UPDATE 7-20-2012: It turns out the rumor was correct. Colt has announced that they have indeed been awarded the contract for MARSOC’s new pistol. Read more here.
Today SoldierSystems.net reported that based on information from a credible but unnamed source, the Marine Corps Special Operations Command (MARSOC) placed an order for 4,000 .45 caliber Colt 1911A1 Rail Guns to become the Command’s new M45 MEU(SOC) pistol. This comes as the possible conclusion to the months long competition for the $22.5 million dollar contract for the handgun. The Rail Guns would replace the current MEU(SOC) .45 caliber pistols which are hand-assembled modified 1911s put together by armorers at the Corps’ base in Quantico, Virginia from an amalgamation of government issue and aftermarket parts.
MARSOC’s move to switch from the old MEU(SOC) .45 to the new Colt 1911A1 Rail Guns means that far less effort will be exerted by the unit to assemble and maintain the pistols. The old MEU(SOC) .45s had very few interchangeable parts due to their custom made and matched components. MARSOC would benefit from the commercial and nearly off-the-shelf nature of the new Colt 1911A1 Rail Guns. Again, this is all speculation at this point but we will be updating you as we learn more.
Image taken from the public domain, photographer Lance Corporal Kamran Sadaghiani