Army wants a new pistol … or do they?

FN FNX-45, developed by FNH USA for the Joint Combat Pistol Program

Fool me once, shame on me, fool me twice … well, you are not going to fool me a third time. The US Army has announced that they want to replace the Beretta M9. No, you are not experiencing Déjà vu. First there was the Future Handgun System (FHS), then there was the Joint Combat Pistol (JCP) and now we have the Modular Handgun System (MHS). At the end of this month the US Army will brief the industry on their requirements for the Modular Handgun System. Fox News reports

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 Army began working with the small arms industry on MHS in early 2013, but the effort has been in the works for more than five years. If successful, it would result in the Defense Department buying more than 400,000 new pistols during a period of significant defense-spending reductions.


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

Just two years ago the army placed ordered 100,000 additional M9 pistols from Beretta. I cannot see them adopting a new pistol in the near future.

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.


  • SM

    They’ll evaluate the same handful of pistols…again. They’ll do the same tests and waste more money to come to the same conclusion: We don’t really need a new pistol right now.

    • n0truscotsman

      LOL i bet a 100 bucks that they do. Itll be JCP trials 2.0.

    • Zebra Dun

      Well, Shooting weapons is fun.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      Yep. Heckler and Kock spent the least 30 years spending a metric Fu#k ton of money on army small arms programs to have every trial cancelled (except for the Marines with the HK416/IAR) and now they are going bankrupt. If it weren’t for the prospect of a lot of money going to your business, why would any company spend the money for development on another small arms trial for the army?

      • KestrelBike

        ^^^ This. I wouldn’t trust the army anymore. Too much crony beauracratic BS going on, it’s almost a sport with bribes and embezzlement.

    • James Young

      Maybe, but this program has been in the works for some time and is focused on the overall Army, not just SF. They have to either buy the 100,000 new Berettas or something else. This is a great chance to change; they are spending the money anyway.

      The open slide design of the Beretta is fine in HD but it sucks in the desert. My money is on the M&P to replace it since only it and the FNX and FNS meet all the requirements of the MHS. They will end up sticking with 9mm IMO.

      • Bowserb

        Sticking with 9mm makes practical sense, but I’ll be surprised if the M&P, or any other striker gun, is adopted. The army wants second strike capability on dud rounds. At least they have required that forever. That and an external safety.

        • Xaun Loc

          The army has required a second strike capability “forever”??? Exactly when was this “forever” period? Off hand, it seems that the M9 is the first standard issue Army pistol that had a second strike capability and the Army does not teach soldiers to use that capability (to be exact, they teach soldiers NOT to use that capability)/

    • tiger

      We had the JCP trials in 2005. At least 8 new guns were made just for those specs and in production. Do we need a New pistol? I tthink 12 years of war beats up inventory that is over 20 years old. Is this a priority in a IED world? No….

  • N703

    Great. Another reason to piss away more tax payer funds. How about instead of looking for a replacement, (and I DO HATE the M9 Burrito for a variety of reasons) we employ better training for the individuals who will be employing them. I’ve seen some of the worse gun-handling/marksmanship from people who were “trained” and should know better.

    • Joshua

      I agree. The M9 is really a fine handgun on the civilian side, the Army is still running G1 locking blocks last I checked which have a short life span. They would honestly be better off with better training like you said, and switching to the G3 locking blocks .

      • milesfortis

        The replacement locking block IS the “G3” block, along with the narrower plunger.
        Those are the only repair parts in the supply system.
        Complete barrel assemblies have the new locking block, (and are only $6 more than a replacement locking block, plunger and spring pin, if ordered as separate parts) and are now being manufactured by FN!
        How do I know this? I’m a federal civil service WG-6610-10 small arms repairer/inspector who just retired in May.

    • 11b

      Agreed. I’ve seen many soldiers who have no idea how to handle a pistol (not their fault), leading to lots of NDs/poor qual scores. The Army really needs more trigger time in general, especially on the M9.

      • John

        The sad fact is that many regular shooters have more trigger time behind a handgun than the GI who doesn’t handle firearms outside his job. Most of them have never touched an M9 outside of initial qualifications.

        • Xaun Loc

          You’re right, John. There are very few Army units that take pistol training seriously. If they “train” at all, that training consists of their higher headquarters running a pistol range one or two days a quarter and telling anyone who is required to qualify with the pistol to show up at the range to shoot. No instruction, no practice, and in most units no real scoring (if the people even show up to ‘qualify’). Non-deploying MP units take pistol qualification somewhat more seriously but still not even close to what is needed for real proficiency.

      • Xaun Loc

        It hard to justify more trigger time on the M9 when it is NOT the primary combat weapon of any US Army soldier. The pistol is always a backup weapon — every soldier who is issued a pistol is actually supposed to be using some other weapon in combat. (The closest instance that might be considered having the pistol as a primary weapon would be a handful of REMF officers who are issued only the pistol and not an M4 or M16 – but they are NOT supposed to be fighting with that pistol).

    • The Burrito M9. Now THAT is a cooking challenge.

  • Lance

    ALl I have to say is one BIG thing…….. ICC we went threw this from 08-13 with the same thing for the replacement for the M-4. ALL the hype we went threw and how tacti coolers balked at reason well it ended the same. We stayed with the M-4. Same here unless we buck NATO which I doubt and goto a new caliber or back to .45 Its not worth going to another 9mm pistol we have a fine one already. They made same announcement last July maybe even

    had a day for the industry but like always they don’t need a replacement and cant afford one.

  • David Lowrey

    They couldnt have just kept the M1911 could they. They just had to replace a battle proven combat handgun with a pea shooter. At least the marines didn’t buy into that crap and kept there M1911s. They made a good decision buying the M45 CQBP

    • SP mclaughlin

      That’s only MARSOC and Recon, most Marines are issued the M9A1 if not the normal M9

      • Zebra Dun

        Yup, The nephew was an 0311 I asked him how the M-4 performed in Iraq and he stated “All I see are M-9’s and M-16A2” No one had M-4’s in his Pogey Bait rope outfit.

        • Xaun Loc

          That makes sense — there is no reason why an 0311 should ever touch an M4. The corps still teaches rifle marksmanship, so why would they want to issue an infantryman a overgrown pistol instead of a rifle? The M4 was intended to be more convenient for people in vehicles, then it became a Tacti-Kool status symbol for some units in the Army. The Marines have never put convenience ahead of effectiveness and didn’t get sucked in to playing with an SBR that is less accurate and less effective.

          • Zebra Dun

            I agree, They had a revolving 40 mm GL I saw a picture of him and his buddy with the explanation that Grover had a new toy LOL Grover looked happy.
            That M-4 is basically just that, and over grown pistol with a stock.
            Like an M-carbine of WW2.

    • Marc

      The Army concluded in WW2 that the marginal penetration of 19th century black powder ballistics doesn’t cut it anymore, the M1911 control group performed miserably in the XM9 trials and the M45 special snowflake pistol is a huge waste of money. So no, keeping the 1911 wasn’t an option.

      • n0truscotsman

        Personally ive always believed the M45 was MEUSOC’s own nostalgic white elephant. One of the most illogical solicitations i have ever seen.

        There is so much bullshit and mythology behind Colts M45 contract that it induces vomiting. I’ve hard “they’re replacing M9s!” to “they went back with the 45” to “they went back to the 1911, therefore, they might go back to the M14”, “there’s no other 45 that can perform like the M45” ad nauseum.

        It never ends.

        The sad part is that there are better special operations-compatible 45 semi-automatics out there. But there is somebody, or a group of people, that actually believes the army will benefit from adopting a 45 and going back to the 1911. Dinosaurs.

        I would be most satisfied if the army did nothing. The M9 is an acceptable sidearm.

        • Gallan

          Although I agree, I have sympathy. A pistol is like a knife, a very personal weapon. A double stack lightweight 1911 would be good enough for it’s intended purpose, and fill that hole in the heart of every soldier for military bling. Even Delta carry bigger than necessary knives, and who can argue against the Gurkha’s with their kukri knives?

          • n0truscotsman

            Sympathy be damned. Those are my fucking tax dollars that my great-grandchildren will be still indebted too.

            I have no sympathy for an organization that forgoes live fire rifle training (RIFLE TRAINING! think about that!) and improvements to handgun training and qualification in favor of a new handgun, holsters, and goddamned ammunition.

            Fuck that noise. It pisses me off to no end. The army needs its mindset re-wired drastically.

    • chris

      You’re like a parody of a parody. Anyone who says something like that knows very little about anything.

    • chris

      You’re like a parody of a parody. Anyone who says something like that knows very little about anything.

  • Vhyrus

    The official reason they didn’t bail on the AR platform was they saw no significant improvement in overall lethality. That was with all the amazing improvements the gen 3 carbines have over the standard M4. Now they are doing the same thing, except the pistol they have is more or less on the same level as every other pistol on earth. I wonder what they will determine this time….

    I think there are better combat pistols (anything with a polymer frame) but there sure as hell aren’t any more lethal pistols.

    • Which is what I fully expect them to say this time.

      • James Young

        Maybe they want to keep floating the idea of a replacement, so companies create new bullet designs in hopes that one day they create the holy grail of bullet designs. Or they just want to look like they are doing something with all that DoD money.

        • Michael

          Or to keep Beretta on their toes so they don’t jack up prices

          • That’s really cynical, but possibly exactly correct.

    • Mike

      If they simply switched to JHPs, I’d agree with you but the difference between 9mm ball and .45 ACP ball are much bigger than between the two when using JHPs.

      • Sam Schifo

        According to the Hague Convention they can’t though. Expanding small arms projectiles of any type are banned.

        • Rusty Shackleford

          Except that it was a “Gentleman’s Agreement” that the U.S. never agreed to and even if we did, it was to be a pact between two opposing forces who agreed to it, the Taliban, Al-Qaeda, Iraq, Iran, Syria etc. never agreed to it.

          • Thiago Kurovski

            AFAIK Iran agreed to it. Don’t know if they still recognize it to be in force…

        • valorius

          Yet mk318 sost and 5.56mm brown tip expand by design…

      • Steve_7

        Not true, 9mm FMJ hole and zips straight through people, .45 FMJ makes an 11.43mm hole and zips straight through people. Other than the slightly larger hole, terminal ballistics are very similar. And you give up half a magazine worth of ammo to get that slightly larger hole… wow I’m having deja vu of about ten years worth of G&A articles…

  • nanoc

    Did someone say modular? Sig 320 to the rescue.

    • Dan

      Yep. This is the ONLY reason the 320 exists. Point for point, checkbox for checkbox, the 320 targets every single one of the MHS requirements. The first time I read the details of the 320, I knew the MHS is exactly their primary target and nothing else.

      • Ben M

        The design of the 320 as well as sigs other modular effort, the 250, are aimed squarely at the German civilian market. In Germany you must acquire a license to own firearms, and you are restricted to two handguns per license. The modularity of the 320 and 250 allow the user the versatility of many calibers while only counting as a single firearm on their license.

        • The 320 is a nice handling accurate pistol also. I’ve got about 300 rounds through one and really enjoyed it.

        • Dan

          because the 250 was a screaming global success, and the german market alone justified a striker fired version of the 250.

          um, no.

          MHS is the target.

        • Dan

          because the sig p250 was a screaming global success, so much so that the german market alone demanded a striker fired version.


          the p320 is sig’s mhs entry, no more and no less. ttag came to the same conclusion.

          • Ben M

            Because these solicitations always end up in enormous U.S. military contracts for the manufacturers… If there was not commercial viability for the products derived from these competitions, the likes of HK, FN, Sig, etc wouldn’t be able to keep their doors open.

            No doubt this pistol is their entry into the MHS, but when its all said and done they will be banking on the commercial market to save them from losing their ass on its development. Because if recent history is indicative of anything, the M9 isn’t going anywhere.

          • Dan

            The german commercial handgun market is enough to float the cost of the p320? Really?

