Barn busting, Remington Rand style


Submitted by Eric Daniel

In 1990 I was issued an M1911A1 .45 caliber pistol that had been manufactured by Remington Rand during WWII.  Though a stout and reliable firearm, my “Colt” had one limitation. 

Its accuracy. 

To put it mildly, I was surprised the bullets ever hit the ground.  At 25m I had a shot group of around 2 feet. 

Now, I was (and still am) by no means an expert on firearms, and stories abound regarding the inaccuracy issues of the M1911A1, but the one thing I did know was the .45 was, and still is, used extensively in pistol competitions, so I knew the weapon design was not the issue, nor was the ammunition, but I was at a loss as to why I literally couldn’t hit the target right in front of me.

This went on for a year or so until we got a new Platoon Leader in our company who also happened to be something of a shade-tree gunsmith and a Colt collector.  What he said was, no the weapons aren’t bad, and the ammunition, while not match grade, wasn’t the cause, but rather, the Army’s level of “tolerance” in key components.  Bottom line, all my troubles centered on the barrel and barrel bushing.  Upon further inspection it was noted that when fully seated (slide all the way forward) my barrel was still capable of movement, a LOT of movement, as was explained to me, which obviously was having an effect on my accuracy.  Unfortunately, as the LT explained, that “slop” was still within Army tolerance, so technically there was nothing to be done.

Well, the next day what should appear but a Brownell’s catalogue, listing all the parts I would need to

  • I seem to remember that it was 1990 or 91 when the services switched to the M9. In fact, my cousin in the Coast Guard at the time ended up dumping many, many 1911s from the Coast Guard, Army and Air Force in the San Francisco Bay at an undisclosed location… Yes, that was the official DOD decision… Dump ’em in the Bay.

  • wacurry@megavision.c

    Eric Daniels does not know anything about shooting 1911 A-1s, or anything else about pistol shooting.

    I do. Since I have shot competatively pistols since 1974.

    Eric Daniels, with way to much time on his hands is now posing as very knowledgeable about pistols?

    Since Eric says that he is a member of the US military, we should all listen very carefully to Eric?

    I will bet that Eric couldn’t put 10 rounds in the black at 50 yards if someone gave him a box full of ammunition and day to do it.

    Eric appears to be just another soldier that thinks his uniform makes him an expert shot.

    Nothing could be further from the truth.

    Yet all the US civilians are of a mind that these heroic US soldiers can shoot better than Annie Oakley.


    Go Eric! Go!

  • Eric Daniel


    About the only constructive thing I can think of to say would be Daniel, D-A-N-I-E-L, no “S”.

  • Hugo

    Maybe he’s been at too much of the Jacks

  • RobV

    I guess Mr. wacurry never heard the term “Good nuf for Govt work..”

    Eric, I’d say your “gunny” was bang on correct. Govt tolerances are measured in fractions not decimals.

  • Robert Kile

    Mr? Wacurry,
    You’re what we call;”an Ass”!

  • Tim

    Hey curry why don,t you tell us if you ever had the pleasure of serving and shooting in our military if no then go play weekend warrior and leave the shooting to the real men!!

  • I’m sure every soldier that was ever issued a 1911 and had to qualify with it,(as I did in 1987) can attest that we all could field strip that pistol and practically put it back together with our eyes closed. Nowhere in Erics’ article did he attest to being an expert, but quite the opposite. He very clearly let everyone know he was not. Yet for some inexplicable reason, “wacurry” took the whole article as some kind of fired up brag piece and a personal insult. I guess he has some beef with the military for some insane reason. The civilian known as “wacurry” may indeed be a crack shot, but he obviously cannot comprehend the written word. To slam somebody like he did with evidence to the contrary right on the same page really does make him look like an ass. Well stated Robert.

  • EC Tovar Jr

    I read the original post with interest. What was done with these pistols was HIGHLY irregular–but if you wanted accuracy, it was the only way to do it.

    I remember while in the Service, I had the chance to shoot in an I Corps Combat Pistol Championship. We could use two hands, and all the targets were at 25 yards.

    I attempted to draw one of the new M9’s, but instead I got a 1911 from a Battalion arms room–the durned thing was ORANGE with rust and neglect.

    On the way to the range on the day of the competition, I took an ammo can full of Break Free, took the grips off, and proceeded to work the action–which took a LOT of effort–until it moved. Upon arrival, triggers were weighed–mine would not trip, despite over 8 lb of weight on the stack!!

    Nevertheless, I found that by holding low right, at 5 o’clock, I could land rounds into the bullseye. I managed to come in second in that Competition–not bad, considering the amount of competitors!

    Fast forward to today–I am an active Conventional Pistol competitor, at the cusp of breaking into Master. Both my wadcutter gun and ball gun will hold 1.5 inch at 50 yards, from a Ransom rest. I can chew the center out of a timed or rapid fire target–but I still look back with fondness on the days of parkerizing, rattly guns out of the rack, and that 1911A1 pistol.

  • Ecosharp Investigato

    I am much disquieted by this boys “enlightened” review of the Colt 1911. I served a few and when I got to choose my personal sidearm it was and will always be the 1911. I was able to find a nice tight one, and I ‘acquired’ an old black leather shoulder holster which i modified to rest on my chest under the blouse. It was my constant companion and got me and my troops out of many a jam. Saved me and my men on more than one occasion. But then I’m just an old sergeant, what do i know. So what does our venerable reviewer opt for the 9 mighty mouse or what??? Last time I shot against a Marine Gunny, without a doubt the finest marksman I ever met and he out shot me, transfered that one right over to him without question. Last I talked to him he was able to cycle that one out and still has it. Man do I miss that ole piece of hardware. The 1911 is as accurate as the operator, and his armory SGT can make it. Believe me, that piece with knock down a charging buffalo. So let’s tune up the ole girl, give her a nice lube job, all in the right places and go out and have fun. And if they are a coming thru the door (enemy), ya don’t have to wait for it to open. Do your own door knockin with a real weapon.

  • RJ

    Isn’t it the truth that every group has an ass. I just had to say something.
    US Army 68-71

  • Mick

    “Heroic soldiers shoot better than Annie Oakley?” Yeah, I’d say they do seeing as how I doubt Annie Oakley ever had someone charging her position wanting to KILL her when she was shooting.
    Cutting down our military warriors, are you freaking kidding me? You’re making fun of a guy with a Bronze Star who is a freaking CavScout! You’re making fun of the military who are RIGHT NOW on patrol wondering if they are gonna’ live through this day. I’d say that pretty much qualifies them as experts to me!
    Kick ace article and right on.
    My dad carried one of those clanky suckers in WWII and Korea, and I did during the end of Nam.
    My son deploys next week and will have a 9mm thank God. (Not for the knockdown power, but for the danged accuracy!)
    And right on Jerry, I could field strip and slap my .45 back together in the dark, the mud, the rain,oh yeah, sweet memories…

  • john

    my take on the .45? At home, civilian life, I pack a Browning HP 9 mm, when I pack, but military, when you know a LOT of crap may be falling on your head any minute? Gimme the old .45 – in fact, gimme two or three of them, because when you hit something, it STAYS hit….personally, I think switching to the 9mm was one of the dumbest moves ever

  • William Zwiker

    As a former gunsmith, I’ve worked on plenty of 1911s and 1911A1s.

    And as a former soldier, I know that the usual engagement range wherein one might need to use the pistol was about seven feet. Not yards. Not meters. Feet.

    At that kind of range, “minute-of-chest-cavity” accuracy is good ‘nuf.

  • James Smith

    I carried a 1911 in the navy during the korean war and every once in a while I would have to target practice with the marines and they were in charge. So I had to shot from the positions that they dictated. I hated shooting the 45, I felt like I was better off throwing throwing rocks. I could see the round ark downward as I fired. Now after all these years I would love to have a 1911a1. That was a real weapon.
    James Smith former navy police petty officer

  • John

    God do I remmeber straping on that chunk of steel! We had blackened stainless frame .45’s on my sub. Talk about heavy! But even though it was not all that accurate past spitting distance when it mattered we knew it would drop a target be it drenched in salt water, mud or abnything else. Big mistake going back to 9 mm. Hell it was the lack of stopping power of the p-38 9 mm/.38 that lead to the mighty .45. Why the hell did we go back toa popgun? Oh I know it was to make NATO happy. An apeasement that most likely has cost us American lives.

  • B Taylor

    I don’t know where RobV got his information regarding the US government measuring in fractions not decimals. Can you enlighten me please? I’m an Aerospace welder working for all of the uniformed services, NASA and (nearly) every aircraft manufacturer in the world. We measure everything using the metric system. My welds and OAD’s are measured on granite tables, three times down to generally +/- .001,before I allow it to leave my welding booth. Then it goes to NDT (Non Destructive Testing) X-Ray, dye penetrant, then the parts go to inspection services where they get inspected several more times to ensure they fall within small metric tolerances we are required to meet.

  • Eric Daniel

    Again, a little clarification….

    1) I’m not bagging on the M1911A1. I like the M1911A1 very much and I especially like fact that it’s made of steel. You could literally drive over it with a tank and after picking the mud out it’d function just fine.

    2) That particular .45 however, and I’ve been issued many, was just plain old tired. The barrel bushing was worn, the barrel was worn, the slide was worn and the sights were mashed. But then, it was over 40 years old and quite possibly may have seen service in a couple of wars, so that is to be expected.

    3) I was not looking to make a “tack driver” nor was I planning on trying to qualify for the Olympics. I also wasn’t “blaming” my pistol for my poor shot groups. I was simply confronted with an equipment issue (worn parts) and had to get creative in resolving the situation. The parts I ended up ordering completely resolved my situation and I had no desire to push the issue further (there was no way in hell I was going to try and get away with using my own slide assembly, for example, nor did I think it necessary.)

  • Bill Brown

    The army some years ago refitted all the 1911’s and did not replace the barrel bushing or the barrel . They , the ( army) rather picked up the 9 mm which is not a stopping round by any means , as was later found out . Again someone reiventing the wheel , when we had a good weapon . Tax payers money again

  • Tom

    It was meant to be used at close range. And to reload fast. The handgun has saved a many of a life. Not at 50 yards but less then ten. And most likely killed more by accident then any other weapon we had in the past. Poor training accounts for that.

  • rlpaynewa

    I was a Navy corpsman who served as a rifle platoon corpsman with the Marines in the Korean War. We had trained with carbines, but these were taken away and we were issued a Colt.45 in Korea (mine was a Remington). I think we may have fired one clip from one while attending Field Med School so I had no idea how to shoot or clean one. The first time I stood weapons inspection I drew my .45 as the platoon leader stepped in front of me as I had been instructed by the Marines. He ducked and passed me by. Afterwards he called me over and told me that corpsman did not stand weapons inspection in his platoon. The previous corpsman had had an accidental discharge and almost blew his head off.

    A Marine returning to the States sold his Thompson, but the deal did not include his ammo. He gave me a sand bag full of .45 shells. As is said, practice makes perfect. I became very good at hitting C-rat cans and had fun shooting at the paddy rats. They were quick, fast and hard to hit.

    During the firefights I was involved in I was too busy taking care of Marines to fire my weapons. I used the M-2 carbine I had acquired mainly as a leg splint. It worked great for that.

    The only time I went to squeeze a round off I thought what a big head the person crawling towards me had. Then it dawned on me it must be a Marine helmet although I had been told there were no live Marines in that direction. That Marine probably never realized how lucky he was.

    I have seen what a .45 will do to a chest (an accidental discharge). The victim was instantly dead.

    When I was sent to the rear I used to volunteer to be the field corpsman at the rifle range. The gunny knew I liked to shoot and used to bring out .45’s for us after the Marines left. He taught me a lot.

    After my Marine tour I served aboard a ship. I was assigned to the landing party and had to do some test firing at a target towed behind the ship. When my turn came and I walked up with the .45 in my hand that I had just been issued. There were many nasty comments about everybody needing to duck because the corpsman had a gun in his hand.

    Firing from the high stern of a cargo-type ship,I put every round close to the bullseye on the towed target that was bouncing up and down and around in the wake of the ship. The only one to even put every round on the target. Nobody said a word when I finished. When I returned the weapon to the ship’s armory, the gunner’s mate said. “Doc, where in the hell did you learn to shoot like that.”

    I think the Colt .45 got its bad reputation for inaccuracy from the old guns whose barrels were probably shot out, were not taken care of, and were fired by shooters who did not know how to shoot them. I still think Colt .45 auto has the best “feel” of any pistol I have fired and I know they can be deadly accurate.

  • Peter Michael

    Hmmm… Let me just say, to this day my weapon of choice for personal protection has been and will continue to be the venerable 1911, albiet my present one is a Kimber Custom…but the one that I had while in Nam was a standard issue 1911 that I had had reworked by the Marine Armorer in Georgia. I had many occasions to have to use it, and whatever I hit…stayed down. Unlike what happens with the current 9mm’s. And…., May I ask…Mr Wacurry….what ever kept you from being in the service? Were you too good for it? were you a draft dodger? or perhaps…protecting the freedoms you have received by living in this country and being able to bear arms is something you take for granted and do not realize that all of us who served made it possible for you to have the life you do. You seem to be rather illiterate, because you failed to read and comprehend what the writer of the original article Eric Daniels was saying…simply that by trial and error he got an old 1911 to become a bit more accurate by changing out some worn parts.. or..perhaps you are just simply….an ass..

  • Edward Holman

    I was an marine infantry LT in the 1970s. The M1911 was my issue. Anybody who’s packed one knows the guy is right about the sloppiness of it, and it’s plausible the above cure would tighten it up for quals. But in running goddamn gunbattles at 10 yards or less demands the best knockdown pistol on the planet, and that’s the .45 ACP.

  • Michael S. Betts

    I carried a Remington-Rand 1911 as an off-duty weapon for several years but swapped it for a 9mm when the department decreed that we couldn’t carry anything larger than a .38 off-duty. Broke my heart when I found out that R-R 1911’s are priced at $1200 – 1400 at gun shows now.

    Ever wonder why cops shoot suspects 4+ times now? Because their 9mm’s are pissant popguns, that’s why. If you double-tap someone with a .45 and he doesn’t go down – RUN for your life!

  • Terry Weller

    I’d be willing to bet that when S/Sgt John McGINTY got his CMO on Opertion Hastings in July ’66, he was real happy to have his .45 with him and not some wimpy 9mm. If I remember right, he killed 6 or 7 NVA that day with his. Naturally, all at close range.
    To use a phrase from a favorite Gunny of mine from those days, wacurry talks like a man with a paper A*^hole.

  • Ed Russell

    I agree with the author. I am not a gun expert. I did carry a 45 in the military for awhile and liked the attributes of ‘knock down’ power at close range and low muzzle velocity which means if you had to use it to protect yourself in your own home, your less likely to send a round thru your neighbors bedroom wall also.The biggest drawbacks of the weapon are noise, and accuracy. This puppy will definitly hurt your ears if your not protected. I agree somewhat with a few of the responses about ‘shooters ability’ being partly responsible but honestly, sometimes I think I couldn’t hit the ground at 10 ft. with this ‘NEW’ off the shell 1911 I bought. Nevertheless, I like it and still have it but I would like very much to be able to improve on it’s accuracy. Mine is from the Springfield armory. (they might all be for what little I know about it )

  • Bruce Stump

    I fired manya 1911 as aM MP in the 80’s. While none of them were “Tack Drivers” ( I never thought of combat shooting as a tack driving contest) I was always able to put rounds on target. My measure of success was to take a target hold it up to the middle torso and see if I would want to be struck in that spot by a 230 gr Ball round. The answer was always a resounding HELL NO! I’ve also fired the M-9 extensively. I’d walk over a crate full of them to get to 1 1911.

  • Bill Bowers

    I purchased a basic 1911 from Springfield Armory about a year ago. I went to the range contemplating all the comments I had read concerning inaccuracy and sure enough, I was all over that target from 10 yards.

    I had a gunsmith work the trigger and add adjustable sights but he insisted that all else was good (barrel, bushing, etc) as delivered. When I got the pistol back I still couldn’t hit anything. When I handed it to my gunsmith, he put five rounds in the bullseye while creating “one” hole. Needless to say, my attitude toward my SA 1911 changed following that demonstration and I left the range with some fairly impressive targets of my own that afternoon. I love my 1911 and have to get to the range at least once a week to get my recoil fix. I shoot better with the 1911 than with any of my three 9mm pistols and certainly like the shape of the holes better than those left by my Mark IIs.

    As Yogi Berra once put it, “Ninety percent of the game is physical, the other half is mental.” He may have been on to something.

  • cdburklund

    As a medic way back in the very early 70’s, I was issued an old well worn gov’t 1911. It was heavy but it could shoot. I liked it because I could load up with my gear for SAR and go out on a jaunt with the guys and still carry ammo and a weapon and not feel like I was carrying as much weight as some guys. ( I only weighed 145 back then) A guy could easily end up carrying so much NECESSARY stuff you couldn’t move as fast as you wanted to when the body waste came into contact with the spinning ventilation device. It gave me manueverability.
    In the 35 years plus years, I have been an ER Nurse in the 3 busiest ER’s in my state. I have never seen anyone survive a head shot with a .45. I once took care of one guy with 3, count’em 3 taps to the head from a 9. He lost some gray matter but he came in talking and what he lost he apparently didn’t need.
    Consequently, my primary house gun is a Caspian framed 1911, looks just like what I carried back in the day except for the Pachmyer grips. Don’t leave home without it.
    Oh wacurry, you sound like a wannabe, when I was in we had really bad words for wannabes, none of them would I use in mixed company, but ee wouldn’t want you with us, that would be mixed company.

