with new production ones. Nothing spectacular about the whole thing, except maybe the failure rate of the test guns.

  • Frank Martin

    I would MORE than accept Obama’s Colts if you does not want them.. and I will take them STOCK as long as it has the ambidextrous safety on them.


    • Chortles

      Article implies he accepted.

      In any case, as Phil White put it, it’s not the Marines as a whole returning to the 1911, so (like rumors/image of “better” rifles in SOF hands) smaller unit size — and thus a smaller number of buys — probably help explain this order.

  • Quintin

    Why oh why don’t they want the double stack 1911? I have shot both single and double stack 1911s and really prefer the additional capacity. They could make it thinner and only hold 10 rounds like a CZ-97, or the EAA Witness pistol.

    • Phil White

      I agree on the surface of the point you made. The problem is they still have females and males with small hands that preclude using the double stack. At least in several guns including the 1911.

    • FormerSFMedic

      The only 1911 variant that has been proven reliable enough for duty use is the 5″ single stack Government Model. The double stack guns, while being a great leap forward in the design, have been problematic at best and extremely inconsistent. With that said, these guys are NOT absolute thinkers. They pay attention to what’s going on in the SOF community. Delta had a hard time with their double stack STI guns for years and finally decided to switch to the Glock. My experience with the double stack guns has been the same. I am a big fan of the 2011 design and I currently use one for HD. However, it took a long time to get reliable magazines for the gun and it took a little tuning in key areas to get the gun to a “happy” place. Still, I wouldn’t carry it for duty use.

  • Anton

    I am hereby implying that offering something pretty can also be seen as bribing. Though I guess the ruling body of the USA generally doesn’t really have a problem with those anyway. πŸ˜›

    • Phil White

      Anton could you clarify that a bit. I’m not sure I understand what your saying?

  • Rational

    How many 1911’s are the Marines going through? Didn’t MARSOC load up on Kimber’s several years ago? And now they buy Colts with frames that make the slide failures on the original M9’s seem acceptable?!?

    • Phil White

      Not at all they ran them through the mill before buying these. The cost is a total of 1.2 million with the delivery of the first 4000+ guns. Each gun has two contracted replacements without further cost.This totals over 11,000 pistols.
      This also includes spare parts and other extras normally purchased with any handgun.

      We can all express our opinions on this purchase but the Marines are the ones who will take them into CQB in the combat zone. If they are confident and satisfied with the choice then so am I.

      I went shooting the other day with a couple of local deputies. One of which has carried a Colt 1911 from the custom shop for over 15 years with a few updates from time to time. He told me he had one FTF back a few years ago with some cheap ammo. Other than that it’s been flawless in operation. He uses it on duty and stakes his life on it. I did the same with a 1911 for many years.

      We can site isolated incidents for a fair number of guns that would turn a lot of people off. Of course there are the old second hand rumors people on forums repeat as fact. The point is I’ve used the 1911 for my protection and the protection of others for a very long time and I’ll continue to do so. I still enjoy other pistols and would have confidence in them as well. Picking one pistol over another does not negate the value of other guns.

      I will relate an incident back when the second gen Glocks came out. If memory serves it was 1989. Our PD got a few of the next gen to see if a change was worth it from the gen one we used. After a few range trips mine went full auto. I was not happy and the powers that be kept the gen one guns for some time after. I know Glock recalled and fixed the problem but it was unnerving. This is just an example where any gun can have a failure. They are machines after all.

    • FormerSFMedic

      To answer your question “Rational”……The Kimber guns were for DET 1, not MARSOC. DET 1 wanted 1911’s for their pre deployment workup back in 2004. Unfortunately, the Precision Weapons Section was swamped at the time and Force Recon as well as other weapons projects took priority. PWS did not have the ability to build new pistols for DET 1 in time for their weapons and tactics package. So DET 1 put out an UNS for an INTERIM CQB Pistol that would serve as the standard sidearm until a permanent solution could be established. The DET chose a 1911 built to their specs by Kimber, who was the only manufacturer that could get pistols done in time for training. Interestingly enough, while waiting for the Kimber guns, the DET used a number of Springfield Professional Model 1911’s as an Interim pistol to the Interim Kimber pistols. The Kimbers were only bought for the DET 1 Marines which numbered somewhere around 98 personnel. That’s 98 guns with about 30 or so Springfield’s thrown in for slots that were filled later on. The DET did not “blow through” the Kimbers but rather the Marines of DET 1 were allowed to keep the guns once the DET was disbanded and MARSOC was stood up. Some guys sold them for thousands, some guys till use them to this day in combat, while others have kept them as personal guns to do as they please. Understand, that the Kimbers were always an INTERIM solution. The intent was always to adopt a factory built 1911 that was spec’d by MARSOC and would be issued standard to all MEU/SOC and MARSOC Marines. The adoption of the Colt marks the end of a search that began years ago.

