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GunWares
18th April 2005, 04:35
I don't believe any weapon has been put to the test as much as the 1911. As we all know, it was the principal U.S. sidearm in WWI, WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. That's a lot of fighting. So I would think its strengths and weaknesses would be well known by now.

One (several?) of my pet peeves are the many armchair commandos that are quick to quote guys like Larry Vickers, who find so many "fatal flaws" in the design: internal extractor, the plunger tube design, even the presence of a grip safety. Many of these same Lazyboy Pilots figure a company like Sig or HK will eventually "fix" the 1911, and we'll be flocking to Sigs and HKs in droves. I believe the records for the SGR has disproved this theory, but what do I know? I charge $50 for a custom 1911, not $5,000. :rolleyes:

Okay, so what does the record show? Did the marines on Iwo Jima (my uncle among them) use the 1911 primarily to drive tent stakes because of faulty extraction?

There is no doubt the design can be improved. This is true of every firearm ever conceived. But the guys that would dare second guess JMB sure do tick me off.

Does anyone have anecdotal or historical evidence of the 1911's failure in combat?

Hawkmoon
18th April 2005, 17:16
While I do not think the 1911 design is flawed, I have to question why/how you think it has any battle record from Vietnam. It wasn't issued to the troops, only to field grade officers. We grunts, and company grade officers in the field, carried M16s. If a 1911 actually saw combat in 'Nam it was a mistake.

chuckshoun
18th April 2005, 17:31
The Tunnel Rats carried a lot of M1911A1's. So, there must have been more than the elite who carried them. I was armed with a carbine during the Korean War, and IMHO all it is is an underpowered long range (100 meters) M1911A1.

exitwounds
18th April 2005, 19:25
In Sep. of 1990 my unit was mobilized for Operation Desert Shield, I carried a R-R M1911A1 as a standard issue weapon for Topographer/Surveyor. Many rounds were fired through my weapon without incident and through some vigerous training exercises. No one in the unit reported any weapon malfunctions and everyone qualified, the unit was not deployed since the ground campaign was short lived. But the 1911A1's were certainly up to the job.

GunWares
19th April 2005, 00:36
While I do not think the 1911 design is flawed, I have to question why/how you think it has any battle record from Vietnam. It wasn't issued to the troops, only to field grade officers. We grunts, and company grade officers in the field, carried M16s. If a 1911 actually saw combat in 'Nam it was a mistake.

I think it would be a mistake to state this categorically. The 1911 was the military's official sidearm at the time, whether or not, and by whom, it was carried. Field grade officers, as you know, did not carry Berettas, Sigs, or HKs. And as chuckshoun notes, they were used by the Tunnels Rats.

I think it would make for an interesting book to nail down this topic in a definitive manner. Wish I had the time and the smarts to do it. :)

Zip06
19th April 2005, 14:29
Well EM carried them in MAAG - Vietnam and later MAC-V in 1963 and 64. I witnessed a VC validate the effectiveness of this flawed pistol. It impressed me enough to have a 1911 ever since.

TriumphGT6
19th April 2005, 15:41
..."fatal flaws"... internal extractor, the plunger tube design, even the presence of a grip safety

I haven't read anything by Vickers, but that won't stop me from shooting my mouth off :D

Internal extractor: where's the flaw? If it fails to extract, get it fixed... same as with an external part. And as long as it's internal, the mud and crud a battle pistol is exposed to, can't get inside by that route.

Plunger tube (as opposed to full-length guide rod I assume): mud and crud argument applies also.

Grip safety: OK, I don't get this one either. That makes Vickers 1-for-3... the Mets are a better bet this year (hey, they got Martinez now). :eek:

1911Tuner
19th April 2005, 19:08
So many people have been trying for so long to outsmart John Moses, that some of them really believe that they have. 'Nuff said...

The 1911/1911A1 pistols weren't issued in great numbers to basic infantry riflemen (That's "Eleven Bang-Bang") in WW2 or Korea either...but the smarter ones scrounged one anyway, and hung onto them despite "orders" to turn them in. I'd like to know how many pistols were squirreled away in rucks "Just in case."

As Cooper noted: "Pistols don't win battles, but they often save the lives of the men who do."

The reliability issues that went around in the Vietnam era were due largely to
the pistols' conditions. They were pretty well-worn, and since they weren't
really considered to be much more than emergency tools issued to tank and mortar crews, pilots, machinegun crews and the like...unit and field armorers alike focused their attentions on the rifles and crew-served weapons...and Old Slabsides took a back seat. Some of them were in a pretty sorry state
by the time they went to the Nam. Few armorers there really understood them...and how to make'em run when they didn't seem to want to. The biggest problem was with the magazines, most of which were well over 25 years old by that time. The sad thing is, that most of those magazines could have been repaired with new springs...but it just wasn't in the budget...so the
proud old girls began to gain a bad rep for lack of reliability. Their worn conditions also gave rise to reports of horrible accuracy...and it stuck.

I'm in possession of a few really good examples that somehow escaped the
hard use and abuse of the rank-and-file guns that were used to train untold thousands of conscripts. The guns are absolutely as-issued, and bone stock...right down to the firing pins and extractors. The function flawlessly,
even with many hollowpoint offerings...and they're accurate enough to hit a B-27 target in the 8-ring, fired one-handed at 50 yards...assuming that the shooter does his part. My recently-acquired 1919 will stay in 5 inches at 50 yards shot from the bags with PMC ball...and a shade under 4 inches with
my handload of 6.5 grains of Unique and Winchester 230-grain jacketed round nose bulk-packed bullets. The minty 1945 Rand will nearly match that, and is completely reliable with Ranger Talons and Golden Sabers...from the GI hardball-type magazines.

I'm glad that the Marine Expeditionary Units have seen the light, and have gotten the funds to build the guns back up into serviceability. That's really all that they needed to do, and the vast stores of the guns have been there all along. Now, if they'd just go back to the M-14... :cool:

DonS
28th April 2005, 19:39
While I do not think the 1911 design is flawed, I have to question why/how you think it has any battle record from Vietnam. It wasn't issued to the troops, only to field grade officers. We grunts, and company grade officers in the field, carried M16s. If a 1911 actually saw combat in 'Nam it was a mistake.

One of the first Vietnam books I read (back in the late '70s) about a Marine company said that two of the company's first kills were accomplished by an officier with a .45 auto. Don't recall the books name, but it was nonfiction.

One of my college friends was "half Vietnamese, half Marine". His daddy was a WW2/Korean War Marine who was a security contractor in Vietnam. During Tet '68 he rescued his family, located in Hue. My roommate was small at the time, but he recalls his daddy killing a communist with a pistol (I'm assuming it was a 1911, and his daddy has since died so it can't be confirmed).

DonS
28th April 2005, 19:52
So many people have been trying for so long to outsmart John Moses, that some of them really believe that they have. 'Nuff said...

The 1911/1911A1 pistols weren't issued in great numbers to basic infantry riflemen (That's "Eleven Bang-Bang") in WW2 or Korea either...but the smarter ones scrounged one anyway, and hung onto them despite "orders" to turn them in. I'd like to know how many pistols were squirreled away in rucks "Just in case."

My dad had a friend who was a WW2 Marine (Guadacanal, Guam, Okinawa). He was a private, but carred a 1911 that his father gave him. Not sure if he used it, he told me several stories but he didn't indicate he ever killed anyone with small arms fire (although either he or another guy shot a Jap in a spider hole just several yards away). One of his buddies brought the 1911 home for him at the end of the war, and never returned it . . .


As Cooper noted: "Pistols don't win battles, but they often save the lives of the men who do."


Herbert McBride's "A Rifleman Went to War" makes that case very well. It is about an American in Canadian service in WW1, prior to US entry into the war. IIRC, has a whole chapter devoted to pistols: they carried 1911s that they procurred on their own.

Also, I believe that Pershing ordered pistols for all of his troops in WW1, which is one reason they had to resort to S&W and Colt M1917 revolvers: not enough 1911s to go around.

Cooper himself had three kills with pistols; the first with a Peacemaker, the other two with 1911s.

It is worth keeping in mind that success on the battlefield doesn't equate to a superior design. One could say, for exmple, that a Roman Gladius is inferior to a latter sword design, or even to a 1911. Yet the Gladius was an outstanding success, but that has a lot to do with the Roman application of it.

I myself consider the 1911 superior to the other modern pistol designs I've used, because of its grip (slim size; good angle) and trigger (a consistent, light, short trigger pull). I measure its merits on how well I can engage multiple target in terms of accuracy and speed. I really don't care how well it does in torture tests, as long as it is reliable when it comes out of my holster.

SAWBONES
28th April 2005, 20:06
"...armchair commandos that (sic) are quick to quote guys like Larry Vickers, who find so many "fatal flaws" in the design: internal extractor, the plunger tube design, even the presence of a grip safety..."

I agree these are no big deal.
What's "fatal" about any of these?

The internal extractor works just fine if tuned.

The plunger tube can be staked, soldered, or brazed on.

The grip safety likewise can and should be tuned, or you can pin it or replace it altogether with Novak's new uni-backstrap (he calls it "The Answer"), which does away with the grip safety altogether, and obviates the potential legal-liabilty issue of "disabling a safety device". (See http://novaksights.com/Novak's.htm if interested.)

Hawkmoon
29th April 2005, 13:33
The grip safety likewise can and should be tuned, or you can pin it or replace it altogether with Novak's new uni-backstrap (he calls it "The Answer"), which does away with the grip safety altogether, and obviates the potential legal-liabilty issue of "disabling a safety device". (See http://novaksights.com/Novak's.htm if interested.)
I would like to know how replacing a grip safety with a device that doesn't incorporate that feature in any way obviates the potential liability of disabling a safety device. As far as I know all 1911s are manufactured with grip safeties. In a courtroom, I doubt there would be any difference between taping it down with electrical tape, or having installed a replacement backstrap that eliminates it. Either way, you have a gun that left the factory with a functional grip safety, and you changed it to not have/use a grip safety.

I like Novak's work, but this sounds to me like an answer in search of a problem. If you want a gun without a grip safety, don't buy a 1911. If you MUST have a 1911 without a grip safety, buy a Star or a Ballester-Molina.

SAWBONES
29th April 2005, 14:18
As always, one must be able to clearly and convincingly articulate the REASON for any "alteration from stock" on a gun, AND the issues in view (gven a self-defense shooting) MUST NOT include any question of an "accidental" firing of a shot.

For instance, one might reasonably say "I found that the way I learned and was taught and practice gripping my gun made it impossible to reliably make the grip safety work with sufficient reliability. This made my gun potentially unsafe in a self defense setting, since I was concerned that in a high-stress event I'd be unable to defend myself, so I (insert description of change made in gun here)." Additional information, including the fact that almost all modern guns LACK grip safeties, might be pertinent to mention, as well.
As for whether using the Novak solid backstrap is fundamentally different than disabling but leaving a safety feature (grip safety) on a gun, I won't argue.
I think there's a difference, but it's one that might not strike you the same as me.
Best.

MajorD
21st June 2005, 02:44
some enlisted guys did carry 45's in VN including medics and a close friend of mine related that soldiers issued the m79 grenade launcher were also issued them

Hawkmoon
21st June 2005, 12:59
some enlisted guys did carry 45's in VN including medics and a close friend of mine related that soldiers issued the m79 grenade launcher were also issued them
I was in Vietnam in the 1960s. I know that the M1911 was issued and carried. That, to me, does not of itself generate any "combat record." A weapon develops a combat record when it is used in combat situations. Carrying it around in a holster doesn't say anything about its suitability or prowess as a combat weapon, nor in the case of a weapon with an existing history of combat does carrying one around in a holster do anything to enhance (or detract from) the combat record.

