Marines opt for the 9 mil over 45s for special operators – MarineTimes

Since last year, MARSOC has purchased and fielded 1,654 Glock 19s because Raiders needed a reliable secondary weapon “that could be used for both a concealed carry profile and a low-visibility profile,” and having one approved pistol for all special operators saves money, he said.  Marines opt for the 9 mil over 45s for special operators.

Marines opt for the 9 mil over 45s for special operators – MarineTimes

And, of course, the rational interjections of 1911 fans about losing the last military bastion for the classic handgun were predictable:


10 Replies to “Marines opt for the 9 mil over 45s for special operators – MarineTimes”

  1. 9mm is a good round, and there are a lot of advantages to a modern, striker fired polymer frame pistol, that frankly the 1911 cannot match.

    Still like my 1911s, I have a soft spot in my head for that pistol. And, I also recognize that just because a branch of the military selected some other firearm, does not mean that tried and true platform will disappear.


    1. Other than the weight, what is it about those plastic pistols that the 1911 can’t match? Remember the pix from Iraq where one of our GIs was shot in the face, at arm’s length, with a 9mm, and lost a tooth only? He was smiling in the photo. That could never happen with a 45 ACP. I’m glad the enemy uses 9mm — I’m going to stick with my .45.

      My friend is a Glock fanboy, and he bought a new pistol, and immediately spent the same amount as he did on the pistol for a custom-installed trigger. He said it was smooth and accurate. It doesn’t come close to my out-of-the box, 30 year old, uncustomized Springfield 1911. All I have to do is think about squeezing the trigger and it goes bang. Cocked and locked, a smooth draw from either my shoulder holster or my cactus slide requires a flick of the thumb and the safety is off and finger meets trigger as front sight meets bullseye. You cannot beat a single-action trigger pull.

      So, what is so special about those plastic guns?


      1. Is that you in the animated GIF that Miguel posted?

        What is so special about those plastic guns? Nothing.
        What is so special about a 1911? Nothing.

        They are all very capable firearms.

        The average polymer 9mm is lighter, carries twice the ammo, and aims and fires just as well as a 1911. Yes, the amount of energy delivered per round is lower, but remember you have twice as many rounds. I shoot several of them myself. Are they heads and shoulders above a 1911, no, but they do not suck either.

        And, I agree with your statements about the 1911. Love mine.

        Don’t be such a fanboi. Your response is exactly what Miguel was trolling for.


      2. Yep another 1911 Fan here, and a S&W1911Sc is my chosen Carry gun.

        First let’s just drop the bullshit flag on the play here. The terminal ballistics difference between comparable 9×19 and .45 ACP loads is academic at best. Anybody shot and killed with a .45 would have been killed by a 9mm if a similar loading was used (ie Ball, +P, JHP, ect) and the same goes for people who take a 9mm round and survive with surprisingly little trauma. If that soldier had taken a round of .45 Ball to the face, he also would have been fine.

        Now onto what the plastic-fantastics have that the 1911 doesn’t.

        #1 Capacity…..yes there are wide-bodied 1911s but they’re adaptations from a single-stack and need some engineering to accomplish it, and SMART engineering to accomplish it well.

        #2 Reliability. Yep my 1911s eat everything I feed them, and run great on expensive hollow points, and garbage steel-cased Russian ammo alike. But the full-length frame-rails really are a problem for dirty conditions. Not an issue for my daily carry gun, or for home defense….a big issue if you’re carrying the gun in desert warfare, or you’re using it as a tunnel rat.

        #3. The stuff the 1911 does AWESOME doesn’t really matter. Yep those above mentioned frame rails, coupled with the barrel bushing design allow for the guns to be very naturally accurate. Also 1911 triggers are literally the best triggers EVER! Also the 1911 is slimmer than most single-stack 9mm guns.

        All awesome things, and why I love 1911s….but the military doesn’t care! Yep a good 1911 will be naturally more accurate than a plastic gun, and can be better accessorized by an armorer than the plastic gun, but soldiers aren’t shooting for tight groups at long range, they’re looking to shoot bad things REALLY close when they are using a handgun rather than a carbine or rifle.

