TYR Tactical

Test Article Photos of MARSOC Winning Colt Rail Guns

These rather interesting photos come from TEST REPORT FOR THE CLOSE QUARTERS BATTLE PISTOL (CQBP) BID SAMPLES, PHASE II and are of Colt test articles from the CQB Pistol solicitation which was just awarded to Colt yesterday. They depict various frame cracks.

Guns 11, 12, 14 and 15 (1-10 were not fire tested) fired 12,000 rounds before being deadlined due to visible safety-critical cracks found in the slides. Each slide had cracks in the same location, but they varied in size.

One gun had its recoil spring bend enough to bind the slide to the point it no longer could be tested, it was withdrawn from testing.

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105 Responses to “Test Article Photos of MARSOC Winning Colt Rail Guns”

  1. Ross says:

    Thanks for the heads up, 12K rounds through it and that”s the result? I will stick with my Glocks thank you very much.

  2. Matt Levi says:

    101 years of progress passed up for emotional love affair with a heavy high maintenance low ammo capacity gun. Say to be stupid Marines.

    • USMC/LAPD/Grunt says:

      What an obtuse statement! It’s a secondary weapon, but then I would expect a keyboard commando, not to understand that the “capacity” you speak of is in my M4, M249, SASS M110, or SR25. But hey what do I know, I’m just a grunt.

      • Mike says:

        It’s only a secondary till you need it, then all of sudden it becomes the most important piece of equipment you have. Sugar coat it all you want, but 12K is a low round count for a catastrophic failure. Hopefully the problem was diagnosed and fixed.

      • Gino Anthony says:

        You obviously do not know much. A gun failing after that many rounds to that extent is absolutely inexcusable. There are copious amounts of firearms currently produced that are half the weight, more reliable, more accurate, higher capacity and less maintenance than the 1911 platform. Don’t defend a gun because you have your ego invested in it. These are being fielded for our warfighters to depend their lives on. They should be seeking the highest performing pistol they can afford, and the 1911 platform is the least suitable. Just because it is a secondary weapons system doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be held to a higher standard than others.

        Also, inserting your “Qualifications” into your username doe’s not impress the lot of us with more experience and apparent knowledge on the subject.


        Gino A.

        • USMC/LAPD/Grunt says:

          Gino A. and Mike I don’t disagree with either one of your points on the weapon and it’s failure. Nor do I think this is a small issue to be “sugar coated”, to the contrary, I feel it’s a huge issue, that clearly warrants more information and testing, prior to this weapon being fielded. The comment was in response to a buffoon, waxing like a 10 year old, taking an at homonym swipe at the Marine Corps, on serious issue. It’s a pity you find my screen name choice so offensive, it’s not meant to impress. But it clearly seems to offend you in some bizarre infantile way. Grow up and stop acting like a stain. I’ll just use Ed from now on, so as not to make you feel bad about your professional failures in life. Keep, working on that site, if you refocus your failures, you can make it little guy. Unreal, I’ll never get this 45 seconds back.


          • USMC/LAPD/Grunt....Ed says:

            I hold Soldier Systems in very high regard as a very informed place for serious discussion, any other trolls who want to run their soup-cooler, please feel free to GFY before you attempt to wax intellectual like a complete fucktard.

          • Ed says:

            Oh yeah, and Gino Anthony, you attempting to put together a business to sell tactical goods to US in the field doing Gods work, doesn’t make you one of us. And yes, my field experience is extensive. And judging by your picture, I’ve got more time on the shitter than you have in any operational environment. And your jab, certainly doesn’t make you a ” Quiet Professional” Cochise. Best not to come out on the internet and piss your prospective clients off with childish BS. You’re starting to believe the bio you wrote on yourself.
            Gino Anthony, CEO of NEX Tactical Inc.

            Gino Anthony

            President & CEO of NEX Tactical Inc.
            Demographic info
            West Palm Beach, Florida Area | Defense & Space

            President & CEO at NEX Tactical Inc.
            Field Operations at Grayman Acquisitions LLC
            Kentwood Preparatory School, University of Hard Knocks

            Really, University of Hard Knocks, you have a link to your company with the above information describing your real world qualifications. Your resume needs a paper weight there Junior, now ease up on the stone throwing and get back on task. If you piss off the rest of my fellow Marines or Army Dogs off with your moaning about them placing the ranks they EARNED, in their screen names, it’s going to get very ugly for you. But I digress….The Colt 1911 needs some serious attention, before MY fellow Marines field it.

          • Eric B says:

            Give ’em Hell Ed!

          • fghost says:

            When the actual living fuck is any soldier going to fire their secondary weapon twelve thousand times during one tour of duty? I mean, unless they are constantly firing the thing 24/7 for the whole two to four years they’re never going to run into this problem.

          • Venom says:

            the 1911 the least appropriate?!?! lets take a look at the M9 whose slide did THE SAME THING and was STILL foisted upon our troops replacing what pistol? Oh yeah, the 1911!! Of which, specimens produced and used in WW1 were STILL in service through Nam and even into that little deal in Grenada.
            Looking at the photos for what they show, its all the tacticool crap that ruined it. File the forward slide serrations under “Why” YOUR HAND DON’T BELONG THERE ON ANY PISTOL.
            the addition of the rail has created a stress riser and should revert to the prints of JMB that didnt have that problem. If one MUST hang a “Shoot me im here” light on it then revise it.
            The real red flag is the recoil spring cap. Sorry, but Colt is trying to cut some serious corners and the contract should be withdrawn and awarded to someone who won’t, such as Wilson combat.

