Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


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  • M.

    The marines just bought the 1911. I don’t see the army updating or replacing the M9 any time soon.

    • Siva Williams

      MARSOC has 1911 railguns. The rest of the Corps has M9s and M11s.

      • Anonymoose

        Since when does the Corps use M11s?

        • Ron

          The only M9s on USMC TO/E belong to law enforcement related activities.

          • Ron

            I mean M11s

          • Lance

            NCIS basically

      • MrBobBarker

        Can we stop calling handguns with accessory rails “railguns”. Railguns are an actual thing and something entirely different: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Railgun

        • Mazryonh

          We only have Colt’s marketing department to blame.

          Personally I’d call Railguns, Coilguns, and Particle Beams “EMAC” guns, short for ElectroMagnetic ACeleration” since those three kinds of weapons technology use electromagnetic acceleration to propel their ammunition (the last kind propels subatomic particles or ions, but still uses the same process).

  • milehisnk

    I personally don’t see a reason to replace it. It’s a fantastic firearm. If anything, they should update it a bit to make it a little more user friendly for the military at least (momentary decocker only perhaps?). It’d be a lot cheaper to buy new barrels and slides for the current stock of M9s than to develop a replacement.

    • Matt

      I completely agree with that one. Detractors of the pistol have been debunked, over and over again. I think they are absolutely superb sidearms from some (I think) pretty extensive experience with them.

      • Mike

        April 2003, just south of Baghdad, 101st ABN DIV (AASLT). M-9 rendered in operable from cleaning with issued tooth brush. The leafspring on the inside of the mag well became disloged by the tooth brush, rendering the “most tested pistol” a single shot paper weight. The M-9, IMO is the biggest piece of crapp pistol the military has purchased in the last 100 years. The SIG 226 tied with the M-9, but SIG quoted a price about $10 more per weapon….and that’s how we got stuck with the Beretta. Carried a 1911-A1 for years prior to and never had any issues with it not firing when I squeesed the trigger. For what it’s worth.

        • It’s worth a lot when you have personal experience with it in combat

        • Lance

          Strange carried one for years not one problem. Most problems came from the Army mostly from men who didn’t clean and lube there weapons enough. Not the M-9s fault, a Glock would have failed as well.

        • politicsbyothermeans

          So, one failure allegedly caused by cleaning means that a line of pistols is complete crap? Hmmmm… The only brush issued with an M9 is a bore brush and the TM specifically says NOT to use it anywhere other than the bore. Task 071-004-0001, Maintain an M9 Pistol, mentions that a cloth, or soft brush, can be used to clean the receiver assembly. Still, if a “tooth brush” rendered the M9 inoperable the leaf spring was already on its way out. Better to happen during PMCS than in combat, yet?

          I’ve carried an M9 in Iraq twice and Afghanistan once. I never used it to shoot anyone so “stopping power” issues are beyond my scope of experience. However, it shot just fine every time we went to the range, always worked as advertised at the cleaning barrel and survived 15 months of getting armor thrown on it, banging off of the inside lip of the turret, me (312lbs with full kit) going prone on top of it when I carried it high center and all of the other abuses visited on a sidearm.

          It’s main problems IMHO, are that it’s a little too big for folks with small hands and it’s not particularly forgiving of limpwristing. The latter is a training issue but the plain truth is that most servicemembers never actually train with the M9 other than to qualify. Anecdotally, the various failures I’ve heard about were a result of crappy magazines, severely abused pistols and improper maintenance.

          All the arguments I’ve heard against the M9 were broscience accompanied by some obscure anecdote and were almost always accompanied with some sort of rip on the 9mm “Europellet.”

        • A Mericano

          If you don’t know how to clean your weapon without rendering it inoperable then the problem is staring at you when you look in the mirror.

  • Chase Buchanan

    Unless the Army decides they want pistols with different features or qualities than the M9, I don’t see why they’d replace it. Look how long the M1911A1 stayed around. And the M16 is still here.

    • Cornelius Carroll

      The only thing I’d point out is that the army is probably interested in light-weighting soldiers (look at how they’ve changed basic in recent years: emphasis on speed over endurance). With that in mind I’d imagine that the army will adopt a polymer framed pistol. Ounces add up to pounds.

      • MOG

        Ounces add up to pounds? Like 80 to 100 lbs of body armor? Light Infantry? Good thing they got those super trucks to ride around in.

  • Rich Guy

    How come “Not soon enough” is not a option?

  • Mk14 EBR Mod. 0

    Considering they ended the Individual Carbine Competition and dismissed it as “something congress wanted” I don’t see them replacing the M9. If they do, I can see them going with FNs handguns, since FNH already makes so many guns for the Army

    • Anonymoose

      I can see FNXs, SIG P226/229s, or Beretta Storms being purchased if they do decide to upgrade before caseless ammo, railguns, and lasers become the new thing.

      • Vhyrus

        I heard that they are accepting test entries for phased plasma rifles in the 40 watt range.

