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"Spec Ops" 1911?

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Hey, I regularly see articles about some 1911 (Springfield, Kimber, et al) that has been adopted by some special unit, either USMC or LA SWAT or FBI, etc.  Well okay, I like the ol'e slabsides as well as the next guy, but here's a question for y'all why do these units pick it over another choice?  I mean, caliber, sure, but there is a lot of combat tupperware out there that's also top shelf, and they fire the .45.  Is it "old school" mystique, or do the gun rags (and company advertisements) simply overstate just how many of these units have gone to the old 1911?  What do you all think?

The 1911 has a combat reputation for effectiveness and reliablity dating back nearly a hundred years. Part of it is probably tradition, but everyone has to admit, 1911's get the job done, WELL.

Special Units are, well, "special" and as such have access to and/or permission to use things that the rank and file can't. The total numbers involved with a lot of these purchases are pretty small - a couple of hundred pieces max for a particular "high speed, low drag" unit within an organization of say 175,000 (in the case of the Marine Corps).

For a number of reasons which have been hashed and rehashed on every gun forum ad nauseum, some of these "operators" are not satisfied with the Beretta/Sig/Glock etc. - they're big boys (and gals in some cases) and I think that Tier One (and Two) assets should be allowed to use whatever model and calibre of small arms that they are most comfortable and effective with.



Interesting link.  My old CCW instructor used the 1911 in the corps (prior to its being supplanted by the Beretta) and he spoke highly of it, but said it did take a lot of training to shoot well.  For daily carry he uses a Glock.
I saw in a magazine the other day that Springfield is offering a civilian version of their Marine spec-ops pistol . . . of course its model designation is "Operator" (is it me, or does having the word "Operator" on your slide just scream "wannabe?").  To my chagrin, the civilian model comes with a turn-key mainspring "safety" lock.  Grrrrr.  Made that decision easy. :-\

Springfield is offering a civilian version of their Marine spec-ops pistol . . . of course its model designation is "Operator" (is it me, or does having the word "Operator" on your slide just scream "wannabe

On the subject word....
Well, my wannabe antenna is usually up when I hear techno jargon.
But operator is a word that has been around awhile and I don't feel uncomfortable with it because...well, I know people that are real...operators.

Usually it is an in-house word for special forces teams with lots and lots of special training and experience. This does somewhat extend now to police work. I wouldn't tag a small-to-middle size city/county SWAT team member as an operator. Might be pushing it. But one in Los Angeles? New York? Full-time teams with daily experience and constant, high-level training from multiple sources? Yes.

Yes. I understand this is all subjective.

I have worked line operations/street level as patrolman and detective for my whole career. I trained my ass off every year going and doing everything I could. I am not an "operator" and would never dare call myself one. (Hell, I have lived in Texas for 30 years and still am not too sure I can legally wear a cowboy hat) Does working in "Line Operations" make you an operator. Not in the accepted sense.

My friend Steve Krystek of Vegas is an "operator." Former military team commander, former Federal team member, active-duty street cop... Constantly trained in high level situations. Almost killed in the line of duty (they called the fatality team out on him once and he survived!)

I have some regular students who are active and former Green Berets. They did very special work in Afghanistan. They operated many tricky things there. They are operators. (Read the largely true/slightly embelished "The Hunt for Osama Bin laden" by Robin Moore-you'll find a  loose definetion of operators.) I bend at one knee and call these guys "OPERATORS!" In caps. In red.

It is a fine line, but the the word "specially" trained in special, very high-risk things is part of the definetion. There is a "paying your dues" water mark in there somewhere.

Back to the gun word
A gun called the "Operator?" Better than "Magnum Brain-Buster" I guess, when you are in court defending your actions. It is just a marketing term, I guess. The marketing names for knives are far worse.

Non-operators making and marketing products for wannabe people, tricky world ain't it? What does anyone else think?



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