      With all that said, those that say this was some sort of conspiracy or the result of political lobbyist, DONT know the whole story. This has been a long time coming. Was there some lobbying? Probably, but the ultimate decision goes to the Operator’s who will use these guns. On that note, the Colt 1911’s are at the top of the list when it comes to factory built 1911’s. Colt is building better 1911’s than they ever have before. Based on that alone, the choice was made!

      • Phil White

        Thanks for stepping in on this conversation. I always appreciate your information and contribution!

        This clarifies the entire process and the reasons for the choices made.

  • Richard

    Colt 1911 92 Beretta have greater reliability greatly exceed that of colt m4 carbine. In most recent Goverment overviewed torture test m9 went 20,500 rounds between malfunctions . That greatly exceeds military reliability testing results for m4 carbine.

  • Jeff

    I thik Winchester also does the same presidential gift with theiir 1873 lever action…

    • Phil White

      They used to do that but I’m not sure if they still do? I’ll see if I can find out for you.

      I made the call and am just waiting for the answer——

    • Phil White

      Jeff the answer I got was no they stopped giving 1873’s to presidents some years ago.

      I’m guessing it happened during a change in ownership of the company.

  • Vhyrus

    They picked the 1911 platform again?! What the hell are they thinking?! You cannot tell me with a straight face that any 1911 is better in any measurable way (price, capacity, reliability, weight, performance) than a Glock 21, FNX 45, M&P 45, USP, PX4, XD, CZ 97, or literally ANY OTHER MODERN 45 in a combat environment. Don’t even try, you’ll just look dumb.

    • W

      i dont understand the down votes, hes RIGHT. the USMC just loves the 1911. nothing wrong with that. as long as they work.

    • Kevin J J Kehoe

      Having faith in ones weapon is important , of course along with maintaining it.

      I still say no man should be without a sword, who knows if the Primers will ever run out. Plust them BP rifles may take to long to reload in a melee

    • FormerSFMedic

      @Vhyrus- Looking at the list of guns and areas of capabilities you mention my opinion is that the 1911 would stack up well against those guns in those areas.

      Is the 1911 better in any measurable way compared to those guns in…

      Price- NO
      Capacity- not better, but equal to
      Reliabilty- Same
      Weight- depends on the platform
      Performance- YES

      • Nicks87


        I will try to make this easy for you since you obviously dont know what you are talking about.

        Price-1911s are way more expensive to produce, train with and maintain.

        Capacity-1911s hold 7 rounds the pistols listed all hold more than 10.

        Reliabilty-I will give you this for arguments sake but most people know the truth.

        Weight-1911s only weigh less when fully loaded and its not by much and only because the other pistols hold more ammo.

        Performance-It all depends on the shooter, nuff said.

  • Ian

    I felt like I was reading theonion just now…

  • Curzen

    No amount of spin can change that buying these pistols is a blatant waste of taxpayer money.

    • Nicks87

      Yep, a couple hundred-thousand dollars so a few Marines can feel like Clint Eastwood.

      There is not one single justifiable reason that the 1911 should be fielded by ANY modern military.

      • FormerSFMedic

        @Curzan- How is this a waste of taxpayers money? Is getting guns into the hands of our Warfighter a waste of taxpayers money? Seriously?

        @Nicks87- Your comment is ridiculous and I think you know that. No justifiable reason? How about some justifiable reasons why these guys shouldn’t field the 1911?

        The 1911 is basis for almost every semi auto gun that came after it.

