Matthew Cox at military.com writes that the United States Marine Corps has authorized operators in its Special Operations Command (MARSOC) to carry GLOCK pistols, “since most of the elite outfit’s members prefer the popular 9mm over the custom .45 pistols the service bought them in 2012. The Corps issued a Feb. 2 Marine Administrative Message…that green-lighted…MARSOC units to use the Glock 19…. The reliable, easy-to-maintain 9mm features a polymer frame and a 17-round magazine” . . .
As nice as the new .45s are, MARSOC troops prefer to carry Glock 19s instead, sources said. The 1911 was a ground-breaking design that served the U.S. military before World War I until the mid-1980s. The design is still popular, but it’s also heavy, prone to malfunction and limited to seven or eight-round magazines, pistols experts have said.
Young operators have had trouble with the 1911’s beavertail grip safety, according to one former Marine weapons instructor who trained MARSOC members.
Many shooters wearing gloves tend to grip the 1911 too high and do not properly disengage the beavertail grip safety, so the pistol won’t fire, he said. A lot of professional shooters who run custom 1911s will disable that beavertail grip safety to avoid this problem, he added.
The 1911 design is also known for feed-way stoppages, a malfunction caused when a round gets stuck feeding into the chamber, experts said. Horizontal and vertical stovepipes – types of malfunctions that occur when an empty shell casing gets caught in the ejection port – are also a problem with the 1911 design.
James Sanborne at Marine Corps Times cautions that MARSOC Operators are the only active-duty Marines who will (officially) be strapping on one of Gaston’s plastic fantastics in the near future:
[T]he 9mm semi-automatic Glock 19 pistol is officially approved for use only by personnel assigned to Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command, according to a force-wide message issued in mid-February. In fact, the pistol will carry a non-Marine inventory number because it is a U.S. Special Operations Command asset, according to the message….
Also unclear is whether all G19s are authorized, or only certain generations.
The comments section 1911 vs. GLOCK flame-war commences in three, two, one….