    • Lance

      Not really the FNX series offer nothing really over a Glock. The SIG and XDM pistols and HKs .45 USP are prime candidates. But I doubt any new pistol will be brought up for some time.

      • Cymond

        “Not really the FNX series offer nothing really over a Glock.”

        I think I’ve seen that argument for every pistol in the world. However, I think that a 3-position frame-mounted safety (safe, fire, decock) is a definite advantage for military use, as is the double-action trigger (restrike ability, can be carried decocked, and similar to the current issue M9).

        If anything, it is the XDM that has no advantage over the Glock for military use. The XDM-9 is about 8 ounces heavier than a comparable Glock 17. It’s only advantages are a grip safety, loaded chamber indicator, striker-cocked indicator (all 3 are additional places for fine dust to enter the gun), ambidextrous magazine release (which is now on the Gen 4 Glock), and a little bit lighter trigger pull. Oh, and the XDM’s contoured grip feels better than a Glock’s flat-sided grip. I like my XDM, but for a gun that will be carried a lot but shot rarely, I don’t think that its advantages are worth the extra half-pound of weight.

  • milesdigby

    Well I don’t understand why they have not changed to the Glock 17 9mm. It is MUCH lighter and seeing that your M16 is really what you figh with. Take the pounds down.

    Don’t get me wrong the M9 is just a perfect gun, but it’s all steel frame is just now a little to heavy 23 years later.

    • Anonymoose

      >pounds
      HAHAHA!
      Oh, wow.
      The Army bought a limited quantity of G19s and G26s for USASOC and (probably) Intelligence. However, a general-issue duty weapon is not a CCW, so a couple *ounces* aren’t really an issue. Fanboyism aside, I don’t understand why they don’t switch to the M9A1 or 92A1- it’s pretty much the same gun as the M9, but can be used with an LAM and higher capacity mags (17 rounds like the G17). Also, only the G21 JCP model came with a Picatinny rail, so if they adopted a current Glock model they’d have to use adapters for their current Insight LAMs or buy Glock’s own LAMs.

      • Matt

        You can use the 17 round mags with a standard M9. M9A1s come with the PVD coated 15s btw.

        • Anonymoose

          They should adopt the 17-rounders either way.

    • Marc

      The Beretta’s frame is aluminium, not steel.

      • Lance

        Pretty light. A SiG 226 is much heavier than either G17 or M-92FS.

    • Glock 17’s and a few 19’s are in service with special ops troops. I have photos if you want.

      • Lance

        Most SOCOMs who carry pistol have a M-1911 variant or a .45 Glock 9mm Glocks never where used in the military.

  • big daddy

    It takes a long time for the military to do anything huge like completely change over to another pistol. Once the pistols are all worn out or NATO changes they will. Or a powerful politician wants them to buy some from his/her state where the company resides. Something like that. It won’t happen soon. The needs of the military are different than police or individuals and right now the M9 does the basic minimums. You squeeze the trigger and it works most of the time, GTG for the DOD. Their mentality is so different that other countries or smaller city PDs. When they change they have to change on such a large scale, including training of the troops and armorers, not to mention writing all those training books, even changing tactics. The task from A-Z is monumental and expensive, it’s not only about the weapon and ammo it’s all the support.

    • Very true the cost of transition has more to with the expense of transition than the actual purchase of the weapon.
      This is why the Marines purchase of the new 1911 seemed so expensive.

      • big daddy

        Exactly, unless you have been in the military or a similar para-military organization it’s hard to understand that. Like if a corporation decided to change over their complete computer system, we all know that can go well or be a nightmare for years for them. The cost of the units are less than all the peripherals that’s needed and training. If you have a force of 100 men you can easily transition, how about a million!!!! Add all the people in the military of the USA and figure they need a certain percentage of handguns for them. Not all carry but there are other duties like MP/SP, CQ duty, guard duty and so on that require troops that would not normally carry a sidearm to carry one.

        It’s like civilians that are shocked that shooters have 10,000 rounds of ammo in their homes. Who would need 10,000 rounds? Anybody who shoots a lot knows that you buy in bulk, it’s cheaper. That’s what the military has to do buy in bulk and not 1000s, tens of millions. To me a civilian is anybody who has never served (MIL, LEO) or does not own a firearm and know how to use it in a military fashion-no training of any kind.

        In all honesty I think if the military used better ammo and not ball the 9mm might be enough. The .40 seems like a good compromise and the Glock the way to go. The price and modularity of the weapon seems like a savings in the long run. Shooters say a good M9 set up correctly is an excellent weapon. But like the old M1911 the military issued ones are not made or kept well enough to be considered more than hit or miss quality wise. Maybe that’s where the Glock might be superior in the long run. In all honestly all combat troops should have a backup weapon that is small and powerful, especially in the more limited style of warfare we will face in the future. They will have to deal with being as much a policeman as a soldier and a pistol is superior in dealing with indigent civilians in third world countries.

        • holland

          Forgot about that. In many third world countries a pistol is seen as a status symbol due to it’s associations with leaders who execute people.