      • LJK

        “The 1911 is basis for almost every semi auto gun that came after it.”

        You’re thinking about the Browning High Power.

      • FormerSFMedic

        Nope, I’m thinking of the 1911.

      • W

        “The 1911 is basis for almost every semi auto gun that came after it.”

        LOL yes and for anybody that doesnt think so, research how many pistols utilize the browning-style locking cam.

      • Phil White

        Not enough money—-the initial purchase price to date is 1.2 million. Some are quoting more money than that but they are totaling the cost of all 11,000 guns over a long period of time.

      • Nicks87

        I’m sorry, 1.2 million!

        Even worse.

    • Phil White


      The Browning Hi Power came along in the 1930’s. After Brownings death a gentleman named Suave with FN completed the near finished design. Since Browning did 98% of the design they kept the Browning Hi-Power name.

      The 1911 was indeed the first of it’s type.

      The 1910 FN/Browning was around prior to the 1911 but the action was a lot different than the 1911 and in .380 caliber.

      • LJK

        I was mainly trying to point out that the HP is effectively an improvement over the 1911. The technical differences might not seem all that large, but almost all modern selfloaders use the same linkless design with the tilting barrel instead of the older 1911 style. Double-stacked magazines also came with the HP, not the 1911.

        You could argue that the 1911 is the first widely successful handgun that used the short recoil operation (by utilizing a tilting barrel). But to say that every gun after that copied it, instead of Brownings last design, is a tad strange to me.

    • Phil White


      I believe he said “basis of” not copy of. Big difference between the two. The linkless design was an improvement just based on all the pistols that have come after it using basically the same type of system.

      • Anonymoose

        All SIGs since the P220, all HKs since the USP, all CZs since the CZ75 (except for the CZ82/83), all Glocks and their clones, and all FNs since the Hi-Power have been derived from the Hi-Power, which was derived from the M1911, which itself was derived from the Colt M1900. The G21SF and FNX-45 may have much more capacity than a single-stack 1911, but their grips are still pretty big. I have pretty big hands myself, so I don’t have a problem with that, but it is possible that they are taking men with smaller hands into consideration here (I’m pretty sure there are no women in MEUSOC). However my bet is that it’s just nostalgia making them choose a 1911. They probably should have gone with the HK45T or HK45CT like the SEALs did.

  • Bryan S.

    Next we will hear the Navy is going back to revolvers…

    • Punish3r

      I doubt Obama would accept one LOL

      • Bandito762

        I’ll take Obama’s if he doesn’t want it

      • Kevin J J Kehoe

        I bet he would have no problem stealing one though and then lying about it.

  • Lance


  • W

    “It is tested to make sure it can be dropped in water, covered in mud, immersed in sand or ice, or left in a dust storm — and still be able to blast off a round when you pull the trigger.”

    nothing new. most new handguns will do this also.

    “Virtually, it’s indestructible,” said Casimir Pawlowski, who works in international sales and technical sevices for Colt Defense LLC. “You can drive over these things with a Humvee and they’re still gonna work. It’s like a brick that shoots bullets.”

    right. what a objective assertion mr pawlowsky, international sales and technical services for Colt Defense LLC.

    No. The brick that shoots bullets is the Mk 23. and it has the same aforementioned attributes. πŸ˜€ The 1911 is much more small hand friendly.

  • W

    I thought the M45 1911 was for Marine Corps Special Operations to replace well worn 1911s and provide a single supplier of parts???

    the article makes it sound like the M9 was replaced…

    does somebody know something i dont know?

    • Phil White

      Nope it’s only for the special operations group.

    • FormerSFMedic

      Many of the MEU/SOC and MARSOC Marines have had to use the M9 since MARSOC was stood up. There have simply not been enough guns to go around. This selection will allow Marines to have more guns on hand. The PWS just has too many other responsibilities to keep up. Hence the need for the M45.

      • Nicks87

        BUT WHY THE 1911??!!!?

        What can a 1911 do that a Glock 21 cant?

        FormerSFMedic, dont get me wrong I own a 1911 and have owned 1911s in the past but I just dont understand why people think it is so great.

