1911- still a war worthy?


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el Godfather
September 18, 2013, 06:25 PM
Dear THR:
How many of you still believe that a 1911 is worthy candidate as side arm for troops landing on the hostile soil? Or the new higher capacity guns have outdated 1911 for that specific purpose?

Note that we are not talking about officers walking about in the army barracks rather actual combat soldiers in the harms way in stiff gun fight scenarios.

Thanks

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Cosmoline
September 18, 2013, 06:39 PM
How many actual combat soldiers are going into actual combat with handguns anyway? How many ever have? Apart from the tunnel rats and aviators I can't think of many. For the purposes a sidearm actually has in the military, a 1911 would be fine. But to rely on any handgun in an actual fight against rifles or worse? That would be bold.

Deaf Smith
September 18, 2013, 06:39 PM
1911- still a war worthy?

Oh yea.

Just ask SOCOM and all the Delta people. Ask the FBI HURT teams to.

Now I am a Glock man but I see no reason a good well maintained 1911 won't do for war as good as any... and better than most.

Deaf

Girodin
September 18, 2013, 06:46 PM
The marines seem to think so.
http://cdn01.dailycaller.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/coltmarinesmall.jpg


I don't see why a properly built one would not still be as viable a weapon as it was in WWII. However, I think that other guns probably make more sense to outfit a large number of troops with. Say, the HK 45 for example. They probably make more sense for a number of reasons, maintenance, durability, etc.

1911Tuner
September 18, 2013, 06:48 PM
I don't see why not. It worked well enough in two world wars and a dozen lesser conflicts. As noted, battles aren't fought with pistols, except sometimes on a personal level when things get...really personal. A 1911 should serve the purpose.

grubbylabs
September 18, 2013, 06:48 PM
The only reason I can see for not using the 1911 is the ability to carry more ammo. 1911 is 8 almost everything else is double that or close to it.

kwguy
September 18, 2013, 06:51 PM
Sure, why not? It's just at a disadvantage in terms of firepower when compared to more 'late model' designs, and it's less forgiving of dirt / grime etc. But if maintained reasonably well, within those limitations, it'll do.

psyopspec
September 18, 2013, 06:54 PM
I don't believe it would be viable candidate. In modern combat most soldiers won't be carrying a sidearm. Among those who do, a miniscule amount will actually pull the trigger on that sidearm. While it would may matter greatly to the individual's personal preference, handguns themselves don't win wars. So given how little it matters in the scheme of battle a 1911 would suffice in that it's a handgun. But as a veteran and now fiscally concerned civilian, I see no reason to go that route when a military could be served by hardware that was lighter, higher in capacity, less prone to rust, contained less parts, and offer all that at a lesser expense.

jimbo555
September 18, 2013, 07:13 PM
It's all about the trigger. The high capacity whatevers out there all have crappy triggers out of the box.

tarosean
September 18, 2013, 07:21 PM
Soldiers still carry them despite their perceived lack of capacity...

jjones45
September 18, 2013, 07:21 PM
in a combat situation as a sidearm id rather have a hk45 or fnx45. capacity and probably more reliable out the box. not to mention less weight


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tuj
September 18, 2013, 07:23 PM
Maybe a 2011-style large frame in .38 super would work. Good combination of power and ammo with that. Something like an STI Edge.

psyopspec
September 18, 2013, 07:31 PM
Soldiers still carry them despite their perceived lack of capacity...

A very few do indeed. Again, the vast majority don't get to allow personal preference determine that. And a minuscule percentage do.

The times I was issued a handgun in the military, it happened to be a Beretta. My personal preference had zero to do with that, and even if I'd had the chance to choose, would my choice constitute proof of combat effectiveness?

TestPilot
September 18, 2013, 07:35 PM
How many actual combat soldiers are going into actual combat with handguns anyway? How many ever have? Apart from the tunnel rats and aviators I can't think of many. For the purposes a sidearm actually has in the military, a 1911 would be fine. But to rely on any handgun in an actual fight against rifles or worse? That would be bold.

1911 is viable, but I do not agree with your reasoning that it is okay only because it is rarely used.

A soldier having a pistol does not mean the soldier would always use a pistol to fight enemeis with rifles.

The military used to, and to a great extent still does, have the attitude that line soldiers ony be issed a primary long gun only.
That line of thinking has started to change after the current war in Middle East.

Having a pistol is a good thing. Special Forces carrying pistols is a reflection of that rather obvious finding.

TestPilot
September 18, 2013, 07:40 PM
Is 1911 viable? Yes.

Would it be generally the best choice? No.

The caliber, 45ACP, is a good choice, since the military is stuck with the ridiculous Hague Convention.

wow6599
September 18, 2013, 07:56 PM
The caliber, 45ACP, is a good choice, since the military is stuck with the ridiculous Hague Convention.

Then make mine a 1911 in 10mm :)

Drail
September 18, 2013, 08:21 PM
I can't think of any reason why a 1911 would suddenly not be a good choice for combat use. A lot of people went to a lot of trouble to come up with the gun. Never heard any complaints from anyone who carried one into battle.

weblance
September 18, 2013, 08:33 PM
t's all about the trigger. The high capacity whatevers out there all have crappy triggers out of the box.

Oh really? Do they? In your mis-guided opinion, maybe. I have two 45s. a High Capacity Whatever, and a 1911. If I was going into battle, I would take the High Capacity Whatever, over my nice 1911.

Hurryin' Hoosier
September 18, 2013, 08:48 PM
I don't believe it would be viable candidate. In modern combat most soldiers won't be carrying a sidearm. Among those who do, a miniscule amount will actually pull the trigger on that sidearm. While it would may matter greatly to the individual's personal preference, handguns themselves don't win wars. So given how little it matters in the scheme of battle a 1911 would suffice in that it's a handgun. But as a veteran and now fiscally concerned civilian, I see no reason to go that route when a military could be served by hardware that was lighter, higher in capacity, less prone to rust, contained less parts, and offer all that at a lesser expense.
I'm sure that the Marine Corps' zippity-do-da khaki finish (and real mall-ninja grips) more than make up for all of the 1911's shortcomings.

Jenrick
September 18, 2013, 08:52 PM
War worthy? Sure. Best choice for general issue, probably not.

-Jenrick

HorseSoldier
September 18, 2013, 08:52 PM
How many actual combat soldiers are going into actual combat with handguns anyway? How many ever have? Apart from the tunnel rats and aviators I can't think of many. For the purposes a sidearm actually has in the military, a 1911 would be fine. But to rely on any handgun in an actual fight against rifles or worse? That would be bold.


Building on the knowledge and experience of the SOF community, the Big Army has somewhat recognized that -- at least for people who are expected to do CQC -- having a back up gun on your person can be indispensable. On the MTOE for the unit I deployed with last time, I think there were probably a half dozen or less pistols in the whole company. By the time we actually got boots on the ground, about 75% of us were issued M9s along with our assigned long guns.

That said, I would have been happier carrying the 1911 I carried as a cop than with a Beretta, for the simple reason that it has better ergonomics and that trigger (and I had the training such that the reduced mag capacity wouldn't be a significant issue).

HOOfan_1
September 18, 2013, 08:58 PM
It's all about the trigger. The high capacity whatevers out there all have crappy triggers out of the box.

My FNP has a nicer single action trigger than most of the 1911s I've shot.

Besides, I don't think the military selected the 1911 for its trigger...

saitek
September 18, 2013, 09:55 PM
the 1911 has been kicking ass and taking name's for 100 plus year's , if it aint broke don't fix it ! it served my dad well for four tour's in vieitnam and he still prefer's in the same shoulder holster he used . :)

Walkalong
September 18, 2013, 09:57 PM
No reason it would not do the job.

GLOOB
September 18, 2013, 10:10 PM
Combat soldiers would be required to leave the chamber empty. Except when an imminent threat was expected. Then they'd rack one in. And some would lower the hammer, and some would use the safety. And there would be ND's and AD's and clicks when there should be bangs. Just like there have always been. Par for the course. And it would cost too much. Again, par for the course. It is definitely still war worthy.

tomrkba
September 18, 2013, 10:10 PM
Here's a nice thread on the 1911 forum:

http://forums.1911forum.com/showthread.php?t=232209

MrCleanOK
September 18, 2013, 10:21 PM
A 1911 would have done anything an M9 ever did for me. Even the pistol qualification hasn't been rewritten since the days of the .45 ACP. You don't load more than 7 rounds in a magazine. I did appreciate having 20-rd capacity magazines since my M9 was the only weapon I carried during a lot of the time I spent around Afghans, but never needed to use them so ultimately 7 vs 20 wouldn't have mattered to me. Yup, a 1911 would have worked just fine.

Tirod
September 18, 2013, 10:43 PM
Take it apart and think.

1) it's all steel - a gun that is going to get literally dragged across the beach, endure mud, and then be called on for use after the primary weapon was down needs to be extremely durable and reliable. Like it or not, polymer pistols do that, all steel won't. Nothing on a polymer frame can oxidize or rust, so reduces the maintenance load on the carrier.

2) It's a .45 - no longer a compatible NATO caliber. Adding a different caliber to the wartime logistics chain is another incremental load on the Army that does it. When you and your Allies all share the same calibers, there is a higher incidence of cross leveling ammo and getting enough to go around.

3) It's expensive to make - all steel/alloy guns require 100% machining, other than what small parts you can make casting or in MIM. Molding the polymer frame reduces the cost 25% or more - which we see when making a choice for a firearm retail. If the government needs to buy a firearm, why limit the contract when you can get 25% more guns for the same price? Why punish the taxpayer with a high cost firearm when a polymer framed one does the same job?

4) The 1911 is a .45 - which becomes a difficult proposition creating a double stack grip that can be handled by smaller soldiers. We may provoke catcalls about somebody serving needing to be in shape and capable of doing the job, the reality is that in modern times, the average woman is the same size as the pastime soldiers of the 1940s. If a modern female Marine would be better served by a smaller firearm in 9mm, her male counterpart of 75 years ago would too. (Which is entirely the point of the M16.)

5) Since the auto pistol as an issue gun is actually a badge of authority - then why accept the 1911 .45 as the premier example? Are there not others more deserving to signify that the bearer is one with authority? Why not a gold plated Beretta M9, or better yet, some other more exotic PDW? It's all the sidearm really is, Why not an HK MP7, or SIG MPX, or Magpul FMG-9? If you had a choice, would you want a SA pistol with 7 or 8 shot magazine, or a full auto submachine gun with 32 round mag?

It's not what you think would be cool for someone else to carry, what would YOU want dragging YOUR web gear across the beach?

Nobody chooses less capable tools when their life depends on them.

:evil: Now there's something to discuss, take a big deep breath and give it a moment before going into attack mode. And, BTW, I'm selling my Glock to buy a P938, so don't get to your drawers into a twist.

CountGlockulla
September 18, 2013, 10:47 PM
Yes as long as you have a company of armorers and a separate logistics company devoted to it :)

mljdeckard
September 18, 2013, 10:52 PM
I have a better idea. Allow battalion and company level commanders to let their soldiers carry what they want within reasonable guidelines. You buy it, you feed it, you maintain it. The DOD has very little interest in sidearms at all. No war has ever been won or lost based on the choice of sidearm.

Not only would I carry my Kimber to war tomorrow if I were allowed, I also have a Para Ordnance SF-45A, which answers the capacity question, for those who were concerned about it. (I wasn't.)

horsemen61
September 18, 2013, 10:57 PM
I think it is still a viable option not the best mind you but viable

mljdeckard
September 18, 2013, 11:24 PM
But....the best defensive gun is the one you shoot and handle best. For MANY of us, it is a 1911. Large agencies don't see it this way. They look for the gun they can issue and train large numbers of diverse people with, in the most cost-effective way. This does not mean it's a great choice for anyone, it's saying 'this will work, so live with it' to everyone.

If you ever actually NEED a sidearm in war, how cost-effective it was to the DOD will mean little to YOU in that moment. It means you are in the worst kind of trouble, and you will never need your sidearm more. It doesn't matter to the DOD, it matters to the individual.

Buzznrose
September 18, 2013, 11:43 PM
I don't think the 1911 is the best choice out there, nor would I choose a Beretta. Been there and toted the M9 in a few tours, and I'd much rather have any of my Glocks! I'd also prefer a M&P or even an XD, although not a fan of the grip safety.

Been in several pistol classes and saw too many 1911's fail hard while the Tupperware kept launching lead to want a 1911 for anything other than fun shooting at the range.

Sorry if I offend...no harm intended.

jigglyjames29
September 19, 2013, 01:36 AM
It's heavy.

Let's throw on a 60lb ruck.
Oh, and here's a 3lb gun 8 shot pistol.
no thanks.

Girodin
September 19, 2013, 01:39 AM
Larry Vickers touches on the question early in this video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jOQRiWdHoKo

bannockburn
September 19, 2013, 06:41 AM
I have to agree with those who believe the M1911 is still a viable option (perhaps as it is now with certain small units), but that there are better choices out there today in terms of a standard sidearm.

Carl N. Brown
September 19, 2013, 06:54 AM
Oh, and here's a 3lb gun 8 shot pistol.

1911 pistol, three loaded magazines, web belt with holster and pouch for the two spare magazines is slightly over 5 pounds (the intended weight of the 1938 program that ultimately resulted in the M1 carbine: "light rifle" + sling + 20 rounds = 5 pounds).

VetPsychWars
September 19, 2013, 09:19 AM
Sure, why not? It's just at a disadvantage in terms of firepower when compared to more 'late model' designs, and it's less forgiving of dirt / grime etc. But if maintained reasonably well, within those limitations, it'll do.

Less forgiving? Only because they're made so damn tight today. If you built it a little looser like it originally was, you can get it plenty dirty.

Tom

MCgunner
September 19, 2013, 09:35 AM
I think they should be armed with the 1958 Remington New Model Army, myself. Hell, if you're goin' retro, go RETRO! Sidearms haven't been a major combat arm since the horse cavalry of the civil war, old war lore or not.

LNK
September 19, 2013, 09:45 AM
I'm sure that the Marine Corps' zippity-do-da khaki finish (and real mall-ninja grips) more than make up for all of the 1911's shortcomings.

Wow, attacking a gun and the Marine Corps in the same post! Real high road...

LNK

anothernewb
September 19, 2013, 10:48 AM
I'm no scientist, not a ballistics expert, and not a combat veteran.

I look at things simply sometimes. Energy, velocity, all that stuff aside - I simply think that, the bigger hole you make in something. the harder it's going to be to fix it.

With that thinking. I would carry the largest caliber I can. 1911 fits that bill rather well. And with regards to ammo capacity, there are a few makers out there that have double stack varieties which seem to work rather well.

Then again, Sgt York didn't seem to be bothered by 7 rounds either.

I've never carried a combat load, and never had to use a handgun with people coming at me to kill me either so who knows.

longknife12
September 19, 2013, 10:54 AM
I wouldn't hesitate to carry one....again!
Dan

Tirod
September 19, 2013, 11:36 AM
But....the best defensive gun is the one you shoot and handle best. For MANY of us, it is a 1911. Large agencies don't see it this way. They look for the gun they can issue and train large numbers of diverse people with, in the most cost-effective way. This does not mean it's a great choice for anyone, it's saying 'this will work, so live with it' to everyone.

