American Rifleman - July 2019 - 68

MARINE M45A1

match for a combat pistol intended
for highly trained special operations
forces. The action incorporates the
Series 80 mechanism that blocks the
firing pin until the trigger is pulled.
I can clearly recall the day that
I met up with our Close Quarters
Battle instructors to try out the
new M45A1s for the first time. I
don't know that any pistols, the old
Quantico M45s or the new Colts,
were ever truly benched or grouped.
Most of the time standing slow fire
at 25 yds. in the shooter's hands was
the measure of the pistol's accuracy.
However, the group all remarked that
the pistols certainly seemed to be
accurate using the government-issue
hardball ammunition.
This sample proved that sentiment.
I fired representative groups from a
rest with several loads rather than the
full five-group protocol typically used
in product reviews in order to minimize the rounds and wear on the Colt.
Each knotted tight groups that would
do a custom pistol proud, averaging
1.48" for five separate loads.

Leave
nothing
to chance
YOU CAN'T CONTROL THE RAIN.

Or the wind. Or the fog. But
you can put the round where
you aim it. Luck is overrated.
So take it out of the equation
with the smooth action and
extreme precision of a Bergara.

SHOOT ONE, YOU'LL OWN ONE.

BERGARARIFLES.COM

68

REPRESENTATIVE FIVE-SHOT GROUP (25 YDS.)
BLACK HILLS 200-GR. SWC
1.49"
1.47"
HORNADY 200-GR. XTP
1.20"
NOSLER 185-GR. JHP HANDLOAD
1.60"
WILSON COMBAT 200-GR. MATCH
1.65"
WINCHESTER 230-GR. FMJ

That level of accuracy is truly
noteworthy in a randomly selected,
government-issue pistol. The firearm
felt like it had close tolerances, with
everything locking up firmly, but
without that hand-fitted exactness
one can feel in a custom M1911.
This particular sample disproved
decades' worth of gun magazine lore
about a combat-grade .45 needing
to be loose for reliability and thus
incompatible with custom-level
accuracy. The Colt gobbled up a wide
variety of bullet profiles, cycling
smoothly and without hesitation,
while grouping each in a cluster
that fit within the space the front
sight covered at any given distance.
In the hand, that level of precision translated to straightforward hits
on tough and distant targets. Hitting
an 8" plate at 50 yds. was not the
question, rather, it was how tightly
JULY 2019

I could group the splatter marks. At
40 yds. I was able to put five of eight
shots onto my 3"-wide "truth teller"
steel target-a task that is normally a
tough slog at 25 yds. for most service
pistols. This particular sample earned
every bit of the "National Match"
stamping on the barrel hood.
The Colt incorporates the dual
recoil spring assembly of the firm's
recent commercial models, which
seemed to dampen recoil somewhat.
More importantly, this feature was
intended to decrease the battering
the pistol takes on recoil. This is
important in a gun meant to endure
nearly as many rounds in the weekslong Marine Raider training regimen
as the original M1911 was intended
to see throughout its entire service
life. The coarse checkering on the
multi-colored G10 panels does assist
in anchoring the handgun, and
the Marine pistol has an undercut
trigger guard to allow a high hand
hold. Each time I handle the M45A1,
though, I silently bemoan Colt's decision to leave the frontstrap untextured, particularly in a .45 that is
often fired while wearing gloves.
The Colt incorporates a slightly
beveled magazine well to facilitate
reloads. The pistol wears bilateral
thumb safeties, which have somewhat
oversize, though low-profile, ledges
designed to be easily disengaged
while not interfering with the nonfiring hand's grasp. The .45 maintains
a traditional military lanyard loop in
the flat, serrated mainspring housing.
Beyond the tan color, forward slide
serrations and the section of M1913
Picatinny accessory rail immediately
standout and separate the pistol from
the typical service M1911.
In a corridor of the Pentagon
there is a larger-than-life mural
showing a circa-1915 Maj. Smedley
Butler leading his men in the
recapture of Fort Rivieré during the
Banana Wars-the newly issued
M1911 in hand as he and his Marines
engaged the Caco rebels in handto-hand combat. While Maj. Butler
might be taken aback by the tritium
capsules in the M45A1's sights or
perhaps a mounted SureFire light, it
AMERICAN RIFLEMAN


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American Rifleman - July 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Rifleman - July 2019

Contents
American Rifleman - July 2019 - Cover1
American Rifleman - July 2019 - Cover2
American Rifleman - July 2019 - 1
American Rifleman - July 2019 - Contents
American Rifleman - July 2019 - 3
American Rifleman - July 2019 - 4
American Rifleman - July 2019 - 5
American Rifleman - July 2019 - 6
American Rifleman - July 2019 - 7
American Rifleman - July 2019 - 8
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