        It is an accurate, moderately reliable pistol with a rich and storied history but to say that it is better than a modern striker-fired, polymer framed, high capacity pistol is just plain nonsense.

        … And there are about a million youtube videos that prove my point.

      • W

        Why not the Glock 21? because the Marines want the 1911. Indeed, MARSOC is extremely experienced with maintaining the 1911 in its most optimal level.

        Ill argue even against the Glock 21. The H&K 45 is far superior in my opinion.

      • Phil White

        Nick I was thinking a bit more about your unanswered question on what does the 1911 have over a Glock 21?

        1. A better trigger which allows more precise shot placement.

        2.The grip is much more ergonomic with a grip angle that makes it a natural pointer. I believe this also allows faster follow-up shots.

        3. It’s much easier to conceal even in the full size 1911. I don’t have the figures but the 1911 is considerably thinner. It’s also easier to handle for me at least.

        4. Very few shooters can handle the grip size and trigger reach should they have average size hands. Heck that’s why Glock came out with the modified version of the 21.

        5. The 21 has more rounds in the mag of course which is a plus if you are going against more than two assailants.
        LAPD stats yield an average of 3.9 shots fired per officer.

        I hope this at least partially answers your question.

  • Nicks87

    “Virtually, it’s indestructible,” said Casimir Pawlowski, who works in international sales and technical sevices for Colt Defense LLC. “You can drive over these things with a Humvee and they’re still gonna work. It’s like a brick that shoots bullets.”


    Thats the funniest thing I’ve heard all week. I hope some poor Marine doesnt actually try this and if they do I hope they make a video of it and post it on youtube so I can laugh my @$$ off again when it blows up in their hand.

    On a side note, GWB-001 is an absolutely beautiful pistol but its place is on the range or in a display case NOT the battlefield.

    • FormerSFMedic

      That statement makes sense since the 1911 is legendary for its reliability. Maybe you should do some research.

      • Nicks87

        Lol another good laugh, thank you.

        (I hope you were being sarcastic)

      • FormerSFMedic

        Definitely not being sarcastic. Like I said, do the research and get back to me.

      • Nicks87

        No, you sir, need to do the research but I will get you started.

        -most 1911s are all steel construction so they are prone to oxidation if not cleaned constantly/thoroghly. Special attention to where the frame meets the slide is recomended.
        -most 1911s require hand-fitting of parts in order to be reliable.
        -most 1911s are made to fairly tight tolerences which means if sand/rocks/dirt get in between tightly fitting parts it can cause malfunctions.
        -most 1911s cannot fire hollow-point or +P rounds. Using these rounds in your 1911 will cause malfuntions.
        -most 1911 mags are not very durable. Put a bent magazine into an already finiky 1911 and see what happens.

        Do I need to keep going? I’m pretty sure you have the internet so…

        …I say most because there are exceptions to every rule but even the high dollar 1911s will malfunction from time to time.

      • Phil White

        Nicks you’re raising your blood pressure:-)

        Honestly where are you getting this list of information from? I’ve never asked if you have been in the military or police in the past—— just curious because of the “real combat” remark. Thanks—–

      • Nicks87

        Phil, I like you and respect your opinion so I wont be rude.

        Yes I am a veteran and LEO and a firearms/defensive tactics instructor. I do have “combat” experience and the DD214 to prove it but all of that is beside the point since this is the internet and most people on the internet are full of crap.

        I will ask you these questions which I have yet to get a reponse from anyone on this or any other website:

        What advantage does a 1911 offer over a Glock 21? and Why would the USMC select a 1911 that failed multiple times in tourture tests over a modern striker fired, polymer framed, high capacity .45 pistol?

      • FormerSFMedic

        The 1911 has many advantages over a G21. If I were offered a G21 or a 1911 for the missions that MARSOC conducts, I would choose a 1911.

        The 1911 has a superior trigger over the G21. In fact, the 1911 has a superior trigger to pretty much all the popular modern semi autos.

        The 1911 has better ergonomics between the two hands down. The G21 has a HUGE blocky grip with basically no realistic remedy.

        The 1911 has legendary durability and I would say has a durability advantage over the G21.

