Army Chief Milley Criticizes MHS Red Tape, Wants Power to Select New Pistol

The Army Chief of Staff General Mark Milley spoke yesterday at the Future of War Conference, and criticized the Modular Handgun System program for the degree of bureaucracy and red tape it takes for the Pentagon to select a new pistol for the Army. Milley rightly pointed out that not only are handguns hardly the forefront weapons of modern battle, but that they are a very mature technology, so selecting a new one should be very straightforward and inexpensive. From

“We are not exactly redesigning how to go to the moon, right?” Milley said. “This is a pistol. … And arguably, it is the least lethal and important weapon system in the Department of Defense inventory.”

The Army launched its long-awaited XM17 MHS competition in late August to replace its Cold War era M9 9mm pistol. One of the major goals of the MHS effort is to adopt a pistol chambered for a more potent round than the current 9mm. The U.S. military replaced the .45 caliber 1911 pistol with the M9 in 1985 and began using the 9mm NATO round at that time.

Gunmakers had until Feb. 12 to submit proposals to the Army.

Milley used the program as an example of the bureaucratic acquisition system that often makes it overly complicated to field equipment to soldiers in a timely manner.

“We are trying to figure out a way to speed up the acquisition system,” Milley said. “Some of these systems take multiple years, some of them decades to develop.”

As the service chief, Milley said he should be able to say “here is your purpose; here is the end-state I want to achieve … if you succeed, you are promoted and I give you a medal. If you fail, you are fired. You hold people accountable.

“I’m saying let me and then hold me accountable,” he added. “Let me figure out what type of pistol we need and let me go buy it without having to go through nine years of incredibly scrutiny.”

The program has a “367-page requirement document. Why?” Milley asked. “Well, a lawyer says this and a lawyer says that and you have to go through this process and that process and you have to have oversight from this that and the other.”

Milley also criticized the lengthy testing process for MHS that’s slated to cost $17 million.

“The testing — I got a briefing the other day — the testing for this pistol is two years,” Milley said. “Two years to test technology that we know exists. You give me $17 million on the credit card, I’ll call Cabelas tonight, and I’ll outfit every soldier, sailor, airman, and Marine with a pistol and I’ll get a discount on it for bulk buys.”

General Milley’s sentiments are very understandable. The Modular Handgun System program not only has a scheduled program lifespan before selection of 6 years (from 2013-2018), but it is also the successor to two previous handgun selection programs, the Joint Combat Pistol and Future Handgun System, dating all the way back to 2004. That means, if a handgun is selected on time in 2018, that the DoD will have spent 14 years selecting a new “off-the-shelf” handgun for the services to replace the more or less adequate Beretta M9.

Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates also voiced his criticism of the MHS program, asking in his recent testimony on Capitol Hill:

[W]hy is it taking you guys 10 years? It’s a handgun for God’s sake.

Pretty hard to argue with that. It’s not at all unfair to hold MHS up as the poster child of military bureaucracy, indecision, and slowness. This isn’t to say that military procurement should be anything but thorough, but the modern fighting handgun is such a well-characterized tool that one could be more than forgiven for saying “just get on with it, already!”

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 is also the author of the original web serial Heartblood, which is being updated and edited regularly. He can be reached via email at


  • Count_Iblis

    In the end it won’t be the best pistol that is selected, but the one who’s company has sufficiently greased the right politicians.

    • USMC03Vet

      nah, it’s going to be logistics based just like all other small arms decisions by the military.

      • Billy Jack

        So, the one who bribed the most Pentagon brass, politicians and has enough factory floorspace?

      • Count_Iblis

        Hahaha, it what world, fantasy land??

        • USMC03Vet

          M9 and M16 are two big logistic decisions, but I don’t want to interrupt your fantasy land.

    • DAN V.

      Who says the general is immune from that? You know that a lot of big companies are waiting to bribe one instead of many.

    • Zebra Dun

      A wise man.

  • Goody

    Given MHS requirements (from what I remember, must be able to feed JHP, must have modular grip & rail) what would you pick?

    I’d look at a p-07, but detonics looks alright too.

    • My answers would all be tediously boring. Glock, SIG, FN, Walther, S&W, HK.

      I have a weird itch where I feel like the Army should throw HK a bone and buy the P30, maybe because they developed the HK45 specifically for JCP?

      I dunno, it’s a good performing handgun, but really any of those brands would suit the Army just fine.

      • CommonSense23

        The most boring answer is the Glock 19. It’s a pistol everyone can use. It can run 9mm hollowpoints. It’s cheap. It’s light and reliable. It fills both a full-size and compact depending on the mag. And it’s proven. There is a reason it’s the most common pistol in Socom.

      • John

        Sig! I just love that first DA pull that says “are you SURE you want to shoot this thing?” …the second SA pull says “yea I do and and many more times”. Safety first and a quick second tap just to be sure.

        • Except of SIG’s current lineup they’d be most likely to adopt the P320, which is striker-fired.

        • Bob

          Gun shouldn’t leave the holster unless the answer to that question is “YES”.

          • John

            Well, Bob, yes and no. We are constantly reading of police officers shooting people they “thought” had a gun but it turned out to be a cell phone, candy, a book, their hands, their coat, nothing, etc. So, while I agree, NEVER PUT YOUR FINGER ON TRIGGER UNTIL YOU ARE READY TO SHOOT, that doesn’t always work in today’s poorly trained world. If you need to concentrate just a bit more to get that first shot off it means that first shot requires more concentration…and that’s a good thing.

