This is a huge move. The Marine Raider Special Forces units are swapping out their Colt .45’s for Glock 19 9mm’s.
There are a number of stated reasons for the change, but hopefully the oft cited factor of lower 9mm ammo prices was not one of them. If we can spend over $2 Billion on a bomber, we better be able to equip our soldiers with the weapons of their choice.
Here are some of the reasons for the change according to Mark Keefe at American Rifleman:
And the newly renamed Marine Raiders were issued Colt .45s. But that just changed. According to a Marine Corps Times article the Raiders are throwing their .45s overboard (figuratively, not literally). They have instead adopted the Glock 19 pistol as their standard sidearm. The Marine Corps as whole has not adopted the Glock 19, but the Raiders (as part of U.S. SOCOM) are issuing their operators Glock 19s. Now, the same report indicated some other Marine units will continue to use the M45A1 CQB for the short term, but it comes to Raiders, the .45 is out. Last year the Raiders were authorized to issue 9 mm Glock 19s side by side with the M45A1. This year .45s are no longer in the holsters of Marine Raiders. One of the reasons the Marine Corps gave for abandoning the M45A1 was there are times when Marine operators require a concealable handgun. And while the M45A1 CQB is an excellent fighting pistol in what used to be America’s favorite caliber, it is not a gun designed for concealment. Another reason given for the Raider shift away from .45 was logistics—meaning that having two sidearm chamberings with in the same unit was not a good idea. That makes sense for regular military units, but has not hampered elite operators in the past.
This is another chapter in the recent ascendancy of both the 9 mm Luger cartridge and the Glock 19 pistol. The Raider move away from .45 is similar to the FBI’s move away from the 40 S&W cartridge. Last year the FBI, which essentially created the demand for first the 10 mm and then the .40 S&W cartridge in the first place, abandoned it in favor of a 9 mm Speer 147-gr. Gold Dot 2 loading for its agents.
A decade ago it looked like the .40 Smith and Wesson or the .357 Sig was going to crush the 9mm. Instead the 9mm keeps extending it’s dominance. It was rumored that the Army might move to a larger caliber but now it’s seems like they will stick with the 9mm. Lot’s of law enforcement agencies are going back to the nine as well. Read the entire article here.
You can’t help but to feel nostalgia for the .45, however, if the 9mm is fulling mission requirements more power to it. Watch Colion Noir nominate the Glock 19 as the best urban SHTF gun ever below:
Let us know which gun you would rather have in the comments section (or just level random personal insults at each other, your choice).