Army’s New Handgun Program is About Ammo, Too

A 101st Airborne Division soldier fires a Sig Sauer pistol during weapons training May 29, 2015 at Tactical Base Gamberi in eastern Afghanistan. (U.S. Army photo by Capt. Charlie Emmons)

If you haven’t already done so, check out my colleague Matthew Cox’s story about the U.S. Army finally kicking off its Modular Handgun System, or MHS, program.

One of the big takeaways is that the service isn’t just looking to buy a new 9mm pistol. It also wants to lock in an ammunition supplier.

As Cox reports:

“In a break from tradition, the Army is also requiring competing firms to prove that they are capable of delivering millions of rounds of pistol ammunition per month in addition to delivering thousands of new handguns per month, according to the request.

The winning contractor will have to be able to ramp up to delivering 2.8 million rounds of ball ammunition per month within three years and 1.6 million rounds of special-purpose ammunition per month within three years, according the RFP.”

That’s per month.

So after the Army picks three finalists, it will ultimately select a winner to produce more than 280,000 full-size handguns and 7,000 compact versions, and the other services may buy another 212,000 systems, according to the article.

And on top of that, the winner will also be supplying the bullets. It’ll be interesting to see how the gun-makers and ammo-makers respond to the request.


About the Author

Brendan McGarry
Brendan McGarry is the managing editor of He can be reached at Follow him on Twitter at @Brendan_McGarry.
  • GoBears

    Sounds like SIG Sauer has been gearing up over the last few years to win the MHS competition. First they introduced a reasonably priced modular and multi-caliber pistol, the SIG P320 in 2012. And ammo at SHOT in 2014 and 2015 that received rave reviews.

    • Glock has pistols that easily converts from 40 S&W to 9 mm, and currently used by police & various special forces troops in the US. Also, S&W MP may have an edge, just because it is an American company that has partnered with General Dynamics that can navigate through the government bureaucracy (one of the reason the other American handgun company, Ruger is not competing). Either way, it will be interesting to see which pistol they pick.

      • Dos

        Sig makes great/superbly accurate weapons, but they will not stand up to a round to breakage test with several others mentioned.
        As long as they have an alum frame, they are problematic.
        I do not like the M9 for Mil use either.

        • marine6680

          The new Sig is a polymer frame. I picked one up last summer when it was released for sale. Its a solid handgun, and has a lot of good qualities that the military would find useful beyond simple “it goes bang every time reliably”. There are potential administrative benefits to the pistol.

          Though, I like the M&P as well, I find it a comfortable pistol.

          Glock is very polarizing when it comes to ergonomics, so I don’t think it would have been a contender, despite its good reliability.

          The Sig 226 and 228 have proven themselves as tough pistols through years of military service in the US, despite the aluminum frame. Same for the Beretta. The primary rifle of the US military is heavily reliant on aluminum, and I can personally attest to their toughness to abuse. (the things my issued rifle had to deal with during training, I am surprised it never broke)

      • Mark

        There is no special force group that uses a striker fired pistols. That’s just a pure lie. It doesn’t fit the standards for a combat handgun.

        • seans

          Really, so Army SF, Cag(Delta Force), some of Devgru, CCTs, PJs, Marsoc, some of the Rangers aren’t using Glocks? Might want to do some more research there.

        • guest

          How about the nations that are using striker fired pistols for their combat handgun? What standard are you talking about, one developed in 1897?

    • Guest

      Actually SIG 226 won the competition in 84, choice of Beretta was about politics as usual.

      • mark

        You mean that the sig costs twice as much and so do the replacement parts. Using Sig would also take money from an American manufacturer

        • seans

          Might want to reread what SIG cost vs Beretta. SIG was actually the cheaper option in the long run. Cheaper gun, with less parts replacement needed.

          • guest

            However, the deciding factor was that magazines for the Sig were significantly more expensive than Beretta, making Beretta cheaper in the long run.

    • guest

      I believe the Gen IV Glocks have replaceable back-straps so you can more easily fit the pistol to individual grip size.

    • Christopher Delich

      The Sig modular pistol was the worst one in the previous federal developmental pistol testing. I think it was done for the ATF or DEA. Glock won the competition, and Smith and Wesson did ok as well, so the two shared the contract for pistols.

  • mike

    funny they picked a Sig p226 for the pic

    • Lance

      SiG M-11 will also be replaced by MHS.

    • Wes

      The weird thing is that this is a US Army soldier from 187IN, 101st ABN. The only pistol authorized for use by the “big Army” is the M9. The P226 aka the Mk. 25 is only used by the US Navy.

      • guest

        CID, some MPs and women with small hands are issued a SIG.

  • left coast chuck

    But as a taxpayer, Beretta offers the most cost effective solution to an upgraded sidearm and that’s what I find most attractive about any of the alternatives. The M93A3 is an attractive platform and if the U.S. Forces go to “enhanced” ammo for the 9mm, its terminal performance equals that of the 40S&W from what I have read in reports comparing the 9mm enhanced ammo with 40 S&W utilizing similar ammo.

    Can it be because Beretta is moving its facilities to states with friendlier legislatures than Maryland that the Army is somehow entering into gun politics?

    • Recurveman

      No in regards to the politics thing. The army said that they are looking for a modular system that includes replacement back straps with a polymer frame. The Beretta M93A3 as none of those. (I think that the picture is just a stock photo that was used to show a soldier shooting something other than an M9.)

      Also in regards to the ammo, the every day US Soldier is issued Ball ammo so the ballistics between 9mm and 40S&W ball is what they are looking at.

    • Flint

      The Beretta M9 has also been responsible for many deaths to operators from slide fracturing and hitting the shooter in the face. This resulted in Beretta having to design a slide retension safety system and having the military install it on all M9’s. Even with the slide capture system there have been casualties from slide fracturing.

