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The Army is looking for a new pistol. Again. Still

It seems they always are. And 9mm sucks*.

But, the latest:

The U.S. Army is moving forward to replace the Cold War-era M9 9mm pistol with a more powerful handgun that also meets the needs of the other services.

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.

The MHS would replace the Army’s inventory of more than 200,000 outdated M9 pistols and several thousand M11 9mm pistols with one that has greater accuracy, lethality, reliability and durability, according to Daryl Easlick, a project officer with the Army’s Maneuver Center of Excellence at Fort Benning, Georgia.

Last time they did this, a few companies made guns to comply with the requirements (i.e., the G21SF, IIRC). They’re wanting a new round and are looking at .40, .357sig, and 45acp. Trouble is, the army will continue having performance issues with their handguns until they change the ammo from ball to not ball.

* well, the army’s does.

20 Responses to “The Army is looking for a new pistol. Again. Still”

  1. snoopycomputer Says:

    I picked up a used 92 on the bet that one day they would ditch the M9, and I’m hoping to catch all the just-needs-a-new-spring mags and holsters on the cheap.
    We’ll see if I’m right or very, very wrong, or dead before it happens.
    Oh, and I also bought it because Stargate. Unfortunately, JG didn’t have any Zats for sale.

  2. Tasso Rampante Says:

    If they are going to stick with ball, then I would hope they would go with a truncated cone or wide nose bullet. Round nose FMJ make ice pick wounds, where large meplat FMJ make wider than caliber wound channels. Fiocchi TCEB is a great example.

    They may also be pushing toward lead free, which means they will need case capacity for a longer bullet.

  3. SD3 Says:

    A more powerful handgun? Even with the M9, we have endless wanking from the female & LGBT crowd about how it’s ‘too big’, etc.

  4. precision270 Says:

    For the LGBT crowd, I suggest 22 TCM.

    For the rest of the known universe, I suggest NOT BALL and some range time to – you know, learn to shoot.

  5. Ankylus Says:

    With respect to the female & LGBT crowd, I suggest the Army adopt a handgun that suits its requirements for accuracy, lethality, reliability and durability. Anybody who is unable to handle such a firearm is ipso facto unqualified for any MOS that requires they be assigned such a firearm. And I don’t care what their sex, gender, gender identification, sexual orientation, etc. etc. etc. is. Combat is not a place for routine or habitual under-performance. It would be evil to equip troops with an under-performing weapon because some of their fellow troops were unable to properly handle the proper firearm.

  6. Stretch Says:

    Again with the New And Improved.
    That was taken care of with the A1 in 1924.

    Now if you’ll excuse me I’m off to clean my ’06 rifle.
    And stay off my lawn!!

  7. LKP Says:

    Actually, they have to use ball ammo under international law. The Hague Convention of 1899 prohibits expanding or hollow bullets in warfare. I believe we are a signatory. As for the Beretta 92, it is a good weapon and reliable. I own two. That said, it suffers from a major flaw that came to light in the first Gulf War. The open slide makes it too easy for sand and dirt to get in the weapon in arid climates. I don’t see the military going back to the 1911, even if they adopt the 45 ACP cartridge. It is a 100 year old design that is obsolescent. And with so many small women in the military I don’t see them adopting the 45. The M&P or the PX4 would prbably be the best choices. And both have a manual safety option.

  8. Vince Says:

    LKP, The U.S. is not a signatory to that part of the Hague Convention and thus is not bound by its terms. The fact that the U.S. military adheres to it is an administrative decision, not a legal requirement. As is stated above by other writers there are better choices available than ball ammo that comply with the Convention guidelines, so ball is not a lock.
    While I don’t foresee the general military going back to the 1911 it is not beyond the realm of possibility. As for the 1911 being obsolete all I can say is “tell it to the Marines”. The Marines have just order 22.5 million dollars worth of the “obsolescent” “geriatric” to add to their growing inventory. This new kid on the block is known its military name of the M45.

  9. Paul Says:

    Anything they get will have to be usable by small handed people (which is why the M11 was adopted.)

    I would hope a simple change to, say a Ruger P95, but in .40, would do the trick.

    More robust? Well with all the M9 slide failures just about any gun would be more robust. They change those slides every 5000 rounds or so and heck, my Glock 17 went well over 100,000 and I just changed a extractor that started giving me problems with CCI Blazer aluminum cased ammo.

    Ruger, S&W, or maybe Kahr will come out with a DAO design with a safety on the slide that goes off safe when you flip the lever down like a Makarov.

