The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > Hogan's Alley > Handguns: General Handgun Forum

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old May 5, 2013, 01:19 PM   #1
Tom68
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 20, 2011
Location: Alabama
Posts: 251
Military Unit Commemorative firearms

This is a new trend of the past few years of which I have only recently become familiar. My current unit did a group purchase of Colt 1911's during their AF deployment a few years ago (I was not with the unit then), and we are now planning another commemorative for our current deployment. No Colt this time, but a choice of SIGs: Scorpion .45 ACP, and a P250 in .40 S&W. Another unit with which I am familiar hasn't even gotten downrange yet and they have already gotten their purchase planned. In most cases, the mfgr will engrave the unit name and/or motto, patch, campaign, etc. It's a great idea for gun guys, although it can get expensive for frequent deployers! Too bad my unit back in 2007 didn't have something like this for our OIF "Surge" deployment.

My topic of discussion: what to do with such a piece? Most of they guys I've talked to say they're gonna shoot it some; others say it'll remain unfired, especially to avoid solvent possibly getting on the inlay. I'm most likely in the latter category: it will be a conversation piece and a keepsake, probably nothing more. I already have a 1911, and I have two .40s, so it's not exactly filling a niche that I don't already have covered.

by the way, I have made it a practice to buy a new firearm immediately after a deployment ($$ already set aside for it), and was mulling over what to get when I get home when I found out about this. Now, the commemorative may be a splendid idea, but as I told the wife "this is special--it doesn't count". I'll still be making MY unique purchase when I get home! Thinking about a big-bore SA revolver....don't have that angle covered as I sold the only one I ever owned back in 1992
Tom68 is offline  
Old May 5, 2013, 02:17 PM   #2
tmorone
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 22, 2010
Posts: 221
My unit did the Sig 250 in .45ACP a year or two, I shot it once and it's lived in the safe ever since. Only reason I picked one up was for the memory.

Bummer was that nobody wanted to spend the $700'ish for the 1911 when they saw the $500 pricetag of the 250. Had we purchased the 1911's I'd probably shoot it frequently and have a much better pistol.
tmorone is offline  
Old May 5, 2013, 02:41 PM   #3
2ndsojourn
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 15, 2013
Location: South Jersey
Posts: 633
Buy two -- one to keepsake and one to shoot.
2ndsojourn is offline  
Old May 5, 2013, 03:59 PM   #4
lamarw
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 12, 2010
Location: Lake Martin, AL
Posts: 1,745
Thanks to you Men/Women serving our Country. The sacrifice you are making is hard to fathom. I know how tough one tour in Nam was, and it pales in comparrison to today's multiple deployments.

I say you certainly deserve a reward for your sacrifice. One day many years from now, your unit(s) will have reunions as my unit does now from 40 to 50 years ago. Several of my comrades did not get to enjoy this almost half century of earthly life, and many more have not survived to the next reunion. It will be nice if you can wear and show off your commemorative pistols at your future reunions.

Also a big thanks to your spouses for their sacrifice. Their back home time has been very demanding on all of them especially those with children. Please make sure if you are going to reward yourself, that you also provide them with a very special gift.
lamarw is offline  
Old May 5, 2013, 04:08 PM   #5
triggerhappy2006
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 19, 2006
Location: peoples republic of new york
Posts: 451
Quote:
I know how tough one tour in Nam was, and it pales in comparrison to today's multiple deployments.
I can't speak for everyone, but even after doing two stends out in Afghan and one being a full year I find this very hard to believe. Vietnam, Korea, **** even Desert Storm/Shield and Early OIF/OEF were real wars.....Today's deployments are fit rep bullets for SNCO's and Officers and "training"/"leadership experience" for junior officers. End of tour bronze stars and Commendation Medals for doing absolutely nothing the entire time are common place. Everyone is worried about the draw down and they are trying to give deployments to as many SNCO's and Officers as they can, who have somehow managed to avoid deploying in the past freaking 11 years. Leaders are doing more focused on doing operations thats will get them recognized than they are actually trying to make a difference. Just my .02

