Colt Awarded Contract For New MARSOC Pistol

pardus

Verified Military
Joined
Sep 7, 2006
Messages
9,976
The Marine Corps’ elite special operations and reconnaissance units will field thousands of new .45-caliber pistols over the next four years, military acquisition officials confirmed Thursday.
The service awarded a $22.5 million contract to Colt Defense for its M1911A1 Rail Guns. The deal was finalized Wednesday night, according to Barb Hamby, a spokeswoman for Marine Corps Systems Command in Quantico, Va. Precise details are expected to be released Thursday evening, but there is widespread speculation the order will total some 4,000 firearms.
The pistols will be manufactured at Colt’s plant in West Hartford, Conn., and delivered to the Marine Corps by 2017, Hamby said.
Designated the M45 Close Quarter Battle Pistol by the service, Colt’s Rail Gun takes a tried and true platform used since World War I and outfits it with a rail at the front of the receiver that can be used to mount the flashlights, lasers and infrared devices preferred by today’s special operations forces. While fundamentally unchanged since its inception, the weapon does use the company’s newer series 80 firing system, developed during the 1980s to increase safety by adding a firing pin block that prevents the discharge of a live cartridge if the gun is dropped or banged.
The weapon Colt submitted for this contract competition includes a dual recoil spring assembly, meant to reduce recoil. It was furnished in a desert tan color and featured a Cercoat finish designed to reduce reflection and prevent corrosion. The pistol also features more stainless steel parts, which should help it withstand the harsh environments where special operations and reconnaissance Marines operate — particularly in and around saltwater.
It’s not immediately clear whether Colt’s final prototype also includes all these flourishes.
While standard operating forces throughout the U.S. military use the NATO-standard Beretta M9 pistol, elite military and law enforcement units, including Marine special operations and force recon, have continued to use the 1911. While it requires more maintenance and care than many modern semi-automatic pistols, it is revered for its accuracy and performance in the hands of skilled shooters. Its .45-caliber rounds also pack a heavier punch than the 9mm NATO rounds used in the M9.
Other company’s that competed for the contract included Springfield Armory out of Geneseo, Ill., and Karl Lippard Designs of Colorado Springs, Colo.
http://www.marinecorpstimes.com/news/2012/07/Marine-corps-marsoc-new-colt-45-caliber-pistols-071912/MARSOC_Colt_pistol_800.jpeg
 

pardus

Verified Military
Joined
Sep 7, 2006
Messages
9,976
That is disturbing. I'd hope the Corps picked the best pistol of the bunch though. I'd also hope the Corps goes to Colt and says "WTF!? Fix this shit so it never happens again."
 

DA SWO

SOWT
Verified SOF
Joined
Aug 18, 2007
Messages
9,676
Location
San Antonio Texas
FINALLY the 45acp is being brought back! This is good news.
Why?

There are so many capable .45 systems available, why go with one that was initially deemed unacceptable?
Is the Marine Corps so steeped in tradition that they ignored more capable systems so they can claim to be the last Combat Force using a 1911?
 

Th3 Maelstr0m

Bally-hoosman
Verified Military
Joined
Jan 19, 2010
Messages
171
Location
Midwest

Dear god. That's pretty disturbing, especially for a custom job. I'd be really interested to read a report on the ins & outs that led to them deciding on a 1911. 12k & the frame is cracking? I wonder how their torture test compared to some done on a glock or m&p:

http://www.theprepared.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=90&Item

http://pistol-training.com/archives/998
 

Marauder06

Intel Enabler
Verified SOF
Joined
Sep 9, 2006
Messages
10,717
Location
CONUS
First it was "we want our own uniforms" now it's "we want our own sidearms."

I wonder if this is going to spark a services-wide "arms race" like MARPAT did.
 

policemedic

Verified SWAT
Joined
Jul 29, 2008
Messages
5,661
Location
A galaxy far, far away

I own one with some 5000 rounds through it, and I'd disagree with you. The Rail Gun, aside from its use of the Series 80 parts, is an excellent production 1911.

Now granted, 5000 rounds isn't 12K. I'd expect the guns to last much longer than that, although I'd expect them to need gunsmith attention throughout their lifespan (that's the nature of the 1911).

I'm going to have to read the entire testing protocol, and see how the rest of the guns did. I'm interested in what may have caused the (unacceptable!) failures. Was it poor metallurgy, some weird kind of production issue, or a ridiculous testing protocol?

That is disturbing. I'd hope the Corps picked the best pistol of the bunch though. I'd also hope the Corps goes to Colt and says "WTF!? Fix this shit so it never happens again."

