Originally posted by Colt shooter:
Their is a world outside of the military where people use the weapon for purposes other than a combat pistol...
That point is very well taken. Again, my view is no more valid than yours.
Visualize the test in psychiatry where the pyschiatrist says a word and the patient comes back with another word. If you were to say "Colt" to me, I would come back with "1911A1." Picture in your mind all the battles the United States Armed Forces have been engaged in since the pistol was first introduced. Did these pistols have adjustable sights? No. Did they have all the skeletonized this and thats? No. How about super-large beavertails safeties? No. Bevelled mag wells? No. Somehow, without all these luxuries, the pistols prevailed.
What has happened in the competition arena? I don't even recognize some of the contraptions these guys are sporting. These things look ridiculous. I can remember when military issue guns were used in these events. Everybody had mil-spec guns, and yet a champion pistoleer was still crowned. The focus was on marksmanship, not techno whiz guns.
Through the years the guns have evolved into a joke and the whole heart and nature of the sport has been lost.
Ever see a "rifle" that is used now in benchrest type shoots? It looks like something that has been manufactured in a NASA aerospace lab. It's sickening. The only real competition anymore is with the service rifle. This is the only area that retains its history and purpose.
You can still have shoots with bowling pins, plates, paper and metallic silhouettes, but why not use a mil-spec gun? This really puts the focus back on good, old-fashioned marksmanship.
Let me give you an example: Last year I was company OIC of the annual weapons qualification. Instead of having the soldiers just qualify with their M16s and M9s, I announced there would be a high score competition for the M9 (too many soldiers score a perfect 40 with the 16, so you can't identify a high score).
I could have chosen one of two courses. I chose the Alternate Pistol course, which involves standing, crouching, kneeling, and the prone. All stages use rapid magazine changes and are timed. The soldiers were all fired up and motivated.
At the end of the drill weekend, the top honor went to a Master Sergeant who is also a Michigan State Police trooper in the civilian sector.
I had a trophy made up for him in the month between that drill and the next. At that next drill, the commander called him out of the formation, and in front of the entire company I presented him with the trophy. It still sits proudly on his desk. I had many troops say, "That's alright, sir. Next year that trophy is mine."
Moral of the story: I inspired the troops by turning an ordinary weapons qual into a competition. I encouraged them to shoot better. We had a riot of a good time. We used the standard-issue M9. There was no need for all the bells and whistles that ruin a military arm, and that turn a $500 gun into a $1,500 gun.
Leave the 1911A1 alone. It does not need to be "dressed up" with all that ridiculous nonsense. If a man can't shoot in a competition with a mil-spec gun, then he doesn't need to be shooting. And if all competitors are using mil-spec guns, then they're all on the same plane and nobody has the advantage. Let us please get back to the fundamentals of marksmanship.
And thanks for all your kind words. I thank everybody for their military service as well.
[This message has been edited by In service to His Majesty (edited 09-30-2001).]