    But who knows what those bean counters will decide.

    Is it to much to hope GIs can just BUY their own?

  10. mikee Says:

    Anyone up for a new carbine design as a primary weapon for non-frontline troops, instead of a handgun? Like a P90 but not so SciFi-ish?

  11. CarlS Says:

    I was in the Army – and carried a pistol at all times – during the Cold War. It was a .45.

    I was under the impression, since I was there at the time, that the switch to the 9mm was a “post-Cold War” thing.

  12. HardCorps Says:

    The m9 is a complete piece of shit, but I doubt the army’s genuine interest in some thing better, they just want to waste money and bad some political connections bank account. Who makes a gun that goes on safe after racking the slide?? So worthless!

    They’ll go with a default-on safety handgun, like a DA/SA or that abortion S&W thing.

    Vince, thank you for pointing out the truth of the branch that actually wants to win battles uses the 1911.

  13. TheOtherLarry Says:

    I was part of a group of soldiers volunteered to test various candidates to replace the 1911, which actually started in the late 70’s. One that I was issued for testing was a version of the Baretta 92 that was used by the Belgian military. It had ambidextrous safety and slide lock. I don’t know about longevity, but that was a very nice pistol. I ran several thousand rounds through that thing in a year and it was flawless.

    Whatever they choose I sure hope they keep lefties in mind.

  14. Mr Evilwrench Says:

    I EDC a 1911 or a doublestack variant, left handed. As much as it’s considered a right handed design, I think I have an advantage using the wrong hand. Slide lock and mag release are right there where I’d put them if I was designing it left handed. I rarely use the thumb safety.

    Why in hell are we using the military as a jobs program for whatever girly boys or actual girls show up, instead of people suited to the purpose? Heck, I’ve met some pretty butch women that I’d as soon not tangle with, but can they grab a doublestack grip? I want somebody with a pair protecting my interests.

  15. Mike Says:

    It’s too bad Beretta is not a publicly-traded company, or I’d be buying it’s stock hand-over-fist.

    If this ends like the infamous “new carbine” trials, Beretta will be getting an order for 100,000 more M9 pistols. I’d be rich!

  16. HardCorps Says:

    Wtf you don’t use the thumb safety on a 1911?? The internet confirms my belief that most people are retards.

  17. Critter Says:

    Oh, la, here we go again.

  18. LKP Says:

    The US may not be a signatory but can you imagine the international outcry if they stopped observing the ban? We’ve discontinued use of landmines, napalm and white phosphorus because of international pressure. I think it is far more likely that someone finds Bigfoot than having the US stop observing the ban on hollow points in war.

  19. LKP Says:

    As for the USMC buying new 1911’s, I’ll bet those are bound for combat units. I doubt they will be issuing those to truck drivers and supply clerks.

  20. Geodkyt Says:

    Several points:

    IIRC, the problems Glocks were having in .40S&W wearing out the frames early were primarily in Gen 3 Model 23’s. ISTR that the full sized (more importantly, full length recoil spring setup) Model 22s didn’t have the same issues, and the Gen 4 Model 23s have fixed that issue with a different recoil spring setup (while screwing up the Model 19s that share the same spring setup).

    The problem with the Beretta 92 being too big for people with small hands is just that — the damned things has a VERY big “circumference + DA trigger reach” for a 9mm service pistol. IIRC, one of the largest in service pistols. This is a problem, one that can be fixed by not adopting such a whale of a pistol frame next time.

    IIRC, current issue 9x19mm ball ammo is flatnosed. Any new service caliber (even a re-adopted .45ACP) would probably switch to the same sort of design. Just because the nose isn’t round doesn’t make it somehow NOT FMJ (“ball”).

    We aren’t going to adopt non-Hague compliant ammo for general service. Period. Not gonna happen. Nor are we going to but a bunch of 1911s for general issue. Not gonna happen. For a LOT of very good reasons (logistical, operational, and training). (Don’t get me wrong — I love the 1911. I still carry mine quite a bit. When we finally turned our M1911s in for M9s, our “NCO Professional Development” was an Irish-style drunken wake for the 1911.)

    Whatever design is selected will almost certainly have either a true DAO trigger, or it will have a manual safety — expecting to see a “GI Glock” is unrealistic. Frankly, I’d LOVE to see a DAO design that patterned it’s trigger after an out of the box S&W revolver, with a 1911 style thumb safety (or none at all).