        • Steve_7

          No that’s not true actually, only hunters are limited to two handguns, target shooters have to have a reason for each gun they want but they can have more than two. It’s got nothing to do with the German pistol market which is microscopic anyway, the P320 is clearly a police/military gun, it doesn’t have much appeal to hunters or target shooters. The H&K VP9 is clearly intended for the same market and that’s not “modular”.

  • Esh325

    I think there are more reliable,durable, and easier to use pistols than the M9, but I don’t honestly think it’s worth the cost to replace it considering how the military is suppose to be less combat active in the next coming years and pistols play a very small part in fighting wars anyways. But if they really want a replacement, the FN 5.7 pistol seems to represent the biggest performance improvement where a .40 S&W,357 Sig, and .45 acp would have marginal improvement over a 9mm especially in FMJ form.

    • Rogier Velting

      Well, a .357 SIG with good bullets could probably penetrate armour fairly well, but so could a high pressure 9×19. The most important question then would be: can the M9(A1) handle those pressures?
      For example, Russian PDWs use a very high pressure 9×19 load (7N31), which would keep an acceptable level of stopping power vs soft targets, while penetrating armour well enough. So maybe a new bullet would help more than a new weapon/round?

      • Dan

        Defeating armor requires steel penetrators. 7n31 is steel core. And once you go steel penetrator, almost any caliber can do it.

        • Rogier Velting

          Ah okay, I wasn’t aware of of that.
          Either way, the solution stays the same: improvements in ammunition > different gun. That is if they just want more lethality, instead of an all-round better weapon. Also a lot easier logistics wise.

  • knduuuuu

    since we’re already getting most of our carbines, rifles and MGs from FNH, why not adopt one(or more) of the FNX pistols and complete the set? They’d resist most logistic discombobulation for 9mm and .45 ACP, fulfill the “modular” outlook and tbh, they’re just plain great at shooting stuff.

    • 420isbetterthanEarthDay

      Cause “Colt” that’s why. They have most of the Army brass in their pockets. So they need competitions like this so they feel validated.

      • Joshua

        Has nothing to do with Colt, you cannot just adopt a new weapon without a trial or every gun manuf. in the US would be flipping their shit.

    • James Young

      And/or the Five-seveN. That gives the military everything it’s asking for.

  • chris

    When you look at analysis of why Japan lost the war, or why the French maginot line failed, or why the Schlieffen plan failed to reach Paris, invariably the number one reason is the shortcoming of the issued sidearm. It’s just a constant. If only the Paul von Hindenburg or General Pétain had access to they would have realizes the error of their ways and the world would be very different.

    • bbmg

      Even the issued infantry rifle has virtually nothing to do with the outcome of a conflict, let alone a sidearm. Keep your old pistols and spend the money on GPS guided artillery shells instead!

      • Past a certain point infantry rifles and sidearms probably offer better returns in the morale department than anywhere else. An ergonomic, reliable personal weapon gives a man some faith in those that issued it.

        • Gallan

          Haven’t heard that argument before, a better pistol to boost morale. They should definitely adopt a double stack lightweight 1911 then. Otherwise, nobody cares. Certainly no foreign military puts this much thought into their military pistol, Australia still uses it’s Vietnam era Browning Hi-Powers.

          • Paul Dawson

            With our current Commander in Chief the troops can probably use every little thing possible to boost the moral from the bottom of the barrel. I say that with all due respect to our imperial president, which is none.

          • Phillip Cooper

            WELL SAID, Sir!
            It amazes me that several troops in a unit I have some affiliation with actually voted- TWICE- for this sorry sack of excuses.

          • Steve_7

            I thought they used the Glock 19 now?

          • valorius

            Only a few units bought them as COTS.

          • Sable

            I would have a LOT more faith in one of those old hi-powers than today’s plastic fantastics.

          • milesfortis

            Can’t say about the Australians but you may be thinking about the British who recently traded their HI Powers in for Glock 17s

          • Sable

            Which made no sense because the Brits were claiming that the cocked and locked nature of the BHP had led to accidental discharges. I don’t see how the Glock is going to be any better in that regard.

          • Will

            Training to infinity

          • numnutz

            A Glock with a 13 pound trigger pull like the NYPD uses and its built in trigger safety is hard to have a accidental discharge with. If they use that set up. Accidental discharges will still happen due to recklessness and ignorance but at a lesser rate.

          • valorius

            Trying to put lipstick on a pig is a waste of time.

            The glock design has more NDs than probably all other handgun types combined….it will never be adopted by the us military as a type classified general issue weapon.

          • sonny

            Love the Hi-Powers, but for military applications, I have to lean to Mr G.

          • asoro

            Glock-21sf, or a hi cap 1911 12-14rd’s

          • valorius

            Mr g is the king of ND’s.

      • 101nomad

        Just first thought, if the infantry rifle has virtually nothing to do with the outcome of a conflict, why do we need the infantry? With all our new and improved ‘smart’ weapons over the years, the outcome has not been good for the US Military in any case. Hit political wall: Stop.

        • bbmg

          We need infantry to hold ground. To destroy the enemy, most of the casualties are caused by artillery, air power and heavy weapons.

          • 101nomad

            But, the infantry does not need rifles? As virtually insignificant as rifles are. Wish you were around to explain that to the VC/NVA in the 60s. But, yes, you are correct in that the ground forces major job is to locate and pin down the opposition and hold them in place for the heavies. The US military has not won a major engagement/”war” since it’s involvement in WWII against forces supposedly far inferior as to weapons of any kind. No airforce, no tanks, no artillery, no “smart” weapons. Using nothing but rifles, RPGs, IEDs, etc. The Iraq forces could hardly be called opposition, we lost the real fight.

          • bbmg

            The infantry need rifles, but in order to give them a winning edge then they have to be extremely advanced rifles, and even then it would not be significant. If the Nazis had the Stg44 in widespread service in 1941, would that have made as much of a difference as if they had the Me262 in service in 1941?

            As to the poor track record of the US of wiping out insurgencies, the simple fact is that you cannot destroy an ideology by killing its adherents. Do you really think the VC/NVA triumphed because of the superiority of their weapons?
            If the Iraqis have the upper hand, it is for politcal reasons, not technological ones.

          • Geodkyt

            ^^ THIS ^^

          • ccpotter

            The Russians haven’t won a major war since WW2 either. The Chinese haven’t won a major war since the 1700s.

            The reason we haven’t won a major war (assuming you don’t count routing the Iraqis twice and the Taliban once major victories) is because nobody challenges us except when the logistics are ridiculously in their favor. Korea was right next door to the USSR and China, but thousands of miles from the US, similarly for Vietnam.

            And no, we didn’t lose militarily in Iraq. We just failed to get the local people to stop killing each other — that’s not exactly a military objective.

          • valorius

            We didnt win in iraq or a-stan.

          • rebart

            Correction: We weren’t allowed to win. That’s a cross Johnson and McNamara must carry on their way to Hell.

          • valorius

            I dont disagree, but, i Wasn’t talking about vietnam.

          • Geodkyt

            We need the Infantry, but frankly, the quality of their RIFLES isn’t that important in the larger scheme of things. Good Infantry with crappy rifles will still beat larger numbers of mediocre Infantry with the world’s finest small arms.

            But MORALE is a key factor. And the troops (in general) have almost no faith in the M9s. And the M9s in service are pretty beat up — harsher working conditions (so many desert deployments), more firing (we really do shoot our handguns more than traditionally), and less sturdy construction than the M1911 or GP35 – service weapons used to be built to withstand decade after decade of service, but we figured out by WWII that that made the guns too expensive in quantity (especially if you figure you might be switching designs in 20 or 25 years, why build it for 60?).

          • Robert Kalani Foxworthy

            by you logic we could be buy with bolt actions riffles and revolvers or fuck muskets and flint locks……….. Most millitarys that fail to upgrade there millitary in a timely fashion loose major battles. in a addition to logics and tatics and also the training and will of one soldier can turn the tide of a battle Audie Murphy mowed down nazi with a M2 all they had 8mm bolt actions. It is often over looked that America had been the only force to use Semi automatic riffles as standard issue……….

          • valorius

            We would be just with Thompson smgs and m1 carbines.

            Many forces in wwii used semi or even full auto individual weapons, does the ppsh ring a bell?

          • Geodkyt

            Reductio ad absurdum doesn’t work.

            FALs or AKMs in the hands of GOOD troops will beat poor troops armed with advanced current death-blaster you’re fond of.

            That’s a far cry from “muskets or flint locks”. . . or even “bolt action rifles”.

            But, yeah, I’d take US Marines or Army infantry (or UK, Canadian, German, Norweigan, etc. infantry) armed with, say, .30-30 lever action deer rifles against an equal number of, say, Liberian “militia” armed with the most sophisticated mosern assault rifles and LMGs you like and all the ammo they can carry. And the good troops will OWN THEM LIKE A 90 LBS PRISON BITCH.

            Because the trained professionals will be able to USE their equipment to it’s limits, and the unskilled rabble will not — plus the lack of discipline, tactics, use of cover and concealment, etc., are even more important than shooting skills.

          • valorius

            Truthfully, as an ex us army infantryman, id go into combat today with a high cap, long barreled tube fed .357 magnum/.38 special lever or pump action rifle without feeling underarmed.

            From a 22″ barrel, a 100 grain .357 magnum hardcast jacketed flat nose round is a whole lot of “ruin your day” coming your way.

          • valorius

            A handgun is utterly irrelevant on the modern battlefield.

            Enhanced protection Body armor would be a much better idea.

          • valorius

            A composite stock m1 carbine with 30rd mag, and picatinny rails using steel core flat nose ammo would be every bit as effective as any other rifle design on earth, and probably better than most.

            Honestly every dollar spent on weapons design since the advent of the m1 carbine was unnecessary.

          • Robert Kalani Foxworthy

            well the M2 and m3 carbines were niffy advancements one could make the arguement that the m-3 was the first sucessful assualt riffle with its select fire abillity bayonet, pistol grip and folding stock and intermediate cartridge. and nv scope and mount. it was use with great effect by the rangers at night agianst the japs in okinawa

          • valorius

            The m16a4 was perfect, switching to the m4 was stupid.

        • valorius

          Infantry take and hold ground. Smart bombs do not.

      • They canceled that program—the artillery piece that is.

      • Andrew Duffey

        You will always need boots on the ground, and weapons attached to those boots. Gen. Patton, a tank man, even has been famously quoted as to calling the M1, the rifle issued at the time, “the greatest implement of battle ever devised by man.”

    • Tom Currie

      Let me keep this reply to Chris’s post short and to the point:
      N O N S E N S E !
      No sidearm has had any significant impact on the outcome of any war, campaign, or even significant battle in the 20th or 21st Century.

      • James Young

        A handgun started World War 1.

        • Zebra Dun

          No, an idiot human infused with the fervor of anarchy and revenge was given a handgun and started World War one after several hand grenades failed to kill the target. And after several compatriots failed to attack the target.

          • Dean Seaman

            …don’t forget, Zebra Dun, the driver made a “wrong” turn, too.

          • Zebra Dun

            Dean, I forgot that! I looked it up and lo and behold your right!
            I guess we could blame a map read wrong LOL
            Looks like a good old SNAFU went down.

        • Tom Currie

          The war would have started anyway — but even if we accept that the handgun started the war, it still had zero impact on the outcome.

          • Zebra Dun

            Every weapon used in a war has an effect on the outcome, pistols, bayonets, bombers or jeeps.
            Eisenhower credited the DUKW, the truck and the jeep for winning the war.

          • bbmg

            Everything is a piece in the puzzle of victory, but some pieces are significantly bigger than others.

          • Zebra Dun

            There it is Buddy, There it is. ;^)

          • Dean Seaman

            Zebra Dun, the DUKW IS a truck. Eisenhower listed The Jeep, The Dakota cargo plane, the 2.5 ton truck and the Higgins Boat as the vehicles that won the war.