If you ever actually NEED a sidearm in war, how cost-effective it was to the DOD will mean little to YOU in that moment. It means you are in the worst kind of trouble, and you will never need your sidearm more. It doesn't matter to the DOD, it matters to the individual.

These are good valid points - up to a point. If the situation is that bad, then the incremental difference of one vs the other won't likely tip the scales. There's no way to document or verify it.

As for needing a sidearm in war, they are usually never the primary weapon anyway. A Combat Rifle is for the average soldier, sailor, airman, or Marine who is under fire. That's why sidearms are a sideshow.

It still goes back to being the most appropriate compromise - which all weapons are. A polymer handgun is the preferred choice of most PD's for good reason. Affordability and durability are the two main factors, not whether you or I would shoot another few points better on the target range. Combat with a sidearm would be at close range, the operator just needs to keep it down to 2MOA and it's a hit. Most issue handguns can do that out to 50 yards. Accuracy beyond that is wasted money.

Let's not forget Browning moved on in his quest for the better combat handgun, and in doing so he recognized two important features we have now embraced world wide - double action, double stack. It's why the Hi Power became the defacto world standard and influenced all other combat pistol designs.

That doesn't mean the 1911 action wouldn't suit the CCW user, if anything, it's a better fit. Given the rule of 3's, three feet, three seconds, three shots, a 1911 SA in a concealable form has advantages over a chopped duty polymer gun. It's two different things, tho, and the incremental difference is what we focus on. In real life, either would do, and the number who carry both is considerable. There is no best, just better for that carrier.

If anything, for the Marines to move back to the 1911 is tacit admission the weapon has less role in open combat than we collectively think. It's being demoted to a PDW, something to carry in administrative areas or outside the wire on R&R where the rifle isn't allowed, but risk still exists. That recognizes the nature of terrorism - no front lines, no idea where the next attack could come from. Same reasons we carry concealed.

tarosean
September 19, 2013, 11:42 AM
Let's not forget Browning moved on in his quest for the better combat handgun, and in doing so he recognized two important features we have now embraced world wide - double action, double stack. It's why the Hi Power became the defacto world standard and influenced all other combat pistol designs.

BHP is SAO

kimbernut
September 19, 2013, 11:54 AM
If you have to ask or are still answering negatively you don't understand the gun. A little study and practice is in order for you to realize the error of your ways.

Girodin
September 19, 2013, 01:52 PM
Not only is the hi power DA. I think the idea that browning moved on in terms of trying to find what he personally thought was better is a stretch. The hi power was designed in response to a military contract that called for certain features and capabilities. I'd be very interested to see anything that substantiates the idea browning that the direction he was moving with the hi power was per se better.

JTQ
September 19, 2013, 02:02 PM
Tirod,

In the words of ESPN's Chris Carter, "Come on, Man".

Tirod wrote,
Let's not forget Browning moved on in his quest for the better combat handgun, and in doing so he recognized two important features we have now embraced world wide - double action, double stack. It's why the Hi Power became the defacto world standard and influenced all other combat pistol designs.
As other's have already mentioned, but I will repeat, so you know, the Hi-Power is a single action pistol.

Hurryin' Hoosier
September 19, 2013, 02:30 PM
Wow, attacking a gun and the Marine Corps in the same post! Real high road...

LNK
I wasn't attacking the Corps. I wasn't attacking "the gun", per se. I was commenting on what I see as a rather silly macho-man finish (when good old Parkerization or Bruniton work fine) and grips which look like an aardvark's afterbirth. In truth, I imagine a lot of Marines would agree.

Auto426
September 19, 2013, 02:39 PM
Not only is the hi power DA. I think the idea that browning moved on in terms of trying to find what he personally thought was better is a stretch. The hi power was designed in response to a military contract that called for certain features and capabilities. I'd be very interested to see anything that substantiates the idea browning that the direction he was moving with the hi power was per se better.


Pretty much this. The Hi Power came about as the result of a French military trial for a new service pistol. Browning designed the gun according to what the French military wanted, not what he personally thought was best for a combat handgun.

Even then, the gun that resulted from that trial was not the same Hi Power that we know today. Browning's design lost, was shelved by FN, and Browning moved on to his Superposed shotgun. FN designer Dieudonne Saive ended up doing most of the final development work to create what we know as the Hi Power after JMB's death.

bikerdoc
September 19, 2013, 02:54 PM
Yes.

There was one on my hip in 68.

There is one on my hip now.

God willing it will still be on my hip in 20 yrs, when I am 85

Outlaw Man
September 19, 2013, 03:22 PM
Browning's original HP design was striker fired. To call it the improved 1911 is skirting the issue. The US military went straight from the 1911 to the Beretta 92. I don't believe the Hi Power was ever issued. (Foreign militaries aside)

can't think of any reason why a 1911 would suddenly not be a good choice for combat use. A lot of people went to a lot of trouble to come up with the gun. Never heard any complaints from anyone who carried one into battle.
Basically how I feel. The enemy didn't suddenly get less-mortal. Best tool for the job? Maybe not, but it's still viable.

el Godfather
September 19, 2013, 04:05 PM
Well, the potent question perhaps should be whether one will feel comfortable in gun fight resorted to pistols with a 1911 8shot while the opponent is carrying a polymer 45 in 12-15 shot magazine??

JTQ
September 19, 2013, 05:19 PM
Well, the potent question perhaps should be whether one will feel comfortable in gun fight resorted to pistols with a 1911 8shot while the opponent is carrying a polymer 45 in 12-15 shot magazine??
Does the USA have many adversaries that are carrying polymer .45's with 12-15 shot magazines that you'd end up in a shoot out with?

RainDodger
September 19, 2013, 05:55 PM
Pointless thread.

Mitlov
September 19, 2013, 05:57 PM
Why would USMC's Force Recon still use the 1911 if it wasn't "war-worthy"?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MEU(SOC)_pistol

It may not be the best choice for all soldiers in all conditions, but I think the fact that a well-regarded elite unit has chosen to continue using it over a number of alternative sidearms is, in itself, proof that it's "war-worthy."

Gun Master
September 19, 2013, 06:05 PM
Browning's original HP design was striker fired. To call it the improved 1911 is skirting the issue. The US military went straight from the 1911 to the Beretta 92. I don't believe the Hi Power was ever issued. (Foreign militaries aside)


Basically how I feel. The enemy didn't suddenly get less-mortal. Best tool for the job? Maybe not, but it's still viable.
The 1911 is my best choice. What were thinking (or drinking) when they switched from the 1911, and chose the Beretta 92?

Girodin
September 19, 2013, 06:10 PM
Well, the potent question perhaps should be whether one will feel comfortable in gun fight resorted to pistols with a 1911 8shot while the opponent is carrying a polymer 45 in 12-15 shot magazine??

One could use a 10 round mag in a 1911 and thus its capacity would be on par with or very close to many other .45 ACP guns. That said given some of the folks that are using the Mk24 mod 0, I guess they are not real worried about it having a few less rounds. Given the most likely uses of pistol in military applications, that makes sense to my mind.

The caliber, 45ACP, is a good choice, since the military is stuck with the ridiculous Hague Convention.

The US military is not restricted from using hollow point by the Hague Convention, by which I assume you mean the 1899 Hague Convention Declaration III On The Use of Bullets That Expand or Flatten Easily (the 1899 treaty). People spout so much misinformation about this issue.

The 1899 Hague Convention Declaration III On The Use of Bullets That Expand or Flatten Easily (the 1899 treaty) does address use of such ammunition under particular circumstances. According to the terms of that treaty, “The Contracting Parties agree to abstain from the use of bullets which expand or flatten easily in the human body, such as bullets with a hard envelope which does not entirely cover the core or is pierced with incisions.”

While this treaty expressly proscribes the use of expanding ammunition, the US could still use expanding ammunition without violating it. By its very terms the 1899 treaty only deals with conflicts between high parties. This has two important implications. First, it means that the treat is only applicable in International Armed Conflict (IAC), not Non-International Armed Conflict (NIAC). The treaty is only applicable in conflicts between high parties and only states are (or can be) parties to the treaty. Thus the treaty by its own terms can only apply in an IAC.

A second limitation is that this treaty has no applicability to the US. As a general principle of International law, treaties are only binding upon nations that are parties to the treaty. Furthermore, by its own terms the treaty cannot be binding upon the US, because the US is not a party to the treaty. For these reasons, the 1899 treaty itself does not prohibit the US from using expanding bullets in either IAC or NIAC or make doing so a violation of law.

Thus I will repeat that the Hague convention has no bearing on the US in as much as the US is not a party to it. There are other treaties that apply to the US in IAC and there is arguable customary international law restrictions applicable to the US in IAC as well. It is my belief that the US could lawfully use expanding ammunition in NIAC. This is all a pretty technical boring discussion/argument that I'm sure that most people aren't interested in really trying to understand. However, people shouldn't just repeat misinformation.

Girodin
September 19, 2013, 06:18 PM
The 1911 is my best choice.

Well Ken Hackathorn thinks you are brain dead :D.

From an interview with Ken and Larry Vickers

Ken: . . . For most anybody I can imagine if you said you need a pistol to stake your life on and you’re going to be someplace you can’t run to a pistolsmith every time you need it, if your choice is between an HK45 and a 1911 and you don’t take the HK45, you’re ****’ing brain dead.

Larry: Yeah, I agree 100%. Ken is spot on. For the average guy, it’s a far better choice. The 1911 is an enthusiast’s pistols. In order to keep that gun running you have to, it’s not optional, you have to become your own armorer to a degree. You have to be able to diagnose and fix minor problems on an end user level. If you’re not willing to sign up for that, frankly you have no business running a 1911 for anything other than occasional recreational shooting. If you’re going to put yourself in harm’s way with that gun and you’re not willing to sign up for that, then you need to avoid it. The HK45 is clearly the better choice. For the overwhelming number of people who feel like they need to have a .45 the only two real choices are the M&P45 and the HK45 and push come to shove if I’ve got to trust my life to one or the other, it would be the HK45.

We both are in agreement that if you had to go to Afghanistan for a year with just a handful of spare parts, what do you have confidence in getting the job done? The HK45. That would be my first choice. I think it is the most bomb-proof service pistol on the market. And we just saw SEAL Team Six go with the HK45 Compact for those reasons.

http://pistol-training.com/articles/hk45-interview-with-ken-hackathorn-and-larry-vickers

It should be noted that Ken and Larry are 1911 guys. It should also be noted they were involved in the development of the HK45. Larry also sales (although much more rarely these days) some pretty expensive 1911s. He probably understands the ins and outs of that gun about as well as anyone and I'm confident better than all of us on this thread combined.

tarosean
September 19, 2013, 06:32 PM
From an interview with Ken and Larry Vickers

Your a few years late.. Larry is now hocking Glocks.. While I respect the man for what he did for our country, he does change his opinion with his paycheck...

Fiv3r
September 19, 2013, 06:33 PM
I would certainly call it war-worthy as history has proven it to excel at what it was designed to do, offer soldiers with a hard-hitting secondary/CQC weapon.

That said, weapons of war are not just issued around what is "best". Cost, availability, ease of manufacture, and difficulty of training all factor in, and that is skirting all of the backscratching politics.

I'm in the camp that would say that "Yes" the 1911 is still a very capable and useful tool for a soldier to be issues. That said, our leaner and meaner forces of today just don't seem to need such a heavy pistol. I can see select units of highly trained special forces preferring the caliber and precision of the platform.

I think the 1911 is a very fine gun. However, for our current military, I don't see it being as good of a fit as others.

Gun Master
September 19, 2013, 06:48 PM
Pointless thread.
Talk is cheap. Sharing experience, ideas, & information is sublime !

TexasPatriot.308
September 19, 2013, 06:50 PM
I carried an old 1911 in the early 70s, I hear the argument about the 9mm carrying more in the magazines....true, but I know from experience, you might have to double tap em with a 9mm, the sledge hammer .45 puts em down but good.

ew2x4
September 19, 2013, 06:54 PM
Soldiers rarely use handguns. If they do, we're doing something wrong.

Gun Master
September 19, 2013, 07:02 PM
Well Ken Hackathorn thinks you are brain dead :D.

From an interview with Ken and Larry Vickers



http://pistol-training.com/articles/hk45-interview-with-ken-hackathorn-and-larry-vickers

It should be noted that Ken and Larry are 1911 guys. It should also be noted they were involved in the development of the HK45. Larry also sales (although much more rarely these days) some pretty expensive 1911s. He probably understands the ins and outs of that gun about as well as anyone and I'm confident better than all of us on this thread combined.
Well, I was mainly expressing the thought of 1911 .45 vs. Beretta 9 mm. The H&K and XP .45's have their good points, too. These guys seem to have other issues, though. That said, I prefer 1911 over 92. I still value others' opinion. ><>

Gun Master
September 19, 2013, 07:18 PM
Well, the potent question perhaps should be whether one will feel comfortable in gun fight resorted to pistols with a 1911 8shot while the opponent is carrying a polymer 45 in 12-15 shot magazine??
The 1911 and polymer .45's are both the same caliber, otherwise there are differences. I like steel, since polymer wears out quicker. What military uses polymer? The 1911 grip/feel/fit are more natural and user friendly than others. When you consider over 100 years of reputation and reliability, it's the 1911. The Colt/Browning design is the most reliable and copied design in the world.

Gun Master
September 19, 2013, 07:39 PM
I think most of us agree, the long guns are usually the soldiers' basic weapon. Handguns have a special nook in several situations. Let's see, if you had only your handgun to depend on in one of these, would you like to have a .45 or a 9mm, especially in a possible one shot case?:uhoh:

Fremmer
September 19, 2013, 09:26 PM
I'm not sure I agree with ken and Larry. The 1911 isn't that complicated. Plus the grip and the trigger are hard to beat. A lot of people shoot the 1911 better than other platforms, and for good reasons.

jimbo555
September 19, 2013, 09:35 PM
Which war has the glock,fn or h&k proven themselves in? As far as the U.S.A. the beretta is the only other pistol to compare the 1911 to.

C0untZer0
September 19, 2013, 10:56 PM
Yes and so is the Browning Hi-Power

C0untZer0
September 19, 2013, 10:59 PM
the trigger are hard to beat.

Most of the M1911A1s that I ever pulled from an armory room had pretty crummy triggers.

Girodin
September 20, 2013, 12:17 AM
Your a few years late.. Larry is now hocking Glocks.. While I respect the man for what he did for our country, he does change his opinion with his paycheck...

Can you please show me where LAV is saying a Glock 21 (or any other 45 ACP glock) is a better choice than an HK45 or HK 45C? LAV has, to the best of my knowledge always been pretty keen on 9x19 glocks.