As for Det pistols we were considering 1911's as well but nobody can agree on one pistol so it will probably fall through.
__________________
"We make the voices go away"
triggerhappy2006 is offline  
Old May 5, 2013, 07:12 PM   #6
Sharpsdressed Man
Junior member
 
Join Date: June 21, 2009
Location: NE Ohio
Posts: 1,176
I've seen a recent unit purchase of a "commemorative" SIG P250 .45. It was o.k., but had it been me, I would have MUCH preferred a Colt 1911, or even a Beretta 92FS/M9 (current sidearm of the Army, where I served and the friend who is currently in serves) done up for a unit. For some reason, those two guns have a true "link" to the Army, and both are maybe more interesting, etc, because of that. The SIG just seems wrong. Maybe a bright blued gun, either Colt or Beretta, with gold accents along with the special engraved unit stuff.
Sharpsdressed Man is offline  
Old May 11, 2013, 08:46 PM   #7
jrothWA
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 11, 2006
Posts: 1,944
Why not a classic...

BHP?
jrothWA is offline  
Old May 11, 2013, 08:58 PM   #8
Dragline45
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 30, 2010
Posts: 2,476
Quote:
I've seen a recent unit purchase of a "commemorative" SIG P250 .45. It was o.k., but had it been me, I would have MUCH preferred a Colt 1911, or even a Beretta 92FS/M9 (current sidearm of the Army, where I served and the friend who is currently in serves) done up for a unit.
I agree, I cant for the life of me imagine why anyone would get a commemorative Sig P250 of all guns for their unit. The M9 makes a whole lot more sense, and so does the 1911 being such a classic and nice looking gun. Plus the M9 and Colt 1911 were both military issued guns, how the Sig P250 got thrown in there has me. I think it's a great idea, but if the unit decided on the P250 I wouldn't even bother, even the Sig Scorpion makes no sense to me. Shouldn't the whole point be to pull these pistols out every now and then for nostalgia, how is a Sig P250 or Scorpion which you were never issued fill that role?

Quote:
My current unit did a group purchase of Colt 1911's during their AF deployment a few years ago
Seems like those guys had their heads on straight.

Last edited by Dragline45; May 11, 2013 at 09:10 PM.
Dragline45 is online now  
Old May 11, 2013, 09:27 PM   #9
Sharpsdressed Man
Junior member
 
Join Date: June 21, 2009
Location: NE Ohio
Posts: 1,176
They chose it because Sig was doing the marketing better than Beretta and Colt, and the price was low.
Sharpsdressed Man is offline  
Old May 11, 2013, 09:31 PM   #10
Aguila Blanca
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 25, 2008
Location: CONUS
Posts: 6,403
Para-Ordnance was doing unit pistols several years ago -- very nice ones, in fact. Have they stopped doing that since morphing into Para USA and being sold from private ownership to the Freedom Group?
Aguila Blanca is offline  
Old May 11, 2013, 09:44 PM   #11
Dragline45
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 30, 2010
Posts: 2,476
Quote:
They chose it because Sig was doing the marketing better than Beretta and Colt, and the price was low.
Even so, you can grab a Beretta M9 for around $550 in just about any reasonable shop, with a package deal for a military unit I am sure it would be slightly lower per gun. Throw in the price of the commemorative engraving and I bet it would be around $650 per gun. I would spend a couple hundred more for a commemorative M9 over a commemorative P250 any day. If the unit decided on the P250 I would just have my own commemorative gun made with more practical gun of my liking. Not only does the P250 have absolutely nothing to do with the military, but I think they are ugly as sin and commemorative engraving on a polymer gun just seems tacky. But hey, it's not my unit or my gun so what I think doesn't matter.
Dragline45 is online now  
Old May 14, 2013, 08:40 PM   #12
DMZX
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 6, 2007
Location: E. Oregon
Posts: 555
I have a SIG 250 engraved with my daughters (a 68W FET) company and infantry battalion emblem on it. She bought it for me. I shoot it a lot and really like it.