        The 1911 is most likely going to be more accurate than the Glock as well. For the application the MARSOC Marines will use these guns for, accuracy is a premium capability. The G21 has not been well known for its accuracy.

        In the way of reliability. The 1911 and the Glock are basically tied on this one.

        Why would they choose this gun? Well, first, the 1911 didn’t fail against any modern striker fired pistol. Second, the 1911 is what these guys use. With that said, why wouldn’t they choose the 1911? Its a high performance pistol that runs like no other. Its capable of taking the shooter to his peak performance level in the harsh environments of the MARSOC AO.

      • Phil White


        Man I wasn’t trying to interrogate you at all. I really was curious and trying to get a feel for the basis of your opinions on the 1911. That’s all there was to it.

        I can agree with you that a lot of those expressing opinions get those opinions and information (if you want to call it that) from dubious resources. There are others that are very well informed. It takes awhile to figure out who is who:-)

        Nope don’t need the DD214 I take your word for it——–

        Earlier I made a comment about liking one gun or preferring one gun over another didn’t mean the other guns were bad, unacceptable for the job etc. In fact most jobs have several pistols that will get the job done.

        As far as the question you had a hard time getting an answer too I can say with some conviction that I don’t consider the 1911 the be all in the world of handguns. That’s probably the hardest point I have tried to make with folks who read TFB as well as other places I’ve written for.

        Yes sir I do like the 1911 and trust it enough to use on duty and I’m sure you remember my saying that. Now that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t trust a polymer pistol almost as much. I’ve just used the 1911 so many years at work and off duty that it’s almost an extension of my arms. I simply shoot it pretty much better than any other pistol I’ve been issued or tried out.

        My view is that at least for myself, other LEO’s, military etc. that prefer a 1911 aren’t undergunned or outdated as long as we shoot it well and get the job done. You do have to take care of it but then that’s true of all guns.

        I also like the Sig “P” series as well as the S&W M&P pistols. I never did warm up to the Glock because, at least for me, it doesn’t work well. The grip angle is severe which causes me to draw and point high when presenting the pistol on target. It just doesn’t feel right in my hand. That doesn’t mean it’s a bad gun it just isn’t for me.

        I still feel like the 1911 is the equal to about any pistol out there no matter the age of the design. You know as well as I you have to trust what you carry and that’s what keeps me coming back to the 1911 whenever the administration allowed it on duty.

        If there is ONE point I can make and be understood it’s that I don’t look down on other guns because I like and use 1911’s. I honestly never understood why people love one gun so they automatically consider all others inferior and hateful creations. If I can be honest here if I live to be 100 I’ll never understand that viewpoint.

        I hope this answers your question and clarifies my feelings on the subject.

      • Nicks87


        I agree with you for the most part and I am not trying to disparage the 1911 I just dont think it’s the best tool for the job. If the Marines like it then so be it but having spent some time crawling though the dirt and muck I can say that personally I would not want to be issued a 1911 as a side-arm in battlefield conditions. I feel that a stiker fired pistol would be more resistant to dirt and debris since the striker is enclosed inside the slide where as the 1911’s hammer is exposed and more suseptable to crud, especially in condition 1 (locked and loaded).

        Also in my experience as an instructor and student I can count on one hand how many 1911s I’ve seen make it through an advanced pistol course without having some sort of malfunction. I’ve even heard of instructors offering to pay for a student’s ammo costs if they can make it through the course without a malfuntion from their 1911.

      • Nicks87

        “Its a high performance pistol that runs like no other. Its capable of taking the shooter to his peak performance level in the harsh environments of the MARSOC AO.”

        What does that even mean? What is the MARSOC AO? I thought Marines were supposed to be world wide deployable.

        Sounds like rhetoric to me. Or just pure fantasy (See my above comment)

      • FormerSFMedic


        What that means is that a well built 1911 runs like a sewing machine This is unlike most other popular semi autos. With the outstanding ergonomics, perfect trigger, and smooth cycling action, the shooter has all the cards stacked in his favor.

        “I thought the Marines were supposed to be worldwide deployable?”

        Where do you think the MARSOC AO is?

