Published on June 4th, 2016 | by Destinee (FateofDestinee)

Colt M45 – Now Available for Civilians

Colt M45 - Now Available for Civilians -

Colt M45 – Image courtesy of

Colt is making the M45 available for civilian purchase. According to Fraher, it’s Colt’s goal to ramp up production to 80 pistols per month to start making the M45 accessible for non-military consumers.

The Colt M45 marketed to the general public is, essentially, the same model being manufactured for MARSOC. The pistol’s features include a mil-spec 1913 Picatinny rail and Novak sights. The slim grip has an upswept beavertail and textured G10 panels. The Colt M45 holds 7+1 rounds of .45 ACP. While the capacity and feel of the M45 is what you’d expect from a Colt 1911, so is the price point; the MSRP for the USMC Spec Ops Command’s CQBP is set at $1,999.

I love 1911s, however, Colt’s prices are a bit outside of my pocketbook’s reach. If I were on a different budget, though, I’d love to hit the range with MARSOC’s current sidearm (I’ve always had a special interest in miilitary-style arms). What are your impressions, thus far, of the Colt M45 and its sizeable price point?

About the Author

In addition to writing for The Arms Guide and her personal blog, Destinee is also a vlogger. She publishes videos on weapons, gear, and fitness on her YouTube channel every Tuesday and Thursday.

  • Muskrat

    For the money, I don’t think it is going to do anything a quality .45 at a much lower price point can’t do. I think I’ll keep saving my money.

    • FateofDestinee

      @Muskrat Colt does make it harder for broke college kids (like myself) to get a hold of one…

      • Muskrat

         That is putting it nicely!

  • peter3101

    I like it, looks like my Sig Scorpion’s big brother, I might have to hunt one down and bring it home, I hate seeing nice guns without a home. The wife hates when I bring home these stray’s, but every gun deserves a good home. It’s not right them being left in a cold lonely gun store. I’m actually doing it for them not me.

    • FateofDestinee

      @peter3101 Haha what a compassionate soul! How do you like that SIG 1911? I haven’t gotten the chance to take one out to the range.

      • peter3101

        @FateofDestinee If your in the St Louis area you can borrow mine to star in one of your reviews. Seriously I have been lucky enough to own and shoot a lot of the top name makers of 1911, and the Scorpion is still my fav by a mile. it shots great, now everyone differs on what makes a good gun, but for me the performance of the Sig 1911 at their price point is very hard to beat. Well made, smooth, good sights, good ergos, solid and reliable, and look good. I would recommend a Sig 1911 to anyone.

  • CK5150

    Sig Traditional Tacops: difference is the Sig actually has front strap checkering, something Colt has never bothered to do and the Sig has an external extractor.
    Night sights, rail, extended life flat recoil spring, magwell-all for around $1100 or less in some places.

  • CK5150

    I don’t have anything against Colt, but it’s a little ridiculous for them to sell what is basically their Rail Gun model which normally is around $1200 msrp for $1999 because they added a tan duracoat finish, a lanyard loop and some G10 grips. For that price you can get a Les Baer-or a TRP plus lots of ammo to practice with.  D-your SIS is easily as good or better than this ‘new’ Colt, imo.  Good article.   Rant complete.

    • FateofDestinee

      @CK5150 I appreciate you sharing your input, CK. :]

    • HugeFan

      @CK5150 I agree 100%. I would have to have won the lottery to justify paying such a mark up. Plus, I have read several times over that regardless of whether you’ve purchased a Kimber or a Wilson Combat, you’ll need to have your ’11 tuned. Not actually being a 1911 owner, I am not entirely sure how true or accurate that statement is but it can make a person leery of dropping $2k only to turn right around and spend an additional $500 for tuning.