      • Bill

        In all likelihood, excepting specops or .mil LE, a S&W Model 10 would probably suffice, given the general role of the handgun in the military.

    • Gregory Markle

      The P-07 is a great pistol, as is the P-09, and they’d be more than adequate for military service. I’d love to see them adopted, if only to see the wealth of aftermarket support and significantly lower magazine prices I’d enjoy!

      • If the military ever adopted a Czech gun I’d be extremely surprised.

        Now, having said that, I’m imagining the Army procuring half a million units of the P-09 in some hilarious caliber like .22 TCM and then the PEO Soldier office requesting to be renamed to “Section 9″…

  • Dan Atwater

    Still trying to figure out how replacing the M9 with something completely different would be beneficial in any way.

    • that_guy

      Just another way to get somebod else a seat at the table on the tax payer dollar

    • Evan

      The 92FS is old (design is essentially the same as the M1951), heavy(33.5 oz unloaded) and has the ergonomics of a can of Pork and Beans. It’s got an exposed barrel, which is a questionable design choice in and of itself, as well as making the slide funny shaped which is super great when it’s hot from firing or your hands/gloves are sweaty or wet and/or covered in dirt mud and sand. The Walther P88(another all alloy pistol) it squared off against in the M9 trials, for example, was 10 oz lighter. The gun also maimed at least 3 testers at the NSWG. Supposedly as many as 14 test guns, suffered slide failures. This is after the gun supposedly “won” by the way.
      Beretta blamed the ammunition, however, the Army’s study concluded it was a metallurgical problem, and the chamber pressures of the test ammo should have been well within the range of the 92FS.
      They apparently do not age well either. While not a service member myself (medically disqualified), I have many friends, OIF/OEF/OND vets, active and retired, and even direct family members who are active Infantry. No one active or retired I’ve talked to in the Infantry likes the M9.

      Rumors and scuttlebutt state the reason the 92F was adopted had something to do with keeping Italian bases open the Italian government wanted to close…
      But what do I know? Although that may explain why the Sig “won” but price suddenly became an issue in the 11th hour. (Rumor also states Beretta just so happened to under-bid Sig $1.00 per gun, and a small chunk of change on parts and maintenance packages.)

      • politicsbyothermeans

        “The gun also maimed at least 3 testers at the NSWG.”
        ‘You aren’t a SEAL until you have tasted Italian steel’ is pretty apocryphal. SEALs run the hell out of the M92F and their experiences (along with many others) did lead to the M92FS with a much more robust slide stop and a few other improvements.

        And I am NOT trying to restart the internet wars but I have carried the M9 more days than not in my adult life and I’ve never had a problem. I have big hands so the can of SPAM ergonomics really don’t bother me. The only time I ever had a stoppage was shooting weak-hand and prone while taking well-aimed (simunition) fire that gave me no choice but to limpwrist the shot. One stovepipe and immediate remedial action later and I was back in the game. I realize that is anecdotal but I will also say that I am hardly alone. Most of us understood that we would have to make several questionable decisions/have a really bad day to arrive at a place where it was time to skin the smoke wagon.

      • Dan Atwater

        The takeaway from all that is “it’s big and heavy.” Soldiers will generally complain about everything they’re issued and even then it isn’t hard to find those that praise the M9. Not that it matters, nor does it matter what pistol is being issued when armories don’t do the required PM. Go a couple decades without changing a recoil spring on a Beretta, Glock, SIG, M16, whatever and you’re going to have problems.

        The design is solid and if there’s some special snake eater type groups that want something else, they’ll use something else, so there’s no reason at all to spend millions of dollars finding a replacement.

        • Bill

          People complain that it’s “big and heavy” and then hang junk on an M4 until it weighs 13 pounds and has more pokey bits than a porcupine.

    • Bill

      No one has proven that it would, but then the inter webs would be dull.

  • Nashvone

    “The purpose of a pistol is to cover your a$$ until you get back to the rifle that you never should have dropped.”

    What are they expecting an “Illudium Q-36 Explosive Space Modulator”?

    • Rabies

      Reference ha!

    • schizuki

      Where’s the kaboom? There was supposed to be an Earth-shattering kaboom.

    • Gunner4guy

      Be careful…or Warner Bros will sue for dialog infringement! LMAO!

  • Rob

    All this noise over a pistol….

    I agree that the process is broken. Letting a general single-handedly go an make a purchase is not anywhere near approaching the solution that would fix our acquisition system.

    I am not sure how or why replacing the M9 has become such a pet project for many people in the higher echelons. There are much more pressing requirements/ better ways for them to spend the money.

    • Paul White

      Yep. I get the frustration for handguns, but do you really want *one* person to have the power to award a highly lucrative contract for say, a new fighter or a couple of destroyers? I wonder if there’d be a legal way to delinate non specialized versus specialized equipment?

      • Paladin

        There aren’t very many COTS fighters or destroyers on the market ATM (maybe someday, hope springs eternal and all that…) so that seems like a decent enough delineation. Whereas the acquisition process for a destroyer or fighter would almost certainly involve a significant involvement in the design stage that’s not at all necessary for a handgun, since there are already many private sector designs more than adequate for the task.

        • Paul White

          My concern is more the ability to really porkbarrel something even worse than we see now,a nd the ability to flat out sell contracts to people that provide the best kickbacks. I mean that’s always a risk but it seems like that’d make it a lot worse.

