New Colt M45 CQBP Passes MSW’s Secret Test

Tim Lau at has no illusions about the real-world reliability of a 1911. “Those of us who’ve been around the 1911 platform know it is a finicky gun that requires a dedicated end user and strict maintenance schedule if it is to be relied upon. Many 1911 style guns on the market won’t even work well out of the box. So how does the Marines’ new 45-caliber pistol fare?” The new Colt M45 CQBP passed MSW’s rigorous gun testing protocol. Which is . . . what? . . .

Before you ask for the protocol [ED: too late!] we don’t publish it online for a simple reason: without putting the test in proper context, the results are meaningless. Not only are we looking for function, but evaluation of the pistol’s performance as well as ejection patterns and other characteristics. Anyway, the important part is that the M45 passed the test with flying colors.

Kinda like “trust me I’m a doctor.” Obama and Lau need to do some work on that transparency thing. Just sayin’ . . .   [h/t]


  1. avatar tron says:

    They must be so much better than us at guns.

    1. avatar NYC2AZ says:

      No… But they did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

  2. avatar SD3 says:

    The secret is in the magic powder the use…

  3. avatar CarlosT says:

    “Trust me… I know what I’m doing.”

    1. avatar Peter says:

      “Watch this guys!” As he sets his beer down.

    2. avatar twency says:

      I miss Sledge Hammer.

      1. avatar Retro says:

        I have both seasons on DVD. What does that say about me…I love my 629…

  4. avatar JoshinGA says:

    Could anyone explain why the guy in the vid loads one round, then strips the magazine, then fires, then repeats? What purpose does this serve that just firing through the magazine wouldnt show?

    1. Look up, “1911 Extractor Test”

      It’s actually worthwhile and says alot about that pistol.

      1. avatar JoshinGA says:

        Thanks. Good to know, hadnt heard of that before.

    2. avatar jpr says:

      From the article titled “Understanding the 1911 Extractor Test”:

      “Having a magazine in the pistol supports the empty case during extraction and ejection phase of the cycle of operation, which can mask issues such as poor extractor tension or geometry.”

      The whole article can be found here:


  5. avatar Richard says:

    If want how know goverment test it stuff rent HBO movie Pentagon Wars . Here litte taste what see in movie.


    In attempting to meet the demands of his superiors, Smith has labored for eleven years without promotion or advancement; when the Bradley is finally approved, he gets his long-awaited promotion to Brigadier General. Smith is a living example of how difficult, if not impossible, it is to develop weapons in an above-board manner; now, as he acerbically explains to Colonel Burton, since completing weapons is the only path to promotion, or lucrative positions in the private sector, the majority of the Pentagon’s officials prefer to fake test results, and pass defective weapons and equipment on to the troops in the field.

    Burton is disbelieving, until he insists on testing whether the Bradley can stand up to fire under combat conditions. Partridge and his two cronies, Colonel Bach (John C. McGinley) and Major Sayers (Tom Wright), manipulate every test result – for example, by filling the fuel tanks with water instead of gasoline, filling the ammunition with sand instead of propellant, and confiscating a cartload of sheep killed by toxic fumes inside the vehicle when its hull combusts. Burton confronts Sergeant Dalton (Clifton Powell), in charge of the testing range, who admits being ordered to manipulate the test results, but bitterly tells Colonel Burton that every officer who tries to conduct honest tests eventually buckles under the pressure to gain his next promotion.

    But Burton refuses to approve the Bradley without a live-fire test, insisting that the current version of the vehicle is a death trap. Eventually, Partridge pulls strings to get Burton fired. But Smith leaks the information to the press, and the resulting scandal leads to the current hearings.

    Despite Partridge’s denials, the House Committee approves Burton’s request for a live-fire test. The night before the test, Burton visits the barracks on the range, and tells Dalton and his men that, regardless of whatever orders they have received from Partridge or his cronies, it is their duty to their fellow soldiers to make sure the test is performed honestly, driving home his point with an anecdote about the horrific casualties caused by defective M-16 rifles issued to American soldiers during the early years of the Vietnam War.

