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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Retired from the Corp 15 years ago... ....I had heard Force Recon and later the new Raider Battalions had gone back to .45 pistols instead of using the standard issue M9 Berretta 9mm.... ....but never kept up with this development.... ....I started seeing odd 1911's on auction boards in Desert Sand with USMC X'ed out on the slide... ...then I saw this video...


And I want one..... ....just in time for them to be sold out for foreseeable future...

The actual Marine M45A1 that were returned to Colt because of the Cerakote failure, which the Marine Corps agreed to allow them to resell them if they X'ed out the USMC on the slide.
Trigger Wood Gun barrel Revolver Air gun


Does anyone know the story behind the Cerakote failure? Did Colt screw up the Cerakote application? Or is Cerakote versions used at the time, just not up to Military usage? If you look at the Auto Industry, most of the paint failures on cars is not the paint fault, its the fault of the manufacturer that took shortcuts in the very specific and vital process of properly applying the paint and the paint process had become very complicated because of EPA mandates on the emmissions from the paint.

The later M45A1 for the civilian market with a PVD coating, more of an earth color...
Air gun Trigger Wood Gun barrel Gun accessory


And I also want to do an 80% frame project, which I have a closing window to ever to do that, "Lets go Brandon"....

Could I make a clone of the M45A1? What's the worst that can happen? I make a nice custom 1911 that doesn't really look like the M45A1 that I was shooting for?

So I picked this up from Spectre Supply on Gun Broker.....


Wood Gun accessory Pattern Font Metal
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Got me some Wilson Combat parts..... ...these are machined from bar stock and are NOT MIM parts....
Product Liquid Fluid Material property Font

Font Material property Electronic device Gadget Silver

Rectangle Material property Composite material Plant Metal


The Dual Spring used in the M45A1 is only made by Colt, and it was sold out. I'm guessing the Flat Spring will produce the same results as the Dual Spring, and Wilson Combat makes a flat spring, so I got a Wilson Combat Flat Spring. Then suddenly some Colt Dual Springs came in stock, so I got one of them after my Flat Spring arrived, I'll try them both and keep the one that I like the best. I've read the Dual Spring reduces the felt recoil, which I've read about Flat Springs as well, I've also read reviews were they could discern any difference in felt recoil using these springs. Both Colt and Wilson Combat will only advertise these springs last a longer than the standard spring, not any benefit of reducing felt recoil.

The non-Wilson Combat Parts that aren't offered by WC, or they do NOT offer one that is configured the same as on the M45A1.
Product Font Wall Material property Rectangle


VZ Grips G10 Grip in MARSOC pattern....
Could only find a Flat MSH with vertical serrations and Lanyard Loop from EGW with the holes drilled for the loops but they were sold out of the SS lanyard loops...
I have a SS lanyard loop on back order with Brownell's, but just spoke to Smith & Alexander and they are sending me one in the mail....
The Series 80 Parts from Cylinder & Slide, again better quality than typical MIM parts....
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
What to do for a Slide?
This would work perfectly, except for the Roll Marks.....
Rectangle Font Cylinder Gun accessory Office supplies

I can only find Brownell's sell these, and they are sold out with no backorder, and when I asked, they said Colt is not giving them any updates on when these will be available again....
Someone told me, with CZ buying Colt, they expect Colt parts on the general market are likely going away forever.....

I'd have to fill the roll marks with Solder or Epoxy, I'm going to coat it in Cerakote, and that is a risky proposal, that might not work.....
Plus I want to to have it milled for Optics...

There is a guy selling one these slides on eBay for more twice the going price when they are available.... ....Considering the risks of ruining the slide with what I want to do with it, I'm not willing to pay that price....

Right now, I'm continuing to work on the project and wait till I get to the point I'm just waiting on the slide before purchasing the slide....

One option is to go with this slide, that I have for another 80% frame project I'm doing....
Air gun Trigger Gun barrel Gun accessory Wood


The serrations are just slightly thicker, the front serrations are just aft and one less in numbers than the Actual Colt Slide....
It has bare sides that I can have Custom Laser Engraved with the desired Roll Marks....
Let me know if anyone can find a closer slide in appearance to the actual M45A1 / Colt Rail Gun slide, cause this is looking like my best option at the moment....
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
If you gotten this far, you're probably asking, what about the MilSpec Picatinny Rail that is so Conspicuous on the M45A1? Why did I go with a basic frame and not a frame that has a rail on it.