  • SGTKinsella

    Commenting on a broader topic, the one where everyone tears apart what Eric has to say in his posts:

    It seems the Kit Up! site has not gotten as many posts from people other than Eric in the past three or four months (I didn’t go back and check dates, I’m just basing this on my casual reading of this site ) so Eric, being one of the moderators, has had to fill in the empty space.

    Every Soldier has an opinion about a piece of gear, and every Soldier has some kind of trick they used to get by in hard times (Sharing these opinions and tricks is the point of this feature). I would imagine that Eric is running low on stories and tricks to keep things going.

    That means every armchair sniper, and “military buff” sees fit to tear him down. (unfortunately, I include myself in that category)

    Give the guy a break. If you really think he’s full of crap, go ahead and post something and tell everyone how much better it is than what Eric is posting.

  • John W. Edinger

    I’ve never fired a pistol in my life and the largest rifle is a 12 gauge use in “turkey shoots” and even I understood what Mr. Daniel was saying in his article.

    BTW, go troops, I appreciate the job you guys are doing. Wish the politicians would get out of the way and let you guys finish the job like it should be done.

    God bless America and the men and women who serve and protect it….

  • TwinEdge

    Hey guys,Sgts. and Lts. this is all quiet understandable…Even though I have not shot one of these 1911s,and it don’t mean i can’t shoot…
    But,don’t you think that MR.ERIC has weak forarms,and wrists and thats why he can’t shoot straight,hehehehe….Thats my 1 cent on the subject…

  • JSFMike

    When I was assigned to a NavWeps Station, the gunny sgt in charge of the guard force made sure us Navy officers could shoot. He took personal charge of each of us so we could qualify with each firearm on the station. For sidearms, he worked on the pistols and after many firings at the range, adjusted the sights, grips, and triggers to each of our personal characteristics. We were assigned one each, tailor-made sidearm, M-16, M-14, and shotgun for the 3 year tour. That’s what makes a shooter a expert marksman.

  • H C Juengst

    I was on a Brigade pistol team in 1965, USAPAC matches in So. Korea.
    I had to take a pistol from the Battery Armory and when I went to sign one out the armorer showed me the entire stock of “45’s” and told me to disasemble them and find matching serial numbers if possible.
    when the orginal issue was made to the unit all of the arms were “deep cleaned”. They were disasembled and cleaned in big vats then the parts were reasembled without regard to serial numbers.

  • Chris Bailey

    Funny what I read in a tactical gun magizine that the US military may go back to the .45 due to lack of 9mm stopping power. The pistol they are considering is the Smith & Wesson MP 45.

  • Dale

    As a marine attached to S.T.A. Plt in the early 90’s I had the rare option of choosing between the new barretta, or the reliable colt. My father and grandfather both carried the colt and had nothing but praise for the worlds longest serving military firearm. What wacurry doesn’t realize is that ALL military weapons have more rounds fired through them than any one man could fire in a lifetime, let alone afford. As a marine sniper I require the best accuracy out of my weapons, and the barrel/bushing swap was just the thing to tighten up my groups. Another little trick was to apply some electical tape in several layers to the sides of the slide and then GENTLY clamp it in a vise to tighten the slide to the reciever. This should be done with care and supervision. With every other marine on the qualifying line “popping” off rounds with thier new M-9’s, the roar of the old 1911 was a pleasant surprise to the old range officer. Not to mention that I qualified as a pistol EXPERT, four times with that “old, inaccurate, obsolete, piece of junk”, with my highest score of 198 out of a possible 200 points. wacurry can KISS MY JARHEAD ASS!!!!

  • Bob Bell

    I am both a NRA pistol instructor,IPSC,and a retired combat pistol instruction in law enforcement. I have shot almost every handgun that is made. I am a former Marine,[RVN]. The only handgun that I ve ever felt comfortable with was a .45 colt or clone. I can tell you that
    I’ve used Brownell’s for decades. If you would like an even tighter group, purchase a Barstow barrel and bushing set. You do have to decide which barrel you want, target or combat. IF you shoot paper, get the target. If you carry get the combat series… Also, there are some other considerations. You can send the gun to someone like Terry Tussey, in Ca. for the best combat action job I’ve seen. He has done 3 of my .45’s. Chip Mc Cormick, is also great, a little pricey. A major consideration are mags. get good ones, like Chip McCormick, Millett, or others. The worst case is have a tuned .45 and it jams because of a cheap mag… good luck and good shooting….Semper Fi

  • It’s been many years too remember everything but… after my discharge, I found a decent looking Colt M1911A1 and like others, I was all over the target. So, I purchased a kit consisting of a barrel, barrel bushing, barrel link and pin, the kit included an ‘extra’ spring, – I should say -‘additional’ spring [which I installed but cannot remember it’s function].

    Afterwards, I blew them away – nobody could touch me! A few years later (with both me and my .45 older) a couple of young crackerjacks kept up with me. until I swithched to ‘match’ ammo.

    As Andy Warhol would agree – That was my “fifteen minutes of fame!”

    As for WACurry’s comment – I couldn’t agree with him more!

    Signed ‘a decorated Vietnam Combat Veteran with two tours of duty on the “most-northern-Allied-outpost” in South Vietnam.’ – Balls

  • KJ

    I too carried the .45 as a submarine quarterdeck watch and below decks watch. We got to carry five round in a magazine which was not in the weapon. I qualified on the .45, long nose .38 and the M-14 and actually scored better on the .45 and the M-14 than the weapons (TM) guys. I was just a knuckle dragging aux. Machinist’s Mate (SS).

    But more to the point. The .45 when out of ammo made one heck of a rock or club. The 9mm would probably shatter.

  • Dan Post

    In 1968, while at A school at the GLAKES Naval Base, I went to the range, and hoped to qualify for a marksman badge. As an ET, and due to ship out on a carrier, I figured the only way to get anything other than the ‘gedunk medal’ was to try for a marksman ribbon.
    I was issued a 1911, as it did not have the rebate at the frame behind the trigger, and it was so old that the range office told me not to put more than 5 rounds in the magazine. He also cautioned me to ease the slide forward as they had had some mishaps when a slide went forward on these old pistols, breaking off the sear. The result was that after the first round went off, the last two were usually in the ceiling! Needless to say, the accuracy was not such that I ever qualified. Alas.
    Now, I ususally plink with a Walther P-38 or Radom VIS35, but have had the opportunity to use a friend’s NEW Remington 1911A1, and it is a fine piece of machinery. Even with the factory barrel and bushing, you can get 2″ groups offhand at 25yds without too much squintin’ and squeezin’.
    I would imagine that with some MagSafe rounds, it would definitely be a stopper.

  • Will C

    Interesting comments on perhaps John Browing’s best design. As originally designed and produced during World War 1, the Model 1911 was finely finished with very tight manufacturing tolerances which resulted in excellent accuracy but occasional malfunction in the muddy trenches.

    After the war, in the 1920’s the pistol was redesigned as the Model 191lA-1 to correct some of the problems noted during WW1. The flat mainspring housing was replaced with an arched design to improve (?) pointability. The grip safety tang was lengthened and the hammer spur shortened to alleviated pinching of the hand by the hammer in recoil. The frame was milled out slightly behind the trigger and a shorter trigger was installed to help shooters with smaller hands.

    The one thing that they didn’t do was to install better sights. That was and is the major problem in shooting a GI issue .45 well without a consierable amount of training and practice.

    I was present at Dam Neck in the mid 60’s when some of the Navy’s inventory of Model 1911 and Model 1911A-1 pistols were checked out prior to return to Colt for repair and rebuild. Just for curiousity some of us who were experienced .45 shooters took these “worn out” pistols to the range just to see how bad they were. Shooting GI 230 grain hardball ammo, we were suprised to see that even the worst ones were still capable of grouping in the 3″ to 4″ range at 25 yards which is good enough for your average combat use.

    Since most all of our national pistol shooting records at Camp Perry were shot with Model 1911 type pistols, it should be obvious that there is nothing wrong with the basic design. Most of the stories about the inaccuracy of the Model 1911 series are repeated by folks who just didn’t get the right kind of training.

  • Andy J.

    I recall several trips to the Chesepeak Bay in Virginia for disposal of 1911A1 pistols, Ammo, and other surplus of the like. You name it, we threw it in the water. Much of this equiptment was still in good working condition just no records to justify why it was there.

  • Richard Marksberry

    As a former Marine I never found a 1911-A1 that wasn’t capable of staying inside 12″ at 25 yards.

    However I have found many once a year shooters that found it hard to even print on the paper.

    I’m not impressed with the little 9mm Pea Shooters.

  • Anthony Randall (Raz

    Well here’s my couple of cent’s into the matter. Having been in the Marine Corps as a grunt from 1979 thru 1996 I can say that I have had the pleasure of using the M1911A and the M9 for many years, not to toot my own horn I am a Expert Rifleman 10th Award and an Expert Pistol 7th Award, using the M1911A was my baptistism of fire when I first shot for score with hand me downs 1911’s that we received from the Army, anyway when I first went to the pistol range we BZOed and then were allowed to use pasties to after we got our POA (point of aim) but that was only with the 1911A’s I scoreed the very first time a High Expert, I then went to FAST Company M.C. Security Force Battalion where we received M9’s the first in the Corps I might add and at Northwest, anyway the M9’s are all right if you apply failure to stop drill’s you know two to the chest one to the head in 6-9 seconds as we all had to do to graduate from school and we didn’t have to worry about AD’s unless you were a idiot while handling the M9 weapon. It was phased in only because of WM’s and men with small hands plus it held 15 rounds, I have one no but I use Hydroshock and other “rounds” if you know what I mean for my personal carry. You can stay in the fight longer with 15 well aimed rounds versus 7 well aimed rounds. “Sight alignment sight picture, slow steady squeeze to the rear”….OOOhh Rahh!!

  • Richard Marksberry

    Admirable Razorblade,

    Though it concerns me that we keep repeating history deliberately. If you don’t have HPs the 9 ain’t a stopper when his adrenalin is pumping and determined to get to you. More rounds in the mag ain’t the answer nor does it inspire better marksmanship from the new grunts. The M16 is another example of reducing recoil to reduce flinching but you are still packing the weight with less punch. Bring back the M14 and the 1911-A1 and give em something to really fight with.

    As a matter of fact I hear that the .45 is back in trials again.

  • Bob Wills

    Wow, got a lot of bitter “commentors” – so much so I went back and reread the article. When I first qualified with a 1911 (in 1971), I qualified a high expert. The second time I was lucky to qualify marksman. The difference was the second armory gun was very sloppy. I now own three 1911s, all are very tight and very accurate.

  • Britt

    Interesting comment by wacurry… I am confused though as Mr Daniel does not present himself as either an expert on shooting or a crack shot, merely as someone who discovered one way to bring his groups down to a more reasonable size.

    If wacurry has a personal grudge against Mr. Daniel, I suggest that this is the wrong venue in which to discuss it, perhaps another, more suitable venue could be found.

    I was in the 10th Mountain Division from 86 – 89 (2/22 light infantry) and we were issued .45’s qualified, then issued beretta’s… all before 1990.

  • Norvin Gandolph

    It is very interesting that wacurry has not responded to any of the criticizing being thrown his way…kinda like the guy who starts a bar fight and then sneaks out the back when it gets to hot.

    1st batt. 14th Inf.
    an khe
    rvn 70/71

  • Richard Marksberry

    Come on guys, what you have here is a person that never did anything for his country eccept pay his taxes, maybe..

    Either that or he’s USAF and we know they can’t shoot BB guns without closing their eyes and flinching.

  • Noah Dillion

    When I reported to my unit at Soc Trang Army Airfield in Nov 1968, Iwas sent to the range to qualify with the 45 cal.
    I couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn with it, so I went back and checked out a 38 and quailfied with it.
    I always wondered why, I love to shoot, and have done so since I was old enough to pick up a Daisy “Red Rider”.
    Thanks for the answer to a 40 year old mystery…

  • hank85713

    I dont know what the fuss is all about. I qualified with both the .38 and the .45 and you know what the difference was? Range and stopping power! The .38 was lighter and it could be thrown farther, the .45 was heavier so if it hit ya when it was thrown it would knock ya down quicker. In all honesty all military weapons leave a lot to be desired. I qual’d with a ruger .38, the cylinder was oval, had to turn it by had to get it into battery. .45s were loose but theyoriginal poster was right, if ya wanted to do better ya needed to either fix what ya had (lotsa luck there) or as one other poster did learn how to fire what ya had.

    The guys critcizing the original poster just dont know, and the guys that talk about how great the issue weapons are has never been ther IMO. 1969 qualed with an M14, coulnt hit anything, thing was so clapped out the rear sight would not hold zero. we had better weapons on the bayonet course! M60 was so bad it would not fire more than 2-3 on burst, qualed by single shot. M16s no range, 300M target super elevate to get there, great up close. Know your weapons, BTW I got to be expert with all, just had to know the weapon.

    Why the .38? Thats all aircrews could have, no spent shells in the cockpit to get jamed into the controls. Never did get to fire/qual with the 9mm, retired before the unit I was in got them in 94, as stated has no stopping power from what I have read, both mil and civ unless the individual is lightly clothed.

    No expert, but did put up with gov’t issue weapons for 24 years. Just remember everyone has an opinion and opinions are like a-holes, everyone has one of them too.

  • Noah Dillion

    Second entry, after reading some very good comments I’d like to ask a question..
    Being an old 3 year Army veteran, firing expert with high marks with both the M-16 and M-14.

    How do these punks hit anything laying the weapon on its side and not aming at all?

    I’m thankful to GOD that I was noever in the bush and confronted with the life/death “baptism by fire”

    My hat is off to all of you who did.Mine happened during a mortar attack on the airfield, and at the time I was carrying a 12ga Savage pump (never qualified with it, just was issued it when I pulled reventment guard)

  • Shot expert as a PFC in the Corps in 1988 with a .45
    BUT… they were all laid out on a table and I’d just read a Guns N Ammo article on barrel bushings. So, I grabbed ’em and shook ’em, listening and feeling for slop.
    I got a good tight one and was one of only 2 Marine Corps pistol experts in my company.
    Semper Fi!

  • Brad

    I have fired thousands of rounds with a 45 from old Remingtons to more modern colts & their copies. The barrel/bushing/slide assy is critical to accuracy in my opinion. As a current military member our weapons get a lot of use in training and overseas. That is the cause of his worn parts, period. Buying his own parts is a bit extream, but if it worked more power to him. As far as the stopping power 45 over 9 anytime or any place. I would rather have known ability than empty the mag and hope the target falls down. All the vets out there know hitting a moving target thats trying to kill you is not as easy hitting paper. Shot placement is key to stopping any issue. The more power the better..45 is king

  • Robert Galloway, LTC

    What a wild bunch. Some real ***holes. I owned a 1911 long before I came into the army (1976). It’s a good weapon. The fact that the Army would have so many around in such bad shape and ready to issue is a shame. The M-16 is also a shame in my humble opinion. The .223 round was adopted, again in my opinion simply because so many green city recruits were unhappy with recoil. Rather than give them enough training to be proficient with a real weapon, the BB gun was adopted as the official arm. Again, just one man’s opinion

  • kenneth yeisley

    Have to get my 2 bits in here, I know that the 45 has great stoppin power but lets qualify that: twice, onec in japan and once in nam witnessed 45 wounds that penetrated the persons body but did little real damage. First ,in japan one man was assigned as “tail gunner” guarding a man from the stockade that was allowed on a field exercise,the shooter ,thinking the man had supposedly been messing with his girl fired a shot under the table at the man who was sitting at the right side of the table, the bullit struck him above the left hip bone, traveled through and nicked the right hip bone then struck an NCO in the ear lobe.the man was back for duty in 3 weeks,, The other as when one of my viet interpreters was cleaning his 45 ,it discharged and hit my viet scout in the upper right chest area,traveled through and exited the back. Yhu was back in 1 month.ON the other side of the coin I was using a thompson 45 when we were attacked in thick jungle and I hit 3 nva comming towards me at about 15 feet,. it sat all three back on their butts permanently, I only carried it twice, too heavy,,

  • Richard Marksberry


    Hank, a bullet never knocked anything down, that’s cowboy talk. Kill yes, knockdown no.
    Think about it 230 grains vs. 230 pounds.

    Get hit and fold like a sack of potatoes. You don’t fall back and tumble like a movie.

    Couldn’t hit anything with an M-14??? What, were you blindfolded or just Bullsh—–? Even the worst recruits I’ve seen could hit the black somewhere most of the time.

    You really didn’t QUAL. did you?

  • Richard Marksberry

    Kenneth When were you in NAM?
    What outfit?

  • Daniel J Donnelly

    I was in Marine Corps 54-58 and an M.P. in San Diego.Cal. I fired Expert with a colt 45. there was nothing wrong with my cold.

  • Daniel J Donnelly

    I was in Marine Corps 54-58 and an M.P. in San Diego.Cal. I fired Expert with a colt 45. there was nothing wrong with my cold.

  • Daniel J.Donnelly

    I now fire on Marine Corps League pistol team, and fire a Kimber match.with all the great things. My son just back from Quwait fired my Kimber,and the Police Sgt. that runs the range said he wishes that my son would join the County Police.He said there is no one on the Police can shoot the bullseye out at 60 my son.