Colt's reputation for quality control has seen a resurgence over the past few years and they've been putting out better and more reliable pistols than they ever have. In my opinion, and admittedly judging on a small sample size (my pistol and a few others), the Rail Gun is one of Colt's best. Colt has a number of veterans on staff. I'm sure none of them want to put substandard guns in the hands of combat troops. I'm equally sure Colt doesn't want to the black eye that will come with putting out crap.

They'll fix it.

Why?

There are so many capable .45 systems available, why go with one that was initially deemed unacceptable?
Is the Marine Corps so steeped in tradition that they ignored more capable systems so they can claim to be the last Combat Force using a 1911?

I may be forgetting something, but I don't remember the 1911 being thought of as unacceptable. I believe the switch to the M9 POS and the 9mm had to do with standardizing equipment with other NATO forces.

With that said, I agree that there are other capable .45s out there. I'd argue the HK45 would fill the role nicely without some of the pitfalls associated with a 1911.


I thought I posted this earlier..... 4,000 pistols at a cost of $22.5 million for the contract comes out to $5625 per pistol. That seems pretty pricey.

Even with the Cerakote, and assuming it's the non-IR reflective stealth coating used on LWRC's M6IC, $5625 does seem to be a bit much. I got mine for a HK USP45 and a few hundred cash.
 

Polar Bear

They call me Mr Sunshine
Verified Military
Joined
Aug 14, 2006
Messages
4,467
Location
Kentucky
Gee how about a Glock 21 and 5 rattle cans to change colors. People need to quit reinventing the wheel.
 

AWP

Formerly Known as Freefalling
SOF Support
Joined
Sep 8, 2006
Messages
15,899
Location
Not Afghanistan
I own one with some 5000 rounds through it, and I'd disagree with you. The Rail Gun, aside from its use of the Series 80 parts, is an excellent production 1911.

Now granted, 5000 rounds isn't 12K. I'd expect the guns to last much longer than that, although I'd expect them to need gunsmith attention throughout their lifespan (that's the nature of the 1911).

I'm going to have to read the entire testing protocol, and see how the rest of the guns did. I'm interested in what may have caused the (unacceptable!) failures. Was it poor metallurgy, some weird kind of production issue, or a ridiculous testing protocol?

Colt's reputation for quality control has seen a resurgence over the past few years and they've been putting out better and more reliable pistols than they ever have. In my opinion, and admittedly judging on a small sample size (my pistol and a few others), the Rail Gun is one of Colt's best. Colt has a number of veterans on staff. I'm sure none of them want to put substandard guns in the hands of combat troops. I'm equally sure Colt doesn't want to the black eye that will come with putting out crap.

They'll fix it.

I agree with you and don't want anyone to think I'm a 1911 hater; far from it.

For the pistols to have the failures that they did is unacceptable (as you mentioned). I'm a little curious how the contract was awarded with weapons that, for whatever reasons, failed. The reality is that there is a contract and numerous weapons DID fail.

Maybe that $5600 a copy included lifetime frame and slide replacements...kind of like buying the protection plan at Best Buy or wherever? O_o
 

policemedic

Verified SWAT
Joined
Jul 29, 2008
Messages
5,661
Location
A galaxy far, far away
kind of like buying the protection plan at Best Buy or wherever? O_o

Yeah...somehow that always trebles the price :D ("You don't want the extended 5-yr protection plan on your new iPhone case? It's only $150 for 5 years and it will cover the cost of a new case so you're never inconvenienced.....")

You bring up a good point, though. If the Colt pistols experienced these documented failures, how badly did the other guns do that Colt was still judged contract-worthy? Or was the contract awarded after taking other factors into consideration in addition to the gun's performance?
 

Etype

Special Forces
Verified SOF
Joined
Sep 18, 2010
Messages
2,187
I thought I posted this earlier..... 4,000 pistols at a cost of $22.5 million for the contract comes out to $5625 per pistol. That seems pretty pricey.
That price is just fucking retarded.
Gee how about a Glock 21 and 5 rattle cans to change colors. People need to quit reinventing the wheel.
There's not a damn thing wrong with a pistol that works every time you pull it out of the holster.

1911s are good competition guns in divisions above production, but I hope the Marines are planning on going to war and not competing. Exposed hammers and external safeties are not something any combat pistol should have.
 

