Let me start by saying that I love the 1911. Anybody who has a healthy appreciation for firearms usually owns at least one. John Browning’s revolutionary design has seen combat from Mexico to Japan, in the Great Wars and in the Global Wars On Terror. It’s a true American icon. Now that I’ve appeased the purists out there, let me say that, as a combat sidearm, I hate the 1911.
The pistol, commonly referred to as the MEUSOC 1911 or .45, has been a trademark of Force Recon for decades. And it has been the issued sidearm of most CSOs since MARSOC was stood up. Recently, we received an updated version of the old workhorse: the Colt M45 CQBP. The revised platform corrected many of the short comings of the older models, and has turned the standard Colt 1911 into a Frankenstein of modern weaponry. The new M45 CQBP, produced by Colt and delivered to the Marine Corps in a recently won contract bid, sports tritium night sights, picatinny rails, a dual recoil spring and a desert tan finish (because it’s not fit for SOF unless it’s tan!).
According to the MARSOC Lance Corporal Underground, the contract for the new pistols was under conventional Marine Corps funds and intended to benefit Force Reconnaissance and MARSOC. Since the money didn’t come from the USSOCOM pot, MARSOC is considering using funds to buy some model of Glocks for the MSOTs (I wont hold my breath for those). I couldn’t find any way to substantiate this rumor that has been circling around battalion lately but the Lcpl Underground is usually more reliable than the 1stSgt. So take it with a grain of a salt or the whole shaker.
You might be wondering why I hate the old Springfield model 1911s that preceded these new Colts. Well, I had four major complaints: maintenance, capacity, light and sound. If you’ve ever had the pleasure of carrying a non-polymer weapon throughout a green-side patrolling package or during a deployment to a dry, dusty climate then you know what I’m getting at. That two-pound chunk of steel will suck the moisture right out of the air. Maintaining your weapon system is ingrained into most of our DNA, but in the 21st century, when polymer framed weapons are in such abundance, there is no reason we should be dragging a steel sidearm through your local 3rd world slum. My tumultuous relationship with the 1911 has consisted of equal parts shooting and busting rust. Compare that with any polymer weapon and its 95% fun and 5% maintenance.