  • Dan French

    In 1988 to 1990 I was a invited to the steel challenge.
    Only the the top 200 shooters in the world are invited each year. The gun used by 90% of the shooters was non other than the Colt 45 automatic.
    For knock down, reliability and any other test you would like to put it to it is and always has been the “King on the hill” Do you know why the U.S. Army and many police forces have gone to the 9mm?
    It holds more rounds and because most of them shoot like you they need more bullets to hit any thing. If you are ever going to talk or write about a subject ever again I would suggest next time you do it about something you know at least a little about.
    Sgt Dan French
    Hawk Recon Platoon
    101st Airborne

  • Oz

    I never served in combat while in my sky blue uniform, but later worked as a civilian for the small arms test and development center for the Navy for some twelve years. Our work was good enough that SOCOM came to us for much of their small arms and accessories development. The 1911 is STILL the sidearm of choice for both those operators and for me. Mine is a Remington Rand much like the one Eric pulled from armory, but mine got “the treatment” as soon as it was mine.

    For those who may be interested, S/N 0000016 M1911A1 is in the Navy’s small arms museum at Crane, IN and could be put back into firing / issue condition in about two minutes. It was pulled off the chopping block because of its low S/N. Otherwise,its steel would have been shipped to Barretta to make pea shooters just like several tens of thousands of other 1911’s. The “chopping block” was a 20 ton shear. Yup, cut ’em up and gave the steel to Barretta as part of the contract.

    Even this civilian can hold a two inch group at 25 w/ my RemmyRand. Love it.

  • AZ-Stew former GMC U

    Two things that haven’t been mentioned here:

    1. The issue 1911s have crappy triggers.

    2. In pistol shooting, trigger control is EVERYTHING.

    Whenever I took Seabees to the range for quals, the biggest problem was people who couldn’t control the trigger. To many of them, the .45 kicked a lot. To others, they BELIEVED it kicked a lot (learned by rumor). In both cases, anticipation of perceived or actual (depending on the shooter) heavy recoil prevented them from being able to concentrate on trigger control.

    I’ve had many a sailor tell me his .45 won’t hit the target (they’re all inaccurate, you know), but when I shot a demo for them they learned the pistol was quite capable. A reasonably good pistol shooter should be able to qualify at least Sharpshooter with any issue 1911.

    My $0.02.


    Chief Stewart

  • Jose G. Colon

    As a brand new 2LT in D Co 1/72 Armor in Camp Casey,Tongduchon, Korea in the summer of 1986, the company armorer told me to choose from the rack from the ones w/o tags. The 1911A1 that had minimun rattle when shaked was serial no. 1026834, with a Colt slide and barrel. At about 7 meters I was able to put a 2″ 5 shot headshots with two strays on the neck of the silhouette. I was lucky to get one of the few good ones. Later I almost cause an international incident with the same pistol but that is another story. (No negligent discharge, but have you ever used a 1911A1 as a bottle opener in front of a Korean soldier?………….)

  • Hank85713

    Mr Marksberry, evidently you cannot read or understand what you do read. I never said anything about cowboy shooting, what was an analogy was beyond you I guess. I first qualed with the winchester model 52, 22, then the M1 all military issue. tell ya what you go hit the black with a weapon zeroed for 12 up and about X right, have the rear peep travel down as you shoot and tell me what a sharpshooter you are. P;emty of guys bolo or qual with a bolo badge (marksman), but in 1969 we had some real fine weapons, and that is what this initial post was about, the crap that the soldiers have always had to put up with. I have an auto ord 45, good weapon, but I bought it new and have taken care of it, as most have said, a good quality weapon as when used as a personal weapon for whatever. take one that has been used to qual a couple of hundred folks, or ones that meet Mil Spec but is still worn you get as has been described by me and the others, and this is with any weapon. No the military does not mean to provide crappy weapons but as they are used, and still meet “specs” they are just recycled until they dont. and if you are the one that gets stuck with one that meets minimum serviceability specs well take it from there.

    How many of you got a brand new m151 to drive from the motorpark, or a new UH-1 to thrash around? They all met specification for use, some were better some were worse, luck of the draw and I guess how tight you were with the armorer or the motor sgt.

  • Hard to be polite when reading wa curry’s retort to a very interesting comment by Eric Daniel.
    A lot of strange characters out there in them thar hills…I wish I still had my army issue colt ’45

    I purchased a new civil model some years back; still my favorite pistol and I have many in my collection. Back in 1962 (Ft. Dix) we did indeed have to disassemble/assemble our colts, burp guns & M1’s blindfolded. (armorer, ’63-’65, 275th Signal Co. Blockhouse, Paris, France)


  • Hi,

    I read last year in a european journal that the US Army was thinking of bringing back the Colt ’45 ! Can anyone confirm?

    Below find the comments of my buddy Larry, ex Nam fighter pilot (shot down over & lost for 5 days in the Parrot’s Beak,Cambodia) & Colt affecionado


    I used to shoot competitively. I have a pair of Colts, both accuratized from a California gunsmith, a standard configuration and a chop and channel for combat shooting. Anyone that ever did any competitive shooting knows about accuratizing the 1911. The Roger Manning Colt in those days cost about $1100 compared to about $200 for one out of the box.


  • William S Birge

    Shooting is 10 percent weapon and 90 percent shooter. I served in the Corps from 1962 to 1983. My weapons of issue for the first seven years were the M1A1 gerand, the M14, then the M16. At the time I left boot camp I barely qualified as “Marksman.” As time, training, and practice accrued I got my “Sharpshooter” then “Expert” badges. During these first seven years I “fam-fired” the M1911A1 .45 and did okay but not great. When I became a Staff-NCO, the .45 became my issue weapon. The first year I worked my way through “Markman, Sharpshooter, and Expert” again. I qualified “Expert” for the remainder of my time in the Corps because of training and practice. I only fired my .45 one time for real. I hit the little fart in the right heel and the power of the bullet flip him completely off his feet, putting him out of action.

  • BigDuke

    That’s right I said it “All you Comp shooters are full of Iraqi’s (S*it).
    In my experience in a CQB situation (4) it’s 10 feet or less everytime, so far, and by god when you’re facing a Haji hell bent on revoking your membership to the planet a reflex shot to the chest with a Colt .45 ends the test PERIOD there’s no
    “Getting Up” they should have dumped all the M-9’s in the bay they make great artifical reefs..


  • BigDuke

    That’s right I said it “All you Comp shooters are full of Iraqi’s (S*it).
    In my experience in a CQB situation (4) it’s 10 feet or less everytime, so far, and by god when you’re facing a Haji hell bent on revoking your membership to the planet a reflex shot to the chest with a Colt .45 ends the test PERIOD there’s no
    “Getting Up” they should have dumped all the M-9’s in the bay they make great artifical reefs..


  • Bob Johnson

    Back in 1960-61, I was assigned to the ARCOS station in Kodiak, Alaska. We had six or seven .45s, none of which were very accurate. However, by switching parts around over the year I was stationed there, I finally had a weapon that would at least shoot a decent pattern. I somehow knew the problem had something to do with the barrel, but didn’t have the knowledge the story indicated the LT had.

  • Eric

    wacurry you are a homo….Read the complete article before you talk crap.

  • wow! one thing is for sure everyone has an opinion on the ’45…. a true love – hate relationship?
    Chris V

    another comment hereunder from my buddy Arvid.

    “You have just answered a question I had in my mind about my 45. At least I could hit the target but grouping? the shots were all over the place. I was told if I ever had to use it, to shoot at the guys feet and watch for the spatter and the second shot correct your aim and you’ll get him. Lucky for me, I never had to use it that way.” Arvid Willen (USN – WW II)

  • Mad 1

    Never had the pleasure of shooting the mil-issued 1911, but I can only assume that as with all of the other issued small arms one would never be able to achieve the maximum accuracy. The reason is simple – unless the weapon is new or is specifically assigned to an individual, then it has been used, abused, and poorly cleaned over and over and over… So it is no surprise that Mr. Daniel encountered an accuracy problem with his .45. Good article, though.

    Question for all of the .45 caliber fans, as a .45 pistol owner myself, I believe that the caliber is excellent for home protection and close (real close) combat. However, in my opinion .40 would make a better military round due to higher velocity, better accuracy, and more energy, and decent stopping power. Also, I think if 1911s are to make a return in the military, the grip safety should be discarded – it’s not necessary and the more moving parts there are in a weapon, the more moving parts can break, jam, rust, etc… Nostalgic attachments to weapons of “better days” aside, any input?

    – The Russian (every military needs at least one)

  • TS Dunmire

    I was taught at age 12 that a good marksman learns the weapons strengths and exploits them then learns the weakness’s and improves/masters them by compensating. At 13 I fired my Fathers 1911A1 and with a little practice I became extremely proficient with it. I was also taught a very healthy respect for weapons and their care. At 18 I joined the Marine Corps where we got to Fam-Fire the 9mm and the M1911A1. I had only fired the Baretta twice before but it left me feeling like Goliath with a rubber-band gun. However the 1911 had the punch needed. I have consistently fired High Sharpshooter or Expert with the M14, M16 and the M9 and my own 1911. But after a friend of mine got pounded by a “Tango” after shooting him 5 times with the M9 I would venture to say it is time to look at stopping power over rounds available. I have always felt that with the 1911 even if you shoot them in their big toe with a 1911 they arent coming back for seconds.
    With that said, I think the orginal poster had the notion that Uncle Sam provides Servicemembers with the best equipment available. Try again. After 18 years and still counting I have learned that it isnt if you have the best…it is if you do the best with what you have.

    USMC Sep 1989-Sep 1993
    US Army Jan 1994-present

  • Nathan Funderburk

    I think the idea of dumping all those 1911’s into sanfrancisco bay is about the most depressing thing I’ve heard today.
    Kudos to wacurry for being a jackass, there’s got to be one of them in every location. I personally haven’t shot a 1911, but I have some technical skill, and can imagine that a barrel that floats when the slide is full forward isn’t very useful. (I have a browning 1922 that does that. It doesn’t go out much.) But I think the important lesson here is that wacurry, despite his self-bolstering remarks, probably is the one who “couldn’t put 10 rounds in the black at 50 yards if someone gave him a box full of ammunition and day to do it.” (and I quote)
    But seriosuly, pistols were never meant to be accurate at long distances, (past 50m) and pistols that are designed to that specification probably won’t be practical in a pistol-correct enviroment. Say, in a house.
    And as my grandfather, who pledged by the 1911, said when I asked him; “Didn’t the japanese have crappy rifles on okinawa?”
    “They kill you just as well.”

  • Phil

    I started out as a Unit Armorer 25 years ago and was eventually assigned to a MP Company in Hawaii. We had over a hundred 45’s and a few 38 revolvers. I was able to order match grade parts thru the supply system. Over time, I put together a dozen good shootin 45’s that everyone used for qualifications. As for daily carry the 38’s never left the arms room.

  • rporter

    To BW Jones’ comment Oct 8, 2007. As the former officer in charge of the 11th coast guard district armory in alameda during the transition from the 1911A1 to the M9, i know that all .45’s turned in were sent to the small arms repair facility in illinois. NO goverment issue weapons were ever dumped in the bay. On a side note: there were times when the FBI and other agencies brought confiscated weapons used in crimes to the federal armories to be cut, welded and destroyed. The scrap was then loaded on barges and dumped in the Pacific Ocean at undisclosed locations. If your coast guard cousin told you anything different he was swappin spit in a sea story. Roger that!!

  • ski

    The origional story had army all over it. I qualed exp. w/45 even as sloppy as some said they were out of the armory up until the 92 came along. Berreta should have made a 45 version too. The 45 cannot get back into service fast enough as far as I am concerned. Anyway, there has never been a more perfect firearm in regards to reliability, accuracy, hit results and just down right tough as the 1911 in .45. I have fired in both competition and anger and still carry it today…


  • PFC Wilson

    I entered the service a little late to play with the .45, but did qual with a 9mm. What the hell were they thinking when the bought the damn things? That little popgun was almost as reliable as my M-16, which means I had about a 50% chance of making it work right.
    Someone posted a comment a while ago that most pistols weren’t made for shooting beyond 50 feet. I did find little custom job a while back that fires a .223, and takes an M-16 30 round mag. I’ll be damned if it wasn’t a better shooter than the M-16A2 I used in basic. Too much muzzle velocity to use safely for home defense, but fun nonetheless. Funny too, when you take it to a civilian rifle range and get a tighter group than the dude with an AR-15 at 150m

  • Rafael Pabon

    Let,s all remember that we are talking about the pistol design and reliability. The .45ACP ammunition is great on any pistol or revolver. By many standards any ammunition that the caliber start with a “4” it is good.

  • Bachrach

    As I remember it the services, except for a few spec ops types switched to the Beretta in the early to mid 80’s. As I recall going through boot camp, we were the last platoon to fire the 1911A1 and when we qualified in the fleet we used the 9mm. I talked to a couple of my buddies who were and still are armorers for the Army and they don’t know how any active duty non-spec ops unit member qualified on the 1911A1 in the ’90s. Guess also the Army is a lot more lax on modifing your qual weapon than the Corps as that would not only have gotten us pulled off the range but sent up for office hours before the CO most ricky tick. As far as the 1911 goes, I agree with the one write who said the accuracy or inaccuracy of that weapon was only as good or as bad as the person pulling the trigger. The first time I fired the .45 in boot camp, the weapon was stamped on the slide as manufactured in the 1950s. Yeah, the barrel was sloppy and yeah it was well used, but I not only qualified but shot expert with it.

  • William Stewart

    Most of you are right the 92F is a Sports car but like one it needs allot of care and is not a Tank like the 45.,Hand guns are like a good knife close in fighting but if you are not trained there worthless. I carried my 45. in the NAVY and I own one now. As for weight gos I would not go swimming with it around my neck but on the job I knew it was there. Pretty much any pistol at close rang will kill you but for Combat that is another school of thought. Most of the Sailors that I stood watch with only needed the 38cal. because they were so stupid you could’nt trust them with a ROCK.

  • Any confirmation that the dumped 1911’s actually hit the Bay? ? ?

  • hwpearson md

    i was an or tech in the usaf in the early 60s…don’t laugh, this is no combat tale. i was a constant 298 shot with the carbine , but only a torso hit with the .45…However….i worked on an army bunker who was shot once in the gut by an mp…let me tell you, you only need to be a torso hitter..his intestines looked like rats had been at them..don’t know how he did, but i’ll take the .45 as a stopping sidearm and take my chances with my poor marksmanship..hopefully i won’t ever need it…thanks for all you guys standing up.

  • tommy sargent

    Thanks to Mr. Daniel and also to Mr. James Smith. Now I know why, despite easy hands and 20/10 eyesight, I rated a mere Marksman with the 1911 back in 1979. I swore to the range officer that I could see the rounds arcing down and away, and he said I was crazy.

  • tommy sargent

    Thanks to Mr. Daniel and also to Mr. James Smith. Now I know why, despite easy hands and 20/10 eyesight, I rated a mere Marksman with the 1911 back in 1979. I swore to the range officer that I could see the rounds arcing down and away, and he said I was crazy.

  • bcarter

    wacurry has sucked his mother’s unit since 1974.

    i was on a destroyer until ’96 and we had a bunch of very used 1911s but they were still pretty accurate. as a matter of fact we still had m14s. i guess we got all of the hand-me-downs.

  • tgwright dds

    The arguments made bring back a lot of memories from duty with the Marines out of LeJeune in the early 70’s. I was assigned to Force Troops and stationed with the Engineers at Court House Bay. Often at lunch the staff went to the range and needed a qualified medical type there to be allowed to shoot.

    I had been shooting and reloading since I was twelve, so I figured that if I wanted to get some range time, this might be the only way this newly minted Navy Dentist might get to go. I went to the battalion armor and was given a vintage 1911. It looked like it had been through WWII, Korea and Viet Nam. The actual serial number showed manufacture in 1943.

    The first time I shot it, I couldn’t put a round on paper at 25 yards. A gunny took pity on me and we stripped it down and spent some time working on the action. After that it shot consistently about six inches low at the 5 o’clock position.

    After putting hundreds of rounds through that pistol I knew what it would and could do, and qualified that year and the next expert under Marine regs. When I deployed I managed to carry it with me during that 7.5 months.

    It wasn’t beautiful, and every one who shot it thought it was a “dog”, but it was my dog though, and I just wish I could have carried it with with me during my next 26 years of active duty.

    Because of that pistol I now has three of similar vintage, and they have a special place among the guns I own. Given the choice between carrying any one of the three and my Browning Hi Power, the 1911’s win every time.

  • shrapmagnet

    Most everyone here is at least partially right. Weapons that flop around will not be as accurate as tight ones. If they were, it would be a lot easier and cheaper to build sloppy weapons.Also, the govt. M1911 is not a good standard issue weapon for the following reasons:high recoil,too bulky for smaller operators,low capacity,non-NATO compatability, not sufficiently idiot-proof in terms of safety,and others.Many issues with the original design features not mentioned such as crappy sights, safety levers, etc can be corrected at considerable time and expense by the CORRECT fitting of the many good parts vailable on the custom aftermarket.Most of the other problems can be corrected with training. Until the “mainstream” army (i cant speak for the rest of the services because i dont know) addresses all of the issues, there wont be a solution. It is also true that an inept operator who has a weapon capable of firing and a single round of ammo will figure out a way to have an accident with it if given the opportunity to do so. The custom 1911 is my personal favorite. But, its not the best for MOST servicemembers. I accept this as a unchangeable fact.The M9 is not the ideal solution for a number of reasons, but we are stuck with it for the forseeable future, for better or worse. I have used a 9mm handgun twice in the real world. Both times it was used due to tactical necesity and the individuals were struck in the head, so i dont think it matters what caliber the weapon was or the bullet type or for that matter which make/model of weapon was used. I have no tales of 9mm failure to offer.The 45 ACP is a superior cartrige. It seems to me the best answer is a new design (possibly in 45) that will do the job efficiently and be as user-friendly as possible. Many designs are available now that are far superior to the M9 from a number of manufacturers, US and foreign.Bottom line is the operators will just have to sit and wait for whats next and hope the layers of procurement dont screw us again. If anyone cares, I am a SF weapons sgt and former SF instructor, 20 years on the job.

