Why? Because they are Jarheads.

Marines place $22.5M order for the Colt .45 M1911

Sorry but that has to be the dumbest military procurement error since the Chauchat. Top of my head I can come up with the Glock 21 and the FNX 45 as far more reliable, lighter and bigger capacity handguns that would serve the Marines much better than a 1911.
The tradition says that the jarheads always get stuck with the crappy weaponry. Apparently tradition is right. At least they did not go for the S&W Model 10 revolver, Thank God for small favors.

35 thoughts on “Why? Because they are Jarheads.”

  1. If they really wanted to be traditional, they should place an order for ’03 Springfields & watercooled Browning 1917 mg’s.

  2. Nobody ever said the military brass were not short sighted, after all, they fought against the M-16 rifle and had the F-4 Phantom built without guns.
    Oh yeah, they fazed out the “Ike jacket” 6 months after I bought one in 1963…

    1. It is the same military mentality that told Custer he could not have lever action rifles because soldiers would waste ammo. We all know how that ended.

      1. Custer is definitely not totally innocent in that. He rejected the offer of Gatling guns because he thought that they weren’t going to be worth the logistical strain.

  3. How much flak will you receive for suggesting that the 1911 is a bad idea.

    The British Army still uses Hi-Powers (they also use Sigs, though).

      1. I carry a 1911, and love them to death, and you’re 100% correct.

        I hear that the military wants a gun with a thumb safety, and if they want American-Made they can always go with the M&P45.

  4. Tsk tsk tsk… If you’re not hatin’ on AR’s, you’re hatin’ on 1911′s. Let go the anger, brother, and feel the looooove.

      1. That is a pretty cool gun. A guy on my fire dept. just built his own AR in 7.62×39 (he was an armourer in the Army), but I haven’t seen his yet. Not sure if he found a receiver that would accept AK mags, but I doubt it. I’ve got a lot of those “lottery guns” myself!

        Oh, and I’d give you more crap about your 1911 comments but I’m currently getting ready to send my SR1911 back to Ruger, for… ahem… reliability issues. *sigh*

  5. This purchase is not for the whole USMC, only the SOCOM portion MARSOC. These Marines have the knowledge skill and motivation to keep their pistols running. Now the pistol in question is not an actual 1911, but a Colt XSE, which is based on the 1911 but is much more reliable than the original. The GLOCK 21 and other similar pistols were ruled out due to their grip size, which could not accommodate smaller hands.

    1. The small hands meme is old. I am tired to see petite women handling full size Glock in competition (You ought to see Top Gun’s all of 5′ tall Gabby Franco with her Glock 34) so that excuse does not fly. But this is the military where training is slower than procurement in advancement.

  6. OK…going to try and make this brief…

    MARSOC (Force Recon elements) throughout the Corps have been using 1911s for decades. Up until the last 10 years or so, their MEUSOC 1911s have been built and rebuilt on Colt M1911A1s, keep in mind that the last Government order for 1911A1s was in 1945. In recent years, they purchased some slides and frames from Springfield as well as some complete guns to build guns etc.

    When Det 1 was formed they bought Kimber Warriors which were referred to as the ICQB Pistol, by all reports, they sucked.

    Now the Corps was looking for a “Commercial Off The Shelf” or “COTS” item to use for their MEUSOC sidearms. It takes a lot of time to custom build a 1911 and they’re liking the railed frames as the previous method of light attachment, the add on rail is no longer available if I recall, for the life of me I can’t remember the maker of that part but I seem to recall it being discontinued….any way….

    When the RFP came out for this go around, it was pretty 1911 specific as the RFP contained language that the submitted pistols had to use the single stack, 7rd magazines all ready in the system. That rules out pretty much everything other then the S&W 945.

    Now, as for the USMC being “stoo-pid” for this, remember that we are still in a multi-fronted engagement in the War on Terror and rolling out a completely new pistol, gear, and training program is not as easily done during war efforts as they are during peace time. This contract is not 22 mil up front.

    “Indefinite-Delivery/Indefinite-Quantity contract by the U.S. Marine Corps for up to 12,000 M45 Close Quarter Battle Pistols (CQBP), plus spares and logistical support.

    The CQBP contract is for a five-year period and has a potential value of up to $22.5 million. The CQBP expands on a long history of MARCORSYSCOM re-building original Government-issue 1911s, primarily for use by Force Recon and MARSOC units.”

    It’s UP TO that amount.

    They want to use materials all ready in the system and not have to retro fit any of their training and support programs…I’m OK with that.

