Army Extends Modular Handgun System Deadline To Feb. 12

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Standard-issue pistol-making hopefuls have an extended deadline for their submissions to the future US Army handgun competition, the Modular Handgun System. The program, which will choose a new handgun to be the “M17 Modular Handgun System”, originally had a deadline of February 1st for submissions. Army Times reports:

The final solicitation deadline for submissions for the Army’s handgun of the future is now 1 p.m. on Feb. 12, through FedBizOpps. Army officials could not offer an immediate explanation Monday evening for the latest extension.

The Army had hoped to have final submissions by Jan. 28, but officials extended the deadline to Feb. 1, citing the heavy snowfall that crushed the East Coast. It’s unclear whether the weather necessitated further delays.

Army Times has reported on the delays since January of last year. 

Once the deadline hits, the Army will keep a tight lid on the submissions to replace the Beretta M9. However, most of the big handgun players have at least tipped their hands.

The incumbent Beretta will compete. So will Sig Sauer. Glock and Smith & Wesson told Army Times in the fall they would each enter. Heckler & Koch in the fall said they were unlikely to submit. Ruger’s CEO said in a conference call to investors they would not submit, according to a Guns.com article.

Some smaller gun companies are likely to have shied from an expensive, complicated process that Sen. John McCain slammed as “byzantine” and “wasteful” with no guarantee of a payoff.

“It was very long,” Gabriele de Plano, Beretta vice president of military and marketing sales, told Army Times of the 351-page solicitation. “There is a lot of detail. In their defense, they were buying more than just a pistol, but from an industry view it was a demanding solicitation…it was a very challenging project.”

It’s been a long project as well. After years little beyond information-gathering industry days, a draft solicitation appeared in September of 2014. That solicitation projected a January of 2015 final solicitation, but on Jan. 21, 2015, the Army announced a push-back on that projection, citing the need for another industry day for feedback. The final solicitation would not arrive until Aug. 28.

Anyone who has already submitted can revise or supplement their proposal until the new deadline. The competition calls for the manufacturer to submit both the pistol — which it wants to be modular with adjustable grip size and ability to accept attachments — and the ammunition to go with it. The solicitation all but requires a pistol that is striker-fired (with spring-loaded firing pins that don’t need a hammer). Ammunition can be full metal jacket or an expanding or fragmenting round of any caliber. After initial evaluation of proposals and lab testing, three will be tested and will receive soldier feedback.

 

At least four competitors are reportedly entering the competition, those are Beretta, SIG Sauer, Glock, Smith & Wesson, and very likely Ruger. Glock will likely enter a version of its popular G17 or G22 models of handguns (indeed, the solicitation allows the entry of both into the competition), while Smith & Wesson has reported they will be entering a variant of their Military & Police series of handguns. SIG Sauer has most transparently prepared for the competition, as it began its own ammunition line in 2014, probably in preparation for MHS (the solicitation requires submissions include a whole “system” of weapon, accessories, and ammunition). SIG will reportedly enter the P320 modular chassis-based handgun in two calibers, 9mm and a larger unknown caliber. Beretta has entered its APX striker-fired handgun, announced about a year ago.

Sturm, Ruger & Co. will reportedly not be entering the competition with its American pistol, announced in December. The company cited the low likelihood of winning and the high cost of entry as obstacles to their participation.



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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  • JumpIf NotZero

    Actual original date was earlier. Amendment 5 or 6 had pushed it back to Feb 1 due to weather. I won’t be at all surprised to see it pushed again.

    Having read the entire proposal, and responses to the technical questions. I’m pretty sure that someone at Picatinny already has a favorite in mind.

    As it were… I’m sure who ever put M&P Gen2 in the S&W board meeting got in a bit of trouble. And how badly will a modular M&P kill the P320!

    • nova3930

      I didn’t read the whole proposal but from what I did read, I’d agree they already have a desired solution in mind. To me it reads like the spec sheet on the P320.
      Which it wouldn’t hurt my feelings if the P320 won since maybe then I could get a #$&(#$& threaded 45 barrel for mine….

