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LEARNING OBJECTIVE Describe the cycle of operation, disassembly, assembly, and safeties of Navy handguns.

Three standard issue handguns are used by the Navy today-the .45-cal. semiautomatic pistol, the 9-mm M9 semiautomatic pistol, and the .38-cal. Smith and Wesson (S&W) revolver. In this section we will provide you with information concerning the description, operation, and maintenance of these three pistols.


During the uprising of the Moro tribes in the Philippines during the early 1900s, it was found that the tribesmen often were not stopped when hit by bullets from the .38-cal. side arms then used by American troops. This lack of stopping power was one of the factors that led to the adoption in 1911 of the .45-cal. semiautomatic pistol as the official military side arm.

The .45-cal. semiautomatic pistol was designed and patented by John M. Browning, who was probably the greatest inventor of automatic weapons in the world. The original model 1911 differs only in one detail from the current model 1911A1. The 1911A1 includes an additional safety feature (the grip safety). Other than this, the operation of the two models is identical.

Figure 3-3 shows the pistol with nomenclature for some of the external parts.

The .45-cal. M1911A1 pistol is a recoil-operated, semiautomatic, magazine-fed, self-loading handgun with fixed sights. is often called a .45-cal. semiautomatic pistol (SAP) or a .45-cal. autoloading Colt (the manufacturer) pistol (ACP). This text will refer to it as a .45-cal. pistol.

The magazine holds seven rounds when fully loaded; one round is fired with each squeeze of the trigger. Rifling in the barrel is machined for a left-hand twist (the only Navy weapon with left-hand rifling). Empty, the pistol weighs approximately 2 1/2 pounds. It has a maximum range of a little over 1,600 yards and a maximum effective range of about 50 yards.


Care of the .45-cal. pistol includes daily preventive maintenance, prefiring cleaning, and postfiring

cleaning. For daily maintenance the pistol need not be disassembled; but, for the prefiring and postfiring cleaning, the pistol should be disassembled.

There are two phases of disassembly for the pistol-general disassembly (field stripping) and detailed disassembly. General disassembly (fig. 3-4) is necessary for normal care and cleaning and after the weapon has been fired. This is the extent of disassembly that is generally explained to personnel, such as watch standers. The detailed disassembly of the receiver group (fig. 3-5) is the job of the Gunner's Mate during periodic cleaning and repair. Detailed disassembly is not currently called for in any 3-M Systems MRCs. However, it is a very good idea to perform a detailed disassembly and cleaning after heavy use, such as security force range qualifications.

To do a good job of cleaning and repairing the weapon, you must know the names of the parts. The nomenclature of the parts of the pistol should be learned while practicing disassembly and assembly. As each

Figure 3-3.-.45-cal. M1911A1 semiautomatic pistol: (A) Slide closed; (B) Slide open. 3-6

Figure 3-4.-A field stripped .45-cal. pistol.

part is removed and replaced, the nomenclature is repeated until known. While studying the disassembly arid assembly of the pistol, refer to the illustration showing the parts by name and description (fig. 3-5). Become thoroughly familiar with the parts and their functions. Knowing the names of the parts will also help you understand the operation of the weapon.

GENERAL DISASSEMBLY (FIELD STRIP- PING).- Before performing work on any weapon, you should make sure the weapon is clear of ammunition. On the M191lA1 this is accomplished by removing the magazine, pulling the slide to the rear, and inspecting the chamber. Then perform the following steps: 1. Cock the hammer and put the safety lock in its UP (safe) position. Depress the recoil spring plug and turn the barrel bushing about one-quarter turn clockwise. This releases the tension on the spring. Allow the spring to expand slowly, under control, to prevent injuiy o; loss 0} parts. ll-rn the recoil spring plug counterclockwise and remove it from the recoil spring. Move the safety lock back down to its FIRE position.


Figure 3-5.-Detailed receiver disassembly of the .45-cal. pistol.

2. Draw the slide to the rear until the half-moon recess (on the slide) is directly above the projection on the slide stop. Push out the slide stop from right to left.

3. Turn the pistol upside down and draw the receiver to the rear, disengaging it from the slide. Lay the receiver down.

4. Draw the recoil spring and its guide to the rear and out of the slide.

5. Take the barrel bushing out of the slide by turning it counterclockwise as far as it will go, then lifting up.

6. Lay the barrel link forward and pull the barrel out of the muzzle end of the slide.

7. Takeout the firing pin by pressing on the rear of the firing pin with any pointed object until you can slide out the firing pin stop. Keep your fingers over the firing pin, allowing the spring tension to ease; then lift both firing pin and spring from the slide.

8. Pry the extractor out of the rear of the slide.


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