He has a line of glock parts. I'm not sure what else could be considered to be hocking glocks. I don't see there being much a shift from 2011 to 2013 in what I have heard or seen coming from Mr. Vickers with respect to his feelings or recomendations concering glocks and HKs. For what it is worth Ken has, likes and recommends certain glocks as well. If you can point me to something I'd be interested to read/listen to it.

What military uses polymer?

Really? Glock has dozens of military users alone. There are a number of other polymer guns (handguns and long guns) that have military users as well

I like steel, since polymer wears out quicker.

What are you basing that on with respect to pistol frames?

The Colt/Browning design is the most reliable and copied design in the world.

The 1911 design the most reliable in the world? Ummm, no. I love them, but no.

Which war has the glock,fn or h&k proven themselves in?

By FN do you mean the hi power? Because it has been used since WWII where it was used by both allied and axis powers and many many conflicts since. It might be the most "war proven" handgun out there (and of course a number of users have dumped them for glocks) or are you talking about the FNP?

easyg
September 20, 2013, 03:00 AM
I think that there are much better choices than the 1911 for a military handgun.

1911Tuner
September 20, 2013, 05:33 AM
Neither the 1911...nor any other handgun...has been proven "War Worthy" since end of the "War to End All Wars" nearly a century ago.

The role of the pistol shifted when the Wehrmacht rolled across Europe, and it was issued to people who weren't normally given rifles. It's doubtful if any of those people fired their pistols in anger more than a couple dozen times in an entire tour on average...if even that much...and the ones who did fire them usually did so only when things went from bad to desperate.

The debate over which is the "best" pistol to take in harm's way is really moot. Battles aren't fought with pistols, and about the only way that a pistol could affect the outcome of a major or minor engagement would be in saving a man's life who goes on to perform a heroic deed.

The drawback to a pistol carried openly on the belt is that it becomes sniper bait, because it identifies an officer or a crew-served weapons operator...far more worthy trophies than the basic infantryman.

LNK
September 20, 2013, 07:51 AM
I wasn't attacking the Corps. I wasn't attacking "the gun", per se. I was commenting on what I see as a rather silly macho-man finish (when good old Parkerization or Bruniton work fine) and grips which look like an aardvark's afterbirth. In truth, I imagine a lot of Marines would agree.

Explanation accepted. Some of us get antsy when we think we have been slighted. Have yet to see an "aardvark's afterbirth" though so cannot comment....:D

LNK

psyopspec
September 20, 2013, 11:50 AM
What military uses polymer?

That I've personally observed, the Germans (HK) and Czechs (Glock).

List of other Glock users. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glock#Users)

Gun Master
September 20, 2013, 11:55 AM
I think that there are much better choices than the 1911 for a military handgun.
Such as ......?

Tirod
September 20, 2013, 12:39 PM
Apparently reading the thread is optional?

Plenty of other guns have been mentioned. To get someone up to speed, the conversation is about whether the 1911 is still a viable combat handgun or not.

The general consensus of professionals using pistols in combat, and equipping armies at the national level, is to prefer a double stack, double action. We've referenced the Hi Power Browning as the direct antecedent that established that obvious shift. Browning saw the need on the battlefield and responded with a design that others were left to refine.

If America didn't adopt it, it was because the actual need in our use was minimal. We are a rifle based combat organization. Pistols are accessories with largely administrative duties. Don't forget we also issue SIG's for most of the plain clothes duty in the service.

When we did adopt a new firearm, it was an Air Force request, and the Air Force was the lead agent in acquisition. Much like the M16. The Army went along with it because It Wasn't That Important. The Air Force chose the M9 because the Italians muscled the selection process by reminding us our Mediterranean bases were largely in Italy. We needed the ports and airborne to be somewhere. Beretta got the contract.

If the Marines want to buy a 1911, consider the use - many carry off duty overseas in their overnight bag on R&R. Much of the current use is for self protection out on the economy in response to being targeted by terrorists. It's largely not the primary weapon on patrol, the M4 or other rifle caliber weapons remain as the issue weapon.

If the 1911 of today seems a bit more tactical in style and treatment, so are our knives, web gear, plate carriers, boots, and tomahawks, too. The American point of view has been to optimize field use, not dress up for societal politics. Precisely why the Germans called us "baggy pants thugs." No tailored uniforms or bling accessories. We reserve that to parade units.

I think Hackathorn and Vickers comments are valid - the 1911 has not been thru a modern redesign that optimizes the relational tolerances and dimensions needed to assemble one. It's a hand fitted and tuned design, in comparison to the AR15 - which can be assembled from parts purchased from multiple sources with the reasonable expectation it will function. And, it does, plus, the rare bad combination of parts is easily sorted out. The 1911, not so much, it's a gunsmith's design, with high labor costs to build and maintain.

Entirely why it's NOT a viable issue weapon for today. We don't need the workload, we need weapons that go bang every time, and the 1911 is notorious in the commercial versions for not being able to do that reliably. If anything, the rattly old bangers from before WWII did that. Tightening them up for precision and decorating them makes them less reliable.

Hence, only special units with a high degree of training usually get them now. They get the training and range time to ingrain the stoppage drills that are part and parcel of using them. Another reason to not select one for general combat use.

For your personal self defense, tho, it's arguable. A wide heavy double stack gun with more ammo than you need, vs a slimmer version in alloy that might actually be lighter? Plus, if you already have the skills, why endanger your safety trying to defend yourself with a weapon that has different controls.

Really two different conversations. To my mind, the 1911 or derivatives in single stack single action still have a viable role in personal defense. I wouldn't go so far as to say they are "better" for issue to a large army. Field combat is different and has different requirements, entirely why combat pistols are no longer 1911's.

So far I haven't seen the issue of negligent discharge - which the newer pistols are designed to minimize. 19 year olds need to be protected from their lack of expertise. We don't give them enough training to make them IPSC masters, just enough to survive combat.

Double_J
September 20, 2013, 12:45 PM
I like the 1911 and I carry one on a regular basis but I would not want to issue one to the average soldier. The average soldier would need extensive amounts of training to gain a slight proficiency with it, there is NO WAY the military would allow condition one carry. The M9 and other modern designs allow a pistol to carry a chambered round with the hammer down and safety on, and require minimal training to teach a new recruit how to use and maintain.

Then we get to the logistical side of things. NO other country in NATO uses .45 acp as a standard caliber. The 1911 design is from a bygone era where hand-fitting was a normal thing to do. Now we can assemble a pistol with CNC machined parts and almost no hand-fitting required. I challenge you to go to a gun show, buy a 1911, extended safety/sear/mainspring/slide release/etc. and fit it together right then and there. I have found that they almost always require some hand fitting of the various pieces. The modern polymer frames and the M9 don't require that, they are drop in ready.

Now to deal with the fact that some small specialized units still use the 1911. Some of those units use it as they can spend the time training the operators on how to maintain and shoot that platform. They also will use that sidearm more frequently than the average front line soldier/sailor/marine/airman.

We can now get to the most controversial area of discussion, aka ballistics. The .45 is a nice slow moving pistol round that was designed to take a horse out from under a rider. That was its main purpose when it was called out for by the Army. I don't see horses being used that often in combat anymore so we don't need that. The .45 has a "one shot stop" record from what I am told. So does the 9 mm that the rest of the world uses. We just need to think about where and how we shoot the bad guy. NO pistol is a guaranteed one shot stop for an armed angry attacker. If it takes more than one shot, then for all sakes shoot him again. I can make the point this way too, everyone remembers the "glory days" of the big block chevy, ford, and mopar engines. Those days are gone now, but we can get the same performance out of a four cylinder engine or a six cylinder engine and have better fuel economy. I like the fuel economy and power that the new generation engines provide, along with absolute reliability compared to the old generation engines. The 1911 can be made to be very reliable, but it takes much more work, and you loose accuracy. The current generations use lessons learned from the 1911 and have reliability and accuracy from the get-go. They also carry more ammo for the same weight, just like the m-16 vs. m-14. That will allow for a better combat load, especially when the fight can come at any time.

As I said in the beginning, I like the 1911 but it has done its duty and we have learned the lessons it can teach us. Lets learn from those lessons and keep going forward with the new technology as required. We must also remember that the pistol is designed and used as a secondary weapon system. They are not meant to be used in place of a rifle, they can not do the role as effectively. Look at the french knights of old, they used horses and armored knights against the english longbowman and were destroyed very quickly, times change and we need to change with them.

Rock185
September 20, 2013, 01:05 PM
The 1911 is 100+ years old, complicated, unreliable, breakage prone, low capacity, inaccurate, has terrible recoil, requires constant maintenance,it is not plastic, it is not high-capacity, etc,etc,etc,etc. So of course, it cannot be "war worthy." As if that weren't enough, an important guy on T.V. said as much. And besides, if it doesn't break or jam first, and you happen to get the one in a million 1911 that is reasonably accurate, you'll just accidently shoot yourself in the foot with it anyway because it requires extensive training to hit anything but your foot with it. This is silly. I carried a 1911A1 in the military, shot it quite a bit in fact. Carried a newer Colt in LE for years, still do as a reserve officer. In both military and LE, the 1911 types I personally carried just worked reliably, nothing broke, weren't complicated, didn't require a gustom gunsmith to get them working, or keep them working. I have never felt any anxiety over only having 8 rounds in the gun. Of course, I never felt inadequately armed when I carried the 6-round .357 revolver every working day for years either....

Mitlov
September 20, 2013, 01:21 PM
So far I haven't seen the issue of negligent discharge - which the newer pistols are designed to minimize. 19 year olds need to be protected from their lack of expertise. We don't give them enough training to make them IPSC masters, just enough to survive combat.

Comparing a 1911 to, say, a Glock 17, I'm not sure why the 1911 would be more prone to negligent discharge. Both have safeguards in place to make sure it doesn't fire if it's dropped. But if the Glock's trigger is pulled, it WILL fire. That's only true with the 1911 if the grip safety is depressed and the thumb safety has been flipped off. Both of those make it seem to me like the 1911 would be less prone to ND than a Glock.

easyg
September 20, 2013, 01:56 PM
I think that there are much better choices than the 1911 for a military handgun.

Such as ......?

Here are a few that think are better for a military pistol:

XDm 9mm
Ruger SR9 9mm
Glock 17 9mm
S&W M&P 9mm

Or, if you simply must have a .45 ACP caliber pistol:

XDm .45
Ruger SR45 .45
Glock 21 .45
S&W M&P .45

HoosierQ
September 20, 2013, 02:06 PM
Well sure it would. But so too would a 1917 "Victory Model". So too, frankly would be a Colt SAA. I think if you had to use a pistol, any of these old war horses would serve you very well. But so too would an M9...or a Glock 17.

Lotsa of "war ready" pistols and revolvers out there. The only reason to choose the 1911 is tradition and the .45 ACP round (if that's of concern) and lots of pistols come is .45 ACP.

Gun Master
September 20, 2013, 02:21 PM
Who believes steel (1911) is not stronger than plastic ? Let's get back to the topic, shall we ? The 1911 was and is considered a "mudder", meaning it can function under severe conditions, such as : mud, dirt, grit, water, ice, etc. This has been proved in conflicts like : WWI, WWII, Korea, & Viet Nam. Although the 1911 is not omnipotent, " ...still a war worthy ? " Yes !

Bovice
September 20, 2013, 02:24 PM
Guess who's back, back again, Godfather's back, tell a friend. Guess who's back, guess who's back, guess who's back, guess who's back.....

Now this looks like a thread for me, so everybody, just follow me, cuz we need a 1911 controversy, cuz it feels so empty without me!

Gun Master
September 20, 2013, 02:27 PM
Here are a few that think are better for a military pistol:

XDm 9mm
Ruger SR9 9mm
Glock 17 9mm
S&W M&P 9mm

Or, if you simply must have a .45 ACP caliber pistol:

XDm .45
Ruger SR45 .45
Glock 21 .45
S&W M&P .45
Although I like at least one of your choices, none mentioned out matched the 1911 for war worthy, in my humble, but accurate, opinion.

Gun Master
September 20, 2013, 02:31 PM
Guess who's back, back again, Godfather's back, tell a friend. Guess who's back, guess who's back, guess who's back, guess who's back.....

Now this looks like a thread for me, so everybody, just follow me, cuz we need a 1911 controversy, cuz it feels so empty without me!
....'cause (not cuz) it is sooooo much FUN !!!

Girodin
September 20, 2013, 02:52 PM
We've referenced the Hi Power Browning as the direct antecedent that established that obvious shift. Browning saw the need on the battlefield and responded with a design that others were left to refine.

That's funny because I though be established that Browning merely started working on a design to fulfill what the French saw as needed, not what he personally thought should be made. If something established a shift towards DA it wasn't the P35. Perhaps an offering from Walther?

But apparently reading the thread is optional.

Corpral_Agarn
September 20, 2013, 03:01 PM
I think that as a dedicated primary weapon (pilots and such that don't generally carry rifles) the 1911 would be ideal.

For a secondary weapon I would prefer something without an external safety.

But in no way is the 1911 not up to the task of being a prime combat pistol.

burk
September 20, 2013, 03:01 PM
There is one questioned being asked, but two questions being answered here.

The first is the 1911 "war worthy"? I would have to answer with a resounding yes. A vast majority of quality 1911's on the market in 5" all steel frames are very reliable, and reasonably able to maintain with a minimum of break in. And I would take one in a combat situation over any high-cap 9. The reality is under the Hague-Geneva rules the 9mm is just not an effective stopper. Outside of combat use where good expanding HP ammunition can be deployed the 9mm is a fine stopper.

The second question, is the 1911 the best gun for combat? I must answer no. I love mine, they are great shooters no doubt. But there are far to many safer, higher capacity, easier to maintain .45's available. I like my 1911, but if the SHTF, I'd grab my Glock 21. Along with the Glock, the M & P 45, the HK45, and FNX-45 are all superior "war worthy" guns next to a 1911.

Gun Master
September 20, 2013, 03:08 PM
I think that as a dedicated primary weapon (pilots and such that don't generally carry rifles) the 1911 would be ideal.

For a secondary weapon I would prefer something without an external safety.

But in no way is the 1911 not up to the task of being a prime combat pistol.
Bravo ! :)

Gun Master
September 20, 2013, 03:17 PM
I'm sorry, but I'm still allergic to plastic. The H&K and XD are good choices, and much better than Beretta 92. But I digress, 1911 is still war worthy.:)

Armor Snail
September 20, 2013, 03:20 PM
Such a shame Czechoslovakia was behind the iron curtain during the 9mm trials. I for one am sure the M9 would have been a CZ75 if CZUB could have entered.

I see nothing wrong with a 1911 being issued though. Good, solid platform. Timeless.

I feel the M9 would have been better served if it was based on the 92D or G models though.

Decocker plus a safety seems stupid to me. My friend carries a 92FS and more than once has his safety become engaged without his knowledge.

Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk 2

Gun Master
September 20, 2013, 03:22 PM
:what:

tarosean
September 20, 2013, 03:40 PM
Can you please show me where LAV is saying a Glock 21 (or any other 45 ACP glock) is a better choice than an HK45 or HK 45C? LAV has, to the best of my knowledge always been pretty keen on 9x19 glocks.