      • JumpIf NotZero

        Public info, yes, I think the P320 “looks” the most likely, and it definitely has a great shot at it! I’m nearly certain the next system will be modular.

        But…. Dat GD tho

        • nova3930

          GD?
          Also, I will say it will be a challenge to meet requirements with a polymer pistol. High temp storage requirements play hell with polymer components. Course, if the idea is to have a modular pistol, nothing saying a P320 or something like it couldn’t have a metallic frame for .mil. I could swear I heard some company was working on an aluminum frame for the 320 already….

          • Bill

            Huh? I haven’t heard of any of the GLOCKs in the Mideast, Australia or Central/South America melting into a puddle of goo. After all, they aren’t EOTechs.

          • nova3930

            It’s not about melting into a puddle of goo. When you’re talking the operation of a pistol, where the feed geometry is at least partially controlled by the slide/frame relationship, even mild deformation can affect operation. Creep deformation accelerates at much lower temps in polymer than metallic structures.
            The intent of MIL-STD-810G high temp storage requirements are to ensure that the integrity, safety and performance of the materials are not compromised by prolonged exposure to and cycling of high temperatures. In other words, what happens when I park a crate of these in a storage container in the middle of the burning desert of Saudi Arabia for 6 months? The bare minimum of 810G is 7 cycles of 33-71 deg C. Those cycles are subject to increase depending on the intended operational requirements.
            I believe there was a picture of a Glock making the rounds some months back where the grip was deformed after being in a hot car somewhere. When it cooled sufficiently it went back to normal but that would still be considered an 810G failure as the integrity of the material was compromised. The intent of the military is that if they pull a piece of gear out of storage, it’s ready to go immediately, with no cool down period or anything similar….

          • Raven

            I thought that was an FNX/FNP, not a Glock.

          • nova3930

            Quite possible. Like I say I don’t recall the details. Just that it was a polymer gun that temp deformed in the heat.

          • CommonSense23

            Considering Glocks have been in US military service for a while now, pretty sure polymer isn’t the issue it once was.

          • nova3930

            They’re in small scale service on a limited basis. Procurement of that scale has different rules than a full program of record. Secondarily there are far different requirements for buying a couple hundred pistols to outfit elite units on a erratic basis than there are for buying 50k pistols to field to the army at large.

          • CommonSense23

            Glock 19s have passed all the requirements that the SIG 226 and M9 had. And the US military has been buying a ton of them for years now. And plenty of gear that is far more important than a pistol uses polymer these days.

          • nova3930

            Really? Where’s the report that states this? Where’s the rest of the associated procurement documentation? I’m unaware of the g19 being entered as a competitor in any major procurement program. The closest was the G21 being entered into the joint combat pistol program in 06, a program that never made it to the test and evaluation phase.

            As far as “a ton” define that in numbers along with the units it’s general issue. As far as I’m aware the only other general issue pistol is the m11. Any other pistols are limited procurement items for niche units like sf. An example is the seals recently authorized the glock, but they have a lot of leeway outfitting their guys than the military at large does. If tomorrow they decide a Jimenez 380 fits a role for them, they can go buy them.

            Glocks are fine service pistols but it’s false to say they meet the requirements till the testing is done. Trust me I do dod procurement for a living. There’s a process that must be followed

          • CommonSense23

            Socom just can’t go buy a and make it a standard without a lot of testing. The idea they can have anything they want is fantasy. NSWC Crane has done the testing, Glocks met all the standards the 226 was required to meet. SOCOM has to do testing and evaluating for its weapons and gear also.
            As for who gets them, lets see MARSOC, USASOC, NSW, AFSOC, all the partner forces we fund and equip. You really think SOCOM was able to buy tens of thousands of guns without any testing or evaluations?