          But there’s *got* to be a way to simply crap like small arms purchasing

          • BattleshipGrey

            It is setting some slippery ground if they allow one person to make a very large purchase with possible kickbacks. However, it’s also extremely wasteful if it’s true that the testing process costs $17 million. If each pistol is sold to .mil for $250, they’re missing out on 68,000 pistols.

            Perhaps Milley could allow the oversight people to occasionally glance at his finances and assets to make sure he’s not getting any special perks for choosing this or that company.

            Somehow I doubt that they’ll let him make the call, especially since designs have already been submitted. Even though his motivation is to save money, the process is already underway. Besides, politicians don’t actually want to save money.

          • politicsbyothermeans

            For general officers and very senior enlisted, it’s not about money going directly into their accounts. It’s the promise of lucrative “consulting” gigs afterward that really pay. Find me a retired general officer living modestly on his retirement pay and I’ll show you an intriguingly honest and ethical person.

          • BattleshipGrey

            Hadn’t thought about that aspect. In a sense though, it would still come down to preference on a certain firearm wouldn’t it? Not that such deals should be made or taken, but if each firm is offering such a cushy position after retirement, then wouldn’t he choose to go with the gun (and subsequent offer) he prefers the military have?

          • Bill

            Possibly, but I haven’t looked at the roster at S&W, SIG or any other big gun company to see how many retired flag officers they have on board. The money is in going with private sector Beltway companies, and seriously, is that a problem? Those are the guys and the gals with the boots on the ground or on the desk expertise that;s needed.

  • John

    As long as the whole process is a mess, let the Internet vote on it! I vote for the Sig P229 or P226. Who cares if Sig won’t give you a discount and it’s not modular. We’re not talking about a lego kit now are we? If your hands are too small for the grips, grab it by the barrel! Simple solution here folks, simple solution.

    • Spanish Bodeo revolver. It’s the only logical choice.

    • sauerquint

      It should be American made, metal all around, the only plastic parts should be the grips. We’re talking army here, not cops. Bring back the S&W 59.

      • So, basically the M9?

        • Twilight sparkle

          There’s also the m1911a1

          • JK

            “You’ll love it! Twice the weight, and half the magazine capacity!”

          • Twilight sparkle

            Hey they did want more punch that 9mm plus it fits more people’s hands than the m9.

          • JK

            They could swap .40 S&W barrels and slides onto the M9 frames. Pretty sure the mags are interchangeable, the recoil spring is the same weight, though they’re probably all due for replacement anyway. Not even sure slide replacement is absolutely necessary, though I doubt the M9 breach face has enough extra room to fit the .40 cal round.

          • Twilight sparkle

            That would be backwards engineering a model 96, the issue with the m9 is that the fleet is too old and the military has a lot more ladies than before who can have some difficulty of the massive grip of the m9. A lot of guys don’t have hands the size of bear paws so they have issues as well.

          • JK

            A round with more punch than 9mm would likely give these people problems, as well. My hands aren’t giant by any measure, but other than manipulating the safety, I don’t have trouble handling the “massive grip”.

            Personally, I’d support a move to Glock 19s or 17s, JHPs, and revisiting the treaties governing military ammo selection, with people who actually understand how ammo works.

          • Twilight sparkle

            40 is probably the worst round to switch to for ease of use, 45 is heavier but it’s pushey instead of snappy which makes its recoil more manageable.

            I can deal with the grip of the m9 but the grip of a 17 or 22 will not work for me at all, I end up shooting the dirt. I have actually had a lot more luck with a 26 over my moms 22. The 19 is a lot more ergonomic and in my opinion it’s a much better layout than the 17, I also believe it’s already in limited use by certain parts of the armed forces.

          • ishida336

            The US isn’t actually a signatory to a whooooole lot of the Hague convention articles about weapons and ammunition.

          • Everyone seems to be reading that requirement as “we don’t like 9mm”.

            I understood it as “we’re looking at JHPs.”

          • Twilight sparkle

            I was mostly pointing out that’s it’s kinda funny that the gun that was replaced by the m9 is actually not too far off from the militaries’ description of what they want the m9 replacement to be, at least it was up until the striker fired requirement.

          • No, it isn’t.

          • Twilight sparkle

            I should have said ironic instead of funny because the lack of any movement to a new sidearm isn’t funny.
            Nostalgia has probably gotten to the better of me for the pedestal that I’ve put the 1911 on.

          • You misunderstood me. You said: “the gun that was replaced by the m9 is actually not too far off from the militaries’ description of what they want the m9 replacement to be”

            That is pretty far off the mark.

          • Twilight sparkle

            That’s why I had the nostalgia about the 1911 comment :p I didnt defend myself because I know I’m wrong about it fitting the mhs requirements. My brain doesn’t fully function when I’ve lost an hour of sleep though so I might just not make any sense right now.

  • Rich Guy

    Did that guy wake up reading a book about John Boyd?

  • FactChecker90803

    The Ruger American, just got mine..the DOA, could do a lot worse, it’s American, it’s modular and it’s well priced, get a discount for buying 1,000,000 of them.

    • Evan

      Ruger did initially design it for the MHS, but I think they ended up not submitting it.

      • Goody

        Probably a good business move on their part – look at Colt.

        • Suppressed

          Upvoted just for the kitty avatar.

  • Ranger Rick

    If this guy or Gates can’t fix this simple problem we’re doomed.

  • aka_mythos

    I understand the need for bureaucracy, there were instances of abuse in the past where generals unilaterally made deals and got something in return. I think what needs to be considered is when the bureaucratic process exceeds the cost of the actual acquisition there should be a more streamlined approach that simply regards the purchase as having a degree of disposability.

