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Q:
Why did the us army stop using 1911s as their sidearms and start using berettas? ive never understood that

Question by J4huntfish. Uploaded on February 14, 2011

Answers (21)

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from Carl Huber wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

They converted to 9mm like the rest of the world.

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from Sourdough Dave wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

NATO

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from J4huntfish wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

Why did the .45 do too much damage, i thought the point of war is to kill the enemy not mqke it take 5 shots too kill a guy with a 9mm

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from NYhunter wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

If I was going into combat I would want the 1911 .45ACP over the Berettas 9mm, "use enough gun" any body?

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from Clay Cooper wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

This new age of soldiers just can't handle the 45!

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from J4huntfish wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

Clay, im 5 and a .45 is fine to me,. Yes indeed the people that grew up in the depression generation were 10x tougher mentally than my generation

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from lovetohunt wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

haha Clay, I guess so. Im not a pistol shooter but over christmas break my friend and his dad took me to the range to shoot some pistols (his dad is a big pisol guy). We shoot mostly .357mags and some .38sp ammo out of them, he also had a .45 that I could shoot some tight groups out of.

I did not think the .45 had much "kick" at all. It handle like a .22lr.

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from deerhunterrick wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

cruel usage. The theory behind the 9mm was that you could carry twice as much ammo in the same poundage of carry. More firepower. The second theory was it took 3 soldiers out of the picture instead of just 1. Kill em and cover em. Wound em and carry em. The 5.56 was issued as a nato round with the same reasoning. Though head shots eliminated that theory fast.

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from Dbetzner wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

It was in part due to nato, More im part to round capacity (the 9mm holds far more than the 45) so someone sitting in washington said "this is great" and so it was. much to the dismay of the servicemen and women who have to carry it. that being said I did like the berretta, just wish I'd of had a better round than the 9mm

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from lefthandedshooter wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

deerhunter the less ammo you can carry means bigger bullet which means it takes fewer bullets to take the target down i think we should have the 45 but nato thinks other wise

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from LeVan Goodey wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

A good question to which I haven't found an answer that makes much sense. At one time Para Ordinace had a 14 shot .45. I have never been in the military,but that seems like it should be enough to do the job that a side arm is intended for.

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from J4huntfish wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

NM the problem with those is they weigh as much as a desert eagle, but good idea

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

I am sure it's a gender thing that's at the bottom of it. When I was a military policeman women were just starting to work their way into the MOS. Well, in any significant numbers. The .45 was just plain too heavy for them in particular. So they were loading them up with old 4" barrel S&W .38 service revolvers. You know, the ones with fixed sites and famous for shaving lead. They issued them to chopper pilots too, as I recall. Initially we didn't even have holsters for the things. Scrounged some from the fly-boy MP's at the airbase next door (they were issued .357 revolvers with same barrel length). The .45 is the gun I would want if I had to walk into bar room blow up or a race riot. But I hated carrying the thing the other 99% of the time. I came into the corps just after they did away with the Sam Brownie Belt (a leather strap that crossed over your chest to support the holster). These were dangerous because a dirtbag could easily grab the MP and pull him off balance. But without it the web gear with heavy 1911 pulled your khaki pants down, bunched up the tunic, or too often slipped around where it shouldn't be. It was a great weapon, a dream to shoot (if you had the meat to hold it up), and perhaps the safest handgun ever made (don't think anyone could ever deny that - it had three safeties). But the military issue models were just too dang heavy. Too bad someone couldn't have made some kind of comprimise. The 9mm is a much more worthless cartridge than the .38 special - and that's saying something. If you shoot someone wearing body armor with a 9mm he'd probably not even say ouch. Shoot em in the arm with a .45 and the arm is destroyed (or gone!) and he's on his butt. Shoot em in the chest with a 1911 and it'll knock him through the wall. Except for MPs, I really think that a handgun of any sort in the military is wasted weight, especially in combat situations. Totally. MPs need to have their hands free so much of the time that it's just not practical to be carrying a rifle or shotgun. And because they are hand to hand so much of the time, they want their firearm stashed and not out where someone can get at it. The old 1911 style flap holster and lanyard was a good design for what they were doing. We seldom if ever had a need for "quick draw". We almost always knew ahead of time what situation we were getting into.

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

I had one of those old .38 S&Ws. I think I was wrong. Didn't they have a 6" barrel? Help me out here.

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from ishawooa wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

Essentially the question has been answered as supposedly the US needed to convert to a so called NATO round aka the 9 x 19. Following trials somehow the Beretta 92 (or a variation thereof) became the winner. The pistol was problematic from the start although supposedly some of the difficulties have been fixed including changing magazine suppliers several times. Regardless if you think a Para double stack is heavy then compare it to the fully loaded Beretta M4. Not much difference. But then I am biased as I prefer 1911s over all others especially in .45 ACP for defense until I reach my rifle. Probably the spray and pray factor with limited training was also part of the thinking much like the M-16 and the 5.56 mm. But then I also am a M-14 7.62 x 51 mm fan.

