US Army back to 1911?


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el Godfather
February 25, 2012, 03:38 PM
Dear THR
There is always much debate over the internet how 1911 is superior platform for handguns. However, there are also reason why world's one of the best Army decided to stop using it. Then how come one thing can be proclaimed to be so good yet it is discarded at the same time?

Given the technical advances and improvements that have come into 1911 over the past decades, do you believe that US Army reverting back to 1911 will ever be a wise option? Consider the expertise of very highend 1911 makers, and possible 9mm double stacks.

I personally think that side arm is just a side arm, and it no bearing on the outcome of battle whether it holds 7 or 15 rounds.

Regards

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rcmodel
February 25, 2012, 03:48 PM
Not ever gonna happen, unless NATO decides to switch to the .45 ACP pistol cartridge.
And that isn't ever gonna happen.

And even if they did, the new gun would still be a modern DA auto of some sort, not a 1911.

You are exactly right about a handguns role in battle.

It plays a more importent role as a individual solders security blanket then any real role in fighting a modern war. (Other then some very specific needs of non-combatents, such as MP's, desk jockys, etc.)

rc

ChasMack
February 25, 2012, 03:55 PM
I have read Chris Kyles book( US Navy SEAL with most sniper kills in US military history) and in it he says he prefers a 45acp and bought a Springfield Armory TRP Operator. He says he was quite fond of the gun until it was hit by fire and he had it repaired but he did replace it with a Sig 45acp. Anyway, his way of thinking and it would hold in everyday life is that when the adrenalin kicks in and your in a confrontation where pistols are what's left to use, it's best to make a big hole since you won't have time to take your time and aim well with a 9mm. If you have the time, making a big hole is still a good thing to do :)

RX-178
February 25, 2012, 04:01 PM
I voted yes. It would be a wise choice.

Of course that's not to say that keeping the M9 wouldn't be a wise choice. Or that switching to a Glock wouldn't be a wise choice either.

But focusing on the 1911, the 1911 as a 'platform' is not the same thing as the M1911A1s that they were issued for over 60 years (A1, not 1911 in general). And they can be made in 9mm for NATO compatibility without problems.

All the improvements that have been developed for 1911s, if applied (selectively and purposefully of course) make it a weapon that's every bit as 'modern' as a Glock, or M9.

Is that a REASON to switch back to the 1911? Absolutely not. But if for some reason they did decide to go to the 1911, it would not be an unwise choice.

valnar
February 25, 2012, 04:04 PM
I can't say what they should do, but I would certainly like it if they did. We have some relatively cheap 9mm ammo because of NATO. If the USA threw their hat into the .45ACP camp, we might get some cheap .45ACP out of it too. Win win.

357 Terms
February 25, 2012, 04:11 PM
I love the 1911, that said I think it would be a poor choice for a modern military (GI) sidearm.

Many other designs that are easier to field strip.

Many other designs that have a higher capacity.

Many other designs that are cheaper to produce.

That and the 9mm is not going away anywhere in the NATO community.

el Godfather
February 25, 2012, 04:14 PM
*******remember I also mentioned 9mm AND double stack option as well in the consideration. The question is about the platform not the caliber.

Devonai
February 25, 2012, 04:21 PM
A double stack 1911 in 9x19mm offers no significant advantage over the M9, and would give commanders nightmares about NDs/ADs. Also, it can't be carried in the Air Force preferred condition.

guyfromohio
February 25, 2012, 04:24 PM
Think of all that ammo and hours-worked just to get them all through their "break-in" periods!

firesky101
February 25, 2012, 04:37 PM
I have to vote no simply for the fact that I think the money could be best used elsewhere.

NG VI
February 25, 2012, 06:17 PM
There is always much debate over the internet how 1911 is superior platform for handguns.

It's not. It's a nostalgic platform, it's a very good pistol design, but for the total package of capabilities it is heavy, low-capacity, double stack models appear to be very wide (I haven't handled one in person), and there are any number of pistols available that are easier to manufacture and service than the 1911 platform. Much of it's popularity comes from it's long history. That doesn't make it the best pistol for an army to use, no matter how many wars it has been carried in.

confrontation where pistols are what's left to use, it's best to make a big hole since you won't have time to take your time and aim well with a 9mm. If you have the time, making a big hole is still a good thing to do


Lots of people think that bullets leave wound channels that are just as wide as the bullet itself. It's just not true though, tissue is extremely elastic, with a few very specific exceptions, and it allows lower velocity bullets, like those from service pistols, with streamlined profiles, like every FMJ bullet in existence, to slip through while causing the least possible damage. The wounds that FMJ service pistol bullets leave in a human body are basically all identical, regardless of the caliber or shape of the bullet.

People think a flat nose FMJ will be more destructive than a round nose too, but it's also not true. Possibly if it hits bone very early, but as far as tissue goes, at service pistol weights and speeds, none of the FMJ or other solid bullets make a noticeably different wound than the others.

rcmodel
February 25, 2012, 06:25 PM
it's best to make a big hole since you won't have time to take your time and aim well with a 9mm.It might be interesting to note that qualification scores went way up, and ND shootings went way down when the M9 was adopted.

I helped train and/or qualify a lot of new Army troops on the 1911 during the Viet Nam era.
I'm here to tell you very few of them were born natural combat pistol shots, and never will be.

Anything that helps them learn to hit with a handgun and not shoot their buddy is a good thing.

That makes the M9 & 9mm a good thing in my old eyes.

rc

2wheels
February 25, 2012, 06:39 PM
Dear THR
However, there are also reason why world's one of the best Army decided to stop using it. Then how come one thing can be proclaimed to be so good yet it is discarded at the same time?


The Army wasn't constantly replacing their 1911s with brand new ones, they'd been reusing the same guns since at least WW2. Some vets with actual experience will probably chime in on this subject, but I'm willing to bet that many 1911s needed replacing or overhaul (even if with more 1911s).

I'm sure the desire to have a common NATO pistol round was a factor too, and when the Army started looking around for a new pistol the 1911 was no longer "modern". You know how our Military loves "modern" toys!

It'd be cool if the Army went back a 1911 platform, they could even go with a double stack 9mm if they felt like it. But would that be the best option? Probably not.

gunnutery
February 25, 2012, 08:32 PM
Considering the 9mm is for a secondary weapon anyway and that Ron Paul isn't going to be elected to fix our debt/budget problems, we don't have any money to spend on frivilous things like that for the next 20+ years... Oh wait, we could just print more money :(

mio
February 25, 2012, 08:40 PM
go back to .45 yes but there are better platforms for a combat pistol.

2zulu1
February 25, 2012, 09:50 PM
There were no new 1911 USGI parts manufactured after WWII. Given this, it's a tribute to its design that they lasted for over another four decades of service.

Let's remember that the Marine Expeditionary Unit dropped the M9 and went back to the 1911.

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0BTT/is_170_28/ai_n6040330/

Vern Humphrey
February 25, 2012, 09:53 PM
I vote yes. Thousands and thousands of dead Moros, Mexicans, Germans, Russians, Nicaraguans, Salvadorians, Hatians, Japs, Chinese, Koreans and Viet Namese can't be wrong.

L-Frame
February 25, 2012, 10:00 PM
When I read "About Face" by Colonel David Hackworth (one of the most decorated combat soldiers in US history) he says that he did a study in the late 60's about the 1911 and he was in favor of moving away from the platform because the average soldier simply doesn't have the proper training to use is safely. He said that the number of friendly fire incidents due to unsafe handling practices were surprisingly high. I believe his quote was "more US soldiers were hurt by 1911's than the enemy" but I think he was exagerating to make a point.

Jbabbler
February 25, 2012, 10:11 PM
Honestly, the best pistol for the Army may very well be the Glock 23 or 22.

Vern Humphrey
February 25, 2012, 10:29 PM
When I read "About Face" by Colonel David Hackworth (one of the most decorated combat soldiers in US history) he says that he did a study in the late 60's about the 1911 and he was in favor of moving away from the platform because the average soldier simply doesn't have the proper training to use is safely. He said that the number of friendly fire incidents due to unsafe handling practices were surprisingly high. I believe his quote was "more US soldiers were hurt by 1911's than the enemy" but I think he was exagerating to make a point.
I knew Hackworth, but had the good fortune never to serve under him.

Read his articles, and note the times he makes blunders like talking about the "M1918 machineguns" his machinegun squad supposedly had in Korea. Or his dismissal of the value of landmines because he never saw anyone blown up by one in Korea.

HDCamel
February 25, 2012, 10:39 PM
Think of all that ammo and hours-worked just to get them all through their "break-in" periods!
GI 1911s don't have a break in period...

nathan
February 25, 2012, 11:02 PM
THe armies of today are well into polymers and double actions. That goes with light weight materials in long firearms as well. 1911s is best left to the civilian market as well as police depts.

rcmodel
February 25, 2012, 11:08 PM
Honestly, the best pistol for the Army may very well be the Glock 23 or 22.Seriously?

Knowing GI's as I do, and the minimal handgun training they get?
Half the fighting force would be on disability due to self inflected gunshot wounds!

rc

Jbabbler
February 25, 2012, 11:10 PM
Seriously?

Knowing GI's as I do, and the minimal handgun training they get?
Half the fighting force would be on disability due to self inflected gunshot wounds!

rc
I didn't say they had to get Serpa Holsters to go with them :)

bikerdoc
February 25, 2012, 11:14 PM
Vern said

I knew Hackworth, but had the good fortune never to serve under him.


Well said.

cor_man257
February 25, 2012, 11:25 PM
It plays a more importent role as a individual solders security blanket then any real role in fighting a modern war. (Other then some very specific needs of non-combatents, such as MP's, desk jockys, etc.)

Umm, unrelated to the thread but I am an MP. We are a combat arm. In country I didnt just carry my sidearm as a "security blanket". It had people on the other end a few times.

On topic:
I think the 1911 would no longer be a good platform for the military. Why? Because it is to complicated for the typical soldier. Plain and simple. When refined it can be the best platform ever, but to many soldiers wouldnt be able to maintain it.

The .45 APC round I think would be a godsend for troops. But honestly it takes so long for my Army to implement anything new that I would be my grandsons generation before they could replace it. And Im 20.

rcmodel
February 25, 2012, 11:30 PM
We are a combat arm. In country I didnt just carry my sidearm as a "security blanket". I used it.And I understand that.
I was specifically saying the MP's DO have a legitimate need for a handgun.

But a lot of grunts that have them don't, if they can carry a rifle in addition to any other duties and combat loads.

They would be better served with more M4 ammo & extra water.
Not 4-5 extra pounds of handgun & holster & mags & pistol ammo they won't need or use.

rc

HDCamel
February 25, 2012, 11:53 PM
Because it is to complicated for the typical soldier. Plain and simple. When refined it can be the best platform ever, but to many soldiers wouldnt be able to maintain it.

In what universe are 1911s complicated?

rcmodel
February 25, 2012, 11:58 PM
Just a guess, but:
In the universe of the modern U.S. solder.

Where they don't train or allow them take Beretta M9's apart down to the last pin & spring blindfolded, in their spare time, before 0-dark-thirty PT or breakfast call?

rc

HDCamel
February 26, 2012, 12:19 AM
Well, the guts of a Beretta are far more complicated than those of a 1911, but detail stripping isn't really necessary all that often for either platform.

A Beretta is easier to field strip, of course, but field stripping a 1911 is hardly difficult. I SUPPOSE that guys losing the recoil spring plugs might be a concern, but not really any more than losing the guide rod on an M9...

I'm not advocating that the 1911 should return as the standard service pistol of the US Army (it shouldn't). But I don't think that it being "too complicated" is one of the reasons why it shouldn't.

Chuck R.
February 26, 2012, 11:56 AM
When I enlisted as an MP in 1978 we were issued 1911’s (females .38s), for the non-shooters the qualification scores were pretty low with quite a few bolo’s. We qualified annually and it was the same thing, the non- shooters had issues, most troops didn’t have privately owned handguns, never mind their own 1911 to train on. So they carried a pistol that they got to shoot once a year.

After that enlistment, I went to school and came back in in 1987 as a Field Artillery 2LT. My first assignment was with the 11th ACR in Germany and we had 1911s when most of the Army had moved to the M9. Same thing, troops had issues qualifying with the 1911 for many reasons.