    • Mark

      One problem with the Beretta is durability…they had problems early on with the slide rails cracking. The open slide design lends itself to weak points on either side of the part of the slide that houses the firing pin. A solid slide is better as a combat weapon that might be used in less than ideal conditions. There’s less chance of dirt and foreign objects getting caught inside the slide causing a failure to function.

    • Reggie

      No. While the FBI is touting the 9×19 as being as good as either .45acp or .49S&W, that is only when applied to ballistic gel. In 29 years of State Police work, 23 with the 9mm and 6 with the .40, I never encountered a hostile wad of ballistic gel. That .36 caliber bullet goes way too fast for its small size, and can kill more than one person on its travels due to this. Besides, M9’s have horrible trigger pulls, making first shot placement a matter of hope as much as anything else. Let our warriors have bullets that will make people stop doing what they are doing, first round every time.

    • Shawn

      And as someone who will have to use the weapon decided upon, I believe that the Army cannot replace the Beretta fast enough. It is over-sized, overweight, and underpowered. It rusts if you even think about water. I’ve shot a fair number of pistols in my life and the 92FS/M9 is the worst pistol I’ve shot. To waste taxpayer money stringing along a dated and marginally effective weapon system with minor upgrades is inefficient and a disservice to the people who have to use it as well as those who complain about paying for it.

  • bob

    Just pick a CZ 75 you know you wanna! JK well not really but it would of been cool to see Springfield try to get into the ball game but it doesn’t seem likely. Hope sig does get it I have really been liking the 220 and 229. Didn’t care for the 320 although its not bad by any means. My wife loves shooting the 220. If they stuck with 9mm a glock 17 wouldn’t be horrible but I wouldn’t trust any 40sw ones or a newer caliber in it.

    • guest

      According to the rules they have to also manufacture ammo. CZ doesn, Springfield doesn’t and I don’t think
      Sig does. What pistol manufacturer is going to buy a large ammo plant for what in the greater scheme of things in not that big an order for pistols.

      • Chris

        It doesn’t say they have to make the ammo, it just says they have to provide ammo. Two very different things.

      • CZ P-09 just about fills the bill now. While CZ doesn’t make its own ammo they use to have relation with Sellier & Bellot. Sig sells it’s own line of ammo now if you check their web site. They call it- SIG SAUER Elite Performance Ammunition.

    • earl

      when the glock 22 first came out (40) I had one to blow up on me. glock replaced it but I did not trust it anymore. I went back to 9mm and 47 gr. bullets.

      • Chris

        Not sure what year that was, but Army Special Operations have been using Glock 22s for several years now, running both 180 and 165 grain ammo, and they work great.


    Glock also has a more compelling argument in their model 27 It converts from .40 to .357 sig by just swapping out the barrel. Magazine, cartridge extractor all stays the same takes about 30 sec. to convert from a significant round .40 to a nearly rifle round .357 Sig by simply changing the barrel. I own a model 27 and the conversion and it is one sweet pistol.

    • csimmo

      .357 Sig is NOT nearly a rifle round.

    • Recurveman

      The issue with glock is that they do not have an external safety which automatically excludes them from this. Sad but true.

    • guest

      If you replace the extractor, and barrel,which takes about a minute, it will also shoot 9mm

    • Tom

      Not being argumentative but I don’t understand the attraction, value or necessity for this conversion. Cool feature, sure but in combat you don’t want to be doing this while being shot at, nor does the logistics tail want to have to provide two types of pistol ammo.

      What is the military value of this?

    • bob

      DUDE want to know what better than a Glock model 27? Well? 2 Glock model 27’s

    • Jer

      Glock will probably NEVER get a US Army Contract …why …because when we tested several forms of the Glock when I was in , ALL were incapable of qualifying to Army standards for accuracy out of a computerized Ransome Rest. (eliminates human error) Most police agencies (including my BIL) had to cut qual range down to 25 meters when they switched from previous arms to the Glock. Several other factors regarding safteies , hammers & such also preclude The Glock & as a former combat infantryman I’d beat someone to death with my Colt before I’d ever carry a glock into combat .

      • seans

        So the fact that CAG(Delta Force) switched over from custom 1911s to Glocks means nothing to you? Are that the vast majority of SOCOM uses them.

      • guest

        It doe not make much difference if the pistol has match accuracy if the person shooting it could not hit the broad side of a barn at 25 meters due to lack of training and practice. Most of the arms room 1911s were not very accurate either. You don’t need great accuracy to shoot someone at 10 yards. If you are using a pistol at 25 yards you should be using your M4/M16 instead. Glocks are accurate enough for PDs that issue them and that is the majority of the PDs in the country. My Glock 19 1nd 17 will hold 3-4 inches at 25 yard, with me shooting from a rest. BTW polymer framed pistols tend to do poorly accuracy wise from ransom rests, because of frame flex.

        • 45k20e4

          If your G17 can only do 3-4″ @ 25 yards from a rest you need to get it fixed. That kind of accuracy is inexcusable.

    • Heyoka

      HK can out perform with a low velocity .45 Ball round or near .45 Super, 185 Grain at about 1300 FPS. That is all the .357 sig does…. The sig round is 125 Grain in order to attain the 1325 FPS but fall short of the extra 60 grains of projectile. SOC is using it already. It is tough and danged near indestructible. 30K +P rounds, 6K Proof rounds and then they jammed a bullet half way down the barrel and cleared it with another live round. The result was a slight bulge in the barrel and was still able to hold a 4 inch group at 25 meters. You can do field armorers work with nearly no tools at all. Depot armors work is not much more difficult. I can rebuild the whole damned pistol with a good screw driver set, Allan wrench set and some pin punches. The only specialized tool required is the sight pushing tool.