  • Shrek

    To be completely honest I have no problem with the M9. I carry one and have done everything from shoot it to use it as a hammer (im the reason we cant have nice things). Sure its been beaten in its long life but honestly it works with no problems every time. So chances are the military is going to spend a large amount of money on something new.

  • Geoff a well known Skeptic

    Many many moons agone, at a place call MAASTERS at Ft. Hood, TX when the M1911A1 was elderly and those on hand decrepit, I attended a Focus Group. I went in a fan of the large cap DA/SA Pistol in 9mm. A couple hours later I can out a fan of the SIG 225 / P6. Years later the US Army bought the M-9. Geoff Who is seldom on the winning side, hey, I’m a Cleveland Browns fan, goes with the territory.

  • Corey

    I have carried an M9 for going on 20 years. The main reason the M9 will be hard to replace is it’s redundant safety features. As long as you have idiots with guns, you need safeties to prevent as many mishaps as possible. With that said, I would much rather carry a sig than the M9.

    • Cannelure

      Maybe we do things different in the Air Force, but when I carried the M9, I was trained to use the safety as a decocker. Load the weapon, rack the slide, decock and carry it with a round in the chamber, hammer down and safety in the fire position. The long double action pull, evidently, was safe enough for the Air Force.

      • Samuel Suggs

        thats goes against every piece of small arms saftey doctrine ever practiced bye the United States military. I dont think that that was ever U.S air force policy so it was probobly a decision made bye a base brass. what were you using the pistols for at the time? backup weapon base security, other form of security, classic role of the officers pistol. what?

        • hardeho

          No, it is standard USAF policy for the M9 to be carried on fire with a round in the chamber. I’ve carried it that way for 17 years as an AF cop (SP/SF).

          • Samuel Suggs

            interesting

  • Mazryonh

    Given how hidebound the US Army has proved for small arms procurement (what with its cancellation of research into better rifle calibers and extremely slow adoption of weaponry like the XM25), it’ll take either a major crisis or scandal for the Army to ditch the M9 and try something new in terms of handgun platforms or calibers. Just how many “pistol replacement programs” have been cancelled by now?

    Even the Russians have taken steps forward with their handgun/SMG platforms and cartridges, while the Americans (and by extension their NATO allies) have stagnated in this regard. They’ve even developed an armour-piercing variant of the venerable 9x19mm cartridge after having ditched the 9x18mm Makarov round, and come out with new handgun and SMG platforms in the interim. The US small arms arsenal doesn’t have anything like the PP-19 Bizon, for instance.

    My personal recommendation would be for Gen 4 Glock 20s to become the new standard handgun, plus something like the Brügger & Thomet MP9 re-chambered for 10mm to become the new “PDW” or compact SMG. Given the 10mm’s enhanced range and stopping power over 9x19mm and .45 ACP, it could be an excellent replacement.

    • Samuel Suggs

      the XM25 was a horrible idea otherwise I agree with you

    • Lance

      Not really the Yachkin pistol never got issued out of the Spetznaz and most Russian solders and Police use 9x18mm Makarovs still.. Even in Russia pistol take a back seat to AKs.

      • Mazryonh

        Despite what didn’t get sent out, the fact remains that the Russians have show innovation in this regard where the Americans haven’t. A Machine Pistol like the PP-2000 is an excellent close-range weapon with a folding buttstock and a dedicated place to put your off-hand, and is compact enough to be holstered, and can use Russian 9mm AP ammo. What have the Americans made for possible deployment that matches that?

        • holland

          Yeah but the russians don’t have a love affair with their Makarovs unlike the americans with their love for the 1911 and anything like a 1911.

      • holland

        Read the russians considered the Makarov the perfect pistol to commit suicide..

  • Hedd Wyn

    The M9 does the job. Pistols aren’t a high priority for the army, they aren’t used that often in comparison to Law Enforcement. The cost of replacing the M9 would be substantial so I can see the US military hanging on to the M9 for years to come. Heck if you look at the British Army they’ve only just started replacing the hi-power with Glocks and the Hi-Power had been in use since the 60s. Yes the British Army had the P226 in use also but the standard weapon the hi-power only started to look obsolete with all these green on blue incidents in Afghanistan. UK soldiers complained that they couldn’t store a round chambered in the HP and they had to take off the safety which meant it took them too long to respond to rogue afghans.

    • Man pippy

      And the Australian military still uses the High Power, with no plans to change it. As you say it’s just not a priority, I believe only very few soldiers carry pistols with few believing they are necessary. The idea probably is why carry a pistol if for the same weight you can carry another 30 rounds of rifle ammo?

      The SASR carry the H&K USP in 9mm though.

      • 0m3g4

        SASR actually uses the H&K USP tactical in 9mm. The Perth SWAT team uses the HK45.

      • 20ftat20seconds

        I shot the Browning High Power for the first time while in Australia during a training exercise a few years back. I really liked how that pistol shot. Much better trigger pull than the M9. I was instantly a fan.