  • Bill Edwards

    I can attest to a similar scenario. I was stationed at Ord from 87 to 90, and purchased a Ballestar Molina .45. An Argentinian version of the 1911, trophy from teh Faulklin Island incident. I bought one for my father as well. Has some trinium sights mounted on his. Mine shot nice and tight, so I thought, until I went to the Western Gun Show here in San Diego, and purhased everything Daniel did, with the exception of a barrell bushing compensator. My father and I hand load, and wanted to push some FPS. Talk about bringing that grouping tight! But what do you expect? You take a used gun, and typically Gov’t issue has been used once or twice (save My A2 in OIT. Brand spankin new!) at least… The Ninjas at Ord are know for makin gear work on the fly. tightening up a 1911, during that time frame (even though the M9’s WERE being introduced then) is entirely not only feasible, but typical if you were a soldier used to the necessity of getting the job done.

    Kudos, Daniel-

    Ninja’s We Own The Night
    A 3/17th INF, 7th ID

  • the one captain hook

    As it turns out we all like the guns we can all shoot well,just like when you choose a lover.

  • the one captain hook fears, hay captain hook!!

    As it turns out we all like the guns we can all shoot well,just like when you choose a lover.

  • John Gullo

    To all you that understand a simple fact, If you can hit anything smaller than a beer can with a rattle trap 45 or can not keep a couple in the black at 500 hundred meters with a M-14 then you couldn

  • motorcycle_dan

    Interesting how much passion is brought to light about the 1911 pistol. I have personally seen only one Pistol not capable of <3" groups at 25 yards. It was shot with lots of lead bullets with poor lube or too fast. Once the bore was cleaned of lead, it shot 3" groups at 25yd. I've seen rack grade guns that rattled like a sack of bolts. Shoot great and keep shooting. I shoot competitively now and shoot a 1911. I don't believe "knock down" power has anything to do with a real fire fight. The goal is to poke enough holes in the target to lower their blood pressure to a point they are no longer a threat in the fight. Recoil and knock down power are equal and opposite. If it can knock them down, You'd have go get back up and verify that. My humble snipe opinion.
    GSCS USN ret. (the last group to give up the .45)

  • Gary Kurzawa

    I too have shot the 45 ACP to great extent and with confidence that I will be able to hit what I am shooting at the first time. My 45 is a US Navy issue from 1913. Yes, the barrel had to be replaced and some other small parts but it is a good shooter and as a defender I would not be without it.

  • clint sullivan

    I don’t think he can shoot. I had a 1911 when I was in the army in 1982 and qualified expert, and my drill instructer in basic put a shot group of 7 rounds in the bottom of a styro foam coffee cup at 25 meters with an off the rack amory issued weapon. This Eric Daniel is not only an idiot that can’t shoot but has insulted anyone that can. And that says nothing about the Lt. that was “helping” him. Clint Sullivan

  • charles voos

    Great article when you can generate 99 comments. Way to go
    cjv USN retired

  • Don P

    It has been some years since I shot the Colt .45 for qualifying. I do admit that when we switched to the 9mm I started scoring higher. Now that the USCG has switched from the 9mm to the SIG .40 we now have the accuracy of the 9mm with almost the same knockdown as the old Colt 45. DOD should follow DHS and switch.

  • Richard Marksberry

    Hey Motorcycle Dan,
    I enjoyed hearing about your days as a bench rest shooter.

    However, you’re right about knockdown power.

    The design of the .45 ACP with the 230 gr FMJ was to expend its energy 1/2 to 3/4 of the way through the body. That would be about or between 300 and 400 Ft.lbs. of energy.

    The only blood pressure it lowers is on the shooter who puts his adversary down.

    It will not knock anything down accept tin plates and light objects, certainly not people. If so it would be as you say (Paraphrasing) “picking yourself up to see what you hit”

    But it will kill people much better than most any other cartridges assuming they are not wearing body armor. I’ve always found the Gov. issue to be more than adequate.

  • Merriweather Jones

    The most of these people have no idea what they are talking about. Take it from me, an expert. The 45 is a fine weapon that gets the job done. If anyone in the military had half a brain they would readopt it as the service weapon. Belive me it will shoot well if you know what you are doing.

  • Pappy

    I learned small arms at my father & brother’s knees as a little boy. M-1911 & S&W 1917 .45ACP were the tools. Later on the 82d Pistol Team we were told to go back to the arms room & get the quietest one. That one was taken down to the bare frame and then we started to do the frame/slide, bbl, hood,link and bushing replacements with match issue parts. Sights “had” to remain the same, which sucked. A new recoil spring & mainspring did wonders. When I got to VN I carried my personally owned weapon. The old M-1917 S&W with half moon clips. Even got my photo in the papers with it while doing a tunnel. After VN I went back to M-1911A1, as issued, from the arms room. Subsequently I became a shooter & reloader doing competition with the M-1911A1 styles that I bought & modified or self built with custom frames & parts. I regularly do the NRA 25/50 yd matches & shoot @ 250+ – because I suck at 50 yds. One of my team guys brought out his array to the range for exercise. My daughter was @ 12 at the time. She did the .22, .32, .380, .38, 9mm, 45ACP & .44 mag. Her choice for the rest of the day was a .45ACP Para Ord that I built with a Colt Officers top. 13 rd double stack with a 12 year old little girl tearing the center out of combat targets at 7M & 10 ft. What all the above postings tend to leave out is the M-1911, as a trench proof gun, is wonderful. Stick it up close and bang. Same when I used the S&W .45 in the tunnels. IT’S A PISTOL / CARTRIDGE COMBINATION FOR COMBAT. It was made to function all the time and blow big holes in people. Some dork somewhere said “We must qualify.” Somebody forgot that frames, slides, bbls & all the other stuff wears a lot over years of continuous field stripping and limited shooting plus poor maintenance then gives it to “Joe” & expects him to shoot Expert at 25 yards with a 10 yd gun without any modification at all. Any modified 1911 style platform will produce better accuracy with better parts. It’s a no brainer. If somebody can get away with switching out parts or doing frame/slide work to make an issue piece do better good for them. Just remember that when the tolerances tighten up to match standard it’s no longer a people puncher -it’s a paper puncher and requires a significantly higher amount of maintenance. As for me, when I last shot a man it was with a .223 at a longer range than I shot the previous one with a .45. The .45 did a better job of putting him down in one shot that the .223 did, 3 actually. Power. That’s one of the reasons the .45 is coming back over the 9MM also. If one actually measures perceived recoil the 45 is softer and longer than a 9mm. The 9, although a smaller cartridge, it’s recoil is shorter, sharper and people expect it. Probably the worst case is that “everybody knows the 45 is big, so it recoils more, so I should push forward and down when I yank on the trigger” thing. The LEO’s have found out the old Elmer Keith statement is true: “If it doesn’t start with a 4 it’s too small.” When the services get new .45s things will be better. I just hope the Marksmanship training is better than a familiarization DVD then fire for qualification. At least starting out the “Joes” will not have to swap out parts to make better shooters. Oh, yes. One final thing: At the last Close Quarters Combat Instructors “bone up” I attended at the Special Warfare Center at Ft Bragg it was reiterated that the old double tap was no longer good with the 9MM unless it was 2 good head shots only. If not do 2 Center of mass & one in the mouth to eyeball region. New .45s are the best deal all around. Leave the 9s for NATO work or inter-country ammo use, if required, but get new .45s for pete’s sake!

  • KevinK

    In the 80’s I carried a colt in Centeral America. I also carried a 12guage shotgun. In 3 different fire fights I used both. They worked. I came home alive.

  • Richard Marksberry

    Good that you brought up the trench condition. Yes it (1911) has probably been used there more than anywhere else except Perhaps in house to house.

    The 1917 S&W is still a wonderful piece. with ACP or Auto Rim. I used one myself but my hand is somewhat small so I cocked it most of the time. Colt also produced the 1917 .45 but in my opinion it was not as strong or dependable. You might recall from history rotation from .45 to .38 and back to .45 and now .38/9mm and here we go again. Go to .45 and stay there. I’m sick of TFXs, Edsels, people who couldn’t hit their own asses with a paddle and Popguns.

  • Wow! This has been quite the barn burner of a topic. I won’t get into the heated debate of the 1911 vs. the M9.

    Pardon me while I shamelessly plug my hat mounted camera first person shooting videos. The latest videos of are of USPSA’s Missouri Fall Classic Match. It was my first major USPSA match ever.

    A’yup, I’m shooting a Beretta but in .40 and downloaded to about a 135 power factor (bullet weight in grains times muzzle velocity).

    Here’s the link:

  • gnienhuis

    Nice to see so many compliments for the “old” 1911. Got to use one at the range when a Calif NG medevac medic, and loved it. Got one for myself, and took cop range training with it. Later as a 1SG in Army Reserve, went on the line with it after the Battallion officers & CSM fired theirs. The CSM was an ex-cop, so he did OK, but as I told the LtCol, the officers would have been dead in combat. They couldn’t shoot, and they didn’t know how to reload fast. They asked me to show them, and one of the drill sergeants ran me through the positions. I had a crowd around me at the end. Most of my rounds hit the 25 m. target within a 3″ circle, no matter which position I was in, or how fast I fired. That one is still my weapon of choice for self defense. Also bought my wife, also now an Army Reserve MSG, one of the Springfield basic GI 45’s last year. She knows how to shoot it well too. I know some of the old WWI/II 45s got a bit worn and sloppy, but at 7 yds they would still do the job. It’s no wonder that even though today’s troops are issued the 9mm, Special Ops stays with 45s.

  • Nathan Funderburk

    As for stopping power, it very much is a factor in ballistic design.

    I’d pay to see any person try to stand up to 400 foot pounds of energy, spread over an area of about four square inches, and dissapating over a lenght of six inches in a fraction of a second.
    You can try it at home too!
    have a friend place a 2×2 wood spar against your chest, then hit it with a hammer at 400 foot-pounds of energy.
    No please don’t do that.
    It’s that kind of force that, if it doesn’t kill you, will certainly put you out of conscious commission for a while.
    If stopping power weren’t a facor then we’d all fight wars with 22lr, because it’s cheap. Not that the M4-a1 or ar15 isn’t just a .22 on stereroids. It’s just nice to know that your bullet is going to pound the hell out of the enemy. Isn’t that what we’re trying to say here?

  • Richard Beck

    Well now, lets hear aabout the M1 garand. As an old timer I quess I think I would rather have the 1911 colt and the M1 garand today.
    MSgt USMC


    Has anyone out there ever hear of Kimber USA? The 1911 is a body stopper and was designed for close range and to shot a cone of fire of 6 inches, a standard issue that is. Someone said 7 feet normal combat range, I’m sure that is correct because its the average for law enforcement shooting. The M9 is nice for the double tap and I saw Force Recon fire this daily while on ship during West Pac. Their 1911’s were worked on, not standard rack pistols. I taught thosands of Marines marksmanship, shot NRA matches and now personal carry revolvers and automatic pistols. Bottom line you must be one with the weapon and apply BRASS evrytime, even though it only takes a second. Before all that one must have a good hold on the pistol to do the business. One who draws and the weapon flies in the air and nothing but a — —- look on their face. At Div MTU they let me go to matches and teach myself how to shoot, I wasn’t part of the Div Team, but from time to time some would share and I’d learned. During lunch I’d go to a open range and shoot a couple boxes of hardball. I was a young Sgt., this one time I was shooting next to a SSgt. who had a bad day with his rack pistol. He was shooting everywhere but his target. He made a comment he would be able to shoot better if he had a pistol like mine. I said ” Here! You still have to apply marksmanship” He gave me his psitol and ask ne to check it out. With his pistol I shot 5 time fire shots and had a 3 inch group at 25 yards. He shot my pistol and continued to shot the 15 yard line and in front of his target. It seems its always about the basics…


    Has anyone out there ever hear of Kimber USA? The 1911 is a body stopper and was designed for close range and to shot a cone of fire of 6 inches, a standard issue that is. Someone said 7 feet normal combat range, I’m sure that is correct because its the average for law enforcement shooting. The M9 is nice for the double tap and I saw Force Recon fire this daily while on ship during West Pac. Their 1911’s were worked on, not standard rack pistols. I taught thosands of Marines marksmanship, shot NRA matches and now personal carry revolvers and automatic pistols. Bottom line you must be one with the weapon and apply BRASS evrytime, even though it only takes a second. Before all that one must have a good hold on the pistol to do the business. One who draws and the weapon flies in the air and nothing but a — —- look on their face. At Div MTU they let me go to matches and teach myself how to shoot, I wasn’t part of the Div Team, but from time to time some would share and I’d learned. During lunch I’d go to a open range and shoot a couple boxes of hardball. I was a young Sgt., this one time I was shooting next to a SSgt. who had a bad day with his rack pistol. He was shooting everywhere but his target. He made a comment he would be able to shoot better if he had a pistol like mine. I said ” Here! You still have to apply marksmanship” He gave me his psitol and ask ne to check it out. With his pistol I shot 5 time fire shots and had a 3 inch group at 25 yards. He shot my pistol and continued to shot the 15 yard line and in front of his target. It seems its always about the basics…

  • Nathan Funderburk

    Mr. Beck-
    Definitely, the garand is one of my favourites. It is an all around phenominal weapon. Right up there with the Mosin Nagant and Mauser in accuracy.
    Unfortunately, due to US regulations, rifle calibers above 6.8mm are too high recoil for small-framed enlisted peoples. Sad, isn’t it?

  • Oz

    As the CG OIC stated, all those fine sidearms met their end in the small arms repair facility, in Indiana, though, not Illinois, and certainly not at Alameda.

  • Kelly Schanzenbach

    I have a Remington 1911A1 issued as “Captured Enemy Equipment” issued in Norway, 1945. With a ‘micro’ barrel and bushing, I have shot it in Second Army and Camp Perry matches. Before I had it accurized, I couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn, but with the new barrel and bushing, I was putting 4 out of 5 in the black. Carried a S&W pea-
    shooter in Nam as a helicopter
    pilot; sure missed the heavy
    artillery 45. In 1943, an old
    MSG told me, “You hit where you aim”.

  • Kelly Schanzenbach

    I have a Remington 1911A1 issued as “Captured Enemy Equipment” issued in Norway, 1945. With a ‘micro’ barrel and bushing, I have shot it in Second Army and Camp Perry matches. Before I had it accurized, I couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn, but with the new barrel and bushing, I was putting 4 out of 5 in the black. Carried a S&W pea-
    shooter in Nam as a helicopter
    pilot; sure missed the heavy
    artillery 45. In 1943, an old
    MSG told me, “You hit where you aim”.

  • Kelly Schanzenbach

    I have a Remington 1911A1 issued as “Captured Enemy Equipment” issued in Norway, 1945. With a ‘micro’ barrel and bushing, I have shot it in Second Army and Camp Perry matches. Before I had it accurized, I couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn, but with the new barrel and bushing, I was putting 4 out of 5 in the black. Carried a S&W pea-
    shooter in Nam as a helicopter
    pilot; sure missed the heavy
    artillery 45. In 1943, an old
    MSG told me, “You hit where you aim”.

  • Richard Marksberry

    Nathan, it isn’t a matter of standing up to it. You are not shooting a 10# sledge hammer out the barrel. It is simple to prove. Take a 50# block of clay 12″x10″x25″ tall and shoot it with your .45. Trust me, it ain’t going nowhere. It especially isn’t going to tumble or flip or jump into the air. Hang it from a poast and it will just bearly swing. Where do you get this stuff? Are you one of those guys that give non shooters a reason to believe the cr-p Hollywood spits out?
    You need to communicate with OZ the Mosin Nagant agent and swap dreams.

  • Richard Marksberry

    Mr. Beck,

    You are right, there should be an M1 Garand forum. I cut my teeth on them in the Corps.

    Never met a Garand I didn’t like.

  • Butch Govoni

    Re: Richard Marksberry’s comment “poor mouthing” the Air Force and their shooting skills. I take issue with your comments slighting anybodys branch of the service! We all stood the call and served our country regardless of which branch of the service it might have been! It’s bad enough to get berated by all the politicians and bleeding hearts but from a fellow bother-in-arms, that’s not called for or necessary! And yeah I spent my time in the Air Force and I am damn proud of it! And by the way I know some expert Air Force marksmen that could probably put a round in your ass and out your big mouth and still put it in the black at 25M.

    USAF 64-73, Viet Nam vet
    Duty, Honor, Country

  • dddaddy01

    As a curator and a Marine I find it hard to swallow that a Remington Rand would have been in service at that time due to the fact so few were made.

  • I can remember having a Colt 45 as an assistant gunner in the 4.2in plt. The lower receiver was manufactured by Ithaca Gun Co. It was accurate and reliable. Sometime later the lower receiver was switched out to a Remington lower receiver, much to my dismay. It seem not to fire as well on the ranges. I guess some knuckleheads were cleaning them and perhaps switch some of the parts. I can see why many of them(M1911’s) wouldn’t be as accurate.