          • nova3930

            Then show me the results of the 810G testing. You assuming it exists and it existing are two different things. They test to THEIR REQUIREMENTS which are different than big army requirements.
            Their commanders have wide leeway to accept the risk of using unqualified or marginally qualified gear that may help them accomplish their mission. I’ve been involved in multiple examples of gear installed on aircraft where my directorate would not qualify it and miraculously the gear still flew. How does that happen? Because SOCOM basically does what they want.
            MARSOC, USASOC, NSW, AFSOC…lets see what do all those have in common? Oh yeah, they’re SF units, that are again, fielding gear in limited quantities for niche roles. Exactly what I said above. Combined I would be surprised if they’ve bought more than 10k examples, which again, means the rules are different. This program is intended to be nearly 500k pistols to start with. It could be over a million by the time this program is done.
            As far as partner forces, that’s a non-starter. We buy all sorts of stuff for allies that would never pass our qualification requirements. We supplied the Afghans with a pile of MI-8s and MI-24s that are in no way shape or form qualified. How do I know this? Because the guy two cubes over wrote the System Safety Risk Assessments for those aircraft, which basically said there was no way to ever get the data to qualify them, but they were needed anyway.

          • JumpIf NotZero

            General Dynamics.

            I wouldn’t worry to much about a polymer frame. The XM17 winner will be polymer.

          • nova3930

            Gotcha.
            Yeah, not saying the polymer can’t meet the requirement, just that it’s not easy. I’ve worked a lot of polymer aviation stuff that flunked MIL-STD-810G high temp storage requirements that had BIG R&D money poured into it.

      • James Young

        What benefit does the modularity of the 320 give the military? They won’t be switching calibers once they choose the one they want (9mm again), they won’t need to change from a full size to a carry model, and they won’t want to pay the extra cost of the 320 over other pistols…imo

        • nova3930

          They want the flexibility. Yeah 9mm is probably going to be the choice now, but for a weapon system that’s expected to last 30 years, that might not be the case down the road. The ability to swap calibers with replacement parts instead of the full weapon can be a huge $ saver.
          It also allows the pistol to fill a role in other than main line units, like SF, who tend to pick their caliber based on the mission of the day.
          Finally, and this is just speculation on my part, I think this will ultimately end up replacing the M11 as well, which is a more compact weapon. Again, each example of the pistol can serve in multiple roles over it’s lifespan depending on where it’s needed. Each example of the weapon might have a lifespan of 10 or 20 years, not necessarily staying with the same unit with the same needs along the way.

        • JumpIf NotZero

          It’s not calibers at all. It’s not even entirely the grip modularity.

          It’s the same reason that it makes sense for some hostile states and countries. It’s that the Mil must track and maintain the FIREARM.

          In the case of the P320 or other modular guns, the fire control is the “firearm”.

          The contract specifies that ALL firearms will have a 128bit UUID engraved on them.

          Lance Corperal DUMB DUMB takes his grip and beats it all to hell then melts it by sitting it somewhere it doesn’t belong… They can just get a new grip and not have to scrap and replace the firearm.

          It’s paperwork. First and foremost. Then in the next 30 years, a modular fire control allows for integrated optics, tracking devices, lights, etc and they aren’t tied to a single frame or slide design.

          • James Young

            Ah I see, good point. Do the other companies have anything that’s similar?

    • john huscio

      Sigs got this. Not a huge Glock guy but I’d take a bone stock g17 gen 4 over any M&P, aftermarket nuanced or no.

      • Ben

        Hope not, Glock is much better than a SiG.

        • john huscio

          Debatable.

          • iksnilol

            Not really, at least if you compare German/Swiss Sig with Glock.

            Then it isn’t even a contest IMO.

      • JumpIf NotZero

        Possibly. We’ll see. With all the information out today… Yes, it’s SIG’s contract to lose. I just doubt everyone else will go gentle into that good night (not that any of the entries are from companies of grave men near death, I just don’t see one company in particular quitting)

        • nova3930

          Whoever wins the competition is good for us. Whatever the competitors develop will likely make its way into the civilian market.

          • Phil Hsueh

            Unless you live in CA, then you’ll only be able to dream of getting one.

          • JumpIf NotZero

            Likely? Day one.

      • Kivaari

        G17 Gen 3

  • Tormund Giantsbane

    I wonder if they can manage to spend F-35 money on this?