        Being a Navy guy, I’ve shot plenty of the M9, and Sig P226 and M11 models. I prefer the Sigs mainly because of the lack of safety and cleaner operating controls. It never fails that while shooting the M9 enough on the range, I will every once in a blue-moon not sweep the safety off properly during a fast engagement from the holster. It doesn’t happen often, but it is sobering when it does.

    • JumpIf NotZero

      At least they get autos. I saw a TON of revolvers in Central America.

      • 20ftat20seconds

        U.S. Navy SEAL Delivery Vehicle Teams still issue S&W Stainless 686 .357 magnum revolvers to Divers.

    • MrBobBarker

      The Canadian Forces are still using the Browning Hi-Power as our GSP as well. The CF is soliciting for a new GSP and I’ve heard that it’s going to be a Sig P225 but it seems sort an odd choice when compared to the Sig P228. Especially when you actually read the requirements which state it requires a minimum 13 round capacity and at the same time states:

      “The grip size must be adjustable to permit the 5th percentile Canadian female to the 95th percentile Canadian male easily perform all operations and easily hold and fire the GSP”.

      They also seem to want a DAO without any external safeties, Glocks are out of the question because they stated it must not require a trigger pull for disassembly. Which sort of sucks since IMO we should be using whatever is light (grams = kilos 😉 ) and reliable (cost) considering how secondary it is.

      Check out the full list of requirements @ http://bit.ly/19j0h7z [WARNING PDF]

    • Lance

      60s? They had them since WW2!

  • Brian W Cowell

    I like the M9 and it will probably stay another 10 – 15 years. As an armorer in the Marine Corp I got to use and deal with the M9 a lot and I have to say that it is not as bad as many say. Those who use it and detract it tend to complain about malfunctions and those are due to 90% magazine (checkmate ones mostly), apx 8% to lack of proper cleaning, and the rest due parts breakage due to most of the pistols have over 150,000 rounds of ammunition through them without any rebuilds that I am aware of. Another is stopping power but that is due to the 115 GR FMJ 9mm used by NATO. This pistol is just as accurate as any other that I have shot and used but I am not an operator nor firearms instructor so I can only give my say on the functioning of it.

    • Nadnerbus

      Interesting input, thanks. Sounds like a digital round counter imbedded somewhere on the pistol along with a maintenance schedule would go a long way to alleviating some of the complaints of the reliability, along with a purging of Check Mate mags. Sounds a hell of a lot cheaper than buying a whole new service pistol.

      • MrBobBarker

        Involving electronics in a firearm’s action? I think I just heard someone’s head explode.

        • Nadnerbus

          Not something that is actually involved in the gun’s mechanics. Just a stand alone device that tallies the number of shots fired, through an acceleraometer or some such device. The gun would be unaffected whether the device was functioning or not. It would be a bit like an odometer for guns, nothing that would impede the function of the machine, but would provide information to the mechanic or armorer working on it (along with a database of guns and when they were last serviced and how) how many rounds had been put through it since previous maintenance.

          Cars have been getting much more reliable in large part because of factory scheduled maintenance and part replacement like this. It only makes sense that the weapons our armed forces use to defend themselves and the nation should have a similar process.

          • MrBobBarker

            I assumed that’s what you were implying I was just making a joke about a lot of people’s knee-jerk reactions to… anything new or different.

          • Brian W Cowell

            I like the idea but you have not been in the military especially the Marine Corp! That item would be broken within 60 seconds of hitting any unit! lol There is a program in place for that but that is for the precision guns (EMR/DMR, M110, M40 series, M24, Barrett, etc.) You also have to realize that guns are not just shot but ran with, dropped, bumped, slung, pummeled, dirtied, slammed, and any other forms of mistreatment that you can possibly think of and more in a tactical environment.

  • bbmg

    Keep the pistol, update the ammunition!

    The original model 92 was designed 40 years ago, which sounds old but compared to the 110 year old 9mm parabellum cartridge it’s state of the art!

    • michael

      disagree, army surgeons and tests conclude that the 9mm is fine. the notion of ‘one shot one kill’ with the .45 has been debunked as well. As always, shot placement is key. Better to have more in the mag than not enough

      • bbmg

        By “upgrade” I don’t mean chamber for the 45, a cartridge that is also a century old. I meant more along the lines of the 6.5×25 CBJ, give those who carry them a chance against opponents wearing body armor and better accuracy due to the much flatter trajectory.

        • michael

          I hear you and see your point but the cost would be great for all variables needed here. The handgun is often the last weapon of choice and the 9mm is sufficient according to the studies and doctor’s reports.

          In a perfect world, absolutely we should have something that has more range and power.

          • RocketScientist

            Cost should be minimal… the CBJ round (if I remember correctly) was designed to use the same pressures as a NATO standard 9mm loading, and the case dimensions are the same as a 9mm, so conversion from a 9mm pistol to a CBJ pistol would require just a barrel swap (at least that is the idea). Most of the world’s militaries seem to think future pistol/PDW weapons need to have more anti-armor capability to combat the spread of body armor, as evinced by the 5.7 and 4.6 rounds developed by FN and H&K respectively for their new PDWs. Downside would lkikely be less ‘stopping power’ and effectiveness against soft targets, as a result of the much reduced projectile mass.

