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The Colt MEU(SOC) Pistol

11th MEU Member Shoots M45a1 Pistol. Notice the wear.

Right off the bat I need to say that the title of this post is likely incorrect. A tip of the hat to the late Dave Berryhill. What I have always called a MEU(SOC) pistol is a 1911 built up and tuned by the US Marine Corps Precision Weapons Section (PWS) at Quantico. This was built by Colt.

Colt M45a1 — The Biggest Service Pistol Failure in IS Military History

Do they still do it? And if so, is it there? I honestly don’t know. Why? Because at the end of the day a work gun is just a work gun. You get what they throw at you. Or what you can afford. If you are lucky. Some called this the M45A1. Some call it the CQB pistol. Others call it a Recon or MEU(SOC) pistol.

The image pictured here is likely the very last 45 caliber 1911 that was issued to any US Military Forces. At least standardized. But no more. I think. At least I think that is what I think. I don’t care to even search the subject out. Why the lukewarm interest?

Colt M45a1 — The Biggest Service Pistol Failure in IS Military History

The truth. I used to say we live in a Glock world. But in reality we live in a striker pistol world. Most of the people of the age to be in RECON or MEU(SOC) or Raiders likely were born after 1990. They grew up in a Glock world. And it came as no surprise to many that the M45 / CQB45 left many with lukewarm feelings.

Work guns need to work. But just as importantly, if they are 100% reliable with less maintenance or time invested chasing function, that leaves more time to do a myriad of other tasks that aren’t considered cool by Hollywood / Gun-Forum standards. But likely more important since military service…is…a…rifle…service.

11th MEU Member Shoots M45a1 Pistol. Notice the wear.

So back to this pistol. Look closely at the image. Is that gun abused? Is a RECON Marine not a “Gun Guy”? Or an armed professional? Of course he is. Those marks are just wear. But if you listen to the gun forums, a pistol in that shape is carried by Bozo The Clown.


Makes me wonder. Will DOD allow these last Colt 1911’s service pistols to be surplussed out to CMP? One can only hope. It would be neat to have one. Not for it’s reputation for function. That is nothing to brag about since it likely holds the dubious distinction as the shortest-lived service pistol is US Military History. Yes. From a procurement standpoint, this pistol is the biggest handgun failure for the US Military in over 100 years.

Buy it for its historical fact. Not its PR fiction.

The last 45.

“Shooting Guns & Having Fun”

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