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It's not factory original. Even though units were not supposed to put permanent unit or rack numbers on guns many of them did anyway.
 

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I think we have determined that most of the stamped rack numbers in that location were Navy ships.
 

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There is zero possibility that is a rack number; My old unit has at least several dozen pistols with that stamp-or a variation thereof-(and likely many more with that stamp since I have never observed each and every pistol). It is an MPI inspection stamp (although I do not happen to know what the "B" represents. I am sure we can track down an SME and find out). Armorers have informed me several times over the years that our weapons get 'magnaflux tested' after deployments, and sometimes before. It is unknown to me if/when/how a weapon is marked-if any-after inspection. My guess is none/no marks or inspection stamps in recent years simply due to the fact that my unit's sections were getting its weapons inspected yearly-sometimes multiple times a year-and virtually none came back with stamps (a notable exception being the M2 50 cals that tended to nearly always come back from ANAD with a stamp; other examples were M9 pistols and M4 carbines with ANAD stamps but those were rare exceptions). In all the years I was at our unit, I personally never saw an M1911A1 of ours get any type of stamp). I would further speculate that most of these stamps M+B are possibly from the 1970s/1980s. The pistols at my unit have "M+B", "MB", or simply "M"; it can be found on both frame and slide, either on just one or other other-most commonly the slide-or the stamp can be found on both the frame and slide of an individual weapon although that is not observed much at all. What is usually seen is "M+B" found only on the slide, which is nearly always a WW2 manufacture and as we know those types of slides (excepting a few at end of production) were not fully hardened and are thus more prone to breakage. Indeed, of the approximately 1/3 of total unit inventory that I observed, about 50% of the WW2 era slides were a variety of several types of modern manufacture fully-hardened/heat-treated slides. (Of course, the converse is also true: about 50% of the pistols still have their WW2 era slides attached and were still going strong. Having said that, while I was at the unit, I know of a few slides that did break and were replaced. Another example; one section's pistols had most of their pistols with WW2 slides still attached about 10 years ago but then following heavy usage had most of their slides replaced about 5 years ago with modern mfg (I dont know why they were replaced or whether it was done proactively before potential parts failure or if it was done because parts were observed with cracks). Interestingly enough, about 5 years ago yet another section had their pistols worked on by the USMC PWS-as a favor for prior missions conducted on a joint basis between ours and theirs and they wanted to do something nice for us as a thank you so they offered to rebuild our branch's old 1911s (only that individual section's 1911s unfortunately for the rest of the entire unit!-and they left their WW2 slides on instead of replacing them with Caspians. Go figure.) See below for just a few examples of the M+B stamp on pistols still on active duty with the US military.
 

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Several other examples. Note that S/n 1929432 has both frame and slide stamped simply with an "M" at the midpoint; at the rear is stamped "1.13" The photo was taken about 10 years ago so the thirteen DOES NOT represent the year '2013' I am uncertain what it represents-any speculation as to what it means?
 

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Note that S/n 797823 has both slide and frame stamped "M+B" (although the viewing angle makes it challenging to see). And one of at least two World War 1 pistols (frame) still going strong on active duty has an "M+B" stamp on its slide (although I cant recall what the slide type is at the moment); also note the frame had scallops machined at some point in the unknown past. And finally, we see an example of what may happen when a WW2 era slide finally gives up the ghost and cracks-this one around the ejection port area (photo taken about 10 years ago soon after the slide cracked. That section was having extreme difficulty with humidity build up in the arms room and the A/C couldn't keep up so you observe some corrosion quickly set in at the fracture point). Note, however, that this pistol's slide broke after undoubtedly having had many rounds fired through it in the prior decades before it even got to our unit-and then we got our hands on it and really burned alot of ammo thru them. At this point, in the early years of the GWOT era, many sections still used these pistols-some heavily; my section certainly did before Glocks took over-and fired many thousands of rounds a year through them. So even if it did break-and only then after serving proudly for about 65 years before cracking-it sure earned its keep. Having said that, its also a great example why the experts advise taking it easy on these old warhorse's and either lay off the heavy loads or retire them once and for all to a well deserved rest as a safe queen and get a modern manufacture 1911 and pound the heck out of it. Because it just goes to show you; one never knows when they are gonna break.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
That's interesting-slide looks like it has not been used-the mussel has been hardened-
I guess we have a extra proof mark-ether M-B or M-8 my eyes are 62
Thanks all
 

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I am not Shooter 5 but it was Special Forces. A few were issued recently but they are fading away. He has been kind enough to post a few examples.