  • “Old Chief&quot

    Back in the “50’s”, while assigned to the Norfolk Naval Air Station, I was sent to the range to fire weapons and being a “hillbilly” who grew up hunting and such, since knee high to a grasshopper, I did above average with the 45 and other weapons I was given to fire. Long story short, I ended up in a special unit called the Blue Jackets Guard, sleeping in a special barracks, standing armed guard on sensitive aircraft at the O&R facility, and was trained by a USMC “Gunny Sargent” who did make us learn to field strip our weapons and re-assemble them blindfolded along with all of the other manuvers, hand to hand combat training etc. In other words, when I was not at my regular duty assignments, he owned us and taught us well. If given a choice of weapon(s) today, I would take a 45 for my side and the garand for my rifle “oops “piece” Gunny, my mistake!! Both very reliable weapons. AS my old pappy used to say, when all things are considered, “It’s the nut behind the butt” whether it’s how you shoot or have an accident. How in the hell do you shoot yourself or someone else while cleaning a gun? The first rule should always be, make certain the weapon is empty, unloaded, no bullets, etc. I would have had my donkey kicked if I ever “accidently discharged my weapon or didn’t clear the action before I did another thing to it” During my twenty as an “Airdale” in the Navy,I was often accused of being a former Marine who went Navy by my Marine buddies, especially when I was assigned to MCAS KANEOHE during Nam. Cheers to all of you who have posted, and don’t be too harsh on each other, life’s too short to have a coronary over it!!

  • Mark

    I own 2 personal 1911s, a Colt Series 70 and a Springfield Inc. GI style. All I can say is the design sufficed for 80 years and DoD wasn’t wise enough to pick up on that and buy new ones. Oh, I also own a BHP Mk3. All very nice carry pieces.

  • sean

    you could have saved a lot of cash with a springfield 1911. you can knock a gnat off a fly’s a$$ with it, & it will last longer too.

  • sean

    you could have saved a lot of cash with a springfield 1911. you can knock a gnat off a fly’s a$$ with it, & it will last longer too.

  • sean

    also, the pistol isn’t what’s missing the target, civvie

  • sean

    taylor, you’re a dork, go away

  • shipdriver50

    Let me just say this about this pistol. It was not produced by Remington Rand. They made typewriters, not guns and eventually, Remington Rand was bought out by UNIVAC. This weapon was manufactured by Remington Arms in Ilion, NY, which is 10 miles from my old home in the Mohawk Valley. It was produced under license from Colt as were the revolvers of the civil war era.

  • Mickey Fox

    Interesting. I remember how, when qualifying, I would grab a hot pistol (one that had been previously used). The premise was that as the heat expanded the barrel, the “slop” was lessened, making the piece much more accurate.

    What Eric has posted is absolutely correct, the problem was never really the crappy and dirty Isreali ammo we were using, but the slp tolerance that was “good enuff for government work.” I am happy to see that the benefits of having an experienced “Gunny” are so well llustrated by this story.

    Good Job Eric.

  • Bill Stratford

    Wow! Another “phony soldier” story fabricated to sell gun parts! First, no soldier is authorized to gunsmith an issued handgun with purchased items, nor can soldiers purchase and use their own ammunition. Goes against the Geneva Convention. Second, in 1990, the US Army didn’t issue a 40yr old 1911, they issued the Beretta 94s in 9mm.

  • aaron

    Hooah! The 1911A1 is .45 good,
    Probably the best. To better hotrod one, look at a Jerry Kuhnhausen book on the subject. I myself was issued the M-9 and only had to do minor stoning to make it feed more smoothly. I greatly disapprove of negativity, especially if it isn’t used in a positive manner.

  • lharris

    On October 10 cdburklund wrote about the survivability of people in the ER that had been shot with small caliber weapons. Never had worked in a ER but, I do work for Homeland Security, and take chest x-rays of newly arrested illegal aliens that ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) are planning on deporting. We use the x-rays to see if a detainee has possible TB. What we often see on the x-rays are bullets in the gang bangers. Mostly 9mm. True they are old wounds, all healed up, many of them years old. But for most part, they are .32, .38, and 9mm in caliber. I haven’t seen a person with an old .45 cal bullet in his chest yet, and I have x-rayed over 40,000 people in the 6 years. I like the .45, carried one in Vietnam, have one in the car or at home. Feels good in the hand, and looks bad when viewed from the front.

  • Davi

    While in the Army (23 yrs), I spent some time as a pistol marksmenship instructor. I found great pleasure taking the armsroom clunkers as they were called that soldiers would bring me (saying they could not hit the broad side of a barn with them)and shooting acceptable groups with them. No not cometition accuracy but good enough to do what they were designed to do. Protect at close range. I am pleased to say that 99 times out of 100…. It was the nut behind the butt as the saying goes that was the accuracy problem not the weapon itself…

  • Nathan Funderburk

    Well, hell, I wasn’t saying someone hit with the round would go flying fifty feet through the air. I was saying that the kind of force that the round exerts on a human frame would make some unlucky stiff, if they didn’t die, fall down, and not get back up. Though your comment did make me chuckle, it burst my protective bubble of thought that no one actually beleived that hollowood crap.
    It’s hard to compare a human’s reaction to a block of clay. Clay it about 3 times more dense, and has very little hydrostatic characteristics. (incompressability or water)
    But thanks for the feedback.

  • Steve

    I purchased a Remington Rand from a WWII veterans estate that was essentially brand new in the box. It came with two magazines, one new in the wrap. I disassembled and lubed the old girl and took her to the range. It shot point of aim at 25 yards and shoots cloverleaf 1 1/2″ groups. This is as good of groups as my “target national match” colt gold cup is capable of. I don’t know if this was luck of the draw or the lack of 40+ years of wear. The 1911 design is reliable and accurate. Like any piece of machinery it wears with use. But the design lasted with only minor modification (1911a1) from 1911 to 1985. This is a record for a service pistol. During this same time period we changed service rifles six times (1903 springfield, 1917 enfield, M1 Garand, M-14, M-16a1, M-16a2). Like or dislike the 1911 her record stands. The M9 9mm has only been in service for 22 years and will likely be replaced with a .45 acp pistol.

  • Richard Marksberry

    Hey Butch,

    No offence! Just a little friendly military rivelry. Since you are so sensitive I will refrain from doing so. My uncle is retired General Lester USAF. My brothers and I were all Marines WWII and Korea.

    .45 Rules!

  • Walt Holberg

    I will confirm Mr. Daniels experience. I have a Remington Rand, 1945 issue, that I purchased in the ’80’s. With the stock barrel and bushing, I was amazed that I could not hit a soda can at 15 feet! Accuracy improved dramatically with the addition of a Mark IV barrel and bushing, and years later, I have the same Mark IV barrel, but with a Wilson undersized bushing carefully enlarged for a very tight fit. The pistol now shoots about 2 inch groups from a bench rest at 25 feet, which is more accurate than I am and that’s all I care about. I have put about 15,000 rounds through this piston over the last 30 years with no more care than regular cleaning and replacement of springs, sears, etc. that wear over time. They were well made pistols that benefit greatly from just a little bit of modern technology.

  • craig pulkownik

    most issue colts [in training] ,are pretty well shot[i mean that in both senses of the word] hence the marginal level of accuracy

  • Me

    Apparently, we, the U.S. population, are very narrow sighted just as we are critcized as being. Now, I didn’t read your entire entry. That isn’t the point. I’ve heard criticism about the .45 ACP for years and they always start the same. “the .45 is a bad design.” (may not be those words but always that sentiment).

    “Hmmm, I couldn’t hit accurately with this gun in 1990. Therfore, 1911’s are a poor design.”

    “Crappy Gov’t issue shouldn’t have been kept and shot (very regularly) for 45 (that’s FORTY FIVE)years.”

    Let’s look at that. A weapon with a lot of power (for a handgun)being fired very frequently (I don’t know say, 2 to 3 times a month?) but maintained. Maintained by we in the military, you and I (probably more you than I), who may be conscientious and do proper 3M. But, is that standard throughout the gov’t/military? I think not espescially during the draft years.

    Also, how often are parts on guns replaced and how often is money spent sending a safe firing weapon to a armorer just to be refurbished? Very rarely and typically only when non-firing or OBVIOUS safety concerns are evident.

    Remember, the 45 year old weapon you are criticizing is after all, 45 years old, frequently fired (unlike any/all weapons you may personally own) and maintained by people who do it because they have to (not maintained like a privately owned weapon).

    Oh, maybe that’s why it improve dramatically when you place new parts in it. They were severely worn (affecting accuracy).

    No handgun is perfect, the same goes for the .45 ACP. The .45 ACP is a top notch design, superior knock-down power, and reliable (just like anything else if given proper maintenance).

    Let us all look at the whole picture before we jump to conclusions (about this and everything in life).

  • Chulaidoublenuts

    I’ve read this whole dam thread and here is the question I ask you nay sayers of the 1911A1. try landing ona beach full of sand salt water and such(World War II Korea Vietnam) Pull out your 1911 and you know it will work. I’ll dare anyone to abuse a 9mm like that and see if it continues to function. I also shot Expert every time I qualified. USMC 1966 to 75 2296442

  • Tommy D

    I remember qualifying with my issue 1911 (it RATTLED when shaken) and the target looked like it had been shot by a scattergun. My drill sgt. kindly advised me that if I did not tighten up my shooting, he would ship my butt off to the infantry. My groups remarkably shrunk to fist size after his supportive comments.

  • Tommy D

    The 1911 is a good weapon, and was a good weapon before it was replaced by the current mouse gun. I remember the moaning and complaining when our .45s were taken away. The 9mm shot alright, but we all doubted that it had the slaying ability of the good old .45. While I have no doubt that my 9mm, with the right ammo, could inflict serious bodily harm, bad leaks, etc., I like the idea of the .45 knocking the offending bad guy completely out of the way.

  • Richard Marksberry


    “As for stopping power, it very much is a factor in ballistic design.

    I’d pay to see any person try to stand up to 400 foot pounds of energy, spread over an area of about four square inches, and dissapating over a lenght of six inches in a fraction of a second.
    You can try it at home too!
    have a friend place a 2×2 wood spar against your chest, then hit it with a hammer at 400 foot-pounds of energy.”

    Your words Nathan, nobody else’s. There is no comparison between the two scenarios.

  • Police Officer (form

    I usually enjoy reading postings and the like, and prefer to keep to myself. However, when I read a posting from an idiot such as “wacurry”, I’m obligated to reply. In my humble opinion, this idiot shoots off at the mouth due to his overconfident, narcissistic personality which is common of inadequate and insecure assholes. He criticizes Eric Daniel without cause, then turns around and proclaims to be an expert because, as he says, “Since I have shot competatively pistols since 1974.” What’s wrong with this picture, besides syntax? I don’t care how many years of competitive shooting a person has under his or her belt, it’s not the same as having someone aiming a firearm back at you, specially if they’re actually firing at you. Give me a break! You suck! You’re the typical liberal cry baby who embraces all the freedoms, rights, and priveleges afforded to EVERYONE in this country but is unwilling to stand front and center to defend them. You God-damned pussy! Go back to where you came from! How do you think you and your sorry-ass liberal associates received all of those rights? I’ll tell you: Because of the many BRAVE AND PATRIOTIC SOLDIERS who fought and, in many cases, died to give all of YOU COWARDS those freedoms. I’m sure you have never put on a uniform at all, and if you have, it’s probably a neo nazi uniform or some other anti-USA bullshit group. A Cub Scout is more patriotic and respectful than you. You’re the type who takes all but never gives. I challenge you to serve our country! Go don a military, peace officer, or other public servant uniform. Put your sorry ass on the line and see what it feels like to be in the crosshair day-in and day-out, and then to be critized by some shit head such as yourself! You also wrote, “Yet all the US civilians are of a mind that these heroic US soldiers can shoot better than Annie Oakley.” If you’re going to make such irrational and ludicrous statments, you need to support them. What’s worse is the condescending and demeaning way you refer to our soldiers! In closing, on behalf of all our fine past, present, and future military and public servants (men and women), KISS MY ASS! Go hide behind you mother’s skirt! And go take some English lessons…”to much time” should be spelled “too”, you dumb ass! Your entire posting is substandard to a grammer education. Damn! You make me sick!


    Many of the comments over the years about the inaccuracy of the 1911A1 used by our troops from 1960-1988 do not take into account that nearly all of these pistols had seen severe use having had tens of thousands of rds shot through them. The 1911A1 alway was and always will be a fine weapon.

  • Richard Marksberry

    Posted by: Police Officer (former: Boy Scout, Police Cadet, 9-1-1 dispatcher, probation officer, firefighter, a | October 12, 2007 at 03:40 PM

    Thank you!

  • Oz

    Hey Kelly,

    You wrote “I have a Remington 1911A1 issued as “Captured Enemy Equipment” issued in Norway, 1945.”

    Does “Remington” appear on the frame or only on the slide?

  • Richard Marksberry

    Ok gentlemen, here’s one for all you aficionados of the 1911.

    How many obvious and non obvious safeties are there on this model???

    I suggest that those of you who know let the hackers and fakes answer first like “wacurry.” But he won’t answer for a day or two because he needs to call several people for that info.

  • Richard Marksberry

    Oh, I almost forgot “Wacurry”,

    1. How can you tell a 1911 is loaded from the shooters view?
    2 How can you tell if it’s loaded while facing the barrel?


    You got that right Police Officer and good point about the match shooters. Shooting in a calm relaxing place punching holes in paper surely has a level of stress to hit the X ring, but a armed conflict is totally different. Thats up close and personal, I’ve never had a face to face encounter like that and hope I never do. The Remington Rand I fired in the 80’s I know would still get the job done. The human factor, heart rate racing I doubt anyone would shoot a X ring the first shot. I had mentioned Kimber USA, they made the 1911 MEUSOC .45 for the Marine Corps. I have never heard if the Marines are using them or not, but I personally know they make a fine psitol and I own two and carry them often. I have a CCW permit for my personal use not work and work for the MDOC. Depending where I’m going I either carry a Magnum revolver or if a higher risk location its one of my 1911’s. One in the pipe and eight in the mag and two on my side. If the person can MAN UP the 1911 can stand and deliver. Semper Fi


    You got that right Police Officer and good point about the match shooters. Shooting in a calm relaxing place punching holes in paper surely has a level of stress to hit the X ring, but a armed conflict is totally different. Thats up close and personal, I’ve never had a face to face encounter like that and hope I never do. The Remington Rand I fired in the 80’s I know would still get the job done. The human factor, heart rate racing I doubt anyone would shoot a X ring the first shot. I had mentioned Kimber USA, they made the 1911 MEUSOC .45 for the Marine Corps. I have never heard if the Marines are using them or not, but I personally know they make a fine psitol and I own two and carry them often. I have a CCW permit for my personal use not work and work for the MDOC. Depending where I’m going I either carry a Magnum revolver or if a higher risk location its one of my 1911’s. One in the pipe and eight in the mag and two on my side. If the person can MAN UP the 1911 can stand and deliver. Semper Fi

  • Richard Marksberry

    I will go one further!

    the number you should be looking for is 7 + 1 thrown for good measure. that one, No. 8, is the most important in my opinion.

  • Gene

    I don’t have a beef with the 1911, or M9. I qualified with and carried the 1911 in the Marines. Never had any performance issues with it. Later, in the Air Guard Security Forces, I always qualified expert with the M9. Never had any problems. As a PSD agent, expert with the M11 and MP5K-PDW. Carried all 3 on different missions in Iraq and Afghanistan. No problems. It’s a matter of being comfortable with the weapon you are using, being proficient, and not spazzing under pressure. All the guys that denigrate the 9mm, I bet none of them would want to take a torso hit from one…Hell, I wouldn’t want a hit from a Red Ryder. A head shot with a 9mm is better than a flinched toe shot from a .45. As a civ police officer, I carry a .40 Glock 22, issued, and a .38 special on my ankle. Off duty, a Springfield XD45. If I were given a choice for a work gun, it would be my XD45. I do prefer .45, but I’m not a chittering fanatic…

  • Gene

    But, first, make sure you HAVE a gun…And, I agree, making holes in paper does not mean shit in the real world. And, if you are toting a semi-auto, ALWAYS carry an extra magazine. Defective mags are the number one cause of failure in semi-auto pistols. And, when practicing, its not about how many rounds you put downrange, but rather, how well you put rounds out.

  • Dan

    The first pistol I ever shot was the first pistol I ever shot. That was Colt Combat Commander, all steel, no lightweight stuff, I purchased it new in Dec. of 1974. The first time I took it out to shoot it took me twelve rounds just to knick the can I was shooting at. Then I remembered that the same thing held true for shooting a pistol as a rifle. I had to settle down.breath normal, then hold breath and depress th trigger. It worked. The can went flying and I fell in love. I had that baby for twelve years when my house was broken into and it was stolen. Don’t know how many rounds I sent down the barrel, but it was always a joy to shoot and I always destroyed the ceter at 25 ft. When I went to quallify for pistol at NAS Norfolk they said the only thing we could shoot was a .38 Special. It had the recoil of a cork gun. Up till then the only pistol I’d ever shot was my .45, so I didn’t have any prob shooting expert with th .38. Plus the fact that the gunners mate had them in pristine codition. Thet were S&W. That was back in ’78. I have since replaced my stolen Commander with another commander plus a Springfield Armory 1911-A1. I’ve shot all different cals, but I’m most comfortible with my .45s. Why? Because I can hit what I’m aiming at, and what others call felt recoil but what I call a love tap reaffirms that I am shooting a pistol I can trust will do the job. A friend told me Well, if the bullit does’nt get ’em the muzzle blast will(he made the mistake of standing parallel to the muzzle).

