US Gunmakers to Submit MHS Pistols By 2016; Fmr SecDef Gates Slams Program

army-m9

According to a recent Military.com article, US gun manufacturers are set to deliver their proposals to the US Army by the first month of the new year:

Under federal rules, the Army is not naming the manufacturers who have expressed interest in offering a gun. Companies will deliver their proposed guns to Army officials in January. The Army will then select up to three finalists and put the weapons through more testing, including evaluations from soldiers. The first soldiers would receive it for official use in 2019.

Smith & Wesson Holding Corp., a Massachusetts-based company famous for its revolvers, has partnered with military contractor General Dynamics Ordinance and Tactical Systems to offer a gun based off its M&P handguns, which are already used by police agencies.

Beretta, which is moving its U.S. manufacturing from Maryland to Tennessee, Beretta offered the Army an improved version of the existing M9 design before the service announced its open search for a new gun. The company now intends to enter a new pistol called the APX into the competition. The new gun is a major engineering departure from the M9. It has a polymer frame like more recent handguns and can meet the Army’s other requirements. Finding the right design is a balancing act for engineers.

The program, which has received considerable criticism from onlookers for the “package deal” structure of the proposals, has garnered the ire of former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, who deplored the lengthy process of the Army’s selection of the new weapon:

In his first testimony on Capitol Hill since he retired in 2011 as the top civilian at the Defense Department, Gates singled out the Army’s Modular Handgun System acquisition program for criticism.

Here’s what he had to say, as my colleague Richard Sisk reported:

“In her questioning of Gates, Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, complained about the 350-page request for proposals the Army came up with for a new handgun for soldiers and asked, ‘What should Congress do to fix this mess?’

Gates said that lawmakers should become ‘disruptors’ of the process. They should call the Army secretary and the Army chief of staff before them and ‘ask why is it taking you guys 10 years? It’s a handgun for God’s sake.’

Congress should also look in the mirror when trying to assign blame for the shortcomings of the acquisition process while trying to score political points off that same process, Gates said.”

[emphasis mine]

While MHS does aim to give the Army a modern, lightweight, modular sidearm, it does raise questions of why so much time and effort is being invested in selecting a last-ditch weapon that is rarely ever used, especially when even the best possible proposals will give the Army at best a modest improvement versus the existing legacy systems. Gates’ concerns that this program is also taking far too long are not unwarranted, either. The US Army has been seeking a new handgun since the beginning of the 21st Century.



Nathaniel F

Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. In addition to contributing to The Firearm Blog, he runs 196,800 Revolutions Per Minute, a blog devoted to modern small arms design and theory. He can be reached via email at nathaniel.f@staff.thefirearmblog.com.


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  • me

    corruption

    • hikerguy

      When money talks bovine excrement walks….

  • 11B

    Because every lawmaker wants a piece of the pie (or the whole thing) for his or her state. Then they can talk about “job creation” etc etc

    • manBear

      that is correct.

    • n0truscotsman

      While completely missing the point behind, “Ce qu’on voit et ce qu’on ne voit pas” (Bastiat)

  • ostiariusalpha

    IRE!!
    IIIIIIIIIIIRRRRRRRE!!!!
    IRE! Ire!
    ire. ire. ire.

    • Darkpr0

      I am become meme, destroyer of internets.

  • The same Gates that wanted to cancel the F-22, and when the USAF said “This will leave the US in a tough position without enough air superiority fighters.” Because the Generals knew that the JSF was designed with air defense being a secondary role, so they wouldn’t be very good at ACM.

    What did Gates do? He forced out all the Generals that disagreed with him, and promoted those that did into those positions.

    It took over a decade before people outside the Air Force realized that perhaps those fired Generals were right.

    • lowell houser

      Well, let’s see, the F-22 isn’t needed. At all. And none of them have tried to suffocate a pilot in the last few years, so GO TEAM. The F-35 has gone beyond expensive and not needed into the worst purchasing disaster in US military history. It’s the most expensive plane ever that can’t turn, can’t outrun, and can’t fight. And it can’t replace the A-10. And all the computer systems are all ten years out of date, lacking features that have been added to F-16’s via hardpoint mounted pods, which they can’t do with the F-35 because it doesn’t HAVE hardpoints. And there are so many other things wrong with it but I don’t have space to type them all here. So if he fired the people keeping that program going, then I rather think that shows some wisdom.