      I want that in my hand on a bad day and I own 2. The tactical has a threaded barrel or not but can be retro fitted in the field for a suppressor. It is a polymer frame but resilient with a 12 round capacity. HK designed it with a recoil reducing frame to barrel height and recoil spring design. It really is a sweet. I was at a public range and offered a lady the chance to shoot it. Her eyes lit up when she hit the bulls eye. She turned to her husband and said I want one….

      Whatever the choice we don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Even the old reliable 1911 can be framed to accept a 10 round magazine. Just how damned difficult do they have to make it. And just how difficult is it to acquire .45 ACP??? Everyone makes it in any danged load you want. Barnes makes a solid copper HP bullet is smoking. It will cut a 1-1/16 inch hole right through a gelatin block. Opens in four petals, razor sharp and rotating…. gives me wood :)

  • Jeff

    I don’t think Glock, Beretta or CZ make ammo, and SIG can’t yet make that much. Remington doesn’t make a modular handgun. I’m not sure anyone can qualify at this time.

    • HoustonDave

      That’s why companies form joint ventures – imagine one between Beretta and Federal, for instance

      • larry


      • Joe

        Exactly, so they become the only qualified vendor at the end and the cost of combining guns and ammo into a single contract skyrocket to 2x the normal cost. The reward for bid rigging with gov’t preffered vendor.

    • william

      My Sig P226 will shoot .40sw or .357Sig rounds. all I have to do is change barrels.

      • Lance

        Beretta M-92s can change ammo you can switch a barrel and slide to fire .40 S&W seen this done as well.

  • Dan

    How about Picking a damn hand gun and STICKING TO IT? you bunch of clowns have been wasteing TAXPAYER’S MONEY ! It would seem that you DO NOT KNOW WHAT YOU WANT! The Army has been dinking around with their UNIFORMS trying to pick one for several years. Now they are doing the same thing with their handguns. Why don’t you just RETURN to the great Colt .45 ACP. It was BATTLE PROVEN for over 75 YEARS and some yahoo in Washington decieded to go with the Berretta. It would seem the just like EVERYTHING else – “Politics” has entered the arena. Our governments “Alphabet Soup” FBI/FEMA/DNR/etc. seem to pick a what ever is in vogue attitude when it comes to firearms. Just look at the past fiasco’s – .45 cal to 9mm to 10mm to .40 S&W to 9mm. STOP WASTING TIME AND MONEY!

    • Robert

      AMEN brother

    • Michael Lemke

      This man said it all. As a career Army MP NCO 1977-2005 , Iraq 2003 veteran, and former Federal LEO, this is the only comment that made any sense and addressed the real issues that count!

    • BobF

      Carried a 45 as my sidearm during the Southeast Asian war-games. Saved my butt few times. Best defensive weapon ever!

    • ChrisH

      The increasing amount of women and soft men in the country, enlisting in the military and getting more jobs in other government agencies that require being armed, make a larger caliber, .40 and above, prohibitive because of recoil and muzzle blast issues. Is it political yep? But barring something unforeseen, I don’t see these impediments to larger calibers changing anytime soon.

      • crow

        that is a crap answer. my 5ft 2 inch daughter can shoot my kimber custom carry 45acp with no problems and she is in no way a muscular person and has small hands. It just takes a little practice and good training.

      • MaxAR15

        My wife who is 128 lb, 5-4 never shot a hand gun in her life. Took her to the range & started her off with a S&W Model 41, then a Glock 17, & last a Les Baer Thunder Ranch in 45 ACP. Her fav was the Les. Fit her hand just fine. Now we only take the 45’s to the range.

      • 45k20e4

        Poor answer.

        My G/F is 5’4″, 120lbs, very small hands. Her favorite guns in my arsenal are my Kimber Custom Target with Pacmyer wrap around grips, and my GP100 .357 mag. Training is the key.

    • Older than dirt

      I agree to the point of using a 45ACP since there is still a huge supply of ammo out on the market(Even surplus that is decades old and reliable). I have owned an original Colt model 1911a1(built in 1944) that still shoots as it did when brand new. As far as a reasonable priced equivalent, Rock Island Armory(Armscor) is making a GI model now with a 14 round double stack magazine that is surprisingly as well made as the original colts were. The frame and parts fit very tight, the new plastic grip can prevent slip even with oily hands, and it is accurate right out of the box! Pound for pound and dollar for dollar, it is as good quality as the Smiths, Colts, Remingtons, Etc that it competes in the market with. I have shot most if not all of the manufactured GI models and am thoroughly impressed with RIA. The colt I will have forever due to sentimental value, but the RIA is my shooter I will continue to depend on. You add the 14 round mag with one in the pipe and it’s like bringing a tank to the field instead of a BB pistol.

      • Kenneth

        You know they’re imported, don’t you?

    • guest

      Because believe it or not, one handgun does not fit all hands, The service 1911 is to large and heavy for concealed or undercover carry, and everyone does not need a large heavy pistol.

      • Guest

        All full size duty pistols are large for concealed carry.

    • Wes

      Nostalgia aside, and I will be the first to admit that I love my 1911s (I own 3), there are FAR better options for a modern service pistol. You can’t think of it like your personally owned and loved 1911. These guns will be abused, they will not be maintained properly (usually issued to officers), they will be called upon to fire tens of thousands of rounds in their service life. The 1911 only holds 8 or 9 cartridges (cocked and locked, which is frowned upon most places in the Army) requires a very skilled armorer, hand fit parts, and they are very expensive to produce compared to most polymer pistols.