Just prior to DS I was assigned to 1ID which had M9s, when going through qualifications the 1st time with the M9 “Gos” were significantly higher than any time I’d qualified with a 1911. Again these were mostly non-shooters that were issued a weapon they got to fire once a year, but more of them could hit what they were aiming at then I’d seen previously with 1911s.

You can chalk this up to worn out 1911s with dismal GI sights, but IMHO that’s not the only factor. The .45ACP cartridge is also somewhat to blame. It’s not an easy cartridge for new or non-shooters to shoot; the recoil does bother them to some extent. What folks need to understand is that the majority in the military are not “gun” people or “shooters”, they just don’t shoot that much (if at all) beyond their qualifications.

I retired in 2005, but now work as a DA Civilian in an organization that has quite a few active military flow through it. Since I own my own range I periodically invite some of the ”guys” out to my place to shoot. Most don’t even own their own pistol; occasionally one will bring a 1911. Most don’t shoot that well. A friend of mine and some of his friends run a shooting course for some of the Majors that are interested in training and facing another deployment after graduation. I’ve RO’d for him a couple times and he tells me the same thing, the majority just aren’t shooters.

So, if I were faced with coming up with an issue sidearm for the average soldier, knowing that most wouldn’t either take the time, or have the time to become proficient with it, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t choose the 1911.

Chuck

jmorris
February 26, 2012, 12:02 PM
A double stack 1911 in 9x19mm offers no significant advantage over the M9

As a competitive shooter I can tell you that is incorrect.

MrDig
February 26, 2012, 12:18 PM
I want them to go back so we can see those great deals on MilSurp parts Mags and Weapons.
If you think the Venerated 1911A1 got its status because it is too complicated or unreliable, remember that the 1911 part of the equation is for the Year 1911, Back then even literacy was an issue for the average Enlisted Man, and they learned to figure it out, also keep in mid that it still is the longest standing commission of any firearm in US Military history. If it were unreliable and complicated it would have gone the way of the Krag-Jorgensen which has the dubious honor of being the shortest commission of any military firearm in US History.
Please remember that if a weapon showed problems in combat it was gone quick as far as the Military is concerned.

12Bravo20
February 26, 2012, 12:37 PM
The Army wasn't constantly replacing their 1911s with brand new ones, they'd been reusing the same guns since at least WW2. Some vets with actual experience will probably chime in on this subject, but I'm willing to bet that many 1911s needed replacing or overhaul (even if with more 1911s).
That is correct. The 1911 that I carried during Desert Storm was built during WW2 (along with all others). They went back to arsenals to get rebuilt at times. I wasn't issued a M9 until late 92 when my unit had to turn all of our 1911s and M3s in.

swinokur
February 26, 2012, 12:41 PM
The Marine SEU is about to select a manufacturer for their 1911 purchase. Marine Times had an articler on it. Apparently some guys still think it's a good platform. There is no one tool for every mission

Jim K
February 26, 2012, 07:09 PM
I like the 1911 pistol, but sometimes wonder if those who believe pistol development stopped in 1911 would want to drive a 1911 car. (Yes, I can drive a Model T Ford, but I don't want to drive one on a daily basis - no heater, no a/c.)

Jim

Nushif
February 26, 2012, 08:55 PM
*rant*

I would love all these folks advocating going back to the 1911 and .308 put on the 100 pounds of gear (not counting weapons) and then maintain their opinion.

We *need* lighter rifles and pistols. We *need* lighter ammo.

Why? Because these days we don't fight in just our uniform, a helmet, grenades and some ammo anymore. We fight in kevlar plates, suspended from a pistol proof vest, with a bigger helmet, an assault pack, a radio, grenades and an assortment of other tools.

Probably more people get discharged because of bad backs and knees than from any other cause. Why? because a light training load at 60 to 80 pounds weighs more than the entire kit of the average WWII and some Vietnam soldiers.
That is reality. Armchair Generals who seem to think they have the monopoly in having fought tough wars or even worse having watched a tough war on TV be damned.

We carry a lot of stuff with us. If it went after me, we O types wouldn't even carry a rifle, unless you're in the infantry. Because if the leader is shooting. He's not leading right.

*end rant*

theicemanmpls
February 26, 2012, 09:14 PM
No to the 1911 because of the women, and now those who may be limp wristed.
The Berreta Compact 92 may be a good choice.

wlewisiii
February 26, 2012, 09:18 PM
*rant*

I would love all these folks advocating going back to the 1911 and .308 put on the 100 pounds of gear (not counting weapons) and then maintain their opinion.

*end rant*

This.

If we get any new pistols, buy Glock.

jfrey
February 26, 2012, 09:34 PM
It's all about politics. There is and was nothing wrong with the 1911. Just a bunch of stupid politicians and military brass with flimsy excuses who wanted to spend a bunch of taxpayer money on something less effective.

I know several small women who can shoot the heck out of a 1911 so that argument is out. City kids enlisting who couldn't shoot a peashooter is a more probable issue. Why not insist that NATO change to the .45? Oh no, we have to give in to the rest of the world and follow their nonsense. Heck, we didn't even pick an American made gun at the time the M9 was tested. The circle never ends.

theicemanmpls
February 26, 2012, 09:43 PM
I know women who can shoot just fine with a 9mm, but have lots of issues with a 1911A, or even a glock .45 recoil.

City boys will always be city boys. Let em qualify with something that they are comfy with.

The switch from the 1911 to the 9mm is way beyond my understanding. It was done many years ago and now is history. As much as I would like to change history, that technology won't exist for some time.

L-Frame
February 26, 2012, 09:47 PM
I don't think that anyone would argue that a cocked & locked single action pistol like the 1911 requires more training to develop that muscle memory necessary to carry one safely than a double action or a dao gun. They are much less forgiving if you keep fingers on triggers at the wrong times. I don't think the average soldier (or the average cop for that matter) puts in that kind of time. I was a cop for a time and still know many, and most are not "gun people" and rarely shoot outside their mandatory qualifiying.

In response to the above poster who said "since when did the 1911 become so complicated to shoot" my response is that they're not, they're very easy and that's part of the problem.

sgtstryker
February 26, 2012, 09:49 PM
The pros and cons are apparent for the 1911. As stated, many SOC units use .45's in different platforms, that's great. But, as the wars draw down and the money dries up, as it always does, the status quo will reign. Improvise, Adapt and Overcome will be fashionable again..

NG VI
February 26, 2012, 09:54 PM
You guys understand that FMJ service pistol bullets are all nearly identical in terminal performance right? The weight difference and number of rounds that can fit in a reasonably sized grip and magazine are a very real and serious consideration, and so is overall weight a servicemember has to carry.

That and a truly service-grade 1911 is more costly to manufacture and service than any number of other designs.

The Lone Haranguer
February 27, 2012, 12:08 AM
IF they do, they need to be made to the GI standard for parts fitment, which is not the case these days with so many different companies making them.

mljdeckard
February 27, 2012, 03:15 AM
No. I prefer the 1911. I would very much prefer to take my Para SF-45. Let me take it with 500 rds of my own ammo and leave me alone.

However, I often have to train soldiers who have never shot a pistol before, won't have a chance to shoot it again, and don't have the background to keep them running in the field if anything goes wrong. I would prefer to issue them Glocks.

mgmorden
February 27, 2012, 07:57 AM
Not gonna happen, and for good reason.

The 1911 is heavy, holds very few rounds, is single action (which is shunned on military carry weapons these days, and I'd say for justifiably so), is expensive to produce, and part swapping without fitting is much more likely to cause problems.

Realistically, about all the only thing the 1911 has going for it is a trigger that can be tuned very nice. Makes it a great competition gun, but its an outdated design for modern military applications.

Any military pistol adopted in the US WILL be a double-stack 9mm with a manual safety. I'd like to see a polymer frame for weight savings, but I could see them going either way. I personally wouldn't mind seeing a striker-fired platform with a heavy-ish trigger (7 lbs or so), but my guess is that they'd be looking at DA/SA again.

Nostalgia should play no part in government purchasing decisions.

All this is moot however. For one, handguns serve a very minimal role in modern combat. For two, we have no money. Third, even if we did, I wouldn't pick the Beretta M9 from scratch if *I* were picking today, but if I look at a list of what I'd want out of a service pistol the Beretta is close enough that its certainly not worth replacing.

1911Tuner
February 27, 2012, 08:14 AM
However, there are also reason why world's one of the best Army decided to stop using it. Then how come one thing can be proclaimed to be so good yet it is discarded at the same time?

Simply? Money and logistics...and probably a bit of politics.

When the M92/M9 was adopted, the 1911s in service were for the most part badly worn out, and the cost of rebuilding or replacing them was higher than contracting for new pistols from Beretta.

Ammunition commonality with our NATO allies was also cited, with one of the reasons stated was so that a soldier from one nation could hand spare ammo to one from a different nation.

Of course, that assumes a couple things.

A. You're fighting shoulder-to-shoulder with a soldier from another country.

B. The situation has degraded to the point of having to use pistols to fight with.

C. That...in such a dire situation...your European ally is willing to give you some of his ammo.

mgmorden
February 27, 2012, 08:24 AM
Of course, that assumes a couple things.

A. You're fighting shoulder-to-shoulder with a soldier from another country.

B. The situation has degraded to the point of having to use pistols to fight with.

C. That...in such a dire situation...your European ally is willing to give you some of his ammo.

I don't think it necessarily need be THAT individual of a thing (solider to soldier). It could be an entire group/unit who needs to be resupplied with ammo and for whatever reason one country is better able to get an ammo shipment to them than their home country.

Also remember that ammo-commonality wasn't just done for handguns, but for the infantry rifles as well with 5.56 NATO.

Remember too that it doesn't necessarily have to be ammo that's being shipped - it could be guns itself if we're in a major conflict and one of our allies' production capacity isn't adequate. We shipped a lot of guns and other equipment to allies during WW2 for example. Having our stuff match what ammo they would have on hand is a logical choice.

HDCamel
February 27, 2012, 09:16 AM
The 1911 is heavy, holds very few rounds, is single action (which is shunned on military carry weapons these days, and I'd say for justifiably so), is expensive to produce, and part swapping without fitting is much more likely to cause problems.

A fully loaded M9 is actually a smidge heavier than a fully loaded 1911A1, GI 1911s (even if updated with new sights, hammers, safeties, etc.) aren't any more expensive to produce than any other all-steel pistol (a Cz 75 for example), and GI 1911s (and their parts) have to be manufactured to exact specifications that allow for parts swapping at the "cost" of a looser fit.

There are two reasons why the Beretta is a better pistol for the military. 1: More ammo and 2: easier to handle. Modern warfare is based on a studies which determined that the more lead you sling in a general direction (regardless of caliber, weapon used, or even how accurate it is) the more likely you are to win (defined as the enemy ceases to be a threat by death, retreat, or surrender). The M9 fills that role better than the 1911.

Where lethality is more important than sustainibility of fire (i.e. special purpose units), the military still uses the .45 ACP, often through 1911 pattern pistols.

usp9
February 27, 2012, 10:31 AM
The 1911 is the past. Polymer is the future. Reliability, capacity and light weight is the future. Romancing the past isn't productive. Let's move on.

swinokur
February 27, 2012, 10:34 AM
Go read Marine Times. SEU is about to award a contract for 1911's.

http://www.marinecorpstimes.com/news/2011/01/marine-marsoc-pistol-45cal-012511w/

DMZ
February 27, 2012, 10:47 AM
You can chalk this up to worn out 1911s with dismal GI sights, but IMHO that’s not the only factor. The .45ACP cartridge is also somewhat to blame. It’s not an easy cartridge for new or non-shooters to shoot; the recoil does bother them to some extent. What folks need to understand is that the majority in the military are not “gun” people or “shooters”, they just don’t shoot that much (if at all) beyond their qualifications. Chuck R.

That too is my experience with the M1911 when I served with the Field Artillery (1970 - 73). The ones we were issued were mixed parts, refurbs from WW II and Korean War issue weapons. The slides rattled about and accuracy was rather dismal. I actually qual'ed with it. Many who carried them did not and carried because they looked "cool."

1911Tuner
February 27, 2012, 03:52 PM
I don't think it necessarily need be THAT individual of a thing (solider to soldier). It could be an entire group/unit who needs to be resupplied with ammo and for whatever reason one country is better able to get an ammo shipment to them than their home country.

If an entire unit needed ammunition resupply, I'd think that pistol calibers would be near the bottom of the "Must Have" list. If you remember that battles aren't fought with pistols, the 9mm commonality...regardless of the reasoning behind it...is a little silly.