    • Derek Johnson

      If someone is getting kickbacks, prosecute them. No need to mess up the entire process, waste millions of dollars and years of time in a beaureacratic process that probably invites just as much graft and corruption.

      • aka_mythos

        You have to look at it this way every layer of bureaucracy is where someone at some point abused the system and the only thing anyone could think to do was add another check. 60 years later we have a system that struggles to do anything. The problem is that the superiors to the offender are held accountable and expected to “make sure it never happens again”… the superior can’t hand hold or supervise 24/7 and thus they delegate. Bureaucracies evolve so no one is responsible enough to do anything on their own and thus they grow increasingly inefficiency.

    • Blake

      How about letting the soldiers decide what works & what doesn’t?
      (as a group, not individually)

      • Bill

        Because if our million member military is anything like a 30 officer police department, you’ll get approximately 1.5 million different demands and requests.

        • Blake

          Sounds about right. Keep the most commonly-recurring 5% of those requests & you’d probably get something pretty good.

      • DAN V.

        Because half of them call it a “clip” and shoot with a teacup grip.

      • Zebra Dun

        Because 95% of all soldiers are not Infantry nor ever hold, carry or fire a weapon more than once per career. Most of those who do shoot a rifle and the majority who do carry pistols, carry them and never use them.

        • Blake


          IMHO, I think that if they were asked their preferences:

          – non-infantry combat folks (tankers, pilots, drivers, etc) & non-combat soldiers (e.g. guards, MPs, etc) would much prefer a small light easily-stowable carbine/PDW/SMG-type weapon to a handgun.

          – non-combat folks (of whom <0.01% will ever fire their weapon in self-defense) would prefer the smallest lightest handgun possible (preferably one with the same manual of arms as the M9 they've already been trained on).

          …& with this program they're not getting either one…

    • nova3930

      I think the biggest issue is the acquisition process is based primarily on dollar amount and not complexity of the system. One of my programs is an aircraft acquisition, one loaded with very complex sensors in fact. For that sort of stuff the Acquisition system actually works pretty well. All of those paths and decision points in the process ensure we get a system that meets user needs at a price that’s in budget.

      On the flip side, when buying relatively simple stuff like rifles and pistols, the system becomes an epic burden.

      • aka_mythos

        Even with the big complicated stuff the system can be very slowing. What you ultimately have is a Government bureaucracy external to engineering efforts that in many instances either micromanages or otherwise simply duplicates the effort of that corporation to verify its meeting contractual requirements.

        • nova3930

          I don’t disagree. It does slow the process down. I spent the last 5 years working quick reaction programs, that trash a lot of the system in favor of speed. Moving back to program of record stuff that does it all, things move at a glacial pace in comparison.
          At the same time, having seen quite a number of times where it caught a contractor trying to skirt their contract requirements, it does do some good.
          We’ve got to be smarter at balancing cost and speed with verifying that we’re getting what we paid for and that what we paid for will perform the mission.

    • cargosquid

      We’ve had this problem since before the Civil War. See Lincoln’s efforts to modernize the Army’s weaponry.

  • Sulaco

    If they got ride of the bureaucracy and red tape there would not be enough opportunity for graft.

  • Big Daddy

    I like this guy.

    I have Glocks but honestly if they want the right gun for them a SIG 320 would probably be the best choice right now.

    • I’d agree with that—-

    • kzrkp

      don’t think a Glock is a great choice for a military service pistol. they work out for police departments so well because they’re essentially disposable and get replaced whole when the frame eventually cracks. the army can’t buy a whole new inventory of pistols every 8 years, army needs something that outlives its barrel, like that SIG.

      • john huscio

        Tell that to the armies of Austria, Norway, the UK, ect.

      • Bill

        .mil guns in training slots may get a lot of rounds through them, but I bet the average issued M9 has no finish left, and an essentially brand-new bore.

      • What makes you think the military isn’t continuously procuring handguns?

        I don’t necessarily disagree with the idea that a steel-framed pistol is more appropriate for the military customer – although I do note that MHS appears to be circumventing that objection by mandating a “chassis”-type arrangement where the serialized part is a durable steel insert and the frames are cheap, replaceable injection molded plastic.

    • Mark

      There is too little love for 10mm,

      • LarryNC

        True, but then you would run into the same problem that the FBI encountered, smaller men and most women would not be able to qualify with it. What the FBI did was to neuter the real 10mm round, the load that actually won their “contest.” And so after the 10 mm load of choice was downgraded or downloaded to a lesser power level till they finally reached the point where the smaller men and women could actually qualify with it, that power level was available in a much smaller, shorter casing, thus the 40 Smith & Wesson was born.

        • cwolf

          Interesting history. Except the FBI tests didn’t create the .40 cal.

          The FBI choose the 9mm.

          True, the 10mm (40 magnum would sell better) is a bigger, more powerful round. But, the decision process involves balancing size, weight, reliability, accuracy, etc.

          Both the .40 and the 10mm have have troubled histories re reliability.

          For that matter the .500 S&W outperforms the 10mm. Or the .50 AE.
          Or the 44 mag. or the 45-70. Or……

          So, where do you make the cut? Who do you leave out?

    • Ben

      SiGs are crap. S&W M&P or XDM in .45 would be far better than Swiss crap.