      So yes, I’m going to agree with the former secretary when I say, it’s a frickin handgun, pick one and move along.

      • Whee this is going to be fun.

        First the F-22 problems aren’t unusual, every single new aircraft has had issues. The F-16 you mentioned had an issue of the computer doing uncommanded pitch up while inverted in certain conditions. That wasn’t discovered until over a decade after it entered service and it killed at least one pilot.

        Second the F-35 has hard points, and unlike previous aircraft the avionics was designed to be more plug in play so they can more easily upgrade the aircraft.

        Third the F-35 was never designed to out fight, out climb, or out run other aircraft. It was primarily designed as a strike aircraft. ACM was a secondary requirement. Also it can replace the A-10, CAS has increasingly moved to PGMs.

        • idahoguy101

          It’s dificult to imagine an F-35 winning at within visual range air to air combat. It has bad wing loading, lacks supercruise and vectored thrust. It’s designation should be the A-35.

          Unless the Rules of Engagment always allow for BVR weapons release the F-35 is going to lose to any Fighter with a cannon and better handling and thrust.

          The F-35 is an F-117 stealth aircraft with mini AWACS and electronic warfare jamming capabilities. Four air to air missiles are included.

      • Darkpr0

        The F22 and F35 are both needed. The legacy 4th generation aircraft are literally falling out of the sky (See: F-15 longeron problems) and the problem will only get worse as these airframes are pushed considerably beyond their design lifetime. Furthermore the aircraft battlespace is moving at full speed into electronic warfare. Many of these features that were achieved using external pods at the cost of payload on legacy aircraft are integrated into the F-35. F-35 also has futureproofing built in for the high-power consumption features of electronic attack. The Russians have tried to retrofit such things onto the Flanker series (which I am a big fan of) which has been less than successful because the airframe simply was never designed with these features in mind. There is a reason why 4+ and 4++ generation aircraft are on their way out among the world’s superpowers: They will not survive on a 5th generation battlefield.

        Keep in mind that the F-35 is necessarily limited in what it can do because it must be designed for export, and the US will never release its favourite toys. That said, if you read between the lines you will start finding the electronic warfare applications which make the F35 desirable in ways that its specifications do not imply. Four years ago I was 100% against Canada’s purchase of this aircraft. I still believe the procurement process to have been a boondoggle, but, knowing what I know now, they chose the right aircraft for the wrong reasons.

        Also, in direct response to your quotes, every new aircraft is the most expensive aircraft ever made in its class. This is nothing new. The aircraft can turn as well as any loaded down F-15 or F-16. All aircraft have severe turning limitations put on when carrying air-to-ground ordinance. Air-to-air configurations do not have such stringent requirements, but in a US engagement you’ll be fighting A2A with F22s. It can run as well, and although its maximum speeds are limited the same as any other combat aircraft for this role, it has a considerably higher thrust-to-weight ratio allowing it to accelerate out better than even an F-16. It makes as much power at military thrust as an F-16 does at full afterburner. It will never end up replacing the A-10 as the Warthog is best used in low-resistance combat where large amounts of munitions are needed but the risk of effective anti-air weaponry is low. They will need to make a separate replacement if they wish to remove A10s from service, but this is a problem with what the defense forces fundamentally wanted rather than the aircraft designers being pants-on-head fools. Also the F35 has provisions for many external pylons, as does the F22. Please do a Google search.

        I may or may not be an aircraft fanatic in my spare time when I’m not earning Nathaniel’s ire.

      • John

        When all you’ve got to shoot is wrong/
        Move along, move along like I know you do/
        And even when your Glock is gone/
        move along, move along and learn how to make do/
        move along!

      • Komrad

        The F-35 does have hardpoints and it sure as hell can fight. It’ll have the capability to use both AIM-120D AMRAAMS and AIM-9X Sidewinders plus guns or optional gun pods depending on the model. It’s sensor suite will be above and beyond anything Russia or Europe will put out for years.
        It can’t turn or run as well as the F-22, but it isn’t supposed to. It’s supposed to be a multi-role strike aircraft with A2A capability for emergencies or when F-22s aren’t available.

