Marine MARSOC M45 1911 Now Offered In Civilian Version

In an article last summer we wrote of the Marine Corp decision to adopt a new Colt 1911 for MARSOC with the military designation of M45.

Most of you have seen the M45 by now. It appears on the surface to be a railed 1911 finished in tan Cerakote. A good number of readers asked if Colt would be making a civilian version. At that time of course nobody had any idea.


As of the SHOT show now we know. A civilian version of the M45 will be available for civilian sale. As far as differences the only obvious difference would be the markings. In all other ways it looks identical to the Marine version sporting a tan Cerakote finish, G-10 grips with Novak type sights. MSRP is $1295.00.

Phil White

Retired police officer with 30 years of service. Firearms instructor and SRU team member. I still instruct with local agencies. My daily carry pistol is the tried and true 1911. I’m the Associate Editor and moderator at TFB. I really enjoy answering readers questions and comments. We can all learn from each other about our favorite hobby!


  • kosherbacon

    Does the frame still split?

  • Esh325

    It’s cool to see many of the commercial developments of the 1911 finally adopted as a military standard. I suppose there will be copies of this as Colt set the standard the first time of what a milspec 1911 is.

    • They did set the standard that’s for certain.

    • This version follows a long litany of 1911s with these features already in use. This pistol’s design, for example, follows exactly the Springfield Armory MC Operator and Kimber Desert Warrior, both of which were developed in the Early 00s and submitted for the Marine’s ICQB pistol, and have been commercially available for a long time.

      Colt is only now adopting these features that were already there and in use on ICQB pistols.


        It’s also interesting to see how the true-believers in 1911s usually wring their hands when one talks light rails. These people usually name-drop USMC or some other ABC-123-ey-eye-ey-eye-oh agency. Some of them will have a cow over this pistol having a rail. But anyone who has spent time pointing a weapon in dark places knows, lights on weapons are VERY good things. It’s a good call by the USMC. –TTR

      • Eric

        Springfield & Kimber didn’t come up w/the design it was given to them fr/the WTBn/USMC for the Operators who were going to man USMC/SOCOM DET-1 b/c WTBn didn’t have enough weapons to equip the DET & it’s FR DAPs. so they gave Springfield the design specs for the Springfield MC (Marine Corps) Operator.

  • Looks great – Everything about it is no-nonsense, and I’ve just learned what’s G-10, on Google. So I saw a thing of beauty, geek-wise, AND learned at the same time! Thanks, guys.


  • Andrew


    • Esh325

      It’s not a bad price for what it is. That’s just the MSRP.

      • The actual price will be closer to $1100 or slightly lower

        • jorge

          i heard in one of the shot show videos that it was going to be $2000

          • I’ve seen the price listed on to many websites as well as info from Colt reps.

          • AK™

            That’s what they are charging the Government for them..our tax dollars at work.

      • Patrick

        but in this gun buying frenzy most gun shops are priceing higher then MSRP just to keep guns on shelves

        • They have been no doubt about that. I do know several shops that haven’t changed prices on guns or ammo.
          Besides I’m hoping this will blow over to the point that prices will stabilize


        It’s difficult to even buy all the proper parts for a 1911 for under $1500. Actually this is a decent price. I know it’s sticker-shock for the average polymer pistol owner, but the 1911 is a much more complex and expensive pistol to build.

  • Bill

    It’s spelled “Marine Corps”, and the possessive form is “Marine Corps’s” (e.g. “we wrote of the Marine Corps’s decision…”)

    Attention to detail pays dividends, my friend.

    • Matt

      That’s improper. The correct spelling would be Marine Corps’.

    • No sir, it appears it is you need to pay attention to basic 5th grade punctuation and grammar. The proper way of punctuating that phrase is ” the Marine Corps’ decision…there is no such forma as “Marine Corpses”…LOL

    • rapewhistle

      Bill got Pwned on grammer

  • Damn, this is good news!

  • Patrick

    damn that’s to expensive for my college student budget

  • Wow, My beloved Corps is returning to it’s roots: the M1911! Wow! When I was in they were phasing out the WWI and WW2-era .45’s and replacing them with the Baretta…I remember most of them were so worn out half of them would go “full auto” and scare the crap out of the boot “lewies” doing fam fire on our range…LOL


      These aren’t for general issue. Only MARSOC or whatever it’s called now. Just like the 1911s they run now.