NG VI
February 27, 2012, 04:59 PM
Lots of loose pistols shoot perfectly well, especially if you aren't looking for 1-2" 50 yard groups from them like a bullseye shooter does.

Vern Humphrey
February 27, 2012, 05:20 PM
We *need* lighter rifles and pistols. We *need* lighter ammo.

Everything you said in your post is correct -- but a loaded M1911 weighs just about as much as a loaded M9. You save nothing there.

NG VI
February 27, 2012, 05:26 PM
but a loaded M1911 weighs just about as much as a loaded M9. You save nothing there.

While carrying half or less the ammo count. It's a bigger issue than potential wounding potential, which in service-caliber ball isn't very good no matter what caliber it's coming out of.

Greg528iT
February 27, 2012, 06:22 PM
I voted "Wise" as only a fool would NOT consider any firearm already out there.

I've heard story after story from (alive) Vets who were issued 1911s that they were issued pistols reworked and reworked on WWII platforms. So comparing a worn out 1911 with a modern 1911 style platform with modern sights, good fit, etc is not a good comparison.

As for a person who is going to pay (taxpayer) to supply our servicemen and women I want to make sure they have the BEST back up weapon, to help then fight their way back to their real fighting weapon, rifle. There are going to be a LOT of compromises made. Caliber / wound channel. Availability of rounds to load it up (though I believe that's pretty minor. So what if (fill in country) has 9mm, we do pretty well at supplying bullets). Round count IN the fire arm. Would 8 plus 1 be enough to get you back to your rifle? Grip size. in today's military, all the soldiers are NOT Sgt Yorks. Most double stacks are not going to fit. And not being Sgt York in stature, weight is also a concern.

I'm going to say, probably what they need, is a NEW build spec, like when they went to find the 1911.. something similar to, 1911 upper style slide with modular recoil spring, polymer based frame with molded in rails, with a single stack 10 rd magazine of .40 cal.

Just my .02 cents

Ragnar Danneskjold
February 27, 2012, 06:35 PM
The times I used my pistol in Afghanistan, I was glad I had more than 7 rounds. Some of those crawlspaces and hidden rooms are TINY. Clearing them with an M4 is pretty difficult. I don't like the M9 because it is big and heavy, and has a DA/SA trigger. But I am a big fan of 9mm, and for the military, a safety is a MUST (no Glocks, sorry). There are too many bad shooters and jokers in the military to issue a pistol with no safety or a super light trigger pull.

Vern Humphrey
February 27, 2012, 06:50 PM
While carrying half or less the ammo count. It's a bigger issue than potential wounding potential, which in service-caliber ball isn't very good no matter what caliber it's coming out of.
I have only used a handgun in combat twice, and fired only a single round each time. I have a friend who crawled into a VC base camp, literally hauled binh sis out of their spiderholes and shot them -- but didn't use a full magazine.

So the weight issue, to my way of thinking, is a non-issue.

el Godfather
February 27, 2012, 09:44 PM
What's 'binh sis'?

mgmorden
February 28, 2012, 04:35 PM
Everything you said in your post is correct -- but a loaded M1911 weighs just about as much as a loaded M9. You save nothing there.

Not only has the point already been made that that fully loaded M9 is carrying twice as much ammo, but also - remember folks, if we're talking about an all-new pistol contract that the 1911 might theoretically win, then it doesn't have to compete against the M9 again. It already did that and (as far as selection process goes) lost. It would be pitted against more modern designs which have since outstriped the M9 too.

Remember that the M9 has a lot of features that are more modern than the 1911, but it too is a rather dated design as well. The reality is that if not for military contracts the Beretta 92 would likely be out of production by now in favor of the PX4. Any new purchasing decisions will be looking at THAT generation of handgun, not stuff from the 1970's.

If an entire unit needed ammunition resupply, I'd think that pistol calibers would be near the bottom of the "Must Have" list. If you remember that battles aren't fought with pistols, the 9mm commonality...regardless of the reasoning behind it...is a little silly.

You'll notice thought in the next line of my post that escaped the quote, I said that we did ammo commonality with the rifles too. Sure that ammo would be prioritized as its more important, but realistically its a policy that even if its not often needed, it works well across the board.

NG VI
February 28, 2012, 05:58 PM
You'll notice thought in the next line of my post that escaped the quote, I said that we did ammo commonality with the rifles too. Sure that ammo would be prioritized as its more important, but realistically its a policy that even if its not often needed, it works well across the board.


And it goes even further than just supply during wartime conditions. Commonality allows a nation's manufacturing capacity, research, and development to benefit allied countries. The amount it costs to create factories isn't minor, and generally tools and machines need to be invented to manufacture new goods. It's a lot easier on everyone involved for allied nations to be able to use the same plant designs and supply lines.

Cosmoline
February 28, 2012, 06:14 PM
Just allowing soldiers on base to carry live ammo would be a major step in the right direction. The platform isn't the most important issue.

Ragnar Danneskjold
February 28, 2012, 06:52 PM
Just allowing soldiers on base to carry live ammo would be a major step in the right direction. The platform isn't the most important issue.

For about 80% of soldiers, you're right. The other 20% are the reason why the Army will never again issue a single action pistol (1911) or a pistol with no safety (Glock). I have personally seen a PFC shoot a vehicle radio with her M9 one on occasion, and a Major ask a SPC how to clear his M9 at a clearing barrel. Better training would solve a lot of issues, but there are some "soldiers" who would manage to shoot themselves in a padded room with no gun. The Army, to an extent, knows this. DA guns with safeties will always be preferred.

SlamFire1
February 28, 2012, 06:57 PM
While I think it was a mistake to go away from the 45 ACP, the M1911 was technologically obsolete in the 1980's.

The Army is never going back to a single stack single action pistol. They darn well ensured that in the procurement requirements in the 80's, and nothing has changed other than the 9mm cartridge sucks.

HDCamel
February 28, 2012, 08:56 PM
The M1918 BAR is obsolete. The M1 Garand is obsolete.

The 1911 is not "obsolete" by any stretch of the imagination. However, it doesn't fill any niches in the big military.

Vern Humphrey
February 29, 2012, 01:14 PM
What's 'binh sis'?
"Soldier" or "warrior" in Viet Namese.

HoosierQ
February 29, 2012, 03:57 PM
I voted no. I think pistol-armed GI's need something like a VZ-70;) high capacity, polymer, long stiff trigger pull (sorry Plaxico). I am very partial to my Glocks (notice the lack of the word love) but everytime I holster the thing I am afraid I am going to shoot my butt off and my heel along with it (I carry IWB at 4:00) so I sling my butt out all funny so...well you get the picture. Not so good for somebody maybe under fire or running or ducking.

Autolycus
February 29, 2012, 05:11 PM
I would love to see Glock 17s and Glock 19s being fielded by the US military. But I don't think it will happen. The fact is that sidearms are not a very important item for the vast majority of the military.

paintballdude902
February 29, 2012, 10:52 PM
there is alot of talk that we in my air force majcom will be getting .45 acp sigs in the newt few years. higher capacity than the 1911 and just as reliable. ill be happy

Panzercat
February 29, 2012, 11:17 PM
In what universe are 1911s complicated?
No, really. As an absolute novice in 1911s, I asked the LGS how to handle one. Then I looked at this forum. It's really not that hard. Even I can tell you most accidents probably occur trying to set condition 2 and defeating every single last safety the 1911 has in the process. It's literally the only way for an accidental discharge to occur short of pulling the trigger yourself in zero.

I'll buy arguments like capacity, politics and ally considerations, but not the zomg!complexity of the firearm. Seriously now.

csa77
February 29, 2012, 11:30 PM
as much as I love the 1911 platform and the 45 acp, I think it would be a total waste of money.

IMO, I feel for 99.9% of military any side arm is a waste of money. for them its almost akin to a bayonet.

if nothing else the last thing the country needs is to spend more money.

mgmorden
March 1, 2012, 02:04 PM
I'll buy arguments like capacity, politics and ally considerations, but not the zomg!complexity of the firearm. Seriously now.

Don't equate complexity of disassembly with complexity of manufacture. Even with disassembly though, don't limit it to just a single gun coming apart and going back together. Think about it as a group of guns to be maintained. 1911's have a lot of parts. A lot of metal parts that are designed to be hand fitted. Now compare with just about any modern polymer design that is basically a lego set - you can piece and part out a Glock, M&P, etc till the cows come home and all the parts go back together fine regardless of which gun they started out in.

No one is saying that a 1911 is useless. That ridiculous. Any gun that was ever militarily deployed can and will kill people. The point though is that a modern polymer gun is:

1. Higher capacity.
2. Lighter.
3. Cheaper.
4. Easier to maintain.
5. This one will spark criticism, but most non-single action guns are subject to fewer ND's.

Yes a 1911 can be made into an EXCELLENT target pistol, but that's about like claiming that a tricked out '68 Mustang is a better car than a new Toyota Camry. Sure its faster, has more torque, looks better, etc, but at the end of the day as a no-nonsense everyday tool the more modern design is simply better and more practical.

el Godfather
March 1, 2012, 04:53 PM
But consider the 45 effect and accuracy. Higher capacity doesn't mean anything unless in a combat which inharently calls for the use of pistols.

NG VI
March 1, 2012, 05:23 PM
But consider the 45 effect and accuracy. Higher capacity doesn't mean anything unless in a combat which inharently calls for the use of pistols.


I guess I don't understand what you're saying here. With FMJ ammunition, all service pistol calibers deliver nearly identical terminal performance. Literally, there is no difference between them in effect.

As far as accuracy, is one cartridge more inherently accurate in mass produced barrels with mass produced .gov issue service ammunition? I would say absolutely not. Differences in the platforms used and training delivered are so much more significant that even if one were more accurate, which I doubt, the pistols themselves and the training delivered wash the differences away to nothing.

Higher capacity is absolutely a benefit in a combat weapon, as long as you don't have to give up anything meaningful to get it. If the weight and bulk are basically the same, and you don't lose useable terminal effectiveness, there is absolutely no reason to go with the lower capacity weapon.

rodinal220
March 1, 2012, 11:48 PM
Make it the 1911A2,wide body frame and hold lots of 9mm,updated sights,safeties,melonite/tennifer type finish.Now if I could only convince Colt to do it:p

Pietro Beretta
March 2, 2012, 06:17 AM
Well the military is thinking about retiring the M9, the MHS trials may be getting under way -- but who knows with the state of the economy.

The Modular Handgun System trials do not designate a specific type of caliber to qualify.

The Army requires the new pistol to be more effective, accurate, and reliable than the M9 pistol.

There is no caliber specified, but it must incorporate different fire control devices, pistol grips, and alternate magazine options.The weapon must fit various hand sizes, have Picatinny rails, have a non-reflective neutral color and will be operable with sound and flash suppressor kit in place.

Tcruse
March 2, 2012, 09:34 AM
Well caliber choice would be an important decision. I could see several possible lines of decision. In any case we have to get the rest of NATO go also change, in my opinion.
Possible:
1) stay with 9mm, allow choice of hp and per-fragmented tmj
2) 5.7x28, problem with choices on suppliers, but lighter and more rounds, more speed and possible same ammo with rifle. (maybe someday a 5.7 Glock?)
3) 45 GAP. Problem with choice of suppliers but has obvious advantages over 45 acp in terms of size and performance in short barrels
4) 10mm, mainly because politically something with metric caliber could be sold to other countries easier than 40SW. Like this choice least of the ones listed. I would be at the top of the food chain as far as potential power goes.

As far as gun, pick the one with the most simple design and fewest parts that is reliable.
Is amanual safety required, not sure. I can see the argument going both ways. I prefer to not have a grip or manual safety on a SD/HD gun, but for a service gun maybe. Some day I expect to have smart guns that only work when presented by a DNA sample of the authorized user.

NG VI
March 2, 2012, 05:55 PM
Well the military is thinking about retiring the M9,


Not after that big buy of new M9s they just put in. New batch of contract pistols, expect to see no change at all in service pistol for at least fifteen years.

el Godfather
March 3, 2012, 12:52 AM
The cost involve for picking a new weapon is very high. Any change would have to be with convincing reason.

Orkan
March 3, 2012, 01:11 AM
Just talked to a guy from marine force recon yesterday. He just spent the last 9 months on pre-deployment training and touched off roughly 40,000rnds of 45 in 1911 platform.