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

Well, additional rounds for spray and pray is a reasonable (albeit debatable) justification for a lightweaight fully automatic assault weapon. But for a semiautomatic combat sidearm? Doesn't seem to work. In combat situations a sidearm is useless most of the time so what is the need to stuff it with as many rounds as possible? Our troops are being killed with roadside bombs or, rarely, snipers. I don't see that trend changing any time in the distant future. Handguns are just excess weight in those situations.

I suspect that there is some justification for all NATO forces getting on board with the same calibre/weapon. But do they all use M-16? Seems to me from looking at the footage that they don't. Even if the US govt felt compelled to go with 9mm because everyone else was, why not pick the S&W? As far as I can see it is every bit, if not more, reliable a weapon. By the way, the Browning 9mm would have been a terrible choice. I had one of those. You CANNOT shoot them two-handed without expecting a trip to the ER. The slide will rip off the top of your left thumb.

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from scratchgolf72 wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

.45 has more knockdown power, but if i hit you in the chest with a 9mm or a .45 at 20 ft, both will kill. 9mm just has more ammo.

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from Drew McClure wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

If you believe that Gov't bids are fair Berettas performed better in testing, and if you don't you will find George W Bush's one of a kind, S010 EEL was a pretty nice thank you gift.

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from crm3006 wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

Ontario Honker ...
Can't remember the S&W model number of those revolvers, but I had a bunch of fly-boys on a range live fire qualification at Ft. Sill one time, and those revolvers definitely had 4" barrels. I seem to remember that some of them were Colts, also. One thing I remember with total clarity, at the end of the exercise, there were approximately 100-125 rounds of GI issue .38 Special that failed to fire, due to insufficient hammer fall. My tower NCO and I fired every dud round, (and put on quite a shooting exhibition) through a Colt SAA and a S&W Model 28.

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from JImp wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

I was a chopper pilot in 'Nam, and we were issued S&W .38s with a 4" barrel. We typically bought cowboy style holsters and put the holster between our legs when flying, based on the somewhat questionable belief that the pistol "MIGHT" stop shrapnel. Don't remember any cases of that theory proving out in practice.

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from 99explorer wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

JImp-
I guess that would serve the same purpose as sitting on your helmet while a passenger in a chopper.
OHH-
I can't agree with your assessment of the Browning Hi-Power. Fully loaded, it weighs no more than an unloaded 1911. Held properly, it poses no more threat to your left thumb than any other auto. I have never heard that complaint before.

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from deerhunterrick wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

cruel usage. The theory behind the 9mm was that you could carry twice as much ammo in the same poundage of carry. More firepower. The second theory was it took 3 soldiers out of the picture instead of just 1. Kill em and cover em. Wound em and carry em. The 5.56 was issued as a nato round with the same reasoning. Though head shots eliminated that theory fast.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sourdough Dave wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

NATO

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

I am sure it's a gender thing that's at the bottom of it. When I was a military policeman women were just starting to work their way into the MOS. Well, in any significant numbers. The .45 was just plain too heavy for them in particular. So they were loading them up with old 4" barrel S&W .38 service revolvers. You know, the ones with fixed sites and famous for shaving lead. They issued them to chopper pilots too, as I recall. Initially we didn't even have holsters for the things. Scrounged some from the fly-boy MP's at the airbase next door (they were issued .357 revolvers with same barrel length). The .45 is the gun I would want if I had to walk into bar room blow up or a race riot. But I hated carrying the thing the other 99% of the time. I came into the corps just after they did away with the Sam Brownie Belt (a leather strap that crossed over your chest to support the holster). These were dangerous because a dirtbag could easily grab the MP and pull him off balance. But without it the web gear with heavy 1911 pulled your khaki pants down, bunched up the tunic, or too often slipped around where it shouldn't be. It was a great weapon, a dream to shoot (if you had the meat to hold it up), and perhaps the safest handgun ever made (don't think anyone could ever deny that - it had three safeties). But the military issue models were just too dang heavy. Too bad someone couldn't have made some kind of comprimise. The 9mm is a much more worthless cartridge than the .38 special - and that's saying something. If you shoot someone wearing body armor with a 9mm he'd probably not even say ouch. Shoot em in the arm with a .45 and the arm is destroyed (or gone!) and he's on his butt. Shoot em in the chest with a 1911 and it'll knock him through the wall. Except for MPs, I really think that a handgun of any sort in the military is wasted weight, especially in combat situations. Totally. MPs need to have their hands free so much of the time that it's just not practical to be carrying a rifle or shotgun. And because they are hand to hand so much of the time, they want their firearm stashed and not out where someone can get at it. The old 1911 style flap holster and lanyard was a good design for what they were doing. We seldom if ever had a need for "quick draw". We almost always knew ahead of time what situation we were getting into.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Carl Huber wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