Etype

Special Forces
Verified SOF
Joined
Sep 18, 2010
Messages
2,187
If your pistol was primary weapon system, if it was what you fought with and devoted the bulk of your maintenance to, a 1911 would be a great choice. However, when I climb a wall and fall down into a mud puddle, I'm protecting my rifle, I'm really not paying any attention to what my pistol hits on the way over or how dirty it gets. When I have 2 hour turn around to do maintenance and sleep, I don't want 2 weapon systems that I have to completely disassemble, clean, and lube.

If you were choosing a pistol to shoot a bullseye competition, a 1911 would be a great choice. However, when a fighting man draws his pistol, it's because something has gone terribly wrong. He may not have done any maintenance on it last night, he just fell on it and the rear of it is now caked in wet sand, but it has to work.
Its .45-caliber rounds also pack a heavier punch than the 9mm NATO rounds used in the M9.

This is such a BS line. I can't believe, with everything we now know about ballistics, quotes like this are still so common. Unless you are shooting 180 or 165 gr .45, it's still a subsonic round- so the only difference is you're punching a 2mm larger hole, but you are sacrificing the hydraulic shock achieved by a supersonic 9mm round. If the bigger bullet argument had any significance, then a revolutionary era .75 cal musket would have better terminal ballistics than a modern .308, but that's just not the case.


It's about fucking time the military at the institutional level gets smart on these kinds of things and stopped proliferating bullshit that we knew to be untrue 20 years ago.
 

DA SWO

SOWT
Verified SOF
Joined
Aug 18, 2007
Messages
9,676
Location
San Antonio Texas
I thought I posted this earlier..... 4,000 pistols at a cost of $22.5 million for the contract comes out to $5625 per pistol. That seems pretty pricey.
4000 is the initial buy, I believe the 22.5M was for an estimated 12K buy.

I own one with some 5000 rounds through it, and I'd disagree with you. The Rail Gun, aside from its use of the Series 80 parts, is an excellent production 1911.

Now granted, 5000 rounds isn't 12K. I'd expect the guns to last much longer than that, although I'd expect them to need gunsmith attention throughout their lifespan (that's the nature of the 1911).

I'm going to have to read the entire testing protocol, and see how the rest of the guns did. I'm interested in what may have caused the (unacceptable!) failures. Was it poor metallurgy, some weird kind of production issue, or a ridiculous testing protocol?



Colt's reputation for quality control has seen a resurgence over the past few years and they've been putting out better and more reliable pistols than they ever have. In my opinion, and admittedly judging on a small sample size (my pistol and a few others), the Rail Gun is one of Colt's best. Colt has a number of veterans on staff. I'm sure none of them want to put substandard guns in the hands of combat troops. I'm equally sure Colt doesn't want to the black eye that will come with putting out crap.

They'll fix it.



I may be forgetting something, but I don't remember the 1911 being thought of as unacceptable. I believe the switch to the M9 POS and the 9mm had to do with standardizing equipment with other NATO forces.

With that said, I agree that there are other capable .45s out there. I'd argue the HK45 would fill the role nicely without some of the pitfalls associated with a 1911.




Even with the Cerakote, and assuming it's the non-IR reflective stealth coating used on LWRC's M6IC, $5625 does seem to be a bit much. I got mine for a HK USP45 and a few hundred cash.

I emboldened the part I am responding to. 1911 was not deemed unacceptable (the contract specs drove every one to a 1911). The Colt was initially deemed unacceptable.

The failures were all pretty much similar, and there is some belief that Colt "tweaked" the design which led to a systematic slide failure by 12K rounds.

H&K, M&P, and other .45's were not tested because of the design specs. The Marines wanted a Colt .45 and they have one.
 

policemedic

Verified SWAT
Joined
Jul 29, 2008
Messages
5,661
Location
A galaxy far, far away
4000 is the initial buy, I believe the 22.5M was for an estimated 12K buy.



I emboldened the part I am responding to. 1911 was not deemed unacceptable (the contract specs drove every one to a 1911). The Colt was initially deemed unacceptable.

The failures were all pretty much similar, and there is some belief that Colt "tweaked" the design which led to a systematic slide failure by 12K rounds.

H&K, M&P, and other .45's were not tested because of the design specs. The Marines wanted a Colt .45 and they have one.

I'm tracking now. I thought you were referring to the period in the 80's when the 1911 was phased out and the M9 POS was phased in.
 

Salt USMC

Intel
SOF Support
Joined
May 3, 2010
Messages
3,116
Location
Washington, DC
4,000 seems like an awful lot of pistols for such a small command. MARSOC has, what, like 2,700 Marines on its T/O? And its not even up to 100% yet. Are they planning on giving every swingin dick a .45?
 
Top