I do not care what it is, 1911, M9, P226. I do care a great deal for what it stands for and symbolizes.
DMZX is offline  
Old May 15, 2013, 10:10 PM   #13
Gatofeo
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 1, 2004
Location: Remote Utah desert
Posts: 222
Over at the Smith & Wesson forum, in February 2009, in the Wish List section I posted a wish that Smith & Wesson would issue a commemorative Model 15 .38 Special to honor the U.S. Air Force.
I also suggested that Model 10s be issued to honor the Army, Navy and Marines.
Many people do not realize that the .38 Special revolver was carried in all the services, as regular issue or for special applications, from the 1940s through the early 1990s.
Most of these .38s were Smith & Wessons. The Air Force had the best issued .38 Special in the Model 15 Combat Masterpiece: 4" barrel, adjustable sights, target trigger and target hammer. It was light on the belt, very accurate, utterly reliable and easily maintained. Alas, the USAF load was weak: 130 gr. full metal jacket at 800 fps.
I just checked, and my four-year-old suggestion has collected 129 messages and had 32,081 hits!
I have also written Smith & Wesson three times through the years, but never received a reply.
I still think that a .38 or .357 revolver makes a fine commemorative gun. A good .38 is about the handiest and most versatile pistol extant. It will function with very light loads, shotshells, blanks, +P loads, etc.
I love my Kimber 1911, but the .38 is a pleasurable gun to shoot, cheap to feed, low recoiling with target loads, easy to collect the empties for reloading, and with the right loads can be a good self defense gun.
Through the years I've introduced many confirmed semi-auto shooters to the pleasure of a 4" .38 Special with adjustable sights, and most were hooked.
Yes, the .38 is not authentic to most modern units, but it does offer utility and its own panache. Don't overlook it as a commemorative that will be welcomed.
__________________
"And lo, did I see an ugly cat. Smoke. Brimstone. Holes in parchment. And this ugly cat was much amused." --- The Prophesies of Gatodamus (1503 - 1566)
Gatofeo is offline  
Old May 16, 2013, 12:18 AM   #14
armoredman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 22, 2007
Location: Arizona
Posts: 3,791
We had 38 Specials on the ship...but they were Ruger Service Sixes, and nobody could tell me how they got there.
Commemorative firearms, interesting idea...we didn't have that, or challenge coins, or any of that interesting stuff nowadays, just a cheap belt buckle engraved with a poor drawing of my ship.
__________________
http://czfirearms.us/ same original CZForum, new location.
armoredman is offline  
Old May 16, 2013, 09:37 AM   #15
EdInk
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 27, 2009
Posts: 3,967
I think the 1911 has become the "De Facto" gun for commemorative pistols. The large flat slide is easy to engrave and has a large surface area to fill with artwork. Not to mention the long service record and nostalgia it has with the US military. I would look into having my own 1911 done.
__________________
Sic Semper Tyrannis
EdInk is offline  
Old May 16, 2013, 02:44 PM   #16
spacecoast
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 14, 2009
Location: Sunshine and Keystone States
Posts: 4,115
My son just got back from Afghanistan and while he was gone ordered a really nice Colt M1991A1 Stainless with a number of customizations - general task force and specific unit markings on the slide (both sides), a custom serial # (his unit's call sign and a two-digit number) and custom grips with his unit nickname. It's very cool and I thought it was a bargain at $825. We picked it up just this week and he intends not to shoot it. Only 7 guys in his unit bought it (vs. a cheaper plastic gun) so it's practically one-of-a-kind. Since he lives on base I get to keep it for him.
spacecoast is offline  
Old May 16, 2013, 08:26 PM   #17
EdInk
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 27, 2009
Posts: 3,967
It deserves to absolutely be shot!

You don't drive a fast car at only 30 mph around the neighborhood.

You don't convince pretty girls to become nuns. (Unless they are YOUR daughter.)

You don't play rock music on the low volume settings.

