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Is the MARSOC .45 the Right Gun?

Our boy Matt Cox has a story this afternoon on Military.com that goes into the Marine Corps' program to replace its MarSoc .45s with a more modern version.

Marine special operators may have a new pistol by years’ end, but it won’t be the latest in sidearm technology.

The Corps’ weapons officials are bypassing decades of handgun innovations and sticking with the revered .45 caliber 1911 for its new Close Quarters Battle Pistol.

The service launched the effort to replace the Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command M45 pistol, another 1911 design, in spring 2010.

The Marines want to take the manufacturing burden off of the internal gunsmiths who currently custom build the M45 and tap a commercial gun maker to provide a similar pistol.

But some military pistol experts maintain that the 1911 design, while extremely accurate, requires more training and care than other modern tactical pistols.

“You’ve got to be more dialed in on keeping it lubed; you’ve got to be more dialed in on trouble-shooting if there is parts or magazine issues,” said Larry Vickers, a well-known tactical pistol instructor and 1911 expert.

Now we've all seen the video where Vickers equates the .45 with the complexity and user involvement of the M-16. The interesting point of discussion for us doesn't come until a couple of grafs down in the story where officials say they aren't running a replacement program because they don't have the money for it.

So let me get this straight: The top tier of special operators in the US military -- the ones actually most likely to use them in a fight -- are shooting Glocks and Sigs, but the Marine special operators have to keep a pistol design that's been largely abandoned by Tier 1 units (and those below)? It's only 4,000 pistols. You'd think the Corps could come up with the money and clout to run a new program (and carve out a new "requirement" rather than being the only major unit within the US military that issues .45s...

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