  • Dan

    I mean the first pistol I ever shot was the first pistol I ever bought. Sorry.

  • K. East

    Having fired both a 1911 and the M9 I do prefer the 1911 for stopping power. A question that was asked was why they stopped using the 1911. I don’t agree with it but I understand it. The original reason that the 9mm was selected was for compatability reasons. NATO was using the 9 and therefore the amunition could be shared and was lighter that the 45. Their reasoning was that the 45 stopping power was meaningless if you ran out of ammo and could not use your allies ammo. Because no matter what the opinion a pistol without ammo is a rock.

  • Charlie

    I’m no hero, not a Marine or Soldier. I’m a retired USAF Medic who fired expert with My service’s chosen side arm, the Model 15 Smith & Wesson 38 Special and later the M9 9mm. I also fired expert with the M16A1 every year for 24 years.

    I was always jealous of the other services who carried “real guns” in 45ACP. My first opportunity to get my hands on a 45 was during a Leg Match held at Lackland AFB back in the 80’s. The rear sight on the weapon I drew was so loose that after every 5th round fired I’d reach up & push it back in place with my right index finger. We were using ammo marked “For Carbine Use Only” made in Israel. It was hotter’n Hades, but I was in Shooter’s Heaven ’cause I finally had a “real gun” in my hands!

    I don’t disagree with any man’s choice for his personal carry weapon. But in my years as a medic, I learned that big bullets make big holes. Big holes allow more blood to exit the body a lot faster than little holes. I could patch up a little hole & keep The Reaper away. Big ones just invited him in. When you’ve got you hands in someone’s belly up to your elbows it didn’t matter to us medics whether someone was shot at 10 feet, 10 yards, or 100 yards.

    On the ground in Panama during Op Just Cause, I remember the first thing (or sometimes second) anybody yelled after getting hit was “MEDIC!” Didn’t matter if he was Navy SEAL, Army Soldier, or USMC Marine. My unit helped take care of ’em all. Out of the first 250 casualties we took care of we lost six. One of the other things I remember is that the Marines cried the loudest, Army Grunts the least.

    By the way, Mr. Marksberry, what is “a former Marine”? I thought semper fidelis meant ALWAYS faithful & once a Marine always a Marine. Tell ya what, how bought you & me meet somewhere, anywhere, USA on the range of your choice & we send a few rounds down range to see who can shoot. I’ll even bring my trusty Daisy Red Ryder BB gun. Got one in the cabinet alongside my AR15 & Springfield 45.

    Eric, thanks for a post that got us All fired up!

    Hey, Doc Pearson! Thanks for your USAF service! HUAH!

  • Mark Throm

    I have an original Colt 380,XXX made in 1918, been through a few wars, I believe, I have had many handguns and we all have our favorites, mine will always be a .45 auto, my last human sized target, shot in 1982 and is still taped to my door, was a clip fired within 10 seconds and has a nice inverted V walked up to the chest, im no marksman, however, I would trust my life to it, never jammed on me, tossed alot of heavy lead, lots of GI’s owe their life to it. Sure they are not Kimbers, but defensive close range handguns. Learn to use it. It aint pretty, but it will be around a lot longer than 100 years, so why complain

  • Richard Marksberry

    Charlie, Charlie, Charlie,

    I can already tell you are one of those baby blue guys who runs around telling everyone you tried to get into the Marines first but you parents wouldn’t sign for you.

    As for your remarks about wounded Marines, I never felt a bullet or fragment hit me just frost bite. I’ll just leave your ass to the other Jarheads on this string.

    Have a nice day Red Rider.

  • Nathan Funderburk

    All I was saying was that stopping power, which does not mean sending a person flying through the air like superman, is helpful when trying to keep someone from killing you. It’s common sense. If you feel that it is your duty to poke holes in statements that are obviously in jest, then have at it. It won’t bother me that you’ve made a mockery of my joke. Seriously, I wasn’t trying to poke fun at you. I’m just saying, if you get hit with any object going at high speed you are not going to stand there like nothing happened as a hole gets bored through your flesh. A human is not clay, and extreme trauma/pain does cause the body to shut down. That’s what “stopping power” is, and the fact of the matter is that a 9mm round inflicts much less trauma than a .45 inch round. There you have it, no jokes or levity.

  • Richard Marksberry

    I don’t have a problem with that Nathan!



  • Xcia Officer (Sorry

    When my first .45 ACP round went through the Gatorade cap we had hung in a tree here in the Tucson mountains at about 20 paces distant, my then 12 and 13 year old sons and their friends said some rather unprintable words along with “Great shot, Dad!”

    When it took me three more rounds to repeat the Goodbye Gatorade orange cap trick, they all wanted instruction on the 1911 (Remington), the noisy little bugger that I could never quite hide when packing CCW.

    For anyone who does not believe this, make my day, and see if my boys’ eyes will still light up as they fondly recall the day Dad shot the eyes out of fireflies.

    Love my 1911. Loved my “WWII and Korean War” ammo, some of which was ~OLDER THAN I WAS.

    Won’t shoot any of THAT again (sorry, NRA).

    No Bull, Just ‘da Facts, Man!

  • D.P.Didear

    One of the contributors disputes the very notion that Remington Rand made firearms.

    Prior to leaping off the virtual cliff, it would have involved far less risk to take a peek at the (virtual) abyss into which one is apt to suddenly find oneself plunging.

    Any quick check of the many available websites on the subject could have saved the contributor from sure and certain embarrassment. For example, try:

    While not a dyed-in-the-wool, .45 packing shooter today, I qualified (barely) with the weapon in 1965. I was a featherweight airman and would have preferred what the officers carried up in the cockpit (.38 revolvers), but as an enlisted crewman, I was encouraged…um, not too gently, to use what I was given. Something like, “Shut up, and shoot!”, if my memory serves me right.

    I got to like the .45, once the initial reaction to weight was overcome. Wish I had one again, but I live in Taiwan, where civilian gun ownership is not allowed. It does cause me some concern when I think how narrow is the distance which separates this island from the hungry red giant, across the straits. I suppose one pistol wouldn’t make an appreciable difference in any invasions, though. Better get two.

  • Tom Latham

    First I want to thank all of you in the armed forces for making the sacrafices that you do to preserve our liberty. I am praying for all of you. Now I do not claim to be an expert by any means, and I am not sure how regulations are regarding using personal weapons in service, but as limited as my shooting experiences may be, if you like the 45 cal.round as you all apparently do. You might consider trying the Glock. I shot a Glock 36 one of the newer mini Glock 45’s out. I used it for conceal carry here in Indiana. I couldn’t believe how accurate this pistol was considering its small size, and the bad rap that the 45 round has gotton over the years. I was shooting tight enough groups to keep hitting a five gallon bucket at approximatly 25 yards which is much farther than you will ever need it probably. I was amazed, and very happy with the results.I find these pistals to be of premo quality, and reliability, and contrary to what many of you may think they are very durable, and you will hit good groups right out of the box with no customizing needed, and remember that no matter what kind of weapon you have, shot placment is the most important facture. No matter how much you love your 1911-A1 if you can’t hit your target someday you may God forbid die loving it, so concidering that fact even a 9mm is a better round if it means the differance between hitting, and not hitting your target.

  • Dean

    Well here are my two cents. When I joined the Marines the only firearms I have ever handled, prior to joining, were a single shot shotgun and a bolt action marlin .22. And those had been sold upon my fathers death some nine years prior. So every bit of firearms knowledge I recieved was from instruction and any studying I did on my own. I never carried a side arm only my M-16A2 and my radio. After a while in I had a hard as nails 1stSgt that taught me the ropes of knowing your weapon from a shooters point of view. But now as a private citizen the only semi auto pistols I trust from protection and accuracy both are 1911’s. So when Eric Daniel talks about getting advice and pointers from a real shooter I know exactly what he is talking about. Also all veterans remember what it was like when your unit had to chose between spare parts for the armory, wear the guns still fired, and being able to train and operate in the field or deploy. In some cases the needed upgrades of those weapons did not take place. So a great weapon not properly cared for can become inaccurate. Eric Daniel also points out that he was able to make his pistol into a very accurate weapon with the purchase of needed parts. This is something that veterans have done constantly over the years. Whether it was parts for a firearm or getting a pair of boots that were better than the stuff that you were issued. As for Wacurry well man all I can say to you is you and Annie Oakley probably have a lot of anatomy in common.

  • Nathan Funderburk

    Okay, so we’re cool?
    Because the way it seemed
    I was being driven into the ground about some comment I made while trying to point out a useful fact for anyone perusing the forum. I never tried to offend you personally.

    And as a final statement, thank God for the military, because we all owe them our lives.

    and this has nothing to do with anything:
    2. All firearms, innacurrate, rusty, modified, whatever, as long as they are serviceable and not a hazard to the shooter, should be preserved. They are all fun, and if people were just more familiar with them there probably wouldn’t be so much unnecessary fear. So next time someone complains that they can’t hit the black at 25 m, don’t criticize them harshly. Just offer to give them a pointer or two to help. They are probably just afraid of the recoil.

  • Bil Wells

    I have found that those having the most problems firing any “off the shelf” M1911A1 were those improperly trained.

    I trained thousands of Coast Guardsmen to accurately fire the pistol without special equipment or parts.

    I will agree that later parts were made by “minority” contractors and substandard. One year a ‘mom and pop’ shop made barrels without ramping them. However, this went to the incompetence of the army inspectors.

    Another problem is culture. The Army, Navy and Marine Corps considered the pistol a personal defense weapon (PDW) only. The Coast Guard considered it one of its primary offensive weapons and trained its personnel to a higher standard (or it used too).

    I am reminded of a bar room shoot out in New Orleans where a M1911A1 was used. The man using it was able to hit his opposition squarely three times in a nice group. This was under the pressure of real action.

    If you want to be a good shot with the pistol, get someone to teach you.

  • Bil Wells

    I have found that those having the most problems firing any “off the shelf” M1911A1 were those improperly trained.

    I trained thousands of Coast Guardsmen to accurately fire the pistol without special equipment or parts.

    I will agree that later parts were made by “minority” contractors and substandard. One year a ‘mom and pop’ shop made barrels without ramping them. However, this went to the incompetence of the army inspectors.

    Another problem is culture. The Army, Navy and Marine Corps considered the pistol a personal defense weapon (PDW) only. The Coast Guard considered it one of its primary offensive weapons and trained its personnel to a higher standard (or it used too).

    I am reminded of a bar room shoot out in New Orleans where a M1911A1 was used. The man using it was able to hit his opposition squarely three times in a nice group. This was under the pressure of real action.

    If you want to be a good shot with the pistol, get someone to teach you.

  • dave

    I was introduced to the .45 during my Naval Reserve career. My Police Dept. finally went to Glock .45’s because of the stopping power with bad guys who are so hopped up on drugs, and carrying superior firepower,you really need them to stay down, not get hit with a smaller caliber and still have enough energy to kill you or your partner.

  • Oz

    1911A1 is my first choice. Ruger Blackhawk in .30 Carbine is my second choice for carry, but that’s because its ammo matches my “long” gun. If my shoulder arm fails, my second “sidearm” (which I carry in a shoulder rig) takes the same ammo and has nearly the same effective range. This summer I was taught how to put lead on man-sized paper at 3oo yards with that revolver with reasonable reliability and repeatability.

    Having said all that (and fully expecting disbelief from the readers here), let me say that I am adapting the technique to the 1911. The shorter barrel (by factor of nearly 2) and lower muzzle velocity (by > factor of 2), however, makes it somewhat problematic. It works fairly well out to 100 yards, though. For the infamous 7 foot shot, the 1911 remains my choice. In the semi 1911, I keep a “rat shot” round in the chamber. A face full of shot applied to your up close adversary will allow you ample time to make sure the fmj’s are well placed…

  • Richard Marksberry


    Just curious, does that “Rat Shot actually function the slide when you fire it? What do you do for a living?

  • Oz


    Yes, the CCI shot shells I use supply just enough “oomph” to operate the the slide, but they won’t feed right from the magazine. That’s why I keep one of those in the chamber and hard bullets in the mag. If the springs were any stronger, it probably –almost certainly–would have problems cycling. The shot shells come in real handy for copperheads in my neck of the woods. I’ve never found any commercial shot shells in .30 carbine nor any good way to make some.

    What I do now is security and surveillance (electronic style), I peddle, install, and maintain the camera and recording systems like you see on TV’s Las Vegas, but I used to be assistant program manager for the SOPMOD program run out of that aforementioned small arms facility in Indiana. Before that I was the night vision engineering and acquisition guy supporting NAVSPECWAR (same place). Going WAY back, I was a cadet at USAFA (class of ’75). I first fired a 1911 when I was six and I never lost the love.

    I bet Eric never had an entry with so many comments…

  • Mark Kovach

    Having read the first couple of comments in this thread I was wondering if Mr. Wacurry missed one or two of his thorazine shots. I re-read Mr. Daniel’s letter several times and no where does he claim to be a competition caliber shooter. His writing is about improving the accuracy of his work by improving the weapon. Good advice for someone who isn’t already familiar with that weapon. Get back on your meds Wacurry, you’re having delusions of grandeur again.

  • Mark Kovach

    Oz, I used to carry a Star PD in the days when I sold weapons for a distributor in South Florida and I also kept a rat shot in the chamber. It was suggested to me by a MDPD officer who carried that same weapon as his off duty choice.

  • collie ret airforce

    this in reply to marksberry. i have qual. expert on th m-1 garand, m-1 carbine, the 38 pistol the 45acp, i had to go to special firing range every 6 mo. due to my assignment, also the m-16 was bought by the air force because the other serveces did not want it. when viet nam came along the other services foundout the m014 was not fitting to the jungle, so the airforce had to give up the weapons the the army. and if you want to get close the action in viet nam, we flew the ec121d air born aircraft which was unarmed, 25 milesout of hypong
    atany where from 25ft to 75ft off the water in the bay of tonkin, for 8 hrs at a time. so tell me about your adventures!!

  • collie ret airforce

    this in reply to marksberry. i have qual. expert on th m-1 garand, m-1 carbine, the 38 pistol the 45acp, i had to go to special firing range every 6 mo. due to my assignment, also the m-16 was bought by the air force because the other serveces did not want it. when viet nam came along the other services foundout the m014 was not fitting to the jungle, so the airforce had to give up the weapons the the army. and if you want to get close the action in viet nam, we flew the ec121d air born aircraft which was unarmed, 25 milesout of hypong
    atany where from 25ft to 75ft off the water in the bay of tonkin, for 8 hrs at a time. so tell me about your adventures!!

  • collie ret airforce

    i ment to say that the m-16 was to replace the m-1 carbine

  • collie ret airforce

    i ment to say that the m-16 was to replace the m-1 carbine

  • collie ret airforce

    i ment to say that the m-16 was to replace the m-1 carbine

  • collie ret airforce

    i ment to say that the m-16 was to replace the m-1 carbine

  • Gene

    Rat shot? Hmmmmm. I guess that’s a personal choice, but if I got into a shooting, I sure wouldn’t want to explain that one in court. “Why did you load rat shot, then real ammo, why couldn’t you just use rat shot instead of kill him?” Or, “Why did you find it necessary to TORTURE him, then kill him?”. Nope, I recommend asking what ammunition is authorized by your local LE agency, and carry that. Or, at least purchase FACTORY ammo, preferrably with a word like Police, or Defensive in it’s name. Once you survive a lethal encounter by using your sidearm, you still have to face a shooting inquisition, of some form, by the authorities. And, depending on where you live, you may be golden, or in a very anti-gun area, and have to go thru a huge legal battle. Just because they are prosecutors/district attorney’s, does not mean they are justice friendly. Remember the Duke lacrosse guys and DA Nifong???

  • Gene

    There is more than one level of survival. This is a VERY litigous society, nowdays. And DA’s prefer working on their celebrity than working for the people. Carry a solid make weapon, with quality ammo, and make sure that you have defensive handgun training from a reputable trainer. KNOW YOUR LOCAL LAWS ABOUT SELF DEFENSE!!!! And remember, minimum standard response of 2 rounds, and your failure to stop drills. If it’s worth shooting once, it’s worth shooting twice. There is no such thing as “excessive deadly-force”.

  • William Stewart

    I love the recoil of the 45. its the best sex I have ever had with out having to take a shower after. I have only pointed my 1911-1A ones in my active Navy life and the Guy at the other end almost went cross-eyed looking down the barrel shy of sh*ting his shorts.That one time it did its job and I don,t want to be in that spot again.You look down that bore at 4’to 6’feet and all you see is Mohomed or GOD.

  • Grunt06

    Bring back the .30-06 M1, and the 1911 .45’s!

  • R. Lewis

    Regarding openning remarks about the US military Colt .45 cal service weapon, I have to say this, you only have to see what is going on with the current Colt M-4 right now. While other manufatures like H&K might make a better weapon, it is not always what is needed when dealing with government contrats. When you have a company like Colt, lobbying to keep their products in the hands of the American Military,you can see how tolerances in the parts can be a lack of concern. It would appear that the weapons don’t have to be great, they just have to be able to put lead down range. There are only a small percentage of military shooters that will take the inititive to make their government issue service weapon perform above and beyound the government standards.
    And, yes as a ARMY medic for 0ver 20 years, I have played with both the Colt .45 and the Berretta. However, my personal weapon of choice is a .45 made by the Croatian Military and sold by Sprinfield Armory. It is the XD .45 Cal ACP

    Ron Lewis

  • Oz

    Gene, Please re-read my previous post about rat shot. My area is rife with venomous,aggressive snakes that do not warn with a rattle. The only living thing I ever used it on was one copperhead in all my years of traipsing through the woods and fields of southern Indiana and I would have let him be but for the threat to my dog that was at that moment playing the role of stupid very convincingly. If you ever try to shoot a snake with a hard bullet, you’ll learn very quickly why I use shot.