    • raz-0

      Highly doubtful unless they have a flaming money shoveling pit as part of the specs for the bidding process, and a serious number of civilian contractors to feed it.

    • Rock or Something

      No way. The F-35 is the Golden Calf for military spending.

  • Don Ward

    Just pick the Beretta M9A3 and be done with the nonsense. At the same time, levy a tax on rustled jimmies for all the Glocktards to pay for if.

    • nova3930

      The M9A3 doesn’t meet all the requirements defined by the Army, so the PM would have to have a mighty good explanation WHY it was selected. In fact if it was done without a competition, he might go to prison over it…..

      • Don Ward

        The good explanation would be that it’s cheaper, the weapon is already in place with training and parts familiarity. And it doesn’t really matter what the Major over at Civil Affairs is armed with just so long as he doesn’t accidentally shoot himself or someone else with it.

        Plus the Beretta has shown itself more than capable of standing up to the rigors of soldiers qualifying with it who brought too much ammo to the range and need to blow through 3,000 rounds fast so no one has to do the paperwork of returning the ammo.

        • nova3930

          And none of that matters if it doesn’t meet the requirements. The procurement process is defined by law, and you can not procure a system that doesn’t meet the requirements if there is one that does meet them.

          • Don Ward

            I guess we’ll see, then won’t we.

          • nova3930

            We will, but it’s telling that Beretta entered a different pistol entirely for the competition. When they pushed out the A3 they thought they could get the army to ignore the fact that there are pistols that meet the requirements and just buy the 80 percent solution. Big trouble for the program manager lies down that route though. That’s the kind of thing that leads to congressional investigations.

    • Kivaari

      Except the Beretta would still have the issue of the trigger being too big of a stretch for many users. The M9 is a good shooting pistol, in single action.

  • Lance

    MHS is going a bit slower than most here hoped. It was originally supposed to be submitted in January. Its under congressional scrutiny, it has to be seen if this will produce a new caliber and new pistol or will it be another waste of time like ICC was,

  • john huscio

    I thought the Beretta apx was an aborted project….

  • Max

    IIRC, there was a post on TFB about how the entire MHS competition was a waste of government money and time; a quest to replace a weapon that few use to start with, in order to satisfy a bunch of armchair generals and fanboys.
    No, the Beretta “M9A3” does not meet all the current requirements (it “meets 80%”), but it is a less costly option as choosing a new weapon which will mean an entire logistical and training program be taken up in addition to purchasing the weapons themselves, costing the army millions of additional dollars that it doesn’t really have to waste these days.
    At the end of the day, the Beretta is a less-expensive option that meets most of the requirements and will cost less overall.

    • nova3930

      But as a program manager, you’re risking your career to sole source an item that you know doesn’t meet the defined requirements. You’re also risking prison when it comes down to it. If something is a threshold requirement it has to be met, or the requirements must be changed with an explanation of why. As long as the solution that meets requirements is within budget, cost is not a reason to go with the 80 percent to solution.

      • Kelly Jackson

        The Beretta M9 was the most reliable gun the US military ever tested besting even the Sig offerings when it was first adopted.

        • Anonymoose

          Sig no longer uses two piece slides, and Beretta slides won’t fly off and hit you in the face from 124gr loads anymore. I’d like to see a new head-to-head competition of the M9A3 vs the P226 Mk25, even so.

        • nova3930

          and reliability isn’t the only requirement they have to meet. there are lots more.

    • Anonymoose

      Might as well just change out M9 frames for M9A1 frames on all future orders. The M9A3 only shares guts with the current-standard M9, so that would mean replacing them outright, despite Beretta’s claims. When we have a less restrictive budget to work with, maybe we can replace all our sidearms with P320s or something along those lines.

  • They Army is wanting something more than 9mm… So the M9A3, while an awesome pistol… is not likely to win.
    Beretta’s PX4 Storm .45 has a much better chance if it was submitted. They have a new Striker design, but it’s not ready for prime time yet.
    FN has a good chance.
    And shockingly Ruger does now too, with their new American Pistol is .45.
    I can actually see the Ruger as being a contender, having shot one extensively.