Don't misunderstand me. I think the M1911 is a terrific handgun with a spectacular record in combat. It is precisely for that reason that I don't think it does justice to the weapon to (intentionally or not) try to "puff up" the record with claims of glorious use in Vietnam, when in fact despite being carried it saw only limited use in Vietnam. Unlike previous wars in which the "grunts" carried both a rifle and a sidearm, in Vietnam we grunts were issued only an M16.

Hawkmoon
21st June 2005, 13:06
As always, one must be able to clearly and convincingly articulate the REASON for any "alteration from stock" on a gun, AND the issues in view (gven a self-defense shooting) MUST NOT include any question of an "accidental" firing of a shot.

For instance, one might reasonably say "I found that the way I learned and was taught and practice gripping my gun made it impossible to reliably make the grip safety work with sufficient reliability. This made my gun potentially unsafe in a self defense setting, since I was concerned that in a high-stress event I'd be unable to defend myself, so I (insert description of change made in gun here)." Additional information, including the fact that almost all modern guns LACK grip safeties, might be pertinent to mention, as well.
As for whether using the Novak solid backstrap is fundamentally different than disabling but leaving a safety feature (grip safety) on a gun, I won't argue.
I think there's a difference, but it's one that might not strike you the same as me.
Best.
The problem lies not in convincing me, but in convincing a jury. Perhaps I read too many courtroom reports, but a prosecutor (if it's a criminal case) or plaintiff's attorney (if it's a civil case) can use the fact of disabling a factory safety device to support an argument that either you were out to make the pistol easier to use for killing people, or less safe. It may be hog swill in the context of the case, but most people on juries don't know anything about guns, so it's an argument that has to be countered.

This is why I won't remove the Series 80 safety stuff from a pistol so-equipped, but given my druthers I would prefer to buy a pistol that doesn't have the Series 80 safeties.

OD*
21st June 2005, 14:31
Hawk,

The 1911s are still seeing combat situations today and not just with MEU(SOC) or DET-1 units.

Hawkmoon
21st June 2005, 18:54
Hawk,

The 1911s are still seeing combat situations today and not just with MEU(SOC) or DET-1 units.
Well ... maybe they are, and maybe they aren't.

I am aware that they are being carried by personnel in some units. However, those personnel are also carrying M-4s, M-14s, and/or other weapons. While I know that the M1911 is there, I have not yet read any field reports of its being used ... and to me that's what is necessary to establish a "combat record." Just carrying it in a holster, if it isn't used, doesn't establish whether or not a weapon is good, bad, or barely adequate.

From WWI and WWII we had innumerable reports of close quarters combat in which the M1911 was used, with stellar results. Despite having served in Vietnam, I am not aware of any such reports from Vietnam, nor have I seen any such reports from the sand box.

Remember, this isn't a thread about whether or not the M1911 is there. This thread is entitled "The M1911's Combat Record." No weapon builds a combat record while riding around in a holster.

OD*
21st June 2005, 19:11
Remember, this isn't a thread about whether or not the M1911 is there. This thread is entitled "The M1911's Combat Record." No weapon builds a combat record while riding around in a holster.

Well, you might be able to get more info from Combat Diver or Pat Rogers, on their use in the middle east.

A book called "The Tunnels of Chu Chi" & "365 Days" related stories of the 1911 being used in Viet Nam.

PS ... Sorry, the men mentioned above can be found on the 1911 Forum. You could also look up John Holbrook , who used a 1911A1 in Viet Nam to save the life of his Captain and himself.

MajorD
22nd June 2005, 00:18
I am currently in Iraq and a 1911 sighting is VERY rare, and I have never seen anyone in uniform with one. Have seen guys in civ clothes with them (contractors? SF?) but even those are very few. While I know this is not a 9mm vs 45 thread, I think the margin between 9mm and 45 effectiveness is much narrower than made out, I think everyone thinks the 45 is so much better because "knock down" or "stopping" power is about 1/3 truth ,1/3 "urban legend" and 1/3 pure **. I right now have a beretta 92 on my hip and feel as well equipped as with any other 9mm. Would I rather have my les baer 45? sure, but the difference is not as big as people make out.

OD*
22nd June 2005, 08:15
I'm sure they are rare, outside of special forces and officers.

I know Combat Diver carries or carried a 1911AI, as does Col. Hickey.

http://gunpix.com/gallery%2FMiscellaneous%5Fand%5FOddities%2Fhickey% 2Ejpg

gottripletsNC
22nd June 2005, 13:46
I think the margin between 9mm and 45 effectiveness is much narrower than made out.... I right now have a beretta 92 on my hip and feel as well equipped as with any other 9mm.....
but the difference is not as big as people make out.


I hope to pray that you are correct if and when you have to use that 9mm, unfortunately I have seen the effects of many different handgun rounds on the human body in my years as a paramedic, and well If I ever had to get shot, I would hope that it is a 9mm, unless its a hit in a perfect vital area, the lethality of a 9mm is next to none, at least what I have seen. 9mm is small and fast and usually will just keep right on going and leave a little hole.
45(830 FPS) is just a little slower than the 9mm(1100 FPS), and the 45(230 Grains) is almost twice the weight of the standard 9mm(124 Grains at its heaviest). The 45 just causes so much damage that there will heavy bleeding etc...
Now I do understand and fully believe that there aren't many rounds out there that will just KNOCK down someone,(some rifle rounds will) but I expect the 45 will incapacitate alot quicker than that dinky ole 9mm...
I have just seen too many shootings and those little 9mms, 380s etc, just don't have what I like for self-defense.

For the thread's purpose, I kinda take the side that if the weapon was in the arsenal and was the Primary weapon in that role i.e. sidearm, then I consider it to have a service record of that time...My parents both served in various parts of the world during the entire period of Vietnam, seeing as they didnt actually go to nam, does that make them not have a service record?

OD*
22nd June 2005, 13:54
Agreed, the 1911A1 has a combat record including Viet Nam thru Mogadishu to this current conflict. It can easily be varied with a little research.

Tom
22nd June 2005, 14:15
...seeing as they didnt actually go to nam, does that make them not have a service record?

I don't think Hawkmoon is implying that at all. What Hawkmoon IS arguing is the difference between a "service" record and a "combat" one. I was in the U.S. Navy for six years. I did the "Persian Excursion" in 91-92. I was technically "in theater", and have my SW Asia Service medal (w/ star) to prove it. But the closest thing to combat I saw was racing down ladders and passageways to make it to the MIDRATS line in time.

What Hawkmoon is suggesting that since the M1911 wasn't an assigned weapon during the Vietnam era, that its "combat" record shouldn't extend into that era. And at its strictest interpretation, he is correct.

However, I do disagree with Hawkmoon on this point. Just because the M1911 wasn't issued to troops doesn't mean it wasn't combat-proven during that era. Remember, it was due to the poor-showing of the .38 revolvers the Army were issued that prompted the requisition of a new pistol that eventually led to the Model of 1911 in the first place. And that well-proven sidearm was in service until it was eventually replaced by the Beretta 9mm in the late 1980's. But let us also remember that the DoD's decision to replace the M1911 wasn't due to the performance of the gun, but rather to be more compatible with our NATO allies and standardize ammunition.

Look at it this way: most of our weapon systems weren't "combat" tested until the first Gulf War back in 1991. So were these same tanks, aircraft, ships and missiles not combat-proven in the years between our first foray into Iraq and the second? Yes, any piece of military hardware needs its baptism in blood in order to earn a "combat record", but I don't feel that record should be closed just because it didn't see a lot of combat in a specific period of time.

Bottom line: the "combat record" of the M1911 should be from the first time it was used in combat until the time is was no longer available for combat.

OD*
22nd June 2005, 14:22
M1911 wasn't an assigned weapon during the Vietnam era
Maybe not the M1911, but the M1911A1 was, just as much as it was in W.W.II. It was our primary sidearm until 1985.


On January 14th, 1985 the Pentagon announced that the Model 92F 9mm pistol manufactured by Fabbrica D' Armi Pietro Beretta S.p.A. of Italy would officially replace the M1911A1 .45 caliber pistol. The new pistol would be known as "Pistol, Automatic, Caliber 9mm, M9" to be manufactured by a Beretta subsidiary in the U.S.


Bottom line: the "combat record" of the M1911 should be from the first time it was used in combat until the time is was no longer available for combat.

And that day has not yet arrived.

Tom
22nd June 2005, 14:29
It was our primary sidearm until 1985.

I know I carried one as part of our ship's Security Alert team up through 1993.

OD*
22nd June 2005, 14:36
I reread your post Tom, I see what you were saying, sorry.

We agree basically, it's combat service has never ceased.

gottripletsNC
22nd June 2005, 15:25
by no means did mean to sound in any way flaming, and neither did I assume that Hawk meant anything by what he said as for my parents, or anyone else who served. I know there is a differentation in service i.e. combat versus noncombatant, All I meant was that how could it NOT have a combat record if it was used in times of combat whether or not it was the combatant.
My uncle carried one as an issued piece during his second tour also...

Hawkmoon
22nd June 2005, 17:43
For the thread's purpose, I kinda take the side that if the weapon was in the arsenal and was the Primary weapon in that role i.e. sidearm, then I consider it to have a service record of that time...My parents both served in various parts of the world during the entire period of Vietnam, seeing as they didnt actually go to nam, does that make them not have a service record?
No ... they have a "service" record, but they don't have a "combat" record.

But people are different from weapons. Even if a particular pistol is the primary issue sidearm in a combat theater, if the people who wear it are also carrying and using rifles or carbines and the pistols just go along for the ride, I don't see that as developing much of a combat record.

OD*
22nd June 2005, 17:57
Hawk,

I'm sorry, possibly I've misinterpreted your use of "combat record." How do you define it?

gottripletsNC
22nd June 2005, 18:46
Hawk,

I'm sorry, possibly I've misinterpreted your use of "combat record." How do you define it?

I would have to concur here with OD

also I HAVE to add that I mean no harm no foul on this if it was taken that way Hawk

MICK
22nd June 2005, 22:35
I was in Vietnam in the 1960s. I know that the M1911 was issued and carried. That, to me, does not of itself generate any "combat record." A weapon develops a combat record when it is used in combat situations. Carrying it around in a holster doesn't say anything about its suitability or prowess as a combat weapon, nor in the case of a weapon with an existing history of combat does carrying one around in a holster do anything to enhance (or detract from) the combat record.

Don't misunderstand me. I think the M1911 is a terrific handgun with a spectacular record in combat. It is precisely for that reason that I don't think it does justice to the weapon to (intentionally or not) try to "puff up" the record with claims of glorious use in Vietnam, when in fact despite being carried it saw only limited use in Vietnam. Unlike previous wars in which the "grunts" carried both a rifle and a sidearm, in Vietnam we grunts were issued only an M16. WHAT YEAR WHERE YOU IN NAM? WHAT BRANCH OF SERVICE? A1 OR A2 16?
I WAS IN NAM IN 68 IWAS A JAR HEAD AND THE M-14 WAS MY BABY WHEN I BECAME AN N.C.O GUNNY DAVIS GAVE ME A NEW .45 HE'D GOTTEN IN APOKER GAME.

MajorD
22nd June 2005, 23:35
While the 45 definitely has an edge in incapacitation remember there are 3 things that determine stooping an enemy:
shot placement
shot placement
and
shot placement

Hawkmoon
23rd June 2005, 00:52
Hawk,

I'm sorry, possibly I've misinterpreted your use of "combat record." How do you define it?
Simple -- "Used in combat."