    Also, in the event of an encounter with an armed human aggressor, I consider the use of the shot shell as a “less than lethal” initial response that SHOULD satisfy the political correctness factor. The follow up hardball round is, as I wrote earlier, reserved for the unlikely situation that even a face full of shot fails as an adequate deterrent.

  • Richard Marksberry

    Posted by
    collie ret airforce

    Your words:

    this in reply to marksberry. i have qual. expert on th m-1 garand, m-1 carbine, the 38 pistol the 45acp, i had to go to special firing range every 6 mo. due to my assignment, also the m-16 was bought by the air force because the other serveces did not want it. when viet nam came along the other services foundout the m014 was not fitting to the jungle, so the airforce had to give up the weapons the the army. and if you want to get close the action in viet nam, we flew the ec121d air born aircraft which was unarmed, 25 milesout of hypong
    atany where from 25ft to 75ft off the water in the bay of tonkin, for 8 hrs at a time. so tell me about your adventures!!

    Posted by: collie ret airforce | October 13, 2007 at 04:34 PM

    i ment to say that the m-16 was to replace the m-1 carbine

    Posted by: collie ret airforce | October 13, 2007 at 04:50 PM


    If you really knew anything about the history of the M-16
    you’ed know your version is based on high school myths.

    The M1 Carbine was not replaced by anything just phased out.

    The M-14 was replaced by the M-16 at the behest of a bunch of washington whiz kids and a design by Mr. Stoner and all criminals in my opinion. However I will give you guys credit for one thing (see below)

    Joint Service Small Arms Program
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

  • Charlie

    Hey, Richard! Thanks for wishing me a nice day! I’m sure you’ll agree when I say that EVERY DAY living in the USA is a nice day!

    When /where were you in Korea? I’d love to hear or read of your experiences. Also, I never lie ’bout what service I chose to enter. I just never considered myself tough enough to be a Marine.

    Dean and Eric Daniel are point on! Always get advice / instruction from an expert!

  • Oz

    Gene, I just caught your comment about “FACTORY ammo”. Apparently, you don’t know much about ammo. CCI is a long time, reputable brand of FACTORY ammo and the brand of shot shell I use in my 1911. They have made shot shells for .45 ACP for twenty years that I know of.
    And if you knew anything about law enforcement, you would know that the ONLY authorized duty ammo for any US law enforcement sidearm is full metal jacket. I am not in law enforcement, nor do I INTEND to use any kind of sidearm or ammo against anyone. No ammo I ever saw had either the word “Police” nor “defense” in the name of the ammo. It has a caliber and bullet type, and may or may not list a muzzle velocity and maximum range, and denotes either center fire or rim fire — do you even know what THAT means? Judging from your post, probably not.

    You need to do more homework, my friend, before you mouth off about MY choice of ammo or my reasons for using / carrying it.

  • Charlie

    Richard, you’re absolutely right on the M 16 history. SecDef Robert “Clipboard Commando” McNamara saw the standardization for one service rifle for all services as a cost saving measure. IMHO, he didn’t give a damn about the men in the field. We convinced our NATO allies to convert their various different caliber rifles to 7.62 NATO, then McNamara & Company threw a curve ball & had us adopt the 5.56mm!

    I love the USAF, but deciding our service rifle should go to the Army or USMC!

  • Richard Marksberry

    Ok gentlemen, here it is one more time for all you aficionados of the 1911.

    How many obvious and non obvious safeties are there on this model???

    I suggest that those of you who know let the hackers and fakes answer first like “wacurry.” But he won’t answer for a day or two because he needs to call several people for that info.

    Oh, I almost forgot “Wacurry”,

    1. How can you tell a 1911 is loaded from the shooters view?
    2 How can you tell if it’s loaded while facing the barrel?

  • Gene

    Oz, knock yousrself out with snakes and ratshot. But as far as defensive loads,and “less than lethal”, it is not what YOU consider, it is what the standard of law / or what a JURY will decide. And I should have been more specific, but stay away from handloads for defense. As far as ammo, LE use of same, and my experience. Well, FMJ is NOT the only ammo allowed in US LE. I don’t know of any US agency that uses FMJ. Even the Air Force, stateside, uses JHP ( I know this, as I carried it in my M9 as a Security FOrces NCO). Typically, every agency I know of uses some type of JHP. My agency will not let us carry any round other than dept. approved ammo, even off-duty. “Speer “LAWMAN” aka “Gold DOT” is used by the 2 largest agencies in my area. The term “Lawman” or “Defensive” is more acceptable to the public, rather than “Rat Shot”, or “Black Talon”. Remember Black Talon? They changed the name back in the 90’s to “Ranger”. And, I am aware of at least a couple of brands that have “defensive” in the name. And yes, I am a Police Officer, for the past 16 years, with 2 different agencies. I currently work for the largest agency in my state. I am also a certified law enforcement firearms instructor, and have taught recruit classes at our academy. I don’t reload, but I do know a little about ammo.
    Also, “my friend”, I know a little more about going up against bad guys, and armed encounters than you, as I do it every time I go to work. Not to mention over 20 years in military service, and 3 combat tours. Tell you what, I won’t give you advice about how to fix my Big Mac, and you don’t tell me about how it is in LE. If you want to carry some off the wall choice in your pistol for defense, go for it, I’m not the one that will be giving up my property in a civil suit, or siting in a prison cell trying to keep from getting shanked. Oh, and check your s*$t before you mouth off. And as far as CCI being a long-time reputable brand, ok, but my dept. quit issuing CCI “clean-fire” for practice because of problems with the cases splitting in the chamber when fired and damaging weapons.

  • gene

    Everyone else, I responded to Oz in that tone because he got nasty with me first, so pleeeze don’t start flaming me. I recognize and respect the fact that there are many non-police and non-military folk that have a great deal of knowledge about firearms and ammunition, or are quite expert in the field. I don’t know anything about handloading, and I have no interest in some aspects of shooting. I have my areas of experience and knowledge. A personal choice is exactly that. I have seen decent folk carrying a POS Lorcin .380, or some such, but I don’t begrudge them that, because not all of us can afford an HK or Springfield or other high-end pistol.
    Back to the topic, I like .45, but I won’t denigrate the other smaller calibers. Anything is better than a rock, or a stick…

  • frank

    Please am from Ghana but i want to jion the military and become a military

  • Richard Marksberry


    I don’t know where you live but you might just stop by a local recruiting office and talk to them. Have you some Idea of what kind of military service you want to perform?
    Once you know that you’ll know what recruiter to go to and just talk to them. Now is a good time because I think they have some openings.

  • Wayne Morgan

    Guys… Remember the .45 ACP
    Colt 1911 was designed for one
    reason…. To knock a German who was about to jab a bayonet into you back out of
    your trench… and the .45ACP
    1911 would do just that.
    I have accurized a number of
    45’s over the years. But if
    you want the real ball bustin’
    modern 45ACP.. Buy the
    Springfield Armorys little
    1911 it’s a real kicker.

    Morgan.A.W. LCDR USNR
    Weapons- SEAL Team1

  • Robert Berry

    Guys, after 44 years of going round and round and round on this I’ve finally arrived at the point where the whole thing just bores me to tears. A soldier is far more likely to be injured by lightning or bees than a pistol bullet. There isn’t a nickel’s worth of difference between ANY M1911 and any other centerfire handgun. You can have mine for a pack of Kools any time.

  • Richard Marksberry

    Robert Berry,

    You have entered the wrong site. This is about the 1911 colt 45. Tears and theories can be found by going to Movie scripts @

  • Jim Burnes

    Having carried this 45 for the 21 years I served in the army, and going through many frustrating hours on the range, I’ll tell you folks that IN 1970, while stateside I was advised to buy the more accurate receiver group. It did improve the target.

  • Gentlemen:

    I agree with former posts regarding the ‘slop’ of some 1911’s due to overuse. This is not from my experience, as I ‘used’ the M9, but from many USA ‘old timers.’

    Personally, I like Colt’s 1911 Commander and am a fan of SA’s M1A/M-14. In fact, I carry my Colt most often.

    Both small arms are accurate and have definite stopping power. While I am sure that the DoD was given a good deal on the Berettas, and they are decent, I feel more confident with a .45 ACP any day of the week.

    I have a question for all you hard chargers… What do you think about Heckler and Koch (.45 USP)?


    Rev. J. ‘Mama K.’ Smith
    Fmr. USA, E-6; 101st, 326th Med Bn

  • Glenn

    Never make the mistake of purchasing a “Charles Daily” 45. I thought I was getting a “good deal”……


    I qualified w/ the .45 at Camp Edwards in 1960. I shot EXPERT. The Marine Gunny didn’t believe me when I told him, That’s the first time I ever fired one. My Colt was an old WWII left over as were all of them. I don’t know to this day how I did it. I have been a proponent and great fan of the 1911A1 for 47 years. I have owned 31 of them. I am not bragging when I say I could still qualify with one. To the person who wrote the column on the .45. If you shot 2ft. group’s. You had to be jerking the trigger or shooting with your eyes closed. I owned a 1911 made in 1914, I shot 4″ group’s at 20yds. And that old weapon had seen some real use. I never changed a thing on it. Except the recoil spring & barrel Bushing.I wonder how the LT. got away with changing the slide on the range? We enlisted were not allowed to tamper with our’s in any way

  • ray murphy

    What is the price for a M 1911-A1?

  • gh

    Hey, this is really simple. The 9mm vs. the .45. Both weapons are used for up close and personal situations. Ask yourself: When I clear a room, do I want to do it with a .45 or a 9mm? When I hit a target do I want them charging at me or do I want them to stay dead?
    The 9mm is a good weapon. It’s accurate and reliable as long as good magazines are used in the process. The accuracy comes from the shape of the round. It has very good aerodynamics that allow the bullet to retain its energy during flight. This means that it minimizes the surface contact. The problem arise from this very aerodynamic shape. When it hits a target it tends to retain energy rather than transfer it to the target, because it makes a small surface contact and cannot give a decent hydrostatic shock.
    The oppsite is true for the .45. It does not have a good aero dynamic form. It has a round nosed shape, which causes it to lose a lot of energy. However, when it hits a target, it tends to transfer more energy to the target and give a nice hydrostatic shock. As a result, it gives a whole new meaning to the term overkill.
    Choose either one. For best results consider this guide. If you want accuracy and you can shoot someone in the head, no matter the circumstances, then go with the 9mm. Proper bullet placement is th righ choice for you. You may also consider shooting in tournaments. For the rest of us there is the .45. by that I mean that if you want to hit a target and are not the best shooter in the world but do not want to worry if your target will ever get up. I’ve shot both rounds and rather like the .45. But the 9mm is really cheap to shoot.
    Oh and… the 1911 is the standard by which any semi-automatic pistol is compared to. Hope this helps.

  • Bob Walton Sr

    I served 26 years in military service including 2 years in Nam. I was military police and emergency services team, a couple of years as a city police officer and currently serve as director of Security for a private school. My 1911A1 is the finest handgun i have ever fired. My military issued one was an excellant weapon with which I qualifed “expert” several times. My duty 1911A1 is an Auto ordnance model That almost ahoots its self. In my last annual qual,I lost the front sight on the second string of fire. I fired a 260 out of a possible 300 without the front site. I realize that some of the government issued weapons were much abused and extra loose but often a barrel bushing would solve the problem. i just wish that instead of destroying all of those fine old pistols the government would have sold them to the public.

  • Richard Marksberry


    I’m not sure where you got your Education in ballistics but it might be a good idea to explore the internet or read a book on the subject of Ballistic Coefficients, sectional density, Muzzle energy and terminal ballistics. It may clear up some of your misstatements and old gun lore.

  • Richard Marksberry

    Here’s some food for thought!

    Comments Regarding the U.S. Army Tests of 1904
    Bruce L. Jones
    Program Manager Infantry Weapons
    USMC – Pacific Theater

    Now think about this, He was commenting on trials from 1904 but threw this in near the bottom. This is not so much about the Weapon but more about ballistics.

    During the 1920’s the British conducted a series of experiments in the course of which they also fired handguns into cadavers and live animals. Their conclusion was that diameter of the projectile made less difference than weight. Weight and velocity were the most important factors and the velocity had to be low, not high. They concluded that a 200-gr. projectile traveling at an initial velocity of about 650 fps was ideal for good short-range stopping power. The reason for the low velocity was so that the bullet would expend its entire energy within the target and not carry on through. They adopted the .38/ 200 cartridge, really nothing more than the old .38 S&W (known as the “Super Police” when loaded with the 200-gr. bullet) in the middle 1930’s. It was known officially as the .380 Revolver Mk I and had a 200-gr. bullet of .359″ diameter that developed a muzzle velocity of 630 fps. It was to replace their .455 Webley which had a 265-gr. bullet with a MV of 600 fps. Both were used in WWII and there are conflicting reports as to their relative effectiveness.

    You can find out all about these test as well as how the .45 auto performed as well by just going to Google and entering British .38-200.

  • jay

    all who shoot for compitition, remember one thing. no one is shooting back at you. so, if you think that a solder can’t shoot because his weapon is of substandard. or needs a little tuning. think again

  • jay

    all who shoot for compitition, remember one thing. no one is shooting back at you. so, if you think that a solder can’t shoot because his weapon is of substandard. or needs a little tuning. think again

  • Richard Marksberry

    It might be a good idea if Jay stop for a moment and consider that up to 50% of those who do compete in both pistol and rifle competition are veterans who have either been trained by the military or have been in combat to some degree or another. If he is referring specifically to those who have not and I don’t know who those may be on this string, if any fine!

    But please don’t presume “All who shoot for competition” are untested. His words were: “All who shoot competition” Bad Jay, Bad jay!

  • ken hancock


  • John Hudson

    I remember the .45 1911A1 in combat and it was the weapon that was needed to put away some of the maniacs that charged our position. It also stopped a very upset Water Buffalo on a rampage. Later on, after the switch to M9 (9mm) we had a pitched battle with some terrorists who were using our .45’s. We out ranged them with the M9’s, but our guys still took some serious hits before we repelled the terrorists. The main thing here is the practice, practice, practice required by our shooting coaches/instructors made sure that we would survive a hot mix up with the enemy. Our special boats crews were all later rearmed with remade/spl .45’s for kill power and damage producers. I prefer the .45, but used the M9 because I had more ammo to engage the target with in operations. Now, the rebuilt .45’s have larger magazines to keep the man in combat. Accuracy with any weapon is a must, what ever you carry. Even a Russian Tokarev will do in a pinch if you know how to use it. Semper Fidelis

  • John Hudson

    To All you great men and some great women….. Nothing takes the place of practice and nothing makes you feel better than keeping your touch with a weapon regardless of caliber, make, model, or production line. Point of Aim, point of IMPACT is the result. If you shoot sloppy, your results are going to be sloppy. I now have four m1911a1’s in my possesion as a result of close combat and resulting souveniers of battle. When it is up close and personal, put it in center mass, double tap, and move to next target. I always taught my Marines to use the weapon they have at hand and be damn good and quick about it. I lost no one in the combat due to lack of knowing their weapon. Those of you who are veterans, I respect and love you as family. Those who have not served, what was your excuse? I am retired now after 27 years of service and I see just as much danger from the gangs and criminals as I did in war or other events like war. Good Gun (pistol) Control starts with your hands and what you have to shoot with. Semper Fidelis to you ALL!

  • Oz

    To Gene,

    First, I want to apologize for being snippy. Second, I stand corrected (righteously) on the FMJ /JHP use by LE. I was in a hurry and I was not paying attention to detail as much as I usually do.

    However, you simply weren’t paying attention. If you had actually read what I posted, you would have known I was talking about factory ammo all the way. To be good at anything, particularly law enforcement, requires great attention to detail and greater than average powers of observation. You skipped over the details and didn’t observe that I had provided the information.

    Yes, CCI makes hot loads. I don’t use their ball ammo in anything but my cheap .22. That said, if you’re having case splitting issues with any ammo, you should have the chamber checked for oversizing. If it checks good, then, yes, cease using that ammo or acquire guns with better steel. I use the CCI brand shot shells precisely because they are hotter loads than their competition and have enough energy to cycle my 1911.

    Regarding marketing names of bullets, that cuts no ice with me. I look at performance, not hype. If you’re worried about the perceptions of a jury, then you should simply let the bad guy end your worries. I will face a jury only if I am alive to do so.

    Now, about my “Big Macs”. My Big Macs will either exonerate you in a righteous shooting or bury you in one that isn’t. If you had actually read what I posted, you would already have known that. My sales of Big Macs have bought me 67 acres including a private lake, paid for two commercial vehicles, a motorhome, a 32 foot party boat, an airplane, a couple gun cases filled with some of the finest modern firearms on the planet and a handful of genuine antique firearms.

    I live in a state that allows LIFETIME CCW permits. Yes, we’re very gun friendly here.

    FWI, I have been to San Antonio to the Challenge more than once. If you don’t know what that is, then you really missed out on your claimed years in the AF. If you had read carefully, you would know I attended the USAF Academy. I have represented the Navy to the Joint Small Arms R&D review board. I have organized other conferences on small arms for USSOCOM. I am personally acquainted with all those people who manage the small arms programs for each and every branch of the US and some foreign countries’ military. But you didn’t read that part.

