Colt M45 CQB: The Marines' 1911 (VIDEO)

This is the commercial variant of the Marines’ new M45.

The Marines recently awarded Colt with a contract to supply new 1911s for use with the Marine Corps Special Operations Command (MARSOC) units, and it is apparent that of the handguns tested, a majority of them incurred critical damage to their frames and slides as well as other parts.

Colt sent the Marines 15 modified Rail Gun 1911s for evaluation early this year. Test pistols numbers 11, 12, 14 and 15 all showed “safety-critical” cracks and one failed completely. Samples 1-10 were not tested. The guns fired just 12,000 rounds (it is not clear whether they fired 12,000 rounds each or all together—either way this looks very bad). Despite these failures, the Marines selected Colt to manufacture future M-45s for service use

Colt modified their Rail Gun significantly for this contract. They replaced the traditional recoil spring and guide rod for a dual recoil spring assembly to reduce recoil and improve shot times and the gun uses stainless steel internals for better wear resistance in the many harsh environments faces by the special operations Marines, particularly salty water.

The M45s also feature Novak tritium-powered night sights, a series-80 firing pin safety, a desert tan Ceracoat finish and synthetic grips. Unlike the original MEU(SOC) Pistol, it does have a rail. It is otherwise a fairly standard full-size single-stack 1911 chambered in .45 ACP.

It’s possible that Colt has since addressed the conditions that lead to these failures, in either or both the military and commercial versions.

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