I cannot... As you seem to be a fan you know darn well he thinks the G22, G23, G21 are junk.

Girodin
September 20, 2013, 05:17 PM
I'm just wondering what your statement that LAV is "hocking glocks," particularly to the exclusion of say the HK 45 and how this is someone a post 2011 advent, is based on. I'm not sure I'm a "fan." I do greatly respect his experience and the opinions derived from it. I also respect him as an instructor. I respect his skills. I place much more stock in his opinions than the average joe's. Yes, I'm aware he likes glocks best in 9x19.

Deaf Smith
September 20, 2013, 05:27 PM
Like I say gang...


If the 1911 was so bad then why does SOCOM, Delta, Marine Corps Expeditionary Unit, SF, USMC FAST, FBI HURT, LAPD SWAT, and others still perfer them.

Sure they don't use old rattle WW2 (and WW1) worn out guns, and in fact many a custom built one, but they do use and perfer them.

I know a few FBI gents and I've seen them at IDPA matches using their 1911s (when they didn't use their Glock 23s.)

http://www.military.com/forums/0,15240,164189,00.html

http://www.sightm1911.com/lib/history/meusoc.htm

http://www.sightm1911.com/lib/history/fbi_1911.htm

Now again, I'm a Glock man but.... the old 1911 can stand on it's own in the hands of a good shot.


Deaf

SlamFire1
September 20, 2013, 06:22 PM
This is a useless thread.

The powers that be, looked at this subject way back in the 80's, and the performance specifications were specifically written so that a M1911 or a M1911 variant, that is a single action autopistol would be disqualified from competition.

The military decided it had had enough of the safety issues inherent in a single action pistol. You cannot chamber a round and lower the hammer without the risk of an accidental discharge through hammer slippage. You cannot chamber a round and put on the safety without running the risk the that a M1911 may be dropped on its muzzle leading to an accidental discharge. Take a look at the drop tests by Drake Gunworks. http://drakesgunworks.com/Drop_Testing.html

I know this is a fan boy thread, fans who love the 1911 history, are emotionally attached to their 1911 and are looking for reinforcement of their passionate feelings. But the fact of the matter , is a naginata still war worthy? What about bows, throwing stars, nunchucks, katana's all of which have fan boys who could make arguments why their favorite ninja weapon is still relevant.

Mitlov
September 20, 2013, 06:58 PM
The military decided it had had enough of the safety issues inherent in a single action pistol. You cannot chamber a round and lower the hammer without the risk of an accidental discharge through hammer slippage. You cannot chamber a round and put on the safety without running the risk the that a M1911 may be dropped on its muzzle leading to an accidental discharge. Take a look at the drop tests by Drake Gunworks.

Those drop tests involve a "non firing pin block" 1911, though, and I think many 1911s currently have firing pin blocks? At least my Remington 1911 R1 does, if I understand what I've read (please correct me if I'm wrong).

tuj
September 20, 2013, 06:59 PM
You cannot chamber a round and put on the safety without running the risk the that a M1911 may be dropped on its muzzle leading to an accidental discharge.

I will now quote from the Gun Digest Book Vol 2 of the 1911, pg 182.

Basically, a lot of things have to go seriously wrong for the 1911 to discharge when dropped....So that leaves firing pin inertia.....We dropped the test pistol onto a concrete floor, on an indoor range, during a 1911 class. We started dropping a waist height and as the primer failed to show any indent we gradually increased the drop height. We could not go higher than the 8 and half feet as the ceiling stopped us.

Using Federal primers on a Para-Ordinance loaded with 15-rounds of 230 FMJ in the mag. Steel firing pin.

PabloJ
September 20, 2013, 07:01 PM
While not in same class as Glock 21, HK or new FNH the 1911 is still battle worthy and still carried by personnel of some develping countries.

tarosean
September 20, 2013, 07:25 PM
The military decided it had had enough of the safety issues inherent in a single action pistol. You cannot chamber a round and lower the hammer without the risk of an accidental discharge through hammer slippage. You cannot chamber a round and put on the safety without running the risk the that a M1911 may be dropped on its muzzle leading to an accidental discharge.


From the XM9 trial

The only deficiency noted for the 45 caliber pistol was safety It may, the JSOR states, accidentally discharge when the operator is attempting
to uncock the weapon or when the weapon 1sdropped. Army systems analysts, however, noted that they had not discovered any historical
data to support these safety deficiencies. In fact, theu- data base, assem- bled from 8 years of liaison visits to troop umts worldwide, contains no record of any problems of inadvertent discharge

1911Tuner
September 20, 2013, 07:53 PM
The military decided it had had enough of the safety issues inherent in a single action pistol.

The US military caved in to NATO demands for commonality of ammunition.

You cannot chamber a round and lower the hammer without the risk of an accidental discharge through hammer slippage.

US military protocol doesn't authorize placing the pistol in Condition 2 under any circumstances. Of course, you can bet that many of them were, but it was in violation of the rules. The pistol is to be carried in Condition 3...hammer down on an empty chamber...and allows for Condition 1 when action is imminent...with orders to return it to C-3 when the emergency has passed.

You cannot chamber a round and put on the safety without running the risk the that a M1911 may be dropped on its muzzle leading to an accidental discharge.

See tarosean's post above. Pay attention to the bold print in the lower box.

If the 1911 were that inherently dangerous, it never would've survived as an issue sidearm beyond the first world war, and Colt never would have offered it to the civilian market. Yet, here it is.

1911Tuner
September 20, 2013, 08:02 PM
We've referenced the Hi Power Browning as the direct antecedent that established that obvious shift. Browning saw the need on the battlefield and responded with a design that others were left to refine.

Though many of Browning's ideas were included in the P35...not only did John Browning not design the High Power...he never saw one. The High Power wasn't finalized until 1935. Browning died in 1926.

Browning designed the Grande Rendement, which was rejected by the French, and shelved. Dieudonne Saive is credited with the High Power, but he had to wait until the Colt-owned patents expired so he could incorporate some of Browning's ideas.

Both pistols were designed for military entities. To Browning, the 1911 was an assignment...a job...and nothing more. He gave what he was asked for...not necessarily what he wanted to do personally.

Fremmer
September 20, 2013, 08:09 PM
The 1911 is certainly viable. More expensive with less capacity, I agree. But many prefer the 1911 because it fits the hand so well and shoots so well, and it spits out a .45 round. But berettas and glocks or whatever are less expensive and higher cap. I get that.

But my experience has been that the stock 1911s are reliable and easy to shoot. A 1911 isn't a complicated pistol. They are made just like other pistols - CNC and assembly. They don't require an advanced amount of knowledge to shoot or maintain. I guess I don't get the statements about how 1911s require advanced knowledge, or how you have to have gunsmith knowledge to use and maintain them, etc... When yer modern beretta keeps jamming, you are still gonna have to take it to 1911Tuner to fix it, lol. Ah, The irony of that last statement....

Really, stock 1911s are usually reliable out of the box. And the SAO trigger is usually pretty good, too. No training for transition from a horribly long DA to a much different SA trigger. And the .45 ACP ain't no slouch, either.

MCgunner
September 20, 2013, 08:35 PM
I look at things simply sometimes. Energy, velocity, all that stuff aside - I simply think that, the bigger hole you make in something. the harder it's going to be to fix it.

Yeah, so I guess they should melt all those .22 caliber Mattel toys and reissue Springfield trap doors. :D

Gun Master
September 20, 2013, 09:45 PM
Sometimes a lot can be obvious from the sign in name. Other times it is the negativity, intolerance of others' info & opinions, their agenda, general unhappiness, etc. Hey guys! I'm sorry if you had a bad day, or whatever! Things will be better for you if you just lighten up, and enjoying the thread. Just offer what you have, and we'll all feel better, and be better informed. Yes, I think the 1911 is still war worthy, but don't shoot me just because you disagree. :)

Old Dog
September 21, 2013, 12:17 AM
Would internet gun forums even exist if it weren't for people who are compelled to argue either in favor of, or against, the 1911?

(Of course it's still viable. I carried one for the first ten years of my military career and never, ever worried whether it was "war worthy.")

SlamFire1
September 21, 2013, 07:56 AM
Guys, if you really want the M1911 to become general issue, get yourself appointed Secretary of Defense and mandate the procurement.

Until then, you are howling at the moon.

http://imgc.allpostersimages.com/images/P-473-488-90/30/3047/YEFDF00Z/posters/coyote-in-nature-howling-at-full-moon.jpg

1911Tuner
September 21, 2013, 08:10 AM
Guys, if you really want the M1911 to become general issue, get yourself appointed Secretary of Defense and mandate the procurement.

Until then, you are howling at the moon.

The question was: "Is the 1911 still war-worthy."

The simple answer is yes. Assuming that the pistol is in a good state of repair when it goes in theater, it's as good as any. The outcome of a war or even a battle isn't decided with pistols.

Other than in a near hand-to-hand personal fight, I can't imagine an infantryman abandoning his functional rifle to fight with a pistol...and anyone who does probably deserves exactly what he gets. Life is harder when you're stupid. Sometimes it's also shorter.

Let's try not to be snarky or insulting. Everybody has a right to state an opinion.

WinThePennant
September 21, 2013, 10:56 AM
Everyone always assumes a 1911 should be in .45ACP.

A 1911 would be a great combat gun... Chambered in 9x23...

Build it to M.O.M standards (Minute Of Man), and forget the desire to make something that will shoot a 1/2 grouping at 20 feet. Use modern machining methods, but still build the gun to loose tolerances. Yes, you'll lose accuracy but you'll gain a lot of reliability. Also, there isn't any reason why a 1911 couldn't be modernized to use fewer parts.

A 1911 holding 15 rounds of 9x23 would be a terrific combat sidearm. The recoil is surprisingly light, but still delivers a ton of power on target.

1911Tuner
September 21, 2013, 11:24 AM
A 1911 would be a great combat gun... Chambered in 9x23

No argument there, but as a general issue sidearm, we'd still run into the NATO demands for ammunition commonality.

There's also the factor of cost. The 1911 is expensive to manufacture compared to the others. Equipping an elite unit like MARSOC is one thing. Buying enough for the whole US military is another ball of wax.

LebbenB
September 21, 2013, 11:45 AM
I will go against the grain here somewhat. A modern 1911 isn't "war worthy," in my opinion.

Because of advances in machining, the clearances between parts in a modern 1911 are so very much tighter than an issue M1911A1 making an accurate gun that much more accurate through tighter barrel lock up, less play between the slide and frame, and less play between the barrel and barrel bushing to name but a few improvements.

But these gains in intrinsic accuracy are offset by a loss of reliability. The "slop" in an issue M1911A1 allowed small debris (dust, sand, mud, carbon, et al) to move through the pistol and still allow it to function.

That SF/Delta/SEAL/Ranger/SOF du jour use them is not a telling fact about the continued viability of the 1911. Units that choose the 1911 usually have the logistics/maintenance in place to properly maintain it. This sort of support isn't normally available to line units.

I agree that the 1911 is a fairly simple machine, but a modern (HK excepted) fighting pistol is even simpler.

All that said, I still love a 1911 and own several.

1911Tuner
September 21, 2013, 12:00 PM
But these gains in intrinsic accuracy are offset by a loss of reliability. The "slop" in an issue M1911A1 allowed small debris (dust, sand, mud, carbon, et al) to move through the pistol and still allow it to function.

While the old GI pistols were a bit looser than most modern offerings...when they were new, there really wasn't a lot of difference.

Loose doesn't guarantee reliability any more than tight guarantees accuracy...and there's a limit on how loose the pistol can be before a point of diminishing returns is reached. Wide clearances allow bigger pieces of debris into the gun, so a modern 1911 may be a bit better in that regard.

LebbenB
September 21, 2013, 02:07 PM
Loose doesn't guarantee reliability any more than tight guarantees accuracy...and there's a limit on how loose the pistol can be before a point of diminishing returns is reached.
I agree with this statement, but since the 70's the trend with commercial 1911s has been to make them tighter and tighter in the name of accuracy, you must admit.

And I'm not saying or implying that I think a combat-worthy 1911 is so loose that it sounds like a tambourine when shook. However a little movement between slide, barrel, and frame isn't a reason to turn the gun in for a depot rebuild, either.

1911Tuner
September 21, 2013, 02:29 PM
I agree with this statement, but since the 70's the trend with commercial 1911s has been to make them tighter and tighter in the name of accuracy, you must admit.

I have a stock 1945 production Remington Rand that's in as near-new condition as I've ever seen. When the rails are dry, I can detect a little movement between the slide and frame in either axis if I pull hard. With a little oil, the play virtually disappears. The caliper insists that the clearance is .003 inch. In battery, the barrel shows zero drop when I press hard on the hood.

A 1919 "Black Army Colt" that was probably liberated early on in its career, and has been fired very little shows similar fit.

These reflect what I've noticed in a good many GI pistols that were still in good shape, a few of which are in my collection.

A lot of the belief that USGI pistols were rattle loose comes from so many people never handling one that wasn't nearly worn out. When they were new, they were actually pretty tight.

Some of the semi-customs from people like Ed Brown and Les Baer are closely fitted...and Baers are a bit too tight in the barrel vertical fit for my tastes...but those are different animals. The customer expects a precise fit in a 2500-dollar gun.

grubbylabs
September 21, 2013, 03:37 PM
Are their any polymer pistols that have a comparable time in service as the 1911? I mean actual time in war, not just carried by troops of some country.

Is their currently a large military force now that issues a polymer pistol to its troops and or officers?

jimbo555
September 21, 2013, 05:59 PM
The British armed forces recently issued the Glock 17 to their troops. but it will never be tested like the 1911 has been in 2 world wars,korea,and Vietnam!!

Deaf Smith
September 21, 2013, 06:42 PM
To me NATO has ran out of use.

So I think the US military ought to look for what works best and get that.

Yes that opens the field to .40 S&W, .357 Sig, 9x23, .38 Super, 9x25 Dillion, etc....

And personally a 10 shot pistol is plenty but if they want 15 shooters, fine with me. Glocks, Sigs, S&Ws, Colts, H&Ks, etc... all will do fine.

And I am sure SOCOM and the others will still get their 1911s in any round they like.

Deaf

LebbenB
September 21, 2013, 08:44 PM
Are their any polymer pistols that have a comparable time in service as the 1911? I mean actual time in war, not just carried by troops of some country.

Is their currently a large military force now that issues a polymer pistol to its troops and or officers?
The first poly framed pistol that I know of is the HK VP70Z from the 1970, though the first poly stocked rifle dates to 1958 or so, the Reminington Nylon 66. While never issued to the Bundeswehr, the VP70 was offered for commercial sale and preceded the Glock by 12 years or so.

The 1911 was adopted in 1911 and served 70+ years until replaced by the M9 in the mid-80s.

mljdeckard
September 21, 2013, 09:22 PM
I really hope Tuner is in good health. We need him around for a long time. :)

grubbylabs
September 21, 2013, 09:36 PM
So if no other polymer side arm has served in actual battles how can any one truly say for a certainty it is better than the 1911. Its just speculation.

