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Colt M45 MEU(SOC)

Special Forces Semi-Automatic Service Pistol [ 1986 ]

The MEU SOC is an improved M1911 series .45 caliber pistol in service with the US Marine Corps.

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 12/28/2018 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.

The MEU(SOC) represents the ultimate evolution of the M1911 Colt system which appeared in the early 1900's and developed into a much-liked and well-respected weapon for countless security and military forces the world over. The system was held in high regard thanks to its overall design, lending to a higher degree of reliability, ruggedness and man-stopping power. The MEU(SOC) was spawned from a need to arm United States Marine Corps personnel with a standard sidearm when fielding the HK MP5-N navy-model 9mm submachine gun.

Seeing it that the M1911A1 was in large supply thanks to it being accepted as the standard US sidearm for decades, the MEU(SOC) was the M1911A1 in modified form - even though all M1911A1's were set to be replaced by the newly-accepted Beretta M9 9m pistols. Though outwardly, the MEU(SOC) shares some similarities to the M1911A1 system, the MEU(SOC) features a host of improvements that have increased its effectiveness and handling characteristics.

The MEU(SOC) features a new barrel design, more sensitive trigger function, improved iron sights and a rubber-coated pistol-grip. The magazines themselves have now been updated to a more effective stainless steel model as well. Some 500 M1911A1 models were modified to this newer MEU(SOC) standard, ensuring that the M1911 series as a whole will continue to serve with US forces for decades more.


Service Year

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United States


Special Forces Semi-Automatic Service Pistol

Specially Trained Armorers at MCB - Quantico, VA USA
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(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
Pistol / Sidearm
Compact design for close-quarters work or general self-defense.
Special Forces
Qualities of this weapon have shown its value to Special Forces elements requiring a versatile, reliable solution for the rigors of special assignments.

Overall Length
210 mm
8.27 in
Barrel Length
127 mm
5.00 in
Empty Wgt
2.51 lb
1.14 kg

Iron Front and Rear


Semi-Automatic; Recoil-Operated

One shot per trigger pull; self-loading or auto-loading action aided by internal mechanism; trigger management (and initial cocking) typically required by the operator; subsequent shots are aided by the unlocked / moved bolt.
(Material presented above is for historical and entertainment value and should not be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation - always consult official manufacturer sources for such information)


.45 ACP

Rounds / Feed

7-round box magazine
Cartridge relative size chart
*May not represent an exhuastive list; calibers are model-specific dependent, always consult official manufacturer sources.
**Graphics not to actual size; not all cartridges may be represented visually; graphics intended for general reference only.
Max Eff.Range
165 ft
(50 m | 55 yd)
Muzzle Velocity
830 ft/sec
(253 m/sec)

M45 MEU(SOC) - Base Series Designation
M1911 - Base Colt Model on which the MEU(SOC) is derived from.
M1911A1 - Improved M1911

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