    On the day of the test, which Partridge, Bach, and Sayers fully expect to confirm their side of the story, Dalton and his men have actually made sure the Bradley is in fighting condition. When hit by a Soviet anti-tank round, the vehicle explodes spectacularly. Dalton and his men confide to Burton that they had already put the Bradley in the right state before he gave them the speech.

    In a postscript, it is explained that the Bradley was extensively redesigned in response to Burton’s demands, which significantly reduced casualties from its use during the Persian Gulf War. However, the system was too strong: Partridge and his cronies earned their promotions and lucrative private sector jobs, while Colonel Burton was forced to retire.

    1. avatar Dave says:

      Actually take the time and read the book “The Pentagon Wars: Reformers Challenge the Old Guard,” by Col. James G Burton. The movie strayed far from the book.

    2. avatar WLCE says:

      dont watch the movie, read the book.

      burton is a great american hero.

      we should be building scaffolding to hang those bastards responsible for fielding the bradley.

    3. avatar ChuckN says:

      It’s not just those that push new technology. The government
      itself not only messes up tests to obtain a desired outcome,
      but in a way actively condones the greasing of palms to get
      a contract. They also continually push R&D in obsolete areas
      rather than innovation. If an independent contractor comes
      up with a truly novel idea, it is not uncommon to have a
      faceless pencil pusher in the DoD with zero experience in
      science or engineering claim your invention is unworkable
      and infeasible. If, however, you take that same invention
      and get a higher ranking officer to submit the idea, it’s far
      more likely to be approved (often by the same pencil-neck).

      If you do come up with a product that vastly outperforms
      current issue equipment it is also not uncommon for fed
      officials to actively screw up the test of arbitrarily rule
      against you. Oftentimes this is done to save face, instead
      of admitting they might be wrong about something.
      One of the best ways to get a new product approved
      is to get a congressman on your side, usually by
      making a deal with a manufacturer in their state.
      Get an R&D guy to talk truthfully and they will tell
      you “graft” is factored into the price.

  6. avatar AlphaGeek says:

    No disclosure, no credibility. Full stop.

    In contrast, full disclosure is what makes Lucky Gunner’s 5.56 ammo test from last year so interesting. 40K rounds of ammo, 4 new dedicated and 2 backup AR15s, and full disclosure on every detail.

    1. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

      Holy smokes that was a great test!
      I’m glad there are folks out there that can do that.
      It helped define my choices on ammo, etc.
      the tear downs on the AR’s mid and post test was very revealing.
      I thought I shot a lot of ammo!

    2. avatar WLCE says:

      I guess Bushmasters arent as “shitty” as Arfcomers say they are LMAO!!!

      I sent that link to buddies of mine that own bushmasters. they felt better.

    3. avatar Toro says:

      Ironically, the author of that test just took TTAG to task for this article and vouches for the the testers.

  7. avatar Accur81 says:

    Wow. I’m somewhat impressed the gun didn’t fail to cycle when his thumbs were in contact with the slide while firing. Would any of these ‘torture tests’ challenge a garden variety Glock?

  8. avatar Mediocrates says:

    That is the technique I practice for home defense.

  9. avatar Ralph says:

    TTAG could disclose the test protocols, but then RF would have his records subpoenaed and be named as a co-conspirator.

    Not to mention the IRS audit.

    And both of his Schnauzers shot.

    Alas, his phone records are already toast.

    1. avatar WA_2A says:

      At this point, we’re all probably on some sort of list.

      1. avatar sam says:

        if you are reading this the government is watching you read it……

      2. avatar JoshinGA says:

        I sent a text message talking about going to the range the other day. I have Verizon. But then I realized it didnt matter: I would already be on the list because there is no doubt they are mining online search histories, so Im definitely on that list.