Not "carried around in a holster while the guy was shooting a rifle in combat," but "taken out of the holster and fired in anger at enemy combatants."

I was in Vietnam in 1968. Army, 4th Infantry Division, Pleiku. The M1911A1 was still the issue sidearm for officers who rated a sidearm, either instead of or in addition to a rifle. The M-14 was the rifle we trained with in Basic and AIT, but when I arrived in-country the game had changed and I had to qualify on the M16 while still at the replacement company. I don't even remember if my Looey carried a sidearm on patrol, but I do know very well that he carried an M16. If he had a sidearm, he never drew it from the holster.

Yes, there were M1911A1s in Vietnam. I never saw one used, I have never heard or read anything about their being used. To me, that means that their service record during Vietnam is neutral, or blank. Yeah, it was there. Riding around in a holster, it could as well have been one of those Collectors Armory blank-firing replicas. The Vietnam era did not generate much, if anything, to add to the M1911's "combat" record, even though it's "service" record runs through that period.

OD*
23rd June 2005, 07:42
Because you personally never heard of it being used, means it wasn't? Well, we will have to agree to disagree.
M1911A1's "combat" record has yet to cease.

John
23rd June 2005, 07:59
WHAT YEAR WHERE YOU IN NAM? WHAT BRANCH OF SERVICE? A1 OR A2 16?
I WAS IN NAM IN 68 IWAS A JAR HEAD AND THE M-14 WAS MY BABY WHEN I BECAME AN N.C.O GUNNY DAVIS GAVE ME A NEW .45 HE'D GOTTEN IN APOKER GAME. Please do not shout at us. Use upper-case only is like shouting. Please do not do it.

Rgds

Harlie
25th June 2005, 18:09
Has made mention of Sgt Alvin York of WW1 fame. It is mentioned very much in his citation for a Medal of Honor. I believe it accounted for 8 enemy personal. It has figured quite promently in several situations around the world, involving our military troops. Effectivness of any firearm, involves shot placement and adversaries will to live. People have survived being struck multible times with heavy machines guns, I worked years ago with a man named Coats that survived 5 hits to his abdomen with a Japanse machine gun in the pacific islands, left rib cage to right hip.

OD*
25th June 2005, 20:18
"Not one person
Has made mention of Sgt Alvin York of WW1 fame."
Because, the disagreement arose about the 1911s & A-1s combat record during and after Viet Nam.

V1958
25th June 2005, 21:57
{Deleted by Hamkmoon}

Please refer to Forum Rules, specifically rule number 9.

Harlie
26th June 2005, 20:36
A Viet-nam discussion, but started as a "1911 combat record" discussion. Nam was not the only conflict where 1911's were in use. First and foremost, the 1911 was never a first line weapon, rather a backup for primary's failure and a badge of authority. It has been very successful filling the role it was intended for. It was developed due to the dismal failure of .38 caliber in use during previous conflicts, yet today we are back to the .38 caliber in 9MM. We as a people are governed by elected people who make many decisions they are not prepared or qualified to make. Being a General, congressman, etc doesn't mean you had combat experience, yet these are the ones who decide what our troops use or are equipped with, way to often. Money being all to often the determining factor, Payoffs and/or Low bidder?

Hawkmoon
26th June 2005, 21:45
We as a people are governed by elected people who make many decisions they are not prepared or qualified to make. Being a General, congressman, etc doesn't mean you had combat experience, yet these are the ones who decide what our troops use or are equipped with, way to often. Money being all to often the determining factor, Payoffs and/or Low bidder?
In the case of the change from .45 ACP to 9mm, I think it has been fairly well established that the change was orchestrated for two primary reasons:

(1) The U.S. went to 9mm because persons in a position to establish policy wanted to be using the same ammo that our NATO allies were (are) using;
(2) The U.S. wanted access to air bases in Italy, so they were pre-disposed to award the handgun contract to Beretta.

Reason #1 has both practical and political overtones. (Practical -- yeah, it's an inferior round, but we can get a lot of it cheap because our pals are using it.)

Reason #2 suggests politics and payoffs. Not payoffs in the sense of money changing hands, but payoffs in the sense of internationa politics, and "You scratch my back, and I'll scratch your back."

OD*
26th June 2005, 21:54
Nam was not the only conflict where 1911's were in use.

Nobody said it was, go back and reread the thread.
We all know about Sgt. York and the 1911s combat record in W.W.I & W.W.II, Korea etc.

horse 91-A1
27th June 2005, 21:56
The M1911 saw use in the Delta with the Navy; other weapons were used more often, but the M1911 did see combat use - I was there. It really proved itself with the tunnel rats and established a combat record for those who used it. There are advantages to being tall. :) For those who used it, it was certainly combat proven as was the M-37 Ithaca and K-bar and a host of other weapons besides the M-16/M-14. The volume of weapons issued isn't the only determining factor that determines if a weapon is combat proven or has a combat record; it's the reliability of the weapon when used to kill the enemy that determines if it's combat proven.

My father carried a number of different weapons while attached to the 101st Airborne in WWII; his favorite weapon (depending on situation) was the Thompson (.45acp) and a burst from the Thompson would leathally knock the enemy on their butt. It was an extremely affective weapon for advancing in close combat because the enemy stayed down when hit; the 9's did their damage too - but the 9's weren't/aren't in the same league as the .45acp - which ever way it's fired. While growing up, that's a story I heard over and over again from the vets; many of whom used the M1911 when combat was really close or they would be clearing out a building. The .45acp was much more effective at killing the enemy than the '06 Garand with FMJ/AP at close range.

There was an earlier question/statement on this thread about the M1911 being used on Iwo Jima. On one of the military/discovery/history channels a week or two ago that subject was brought up by one of the returning marines to the island. Apparently a number of Japanese soldiers had infiltrated the marine's lines and there was fierce handgun combat because of the extreme close range.

fwarren94551
27th June 2005, 23:38
I don't believe any weapon has been put to the test as much as the 1911. As we all know, it was the principal U.S. sidearm in WWI, WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. That's a lot of fighting. So I would think its strengths and weaknesses would be well known by now.

One (several?) of my pet peeves are the many armchair commandos that are quick to quote guys like Larry Vickers, who find so many "fatal flaws" in the design: internal extractor, the plunger tube design, even the presence of a grip safety. Many of these same Lazyboy Pilots figure a company like Sig or HK will eventually "fix" the 1911, and we'll be flocking to Sigs and HKs in droves. I believe the records for the SGR has disproved this theory, but what do I know? I charge $50 for a custom 1911, not $5,000. :rolleyes:

Okay, so what does the record show? Did the marines on Iwo Jima (my uncle among them) use the 1911 primarily to drive tent stakes because of faulty extraction?

There is no doubt the design can be improved. This is true of every firearm ever conceived. But the guys that would dare second guess JMB sure do tick me off.

Does anyone have anecdotal or historical evidence of the 1911's failure in combat?

The 1911 has ALWAYS been a combat success. It has diameter, period. The .45 bore was favored in the Old And Golden West except by smaller men, who went to the .41 Long Colt, but no smaller.

On the subject of stopping power, all other things being equal, the bigger bore will work better. But a .44 with a Keith Bullet may work better still; it's the difference between a tested bullet and the noise you have to use in a war zone in a self-loader. The .45 ACP could be even MORE effective, but we honor the Hague even if we're not signatories to it.

There are those who will pan the .45 ACP and the 1911 but that's mostly gas. It's not gospel, and that's truth.

There are a few things like the P220ST and suchlike that are better for MY hands than some 1911s. But that's just down to individual hand shape and what works best personally; way different than generalization.

Frank

Thompsongunner
4th July 2005, 11:03
While I was not in Viet Nam I have read many books on first accounts of the war. And while combat use of 1911a1 isn't mentioned very often, when it was mentioned it received nothing but praise for the job it did!

Gunner

MajorD
16th July 2005, 04:05
there is an additional weapon in us inventory that has been combat tested and trusted probably as much if not more than the 1911 and has had a greater influence in combat than the 1911- that being the 50 cal M2 browning- adopted in 1920's and still going strong!

horse 91-A1
16th July 2005, 05:51
And it's a whole lot of fun to shoot, especially for those who like to watch things 'go boom'. LOL

The BAR was also used quite extensively in WWII - if some sucker could be found that would carry it. :)

Adios,
Bob

r_u_stuck2
30th September 2005, 19:13
The 1911 was issued in VietNam. All tankers were issued the 45. The loader was also issued a M3A1. I went through Ft. Knox in '69. And while I did not get to vietnam the DI's that trained us had been there, some several times. When we were questioning the effectiveness of the 45, we were told that when a vc was aiming a rpg at the tank instinct would take over and the 1911 was effective.

Yeah, the tank had a .30 and a .50 cal machine gun but up close and personal elevation prevented up close use.

Edit to add the following:

http://blackhorse.dartmouth.edu/dcompany/Stories/Disjointed_Memories.htm
Then there were all sorts of regular US weapons. I know that for a while, every tank had at least one M-60 machinegun for the back deck gunner. Many tanks (including my own) had two guns. Most tanks had M-79's, every tank had a couple of M-16's and a couple of .45 cal M-3 submachine guns (Grease guns.) and everyone had a .45 cal pistol. (My Grease gun had a cut off .50cal drive spring substituted inside. It would fire a 30 round magazine faster than an M-16. The only problem was that once you raised the cover and pulled the trigger, it fired until it was empty.) Then there was the time when we traded in our m48A2C's for the M-48A3's. we all kept the .30 cal coax's and mounted them in front of the loader's hatches for an additional recon by fire weapon.

Medal Of Honor Citation

http://www.rjsmith.com/johnson.html

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. SP5 Johnson, a tank driver with Company B, was a member of a reaction force moving to aid other elements of his platoon, which was in heavy contact with a battalion size North Vietnamese force. SP5 Johnson's tank, upon reaching the point of contact, threw a track and became immobilized. Realizing that he could do no more as a driver, he climbed out of the vehicle, armed only with a .45 caliber pistol. Despite intense hostile fire, SP5 Johnson killed several enemy soldiers before he had expended his ammunition. Returning to his tank through a heavy volume of antitank rocket, small arms and automatic weapons fire, he obtained a submachinegun with which to continue his fight against the advancing enemy. Armed with this weapon, SP5 Johnson again braved deadly enemy fire to return to the center of the ambush site where he courageously eliminated more of the determined f

horse 91-A1
18th October 2005, 00:03
I was watching a program called "Shoot out" on Guadacanal in which a marine sgt. received the Medal of Honor using his M1911 and machete to advance upon an enemy position alone.

Have to admire his innovation and courage against a battle proven enemy.

Adios,
Bob

SatCong
18th October 2005, 01:14
While I do not think the 1911 design is flawed, I have to question why/how you think it has any battle record from Vietnam. It wasn't issued to the troops, only to field grade officers. We grunts, and company grade officers in the field, carried M16s. If a 1911 actually saw combat in 'Nam it was a mistake. Well then in 1967 & 68 they made a lot of mistake's, I carry one, I seen lot of mistake's, I know if my gunner didn't have his in Tet68, he wouldn't be here to day. :rolleyes:

fwarren94551
19th October 2005, 00:16
Simple -- "Used in combat."

Not "carried around in a holster while the guy was shooting a rifle in combat," but "taken out of the holster and fired in anger at enemy combatants."