Sent from my C771 using Tapatalk 2

Old Dog
September 21, 2013, 09:43 PM
Ya know, it's funny; went to the range yesterday, and this was the pistol I shot the most:
http://i1252.photobucket.com/albums/hh577/Beau360/DSCN0374_zps3f0f095b.jpg (http://s1252.photobucket.com/user/Beau360/media/DSCN0374_zps3f0f095b.jpg.html)
War worthy? Assuming I could take enough good Wilson mags with me, this is the pistol I'd probably take into battle with me, given a choice. Tack-driver, dead-nuts reliable and just plain cool (even without night sights).

Rock185
September 21, 2013, 11:17 PM
1911Tuner, I think your comments in post #113 distill much of the 1911 must be loose for reliability, tight for accuracy arguments down to their simplest elements. There are just no guarantees on the attributes of either the tight or loose guns. I was interested in your comments on how 1911s and 1911A1s were originally fit. I agree that many of us, me included, have never handled a 1911 or 1911A1 that had not been in use for decades. I too assumed they were all originally assembled VERY loosely until reading your comments. +1 on our canine friends too.

Kosh75287
September 22, 2013, 12:58 AM
I've never been in the military, but I've been in my share of fights. If I go into another one, I want a 1911A1 with me.

RBid
September 22, 2013, 01:38 AM
Still war worthy, and handguns get use by people with certain jobs. Two of my friends used pistols regularly. One during assault work with his SF teams. The other had to use them effectively as a primary while clearing structures with a bolt gun on his back. One carried a 1911 briefly before going back to his M9 for capacity. The sniper carried a Sig P220.

Both of those guys are 1911 guys. The SF buddy got a Para P14 worked up for use as a contractor so he could carry a 1911 without giving up rounds. The other says he would have preferred a 1911 over the 220.

Personal opinion: if I were doing extreme CQB with FMJ, I would love a 1911 with 10rd mags.

miles1
September 22, 2013, 01:58 AM
I've never been in the military, but I've been in my share of fights. If I go into another one, I want a 1911A1 with me.
I was in the military and would feel much more comfortable with a high cap poly auto like a glock,sig,S&W,etc

The 1911 is still war worthy in my humble opinion BUT not cost effective as the amount of work and quality to produce a reliable 1911 just isn't in any country's buget.For the cost of a combat worthy colt you can get 2 reliable out of the box poly auto's.Again,just my humble opinion.

mljdeckard
September 22, 2013, 01:50 PM
I still think that the best option would be to allow soldiers to buy their own sidearms and be responsible for them, with bn and co commanders allowed to veto any ridiculous choices. Make it not the DOD's problem. You can add that to the list of reasons I will never be SECDEF.

ID-shooting
September 22, 2013, 02:12 PM
I choose a 1911 for one my three bug-out guns. I have carried an Army issued M1911, M10, and M9 at different points in the years I was in. I decided on a 1911 cuz, well, I just dig them and I have full faith in my SR1911 to do what I want.

Were I head of TRADOC though, I would push for a 5-inch XD45 to be the new issue side-arm. Reasons are capacity, ease of use, durability, round effectiveness, cost, ease of maintenance, ease of serviceability. Sadly, being made in Croatia kinds stops that but that is what I would choose as a current arm for the Big Army.

grubbylabs
September 22, 2013, 02:44 PM
My point is that there are quit a few on here who have never been in a theater of war and they are talking up their polymer side arms like they have some kind of a proven record, but they don't, and I doubt any of them ever will.

In particular someone in another thread said something about a particular polymer hand gun being a real battle gun. That got me thinking, how do you really know? I don't think they can, I think in they just think their gun is the coolest thing since sliced bread because they paid a $1000.00 for a plastic gun.

Some one dropping a gun in water, mud, and sand then shooting a few rounds does not really prove any thing in my mind.


I am not claiming to know for sure that the polymer guns are not going to hold up, but it is my experience that plastic does not wear like metal does. And until a actual fighting force employes one for any length of time how are we to really know that they will be better than what is currently used now.

I also by no means think that the 1911 is the supreme hand gun, I understand how government contracts work, the cheapest one to meat the needs wins the contract, makes one think about what is issued to our troops.

As far as every one being able to choose their own, I think that invites serious logistic problems, how do you keep parts to maintain all the fire arms. For as little as a hand gun is likely to be used, a standard issue is the only way to go.

M1GarandDeerHunter
September 22, 2013, 03:30 PM
Short answer YES. 1911 as a go to war gun is a fine choice. Dont like it, and can carry something else, then do it. The Army is allowing POW (privately owned weapons) again. Subject to either company or battalion approval. I could carry what I wanted and did. My buddy who was part of 2nd Rangers EOD, attached to SOF carried a plain issue Colt 1911, and loved it. He was derided in his choice of "dinasaur" pistol! THAT STOPPED, after he logged a series of 1 shot kills at short range clearing buildings. Then he had to watch his pistol, as other guys wanted it.

el Godfather
September 22, 2013, 03:56 PM
Reading through some wonderful responses and arguments, I am beginning to wonder how much are simply sentimental.

No doubt 1911 is a great platform, but as a secondary weapon in my opinion. Now, if there were to be a situation where handgun was the only weapon you could take into a hostile situation as part of undercover operation, how many of you would still make an argument for 1911 over something with higher capacity?

Gun Master
September 22, 2013, 04:03 PM
Short answer YES. 1911 as a go to war gun is a fine choice. Dont like it, and can carry something else, then do it. The Army is allowing POW (privately owned weapons) again. Subject to either company or battalion approval. I could carry what I wanted and did. My buddy who was part of 2nd Rangers EOD, attached to SOF carried a plain issue Colt 1911, and loved it. He was derided in his choice of "dinasaur" pistol! THAT STOPPED, after he logged a series of 1 shot kills at short range clearing buildings. Then he had to watch his pistol, as other guys wanted it.
Good old reliable " Mr. Bumble Bee " !

1911Tuner
September 22, 2013, 04:14 PM
Now, if there were to be a situation where handgun was the only weapon you could take into a hostile situation as part of undercover operation, how many of you would still make an argument for 1911 over something with higher capacity?

Me.

And romance/nostalgia has nothing to do with it.

ID-shooting
September 22, 2013, 05:09 PM
My point is that there are quit a few on here who have never been in a theater of war and they are talking up their polymer side arms like they have some kind of a proven record, but they don't, and I doubt any of them ever will.

In particular someone in another thread said something about a particular polymer hand gun being a real battle gun. That got me thinking, how do you really know? I don't think they can, I think in they just think their gun is the coolest thing since sliced bread because they paid a $1000.00 for a plastic gun.

Some one dropping a gun in water, mud, and sand then shooting a few rounds does not really prove any thing in my mind.


I am not claiming to know for sure that the polymer guns are not going to hold up, but it is my experience that plastic does not wear like metal does. And until a actual fighting force employes one for any length of time how are we to really know that they will be better than what is currently used now.

I also by no means think that the 1911 is the supreme hand gun, I understand how government contracts work, the cheapest one to meat the needs wins the contract, makes one think about what is issued to our troops.

As far as every one being able to choose their own, I think that invites serious logistic problems, how do you keep parts to maintain all the fire arms. For as little as a hand gun is likely to be used, a standard issue is the only way to go.
It can be argued that everyday LEO use is just a rough as the use any typical, average, everyday troop would put theirs through. Also, think outside the US. France uses a polymer framed sidearm, I am sure there are many others.

WinThePennant
September 22, 2013, 05:21 PM
Consider that our soldiers often times PREFER polymer gear over metal gear all the time. For example, Magpul PMAGS are considered to be vastly superior to standard metal GI mags. Also, I don't see any US soldiers turning in their polymer adjustable buttstocks. I've also read that many prefer the Magpul polymer MBUS sights because they resist wear better than metal back-up sights (less likely to get bent when dropped).

Geno
September 22, 2013, 05:36 PM
I don't have any military experience, and I didn't stay at a Holiday Inn. But I did do a head-to-head, torture test of a G17 and a Colt 1911, for 3,000 rounds, zero cleaning. By 3,000 rounds of factory ball ammo fired through each handgun, neither pistol had failed a single time. All I ever did was add a little oil every few hundred rounds to avoid damage to my handguns.

If for whatever the reason, I were allowed one, single handgun for life, it would be a 1911, and I'd just learn again to deal with the weight. I'm not "knocking" Glocks. I own several Glocks (G26, G19, G19C, G17, G20, G20C, and a couple of G21s). I really like my Glocks. But I shoot the 1911 more accurately than any other handgun, and what surviving a conflict requires is an accurate hit to stop an attack. My own vote would go to a Colt Series 70. Is it a viable military handgun? Ask a vet.

Geno

Deaf Smith
September 22, 2013, 08:06 PM
Reading through some wonderful responses and arguments, I am beginning to wonder how much are simply sentimental.

No doubt 1911 is a great platform, but as a secondary weapon in my opinion. Now, if there were to be a situation where handgun was the only weapon you could take into a hostile situation as part of undercover operation, how many of you would still make an argument for 1911 over something with higher capacity?
SOCOM, Delta, Marine Corps Expeditionary Unit, SF, USMC FAST, FBI HURT, LAPD SWAT, and others still prefer them.

So I can't see any reason to not like 'em.

I'm a Glock man (I'd prefer my Glock 31, .357 Sig, if a big firefight was coming and I could not get a rifle) but still a skilled man can use a 1911 very very well due to it's single action trigger and good ergonomics.

One can make a very precise shot with a 1911, and with suicide bombers that may be the only way to stop them. Power and precise placement.

Deaf

jpwilly
September 22, 2013, 08:21 PM
I wouldn't feel outgunned taking a 1911 to "war" as a side arm but I'm in the THERE ARE BETTER OPTIONS camp on this one that list could easily consist of good alternatives like the HK 45, FNX 45, Glock 21, M&P, XDM etc. I recently picked up an FNX 45 and would rather grab it than a 1911.

Old Dog
September 22, 2013, 09:33 PM
It can be argued that everyday LEO use is just a rough as the use any typical, average, everyday troop would put theirs through.
Ah, no.

tarosean
September 22, 2013, 09:46 PM
Also, think outside the US. France uses a polymer framed sidearm..

Cause it don't hurt the resale value when dropped once..

Trunk Monkey
September 22, 2013, 09:49 PM
Ah, no.

I don’t think that assessment is all that far out there. The average soldier is stationed outside of the war zone and doesn’t even carry a firearm most days

Hangingrock
September 22, 2013, 09:58 PM
My Marine Corps MOS dictated that I was issued a 1911A1. During my initial combat experience I realized by forceful example that it was not prudent to bring a pistol to a rifle fight supplemented with automatic weapons, recoilless rifles, mortars and other destructive devices. At some point during the first day I supplemented the pistol with a rifle. For the remainder of my tour the rifle was primary and the pistol secondary.

Old Dog
September 22, 2013, 10:29 PM
Trunk Monkey, I get what you're saying. I probably should have elaborated a bit; my contention would be that there's no way the pistol of the average patrol officer (who might scuff his pistol against the doorframe getting out of his Crown Vic or experience seat-belt rub on the exposed portion of his holstered pistol) suffers as much damage, wear or exposure to the elements and sweat that the sidearms of soldiers or Marines deployed to Irag or A'stan (who spend considerable time outside the wire) will see.

Personally, I'd have no issue with troops using polymer pistols, but we're talking about whether or not the 1911 is still a viable combat weapon ... and, as others have duly pointed out, the pistol is truly only a tool of last resort in almost every battlefield application.

Tirod
September 22, 2013, 10:58 PM
As said and repeated, soldiers don't carry pistols in a combat zone. It's an officers weapon or one used in military police duties. When you research the real beginnings of the M4, an early intent was to issue it to drivers and sundry who would be handicapped with larger rifle but still needed more than a pistol could offer. Same reasoning behind the M2 carbine.

As for LEO's banging their weapons around, take it to the next degree: chasing suspects down allies, they bounce off dumpsters, scale fences, crawl on the ground, get into wrestling matches on concrete and asphalt, etc. It's not a donuts and cruiser lifestyle in reality.

The service pistol? Full flap holster worn in the majority by those who do not command in the trenches. And as said, when they try it, they quickly decide otherwise.

Again, if you are a Marine you are not issued a pistol unless you the rank of full colonel or above. Keep pointing out the exceptions - it's the elite small units who get the 1911.

Some one dropping a gun in water, mud, and sand then shooting a few rounds does not really prove any thing in my mind. And yet, that is exactly the protocol the Glock survived to be chosen the Austrian Army's sidearm, and now the British Army.

They didn't bother to ask anyone, they decided it on it's own merits to their standards and conditions. Considering they didn't adopt the Hi Power until the late '60s, the Brits are as notoriously slow as we are sometimes.

What was the main reason the M16 was fielded? More bullets flying toward the enemy means more hits, even if it wasn't immediately directed at any specific target. Battle is dynamic, soldiers walk into the flight path of a bullet often enough, and the more hit, the less battle power a unit has.

Entirely why the French wanted more bullets - their research in trench warfare saw the need, they upped the mag capacity, they were responding to the dynamics of warfare. As nations saw the trend, they all added magazine capacity, and the additional trend of not needing high powered rounds complemented that trend in rifles. Pistols are already low powered short range weapons meant for close combat.

Armies get combat pistols, experienced shooters with limited targets working in close encounters don't necessarily need hi cap guns. Hence, the double stack double action guns go to the troops as general issue, the single stack single action guns are crossing over to become the mainstay of brief combat used by experts. Someone recently posted why there are so many new 1911's on the market - the civilian market is being driven by CCW - not battlefield combatives. While polymer combat pistols could be more easily chopped and sold as back up guns to LEO's, we are now seeing dedicated SA guns coming on the market for CCW.

Go to war, the polymer double stack with two mags gives you over 50 rounds, the single action 1911 at best 24. Ammo resupply in the field being harder than on the street, the modern pistol is superior. That's why it's issued, and the 1911 is reserved for special situations where the environment isnt' as "target rich."

BTW, I don't remember reading that a certain famous terrorist hiding in Pakistan was shot with a pistol. Let's not make too much of it's use.

RBid
September 22, 2013, 11:13 PM
My point is that there are quit a few on here who have never been in a theater of war and they are talking up their polymer side arms like they have some kind of a proven record, but they don't, and I doubt any of them ever will.

In particular someone in another thread said something about a particular polymer hand gun being a real battle gun. That got me thinking, how do you really know? I don't think they can, I think in they just think their gun is the coolest thing since sliced bread because they paid a $1000.00 for a plastic gun.

Some one dropping a gun in water, mud, and sand then shooting a few rounds does not really prove any thing in my mind.


I am not claiming to know for sure that the polymer guns are not going to hold up, but it is my experience that plastic does not wear like metal does. And until a actual fighting force employes one for any length of time how are we to really know that they will be better than what is currently used now.