  • that price point is insulting.

    • FourString

      Yah, I would much rather have an H&K HK45 for that price, with change to spare on the mags…

      • HK45 is 1095. Mags are $60/mag. So, you’d get the pistol, and maybe three mags.

        • FourString

          I know. And I’d still get the HK45 instead 🙂
          ‘Sides, the HK45 is around 900-1000 in some places

    • Not unusual in the 1911 world. That’s what makes the Rock Island 1911’s so attractive.

      • FourString

        They certainly are attractive.

  • Wasn’t the price that was floated around during shot show closer to $2000?

  • Brian Fulmer

    That seems quite a reasonable price, especially for Colt. I expected some $1995 limited edition (we don’t like civilian sales!). This pistol will cost Kimber and Springfield sales, for sure. Certainly the first Colt 1911 I’ve looked at in ~25 years I have looked at with interest.

    Brian in CA

  • Jorge

    Let me start off by saying that i love this gun & will hopefully own it. But i think whoever chose this for our troops was a dummy. They can get 3/4 less expensive polymer guns (glocks/xd’s) that are just as reliable, lighter, parkerized, & carry double the ammo. I don’t want our troops lives to depend on 7+1. Afghanistan is not nyc. Plus they wouldn’t have to fit parts like 1911’s all do.

    • They were already using 1911s. The design requirements for the bid were that the firearm had to have a manual safety and use the existing 1911 magazines.


        Agreed. The USMC is married to the 1911. They were buying Kimbers and some third-party frames BEFORE this product was chosen. Does this mean a 1911 was the best option? Above all others? Probably not. The truth is many times when the 1911 arguments come up, people jump up and down and get all hot and bothered in the 9 vs 45 debate. Which is fine. But there are other 45 ACP pistols out there. Vickers said it best, this will most likely be the LAST 1911 selected for official US military use. –TTR

    • Van S.

      A custom 1911, especially this one, will NEVER last longer than any of the modern polymer framed handgun. I carried the 1911 made by the Marine Corps PWS. And they had issues, a lot of issues. The 1911 was never designed to have the tight tolerances these guns are made to.And if we are trying to lighten our soldiers load, why the hell add a 42oz gun (empty!) To their load? Spend $2800 on a gun that is a secondary weapon!! Try switching their primary to a 300blk cartridge instead. The reason thisgun was chosen was political BS. And the guys that are the experts in the marines are dinosaurs and don’t train with modern day firearms so they don’t know any better.

      • Clay Burtts

        back to the basics — they will have BOTH ,
        1) stopping power
        2) they will be able have a MIX of wpns
        3) they still had 45s
        4) they don’t cost the USMC 2800 –or you !
        5) we are always improving in wpns — in fact we are hand in hand with many of the Army programs —
        Facts — been there — don’t talk the talk unless you have walked the walk…………….
        it is easy to say one way or another when you are sitting in a chair and you are lit living the life — every day — in a different country every year
        USMC, 30 years USMC ret . 4 war vet .

  • Rijoenpial

    I have never quite understood how a military outfit can use, in the XXIst century, a sidearm with only eight rounds!!! And costing twice one with twice the ammo! It is as preposterous as it is offensive! I know Colt’s 1911 is a beloved gun, from which all others derived, but COLT is purely ripping people off! As they always do! The LE901 or CM901 is a ton to carry and way too expensive as well! At least, they are coherent in the sales department: sell for more what is worth for less!

    • Sidney Collins

      So, in your opnion MARSOC does not know what the hell they are doing? And while I am asking, what color is the sky in your world?
      There are plenty of examples of poor bureaucratic decisions being made in US military acquistion. But this is NOT one of them. MARSOC listened to the Marines serving in the assigned units and responded to their request. The men requested 1911s. MARSOC had been rebuilding handguns using available supplies and parts and pieces. Eventually, they realized that a new batch of guns was needed. They bid out a 1911 request. Which model of gun was never an issue. The only issue was the supplier.
      You don’t like the 1911. Fine. But questioning the operators and Marines serving in MARSOC is rather rude. They are actually doing the work. They are getting the exact gun they requested.