        The A-10 is really, really, really cool, but it isn’t necessary anymore.
        It’s cannon cannot penetrate modern tanks and it significantly less accurate than precision guided munitions. When A-10s fly these days, they’re usually dropping PGMs with one or more external pods taking up hard points to do so. When CAS is called, the most common aircraft to actually drop munitions is the B-1B Lancer, not the A-10. If all you’re doing is dropping PGMs, then an F-35 that can fly higher, faster, and is more stealthy can do the job better than an A-10.

        • Evan

          The B-1 has been a massive failure as a close air support aircraft. It was designed as a strategic bomber. The A-10 works. The F-35 is essentially a massive black hole for pork barrel spending. It’s a lemon. We should ditch the F-35 in its entirety, buy more F-22s, and come up with three separate aircraft for the three services that actually meet the requirements instead of throwing money down the hole on this failed aircraft that is essentially just a technology demonstrator as opposed to an actual working combat aircraft.

    • Lance

      He didn’t cancel the F-22 that was Barack H Obama himself who did that in favor of his JSF program.

      • Kyle

        Are you implying Gates wanted to keep the F-22 and that big, mean Obama made him kill it? Cause you might want to read some of the Gate’s speeches about it. He was quite content to give that program the axe. Also the F-35 program started in 1998. So unless there is a modded Delorean involved in this story I am confused as to how it is specifically the current president’s pet project.

        • Bill

          President Obama seems perfectly content to use drones at a pace far exceeding the previous President to whack plenty of bad guys.

    • Sulaco

      Not to mention their continuing attempts to mothball the finest close air support and tank busting aircraft ever the Wart hog over the objections of those on the front lines.

      • Those on the front lines don’t realize that a vast majority of their CAS, and air strikes are coming from aircraft other than the A-10.

        I don’t totally agree with retiring the A-10. But we don’t actually lose that much capability by retiring the A-10 within modern ROEs, and using the modern technology used to link CAS aircraft with ground forces.

        • Bill

          AC-130whatever letter they are up to now.

    • Kyle

      Came here to say this. This is the same guy that spearheaded killing the F-22 in favor of the F-35. He also killed the EFV program which I will hate him forever for. Good call douchenozzle.

  • TCBA_Joe

    The Army currently fields M9s, G19s, G17s, G23s, G22s, G34s, P226, G26s, HK45s, 1911s, P228s.
    The other services also add M9A1s, P239s, G26s, HK45Cs, and USPs to the mix. We need to consolidate handguns for the some of same reasons the DoD adopted the M16 (to replace the mish mash of M1s, M14s, M3s, M1 & M2 Carbines, & Thompsons)

    The Army is at the point where they will need to purchase brand new M9s across the board to maintain its inventory while replacing all the aging guns.

    Handgun tech and theory has evolved over the past 30 years, and so has the need to be able to add lights, IR lasers, suppressors, and red dot optics.

    Add to all that we’re involved in low intensity conflicts where individuals are needing to carry in a low-profile manner (IE: CCW), now is about the perfect time to request a new pistol.

    Plus, gun guys should be psyched. Between the MHS, the FBI, and ICE contracts coming out, the pistol world is about to change considerably with the new adoptions and designs. (Unless you still insist on only metal-framed hammer guns).

    • Joshua

      Agreed. At this point adopting a new handgun will actually be smart due to inventory age and the vast amount of handguns in use.

      I like the M9 enough, but I won’t argue newer pistols do everything better over it, and can often last longer and be cheaper.

      There’s no reason not to upgrade at this point.

    • BattleshipGrey

      Thanks for the composite list of fielded sidearms. I’ve known that various units were issued things other than M9s and M11s including Glocks, but I had no idea they varied so much.

    • TJbrena

      I wasn’t aware of the G34. What niche would that fill anyways?

      G26 and P239 make sense for MPs and SOF doing plainclothes stuff. Same reason they have concealable IIIA body armor, I presume.

      • TCBA_Joe

        Same niche as any fullsize service pistol. I’ve seen a few pictures of USASOC SF Group guys with them. A G34 is the same length as a G17 with an x300, so if mounting a light, many figure why not add the increase barrel length and sight radius.