      • M.J. Matusek

        As I recall the reason for going to the M9 was for commonality among the services as the Air Force was using the the M10 in .38 Spec. Also the smaller men and women found the .45ACP too hard to handle. The Army used the .45 from 1873 until about 1890 when they went to the .38 Spec. Then in the PI, the discovered the short comings of a .38/9mm round, and recalled all the .45 they could find. which is why the 1911 became standard issue. The .45 was proven superior to the 9mm in combat. Then the change came in 1985. Yet, Special Operators never gave up the .45. Why not do what the police have done, go with the.40 S&W or back to the .45. Hell my daughter at 14 thought that anything below a .45ACP was a wimp gun, and carries a compact .45.

        • seans

          Special Operations gave up the .45. Even Cag dumped there .45 1911s a while ago and switched to Glock. 9mm is the most common handgun round in SOCOM by far.

        • balais


          By the time the M9 was adopted, 1911 frames in service were ancient vintage pieces. Imagine weapons being welded and re-welded along their frames several times, weapons being used hard in WW2, Korea, and Vietnam, and the post-Vietnam lack of funding for servicing guns in inventory and you are painted an ugly picture of old guns breaking down.

          It had nothing to do with “softer soldiers” and “womenz!”.

          How was 45 proven superior to 9mm? where are the facts? because they both produce similar wound channels, being similar in terms of energy and penetration.

          This 1911 fanboyism is amazingly stupid. I swear to god, one of you jokers posted this from the 1911 forums

    • Mark

      Amen. Strategic units still pick them-when you’re dealing with a potentially chemically assisted/motivated enemy, the .45 is a 1-2 shot answer to stopping mechanical function. I won’t say the 1911 type is the answer-but it does fit the hand. The new military expectation of CQB is 3-10 yards, as opposed to 3-12 inches in WW2. One of the biggest issues with current 9mm I can see is ricochets in urban combat-a lot of hard surfaces in the countries that we’re doing business in-it’s damn dangerous clearing a house with a gun who’s bullet rattles off of the walls…

      • 45k20e4

        I was weapons Direct Support for in theater SOCOM units in the ’90s.

        I was a newly minted E-4, eager to talk weapons with them as I worked on their equipment. I asked about the MP-5s they had in their weapons lockers. They said the MP-5s rarely got used due to the lack of firepower. So what about room clearing? Their answer was an M-4….with an M203 mounted on it.

        Again, pistols are only to get yourself out of trouble. Not as a main weapon.

    • George

      I couldn’t agree more! I had a Colt 45 semi auto in the Army back in the early 70’s and I bought a Colt model 70 M1911 semi auto for my house! It’s a GREAT weapon bar none. You can have your double stack clips, a 45 will get the job done with just a round or two, if you actually know how to shoot a hand gun…!

      • casual observer

        1911 fanboys are coming out of the woodwork. its a quaintly nostalgic weapon, but that is it. technology has come a long way since 1911. do you still ride a penny-farthing? no? then update your pistol too.

        PS its a detachable box magazine not a “clip”

    • Richard

      Just a way to spend more taxpayer money, use what you have and stop wasting our money

    • Jer

      As a former combat infantryman ….Amen Brother ! John Moses Browning knew what the hell he was doing !

      • peterwang

        And yet JMB considered his wonder 9, the Hi Power 9MM, to be superior to the 1911.

    • balais

      Your timeline is off. The FBI caliber stupidity began with 38 special revolvers, 45, and the odd 9mm to their proprietary, in house 10mm, to 40, then back to 9mm recently.

      And what you 1911 guys dont seem to get is that the design is obsolete and it would be idiotic to adopt it when far more capable polymer frames exist on the market. Lets see, 7 rounds, or 15? decide carefully, the two calibers have roughly the same penetration and kinetic energy. One costs more and produces more recoil.

      • Steve

        “Us 1911 guys’? I’ve been a Master Gunsmith for 30+ years, and the 1911 design IS NOT obsolete, it is the most copied design in the world, just look at everything that has a grip safety. The two main reasons the military switched was 1) Poor marksmanship, the Army was having problems with soldiers qualifying with a larger pistol. 2) NATO using the 9mm round.

        Not only am I a Gunsmith, I’ve been hand-loading and competing since I was 12, I know ballistics. You can take down any target with less than 7 rounds from a .45 compared with 15 from a 9mm. You can ask, and most soldiers agree, the Berretta 9mm has failed more times in combat than the Colt .45 ever will. If you can’t accurately handle a .45 it’s not the fault of the round, it’s the inability of the shooter.

        • balais

          For a ‘master gunsmith’, you are very wrong on a number of things.

          Yes, obsolete. Compared to moderns, the 1911 has inferior capacity, higher maintenance requirements, more expensive parts (with hand fitting), and a hold-over from the horse cavalry days, the grip safety.

          Most copied? the Browning HP would like to have a word with you.

          The M9 was adopted because existing 1911 frames were vintage, produced from WW2 and before. They were ancient, and worn out. Any upgrade would have been a diminishing return.

          Since you are a self-described “ballistic expert”, then you should be relieved to know that 9mm produces similar energy and penetration values as 45, with 9mm having lighter recoil and higher capacity. Obviously the superior choice.

          Soldiers dont use M9s as their primary weapon predominantly. Just like their fathers and grandfathers didn’t primarily rely on 1911s. The “soldiers opinion” is pretty irrelevant.

    • Matt

      The ‘great Colt .45ACP” is crap. I know Americans love the 1911 but the fact is it was nothing more stepping stone. Glock or Hk.

    • Rod

      Absolutely correct. The .45 is a man stopper while the 9mm is a little .38 round that may or may not stop a man. Why on earth would you want multi calibers? Just go back to the Colt 1911 .45 & quit wasting time & tax money.

    • nobody

      >Why don’t you just RETURN to the great Colt .45 ACP.

      Because in previous testing it was found to be objectively worse than the Beretta M9, and more recent testing by the FBI has shown that there is basically no difference between how quickly different service calibers (9mm, .40 S&W, .45 ACP, .38 special, .357 magnum, .357 sig, etc.) will stop someone.