          • Ben says:

            Wow Ed you really just turned yourself into a super troll, way to go!

    • Richard LaLoge says:

      The 1911 does not do that from design but from other problems. High maintenance, is not a problem with this weapon, as an Army tanker I carried and loved it. My Father wore his for 20 years. This weapon was created by a genius, Mr Browning, in weapon design.
      You do not know shit from a hole in the ground.

  3. Paul says:

    That does not inspire confidence…..at all. A steel slide cracking like that after 12k rounds is disturbing.

    • KLiP says:

      Plus there’s a picture of a slide crack. I wonder how the competitors performed…

  4. USMC/LAPD/Grunt says:

    WTF over??? I’m a big Colt fan, but c’mon guys, these will be secondary weapons that provide a very important function. This was the winning bid? Colt needs to get this sorted out, ASAP! I know the Kimbers have been failing at an alarming rate here at the LAPD. In the case of Kimber, these guys need to start working on the quality control, instead of patting themselves on the back with astronomically unjustified price tags… No problems reported with the Springfield Armory 1911’s. My Glocks may be Tupperware guns, but at least they go Boooooooom, every trigger press. I hope Colt and Kimber get their quality control under control.

  5. straps says:

    .45 Supers?

    After all, people THAT dedicated to the 1911 form factor would be inclined to experiment with a round “that goes to eleven.”

  6. Vek says:

    I am wondering, how many total test pistols were ordered, and what kind of conditions each gun failed in?

  7. Thomas Jane says:

    I’m excited to see this gun staring at me from the cover of every stupid gun magazine at B&N next month. Maybe with headlines like “not your grandad’s .45” or “King of CQB”. Also Glowing reviews from gun writers: “It flawlessly cycled 6 out of the seven rounds i fired”. Paging Leroy Thompson!

  8. I myself am a really big fan of the 1911 and its successors. I love the way they look and feel and shoot. This, however, does not make me happy to read and see, especially since they are still going with the contract. As a secondary, it is VITALLY important to make sure that they work even better than the primary weapon.

  9. SGT Rock says:

    Too bad they didn’t go w/Springfield Armory as they’ve been making superior handguns for years as compared to Colt.

    • BUllet8542 says:

      Well you should thank Imbel not Springfield they just assemble pistols from Brazilian made frames and slides. I own 15 Colts and have abused several to no end never one issue, It is a man made piece of equipment some will fail some will not, Heck Glocks break if your a Border Patrol agent and fall off your ATV Nothing is perfect.

      • Johnny S says:

        Glock does not make the P2000.

        Wow, 15 Colts and you still haven’t learned your lesson?

  10. Eric B says:

    Funny, gun #13 was the lucky one that didn’t crack, or so I infer. I could see one gun failing as a fluke. I can’t think of a pistol I haven’t seen break in some manner, but four in a series is extraordinarily troublesome. And they WON the contract? The other competitors guns must have exploded like hand grenades to make these the winning design!

    • I agree with you completely. One failing like that could be a fluke, as you stated. Four is a flaw in the design and build. It is reasons like this that LWRC lost the contest for the new Marine corps support weapon.

  11. Bill says:

    It looks like several cracks are originating at machined angle stress points.
    If these stress points were machined with a radius it makes it less likely to allow crack to originate.

  12. MGySgt Brooks 0331/8541 says:

    Springfield MC Operator got dumped due to “parts breakage” on numerous test pistols so make sure you know what your talking about when you brag on your South American made springer. Congrats to Colt and I laugh at the haters. If you are not a Marine don’t speak negatively about the Marines.

    • Ed says:


    • Michael says:

      Actually the MC Operator is a Made in the USA Springfield. The only ones made in Brazil currently are the Mil-Spec and the Loaded.

      • Shadow Six says:

        Master Guns, I respect you, your service to your nation and your the service you are a part of. I cannot agree with your statement on ‘haters’ here, though. This is a very valid discussion in regards to the reliability factor of this firearm. I have shot 15,000+ through SIG Sauers and GLOCKs, and never had stress fractures like these in any of them. For a pistol that is going to see significantly rigorous and constant service, 12,000 rounds doesn’t cut it on a slide stress fracture, moreso when the ‘fix’ for a problem like this is simply to replace the firearm… what a waste of taxpayers dollars. This money could be better spent procuring pistols at a cheaper cost that are far more reliable and shoot just as accurately as the shooter’s skills. You as a Scout/Sniper would be well and truly aware that it’s the shooter’s skills primarily, then secondarily the equipment he/she operates. <3 -a fellow sniper.

      • Annie says:

        Michael, I posed the same question (about origin of manufacture & assembly) to a Springfield rep before buying one. This was the reply verbatim (note the last line); “If more than 50% of the work is done on one of the pistols in Brazil, then somewhere on that pistol it will be marked “Brazil”. Should more than 50% be done in Geneseo, IL, then it does not require a “Brazil” marking. The frames, slides and barrels are forged in Brazil… regardless of what markings are later applied or where the majority of the work is done.”