Well, because there are no frames available with the Milspec rail or a rail that looks even close to the actual Colt M45A1 / Rail Gun, not even close. Nor can actual Colt Frame be found to purchase....

So I've decided to try to make the rail and solder or epoxy it to the frame....
I made up this CAD drawing, using the 1913 Mil Spec and drawings of the 1911, I had to fill in a few measurements with guesses based off the photos of M5A1's...

Rectangle Parallel Font Slope Cylinder

Slope Gesture Font Rectangle Art


Like I suspected, the cost to have it CNC Machined is very expensive, like more than the cost of my AO Retro 1911A1.....
BUT, I discovered there are options now to have prototypes Metal 3d Printed, and surprisingly cheap, like so cheap I had to order two just to meet the minimal order price...
So, my other 1911 project may have a rail also....

BUT, 3d metal printing has some constraints because of the process, like no knife edges, no walls less than 0.040" and it can suffer shrinkage from the process.... ...its a lot like the MIM process.... ....plus the resulting surface will be rough, just like plastic 3d prints are, because they are built by doing layers on layers.....

So I had to redo my CAD drawing to this for printing, padding the size for shrinkage and bulk up all the walls and edges to be no less than 0.040".
Rectangle Slope Font Parallel Cylinder

Rectangle Font Automotive exterior Cylinder Parallel


So when I get this, there will be a lot of filing and sanding to get it to remove the padding to fit the frame and get it into the spec dimensions. But at least that will take care of the rough surface....

I ordered this in 316i, which is 316SS sintered and infused with Bronze... ....the bronze is suppose to make it very easy to solder, but I may go with sand blasting the surfaces and using epoxy....

It has a couple of weeks lead time, so I'll report back when it comes in....
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
So using my Matrix Precision Tool Set....

I decked the frame
Air gun Trigger Office equipment Gun barrel Shotgun

Wood Gadget Hardwood Wood stain Electric blue

Drilled the Sear and Hammer Pin Holes using the same jig...
Bicycle part Bumper Automotive exterior Auto part Rim

Then I cut the barrel seat....
Wood Finger Revolver Wrist Gadget


Filed the down the rear tabs to the 0.25" radius using the Wilson Combat Jig....
Wood Tool Machine Machine tool Personal protective equipment


Yes, that is not the same frame, its the frame for my other project, but I only have a picture using the jig with this frame, its the same process and result....
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Fitting the WC High Ride Beavertail Grip Safety to the frame....
Bicycle part Wood Automotive exterior Rim Auto part

Fluid Thumb Safety glove Plumbing Wood

Yes, once again I only took pics of the other frame I'm working on, it looked the same for this frame....

Undercut the trigger guard, just like the M45A1 has....
Wood Bumper Automotive exterior Rim Material property

Automotive exterior Automotive tire Bumper Gas Fender

Do this carefully, its not hard to cut too deep and breakthrough the wall of the frame and leave a hole in your frame, the channel for the trigger shoe and mag release are not far from where I have cut this down too...
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
This is where I am at for the moment....
A trial fitting of all the parts....
Air gun Trigger Gun barrel Gun accessory Wood


The slide is for my other project, but I may get another version of the same slide for my M45A1 project...

Waiting on the rail block I'm having 3d printed in SS to arrive and when I get the slide I'll cut the rails according to the measurements....
 