          • Mazryonh

            The problem with the armour-piercing 6.5mm CBJ round is that most of the projectile is just a sabot for a 4mm tungsten projectile. First, tungsten is better used on things like anti-tank munitions. Second, the world tungsten supply channel is quite narrow, with the vast majority located in China–what are we going to do if they flip us the bird and cut off that supply during a hostile situation?

            You can read about the world shortage of tungsten here:

            http://www.forbes.com/sites/ciocentral/2012/03/14/the-world-is-running-low-on-tungsten-why-you-should-care/

            Also, the 4mm penetrator will likely run into the same low-stopping-power-per-round-ratio that the flechettes used in the Special Purpose Individual Weapon did (you know, the program that gave us the M203 Grenade Launcher)–the narrower the projectile, the smaller the wound channel if it doesn’t expand or fragment. Even now, small caliber PDW rounds (like 5.7x28mm and 4.6x30mm) have attracted criticism for their low stopping power. Going even narrower is likely to exacerbate those problems. You can read about this here:

            http://pistol-forum.com/showthread.php?4338-Small-Caliber-PDW-s-FN-5-7-mm-HK-4-6-mm

          • bbmg

            With regards to the tungsten round, it’s probably gone too far. I would say a full-bore (6.5mm) bullet with a steel core is probably a better idea, both in terms of cost and terminal ballistics.

            As to the lack of “stopping power”, you have to consider shot placement. Someone hit in the chest with a 44 magnum is more likely to go down quickly than a 9mm hit – the question is though, will the person using the pistol manage to hit the target?

            In the military, those issued with pistols are normally people for whom active combat is not a primary function, therefore they are less likely to have much time for training. Giving them a pistol which recoils less, fires a faster bullet and allows for a larger magazine capactiy is going to make it much more likely to hit the target, and in my view this should be preferred. It’s better to hit with a small bullet than miss with a big one.

          • Mazryonh

            Shot placement is all well and good, but the stress of combat is the farthest thing from an ideal situation there is. This is why handgun training lessons normally train for centre-mass hits, the upper portion if possible. Riflemen and handgunners are not drones without a sense of self-preservation and immune to stressful influences. If we could be perfect marksman in stressful conditions, everyone could carry .380 ACP handguns or smaller and go for spine, heart, or brain shots every time. Furthermore, the more rapidly an opponent is incapacitated, the better off for you; smaller bullets (and non-expanding, non-fragmenting ones at that) aren’t in all likelihood going to put the odds in your favour.

            CBJ also has a “high-energy transfer” version of their 6.5mm projectile which is full-caliber and not a sabot-carrier, which you can read about here:

            http://www.cbjtech.com/sida.asp?sida=2_6.5×25%20CBJ%20HET&niva=3

            I’m not convinced; at most handgun velocities, 9mm diameter is the minimum for sufficient tissue damage and a large-enough bleed-out cavity, and even that normally requires a “few” shots, if not up to 5 or more (why else did they push to develop the “Wonder Nines” series of handguns?). 6.5mm caliber has been used in some rifle cartridges (such as 6.5x39mm Grendel and the older 6.5x47mm Arisaka) but those work because they possess enough energy to turn otherwise temporary cavities into larger wounds.

            The reason why I suggested 10mm in other comments here is because it has a much better effective range and downrange energy retention, not to mention a healthy projectile diameter, to be a more credible defensive option, especially in a compact SMG that offers all 4 points of contact (and such a platform would be much easier to control recoil for than a handgun). The B&T MP9 and MP7 both fit that bill, and both can be holstered.

            As for handgun training, it’s a long and involved process that’s a lot less instinctive than rifle training, especially under stressful conditions. We could go even smaller (like the FN Five-seveN) and invite even more stopping power problems, or up our handgun training (which would indeed have other uses).

          • Dchil

            Look, you may have a hard on for the 6.5×25 but it is not the round needed in this situation. A better idea would be a decent weight 9mm fmj or something a bit larger. Or NATO designs a Armour piercing version of the current round.

          • bbmg

            The Russians seem to have found a good intermediate solution with steel cored rounds. Performance against soft tissue would be close to conventional expanding ammunition, and if armor is encountered the jacket would strip off but the core would continue through to whatever’s behind it.

          • bbmg

            In terms of damage to soft tissue, certainly even 22LR is adequate assuming shot placement is correct. Not as useful against an enemy combatant wearing even soft body armor.

    • Lance

      I agree a 147gr flat point FMJ or HP would be worlds better than the troubled 124gr FMJ NATO round the military uses.

  • Cornelius Carroll

    I could see them going to a polymer framed pistol with the idea being to reduce a soldier’s carry weight.

    • Formynder

      The ones worried about weight tend to be the ones carrying rifles or heavier weapons, not pistols. Pistols are reserved for officers, MPs, and others like that. Most soldiers don’t carry pistols as back up weapons.

