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So pistols in the infantry are unimportant?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Boats, Mar 29, 2003.

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  1. Boats

    Boats member

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    Well I just saw Marines on the news clearing house to house in Nassyria with the point man leading with his M9, obviously so he could have his off hand free to deal with doors or manhandling the odd surprised Iraqi not sufficiently responding to field Arabic.

    Puts a whole new spin on things for me. A Beretta is one of only about five handguns I'd trust to this role with no preference after number 1:

    1) MEUSOC 1911
    2) M9
    3) M11
    4) CZ 75/85
    5) P-35

    What do they all have in common? Heavy metal! Hammers, no strikers please! If I had to pistolwhip somebody CQB, I'd rather not have a plastic club. If I have to deal with mil-spec ammo, I want a harder hitting ignition system than a striker can provide.
     
  2. Nightcrawler

    Nightcrawler Member

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    The M11 (as far as the Military is concerned) is the Sig P228. If you trust that, you'd probably feel happy with a Sig P226 as well.

    MEU(SOC) 1911s are new uppers with all sorts of custom parts on old GI frames...made into some nice pistols, from what I hear.

    FWIW, I'd feel comfy with a good revolver, too. I know, I know, not as tactical or cool, but what the heck, I'm a freak. ;)
     
  3. Boats

    Boats member

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    Yeah, I'd go for a good condition M1917 myself I guess.
     
  4. DMK

    DMK Member

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    I'd take a CZ-97 loaded with 10 rounds of 230gr. if I had the choice.
     
  5. Shane

    Shane Member

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    Military pistol?

    If it was MY choice......

    Any Sig Sauer in 9mm or .45 ACP.

    Preferably, the Sig Sauer P220ST in .45 ACP or Sig Sauer P226ST in 9mm. Blacken the SS with a finish to keep the pistol glare free.
     
  6. Riphalman

    Riphalman Member

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    Pistol for the infantry?

    Whoa! what a concept! The value of a good sidearm is something which evidently needs to be relearned during every conflict. I've always felt that a pistol should be as much a part of the soldier's kit as a toothbrush. A very personal item used to keep your body in it's best possible condition.
     
  7. Feanaro

    Feanaro Member

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    I thought that ambushed Mec unit sorta showed that a hand-gun would be useful. They ran out of ammo and then the Iraqis closed in it appears. A pistol wouldn't have gotten in the way a lot and it wouldn't add an really burden to your standard kit. The soldiers might have been able to use them as they were over run to capture some AKs.

    Of course, I could be wrong. I'm just an Armchair Commando. :D
     
  8. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

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    In regard to the statement of pistols being unimportant in the military, I don't think you addressed that issue at all, Boats. "Unimportant" might be the wrong word to choose. Sidearms are tool like so many and they have a fairly limited application. I don't know of any military testing on these guns to substantiate their usefulness for pistolwhipping.

    Did you notice just how many of the guys were using handguns? Suffice it to say that even in a CQB situation like clearing homes, the handgun is not the preferred tool for all participants.

    Have you noticed just how many soldiers have handguns on the battlefield? How many have you seen being used in fighting?

    When you said you saw the Marines clearing homes, British or American? If it was the same news clip I saw, they were Brit Royal Marines.
     
  9. Boats

    Boats member

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    I saw the clip I viewed on MSNBC and the commentator was following evidently the British Royal Marines, but only said "Marines," so they were using the P-35 IIRC, but also said that similar ops were underway at Najef, Umm Qasr, and Nassirya, so every force in the region is doing these things and probably doing them rather similarly. Anyways, my "unimportant" comment was a bit snide. There has been a noisy contingent of folks here, and at TFL, who, over time, have said, "Long gun, all the time, everytime, except maybe in a tunnel."

    "Tunnel only" overstates the "uselessness" of a sidearm as a CQB weapon. I am not saying every serviceman in theater should be packing one, but if no one packs a handgun, what happens when somebody might need/prefer one?

    The one thing I do know from experience is this: Clearing houses in the manner that the infantry in Iraq is doing looks an awful lot like searching a ship as a member of a boarding party. I had the pleasure of doing this type duty on two tours of the Persian Gulf during the Iran/Iraq war in the 80s. That duty was distinctly lacking for rifles, (though we had plenty available) as we armed primarily with 1911s and Remmy 870s for such duty, taking rifles only to cover the distance in approaching the vessel to be searched.

    Having to go up ladders (stairs) take blind corners and cover multi-level spaces made a pistol much handier to take the lead with than any long gun. The shotguns made for decisive fight stopping in a confined space, and just like house clearing, any armed conflict was going to be sharp and contained, not of extended duration or at distance.
     
  10. Ala Dan

    Ala Dan Member in memoriam

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    My Choice?

    Well folk's you already know the answer-

    SIG-Sauer


    Best Wishes,
    Ala Dan, N.R.A. Life Member
     
  11. ..

    .. Member

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    with all the sand i'd still take a glock.
     
  12. seeker_two

    seeker_two Member

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    I've always thought that every infantryman should have a sidearm, but I'd lean more to a DAO pistol or revolver. Easy to learn, and safe from the bumps & humps... :cool:

    However, I also think that every soldier should be issued a .22 pistol (Mk II or Buckmark--maybe w/ silencers & detachable buttstock) as part of their kit. Accurate & powerful enough for small game, and quiet enough for infiltrations & ambushes....:evil:

    Think I prefer the .22 idea more...
     
