Part 1 review
Over the weekend I took the Colt MARSOC M45A1 out for its maiden voyage. This was something I had been very excited to do for a long time, and I was not let down. My intention was to shoot it a bit and get used to it it and do some accuracy testing.
When it comes to describing the recoil of the 45A1, I have to say it is very pleasant. I expected it to be a lighter recoil then a gov model, just as the Rail gun and its extra weight make the gun gentle. The M45A1 is down right pleasant. The heft of the beefier gun and the weight of the X300 really made for smooth shooting gun. After I shot it a while and went on to shoot a WW2 gov model I was surprised by the first round from the WW2 A1!! It had spoiled me!! I was caught off guard much to my chagrin.
I went to the range with the full expectation of the gun being completely reliable, and It justified my expectation. No problems at all.
On to the details everyone wants to know, the accuracy. The gun is a laser beam with any ammo close to being decent. To really stretch it out, I did something I often do to change peoples minds on the 1911s abilities. I put up a Q target used by the local police and shot the pistol out to 100 yards, off hand. I fired 11 rounds at the target using a 10 round wilson mag with one round in the chamber.
Despite a wind blowing hard enough to push the gun in my hand, all rounds were on target. This is not really a big deal. But its a really good taste of things to come from a quality gun. Ammo used was just plain 230 grain ball ammo. The weight of the gun and light recoil really made holding the gun up and steady for the longer periods of concentration, easier then it normally is.
Later in the evening I shot some groups at 25 yards using higher quality “premium “ammo. I shot some off hand and then I sand bagged the gun on the bench to try to milk all the accuracy I could from it.
I first shot off hand at 25 yard using 8 rounds of Winchester PDX ammo. This is the ammo you can buy even from Walmart and is essentially the Black talon with out the black coating to make it scary.
Next up I shot off hand at 25 yards using my CCW ammo. This group is 8 rounds of Corbon 185 grain +P Barness solid copper hollow points. The weight of the gun really made it easier to fire the +P rounds without tiring out from the concentration and strain from trying to shoot as small a group as you can offhand. I wanted to use these because I often hear chatter on how the corbon HP gives some guns trouble. I saved it for accuracy testing because its so expensive and I do not have a large amount of it.
Lastly, I shot some match ball ammo from Black Hills. It was fired at the same range from a sand bag from a bench.
I was pleased to say the least. I fired a few groups with it sand bagged, and while not all were this good, they looked almost the same except a first round flyer opening it up about a 1/4 inch more. I believe the manual chambering of the 1st round acts in the same way as any other semi auto. Since it is not being chambered the same way as the rest during recoil, the round seats different and the gun locks up different. Regardless, its nothing to complain about.
I laid a quarter next to the groups to give myself and idea about its performance since it a time honored tradition. Below are all three groups with a quarter for size.
With good ammo and care when shooting, so far, those groups a pretty standard. The M45A1 is fantastic. Its recoil is mild, so far it has been perfectly reliable,it is very comfortable and it sure shoots great. I did find that this example does not like speer ball ammo much though. It will shoot it reliably and enough to ace any qual, but it does not give the kind of accuracy other ammo does. I can live with that. This is a great pistol and if you want one and can find it, I hope this answers any questions about it performance. Obviously this is a limited test at this point and not scientific, but it give me a lot of enthusiasm for the gun. It is certainly the finest factory made combat 1911 meant for modern use, I have ever touched. I will say I love it.
Later I will be getting a T&E model from Colt for testing. when I get the loaner I will proceed to abuse it with large quantities of ammo like I did the Rail gun, I am considering a 1000 rounds with no stop test on the T&E writers demo model. Check bad for that testing at a future date.
Link to part one of the M45A1 review
Colt Rail gun torture test and review along with Phase II testing of the M45A1