      3. avatar Ropingdown says:

        The ‘government’ is just watching its pension credits pile up. Some computer is reading the blog posts. Just don’t piss off the computer.

        1. avatar Joke & Dagger says:

          I love Obama. Hilary is awesome.

          Hee hee. Getting off of PRISM.

    2. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

      Well, there’s that and the downloads of those beautiful women. He’ll get tagged as a red blooded, hetero male, devoted to family, his creator, firearms, philosophy, and a distrust of the government.
      I think that’s a lot of folks here…
      Sh!t, were screwed.
      Hello Verizon? Yeah, I’d like to cancel my contract….

  10. avatar John says:

    Ummmm, the .45 is a finicky gun, strict maintenance schedule and doesn’t work out of the box? WTF? I have many Colts and Springfields and others and hammer the hell out of them with no failures other than ammo. What are they smoking?

    1. avatar Mark N. says:

      Guess you don’t have any Kimbers.

      1. avatar A-Rod says:

        I agree, WTF?!?! My 1943 Remington Rand M1911A1 is flawless, not finicky.

      2. avatar Coloradan says:

        Ugh. Lucky you. My S&W TA e Series is on its third trip back to the factory for….extractor repairs. It’s keeps jamming the last round into the magazine feed lips. Damn jumbo external extractors. Damn you!!!

      3. avatar Dave says:

        I own two Kimbers and have never had an issue.

        1. avatar Coloradan says:

          I have a much older SW1911 with their old extractor and that one has been flawless. I think something is just wrong with my paticutar e series. At the point where I’m hoping they just replace it. Over sending it back and forth.

      4. avatar Hryan says:

        I’ve got two Kimbers as well, thousands of rounds each, and literally no failures at all. Come to think of it, I can’t remember the last time I cleaned my range gun.

    2. avatar CyborgCowboy says:

      If I remember my history, the Gov’t 1911s issued during World War II were renowned for NOT being finicky; but I guess not having Rosie the Riveter make your .45’s anymore has turned the quality control into luck of the draw.

      1. avatar Matt in FL says:

        The 1911s issued during WWII had a lot looser tolerances than most of the ones made today, and that made them more forgiving. As time went on, they tried to make it more and more and more accurate, and that required tightening the tolerances. It worked, the ones made today are more accurate than the ones from back then, but they’re also a lot more finicky.

        1. avatar CyborgCowboy says:

          So basically you’ve got a choice: tack driver or Tonka-tough.

        2. avatar Matt in FL says:

          You can have both. It will just take choosing the right gun, and treating it right, and more stuff I know nothing about. Keep in mind there are people who run 1911s in matches and win. That means their guns are accurate and run hard. That’s an area I know nothing about. I’m just referring to off-the-shelf stuff.

      2. avatar WLCE says:

        They also did not use MIM or old or outsourced military surplus parts.

        That makes a difference.

        Besides the mechanical clearances 😉

    3. avatar WLCE says:

      I guess you got lucky.

      Ive had shitty Colts and Springfields. I HAVE good of both.
      Most 1911s that are not crafted do suck. 🙁 Its a shame because its such a beautiful design and manufacturers f^ck it up.

      1. avatar Guardian says:

        So that inexpensive used Taurus PT1911 I have had my eyes on is out of the question now? Sh!t!

        1. avatar WLCE says:

          you should save your money. Im not even kidding around.

          There are no good budget 1911s.

          If you are on a budget period, 1911s are not the gun for you.

  11. avatar louringe3 says:

    Well watching was a waste of time

  12. avatar Saul Feldstein says:

    Since the US military won’t use a pistol without an external safety, ruling out the ultra reliable proven Glock, they should have chosen the XD45 with thumb safety, high capacity, ultra reliable. Or they can keep trying to perfect the 1911 and jury rig various tests for it.