I was in Vietnam in 1968. Army, 4th Infantry Division, Pleiku. The M1911A1 was still the issue sidearm for officers who rated a sidearm, either instead of or in addition to a rifle. The M-14 was the rifle we trained with in Basic and AIT, but when I arrived in-country the game had changed and I had to qualify on the M16 while still at the replacement company. I don't even remember if my Looey carried a sidearm on patrol, but I do know very well that he carried an M16. If he had a sidearm, he never drew it from the holster.

Yes, there were M1911A1s in Vietnam. I never saw one used, I have never heard or read anything about their being used. To me, that means that their service record during Vietnam is neutral, or blank. Yeah, it was there. Riding around in a holster, it could as well have been one of those Collectors Armory blank-firing replicas. The Vietnam era did not generate much, if anything, to add to the M1911's "combat" record, even though it's "service" record runs through that period.

I was NOT in Viet Nam and have known a number of people, acquaintances, who killed people with them. Some were cops, mailmen, others just people I ran into. Sgts typically carried a 1911 at the height of the conflict for their "tunnel rats" since the CAR and M 16 weapons were just too big to carry into an unlit underground tunnel system.

These men universally hated the 1911 as what was handed to them was raw, junk surplus. The topic would come up when I would show a nice Gold Cup to someone, speak about it glowingly, only to have the other guy tell me what unmitigated garbage the 1911 was. After looking at mine, and getting a test drive on the range, the consensus was "That's NOTHING like what I had to use!"

Handguns are always secondary weapons; anyone with any sense uses the rifle when loads for it are handy. But I heard a LOT of veteran reports from men who were there and, as circumstances dictated, used it - a lot. And they mostly didn't like the two-plus million round handguns they were given after being rode hard in two wars and put away wet.

So, sorry, Hawk. But people who served there, and they were honest-to-god people-shooting infantrymen, have long told me they used them, sometimes in tunnels, sometimes in close combat.

Frank

Hawkmoon
19th October 2005, 08:53
Frank, I would have to say that it strikes me as totally inappropriate for someone who was not there to call ** on a statement made by someone who was there. I didn't say nobody used the 1911 in Vietnam. I said it wasn't commonplace in my experience. There's a lot of mystique about "tunnel rats," but the fact is there weren't really all that many tunnels, and not all that many tunnel rats. I was in country just shy of a year (I ETSed directly from Vietnam). In my entire tour, I never encountered a single tunnel rat. I never spoke to anyone who had encountered a tunnel rat. Even platoon leaders (Lieutenants) carried M16s on patrol, not 1911s.

The 4th Infantry Division was up north in the central highlands, around Pleiku. Perhaps there were more tunnel rats and more encounters involving 1911s in other parts of the country. I have no way of knowing about that. I reported what I observed, and I take offense at having someone who wasn't there label it **.

What I do know is that, the farther we progress in time from Vietnam, the more people start claiming they served there. There is a veterans' group now that is devoted to researching claims of medals by so-called Vietnam veterans. It's shocking how many people claim medals they were not awarded. In some cases, their reasearch shows people who claim to have been awarded medals in Vietnam were never even in country. So pardon me if I am not impressed that the mailman says he was a tunnel rat.

I still have copies of the paper orders awarding my Arcoms. The medals themselves are long gone. No, I didn't throw them over the fence during an anti-war protest. My house was burgled in 1997 and one of the things that went missing was a shoebox full of my and my father's military memorabilia.

OD*
19th October 2005, 09:00
Pick up a copy of The Tunnels of Chu Chi : The Untold Story of Vietnam, by Tom Mangold and John Penycate.

1911Tuner
19th October 2005, 10:08
Well-said Hawk.

I overheard a guy talkin' about bein' a tunnel rat once...and he was about 6 feet tall/250 pounds. :rolleyes: I let it go. No sense in pickin' a fight with a drunken moron.

The 1911s were used in the 'Nam...just not very much when compared to other smallarms. Usually isolated incidents, emergencies, etc. The ones that I did know to malfunction were most often caused by...you guessed it...magazines. Either damaged outright, or with springs that hadn't been changed since the Korean War. I learned to do a little trick on the bottom spring coil that usually squared'em away. Sometimes the extractors needed a little more tension...but that was about it for 98% of'em.

That they were well-worn didn't affect anything much except accuracy...and even those were accurate enough to take care of business at the distances involved...which were generally measured in feet and inches rather than yards.

It used to be my habit...when the guns were sellin' for a hundred bucks a copy at various shows...to buy one that was so loose you could just about field-strip it by layin' it on the seat of a pickup truck and takin' a spirited drive down a washboard road...yet it would function. You might not be able to keep the group under a foot at 25 yards, but it ran...and this was pretty much across the board for all that I bought during that period...and my father and I bought some 40 of'em in the early to mid-60s. Had one 1918 Colt that had so much vertical play in the slide and frame, that when it was fired, the slide picked up high enough on the front that the recoil spring would hit the end of the guide rod, knock a dent in it and kink the spring. Sideplay was nearly a 64th inch...but it ran.

I still have over 20 of those pistols...now rebuilt and tightened up...and they still run. Why? Good magazines, correctly-tensioned extractors, and anything even approaching decent ammo. But they always did run...even before the refurbishing.

Tom
19th October 2005, 10:58
My house was burgled in 1997 and one of the things that went missing was a shoebox full of my and my father's military memorabilia.

That *****! :mad: You should check with the Government on getting them replaced. I just did a quick Google search and came across this link:

http://www.military.com/Resources/ResourcesContent/0,13964,31460--0,00.html

Maybe this will help.

horse 91-A1
19th October 2005, 13:44
Thanks Tom for the heads up, I think the 180 forms can be d/l on the Net.

Frank you qualify yourself as not being in country and yet you have managed to have all these conversations with in country vets who have used the M1911 in combat and hated them - yet they're still alive to tell you how bad the M1911 was in combat. If the M1911 was as bad as you say then these guys would be dead and you wouldn't have your 3rd, 4th or 5th hand stories to share with us who were there in 1st person.

In your array of Vietnam buddies are any of them MPs who saved the US embassy from being over run during the 68 Tet offensive?

Now that you've reported how bad the M1911 was across the board, tell us about your friends usage of K-bars and shotguns. I expect more K-bars were issued than M1911s so it shouldn't be that difficult for you to tell us how well they performed in combat. :)

The biggest irony I see here is that the Vietnam vets I've met, which numbers in the 100s don't talk about their combat experiences - and yet they talk about their combat experiences with you.

BTW Hawk, welcome home.

Adios,
Bob

1911Tuner
19th October 2005, 13:58
Well-said horse91-A1...Them that talk didn't do. Them that did, don't talk.
I've become adept at changin' the subject whenever a specific question comes up. Answers cause me to think about things I'd rather not remember.

Welcome home Hawk...and stand down, lad.

horse 91-A1
19th October 2005, 14:55
This is a total side note that I remember from overhearing my dad talking with some other WWII vets. He had a full shoe box full of insignias and other stuff vets collect and my mother thought it best he throw it all away.

Dad was 101st Airborne and when the book "Band of Brothers" came out he was one of the first to read it and said it was very factual. From things he said when I was a kid when "Band of Brothers" broadcast on TV I already knew some of the things that aired plus some things that didn't air.

His weapon of choice was the Thompson and when the flap on whether or not a .45acp could knock a person off their feet was "scientifically" proven it couldn't; his response was "bull***t" :) Most of us think of the M1911 when someone states .45acp, but to him I expect it met Thompson and a burst from a Thompson probably did knock a few of the enemy off their feet.

His generation tends to talk about how bad the depression was and rationing during WWII, he's proud that he was 101st Airborne but when people ask if he saw action - his reply is he didn't get there in time; but a big smile comes on his face when he talks about sleeping at Hitler's Birchesgarten. sp?

When I came home from Vietnam; he didn't talk about WWII and I didn't talk about Vietnam and I think that was the norm for father/son vets.

I carried the M1911 several times but never fired it and felt sorry for the helo pilots who carried .38s.

For a design that's nearly 100 years old it's still the weapon of choice for some SWAT teams and it goes into combat every day; sometimes with kills and sometimes not.

Adios,
Bob

Hawkmoon
19th October 2005, 14:56
Isn't it ironic that it's only now, some 30 or more years after the fact, that it is "politically correct" to even admit that you served in Vietnam? When I first came home, stating that I had been in Vietnam (and, worse yet, that I had enlisted rather than been drafted!) was cause for revilement (is that a word?). I was amused (in a perverse way) that my mother and brother both had "Support Our Troops" stickers on their cars during the first Desert Storm -- yet neither of them had anything at all on their cars when I was in Vietnam. Nowadays all sorts of people are willing to say thank you for serving ... which is also funny, because I always thought the Vietnam "conflict" was stupid, and I was there because my orders sent me there, not because I thought being there was in any way defending the USA.

Gotta stop. This is meant as a comment on society, not a political statement. Can't go farther without getting political.

I'll just add that, lest anyone think I'm making any claims about being a super troop because of two ArComs, t'aint so. The Vietnam war was unpopular, so the Army was looking for any excuse to award medals to the guys who served over there. They handed out Army Commendation Medals like Halloween candy. All it means is I didn't get into too much trouble while in country. The orders came through after I was out. I was notified by Fort Hamilton, NY, that they would be happy to send an officer up to my home town to make the award personally, and I think they were greatly disappointed when I said to just mail 'em because they missed out on a photo op.

horse 91-A1
19th October 2005, 15:38
Hawkmoon you've touched on some sensitive things here. I believed I was serving my country but when I returned home the whole world seemed different. I lost my first job because "I served in a war that killed babies", really needed to talk to my pastor, but he was too busy telling me about how many demonstrations he was in and how immoral the war was. The asskicker was when I went to join the Veterans of Foreign Wars and was told I wasn't in a "real" war.

I've given up on counting the number of in country vets who have died; cancer, diabetes, heart attacks, OD, suicide and a year ago I lost my closest friend to alcoholism - a very highly decorated crew chief on a gunship.

I was in an Agent Orange spray area and one daughter has had three open heart surgeries and a petite daughter has diabetes - sometimes I get blisters on my skin - none of which is in our family history and the government doesn't acknowledge any of this as dioxin related. My situation is not an isolated one and other vets have similar experiences upon returning home and what is happening now in their lives.

There's a special bonding brotherhood with Nam vets that others on the outside will never fathom and when someone on the outside trys to tell those on the inside how it was then they can expect replies with an attitude.

I suppose I've had more opportunities to use the M1911 in this country than I did in Vietnam. :)

Adios,
Bob

SatCong
19th October 2005, 16:15
I was there in 67 & 68 and close friend was there 66 & 67, they killed him then but it took untill 18 months ago to die.We both volunteer,he the Marine Corp, then Nam, myself I went Navy then volunteer for gun boats Nam, I been from one end of I corp to the other, yes we both seen 1911's in action and they worked, that was a surprise because they were old & tired World War II weapons that still work well. My butter bar officer had a 1911 issue to him and it work, now it was real tired, but it ran.Not to many weapons old and tired well still run, but the 1911's did. They wont hold a 2'' group at 50yds. :mad:

1911Tuner
19th October 2005, 17:45
They wont hold a 2'' group at 50yds. :mad:

Awwww...Sin loy. Numbah one 1911 bacbac boocoo VC... ;)

SatCong
19th October 2005, 18:54
Awwww...Sin loy. Numbah one 1911 bacbac boocoo VC... ;)Yea, I know I'am number 10! or number 10,000? :cool:

Hawkmoon
19th October 2005, 20:04
Yea, I know I'am number 10! or number 10,000? :cool:
Mama San say, "GI numbah ten thouyen!"

horse 91-A1
19th October 2005, 20:09
Navy; III Corp for a little while, then IV Corps. Second day in country pulled a mid-watch and realized how expendable I was. My post was a little remote and I was by myself; communication was by free fire zone ROE - no radio/phone. Depending on post, was issued either M-16 or M1911.