Obviously the old war horse still has some fight in her if force recon feels the need to run 1911's.

I'm a recreational shooter, and I have to say the 1911 is just an awesome platform. I was all about the polymer guns for the last 8 years. However, I find myself migrating back to cold steel these days... and boy it feels good. :)

el Godfather
March 3, 2012, 01:49 AM
You are right. I have also been all about polymer, but I guess the more years you spend with guns, you realize that steel is the way to go. There are definately some advantages of polymer guns, but in my view they have little value in collection.

NG VI
March 3, 2012, 11:35 AM
Obviously the old war horse still has some fight in her if force recon feels the need to run 1911's.



What people aren't saying about all these groups that still use 1911s from time to time, is that they are the epitome of a macho group, they can pick whatever they want for a sidearm, and "amazing .45 is better than puny 9mm" is a very typical macho view.


These guys have a lot of training and have put a ton of work into getting to the level they're at, but it doesn't make them immune to the effects of a ton of testosterone and everyone's desire to have their unique and exclusive group get some visible badge, and also the triggers on 1911s are nicer than on Berettas. I mean, if you had the choice, wouldn't you decide to go with a nicer gun than the rest of the joes?

Orkan
March 3, 2012, 11:45 PM
I mean, if you had the choice, wouldn't you decide to go with a nicer gun than the rest of the joes? I think it has more to do with that than it does all the other stuff you mentioned. Sure there is a lot of ego being thrown around. It's that way among all alpha male groups of elite status.

If I'm going to have to clear a house with my handgun, I'd definitely want something accurate and reliable. No doubt that a 45 is a one-shot per customer round. 9mm... not so much.

Ragnar Danneskjold
March 3, 2012, 11:52 PM
No doubt that a 45 is a one-shot per customer round. 9mm... not so much.

If anyone is anticipating firing only one round at any attacker, their training is seriously deficient.

texgunner
March 3, 2012, 11:54 PM
This is an fantasy that won't die. It's not ever going to happen. I the US military ever goes back to the .45 I'd expect it to be a plastic wunder pistol like Glock or HK. I love the 1911, have several, but it's time as an official service pistol is long past.

Orkan
March 4, 2012, 12:17 AM
If anyone is anticipating firing only one round at any attacker, their training is seriously deficient. Did I say anything about training and what you should do in a self preservation scenario? It will usually only take one, yet obviously all training rules still apply.

This is an fantasy that won't die. It's not ever going to happen. I love the 1911, have several, but it's time as an official service pistol is long past. You should do a little research on this. As I say, the 1911 is still the official sidearm of a few units in the military.

Tcruse
March 4, 2012, 10:45 AM
"No doubt that a 45 is a one-shot per customer round. 9mm... not so much."

This is not really a true statement. The performance of the various service rounds can be debated all day and no real winner. They are different and each shooting is different. The attempts at coming up with lab tests to compare the rounds are a start, but it seems that each user group still goes back to their preference. There is more difference in the performance of the ammo than in the caliber. Even studies that try to track actual police usage seem to show little difference between the common calibers, namely 9X19 mm, 357 Sig, .40 SW, 45 GAP, 45 ACP and 10mm. Usually the 45 ACP comes in somewhere between 9mm and 357 Sig. 10 mm would probably be more effective if it was used more, but there are reasons that 10mm is not the universal carry solution. Then you get into the argument about HP and TMJ designs.

Having a standard between NATO members of 9mm is much more important than the idea that the .45 ACP may be better. I also not so sure that the NATO 9mm FMJ is so bad for the environments that they are used in. HP is better for SD or HD but that is a different environment entirely.

I would prefer to have our military using a Glock 17 (or M&P 9mm or Ruger SR9). The simple and easy to keep going trumps every thing that the 1911s may do better. Is it worth changing from current Baretta? Probably not.

Orkan
March 4, 2012, 01:59 PM
You are right in that it can be argued with no clear winner. That is only because people base their arguments on emotion instead of fact.

Fact is if you talk to some people in the emergency room/EMP profession you'll find that they save a LOT of people with 9mm wounds. They don't save too many with 45ACP holes in them. I read an article on it a while back. I want to say the ratio was something like 9:1.

I've shot a lot of medium sized animals with 45 and 9mm Tcruse. (coyotes, pigs, etc) I can tell you with 100% certainty that the 45 puts the brakes on em where as 9mm requires several follow-up shots.

Obviously this hinges on using the correct ammo. Yet when the most capable ammo in both cartridges is used, the edge goes to the 45 when it comes to stopping power. To someone interested in the facts of personal experience and facts of physics like me... there is no need to get emotional. The facts speak for themselves.

If you really want to see truth from fiction... talk to some guys that have shot people with both. You'll find them reaching for the 45 over the 9mm.

This doesn't change the fact that my daily carry is a 9mm. I choose ammo capacity over stopping power for my own safety. It's a conscious choice made with the knowledge that 45 absolutely hits harder than 9mm.

OldCavSoldier
March 4, 2012, 03:58 PM
.45ACP is probably the best caliber for a new military arm, but, I am still undecided about the M1911/M1911A1 platform being the best, even though I am an old soldier well trained in the M1911A1 and the owner of several 1911A1's and Government Model variants.

Actually, if I was definitely going into harm's way, and the only thing I could carry was a handgun (baaaaad....very baaaaaad) I would choose a Sig P220, but, that is just me and evidence of my pistol prejudices............

el Godfather
March 4, 2012, 05:26 PM
Aparently the YES vote is catching up. For the first time its over 40% I have a hunch thay hardcore 1911 believers have stil not voted yet.

45 in 1911 is like a hand with perfect glove and formidable punch.

Vern Humphrey
March 4, 2012, 05:47 PM
1) stay with 9mm, allow choice of hp and per-fragmented tmj
HP and pre-fragmented ammunition is prohibited for use in war by the Hague Convention.
2) 5.7x28, problem with choices on suppliers, but lighter and more rounds, more speed and possible same ammo with rifle. (maybe someday a 5.7 Glock?)
The 5.7X28 is less powerful than the .22 Hornet and is not known to be an effective stopper.

3) 45 GAP. Problem with choice of suppliers but has obvious advantages over 45 acp in terms of size and performance in short barrels
Actually, it doesn't -- loaded to equivallent pressures, the .45 ACP outperforms the .45 GAP.
4) 10mm, mainly because politically something with metric caliber could be sold to other countries easier than 40SW. Like this choice least of the ones listed. I would be at the top of the food chain as far as potential power goes.
The FBI tried the 10mm, and quickly reduced the power -- which is what led Smith and Wesson to develop the .40 S&W.

el Godfather
March 5, 2012, 01:25 AM
5.7 is just silly. It has no where near the sufficient stopping power. Its bulky and the magz crack easily.

FIVETWOSEVEN
March 5, 2012, 01:34 AM
For a combat pistol I feel as though the 1911 is out dated. There are better options out there that hold more rounds, less weight, easier to maintain, more simple, less parts, etc. I feel as though the 1911 as a duty/combat piece is just nostalgia.


The 5.7X28 is less powerful than the .22 Hornet and is not known to be an effective stopper.

Not known but it has shown to be an effective stopper. A certain event showed that it works.

mgmorden
March 5, 2012, 01:49 AM
4) 10mm, mainly because politically something with metric caliber could be sold to other countries easier than 40SW. Like this choice least of the ones listed. I would be at the top of the food chain as far as potential power goes.

Think about that a little harder. .40S&W is a shortened version of the 10mm. They both use the same bullet width. It would be much more feasible to simply adopt .40S&W if they wanted to but designate the cartridge as 10mm NATO for military use.

The same was basically done with .223 Remington/5.56 NATO or .308 Winchester/7.62 NATO in rifles. Yes, the pressure specifications are a little different between the military and civilian versions (as they might be for .40S&W too), but for all intents and purposes the rounds are dimensionally identical.

el Godfather
March 5, 2012, 01:54 AM
5.7 was actually made for P90 for optimal performance. The pistol just came along the way. 5.7 has awesome peneteration power when fired from P90, not when fired from FiveseveN pistol. It has specific role and it does that well.

FIVETWOSEVEN
March 5, 2012, 09:53 AM
5.7 was actually made for P90 for optimal performance. The pistol just came along the way. 5.7 has awesome peneteration power when fired from P90, not when fired from FiveseveN pistol. It has specific role and it does that well.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5BDpPlL6roI&feature=related
From a FiveseveN. It met penetration standards of 12 inches and actually over penetrated.

Tcruse
March 5, 2012, 10:20 AM
HP and pre-fragmented ammunition is prohibited for use in war by the Hague Convention.

The 5.7X28 is less powerful than the .22 Hornet and is not known to be an effective stopper.


Actually, it doesn't -- loaded to equivallent pressures, the .45 ACP outperforms the .45 GAP.

The FBI tried the 10mm, and quickly reduced the power -- which is what led Smith and Wesson to develop the .40 S&W.
1) This is only partially true, the actual wording has been interrupted different ways. The treaty could it apply can be amended or worked around should the desire be great enough. In fact have seen several articles where the letter of the agreement is being honored, with ammo that is effectively HP ammo.
2) I have read several studies that concluded the FN 5.7 was equivalent or better than .45 ACP (from 5" 1911). Granted the studies had some critics, many people saying that "just can not be, nothing is better than my 1911 45". Not having a horse in that race it is not a prime interest to me.
3) Here is one supporting article
http://www.firearmsforum.com/firearms/article/1117
4) Agreed that 10 mm would not be my first choice. However, I still contend that based on performance the 10mm CAN out perform .45 ACP. In fact, the .40 SW probably is superior in many cases based on energy and stats of one shot stops.
I would suggest the ammo performance charts on Winchester site (Ranger series).
The 9mm sizes seem to hold there own in just about every case.

My point is basically, unless we define "better" in measurable terms there is not an answer, just opinions.

Vern Humphrey
March 5, 2012, 10:21 AM
Not known but it has shown to be an effective stopper. A certain event showed that it works.
A .22 short "works." It's even killed grizzley. But that doesn't make it a stopper.

Tcruse
March 5, 2012, 10:36 AM
You are right in that it can be argued with no clear winner. That is only because people base their arguments on emotion instead of fact.

Fact is if you talk to some people in the emergency room/EMP profession you'll find that they save a LOT of people with 9mm wounds. They don't save too many with 45ACP holes in them. I read an article on it a while back. I want to say the ratio was something like 9:1.

I've shot a lot of medium sized animals with 45 and 9mm Tcruse. (coyotes, pigs, etc) I can tell you with 100% certainty that the 45 puts the brakes on em where as 9mm requires several follow-up shots.

Obviously this hinges on using the correct ammo. Yet when the most capable ammo in both cartridges is used, the edge goes to the 45 when it comes to stopping power. To someone interested in the facts of personal experience and facts of physics like me... there is no need to get emotional. The facts speak for themselves.

If you really want to see truth from fiction... talk to some guys that have shot people with both. You'll find them reaching for the 45 over the 9mm.

This doesn't change the fact that my daily carry is a 9mm. I choose ammo capacity over stopping power for my own safety. It's a conscious choice made with the knowledge that 45 absolutely hits harder than 9mm.
Here is one article that I found interesting on this subject:
http://www.hipowersandhandguns.com/9mm%20vs%2045.htm

And yes I have talked to a doctor that has treated gun shot wounds. His statement was that unless you find the bullet, you really see no difference in the wound.
I think that you are probably correct on the hunting issue, but that is really a very different discussion.

Vern Humphrey
March 5, 2012, 10:50 AM
One should use autopsy data with caution. First of all, the doctor can only autopsy the corpse. He cannot autopsy the tactical situation.

The autopsy cannot tell you if the deceased stopped fighting the moment he was hit, for example, or if he continued to fire.

Orkan
March 5, 2012, 10:56 AM
I think that you are probably correct on the hunting issue, but that is really a very different discussion. Not really. It's the same discussion. If it works on medium sized game, it will work on a human. It's as simple as that. If it will knock a deer on its butt, a person doesn't stand much of a chance. Killing is killing. Go hog shooting with a 9mm, then take a 45. Try telling me you see no difference afterward and I'll call you a liar! ;)

Here is the article I was talking about. For a guy that see's death in all its forms, I definitely trust his opinion when it comes to what it takes to make someone dead.

http://www.gunthorp.com/Terminal%20Ballistics%20as%20viewed%20in%20a%20morgue.htm

If my statements of, "Occasionally, I've seen the 9mm fragment or fail to reach the vital organs, whereas I don't think I can remember seeing a .45 do so" aren't sufficient, I'm afraid you're on your own.