    1. avatar Ropingdown says:

      The military buys plenty of Glocks. They only hand them out to a small group of units.

      1. avatar CyborgCowboy says:

        They use Sig P226’s as well; the P220 is an excellent .45 (and straight-shooting, too), I don’t know why it’s so often ignored.

    2. avatar MacBeth51 says:

      Their “improvements” to the 1911 are the primary cause of the problems they have. Like another poster said, I never had any problems with my WWII vintage, Remington-Rand made 1911. And if you want to do competitive shooting, there are ways to improve accuracy without substantially reducing reliability.

      1. avatar Paul McCain says:

        Correct, the price of a bit more accuracy is much less tolerance for any kind of grit, grime or otherwise.

        Larry Vickers proved that the old loose and sloppy WWII M1911s are very accurate in the right hands.

        But much more forgiving as well if not properly maintained at all times.

  13. avatar Matt in FL says:

    “…without putting the test in proper context, the results are meaningless.”

    What’s the proper context? It worked, or it didn’t. If it didn’t, tell us what you found. If there are caveats, explain them. This is not rocket surgery, smart people will understand if you tell them. If you’re worried about people jumping all over your testing methods, you’re in the wrong business. But by keeping your process secret, your evaluation carries little more weight than the guy that tells me his brother has one and says its awesome.

    1. avatar AlphaGeek says:

      Heh. Rocket surgery. I see what you did there.

    2. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

      My brothers, hair dresser’s aunt who’s sister is married to a guy who said he read on the Internet that……

  14. avatar WLCE says:

    “The new Colt M45 CQBP ”

    The difference between a Colt M45 and any other store bought 1911 is a night and day difference.

    Its amazes me how people see “Colt” and “Springfield” (when it comes to what the HRT is using, the Springfield Professional) and somehow conclude that their store bought one must be just as good. It isn’t. get over it. With about 500-1000 bucks in work, it can be. 😉

    1. avatar CyborgCowboy says:

      Kinda the same way the guys who bought Hummer H1s think they’re the same vehicle as the HMMVW?

      1. avatar AlphaGeek says:

        To be fair, the H1 is a helluva lot closer to the Humvee than the Tahoe-based H2 is to anything milspec…

        1. avatar Jesus says:

          The H1 was built at the same plant as the HMMVW

          Check out the creature comforts section…

        2. avatar CyborgCowboy says:

          The H1 was a definite improvement in creature comforts over the stock Hummvee. But they’re different vehicles for different applications. The H1’s for some offroading (or more likely trying to look badass on the way to the Golf course); the HMMVW is for ferrying soldiers in and out of combat zones and laying down fire with that gun up top.

          The thing about the modern 1911 though, is that it will, with enough work and money, be pretty much anything you want it to be.

    2. avatar Paul McCain says:

      Really “night and day”

      The M45 is just a Colt Rail Gun guys, with a big fat government contract backing it up.

      1. avatar jesse says:

        the M 45 is a 100% custom shop gun. The rail gun is just a standard production piece. If you read the article, it is explained that that are not testing the commercial version but the real deal on loan.

        1. avatar Paul McCain says:

 are trying to tell us each of the 5,000 plus many more M45s are all “custom shop” made as opposed to “production” made?

          Yea, right….

          Do you work for the Gubment?

          : )

      2. avatar WLCE says:

        YES, night and day different

        the M45 and a store bought Colt are not the same animal.

        That is like saying a outsourced, Brazilian frame/Philipino slide Springfield GI with MIM parts is the same as a Springfield Professional.

        They’re not even in the same f^cking ball park.

        I dont like the M45 either, but lets at least have a bit of intellectual honesty here.

  15. avatar asia331 says:

    What in the world was that all about?

  16. avatar Lolinski says:

    I still can’t understand why they didn’t go with a doublestack. There are a lot of good options like the Springfield XD or the Para Ord 1911.