  • Travis

    McNamara had the same “get on with it already” attitude with the first M16s and look how that turned out. Maybe not a totally apples to apples comparison, but I think we’d hate for the services to get a million of their new handgun, then find out there’s some mechanical flaw or drawback that requires each and every one to be further modified. Remember how when the SEALs got their new M9s and parts of the slide suddenly started flying off and injuring shooters?

    • Evan

      Actually the vast majority of the M16s problems had to do with chrome lining the barrel and chambers, and nickel plating the magazines to be deleted for cost savings, but more importantly ammo problems. Specifically powder. DuPont’s IMR powders were the original propellant spec’d and tested, although some Winchester Ball was tested. IMR at the time took about 2 weeks to manufacture a batch, as opposed to Ball, which could complete a manufacture lot in 2 days. So the DoD was pushing that really hard for a time, but Army brass wanted to stick with tried and true IMR. DuPont IMR 4475 was eventually settled upon, being the same powder used in 7.62 NATO rounds. When the military-wide adoption of the M16/XM16E1 was forced in early 1963, the DoD found out it was one thing when Remington was turning out small quantities of .223 Remington and could cherry-pick suitable production lots of Dupont IMR 4475, and quite another when it was faced with mass production of the cartridge. They also went away from Stoner’s Sierra-made bullet, to a Remington design.
      Velocities were too low, and they couldn’t get them to meet the TDP without exceeding chamber pressures of the TDP. Secondly, manufacturers had problems meeting the Army’s TDP for this new round.

      So much so that when the first M193 contract went out Federal, Remington, and Winchester(ammo) all outright refused to bid. Because the TDP could simply not be met at the scale the DoD was asking.

      Thus started a cycle of waivers and allowances, some ammo redesign, and TDP changes involving something like 8 different powders…

  • demophilus

    Go, Mill-dog, go!

  • Don Ward

    There is no good reason to not just buy more M9s or the M9A3 and roll them into the current inventory and save money using current training and accoutrements.

    If you need fancy tacti-SCHV-shootahs, just buy some of those for whatever SEKRIT OPER8TORS that need them.

    • Bill

      Yeah – what you said. Changing pistols also means changing a zillion magazines, armorer’s toolkits, holsters, training manuals, course curricula, PowerPoint slide, new train the trainer programs, retraining armorers, and with no luck at all, the new pistol wont fit the storage racks/containers of the old pistols.

  • Martin Grønsdal

    one thing is that a process may be slow or inefficient. But removing that altogether will sooner than later end up in some form of corruption.

    • Derek Johnson

      What makes you think that there isn’t any corruption in an extensive political process like the current one?

      • Martin Grønsdal

        Any process that involves money and more that one person that pays, and one that receives, is prone to corruption.

        Imagine a cop issuing a fine on the spot. It is him and the driver. High risk of corruption.

        The moment you demand two cops sign a fine, the potential drops dramatically. They would have to know each other and both excersie the desire to be corrupt.

        Now, the competition for pistols involves hundreds of people. No general will ever benefit, because one general does not have enough influence on the process.

        There may be, however, a totally different forms of ‘corruption’; when a gvt decides that no matter what a producent from their country wins, and they tailor the demands according to that. But that is not corruption, but politics:)

  • Petto

    Just buy new parts from Beretta and done

    Screw polymer pistol (jk)

    if somebody in the army needs a polymer pistol then let him buy for himself xD

  • politicsbyothermeans

    “DoD will have spent 14 years selecting a new “off-the-shelf” handgun for the services to replace the more or less adequate Beretta M9.”
    Oh, come on, does the acquisition process really look THAT difficult?

    • This is why we can’t have nice things.

      • Roper1911

        kinda makes you wish we kept Frankford arsenal’s R&D program going.

    • Bill

      Thanks, I was about to apply for a consultant gig at DAU, but there isn’t enough money in the world…..

      • nova3930

        Good decision. Flat spots from pounding your head against the wall aren’t very attractive


      Saved as “bureaucracy.jpg”…

    • USMC03Vet

      lol that moment when you realize this is still better than letting US Army generals decide on uniforms. It’s hilarious the US Army is stuck between incredibly wasteful spending on a whim and being stuck in bureaucratic hell other times.

      • politicsbyothermeans

        I’ll have you know that my grandmother did not once spot me against her drapes when I was wearing OCP.

    • RICH

      Only for an ‘entity’ such as our ‘GOVERNMENT’ does the acquisition process take several years. IMHO, as long as Congress keeps funding them money for their useless studies they will continue the facade until the $$$$ runs out ! ! ! This is the reason the Government ends up spending $1,000 for a $19 toilet seat ! Bureaucracy at its finest ………….
      This is a decision that could probably be made by some of our firearm experts within a few months……. Just sayin’ ! !

      • cwolf

        Actually, design & testing any system takes years and lots of money. Most of that is invisible to the consumer. Ford spent years of testing and billions before the first 2015 F150 rolled off the line.

        The cost issue is a function of volume. Startup costs (factory, people, land, tools, dies, etc.) have to be divided into sales volume.

        Finally, the weird issue the military has is it wants to buy xx,000 of a unique X, then go away. Which is why we ran out of grenades. There is not a big civilian market for grenades. So, the Army bought xx,0000. Then waited x years. When they went back for more, the manufacturer had converted his factory to something else.

        So, some factories are Govt Owned but Contractor Operated.

        Besides many guns flunk the military tests because few civilians shoot as many rounds as the military does in different climates (Alaska to Iraq to SE Asia). Watch YouTube videos were shooters melt a barrel off a rifle shooting xx rounds.

