King Of Jordan Wields Unique Firearms During Son's Birthday Shooting Drill
The Queen of Jordan touts video of King and Crown Prince having a celebratory day at the range practicing close-quarter combat tactics.
King Abdullah II of Jordan portrays himself very much as a warrior monarch and has a deep background in special operations and helicopter flying. To this day, the 56-year-old ruler of the Hashemite Kingdom does regular drills with commandos from the country's sprawling special operations apparatus and sometimes we get to see him in action. Such was the case this week when a video appeared online showing the King and the Crown Prince of Jordan practicing close-quarter combat (CQC) VIP protection drills, with the king wielding some unique firepower.
Queen Rania Al Abdullah posted the video of father and son on Facebook to celebrate her son's 24th Birthday. The caption reads:
"Happy birthday Al Hussein, we grow more proud of you every day... I see so much of His Majesty in you, including your shared love for the military – Taken during the conclusion of a recent round of live-fire training exercises."
The Crown Prince is a Lieutenant in the Jordan's Armed Forces and has followed his dad's footsteps when it comes to mastering special operations skills and the art of flying helicopters. Just last month he made his first solo rotary-wing flight, which resulted in a 'Gatorade bucket' celebratory treatment:
In the video, father and son can be seen jumping out of a Crown Victoria and moving through a live-fire course together. The video appears to be shot at the sprawling King Abdullah II Special Operations Training Center, also referred to by the acronym KASOTC. The facility is the crown jewel in Jordan's special operations crown and was built with the goal of putting the country at the center of the special operations world. You can read all about it in this past feature of mine.
During the pair's advance through the course, it's noticeable that the King's weaponry is unique. His primary weapon is a Sig-Sauer MCX short-barreled rifle, an increasingly popular weapon that is among the most svelte and ergonomic AR-15 derivates available. It also features a gas piston configuration that is widely viewed as more robust and reliable than Eugene Stoner's original direct impingement design. The King can also be seen using a 60 round Surefire magazine.
This entire setup seems to have become his go-to loadout. Upon review of older videos, the same weapon appears multiple times and seems to be unique to the King and not standard issue.
Abdullah's sidearm is even more unique. First off it's a single-action 1911, which is still favored by a number of special operators and elite police units. At first glance, I thought it was maybe a Wilson Combat custom or other high-end 1911, but when I tasked Twitter with finding out exactly what it was, the answer ended up being quite interesting.
The pistol is a 1911 derivative called the JTK-1911 built by Jordanian Armament and Weapon Systems, or JAWS for short. JAWS has made a number of pistols in the past, including the single-action/double-action Viper, but not a 1911.
Apparently, the JTK-1911 comes in at least two calibers, traditional .45 ACP and 9mm, and a number of configurations were presented at the Special Operations Forces Industry Conference (SOFIC) in Tampa, Florida last month, including the one with what appears to be a built-in compensator being used by King Abdullah.
As you can see, this commander-length pistol has a bunch of features that have become common on the 1911 market, including a rail, low-profile fiber-optic sights, flared mag well, and a skeletonized hammer. But the small compensator is somewhat unique though. It also comes in a government size model and a compact model, albeit without the compensator.
The move for JAWS to enter into a very crowded 1911 market is somewhat odd. Military and law enforcement units aren't adopting the type in increasing numbers these days, with modern polymer-framed designs becoming far more popular. But still, having the king of your country and one of the most well known special operators in the world using your pistol during intensive training is quite the endorsement. We also don't know how big a stake King Abdullah has in the pistol, as it could be something of a passion project for him in itself.
Probably the biggest question is does Jordan plan on trying to export their 1911 line to the United States for sales in the domestic market. The 1911 remains a highly popular pistol type for American citizens and has a cult-like following among pro and amateur shooters alike. If that's the case, this is great advertising.
In the end, the King gets to use the weapons he wants, and those include a royal flight of S-70 helicopters he flies around in. So high-end compact rifles and special pistols built locally aren't that big of a deal. But the question remains, is the JTK-1911 really fit for a king? We just don't know at this point, but making a 'better 1911' is a big lift considering the off-the-shelf competition that already exists.
Above all else, it's interesting to see the Crown Prince following directly in his father's footsteps. King Abdullah II was just a decade older than his son is today when he took over for his father King Hussein. Prince Hussein bin Abdullah has become a more visible player in the Jordanian Monarchy as of late, with him personally heading up the welcoming party for Prince William during his recent visit to Jordan. As you can see, both have a big interest in soccer and both are military men and helicopter pilots, although Prince William has more than a decade of experience on the young prince.
Jordan faces some very serious security and economic challenges and is experiencing increased unrest among its populous. At the same time, the country, which does not benefit from large oil reserves like many of its neighbors, is seen as a pragmatic example of peaceful existence in the tumultuous Middle East. With decades of instability in Iraq to its east and the quagmire that is the Syrian civil war to its north, Jordan survives in a very tough neighborhood, and that isn't likely to change anytime soon.
You have to hand it to him, King Abdullah is a 'lead from the front' kind of guy who successfully acts as an honest broker for peace and stability while in a suit and a warrior monarch ready to defend his country while in fatigues. Jordan is an ally of the U.S. and Israel, and even though both countries have helped with military aid, Jordan could and should get more attention and support.
The Jordanian government—and its security apparatus—have its issues but it remains a shining light in a very dark land. In the future, the warrior Crown Prince, like his father, will be tasked with keeping that light lit, and that will be no easy task.
Contact the author: Tyler@thedrive.com