NG VI
March 5, 2012, 12:54 PM
, I still contend that based on performance the 10mm CAN out perform .45 ACP. In fact, the .40 SW probably is superior in many cases based on energy and stats of one shot stops.

The 10mm delivers moar! than any ACP loads for sure, but as far as .40 goes, stop percentages are largely meaningless and impossible to predict with any real accuracy. What the .40 does that interests services though, is be chambered in the small format pistols with a good number of rounds, and penetrate. .40 does a better job penetrating hard barriers than .45 does, and would likely be able to pass through a steel helmet at greater distances than the .45, which is one of the historic metrics they've used to rate a caliber's performance.

It's also lighter and smaller, so more of it could be loaded into the same space on a transport vehicle. I've heard a line before, something like "amateurs talk tactics, experts talk logistics". A logistical benefit is a real benefit, a major benefit, and is part of the reason the 5.56 and probably 9mm will be our service calibers until either the LSAT is revived and finalized or we get some working caseless weapon.

NG VI
March 5, 2012, 01:02 PM
That gunthorp article has been heavily discredited, the guy claimed to be doing so many autopsies he must have been fifty individual coroners in fifty major crime-ridden cities. His claims were debunked because there is no way a single person could have performed anywhere near the number of autopsies he claimed to have been present for, and the numbers of shooting-related autopsies he claimed to sit in on were so high that they don't match any area in the developed world.

On top of that, some of his statements are ridiculous. Service caliber JHP bullets are designed to function the same way regardless of bullet weight and regardless of caliber, so claiming that 9mm JHP repeatedly was found to just fragment harmlessly against a man's ribs while no .45 bullet ever failed to work properly is absurd.

Any service caliber JHP is very likely to behave the same way in tissue, the bullet weights and velocities are just not that far apart to make one do anything special over another. The designs have had so much work put into them that they basically work exactly the same, minus a tenth of an inch expansion as you change calibers. They all penetrate equally well, using the same designs, they are all fairly accurate, they are all made in such a way that they will function properly in any working gun.

FIVETWOSEVEN
March 5, 2012, 02:24 PM
A .22 short "works." It's even killed grizzley. But that doesn't make it a stopper.

Define stopper.

Jenrick
March 5, 2012, 02:54 PM
Several things strike against the 1911 as a issue weapon, the first is parts interchangeability. It is not possible to take a hammer out a box of hammers and drop it into a random pistol and have it work correctly the first time. Unit armorers need to be able to make guns run without having to hand fit parts.

The second is the time and cost it takes to produce 1911's. Low cost 1911's are frequently referred to as "jam-o-matics", most buyers are told to shy away from them due to their lack or reliability etc. If the US military is going to order 100,000 pistols, why would they go with a design that is expensive to produce correctly? A Sig is still expensive compared to a Glock, but it is usually $300-$400 cheaper then a "good" 1911. Also production levels would require the entire output of the major manufactures to go to the military for several years.

Lastly most 1911's don't run well when given minimal maintenance (even "good" 1911's). They are pistols for people who are into guns, not someone who has to be reminded to empty their canteens out after an day in the field so they won't get moldy (yep worked with a few of those yahoo's in my time). Most soldiers are NOT fanatical about weapon maintenance, most if given the option would let someone else do it for them. A 1911 will not tolerate this well. A pistol with generous enough tolerances to allow for this will not have the gilt edge of accuracy and crispness of trigger that so many people love about the 1911.

For a general service pistol it needs to have either:
a) A moderately heavy (6-8 lbs) clean DAO trigger (think good tuned revolver trigger)
b) A SA trigger of a moderate weight (5-6lbs) with a manual safety

Just teaching people to keep their finger off the trigger means nothing when you start to look at combat. Being blow out of your vehicle by an IED, having your weapon knocked out of your holster as you dive for cover when ambushed, etc all create the possibility the trigger will catch on something and discharge. A trigger of decent weight will help alleviate this problem.

Caliber is immaterial, the lighter the better. If we can shoot someone with a 7.62 NATO round COM and still have them coming at us, .45 ACP or 9mm in FMJ is a really a silly discussion. Also 9mm is about the easiest thing to teach someone to shoot next to .38 spl target loads. All other things being equal people are able to learn to shoot acceptably much more quickly with something that has less recoil.

If I was selecting a new pistol for the US military as a whole it would be a polymer frame, double stack 9mm, with the same sight radius as a full size 1911 or the current M9. Trigger pull would be either DAO (similar to either the SIG DAK, or Beretta's DAO pistols) or SA/SF pistol (similar to the S&W M&P, Glock, H&K LEM, or Para LDA) with a frame mounted ambi manual safety that does NOT lock the frame in place. Trigger weight would not be less then 5lbs regardless of the action selected.

So could a "1911 style" pistol fulfill this criteria, sure. However I think that it would be cost prohibitive to do so when other already existing designs on the market already could fulfill the criteria.

-Jenrick

FIVETWOSEVEN
March 5, 2012, 03:08 PM
Several things strike against the 1911 as a issue weapon, the first is parts interchangeability. It is not possible to take a hammer out a box of hammers and drop it into a random pistol and have it work correctly the first time. Unit armorers need to be able to make guns run without having to hand fit parts.

Mil Spec 1911s had part interchangeability. In fact the test the Army did was that they took 10 issue 1911s from different makers, took them all apart in a box, shook the box up and then put them back together and fired them.


The second is the time and cost it takes to produce 1911's. Low cost 1911's are frequently referred to as "jam-o-matics", most buyers are told to shy away from them due to their lack or reliability etc. If the US military is going to order 100,000 pistols, why would they go with a design that is expensive to produce correctly? A Sig is still expensive compared to a Glock, but it is usually $300-$400 cheaper then a "good" 1911. Also production levels would require the entire output of the major manufactures to go to the military for several years.

Low cost 1911s like Rock Island Armory have a great reputation.

Lastly most 1911's don't run well when given minimal maintenance (even "good" 1911's). They are pistols for people who are into guns, not someone who has to be reminded to empty their canteens out after an day in the field so they won't get moldy (yep worked with a few of those yahoo's in my time). Most soldiers are NOT fanatical about weapon maintenance, most if given the option would let someone else do it for them. A 1911 will not tolerate this well. A pistol with generous enough tolerances to allow for this will not have the gilt edge of accuracy and crispness of trigger that so many people love about the 1911.

The issue 1911s still had a nice trigger though nothing to write about and were still accurate enough. The small sights did make it harder to shoot well though.

SigMic
March 5, 2012, 03:33 PM
Sounds to me like we'd be better off spending the money it would cost to train up our soldiers.

I'm quite surprised to hear of all this talk of having to make the guns easy since our soldiers don't train on them? What the hell kind of training are we doing with them? It would seem to me that our soldiers should be excellent with rifles and at least pretty darn competent with any carry gun they were issued.

Nushif
March 5, 2012, 03:44 PM
What the hell kind of training are we doing with them? It would seem to me that our soldiers should be excellent with rifles and at least pretty darn competent with any carry gun they were issued.

Well, My soldiers are excellent at configuring Blue Force Trackers, Secure Satellite Communications, Phone Lines, Wired Internet and Intranets, Radio Usage and Repair, can collectively set up communication networks over a country with no infrastructure in place, and oftentimes not even electricity, and are passable marksmen with a rifle. They're in shape, can fix minor things on their vehicles, have mild survival skills, mild cultural awareness skills specific to the middle east, mild PR skills, some Fist Aid skills, know basic tactics at a squad and platoon level, can drive their vehicles, can account for well over several millions of dollars of my equipment at all times, have the discipline to operate on a FOB, know basic military history and tradition, as well as drill, know to prevent suicide, sexual harassment and drug usage and on top of all this most of them hold down a fulltime job.

Care to tell me when I should send them all to Appleseed as well, closely followed by Thunder Ranch? Oh yeah, and who's paying for it? Also, how will that help my mission?

Do we really want to measure the worth of a soldier by his 100 yard groups? Or can we finally admit that war has evolved past simple weapons usage?

X-Rap
March 5, 2012, 04:01 PM
What the hell kind of training are we doing with them? It would seem to me that our soldiers should be excellent with rifles and at least pretty darn competent with any carry gun they were issued.

From the relatively small sample of young men in my small town that have gone to war in the decade I'd say my son was the most familiar with firearms and he said he could care less about having a handgun.
From what I gather it is a common sentiment in Combat Arms and most would prefer to carry more ammo for their M4. There are exceptions I'm sure but the idea that a side arm of any caliber or configuration is a game changer is a waste of time and money that could be far better spent.
I think it is an exception to find soldiers who have a great familiarity with a great deal of firearms beyond their formal military training, I suspect it is similar to the percentage of gun guys you find in LE. Pretty low.

Jenrick
March 5, 2012, 04:10 PM
Mil Spec 1911s had part interchangeability. In fact the test the Army did was that they took 10 issue 1911s from different makers, took them all apart in a box, shook the box up and then put them back together and fired them.


Interesting I was not aware of this. The question is did they assemble the same 10 guns, or did they assemble them into 10 franken-guns?

Low cost 1911s like Rock Island Armory have a great reputation.

I own one, and for what I paid it's a good gun. It however is not nearly as reliable as any other pistol a own (glocks, sigs, H&K's, a Beretta 92FS for that matter). Imagine the howling on the boards if RIA/Armscorp was the new pistol supplier for the military.


The issue 1911s still had a nice trigger though nothing to write about and were still accurate enough.
I think you hit the nail on the head, the trigger wasn't anything great and it was "accurate enough." Shoot I think any service pistol fits that description...

Nushif: Thank you for that break down of what your soldiers ACTUALLY do. We are a long way away from the Colonial minute man, or his civil war sharpshooter counter part.

-Jenrick

Chindo18Z
March 5, 2012, 04:38 PM
Is changing back to the 1911 platform a wise consideration for the US Army?

Threads like this are great...folks put a lot of thought and emotion into them. :)

BLUF: My answer is YES...but with caveats.

Could the 1911 platform work again? Absolutely. It's one of the most combat proven semi-auto handguns in military history. In terms of successful use in war, numbers fielded, and service longevity, it rates near the top of all pistol designs. For a weapon that was "discarded" by the military, it seems to have enjoyed a renaissance of commercial popularity unmatched by any combat pistol other than the Glock.

A century of service to US forces (still in limited use today ;) ) should be a clue. The weapon has functioned successfully in every theater of conflict since its adoption. The fleet was employed until wear and budgetary opportunity provided an excuse to ask the question: "Is there something else?" The proven function and utility of the .45 ACP design was never in question, but when the inevitable replacement time came (due to wear and tear), desire for new features and capabilities dictated we go with a DA/SA high capacity 9mm. We didn't actually get a better gun...just a different one.

We got a theoretically more user friendly and safety featured weapon by adopting the M9. We got ammunition compatibility with allied forces. And we got a caliber whose lighter recoil was easier to control when issued to a body of troops possessing marginal pistol skills.

But in point of fact, the 1911 was successfully employed by millions of marginally trained users during many decades of both peace and war. It developed a deserved reputation for terminal effect and combat reliability never quite matched by its Beretta successor. The weapon was not "discarded" because of performance shortfalls...it was replaced due to economic considerations and political gerrymandering. The ability to refit the existing fleet or buy all new replacements equaled or exceeded the cost of just going with a new design. The committee that specified performance features picked attributes that seemed important at the time...ones which the 1911 could not possibly meet (DA/SA, high capacity, and 9mm NATO compatibility).

In retrospect, only the high capacity parameter proved truly useful.

The DA/SA feature, brilliant from a safety and readiness-to-fire standpoint, has proven to be a wasted feature because the services have (in the main) required troops to carry chamber empty, negating the supposed design advantage.

NATO 9mm compatibility seemed important during the Cold War, but is of little relevance today. In fact, it never was relevant, but it briefed well. Battles and campaigns simply don't hinge on UK, German, and US troops being able to reload pistols from the same ammo can. And the shipping of 9mm ammo pallets is an inconsequential footnote to theater logistical planning. But, it briefed well when selection criteria were being bandied about in front of the House Armed Services Committee. And in front of congress critters looking to establish a job-producing M9 factory in their home states.

