Door Kickers

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The U.S. Army may is trying to replace the M9 9mm pistol, but it’s still buying new Berettas.

Beretta Defense Technologies announced today that the Army will spend “a quarter million dollars worth of additional M9 pistols from Beretta U.S.A. Corp, according to a press release from the Beretta.

The Army acquired the additional pistols by issuing the 6th delivery order to date against a contract for up to 100,000 pistols awarded by the Army to Beretta U.S.A. Corp. in September 2012, the press release states.

The Pentagon adopted the M9 in 1985. It has been in U.S. production since 1987 and is manufactured at the Beretta U.S.A. facility located in Accokeek, Maryland. To date, Beretta has delivered over 600,000 M9 pistols, with 18,000 already scheduled for delivery under the new 5-year contract.

As the lead agent for small arms, the Army will hold an industry day July 29 to talk to gun makers about the joint, Modular Handgun System or MHS. [click to continue…]

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Army bootsSgt. Major of the Army Raymond Chandler III recently issued guidance to help clarify the Army’s position on commercial-off-the-shelf combat boots.

“There has been misunderstanding with the ALARACT Message 140/2007 with leaders in interpreting which COTS boots are authorized and which are not,” Chandler wrote in a document that was posted on Facebook’s Army NCO Support page. “My intent is to add clarity to the ALARACT message giving leaders a better understanding of which boots are authorized for wear and why.”

There are many COTS boots that meet Army guidelines, Chandler wrote.

“Some examples of these items include, but are not limited to, the Belleville Model 390, the 8-inch Danner Desert TFX, the 8-inch Oakley S.I. Assault Boot as well as many other more traditional Army tan combat boot styles. The purpose of listing these items here is to give examples of styles that fall within the guidelines and authorization as optional to wear,” Chandler wrote. [click to continue…]

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The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency recently conducted the first successful live-fire tests demonstrating in-flight guidance of .50-caliber bullets, program officials maintain.

The Extreme Accuracy Tasked Ordnance program, known as EXACTO, is being developed to “revolutionize rifle accuracy and range by developing the first ever guided small-caliber bullet,” DARPA officials maintain. “The EXACTO 50-caliber round and optical sighting technology expects to greatly extend the day and nighttime range over current state-of-the-art sniper systems.”

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I have received a lot of email responses from my July 3 article on the Army’s Modular Handgun System praising .45 caliber as far superior to 9mm.

Pistol-caliber choices are personal and everybody has an opinion. But opinion isn’t fact, and there is some misinformation out there that needs to be addressed.

Many readers are under the impression that U.S. special operations forces have returned to using .45 caliber pistols since the adoption of the M9 9mm in 1985.

This has some truth to it, but in most cases SOF units use 9mm, experts maintain.

The Army’s Delta Force adopted .40 caliber, but the elite unit is having the same problems as the FBI – the heavier caliber is causing excessive wear problems in guns that were originally designed to be 9mm. Delta is now using 9mm Glock 17s, 19s and 34s.

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Iron ManMilitary leaders have not shied away from referring to the new suit the Pentagon wants to build for special operators as the “Iron Man” suit. So much so that they’ve turned to the special effects company in Hollywood that worked on the Iron Man franchise to build a prototype.

Legacy Effects, which has worked on Iron Man, RoboCop, and Captain America, have been asked by the Pentagon to build a prototype of the suit that is officially called the Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal.

In fact, the special effects experts are using the same 3-D printers to build the prototype that they used to build the suit that Robert Downey Jr.’s character wears in the movies. [click to continue…]

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Bates Footwear will soon unveil its new jungle boot that was designed with the help of special operators.

The Recondo boot is being officially launched at the ADS Warrior Expo East in Virginia Beach July 10-11. They are a low-absorption, quick drying, durable solution designed to provide secure footing in multi-terrain jungle regions, Bates officials maintain.

“The Recondo provides a much needed jungle boot update for the next generation of our armed services,” said Bates Footwear President Onder Ors. “Based on the specific feedback we received from our development partners in the Special Operations Forces, Bates has created the only boot specifically engineered for hot, wet and humid combat environments common in tropical regions.”

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130606-A-NQ567-052I posted an update story on Military.com this morning looking at the Army’s Modular Handgun System effort. The service is holding its second MHS industry day July 29.

This is not the first story I have written about the Army wanting to replace the M9 9mm pistol with a larger-caliber weapon, but the weapons officials seem set on doing just that.

Army weapons officials from Fort Benning, Ga., say the joint MHS effort will result in a “new gun, new ammo, new holster, everything,” according to Daryl Easlick, a project officer with the Army’s Maneuver Center of Excellence at Fort Benning, Ga.

“We have to do better than our current 9mm.”

The MHS will be an open-caliber competition that will evaluate larger rounds such as .357 Sig, .40 S&W and .45 ACP.

The story also points out that the FBI and several major police departments recently decided to return to using the 9mm round after finding that .40 caliber ammunition was causing excessive wear on its service pistols.

The heavier bullet and greater recoil over time resulted in frame damage to well respected makes such as Glock and Beretta, according to Ernest Langdon, a shooting instructor and respected competitive pistol shooter.

“Most of the guns in .40 caliber on the market right now were actually designed to be 9mm originally and then turned into .40 calibers later,” Langdon told Military.com.

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