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Was lucky to pick this up when they were available to civilians. I do know Liberty Coatings in CT did the desert sand finish. I had the left side safety filed down and then recoated by them on a custom shop version I had and had sold. This is a production version and is untouched. Reach out to them if you'd like the same exact finish on yours
Trigger Office equipment Bicycle handlebar Air gun Automotive exterior
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Was lucky to pick this up when they were available to civilians. I do know Liberty Coatings in CT did the desert sand finish. I had the left side safety filed down and then recoated by them on a custom shop version I had and had sold. This is a production version and is untouched. Reach out to them if you'd like the same exact finish on yours
View attachment 639503
I'm curious how you got a version with USMC on the slide and it not being X'ed out. What I read and seen, only the USMC contracted M45A1's had USMC on the slide, when they were returned to Colt for the Cerakote problems, Colt was allowed to resell them, but only if they Laser Engraved an "X" over the USMC roll mark. The other M45A1's put on the market directly from Colt had M45A1 in replace of USMC on the slide.

How did you get one with USMC not x'ed out?

I plan on Cerakoting it myself. I have done Duracoat myself on past projects and pulled it off very well. Cerakote is slightly more complicated, but other than the baking its pretty much the same process.
Try TR-Enabling for your slide. There is plenty to choose from.

1911 Components | AR-15 Parts | Custom Rifles | Custom Pistols (tr-enabling.com)
Thanks, I've looked there already, I'll look again, but 1911builders seem to have the closest slide in appearance that I have found yet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks, I already have, and I will continue to look. So far nothing even close to the one I can get from 1911builders at a reasonable price. There is an actual Colt Rail Gun Slide on ebay, But the owner is asking twice the MSRP price, and it doesn't sell, so he re-lists it at an even higher price. He started messaging me with offers since I have it in my watchlist, taking $20 off the price, I counter-offer $100 over the MSRP he rejected it and messages me like its an insult, telling me he has sold them at this price on gunbroker in the past.

If the slide had the M45A1 roll marks, I might consider it if I had no other options, but it has the Rail Gun roll marks, so not at that price, I'll continue to wait and look and may just go with the 1911builders slide and get laser engraved, you have to start counting serrations and looking real close at serration widths to be able to tell them apart.
 

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@RickAnderson they were available to the public at one time I believe around the 2013 time frame
 
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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
@RickAnderson they were available to the public at one time I believe around the 2013 time frame
Would this be before the Marine Corps returned a bunch of M45A1's because of the Cerakote fiasco and Colt then Dumped them on the open market with the Corps agreeing as long as they X out the USMC?

Colt was producing a general public version with USMC on it before that?

Using military symbols and names is this weird situation, they are a Government Agency, so I don't think they can trade mark their names and symbols, but they can go after people legally that somehow misuse their symbols and names and they have done it, especially the Marine Corps that is very protective of its public image. And my son that is current active duty can attest, the Marines resisted it longer than the other services, but Political Correctness has crept into the Marine Corps. I can see the Corps telling Colt not to use USMC on their pistol sold to the public anymore. That is likely why the latest versions have M45A1 on the slide in replace of USMC.
 

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It was hard to not suspect a scam when the public sale of these were first announced; they sounded too good to be true. Here is some good reading material on them:

(Several good m45 articles here)

 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
It was hard to not suspect a scam when the public sale of these were first announced; they sounded too good to be true. Here is some good reading material on them:

(Several good m45 articles here)

Yea, it contradicted the story that I had read that the resold USMC pistols had to have the USMC x'ed out. I guessed the only way this made sense is if the USMC marked pistols were being sold before the Cerakote Fiasco and returning lots of pistols to Colt. Sounds like that was the case.

At that point, the Corps probably realized Colt had been selling Pistols to the General Public with their name on it, and the politically correct sensibilities that have crept into the services as well as Society overall, I can see someone at HQMC saying, what if someone uses one of those Pistols with USMC on it in a School Shooting, tell Colt they can't put our name on their Pistols.

I'm still curious if anyone every figured out who is at fault in the Cerakote Fiasco? Did Colt screw up the application of the Cerakote or was Cerakote not up to Military Severe Duty, at least at that time. I'm leaning to using Cerakote Elite (E-Series), advertised as being a big improvement in abrasion resistance over the previous H-Series, which likely was used on those M45's. If Colt used the C-Series or cut corners in the application process, I can see why it was failing so much. There is no Desert Sand in the E-Series, I'll probably use Flat Dark Earth, which will be a shade between the Desert Sand and later Zinc Brown PVD.
 

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Why are some pics of a high cap frame?
 
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