We learned quick, one of the kids from my high school was KIA first day in country, didn't know that til I came back Stateside.

As stated earlier, a lot of vets (kids) came home in body form only. By age 23 I'd been to Vietnam and was a street cop and the military training/experience gave me some good advantages working the streets because I'd constantly be looking for things/people out of place.

By time I was in the department for awhile and had progressed, I wrote a proposal to change the department's .357s to M1911 carry and it didn't make it very far. Now I can look back and say I was ahead of the times. :D

Adios,
Bob

SatCong
19th October 2005, 20:34
Navy; III Corp for a little while, then IV Corps. Second day in country pulled a mid-watch and realized how expendable I was. My post was a little remote and I was by myself; communication was by free fire zone ROE - no radio/phone. Depending on post, was issued either M-16 or M1911.

We learned quick, one of the kids from my high school was KIA first day in country, didn't know that til I came back Stateside.

As stated earlier, a lot of vets (kids) came home in body form only. By age 23 I'd been to Vietnam and was a street cop and the military training/experience gave me some good advantages working the streets because I'd constantly be looking for things/people out of place.

By time I was in the department for awhile and had progressed, I wrote a proposal to change the department's .357s to M1911 carry and it didn't make it very far. Now I can look back and say I was ahead of the times. :D

Adios,
BobI was the old man on my boat, I was 22, grandpa!

1911Tuner
19th October 2005, 20:40
Mama San say, "GI numbah ten thouyen!"

And baby-san might say..."Me you numbah one pretty baby...30 p!"
Or...One in the family way say: "You me baby-san samesame." :eek:

Ah...Old Tourane! :D

Hawkmoon
19th October 2005, 20:49
Heh, heh ...

Getting a bit far afield here, but I was actually reminded of the baby-san phenomenon when my wife and I visited Peru last winter. We went to see Macchu Picchu, the ancient Inca (or Aztec -- can't remember now) historical/archeological site, but to vist Macchu Picchu you stay in the "nearby" city of Cuzco -- which is a tourist trap full of trinket shops, etc. And lots of street urchins selling pictures of their mother and/or sister. At least they were only selling PICTURES of their sister, but there must be one very large extended family around Cuzco, because I lost count of how many little kids wanted to sell me pictures of the same sister.

horse 91-A1
19th October 2005, 21:12
I was 22 when I came home too. I was stationed at Mare Island for awhile (not PBR school) and there had been some very heavy rains which meant the PBRs could go places they normally couldn't. One boat ran into a cow where the grass was high, one fellow turned his twin 50s on a parked car thinking it would keep him from going to Vietnam and it didn't work.

Those twin 653s connected to the Jacuzzi (if memory serves me correctly) jets really made for a nice handling boat. The sound of twin 12-71 Detroits on Swift boats was simply raw power at its best.

I think the search guys (lack of technical term) carried M1911s while the rest of the crew provided cover when a sanpan was being searched.

On the Monitors, what were those nasty belt fed Honeywell 40mm called?

Adios,
Bob

horse 91-A1
19th October 2005, 21:20
A few years ago I was in Chicago listening to one of the brother's telling about his bam-bam experiences and nobody was getting it. We were in a good sized group and finally one of the guys said, "You mean GI go boom-boom?" :D We all had a good laugh and one bro had a little chagrin on his face. :bf:

Adios,
Bob

BTW - we didn't talk about M1911s in combat. :)

1911Tuner
20th October 2005, 05:11
LOL Hawk! Betcha she was a virgin too... :D

ROFL Horse! He prolly had too much bammy-bam, passed out and dreamt
the whole thing. :rolleyes:

I heard a guy talkin' to a captive audience once. He mentioned Hills 327 and 283...and when one kid asked him why they called'em that, the hero answered quite authoritatively that they named'em after Chevy engines.

SatCong
20th October 2005, 09:27
Can we say 33 beer or Silver Fox, that Silver Fox tore me up. :o

horse 91-A1
21st October 2005, 05:08
I'd forgotten, wasn't it named VZ33 beer or something like that? We were kicking back in a small remote Delta village waiting for a SEAL diver team to give support to. After checking out the village we decided to have a beer and the beer glasses were cooled by ice from the community ice machine. After about a 1/2 hour one of the guys realized he had a large frozen catepillar in an ice slice. Since having cold beer was a rare treat he just waited for the ice to melt and threw the catepillar out the door. :D Mine was nice and cold and tasted great - we didn't have more than one for obvious reasons.

That time I had an M-16 and M1911 just to keep the thread relative. :)

Adios,
Bob

1911Tuner
21st October 2005, 08:42
How'd we go from good pistols to bad beer? :D

Speakin' of which....How 'bout a show of hands from all who rode the tiger. :p

Tom
21st October 2005, 09:59
How 'bout a show of hands from all who rode the tiger.

I can't say I ever rode the tiger, but I've climbed "the stick" more than a few times. ;) Probably not even close to the same thing.

Mick_In_Texas
29th November 2005, 20:16
...I want to say THANK YOU.

I was 4F during my high school and college years, in the mid- to late-70s, when Viet Nam was raging... but, long-haired though I was, I had conflicts a NUMBER of times, with peers, who thought the TROOPS were "to blame"... I have NEVER--then or now--NOT supported the soldiers, Marines, sailors, air force, or coast guard... who have served in combat or in non-combatant roles. My dad is a WWII vet; my uncles and friends, WWII, Korea, Viet Nam, Desert Storm, Bosnia/Kosovo, Iraqi Freedom, Afghanistan... And I will go to my grave, kicking and screaming, in support of every man and woman who has served this great country of ours in the military.

"Records" aside... I believe that the 1911 is far superior to the M9: I have owned a Beretta 92F pre-military contract, and currently own a Taurus PT92AF, two Springer 45s, a GP100 loaded with .38 Specials, and a P90. I also believe the M1 Garand in .30-06, and the M14, in .308 Winchester (7.62x51mm) are SUPERIOR to the M16 and M4 in combat/defensive situations. Defensive, I know and carry a Springer 1911. My first long gun, next year, will probably be chambered for .308 Win, rather than .223 Remington. Sorry, but, I stand by my opinion; and it is based on facts and history, rather than any other information. BAR in .30-06, and Thompson machine gun, and MP3, in .45ACP, were effective, devastating, reliable, functional, defensive arms. While I will not give up my Taurus, since the 9mm is a round used by our enemies, I refuse to be hoodwinked by the .223 Remington, although, I like the M4 much better than the M16 in any version. Still, I'd LOVE to have a Springer M1A or Garand M1 as a long gun. For ANY function. Can't afford 'em. But, I CAN afford my 1911s in .45ACP.

Same goes for my 12-gauge Mossberg 500... also a proven defensive round, from WWI through Viet Nam.

You folks who served, and serve... you cannot know how much gratitude I have for y'all, including my father. Your God/god bless y'all for that. I love y'all. And respect y'all.

Y'all ALL take care and be safe.
Mick

Tom
11th December 2005, 12:10
Just finished watching an hour long program on the History channel about the "Tunnel Rats" in Vietnam. In it, there was several piece of archival footage showing American servicemen entering the tunnels with M1911-A1s. Makes sense, since carrying a rifle in those tight quarters would be pointless.

It was just really awesome to watch these servicemen - crazy though they may be - going into these extremely narrow passages to root out the enemy, armed with the classic 1911. There was also some footage of soldiers going into the tunnels with what looked like .38 revolvers, too, so I guess those were still around in the late 1960's.

Adjutant
11th December 2005, 12:33
A number of the tunnel rats preferred the revolver. Not all GIs are gun aficionados any more than most law enforcement officers. For those of us who know and love the old 1911 it is second nature to swipe off the safety in time of need. An excited GI can easily miss that rather small thumb safety. However with a revolver, it is more natural to just point and squeeze. During Viet Nam, it was enough of a challenge to get a grunt semi proficient with his rifle. It did not leave a lot of time to train him to be a pistolero.



Bill

Tiburon
16th December 2005, 15:37
My father carried a .45 in three wars, WW2, Korea, Vietnam and in countless little trouble spots around the world in his 34 years of Army service. He has told me it was by choice not orders, and not once did it ever let him down. I myself carried a .45 in Vietnam (Huey Door Gunner) and in Desert Storm/Shield (personnel security forces). Also for over 15 years as a deputy sheriff. And I can say it has never let me down. The only time that I have ever had a part break was when I screwed it up fiddling with it. Change and modification does not necessarly make something better. If John Browning had the technology and materials that we have today I am sure that the .45 would have been a much different design. Better? Who is to know.

Hawkmoon
17th December 2005, 08:29
There was also some footage of soldiers going into the tunnels with what looked like .38 revolvers, too, so I guess those were still around in the late 1960's.
I remember seeing .38 revolvers on some USAF guys when I was in Vietnam in the late 60s, but I don't recall ever seeing an Army guy wearing one.

Adjutant
17th December 2005, 11:58
I remember seeing .38 revolvers on some USAF guys when I was in Vietnam in the late 60s, but I don't recall ever seeing an Army guy wearing one.
Hi Hawkmoon,



I think you would be more apt to see a .38 in the aviation units. Now don’t quote me on this next part because it has been a while but I believe as far as infantry units were concerned the .38 was a special issue for tunnel clearing. Perhaps even issued at the company level rather than to an individual G.I. Indeed, they may not have even been official issue at all in some cases. For instance I have known a Thompson Sub Machine Gun to go for anywhere from a pair of Air Force sunglasses to a case of scotch.



Glad you got home safe.



Bill

Tiburon
17th December 2005, 18:11
As a Navy door gunner in Vietnam we were issued S&W Airweight .38's. By choice most of the crew in my squadron carried .45's obtained some times thru less than official channels. Also an assortment of other personel firearms was also carried. Everything from shootguns to Swedish K's. We were given the freedom to carry whatever we felt was necessary to help us stay alive just a little longer while awaiting pick-up when (not if) we went down. The Navy helo squadrons had the highest retention and in country extension numbers of any air units in country. And unfortunetly the highest casuality rates. Low and slow you get a real good look at the countryside. Sometimes too good a look.

exitwounds
17th December 2005, 18:18
Was just talking to a fellow down at post 357 who was a tunnel rat with the 1st ID in 'nam in '66 - '67, said he carried a S&W Model 10 .38 for sweep & clear missions, issued to him from the get go.

Adjutant
17th December 2005, 18:32
Thanks, exitwounds, interesting info. When he said the Model 10 was issued to him from the get go, did he mean basic issue as when he arrived in country as would be the case with the M-16 as standard issue for an infantryman, or in the field at a lower unit level once assigned duty as a tunnel rat?

Bill

exitwounds
17th December 2005, 18:58
Thanks, exitwounds, interesting info. When he said the Model 10 was issued to him from the get go, did he mean basic issue as when he arrived in country as would be the case with the M-16 as standard issue for an infantryman, or in the field at a lower unit level once assigned duty as a tunnel rat? Bill

When I see him again I'll ask him for sure, but I'm thinking it is probably as you suggested since he said he was asked to do the job (tunnel rat) because of his compact 5' 4" size once assigned to the unit.