      • spydie

        “-most 1911s are all steel construction so they are prone to oxidation if not cleaned constantly/thoroghly. Special attention to where the frame meets the slide is recomended.
        -most 1911s require hand-fitting of parts in order to be reliable.
        -most 1911s are made to fairly tight tolerences which means if sand/rocks/dirt get in between tightly fitting parts it can cause malfunctions.
        -most 1911s cannot fire hollow-point or +P rounds. Using these rounds in your 1911 will cause malfuntions.
        -most 1911 mags are not very durable. Put a bent magazine into an already finiky 1911 and see what happens.”

        Nicks87… you sure are full of crap. If you’re concerned about oxidation, get a stainless one. What do you think the barrels and slides of the plastic guns are made of? NOPE< not stainless. Hand fitted parts? Goes to show you know nothing about mass manufacturing. Nobody hand-fits their 1911s. They all work perfect out of the box and all parts are interchangeable with no change in reliability. Tight tolerances? Guess you never heard of WWII where soldiers could drop a .45 in the mud, shake the mud off, and go back to firing without any problem. They are actually sloppy, not tight, and for a reason (shake it… it rattles… get the picture?). Can't fire hollow points or plus P? Damn but you're dumb and inexperienced. You brag a good brag about all your experience, but you need to own a 1911 before you bad-mouth them. All I shoot in mine (and have for 15 years) is hollow points and plus P. Never had even one malfunction. And last, put a bent magazine in ANY auto and you'll see it works just like your fictional 1911. Man, that was the worst defense I've ever seen anyone try for. Here's a little advice for you… don't become a lawyer. That was free.

        • Phil White


          LOL—I know believe me I know. When I post a 1911 review we go back and forth every time. He actually has 1911’s for range use only. Me–well I carry a 1911 daily and have for many years and they have never let me down. From Detonics in the 80’s onto the present with Kimbers it’s all good.

    • W

      youre comparing apples to walnuts. what i mean by that is that you’re comparing a store bought 1911 of dubious quality to a customized high-grade custom 1911 optimized for combat conditions.

      There is a huge difference between the two. They’re not even in the same ballpark.

      • Nicks87

        Oh really?

        So my store bought Kimber Classic Custom, that has about 15K+ rounds through it (not without many malfuctions unfortunately) hasnt needed any parts replaced except the barrel, is NOT as good as a pistol that had multiple CRACKS in it after only 12k?????

        Guess what buddy? they ARE in the same ball-park and they are both way out in left field along with people like yourself who think that 1911s are a good choice over modern striker fired polymer framed pistols for ACTUAL (not airsoft or pretend) combat.

      • W

        “Oh really?”

        yes really.

        “So my store bought Kimber Classic Custom, that has about 15K+ rounds through it (not without many malfuctions unfortunately) hasnt needed any parts replaced except the barrel, is NOT as good as a pistol that had multiple CRACKS in it after only 12k?????”

        nobody gives a shit about your Kimber. Myself and many, many other people have been burned by Kimber once before and wouldnt touch them with a ten foot pole. Yes, some Kimbers work, many dont.

        and what do you mean no parts replaced? going 15,000 plus rounds without replacing a buffer spring and firing pin spring (just naming a FEW things) might explain why you are having many malfunctions. Those should be replaced every 5,000 rounds.

        “Guess what buddy? they ARE in the same ball-park and they are both way out in left field along with people like yourself who think that 1911s are a good choice over modern striker fired polymer framed pistols for ACTUAL (not airsoft or pretend) combat.”

        No they arent. Any 1911 company that tells me, “Ill know if my parts are MIM or not when they break” is not in the same ballpark, not even in the same league as a Springfield Operator or Wilson.

        and you obviously dont know a f——-g thing about me. I am actually vehemently opposed to using the 1911 as a combat and self-defense handgun just because of the maintenance that it requires, making it less than optimal for prolonged combat operations in my opinion. In the case of MARSOC, their M45s will be reliable and effective, simply because their armorers know what their doing.

      • Nicks87

        Way to go you are officially an internet tough guy.

        By the way I’ve been pretty happy with my kimber. It’s pretty worn out but I keep it around because it has sentimental value. I think thats why the Marines keep 1911s around too maybe. Also my malfunctions were far between but still too many to be considerd a weapon I would carry into harms way. The only reason I changed out the barrel was because I wanted to use a suppressor on it. Now it just sits quietly in the safe. Maybe some day I will refurbish it but I have other projects that are taking up my time and money.

