Don’t worry 1911-fanboys, they’re replacing them with more 1911 frames. Apparently the frames that they’ve been using for the MEU(SOC) guns have finally started to wear out, which is saying something when you think about how old these guns are.
On a related note, a few months ago I was talking to a guy who works down at Crane (the Naval weapons center in Indiana) who was telling me about the absurd round counts that were being put on standard Beretta M9 aluminum frames. IIRC, they were getting guns in at Crane for reconditioning that were north of 100k rounds on the frame, and were still running. Now I’m certianly not looking to start a Beretta vs. 1911 flame war here, because that’s a horrid dark hole, but I have to say that 20 years after its introduction as the US armed forces’ standard service sidearm, the Beretta has held up remarkably well, giving good service in 3 major conflicts (Iraq I, Afghanistan, Iraq II) as well as the countless brush wars and other military actions we’ve seen in the past 20 years.
For better or for worse, the M9 and the M9A1 are definitely here to stay as well – if you remember during SHOT ’09, Beretta announced that the military had ordered 450,000 new pistols from Beretta, the largest handgun contract in US history. Looks like the M9 will be sticking around for years to come.