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Etched in Steel, Commemorating Operations Enduring Freedom & Iraqi Freedom

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In this episode, Miles talks about Commemorative Firearms, which are a class of their own in that they can sometimes be seen as the wall plaques of small arms. These are those that have been specially commissioned, as what would happen is that soldiers from different units would get together and go to companies like Sig Sauer in order to have firearms uniquely theirs made.

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The companies generally have packages for such firearms — Miles mentions Kimber — and they do things like engrave the unit’s insignia or crest or motto onto guns, basically customize them. Simple ones have a small engraving or something etched in the metal or wood while much more ornate ones can be gold plated and even diamond stuffed.

In this case, Miles takes a look at some very specific examples of .45 ACP Kimber Custom IIs that were a result of a commemorative program run by Kimber — his battalion had one. On Bravo company’s second deployment in 2013, there was a sergeant who wanted Commemorative Firearms made, so he presented them with choices. The most votes went to the 1911 from Kimber, and Kimber engraved specific words for the unit onto the guns. They had personal inscriptions in which Marines could have anything inserted into the limited amount of character space available.

Miles took it a step further and had his battalion gun customized with a different frame and so on, and looking back, while he thinks it’s great that they had these made, he would have probably gone with a different company other than Kimber. As can be seen in the video, while he’s shooting it, the rear sights just flew off. But good on Kimber — they sent him a new rear sight on a new slide.

He then takes a look at the inscriptions that other guys in the Bravo company used on their Commemorative Firearms — since there’s only so few characters available, some of them got really creative.

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