    1. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

      I really like my XD. I’ve owned 5 glock mod 21’s. couldn’t hit squat.
      Now my XD, I’m back to what I expect.

      1. avatar Paul McCain says:

        The overpriced Croatian wonder distributed by a company that stamps Springfield Armory on stuff and charges twice what any of it is worth? That pistol?


    2. avatar B says:

      There is already an NSN for 1911 mags in the supply system, so they can order and use their old mags with the M45. Hopefully with a Wilson follower upgrade. Single stack 7 shot was one of the bid requirements, Marines wanted a new single stack 7 shot 1911 to replace their old M45’s they’ve been rebuilding since the M9 replaced it for general issue.

  17. avatar tdiinva says:

    The standard 1911 is a reliable pistol. End of story. The reason that many of you 1911 haters think its “finicky” and “unreliable” is because someone you know uses a $3000 competition version as an everyday carry gun has trouble with it. The standard 1911 is not a $3000 pistol. It is a $700-$1000 pistol. Guns with high tolerances require frequent maintenance to be reliable. If you are a competitive target shooter or just want to show people how cool you are by a Kimber or Wilson Combat. If you actually want to use the gun every day get a Springfield or similar pistol.

    I am reading Chris Kyle’s “American Gun.” He thought the 1911 is still a first rate military sidearm. Enough said.

    1. avatar Paul McCain says:

      Actually…Chris replace it with a SIG P220 while he was over there, after his Springfield was damaged by grenade fragments.

    2. avatar WLCE says:

      1.) the standard 1911, as produced during WWII, is a very reliable pistol. I agree

      2.) They’re finicky and unreliable not because they’re “match” or “competition”, but because the parts do not work harmoniously with each other. Modern manufacturing methods (MIM parts and CNC) do not work well with 1911s and if they work for individual guns, they are inconsistent. With Wilson, you are paying for consistency.

      3.) a reliable (my idea of reliable is clearing 1000 rounds in a weekend without issues) 1911 will cost money. Not necessarily 3k, but they wont be 600 dollar guns either.

      4.) the 1911 requires regular maintenance to maintain a high standard of reliability. end of story.

      I recommend Wilsons if you want a reliable 1911. or any other semi-custom or custom.

      and larry vickers now shoots a glock. hmmmm. lets not use appeal to authority fallacies.

  18. avatar Paul McCain says:

    I pulled a “Yeager” and offered my opinion about the USMC’s decision go to with a 1911 for their Force Recon folks.

    Apparently it is a mortal sin to question, EVER, any decision made by the USMC.

    : )

    But seriously…I’m sure the pistol is great and does a good job. I just think a more modern 1911 platform would have been a better choice.


    Here’s the video. I am particularly amused by the responses that feel a need to question my sexual identity, my weight, my combat experience, and my choice of shooting attire…..but never really counter my points.

    : )

    1. avatar WLCE says:

      I agree 100%

      I mean c’mon, lets look at the best options for a 45 ACP

      -The FNX45 (which i have no experience with ill admit, but apparently it was a contender for the Joint Combat Pistol Program)
      -The Glock 21
      -S&W M&P 45
      -HK 45C (The Navy has them in their inventory)

      Supposedly the M45 Colt doesnt need hand fitted parts. Yeah, ill believe that when I see it.

      Basically the MEU(SOC) purchased a handgun based on emotional nostalgia.

  19. avatar Bob Ross says:

    Man, there is some pure idiocracy and stupidity in this thread from the author and the people drinking his Kool-Aid….

    1. avatar A-Rod says:

      And you are going to take the time and text to tell us how much smarter you are how???

    2. avatar thebronze says:


      When it comes to training and experience, I’ll listed to guys like Yam and Lau and not Yahoo’s like the ones here (who have virtually no experience, other going to the range and shooting).

  20. avatar DPhariss says:

    I quit reading when I got to the part about how finicky a 1911 is.

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