Predictably, 9mm FMJ terminal effect proved to be problematic in comparison to .45 FMJ, but not in a big enough way to matter...or generate any investigative hearings. There just isn't that much difference in performance...and with the higher capacity 9mm...you can just use more bullets to make the target go away. A simple reinterpretation of the Hague Accords would eliminate the caliber controversy. If we issued premium 9mm JHP instead of FMJ, all further caliber controversy would evaporate.

So...to return to the OP's question, IF you needed to replace about 900,000+ Berettas, the 1911 would be a viable choice.

It's a proven design that gets the job done better than most other pistols.

Countless service members were successfully trained to use it in the past.

Countless service members could be trained to use it in the future.

Accidents rates in the hands of ill-trained idiots would remain about the same as with any other pistol. Perhaps a bit less so than with issued Glocks. Chambers would be empty anyway...but some idiots would manage to fumble manipulation anyway...regardless of type of controls or operating system.

We would get 2-3 times the service life out of them as compared to our current primary issue pistol. The Berettas purchased in the mid-'80s and early '90s have irreparably worn out after about 20-25 years of use (or less). Most of our 1911s lasted 50-70 years. Some far longer. Some are still in service today.

With modern design enhancements, a modified 1911A2 could offer improved performance in every area except double stack capacity (although reliable 8-10 round mags could be issued). It could be lighter (with an alloy lower), have better sights, and fire more effective JHP ammo, while fitting smaller hands better than the M9. It could be made Commander sized and provide a better concealed carry choice than most other pistols.

Could we go back to 1911s with good results? Sure. They'd work just fine.

Should we? Probably not. DAO Tupperware in .40 S&W would make more sense for general issue to a large force possessing only rudimentary pistol skills. Before anyone goes on a rant about training...our kids today receive as much (and arguably better) pistol training as any of our troops got in the past. Advanced pistol training is simply not (nor has it ever been) a high priority. Good enough is what suffices. Units that truly use pistols a lot get truly expert training. Everyone else is expected to be able to hit a target at point blank range and not shoot themselves or their buddies while walking around. That simply ain't gonna change.

Will we? Figure the odds...DoD just bought a half million new M9s. ;)

DannySeesUSMC
March 5, 2012, 04:52 PM
I do not think you will see a large military contract for 1911 pistols, now or in the future. Any 1911's or other .45 ACP pistols will remain a speciality item for a small number of units.

Chindo18Z
March 5, 2012, 04:53 PM
Quote:
Mil Spec 1911s had part interchangeability. In fact the test the Army did was that they took 10 issue 1911s from different makers, took them all apart in a box, shook the box up and then put them back together and fired them.

Interesting I was not aware of this. The question is did they assemble the same 10 guns, or did they assemble them into 10 franken-guns?

Any parts...mixed into any gun. Bang. Eject. Bang. Rinse and repeat.

Folks today are so used to seeing a plethora of tightly fitted beauty queens in the gun shop 1911 case, that they no longer understand that NONE of these weapons are actual 1911A1s. Not the low-end cast frame imports. Not the higher dollar, mirror polish factory semi-customs. Not the very high end boutique models. They are all modified for one purpose or another (cost cutting, CCW comfort, bling features, enhanced accuracy, etc.). They are not built to the originally specified military tolerances nor with originally specified materials.

The GI guns were designed to go bang under all conditions and be mostly user serviceable (to include functioning with replacement drop-in parts from the arms room parts chest).

They did.

Jenrick
March 5, 2012, 05:36 PM
Chindo18z: Interesting good to know. I'll file that way.

But in point of fact, the 1911 was successfully employed by millions of marginally trained users during many decades of both peace and war. It developed a deserved reputation for terminal effect and combat reliability never quite matched by its Beretta successor.
I'm curious as now that I think of it I know of very little literature when someone was shot with a 1911 during it's service years. By this I mean actual first hand accounts. To be honest I don't know of too may accounts of the M9 being used in combat either, good or bad. I know a lot of people like to bad mouth the M9's reliability on the range, but I can't recall anyone talking about one failing operationally.

Predictably, 9mm FMJ terminal effect proved to be problematic in comparison to .45 FMJ, but not in a big enough way to matter...or generate any investigative hearings. There just isn't that much difference in performance...and with the 9mm...you can just use more bullets to make the target go away.
Ironically I think if we do go to a hotter cartridge (.40 S&W, or 10mm) there will be a lot of people asking saying "the 9mm worked just fine why did we go to this beast of a round no one can qualify with?"

In the end I agree with you that there are better options out there for the military at large.

-Jenrick

Vern Humphrey
March 5, 2012, 08:33 PM
One thing the .45 ACP has going for it is versatality. For example, several people have said the .40 S&W is "more powerful." But not if you compare apples to apples. The .45 ACP at +P (which is actually quite mild) will drive a 185 grain bullet about 100 fps faster than the .40 S&W. What this implies is that light-weight, soft armor defeating bullets are quite possible in the .45 ACP format.

FIVETWOSEVEN
March 5, 2012, 11:47 PM
Shoot I think any service pistol fits that description...

They do, that's why I feel as re-issuing the 1911 would be just nostalgia as there are better choices out there to issue to soldiers.

Chindo18Z
March 6, 2012, 02:11 AM
They do, that's why I feel as re-issuing the 1911 would be just nostalgia as there are better choices out there to issue to soldiers.

Which gets to the actual root of this discussion...exactly WHICH pistols would be significantly better...and precisely WHY?

I'm not arguing for a return to the 1911, mind you. I just don't see many other handguns that offer a lot of improvement in comparison (for the average troop). Incremental advantages? Sure. Also incremental disadvantages. Just like when we adopted the M9. We gained a little...we lost a little.


1911s? For what valid reasons would an improved 1911 actually NOT fit the bill? I can think of two disadvantages:

1. Average pistol training qualification scores would go down slightly because of greater recoil with .45 ACP...which could translate into possibly fewer hits in combat (for the least trained) beyond about 7-10 meters range and in comparison to 9mm.

2. A loss of high magazine capacity

However, it is instructive to consider that, even today, 1911s sell like hotcakes primarily because a 100 year-old design continues to work as well or better than other more modern combat pistols.

Nostalgia would be bringing back Lugers or Webleys. Nostalgia would be buying Single Action Army revolvers. Actually re-issuing America's currently most popular modern defensive handgun type might be considered a reasonable course of action by some.

Glocks? As much as I love Glocks, I can think of one overwhelming reason to not issue them to 1.2 million service members...the increase in ADs would have a horrific effect in terms of lives lost, service-members medically retired, and death benefits paid out. I've seen even well-trained troops accidentally shoot themselves or others with Berettas (one of the safest pistols ever designed). Glocks issued out to every 2nd Lieutenant or Staff Officer/NCO with a cheap PX holster would magnify that occurrence significantly. I've studied enough Glock equipped police departments over the years to understand the liabilities involved with its widespread issuance.

I say this from a perspective of actually having trained thousands of troops on ranges for 35 years. I know exactly how DoD budgetary limitations would result in grossly inadequate training and produce a lot of ill-trained cone-heads carelessly handling an unforgiving weapon that requires a specific holster discipline when hot.

We would eventually wind up with a 60 Minutes prime time expose and congressional hearings decrying the military's choice of a weapon that encouraged a host of Tex Grebners. Heads would roll.

For SOF troops and MPs? Sure. For general issue to all branches of the military? No thanks.



What if we just issued updated 1911s adapted to fire 5.7 x 28? It just might work and please everyone. A great and reliable platform, firing a lot of bullets, that deliver enough lethality, and can be tailored to counter armored opponents. There's only 6mm of case length difference. Who knows? It might work. ;)

FIVETWOSEVEN
March 6, 2012, 02:30 AM
Which gets to the actual root of this discussion...exactly WHICH pistols would be significantly better...and precisely WHY?

I'm just thinking any modern handgun that involves using less parts and possibly polymer. SIGs come to mind as the US Military does use a few of them successfully such as the M11 (P228), SP2022, and the P226. The FNP series handguns are also quite nice from what I've read.

I feel as though it would be a step back to go to the 1911 again. Less capacity and more parts. Sure it worked for a long time but that doesn't mean it's always going to be the best overall choice. The 1911 just doesn't offer any advantages over most modern pistols if the intent was for combat use.

Ragnar Danneskjold
March 6, 2012, 05:19 AM
Which gets to the actual root of this discussion...exactly WHICH pistols would be significantly better...and precisely WHY?

A double-stack, polymer frame, DA/SA pistol with an ambidextrous safety, integrated rail, and removable front and rear sights in 9mm NATO. That would be significantly better.

Double stack = more rounds and more chances to hit the CNS of the target (or hit the target at all, which in combat is somewhat difficult)

Polymer frame = lighter, less rust prone.

DA/SA = Not my cup of tea, but for Big Army it adds another layer of safety.

Ambi safety = easier for more shooters to use, and again Big Army will never, ever issue a safety-less pistol.

Integrated rail = the use of weapon mounted lights is extremely desirable. Especially given how much stuff we have to carry, the possibility of a disabled arm, etc

Removable sights = Unit armorers can add night sights.

9mm = More rounds. More hits. Less recoil. Faster followup shots. Easier for Big Army to issue logistically with NATO(The only aspect that really matters to those who make the decisions)

brnmuenchow
March 6, 2012, 09:22 AM
Not ever gonna happen, unless NATO decides to switch to the .45 ACP pistol cartridge.
And that isn't ever gonna happen.

And even if they did, the new gun would still be a modern DA auto of some sort, not a 1911.

Agreed:
Getting NATO to change from a .9x19mm to a .45 ACP would take an act of God IMO.
Also switching back to a simple 1911 platform would not be likely. Technology and firearm research has advanced enough where they would begin building/ developing a newer more accurate, just as reliable DA duty gun. H&K and and many others already have a great line up of .45 ACP pistols that would make excellent new military issue sidearms.

Chindo18Z
March 6, 2012, 03:23 PM
The US military does not rely on NATO logistical channels for pistol ammo. We haven't, we won't, and the idea is a planning artifact dating from preparations for a hypothetical WWIII struggle against the Soviet Union. It's just not an important factor in the real military logistical world. We could choose to go with .41 Long Colt and none of our allies would really care.

Today, we are facing inevitable and drastic military budget cuts. This means that there isn't a hope in hell of fielding a new pistol to the entire force beyond the 490,000 new M9s already contracted for.

But...if I were King...and had the funding...my handgun replacement choice for general issue to the US military would be a modified HK USP/C with the following features:

1. Compact frame/slide
2. .40 S&W if restricted to FMJ; 9mm if allowed to use expanding ammo
3. Railed w/ Issue Combat Light Module
4. Ambidextrous controls (mag release, slide release)
5. DAO without Decocking/Safety Lever
6. Fixed Hi Visibility Combat Night Sights (drift adjustable rear)
7. Modular Grip Inserts
8. Complement of DA .22 LR HK Uppers for marksmanship training in all units
9. Complement of Suppressor/Aiming Modules per Combat Arms Platoon

These would be for issue to everyone, in any Service, required to carry a pistol but not assigned to SOF, Counter Intelligence, Law Enforcement, or Tactical Reconnaissance units.

Those folks would use DA/SA decocker (without Safety) variants of the same weapon along with issued modules for mounting visible & IR lasers, suppressors, and red dot sights. Full sized and/or Sub-Compact configurations would be organic items in accordance with a unit's mission and manning (MTOE).

Nordeste
March 6, 2012, 10:34 PM
I think NG VI and Rcmodel have nailed it.

The 1911 is not the best option not just for its caliber, longer training periods, troops qualification scores, and the like. It's also that equally efficient (and easier to operate, including field stripping) platforms are also... cheaper to manufacture and to maintain.

The M9, however, seems to me like the almost perfect choice.

el Godfather
March 11, 2012, 06:55 AM
One of the training issues with 1911 is safely lowering of the hammer- a simple HK like decock would solve that problem.

X-Rap
March 11, 2012, 12:14 PM
a simple HK like decock would solve that problem.
Maybe that is the answer???

Seven High
March 11, 2012, 01:09 PM
Has there been a documented incident where by a US soldier has lost his/her life due to the ineffectiveness of the 9mm round or the Beretta M9?

el Godfather
March 12, 2012, 03:32 AM
Seven High, I dont know. Sidearms rarely play a role in battle. M9 is a good gun. I have have the 92Fs and I dont recall any malfunctions. However, 1911 accuracy and slim profile is much easier to carry in my opinion. And 7+1 are more then sufficient for a handgun when you are carrying main weapon as well. For close protection units or specialized units I would not recommend 1911 as they might need higher capacity- I dont know, but as a side arm why not.