          • Zebra Dun

            Spokes inside a wheel make the whole operation go round.
            I agree.

          • Dean Seaman

            Please stop wasting bandwidth.

          • Zebra Dun

            La Chinga su Madre pendejo, Beso Mi tulo.
            Adios Gringo

          • Zebra Dun

            P/S eat me.

          • Robert Kalani Foxworthy

            Eisenhower was a Logistics expert.

          • Robert Kalani Foxworthy

            If that was a true state ment then we still use flint locks and muskets.

        • MrApple

          An FN Model 1910 just like this one. In either .32ACP or 380Auto, there are many conflicting sources on which caliber was actually used.

      • Zebra Dun

        October 8, 1918 Hill 223 Meuse Argonne Offensive.

        Sgt. Alvin York took a .45 ACP pistol and,

        “During the assault, six German soldiers in a trench near York charged him with fixed bayonets. York had fired all the rounds in his M1917 Enfield rifle,[19] but drew his .45 Colt automatic pistol[20] and shot all six soldiers before they could reach him.[21]
        German First Lieutenant Paul Jürgen Vollmer, commander of the First
        Battalion, 120th Landwehr Infantry, emptied his pistol trying to kill
        York while he was contending with the machine guns. Failing to injure
        York, and seeing his mounting losses, he offered in English to surrender the unit to York, who accepted.[22]
        By the end of the engagement, York and his seven men marched 132 German prisoners back to the American lines. His actions silenced the German machine guns and were responsible for enabling the 328th Infantry to renew its attack to capture the Decauville Railroad.[23]”

        Thanks to Wikipedia entry on Sgt. Alvin C. York

        • Dan

          HIs 45 pistol was not the decisive factor in the outcome of that battle.

          • Beaumont

            Really? Have you read Sgt. York’s diary entry for that day? I have. York’s use of his pistol directly resulted in the German officer surrendering himself and his men. As York wrote, “After he saw me stop the 6 Germans who charged with fixed bayonets (who York shot with his pistol), he got up off the ground and walked over to me and said, ” … ” If you don’t shoot any more I will make them give up”.

          • Zebra Dun

            It was pretty decisive to those six German’s who had they killed York would have changed the battles outcome and possibly the attack of his unit.

          • Zebra Dun

            Whose .45?
            Basilone was able to resupply his MG’s using his .45 as protection, had he not had this pistol his MG section would have been out of ammo, combat ineffective and over run and the line penetrated, possibly Henderson field taken, the air wing destroyed and the battle lost.
            Sgt York? The pistol was decisive to those six Germans who he killed after running dry with his rifle, had he not had it and used it he would have been killed, captured or at least run off, his attack on the German Machine guns would have failed and the entire attack would have suffered, 132 Germans who were EPW would have been free to kill even more of the American’s.
            Basilone survived and broke up the Japanese attack, Sgt York took out a company size German unit and took out their machine guns, it doesn’t get more decisive than that.
            For want of a nail, a shoe was lost, for want of a shoe a horse was lost, for want of a horse a man was lost…….For want of a single pistol a battle would have been lost but was not.
            Those two pistol were the decisive weapons of those battle fields.
            If not for them who knows what would have happened.
            But, you can think what ever you wish, it’s your opinion.

        • n0truscotsman

          You are cherry picking to say the least.

          Any caliber can “stop” somebody. The differences exist between a psychological stop and a physical stop. Sgt York stopped them fortunately.

          There are many cases where the 1911 didn’t stop storming japanese or blitzing Germans. There are many cases where 9mms and 30’06s didn’t stop charging enemies.

          To put things into perspective, the lethality of the 30-carbine M1 was placed under scrutiny during the war for its underwhelming performance (probably compared to 30-06 nonetheless), even though it was a 30 caliber bullet and produced 900 ft/lbs of energy traveling at over 1900 feet per second. That is over twice the kinetic energy AND velocity as what the 45 ACP produces.

          • Zebra Dun

            Not cherry picking so much as just recalling two incidents off the top of my head, I know, not a sound choice LOL
            That M-1 .30 carbine round should have done better! Why didn’t it?
            Round nose FMJ ball round at Magnum velocity should have been good to go, yet it gave the same knock down effect of a round nose lead .38 spl and the shooter felt as if he was shooting a .22 lr. I’ve shot them and they are soft recoiling rifles easy to hit with.
            But unless a hit was in the brain it did not work!
            I read on a site called “The Box of Truth” where the .30 carbine round was inaccurate past 50 to 75 yards, so much so a good accurate strike in the nervous system was by chance more than by aim. Perhaps that was the failure, not accurate enough and bullet shape.
            Folks around these rural parts have shot whitetail deer (illegally) and dropped them first shot, using hollow points and good shot placement in the heart or brain, tail bone shots are ineffective though.
            Heck, I read where a charging Chinese in Korea wasn’t stopped by a .50 BMG single round hit, some people are just hard to kill.
            Shot placement, that is the key to stops and kills.

          • n0truscotsman

            The M1 did fine with proper shot placement though. and the 45 ACP also has a round nose FMJ.

            You are taking box o truth out of context. He disproved the “frozen cotton of North Korean/Chinese troops” being able to stop 30 carbine cartridges from the M1. The M1 is also not very effective past 100 yards, unsurprisingly, but it was never meant to be. It was meant as a 2nd line rifle to compliment M1 Garands, not being a primary fighting rifle (even though it was sometimes favored for that role because of its light weight, which was particularly useful in jungles).

          • Zebra Dun

            No actually I’ve fam fired the M-1 carbine and it is an inaccurate round past 100 yards, it can hit a six inch pie plate but that’s not good enough to place a shot into the head or heart area.
            The .45 ACP though lethal out to 1600 meters is not an accurate round past 100 yards in expert hands and less in a good average marksman. It’s main lethality is the ballistic coefficient of being .45 caliber and the weight 230 gr over the .30 caliber 110 gr. bigger hole, better tissue damage due to crush effects.
            Getting hits with the M-1 Carbine out at 200 300 yards is hit or miss. Same with the Submachine guns and the pistols.
            Up close, and inside it’s engagement range the little carbine was deadly due to rapid follow up shots.
            Still it’s terminal ballistics is the same as the .38 spl lead round nose.

          • Zebra Dun

            I have heard of a Vietnamese soldier who was shot with a 40 mm Thump gun at close range, did not kill him the American Corpsmen had to surgically remove the grenade and saved his life.
            Sometimes no matter how big the projectile it just doesn’t kill the target.
            Sometimes a .50 BMG can blow right through a Chinese soldier and not kill him.
            people are tough to kill.

          • tiger

            The issue real is not guns or caliber. It should be the FMJ rule. They poke holes rather than mushroom & do more damage. .30 carbine will go through body armor & a steel helmet at 200 yards. Modern loads by Corbon & Hornady would have stopped anybody. Agreed, placement matters. need to hit the vitals.

          • Zebra Dun

            Nope, No way will an M-1 Carbine round penetrate a US military steel helmet with liner inside at any range. Nor will it penetrate body armor heavier than a Flak Jacket.
            having the chance to use old military steel pots and liners from surplus salvage when the Fritz was implemented My brother and Me shot a bunch of them with everything from .22 lr to 12 gauge shotguns, rifle fire will penetrate, 5.56 x 45, .303 30.06 but even the .44 magnum would not nor the FBI .357 magnum load.
            At any range.
            The only pistol round that will penetrate the US military steel helmet and liner is the 7.62 x 25 mm Soviet FMJ from a CZ-52 and it will go through like an AR-15 5.56 x 45 mm.

      • Zebra Dun

        Don’t get me started but.
        Sgt Manila John Basilone USMC

        Basilone commanded two sections of machine guns that fought for the next
        two days until only Basilone and two other Marines were left standing.[7][8]
        Basilone moved an extra gun into position and maintained continual fire
        against the incoming Japanese forces. He then repaired and manned
        another machine gun, holding the defensive line until replacements
        arrived. As the battle went on ammunition became critically low. Despite
        their supply lines having been cut off by enemies in the rear, Basilone
        fought through hostile ground to resupply his heavy machine gunners
        with urgently needed ammunition. When the last of it ran out shortly
        before dawn on the second day, Basilone held off the Japanese soldiers
        attacking his position using his .45 pistol. By the end of the
        engagement Japanese forces opposite their section of the line were
        virtually annihilated. For his actions during the battle, he received
        the United States military’s highest award for valor, the Medal of

        Thanks to Wikipedia article John Basilone.

        So you see short and to the point maybe not, there are times and places where the pistol has changed the course of a fight affected a battle and thus a campaign and a war.

        • Dan

          I see nothing there that indicates the 45 pistol was a deciding factor in the outcome of the battle.

          • Zebra Dun

            Manila John used that .45 ACP 1911A1 as he ran from his ASP and back to his MG post for defense.
            Had he not had this pistol he would have been unarmed or armed with a 1903 Springfield rifle, bolt action five shot.
            As each MG jammed his only weapon of protection was that pistol as well as the pistols of his other team mates and gunners.
            That pistol was the linchpin to keeping those Browning water cooled Machine guns in action there by allowing Those Marines to win the fight, and the battle, aiding the Marines and Soldiers on Guadalcanal to overcome the Japanese.
            In the last minutes of that fight his 1911A1 kept him alive and his team mates safe and allowed him and them to survive to fight another day.
            I’d say for this battle that one .45 ACP pistol was at times the pivotal weapon that won the battle.

          • bbmg

            The point is that Guadalcanal would still eventually have been in American hands even the Japanese had the best pistols in the world

            Small arms do not decide the outcome of major conflicts.

          • Zebra Dun

            Your thinking of the superman syndrome, no, it takes every weapon, from the K-Bar knife to the 155 mm Paladin, the DUKW to the Tank the P-38 can opener to the mess hall to win a major conflict.
            No man, no weapon can do it all by itself, team work and maneuver with fire and air superiority, a command of the sea and being a Master of Logistics is what wins battles, wars and such.
            Being damned lucky helps!
            The old saw of, “For want of a nail, the shoe was lost, for want of the shoe a horse was lost, for want of a horse a man was lost, for want of a man a battle was lost, for want of a battle won a war is lost.”
            The pistol is just like that nail, a part need by someone at some critical moment when the want of one would lose the man, the battle and the war.
            The weapon that wins wars?

            “Logistics, is the ball and Chain of Armored warfare” >Heinz Guderian<

          • n0truscotsman

            The WW2 USGI 230 grain ball for 45 ACP produced about 350 ft lbs of energy and traveled at 830 ft/s. WW2 era 9mm ran about the same with a bit more velocity under its belt (cooler than NATO 9mm in other words).


            it is safe to conclude that Basilone would have faired just as good, if not better, with a Browning HP. He, of all people, would have appreciated the extra bullets in the magazine too.

            Using hindsight bias, how many skirmishes and battles would have been won if US fighting men had 13 rounds of 9mm versus just 7 of 45?

            im not going to go down that route, because i dont believe there would be a substantial difference, but you should think about that for a moment. Hindsight cuts both ways.

          • Zebra Dun

            We agree on that, a Hi Power would have aided Manila Johns runs to the ammo dump and back more than the .45 ACP, more rounds and better accuracy. I’ve owned a 1911 Commander in 9 mm and it was a nine shot and accurate enough to bust little miller bottles at 25 yards.

          • valorius

            He’d have been better off with an m1 carbine, m2 grease gun or m1928 thompson.

          • Zebra Dun

            I totally agree, yet the TOE weapon of Machine gun team leaders was the .30 caliber Browning and the PDW was the issue .45 ACP 1911A1 Colt made by Singer sewing machine company no doubt. The only other weapon issued would have been the K-Bar knife.
            For a time the Revolvers were also issued, in Colt and S&W .45 ACP as well as the .38 spl M&P.
            The one weapon no one is mentioning here is the M 50 Reising gun in .45 ACP, not to mention the Johnson 30.06 rifle.
            The Reising is another weapon that like the .30 carbine should have worked better than it actually did. Marines hated it though it wins many current submachine gun competitions against bowling ball pins. The Johnson went on to become a large part of the M-60 Machine gun. It’s major drawback was the bayonet on the reciprocating, recoil operated barrel.