        • Malicious says:

          new info for me..got my Milspec SA out and sure enough “made in Brazil” and IMEL were stamped on the front , underside of the frame…my bad, I wanted a made in USA 1911..gonna get rid of it..shoots like shit anyway.. Can’t get a group from a bench at 30-40 feet..gonna get rid of it..

  13. Gunnergoz says:

    With evident defect traits like that, one wonders how the Colt still ended up being the winner. I’ve owned and fired numerous M1911 variants over the years and never saw this sort of consistent, repeatable failure, even in WW1 specimens. I’d love to have been the fly on the wall during the selection discussions. Something hinky about all this IMO.

  14. Sal Palma says:

    I was surprised to see that. My understanding is that MARSOC specked the frames out at 20K rounds. It may be reason why Colt went to a dual recoil system. Do you know what release or version the test samples were?

  15. Morden says:

    Well I’m really glad we have an air force that lives in the 21st century otherwise the air wars would be fought with planes the Wright Brothers designed. I bet the new cqb rifle will be the Thompson machine gun with a rail. The Marine Corps is stupid. They are the ones who actually make people think Marines are stupid, but it is really just the brass who makes these dumbass choices which makes everyone of us Marines suffer for their dumb ass nastalgic mindset.

    • Michael says:

      Actually that comparison makes no sense. A plane the Wright Brothers designed cannot do the same things an F16 or F14 can do.

      But the 1911 can do all the same things many of these newer guns do. Obviously it’s not a $2,000 HK Mark 23 SOCOM, but it still gets the job done.

      Personally I think they should just get plain old Colt Government .45s, not the ones with all these goofy rails on them.

      The Colt Government Model is the one that was fielded for 74 years by the US military. A guy who comes to my gun range has a ’42 Colt M1911A1 that he carried in Vietnam, been through two rebuilds since then, 150k+ on the original frame and slide, no problems like this.

      I’m guessing something in Colt’s manufacturing process has changed, because the pistols they build 40 years ago were light years better than the ones they make now.

    • comatus says:

      Funny you should mention that. The Air Force just tried to buy a combat aircraft, for close air support. Did you hear how that turned out?

      We’re getting one from Brasil. Could be worse: could be Austrian plastic.

      You mock the Wrights at your peril. If we ever get to the next generation of air-superiority fighter planes, they will almost certainly use Wright wing-conformation.

      • SSD says:

        Apples and oranges here. The squadron of Super Ts are to be used for FID training. The Air Force needed an aircraft similar to the foreign air forces it would be training. Consequently, it’s a turbo prop trainer/fighter/CAS platform. We gave those up a long time ago. Despite assertions to the contrary by US vendors, we don’t make them anymore. Everything they showed the Air Force was a prototype with theoretical performance in combat conditions. The Super T is a proven design and had already finished a successful evaluation with the US Navy under the Imminent Fury program.

  16. Morden says:

    The 1911 is a relic something that belongs in a shadow box. The Marine Corps was against M4s because it would change the way they did “drill.” Everyone should keep in mind none of these decisions come from the bottom even in marsoc. Some high ranking people who have false perceptions about the .45’s, “stopping” power and the 1911’s uh I don’t know the benefits to it to be honest with you decided that that would be the best choice because someone told them it was. Maybe it was a gun magazine who knows, but either way it’s decisions like these that are making the Marine Corps obsolete just like the sidearm they choose to carry…it’s just sad.

    • Fmrhrntwso says:

      I don’t understand the inter-service hate. Obsolete relic b/c they chose the 1911? Want to discuss failures…what about the technically advanced F22 that was shoved down the AF’s throat at a cost of at least $130M each. What is rarely discussed is how the acquisition and selection process is influenced by congress. Boeing was smart with the F35 b/c components are made in almost every state, if not all, which guarantees most of congresses approval. What if the Corps was pressured to choose Colt b/c the M4 contract went to Remington…do you have a front row seat to the selection process? Regarding the 1911…I don’t own one but I respect the weapon. I just took a tigerswan course and the primary instructor is a 23 year veteran Delta who retired a year ago. He told us he had to get used to the glocks that tigerswan uses b/c he was used to using the 1911 in Delta. Does this make 1stSFOD an obsolete relic?!? I don’t think so.

      • hammerg26 says:

        Point of fact, the F35 and F22 are both made by Lockheed Martin, and both are exceptional aircraft.

        • Fmrhrntwso says:

          You’re absolutely right – brainfart on my part. Got to play in Boeing’s sim way back when so I had the company stuck in my head. 79Billion spent on F22s and they haven’t seen combat in the almost seven years they’ve been operational…that’s a failure in my book. Time will tell on the JSF. At least it’s multi-role. My point in bringing it up was that politicians exert their influence over defense contracts.

          • Shadow Six says:

            How is not using one of the most technologically advanced aircraft in our time in a theatre of combat a ‘failure’? Maybe the world’s doing something right by not trying to kill each other, genius.

      • Morden says:

        Well…I don’t know of a unit named “Delta” so I can’t say what they do or don’t carry. If said unit was still carrying a 1911 instead of a glock and decisions like that were a pattern (which they are in the marine corps) I would say they would make themselves obsolete like the Marine Corps has. I am sure top tier units who actually have a fast paced operational (not training) tempo would not be carrying a 1911. The marine corps adjusted too slow to the changing environment and has been replaced by the 5th branch (socom) and its because of decisions like these. Anyone who would argue otherwise either doesnt know enough or their head is in the sand.