I suspect they will still keep some in SF. The light weapons guys train in new and old weapons, both foreign and domestic, that may be encountered worldwide. They were still training with BARs, Garands, Carbines, MP40s, Thompsons, Uzis, AKs, PPsHs, etc. in the early to mid 1970s. Such weapons may be dated but are/were used to train, and are issued to, indigenous forces. Many friendlies, and team instructors, were issued M1 carbines and Garands in Nam. I suspect that SF will maintain a given number of M1911s for training for such purposes for a while longer. Encountering such a pistol in current areas of operation is still possible and being able to pick it up and knowing how to use it is a good thing.

The Soviets stockpiled lots of foreign and domestic weapons to give/issue to commie countries Many were pretty well past their use by date. Soviet refurbished K98ks, M44 MNs, PU snipers, which are also still encountered today, were widely seen in VN.
 

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I am not Shooter 5 but it was Special Forces. A few were issued recently but they are fading away. He has been kind enough to post a few examples.

I suspect they will still keep some in SF. The light weapons guys train in new and old weapons, both foreign and domestic, that may be encountered worldwide. They were still training with BARs, Garands, Carbines, MP40s, Thompsons, Uzis, AKs, PPsHs, etc. in the early to mid 1970s. Such weapons may be dated but are/were used to train, and are issued to, indigenous forces. Many friendlies, and team instructors, were issued M1 carbines and Garands in Nam. I suspect that SF will maintain a given number of M1911s for training for such purposes for a while longer. Encountering such a pistol in current areas of operation is still possible and being able to pick it up and knowing how to use it is a good thing.

The Soviets stockpiled lots of foreign and domestic weapons to give/issue to commie countries Many were pretty well past their use by date. Soviet refurbished K98ks, M44 MNs, PU snipers, which are also still encountered today, were widely seen in VN.

should have thought of that, but the mention of Marines doing a rebuild had Navy in my head.
 

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I suspect they will still keep some in SF. The light weapons guys train in new and old weapons, both foreign and domestic, that may be encountered worldwide. They were still training with BARs, Garands, Carbines, MP40s, Thompsons, Uzis, AKs, PPsHs, etc. in the early to mid 1970s. Such weapons may be dated but are/were used to train, and are issued to, indigenous forces. Many friendlies, and team instructors, were issued M1 carbines and Garands in Nam. I suspect that SF will maintain a given number of M1911s for training for such purposes for a while longer. Encountering such a pistol in current areas of operation is still possible and being able to pick it up and knowing how to use it is a good thing.

The Soviets stockpiled lots of foreign and domestic weapons to give/issue to commie countries Many were pretty well past their use by date. Soviet refurbished K98ks, M44 MNs, PU snipers, which are also still encountered today, were widely seen in VN.
You're spot on Mike-the 18B course still retains pretty much any weapon type found on planet earth simply in order to maintain familiarity for our troops. Their arms room locker is quite impressive-it looks like Charlton Heston's gun library-thank you US Taxpayer! During 'Foreign Weapons' week, the Thompson subgun is one of the most popular guns to try out. Or remember when we 'invaded' Haiti (yet again) in 1994? Our guys encountered alot of Haitian troops that were issued the M1 Garand; and so US troops had to train host nation forces to its proper use and function-some of the older guys who were in on that op got a big kick out of that 'reversed' situation.
One never knows what you may encounter on the battlefield and we might have to put oddball weapon systems into operation in a pinch or we may have to utilize them when conducting partnered operations with indigenous host nation military forces if that system is their standard issue. Even 'obsolete' US weapons can be found all over the globe due to Military Assistance Programs lending or giving small arms away to 'friendly governments' and our young troops have to know what they are and how they function. And all of those Soviet/Russian weapon systems you mentioned encountered in Vietnam; decades later the exact same is still found throughout the Sahel, Middle East, and elsewhere. I know of a contractor who liked to carry a PPSh and a TT33 since the round has more power than 9mmNATO; he had to ask around for his ammo supply...
Last year just after I retired, I happened to be over at a buddies section while their battalion was conducting an OIR post-deployment inventory just a few days after they had returned CONUS and I got to see all their weapons layed out for the command inspection. One section had checked out the usual Russky weapons to go overseas with IOT to train their indig forces (ie, AKs, RPGs, etc) but most interesting to me was for pistols, they had also requested to deploy with P38s-(along with Makarovs, of which type was not necessarily surprising)-but that suggested to me their partners still had this WW2 era pistol still floating around and our young troops most likely needed some examples to get up to speed on its function and operation IOT to know what they are talking about when they are demonstrating how to operate and fire that weapon system.
 

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