Tom
17th December 2005, 20:37
I remember seeing .38 revolvers on some USAF guys when I was in Vietnam in the late 60s, but I don't recall ever seeing an Army guy wearing one.
That's because the DoD doesn't trust the Air Force with them "automatik" guns. :D

Adjutant
18th December 2005, 00:54
That's because the DoD doesn't trust the Air Force with them "automatik" guns. :D
Islandersfan,



Actually there is a lot of truth in your statement. The USAF is probably the most technical branch of the armed services and so much time and money must be spent on an aviator’s primary crew function that marksmanship training is given short shrift. The idea being an aircrew member will never have to use his weapon unless shot down which, hopefully, is the exception rather than the rule. Enlisted personnel were largely trained on the M-16 and officers the pistol. The revolver is a good choice for the minimally trained individual. Even at that most of the time I was not even issued a weapon so I provided my own, usually a 1911 A-1. Sadly, others thought I was silly for doing so and eschewed carrying any sort of weapon. If shot down they intended to evade but if discovered to immediately surrender. My favorite crew included two master sergeants who carried .38s and a young loadmaster who carried a .32 auto. He claimed it fired full auto which did not impress me to any great depth but he was preferable to the aviator who immediately considered himself a pacifist once on the ground. I had no illusions of us being Sergeant York and defeating a sizable enemy force. My plan was to keep Charlie at bay until the Jolly Greens came in to get us out.



Bill

Tom
18th December 2005, 08:59
Actually there is a lot of truth in your statement.
My intent was to make a joke only (for my pal Radar). As a former "squid", it is my sworn duty to make fun of the other branches of the military - ground-pounders, Jarheads, Puddle Pirates and Air Farce pukes alike. But in truth I have the utmost respect for all the other services - mostly because I didn't want to do their jobs, but rather go on a ship where I could lounge out in the sun and sip pina coladas on the Lida deck.

Funny, I never could find Isaac. :)
http://www.allaboutjazz.com/sepatbluenote/ted_lange.jpg

Adjutant
18th December 2005, 12:29
My intent was to make a joke only (for my pal Radar). As a former "squid", it is my sworn duty to make fun of the other branches of the military - ground-pounders, Jarheads, Puddle Pirates and Air Farce pukes alike. But in truth I have the utmost respect for all the other services - mostly because I didn't want to do their jobs, but rather go on a ship where I could lounge out in the sun and sip pina coladas on the Lida deck.

Funny, I never could find Isaac. :)
http://www.allaboutjazz.com/sepatbluenote/ted_lange.jpg
Hi Islandersfan,



No sweat, no offense. You’re right, poking fun at the other services is part of the game plus I would not care for sea duty at all, US Navy accommodations are anything but the Love Boat. I felt cramped on board the aircraft but it was nothing like a naval vessel. My hat is off to you. Besides, you served, you didn’t run. That says it all.



I salute you as a brother in arms.



Bill

AnimalKracker
28th December 2005, 23:56
While on another board, this guys starts talking about how hr thought 1911 has just a target pistol, and Sig,Glock, and H&K were the true combat and defensive pistol. Well, I just had to explain to him that after two world wars, and in every conflict since then in some form or fashion. Well, that sort of qualifies the 1911 for me. I got no reply back. And as the U.S. is sticking to hardball ammo the 9mm isn't the best choice .

Hawkmoon
29th December 2005, 09:37
Adjutant --

As a special favor to my aging eyes, I'd sure appreciate it if you just use the default font when you post. Whatever you're using in this thread sure is hard to read!

exitwounds
29th December 2005, 09:51
Adjutant, I ran into the "tunnel rat", and the revolver was issued to him when he was reassigned to the 1st ID, apparently he was originally assidgned to the 173rd ABN and issued an M14, for whatever it's worth. :)

John
29th December 2005, 11:18
Adjutant --

As a special favor to my aging eyes, I'd sure appreciate it if you just use the default font when you post. Whatever you're using in this thread sure is hard to read!
I have to second that, please consider those of us whose vision is no longer at its pristine!

Thanks for your consideration.

Adjutant
29th December 2005, 14:30
I have to second that, please consider those of us whose vision is no longer at its pristine!

Thanks for your consideration.
Hi Hawkmoon/ John,

Siento mucho. I'm having the same problem. I don't know what happened. The print in the litttle reply box is too small and my posts are, as you point out, too large. I have been transposing from Word because I need the spell check feature. It seemed to work in the past so I don't know what is going on. It is bad enough that some of my posts read as though they were written by the village idiot only to have my spelling confirm the fact.

Again, my apologies to all.

Bill

Adjutant
29th December 2005, 14:34
Adjutant, I ran into the "tunnel rat", and the revolver was issued to him when he was reassigned to the 1st ID, apparently he was originally assidgned to the 173rd ABN and issued an M14, for whatever it's worth. :)
Thanks exitwounds,

That is what I suspected. I envy your FTF with him. After a few beers I'll bet he loosens up and has some very interesting stories. Tunnel rats lived very unusual lives.

Thanks,

Bill

1911Tuner
29th December 2005, 16:45
Thanks exitwounds,

Tunnel rats lived very unusual lives.




Yessir...Rats and Lurps probably got some whiz-bang stories, but I doubt if you can get enough beer into most of'em to give ya many of the details.

ceos55
13th January 2006, 12:56
I just got off the telephone with one of my best friends, who is not doing well health wise. He has Hep C a gift from Viet Nam and he did survive cancer which was his Agent Orange gift. He is destined to be a Viet Nam statistic in the near future as he now has kidney failure from this. He was in country for 2 tours in the late 60's. He does not discuss it much even when he drank, but I did know that he walked point and was a tunnel rat for the two years he was there. I asked him today about the 1911. He said he was issued one for the tunnels, carried it, but only used it once. After firing it that one time, he bought a 25 and a 32 to use in the tunnels. He said "take your 45 into a phone booth, close your eyes and fire it with the door closed, then listen for someone sneaking up on your position." His opinion was that the sound was so loud it took too long for your ears to recover (read here ringing). He said he loved his 1911, but didn't feel it was practical in the tunnel. He also said that nobody gave him a hassle on what to carry as nobody else wanted to go into the tunnels. Just thought I would pass this little story on and for those of you that pray, do so for Steve I think that is all he may have left.

1911Tuner
13th January 2006, 13:01
Prayers for Steve from me. ****** miserable stinkin' piece of real estate... :mad:

Adjutant
13th January 2006, 15:13
Ceos55,

It is a rotten deal. Back then we though Agent Orange was a good thing. I even volunteered for “Ranch Hand” (that was the USAF program for delivering it from C-123s) because I though it was helping our guys by leaving fewer places for Charlie to hide. Fortunately, they would not release me from my present assignment otherwise; I would no doubt have cancer by now.

We will keep him in prayer. May I suggest he read John 11:25-26 and Ephesians 2:8-9. It appears he is about to experience the most important meeting of his life and it is imperative that he be prepared.

He is fortunate to have you as a friend. I salute you both.

Bill

twins owner
20th January 2006, 13:10
my hat is off to all of the old timers who served hehe
i was in the air force for 12 years and my dad was a shallow water sailor for 25.
he was on a patrol boat in viet nam. he carried a .45 and he was a fireman.meaning he didn't fight fires but was a engine room monkey. retired as master chief
i had a 9 mm in saudi but the navy had .45's. i have some old pics of my father in his early 20's on the boats with his ols .45. i'll see if i can scan them and post em .
as some one siad way early in this thread father and son vets don't talk about thier times much,it's true me and my father didn't tell each of the things we say or did.
some of the funny things ,stuff like that but not the bad stuff. i do have a photo album from saudi where we went to kuwait airport to gather up and dispose of the iraq munitions and it kinds smelled if ya know what i mean .i was born in 69 and my dad left in 69 so glad he came back. he died 3 years ago and i sure miss him. thanks for serving guys it means a lot

Tom
20th January 2006, 13:30
he carried a .45 and he was a fireman.meaning he didn't fight fires but was a engine room monkey. retired as master chief
Ah! A "snipe". Tell him that and let me know what reaction you get? LOL

My Dad, too, was a "snipe" - an MM3 - on a tin can back in '55. He said that during GQ drills, someone armed with a M1911 would stand atop the hatch to the engine room with orders to shoot any sailor deserting his post. Sound like that might be a "sea story".

It takes one to know one. ;)

twins owner
20th January 2006, 13:52
well i do remember him saying something anout snipes. and i wish i could ask him but he died about 3 years ago.sure do miss him he was my hunting,fishing,reloading,shooting,lieing buddy

SatCong
20th January 2006, 15:31
Ah! A "snipe". Tell him that and let me know what reaction you get? LOL

My Dad, too, was a "snipe" - an MM3 - on a tin can back in '55. He said that during GQ drills, someone armed with a M1911 would stand atop the hatch to the engine room with orders to shoot any sailor deserting his post. Sound like that might be a "sea story".

It takes one to know one. ;)No sea story, during war in GQ the Chief or the officer in charge, would carry 1911's. Power to the ship was very important for the ship.

Tom
20th January 2006, 16:02
I guess being an ET, our GQ status was a bit more relaxed. No one was issued any weapons unless you want to consider a digital multimeter one. :D We'd mostly just lay up in our shop, one of us with those awesome sound powered phones on our head, and try to stay awake. I was onboard a tender, so our division wasn't part of the ship's company in the strictest sense, so we didn't have to play many of those silly reindeer games.

scooter
20th January 2006, 19:11
That's because the DoD doesn't trust the Air Force with them "automatik" guns. :D

someone hold that boys head underwater for just a little while pleasehttp://forum.m1911.org/images/icons/icon12.gif

Tom
20th January 2006, 19:17
someone hold that boys head underwater for just a little while please
I had forgotten I said that! Whoops! LOL
How far back did you have to go looking for that one?

scooter
20th January 2006, 20:23
I had forgotten I said that! Whoops! LOL
How far back did you have to go looking for that one?

been on this board for a while now and STILL havent read it all but Im gettin there (been trying to save EVERYTHING tuner posts bout THE pistol.)And as I said on another thread as much as he Knows he's gotta be a hunertnfifty years oldhttp://forum.m1911.org/images/icons/icon10.gif
and I think he was there and helped ol JMB design it he just wont fess uphttp://forum.m1911.org/images/icons/icon11.gif

Tom
20th January 2006, 21:12
And as I said on another thread as much as he Knows he's gotta be a hunertnfifty years old and I think he was there and helped ol JMB design it he just wont fess up
Oh, at least 150 if a day. He and JMB were probably separated at birth, too. :)

Seriously, I have said often enough that Tuner has forgotten more about the 1911 than I will ever learn. I give him a hard time here on the Forum sometimes (him being a jarhead and all how can I not?) but I'll confess to sending him PM's and emails asking for advice and help. He's never once blew me off.

scooter
21st January 2006, 01:40
I spent 2 years in the army (armored cav) then went from the army to the AF as an AP and dont know squat about 1911 pattern compared to tuner(fired them a lot in the army I was a Track/Wheel Veh. mech. which meant I was also an M60 driver)But bein a mech every thing he has posted about 1911s becomes clear the way he explains it so I guess we can forgive him for bein one of our U ncle S ams M isguided C hildren http://forum.m1911.org/images/icons/icon10.gif
(got 2 nephews in AF in Iraqi theater/1 nephew USMC in Iraq proper and a niece in the USN in gulf so I keep a close eye on this one Hope they all come Home)
The jar in the family keeps telling me USMC when it absolutley positively has to be destroyed overnight http://forum.m1911.org/images/icons/icon10.gif

horse 91-A1
21st January 2006, 13:27
Does Tuner have his own TV show in Belgium like Mail Call? :)

My 1911s shoot great; now if I could only get the Glock 20 to work it would be great.