          • Zebra Dun

            I recall a wounded Marine in that incident lying helpless while his buddy fought off five Japanese one after the other with just a 1903 Springfield and a bayonet, the fight according to the wounded marine left all six participants dead and lasted seven seconds.
            That may not have been the deciding factor but it did take out five more Japanese who could have gone on to taking down the MG section and opening the way into the Marine perimeter for a Banzai big enough to set back or even destroy the entire campaign.
            A single sapper unit of Taliban infiltrated a Marine Air base and destroyed an entire squadron of Harriers, the Marines lost more jets on the ground since world war two at Guadalcanal.
            One man, with a pistol in the right place can decide the out come of a battle, that Harrier loss cost the air cover for every NATO unit in Afghanistan that day.

      • 101nomad

        A sidearm is better than nothing, but not much.

        • Zebra Dun

          The only thing better is the ability to, “RUN FOREST RUN!”

      • It was a joke.

        • Tom Currie

          I would have hoped so, but in this discussion I wouldn’t bet on it — I’ve seen a lot of even dumber comments made here by people who didn’t think they were joking (not to mention the number of people who insisted that Chris was right!)

      • Robert Kalani Foxworthy

        so the gattlin didnt effect the out come of the indian wars……..

        and the advent of machine guns didnt create trench warfare that inturn lead to the development of tanks with.

        • Xaun Loc

          Would someone who can read English please read the post to Robert and explain to him (in very small words) what a “sidearm” is.

          • Robert Kalani Foxworthy

            my point is every firearm that has been used had an our come on the battle they were used and ultimately the tactics. the Philippians conflict set the standard they switch from the double action 38 shorts back to single action 45’s. which is why 45 acp was adopted because the military set the standard as wanting a semi auto faster reloads and high round count but wanted the ballistic performance of the 45 lc.

    • Pat Boyle

      This of course is satire. Some others seem to have been taken in. Shame.

    • Dean Seaman

      Chris, you have to put things into context. We only know what we know today, because of all the things you mentioned happening in the past. You have to actually execute the plan before you can learn from its outcome.

    • valorius

      Lmao, so true.

      The us could still be use an evolved version of the m1 carbine today, it would not nake one little bit of difference as to the effectveness of our infantry forces as a whole.

      Personally, i would swotch the whole military to the p90 and five seven pistol in 5.7mm and forget about the issue until someone invents man portable laser weapons.

    • We won in Vietnam because we had 1911s.

  • getreal5

    1911 platform always. i’m partial to the .45 but they also make them double stack magazine for capacity in the 9 mm. You can also get extended mags for .45s with 12 or 15 rounds.

    • john huscio

      HK45, or hell, the new vp9

  • getreal5

    the original 1911 pistol was for point and shoot at very close range. The idea was it was used in order to fight your way back to your rifle you stupidly left behind.

    • Zebra Dun

      The 1911 was mad e for cavalry operations and had to be sufficiently powerful to kill the opposing cavalry’s horses.

      • Say what? I never heard that one.

        • Zebra Dun

          Old time cavalry, Back in the days when the Cavalry won battles and wars, the 30.06 was so powerful for the same reason, so Infantry could shoot the horses of enemy cavalry and get mobility kills. As well as engage in long range rifle fire, yet against a human even the 30.06 was overkill.
          Every weapon was designed with the purpose of defeating a Cavalry charge which then was thought to be the way to win.
          True, The pistol was to replace the Walker Colt, the 1861 Army and Peacemaker for Cavalry operations. The .45 Colt peacemaker was an excellent horse killing weapon, while the 9 mm Parabellum/Luger was designed from the outset to be an anti-personnel weapon only.
          Meant to get Mobility kills on enemy Cavalry by the individual cavalryman at close ranges, the sword you recall by 1900 had been discontinued as the cavalry weapons, the rifle was the main weapon of the horse soldiers but could not be fired on a horse easy, the Pistol even had the grip safety added so that cavalry experiencing a bucking mount would not accidentally shoot their pistols while attempting to gain control.
          Recall the old time “Horse Pistols” of Civil war era and before, made to carry on a horse, and was used specifically to drop enemy horses, the 1805 Harper’s ferry Horse pistol is an example at .58 caliber, not an anti personnel weapon at all.
          The .45 Colt and ACP was chosen because it could bring down a horse and was able to bring down a man if need be.
          The 9 mm and .38’s were considered too small a caliber at the time. For anti cavalry work. The reason they were turned down by the Thompson/Lagarde Bovine cadaver test 1904 commission that selected the .45 ACP. I read where Teddy Roosevelt was involved so you know what that means!
          I’m trying to locate where I read this nugget of information possible in an old book somewhere on the whys and hows of caliber selection prior to 1900’s.
          The advent of the Walker Colts brought an end to the .58 caliber because the 44 Walker could do the job as well and could be used against Human targets. The evolution of the Colts into the cap and ball pistols showed Army pistols being 44 and 45 caliber while the Navy pistols were .36 caliber horses and cavalry not being common in Naval battles.
          I know sounds like so much Horse manure and may well be but this is what I read in the study.
          Bears investigation I think.

          • Beaumont

            I agree with one thing you said — your story does indeed sound like horse manure.

          • Zebra Dun

            OK Beaumont lets see the history of pistols after the six shooter was born, First was the Patterson colt .36 caliber a pistol sought out by armed men everywhere including a Capt Samuel Walker who impressed asked for a bigger more robust weapon for his Texas Rangers to use. Walker at the time was engaged in a Mexican American war and they used the Aston Johnson 1842 martial pistol .54 caliber flintlock and percussion. Associated most with cavalry to give the Dragoon two more firearms after he had shot his carbine, carried in holsters on his saddle it was most used to get mobility kills on horses of opposing cavalry.
            In spite of being .54 ca it actually carried the terminal ballistics of a .38 spl.
            Not quite a horse killer.
            Capt Walker wanted to upscale the Patterson to .44 caliber which in Black powder is closer to a .45 using the .452 ball.
            The pistol was carried in holsters on the saddle.
            “He approached Colt, requesting a large revolver to replace the
            single-shot Aston Johnson holster pistols then in use. The desired
            .44-.45 caliber revolver would be carried in saddle mounted holsters and
            would be large enough to dispatch (horses ) as well as enemy soldiers.”
            Now bump ahead to the Army trials for a new pistol after the Walker and you get the 1861 Colts, the Army model was in .44 the Navy in .36 why? because Sailors are easier to stop than soldiers?
            No, because the Army would be dedicated to stopping cavalry as well as men, the Navy expected no cavalry attacks at sea therefore got the man killing .36 1861 Navy.
            The Colt single action Army followed the same line of tactics having a cavalryman astride a horse with a weapon of sufficient power to kill men and get kills of cavalry horses.
            Come 1909 A new pistol was wanted the .38 proved not enough to drop doped to the gills juramentado Moro warriors tied head to toe in tourniquets to stop the bleeding aforethought.
            requirements were issued for a new cavalry pistol of such power as to be able to kill Cavalry Horses as well as men, the same requirements that Capt Walker wanted. Recall 1909 up till 1919 the Horse cavalry was considered the winning unit for victory not the artillery, not the infantry but the cavalry, the cry across the trenches was to break through the wire, take down the MG’s so the cavalry could win the war.
            Stopping a cavalry charge was paramount hence the more than powerful enough 30.06 and the 7.92 mauser rounds, the long bayonets on the .303 Enfields and the .45 ACP 1911A1 which when US cavalry met the Uhlan’s in battle they would shoot the Uhlan horses and gain mobility kills, placing the cavalrymen afoot where they became meat on the table.
            The Thompson LaGarde test used mens cadavers for test subjects as well as Bovines shooting cows in place of horses deciding that a 1911A1 .45 ACP was able to kill large animals if less than ten shots were fired into them.
            The units doing the testing were not infantry units but units of US cavalry.
            “In March 1909, the revised pistols were issued for field trials to
            Troop I, 3rd Cavalry, Fort Wingate, New Mexico; Troop G, 6th Cavalry,
            Fort Des Moines, Iowa; and Troop G, 11th Cavalry, Fort Ogelthorpe,
            Georgia.” Thanks again sightm1911 (dot) com
            The Cavalry of the time did the testing for the 1911A1 .45 ACP not the Infantry.
            Now here we are in modern times.
            The Texas Rangers at one time were issued a S&W M-25-5 in .45 Colt, the old revolvers in .45 ACP for the simple reason that the main job a Rangers pistol did was to put down stray cattle that had wandered into the highways and gotten hit by cars and trucks, the .45 ACP and the Long Colt were deemed more suitable than the .38 spl/.357 Mag of the day when killing cattle and horses.
            Now, I own a .45 ACP M1911A1 Series 70 Gov model which I love, I have owned a M-1911A1 Commander in 9 mm and I loved it also.
            I never felt less or more well armed with either.
            But, if I was to have to shoot a horse, cow Deer or such I’d go with the .45.
            Research this it’s fun, and illuminating to find out the whys and why fors of the weapons the US went into two world wars with and how they can to be.
            Maure maybe, but the fact is, the original purpose of this fine pistol was as a Cavalry arm.
            Made to take down both man and beast.
            But, you research this from the first pistols ever used and see how much manure it is, Beaumont.

          • n0truscotsman

            Tests…on cadavers…..

            and what did the commission conclude was more effective than caliber? The answer is there, trust me. I want you to find it.

          • Zebra Dun

            nOtruscotsman: I just know you do!
            They found despite speed, weight of projectile or caliber that, “Shot placement was the number one decider of stopping/killing power, on Humans, cows and horses.”
            Quote: “The results were, again, predictable. Shots to vital organs had greater stopping power, and stopping power increased with caliber when bullets were fired at non-vital organs. All of the calibers tested had a positive result when fired at the legs. Close-range tests measured the number of bullets required to send an animal to the ground.”
            And also: Calibers tested included .47.6, .45.5, and .45 from Colt’s revolvers,the .38 Colt’s automatic, and the .3012 Luger. The Board ultimately concluded:
            “The animals invariably dropped to the ground when shot from three to five times with the larger caliber Colt’s revolver bullets, and they failed in every instance to drop when as many as ten shots of the smaller bullets from the Colt’s automatic and Luger pistol bullets had been delivered against the lungs or abdomen. This failure on the part of the automatic pistols of small caliber set at rest at once the claims of the makers to the effect that the superior energy and velocity of their weapons was a controlling factor in stopping power. The Board was of the opinion that a bullet which will have the shock effect and stopping power at short ranges necessary for a military pistol or revolver should have a caliber of not less than .45.”

            I came away with the firm Idea of proper shot placement in vital areas and failing that use a .45 ACP or similar large caliber, heavy projectile.
            The Board also recommended that soft point or hollow point bullets be used.

            The whole story is here:

        • Zebra Dun

          “By November 1908, Colt and Savage provided new pistols with the
          requested modifications to the Chief of Ordnance for inspection. Defects
          due to parts interchange and function were observed and both companies
          acknowledged requests for improvement. In March 1909, the revised
          pistols were issued for field trials to Troop I, 3rd Cavalry, Fort
          Wingate, New Mexico; Troop G, 6th Cavalry, Fort Des Moines, Iowa; and
          Troop G, 11th Cavalry, Fort Ogelthorpe, Georgia. Testing,
          reports and repairs/improvements occurred over the next nineteen
          months, with both firms making changes to their pistols in the

          Testing done by Cavalry units.

          Excerpt from website sightm1911 (dot) com
          Thompson/Lagarde test
          With thanks!