      • Bear says:

        The 1911 is a nice platform but there are simply better, cheaper options out there. You can not deny at all the rate of failures in the platform as a whole is higher than that of a comparable polymer framed fighting gun, say a Glock or M&P type gun.

        Add to that the rate of failures in testing and it just seems a travesy that our fighting men and women will be given a secondary that fails as often as these do. Also, if you think sand and dust play hell on the AR platform, just you wait.

        The gun was a legend and it had its place in miltary history. It’s now best relegated to civillian carry or collection. It isn’t a bad gun, there’s just better out there for a combat zone.

  17. majrod says:

    The writer did a great job of stirring the pot. He’s a hero or a slug. Wish we had a name.

    If the Colts were the only ones to fail like this there’s something wrong with the decision and the writer is a hero whistleblower. Pulitzer time.

    Were there any failures among the S&W and Springfield pistols? Did the writer even ask? If not a pox on him, worse if he knew and didn’t report it. A typical journalistic approach to make news where none exists (and increase the hits on your story to get some kudos). If so, a classic example of what passes for journalism, create a conspiracy and sow distrust of gov’t by presenting a “select” part of the story.

    More info please…

    • SSD says:

      Those were taken from a Government test report and were on the Internet before the source selection was even announced. I didn’t embellish anything and the captions are word from word from the source.

      That right there is data buddy. It’s news. The fact that so many people are commenting on this article tells me it’s news. I’m not Fox or MSNBC. I didn’t tell you to hate or love Colt or for that matter, the 1911. All of the folks commenting have done that and these photos haven’t changed anyone’s mind. People came in here with predetermined opinions about that pistol. Maybe you’ve been spoon fed what to think for so long that you don’t know how to deal with raw data.

      The Marine Corps selected the Colt entry for a reason. But for some reason, they delayed announcing that decision.

      I put out what I get. I don’t have access to the rest of the data yet. You seem to feel that I should wait until I have everyone’s data to report any of it? If I had done that with the Army camo effort, you wouldn’t have seen three of the four patterns because Crye continues to keep theirs under wraps.

      Your assertions are silly. You’re in the Government. Go get the rest of the test report for us so we can see how those pistols performed.

      • Ed says:

        @ SSD…..You guys do a great job. I think most on this thread get that. A couple bed wetting, thumb sucking, internet trolls and xbox game playing wannabe’s have infiltrated the thread…. Perhaps they should do a little research themselves, then they would know why you guys are a go to place for up to date information on all things applicable to our line of work.

        Keep up the great work.

        USMC/LAPD/Grunt……er…..I mean Ed.

        • majrod says:

          Ed, this former 20+ year Infantry officer agrees with you. Damn trolls and fanboys!

          Looking forward to the facts.


        • Tomaso says:

          Ed…sorry being a marine ( or any branch ) doesn’t automatically make you a man…iv run into enough of them to know that…
          I don’t think any one should should make any broad statements to any of our service men no matter the branch.
          The 1911 is out dated piece of kit…just painting it coyote tan doesn’t bring it up to modern specs.
          Only the best for our men in the field and this isn’t it…..nor dos anyone need field time to know this..
          I believe this is all politics and talking cash that keeps any 1911 on the kits…too many good plastic double stacks out thier that will do just the same with twice the capacity at the same weight.

          Iv never served..nor can…but I will continue to keep tabs on things that interest me…I also like Xbox ..but not so much wetting the bed.
          Keep it classy ED …responding like a kid throwing insults

          • Ed says:

            @….Tomaso…..Marine is capitalized! If you haven’t served…which is pretty clear, even without your assertion, then show a little respect. I think my response was measured and accurate, and sounds to have described your extra curricular activities to a T. If not at the very least, struck an open nerve. Not my fault you didn’t sign the contract and answer the call to serve our Great Country.

            #1.) “Ed…sorry being a marine ( or any branch ) doesn’t automatically make you a man…iv run into enough of them to know that”..

            Again, Marine is capitalized! And, Ummmm, oooook, you’re trying to insult me/us by insinuating what again?

            #2.) “I don’t think any one should should make any broad statements to any of our service men no matter the branch.”

            I agree, but am not really sure what that has to do with anything I’ve said? I am a Marine, but have never, and never will have a bad thing to say about any of the other Services, or my fellow Service Members.

            #3.) “Only the best for our men in the field and this isn’t it…..nor dos anyone need field time to know this..”

            What an obtuse and factually incorrect statement! Evident by your admitted lack of any field time whatsoever.

            #4.) ” I believe this is all politics and talking cash that keeps any 1911 on the kits…too many good plastic double stacks out thier that will do just the same with twice the capacity at the same weight.”

            This, I agree with you on 100%!

            #5.) “Iv never served..nor can…but I will continue to keep tabs on things that interest me…I also like Xbox ..but not so much wetting the bed.
            Keep it classy ED …responding like a kid throwing insults”

            There are 1000 insults I can think of off the top of my head, but out of respect for the SSD forum, will refrain from responding like a 40+ year old kid and instead, applaud you for at least being forthright and admitting that you have zero operational experience, and that 100% of your knowledge comes from REMF activities and the idiot box you happen to be staring at reading this reply. That took real class.