    • Anonymoose

      The new Beretta striker is a joke, and only comes in 9mm. Most people look down on the PX4, although it can change between 9, .40, and .45. The Glock large frames can be turned into whatever you want, but probably not reliably. The VP9 and VP40 are different enough that you can’t switch calibers, and the M&P, SR, FNS/FNX can’t switch from .45 to a smaller caliber. Not sure about the American Pistol, but like the SP2022 and Beretta’s striker gun, it’s supposed to be a budget-minded gun for people who don’t want to pay out the nose for one of their “classic” (SR) series guns.

      • Giolli Joker

        “The new Beretta striker is a joke…”
        Why?
        I’ve handled one in IDEX, it really did not seem, like a joke at all.
        I’m not that sure that the APX cannot be converted to other calibers (it’s truly modular) but any choice of caliber different than 9mm would backfire pretty soon, in my opinion.

      • The Beretta APX, is it? That has to seriously be one of the ugliest pistols to have not come from Russia.

        • James Young

          Yes, totally

    • iksnilol

      Why would they go with .45 acp?

      It is inferior almost any way.

      • mig1nc

        It’s inferior for us civilians who can shoot HSTs, Ranger-Ts, and Gold Dots. But for big army, they have to shoot FMJ at 99% of the bad guys they engage. There was an article posted on Tactical Life back in April where all the top trainers were asked which caliber they would choose, and some commented 9mm all the way, unless he had to shoot FMJ. In which case he’d choose .45.

        • iksnilol

          Also inferior there too.

          2.43mm doesn’t make that much of a difference. Especially when it is so slow that it has trouble going through stuff.

          It is a good round for black powder, but then you might as well go with .50 GI which has even more energy, is bigger (goes well with your “bigger is better” mentality) and lower pressures (less wear, easier to acheive velocities).

          • If 9mm was so wonderful, why has the Army been trying like hell to get something different? It’s been, what, 6 years now the Army has been pushing hard (Harder than usual) to change guns? Not to change from the Beretta specifically, but because they want a bigger cartridge. The last Request For Proposal even had TAURUS throwing in a pistol… What was that, the OSS? A heavy duty version of a 24/7.
            MARSOC are quite happy with .45’s too. As one of the MARSOC Operators told me (I worked for a company that made holsters for them) that they didn’t have to wonder if they had made a hit with a .45.

          • CommonSense23

            If Marsoc was so happy with their .45s, while are they switching to a 9mm. I have personally seen a good bit of people take a .45 to the chest, they react the same way the guys taking a 9mm chest do.

          • iksnilol

            What is Marsoc doing? On one side they’re moving away from 9mm to .45 acp and on the other side they are moving away from .45 to 9mm?

          • Because the G19 is a lot more compact and concealable. The holster they are buying for their 9mm? The G-Code INCOG. For Concealment. Not for regular duty use. For regular duty use, they are buying the G-Code SOC Rigs. For their 1911’s. None for G19’s.

          • CommonSense23

            I have worked with Marsoc on multiple occasions at this point. Yet to see one rocking their 1911s in kit, everytime they have had G19s. Just like SF. and just like NSW. I have asked multiple guys about why they adopted it considering delta had dropped the 1911. None have a good answer.

          • iksnilol

            Have they been trying to get away from it? They just want to replace the Berettas which are wearing out.

            MARSOC uses the .45 more as a symbol than anything else. Something to distinguish them.

          • Rustle Wiltson

            11.26mm vs 9mm, essentially, or,.45 caliber vs .356 caliber.

            Id say that’s a Hell of a difference, not to mention 230 gr vs 124 gr. Put a can on the .45 and you don’t even have to change ammo. When it comes down to hardball, I’ll take .45 every time.

            Id say the m&p .45 with thumb safeties would be great for the majority of troops and maybe a non thumb safety version with a red dot for the spec ops guys.