All the time I was in the Navy, never was a fleet sailor and wore greens about 1/2 of my enlistment. Vietnam was kind of loose where I was at and not as strict as some outfits in other branches.

One day a gunner's mate let slip they had a pair of Thompson's in the armory and of course that's what I really needed to carry. After much cajoling and kissing butt; to my chagrin in front of a number of the guys the GM handed me a 1911 and said, "Here's your .45!" :D

At least my dad was able to carry a Thompson in WWII; son struck out in Vietnam. :( :)

Adios,
Bob

Adjutant
21st January 2006, 22:03
Does Tuner have his own TV show in Belgium like Mail Call? :)

My 1911s shoot great; now if I could only get the Glock 20 to work it would be great.

All the time I was in the Navy, never was a fleet sailor and wore greens about 1/2 of my enlistment. Vietnam was kind of loose where I was at and not as strict as some outfits in other branches.

One day a gunner's mate let slip they had a pair of Thompson's in the armory and of course that's what I really needed to carry. After much cajoling and kissing butt; to my chagrin in front of a number of the guys the GM handed me a 1911 and said, "Here's your .45!" :D

At least my dad was able to carry a Thompson in WWII; son struck out in Vietnam. :( :)

Adios,
Bob
A fellow I knew retired from LE and went to Bosnia to train cops. He was not allowed to take a weapon so he planned to buy a 1911 once he arrived. Handguns were in such high demand that even a piece of junk ran well into the four figures, if you could find one for sale. He finally bought a Thompson submachine gun and eight magazines for $200. Unfortunately, he had to leave it when he returned stateside.

Lt_Crunchy
4th April 2006, 16:54
While I do not think the 1911 design is flawed, I have to question why/how you think it has any battle record from Vietnam. It wasn't issued to the troops, only to field grade officers. We grunts, and company grade officers in the field, carried M16s. If a 1911 actually saw combat in 'Nam it was a mistake.

I'll add my $.02 worth here about use of the M1911 in Vietnam. I arrived 6 Jun 1970 as a 2nd Lt. Army (infantry) and was assigned to MACV as an advisor. Since I was to be in the field, I was offered a choice of an M-16 or .45. Naturally, I took the .45 (you've got to be kidding, of course I took the M-16). NCOs were issued M-16s, no choice.

However, there were problems associated with my choice. I was assigned as a team leader of a 5-man mobile advisory team, two officers and three senior NCOs, all Americans. We trained and advised the Vietnamese regional and popular forces (sort of like a home guard) and accompanied them on day missions and night ambushes.

As a small team, we always had an officer and NCO on a mission. Since the Vietnamese had poor logistics, we always carried a M-79 grenade launcher along on ambushes to send up illumination rounds after contact. Going to and from the ambush we loaded the M-79 with a shotgun round, then switched to a flare while on the ambush. Not exactly very comforting sitting in the jungle with only a flare for protection. Something else was needed.

As a consequence, I purchased a .45 on my own. I carried it many times with my M-16 or M-79, but given the type of assignments we had, close in fighting was not likely but possible. The point of my story is that the M1911 WAS issued for combat in Vietnam and even though I bought my own, it was a constant and well-regarded companion. I still have it and I'll have to tell its story some time.

Sgt. Quincannon
5th April 2006, 12:21
Lt Crunchy, we're waitin' on that story you promised us!

Lt_Crunchy
5th April 2006, 14:16
Ok, Sarge, since you asked. Once I decided I needed a sidearm, I talked to an Lt. who was leaving for home in a few weeks. He had a .45 that was not marked "US Property" or similar. He had tried to get a permit to import it to the US but it could not be imported unless the weapon's serial number had a C at the front or end. This particular weapon had neither, just a serial number on the right side and a Remington-Rand slide. Bob had tried to purchase a metal stamp "C" but could not get one unless he bought 50 so he had given up. As a consequence I bought his .45 for $25, not a bad deal, eh?

I had it for about a month when I decided to try something different. I approached a Vietnamese street vendor who made and repaired jewelry and had a small engraving machine. Our Vietnamese language training was in mostly military terms but I managed to make him understand I wanted a "C" on the end of the serial number. Since the numbers almost looked hand stamped and were not on a straight line, I assumed precision was not a key to this task, just character size. Sure enough, 50 piasters ($.25) and a minute later I had a nice shiny C engraved behind the serial number. Back at the hooch, a little gun oil rubbed in and it was perfect. It looked like it was made that way at the factory.

I then wrote the ATF, obtained the import license, and sat on it until time to leave. Now the real story begins. At Camp Alpha in Siagon, everyone had to have his belongings inspected for contraband prior to boarding. My duffle bag, SKS, and I are waiting in long lines with other servicemen of all ranks while MPs search each and every bag. I've packed my .45 (in a black GI holster) in the top of the bag and have my import licenses in my hand ready for who knows what. It is then I read the .45 license and notice that it EXPIRED TWO WEEKS BEFORE. Now, what to do? At this point I can only hope the date goes unnoticed.

30 gut-wrenching minutes later, when my turn came and I immediately presented my permit to the em MP. He immediately opened my bag and you would think I had a live grenade or claymore in there. He called for two or three reinforcements and I know they were trying to catch some dumb officer with contraband. They inspected that .45 every way they could but could not find any evidence it was government property. They were so certain I was trying to pull a fast one they never looked at anything else in my bag, that claymore could have been in the bottom for all they knew, and they never noticed the permit had expired.

As I said before, I still have that weapon. I have done some research and believe it to be a M1911 "frames only" pistol converted by an armory to a M1911A1. Who knows where it came from or how it got to Vietnam, but in any case it is my prized possession now?

John
5th April 2006, 15:16
Hey Lt, can we see a picture of that gun? With that history behind it, it's surely worth a picture.

Lt_Crunchy
5th April 2006, 19:44
Hey Lt, can we see a picture of that gun? With that history behind it, it's surely worth a picture.

Absolutely, sir! My first photo posts.

Right side - full view http://i54.photobucket.com/albums/g113/Lt_Crunchy/M1911A1-r2.jpg

Right side - closeup http://i54.photobucket.com/albums/g113/Lt_Crunchy/M1911A1-r1.jpg

Left side http://i54.photobucket.com/albums/g113/Lt_Crunchy/M1911A1-l.jpg

Hawkmoon
5th April 2006, 20:55
Very nice pistol, Lt. Your engraver did a decent job on adding that 'C' to the serial number.

John
6th April 2006, 01:29
Excellent, I appreciate it!

Very nice pistol and very nice story to go with it.

Thanks for posting both.

OD*
6th April 2006, 07:47
Nice pistol. http://forum.m1911.org/images/icons/icon14.gif

exitwounds
6th April 2006, 14:59
Interesting pistol Lt., the frame looks like it has a USGI inspection mark above the mag release and OG (Ogden Arsenal) rebuild stamps below the serial number.

Adjutant
6th April 2006, 17:19
Adding a C to the serial number – I can’t help but take pleasure in it when an honest man gets the ATF, in effect, to kiss his backside.



Exitwounds’ observation showing it was refinished at Ogden Utah Arsenal makes it highly probable Elmer Keith handled it since he was an inspector there during that war, makes the pistol even more desirable. I’d say you really have a prize, Lt.



Bill

N7CAV
6th April 2006, 19:38
My regiment was assigned a rotating guard assignment in a place called Bombholder, W. Germany. Our mission was to walk two-man patrols around the inside of a (rather long) fenced perimeter. One man carried a PRC-77 (Backpack Radio) and each had an M16 and M1911A1. It was frozen winter time, but we agreed to do 8 hours on, 16 hours off, so we didnt have to freeze for four hours, three times a day.

My first experience with the M16A1 and M1911A1 under stress came one of those nights, after being on guard for five or six hours... literally walking to keep from freezing/ There was a number of political events and we were advised to challenge, engage and report - in that order, if there were any penetrations.

My buddy and I heard movement, then saw a man running outside just outside the fence into the woodline. We yelled and he ran back and out of sight. We charged our M16's, or, at least, I attempted to charge my M16; The **** bolt was frozen shut! I ditched the weapon and grabbed my .45, charged the slide and ran along the fence toward the next gate. My buddy ran in the opposite direction, searching the fence for movement.

The recaction force (All the other guys off duty, but tasked with imediate response) finally arrived and combed the area. They recovered a German National, but that's all we heard out of it. Point of the matter is the M16 failed and the .45 did not fail./ May not be a combat story, but the first of three lessons in weapon reliability under stress. All three of those lessons had to do with the M16, M16A2 and the M9.

I hated that black leather sholder holster, and the way my pistol would bang my rib cage every time I hopped off my tank. I hated the stupid shoulder strap that would never fit right. I hated the fact we were not authorized or able to carry side (hip) holsters. One thing I didn't mind was the fact that I could count on that piece of junk 1911 operating when I needed it.

Lt_Crunchy
6th April 2006, 22:49
Exitwounds’ observation showing it was refinished at Ogden Utah Arsenal makes it highly probable Elmer Keith handled it since he was an inspector there during that war, makes the pistol even more desirable. I’d say you really have a prize, Lt.

Bill

Thanks for the info, gentlemen. I got out the magnifying glass and the inspector's mark above the magazine release appears to be the "Eagles Head" Springfield inspection mark M1911 frames only, S17.

I really appreciate the confirmation, and additions, you guys lend to my own analysis.

Adjutant
6th April 2006, 22:50
Loren,

Were you using the M-3 or the M-7 shoulder holster? Even on an aircraft I found the M-3 dug into myshoulder plus the issues you mentioned. The M-7 was a big, to me, improvement.

Bill

N7CAV
7th April 2006, 10:40
Loren,

Were you using the M-3 or the M-7 shoulder holster? Even on an aircraft I found the M-3 dug into myshoulder plus the issues you mentioned. The M-7 was a big, to me, improvement.

Bill

I'm not sure which one it was. It was black leather, kind of thin & flimsy, with narrow leather straps. I did a google on both (just now) and can tell it was the M7 style, with that odd little button snap, like on the old .45 magazine pouches. We couln't use our webgear inside the tank, too much stuff clinking around. So we wore coveralls, then Nomex coveralls (A later upgrade), with our shoulder holster over those. Then off the tank, we donned our webgear and Kevlar. The M-16 was primarily the loader's weapon, but was used by whoever posted perimiter guard duty. They started issuing two M-16's per crew, but there was only a mounting lock for one rifle, so the second one spent a lot of time getting chewed-up. You can imagine what an M16 rifle looks like after it's been caught between the turret and the hull of a rotating weapons system. heh . . . . My version of a forward assist.

Adjutant
7th April 2006, 23:15
I am surprised to hear that, only one or two M-16s per crew. I'm no tank expert but it seems there is room for an M-16 for each crewmember. Mounting locks couldn't cost that much. It sounds like another example of some whiz kid on a computer in an air-conditioned office deciding what the troops in the field really need. Glad to hear you came through despite the bureaucratic stupidity. We had the same rocket scientists in the USAF. Repeatedly we were sent into hot areas and not issued so much as a .38. I finally took matters into my own hands and sole sourced, privately, my own weapon. I used the web belt with GI flap holster except I strung the belt through the slot rather than hanging it from the belt by the metal rings. It fit much closer and did not flop around as much.

Bill

Hobie
10th April 2006, 09:59
I was in service 1973 through to 2001. I never used the 1911A1 in combat. I was, for several periods, my unit's defacto armorer. I did carry the 1911A1 as a payroll guard and in several assignments. I qualified with the pistol several times and trained others to do so. I never had one fail if it was functioning prior to issue.

