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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Alright, this kind of thing is probably not often discussed here, but I thought I'd give it a try.

I intend to carry an M1911 as a sidearm, and I'm looking for recommendations on a good holster. Not just specific model, but type (i.e. shoulder rig, on the web belt, tactical hip rig, etc.). I'm sure some of you remember carrying the .45 in the old leather M1912 holster.

Forgive me if I don't trust the government's judgement in choosing a sidearm for me. I actually have more experience with the M9 than the M1911, having been a Navy pistol instructor. That said, I would still trust the 1911 more than the Beretta in combat. Quicker to get into action, and I shoot it much better. Any comments are welcome!
 

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McNamara,
Try Rafter S Gunleather, they make excellent holsters at reasonable prices and the wait isn't very long on most orders. They offer several models to choose from. The on the belt holster I have from them is very comfortable and well made. You can check out their website at www.raftersgunleather.com or call them at 1-417-277-5636. They are great folks to deal with as well.

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I like what I see, and I've heard other good things about the company on this forum. Nice prices, too, considering the craftsmanship and material. But I don't think I could bring myself to crawl through the mud in one of their holsters. Anyone here been through the Quigley?


To clarify my situation, I'm at the Academy right now, so it'll be a couple of years before I actually need this holster. But I'll be getting the 1911 in a few months, so I figured I should get used to the holster when I get the weapon. A semi-custom, concealable holster might be just the ticket if I go aviation, but the docs are telling me I might not have the hearing for that.

So I have to consider what an infantry officer needs for a holster. Sharkskin is cool, but might look a bit out of place on my web gear! I'll definitely consider Rafter S Gunleather when I buy my holster for CCW, though.
 

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McNamara...

Are you a Middie (squid), or an actual Pistol instructor at USNA? When you say you are planning to go Infantry, I assume you mean the Marine option?

Also, I understand you might get into more than just a little bit of trouble if you bring a POW (privately owned weapon) when you deploy out somewhere...have heard of quite a few guys, officers and enlisted, getting their a$$es ripped in half for sneaking their own pistols out on deployments with them (to Kuwait).


Alexander Garcias
USMA '03

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GO ARMY!!!
BEAT NAVY!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Nice to meet another '03 on this board. Yeah, I'm just a mid, so the pistol instructor thing was part-time (hence my use of the past tense). Do you guys have a similar program for training the plebes?

I had heard that one could use any sidearm within reason; of course you'd only be issued 9mm ammo regardless. I wonder if there are different regs in the Army and the Marines regarding this? They would probably be the same, which is too bad for me. If that's true then I'll be leaving the M9 at home and humping an M16.

I don't know if I could live with myself if I had to drive ships or subs for a living, so, yes, I'm going Corps. No offense to any SWOs or submariners out there, of course. I wouldn't mind being a Navy pilot, but why do that when you can be a Marine aviator?

Hey, I've got a friend in '05 there, Tony Corona. Say hi for me if you get a chance, my first name's Scott. BTW, what branch are you planning on when you get commissioned?
 

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If you can fly F-18's instead of Tomcat's, Yeah, go Marines! Of course my son, in F-16's will carve you a new one! He's "Sierra Hotel"! The F-18's twin engines really gulp the gas, but I hear they're a dream to fly!
 

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Scott,

I plan to branch either Armor, then go Cav ('cause if you ain't cav, you ain't $h!t), or branch into Military Intelligence, and branch detail into a Cav unit. What other branches I pursue in the future is another story...

I am pretty sure the regulations for POWs is the same across all branches of the military. The actual story I heard about the guys getting ripped for bringing POWs with them overseas were in the Air Force. I suppose it's a liability issue (or maybe an issue of politics)-- if there were an accidental/negligent discharge because an officer didn't know how to properly use and shoot his 1911, there would be hell to pay, that's for sure. Of course, I actually believe the 1911 to be just as safe if not safer than the standard issue M9. Also, if you go Marines, you'll most likely be toting an M4 around, not an M16, especially as an officer.