            Id pick the fn .45 though. Cocked and locked, 15 rounds of 230 grain prevention!

            The glock 41 would be great as well.

          • iksnilol

            Not really.

            That weight difference is also sorta false, yeah, one bullet weighs more but it goes almost half the velocity of the other.

          • Rustle Wiltson

            850 fps vs maybe 1250 fps is half the speed?

            I don’t have a vested interest in caliber wars but I still standby my assertion that 230 gr hardball is superoir to 124 gr hardball.

            It may not be vastly superior but Id be willing to wager that a projectile that is bigger by 1/10 of an inch will cause more tissue damage and a bigger hole to bleed from.

            If the 1/5″ difference between a glock 26 and 43 make enough difference for people to carry the clearly inferior g43, then Id say that extra 2mm of lead can make the difference between nicking a major artery.

          • iksnilol

            850 fps vs 1400 fps is almost half the speed.

            Whilst 230 grains vs 115 grains (that is the standard weight of 9mm) is about double the weight.

            You seem to forget that tissue is elastic, it won’t get a clean hole exactly the bullet diameter punched through it.

          • Rustle Wiltson

            Ok, perhaps you can explain why the 9mm is equal to or better than the .45 acp with fmj? There’s no stretch cavity or hydrostatic shock occurring at 1,400 fps. I understand that tissue is elastic and bones are hard. Artories, when perforated, bleed alot.

          • iksnilol

            Simple, you carry twice as many 9mms and both do as little damage in tissue.

            Since due to stretching those 2.43mm extra most likely won’t open up an artery.

          • Rustle Wiltson

            Well I can agree with you to a point, and I think that point is that pistols are given perhaps a bit too much concern from people who aren’t considering the larger picture.

            Its a last ditch tool that you don’t want to have to use, mainly because it doesn’t incapacitate quickly enough in most cases. I’ve talked to soldiers that qualified with the pistol but never carried one.

            Id still probably rather have 10 .45s vs 15 9mms but I understand that it isn’t that important. Practice is paramount and 9mms are easier to shoot and cheaper to practice with.I think the main requirement, aside from reliability, should be weight.

            Come to think of it, maybe we should all move to 10mm?

          • iksnilol

            Eh, what advantages does 10mm provide? I mean, I like, it’s cool. But other than that no real difference.

          • Rustle Wiltson

            Its big and fast! What’s not to love?

            Glock model 40 with a red dot. 100 yard shots are possible and suppressive fire can be done from 200 yards or more.

            10mm is the only round short of a .454 that will penetrate bullet proof glass. Of course your run of the mill 10mm won’t do that but it is possible. I can’t remember if the 5.7 was able to get through the glass.

            They used the same brand penetrator series of ammo (i forgot the brand but the vids are on youtube) and even through a 19″ uzi barrel, the 9mm wasn’t even close to making it through the glass.

            Damn, Ive convinced myself at least!

          • iksnilol

            100 yard shots are possible with 9mm as well. Sure, you need to aim a bit higher but that isn’t a problem. You get like 5 inches of drop from 50 to 100 yards. So presuming your run of the mil 25 meter zero you should be able to hit the crotch, gut without problem at 100 meters.

            Here’s the kicker though: Why are you using a pistol at 100 meters? If your enemies are so far away and you’re down to your pistol you most likely can run away or seek cover.

          • Rustle Wiltson

            Yeah, you’re right. That would be a rare circumstance.

            I guess we’re just gong to have to wait for laser guns for ultimate lethality in small arms.

            Lead and petrol is antiquated but that’s what we have.

          • iksnilol

            Oh yes, I am waiting for that sweet, sweet Power Armor.

            Gonna get some pimpin flames on the side and be all set.

          • Rustle Wiltson

            Yeah a gattling laser would pair nicely with a jet-pack equipped set of power armor.

            Cant wait.

  • KK

    The entire basis of this competition is retarded. Instead of the military starting with a round and saying “Make us a gun for this”, then choosing accessories which holster and suppressor is the best, they’re rolling it all into one. So you can end up with a great gun, average ammo, and a SERPA holster. Unfortunately, that’s probably the best possible outcome from this.