      • W

        “Way to go you are officially an internet tough guy.”

        equal and opposite reactions. if youre a dick to me, im a dick right back.

        “By the way I’ve been pretty happy with my kimber. It’s pretty worn out but I keep it around because it has sentimental value. I think thats why the Marines keep 1911s around too maybe.”

        Refer to what I said in the previous comment. Myself and many, many others have been burned by Kimber. Apparently they supplied a number of ICQB pistols to a company in MARSOC, though I cannot quote the quality and reliability of those weapons. Yes, the Marines keep the 1911 for sentimental value, though those weapons are optimized for their performance.

    • Phil White


      Now I know more about your background and the last post I know now you don’t hate 1911’s. Before the last comment I always thought you did!

      Anyway the 1911 vs. polymer pistols is one thing that will never be resolved which is kinda like the old and beaten to death 9mm vs 45 acp. argument.

      Most people will never change their minds no matter what side of the fence they may be on. That’s ok because we all have a choice as well as a second choice of which one we’ll carry. We can be thankful for that.

      I remember one class where two of us had 1911’s and most of the others were anything from M92′ to H&K USP’s as well as Glocks. The course had us fire a total of 750 rounds. Now my Colt 1911 which had been tweaked by a gunsmith in Dallas ran fine. The other 1911 was a Springfield Armory which did fine as well. He may have had one failure to fire with some cheapo ammo his department gave him for the class. Then we had a guy with a very old S&W revolver that stopped running. The sleeve the cylinder crane fit’s in was rounded out from use and needed peening back into spec. Someone also brought a Taurus of all things and it failed the first day. One of the instructors had an extra gun he finished the class with. The point is about any class I’ve taught or attended has had it’s share of broken guns.

      Before the class I serviced mine with new springs it was due for and just regular service. Folks who don’t even clean a gun before a class are asking for problems so it’s up to the user to take care of the service weapon they use.

      In addition to the 1911 I’d also trust a Sig “P” series, Berretta 92 (those made in the last ten years or so) and a Glock would be ok if I could send it off to one of the companies who make a living just reshaping the grip on them, strippling and I know it’s heresy but a manual safety from these guys.

      Grip shaping:

      Have a good weekend!

  • RickH

    I just heard the marines are also going back to the M1. You know you can drive a Sherman over those and they’re still gonna work. It’s like a club that shoots bullets.

  • TheMoose

    So Barrack may have received a Colt 1911, eh? Filthy bastard probably didn’t even appreciate the gesture, let alone the craftsmanship. Guess what Barrack, John Moses Browning DID BUILD THAT you arrogant F_CK.

    • Phil White

      Hey Moose lets be careful how we phrase comments like this one. I’ll leave the comment alone in part but I have to get rid of that last line.

      The intent of the comment is still loud and clear!


    • Anonymoose

      Please take note of the header on this website, where it says “Firearms not Politics.” >.>

      • Phil White

        Exactly right!

  • Nathaniel

    Yeah, let’s adopt a century-plus old design, to which the only modifications that have been made are the addition of compound stress risers all over one of the most structurally important parts of the gun.

    What’s with all the kowtowing to some Marine procurement officer? Guys, they didn’t have every Marine in the Corps test these pistols, they ran a test, the guns failed the test (if not by the test’ own metric, then certainly by any reasonable one), they adopted them anyway. The Marines who will use the weapons in combat are nowhere to be seen. Who knows what they actually want? Maybe they want M9s, maybe they want Glocks, maybe they want combat knives, who knows?

    Even if they did get some kind of consensus on the handguns, that doesn’t mean they’re right. Just because you “feel good” about a weapon doesn’t make it the best combat asset in the world.

    So it’s mighty foolish to say “if the Marines are happy with it, so am I”. Wars aren’t won by the happiest side, they’re won by the side with the best soldiers, the best equipment, the best organization, etc. Who cares if the soldiers are happy with it, if it works and is effective?

    • Phil White

      I know a few Marines as well as one Marine in that unit. They had a representative few who attended some of the testing of the final product.