    • Robert Kalani Foxworthy

      Glock are over rated. Sigs are decent but a little overated. Beretta’s are a bit underated. Colts are nice. The Remington rand’s aren’t 100% mil spec. Every one has their horse and if their idea doesn’t win well.

  • 2wheels

    Honestly, we’re beyond the point where any service can procure anything without wasting huge amounts of time and taxpayer dollars.
    Even something as “simple” as a handgun…

  • Lance

    Well face it its ICC all over again some General is a plastic pistol fan
    and is having a temper tantrum over the M-9. In reality the M-9 is not
    that outdated and the fact most NATO allies still use older pistol
    designs for there handguns. It be just as cheap to just update the M-9
    to M-9A3 and make tacti cooler more calm. If we would goto a new caliber
    it be worth a new pistol but face it NATO wont let us. And the fact
    Obama making wimpy women take over the Army will make going to heavier
    recoil pistol impossible. Face it it was one of the reasons in the 80s
    why we went to 9mm was Females in the USAF particular hated the M-1911s
    recoil. So since we will stay with 9mm it makes no sense to goto a new
    pistol and this is all another Pentagon waste in millions for a failing
    project which we have too much of. I applaud Mr. gates at this but the
    real problem is Obama’s appointed generals in charge letting politics and pet
    project take too much money from what we rally need in the military.

    • Kyle

      STANAG 4090. That’s why we switched pistols and calibers. Those icky girls had nothing to do with it. We needed to standardize the pistols all of the branches were using and chamber it in 9mm. I can’t find the article but I remember reading something about 9mm being chosen as a kind of horse trade to get NATO to sign on for 5.56mm. That may be apocryphal. Also how are you going to applaud Gates when he straight up served as the axe man for the president you clearly don’t like. Otherwise yes, your point that we could just upgrade the m9 and keep it in service is correct. I never liked the damn thing because of the wonky DA/SA trigger but some people love it.

      • Bill

        There’s nothing apocryphal about it: one of the underlying principles behind NATO was across the board standardization so that logistics could be simplified, so everything from pistol calibers to air-to-air refueling couplings would be cross compatible among member nations.

        It isn’t a mil/NATO example, but if you are an agent from an alphabet soup agency who happens to be posted overseas for any length of time, you realize pretty quick that calibers like .357 SIG, .40 S&W and to a lesser extent .45 ACP can be tough to find outside of the Consulate/Embassy armory. With 9mm or 5.56 I know I can run down the street to my buddies at the Iceland compound and bum a few rounds, plus get a tasty snack of rotten whale blubber.

    • DonDrapersAcidTrip

      men crying over the girls coming to take their technologically obsolete big handgun calibers away lmao. lance at some point you’re going to have to move on from blaming women and obama for everything you don’t like in life

      • Tom Arnold Palmer

        That’s right. Its a conspiracy if it doesn’t support you. If it supports your view, it is what is right.
        Technically the big handgun calibers aren’t obsolete. They are just not used as often as they were before.
        Meaning: guns are still chambered in .45lc, .45-70, 10mm, etc. Just fewer people use them therefore the price goes up due to lack of supply. If you are talking about .45acp or .357, I don’t believe their use has really gone down.

        • DonDrapersAcidTrip

          There was literally no reason to type any of this out

    • Bill

      I read crap like this and think of all the women serving in the IDF and lots of European militaries – what is it, American women are generically inferior after we gave them the vote?

      • n0truscotsman

        No. With ample nutrition and new concepts of physical fitness, they have become smarter, faster, and meaner 😉

        • Bill

          Female lions kill dinner, while male lions lie in the shade and lick their balls 😉

  • Jwedel1231

    Considering that the 1911 stayed in service for 70-something years (1911 to 1985) and its replacement will last for almost 40 (if soldiers get the new guns around 2019) the a decade long selection process isn’t an inordinate amount of time.

    When people look at a complex situation and immediately don’t understand why it works the way it does, I generally disregard their opinion on the matter. Ex: SecDef Gates saying “its a pistol, it shouldn’t take this long!” I would give him more credibility if he went into detail to explain what parts exactly should be shorter, and how to shorten them up.

  • Spade

    If ever there was something that could’ve been done as an easy COTS procurement, it was this.