      • n0truscotsman

        No. and I haven’t seen sufficient evidence to prove otherwise. I have heard that rumor frequently. Now, the 1911 *was* tested by cavalry and featured the grip safety to accommodate cavalrymen (getting off subject, this is why i consider grip safeties a obsolete anachronism. We no longer ride on horseback wearing large leather gloves).

        The hard facts about 45s performance (velocity and energy) dont indicate they would be particularly any more useful against cavalry, than say, 9mm.

        The story behind the 45 is during the frequently-mentioned-to-infinitum Moro rebellion, to replace the 38 long colt that was accused of being a poor man stopper against determined adversaries. Where the story ends with 45 fans is that the 45 ACP was really not any more lethal against the Moro rebels (hell, *rifle* calibers, such as the krag and 303, had trouble against them. No pistol cartridge that the army fielded could have made up for that. What solution worked? shot placement and training. imagine that!)

        Still, JMB’s own 1911 was bleeding edge for its era. It was a very reliable semi-automatic, magazine fed handgun that could be relatively inexpensively mass produced and cleaned quickly and easily. This was a huge feat for semi-automatic handguns then, which were infamous for their complexity, mechanical peculiarities, and unreliability.

        Carbonia blue for the win.

        • Zebra Dun

          Read up on why Capt Samuel Walker preferred a Walker Colt in .44 rather than .36 and you may see.
          The thing is, John Brownings improvement on the 1911 pistol was alleged to be the Browning Hi Power P-35 and in 9 mm Parabellum which was said to be latin, and meant “For War” a proprietary term,this was the infamous 9 mm Luger round designed to kill Humans not cavalry horses as well.
          I love my 1911A1 but I’ve shot the Browning Hi power enough to love it even in 9 mm Lugar/Parabellum and if I had the money today I would be walking out of the gun shop with a Browning Hi power in my hand. I love the balance and the point-ability of that pistol!
          Thompson Lagarde found it took five bullets from a .45 to kill cows and a few of the horses they tested but that the 9 mm Lugar, .38 Colts and other non .45 caliber ten or more shots to kill the same cows and horses. That was a fact.
          How ever, we agree on one thing, as did Thompson Lagarde and everyone here for that matter, accurate shot placement into the vital organs and central nervous system is what stops and kills the best and fastest.

          Into Soccer? My nephews and Niece play in high school looks fun and interesting!

  • Blake

    Just “standardize” on a .223 “pistol” & get the ridiculousness out of the way already 🙂

    • gfr

      Is that really such a bad idea?
      Yes a .223 pistol would kick a lot, and a lot of the propellant would be wasted if it was shot out of a short barrel. But the benefit of being able to use one calibre for your primary and your backup weapon would be considerable.

  • n0truscotsman

    Like I posted on military today, this act of fraud and waste of public monies is most disheartening.

    The Army doesn’t need another side arm. we definitely dont need new calibers since there is nothing measurably more superior than 9mm when it comes to the most common cartridges for semi-autos (40, 45, 357 sig, and 45 GAP). That and the army already has a huge number of M9s already in circulation with the order still incomplete.

    The best result would be to smack this good idea fairy off the shoulders of the TOC-roach that conceived such a hairbrained idea. Its interesting how the dissenting opinions come from credible experts that have actually employed handguns in situations that are less than ideal.

    If the army is forced to adopt a handgun, it should be in 9mm. The best option would be the M&P 9 in my opinion. 22k MRBF is no laughing matter as somebody posted on another forum. Excellent find.

    I find it hilarious that just when the public and law enforcement is starting to warm up to the 9mm, realizing it is not the poodle gun the internet forums said it was (especially when they look at the hard evidence, such as penetration and kinetic energy), the army is taking a step backwards, jumping on the ill conceived caliber fad that started in the early 90s.

    • big daddy

      The DOD are politicians not soldiers despite the uniform. The problem is the ammo not the gun.

    • Steve_7

      I always think the reason Americans think 9mm isn’t that good is because of the idiotic SAAMI specs for it, which were written however long ago. 9mm NATO is described as “+P+” which is ridiculous. I doubt most civilian shooters have ever used it.

      • n0truscotsman

        I know a lot of the 9mms critics are 45 or 40 fanboys trying to justify their purchases, when they know deep down inside that their caliber ISN’T superior but is costing them more money.

        That must suck.

        That and they compare 9mm ball with the entire caliber much like 7.62 NATO fans do by comparing all 5.56 with the M855 green tip.

        Illogical nonsense.

        * (and yes, i dont mean to start a flame war over caliber debates, but you cannot argue with established facts and science. This is coming from a former 45 ACP lover.)

        • gfr

          I don’t see the logic of your position.
          I have a Beretta 92FS in 9mm and a Sig SP2022 in 40 calibre and I prefer the Beretta because of the slide mounted safety, but it seems obvious to me that the Sig is the more powerful of the two. Various sites also say that the .40 develops 475 ft-lbs vs 350 ft-lbs for the 9mm..
          If the size of the bullet makes no difference then why stop at 9mm? Imagine how much more .22LR ammunition you could carry than 9mm.

      • gfr

        I have used it and it IS noticeably more powerful, so much so that I was afraid that it would crack the slide on my 92FS. I think it was originally designed for machine pistols.

        • Steve_7

          Hmm, I just looked it up, the NATO spec is 36,500 psi and the SAAMI spec is 35,000 psi and 38,500 psi for +P. So I don’t think it’s SAAMI actually, I think it’s just ammunition makers making weak 9mm for the civilian market. The SAAMI spec for .40 S&W is also 35,000 psi and I defy anyone to say that stuff isn’t higher pressure than the average 9mm ammo you buy.

  • bbmg

    Buy the Five-seveN, to hell with larger calibers. It will give the person carrying it more rounds with less recoil and therefore a bigger chance of hitting the target, which is all that really matters. Those forced to use a pistol in battle are likely second-line troops that have never really had the time or opportunity to train with it, so give them the best chance they have.

    An enemy hit in the head with one 31 grain bullet from a Five-seveN is a lot more dead than one missed with a 230 grain bullet from a 1911. Also, if your aggressor happens to be wearing body armor, your big slow slug is going to be useless against it, the 5.7mm will cut straight through it and actually do some damage.

    Either do something radical, or save your money and keep your old pistols.

    • Seburo

      31 grain? I think you forgot a number.
      Hell if the USM was smart they would adopt he 4.6x30mm. The Navy Seals already have MP7’s. Make HK get off their asses and build a pistol for it.

      • n0truscotsman

        H&K did work on a handgun for their 4.6 caliber, although it didn’t perform the way they wanted it to so the project became vaporware.

    • seans

      5.7 will cut thru early 80s Warsaw Pact body armor from a PDW. But it’s ability against modern armor and out of a pistol is vastly overrated.

      • Zebra Dun

        Then use the 7.62 x 25 mm in both P 90 and the Five seven.

      • bbmg

        According to various sources like this video, it will defeat level IIIA body armor:

        • Rusty Shackleford

          Only cops wear IIIa soft armor, military personnel wear what is essentially a IIIa vest with rifle plates inserted.

          • bbmg

            Someone forced to use a pistol on the modern battlefield is usually doing so defensively because his or her position has been assaulted. Since rifle plates are heavy, do you think it likely that assaulting troops will ave the full compliment of body armor?

          • Rusty Shackleford

            Insurgents? No. An opposing force other than a third world country? Yes.

          • bbmg

            In that case, equip your second line troops with carbines that can actually penetrate that level of armor. Giving them a 1911 isn’t going to help.

          • Steve_7

            Is it more effective than 5.56mm ball – answer no, and as a soldier that is the sort of thing you would expect an enemy to be using against you. But they’re not even talking about something that might make some sense like this, if they were that would at least be intellectually honest.

          • bbmg

            Of course it is less effective, but if what is needed is something handgun sized with low enough recoil to be fired accurately without too much practice, enough rounds to be useful in a firefight that has some chance of penetrating body armor, then the Five-seveN is one of the best choices out there.

          • valorius

            Many parts of modern us body armor are IIIA.

            Standard 5.56mm rounds wont penetrate level IV hard plates either.

      • seans

        bbrg, was that level 3a armor to begin with, age, condition, and most importantly, was it stab proof also. The data I read stating the ineffectiveness of it penetrating modern soft armor that was also stab proof was specifically conducted by the government to test the 5.7 against federal government issued armor. It was a scientific test, and it stated that the 5.7 can defeat level 3a stab proof armor, but is no where even close to reliable.

        • bbmg

          From FN’s own literature:

          “The Five-seveN® fires the SS190 5.7x28mm ball round.
          This projectile will perforate any individual protection on
          today’s battlefield including the PASGT kevlar helmet, 48
          layers of kevlar body armor and the CRISAT target (titanium
          and kevlar).”

          Here is a Brass Fetcher video which at the 3:30 mark shows the performance of the SS-190 from a Five-seveN against a new NIJ-IIIA soft vest:

          As long as you are using the SS-190 rounds which are specifically made for piercing armor, there is no reason to believe the projectile is an unreliable penetrator even from the short barrel of a pistol.

        • valorius

          5.7mm Ss190 will penetrate over 100 layers of kevlar.

      • valorius

        5.7mm Ss190 from a pistol defeats over 100 layers of kevlar.

    • John

      5.7×28 has TERRIBLE wound vectors because it’s just centerfire .22 Mag with pistol powder. If you want armor penetration, that’s what 5.56 is for.

    • John

      “It will give the person carrying it more rounds with less recoil and
      therefore a bigger chance of hitting the target, which is all that
      really matters.”

      I never really understood why the Stargate teams didn’t switch from the Beretta 92FS to the Five-seven as a sidearm when they all started using P90s as their main weapon, from Atlantis on down. With as many different alien weapon technologies as there were, it would have greatly simplified human logistics, training and tactics to have everybody used to the same guns and ammunition.

  • WFDT

    Hey now, how about a 1911?

  • David

    Does anyone realize that they said 357 Sig is a larger round? 357 Sig is the same size bullet as 9mm but with a larger case to increase it’s speed.

    • Duray

      …thus creating a larger round. 300 Win Mag is a larger round than 300 blackout, even tho they launch the same bullet.

    • big daddy

      It has to do with the grain and case size. It is a larger round but to be more accurate it is a more powerful round.

  • big daddy

    The big problem that nobody seems to be talking about is the ammo. The military cannot use your typical home defense or LE JHP rounds. So what the DOD wants is an effective pistol that uses ball ammo. If that is the case than they should have kept the .45. If they want to stay with the 9mm they must come up with a new ammo type. I think they should go back to the .45 if they must use military ball ammo and pick the M&P by S&W. They have 10 & 14 round mags for it. The .45 is pretty easy to shoot especially in the newer polymer guns so smaller people should not have much of a problem. IMO the .45 is easier than a .40/.357 SIG. Also the M&P has interchangeable backstraps and is made in the good old USA by a company that is American which should easily satisfy any politician. It is time to retire the Baretta M9, it might be time to retire the 9mm since the military must use ball ammo. The 9mm is fine and many LE agencies are going back to it, it’s fine if you are using a 9mm 124 grain +P JHP round that is. As long as the military must use ball they will be at a disadvantage with any choice.

    • Zebra Dun

      Spoon tip Pistol bullets in FMJ ball?

    • n0truscotsman

      or they can adopt a spoon tip or open tip match (silly i know) variant of NATO standard 9mm….

      or implement a FMJ that is specifically designed to have superior tissue disruption similar to the theory behind the M855A1 5.56.

      45s larger circumference of two finger nails doesn’t undue the fact that 15-17 rounds of 9mm causes more tissue disruption and blood loss than 7-10 rounds of 45 ACP with all rounds placed in similar places.

  • Shane

    The army should go with the Colt Python in stainless steel with a 4″ barrel in .357 Magnum as it’s new sidearm.

  • ozzallos .

    Pistol caliber carbine. make it happen.

  • Victor

    The army should just cut the middle man and go straight to burning huge piles of money, which is exactly what they’re after.