As far as training programs go, cadets (surprisingly) only get to handle an M9 ONCE in their cadet career, which is the summer between their freshman and sophomore year (during Cadet Field Training, at Camp Buckner). The next time that cadet will handle a pistol will most likely be at OBC, for quals, and that's about it. Sad but true. Also, not much possibility to train with M9s during the normal academic year mainly due to ammo constraints (barely any 9mm ammo available to most Army posts, including West Point. .45ACP, however, is plentiful
).

There are a couple clubs where a cadet may get to shoot an M9 (or any pistol) more than usual. First is the Pistol team over here, but we shoot more international pistol (air, free (.22LR), and standard (also .22LR)) than hardball. Next is the Combat Weapons Team, which is the USMA practical/tactical shooting team. They shoot mainly Glocks and 1911s, though; not too many Beretta lovers on that team. Lastly, there is the Infantry Tactics Club, and they shoot M9s once in a blue moon.

You might want to purchase a G.I. M9 holster (don't know the numeric designation) to train with. But, with its level 29 retention...you'd do better talking your opponent into surrendering before you could get the M9 out of the holster.

By the way, he only units that still use the 1911, I believe, are spec ops units (i.e., SF, the D boys, maybe Navy SEALs, and Marine Force Recon). However, I am told that during times of actual war, the SOP on POWs gets kind of relaxed, and more than one officer and NCO has brought his POW with him on a deployment.

Hope this has helped! Will pass your message on to Tony Corona.

Alexander Garcias
USMA '03

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GO ARMY!!!
BEAT NAVY!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
"She walks, she talks..." eh, something like that. They actually did away with Table Salt right before I got here. You believe that? Even worse, I am now in my third company. Started out in 29, got shuffled to 8 Ball (great company), and now I'm in 23. The 'dant started this policy of shuffling the rising 2nd and 3rd class, instead of shotgunning the plebes and leaving everyone else where they were.

I envy you getting to serve on a battleship. Which one were you on?

I was a marksmanship instructor for the plebes last summer, but I'm not sure if I'll do it again next summer. So many other opportunities to consider, although I had fun teaching. I did have to get used to smelling like CLP every day, though!

I think the military's designation for the UM84 is M12, but I'm not sure. The range safety officers carried their M9s in the M12 last summer - it did look extremely secure. I heard the old leather M1916 was a real quick-draw in comparison, but I'm willing to give it a try. I didn't know it fit the M1911 that well.

Doug29, I have to admit that the F-16 is a superior aircraft to the F-18. It should be - it doesn't have to carry around extra-tough landing gear or an arresting hook, and it has a better thrust-to-weight ratio. Both are very versatile in both air combat and ground attack. I've also read that the F-18 is exceedingly easy to fly. Despite all that, I'd still rather have the F-14 Tomcat! Too bad they'll be phasing them out by the time I get out of flight school.

If I don't get to go aviation, though, infantry is my next choice. Alexander, I'm not sure what you Army guys got planned for the M16, though a SFC told me they were completely phasing it out with the M4. First the more elite units are switching, later everyone will. The Marines will not do this for some time. Pretty much only Force Recon carries M4s regularly. Everyone else uses the M16A2, even officers. I've never heard of Marine infantry officers getting M4s, though it would be nice. Now SEALs carry whatever the hell they want. I'm not kidding. They've still got AKMs and Stoners from Vietnam, along with the venerable M14. I believe the SIG P226 is a popular choice for sidearms.

Our plebes also only get one day to handle the M9. You guys do get more than a day on the M16, right? We are issued demilled M1 Garands for drill and aren't trusted with real weapons except on the range (two days out of your career for some guys). Once again, no offence to SWOs out there, but I think the reliance on cruise missiles and information warfare has had a negative impact on the Navy. We're becoming engineers and technicians more than we are warriors.

And basically one can trace all this back to when the bastards got rid of the .45!
 

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Newbie question:

I'm familiar (have fired/trained with) most US military weapons and some from foreign governments....but I wasn't in the military myself.

Just out of curiosity, what is the M4 that will be replacing the M16A2?

Thanks,

/TCP
 

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DHmeieio,

Thanks for the reply, and thanks for educating me. Sounds like a vastly improved CAR-15-based weapon.