      • CK5150

        @HugeFan There is some truth to that statement, but a lot of it can be done by you.  In theory, you shouldn’t have to do squat to a WC or Ed Brown or Nighthawk, etc. You are paying for the hand fitting of the slide to frame, extractor tuning, trigger smoothness, pull weight, etc.  I make sure mine all have a smooth (doesn’t have to be polished) feed ramp, that I keep it well lubed, change the recoil and firing pin springs and I’m good.  I make sure my carry ammo runs thru without any failures.  You can get a decent 1911 like a Rock Island Armory, and with a little elbow grease and time turn it into a very reliable pistol.  Get some decent sights and you’re good to go.  I just think Colt sometimes says, hey screw it, we’re Colt, people will buy this  -and they are right to an extent.

        • Contagio

          @[email protected] Any opinion on Wilson Combat, Dlask or Ed Brown triggers?  Looking to replace the trigger on my 1991A1 Compact.  Heavy for CCW but I just like the gun.

        • CK5150

          @[email protected]’t know about the Dlask, but EB or Wilson are both good.  I have 2 EB’s but I put 10-8 Performance triggers in one of them and one in my Sig 1911.  Very high quality and not quite as expensive as the EB or WC.

        • Contagio

          @CK5150 @Contagio @HugeFan Dlask is an outfit out of our northern neighbor. Found a reference to them on line and I guess they are a titanium and magnesium trigger. I will definitely check out the 10-8 before I purchase. Thank you, Sir!

        • CK5150

          @Contagio Happy to help. Chris or CK will do just fine. You can call my dad sir. 🙂

        • Contagio

          @[email protected] As you wish CK!

        • Contagio

          @CK5150 Went with the 10-8.  Cost is about half and should fit my needs.  Thanks for the recommendation CK.

        • CK5150

          @Contagio Cool. It’s good stuff. I’m getting ready to buy some of their 1911 front sights

        • Contagio

          @CK5150  I have been happy with the factory sights thus far.  I have already upgraded the front bushing (EGW), plug (Clark Custom) and grabbed a couple of mags from Wilson Combat.

  • JamesDenny

    I love the 1911 and this one looks great and I am sure shoots great, but I could have 2 Sig P220’s  for the same amount of money and I think is a better overall weapon system. Much easier to breakdown and maintain.  I like Colt, but defer to Sig Sauer when it comes to this caliber handgun. I carry a P220 Compact 7+1 as my everyday carry weapon. Perfect carry size and plenty of bang for buck

    • JamesDenny

      Dont get me wrong, I would love to own one!

  • agb762

    This pistol is not the USMC’s sidearm; more specifically, it is MARSOC’s new one. MARSOC and Marine Recon have held on to the 1911 while the rest of the Corps uses the Beretta. This gun marks the end of the 1911s for those communities being built by the armorers at Quantico to the best of my knowledge.

    • FateofDestinee

      Ah! You’re very right. The article should reflect that, now.

    • CadreUSMC

      @agb762 Marine Corps Security Force Battalion has also always used the 1911. They never did implement the m9.

  • Corps Hornet Driver

    A lot of coin for a Series 80 Colt.
    You could have a full house custom with a BarSto MT barrel hard fit in a Series 70 style Caspian receiver and slide for another grand.
    $1999 for a Pony (wait, it doesn’t even have a Pony on the slide)?  No thanks, I will take a SA MC Operator and $800 worth of 230 Ball over the M45.

    • FateofDestinee

      @Corps Hornet Driver It does have a pretty hefty price tag… :/ It probably didn’t help that they aren’t putting very many out the door for the time being, either.

  • 300heritage

    While Colt is a great investment gun, especially the “Snake” revolvers which just keep going up, they are quite over-rated in the performance department.  Before I spent this much on the Colt I would buy the new S&W Performance Center 1911 with ported slide, polished feed ramp, and match grade EVERYTHING.

  • Coyote486

    When I was in the Fleet, my Battalion still had some of the old 911s for those of us who wanted to carry them.

  • JohnOuillette

    JamesDenny I used to be of the same mindset years ago while in the Marines but having to carry a Sig 226R DAK n duty I no longer think they have the quality they were known for. NUMEROUS problems with our 226;s ,229’s and 239’s. I actually seeking to carry a 1911a1 (at my cost) on duty. Was thinking this or one of Les Baers pistols..

