Skip to comments.The Army Pistol
Posted on 07/14/2014 2:20:50 AM PDT by WhiskeyX
In 1985 the United States Army replaced the Colt 1911 service pistol with the Italian designed M9 Beretta. The first question that came to mind is why? Why not simply order up a few hundred thousand of the then new Series 80 Colts?
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Now if they would just ditch the M16 rifle for something in the .25-.30 cal range. something that doesn’t spit carbon fouling into the chamber perhaps.
Is there anybody who aren’t really satisfied with Beretta’s performance? Was there a situation when it’s ‘knock-down’ power wasn’t enough?
Well, it was probably a bad idea to ditch Colt for that but does it worth to waste money for yet another replacement?
If the author looked at qualification scores he would not ask the question he asked. I used to run a lot of ranges when I was in the Army. It was my observation at the time we switched pistols that a much higher percentage of people qualified the 1st try with the M9 than with the M1911A1. Was it because the M9 had much better sights than the M1911A1 or was it because of less recoil? I don’t know. I had a LT at one range BOLO and complain to me about the pistol. I took the same gun and shot expert with it later that day while he watched. That LT always had issues qualifying with the .45 but no problems once we switched to the M9. I did not have a problem with either pistol but many people just did not shoot well with the government issued 1911s. .45 may have better knockdown power but that doesn’t matter much if people do not hit what they are shooting at. Maybe if they get a softer shooting polymer .45 with better sights non-gun people will do better with it?
“Is there anybody who arent really satisfied with Berettas performance? Was there a situation when its knock-down power wasnt enough?
Well, it was probably a bad idea to ditch Colt for that but does it worth to waste money for yet another replacement?”
Your past anti-Ukrainian and anti-American disinformation rants betray your concern troll tactics with respect to how the U.S. Army should and should not be armed. The M9 pistol was adopted almost 20 years ago and has seen rather heavy usage in that time. Many of the M9 pistols are worn and are arguably due for replacement by something which is not so worn. It is understandable how you would not want Putin, your object of frequent admiration, and his KGB thug buddies to face an American .45 caliber pistol in combat, but that’s just too bad for you.
OMG. Where am I anti-Americananti-American and Putin-lover?
My unit was issued the M9 in 1984. It has been 30 years or so.
I suppose it may stem from the fact that the rounds the military has to use in it (officially) are ball rounds - FMJs. I own several Berettas and they’ve always performed flawlessly. However, I’ve not put thousands of rounds through them nor carried them in a desert environment with sand like talcum powder.
I also own several 1911 variants, including US Army Colt 1911 and a 1911A1. Great weapons. Hefty and solid and good shooters. But they are heavy, and the normal load for them is about 8 rounds unless you go with extended magazines. With the right ammo (not ball) they’d rip most anyone apart.
“My unit was issued the M9 in 1984. It has been 30 years or so.”
[Chuckle] You’re most certainly right. Sorry about that. I was just doing a day’s worth of file management with 2001-2004 files, and I misspoke and dropped a decade there.
Where has the time gone? We were still being issued M1911A1 and Smith & Wesson pistols 30 years after the end of the Second World War. It seems like only yesterday the news of the adoption of the M9 Beretta was just coming out.
You’re as bad as Baghdad Bob and not nearly as comical.
I shot both pistols back-to-back during a cooperative rifle qualification with the Bundeswehr back in 1991. I found the recoil of the .45 to be fairly “slow”, where the 9mm was sharper. The 45 was probably stronger, but didn’t seem so. However, the 45 (at least the one I was issued that day) shot a very wide group despite careful bracing, while the 9mm’s group was quite tight. The 45 I had was, it should be noted, well-worn and probably ready for replacement.
Time does fly by, I was just thinking that it doesn’t seem that much time has passed looking back. Some of the M9s are probably getting long in the tooth now and need to be replaced. I saw a Marine Major carrying one I thought was stainless last week. When I looked closer, it was just a standard M9 with the finish almost completely worn off of it.