            Now make sure you put a plastic sheet between your mattress and sheet before you go to sleep tonight. And kindly go hump someone elses leg. And, can we now get back on task?????

            Semper FI!


      • majrod says:

        Not saying you shouldn’t report (heck, you’re a reporter!) but a comment about no access to the report or the other weapons data would be “fair and balanced”. 🙂

        Glad you mentioned camo. When you reported the camo patterns you didn’t “forget” to say there were other patterns out there you couldn’t get. You didn’t tell us to love or hate anyone there either but your reported the whole story and all the info you had. Thanks for making my point.

        Failing to share that you had zero visibility on the other weapons is the same thing most two bit journalist do. No problem if you don’t want to set a higher standard but don’t get upset I called you out for doing what the majority of jourtnalists typically do. Sorry for expecting the better reporting that SSD brings to the table and why I use it as a reference.

        BTW, not “Goverrment” anymore. Turned in my super secret CAC card that let me into the soundproof rooms where we conspire to screw the soldier. Just a retired dude with a business that serves service members hence why I try to stay current and come here for the poop and share when I can.

        Sarcasm aside, the Marines decided and delayed announcing? Where’s the 5 W’s for that allegation?

        • majrod says:

          SSD – You might want to reread my original post. I also called for a Pulitzer if you found something that proves the USMC is making a bad decision or covering something up.

          More info please… (or an acknowledgment there are things unknown about the competition)

  18. Walter says:

    I just don’t understand the love affair with the 1911. I don’t hate the design but there are more advanced and better performing designs out there. Is it the need to have an “American” gun? I don’t get it.

  19. Eric B says:

    The selection of the Colt speaks neither to the antiquated mindset of the Marine Corps nor a inexplicable love affair with the 1911 design. It met the standards set forth in the testing and outperformed the competitors enough to win. I am concerned by the breakage, but the Beretta M9 hasn’t had the best record in the past either, yet I carried one for 10 years because IT won the contract years ago. Not EVERY 1911 design is high maintenance and not every space gun (one of which I carry every day) is the perfection of shooting. Say what you will about Marines (and expect a quick retort from Ed and MGySgt), but the gear they use is, above all reliable, despite the date of invention, and they fight damn well with what they have (UH-1, AH-1, M1A1, M-16, etc.). As I posted earlier, I think they’ve got problems here, but I don’t see a greater institutional issue afoot, just breaking guns.

    • USMC/LAPD/Grunt......Ed says:

      Good post and well stated Eric B….. The mind is the weapon…..the rest are just tools. And for the record, I carry a tupperware gun for daily carry and work as well. It goes booooom every trigger press, which is all I can ask for.

      • Morden says:

        Well the mind that picks the better tool is probably the better primary weapon. Just my take.

        • Ed says:

          Agree 100%!

          • Bear says:

            I have not served, but I still look to the military as the gold standard of America. That is why I am puzzled by the decision to adopt this platform. I know people are saying that it outperformed competitors, but I simply do not believe that for an instant without some proof. The breakages at 10,000 rounds seems only the tip of an iceberg.

            If this is being done behind closed doors becuase of Colt’s already considerable political clout, shame the hell on them. The idea of Marines going to fight with sub-par firearms pisses me off to no end. If anyone is going to get ego hurt over this so be it, I don’t care about your ego. I care about our soldiers.

            • SSD says:

              The “platform” has been in constant service since 1911. Unfortunately, only select portions of the interim test report were leaked. They happen to be the ones that make Colt look bad. In the end the Marine Corps chose the candidate weapon that best met their needs.

    • Morden says:

      Well when the Marine Corps only looks for a 1911 then that kind of limits the size of the net. I’m going to test antique guns and the one that does the best is what I’m going to carry, makes no sense. There were several guys I work with who wanted to convince the brass of our agency to allow them to carry 1911s just because, “every special ops unit in the military carries them,” lol so I got in touch with one and he asked if we were going to turn in our AR15 patrol rifles and start carrying M1 Garands. Principal is the same. Ask some of the guys who took part in the Battle of the Black Sea how their 1911s fired that day and the first time out on the range after that day. Fast forward a few years and that unit now owns Glocks. The brass in the Corps once agains serves the green dick to their men.

  20. Dan says:

    I know the 1911 has issues and they are other pistols out there that are more reliable or just as reliable, depending on your point of view. My only question is for the guys who are going to be using this pistol in combat. If they do not have an issue with using it, than no one should.

  21. Marc says:

    Eric, the specifications were tailor-made for a railed 1911 and the only guns the Colts outperformed were other 1911s. The Colt M1911A1s which served as control group in the XM9 trails had the same problems with cracking slides and frames during the 10,000 round durability test.

  22. RGR says:

    Anybody with a hint of experience would take a polymer framed pistol over the 1911. I want every brainwashed marine to look in the mirror and repeat after me: “higher magazine capacity. Less weight. More reliable.”. It blows my mind that after all these years, and all the experience we’ve gained from these wars, we still clutch in to this 1911 like it’s some icon. When you take away your fantasy of the 1911 and look at it from an operational standpoint, the 1911 is obsolete. Don’t worry, it doesn’t make you any less American.

