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Old 11-27-2007, 09:53 PM   #1
 
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General Officers' pistols

Has anyone ever seen or handled a General Officers' weapon before? I was doing some reading on sightm1911.com and there was a description of these pistols as produced by Rock Island Arsenal with some really neat features. Somewhat Commander-like but with slightly different internals. I don't imagine these come up very often on gunsamerica or gunbroker.



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Old 11-29-2007, 04:41 PM   #2
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General Officers' pistols

As a 2LT I was summoned in 1975 to show the new ADCs dogrobber how to disassemble the new M1970 issued to the newly minted BG. As I recall it had no BBL bushing. Remember it a very low point.



The M1970s were reworks of regular M1911A1s done by Rock Island Arsenal after they ran out of Colt 32 and 380 Pocket Models. They came with a holster and belt set made by Bucheimer (? spelling) and believe it or not a set of china as well as a flag.



They were shorter than a Commander with a 4" barrel and had the ordnance bomb inlaid in one of the grips. The other had a brass plate for engraving. One idiot had it engraved at the mall rather than having it hand engraved. No wonder we cannot beat the enemy.



I never remember seeing one fired and they ran out of them about the same time as the M9 was adopted. Everytime I ran a pistol range the GOs came and shot qualification with someone elses M1911. We have more GOs on active duty now than we did during WWII when we had nearly 100 divisions. Humm...
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Old 11-29-2007, 07:29 PM   #3
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General Officers' pistols

I had the opportunity to meet a few US general officers back in the day and the closest I ever got to their pistol was handshaking distance. The belt and holster was probably more impressive than the pistol. Our Australian general officers wore standard web holsters and belts and carried 'rack grade' L9A1 FN Brownings - still do when they go 'in harms way', which for them, is a relative term)



One of the gun rags, possibly 'American Rifleman' had an article about the General's model sometime within the past 2 to 3 years.
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Old 12-01-2007, 07:00 AM   #4
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General Officers' pistols

The pistols and belt sets were known as "Marshall" belts. During WWII GEN George C. Marshall noted how dowdy US GOs looked in comparison to their British counterparts and to smarten them up he directed these sets be made and issued.



I can tell you that the Model 1970 GO Pistols were a lovely item. Still GEN Patton preferred his personal 45 Colt SAA or his S&W 357. His COS was my high school rifle team coach. A few tales there I can tell you.

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Old 12-01-2007, 09:11 PM   #5
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General Officers' pistols

OberstLeutnant,

I knew a Colonel, now deceased, who was an Engineer Lt. at Schofield Barracks on Dec. 7, 1941, was sent to Ft. Benning to train Rangers. He subsequently went to Sicily and Italy with Darby, et al. He was on Mac Arthur's staff in Korea. Great stories there too.



I've also heard some great stories from a retired Royal Marine Commando Sgt. who served in WWII and then Korea & was captured by the Chinese/NKs (frozen Chosen), a Digger who was captured at Singapore and slave laboured on the Burma railway, another Digger who fought in North Africa, Greece, Crete, Syria, and New Guinea, and an old Light Horseman who rode to Beersheba as a very early (underage) age.
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Old 12-02-2007, 02:10 PM   #6
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General Officers' pistols

I have often wondered if my general (I was his dog robber when he was a brigade commander - US BDEs are commanded by colonels not brigadiers) kept his set when he retired. I hope his son (my wife's job was to keep the boy when Mrs. Colonel had to do other stuff) kept it after his death. He was a great guy who completed VMI 21 years before me and had the SSM. He retired as a MG after I left active duty. When I was posted MAJ, USAR, he was made MG, US, he wrote me and told me that it showed the Army had a sense of humour. Great guy.



In over 30 years service (enlisted, cadet and officer) both active and reserve, I served with two kinds of folks. Those you would follow to the end and those you would like to see at the end. Now all of them are gone or going. I loved that movie about the Light Horse.
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Old 01-21-2008, 10:42 PM   #7
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General Officers' pistols

The M15 AKA United States Pistol, General Officers
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Old 01-22-2008, 04:42 PM   #8
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General Officers' pistols

The current rig is made by Bianchi I think and as I recall the rig for the GOP was made by Bucheimer. It has been a long, long time since I saw the stamping on the holster. My spelling is not to certain either. Product of a mis-spent youth.
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Old 01-24-2008, 03:43 AM   #9
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General Officers' pistols

An LEO I worked with made General in the USAR. He was issued one of the GO 45s which I got to examine closely. It wa pretty much standard 1911 fare except for barrel length(Commander size-I did not measure it), and finish which was really great blue. Came with the belt/holster/dual mag pouch in leather. Belt was the same as the WWII belt, the holster and pouch GI design but much nicer leather work and polished. SN began with GO, he got to buy it cheap when he retired from the reserves.
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Old 01-24-2008, 12:56 PM   #10
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General Officers' pistols

I have only seen one for sale - and the price was way beyond my means. I also recall reading about them with interest in the American Rifleman and other magazines when they came out.



The barrel is listed at 4.25" (it looks shorter than a Commander because the dust cover - and therefor the amount of slide forward of it - is the same length as the govt. model it was made from).



It does have a barrel bushing or all the pictures and the one example I have seen did.



Front strap is checkered and it takes the standard 7 round military issue magazine.



It has good sights.



In fact it is very reminiscent of a Swenson "Bob Cat" that was so popular that it prompted Colt to make a Combat Commander.



I once found two holsters (they were Bianchi) in a used holster bin in a pawn shop near Ft. Knox - like the idiot I am, I did not buy them.



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