/TCP
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
That's exactly what it is. 14.5-inch barrel, four-position stock. It's reeeeeally light. It has close to the same range and accuracy as the 20-inch M16A2, too. We got a small batch of them at the Academy for summer training, along with some ACOG low-power scopes. The modular weapons system lets you add scopes, reflex sights, forward pistol grips, lasers, lights, whatever you want. I think of this weapon as being in the same class as the folding-stock M2 Carbine, but with greater range and power. A battle rifle it's not, however, although T.H.E.Y. want to make it that way.

I got to see some Rangers give a hand-to-hand demonstration last summer with bayonets fixed on the little carbines. It was rather comical - here they had these fearsome fighting techniques, and a tiny plastic-and-aluminum rifle with a knife on the end. At least they knew how to use it!
 

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Scott,

Our plebes (new cadets) spend all summer during Beast Barracks with M16A2s (when they're in the field). Same during their next summer, Cadet Field Training, except a few lucky cadets in each platoon get to tote around M249 SAWs and M240B machine guns as well. I can envision the M4 phasing out the M16A2 for Cadet Basic Training in some 5-10 years (maybe). We also have a small batch of M4s with the SOPMOD kits on 'em, but no one uses them during summer training (not yet, at least).

We have M14s for drill, but they have no firing pins or extractors (a quick call to Brownell's could fix that, though). Sad that they don't trust us to have working firearms in our rooms, but there have been a few isolated incidents that convinced the powers that be that cadets should not have live firearms in their rooms.

In any event, we here at West Point are fortunate enough to be able to sign out for live firearms from the cadet armory any weekday, anything from a working M9 or M4, to a fully operating .50 cal BMG, or a Mk19 automatic grenade launcher, or maybe an 81mm mortar. These are signed out for training purposes, allowing us to feel like warriors for half an hour one day out of the week.

For a really good, secure holster for combat, the kydex Safariland 6004 with the rotating hood is hard to beat; however, it doesn't offer much protection if you plan to be dragging through the mud on a regular basis...much more suited for urban operations.


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GO ARMY!!!
BEAT NAVY!!!
 

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i'll keep it short and sweet. I don't have one but have never heard one bad thing about them. EVERYONE at glocktalk loves them, check em out http://www.sidearmor.net
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
You lucky bastards. You lucky, lucky bastards. What I wouldn't give to be able to check out weapons like that; hell I'd even be happy to do it once a semester! Very little attention is given to us Marine wannabes here. It's all SWO this and submarine that. The Army exchange student who sits next to me in one of my engineering classes saw me drawing an M4 in my notebook one day and remarked, "Oh, you should have gone Army." "Yeah, I know."

Well before I say something treasonous about the beloved boat school, I like the kydex holsters. They would be great for tactical situations where you need a faster draw and less weapon protection. Still, the search for my 1911 "field" holster continues. If I can get away with it, I'll juct use the issue M12 holster and replace the 9mm with the .45 - maybe no one will notice, hee hee.
 

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McNamara, thanks for the further clarification...although I now imagine the CQC drill with bayonets fixed to be something more akin to a ballet, haha. I agre that a battle rifle should be more substantial. Long live the M14....

USMA Pistol, I KNEW I should have gone army....I'm even from NY originally. Boy, what I wouldn't give to check out some of that materiel. Must be nice!

/TCP
 

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Mcnamara:
There is only one simple anwser to your question. Call Rudy at blackhillsleather.com
1-877 712-9434. He is the man, with the knowledge and the experience that Rudy have you will find exactlly what you need. Not only that but Rudy is one of the best holsters maker in the country. He make jewels in leather that not only are practical and confortable but real pretty too.
The Shootist
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
That is some impressive work. I especially like his Western rigs - something to keep in mind if I ever try single-action revolver shooting. I think for the near future, though, my needs will be best served by the issue M12 holster or something along those lines. I might try a thigh rig sometime, or even the original WWI & II holster for the 1911.

Unfortunately I'm getting conflicting answers as to whether I'll be able to carry a personal sidearm. My best friend's unit had no problem, as long as they kept the weapon in the armory when not in use. On the other hand an infantry captain I just met said you could only carry what they issued. I can see it varies widely depending on where you're assigned. But as Force Recon still uses an improved M1911A1, I can always strive for that goal!
 
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