    • James Young

      Agreed, they should start with the ammo for a more effective round. They say the gun companies can submit guns in whatever caliber but they have to stick to 9mm, 40, and 45 because anything else would be rejected because of cost

    • JumpIf NotZero

      Sort of!

      The contract does stipulate a holster of any color (big discussion between the entrants, the holsters must eventually be coyote color), but it’s being evaluated on testing purposes of the gun. The suppressor is to be provided by not tested as it it’s particular performance, only that the host functions.

      They are testing everything at once, BUT, they will almost certainly pick a new holster after the handgun if they want to. If SIG shows up with a great holster and they select the M&P, they’ll get the holster they want.

      It’s mostly “raising the barrier to entry” sure that the mfg is able to provide to a mil sized customer. No reason to waste anyone’s time by putting a nice gun through from a mfg that can’t actually support it.

  • LazyReader

    Just about every gun company is jumping on the Striker fired band wagon, past or present, future. Glock, SIG, S&W, Beretta and now Ruger.

  • nova3930

    Like the m9a3 the m11 doesn’t meet all the defined requirements. It doesn’t meet the human factors requirement of 5-95 male female compatibility. That’s partially where the modular part of the program comes in.

    The program is jacked up the way it’s structured but ultimately it flows from a need identified by the users themselves. In this case the m9s are wearing out and in doing theit capabilites analysis, they found gaps that no pistol currently in service could satisfy, even the m11.

    • Anonymoose

      The M11 is a lot better for smaller hands than the M9, at least.

  • I’m very surprised that FN isn’t getting in on this. The FNX and FNS series are pretty much tailor made for the requirements, and offers the chance for either a DA/SA, or a striker fired design.

    And, FN has such an inside track given that it already supplies so many other systems to the US.

    • Twilight sparkle

      I like everything about my fnx… except that I had to send it back to the factory after I took it to the range once. I think a cz75 would actually be a great option, except that CZ doesn’t have much of a factory here yet.

      • The CZ P07 and P09 would be great to see entered, but I doubt CZ would be chosen just due to the lack of US manufacturing vs the other companies.

        • mig1nc

          CZ actually started work on an MHS submission, but decided to not enter it.

          Do a Google image search for “cz mhs” and you’ll see the custom tailored P-09.

          • JumpIf NotZero

            The contract SPECIFICALLY calls out a striker fired gun now. CZ is a non-starter as they have no striker fired handgun (yet).

          • mig1nc

            Interesting. That would explain why they didn’t enter their design in the competition.

          • Kelly Jackson

            CZ 110

    • TCBA_Joe

      Over on Pistol-Forum Kevin from FN (formerly KAC) commented that they are developing the FNT-9 for this. They just haven’t been public about their involvement with MHS.

      • James Young

        Interesting, I wonder how it differs from the FNS

    • James Young

      I’m pretty sure FN is still going to apply with the FNS, or some variation of it. Will it be longslide I wonder?

      I think the M&P and Glock 17 have the best bet here. They both have the smallest width grips at 1.20 and 1.18″ which will likely be a focus with smaller hands of women (everyone can easily handle a Glock, not everyone can handle the huge Beretta). These two have proven track records, and maybe the Sig 320 does too idk much about it’s history. I also dont know how Glocks will be with the extra safeties the military requires whereas Smith & Wessen has them already.

      FN is a big supplier of military arms for the US, so they probably have a good handle on this process and could win it. But who knows, I just hope they dont pick that ugly Beretta APX…

  • Twilight sparkle

    I feel like the army is going to end up saying something like “we found that none of these handguns were twice as good as the m4… errr I mean m9 so we see no need to waist money on a completely new system and we will now cancel the overly expensive individual carbine competition… uhh I mean modular handgun system…”

    • iksnilol

      Maybe not, their current pistols are wearing out. They might be forced to change them due to that.