  • Sulaco

    The comment about the pistol being rare in use is WWII thinking, the pistol according to the grunts is important in use for urban, house to house fighting in the sandbox and was well thought of because of that…

    • iksnilol

      So a grunt will sling his M4 and use his pistol when clearing a building?

      O_o

      • Joshua

        No, not at all.

      • Sulaco

        Having done room to room armed searches, at bad breath range I will take a pistol. Preferably in .40 or .45. Even a short barrel M4 is too long for that kind of search and that was what I was referring to. I assume you are speaking from your vast store of experience in that type of operation?

        • n0truscotsman

          Wanna know a secret? Extend your handgun, muzzle against the wall, while in the proper firing position, and take notice of the distance between you and the wall.

          Now do the same with a AR15 even with a 16″ barrel. Or with a 18″ barreled shotgun.

          The so-called ‘advantages’ of a pistol in close quarters combat are only applicable in very rare circumstances, like clearing out VC tunnels or crawlspaces.

          In average conditions experienced by soldiers? pistols are really superfluous.

          Why 40 and 45? their penetration values and kinetic energies produces are more or less the same as 9mm.

          • Sulaco

            So you have done such searches then, a lot? Or are you going by your gaming consol?

          • n0truscotsman

            Are you going to address my points or resort to an ad hominem?

            Dont take my word for it, try it.

            Your handgun doesn’t give you that much of an advantage when it comes to close quarters.

          • Bill

            The ONLY time I have either slung a long gun or handed it off to a team-mate was when going through one of those hatches into an attic crawlspace or underhouse crawlspace. Even then, after a quick sweep of the area and getting oriented, i’d take my long gun back.

            Now that I’m old and tubby and have young guys to do that, I’ve reconsidered even doing it that way. From a retention standpoint it’s easier to fight over a long gun and keep it it in tight areas than a handgun.

          • Sulaco

            You have not answered my first question, have you done what you are talking about or have you learned all you tactics from Game of War? I am just stating my opinion after three decades of working the street and doing what you claim expertise in. Have you done it or not?

          • n0truscotsman

            yes, considering im a OIF/OEF combat MOS veteran.

            My experience does nothing to undue the fact that you have four points of contact instead of two, 30-rounds instead of 10-15, and 1200 ft/lbs of energy per bullet rather than 3-400. That is a decisive advantage, even if the weapon is longer.

        • iksnilol

          No, No experience at all. I know how to shoot through walls and how to shoot with precision. That’s about it.

          That’s why I had the question mark. Because I was wondering if people preferred their pistol over their carbine when searching rooms.

          • Sulaco

            Missed the “?” iksnilol, sorry. But yes after 35 yrs of doing such I prefer a pistol of .45 or heavy bullet .40. A lot of my military friends that have done it in the sand box agree. A lot of the game consol warriors here don’t.

          • iksnilol

            Ah, I am pretty much a keyboard warrior myself. Only difference is that I shoot competitively and pretty much all of my family has survived a war or two. So maybe I am a bit different, at least I know a thing or two more.

            But I haven’t been stomping ground for 35 years and blasting people. Would probably be good at it too, and I wouldn’t mind it, but it isn’t the right thing for me.

          • Bill

            I’ve only been doing it for 30 years, so it probably doesn’t count, but never had any issues doing entries or searches with a long gun. I can think of plenty of time when I had a pistol and wished for a rifle/shotgun, but never the other way around.

            And a singlewide up the holler or a pre-code building built in the 1890’s doesn’t give you more maneuvering space.

          • imachinegunstuff

            I’m a sandbox guy and would never take a pistol over a rifle or shotgun, unless I’m in a place so compact and so small I have no other choice. If I am going in a room that potentially has dudes with automatic rifles, I’m not going to undergun myself and resort to a handgun.

          • n0truscotsman

            They DONT. Simple.

            Ask any SWAT/SRT team if they prefer a pistol rather than a long gun/carbine for searching rooms. Or read the plethora of works about 1st SFOD-D or the SAS.

            In my experience, 30 rounds of 5.56 is far more preferrable than 15 rounds of 9mm (or, LOL, 7 rounds of 45), even if the weapon is longer. You have plenty of firepower before a reload and multitudes more kinetic energy to invoke a stop, which is critically important in close quarters.