  • David A

    Just another boondoggle for the taxpayers. Any of the major suppliers can offer an effective solution off-the-shelf, the military doesn’t need to have its own specs. Glock, Sig, S&W…all have handguns in production now that will do the job

  • Lance

    They may want to show they can have any caliber for the competition but in the end it will be 9mm. NATO and wimpy women now in the front line unites will make sure that 9mm will stay. Over it sounds like ICC and while tacti cooler slobber over this news I say wait and see if this will go any wear. Remember ICC wen alot further than this when it died.

    • Kenneth

      Wimpy women? Two days ago I was at BWI Airport as servicemen and women were returning from overseas (which included my daughter and son-in-law). It was a diverse group and included many women and I didn’t see anyone I would call wimpy.

    • Bob

      Really? Wimpy women and NATO? Nice post. The military went to the M9 9mm as a means of standardizing their ammunition with their allies and most of the world. When only one force on the battlefield uses a caliber it is hard to get ammunition when you have a logistics issue.

      • Guest

        That was not a problem in WW2.

    • There is no replacement for volume. more rounds is greater than higher caliber with proper shot placement. You’ve obviously never been shot at.

  • TruthFinderXXX

    introduced in 2007, the Sig Sauer P250 is a semi-automatic pistol chambered in .357 SIG, .40 S&W, .45 ACP, and 9x19mm Parabellum made by Sig Sauer.. The paramount feature of the P250 is its modular design that comes in compact, subcompact, and full-sized models. The stainless steel internal frame control unit consists of an integrated fire control group, an ambidextrous slide release, ejector and four side rails. The fire control unit allows the shooter to interchange various sized parts allowing for chambering conversions.

    • DonAtlGa

      If memory serves, it used to be the important thing was to be able to drop it in the mud, pick it up, and shoot someone. Oh – and have that someone not get up. .45 worked. Chambering conversions? really??

    • Camoga10585

      +1 on 45 ACP. Although hi-cap 1911s have a thick grip, the low maintenance CZ platform in 45acp clone, SAR K2 45 would be perfect for the build. Hard hitting, easy shooting hi-cap accurate 45 that is the most widely used hand gun in the world. And no, it’s not Glock.

      • camoga10585

        CORRECTION: The most widely used pistol in military and LEO hand gun in the world.

  • Frank in Fairfield

    Awful lot of ammo. Better stock up now, huh?

    • underground12x8

      You’re RIGHT! (gets out credit card) ;)

  • Ewart Padgett

    The volume of ammunition the proposed contract specifies indicates a war footing, which in the past the armed forces have sourced by contracting with multiple manufacturers. Some folks make great handguns, some folks make great ammunition, and very few can do both. If the contract requires joint contract production, direct military contracts with separate handgun and ammunition producers would almost certainly result in greater economy, and less liability should the joint venture fail on either side.

  • Larry S

    Carried little bit of every thing for passed 50 years and I love my Glock Mod 30 or my Volt Delta Elite. We call our Glocks Honorable Grock….hehehe


    Come on guys! This is supposed to be a GOVERNMENT procurement! Surely you can find new ways to make it more expensive and wasteful! Maybe give it stealth technology or something? The main thing is to build in as many flaws as possible so you can milk the suckers…I mean “taxpayers” for at least a decade of redesigns.

  • CW4 Mike Melugin

    Having spent 30 years in the Army including time in combat, a pistol is little more than symbolic… like a sword. Give me the smallest lightest handgun around because if someone is shooting at me I’m going to have an M4 …

    • CavSarge

      True, it’s nice to have a pistol as a backup, but in a combat situation you better be carrying an
      M-16/M4 and a lot of magazines.

    • SGT K

      I’ve been in the Army Reserves for 12 years and a Special Forces COL giving a M9 class told us that the main purpose of using an M9 in combat is to shoot your way to a rifle!! :-)

  • LarryFlyer

    Only purpose of a handgun is to defend yourself till you can get to your primary, like the M4.

    Enhanced Glock 17/19’s would be b perfect, and they don’t jam in the sand box like the famed 1911..

    • guest

      Amen to that.

    • jer

      Nope but they were so inaccurate when we tested them they couldn’t meet infantry standards out of a computerized mechanical rest & then we had the issue of several people losing their eyes when the sand they didn’t jam on ground through plastic parts & the slide seperated while firing

      • guest

        You got to be kidding. Ransom rest means nothing for practical accuracy. From time spent on pistol ranges with Army infantry their standards of marksmanship are awfully low. As to Glocks in the sand. The slide to frame interface is metal to metal.

      • guest

        When did the Ransom rest become computerized?

      • balais

        …and it came from the 1911 forums!!!

  • bildo


  • Bob Rosebrough a pretty definitive look at handgun calibers, efficacy etc. In the words of others, don’t like the data, generate your own

  • 11 echo

    If you have to resort to a handgun in the military, you have already screwed up big time!

  • Kenneth

    Much ado about nothing. My son was a tank crewman in Iraq. They turned in their pistols and all received either M4 or M16 rifles. Who wants to go to war armed with only a pistol?

  • mario lopez

    you guys just don’t get it. the army is looking for less recoil and lighter weight, which means less kinetic energy….

    • Ke=1/2MV^2

      you don’t understand physics. let me guess….infantry?

  • Colonel Blimp

    Aside from hearing drooling noises coming from the gun geeks, why exactly does the military need to replace the Beretta? Will the new gun make better marksmen out of American soldiers? Is this yet another “reinvention of the wheel” that the military goes through every so often. The last one was the adoption of the Army Combat Uniform. The next was the blue South American dictator uniform. And now a neato, keeno hand gun! Something shiny that goes “bang!” Get a grip.