They converted to 9mm like the rest of the world.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from J4huntfish wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

Clay, im 5 and a .45 is fine to me,. Yes indeed the people that grew up in the depression generation were 10x tougher mentally than my generation

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dbetzner wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

It was in part due to nato, More im part to round capacity (the 9mm holds far more than the 45) so someone sitting in washington said "this is great" and so it was. much to the dismay of the servicemen and women who have to carry it. that being said I did like the berretta, just wish I'd of had a better round than the 9mm

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from JImp wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

I was a chopper pilot in 'Nam, and we were issued S&W .38s with a 4" barrel. We typically bought cowboy style holsters and put the holster between our legs when flying, based on the somewhat questionable belief that the pistol "MIGHT" stop shrapnel. Don't remember any cases of that theory proving out in practice.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from J4huntfish wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

Why did the .45 do too much damage, i thought the point of war is to kill the enemy not mqke it take 5 shots too kill a guy with a 9mm

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from NYhunter wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

If I was going into combat I would want the 1911 .45ACP over the Berettas 9mm, "use enough gun" any body?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

This new age of soldiers just can't handle the 45!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from lovetohunt wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

haha Clay, I guess so. Im not a pistol shooter but over christmas break my friend and his dad took me to the range to shoot some pistols (his dad is a big pisol guy). We shoot mostly .357mags and some .38sp ammo out of them, he also had a .45 that I could shoot some tight groups out of.

I did not think the .45 had much "kick" at all. It handle like a .22lr.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from LeVan Goodey wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

A good question to which I haven't found an answer that makes much sense. At one time Para Ordinace had a 14 shot .45. I have never been in the military,but that seems like it should be enough to do the job that a side arm is intended for.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from J4huntfish wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

NM the problem with those is they weigh as much as a desert eagle, but good idea

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ontario Honker ... wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

I had one of those old .38 S&Ws. I think I was wrong. Didn't they have a 6" barrel? Help me out here.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from ishawooa wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

Essentially the question has been answered as supposedly the US needed to convert to a so called NATO round aka the 9 x 19. Following trials somehow the Beretta 92 (or a variation thereof) became the winner. The pistol was problematic from the start although supposedly some of the difficulties have been fixed including changing magazine suppliers several times. Regardless if you think a Para double stack is heavy then compare it to the fully loaded Beretta M4. Not much difference. But then I am biased as I prefer 1911s over all others especially in .45 ACP for defense until I reach my rifle. Probably the spray and pray factor with limited training was also part of the thinking much like the M-16 and the 5.56 mm. But then I also am a M-14 7.62 x 51 mm fan.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ontario Honker ... wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

Well, additional rounds for spray and pray is a reasonable (albeit debatable) justification for a lightweaight fully automatic assault weapon. But for a semiautomatic combat sidearm? Doesn't seem to work. In combat situations a sidearm is useless most of the time so what is the need to stuff it with as many rounds as possible? Our troops are being killed with roadside bombs or, rarely, snipers. I don't see that trend changing any time in the distant future. Handguns are just excess weight in those situations.

I suspect that there is some justification for all NATO forces getting on board with the same calibre/weapon. But do they all use M-16? Seems to me from looking at the footage that they don't. Even if the US govt felt compelled to go with 9mm because everyone else was, why not pick the S&W? As far as I can see it is every bit, if not more, reliable a weapon. By the way, the Browning 9mm would have been a terrible choice. I had one of those. You CANNOT shoot them two-handed without expecting a trip to the ER. The slide will rip off the top of your left thumb.

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from scratchgolf72 wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

.45 has more knockdown power, but if i hit you in the chest with a 9mm or a .45 at 20 ft, both will kill. 9mm just has more ammo.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Drew McClure wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

If you believe that Gov't bids are fair Berettas performed better in testing, and if you don't you will find George W Bush's one of a kind, S010 EEL was a pretty nice thank you gift.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from crm3006 wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

Ontario Honker ...
Can't remember the S&W model number of those revolvers, but I had a bunch of fly-boys on a range live fire qualification at Ft. Sill one time, and those revolvers definitely had 4" barrels. I seem to remember that some of them were Colts, also. One thing I remember with total clarity, at the end of the exercise, there were approximately 100-125 rounds of GI issue .38 Special that failed to fire, due to insufficient hammer fall. My tower NCO and I fired every dud round, (and put on quite a shooting exhibition) through a Colt SAA and a S&W Model 28.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from 99explorer wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

JImp-
I guess that would serve the same purpose as sitting on your helmet while a passenger in a chopper.
OHH-
I can't agree with your assessment of the Browning Hi-Power. Fully loaded, it weighs no more than an unloaded 1911. Held properly, it poses no more threat to your left thumb than any other auto. I have never heard that complaint before.

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from lefthandedshooter wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

deerhunter the less ammo you can carry means bigger bullet which means it takes fewer bullets to take the target down i think we should have the 45 but nato thinks other wise

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