I also by no means think that the 1911 is the supreme hand gun, I understand how government contracts work, the cheapest one to meat the needs wins the contract, makes one think about what is issued to our troops.

As far as every one being able to choose their own, I think that invites serious logistic problems, how do you keep parts to maintain all the fire arms. For as little as a hand gun is likely to be used, a standard issue is the only way to go.

A list of people with combat experience who disagree with you, and recommend and/or carry poly pistols:

Larry Vickers (Delta)
Paul Howe (Delta)
Kyle Lamb (Delta)
Mike Pannone (Recon Marine, Army SF)
Pat Macnamara (Delta)
Craig Sawyer (DEVGRU)
Jeff "Biggs" (SEAL)
Rob Roy (SEAL)
"Oz" (Army SF)
Jason Falla (Australian SASR)
Kyle DeFoor (SEAL)

RBid
September 22, 2013, 11:20 PM
I wanted to follow up my previous posts by stating clearly that I don't think poly pistols are better or worse than 1911s for "go to war" purposes. They are all clearly in use by true professionals. There are a lot of great choices out there today.

mljdeckard
September 22, 2013, 11:27 PM
When I went to Iraq in 2010/2011, I was issued an M16A2 and a M-9. Some of our guys got M-11s, depending mostly on their MOS. (I think the armorer should have issued them to the people with the smallest hands, we have some petite females.)

I was glad to have it, but not for combat reasons. I was able to ditch my rifle in the secure office and just carry the pistol around on-post. My pistol was serious junk. The armorer told me to keep it because at least I was smart enough to keep it running, all he could do is trade it out to someone else who DIDN'T. I had a feeling that they were giving them to us as a consolation prize for the fact that we were a guard support unit at the tail end of the war, and they weren't going to let us take the nice things to the two-way range and get them dirty.

We had the pistols, but the training was one small step above non-existent. I had soldiers in my squad who had never fired a pistol before, and they got 20 rounds to familiarize, one 40-round qualification, and they took them downrange. I tried to get some of them to the range on our own time before we left for some more training, but no one had the time. I think they were mostly clubs with labels taped to the back straps. In retrospect, I would have much rather been able to give them G-19s, because they are simpler, lighter, more durable, and easier to train rookies with.

But I still would have preferred to take my own Kimber with 500 rounds or so of hardball. Now, I would take my Para SF-45A.

Billy Shears
September 23, 2013, 01:57 PM
Entirely why the French wanted more bullets - their research in trench warfare saw the need, they upped the mag capacity, they were responding to the dynamics of warfare. As nations saw the trend, they all added magazine capacity, and the additional trend of not needing high powered rounds complemented that trend in rifles. Pistols are already low powered short range weapons meant for close combat.
I think you may be assuming too much. The French military specification, in response to which Browning designed the Grande Rendement -- the precursor to the Hi Power -- called for a gun with a magazine capacity of ten rounds. That was not exactly high capacity. It was a bit above what most other pistols back then had, but not that much. And the Broomhandle Mauser -- a design that had been around a good while by then -- could meet that part of the specification. I see no evidence that the French military was fixated on high capacity. Pistols are, and always have been secondary weapons. The French wanted ten rounds capacity. The British, on the other hand, who had fought in that same war and in those same trenches, were perfectly fine hanging onto six shot revolvers back then. And as others have specified, Browning was simply designing the Grande Rendement in response to what the customer was ordering, not his own exclusive notions about what made a better combat pistol.

I see no reason why the 1911 could not be considered war worthy. In mil spec form, it is an extremely reliable pistol. In the U.S. military tests that resulted in the adoption of the Beretta M9, old, clapped out 1911s, which were being used as test control pistols, that had been built no later than 1945, and rebuilt god knows how many times, after having god knows how many hundreds of thousands of rounds through them, came in ahead (in terms of number of malfunctions) of several of the more modern DA pistols competing for adoption.

I would put it this way: had we never adopted the M9, but simply ordered brand new M1911A1s from a contractor like Colt, to replace the more worn out ones in our inventory, I would see no compelling reason to go to the expense of adopting a new pistol. The cost of doing so, of running the tests and re-equipping the military, would exceed the cost of simply maintaining the 1911s, without getting enough in return to compensate for that cost. On the other hand, since we have adopted something else, if we ever wanted to re-adopt the .45ACP as our standard pistol caliber (which I would love), I would not advocate simply re-adopting the M1911A1. Since we would be starting with a clean sheet of paper, it would make more sense to go to a more modern design that will be more economical to manufacture, simpler for armorers to work on and cheaper for the military to maintain, and more forgiving to the novice shooter than a single action only design is, as most military users actually get minimal training with the pistol. And I would recommend a polymer frame pistol. I think they have proven themselves adequately durable with those armies that have used them, and as a former infantryman, I can tell you that you appreciate every last ounce of weight savings when you have to hump upwards of a hundred pounds of gear for ten or twenty miles.

mljdeckard
September 23, 2013, 04:47 PM
At the time, trying the new features was considered sexy. DA and staggered mag were regarded as improvements, whether they were necessary or not.

el Godfather
September 23, 2013, 05:18 PM
interesting issue raised by billy ^^

IF US wanted to readopt .45, would they go back to single stack 8 shot 1911s?

Makes you think about the options available in .45 today, and by the way answering Billy's idea would further clarify the extent to which 1911 single stack remains viable in war/combat - not speaking of as SD or HD weapon.

LebbenB
September 23, 2013, 05:27 PM
...as a former infantryman, I can tell you that you appreciate every last ounce of weight savings when you have to hump upwards of a hundred pounds of gear for ten or twenty miles.
And that's 100 pounds of lightweight gear.

RetiredUSNChief
September 23, 2013, 05:47 PM
Sure it is. Bus ONLY as a "sidearm". Note the emphasis on "side".

In combat, the goal is to engage the enemy at the maximum effective range whenever possible. In this way, you rain down death and terror at, hopefully, ranges which your enemy cannot match. The sidearm is woefully inadequate for this purpose.

At closer ranges, the rifle still reigns suppreme in utilitarian terms. It's got better range, better accuracy, higher velocities, easier to control and put multiple rounds on target.

And, as still closer ranges, the rifle is much more effective as a bayonet platform or even simply as a club.

The handgun is most useful when space considerations demand it. Crawling in cramped underground tunnels, for example, or when flying as a pilot.

The sidearm, no matter how well built or effective, will simply never be the primary combat weapon for the vast majority of forces filling those boots on the ground. To that end, the 1911, and many other sidearms, are perfectly suitable for the role.

WinThePennant
September 23, 2013, 07:44 PM
Isn't a sidearm supposed to be used so that you simply have a weapon on you at all times. It must get old having to haul around a damn rifle every where you go. But, a sidearm can be carried with little to no discomfort.

The original intent of the M1 .30 carbine was for rear echelon soldiers to always have something at their disposal that didn't weigh too much. I don't see why we couldn't have a sidearm chambered in something like a 9x23 that would surely fit the bill. Basically, something for non-standard infantry to always have on them should the need ever arise.

RetiredUSNChief
September 23, 2013, 08:44 PM
Isn't a sidearm supposed to be used so that you simply have a weapon on you at all times. It must get old having to haul around a damn rifle every where you go. But, a sidearm can be carried with little to no discomfort.

The original intent of the M1 .30 carbine was for rear echelon soldiers to always have something at their disposal that didn't weigh too much. I don't see why we couldn't have a sidearm chambered in something like a 9x23 that would surely fit the bill. Basically, something for non-standard infantry to always have on them should the need ever arise.

That's why they make shoulder straps for the rifles.

The boot on the ground's job is to project as much firepower on the enemy as he can. To that end, he trains and packs out to support this. The sidearm is a very poor choice for that.

WinThePennant
September 23, 2013, 09:28 PM
That's why they make shoulder straps for the rifles.

The boot on the ground's job is to project as much firepower on the enemy as he can. To that end, he trains and packs out to support this. The sidearm is a very poor choice for that.
We're talking about sidearms in this thread, right? You are right, pistols are a terrible choice when a rifle is available.

Deaf Smith
September 23, 2013, 10:06 PM
A sidearm is useful for those who have to stick their noes in places where rifles can't be used well (and they did use them for that in Iraq and Afghanistan often.)

It is also used if your primary weapon runs out of ammo, or is disabled, or lost for any number of reasons.

It is not a primary weapon but then it never has been. Even the U.S. Calvary in the 1870s used a saber or rifle for their primary weapon.

But you will find those at the sharp end of the spear do desire to have a good handgun (and that includes the 'average' soldier.) The brass may point to the TOE but the desire is still there.

And as I have pointed out, the 1911 is used heavily in such as SOCOM,

Deaf

el Godfather
September 23, 2013, 11:32 PM
Restating with reference to post 148:
interesting issue raised by billy

IF US wanted to readopt .45, would they go back to single stack 8 shot 1911s?

Makes you think about the options available in .45 today, and by the way answering Billy's idea would further clarify the extent to which 1911 single stack remains viable in war/combat - not speaking of as SD or HD weapon.

grubbylabs
September 23, 2013, 11:34 PM
What exactly to they disagree with, The only one on your list that I even remotely Know ( I think) is Larry Vickers. And the only thing I have seen of him was a pointless piece about a rifle being over lubricated that he took way out of context in my opinion.

Its not that I don't think that one of the polymer pistols available to day isn't a good choice as a replacement, its just that none have had the track record or the time in the field that the 1911 has, so unless some are put into service and used as the 1911's have been, all claims are nothing more than assumptions based on limited testing. A three thousand round test proves nothing compared to the experience of the 1911.

I would assume that if I were to face going to a battle field where my primary weapon was a rifle, I would still want a side arm, and one that carried more than 8 rounds. I would rather carry the same weight of a 45 in a smaller round, you simply get more bullets.

If I was doing a specialized job that required the use of a pistol I think I would rather have the 45 since it provides excellent and proven knock down power. But having never done either this is only assumption and I could easy be proven wrong with experience.

Got_Lead?
September 23, 2013, 11:49 PM
The military determined the .45acp and the 1911 was old and outdated and therefore needed to be replaced by a more modern cartridge and weapon. The Beretta was the winner of the contest, and is therefore superior to the antiquated 1911 and its old cartridge. Just as the M-16 is far superior to any individual weapon before it. More modern = more better, period. Our military proved it.

RetiredUSNChief
September 24, 2013, 12:37 AM
The military determined the .45acp and the 1911 was old and outdated and therefore needed to be replaced by a more modern cartridge and weapon. The Beretta was the winner of the contest, and is therefore superior to the antiquated 1911 and its old cartridge. Just as the M-16 is far superior to any individual weapon before it. More modern = more better, period. Our military proved it.

Horse pucky.

The military was looking to replace a whole slew of sidearms, along with all the different ammunition that attended them, and part of that inventory was their aging 1911 platform. The decision was made to go with the standard 9mm NATO round.

The .45 acp itself wasn't "old and outdated"...but the nearly half million pistols in service WERE old.

Logistics was an important part of why they went with the 9mm, as well.

There is still quite a debate as to whether or not the M9 is "more better, period" than the .45 acp...and, given the various problems, and shady testing programs, I'd say that was never definitively proven.

http://www.sightm1911.com/lib/history/true_story_m9.htm

My Beretta 92FS is certainly as fine a pistol as I could hope for. But then, so is my Colt 1991A1.

TestPilot
September 24, 2013, 12:41 AM
The military determined the .45acp and the 1911 was old and outdated and therefore needed to be replaced by a more modern cartridge and weapon. The Beretta was the winner of the contest, and is therefore superior to the antiquated 1911 and its old cartridge. Just as the M-16 is far superior to any individual weapon before it. More modern = more better, period. Our military proved it.

If M9 is better than M1911, then why did units like Delta stick with 1911 until they switched to Glock when they always had plenty of M9 available?

There are pistols I'd choose over M1911, but M9 is not one of them. Any highly skilled units that actually shoots pistols seem to agree with me in that regard.

1911Tuner
September 24, 2013, 04:19 AM
The military determined the .45acp and the 1911 was old and outdated and therefore needed to be replaced by a more modern cartridge and weapon. The Beretta was the winner of the contest, and is therefore superior to the antiquated 1911 and its old cartridge.

To repeat myself:

The military had a lot of worn out pistols, and caved in to NATO demands for commonality of ammunition. Our NATO allies use the 9mm Parabellum...which predates the .45 Auto cartridge by several years. Google it.

And it was actually a quid pro quo. We adopted the 9mm. In exchange, they adopted our rifle cartridge.

And battles aren't fought with pistols.

Beretta won the contest because they promised to deliver the pistols at a lower price than the competitors.

Your equipment comes to you courtesy of the lowest bidder. Always.

Girodin
September 24, 2013, 04:30 AM
caved in to NATO demands for commonality of ammunition

What are you basing the statement that the US caved to NATO pressure on? I ask because in my experience US most does a lot more dictating than caving in Brussels. I can only imagine that was even more true when the big red bear, the USSR was still making the Europeans feel the need for protection. The US was pretty successful at pushing other rounds on NATO I'm not saying you aren't correct, I'd just like to know the basis of the statement.

1911Tuner
September 24, 2013, 06:10 AM
What are you basing the statement that the US caved to NATO pressure on?

I'd assumed that it was pretty much common knowledge.

Guess I was wrong.

When the subject of replacing our services pistols was on the table, we were also putting pressure on NATO for ammunition commonality. Most of them had come on board with the rifle caliber by that time. Then it was our turn. Because a pistol is really neither here nor there in a military action, it was a non-issue and not worth arguing about.

At the time, I had a few friends...older career Army...who were privy to some of the conversations surrounding the adoption of the 9mm and the pistol that eventually replaced the M1911. The general consensus was that if they were gonna be stuck with a mid-bore pistol round, it may as well be a high capacity pistol.

The Beretta was a good choice, but its fat grip and long trigger reach didn't exactly make it an ideal choice, especially among the ladies who were coming into their own in the military.

Remember the modifications that made to the original 1911? A good bit of it was to make it easier for those with smaller hands to manage. Now, it seems that we've come full circle.

I had an older M92...one with the frame-mounted safety, and I liked it a lot...but my hands are big enough for those things not to bother me overmuch. A few of my friends who weren't blessed with Orangutan hands didn't care for it.

I suspect that the sentiments are much the same among the troops.

LebbenB
September 24, 2013, 07:49 AM
Beretta won the contest because they promised to deliver the pistols at a lower price than the competitors.
The PPC for the Model 92 was slightly lower than the Sig 226. One of the stips to winning the contract was that the pistol had to be manufactured here in the States. Beretta was willing to build a plant in the US, Sig (at the time) was not.

..And as I have pointed out, the 1911 is used heavily in such as SOCOM
Over the course of three tours, I worked with and around a lot of folks from that side of the house. Their support folks carried an M9 like everybody else. Most of the Army SF guys used G17s. NSW tended to carry a Sig 226, though I did see a couple lugging Mk23s. Outside of Marine, Force Recon, the only other 1911 I saw in theater was on an SF LTC who was an LNO at the MNCI JOC and he candidly admitted that he carried it out of novelty and nostalgia.

