A Nurse with a Gun

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

What Brand Pistol for War?

I was just this morning reading on a forum what pistol internet ninjas say they would like to tote on their hip into the theater of Afghanistan or Iraq.

The usual plastic fantastics were listed. It made me think of what people carry when they tend to know sidearms and they have a choice in the matter......

The original MEU (SOC) pistols were hand-selected standard government issued Colt M1911A1s that were gutted, deburred, and prepared for additional use by the USMC Precision Weapon Section (PWS) in Quantico, VA.

They were then assembled with after-market grip safeties, a rounded hammer, ambidextrous thumb safeties, lighter triggers made by Videcki, improved high-visibility sights, accurized match-grade barrels made by Bar-Sto, Pachmayr rubber grips, front cocking-serrations, and improved stainless steel magazines made by Wilson Combat.

The trigger-pull weight is specified at between 4.5 and 5.0 pounds of pressure.

The pistol's components are hand fitted and are not interchangeable. The last four digits of the weapon's serial number are stamped on the top of the barrel, on the right-side of slide assembly, inside of the beavertail grip safety, on each side of the ambidextrous thumb safety, and on the inside face of the mainspring housing group.

Due to wear and tear of the MEU(SOC) pistols, the U.S. Marines attempted to look commercially for replacements. On 17 February 2005, Marine Corps Systems Command announced that it was going to purchase 150 Springfield Armory Professional Model pistols for use as MEU(SOC) pistols. Despite the planned purchase of the commercial pistols, Marine Corps Systems Command has continued to solicit parts to build additional MEU(SOC) pistols.

Source: Cut and paste from Wikipedia. Use: Personal reference. Don't like it? Write your own blog.



Blogger The Duck said...

Isn't the Kimber Warrior a commerical version of what they built for the Marines?

7:22 AM  
Blogger Tam said...

I'd carry one of those. Or a Glock. Or a SIG. Or a USP. Or a Beretta. Whatever.

Whatever it was, I'd train with it, though.

7:41 AM  
Blogger Xavier said...

Could be Duck. Are the jarheads carrying it?

Tam, I figure they do a magazine or two in fam fire. ;)

8:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1. Pistol is for self-protection.
2. Pistol carriers are sniper targets.
3. In a war zone, people exposed to enemy fires are wise to carry long guns.
4. In Iraq, people being questioned or ordered about were not intimidated by long guns. A pistol being waved got their attention. To those folks, the handgun was the executioner's weapon.
5. Your cheesiest ugly gun would suffice for #1 or #4.
V/R JWest

8:10 AM  
Blogger The Duck said...

Appears only the recon units are using it, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MEU(SOC)_pistol
As for the rest it appears it is still the M9

8:50 AM  
Blogger Mark Horning said...

If I were stuck with something chambered in 9mm due to logistics, it would not be a plastic fantastic, it would be either a Browning Hi-power or CZ-75.

Given a choice of any sidearm, a handbuilt 1911 by the Marine Corps armorers would be the #1 pick.

11:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All opinions on "What I'd carry to war" usually blithely overlook the fact that you carry whatever you are issued. Personal weapons have been verboten since well before most current enlistees were born. Not saying it is never done, but if caught the consequences usually outweigh the benefits.

The MEUSOC is issued to MARSOC people only and made from existing GI 1911's or the newer Springfields. Kimber pistols are not used.

12:11 PM  
Anonymous aczarnowski said...

I still wonder why we have a .mil spec pistol. Is there a standard mission profile (i.e. not SOCOM) that details a pistol instead of a carbine?

I completely understand why a soldier wound want a pistol (I carry one too!) but I don't understand why the .mil wants one.

If a warrior wants a pistol, let them bring along whatever they want.

12:14 PM  
Blogger Sevesteen said...

I won't argue with the choice of .45 if limited to ball ammo. (I won't argue against .45 very much under any circumstances) I won't argue with a single-stack if it is going to be a standard weapon for a variety of hand sizes. I won't argue with 1911 if there is existing training and infrastructure in place for it. (I won't argue against 1911 much, unless there's budget involved)

But without existing infrastructure and the need to accommodate hands smaller than mine, I'd probably go with a polymer double stack in a camo color.

7:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like the 1911 as much as the next guy, but, I'd take a Glock 21 over a 1911 into battle these days.

Why? Cause that is what I carry for work.

10:58 PM  
Anonymous Jordan said...

One of my roommates was lucky enough to fire a MEU(SOC) 1911 while on an internship with a government agency in DC. He said it was one of the finest pistols he's had the privilege of firing.

Another note: although our soldiers on the ground may have their issued weapons, the employees of private military contractors can often choose whichever weapons they want for themselves. If it were me...IMI Galil and a .40 Browning Hi-Power converted to 9mm (heavier built pistol, can take more abuse). The weapons would meet my needs and I wouldn't run into a shortage of ammo.

4:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1. Most of the special operations forces are allowed considerable latitude in choice of weapons and equipment.
2. When operating with such, was jealous on several occasions.
3. The major constraint is availability of ammunition, batteries and repair parts.
4. An acquaintance who was a battalion S-4 early on in Iraq said he was fielding requests for 57 different types of batteries.
5. In some pretty basic and gritty situations, choice of laptop may be more critical than choice of weapon.
6. That is to say: the laptop is a weapon.
V/R JWest

6:31 AM  
Blogger Brice said...

I've only shot a 1911 a few times. I can't say that I found them any more or less useful than any other pistol. Psychologically, I worry about the multiple safeties. Moving parts gum up and I prefer a gun that goes bang every time. In reality, I know they do just fine for many people. I do wonder if it makes sense to carry a tightly fitted custom 1911 designed for accuracy in a dusty, sandy environment. If I have to go prone in a sand pile, and then need that gun, will it work? More than once? Inquiring minds want to know.

6:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was interested in your use of the phrase 'those who know weapons and have a choice', and am curious.

Are you saying that such people will always gravitate toward a 1911-style all metal pistol?

Because that certainly is NOT the case in my circle of acquaintances...

I choose not to open a Google account. But I am known as LSP972 on various gun boards. Hope that will suffice; this appears to be an interesting site.

8:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To answer aczarnowski's question, yes there are mission profiles when troops are issued a sidearm instead of a long arm. I was a 1316 (Basic Metalworker) in the Marines. Any BMW or AMW (Basic or Advanced Metal Worker) involved in combat recovery operations was issued a sidearm if they were NCO rank (Corporal or above). This was mostly because we were involved with lots of climbing, attaching, shimmying, crawling under over and around busted vehicles. Those places are not conducive to dragging a rifle around. Recovery operations also took place in "semi-secure" environments, so the treat index was low. I believe the "heavy junk" drivers(heavy equipment operators in the combat engineers) had similar rules.
Richard Douglas

8:15 AM  
Blogger Tam said...

"Is there a standard mission profile (i.e. not SOCOM) that details a pistol instead of a carbine?"

Various people whose jobs require both hands and aren't easily performed with a carbine strapped to them may occasionally find themselves in a position where they would feel better if they could shoot back.

8:55 AM  
Anonymous BombthePeasants said...

I read forums similar to the one mentioned, almost on a daily basis, but many posts such as that can get dragged down into the mud rather quickly. That's why I prefer to lighten things up, and state that I'd prefer to carry a handheld particle projection cannon, or perhaps a phaser. However, in real life, I train with my Loaded 1911 from Springfield Armory, because I train with it on a semi-weekly basis, and I feel supremely confident in my abilities to kill paper bad guys with it.

9:48 AM  
Blogger Xavier said...

"I was interested in your use of the phrase 'those who know weapons and have a choice', and am curious.

Are you saying that such people will always gravitate toward a 1911-style all metal pistol?"

I didn't say that. Did you?

2:30 PM  
Blogger Overload in Colorado said...

How does that ambi safety stay on? I don't see a leg under the grip or any other retention method.

5:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, Xavier... you didn't say that. And neither did I.

But it certainly looked to me like you were suggesting such.

So... yes or no?

LSP 972

6:33 PM  
Anonymous aczarnowski said...

Thanks stickthrower2001.

I reasoned those jobs would be a "carbine near by" gig instead of wearing a pistol while doing the job. So OK then - the guys doing it think a standard issue pistol has enough utility.

9:46 AM  
Blogger Xavier said...

LSP, It has been my experience through observing handgun shooters develop over time, that they seem to either gravitate towards the Glock or the 1911. Sometimes both, and occasionally wheelguns.

The reasons for their choices are as individual as the shooters themselves. There are some handguns that seasoned shooters do not seem to gravitate towards, and stick with for any length of time. One of them is the Beretta 92.

Now, I could have put up a photo of a Glock and a bit of history about the MEU-SOC Glock, but there isn't any such animal. If there were, it would likely be black, 9mm and look surprisingly like any other Glock. It would be a pretty damned boring piece of writing.

I did have a pic of a MEU-SOC 1911 that is a purpose built firearm that is nota pretentious whizbang whammo gun that many people desire in a 1911. I decided to put it up with some cut and pasted specs for those who might not know about it. I needed a lead into the specs, in other words, my own writing.

Don't be so childish, insecure and defensive about your choices. Shoot what you like. Read the last bit of my writing. Use: Personal reference. Don't like it? Write your own blog. I'm not here to argue with you. Period.

1:35 PM  

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