  • pddme094

    My son is currently with USMC Recon and this is the pistol he is issued. He was the high shooter for his area.. Okinawa, Japan. They nee 245 of 400 o qualify expert. Using this Colt Marine Pistol, he shot 389 of 400. He qualified expert. I would love to have one of these to display (and for him to shoot) with his qualification score sheet but at this price, its a dream.

  • Russell805

    CadreUSMC agb762 actually security forces has had the m9 for a while now. i was with FAST for a couple years

  • BobWheeler

    I have always prefered Colt over all the others. when I was in the Army I  carried a Rimington, Ithaca,and a Colt at differant times even though they were about Identicle in every way, I prefered the Colt. I qualifide Expert with it as well as expert with the M16 .I also carried and was expert with the M60. My weapon of choice was always the Colt 45 . One added feature I like about the new USMC model, is the built in rail system.

  • Computer_Forenics_Expert

    Damn, at $1,999, Colt must be trying to re-coup it’s initial investment, fast, before reducing prices.  I guess, I’ll just have to save up some moola.

  • BobWheeler

    I wanted one,but I was not paying what they wanted so I had my favorite gun shop take an older colt and Cerakote it, changed the sights,and added a rail  and when they were done it was Identicle to M45 for a quarter of a new one. and the nce thing is I can use my threaded barrel off my other colt put my can on the end of it..

  • sandybakos

    I want one where can I buy it ?

  • CoyColeman

    Springfield for the win.

  • jdemech02

    I had the colt 45 as standard issue, was part of my job in the Corps 1969-1971. Lanyard included & I had two mags hanging on my web belt with USMC leather holdster with sleve. I have owned one since, & talked more 9 mm owners to switch to 1911. It’s all about stopping power. I had known many WW II Marine vets who used them on Jap snipers hiding in Palm treetops at night. They would hear the Jap give out a loud moan from 1 45 hit, no more sniping from that Jap. It was common practice to rack treetops with a Tommy 45 or the sidearm. One hit usually did the job & always the vocalizations indicated a mortal hit without seeing the Jap drop from treetop level. They oftened tied themselves to   the tree. It is a 1 shot, 1 kill 45 ACP at close range. A very safe gun with built in safety mechanisms making it hard for a child to fire. It’s my home protector & a short barrel 12 gauge. I still can field strip the 45 blindfolded & put together ready to fire in less then 1 minute. The USMC teaches you very well, better then police forces teach their own in every aspect from gun safety to positions of aiming,  breathing, squeezing & firing. We Marines had a full 14 day training course of 25 -50 yds with the 1911 500 yds of rifle without scopes hitting bullseyes. Very hard to do sighting in through a mirage, left-right, right to left  windage & trajectory drop.  It became sport for us Marines,  Not just to kill, but to hit that small dot 25 yds or 500 yrds away. Yes you get 1 of 3 medals for achievement that goes on record & you requalify every year eventually making all Marines EXPERT. The Marine Corps brought back the 1911 & issue it to certain forces. They use both the Baretta 9mm & 45 ACP, 1911. The Corps has a real leather holdster in black, even though it’s bulky, it’s very protective with a easy snap on  closure holding the gun secure into the holdster even when running.   When all else fails the 1911 makes you feel safe.  I saw & know the difference from a 32,38,40,44 round & what a fat 45 can do.  That round was what the cowboys used  back in the  day.

  • BobWheeler

    jdemech02  First Welcome home and thanks for your service.  Very good right up. I always carried one in the Army as a back up along with my M60, I tolerated the M16   I was also on the Army’s Pistol and Rifle teams for two years, we used the 45’s and the M14’s . One of my personal weapons that I carry concealed is the Colt Combat Commanders model using the Hornady Critical defense load.  I also have an extended threaded barrel for it as I sometimes use a suppressor , but unlike the movies it still has a little bark to it. One other comment if you are good enough you do not need a 15 round Magazine. My other carry weapon is a Ruger Security six in 357mag. I use a 158gr. hollow point with 8gr. of unique powder. not as powerful as the 45, but using hand loads it will get the job done.

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