1911 guy
March 12, 2012, 04:42 AM
Going back to the 1911 would be a fine choice, but politics, not handgun design, carries the day now, just as it did back in the late eighties when they replaced worn out 1911's with crap M9's.

Vern Humphrey
March 12, 2012, 10:42 AM
Quote:
a simple HK like decock would solve that problem.

Maybe that is the answer???

What's the problem? No same person ever lowers the hammer on a live round.

X-Rap
March 12, 2012, 11:03 AM
Vern
I guess I beleive the USPc would probably be one of the best if not the best sidearm replacement for the M9 if there was to be one. All this 1911/45 talk is nothing but fantasy and nostalgia. I have some 1911's but they are so far back on my list of guns I would carry that I can't really imagine forcing one on a young Soldier or Marine.
The USPc has what the gov wants DA/SA, 9mm, size/capacity, safety/decocker,ease of maintenence and repair and it is very robust.

FIVETWOSEVEN
March 12, 2012, 12:10 PM
Why should the M9 be replaced anyway? It works and it does the job.

Prince Yamato
March 12, 2012, 12:38 PM
The 1911 pistol is a nice design, but it is an old one. The pistol lacks the simplicity of disassembly that is inherent to modern pistols like the Glock. 45 ACP is a good round, but it's not the "worldwide standard"; that designation would go to the 9mm. To build a 45 pistol that performs to current standards you need something like the HK 23.

FIVETWOSEVEN
March 12, 2012, 02:42 PM
MK 23 is no longer issued because the HK45CT took it's place.

Tim37
March 12, 2012, 03:00 PM
i would think a 9x23 win or a 10mm would be a much better option than a 9mm or a 45acp,

to be honest i really dont understand why the military would use a 9mm it really has not advantages imho.

el Godfather
March 12, 2012, 03:34 PM
For regular Army sidearm MK 23 is just not right option.

firesky101
March 12, 2012, 04:40 PM
@Tim37

Yes, a thousand times yes, I would love to be able to buy surplus 9x23.

FIVETWOSEVEN
March 12, 2012, 04:46 PM
For regular Army sidearm MK 23 is just not right option.

Not even the Navy SEALs liked it. Plus they are too expensive for standard issue.

1911Tuner
March 12, 2012, 05:12 PM
to be honest i really dont understand why the military would use a 9mm it really has not advantages imho.

In a word...Proliferation. The cartridge is produced in vast quantities in nearly every country in the world. Sorta like .30-30 ammo in the US. You can find it from Anchorage to Miami and from Salem to Nogales and all points between.

xXxplosive
March 12, 2012, 05:17 PM
Doesn't mean I want to carry one................bigger bullets make bigger holes.

FIVETWOSEVEN
March 12, 2012, 05:33 PM
to be honest i really dont understand why the military would use a 9mm it really has not advantages imho.

Higher capacity and 9mm FMJ creates equal if not better wounds as .45 ACP.

Doesn't mean I want to carry one................bigger bullets make bigger holes.

So I see that if you could choose between a .45 caliber handgun and a AR 15 for fighting, you would obviously take the handgun because it makes bigger holes because it has a bigger bullet right? :rolleyes:

There's more to wounding then bullet size.

mgmorden
March 12, 2012, 05:35 PM
Doesn't mean I want to carry one................bigger bullets make bigger holes.

Then obviously we should all carry a .50AE instead of a .45 ACP. Bigger bullet makes for a bigger hole. Or heck lets develop a .70 caliber handgun round just to make sure.

(end sarcasm)

If you play that game then you can always keep going up and up. The reality is that WHATEVER you choose, you have to stop and say "you know what - this is enough". Like it or not, the military has made that choice at 9mm. It offers a good combination of power and capacity.

el Godfather
March 12, 2012, 05:46 PM
Like Clint used to say ''most powerful handgun in the world''. Not true anymore. Heck you buy the biggest the powerful, and when you wake up in the morning you hear some custom gun beats your gun to it.

Right balance is the key- 45 was that balance in my opinion, and still is up to a point. Personally, I would 1911s in 10mm now for its shear power.

Chindo18Z
March 13, 2012, 12:06 AM
Why should the M9 be replaced anyway? It works and it does the job.

The body of originally issued pistols (1985-1995) wore out a lot quicker than anticipated. Despite factory claims of exceptional longevity, in reality, the weapons were only designed to meet a military specification that called for a 15K round service life. Which made sense in a Cold War peacetime training environment where the average pistol was expected to fire only 200-300 rds per year. It was anticipated that they would last for at least 50 years.

That paradigm changed in the late 90's when a lot of units began to run the guns a lot harder. A decade of post 9-11 combat deployments have added heavy firing during pre-mission train-ups and a lot more opportunity training ammo fired while actually deployed. The weapons have simply worn out under hard use in 20-25 years. About half of the originally anticipated service life for the model. Not from shooting bad guys...just from being fired more during training, knocked around hard in the field, and being assembled/disassembled more frequently. This because they actually live on peoples hips 24/7 instead of being safely snuggled inside the arms room (and only seeing the light of day a few times per year).

And this is why DoD recently bought about a half million replacements. There were only two options: 1) Replace with something new (desired)...or... 2) Replace with new copies of the current weapon (what we could afford). It was simply vastly cheaper to buy replacement Berettas and avoid the front-end costs associated with going to a different weapon (training, parts, new maintenance programs, accessories, etc.).

The M9 is also an immense envelope for the little 9mm. There are better packages to wrap around the cartridge that would benefit those with smaller hands and those who need a concealable sidearm. When the Beretta requirement was originally conceived, large numbers of combat deployed smaller framed female troops were not anticipated. Concealed carry as a military requirement was largely unheard of. Both of those considerations have become fairly important over the last two decades.

US Army Special Forces has been extremely dissatisfied with the weapon since the late 90's when we found them unable to meet our sustained CQB firing schedules. They crap out routinely and in certain units, we simply replace all weapons annually.

However, as in all things, it's about the money. SF gets its Berettas from Big Army essentially for free (out of a common Service weapons procurement program). If USSOCOM decides to equip with something else, SOF must foot its own bill.

We have identified what we want twice in the last decade, but priority wartime procurement needs have repeatedly bumped a new pistol to the bottom of the wish list.

When the swap is inevitably made (for SOF handguns), caliber change will be a major consideration, with either .45 or .40 being the only two contenders in an FMJ world. HKs or Glocks most likely...unless something better comes along.

Fishbed77
March 13, 2012, 12:33 AM
Why should the M9 be replaced anyway? It works and it does the job.

It shouldn't be replaced. Threads like this are flights of fancy.

Replacing the M9 would be a colossal waste of money the military could better spend elsewhere.

1911 guy
March 13, 2012, 01:25 AM
Quote:
In a word...Proliferation. The cartridge is produced in vast quantities in nearly every country in the world. Sorta like .30-30 ammo in the US. You can find it from Anchorage to Miami and from Salem to Nogales and all points between.

Not picking on Tuner, he just stated it very well.

If that is the reasoning used by the Army (and it was) then we should have all been born in dirt floor bedrooms, attended to by a midwife with a brown paper bag and rusty razor blade. After all, that's what's most common around the world.

Doing what everyone else does is seldom the right choice and NEVER the right reason. Read Chindoz18z's post again, it's full of very useful and accurate information. The M9 was a loser from the get-go and has been reliably so ever since. For all the "But it's a great gun" people, I personally had three of them fail, as in mechanical breakage during use, not malfunctions related to fouling, worn springs, ammo or magazines. And I wasn't exactly a HSLD type who used them near daily.

Tim37
March 13, 2012, 03:07 AM
Higher capacity and 9mm FMJ creates equal if not better wounds as .45 ACP.
yeah but a 9x23 guns can have the same high capacity and make better wounds than the 9mm

Ragnar Danneskjold
March 13, 2012, 05:21 AM
And 7+1 are more then sufficient for a handgun when you are carrying main weapon as well.

No. There are occasions where you can only use your sidearm, and not your M4, like when looking in crawlspaces or caves. Having a full capacity 9mm is far better in those instances than a 7+1 weapon.

1911Tuner
March 13, 2012, 07:53 AM
Doing what everyone else does is seldom the right choice and NEVER the right reason. Read Chindoz18z's post again, it's full of very useful and accurate information. The M9 was a loser from the get-go and has been reliably so ever since.

Not arguing that at all. The 9mm cartridge was chosen because of proliferation...cost...and commonality of ammunition with NATO. We were the odd man out. Because battles aren't fought with pistols, the caliber/power/terminal ballistics question was a secondary consideration.

Settling on the Beretta was a matter of: "Your equipment comes to you courtesy of the lowest bidder."

They got the contract, and the test samples performed to their standards...at the time of testing. As has been pointed out, when the pistols were run hard and put up wet...the weaknesses started showing up.

As for the 10mm/9X23 issue...If you want to see pistols come apart at the seams...bump the pressures and recoil stresses up to near magnum revolver levels with current offerings and run'em hard and watch what happens. If they want that level of power without giving up durability and longevity, somebody will have to come up with a new design. A current 38-40 ounce pistol ain't gonna cut it.

ATLDave
March 13, 2012, 10:29 AM
It's hard for me to imagine a move that would be a bigger waste of money. Building a 1911 correctly takes a lot of work. They're inherently expensive to build properly. As others have pointed out, no wars have ever been won with handguns, so they're a dumb place to spend money. Buy better rifles, or better communications gear, or more/better satellite coverage, or more drones, or other things that might actually impact the outcome of some confrontation.

FIVETWOSEVEN
March 13, 2012, 01:28 PM
The body of originally issued pistols (1985-1995) wore out a lot quicker than anticipated. Despite factory claims of exceptional longevity, in reality, the weapons were only designed to meet a military specification that called for a 15K round service life. Which made sense in a Cold War peacetime training environment where the average pistol was expected to fire only 200-300 rds per year. It was anticipated that they would last for at least 50 years.

I do agree that they aren't as durable but one guy on the Beretta forum wore out his Beretta after 100,000 rounds. I'm unsure if he changed out parts as he went but the frame cracked after that round count. I still think that currently, the M9 is fine for the job.

Chindo18Z
March 13, 2012, 02:44 PM
I still think that currently, the M9 is fine for the job.

Respectfully, as a long time user of and instructor for that pistol, used for that job...I'll disagree.

The 92/M9 was "cutting edge" in 1983 when it was evaluated for adoption (even though it was simply a re-worked 1951 Brigadier). But it has since been surpassed by better 9mm hi-cap pistols...in the same manner the 1911 was surpassed in terms of newer and more desirable features.

Fielding the Beretta was akin to buying Chinese mountain bikes at Wal-Mart. OK bikes for kids to ride around the neighborhood...but not anything found on serious trails ridden by competitive riders.

I do agree that they aren't as durable but one guy on the Beretta forum wore out his Beretta after 100,000 rounds.

And there are always those stories. There are always outliers along a Bell Curve. Hell, my last military issued 1911A1 was built in 1942...and I carried that one in Iraq in 2011. It fired more accurately and reliably than any Beretta I've ever handled, even after 68 years of use. But most military 1911's eventually wore out after providing that 50-80 years of service...although that was admittedly a pretty good return on investment for a handgun fleet purchase. I think the American taxpayer got value added out of the 1911 procurement program...but not so much when we paid for the M9.

My last issue M9 had its locking block let go after about 4K rounds. Fortunately that happened out on the range. But I've had guys on my Team staring ruefully at broken pistols while standing in Bosnia (where that M9 was the primary armament) and be mission incapable until we could get a replacement...which took days. I've had my guys standing in the middle of nowhere Afghanistan with dead-lined M9s...and the nearest replacement pistol 500+ miles away and not able to be brought in by MC-130 re-supply flight until the next dark of the moon. I had 3 issued Berettas crap out on my 15 person team in Baghdad during an 11 month period. For those that have been there, that was a pistol rich staff environment with lots of support available. It still took days or even weeks to get those weapons repaired or replaced...in a place where most daily meetings with Iraqis were conducted pistol-only. You didn't walk into an Iraqi Commanding General's office waving your M4A1 about.