    Are there better options? Yeah, I’d say so.

    Now as for the XSE being “better” than the original, well quite a few modern 1911s are better than the M1911 and M1911A1, but the XSE is no big winner in my book.

    I think that so far the only agency that’s done the 1911 gig correctly is the FBI with their Springfield Customs.

    Even if you look at the testing of these Colt XSE Rail Guns, a majority of the samples (10 guns were submitted) cracked up during a 12000rd test and there’s rumor that this will be looked into further.

    That’s not that great seeing as how the gun that became the M1911 passed a 6K round test in 1910.

    HOWEVER, we don’t know exactly what kind of abuse these guns were put through, but if you read between the lines, Colt is beefing up the recoil spring assy. with parts used in the 10mm Delta Elites to help prevent cracking etc.

    If they burned through 12K rounds in a couple of days, yeah I’d expect some increased wear and tear so I’m withholding any judgement on Colt until more data is available.

    I know if I were Springfield I’d be contesting the bid after seeing those pictures, unless the Springfield guns did worse…who knows.

    As for the maintenance concerns, that’s why they are going with a COTS item with less hand work required and including replacement guns in the contract. etc.

    Personally, having had a Colt XSE, if I were to make a decision based off of that single sample, I’d go with something else. Of my dozen+ 1911s, the XSE didn’t like to run dirty and would start getting a little finicky after about 150-200rds fired.

    Regarding the Glock 21, I wouldn’t cite this as Gospel:

    Here’s a segment from Stay in the Fight!! by Kyle Lamb

    “When the Marine Corps tested the Glock 21, several trigger pins broke, the weapons never stopped firing and the broken parts were only detected during routine cleaning and maintenance. This story is often told, but those opposing modern weapons that contain polymer parts routinely leave out the part about the weapon continuing to function. It seems the pistol did extremely well, passed the test with flying colors, but the commandant of the Marine Corps at the time decided he knew better and didn’t want his Marines to have a plastic pistol.”

    Also, keep in mind that pretty much every firearm in the US Arsenal has a manual safety which the Glocks don’t have, contrary to whatever you want to call that dongle in the trigger, it’s not a “manual safety” in the terms that many expect regarding those features.

    ….so much for brief, I’m going home.

      1. Hardly a fanboi. But I will say that I know more than some but less than others.

        I’ll be the first to throw a 1911 under the bus if it don’t work, but I’ve had quite a few (a majority) that have out performed Glocks, Sig, M&Ps, and yes, even some of my HKs.

        I prefer “well balanced” in that I like pretty much all guns, expect Kimber and Taurus.

    1. “When the Marine Corps tested the Glock 21, several trigger pins broke, the weapons never stopped firing and the broken parts were only detected during routine cleaning and maintenance. This story is often told, but those opposing modern weapons that contain polymer parts routinely leave out the part about the weapon continuing to function”

      I can attest to that malfunction. Buddy of mine had that happen at the first or second stage at an IDPA state match. He fixed the gun with a Qtip and ran the rest of the match with that fix.

    2. More or less this; Like it or not, MARSOC has been using 1911 pistols for DECADES, and they have plenty of armorers who know what they’re doing.

      Hate on the particular model of 1911 they chose all you want, but don’t hate on them going with 1911 pistols. Had they gone with something else, they would have needed new tools for their armorers, new equipment for each individual soldier, new training for both shooters and armorers…. In short, sticking with the 1911, at least for now, is a very intelligent decision. While it may seem to have a higher up-front cost, that cost is offset by the other factors.

      In the long run they will certainly move to a new pistol, but in wartime while the Executive branch is trying to force through massive budget cuts to military spending, is not the right time to do so.

  7. Many of the negative factors surrounding the mighty 1911 are “man made”. When JMB invented that gun, it was reliable,,,,then man got involved and changed specs, and attempted to tighten tolerances, etc. Take a stock 1911 with 230 Gr. Hardball and it should run fine

  8. This is news to me. I had already thought they settled on the M45 or something a year or some months ago. Is this the actual ‘M45′ pistol? Or completely different.

    Bleh I’ll look into it more when I get off work later tomorrow morning.

      1. What if it was a single-stack polymer weapon?

        A steel Glock would be the best of both worlds. Glocks are near-perfect in their simplicity, as manual safeties are a liability more than anything and steel is a great thing.

  9. Miguel is f’ing with my sacred cow. I would be willing to bet that given the current economic climate in Europe, being domestically sourced was either in the bid requirement or garnered big points.

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