    • John

      Well, burning money does cut down on inflation. So they are certainly serving their country.

  • ArmasDeFuego

    You forgot to mention the SOF-CP (Special Operations Forces – Combat Pistol), that merged w FHS to become the JCP, which unmerged back to the CP. Also forgot the AFH (Air Force Handgun), and AFFH (Air Force Future Handgun) which kinda sorta became the MHS…

  • Zebra Dun

    Go with a Glock in .45 GAP.
    Go with an FN MK III in 9 mm or 40 S&W.
    Or just flat out go with the FN P 90 and Five seven and be done with it.

  • Some Rabbit

    The .45 cultists are doing their wee-wee dance but the idea that the Pentagon would go to the expense and logistics to stock .45 ACP again and what that would mean to our NATO allies, all for little or no increase in lethality is absurd.

    The size and weight of the gun is a factor too. A troop can carry 3 extra 30 rd. mags for the weight and bulk of this gun. Handguns are not credible offensive military weapons.

    If they want to up the impact of the 9mm FMJ start using steel or brass jacketed truncated cone ammo in a +P loading, just like Georg Luger envisioned back in 1908.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      I get what you’re saying about the logistics of switching pistol calibers, but the whole “more small caliber ammo for the same weight as larger caliber ammo”. It seems like it has always been a cop-out, or someone in the MIC who was unable to admit it doesn’t translate to the real world. It started in Nam, which much like Afghanistan, really required 7.62NATO to go through heavy,dense vegetation and still inflict death, while Stan requires it for the distances involved. What good is more 5.56 ammo if you need to take a 3-5 shots to take out a single adversary when a 7.62NATO needs 1-2 rounds? Same goes with 9 vs 45. When the U.S. had the M1911 with 7 rounds of .45acp, the Brits had the Hi-Power with 13 rounds of 9mm. The brits where trained to fire doubletaps due to the likelihood of a single round not putting someone down, while the Americans usually could due it with a single .45 round, which equates to 7 doubletaps for the Hi-Power (if you have 13+1) and 7 singletaps from the M1911.

      • n0truscotsman

        I disagree.

        You are making the faulty assumption that you require less rounds with 45 and 7.62 to begin with, and there is no evidence to support that. There are plenty of cases of 45 and 7.62 also hit a bad guy more than once and didn’t stop him. Statistically, they are not any more lethal than their contemporaries, all variables aside (such as, oh i dont know, misses in combat conditions due to operator errror. A common phenomina, which is why ammunition recoil to facilitate follow up shots is just as critical as caliber).

        Shot placement is still critical. “3-5 for 5.56 and 1-2 for 7.62” is internet forum, keyboard kommando nonsense.

        You are also misunderstanding why the Americans never taught “double tap” (and falsely assuming some units didn’t already teach that, because they did). It was not because of the much vaunted “stopping power” of the 45 ACP compared to the 9mm, but because we were behind the brits when it came to close quarter combat TPPs, and the inconvenient fact that 1911s were very seldomly used as primary weapons (even among special operations. Mostly engineer types, despite internet mythology). Non specific response (different than double taps) particularly came about because of Vietnam and Borneo.

        So, 45 ACP rarely stops and kills with a singletap (whatever that means). It certainly doesnt any more than 9mm, thats for sure. I have already provided the evidence in recent posts comparing the two and there is no measurable difference.

        It makes the most logical sense to carry more ammunition for similar weight comparisons. 200 rounds of 7.62 NATO is far less useful than 600 rounds of 5.56 on the modern battlefield. In other words, adopting 45 would be a step backwards.

        • Rusty Shackleford

          200 rounds of 7.62 NATO is far less useful than 600 rounds of 5.56 if you are using the Vietnam era spray-and-pray technique or to lay down suppressive fire, but with todays rifle training (at least in the USMC) 7.62NATO would fair much better in Afghanistan, as it would have in Vietnam. During the Vietnam conflict, soldiers with M16s and M60s would usually both carry 600 rounds.

          If you are talking about the M193 which hasn’t been in use for more than 30 years (and even then, it will only reliably tumble and fragment from a M16 NOT an M4) Then, yes, it does have decent terminal ballistics. The problem is the main 5.56 ammunition during most of Iraq and Afghanistan has been M855 which tends to zip through the human body, especially the malnourished middle-easterners who have a 7″-8″ deep torso. That is why both the Army and USMC spent money developing more useful ammo, M855A1 and SOST which still don’t have the performance or range of M80 ball, let alone M118LR.

          As for pistol calibers, since the U.S military does not use expanding rounds, a larger caliber will produce larger wound channels and will be more likely to hit vitals. The 9mm has a smaller sectional density and travels at a higher speed which results in over-penetrating the body and creating less of a wound channel combined with poorer terminal ballistics.

          • n0truscotsman

            1.) Not only is being able to carry more 5.56 beneficial from that aspect (and that is utterly narrow minded of you), but is also important in the aspect of 21st century, highly mobile warfare which is mostly likely to take place in urban areas or a operations tempo at fast paces.

            The reason for this argument is that the human population is becoming more urbanized, not less so, therefore, it is axiomatic that future conflicts will be more likely fought in a urban setting/close quarters.

            Urban warfare aside, the advantages of infantry engaging other infantry in standoff distance with a larger caliber is largely a WWI anachronism since it was already proven that infantry soldiers generally wont engage targets past 200 meters (let alone hit anything past then when you consider exhaustion and the general fact that “one shot one kill” is hollywood nonsense). That and in future battles, infantrymen compliment IFVs and APCs, MBTs, and integrated aerial support, which have optics, weapons, and engagement distances multitudes farther than infantry.

            Afghanistan is a tactical anomaly, not a shape of things to come. Most of the casualty producing weapons in that conflict are mortars, machine guns, and aerial support anyways. Standardizing 7.62 among infantry squads would have done nothing to make them more effective because most soldiers cannot shoot bad guys at distance anyways with single shots.

            2.) and no, im not talking about M193. That round hasn’t been in service for quite some time. Im talking about anything other than M855 to be honest. Like what you mentioned: mk 262, Mk318, M855A1, etc.

            M855/SS109 is a type of 5.56, not the standard of 5.56 in terms of overall cartridge lethality. It is astoundingly shortsighted of people to think this (and im not necessarily accusing you, i just see it a lot).

            3.) On the subject of pistol calibers, you are still wrong in many was.

            Breaking each point down:

            “As for pistol calibers, since the U.S military does not use expanding rounds,”

            Yes we do. Certain units used them in both theaters. And it was completely supported by JAG for us to do so.

            “a larger caliber will produce larger wound channels and will be more likely to hit vitals.”

            Larger, as in the width difference of two fingernails. In other words, minimal difference in size.

            Before you jump on the 45 ACP bandwagon, consider that 15-17 rounds of 9mm is going to cause more blood loss and tissue damage than 7-10 rounds of 45 ACP. Compare the combined circumferences of all of each competitor, the kinetic energy displaced into a target (and they have comparable kinetic energies), etc. Its not hard to figure out why pretty much everybody uses 9mm.

            Its not superior per se than the 45 when comparing kinetic energy and overall “killing power” (a rough laymans term, hardly scientific). Its attributes, such as lower recoil (faster follow up shots), smaller enough attributes to affect magazine size, and comparatively lower cost and less materials make it superior for a handgun.

            9mm doesn’t “overpenetrate”. It has the same penetration capabilities like any other major handgun caliber (the FBI tested this extensively).

            Also ask a surgeon sometimes what the difference between 45 ACP and 9mm wound channels are sometime.

          • Rusty Shackleford

            As I said, wether it was the M60 gunners in Vietnam or the M240B gunners in Afghanistan, they usually carry the same number of rounds as the grunts/jarheads do with their M16/M4 rifles. Yes, modern warfare has become asymmetrical and mostly in the urban environment which means 5.56 has its place in that scenario (I never said it didn’t) and with the new ammo, it has become damn good in those situations as opposed to the instances in Iraq with the M855 zipping through insurgents, requiring a ridiculously large number of rounds when they were getting high on morphine and meth before attacking. Personally, I like the benefit of a round like the 6.5 Grendel that gives similar ballistics of the 6.8SPC until ~300 yards, then it overshadows the 6.8 and can be used for urban warfare and still reach out in the instances like Afghanistan and it does that form the M16/M4 platform. Also, the Army has issued an acquisition request for a CSASS in 7.62NATO, so they definitely see the need for it now and in the future.

            That’s just it, the M855 WAS the standard ammunition for the vast majority of the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, only recently has the new ammo become standardized.

            As for pistols and HP ammo, only SOF can use HP ammunition and that is because they are not considered military but a counter-terrorist force. Which is ridiculous since America never ratified the Hague Convention’s declaration IV-3, so US Armed Forces should be using them, not just SOF. Also, the width difference may only be 1/10th of an inch, but it still will be more likely to hit vitals than the 9mm, thats just physics. If you compare 9mm HP to .45acp HP then the difference becomes minimal, but that isn’t the case in military munitions.

            As for round count, I’d much prefer a 15 round FNX Tactical 45 to a 15 round Beretta M9. They both weigh 33oz empty, the M9 mag weighs more empty but slightly less loaded when compared to the FNX 45 Tactical and cost of ammunition would be a minimal increase, if at all. The truth is, a portion of the DoD has realized NATO standard ammo has become unnecessary as seen in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, since the cold war ended and England has really been the only ally to fight with us, so getting them to switch calibers, wether its .45 or 6.5 Grendel, wouldn’t be that difficult.

            If you look about 2/3 the way down on this site ( You will see that 9mm FMJ does over-penetrate, and thats standad pressure 115gr FMJ.

            I have watched a seminar on bullet wounds and the .45 FMJ creates a larger hole than 9mm FMJ. Now, when it comes to HP ammo, the results are much more similar. The 9mm will most likely remain. IF they switch calibers, it will probably be either .45acp or 5.7×28.

          • n0truscotsman

            Okay so you do get my point then. M855 shouldn’t be used as the standard bearer for the performance of all 5.56, even though it was the US’s standard cartridge. The other units also used Mk 262 and the USMC, the Mk 318, long before the M855A1 even hit downrange. I believe the black hills went all the way back to ODS.

            I do agree that in the grand scheme of things, a 243-260-sized cartridge would have been more ideal for infantrymen than the 7.62 NATO and 5.56. Shit the 276 pedersen would have been surprisingly decent, one can safely assume.

            Sadly, it is too late now. There is no reason to standardize such a cartridge because there is no will or money to do so. The military has to want to do it and they dont right now (and obviously they arent because they are more fucking worried about cutting live fire training to acquire another handgun, which shows how far their heads are shoved up their internals).

            Besides, the 5.56 has evolved to effectively close its inherent gap with 308. It is no wonder they want to apply the M855A1’s improvements to the 7.62 NATO (and they should).

            It doesn’t matter that the Cold War ended or what a portion of the DOD believes (they’re wrong, and generally, the DOD is wrong about pretty much everything anyways). NATO and non-NATO allies (and even potential adversaries in many cases and unfriendly regimes) use 9mm and will in the future until something lightyears ahead of that caliber comes along. That is why 5.56 will remain in service around the world.

            So yes, ammunition commonality is very important. The advantages in logistics are critical (remember the quote about “amateurs arguing tactics”?). Remember during the hight of both wars when we had shortages of 5.56 ammunition? How we were able to off set and alleviate this somewhat buy buying 5.56 from various allies (and having them produce 5.56)? A hypothetical ammunition shortage would be compounded by only the US producing 6.5 grendel or anything else with no ability for allied industries to help. Disaster.

            The performance of 9mm NATO ball leaves much to be desired compared to what it could be, although, for purposes conducive for battlefields, it is more than adequate. Remember that you are not shooting at ballistic gel. You are shooting through the enemy’s arms (when he is holding a rifle), his gear (magazines, chest rig), or perhaps foliage. 115 grain is also different than 124 grain or 147 gr.