    • Stefan S.

      XM-8? The goat screw that made GEN Jack Keane retire is one example.

    • guest

      lighter weight, better reliability and less cost.

    • Lee Cruse

      Yes, a hand gun has historically been seen as a “secondary” weapon. However, if the trend continues, we will have more and more troops in “policing” and “Self Defense” mode that will require a handgun. So, I think that it is important. The Beretta sold to the civilian market is not bad but certainly not the best. It is more expensive and requires more maintenance than the Glock. The Beretta used by the military has a 9terribly bad trigger, usually not maintained well and worn out at this point in time. So, should we spend money to refurbish a “so-so”: solution or spend less to get a state of the art gun that will cost less to own? My short list would be Glock Gen4 17/19/26, Ruger SR9, S&W MP9, STI 9mm 1911, ??

      • big daddy

        SIG 320

    • lbrac

      As personnel size and strength become more diverse with the inclusion of women and LGBT, an adjustable grip and less weight are needed to accommodate smaller hand sizes and/or less strength, and chambered in a caliber with limited recoil for those with low recoil tolerance. This is likely not so much beneficial for combat as qualification.

      Police have been dealing with these limitations for the more diverse group of law enforcement officers they are hiring compared to the past. The FBI recently announced that they are changing from .40 S&W caliber handguns to 9mm for similar reasons after finding the performance of current 9mm hollow point ammo is very nearly comparable to .40 S&W. Plus 9mm is less expensive than .40 S&W, and pistols can either hold more rounds in the same size magazine or the pistol can be slightly smaller with the same number of rounds as .40 S&W.

  • Alphinostrum

    1.6 million rounds? For 3 years…..what do they intend to be shooting at?

    • Dr. English

      Ammo for deployed troops. Ammo for training. Ammo in supply. 1.6 million rounds isn’t a monumental amount for five branches of our military. As a former LEO I fired somewhere over two thousand rounds of .40 S&W in a very short time when my Glock 22 was first issued to me. Sounds to me like you don’t shoot much or just keep a hundred or so rounds of your favorite caliber in case things get bad.

    • 1aircav

      Taliban, isis and training

    • mark

      Did you bother to read the article??? It states within 3 years not for 3 years, thereby giving them time to ramp up production to those quantities.

    • guest

      DHS has ordered ten time that amount of ammo, and allegedly they are not planning on fighting a war.

    • tom

      They maybe will use it on the American people

  • Mike

    I drive a Jeep and own a 1911 .45 ACP [among other handguns] – just had a young “serviceman” ask me what either has done for our country. Guess he thinks Hummer and Beretta have been there the whole-time. FNH .45 ACP and drop it. The pistols are made in the US, hold 15 rounds and are very manageable with recoil. Off-hand I fire it well besides – if you can’t handle recoil then join the “Merchant” Marines is what I told him. I have to admit to caliber bias, I carried a flawless 1911 in ’90-’91; it works – I’ll leave it at that.

    • Dr. Tough Love

      hey magic mike – think this is what the dinosaurs said right before they went extinct…. change with the times brother. jeep and 1911 were both great in their day, but both have better, modern alternatives. quick question do you use antibiotics or are you still using leeches to cure what ails ya?

  • Alphinostrum

    1.6 million a month? For 3 years? What are they going to be shooting at?

    • Guest


    • VTGunner

      Hopefully paper and steel so they actually know how to use these new pistols since they don’t train on the current ones hardly at all

    • Bill

      not 1.6, try 4.4 million rounds per month within 3 years. the 1.6 was in “special” ammo. the 2.8 mil ball ammo is the standard stuff. A 9mm is a .38, so who do they think a .40 is so much better. The 10mm gives the punch in a .40 caliber round, but the FBI says the recoil is too much for the smaller people to use accurately. The 5.57 pistol was designed to fit between the 9 and the .223 m-16. They make a bullpup rifle for it. the “5.7” will put 10 rounds in a chest @ 100 yards with good fire control. carries a 20 round mag. . carry 1000 rounds in 3. ammo pouches. steel post, or hollowpoint, or FMJ , or plastic tip. First one in the groin to bend them over, second is anywhere , head, shoulders, legs, and you have 20 rounds. With a vest, a .45 might knock you down, but they get back up.

      • bart ninja

        I was waiting for someone to mention the 5.57

        • galloglas

          Well it is a contender in the ammo line up.
          Sounds like something the military would want, not because it’s the best.

    • tom

      we the people

    • bruce

      training and duty ammo. Army wide, thats easy. MP ‘s in garrison, its their primry weapon.

    • galloglas

      Paper targets.
      On a Range.

  • david kermes

    I’m beginning to think they should just use the “Sten gun” approach – go for cheap and easily replaced. Get Hi-points, in whatever caliber the users are comfortable with. If is wears out throw it away and get another.

  • RGPilot

    The Coast Guard gave up their 9mm years ago and has been using the .357 SIg with good results

    • USCG GM3 vet

      The Coast Guard uses the Sig P229 in .40 cal.

    • VTGunner

      Yeah they use .40 P229’s.

    • guest

      I shot on the same range as the CG. They leave lots of 40S&W brass laying around, so I assume that is what they carry.

  • Jon

    gun and ammo… Sounds like they may lean to the FN 5.7. NATO wants to standardize handgun and PDW ammo to the 5.7×28 so Army my play along

    • galloglas

      My guess this is so.

    • 45k20e4

      Let’s hope not.

      In pistol applications the 5.7×28 is nothing impressive. Just a .22mag on steroids. It is only in the P90, with a sub gun length barrel, that the 5.7 comes alive.

  • vickie

    that is where the $600 dollar toilet seats and hammers came from the goverment wants a gun manufactuer to make something they dont do.