Sure...lot's of Berettas have held up, but most haven't. My current personal 92FS has been chugging along just fine, but one I owned previously suffered from breakage when the locking block tied up the gun. More importantly, the ones assigned to my Teams broke frequently, including while deployed to locations where repair/replacement was not a simple matter, and we had need for something more than a non-functional paperweight.

I don't care if Team Beretta claims they have produced a 9mm Perpetual Motion Machine, made of Unobtanium, and powered by Cold Fusion...in the real military world, the Beretta M9 has simply not held up. Which is why it had to be replaced...unfortunately with more Berettas.

For most of the non-shooters in the military, the issue is invisible, as they don't care about the pistol they are issued, will never fire that pistol in anger...or even fire it that extensively in training. The new pistols will break with boring regularity, Beretta will get paid, maintenance shops will code out the pistols that can't be returned to duty, and TPTB have a million other pressing issues on their mind besides pistol replacement.

Too bad.

The discussion doesn't really matter, because the decision to re-equip with replacement Berettas has already been made. The US Military will use the M9 design for the next 25 years or so. At which point, our kids or grand kids will bitch about the old warhorse, argue on the internet about the procurement history of a pistol adopted before they were born, and push for a modern replacement. (Not one of those tired Old School Glocks grandpa used!)

Somebody in 2035 will inevitably suggest 1911s. A small minority of very vocal folks will think that's a great idea. We will buy Phasers instead, with the selector permanently welded to "Stun Only". They will be made by Hi-Point and use a NATO standard battery pack...whose nuances will be endlessly debated by THR members. You'll still be able to find brand new 1911s in the gun shops. I'll be a long-retired cranky old man clinging bitterly to my 1911s (perhaps even my Beretta...out of a sense of nostalgia). The World will continue to wobble along.

Sound familiar? ;)

FIVETWOSEVEN
March 13, 2012, 03:13 PM
Do you think the military M9s are inferior to the 92 or would you say they are the same?

Chindo18Z
March 13, 2012, 06:20 PM
Do you think the military M9s are inferior to the 92 or would you say they are the same?

The same...with caveats.

We KNOW that an early run of military weapons had problems with non-spec metal content...resulting in the infamous slide separation issue. That documented problem led to the adoption of an over-sized flange added (at military request) to the hammer pin on all M9 models ("FS" designation in the civilian world). It also resulted in Beretta's offering a beefed-up "Brigadier" slide...which the military failed to purchase in any large quantities. I've never heard of a slide separation with the Brigadier slides we did buy.

That admittedly rare occurrence (slides cracking in half) has occasionally still reared its head over the ensuing years with standard military M9s. Trigger return springs and trigger springs still fail often enough to be noteworthy. And locking blocks continue to be dramatically problematic, regardless of version, although the radiused latest generation tend to break with lesser frequency.

I think that today, they are pretty much the same gun. But, I suspect that the military production line has just suffered from occasional "bad" runs over the years. However, I think it would require exacting examination of serial number ranges by forensic metallurgists to prove. Pre-War military 1911s had a similar issue with regards to heat treatment of their slides...with nearly the same result. That production issue was later fixed.

I'm happy with my current personal 92FS and don't plan on ditching it. On the other hand, I don't rely on it as my primary CCW or Home Defense weapon either. Nor my 1911s for that matter.

For military use, pistols need to be reliable and durable more than they need to be especially accurate or of a particular service caliber (my assumption being that almost any modern pistol can deliver adequate combat accuracy and most any medium to large caliber will do the job). It doesn't make a hill of beans to me whether my issue weapon is 9mm, .357 SIG, .40 S&W, or .45 ACP. I just want it to work reliably.

My personal preference would be for an HK USP/C .40 DAO for general military issue...or something like a reliability improved SIG 250 with the same features. But in recent memory, I've carried semi-custom 1911A1s downrange and felt perfectly well-armed.

I'd vote to equip the military with Glocks (which are outstanding pistols), but my experience of human nature, troops, and military training convinces me that we'd be buying the wrong pistol for a huge crowd of largely neophyte shooters...with predictably bad result in terms of accidents. Which would demand "Israeli" carry. Which would negate the very best argument for carrying Glocks in the first place...a rapid and uncomplicated first shot.

Many thousands of Glocks have been carried successfully by various US personnel in both Iraq and Afghanistan. My former unit uses a lot of them, and I've carried them on duty myself. I bought one of the first 17s to hit the shelves back in 1985 and have owned a succession of models and calibers over the years.

But the longer I've been around Glocks (civilian, PD, or military), the more NDs I've seen or been made aware of. I can distinctly remember two 9mm NDs inside my camp's billeting area during my last tour to Baghdad. Both of them involved State Department Contractors with rudimentary handgun experience, armed with G19s, and failing to properly understand the function of a Glock trigger. Those were just the ones I personally heard/saw. There were others.

Hence my recommendation for a manual safety lever or even DAO function for most proposed government agency/military weapons.

X-Rap
March 13, 2012, 06:38 PM
My personal preference would be for an HK USP/C .40 DAO for general military issue...or something like a reliability improved SIG 250 with the same features. But in recent memory, I've carried semi-custom 1911A1s downrange and felt perfectly well-armed.

I'd vote to equip the military with Glocks (which are outstanding pistols), but my experience of human nature, troops, and military training convinces me that we'd be buying the wrong pistol for a huge crowd of largely neophyte shooters...with predictably bad result in terms of accidents.

Many thousands of Glocks have been carried successfully by various US personnel in both Iraq and Afghanistan. My former unit uses a lot of them, and I've carried them on duty myself. I bought one of the first 17s to hit the shelves back in 1985 and have owned a succession of models and calibers over the years.

But the longer I've been around Glocks (civilian, PD, or military), the more NDs I've seen or been made aware of. I can distinctly remember two 9mm NDs inside my camp's billeting area during my last tour to Baghdad. Both of them involved State Department Contractors with rudimentary handgun experience, armed with G19s, and failing to properly understand the function of a Glock trigger. Those were just the ones I personally heard/saw. There were others.

Hence my recommendation for a manual safety lever or even DAO function for most proposed government agency/military weapons.

I would agree with you 100% my prior suggestion of the USPc in 9mm was based on my doubts that caliber change was very likely.
I am a big fan of Glocks but they aren't for everyone and just like the 1911 they take a commitment by the shooter to invest a little more than just sticking it in a holster.
If I had the money I would probably have as many USPc's as I have Glocks and possibly they would replace my Glock fleet but at a nearly 2to1 ratio to purchase I don't see that happening.

KodeFore
March 13, 2012, 08:04 PM
I voted for 1911 only I think they should adopt a newer version made from modern materials with itioal additioal safety features in a simplified fornat. In other words I think should go to the glock. Adding a Manuel thumb safety to a glock is not a big deal. When I took the GAC last year one of the instructors said glock will make their guns any way want as long as you
Order enough of them. Seem to me they mentioned one country ( Australia? ) uses the G 17 with a manual safety added. Been a while so i might be wrong on that part. I have not had a chance to actually shoot one yet but the modern sidearm that impresses me the most is the FN FNX series modern polymer hi cap with completely ambidextrous controls

el Godfather
March 14, 2012, 05:21 PM
Like I said before why not add USP type saftey to 1911, safe/decocker. Simple.

jahwarrior
March 14, 2012, 05:41 PM
I would like to see our boys carrying 1911s again, but I doubt it would ever happen. That said, Im surprised that we haven't adopted the Glock for the military.

kyletx1911
March 14, 2012, 06:20 PM
My question also

Nordeste
March 16, 2012, 05:08 PM
I totally agree on the recommendation of the Glock as a military sidearm, since it was originally built for that purpose. However, I disagree on the election of a .40 or .45 caliber for military use. The difference -if any- in terminal ballistics, using the mandatory FMJ ammo, would be neglected by the lose of capacity, which is crucial in a military environment.

As for the ND issue, these in a 99% of chances attributable to the operator/lack of training. True that a manual safety is a good idea, but then again, poorly trained personnel is likely to forget to switch the safety off under stress, and carrying the pistol on an empty chamber is even worse, since you'll have a poorly trained guy racking a slide and waving a condition 0 pistol around. These things make me wonder what it was like in those old days when semiautos were the exception and not the norm, and handgun guys carried revolvers. It all comes down to the "get your finger off the trigger" and "watch your muzzle" thing.

Portugal, OTOH, has recently purchased Glocks for its Armed Forces and Police, and the units ordered were equipped with a flip-down, frame mounted manual safety. An ugly one, indeed, but functional. Although... that same can be said about the Glocks. Ugly, but functional.

I do carry a 92FS myself on duty. It's a pistol I trust and feel quite comfortable with. I shoot it competently and like the feel of it. I've put no more than 2000 rds through mine and never had a single hiccup, but with all honesty, I wonder how it will perform in the long run. A good friend of mine put 8000 rds through his in a couple of years and his unit looks much more worn out than mine, with some worrying rattling sounds. Ask my Regional HQ gunsmiths and they'll tell you that they're "soft" pistols, particularly if you compare them with the STAR 30M they replaced (and I happen to own one for a good reason). If SHTF and I were to choose one, I'd go with the 30M, hands down.

My agency employs over 80.000 men and women. The requirements were similar to those in your military (external hammer, manual safety) and Beretta came up with the best offer, over HK and their USP. The USPc got chosen for the plain clothes people and the Glock 17 for the tactical units. In the "torture tests", the Berettas had overheating issues that the HKs hadn't, but still they got chosen, which proves the "your equipment comes courtesy of the lowest bidder" statement as universal.

A fine pistol, but not the toughest one out there.

Zerodefect
March 16, 2012, 07:14 PM
I've seen plenty of Marines with 1911's.

Do they buy thier own?

Chindo18Z
March 16, 2012, 08:57 PM
Nordeste: However, I disagree on the election of a .40 or .45 caliber for military use. The difference -if any- in terminal ballistics, using the mandatory FMJ ammo, would be neglected by the lose of capacity, which is crucial in a military environment.

I would be perfectly fine with 9mm (in fact I am), but I like the auto glass & cover penetration offered by .40 loads. Slightly higher capacity allowed by 9mm has turned out to be less important than originally envisioned...at least over the years of my unit's experience.

BTW: Excellent entire last post. I'm a fan of Star pistols. Are your guys restricted to use of Full Metal Jacket bullets or do you use expanding 9mm ammunition?

Zerodefect: I've seen plenty of Marines with 1911's. Do they buy thier own?

No...at least not as individual purchasers. The USMC employs competent gunsmiths to both re-build government issue 1911A1s and maintain small numbers of Marine Corps commercially purchased semi-custom models for certain units. Same goes for the Army. The 1911s you see belong to the government.

Privately owned firearms are simply verboten in modern military circles. You can't legally bring your own weapon from home.

Nordeste
March 17, 2012, 01:24 AM
Chindo18Z:

Thanks for your compliments ;). Glad you like our STARs. They were fine pistols. My 30M is my very cherished range toy and HD gun. I seldom carry her since I live in a quite safe area and she's a heavy piece, but I'm planning on a G19 for those days I have to go somewhere else, and I think it's wise to pack some protecting heat.

I personally prefer the .45 over the .40. In those few occasions I shot these calibers I always found the .40 snappier and the .45 more pleasant to shoot. I shot the .40 on a 1911 STI and the .45 on a Kimber Desert Warrior, and I really loved the .45. Went home that day with a broad smile on my face :D.

Expanding ammo is verboten, as you say, for us, except for the tactical units. Some agencies are restricted to FMJ only (mine, for example, which is the largest one in the country) and some others use flat-nosed semi-jacketed.
It's absolutely pointless, even plain stupid. We've had our unions complaining about it since there have been cases (even with seriously injured bystanders) that have evidenced how inappropriate they are for law enforcement use, but it looks like no one here has the guts to make the decision to issue an ammunition which is known to cause more damage to the one hit (the bad guy, that is), negligently forgetting about innocent bystanders. They just won't listen. As far as I know it's not just over here, but in several other countries across Europe, that the use of expanding ammo is forbidden, and that of course includes the very few civilians with carry permits or ourselves, in the case of our privately owned off-duty weapons. It's quite funny, though, that expanding ammo is legal for hunting.

BTW, the Spanish Army is finally replacing their Llama M82 (which is a Beretta 92 derivative) for HK USP, to go along with the G36 rifles, the MG4E light machine guns and the Leopard tanks. Hope our guys still get proper Spanish meals, since it looks like most of our gear is Deutsch :D already.

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