            Do watch this. It pretty much refutes the entire 9mm vs 45 vs 40 vs whatever debate. This is why the argument over adopting a new pistol caliber is absolutely ludicrous.

          • Rusty Shackleford

            Yes, M855 is no performer and should have given way to mk262 and mk318 much sooner. I remember the Marines who used it around 2007-2008 in Iraq had gotten excited about a 5.56 round that came damn close to one-shot kill in some scenarios, except the story gained traction making more troops want access to them, so the “superiors” decided to stop use until an official approval was given, which thanks to M118LR creating a precedent, happened faster than most thought.

            I too feel that a cartridge like the .276 Pedersen or even the .280 British would have been a nice compromise. I never meant that the U.S. Armed Forces should adopt 7.62NATO now, I simply meant that I feel it should have stayed around as the main cartridge longer than just a few years, and might have if George Sullivan didn’t force the use of a composite barrel on the AR10 for trials. Also, considering that 7.62NATO was already standardized, the malfunction problems early in Vietnam resulting from changing the spec’d powder of the 5.56 probably wouldn’t have happened. I know It doesn’t make sense to switch back to 7.62NATO.

            Now that the 6.5 Grendel is a SAAMI round, IF the NATO allies decided it provided enough of an advantage, it wouldn’t be difficult to re-chamber their different assault rifles for it, granted that is a long shot and won’t happen during a global recession although it would simplify logistics if your assault rifle and medium range bolt-action rifles were chambered for the same round, although you are right about the improvement in newer 5.56 rounds, especially the powder. A Marine Force Recon member was relaying how incredible it is to hit an insurgent at 500 meters with a MK18 firing the mk318 round.

            As for pistol calibers, I use both 9mm and .45acp and enjoy them both, I simply said a larger bullet will give you a better chance of hitting vitals, which it does even if it is by a small percentile. Again, it is unlikely that the cartridge or the pistol that fires it will change, at least not anytime soon.

            P.S. that video was very interesting and informative, thank you for sharing it with me.

          • gfr

            That was good, but the guy did say that the bigger bullets were more dangerous because they made a bigger wound channel.
            He also said that rifle bullets were FAR more deadly even though the bullets often weighed less than handgun bullets, because the higher muzzle velocity translated into a bigger wound channel. Perhaps 7.62×25 is the way to go.

          • valorius

            5.7x28mm would actually make sense, going to .45 makes no sense at all.

            “Over penetration” in a military round is good.

          • valorius


          • tiger

            A bit of a waste playing with small arms when the weapon of choice is the Sniper & IED by bad guys today.

          • valorius

            5.56mm is a quantifiably better than 7.62mm for standard issue, its not even close.

            9mm is quantifiably better than .45 for standard issue, its not even close.

            Signed, a former us army infantryman.

          • Rusty Shackleford

            With todays’ army, yes.

          • valorius

            What other army would we be talking about?

          • Rusty Shackleford

            Today’s Army doesn’t get the proper amount of firearms training nor are they allotted enough ammunition do become truly proficient, which is why the vast majority wouldn’t be able to properly handle the .45acp or 7.62NATO round. Instead of complaining about not being allowed to wear MARPAT, brass should take a page from the Corp about marksmanship for all personnel.

      • Some Rabbit

        But getting back to the 9mm, I recall a story of an escape at a large animal sanctuary. A state trooper was called to a residence when the homeowner saw a black bear in his yard. As the trooper was talking to the resident the bear suddenly appeared and charged. The trooper only had enough time to get off one shot with his 9mm but it killed the bear instantly.

        To top it off the same trooper then spotted a female tiger and opened fire, no mention how many shots it took, but he killed that too. Sorry I don’t have the link but you should be able to Google it.

        Here’s a case where a man shot and killed a mountain lion that was stalking him using his 9mm carry gun:

        • valorius

          A guy in Alaska killed a grizzly with a 9mm pistol last year too. U can Google it.

      • valorius

        Military 5.56mm fragmenting ammo such as m193, m855, mk262 has much greater wounding effect than 7.62mm ball.

        • Rusty Shackleford

          M193 only tumbles and fragments from the M16 and even then it’s not guaranteed. M855 does nothing but puncture a straight line. MK262 is good, it’s better against soft targets than M80 but not more than M118LR.

          • valorius

            Not true at all. M193 almost always frags inside 150m, even from the m4. M855 – us made- usually fragments inside 90 meters.

            Mk262mod1 is better than m118lr, as the 118lr doesnt fragment, it just tumbles.

          • Rusty Shacklefrod

            I said the M193 tumbles and fragments from the M16, it’s just not necessarily going to happen everytime. When fired from the M4/M4A1, inside ~100 meters it *can* break apart into two segments at the cannelure yet when you start going past that distance, it lacks the velocity to fragment.

            M855 doesn’t fragment, although it can tumble. The problem is two-fold, first is the velocity needed is right on the threshold of the M4 and second is the fact that when it does tumble it won’t begin to until the 7″- 8″ mark, which happens to be the torso depth of the average Afghani.

            As for MK262 vs M118LR, I suppose it depends on personal preference, if you prefer less fragmentation, the MK319 is made specifically for that.

          • valorius

            M193 has a mv of 3000 fps from an m4, and still fragments violently at cqb range nearly 100% of the time.

            There are several gel tests on you tube of m855 fragmenting in gel at cqb range when fired from a carbine length barrel. Dr. Fackler has commented that m855 typically fragments to a range of 90m from an m4. (Google it, shouldn’t be hard to,find the report). However, even tumbling only ammo still creates a very nasty wound tract.

            The problem with nato ss109 is that every nation makes a slightly different version and some are too robust to reliably fragment even at cqb range.

            In the opinion of this former us army infantryman, It was an enormous mistake switching from the m16a4 to the m4.

    • 3 extra M-16 magazines won’t do you much good if a broken bolt lug locks your upper solid, or a blown primer jams your trigger mechanism. Stuff happens. Redundancy is good in critical operations, ask any aircraft mechanic. Two firearms are better than one.

      • valorius

        Id rather carry 2 more grenades.

  • James Young

    They should spend the money improving the 5.56x45mm instead, make it tumble more like the 5.45x39mm. Our military uses rifles far more than pistols.

    • milesfortis

      Uncle has.
      We have a new improved version of the M855’s projectile. Google/Bing “M855A1”. The new bullet is vastly more effective.

  • Raoul O’Shaughnessy

    It sounds more like they want a new caliber rather than a new pistol.

  • MrPotatoHead

    The Sig SP2022 in .40 S&W or .357 Sig would fit the bill. In .40, the SP2022 is very soft shooting and accurate to boot. Plus it’s already been field tested.

    I wish they would adopt the FiveseveN. Lots of rounds, super light recoil, accurate (easily to 100yds), excellent penetration (with the right ammo). But then again, if wishes were horses, we’d all be eating steak.

  • Olyn McKinney

    They need a new commander in chief more than any thing else.

  • germanguy

    the Sig 320 is not for the german civilian market. the two handguns that are standard on your license here are more like all steel somewhat fancy pistols (lots of 1911s or 686s or CZ75s or SIG210s) with the occiasional Glock.

    • Dan

      Yep, exactly. The P320 is for the MHS competition no matter what the sig sales reps say.

  • James Young

    How about SMG’s for support troops like the P90 and then a matching sidearm like the Five-SeveN? Or the MP7. The P90 holds 50 rounds and the Five-seveN holds 20 giving support crews the ability to lay down a lot of the suppressing fire if needed, and with a lot less weight. But I don’t know if that’s important or not.

    • valorius

      That is the only approach that would make any sense at all.

  • Kevin

    We should announce we are not going to go with the hollow point ban anymore from the hague convention. I never understood that. If someone gets you with a grenade then you will look a lot worse than with a hollow point. Those fart holes in the middle east don’t fight fair, why should we. We are not fighting in mass warfare these days, we are fighting more in small units, and that means the pistol has become more valuable than it was 20 or more years ago. Medical personnel and the like who cannot carry a rifle around need a good pistol and a good hollow point, and together they can greatly minimize (no weapon can stop every turd) attacks.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      Except using hollow-points is fighting fair. Isn’t it more humane to dispatch your opposition quickly with a single round of hollow-point than it is to take anywhere from 2-30 rounds?

    • Steve_7

      Hollowpoints might make sense in a civilian context, but in a military context you’re going up against hardened targets so what you want is penetration above all. I doubt the US would care about the Hague Accords if there wasn’t a logical reason to go along with it.

    • gfr

      The Hague convention also banned dropping explosive devices from airplanes.

  • Michael

    And how many people are shot with a handgun in warfare?
    Maybe let people bring their own.

    • dupkaman

      Sergeant Saunders took out scores of Krauts with his 45.

      • Zebra Dun

        I saw where Sgt Rock took out a Tiger, on a beach, while shell shocked and paralyzed! Using just one magazine from his Thompson!

  • What’s wrong with the new m45?

    • probably the $5625 price tag

      “The service awarded a $22.5 million contract to Colt Defense for its M1911A1 Rail Guns. The deal was finalized Wednesday night, according to Barb Hamby, a spokeswoman for Marine Corps Systems Command in Quantico, Va. Precise details are expected to be released Thursday evening, but there is widespread speculation the order will total some 4,000 firearms.”

      $22.5/4000 = $5,625 each pistol

    • tiger

      It does not meet the needs of a modern duty gun for general use.

  • I think a replacement is probably a good idea. I hope they choose the FNX or similar and/or go back to .45. Nothing against Beretta. Either way, I’m doubt that they will select a new side arm.


    You have to wonder how often a pistol has been used in combat. Hell, the 5.56 is marginal. SOCOM has acquired many different pistols, but it’s shot placement that counts. Some SOF personnel carry the H&K MP7 in 4.62 x 30mm on certain missions along with the H&K UCP/P46 pistol in the same caliber. Most soldiers would be better-off with an MP7 type weapon in lieu of a pistol. The new modular SIG with a shoulder/forearm brace may be what the Army really wants. This is not the time to pursue new hardware. The Army’s point about current Beretta maintenance costs is ludicrous. Who shoots their pistol that much? Just Delta and ST6 who do not use the Beretta. Note that MARSOC keeps pursuing a new pistol. This is just the same guys wanting to play with new firearms at taxpayer and gun manufacturer expense. Next it will be a new knife and entrenching tool combo. These particular military personnel are irresponsible and need to be shut down. Isn’t there a reduction in force underway?

    • seans

      So what SOF carry both the MP7 and their pistol in the same caliber. Cause I know Damneck does not. Do you have any proof of that Cag does.

      • RVN SF VET

        Who is Damneck? Who is Cag?

        • seans

          Damneck is DEVGRU/Seal team 6 and Cag is Delta. Neither of which use a 4.6 pistol unless they adopted it in the last 6 months.

          • Justin

            They haven’t adopted anything new. This “SF Vet” is just talking out his ass. What’s funny is that if everybody knew about Delta carrying .40 Glocks all of a sudden they would be super popular again.

    • Ripley

      The UCP/P46 was cancelled in 2009.

  • Tom Currie

    “Just two years ago the army placed ordered 100,000 additional M9 pistols from Beretta. I cannot see them adopting a new pistol in the near future.”
    That was an IDIQ contract (Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity) meaning that the military (not just the Army) could but UP TO 100,000 M9 pistols at the specified price over the life of the contract. The government was not (and IS NOT) obligated to buy any of those 100,000 pistols.

    • James Young

      Exactly, and if they have to buy 100,000 new guns anyway, they figure they might as well look for a replacement.

  • TheSmellofNapalm

    They only need to alert the industry when they’re serious. Right now they’re just acting like a pathetic tease.

  • James Young

    After some research, the only guns that meet all the criteria: M&P40, FNX 45, and FNS 40. FN built their FNX to compete for this contract, but I think the M&P will get the contract because they can sell their guns at a lower price.

