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Thread: Post 911 History of M1911A1 in use with U.S. Special Forces

  1. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Mas View Post
    Kind of you to say so, John. I was around when the Beretta was adopted and researching and writing about it then, but I wasn't there. Gurwitch was, and I appreciate his observations.

    Hell, my kids think "I was there" when John Browning created the 1911, but I just look that old...
    Fair enough. But you were there as the Age of Opinion began drawing to a close. I saw it from the outside. You saw it from the inside.

    I'd love to hear your thoughts on how that unfolded.


    Okie John
    “The reliability of the 30-06 on most of the world’s non-dangerous game is so well established as to be beyond intelligent dispute.” Finn Aagaard
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  2. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by okie john View Post
    Fair enough. But you were there as the Age of Opinion began drawing to a close. I saw it from the outside. You saw it from the inside.

    I'd love to hear your thoughts on how that unfolded.


    Okie John
    I don't know anything you don't. At the time, the P226 and the 92 seemed dead even for reliability, accuracy, and shootability. Not sure what happened with Italy, but had I been a soldier anticipating a land war in Europe I'd rather have a gun that can be reloaded with allies' ammo, and if it did come down to a choice of one sixteen-shot 9mm, or another similar quality 16-shot 9mm plus cruise missiles in Italy, well...

  3. #13
    Site Supporter JSGlock34's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by YVK View Post
    I did find it quite interesting. That part where he said that he knew just of a few people who had to use their pistols was inline from what I heard before. I never thought of it that way but if they haven't shot too many people with handguns then how they decided that M9 was lacking. This bit left me with an impression that preference for M1911 was more emotional than outcomes driven.
    Perhaps, but I also think there was an institutional bias towards the .45 cartridge (if not the 1911) within the SOF community. The 90s and 2000s saw SOCOM repeatedly flirt with adopting a .45 handgun, whether in the form of the convoluted Offensive Handgun Weapon System trials that resulted in the HK Mk23 or the aborted Joint Combat Pistol program. The Mk23 didn't enjoy much success, but NSW eventually procured the HK45C as the Mk24. The Army varsity team never went to the M9 and stuck with their customized 1911s. When they moved on from .45 it wasn't to the 9mm but to the .40 (briefly adopting STI 2011s before transitioning to the Glock). Force Reconnaissance never stopped using their MEU(SOC) 1911s and only now is the M45A1 phasing out of service.

    So while that's not data, it's hard not to notice when your sister units (not to mention the overarching organization) seem intent on adopting something else.

    As for the emotional side, I always liked this story from Todd...

    Quote Originally Posted by ToddG View Post
    When the SOCOM pistol project was first getting off the ground, they held a meeting in Tampa for industry presentations and feedback. During our segment -- this was before SIG was making 1911s, keep in mind -- there were guys from various SF Groups and SEAL Teams pounding their fists and chanting "1911! 1911! 1911!" figuratively speaking. Then the weapons program manager for a special unit that has great experience with running 1911s in high round count training and deployment scenarios stood up and scolded all of them, explaining how tremendously difficult it was to maintain the guns at a serviceable level.

    His exact quote, as I recall, was "If we HALO five guys behind enemy lines, one of them has to be a full time gunsmith to keep the 1911s running."
    Last edited by JSGlock34; 10-18-2021 at 10:45 PM.
    "When the phone rang, Parker was in the garage, killing a man."

  4. #14
    Really enjoyable watch. Thank you for sharing. Im envious of his training at mid south
    Last edited by High Cross; 10-22-2021 at 11:02 AM.

  5. #15
    I found the video very interesting and illumating. Even among our "tier 1" forces, choices are susceptible to institutional inertia and bias.

    This gets into speculative theory, but feel like some budget office politics must have been going in the background too, much like when the decision was made to turn the old stock of M14s into "precision rifles".

    It seems like maybe it was, once upon a time, a hard sell to buy firearms without a NATO stock number from the open market, leaving the practical choice between clapped out M9s (with the atrocious DA/SA pull and slide-mounted decocker) and clapped out 1911s. I'm sure most people here would have chosen the clapped-out 1911s, too, in the same situation.

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