  23. david says:

    Honestly there is something wrong with this. Sure, the rail may have introduced new origination points for stress fractures, but steel 1911 frames last pretty well, to the point that this would be reasonable wear if they omitted a decimal point. Hilton Yam of 10-8 Performance (someone who would know) wrote an article on 1911 frame/slide durability that indicated as much, and he recommended, as I recall, retiring frames around 50,000 rounds of .45ACP.
    Another thing that seemed wrong to me was the implication that they were ALL deadlined at 12,000 rounds. That seems virtually impossible.

  24. 0331Gunner says:

    I don’t know why the MSOB went with the 1911, I just dont get it. Why pick a sidearm that has such low capacity, why choose the manufacturer with failed weapons, why not HK, why not Sig?

    Hey, I love you Marine Corps, but come on.

  25. majrod says:

    A lot of 1911 haters whiining about reliability are basing their experience on what they read or the decripit relics that were in our arms rooms in the 80’s and 90’s.

    After five – eight decades of use even your polymer is going to get tired.

    Apples and oranges…

    • Shadow Six says:

      Uh… we’re talking about 12,000 rounds in a short space of time and the pistol has failed. We’re not talking about decades here.

    • Bear says:

      Incorrect. We are not “haters” either. I know of modern 1911’s failing off the shelf. Kimber, Springfield, Colt, even Ed Brown. And as Shadow Six said, this is not 5-8 decades of use. This is 12,000 rounds in a short time span. Let it go.

  26. Marshal says:

    It’s funny to see all the 1911 hate, in spite of the fact that this article omits the most important piece of information. We’ve got no clue under what conditions these slides cracked. For all we know they dipped them in a vat of brake-kleen to get the oil off them, dunked em in sea water to rust em out, and then fired them until something failed.

    I have my doubts that it’s in any way shape or form, normal for a 1911 to fail at 12k rounds unless put through some serious abuse. I also believe the people doing the testing would be smart enough to guage the field worthiness of the pistol, considering they were bright enough to retire them when failure was noted. I’m sure the torture testing was rigorous, failures were expected, and there’s a reason that these failures did not deter the Marines from ordering the pistols.

    • Marc says:

      Even funnier is 1911 apologists making up scenarios which supposedly explain slide and frame cracking. The pics don’t show rust, nor excessive wear on the slide rails. Durability tests aren’t done with some exotic high-pressure ammo either.

  27. jason says:

    Did that happen on standard 45 acp which pressures are so low something like that should not happen.

    it looks like QC of colt has a lot to be desired.

    They should have gone sti 🙂

    • Marc says:

      Pressure doesn’t crack a slide. slide velocity does. That depends on momentum of the projectile+powder, mass of slide and barrel and stiffness of the recoil spring. 5.7×28 mm for example has more than twice the pressure of .45 ACP but lower momentum.

  28. Elleerre says:

    – Hey, this is the ‘911, damn, it’s an american product! And it has a nifty tan colour too. Cute, let’s buy it.

    – But it cracks after 12000 shots… let’s go for M9, then. It holds ALOT more ammo too. We’ll ask to Beretta if they can make it nifty for us…

    – STFU, terrorist.

  29. Krzysztof says:

    Seems like a brand new meaning for “breaking news”… 😉

  30. BLACK says:

    For me, the argument is pointless since the deal is already done.

    It sucks to have what someone else that thinks you “need” shoved down your throat… However, a balls to the wall 1911 kit with replacement parts to last its service life and a no questions asked service contract shoved down your throat is possibly the best suck ever.
    Above all else, with the software embedded into those guys it shouldn’t matter what they put in their hands…it makes them no less dangerous.


  31. Skank Killer says:

    How much cleaning/maintenance was done during those 12,000 rounds, and how long did it take to fire them? Most competitive shooters who fire that kind of volume are doing maintenance on an almost daily basis, as well as replacing parts, and even whole guns along the way. By the way, how many people here can say they have EVER fired that many rounds through ANY weapon, secondary or not? Truth is, I see the failures as bad, but they are not a reason to turn down the 1911 platform from Colt.

    I too have had failures with Springfield 1911s, including two which had to have extractors replaced after fewer than 500 rounds. And extractor that stops functioning is going to put a gun out of business completely, but I didn’t see any mention above of extractors failing. I’ve heard of and seen a few 1911 frames cracking, often from excessively hot handloads or excessive use (like a torture test of 12,000 rounds), but in point of fact, a small crack in a frame is NOT a “catastrophic” failure. I’ve known people who fired 1911s with cracked frames for thousands of rounds after the damage first exhibited itself. And remember, the idea of testing like this is to make the weapon stop functioning. It’s a destruction test, and while Colt will certainly need to address some issues, I’d say they passed the test.

    People ask why not the Glock in the same proven .45 caliber, and I’ll tell you: the damned thing is too fat through the grip for most people to handle comfortably. The Springfield XD is more comfortable, to be sure, but I wonder if it could go that many cycles without a major malfunction.

    Finally, from an economic standpoint, Colt and the US Government have had a working relationship for over 150 years and still do. It could be that it’s easier to deal with a US company than be concerned that political events in Brazil or elsewhere will dry up the supplies of guns when they are most needed. Witness that in the late 1960s the early SEALS were using the Model 34 SMG, or “Swedish K” submachinegun with the special ops, but then the Swedes cut off exports on the grounds that “you’re using our product to hurt people” (they apparently liked the NVA and VC).