    My verdict: they want a bigger caliber, but they will end up with the M&P9. Though I still hope they choose the FNX.

  • Steve_7

    ” “The 9mm doesn’t score high with soldier feedback,” said Easlick,
    explaining that the Army, and the other services, want a round that will
    have better terminal effects — or cause more damage — when it hits
    enemy combatants. “We have to do better than our current 9mm.” ”

    Would any pistol score high with soldier feedback? And what are the complaints exactly? Is this just a case of everyone believing in the mythical stopping power of .45 ACP?

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

    And at this point you know they’re smoking crack, because none of those would be anymore effective with FMJ bullets. And if you use some clever new bullet design – it would work with 9mm anyway. If they were talking about going to something less conventional like 5.7×28 then I would believe they were being serious.

    “As part of the joint requirement process for MHS, Army weapons officials
    did a “very thorough cost-benefit analysis” that showed supported the
    effort, Easlick said.”

    How do we keep our jobs now the war is over… er… waste a shitpile of taxpayer money on a boondoggle…

    ” “We have got an old fleet of M9s right now; it’s costing us more to
    replace and repair M9s than it would cost to go get a new handgun,” he

    Don’t believe you. Especially with draw downs in troop numbers. And 100,000 new M9s being purchased.

    “The Army spent years on an effort to search for a replacement for its M4 carbine, but ended up adopting the improved M4A1 version used by special operations forces.”

    A case-study in a make-work program.

    ” “The M9 doesn’t meet it for a multitude of reasons,” Easlick said. “It’s
    got reliability issues; the open slide design allows contaminates in.
    The slide-mounted safety doesn’t do well when you are trying to clear a
    stoppage — you inadvertently de-cock and safe the weapon system.” ”

    Oh what nonsense, everyone knows the open slide design is one of the reasons the Beretta is so reliable! And what stoppages are they on about – I seem to remember heaps of DoD and Army testing showing it was super duper reliable. Problems with Checkmate magazines and locking blocks breaking were fixed long ago.

    What we really need is for Jon Stewart to go back and quote all the stuff they said thirty years ago about how wonderful it was back to them.

  • I think every firearm manufacturer in the world probably replied, “Not this again. Screw you guys.”

    • cbunix23

      Someone will step up. Beretta hasn’t stayed in business several hundred years by telling governments “Screw you guys”.

  • derfelcadarn

    The military had a perfectly serviceable pistol for decades and replaced it with a lesser weapon. For any weapon dependability and stopping power are everything, the Colt 1911 is still the best tool for the job.

    • I guess that’s why John Browning made the Hi-Power a high-capacity 9mm pistol, without a swinging-link barrel lock up.

  • john huscio

    Like to see them take a look at the vp9 or maybe the HK45

  • Uniform223

    Took time to read a all opinions of others I guess I should jump into the fray and say my piece…

    First off I am tired of the whole argument between 9mm and .45 ( personally I lean more to the .45 )… hell just calibers in general. Second this article is about the possibility of a “new” service pistol for the US Army. If I have to hear people bring up the Carbine Improvement Program one more time I swear to almighty baby Jesus that I will club a baby seal to death with a wiffel bat. Third if you don’t have personal or professional experience in something and just blurt out BS assumptions… sit down please. Anyone can read something and regurgitate it later somewhere else at sometime. With all that off my chest here is my thoughts.

    Can the US Army acquire a better pistol? Yes and no.
    From my experience with the M9 and other pistols I have fired on my free time, the US Army can have a pistol that is better ergonomically and functionally. From my experiences with the M9 when I was still in I had alot of gripes about its design. The open slide is stupid. The safety is too high ( if you’re like me you have to do this weird reach up with your thumb to work the safety. Also if you’re like me and you slingshot the slide instead of using the slide release, you tend to hit the safety ). The grip is a bit awkward ( Holding the M9, in my hands the pistol always slightly pointed to the left ). The sights are too small. Unless the US Army truly and really intends to change calibers of the pistol, performance in that aspect will be the same as the M9.
    The US Army as a whole needs to put more training emphasis not just with the service rifle but also with the pistol. My last unit almost no one had any experience with the M9, the only people who did were people that used to be LE or an MP. Just like the bayonet or unarmed combatives, they need more training. I took extra time aside to learn basic defensive and offensive FMA techniques from the my brother-in-law ( the USMC has the right idea in that realm ).

    Will the US Army change the caliber of a possible new service pistol?
    I do not know the answer to that but I am pretty damn sure the answer is no. If there is anything anybody needs to learn about the “big Army”, logistics is the life blood ( don’t fuck with people in the S-4 of S-1 ). There is plenty of 9mm stock floating around in the US military and its allies. With the constant economic crunch on the US military it would be more detrimental to a program to change calibers of a standard issue service pistol or rifle. Anyone can watch a video on the interwebs and get a general idea of the differences of ballistic capabilities between various calibers. Though in actual practice all that nice ballistic data from a lab somewhere wont help you if you dont know how to use it in real world; again more training required at the individual level.

    In terms of who uses what… again unless you have personal experience its all an assumption. As far as I know ( with friends in the USMC still ) the M9 is still considered the standard issue service pistol. As far as I know the vaunted M45A1 is considered a pistol given to select units within the USMC. Its pretty much general military knowledge special units/teams/groups/forces get more leeway in the time of weapons and equipment they are allowed to use.

  • Django

    As long as the side arm is reliable all those calibers are fine! There are also so many fine companies to choose from. That being said the FN X in .45 is pretty hard to pass up, truly a great firearm with 15 rounds to boot!

    Also the Glock 20 in 10 mm would be my personal choice but after the F.B.I. turned down the 10mm due to excessive recoil the 10mm will never see the light of day, truly a shame!

    Like I said there are so many sidearms that can fit the bill!

  • Dr. Daniel Jackson

    Formerly being in the service,I wish they would consider upgrading to better combat rifle preferably something in .308/7.62×51 and more reliable,now the AR15/M16/M4 is not a bad civilian rifle but it is is in my opinion a terrible combat rifle.

    I’m glad they are finally considering ditching the Beretta,they are rather large for a 9mm,and have a tendency to get all kinds of crud in that open slide design.

  • The Grizz

    Why don’t they just adopt the Glock 17 and get it over with? Instead they’re gonna waste millions dicking around like they don’t know what the best pistol would be.

  • MrApple

    They weren’t happy with the 45ACP and now they aren’t happy with the 9mm. Why don’t they just stop all the silliness and move on to .40S&W and quit wasting time and resources?

  • Secundius

    Why not give them either the Sig Sauer P227 or P250 in .45ACP livery.

  • RSMJR87

    First I would choose the .45ACP, Sig Sauer P227 10/14+1 or if you want to go the cheaper route the Glock 21SF 10/13+1 would work fine. Both are very reliable and I believe the PA State Troopers Select Sig P227 The contract calls for 5,000 handguns so that is good news for the Sig P227.

  • Olson Ward

    How about the 7.62×25 Tokarev round? That is a bad boy with more penetrating power than the rest of those up for evaluation.

    • tiger

      we are not Russians.

      • gfr

        It is a hot round, but I don’t know of any pistol other than the Tokarev that uses it (it is not the same as the 7.63×25 Mauser). The Tokarev is well made, but rudimentary by todays standards.
        Also it’s notable that Zastava now makes a version of the Tokarev in 9mm.

      • Olson Ward

        What is your point, Cpt Obvious? Do you want the best round or the best round designed in the U.S.? This round is effective for both pistols and sub guns. If lives are at stake, I would err in the direction of the most versatile and lethal messenger.

  • Chazz Matthews

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

    A change in caliber, really? So, we have ceded from NATO? The main reason cited for giving up the the 1911 Colt .45 ACP as the official U.S. Army sidearm in 1985 was because the rest of NATO uses 9mm sidearms, and in joint operations/conflicts we can share ammo with allies if necessary. Even just recently, UK dumped the Beretta 9mm to go to Glock — but kept the 9mm part.

    U.S. Special Forces, of course, have always had the ability to use whatever sidearms/calibers they deemed necessary for their missions. But the rest of the army uses Beretta 9mm, mostly due to NATO compatibility.

    • tiger

      It was the Browning hi power, not Beretta. The Naval air guys & Army CID also use the M11 Sig over the M9’s.

  • Slim934

    Just go to the Glock 41. You have not only a pistol that won’t break, but now you also have something in .45 that holds a bunch of rounds.

  • phatom309

    I say the Glock 17 is the ticket. Easy to train with,easy to clean, very reliable and plenty of firepower.

  • Dean Seaman

    Sig 226 in .40 S&W. End of story.

    • BugaBuga

      I own a Sig 229 in .40 Love it. Bought it with nite sights and added a Lasermax laser .

  • gfr

    Back in the day (up through the end of WW1), the British military provided an allowance so that officers could purchase their own sidearm. I know that there are a few police departments in the US that still do that. Considering the wide variety of pistols available and the physical differences between individuals, maybe it would be better to go back to that system.
    Over time a consensus might develop as to which calibre/pistol was best. This “one size fits all” method doesn’t seem to be working – also, people have a tendency to treat their own firearms better.

  • spencer60

    The only reason they are doing this is to ‘punish’ Beretta for making a pro-2A stand in Maryland.

  • Patrick

    I doubt do any thing but waste tax payers money get no new handgun for US
    military do to budgets cuts as much US army like new handgun they rath have new tanks helicopters instead. What happen ever time military want move way from M9 handgun M4 rifle for general mass they test bunch rifles and handguns end up keeping M9 handgun or M4 rifle state that nothing they test surpass M9 and M4 in profromance what they do all ready. Only very small number US special force branches have been been able move away from M9 and M4 do fact it was in great numbers or they went out bought owen gun go war with. Any case with huge inventore US Military has of M9 and M4 right now I doubt they have funds means adopt change from M9 some thing else.

  • valorius

    Just a big fat waste of money.

  • Brad Ferguson

    9mm, 45 cal. even 357 sig. are useless against a near peer army. If you don’t have the penetrating power to go through even soft body armor……….Why even have a side arm ? I think the Army needs to look at the 5.7 cal and similar rounds. So you have a chance of getting through body armor.

  • BugaBuga

    Pistols are not rifles. Do not expect them to be. If had to go to war, I would carry a 1911 .45. It would be my last resort firearm, then the Ka-Bar comes out.

  • César

    And then they’ll make another pointless program with another random name just to pretend to be cool… “UCP=Ultimate Combat Pistol” or “TTWWRDTATWCAWDNCTPBWFLI=This Time We Will Really Decide To Adopt The Winning Contestant And Will Definitely Not Cancel The Program Because We Felt Like It”…

  • Max Glazer

    Pistol must have the following attributes: Simple, reliable, have good stopping power within 60 yards, accurate within that range, light enough. THAT. IS. ALL. Beretta 92 is ALL of them. Why change what isn’t broken? Or they want to make it tacticool?

  • Dchil

    I doubt that the US will adopt another .45acp. Or they will have to get nato to switch calibres or retire the 1911 once and for all. The M9 could be replaced by another 9mm but a .357 sig isn’t the best idea with it’s bottle necked rounds. .40S&W just doesn’t seem to be what the US army would use.

  • Lujan

    Modular is the key here. Instead of a whole new pistol, companies ( who actually participate) should only focus on ideas that also have a civilian marketability factor. For example a new lower that can handle different calibers with a change of slide/barrel & using common mags. Detonics MTX comes to mind w/ their modular 1911. With grip size being crucial to a double stack. Why do you think so many new buyers are wanting single stack 9’s? How it feels in the hand directly relates to confidence in shooting what your aiming at! But customization allows for a commercial benefit if their pistol isn’t picked in this so-called competition. Beretta has a new lower that has a rail that can upgrade an existing firearm. If it narrowed the grip I would want one(Yes I have sm. hands). An existing platform allows companies to simply introduce accessories to consumers who already own their product. The fact that caliber is open, should be a clue that this is just an exercise for the Army.