      • TCBA_Joe

        That’s the rub right now. The most recent info I’ve seen has suggested the M9 is due a complete fleet replacement anyways. That’s the ONLY reason I see this program being viable. If they need to replace everything already, it makes sense to pick a new handgun now instead of 30 years from now.

        • James Young

          The M9 is a solid gun but it’s huge. They could pick up a polymer gun for cheaper that’s more modern instead switching to the M9A3 or whatever it’s desination is.

          Why not change it now and be set for another 40+ years?

          • tincankilla

            hasn’t the Pentagon been obsessed with skipping a generation of weapons dev?

          • Jwedel1231

            Isn’t the M9A3 supposed to have a narrower grip?

          • Kelly Jackson

            They have no need to conceal it, combat pistols should be large

          • TCBA_Joe

            Needlessly large? Nothing should ever be big “just because”.
            Some units (yes even conventional units) have a need for a more concealable pistol but are using M9s. Additionally, cutting weight and size but retaining capability is always a positive.

            As much as I love the M9, you can get the same (or increased) capacity in lighter/smaller pistols.

    • CanineCo

      That’s part of the overall risk.

  • AD

    Since they army is asking for a “complete solution”, and wants the manufacturers to provide ammo, does that mean that they will be exclusively purchasing pistol ammo from whoever wins the competition? If they are planning to source ammo independently of the weapon supplier, wouldn’t it make more sense to provide the ammo for the tests themselves to see if the weapons tested work well with the ammo that they will actually be using?

  • MySpin1776

    It seems like the Army’s search for a new pistol has been going on forever.

  • Rock or Something

    This…is going nowhere.

  • Evan

    Who cares? It’s just gonna be carried around by POGs in FOB bras and officers who don’t want to lug a rifle to the chow hall anyway.

  • John

    It would be really, really funny if the judges ended up picking a polymer 1911.

  • Mazryonh

    Still no reason why they couldn’t go with a COTS (commercial off-the-shelf) solution? Or even a COTS pistol that could be converted to a new and improved caliber?

    As a thought experiment, SIG-Sauer’s newer P220 in 10mm Auto could be an interesting possibility. It’s single-stack, so it can fit those with smaller hands. A few shooters have even experimented with modified magazines from the .45 ACP version, with the result they have been able to increase the ammunition it can carry from 8 to 11 rounds. 11 + 1 rounds of properly-loaded 10mm would be nothing to sneeze at, and having a handgun that can actually reach out and touch someone without the need to adjust the sights much could be a substantial improvement.

  • MartinWoodhead

    It’s a hilarious train wreck from a distance showing all the signs of a poor military procurement plan. Wanting a bleeding edge tech solution that is way over complicated for the actual task.

    Strangely the UK MoD managed to miss the chance to screw this up by ordering a container load of glocks with an external safety.

  • efred1

    What happened to Detonics? I thought all of the experts considered their gun the one to beat. Didn’t some defense contractor join with them to fund their application? What’s going on?

  • CanineCo

    Handgun manufacturers are clearly not as financially robust and economically viable as other industries that routinely respond to government RFP’s. I can see why many would choose not to respond to a risk-filled, 351-page solicitation, and I doubt that the potential ROI is worth the risk and effort. Just my opinion.

  • DLLambert

    In my view(armed professional & US Army MP/31B veteran, 04 years active duty), I think either a Glock, SIG P320 or GD/S&W M&P could do very well as a sidearm. A FDE(flat dark earth) or olive green color in a .40Super caliber can meet all the DoD/armed forces requirements. I also like the new Ruger ARX/Polycase ammunition line. R&Ded by a US military veteran, these handgun rounds can feed-cycle well and meet milspec or FBI protocols. I think a new .40 or 10mm style ARX bullet in a MHS pistol like the modular SIG P320 or the extremely popular Glock 23/22 can last decades. Recently, the US Navy switched from the SIG P226R/Mk25 to Glock 19 9mmNATO gen 04 for SWCC/EOD/specwar. The US Marines/MARSOC & US Army Rangers bought Glock 19 models a few FYs ago to arm units in global hot spots where armorers or gunsmiths might not be available.