  • gunslinger

    well if the 1911 is still in service…..

  • Ian

    Not any time soon.

    The only significant flaw with the M9 is the immense girth of the grip. Switching to something polymer would go a long way to improve the ergonomics in this regard, but the solution for this isn’t the terrible grip on a Glock.

    I also don’t think the US military would adopt a non hammer fired pistol due to its adeptness in the archaic. To suggest a slight change to training is blasphemy.

    • JumpIf NotZero

      Well, to be fair, the grip isn’t the only problem. Slide mounted safety, weight, and snake-bite shape of the slide in the rear are all up there.

  • Mystick

    Bad things about the M9:
    -Bulky handgrip
    -Bulky trigger
    -Open slide doesn’t like dirt
    -The action is susceptible to failure if a single grip panel screw becomes loosened.

    • Samuel Suggs

      the grip panel screw thing is hyperbole right? you dont actually think that do you?

      • Mystick

        I’ve seen it happen… the trigger bar detaches just enough not to make contact.

        • Samuel Suggs

          wow i assummed that was just an exspression every time I heard that

  • Michael Mabey

    Upgrade it with a 6mm cbj barrel that should make it a great close quarter gun or go with a Sig 226

    • JumpIf NotZero

      Caliber is the absolute least of the issues with the 92.

  • kagbalete

    The CZ 75b or any of it’s variants would be a great replacement for the M9… I own both and though I like the M9 I feel the CZ 75b or any of its variants are better. If there would be a switch to a different kind of ammo I think they should look at the 10mm which is way better than both the 9mm or 45 acp…. The EAA Witness or Glock 20 or 29 comes to mind in this regard….

    • John

      The 10mm will never be adopted by the US. Recoil is just too stout as an all around service pistol, not to mention it isn’t too compatible with NATO standards…

      • Mazryonh

        If you look at the various youtube videos showing full-power 10mm loads being shot through the Glock 20, you’ll notice that the users don’t flinch as much as you might expect (it’s not .44 magnum revolver, after all).

        You can also look at the 10mm’s long range performance here:

        http://youtu.be/bI4qKl0VXjU

        The 10mm also does better against barriers like car windshields than some 5.56mm NATO rounds too:

        http://youtu.be/Kptr5OOLOHk

        5.56mm SBRs undeniably put a lot of their ammo’s gunpowder to waste as useless flash and blast with every shot. 10mm SMGs with full-power ammunition, collapsible stocks and loading from the pistol grip would be more compact and more efficient.

        • John

          Part of the requirements for adopting a service pistol now is to accommodate most if not all of the armed forces. IIRC, part of why the FBI dropped the 10mm was because the pistols made for it were too big for some (could you imagine how hard it would be to teach small ~120 lb person to fire a Glock 20, or even worse, a Glock 29 since it fits his/her hands?), and they were having issues training agents to be competent with the pistol.
          While some can undoubtedly handle firing the 10mm, there those that cannot. However, everyone is able to fire the 9mm.

          • Mazryonh

            Glock could always put out a single-stack 10mm gun. And there are grip modification services that are well-versed in modifying Glock grip sizes.

            Waitaminute, if FBI agents complained about the S&W 10mm guns (which were also single stack), then the same people would also have complained about the venerable M1911. In the bad old days of conscription you sucked it up and humped it (along with your 9-pound M1 Garand rifle) like anyone else, but now that we have choice I guess there isn’t as much incentive to be adaptable anymore.

            Another alternative is to use a 10mm compact SMG as a “personal defense weapon.” One that loads in the pistol grip with a folding or collapsible buttstock with a vertical foregrip would offer four points of contact (cheek weld, shoulder, off-hand, trigger hand) and would be much more controllable with less need for a full grip with the trigger hand, as opposed to standard handguns which have only “one-and-a-half” points of contact. The Brügger & Thomet MP9 or the Heckler and Koch MP7 rechambered for 10mm could work.

            You can read more info about the needs of a PDW-type weapon here:

            http://www.quarry.nildram.co.uk/PDWs.htm

  • tincankilla

    Given advances in drones and other digital tech that allow remote killing, we’ll stick with current weaponry and just see a complete change in warfighting. in the future, carrying a pistol and physically “going” to war will mean that you’re just doing clean up after the show’s over.

    • Mazryonh

      It’s likely that counter-insurgencies and “low-intensity conflicts” will continue for the foreseeable future. Given the increased possibility of “I thought he was green” shootings even inside what should be safe areas, having personnel being armed during those times, even with just a pistol, is better than nothing. After all, I’m sure there are plenty of people in those possible areas of operation who would love to emulate the Fort Hood shooter.

    • holland

      Quite the opposite actually, infantry combat in the future will almost exclusively be CQB, which is the most intense type of combat.

  • jamezb

    I have big hands and holding a M9 STILL feels like hugging a brick.