    • Mark

      no, that was Congress creating unrealistic requirements in the procurement system, with documentation of materials and manufacturing (paperwork costs). Certain items should have been bought as commercial products, which they have mostly switched to now.

  • T S

    The 9’s don’t shoot as well as Browning’s design.. it is quite simple.. the 45 shoots better, straighter and sorts out those that can and those that can’t faster. all that ammo is needed for training as with the 9 everyone has to shoot more (like 10x).. 5.45 is way better than 5.56 and 7 x 08 would rule, but it’s the 5 thousand meter backstop rule that is the killer (when 30-06 went down from 196 grain to 150) read up, lawyers have got the army by the balls [the pen is mightier than the sword]

    • guest

      Say What???

  • SloaneH

    Kind of a joke. There are many great handguns out there and the Army is still trying to have the dog jump through hoops? Who comes up with this crap and why? Take the Standard Beretta Extend the magazine to add 5 more rounds, add tactical rail, a better coating to resist rust and cosmetic damage. Slim the grip a little bit, improve the sights to glow in the dark. If you don’t want the 9mm then do the same with a .40 caliber frame. It’s that simple.
    It’s joke because for years now they cannot even improve the standard battle rifle or agree upon a good one. H&K 416 was a vast improvement but somehow was not picked. In the end the powers that be in the Army have been messing around since the 80’s and still cannot seem to improve the most basic weapon systems for the infantry soldiers standard equipment. While people complain about the money wasted it’s still nothing compared to the development cost of one lousy jet fighter or a small combat ship for the Navy.

    • defensor fortismo

      you realize that with the exception of the +5 rounds, you just described the A3 model that the army just rejected?

    • seans

      HK416 is not a vast improvement over the current SOPMOD M4a1. It actually breaks and malfunctions more than the M4. Its why SOCOM has stuck with the M4 for the majority of its forces. The SMUs stick with HK currently do to contracts.

    • guest

      The constant need to reinvent the wheel, at the taxpayers expense.

  • dave

    Let’s hope they pick an American ammo supplier. It would be kind of stupid to pick a supplier who you may need to be shooting at next year.

  • crazy gunsmith

    if i was in charge i would bring back the m14 the 1911 and the browning hi power for the basic weapons. while i was making the changes to save the world i would get rid of those 90# packs they always show the grunts packing up the mountains in afgan. what the heck, these guys are not pack mules .carry socks a couple mre water and ammo ammo ammo. when you stop for the night you can have a chopper bring the camp to you,there is no need to carry all that crap with you.when the bullets fly you are just going to drop all that stuff and need resupply anyway.

    • balais

      So if weight is an issue, why do you want do you want to burden troops with weapons whose ammunition weighs 3 times what the existing 5.56 does? And the M14’s efficacy as a viable standard infantry arm was refuted in the 1960s, when the more reliable and practical M16 was adopted.

      Heavy packs are a fact of infantry life. You cannot survive on a OP in afghanistan with just a buttpack and a poncho liner despite what the armchair, military theorists think.

  • JohnD

    Isn’t military ammo made at. Lake City Arsenal? Ammo can meet Hague/ Geneva convention rules or not. A pistol is not a huge military battle winner. Those that need a competition type pistol like SPECOPS, CID, MPs can get them. The average troop,need a reliable easy to use accurate, reliable handgun as a backup weapon. Spen the money on a replacement for,the M113/577 junk that is still out there!

  • Mark

    Most of you on here don’t know what the hell you’re talking about. So many are mentioning pistols that don’t meet the requirements and/or are made outside the US. Why would the US Army use guns made in Germany or in the Czech Republic? There is one guy on here that makes any sense. Use FNH pistols of any caliber. FNH is forgotten for some reason though they are the best pistols money can buy and actually qualify. I LOVE the M9 and beretta has fixed any issues that plagued it ( i.e dumb soldiers not knowing how to maintain any gun and trying to test them to their max). The M9’s only issue i it’s weight. Combat soldiers already carry enough gear without a heavy pistol and heavy ammo which some of you are suggesting. You can literally carry twice as much 9mm ammo than .45ACP and it wouldn’t matter any way. You don’t want heavy recoil on any weapon in combat. You cannot kill three men in a second with a 45. Use you head not your egos.

  • 1aircav

    I would like to see the 45 brought back 1 after 6 tours in the rock pile . the 9mm sometimes does not have enough stopping power!

  • Pat

    As prior military carrying a side arm daily and on the range quarterly. I shot thousands of rounds every year for 15 years and I hated the Beretta. For me, it didn’t fit my hand, it’s not a natural pointer, double tap was all but impossible. I’ve fired several other Berettas since retiring and they all seem to be the same. The only place I want to carry a Beretta is to the recycler. Give me ANY Ruger, S&W, or Glock over a Beretta.
    The only good thing I have to say about a Beretta is I never had a malfunction of any kind.

  • SteveB-70

    The SOCOM folks went back to .45ACP a long time ago! With the best military handgun around! The H&K Mark 23. Incredible weapon. Best accuracy, 6″ barrel, modular, threaded for suppressor, carries 12 in the mag, capable of gloved hand/trigger finger use, lightweight, absolute reliability, etc. The best of the best! The US Military should use this gun across the board. And anyone that can’t handle it should either practice more or find a more appropriate career. A mix of the H&K Mark 23 handgun, M-4 Carbine’s in 6.5mm Grendel and some AR-10’s in 260 Remington, with a nice beefy fluted 24″ barrel, would be a worthy portfolio of weapons for our presently under armed troops.

    • seans

      You know that the MK23 isn’t that popular right. It was way to big and heavy. Reason it got replaced by the MK24, and that still isn’t that popular, most SOCOM guys are either rocking Glocks are SIGs in 9mm, lighter and far more ammo in the mag.

  • S.K.