    I choose 1911A1 design and I choose to put a shot round in the chamber. I choose not to be a victim.

  • Gene

    Thank you for the apology, and please accept mine. Gun-owners must stay on a united front. But I have to make this point. Again,it is about the jury. When you are getting sued for your property (and yours is, apparently, substantial), pre-planning is critical. I’m sure you don’t disagree that the Speer “Lawman” line is outstanding ammunition. Why not carry that, or something similar? I’m saying, protect your ass-ets, and gun-owners in general. Can you imagine what the anti-gun left would do with “rat-shot”???They are the most unreasonable group in the known universe. I agree, deadly force is deadly force, whether you use a rock, or a nuke. But the gun-grabbers don’t. And, if I have decided to pull the trigger, I have decided to use deadly force. As far as I’m concerned, ANYTHING that exits the end of my barrel is lethal. That’s why I have other less-lethal options, such as discretion (run away), or, my particularly nasty diposition…

    As far as San Antonio and the Challenge, well I did miss out. I spent 8 yrs on active duty in the Marines, 3 in the reserves, followed by 5 in the Army (Infantry) NG and 7 in the AF NG. However, I guess my Challenge was ducking incoming rounds in Iraq and Afghanistan and protecting Gen. Abizaid on his PSD team. I’m no expert, but I have a working knowledge of at least some of this stuff, and the negative results of poor choices.

  • G. Haber


    I fell into the same problems with my colt and ended up doing the same thing as you did. It works just fine now. You might also consider a “trigger boot”, it also helped.

  • Thomas Gray

    Although, the 1911 A-1 was not my T.O. weapon, in the field, I carried one while assigned to Sea Duty, while serving in USMC Detachments. I qualified twice with this weapon: Sharpshooter and later Expert. In my experience, given a standard issue draw, proper hand-grip and sight control are the keys to shooting the 1911 automatic pistol well.

  • collie


  • Richard Marksberry

    You are seeing history through the eyes of an Air Force techie. The Army and Marines didn’t want those pea shooters. They had a far superior rifle, the M-14. If you like, I would be happy to post for you the decision making process made by the military arms procurement committee in the summer of 1959 which explicitly recommends the M-16 for all military forces and specifically the ARMY and Marines. It’s quite a read, 26 pages in all, but you have to see the whole thing.

    If you knew anything about the combat infantry company, you would know that less than 1 in 20 were equipped with .30 carbines. So now you are saying the 1 in 20 became equipped with the M-16?

    Last but not least, the USAF had more carbines per-capita than any other branch of service dating back to 1949. I believe you did have to give up your M-16 for ground combat troops but believe me: They didn’t really want them.

    Have a nice day.

  • Richard Marksberry

    By the way Collie, The Marines and Army don’t consider shooting at a target 90″ (inchs) away qualifying for anything. You guys used this method back then. I don’t know if the USAF still does but if so it needs to be changed.

  • Oz


    Good on us as gun owners. Yes, avoiding the confrontation is option one. Option 2 is a SHOW of force (even if it is sans weapons, but I prefer w/ weapon), other, more dramatic options are less favored by me and anybody else. I don’t even LIKE to shoot snakes (I can’t say the same for groundhogs).

    But when I carry, it’s with a shot shell in the chamber and it is there for the snakes. If some larger aggressor forces me to fire in order to preserve my life or health, I am not going to take the time to eject that shot shell before engaging with a more deadly round, I’m simply going to use what I have at hand, be it shot shell, rock, or a length of rebar. So far for me, it’s always been hand to hand, or, in one case, hand to .38 snubnose. He ate through a straw for several weeks and I had a minor powder burn.

  • PFC Wilson

    I don’t suppose anyone could break off from the bickering long enough to tell me how much a good 1911 would run for, could you? The only Colt I could find around here was owned by a comic book freak who tried to replicate the Punisher’s personal .45. He wanted a small fortune for the thing

  • Richard Marksberry

    This is for two people.
    PFC. Wilson
    and the Collie

    1. Wilson , where are you located? I may be able to steer you onto someone.

    2. Collie, the article and history report you need to see is the following:

    1. View TR Citation | View Full Text pdf – 427 KB

    Title: Influence of Organizational Culture on the Acquisition of the M16 Rifle
    AD Number: ADA460822 Corporate Author: ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS Personal Author: Kern, Danford A. Report Date: December 15, 2006 Media: 125 Pages(s) Distribution Code: 01 – APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE Report Classification: (Not Available). Source Code: 037260 From the collection: Technical Reports

    I’m sorry for a type-o- on the first post, I meant 126 pages.

    Now you can get that weapons education you were so lacking in.

    By the way, The Air Force has gone back to the 70m and 270m range. Isn’t that good?

  • Brian

    When I was stationed on the ship in the early 90’s I was part of the ships self defense force. Navy gets to use the Marines hand me downs so we had a full load of M-14s and 1911s. I love both guns and know that if it is not accurate there is something wrong with the gun or the shooter. I currently have a Para Ordnance 1911 and love it. I am also looking to eventually buy a 14 just for nostalgia sake.

  • Richard Marksberry


    Get that 14! Once you start shooting it again it won’t be just nostalgia. It will be a love triangle between you, the colt and the Super Garand!

  • Oz


    A Colt name 1911 is going to cost an arm, a leg, and your firstborn. The Taurus knockoff (built to the same specs as the Colt) can be had for under $400.

  • Richard Marksberry

    PFC Wilson,

    OZ is correct! Many fine examples of this pistol are produced in other countries. LLAMA also comes to mind. They have been producing this model for many, many years for aficionados and military alike and the quality takes a back seat to no one. If you can’t afford that colt logo or even the Springfield, Taurus and LLAMA from Spain are your answer.

  • Mark Hughes

    Too many great comments not to weigh in:

    After finishing my enlistment in the USN in 1982, I thought it prudent to provide for my family’s defense by buying a hand gun and becoming at least familiar with it.

    First the choosing: After looking into balistics, meaning tests done with balistic jelly, I figured the best balistically were the .357 mag, and other “wheel guns” of greater girth, and the .45ACP. I narrowed the search by restricting it to be something fairly common -no exotics, easy to buy and maintain; and the same for the ammo. I thought then and still do that revolvers are more reliable and simpler, but if I got into a situation that required reloading, that could be fatal, so I chose the piece I learned on in the Navy, realizing I would have to install “stuff” to make it more accurate than the ones I learned on.

    The deciding was probably the toughest part: Once that was done, I found many choices to be had, so I settled on a Series 80 that was in a shop frequented by a big city’s police force. The nice thing about the series 80, the barrel and bushing work is already done. I did a little polishing of the feed ramp and that’s about all: 2″ groups at 25′ are no problem.
    Have aquired some other pieces since then, but that’s the one I like by my night-stand.

    For proficiency, I can recommend nothing more effective -or fun- than competition, especially of the action shooting variety. Safety is emphasized, there are some truly awesome shooters out there, and most are willing to teach. Oh yeah, you just about NEED a .45 or such to knock those steel targets down.
    Good times…

  • PFC Wilson

    roger that. thanks guys

  • Nathan Funderburk

    Oh, I just can’t help myself this time.

    I just couldn’t help but notice how everyone who has posted a neat fact on this forum has at least this one thing in common. Richard Marksberry has crawled up their figurative butt. For better or for worse, he has graced us with a brilliant refute to all comments with merit. In this forum alone he claims to be many things, a marine, an expert marksman, a 1911 expert, a self-elected physics professor with no supporting evidence, a wikipedia whiz, and the database for all firearms history and facts ever.
    Frankly, I have endured enough. Some of these facts of his bear no actual truth, and he disproves the simplest physical correlations with the remark “you’re wrong.”
    Being introduced to these new facts of his, and through continued skepticism, I looked some of them up, and while I won’t deliberate, some those them were flat out wrong. I don’t mean to strike down the unerring master of the forum, but those things that are hard on the outside and have paper in the middle that Richard probably uses to prop up his wikipedia-bookmarked computer don’t support his data.
    But seriously, either I can delete all this text right now and go on my merry way, which is probably better, or I could take a different path. Since you are reading this, the latter path has obviously been my choice.

    So here I am, all tact and politeness, asking Richard Marksberry, the man of ineffable internet wisdom, a simple favor.
    Please, please, practice some of that self control and respect that they teach in the marines,
    and stop shitting on everyone’s parade.

    This forum is not your personal internet whack-a-mole, so please don’t treat it that way and stop virtually accosting everyone’s comments, unless they really are offensive and in a rude fashion.
    [cf. Wacurry’s ridiculous comment]
    Thanks man.

  • Richard Marksberry

    Well Nathan Funderburk, you have succeeded in hurting my feelings. I just want go in a corner and cry.

    However, before I leave this string, if you would just sting me one more time and point out what particular things you looked up that weren’t as I claimed. It would help seal my fate.

    However if you can’t do that, I and perhaps the others will understand. By the way, just how many safeties, obvious and non-obvious does the Model 1911 have???

  • Nathan Funderburk

    Haha, I knew you would ask that.
    If you read my first comment you’d know that I’ve never shot a 1911, and sure as anything I don’t know. But, rest assured, if I ever am graced with the chance to shoot one of those pretty peices of history I’ll tell you.
    Unless you want to tell me, because it seems that it’s terribly important, considering you’ve repeated it so many times. I’d honestly love to know.

    That is unless you are going to hunt me down and stick one in my face, inquiring whether or not the firing pin will release when you depress the trigger. Wouldn’t that be cute.

    But truly, I have no vendetta against you, just people wo consitently reply in forums in the nature that you’ve demonstrated here. It just makes it hard to enjoy forums when you know they is a little internet shark lurking below the surface waiting to just eat you up at the first typo or erroneous opinion.

    And to be honest I really don’t feel like sorting through 230 comments to cite the things I found in err.

    The only one that comes to mind is your discrediting my little comparison between a .45 and a sledge hammer. Fact is the physics are simple, and they use your numbers, and you should know tha energy is key, not weight and size.
    That’s why a aluminum tube from a rail gun can knock down a building with no explosive charge. Moves fast, maintains a lot of energy, thus force.

    That’s why indeed, a .45 is like a ten pound hammer, but the hammer moves slower to strike with equivalent force.
    Foot pounds, joules, newtons.

    So excuse my laziness, and by all means, continue with the destructive criticism because it really does a lot of good in this world.

  • Richard Marksberry

    Now, now, Thunderburp, settle down. You make a good point. Perhaps we should both get off of here and let these good people continue on. I know that I can be a real prick and unable to control my urges to inject what little knowledge I have on the subject of small arms and that’s not fair. So what say you to the both of us, me the prick and you the bitch, just dropping off. That way I won’t be giving needless pointers and since you can compress the most words into the smallest idea of any man I know, everybody gets a break.

  • Nathan Funderburk

    I guess we can agree on at lest a few things. I can’t say I was trying to be the better man, because if anything, I’m just a stubborn old bastard.
    But anyway,
    I looked up the safeties on the 1911,
    turns out the old browning grip safety is aslo included with the lever safety. Learn something every day. Same that’s on the 1922 that I have. Good stuff.
    And yeah, I agree, no more pointless bickering. Esp. myself.
    But hell. If we’re ever in the same place maybe we should go throw some lead downrange. Could use some pistol pointers, because when it comes to them, I’d like to blame the tool. But I can’t. I just suck at ’em.

  • Richard Marksberry

    Gentlemen, I’ll leave you with this:

    Model 1911 safeties, Obvious (O) and non-obvious: (NO)

    1, Hammer down. Firing pin is shorter than the distance between the hammer and the bolt face. It can’t go off if dropped on the hammer (NO)

    2, Half cock. (O)

    3. Safety on (O)

    4. Grip Safety (O)

    5. Slid back and locked (O)

    6. Slid out of battery 1/8th inch approx. (NO) Prevents round from going off or bursting when slide may be slightly open due to obstruction.

    7. Magazine empty – slide remains open (O)

    Actually I learned this from an old Tin Can sailor named George Morningway almost 50 years ago. Thanks George!

    8. Keeping the 1911 out of the hands of people like Nathan Funderburk (O)

    I’m outa here!

  • Nathan Funderburk

    Hey now,
    I’m going to go pick one up just because you said that.

  • Gene

    Well. Thank God that’s over with….

  • Ed Lane

    Back in the late 50’s or early 60’s my brothers bought a case of .45’s from the NRA. They were going to make a small fortune selling them around the little town they lived in. The case they purchased had several Remington-Rands. They didn’t make much (probably nothing) on the idea. Later in the 70’s I came into possession (brothers ex was selling his stuff) of one of them along with a case of some Portugese or Italian ammo, little green label and brown cardboard 25 round box. The pistol was very rusty, marked with either a crown or broad arrow, Remington Rand and really sloppy. We took it out to shoot into dirt banks or at paint cans with. It was more of a “see where it hits and correct” type of pistol. My teenage buddies and I shot the heck out of it and that case off and on for a few years. My brother came back “repossesed” it from me and left it handing in a holster from his gun rack. Since he liked to leave his door unlocked, like most folks in rural Montana, eventually it came up missing. I had forgotten about that old .45 until I saw the article about. The only comment I even heard from my brother was that to accurize some of them they had put them in a vise with some wood on either side to tighten the slide. I was amazed to see taht one of the posters noted that they now go for around 1200 or better. It was a fun pistol to shoot. Best Regards!

  • Oz

    Well guys, What can be said?
    wackourry is illiterate and strange but they’re everywhere today. As to the .45 got two at home, carry a s&w .45 at work (because it knocks em down even when the bad guys wear armor, up close) love them all, carried both 1911A1 and a M-9 in the army and I still own an M-9 personally because it’s fun and accurate.
    But I train people in safe weapons handling and basic firearms qualifications, and these guns don’t fit some people’s hands. But the 1911A1 fits more people than any other pistol I’ve seen without modification, an I’ve been at this about 20 years now. There are other calibers available in a colt configuration including .22 to train people away from flinching, but I digress. my experience with worn out pistols in the army matches what Mr. Daniel experienced. Brownells has helped a lot of troops stay alive when the chips were down, An not just on pistols.

  • H.m

    please send me your price list.


  • H.m

    please send me your price list.


  • H.m

    please send me your price list.


  • steven

    I didn’t read all the comments but I agree with the first guy. I am currently serving in the marine corps and i totally agree that the government standards for firearms are piss poor at best. If anyone disagrees then do this, pick up an issued M16 hold the lower reciever in one hand and jiggle the upper in the other, you will notice that the fit is just shitty. then go to a gun dealer pick up any AR-15 and they have a snug fit. and military ammo is by far the worst i have ever shot. as far as the debate on pistols, i personally hate the M9s. i couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn with one. but i can’t really shoot good with ANY 1911 style pistol i have ever shot, including kimber, desert eagle, FNH, and many more. I can however, take my springfield XD 45 out and hit dead on all day from 25yds. i believe when it comes to pistols its all about the individual and their shooting style.

  • Just re-read all the interesting comments and some were very funny! never laughed so much in my life! Specially the last few….Great forum all because of our favorite handgun! Can’t wait for the forum on the M1 Garand – Had one in Ft Dix & in Paris in 1962-65….ouch!!! smashed my thumb with the bolt every time I failed to pull it out of the chamber fast enough…during basic anyway; finally got the trick!

  • Paid CHF 900.- ($700.-)for my then new MKIV series 70 Colt .45 20 years ago. I saw rough but working models for sale about the same price 2 years ago.

  • mike

    Most of the old military .45 were worn out by the time guys got them in the sixties and seventies.

    I have worked several shootings over the years and you can always tell a .44 or .45 round shooting.

    No mistaking what happened.

    I have a sig .45 and have had 1911.
    John browning is one of my heros. for what it is the 1911 is an ass kicking one of a kind thing of ****ing beuty!!!!

    I thought the 1911 came about because of the mori uprising in the philipeans. The army was using .38 revolvers at the time that would not stop them because they used drugs to “get in the mood”

  • greg

    I remember qualifying with a .45 for guard duty at a Nike Hercules missile site. ( 1970’s )

    I believe the life size target was at 25 yards and while I was able to keep my rounds in the head area most of the others had never shot a pistol, much less a .45. I do have to argue with the perception of recoil, with army ammo it seemed strangely mild. This was at sunrise ( the Army seemed to regard the exercise as something to get “done” rather than to produce any comfort level in the participants. ) As the sun crested the adjacent hill I noticed I could actually see the bullet for the first 5 – 7 feet ( the sun perfectly showed off the bullet and I believe the low bid rounds were slow enough for me to pick them up in my field of vision. ) I have never had that sort of experience since.

  • We had to fire the 1911A for familiarization at Parris Island. I was grateful over the next four years when all my firing came down to the M1. The familiarization consisted of, if 54 year old memories are accurate, about 50 rounds after firing 20 or so rounds through a Colt Woodsman (.22). No problems with the Colt, but my experience with the .45 convinced me that its best use was as a club.

  • bj007

    There’s a h… of a big difference between competitive target shooting and shooting at a charging ready-to-die enemy out to kill and disembowel you. The 1911 .45 caliber semi-auto pistol was, originally, developed as the”last line of defense”against the final attack of the the Muslim ( “Moro”) warriors in the southern Philippines. Should the “expert”Wacurry bother to do some research, he will definitely, without too much problem/s, find this information and be able to “understand”,and hopefully appreciate what the 1911 .45 cal semi-auto was/is all about. To reiterate the threat of the Muslim, “Moro”, attacker : The attacker is charging, running at full speed, with his “kris” ( sword peculiar to the Moslem warriors in the southern Philippines ) drawn out!