And.... You don't let good guns collect dust in the safe.

As "rare" as it maybe, the collector value is very low because of the market. (The only guys who want it already bought one.) To everyone else it's just another 1911 and probably worth less than a standard one.

He should really take it out and enjoy it. (At least occasionally.)
__________________
Sic Semper Tyrannis
EdInk is offline  
Old May 17, 2013, 10:35 AM   #18
spacecoast
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 14, 2009
Location: Sunshine and Keystone States
Posts: 4,115
EdInk -

I agree with your points, but that's his decision so I'll leave it up to him. It's his first (of I hope many) handguns so he will have lots of other opportunities to shoot and may want to leave this one untouched.
spacecoast is offline  
Old May 22, 2013, 12:28 PM   #19
Tom68
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 20, 2011
Location: Alabama
Posts: 251
Military Unit Commemorative firearms

So now that I've had time to mull it over, I ordered the Scorpion 1911, and I'm going to shoot it. I pretty much arrived at the conclusion stated above; it won't have any collector value to anyone but me and the others who are also buying one. I'll just be careful with the Hoppes #9!
Tom68 is offline  
Old May 22, 2013, 01:42 PM   #20
EdInk
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 27, 2009
Posts: 3,967
You can't have too much money or Hoppes 9! I am glad you choose the 1911 variant and that it will not just collect dust in the safe. Thank you for your service and enjoy the pistol.
__________________
Sic Semper Tyrannis
EdInk is offline  
Old May 23, 2013, 10:14 AM   #21
KyJim
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 26, 2005
Location: The Bluegrass
Posts: 7,582
This is a little off topic but I saw a custom handgun/holster/grips combo a veteran had made to commemorate his service. They are awesome looking:

http://forums.1911forum.com/showthread.php?t=418518.

For more photos of the gun:

http://forums.1911forum.com/showthread.php?t=357743
__________________
Jim's Rules of Carry: 1. Any gun is better than no gun. 2. A gun that is reliable is better than a gun that is not. 3. A hole in the right place is better than a hole in the wrong place. 4. A bigger hole is a better hole.
KyJim is offline  
Old May 24, 2013, 12:00 AM   #22
armsmaster270
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 25, 2008
Location: California
Posts: 1,944
I my unit armory we had Ruger Security sixes, Colt Police Positives, Smith Model 15's and 143 1911,s. The revolvers were for special duties or for personel who couldn't shoot the .45,s
__________________
http://www.armsmaster.net-a.googlepages.com
http://s239.photobucket.com/albums/f...aster270/Guns/
Retired LE, M.P., Sr. M.P. Investigator F.B.I. Trained Rangemaster/Firearms Instructor & Armorer, Presently Forensic Document Examiner for D.H.S.
armsmaster270 is offline  
Old May 25, 2013, 02:02 PM   #23
IZinterrogator
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 8, 2004
Location: Pierce County, WA
Posts: 2,447
Re: Military Unit Commemorative firearms

My unit decided to do commemorative guns. Some other "gun guys" and I begged for Colts. They went with Sigs (M400, P229, Scorpion 1911). I didn't buy one.

My last tour, the unit did Paras. Mine became a safe queen, but only because it slide locked every other round as the round on the left side of the magazine hit the slide release as it moved up into position for feeding.
IZinterrogator is offline  
Old May 25, 2013, 05:22 PM   #24
plouffedaddy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 13, 2011
Location: Carolina
Posts: 3,239
I have 2 unit guns---SIG 229 and 226. I shoot the crap out of them
__________________
Mrgunsngear's Youtube Channel
Certified Glock Armorer
plouffedaddy is offline  
Old May 25, 2013, 08:22 PM   #25
jmr40
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 15, 2008
Location: Georgia
Posts: 5,950
None of those guns will ever have any real collector interest except to a handful of guys. I'd shoot them. It is a lot like the thousands of commemorative Winchester 94's they made over the years. Very very few are worth any more than a standard 94. They made too many.
jmr40 is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:20 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.12962 seconds with 9 queries