  • Al

    We’ll have the M9 for many years to come. There may be upgrades and modifications like the M9A1 for general issue, but pistols are a very low priority item for the military. I know this will inflame many fans of their favorite “whatever” pistols, realistically there have not been leaps and bounds in handgun designs that would warrant the expense of replacement. The Beretta is certainly adequate for a military issue sidearm.

  • Jake

    The Beretta is a very good gun. I believe the SIG pattern (P226, 229) is a better gun, but it’s more expensive to make and can’t have better value for money, which is a big deal when ordering these things by the tens of thousands. Within its price point, I only see the CZ75 as the competitor that compares with the Beretta’s specs (all metal, 15-round capacity, DA/SA hammer trigger, decocker and ambidextrous options available), but CZ does no manufacturing in the US, so the M9 is probably there to stay for a while.

    • JumpIf NotZero

      You can compare specs all day, but talk to me about specs when to tap and rack a 92FS and your hand is bleeding.

  • Thatguy96

    The people who actually might make use of a pistol (or who would like to think they might; I’m looking at you Marine Corps) within the many ends of the Department of Defense have already bought replacements. The number of people in the Army’s active and reserve components who are actually issued M9s have a very low likelihood of using them anywhere else than on a range I’d imagine. I’d imagine that the possibility of going through the same rigamarole that happened with the adoption of the M9 (and the XM10 trial for that matter which often gets forgotten), the US Army is likely reluctant to worry about buying replacement pistols for personnel who have them more as an indicator of MOS or rank than for any real functional purpose.

    • Man pippy

      Indeed it’s more of a decoration than a weapon and in this regard the M9 is a fantastic looking pistol. Just imagine if the rank had to wear ugly Glocks.

      • MrBobBarker

        While I see a sort of appeal in the 92FS I’ve never been a fan. Maybe it’s just cause I’m a youngin’ but the general design of the slide and protruding (non-threaded) barrel sort of ruins it for me. For my money I personally love how the newer CZ75 SP-01 look with their slide-in-frame (as opposed to slide-on-frame), ring hammer and the frame length matching the length of the slide (with railed models at least) makes it a nice mix of classic 1911 (Browning Hi-Power technically) and tacticool.

        With a Berreta 92FS it just feels like I need to be wearing shiny Italian loafers to pull it off – you know – for my firearm modelling career.

        • ST4

          I think you’d have to have grown up with Die Hard, Lethal Weapon, and other action classics of that era to dig the looks. 80’s cinema couldn’t get enough of the Beretta 92 back then. Of course, my favorite interpretation was the 93R in Robocop!

  • TangledThorns

    They should be replaced with the Desert Eagle Mark XIX!

  • Cannelure

    What the military needs to do is take full advantage of the Second Amendment and allow individual servicemen and servicewomen to purchase and own their weapon, optic and accessories. Most law enforcement agencies in the United States have a list of “approved equipment.” Using this model, each branch of the military can maintain their own list of approved equipment and issue an equipment allowance much like the clothing, housing and subsistence allowances.

    • JumpIf NotZero

      That’s a disaster waiting to happen.

      • A Mericano

        American soldiers routinely carried personally owned pistols — either brought from home or acquired in theater — during WW II, Korea and Viet Nam.

        The sky didn’t fall.

        American troops are better trained and better disciplined now than in those days, which undermines the usual argument that “soldiers can’t be trusted with pistols.”

        After multiple killings of Americans by “allied” troops and even jihadists in the US forces, it clear that the “disaster” has been the “keep the troops unarmed inside the wire and back home” policies of the US DoD.

        How many could Hasan have killed if officers and NCOs were armed? Instead, his victims were forced to literally fight with bare hands and furniture, and it wasn’t until a DoD civilian cop showed up that Hasan stopped murdering Americans.

    • Formynder

      That’s a terrible idea. You want uniformity for supply, maintenance, and training purposes.

      • Beaumont

        I think he is implying that the individual service member would be responsible for maintenance and ammo supply, rather than the DOD. For sidearms, this might be a workable idea.

        • Mazryonh

          Getting replacement parts could be a problem except for those who take the very best care of their personal weapons. And even then things break down in the field all the time, not to mention the myriad of possible handgun models personnel would take with them means no parts or magazine commonality–unless of course they have to go back to “standard issue” if their “pet pistol” won’t work.

  • Lance

    The article at Armytime was by Lance Bacon who is a nut job on new weapons. He predicted the M-4 would be gone by now and we all have SCARs, due to his loved ICC competition. Don’t trust him. Stars and Stripes and Military.com all not reported this and I feel its Bacon being full of it. It will take Beretta 2 years to make over 100,000 M-9s and the Army said till 2017 the M-9 is the official Army pistol. Fact too is that like ICC unless we goto a new caliber there no sense to part with the M-9. For a 9mm NATO pistol the M-9 does the job just fine. We can argue Glock vs Beretta anytime but for a sidearm both do the job and going to another 9mm pistol makes no sense. If we went to .45 cal again then a new pistol like the Colt M-45 or the Springfield XDM or even SIG .45 220 would make sense.