        True, airlines spend a lot of money for a coffee maker. Again, volume is low. Operational requirements are high. Result: high costs.

    • nova3930

      Oh god, DAU ***vomit***

      Working within the system laid out in that chart, I can say with 100% certainty that it sucks something fierce. That said, what the general describes is the way we used to do things, and while it had it’s share of success stories, it had just as many if not more epic failures.

      I highly recommend the movie Pentagon Wars if one wants to see a humorous but completely true story that came out of that acquisition system. Although if you work in DoD procurement, you won’t know whether to laugh or cry….

      • Miguel Raton

        _Pentagon Wars_ is truly a wonderful flick, and recommended watching for everyone who seeks to heed Eisenhower’s warning to beware the military-industrial complex…

      • Visolat

        The DAU chart above was the result of the acquisition reforms that happened as a result of things like the “Pentagon Wars”

    • Billy Jack

      I get it. The process must be an actual flowchart mirror of the entire animal kingdom or it isn’t natural.

  • gunsandrockets

    Hmm… more powerful cartridge, different grip sizes, modular size…

    Aha! Sounds like a Dan Wesson revolver!

    Otherwise just buy the damned Glock 19 and get this over with.

    • Gunner4guy

      No, a Coonan autoloader in .357 Mag. If the G17 is acceptable to the Brits and numerous other militaries then why all the BS? Must we always beat ourselves up when choosing a weapon/system? I got out of my masochistic phase after nearly 20 active and NG years(yet ended up visiting SEAsia, RoK, Grenada Panama) before I ETS’d and then did 27 yrs as a state officer. Now I just dodge DUI drivers while taking my wife to her quarterly med appointments. Maybe it’s time the DOD did also?

  • Blake

    “One of the major goals of the MHS effort is to adopt a pistol chambered for a more potent round than the current 9mm.”

    Once again, the Russians have already cracked this nut, & we really should follow their lead (if indeed US soldiers defending themselves with their 9mm M9 has ever been let down by the lack of lethality of the system; has anyone ever seen any studies to that effect?).

    Russian 7N31 9mm “+P++” sends a 125gr armor-piercing bullet out of a small SMG/PDW at almost 2kfps (that’s as fast as 30 carbine with a heavier bullet), & yet they can still fire normal 9mm ammo all day long if you can’t get your hands on the special stuff. The GSh-18 pistol will fire their hot ammo too.

    The argument could be made that barring unforseen circumstances, any soldier that has advance knowledge of potential to fire their sidearm in anger would be far better equipped with a small/light SMG/PDW than a handgun…

    • lowell houser

      Yeah, but what NATO issues is 124gr ball which is basically a 9mm icepick. It doesn’t expand, it doesn’t tumble, it just pokes little holes, especially in very skinny people.

      The Army wants to go back to .45acp even though the problem could be solved much cheaper by changing to a hollowpoint and upgrading to the M9A3.

      • LarryNC

        Amen, but then you have all these people who will say that the U.S. has agreed to abide by a 50 year old agreement. My response to that is that we are not currently fighting a signatory (not sure if that is the correct term, but it will suffice) of said agreement. We aren’t fighting a nation, we are fighting terrorists. We should be terrorizing those bastards!

        • JK

          It’s “unethical” and “inhumane” to shoot a game animal with FMJ. But when you’re trying to kill an enemy combatant, a quick, less painful death is seen to be excessively cruel. Projectile design and our understanding of terminal ballistics has advanced greatly since those treaties and conventions were drafted, it’s time to rewrite those rules while consulting people who actually know what they’re talking about, not just idiot politicians who want to ban scary sounding stuff because they think it will help them with ignorant moron voters in their home district.

        • cwolf

          OTM creates more tissue damage than HP & are more reliable in full auto weapons.

      • Blake

        Read the Wiki article on 7N31;

        “The method of construction of the two rounds allows them to be effective against both unarmored and armored targets. If the bullet strikes an unarmored target, it holds together to produce a wide wound channel. If the bullet strikes an armored target, the sleeve is stripped away and the core penetrates alone. ”

        In addition to its armor-piercing ability, I’m pretty sure the 7N31 AP bullet at 1900fps is a very different animal than a 124gr ball round @~1100fps when it impacts tissue. It’s got approximately the same muzzle energy as 357 SIG…

        • Marcus D.

          The 9mm NATO is the equivalent of +P ammo, which is more than sufficient in a handgun, given that handguns are not terribly efficient compared to a rifle. Effective range is only 25 yards, after which accuracy diminishes rapidly, particularly if soldiers are as minimally trained as I’ve read. For the non-Hague engagements we are involved in these days, no one carrying a handgun should be stuck with FMJ, but should be allowed and supplied with high quality HPs, which substantially increase lethality and reduce the risk of overpenetration. And none of the handguns in competition are going to have any armor piercing capability anyway.

      • Zebra Dun

        God forbid you should kill someones buddy just before they capture you!

    • Cuvie

      The GSh-18 kind of sucks from what I hear. Also, even though Russia has “adopted” new pistols on paper, most of their infantry forces are still stuck with the Makarov.

    • Ivan_M

      Actually, 7N31 BULLET weights about 65gr, or 4.2 grams, witch makes it pretty close to what fast 50gr liberty ammunition(exept bullet design), just a little bit hotter.

  • Brocus

    I’d rather they go through the bureaucratic process than one guy making a bad decision either due to being misinformed or having his palms greased. Less government doesn’t necessarily mean better

    • Generally it does though.

    • USMC03Vet

      True. Look at the US Army uniforms over the past decade.