  13. CWL

    CWL Member

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    What they all have in common is other soldiers armed with rifles backing them up.

    When hunting armed BGs, a pistol is not the best choice.
     
  14. Boats

    Boats member

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    A pistol on the point in a confined space is the type of role the modern handgun plays in the military.

    As for, "with all the sand i'd still take a glock."

    Not if you trust Larry Vickers for the truth on Glock performance in sand, a test scrupulously avoided by the carnival barker tests Glock makes gun rag ads out of.
     
  15. Mike Irwin

    Mike Irwin Member

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    I don't think anyone has said that the handgun is an unimportant weapon, Boats.

    What I do think many people have done, though, is question the overall utility of a handgun in war time.
     
  16. Boats

    Boats member

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    Well, I wouldn't argue for the overall utility, only that handguns have their time and place at the front and are not just for REMFs. Some have said they'd rather have another 2+lbs worth of 5.56mm., but in certain applications, I'd rather have my off hand free and a handgun, than another 2+ lbs of rifle ammo and sling that weapon in the meantime.
     
  17. Handy

    Handy Guest

    Do helmets, flak vest and emergency beacons WIN wars? How about camoflage, hot showers and Coke?

    Rifles don't win wars, either. They haven't since the beginning of WWI.

    This isn't a question of winning, it's a question of properly equiping soldiers to fight and survive.
     
  18. Blackhawk

    Blackhawk Member In Memoriam

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    Handguns are defensive weapons. If you need one in an infantry battle, things are not going well. :what:
     
  19. Mizzoutiger

    Mizzoutiger Member

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    Blackhawk pretty much summed up everything my cadre's been telling me.

    That said... If the stuff should hit the fan, I would much rather have my M4 and more ammo than an M9. In fact, if you can carry anything else at all when you're suited up and ready to go, it should always be more 5.56 ammo. If not in 30 round magazines, then a belt bag for the 249 gunner.

    If I'm chasing Charlie out of a spider hole, gimme a 1911. Otherwise, nah, I'ma trust my rifle.
     
  20. Cal4D4

    Cal4D4 Member

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    Handgun is a personal defensive weapon and sadly, it may be nice to be able to choose your own time and place in the face of a sadistic enemy.
     
  21. Shooter973

    Shooter973 Member

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    Pistols

    Just speaking from my own experiance, a handgun is not of much use. But it was a very comforting thing to have when you were in your hole at night and the bad guys were out skulking around. I found that sleeping with it on my chest with my hand wrapped around it was a very comforting thing. I sure slept better for it, and I never once had to use it. Of course this was over 30 yrs ago and in Indian counrty, and things may have changed now.
     
  22. BevrFevr

    BevrFevr Member

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    I'm part of the noisey contingent

    I'm of the thought that handguns are of limited use in combat.

    And as far as room clearing and pistol whipping goes I'll take a short shotgun ANY day. Far more versatile for urban combat than any pistol EVER.

    Pistol whip or buttstroke? my money is on buttstroke.

    I'll bet that if you gave that marine an entry type shotgun he would holster that sidearm in about a second and not look back.

    Pistols have thier use but I think the troops would be better served by replacing that weight with more food/water/5.56 ammo.

    just my .02

    -bevr
     
  23. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

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    A handgun is neither a defensive or offensive weapon. It is the application that determines whether it is defensive or offensive.

    Here, the application of handguns to the structure searhes is that that the handguns are better for CQB situations, but that they are easier to manipulate in very tight quarters situations (small rooms, halls, tunnels, etc.). Tight quarters may be CQB situations, but CQB situations definitely are not always tight quarters.

    From what I have seen of the Brits and now the US guys searching structures, they really could use some SWAT training. I counted 7 entries where the door got popped open and two or more entered before somebody ever bothered to check behind the door, if they ever bothered. These guys looked to be flying in and not securing territory as they go and not even knowing what is behind them...both pistol and rifle carriers were doing this.
     
  24. Onslaught

    Onslaught Member

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    All I know is what I see on Fox News, just like most everyone else here... And what I see is that, when there's "Spec Ops" guys or any of the special teams that might qualify for "the best" equipment (combat search & rescue, etc) those guys always seem to have a pistol in a "tactical" thigh holster, and an M4 in hand...

    I just don't see how a pistol and 2 spare mags is enough weight to "outweigh" the potential usefulness.

    Personally, I'd feel much warmer and fuzzier with a USP45 on my left side, but I wouldn't leave my tent without my issue rifle.
     
  25. Mike Irwin

    Mike Irwin Member

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    "I just don't see how a pistol and 2 spare mags is enough weight to "outweigh" the potential usefulness."

    No doubt about that. It's possible to become separated from your primary weapon when things go south, or if it becomes disabled, it's nice to have that secondary option.

    My point & contention is, however, that the handgun just isn't used that much in warfare, and hasn't been for a LONG time, probably since the days of heavy Dragoon cavalry riding up to the enemy lines, touching off 2 shots with their .75-cal. dragoon pistols, and then wheeling and flying.

    It always amuses me some of the rhetoric that I see here regarding handguns in American military service, especially if you bring up the .45 ACP and Colt.

    I swear there are times when it appears that some posters believe that every American solider was armed ONLY with a Colt .45, and that's how we won WW I and WW II.
     
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