  • Scott Coleman

    Umm, the Marines have started going back to the 1911. It will be quicker than you think.

    • A Mericano

      No, the Marines have done no such thing. They have bought a handful of 1911s for their special ops people.

      The other 99% of Marines who are issued pistols are carrying M9s and that is not going to change.

  • Alex Nicolin

    Pistols are next to useless anyway. They ought to have dumped them and replaced them with a very compact (20-26″ long), preferably ambidextrous bullpup carbine/PDW in 5.56×45 mm or 6.8 mm SPC . The latter works better from shorter barrels and packs more punch.

    • Mazryonh

      You can carry a handgun almost anywhere, and it isn’t anywhere near as much of a burden as a backup long gun. Besides, they provide a useful back up in CQB situations where there is no time to clear a jam or other malfunction.

      Of course, that opens up the question of whether or not someone can just rush forward with a pre-fixed bayonet on his rifle if it malfunctions and he’s surprised at close range.

      • holland

        That’s the theory, but I wager only a handful of pistols have ever been used in combat as a backup to a rifle. Given the weight costs they just aren’t worth it. The only legitimate use they have is suppressed for sentry removal.

  • Aaron E

    I voted it will happen within 5 years. However, I don’t see the M9 being totally out of service for at least 10 more years. The transition will come slowly and to select groups, probably the most likely to see combat (active duty, Spec Ops, and Regimental or Brigade Combat Teams).

    I voted this way for a few reasons. First, the technology of firearms has exponentially increased since 1990 when the M9 selection was made. I think the purchase of 100,000 more has more to do with having serviceable pistols than a full-fledged endorsement or expansion of the M9. I’ve talked with several military guys who complained that their M9’s showed the obvious abuse of nearly 25 years of military service – adversely effecting accuracy and reliability.

    Second, the U.S. military has embraced the concept that lighter is better. The M9 is a large, all metal pistol. The advancements of polymer frames have proven themselves, and can reduce weight by around 2 pounds, and I think the military would like to investigate an option with this feature.

    Third, a new contract could provide a large amount of new pistols for a reduction in overall price through competition. Who doesn’t want to win a huge government contract?

    My thoughts anyway.

    • A Mericano

      Now add in all the costs of magazines, repair parts and training.

      Any cost savings disappear.

      The M9 isn’t going anywhere in the next 20 or 30 years. Not unless and until there is a massive leap in handgun technology that produces a replacement that is substantially more lethal, cheaper and just as easy to carry.

  • Hunter57dor

    the marine corps is already deploying their new and improved 1911 frame made by colt. select units in the army are using it as well. i predict this trend is likely to continue, even if the .45 acp caliber doesn’t. (they do make them in everything from 9mm to .40 cal to oddball stuff like .38 super)

  • IceColdBeer

    Replacing the M9 with anything less than Han Solo’s broom handled blaster is a Big Fat Waste of taxpayer dollars. The M9 works. Its not perfect. I would have picked the Glock 17, but its not like you are really gonna get anything that is head and shoulders better. The best you could hope for is an incremental improvement…On a weapon that is a last resort after every-other-darn thing has failed (except your knife and fists). If the Army wants a better performing side-arm, they should stop farting around with ball ammo and issue hollow point ammunition.

    • Mazryonh

      Han Solo’s DL-44 BlasTech pistol couldn’t even penetrate Darth Vader’s glove in The Empire Strikes Back. 😉

      The Russians have made things like the PP-2000 machine pistol and given it armour-piercing 9x19mm ammo, so there IS room for improvement. All we need is more imagination and the resolve to see it done.

  • anto

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  • Kevin

    Looks like USAF is planning to find a replacement sooner rather than later:
    http://www.airforcetimes.com/article/20130727/NEWS04/307270003/Testing-M9-replacement-start-next-year

  • idahoguy101

    The issue with the 9mm pistol is FMJ ammo, not the gun itself. Federal Ammunition has an expanding FMJ 9mm cartridge. Use that or a standard pressure JHP bullet and terminal performance will be more than satisfactory.

  • Mpemba

    I honestly think never, unless they are forced to. The M16 has been problematic since day one, but no replacement. Same with the M4, only subtract some accuracy and most of the lethality. The M60 is a piece of junk. The M240 is an FN MAG with too much stuff welded to it. The SAW is a worse Minimi with too much junk welded to it. The M9 scores by far the lowest in confidence and performance of all the weapons America issues. However, I doubt it will be discarded unless some act God forces the Army’s hand. It’s cheap and they have a lot of them and that’s all that matters. Budget types love to run their mouths about how it would be too expensive, and logistics types love to run their mouths about how it would be too difficult, and training types love to run their mouths about how it would be too confusing, to replace an infantry weapon, but the truth is that yes, we do have the money, yes, we do have the capacity, and yes, troops can be taught how to use a different gun. Don’t bring this up when discussing the latest pipe dream nuclear submarine, stealth fighter, guided missile, or computer system, though, because there is always endless money and time to spend on those, even if they never deliver.