  • *Applause* Leadership. It cuts through bullshit.

  • Richard Kroll

    This will go to Senator Bofart’s (Chairman of some acquisition committee) home state, cost twice as much as it’s worth, take 5 years to get delivery, have quality issues from the start, be ergonomically impractical, be hated by all forces because it only comes in pink, will injure a lot of people and will be require the Beretta to be called back to service only to find they were all improperly stored and have since rusted unservicible. I think that is a fair assessment.

  • Lance

    Army Chief has better plan he wants a bigger caliber which would warrant a new pistol. MHS like ICC is set up to stay with current caliber which makes a switch pointless and expensive for no reason. Over this civil war for MHS will prolong any adoption of if at all of anew pistol. Overall the M-9 is not that horrible of a design and is not all that obsolete. Overall if we go back to .45 or new .40 cal its be worth a look at a new pistol. If all of this is for a 9mm pistol this again is a waste of money and time.

  • Billy bob

    Hi point in .45. Cheap, lifetime warranty.

  • TDog

    The one thing no one talks about in terms of “red tape” – when someone wants sole authority on procurement and acquisition, they put themselves in the position of being a very popular person with the suppliers. “Oh, YOU get to choose the new pistol? Well come on over here and let me get you a ‘fact finding’ tour to sunny Hawaii!”

    And if he gets fired? Let’s just say his retirement will be taken care of.

  • jon spencer

    Get the spec’s. and contracts for the WW-2’s 1911, Then buy.
    If your part does not work in or with any of the other contractors parts your gun and payment are rejected.
    You will not get a National Match paper puncher, but you will get a “minute of bad guys ghest” at 25 yards and it will go bang.

    • There are far better handguns currently available than a GI 1911.

      For example: The Beretta 92FS.

  • BattleshipGrey

    Very true in terms of not going wrong. Between regular civilian usage and youtube torture tests, there’s no other testing to be done.

  • Kivaari

    It is nice to see the general show some common sense. I could have told him to simply buy Glock M19s or 17s. It is really that simple.

    • Uniform223

      I personally wouldn’t hold my breath on the US Army adopting Glocks. Given the fact that most personnel in the US Army regularly operate handguns/sidearms/pistols (whatever you want to refer them as)… Glocks have a “flaw” that traditional military mindset would not agree upon; no safety selector switch.

      • JK

        They’ve added one for other military contracts, I’m pretty sure the US military has enough sway to get one added as well.

      • Kivaari

        It is quite easy to add a manual safety to Glocks. SIG did so on the P230s sold to Japan. SIGs don’t need an additional safety, but the customer got what the customer wanted. Glock can do the same. Personally, I don’t see a need to have one on the Glock. The guns are never cocked while riding in a holster. Unlike the SA XDs where the striker is held to the rear. I wont buy SAs for that reason.

  • ….before I even start, can anybody tell me my they didn’t just go with the M93A in the first place? I mean, it’s basically the same pistol, so it requires minimal time (if any) for soldiers already in the military to use, and you could most-likely use your current inventory as-spare parts. Is there something I’m missing here? I heard it’s something to do with the caliber, maybe?

  • Uniform223

    I gotta ask. Even though personally I do not like the M9…

    Does the military REALLY NEED a new sidearm?

    • aka_mythos

      If you consider that most of the M9’s are now 30+ years old and have never been refurbished, having been maintained by cannibalizing other equally old but less used M9’s… so I’d say they need to be looking for replacements.

      • Uniform223

        Other than the age of the M9s in inventory… I really do not see the problem with that. 1911s served longer than the M9 and same with the M16. 1911s were still considered serviceable until they were eventually completely phased out and replaced by the M9. The M16/M4 would also be considered serviceable until they are completely phased out and replaced by another rifle/carbine. If age of M9s in circulation is a “problem” wouldn’t it be better just to purchase new M9s?

        I am simply asking this because from an operational stand point (from personal experience) is there ANY REAL BENEFIT that other sidearms/pistols provide over the M9? Is a new sidearm/pistol an actual necessity for the US Army or US Military as a whole?

        • aka_mythos

          I don’t think there is anything wrong with the M9 design. The original contest was the Army’s attempt just to see if there was anything new industry could offer.

          Beyond that I heard from some people in acquisition circles that a soft requirement is that the Army wants a sidearm that can more reliably handle 9mm P+ ammo… not to necessarily to use such ammo but to give more wiggle room for slightly hotter loads.

        • aka_mythos

          …my reply seems to have disappeared…

          I don’t think there is anything “wrong” with the M9… these efforts started off with a contest largely to see if industry had anything new to offer… one of the top contenders looked to just be an M9 variant, so that says something.

          I think the main difference between the M9 and the 1911’s service life is that the Army just had so many more 1911s and were able to cannibalize parts from inventory guns to keep enough available and operational for that much longer. Estimates say 2.7 million 1911’s had been procured by the military over its service life as opposed the the ~500,000 M9’s.

          Besides that, I’ve heard from acquisition friends, that there is a soft requirement that what ever replacement is found can handle 9mm +P, not to necessarily use that ammo but to give more wiggle room future ammunition reworking.

          • Uniform223

            I don’t believe that all weapon systems (individual small arms and some crew served) are maintained by constantly cannibalizing others of the same type. If that were true then at some point there would simply be too few M16/M4s, M240s, M249s, ect. Do they cannibalize one to maintain another? Sure. Is it the main source of parts and maintenance? I don’t believe it is.