        Also that great trigger is awesome….unless you’re minimally trained in pistols, and deploying that gun in a battlefield setting while wearing heavy combat gloves… practice a longer trigger is better.

        And the last, and most important.

        #4: COST! 1911s are expensive, even the cheap Filipino cast guns run about the same price as H&K’s “Cheap” Striker-fired plastic gun. I carry a S&W 1911, Smith’s own M&P line is WAYYYY cheaper than it. And the military likes cheap, and individual soldiers buying personal guns for duty use don’t want to have a $2000 STI 2011 blown up, shot or lost in the field….but a $450 Glock…..


      3. That very much can happen with a .45. If it happens at an angle where the only thing in the path of the bullet is a couple teeth then a couple teeth is all you lose. I have a friend that was shot in the face with an AK-47 in Iraq with similar results…luck of the angles.

        Or were you seriously under the impression that the dude’s teeth STOPPED the 9mm bullet? :/


        1. Bunch of years ago (mid-’80s) a guy clerking at a stop-n-rob down the road from my old house stopped a .357 magnum round with the zipper on his Levi’s. Yeah, it was probably a squib load… but I’ll bet that dude never had to buy his own drinks or work hard to pull at a bar for the rest of his life.
          “Hey, baby- mine’s bulletproof. Wanna see?”


  2. Other than the fame, there’s nothing special about the 1911.
    I mean, the design was so perfect, it had to be improved after 12 years of service 😛
    And it’s so precise, thanks to its bushing, that no other pistol can match it!
    Except for everything with a steel frame from Sig.
    And SigSauer.
    And CZ.
    And S&W.
    And Steyr.
    And polymer framed HKs.
    And Grand Powers.
    And also Steyr.
    But none of them has a bushing so they don’t count :p

    I do like the 1911 but I have no interest of owning one, because me and the safety don’t agree.

    I’m no fanboy for anything but I do like my steel-framed collection (funny enough: my only .45 also is my only polymer pistol).

    And don’t get me started on the old .45 vs. 9mm… I mean, srsly, do I want light and fast or heavy and slow? Both has it’s merits. But it is kinda like the argument X-Box vs. PlayStation. They might argue which is better while the Glorious 10mm Master Race watches from above 😉

    Just kidding.


  3. “Yep a good 1911 will be naturally more accurate than a plastic gun, and can be better accessorized by an armorer than the plastic gun, but soldiers aren’t shooting for tight groups at long range, they’re looking to shoot bad things REALLY close when they are using a handgun rather than a carbine or rifle.”

    We have a winner!

    And, that is exactly why the military is keeping the double stack polymers in play. Especially since ammo cost is not a factor for the end user.
    Accuracy is good, but when the end user can send half a dozen rounds at the target without a care in the world, accuracy is not paramount. What is the worst that happens? The group is 10″ across instead of 3″.

    Still love all of my 1911s, but I also recognize there is value in the polymer frames as well.


  4. It’s certainly a fantastic pistol. I love mine.

    I wonder if they’ll stick with the 124gr.(?) ball or go to a different weight. I’d never carry anything lighter than 124gr.

    I’m just glad I don’t have to use ball.


  5. Gee, I dunno- maybe the military just plain old decided that it was time to replace a handgun designed to meet the needs of horse cavalry and based on experiences from a war that 99% of America would have to be told ever happened?
    Maybe the testers looked at the projected per-unit lifespan and the length of the armorer’s courses for the two side-by-side?
    Maybe they were okay with the idea of having used something like 2/5ths of all police forces in the USA (and police and militaries in 48+ other countries, not to mention actual American military and ‘agency’ shooters) as beta testers over a period of 20+ years?
    Maybe they just thought of the handgun as a tool for throwing bullets at hostile people while the user is under extreme stress and in bad conditions, instead of as a piece of tradition and an icon of the user’s warrior spirit?

    Nah- must have been some kind of trick. Gaston must’ve remembered to pay the rent on the Orbital Mind Control Lasers this month. Damn Orbital Mind Control Lasers.

    (seriously, I would have preferred them to adopt SIG 229’s, which are already partially in the supply chain- but I’m just so giddy at the idea of any part of the military getting any completely new small-arms procurement in my lifetime that I’m willing to let that go.)



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