          • iksnilol

            That’s my line of thinking as well. Pistols are pistols and all that.

            + you are going to extend your arms with a pistol so it is still going to be long.

        • CommonSense23

          Are you searching the room by yourself?

      • Bill

        “I wish I had a little gun instead of a big gun,” said no one, ever.

        • Cannoneer No. 4

          Said every chick who vagina-carried a 1911. Also, pretty much all owners of little guns. If little guns had no reason to live there would be none.

    • imachinegunstuff

      Uhm, nah, pistols suck, all pistols do compared to a rifle. My M9 was in reality only ever used as a paper weight for a big map. Our front man would use his M9 when using the mine sweeper in a city until command wised up and gave him an M4 instead of his M16/203 combo. The m( is a find handgun for it’s role and until something revolutionary comes out I don’t see a point in replacing it.

    • sean

      the only purpose of a pistol is to get you back to the rifle you should have never put down.

  • aweds1

    Perhaps the reason the 1911 lasted over 70 years and the Beretta is going past 40 years is that a handgun is probably the least used weapon in the Army inventory. Other than MPs or SOF, every other MOS that is issued a pistol for personal protection will likely never shoot it outside of annual qualification. To spend tens of millions of dollars, commensurate man hours of time, and over 10 years to select a new one appears slightly ridiculous.

  • Captain Obvious

    The problem I see (other than the obvious waste of tax payer money) is that they want a do everything for everyone all the time kind of pistol. They want a light weight, larger caliber, modular, that will take all accessories (lights, optics, suppressors, bayonets, rocket launchers), have a high capacity but a thin grip that fits everybody from small female recruits to high speed low drag operators. Of course light weight and larger caliber means more recoil which requires more training. Modular means more parts i.e, supply chain/logistics. Accessory rails means more weight and more crap on your pistol. Bottom line is that you are never, ever going to please everybody and they will have to go through this process again and again, over and over.

    • TCBA_Joe

      Works perfectly fine when it comes to the M4 platform. Don’t see why it’s suddenly impossible when it’s a pistol.

      • Joshua

        Get out of here with those facts, we have no need for them.

  • Beretta had better delete the finger grooves off the APX… that’s a No Go according to the request.

    • Martin Frank

      I think they mainly put that in there to rule out glock and hk.

  • All the Raindrops

    Glock

  • Yimmy

    I’m guessing it will be either the Sig 320 or the general dynamic sw conglomeration. Hopefully it will be the sig over an MP.

  • Ned Weatherby

    Bidness as usual. Joni appears to not yet understand how Feral Gubment things work…

  • Sean

    How often do troops actually use handguns? And what is whatever the huge investment in new handguns going to give us that the M9 doesn’t? I know quite a few guys that have served in the last 15 years or so. Not one of them ever mentioned needing a handgun.

  • Stu Gotz

    Has anyone topped John Browning’s solution? 1911. You’re welcome.

    • CommonSense23

      Yeah a lot of people. There is a reason it isn’t used by professionals anymore.

      • Bill

        “Isn’t used by professionals anymore.” Good one, that’s funny.

        • CommonSense23

          What group of professional gun fighters do you know who still run it.

          • Bill

            MARSCOM, LAPD SIS & SWAT, FBI HRT, Me, and a boatload of other agencies that allow or authorize it. Travel anywhere in Texas or big chunks of the West and you’ll see a lot of them carried by guys over 40.

            But it isn’t for everybody; it’s a lot easier, and cheaper, to teach a cadet to use a GLOCK and drive a Ford, Chevy or Dodge, than a 1911 and a Ferrari.

            What is “the reason it isn’t used by professionals anymore?” I and a bunch of other guys must not have gotten the memo. I’m guessing it’s something to do with “easier and cheaper.” The only reason I was ever given why one particular supervisor didn’t like me carrying it was that the cocked hammer looked scary. I’m grateful he never noticed my knife.

          • Core

            I laugh everytime people claim gunfighters dont use 1911s. I think its safe to say with the Marines continued use of the 1911 its not going anywhere soon. It will probably end up evolving with widespread use by socom. Most of the operational guys using them also use Glocks, but fall back on the 1911 because they find it more streamlined and ergonomic with a far superior trigger and less blocky etc. The capacity argument is moot because they can be fed magazines quickly. It’s really better than a Glock from a practical perspective.