    And finally, the 1911 has the longest, most successful history of any military handgun in history. The Marines might be going for nostalgia, but they also are very good at what they do, and they want equipment that will best help them accomplish their missions. At least they aren’t choosing by committee or, Gawd forbid, letting Congress do it for them.

    • Alan says:

      I believe the M&P has had a 20k torture test done and it kept firing. The M&P also has a similar capacity, and is even American made. I would love to see the requirements they put out… that would decide what firearms they are tested against.

      • SSD says:

        I don’t know why commenters are even mentioning non-1911 platforms. They didn’t even get a place at the table for this solicitation. The USMC asked for a 1911 and that’s what they got.

        Also, it doesn’t how a weapon did in other testing. What matters is how they do during source selection of a solicitation. Once a vendor enters their weapons and they become test articles all that matters is how they do in the test regimen administered by the Government.

    • Tarrou says:

      Umm, I’ve shot well over 20k in a week of training. 3k rounds per day, every day, for weeks. These guns would have deadlined before we even got out on a training op, much less a deployment. I mean, the Beretta jams every second or third round, and is a rancid piece of shit, but they don’t come apart.

  32. Ed says:

    Most of previous posters does not know what they’re talking about.
    This is a military test, lots of you don’t realize that by some conventions you cannot use anything else but ball ammo, so your 9mm round is useless compared to .45 that’s why Marine Core prefer .45acp
    In terms of type of weapon, fully metal gun will much less likely to produce limp-wristing effect ( as the inherited in Glock design or more or less in any other polymer frame gun ) under the circumstances when you are usually using your back-up weapon – bad grip due to let say injury, dirty, wet, bloody and so forth, weapon. That’s why you will not see Glocks in some units, it’s logistics, not the performance of the gun.
    On the other hand Glock is the same piece of kit as any other gun and all the internet shooters and fan-boys talks about reliability are pretty much bs… there is no documented test where Glock pistol will shoot even 1000 rounds without a failure, for reference look-up Jim Yeager’s “Glock 1000 rounds endurance test”, this would be plenty…

    • Shadow Six says:

      I could agree with this, but there’s one small problem. If you’re limp-wristing a pistol, you shouldn’t be in a Special Operations unit. If it’s blowback/recoil operated like ANY semi-automatic pistol, limp-wristing ANY pistol will cause a stoppage. Take your GLOCK hate and stow it.

  33. Aaron says:

    Did Chris from sons of guns build these for Colt?

  34. Desert Lizard says:

    I can’t believe this weapon was even a contender. Magazine size is very important when considering a military rifle/sidearm.

  35. Ed says:

    Well, what are the military requirements for mag capacity for .45acp railgun ?
    Who else was also in the contest, does anybody know ?

  36. Thomas M. says:

    If they were looking for a 1911 based pistol they were well advised to stay away from using the high cap based 1911s…the FBI tried going that route over 20 years ago. They ran into many problem, the most serious of which ended up being the reliability of the magazines.

  37. DB says:

    Well anything would be a step up from the M9 Beretta 9mm pistol. Although we did put several thousand rounds through them per class they seem to hold up pretty well. I’m also sure that Colt will get their quality under control and get MARSOC a good back up weapon when their M4 jams or runs out of ammo. For all the gun nuts out there love the debate over which pistol is better and everything but you have to remember this is the US government we’re talking about and I’m sure the Marines will be thrilled that they won’t be getting hand-me-downs from the other services…

  38. […] Test Article Photos of MARSOC Winning Colt Rail Guns – Soldier Systems Got to wonder what other guns it beat out and why? I am a huge fan of 1911's, I am not a polymer gun hater, some I like some I don't. At $1875 per pistol that is a lot of money. The FBI SWAT HRT went with a custom built Springfield, those guns went to shooters. The marines are only ordering 12k of these, there are over 200,000 thousand marines. These guns are going to shooters __________________ 2012 Indiana USPSA Warsaw, IN Aug 10-12th […]

  39. Darkwater says:

    First, I would hope that the maturity level of many of these posts would improve. I’ll skip past my resume (I qualify, let’s just leave it at that) & move on to some salient points.

    Some tests are designed to see what exactly the failure point is. What we see is the result of 12K+ rounds through test beds. Was that done entirely, without planned maintenance? A large part of the expensive package (no more so than the others, I expect) includes spare parts & a depot-level maintenance plan. If these pistols were maintained, evaluated, & repaired on the expected preventive maintenance schedule, I’m not so sure we would see these results.

    As for 9mm vs .45, that’s a debate that will likely never end. I expended gobs of ammo during my career, & as for hanguns, that started out with .45 & ended primarily with 9mm, but that was with some high-speed units & larger-than-usual number of foreign units. They both have their advantages (now that I’m civilian carry, I lean back to the .45), but that depends a lot on what you intend to use it for. (I fielded that same debate about M-16 vs AK-47.) We’re not talking about individual shooters here, we’re talking about a MSOT with support.