The JSSAP completely ignores reality or battlefield experience when it decides what soldiers are going to use in the future and in the case of the M9, pushed the 9mm Luger caliber to make it easier for ladies to shoot. As with other calibers or projects they want to advance, they use bogus computer modeling to "prove" that the 9mm or 5.56mm are savagely lethal rounds compared to all other candidates.
The result is that our services end up with less-than-optimal weapon systems to fight our wars (and to risk their lives with) while the JSSAP members make their money and go home. The army research, development, and engineering organizations at Picatinny Arsenal, Aberdeen Proving Ground, and Fort Benning aren't any better and go along with these half-baked projects, mainly because most of them are also civilians who never wore the uniform and they get their pride up when challenged.
The latest goofiness from JSSAP and army developers is the XM-25 25mm grenade rifle with its $25K each aiming system - heavy, kicks like a moose, short effective range, expensive to acquire and to shoot, and relies on the insane-in-combat method of sticking the upper part of the shooter's body above cover to range the target for each shot so the aiming system can compute the firing solution. Even if the system actually gets the range right, the "grenade" round has a tiny warhead and frags the size of grains of sand. Yet the army and JSSAP continue pushing that pig.
I would encourage everyone to visit the infantry museum at Fort Bragg. They have a collection of JSSAP failures in one wing of their weapons display. Enjoy.
My experience pretty much matches what you wrote. The Army M911A1s I dealt with were not like the ones people can buy now. Even the low end ones you can buy now are easier to shoot well than the old M1911A1s were. They were functional, but pretty loose and had very crappy sights on them. I was in one unit that switched and then I PCS’d to another unit before they switched. Range scores in both units improved markedly with the new M9s. I am guessing it was probably the very usable sights on the M9 that made a difference more than anything else.
Drew the heavy .45 everyday and never was confident I could hit anything with it if I had to. MP dog handler 1979-1982, Kaiserslautern, for most of it. I was sure it would knock everything down if I did !
I have owned both the Beretta 9mm, Taurus 92 knock off and the series 70 Colt. During my police years on a tactical team we carried the colt in .45 auto. I still own a browning highpower which is a fine single action auto, but in 9mm. I spent a few years in Iraq in 2005 and 2006. I carried a Glock in 9mm, a decent 9mm, but i just did not care for it. I came across a colt series 80,in .45 with extra mags and ammunition and swapped out straight away. Give me something that has the best potential to put the lights out or disable quickly. The .45 auto has that potential. The 1911 configuration would be my choice even today.
HAving been in civilian law enforcement, military police, combat vet from OIF I, and a Blackwater PSOC, I have used 9mm, .40 CAL S/W, and .45 - out of running ranges in the US Army and conducting qual’s and seeing what occurs in teh field compared to what occurs at the range - the US Army needs to issues no less than a .40 cal handgun. As far as recoil and control, I have seen females shot a Springfield (weapon of choice for CC) better than a double stacked 9mm or .40 cal semi-auto...the 1911 (.45 cal) ran smooth...who ever designed that weapon system with the tension on the spring..got the math right...it is a superior combat weapon and should be issued...if nothing else - it’s intimating!
as far as a combat pistol round goes, the .45 is superior to the 9 mm in all aspects save one, the number of rounds you can stuff into a magazine and with the advent of double stacked magazines, that advantage has been lessened considerably. I have 10, 13, and 28 round magazines for my Glock .45s for example.
The Glock 21 is an extremely accurate pistol. Kt is scary accurate in fact. recoil is not just mild, it's pleasing. It's ability to put large diameter holes into chest cavities is unquestionable. Standard magazine capacity is 13 rounds. It may well be the most rugged pistol platform ever designed and built. It is built and designed for combat. As such, there is truly no other sidearm that I would prefer to take into combat. It is indisputably superior to both the M9 and the 1911 and it's cheap.
It can be concealed more easily than you might think too incidentally.