          • Jesse Foust

            “The capacity argument is moot…” clearly you’ve never had to engage moving targets from a moving platform. Those fast reloads still require you to take your primary focus off the target.

          • CommonSense23

            Marsoc and FBI HRT are not running the 1911 as a standard. They have been running glocks for a while. And just cause you get issued a gun doesn’t make you a professional. If you can’t see the major issues of the 1911 platform, let me explain.
            Lets see limited capacity. Expensive in terms maintenance support, initial price compared to a modern pistol choices. And by far the single biggest issue with the platform. Its a horrible defensive weapon. Its why CAG quickly abandoned it once they started taking lots of casualties in Iraq. A weapon that requires you to have full functioning of your hand. Again the worlds best 1911 gun fighters abandoned the platform and went to the Glock once they started to do sustained combat operations. At the same time they had the most funding and support their unit had ever seen. That should have been a clue to any one who thought the 1911 was excellent defensive weapon this day and age.

          • Bill

            Where are you getting your information? Not from MARSOC and Quantico, I know that much. The FBI started rolling GLOCKs to agents when they graduated the Academy a couple years ago, there are still agents carrying SIGs. Regional FBI SWAT teams may carry GLOCKs or SIGs, but not HRT. If that’s changed, please provide your source so I can update my information.
            “Limited capacity:” It’s only “limited” if you miss a lot or haven’t practiced magazine changes. Where’s the cutpoint between “limited capacity” and, what, “unlimited capacity?”
            “Expensive:” “Professional gunfighters” tend not to worry much about the cost of their tools, particularly when lives are at stake. “Professional gunfighters” often don’t spend money on frivolous mods or have in-house armorers for service. The 1911 I carry on duty cost the same as the SIG my boss prefers me to carry on duty, and I personally can fix 90% of anything that breaks on either of them.
            “Full functioning of the hand:” Is that some attempted knock against the grip safety? Whenever I need to demonstrate the hazards of limp-wresting a pistol I pick up a GLOCK and fire it with 2 fingers – never has one failed to malfunction.
            I don’t know who you are holding up as the “world’s best gunfighters,” but you are missing a lot of them who carry 1911s.

            Look, the GLOCK is a great gun. So is the SIG, the Berettas, the H&Ks and the 1911s. If the 1911 isn’t for you and you prefer GLOCKs fine – I own and have carried several. But you don’t have to denigrate someone else’s choice of gun to make yours look “better.” The 1911 has been a superlative defensive weapon for me in this day and age – I haven’t had to shoot anyone I aimed it at.

    • Wolfgar

      Yes, the best handgun in the world is the STI 2011. It is a modern 1911 that will out shoot any Berreta, S&W, Glock or any other handgun on the market.

      • Brianb

        Funny that we were talking during SO certification that many guys are beating 2011s with customized G34s because how often the STI 2011s fail in competition. Every 9/10 STI gun I know had major issues in competition. They would never hold up to the grants and real combat. You must be a tacticool fanboy to think it would.

        • Wolfgar

          I’m a master close to GM in limited who runs a custom STI Legend. I didn’t up grade to the STI from a Glock 35 because I’m a tacticool fan boy LOL. I did it because it is easier to run, laser accurate and has the best trigger bar none. Anybody who has competed for any length of time will never argue on this one except the competitors being endorsed by other manufacturers. I put ten’s of thousands of rounds through it every year. Only maintenance besides cleaning and lube is to replace the recoil springs,firing pin spring and high use mag springs after every season. I have worn out 2 barrels so far in it and I’m on my third.You have to shoot a lot and I mean a lot to get to this level in competition. I have witnessed 2 Glocks blow up in competition and one of my Glock’s frame rails broke off which Glock replaced The Glocks that fail are usually the ones with after market triggers and firing pin springs since the factory Glock trigger sucks.. My STI is still tight and running like a champ. For the military the Glock would probably be better since the STI is very expensive but I will say it again,” the STI 2011 is the best handgun in the world”.