      • Rijoenpial

        Actually, in my opinion, soldiers stick to what they know best, for better AND for worse…! Men are animals of habit, and of course, so are soldiers, generals, politicians and whatnot! I respect the soldiers, who are the ones sent to pursue someone’s agenda, unbeknownst to them,.. But don’t confuse patriotism with warmongering! I think it is rather sad that other armies are getting modernised, whereas the USM is not! That is why I favour the SpecOps anyway… They choose the best tool for the job… And make no mistake, you don’t know for sure if the soldiers had anything to say regarding this choice… Nevertheless, it still seems that COLT was favoured without a TRUE open competition! I mean, you can always have three or four vendors, but your mind already made up…! Right?

        • Eric

          The use of the the 1911 goes back before MarSoc to the custom built MEU (SOC) 1911 carried by the MSPF’s Force Recon DAP since 1985. The M45 is a production model of that pistol custom-built for FR at Weapons Training Bn in Quantico, VA.

          WTBn only has the capacity to build/maintain about 400 of those pistols for FR but MarSoc will need 3500. So a custom build became a who can best build a production model of this custom weapon.

          The unit name is new not the men who man it, they had already looked at other designs over the years at FR. Also for years Socom had been using 9mm, while FR had developed & customized a .45 for Special Missions since ’85. It was Socom who moved to where the Marines were at and eventually began using .45s.

    • Uhm, HK45 is 10 rounds. The 1911 with extended mags is 10 rounds. So, what exactly are you giving up? Also, I’ve shot and trained with a number of Law Enforcement and Military guys who run 1911s, and they, frankly, beat the pants off guys shooting glocks and such in terms of accuracy, and with a properly tuned gun, are not lacking anything in speed.

      You don’t want a 1911? Don’t run one. But the 1911 as a platform works just fine for those who train on it.


        And a Glock 21 is 13-14 round. 33-40% more capacity than either pistol mentioned. Which is significant. The 1911 is a fine platform. But it’s an old platform. Truth be told, JMB if alive today would use the most advanced technology available to him to design a pistol today. It would be fair to assume he would strive for weight savings (alloy or polymer) and probably striker-fired.

        I’m a big 1911 fan. Probably nobody bigger. I run them with great effect. But I am not so invested in them that I can’t see the forest through the trees. This will be most likely the last 1911 selected for MIL use.

        If someone wants to make the argument of 45 vs 9, that is fine. Especially in ball ammo for MIL use. But one doesn’t need to automatically choose the 1911 for that role either. The USMC is married to the platform. I think it’s cool. But all pistols suck. The USMC just choose their version of SUCK.

        Eventually the 1911 will be replaced by another pistol for the USMC. Probably not for a long while now. It WILL probably be in 45. The main reasons will be cost, weight, probably a little fire-power, and majority factor of service life.

        David, you and I are both avid high-volume shooters. We both know what the 1911 can and can’t do. It’ll run with the best even today. I know of one 1911 with 400,000 on the frame. That’s not the issue. But we both know, everything else being equal in the race, the 1911 HAS to come into the pits more often than the other cars.

        Eventually…pitt-stops start to cost you races.


  • Rijoenpial

    Also, I am quite sure there was no open competition for this one, as usual when it comes to COLT in the military!

  • RickH

    I did not read the previous article about this. Does it have the series 80 style firing pin safety? If it does, no thanks, I have never cared for that.

    • Yes it is a series 80

      • Actually, the MARSOC pistol made by colt (and the Colt Rail Gun) are Series 70, not series 80. I’ve torn a few apart, and they have no firing pin block.

        • I’m talking about the civilian offering


          I’ll bet you money in 1-2 SHOT cycles, Colt will offer this in Series 70. –TTR

  • can anyone recommend where I can buy one?

    Thank you,


    • It’s just beginning to come out so it will be a little while before you’ll see any in Gun stores. Keep an eye out on Buds Gunshop online. They should have them faster than most.

  • Guest

    Hope they’re parkerized underneath. Even Cerakote is going to chip under hard use, in sandy conditions, with frequent (mandatory) cleanings. We’ll see a lot of these with 10% of the cerakote left on them in a year. Looks great though! May have to buy one – the finish will last a lot longer sitting in my safe…

  • Marc

    Cracked slides for everyone! Rejoice!

  • Lance

    Want one Steve buy all of us one and we give you a review!!! LOL I do want one. They are a sweet looking .45!!

  • The 1911, in service for several decades longer than the Brown Bess musket!

  • Frosty_The_White_Man

    Well there’s your problem, it’s not a Glock 21.