    Is the 1911 ‘too old’? It’s a proven design that has been steadily improved in bits & pieces over the years, & it’s not so much the design (no longer an issue) but its functionality. It’s worth keeping an eye on despite what the higher-ups may say (e.g., we had a hell of a time trying to convince them — I don’t think we ever did — that the IMI 9mm ammo was crap), but Colt is likely to field a superior 1911. That’s what the tests were all about. And if the 1911 isn’t ‘modern’ enough for you, what does that say about the M2 .50-cal? That’s solid World War I technology that still works just fine.

  40. Statortwister says:

    I think an important factor is being overlooked here: test procedure. The cracks seen in these slides are due to metal fatigue/temperature is my guess. I’m betting these pistols were fired thousands of times in a very short period of time causing both excessive temp and accelerated metal fatigue. Do some research on professional match shooters that put thousands of rounds down range in short periods of time. They often experience failures like these in their pistols (different models and manufacturers)

    I suppose the other test pistols failed much sooner than the Colt’s.

    To everyone one of you who has in anyway said anything negative about any branch of the Military, or any active member/veteran of such…please go kick yourself in the junk! You shame yourself and your families. We as Americans owe every breath taken in freedom to the sacrifices made by each individual that has ever served this nation.

  41. FNG_Mike says:

    I cannot tell you anything about this test nor am I going to debate the merits of one system vs. the other. Nor will I insult anyone else. It seems as if almost every reply is an insult to the previous poster. Gentlemen, if you don’t have anything nice to say…

    I was in a maintenance batallion in FRG in the early 80s. Our warrant officer had a book with dates of manufacture for 1911s. We had one come through our shop that was built in 1918 that I believe belonged to 64th Armor. We were in Kitzingen then so this was 1983 or very early ’84. I have no idea how this particular pistol was still in service and I’m pretty sure it was a Colt.

    In addition to the 1911, U.S. Army tankers had M3 grease guns for PDWs. We had jeeps, and 2 1/2 tons. I often wondered if what we had got unloaded on a beach in Normandy 40 years earlier.

    To all you F***ing New Guys who have been doing all this fighting as of late, thank you for your service. You have restored my faith in our country as I know we’re doing fine if we still produce men like you.

    • SSD says:

      Mike, I was in 103rd MI at Leighton Kaserne in Wuerzburg from 88-90 and we still had those 1911s and M3s. We did turn the Jeeps in in 88 for HMMWVs.

  42. Shadow Six says:

    Bloody ridiculous. For the price they’re paying per unit, they could have SIG P220s that far outperform the 1911 annd have plenty of change for the spares! This is some knob-knocker officer who gets wet over just the phrase ‘nineteen-eleven’. I wish I could believe that the decision was based of ‘performance’.

  43. Dave Stump says:

    Kimber would be my choice. That said, the QC should begin with the Quality of the materials being machined. Wonder where it came from. Just sayin’.

  44. Gunnutmegger says:

    2 issues here.

    The design sucks. Doesn’t matter who makes it; even Les Baer 1911s break:


    And it isn’t the cartridge that’s doing it. SAAMI pressure for .45ACP is 21000 psi, compared to 35000psi for 9mm.

    On a related note…Colt sucks. The Diamondback & Detective Special have always had alignment & timing issues, and this is just the latest example of Colt’s reputation vastly exceeding their real-world performance. They couldn’t compete with reliable brands like S&W and Ruger so they basically abandoned the civilian market.

    Combine those 2 elements and it’s a perfect storm of suckiness.

  45. Jim says:

    In the perceived outrage on the price per unit, do please keep in mind that such is not the price per gun, but is inclusive of extensive inventories of spare parts, magazines, armorer training and all of the numerous other elements which make up such a contract.

    Also rolled into the price is every bit of the R&D, overhead, travel, marketing… you name it, it’s in there.

    And would be for any other alternate platform, with a commensurately shocking apparent price per unit.

    Sunk New Dawn
    Galveston, TX

  46. Mick says:

    So much for modern science and engineering. Isn’t it funny the the old version of the M1911A1 never had this problem? JMB knew his stuff and it seems that our modern engineers can’t improve on it. If you look on the old Military M1911A1s you can see that they were tempered or annealed in that area and by the different color on the military finish, (just like the receiver heel of the M1 Rifle). Remember just because it is old does not mean that it is not any good. The military use to have special requirements/specifications for their equipment, but to save money we are “buying off the shelf” thing that will work for civilian use and if it breaks well go down and buy another one. With the Military out in the middle of Grid square XX, when his breaks he is “SOL” because he can not go and get another one and UPS does not deliver to Grid squares in the middle of nowhere. At least someone is testing prior to purchase, something the manufacture should have done before offering it to the Military.

    • SSD says:

      The problem with these photos is that no one has seen what the “other guy’s” guns look like at this point. Undortunately, only photos of the Clot guns were leaked. These photos were taken last year, during the middle of testing. In the end, Colt won.

  47. a.gunguy says:

    12,000 rounds and total catastrophic failure is really no good. I hope that Colt takes corrective action and fixes the issues.

    The Debate of 1911 vs. any other pistol for the USMC is irrelevant – they chose the 1911 for a reason, thats what they ordered, they should get something that will pass the FAT Tests… Similar fit, form and function

    I love how everyone thinks that they are smarter than the USMC – because they would have chosen something different… irrelevant statement.