          • uisconfruzed

            I love the STI, I gave my son my Colt Commander, the grip angle didn’t work for me & it was much heavier with 7 rounds than my G23 holding 13 that natural points for me.

        • Bill

          “Customized G34s.”

          It’s funny, but whenever I open the Good Book, that being the Brownell’s catalog, the only gun that can give the 1911 any competition in the aftermarket parts department is the Glock. Does that mean that they break a lot or that people aren’t satisfied with their performance or that they have so intrinsic faults as they come from the factory? I doubt it in either case; it’s just that some people wont leave perfectly good guns alone.

          I own multiples of both, but no STIs, so I can’t be accused of being a fanboy.

          • Jesse Foust

            A bit of that and a bit of specialization. A duty weapon has different needs than a competition handgun.

    • G0rdon_Fr33man

      Haha, 1911s… Great for competitions, obsolete for combat.

    • Brian M

      Yes, many. The first is TT30. Simplified and ruggedized design, improved capacity, hotter round. Nowadays, MOST pistols beat the M1911 by a mile.

  • Martin Frank

    Easy, pick the Beretta APX. Problem solved.

    • Matz

      Do you know anyone who has fired the APX?
      Still – after almost 4 years of development – not more than a prototype …

      • Martin Frank

        Yes there is a gentlemen o the berettaforum that has fired it.

    • TJbrena

      Please no. That thing looks like a hideous caricature of modern pistols.

      • Martin Frank

        So looks are a deciding factor in the procurement of a modern fighting weapon for our troops?

  • T

    “ask why is it taking you guys 10 years?”

    The answer is very simple. It will take a very long time for several reasons, probably the most significant is that they are not buying “off the rack.” The specification, NOT written by Congress, is 313 pages in length.

    How long did it take the Marines to decide on their 45s? 2 years.

  • Brian M

    And yet we throw TRILLIONS at pipe dream teenager fantasy planes that will never fly in combat…

  • durabo

    John Moses Browning designed the perfect pistol 104 years ago. To date, no manufacturer has been able to match that perfection. Go for the 1911!!!!

    • Jesse Foust

      I love shooting a 1911, however, having had to engage targets from a moving vehicle a time or two, the limited capacity makes it much more difficult. Don’t forget, even JMB felt the Hi-Power was a better handgun 😉

      • Tejanojack

        I have both, including a 1938 FNH piece. I carried one I picked up in Iraq, as well. Much, much better than the M-9. The Army, 3D ID, & MNF-I, JAG a__holes would not let me bring it home. Carried a Remington-Rand 1911 in Vietnam, ’68-’70. Also a honey with its well recognized superior knock-down power.

        I have other 9’s and .45’s, and in 60 years of shooting, I have fired all the major brands and hopefully can say with some authority that the JMB designs are the best for me.

        BTW, I qualified expert with the M-9 in 2004, before I went to Iraq in ’05. The M-9 is a good pistol, but I was never comfortable with it. For one thing, I have small hands, and the FNH & M-1911 grips are more comfortable to shoot with accuracy. Don’t know how much we’d gain with a modular pistol, but I suggest we consider putting Colt to work turning out a half million 1911’s – more! JMB has already invented the best wheel.

        Heck they could build High Powers too! I’d rather spend tax dollars on that than wasting them on government welfare programs which never yield anything productive.

  • James B.

    I have to agree whole-heartedly with SecDef Gates: why the hell is it taking so long? The specs were out there in some form a couple years back, by now the Army should have 50-100 examples of each submission in hand and be conducting live-fire tests with representative companies of infantry and combat support troops. I don’t think any of the submitted designs are new, I believe most could be bought off the shelf for $500-1000, so procurement of all examples should take less than a million dollars and a week’s time.

    There should be one general representing the program, but the senior Soldier to actually make any judgments about a pistol’s capability should be about a staff sergeant. After the actual shooters prove how quickly they can learn a pistol, they should give it grades and overall go/no-gos (In my personal experience, the M9 would be a no-go). Then the brass can quibble over money.

  • Robert Kalani Foxworthy

    The competition for the 1911 took like 12 years.

  • CavScout

    Issue out lots of S&W M&P compacts. 9mm or 40s&w. And not just to officers and pogs. Actually issue them to guntruck crews, etc etc; and as a sidearm/backup only.