The Marines grudgingly accepted the change, though the Colt remained the choice of Marine special ops. The single-action, semi-automatic, magazine-fed Colt was good enough for Sergeant York in WW I and Audie Murphy in WW II (not to mention John Wayne in innumerable war movies), and as far as the Marines were concerned, it remained good enough for them. The M-1911 was designed by the renowned John Browning in, well, 1911. It has remained largely unchanged ever since. Many have termed it the greatest military handgun ever made.
The Marines want accuracy and stopping power. They don't see the Beretta as having enough of either. The most common description of the Beretta by Marines is “that pissy little gun.” Most of all, the Marines really don't give a flying fig what NATO uses. They consider themselves a thing apart, and have a bit of contempt for the armed services which are not wholly dedicated to all things American. The talk of “serviceability” of the Beretta among the NATO allies doesn't particularly impress a Marine. The most common thought is “compared to us, how many of today's Belgians, Hollanders, or Danes have had to fire their sidearms, repeatedly, in a shooting war?”
So the Colt is making a big comeback for the Marines. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. The latest contract with Colt will immediately provide nearly 12,000 non-special ops Marines with the Marine version of the gun, known as the M45 Close Quarters Battle Pistol. And though this was largely a military decision, it doesn't hurt that the initial $22.5 million order will put money back into the American economy.
Let's hope that the Army, Navy and Air Force follow suit, and soon. It will help considerably if the current Commander-in-Chief is retired in November. Of course if that happens, he will be going into a war zone of his own—Chicago. Hope he owns a Colt M-1911.