The guns were stored without the firing pins as a security measure and sometimes the users (machinegunners, mortarmen, etc) would snap the guns and peen the firing pin "hole". This was most often fixed with a "stern" speech and a rat-tail file.

Our soldiers were generally dismayed when the Berettas were issued and the 1911A1s withdrawn.

As to the specific question, my mother had a friend who served in Korea. He was wounded and placed in a tent but retained his ".45". During the night something woke him and he sat up to see a Chinese at the other end of the tent cutting the throat of another wounded man. He used his pistol to shoot the Chinese and collapsed back on his cot. He told this story, apparently, because he felt that the Chinese could have just as readily come in his end of the tent first where he was first in line and asleep. I believe this was during the winter and that is why the wounded were put in a tent (probably a GP medium). This means that the .45 Ball round penetrated the Chinese quilted winter uniform at a range of about 8-10 yards. I have been told by an NCO/Supervisor veteran of Korea that the .45 Ball would not always be effective on these uniforms nor would the .30 M1 Carbine ball.

I'm sorry I don't have any more detail. My mother's memory is, well, so-so. I'll ask for the friend's name. It might be a documentable incident.

robertbank
11th April 2006, 09:56
You guys all know more about the history of the 1911 etc but looking at your picture I noticed the frame itself lacks the finger cutouts of the A1. Is it possible the frame pre-dates the change and the gun was put together after the A1 came out with an old frame. Also given the frame itself is not marked with anyting to indicate it was US Gov't Issue you might want to check Colt serial numbers (without the "C") to see if it is a Colt frame.

Take Care

OD*
11th April 2006, 10:03
As Exitwounds mentioned, it is probably and arsenal rework.

robertbank
11th April 2006, 10:22
Yes indeed it surely is but the frame itself must be quite old not to have the finger cut outs. Might be some real history behind the gun if it is a Colt frame and issued prior to or during WW1.

Take Care

OD*
11th April 2006, 10:28
The frame could be as late as 1924.

SargeMO
11th April 2006, 13:49
My cousin, Bob Newsom, was stationed in Korea with the army and was assigned to guard a supply cache. He heard a rattle & lit up the area just in time to see a NK run from the inner wire, and turn with something in his hands. Only thing Bob had within reach was the '11 on his hip, and when the NK turned, he yelled & fired 4-5 rounds at him. Range was about 25 yards. He said he saw the NK turn kind of a somersault and land flat on his back. First or second round had hit a rib near the sternum and evidently keyholed, because he said the exit on his back looked as big as a half dollar. Another round had hit him about belt level to one side, and a third had clipped an arm. They recovered a rifle and near-dead NK, who got toted off to parts unknown by the G2 types. Bob never heard anymore about it.

Not bad shootin' for a nearsighted country boy, in the dark. He was a believer in the effectiveness if JMB's cornsheller & hardball.

exitwounds
11th April 2006, 14:53
Robertbank,
The S17 inspector stamp indicates the frame to be a COLT 1911 produced sometime between May 1918 - June 1919. The OG indicates it is an arsenal rebuild from the Ogden Arsenal, Ogden, Utah. Not uncommon to find a mix of 1911 and 1911A1 parts mixed together on rebuilds. The USP stamp is not present but it certainly was or was intended to be USGI.

Sgt. Quincannon
11th April 2006, 17:33
LT Crunchy,
Thanks for sharing your story. You have a unique, personalized pistol to treasure. Do you ever shoot it, just for fun and/or memories?
Regards, Sgt. Q

OD*
11th April 2006, 18:50
exitwounds,

Yep, I missed the S17. Weren't those used from May 1918-April 1919?

robertbank
11th April 2006, 19:30
Ah I knew you boys would know. Likely didn't see action in WW1 then. From what my Grand-dad desribed I suspect the use and effectiveness of the 1911 likely peaked in the trenches of the Great War.

I say that because of the trench warfare at the time had it up close and personal and the 1911 had greater firepower than anything else the Infantryman was carrying at the time well maybe a five shot shotgun. In the Canadian Army only the officers were issued pistols and then primarily to shoot those who didn't go "over the top" or decided to run the wrong way. Considering the old gent spent the better part of four years in that **** hole called Northern France from his brief description of it I am not surprised some would refuse to go. His explanation was that if he stayed where he was the gas would kill him, if he ran the officers would shoot him and if he went at the Germans there was only an 80% chance or so that he would get killed. Nice way to visit Europe....the old man died of leukemia at 71 as a result of the gas he injested. Never once complained.

Uncle carried a 1911 in his tank in WW11 but never shot it once in anger...his tank did though.

Take Care

Lt_Crunchy
11th April 2006, 21:26
LT Crunchy,
Thanks for sharing your story. You have a unique, personalized pistol to treasure. Do you ever shoot it, just for fun and/or memories?
Regards, Sgt. Q

I did shoot it some after I returned from Vietnam, mostly around deer season. Haven't shot it for several years although I keep it oiled and loaded next to the bed. I almost took it out last weekend but used my Colt Combat Commander instead, just for memories.

For those of you who have never shot one at night, it is quite a sight. I fired one round at night in Vietnam to scare away thieves. It puts a stream of fire about 15 feet into the dark, at least it seemed that way from the shooting end.

Lt_Crunchy
11th April 2006, 21:53
My brother was visiting this week and we reviewed some old pictures with our father. He took these in China in WWII in early 1945 on the Burma Road; he is the one with the garrison cap. At that time Dad was in Navy intelligence working with the Chinese underground fighting the Japanese and preparing the way for the expected invasion of Japan.

The Americans' main weapons were the .45, M1 carbine, and the "Tommy gun." As a kid I remember my dad telling me he wore a shoulder holster, but as you see in the photos he also had a side holster. My brother is the proud curator of that .45 and I have the fighting knife you see in one photo.

http://i54.photobucket.com/albums/g113/Lt_Crunchy/China022BurmaRoad-sm.jpg

http://i54.photobucket.com/albums/g113/Lt_Crunchy/China046-sm.jpg

http://i54.photobucket.com/albums/g113/Lt_Crunchy/China084-sm.jpg

http://i54.photobucket.com/albums/g113/Lt_Crunchy/China091-sm.jpg

http://i54.photobucket.com/albums/g113/Lt_Crunchy/China092-sm.jpg

CleanSeries80
12th April 2006, 00:03
wow those are some cool pics! i need to dig out my grandfathers pics

OD*
12th April 2006, 06:30
Great pictures Lt_Crunchy, thanks for sharing them.

Sgt. Quincannon
12th April 2006, 18:13
Thanks LT! Several of my family members served in combat in WWII (mostly uncles), but nobody thought to take a camera along. They were teenagers or early twenty-somethings, after all. My uncle Jim was a Marine in the Pacific island fighting, and he has some interesting tales ( you have to catch him in the "right" mood though- a few drinks helps). I can't remember which island it was where the actual battle was over, but my uncle's unit was assigned to clear out caves where Japanese soldiers were thought to be hiding and waiting for the chance to infiltrate US lines. His outfit didn't hit the beach. Cave clearing was a scary, dangerous task, largely employing flame throwers and explosives, according to him. He also recalled swimming out to a wrecked Japanese vessel of some kind, and getting cut up on jagged metal- the swim back was very scary- he was terrified of sharks. My uncle carried a Colt 1911A1, which he turned in at war's end. He brought back an Arisaka rifle that my cousin now has. I really wish he's taken some photos, though!

exitwounds
12th April 2006, 20:11
exitwounds,

Yep, I missed the S17. Weren't those used from May 1918-April 1919?


OD, you are correct on the dates, I was off by a few months. Thanks. ;)

WillapaKid
24th May 2006, 00:37
My dad spent some time in Pleku (sp?) around 65', trucking a hospial unit into the central highlands. He never saw any real fighting (at least nothing that he has told anyone since) and actually never even carried a gun, since he was a CO. He has mentioned, however, another guy who was shooting at rats in the moter pool building with a 1911(or maybe it was a tent? It has a plywood floor at any rate that the rat was running across) He also talks about M-16 jamming and a couple of his buddys who shot a M-14 into a barrel of sand until the barrel (of the gun) turned red and drooped over. I'm not not sure if attemting to take out a rat counts as "combat use", though...:)

ALman
4th June 2006, 21:00
I started following this post today.

Also, I'm a history buff - I recall reading that during the Korean War there were at least some recorded issues with the .45ACP's performance due to lack of penetration. The issue was that the heavy clothing worn by the North Koreans and Chinese was not easily penetrated by the lower velocity round. Other nation's troops - Canada I think, were armed at the time with the Browning Hi-Power 9mm and fared better. I'll try to locate the source for this information if anyone is interested.

I'm definitely not a proponent of the 9mm over the .45ACP, however.

From what I understand from the terminal ballistics of the .45 rounds in general, it is the mass of the bullet that can create wounds more likely to incapacitate especially when they hit bone - creating secondary projectiles.

robertbank
4th June 2006, 21:31
The Canadian Army at the time , as it does now uses the Inglis Hi-Power as a sidearm. I can't believe it played much of a part in the scheme of things in Korea, in any event, nor did the 1911 either for that matter.

As far as terminal balistics are concerned I think there is more wasted spit over which cartridge is better than any other subject on the planet. Nobody suvives a centre hit in the forehead - 9MM or .45acp. Conversely neither rounds are death rays despite the so called "knock down power" of either round. Truth be known neither round will knock you down as we all know. You may colapse if hit in the spinal cord or head and mya even fall down by a hip hit or because you have been shot and think you should fall down but the bullet itself won't do it.

Both have been shown to be good cartridges in the field but neither replaces a rifle.

Take Care

SatCong
4th June 2006, 21:33
I started following this post today.

Also, I'm a history buff - I recall reading that during the Korean War there were at least some recorded issues with the .45ACP's performance due to lack of penetration. The issue was that the heavy clothing worn by the North Koreans and Chinese was not easily penetrated by the lower velocity round. Other nation's troops - Canada I think, were armed at the time with the Browning Hi-Power 9mm and fared better. I'll try to locate the source for this information if anyone is interested.

I'm definitely not a proponent of the 9mm over the .45ACP, however.

From what I understand from the terminal ballistics of the .45 rounds in general, it is the mass of the bullet that can create wounds more likely to incapacitate especially when they hit bone - creating secondary projectiles.My friend's father had said that happen with the M1 carpine, powder sensitive to cold and lack of bullet weight.

Hawkmoon
4th June 2006, 21:59
Truth be known neither round will knock you down as we all know. You may colapse if hit in the spinal cord or head and mya even fall down by a hip hit or because you have been shot and think you should fall down but the bullet itself won't do it.
Now Robert, stop funnin' with us. We ALL know a round from a .45 will pick up the average body builder and throw him backwards at least 6 to 10 feet. I saw it in a movie just the other night, so it MUST be true.

robertbank
4th June 2006, 22:19
I saw it in a movie just the other night, so it MUST be true.

Yup partner if you can't trust those old Gene Autry and Roy Rogers movies just who can you trust. I liked it when Cisco would drop a bad guy at 100 yards while riding his horse full tilt. Guys used to fly off their horses like they were struck by lightening.

Ah for the days when eight year olds could sit in the front row of the theatre with there cap guns and shoot the Indians along with Roy and the boys. Nowadays you would have the SWATT team on your back and Wendy Guker (Our local Anti-gun mistress) doing interviews with the CBC claiming illegal guns were really at the heart of the drug problem and Roy Rogers was the reason why teen gangs were doing drugs and shooting up the neighbourhood. Ah for the shameless if not nieve 50's.

Take Care