By now, many of you may have heard about the Marine Corps’ search for a new 1911 pistol.
I first reported about it for Marine Corps Times in the fall when a Request for Information was released by acquisition officials, and followed up by walking the floor at SHOT Show last week to discuss the competition with many of the gunmakers assumed to be in the fight.
As outlined in this story, Colt Defense and Springfield Armory have submitted samples to the Corps for the competition, while at least two other bigtime pistol makers — Kimber and Smith & Wesson — have not. Officials with the two companies that bowed out cited competing priorities and the small window of time that the Corps provided to develop and submit samples after a Request for Proposals was issued in the fall.
Another gunmaker, Karl Lippard Designs, has since contacted Marine Corps Times to express its interest in the competition, even though they didn’t meet the deadline to submit samples. Company officials boldly say they have developed a new 1911 A2 design capable of accurately dropping targets at 400 yards — rifle distance. And the guns don’t even look like this.
It has been interesting to see the attention the story has received online in the last few days. Everyone from the 1911forum.com to The Truth About Guns has weighed in, with opinions ranging from excitement to frustration that the Corps is looking at more 1911 pistols, which get dinged on occasion for being difficult with maintenance.
I put it to you, friends: What should the Corps do? Keep in mind the service wants an off-the-shelf solution, and that most of the weapons will likely be fielded to special operators with Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command and door-kickers with Force Reconnaissance units.