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Use of 1911 by Military/LEO? (Modern Day)

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Eightball, Oct 27, 2006.

  1. Eightball

    Eightball Well-Known Member

    Just mulling over various stories I keep hearing about some Marines/SpecOps/LEO guys carrying 1911's, but keep hearing "Oh, it's such-and-such make and model" or "no, not that one, it's this one", etc. Anyone know for certain exactly which manufacture .45 is issued to Marines or chosen by SpecOps (in their case, is it even a 1911 at all, or something else), or do any LEAs issue 1911s?

    Probably "old news", but I'm just curious, especially to see the "modern iteration" of the venerable 1911 in warfare today (and wondering how much it would cost me to get said model).
  2. condoor

    condoor Active Member

    Well, it's not a 1911, but Navy SEALs are issued the Sig p226.
  3. Geronimo45

    Geronimo45 Well-Known Member

    "USMC Marine Expeditionary Units continue to issue M1911s to Force Recon units. Hand-selected Colt M1911A1 frames were gutted, deburred, and prepared for additional use by the USMC Precision Weapon Section (PWS) in Quantico, VA. They were then assembled with after-market grip safeties, ambidextrous thumb safeties, triggers, improved high-visibility sights, accurized barrels, grips, and improved Wilson magazines. These hand-made pistols were tuned to specifications and preferences of end users.

    In the late 1980s, USMC Colonel Robert Young laid out a series of specifications and improvements to make Browning's design ready for 21st century combat, many of which have been included in MEU(SOC) pistol designs. However, as the U.S. Marine Corps began its process of hand selecting members from its Force Recon to be submitted to USSOCOM as Marine Corps Special Operations Command - Detachment One, or MCSOCOM Det-1, the selection of a .45 ACP M1911A1-based pistol meant roughly 150 units would be needed, quickly. The PWS was already backlogged with producing DMRs, USMC SAM-Rs, and updating M40A1s to M40A3s, so Det-1 began the search for COTS (commercial off-the-shelf) surrogates to use. Discovering that the Los Angeles Police Department was well pleased with their special Kimber M1911 pistols, a single source request was issued to Kimber for just such a pistol despite the imminent release of their TLE/RII models. Kimber shortly began producing a limited number of what would be later termed the Interim Close Quarters Battle pistol (ICQB). Maintaining the simple recoil assembly, 5-inch barrel (though using a stainless steel match grade barrel), and internal extractor, the ICQB is not much different from Browning's original design.

    The final units as issued to MCSOCOM Det-1 are the Kimber ICQBs with Surefire IMPL (Integrated Military Pistol Light), Dawson precision rails, Tritium Novak LoMount sights, Gemtech TRL Tactical Retention Lanyards, modified Safariland 6004 holsters, and Wilson '47' 7 round magazines. They have reportedly been used with over 15,000 rounds apiece.

    The 1911 is slated to be the issue handgun for all Marine Expeditionary Units (Special Operations Capable), and should be used well into the second century of the design."
    That's Wikipedia's take on it.
  4. BullfrogKen

    BullfrogKen Moderator Emeritus

    Why do you want something that was issued to a unit as a one size fits all?

    Not I'm pronouncing a judgement as to its value one way or the other. There are certainly many satisfying reasons to own one, if nothing more than just to say this is a representative model of what "X" carries.

    However, keep in mind the considerations a Marine unit has to satisfy in a pistol is quite different than ours as civilians. There is crossover, as the Marines looked to a current "civilian" model to fill its need. But, I'm always curious as to the motivation for owning a "mil-spec" gun. Especially the conclusion "if its good enough for "X", then it must be the bomb".
  5. Geronimo45

    Geronimo45 Well-Known Member

    A lot of folks want mil-spec guns for the same reason as mil-spec clothes/holsters/gear - it's usually seen as tough and reliable, and people want to know that the gun they buy for 500 or more is going to be worth the money.

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