Don't get me wrong, I like the 1911 and think it makes a good HD/SD/LEO choice. Joe Snuffy on the line needs a good hand gun and the 1911 isn't it.

grubbylabs
September 24, 2013, 10:40 AM
Beretta won the contest because they promised to deliver the pistols at a lower price than the competitors.

Your equipment comes to you courtesy of the lowest bidder. Always.

I don't think most people got this or get this.

Tirod
September 24, 2013, 10:52 AM
When the sidearm competition came up, it was the Air Force demanding the change, and as the proprietary agent in charge of acquistion, they got to set the ground rules. It is telling that the Army didn't make an effort in the hallways of the Pentagon to be the choice.

The entrants to that competition did not include any polymer pistols. This was over 25 years ago. Beretta won the contract in as much as the Italian government reminded the US they needed to do that to keep our refueling stations and parachute unit there. The contract requirements were flexible enough in that light.

Nonetheless, the move to double stack double action pistols had been coming since their introduction in the 1930's, same as the move to a small caliber automatic weapon. Plenty had been around since the 1930's too, the battlefield statistics examined, etc. Once the real results of how casualties were created, the result was carrying a weapon that could create more than the enemy's weapon.

Ironically, the Air Force was in charge of that program, too. Why? Because the Army command structure is heavily laden with extremely conservative thinkers who are prone to stick to what they know works, and to stress training as the way to make up the difference.

In reality, the Army has got caught with their pants down in the beginning stages of most wars, and had to fight to a position of superiority. We do that - the politicians fritter it away.

With the mindset like that - don't forget, the chief armorer in Lincoln's day refused to even watch a firepower demonstration of the new fangled lever action that could "shoot all week," it becomes expedient to work around Army Command to get things done. No animosity, just the situation. They don't like experimenting, they do enjoy the benefits when directed.

Don't be misled about how much polymers are making inroads in the design of mass production weapons. It's precisely the same thinking that led to the design elements of the M16 - a drop forged receiver that needs little machining to finish, plus composite parts that provide higher strength to weight ratios than wood with less maintenance. There's a reason the M16 was said to need no cleaning - compared to a M14, it needs a lot less of it, and is much easier to do. It breaks down in seconds with no special tools, and it usually only needs a wipedown to do it. The M1 was notorious for locking up the gas piston if neglected, and it was an armorer task to get it apart when it happened. The M16, not so. User maintenance for the most part.

Looking at the current crop of 1911's, things aren't that good, most of the overly tight civilian models are also handicapped by having to operate with whatever ammo the shooter likes. That creates another difficulty in not having a consistent load to help design the works to operate with. The military issue weapons, not so much. You get one or two loads, it's based in interoperability, the recipe set in stone in comparison. You don't need to experiment with what load might work best in the military, they are tuned to work together and the wrong ammo simply isn't issued.

What is issued is large quantities of it, the methodology of warfare right now is to shoot more ammo, and the other side will have more casualties resulting in the victor having more shooters on their feet to dominate the battlefield. It's very indicative that some small elite units might still issue a few 1911 style weapons - they are likely to need them more because their taskings require it more often. That doesn't make it the primary weapon of choice until the specific situation arises, tho, and they are trained to forecast that, and transition when necessary. It still takes some pretty restrictive circumstances to deliberately choose to use a pistol with half the ammunition capacity, tho. How it operates is really very little to do with it, and the caliber even less so at the ranges it will be used. The 9mm has come a long way in ammo development in 25 years, in either case, tho, military is largely limited to jacketed ball - for penetration purposes. It's the best combat compromise, opposing forces with ammo carriers behind barriers aren't thin skinned targets.

So, for all the conservative dislike of polymer guns in the armies, they are there, they are becoming predominant simply due to economics, and they ARE proven, as the use in LEO and other communities has shown. Why we don't see them in the US is as much a political and Command decision as not dumping the 1911 in the 1940's - complacency and tradition, rather than an open mind to make effective changes.

1911Tuner
September 24, 2013, 10:57 AM
When the sidearm competition came up, it was the Air Force demanding the change.

The Air Force pushed for a double stack DA/SA design. NATO pushed for the cartridge.

And it ain't the first time that the Air Force dictated to the infantry. They stuck us with the M16, too...but that's meat for another flame war.

The PPC for the Model 92 was slightly lower than the Sig 226. One of the stips to winning the contract was that the pistol had to be manufactured here in the States. Beretta was willing to build a plant in the US, Sig (at the time) was not.

And if Beretta had out Sig, the pistol would have still been the Beretta.

Your equipment comes to you courtesy of the lowest bidder.

And back to the original question...

Yes. The 1911 would do as well as anything, and better than some.

Because...

Wars aren't fought with pistols.

HexHead
September 24, 2013, 10:58 AM
Beretta won the contest because they promised to deliver the pistols at a lower price than the competitors.



There were also some bases in Italy we wanted to keep there.

1911Tuner
September 24, 2013, 11:01 AM
There were also some bases in Italy we wanted to keep there.

There ya go. Politics as usual. Money and politics...not what is "best" in a theater of operations.

HexHead
September 24, 2013, 11:09 AM
Curtis LeMay wanted the M-16. SecDef McNamara wanted commonality of systems between the services for cost savings. The Army got the M16 for the same reason the USAF got the F-4 Phantom.

SFsc616171
September 24, 2013, 12:04 PM
As it has been built since the inception In John Moses Browning's mind, YES!

Eight rounds of 230 grain, more or less, when placed at it's intended POA/POI, has done, and will do the job.

Here's the YouTube WW2 training video, and you tell me:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ro7N7dAmjLY

I own "the other" JMB masterpiece, a Browning Hi Power.

RetiredUSNChief
September 24, 2013, 12:45 PM
Curtis LeMay wanted the M-16. SecDef McNamara wanted commonality of systems between the services for cost savings. The Army got the M16 for the same reason the USAF got the F-4 Phantom.

Ummm...because the Army doesn't fly jet fighters and the Air Force does?

:confused:


Eight rounds of 230 grain, more or less, when placed at it's intended POA/POI, has done, and will do the job.

Here's the YouTube WW2 training video, and you tell me:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ro7N7dAmjLY

I own "the other" JMB masterpiece, a Browning Hi Power.

Ummmm... eight rounds of 115 gr, more or less, when placed at its intended POA/POI, has done, and will do the job as well.

:)

el Godfather
September 24, 2013, 03:30 PM
I need some one to comment on post 148 and then the question i raised in post 157.

Thanks

tarosean
September 24, 2013, 04:08 PM
I need some one to comment on post 148 and then the question i raised in post 157.
IF US wanted to readopt .45, would they go back to single stack 8 shot 1911s?

The french never adopted the High Power instead went with a single stack 7.62mm Longue from Société Alsacienne de Constructions Mécaniques

Our military just ordered some 4000+ Railed 1911's last year. There is really no questioning this fact.

RetiredUSNChief
September 24, 2013, 07:38 PM
Our military just ordered some 4000+ Railed 1911's last year. There is really no questioning this fact.

Actually, there is.

"Our military" did no such thing. The "Marine Corps Special Operations Command" ordered those sidearms. This does not constitute "our military" by any stretch of the imagination.

Having served aboard the USS L. Mendel Rivers (SSN-686), a SpecOps submarine back in the days before she was decommissioned, I'm quite well aware that the special operations forces (SEAL teams, in this case) have a veritable plethora of weapons at their disposal. Just because any particular SpecOps branch in a given branch of the military orders any given type of firearm doesn't mean "our military" (collectively) is doing the same.

http://blogs.militarytimes.com/gearscout/2012/07/19/m45-marsoc-pistol-contract-is-done-deal/

Weapons experts at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va., have hand-assembled 1911 pistols chambered for .45-caliber Automatic Colt Pistol ammo for years, fielding them primarily to Force Recon and Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command.

With both communities growing, however, the Corps has sought out an off-the-shelf option.

Deaf Smith
September 24, 2013, 10:33 PM
Note that we are not talking about officers walking about in the army barracks rather actual combat soldiers in the harms way in stiff gun fight scenarios.
And those 'stiff fighting scenarios' are more of the kind of thing SOCOM, Force Recon, Delta, etc.. do.

Hence folks, would you prefer a 'everyman' M9 or what the snake eaters use.

Now like I said, I'm a Glock man, but that 1911 like they use in the SFs, is a might good gun and I'd be quite happy if that was the one issued.

It is not at all obsolete!

Deaf

el Godfather
September 24, 2013, 11:34 PM
Deaf,
Would it be at all better if it was double stacked?

RetiredUSNChief
September 25, 2013, 12:08 AM
Deaf,
Would it be at all better if it was double stacked?

The answer to your question, el Godfather, isn't clear cut because there are multiple factors to consider and balance.

From the standpoint of having a higher capacity .45 compared to a lower capacity, yes it would be better.

From the standpoint of having a .45 acp vs. a 9mm in terms of amount of ammunition you could carry, no it would not.

From the standpoint of having a .45 acp vs. a 9mm in terms of having a common ammunition with NATO forces, no it would not.


There are lots of things to consider. The theoretical effectiveness of one caliber over the other in combat, the costs associated with purchasing, the costs associated with maintenance, the costs associated with logistics of ammunition supply, the cost in weight vs. quantity for the pistol and ammunition a soldier would have to carry with everything else, the costs associated with maintaining a diverse small arms weapons inventory...

There's a lot more to this than simply "would a double stack be better".

As it's been pointed out before, sidearms are not what wars are fought with. They have a very small niche to fill and as such nearly anything reasonable will fill the role as effectively as anything else. Therefore you won't see the military wasting a lot of time, effort, and money into very many, if any, major shifts in sidearms.

Does this help?

el Godfather
September 25, 2013, 12:11 AM
Question was in reference to the ongoing debate ie 1911 .45. 9mm not in consideration as far as this point is concerned.

So yes your answer is on the money, but is it the prevailing opinion?

1911Tuner
September 25, 2013, 03:45 AM
So yes your answer is on the money, but is it the prevailing opinion?

Generally...no.

The modern move to lightweight, high-capacity autopistols has rendered the 1911 obsolete, at least in the minds of the majority of the younger set...the ones who cut their teeth on M92/M9s...Glocks...and Sigs.

It seems that it's primarily about capacity, capacity, capacity...and secondarily about weight...despite the explanations that battles aren't fought with pistols and those who are issued pistols aren't generally burdened with the infantryman's combat load.

But it's mostly about capacity, and it's argued the "proof" that the Hi-Cap 9 is superior to the 1911 was the move to the Beretta.

And that comes from a basic misunderstanding of the pistol's role in a modern army, and in truth...a .38 Special revolver would probably serve just as well because the vast majority of people who are issued pistols never fire them in anger.

And the band played on...

45_auto
September 25, 2013, 07:12 AM
Note that we are not talking about officers walking about in the army barracks rather actual combat soldiers in the harms way in stiff gun fight scenarios.

If you had ever been an actual combat soldier in a stiff gun fight you would realize how silly it is to even be discussing pistols in that context. As others have pointed out, they are totally irrelevant and their caliber, capacity, brand, barrel length, etc, etc, will make no difference at all.

Gun Master
September 25, 2013, 04:44 PM
1911 Double Stacked ? Personally,....... No . I have a medium sized hand, and most of the doubles don't fit my hand well. If I were a person with a larger hand, I'd probably "make mine a double". There is not a "one size fits all". In the military it is less personal, and the 1911 "as is" has been acceptable over the years. Seven or eight rounds in .45 is awesome.:fire:

readyeddy
September 25, 2013, 05:04 PM
I favor modern handguns with simpler designs, but the 1911 is still very relevant for any situation calling for a handgun.

The 1911 is often the best choice for those who demand top accuracy, ergonomics, stopping power, and are willing to pay the price tag for such a gun.

RetiredUSNChief
September 25, 2013, 06:43 PM
I favor modern handguns with simpler designs, but the 1911 is still very relevant for any situation calling for a handgun.

The 1911 is often the best choice for those who demand top accuracy, ergonomics, stopping power, and are willing to pay the price tag for such a gun.

Ummm...just out of curiosity, WHAT "price tag" are you talking about, in comparison to other commonly carried sidearms?

My Colt 1991A1 cost me just about the same as my Beretta 92FS, if I remember correctly. And I bought them both new.

Mitlov
September 25, 2013, 06:52 PM
The guy I bought my Remington 1911 R1 from bought for $599 brand new. My understanding is that Glock 21s generally sell for about the same amount or maybe $50 cheaper, but it's certainly not a night-and-day difference.

RBid
September 25, 2013, 10:38 PM
If you had ever been an actual combat soldier in a stiff gun fight you would realize how silly it is to even be discussing pistols in that context. As others have pointed out, they are totally irrelevant and their caliber, capacity, brand, barrel length, etc, etc, will make no difference at all.

For most soldiers, sure. That is not a universal truth, however.

Got_Lead?
September 26, 2013, 02:01 AM
Sorry, I was playing the devil's advocate.

But seriously, if I had to go to combat, and my issued weapon was a sidearm, I would rather it was a 1911 over any high capacity 9mm. The .45acp has a reputation for stopping power, and the 1911 has a reputation for reliability in extreme environments.

There are many good 9mm's, the Glocks, Hi Powers, Beretta's, SIG's etc, which have earned a reputation for reliability as well. But bottom line, I would rather have a 45. In the 1930's the military considered replacing the 1911, and conducted extensive testing of numerous pistol calibers on cattle. They concluded that larger pistol calibers were many times more lethal than smaller ones, even if the smaller calibers were higher in energy than the larger ones.

BigShep85
September 26, 2013, 05:23 AM
The weapons' accuracy alone puts it in a category alone. A well tuned firearm like a Colt 1911 can be extremely accurate. I twas never intended to be a long range gun and it is often way more accurate than it's mediocre high capacity beretta counterparts due to a number of reasons. So with its durability and accuracy eight 45ACP rounds can be much more useful than 15 rounds that tend to be less accurate.

RetiredUSNChief
September 26, 2013, 11:45 AM
The weapons' accuracy alone puts it in a category alone. A well tuned firearm like a Colt 1911 can be extremely accurate. I twas never intended to be a long range gun and it is often way more accurate than it's mediocre high capacity beretta counterparts due to a number of reasons. So with its durability and accuracy eight 45ACP rounds can be much more useful than 15 rounds that tend to be less accurate.

Military sidearms aren't "well tuned". And accuracy for a sidearm is a moot point at the distances they're intended to be used for in the military anyway.

Fremmer
September 26, 2013, 07:03 PM
Accuracy of a firearm used by the US military is never a "moot point". Hitting what you shoot at is important. The 1911 platform produces excellent accuracy for many shooters. Fits lots of hand sizes, good grip, with an easy and consistent trigger.

But they cost a lot. And shoot the .45 ACP.

RetiredUSNChief
September 26, 2013, 07:41 PM
Accuracy of a firearm used by the US military is never a "moot point". Hitting what you shoot at is important. The 1911 platform produces excellent accuracy for many shooters. Fits lots of hand sizes, good grip, with an easy and consistent trigger.