    I love pistols as much as anyone, but a modern carbine does almost the same thing and so much more. I get the need for pistols, but lets design a truly modern carbine. Interchangeable barrel lengths. Bullpup or folding stock. Polymer. Red dot. Easy to disassemble. Think m1 carbine usage during WW2.

  • Carlos the jackal

    The only 2 pistols that will do what the military needs are made by Glock and HK. Everything else failed under extreme testing by the D-boys. Those suppliers are being considered but with some desk jockeys writing specs that don’t really matter in battle, who knows what they will end up with. What they really need are about 140K HK 416s/M27 IARs in 6.5×47/264 USA. That one caliber allows front liners to engage targets from contact to 800 meters accurately and effectively with one AR-12-type platform, replacing the 5.56 & 7.62 offerings. Then add the .338 Norma to replace the .300WM, .338LM, and ..50BMG, giving such fire superiority from one larger cartridge that dominates the opposition, and it works in both LMG and sniper platforms. Just cut one fighter jet and you are GTG.

    • seans

      You know the HK416 actually breaks and malfunctions at a higher rate than the M4 does right. Its a gun that was designed to solve the problem of SBR suppressed shooting. Crane solved it with MK18 shortly after HK got there contracts.

  • stefan S.

    Another circle jerk with millions wasted and the Army will say….the M-9 is fine lol.

  • mack

    I carried a 1911 and a M9 in the Army as a Tanker. I liked the grip of the 1911 but capacity of the M9.I went into Law Enforcement and bought a 96FS Berretta .40 cal never let me down once. .40 cal way to go capacity plus balls.

  • ronvan

    APPLES & ORANGES & changing times: Viet Nam 65 we were issued the NEW wonderful AR-15! After 1 month, of many problems, we returned to our old M3 “grease guns” equipped with silencers and carried the .45!
    While I will admit that I own and still love the .45, the question is “is it still relevant” with todays modern equipment?
    We didn’t have this modern body armor or modern superior weapons! WHY argue over the type & caliber of a weapon and not concentrate on making a “super bullet”? A 9mm bullet with the power of a .50 cal. round, with the same recoil as the normal 9mm round?

    • seans

      Guess you don’t understand physics, or material sciences.

  • Lee Cruse

    US Glock Gen 4 17 and US Glock Gen 4 26 and joint venture with Winchester White Box and Ranger T ammo. Proven combinations by lots of LEO. All made in the USA. Certainly, gun repair in the field would be much easier, even lots of parts common between both models. S&W MP9 seems a far second when considering the recent experience of Texas DPS with that pistol.

  • galloglas

    A 5.7 mm pistol, most likely a Beretta M-9A3 A SIG or the FM design.
    If not the 5.7 mm they will go for the .380 auto for what small jobs the pistol has now it may as well be a small one.
    Please hold off the thumbs down and vicious on line attacks I don’t know, don’t have an opinion and am just extrapolating from studying the F-35 for the last few years.
    What ever this weapon is in what ever caliber you can bet it will come with a whole set of bugs and complete failures in some way.

  • JohnD

    Keep the Beretta, go to the upgraded M9A3 version and spend the money on an M113/577 replacement! Those things are slow, old and are on a tow bar more than on moving tracks! If you go to a new weapon, you have to buy all new holsters, mag pouches, all the stuff, get the colors right so they match the ever changing camp patterns. For a soldier, reliability ease of action and safety are the big items. Most pistol users in the army cant shoot for crap anyway! Not enough ammo or training time.

    • guest

      All the 113/577 need is to be sent back for complete depot overhaul and upgrade. That and spend a few $$ keeping them maintained. They are both tough durable and reliable AFVs as long as they are properly maintained.

  • 45k20e4

    Lots of money spent for nothing. Like others here, a handgun is only there to fight your way back to the rifle you should not have left behind. It’s not a competition gun, or bullseye gun, where perfect ergonomics means everything. I am not a fan of the M9, but evolving the platform is a perfectly good option.

    SOCOM has special needs (silencers, etc) that really don’t translate to regular Army. Plus the SF units have far more in depth training, making things like striker fire non-safety equipped pistols more viable.

    For the regular Army you need to build in a certain amount of grunt-proofing. That means a manual safety. Personally, I would have no issued taking my Ruger SR9 into combat. It has seen a very high round count, has acceptable accuracy, is striker fire, with both trigger AND manual safeties. Likewise, I love my CZ SP-01, although it is very heavy, and would get old quick for daily carry.

  • Christopher Delich

    There was just a federal pistol test done (by the ATF or DEA). Why is the Army doing an entire additional test? They ought to be building on what was already done. Also, the only thing that making pistol and ammo companies partner on an agreement to product ammunition does is increase the price to the government. Both companies are going to have to add a bit of cost to the ammunition, and because the Army is too lazy to contract the two items separately, the tax payer pays more for no additional benefit. Once again, the Army contracting folks just don’t get it when it comes to producing a good product for a reasonable cost. They re-invent the wheel in testing and contract items to reduce the paperwork and trouble for themselves. You should be ashamed of yourselves!

  • LGPlayer

    Truth is wait and see which gun manufacturer hires the next retiring general and they will probably get the contract.

  • SGM (retired)

    I’ve had several 40 caliber Glocks with after market 9mm barrels and 22 rimfire conversion kits. Absolute reliability in all three calibers. I have also had a couple of Springfield XD’s in 45 ACP. Great guns, light, reliable and best of all a grip safety. I’m a small left-handed guy and found the XD’s more ergonomic than the Glocks My favorite (of the hundreds of handguns I’ve owned) is still the Model 1911, which I carried in the Army. If I were still in and could carry anything it would be a 45 ACP XD.

  • Jon

    Glock 17’s for everyone. Cheap, effective, reliable. Put night sights on it, maybe. Problem solved.