      It’s pretty common to have reps from special units attend part of the testing so they can provide opinions of the weapon as is as well as suggestions for changes.

      As far as the “happy” comment I could have just as easily said “i’m fine with it”. It pretty much comes out to the same meaning. It doesn’t mean the Marines are a happy branch of the military πŸ™‚

      The Marines I know and bounce emails off of on subjects like this like the 1911. Not all but most. Call it tradition, dumb decision or whatever your opinion is but if the Marines who will use it are satisfied, if you will, then so am I.

      I wouldn’t even consider saying the Marines are wrong no matter what they choose.

  • Patrick

    The gun pictured that George W Bush received was not from Colt. Colt no doubt gave him one, but the one pictured is not it. The gun pictured is in American Handgunner magazine and was done by custom pistolsmiths. Notice the “Gemini Customs” on the frame forward of the trigger. I doubt Colt would outsource work to Gemini Customs and Caspian. Also, the guns given to presidents during their term in office are required to go in the presidential museum, as is any gift over a $250.00. The gun given to GWB that is pictured was given to him after he left office so that he could keep it and actually shoot it. There was a full page write up in the September/October issue of American Handgunner, page 28.

    • Phil White

      Thanks for the information Patrick—-much appreciated.

  • Anonymoose

    If I were President and Colt offered me a pair of custom 1911s I’d have them make me a pair of railed Delta Elites, and then CC them everywhere in the US where civilians are legally allowed to CC.

  • Nicks87

    “Virtually, it’s indestructible,”

    Does that mean “virtual world” like “Call of Duty” or some other video game?

    Because I think the motivation behind the decision to arm front line troops with 1911s is rooted in pure fantasy.

  • Jim

    MARSOC .45 will soon be renamed the FATSOC 45

    The first squad of Marsoc Marines that has to hump up 10,000′ mountains on a patrol will regret the day they were issued them. Every ounce counts in Mountain Ops, especially in higher altitudes. If you can’t appreciate that, you havent done it.

    If the Corps really wanted a modern, successfully tested and battle tested .45 pistol they should have believed the SEALS and purchased HK Compact .45’s.

    Instead the Corps drank its own nolstagiac kool aide. Just wait for them to ask if they can make it work reliably with a supressor, good luck!

    Sempre Ridiculous!

    • Phil White


      As far as weight comparisons are concerned the 1911 comes in at 38 ounces in standard configuration plus or minus a couple of ounces depending on the rail addition etc.

      Navy special warfare only uses the full size pistols not the compacts.

      The H&K Mk 23 comes in at the following numbers:
      1.2 kg (2.7 lb), empty Or 43 ounces
      1.47 kg (3.2 lb), loaded Or 51 ounces

      So the Mk 23 actually weighs more than the Colt railed 1911 empty or loaded. The Mk 23 is not the primary handgun in the Spec Ops community now. The 1911 is still around but the Glock Gen 4 and Gen 3 in the model 19/23 compact as well as the full size cousins are taking over at least in the Army Special Forces including Delta.

      There aren’t enough Glocks to go around yet so the units going to Afghanistan are taking M9’s and hot swapping with the units rotating home for the Glocks they used. Eventually there will be enough Glocks they won’t have to do that.

      • Anonymoose

        I believe Jim is referring to the Mk24 (HK45CT) not the Mk23. The Mk23 never really caught on because of its size, and last I heard they halted all production of it years ago. The HK45 is far superior to both the 1911 and the Glock, btw.

    • Phil White


      He may very well be talking about that one. Heck they have some of the 1990’s 23’s and of course the Sig p226 as well.

      Most of the spec ops folks change guns a bunch it seems. Stick with one already:-)

      I found a pic that compares the size between the 23 and 24

      By the way I have a H&K compact which I like very much. I did change the mainspring for a lighter trigger pull.

      Nah no S–t storm from me—LOL!

    • W

      i actually agree. the Mk 24 mod 0 would have been a excellent selection.

      • Phil White


        The compact wouldn’t be a bad choice at all. I don’t care much for the extended mags but then again I guess you could carry the standard mag in the pistol with all the other mags on your gear the extra capacity type.