But they cost a lot. And shoot the .45 ACP.

The "accuracy" of a sidearm at the effective combat ranges intended for the use of such a weapon IS a "moot point" with respect to my reply to the comment "A well tuned firearm like a Colt 1911 can be extremely accurate."

Military sidearms do not have to be "well tuned" at all...it's not a competition pistol used to punch dime-sized patterns in paper targets at 10 yeads, 20 yards, or even further away. And manufacturing sidearms with the kinds of tolerances most people refer to when they talk about a "well tuned" pistol can be a major issue with a sidearm carried in the field, and presents logistics issues as well in terms of maintenance and spare parts.

All a sidearm needs to be able to do is punch holes center of mass at typical close quarters where a rifle may not be the best weapon of choice. "Well tuned" is not a requirement for this, as any decent mass produced sidearm is more than capable of meeting this requirement.


And once again...where are people getting the idea of all these 1911 platforms which "cost a lot" when compared to any other common pistol platform, such as the Beretta 92FS, which the M9 is modeled after?

Fremmer
September 26, 2013, 08:06 PM
OK, I understand your point now. Sorry about that...

I think the price factor is based on commercial prices, at least for me. A colt or S&W 1911 costs more than a beretta 92 or a glock.

readyeddy
September 26, 2013, 08:16 PM
1911's used by special forces or SWAT teams are usually custom guns that retail for $1500+ vs. a Glock that goes for $500. In my opinion, that's where the 1911 fills a necessary niche.

RetiredUSNChief
September 26, 2013, 08:47 PM
No worries, Fremmer. Trying to carry on a conversation in text only in a forum is pretty challenging when trying to be interactive and clear in meaning.

:)

I bought my Colt 1991A1 and Beretta 92FS pretty close together...and they were about the same price, if I recall correctly. Probably within $50 of each other. And that was back about 1991. I remember paying $450 for my Colt...the Beretta may have been a little more expensive...but certianly well within the same ballpark.

I think if you do a little comparison shopping on the various 1911 platforms and several other pistols like the Beretta 92 or 90, you'll see that there's a price range on many of them that are pretty close together. Check Cabela's site, as I know they show a lot of their prices online.


1911's used by special forces or SWAT teams are usually custom guns that retail for $1500+ vs. a Glock that goes for $500. In my opinion, that's where the 1911 fills a necessary niche.

Are they really "usually custom guns"? And and Glocks purchased by said SWAT teams aren't customized at all? Do you have a source I could read for this information? I tried googling some key words and couldn't come up with any links about the costs of various firearms for various SWAT agencies.

Maybe some LEO's on the site would have some information relevant to this?

mljdeckard
September 27, 2013, 01:16 AM
As for the commonality and giving into pressure from NATO, remember, we pushed hard for everyone to adopt the 7.62 NATO. And when they did......we promptly dropped it for the 5.56. It took decades for them to follow. We yank their cords at least as much as they yank ours.

Deaf Smith
September 27, 2013, 01:22 AM
The reasons SOCOM and others use 'well tuned' 1911s include:

A. They found the .45 seemed to work better in actual use (stopping power) than a 9mm.

B. The 1911 action allowed precise placement of the shot in case the attacker was a suicide bomber at almost any range compared to a issue 9mm like the M9.

And do notice the original question posted was:


Note that we are not talking about officers walking about in the army barracks rather actual combat soldiers in the harms way in stiff gun fight scenarios.

And you can say all the forces I have listed, SOCOM, Delta, Marine Corps Expeditionary Unit, SF, USMC FAST, FBI HURT, LAPD SWAT, etc.... do get into such as 'stiff gun fights'.

Deaf

RetiredUSNChief
September 27, 2013, 08:43 AM
The reasons SOCOM and others use 'well tuned' 1911s include:

A. They found the .45 seemed to work better in actual use (stopping power) than a 9mm.

B. The 1911 action allowed precise placement of the shot in case the attacker was a suicide bomber at almost any range compared to a issue 9mm like the M9.

And do notice the original question posted was:



And you can say all the forces I have listed, SOCOM, Delta, Marine Corps Expeditionary Unit, SF, USMC FAST, FBI HURT, LAPD SWAT, etc.... do get into such as 'stiff gun fights'.

Deaf


SOCOM is...SOCOM. Not regular infantry or other sections of the service branches.

el Godfather
September 27, 2013, 09:02 AM
Double stack does not really make it too big and its a decent compromise in my opinion when in offensive mode- not personal sd.

JTQ
September 27, 2013, 10:09 AM
Double stack does not really make it too big and its a decent compromise in my opinion when in offensive mode- not personal sd.
There are a lot of comments along these lines, and Tirod keeps making statements like this...
the 1911 is reserved for special situations where the environment isnt' as "target rich."
and
It's being demoted to a PDW, something to carry in administrative areas or outside the wire on R&R where the rifle isn't allowed, but risk still exists.
However, I think the points made by Deaf Smith would indicate 1911's, while admittedly rare these days in the US military, are more likely to be used by those that would use a pistol as an offensive weapon. As a general issue weapon there are probably several less expensive, yet perfectly adequate options, but it seems for those that are going to use the handgun, offensively, they seem to pick the 1911.

For a handgun, the 1911 still does a better job of delivering "Accuracy, Power, and Speed" better than just about anything.

1911Tuner
September 27, 2013, 12:08 PM
Double stack does not really make it too big.

Depends on how big your hands are. I can manage a double stack pretty easily. My daughter can't. There are a good many women in the armed forces these days, and not all of'em are clerk-typists.

and its a decent compromise in my opinion when in offensive mode- not personal sd.

You're not paying attention. Battles aren't fought with pistols. I can't imagine any infantryman attacking an enemy position with a pistol unless his rifle has been disabled or he's off his nut

Personal self-defense the most likely scenario that a military sidearm will be used...when the situation has gone completely fugasi and the bad guys are literally crawling in through the duct work. Only the high-speed/low drag guys use pistols in an offensive role, and only when an impending action is too close to use a rifle. That's about as up close and personal as it gets.

The Marines chose the 1911. The SEALs chose the Sig. I'm sure they evaluated several entries and drew their conclusions based on what would best suit their needs.

Gun Master
September 27, 2013, 04:55 PM
Depends on how big your hands are. I can manage a double stack pretty easily. My daughter can't. There are a good many women in the armed forces these days, and not all of'em are clerk-typists.



You're not paying attention. Battles aren't fought with pistols. I can't imagine any infantryman attacking an enemy position with a pistol unless his rifle has been disabled or he's off his nut

Personal self-defense the most likely scenario that a military sidearm will be used...when the situation has gone completely fugasi and the bad guys are literally crawling in through the duct work. Only the high-speed/low drag guys use pistols in an offensive role, and only when an impending action is too close to use a rifle. That's about as up close and personal as it gets.

The Marines chose the 1911. The SEALs chose the Sig. I'm sure they evaluated several entries and drew their conclusions based on what would best suit their needs.
WWI....Sgt. Alvin York......Killed 6 German soldiers charging him with fixed bayonets, with his 1911 Colt .45 Auto, after all his 1917 Enfield ammo was gone. Later wiped out 32 machine gun nests, killed a total of 28 soldiers, and captured 132 others. How many other times was a 1911 just as important to survival, that was not as notarized ? What if it was your life on the line ? 1911 War Worthy ?

RetiredUSNChief
September 27, 2013, 08:01 PM
WWI....Sgt. Alvin York......Killed 6 German soldiers charging him with fixed bayonets, with his 1911 Colt .45 Auto, after all his 1917 Enfield ammo was gone. Later wiped out 32 machine gun nests, killed a total of 28 soldiers, and captured 132 others. How many other times was a 1911 just as important to survival, that was not as notarized ? What if it was your life on the line ? 1911 War Worthy ?

And, more importantly, what significant percentage of all the combat activities that occured involved these specific types of circumstances?

Small. Very small.

There's a saying that the race isn't always to the swift nor the fight to the strong, but that's the way to bet. The same rule applies in combat...the rifle and heavier firepower doesn't ALWAYS win the day...but that's the way to bet.

Mitlov
September 27, 2013, 08:08 PM
WWI....Sgt. Alvin York......Killed 6 German soldiers charging him with fixed bayonets, with his 1911 Colt .45 Auto, after all his 1917 Enfield ammo was gone.

The thing is, in 21st-century warfare, organized bayonet charges don't really happen anymore. There's clearly a reason why some modern units (such as Marine Corps Force Recon) consider the 1911 to still be a war-worthy sidearm, but I don't think any WWI battle is going to be a good illustration of that modern thinking. The technology and tactics are just too different.

Gun Master
September 27, 2013, 09:13 PM
Maybe we have drifted off track here. Alvin York killed 6 enemy at one time with his 1911. Isn't that a pretty remarkable weapon ? I think most of us agree, besides the 1911 others are appropriate, in certain situations. But war worthy ?:)

savanahsdad
September 28, 2013, 04:11 PM
the 1911 has never been taken out of service, it just has not been the primary weapon since 1987, but a few branches have never given it up , and a few are going back to it , so yea it is war Worthy , and always has been , and always will be ,

anothernewb
September 30, 2013, 10:02 AM
At the risk of oversimplification. I think any weapon that allows you to reliably defend yourself, or saves your life is a war worthy weapon. In that regard, whatever you carry - if it works when you need it to - is war worthy.

If it's simplified down to that level, I guess the same basic rules apply to personal protection as to war. And very few would argue of the 1911 as an adequate weapon for PD.

Deaf Smith
September 30, 2013, 06:27 PM
The thing is, in 21st-century warfare, organized bayonet charges don't really happen anymore. There's clearly a reason why some modern units (such as Marine Corps Force Recon) consider the 1911 to still be a war-worthy sidearm, but I don't think any WWI battle is going to be a good illustration of that modern thinking. The technology and tactics are just too different.
Yes but the idea that six people can rush you at 30 yards and never make it cause you dropped them all IS relevant.

Personally, the pistol is #2 on the list behind one's primary weapon (unless your name is Vincent Curl you would be an idiot to pick a pistol for your primary in a war zone) then it's firepower/power is not anywhere near as important.

Thus the M1911 is fine and dandy, just as the M9 and M11. or Glock or such.

I would only question one's pick as 'war worthy' if it was a .32 or old SAA or such.

Deaf

tarosean
September 30, 2013, 07:14 PM
The thing is, in 21st-century warfare, organized bayonet charges don't really happen anymore. There's clearly a reason why some modern units (such as Marine Corps Force Recon) consider the 1911 to still be a war-worthy sidearm, but I don't think any WWI battle is going to be a good illustration of that modern thinking. The technology and tactics are just too different.

Interestingly enough, I have a friend who was Force Recon and was stabbed in the gut while clearing buildings in Iraq via a bayonet attached to an AK.. Wanna guess what he unloaded on the guy, fully I might add.?

It wasn't his side arm...

Robbins290
September 30, 2013, 08:31 PM
Is that a serious question el godfather? Of course it is!

Rexster
September 30, 2013, 09:14 PM
The handgun is not so much a weapon for military combat, as it is a means of solving a close-range emergency, and yes, I did borrow some of those words from the late Col. Jeff Cooper. This close-range-emergency context is largely the same, whether the location is Beirut, Baghdad, Kabul, Houston, or Chicago.

I have never been in the military, but I do work for a very major PD, so have had some exposure to urban counter-terror training. (Not enough, of course!) If a Mumbai/Nairobi-style incident came to visit my corner of the earth, and I had to solve the problem without long guns, I would want both my Les Baer TRS and my G17. No auto-pistol gives me as much accuracy potential as my Baer, in my right hand, and my G17 is my ideal lefty pistol, with a double-column mag in-gun, and the ability to sustain a high volume of fire. (FWIW, I am largely ambidextrous, but my hands are a built a bit differently.)

On the original question, whether the 1911 is war-worthy, well, yes, the pistol, itself is worthy. On a large scale, however, a design that can be kept going over the long term, with less fitting fitting required of replacement parts, is probably better for large military units.

leadcounsel
September 30, 2013, 09:28 PM
I like 1911s, and they are a fine platform, but when it comes down to it, they are too heavy for such an item.

Any Soldier will tell you that ounces equal pounds. Reliable lightweight gear in the field when YOU are carrying it is critical and can mean the difference in YOU succeeding or failing.

Nearly every piece of modern gear is replaced with light weight metals and plastics where possible. The empty 1911 weights like a pound more than a polymer handgun. Those pounds add up fast. That pound could be replaced with extra ammo, water, food, medical supplies, body armor...

Agreed, that a handgun is an emergency tool for a Soldier in combat. It's a last line of defense. Therefore, I also have issues with the .45 ACP for that role. Capacity is more important, and I'm okay with the 9mm, especially if we could use hollowpoints.

With regard to the rare situations where the 1911 was successful at a last line defense, like SGT York, consider he was fighting against Soldier with full size slow bolt action rifles. Killing 6 men at close range who are using bolt actions weapons, when you have a 8 shot .45, is fantastic, but would not be impossible - as demonstrated. Now, consider if those Germans had semi-auto SKS rifles, or AK47s... and sadly SGT York and his 1911 would have died in place and never recorded in the analogues.

Similarly, I be there's lots of examples we just never heard of where the 1911 shined and defended against 8 attackers, but attacker number 9+ managed to kill the Soldier and we'll never know about it.

Modern tactics change because modern fighting has changed. Holding onto the 1911, a weapon of yesteryear, is simply foolish. Again, I love the 1911, but accept it for what it is. Just like I love the M1 Garand, but nobody would seriously consider implementing that again, today, as a front line weapon.

Given all this, the 1911 still shines in the role for home and self defense, where you aren't being overrun by enemies after/during a gun battle.

But all of that said, I would not pick a 1911 as a first line pistol for modern combat roles; I would pick a lighter, more reliable, 9mm such as the Glock 19 and 17. It offers the most important features of reliability, light weight (gun and ammo), high capacity, accuracy, and the minimum acceptable caliber.

HorseSoldier
October 2, 2013, 03:39 AM
WWI....Sgt. Alvin York......Killed 6 German soldiers charging him with fixed bayonets, with his 1911 Colt .45 Auto, after all his 1917 Enfield ammo was gone. Later wiped out 32 machine gun nests, killed a total of 28 soldiers, and captured 132 others. How many other times was a 1911 just as important to survival, that was not as notarized ? What if it was your life on the line ? 1911 War Worthy ?

How many other times? About never.

Military pistols are generally a stop gap until your rifle is running again. I'm going to guess that if you dig hard enough on the numbers there were probably just as many German soldiers killed in deliberate collisions with US military trucks from WW1 (which is to say, close to none) as there were taken out by York's exploits after his rifle ran dry.

Temp430
October 3, 2013, 12:39 PM
I'd rather have a P226 in 357 Sig given the larger capacity, superior ballistics, and mechanics of the pistol but that's a personal opinion and choice. Many vets swear by the 1911 which was good enough for WWI, WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. I had one Korea vet tell me that a 1911 lubed with his ear wax saved his life one night.

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