            There are plenty of M9s in circulation in the civilian (as well as LE) world and inventory on the military side. Beretta would have no problem manufacturing and supply parts for M9s already in service within the military.

            Beretta did offer the M9A3… a more refined M9 but essentially still the same, to the US Army when they announced they wanted a new handgun. For whatever reason (I don’t know really) the US Army chose not to adopt it.

            It would be nice to see the US Army and US Military as a whole get a new sidearm/handgun. Yet I believe this “new” handgun should offer MEASURABLE as well as OPERATIONAL advantages over the current M9s in service.

          • aka_mythos

            Its not a case of all small arms its really just the M9’s. Maybe “cannibalize” makes it sound more dire than it is… its more like the spare parts kits bought for use with newer lots of M9’s were being used on the older M9s to keep a larger number in available use. It just means as those newer ones wear out they’re left without the extras they need. Its been largely mooted by the general step down but its a near horizon problem, of which they’re trying to stay ahead.

          • cwolf

            Once the Army moved to unit level budgets, Commanders had to decide where to spend their money.

            So, they did. Maintenance of everything went downhill because it could be delayed with little immediate effect.

            You should read the inspection reports on weapons.

        • n0truscotsman

          No, there is no real benefit. And no, a new sidearm isn’t an actual necessity


  • Billy Jack

    He’ll be Pistorused in about 5 minutes for that. Who does he think he is to try to bypass the corruption and theft rampant in government procurement and just buy a well known working product? It’s like he actually cares about his job and our tax dollars or something.

    • JK

      More like, “Oh crap, they’re on to us. Milley! Make some noises to placate the prolitariate!”

  • Geoff

    How did we fight wars in the past? We fought all of WWII in less time than it takes to procure a new handgun. Unbelievable.
    The bigger and more convoluted the bureaucracy, the harder it is to uproot. There are many entrenched, well-salaried, comfy, high-rank people throughout the system who do NOT want things to be remotely efficient.

    • lbeacham

      Those you speak of don’t see enemies to defeat any longer. Just future competitors for power and wealth to be divided.

      • Geoff

        Well said. They’d rather rule in Hell than serve in Heaven, so to speak.
        The path of least resistance is the path to Hell

  • Ski

    This is why we can’t have nice things.

  • lbeacham

    The cheapest thing is stay with the M9. Like he said, it’s just a pistol. It ain’t broke, stop trying to fix it. It’s only about power and the ability to direct it. Politics shouldn’t rule military killing ability. Killing opportunities, yes, but never ability.

  • TJbrena

    Buy the SIG P320.

    Barring that, buy the M9A3.

  • W

    The new chief should send the 367 page spec to a museum of what not to do. Then he should order his minions to develop a plan to buy off the rack.

  • Uncle Festet

    Buy a Glock, Sig, Ruger, or S&W: Hiowmany military lives would be saved/harmed by the choice? Zero point Zero.

    Just pick one and move on.

  • JoelC

    As someone who works on the bidding side of military acquisitions, the Army Chief of Staff is absolutely right. The pages, FARs, proof of origin, traceability, and paperwork needed for something as simple as a handful of screws is insane.

    Pistol technology has been driven by the civilian market, arguably since before the Colt 1911. There are numerous guns that have been torture tested far worse than anything the military would do, and they are documented to the point where you don’t need to spend millions to redo it.

    • Uncle Festet

      For example, the FBI gun selection criteria led to a pretty good choice.

      • cwolf

        Yep. As long as you understand they don’t do the volume of testing in as many conditions as the military.

        And, the final decision was made on the “overall good”…… plus cost.

        So, they choose the 9mm because more people could shoot it accurately (a function of pistol design, recoil, etc.) and more on board/on hand rounds (a function of size). I think (I’d have to double-check) all calibers passed their penetration tests.

        So “overall good” outweighs what any individual can do. Which is ok.

    • cwolf

      Yet, many guns flunked the previous tests.

  • spiff1

    Two tried and proven systems, the 1911A and GLOCK, have been around long enough and suffered so much abuse in both NATO trials and law enforcement acceptance programs that little can be said against them, like ’em or not! They work when you need ’em and with proper shot placement, they do the job!!

  • Will

    The pentagon morons are finally realizing the folly of replacing the .45ACP, BATTLE PROVEN, round with the BARELY ADEQUATE, mediocre 9mm round just to appease NATO.
    It was pure BS then and has continued to be pure BS since.
    Bureaucrats should NEVER be allowed within a thousand miles of a weapon selection decision.
    I wish you success….. Before congress and the CJC censure you for your common sense and intestinal fortitude.

    • How is the .45 ACP more battle proven than the 9mm?

    • Malthrak

      No surgeon on earth is going to be able to tell you the difference between a wound caused by a .45 and a 9mm.

      As for battle proven…nobody found anything to complain about (or feel safer being shot at by) the 9mm round through two world wars in the hands of the Kaiserliches Heer and the Wehrmacht, or the dozens of other armies and conflicts its been used in. Arguably its far more battle proven than 45 ACP which has seen fewer conflicts in the hands of fewer soldiers in fewer gun designs in fewer places.

    • Tahoe

      Good God, man. You realize what you sound like, don’t you?

      I’m sure there were guys at the opening of the American Civil War crying that “the Kentucky Rifle won the War of Independence, what more do you need?”

  • avconsumer2

    So, he hates bureaucracy. Welcome to the trenches sir.

  • Silverado

    Oh there’ll be no politics with that decision I bet. Because (and we all know that) Generals can’t be bribed or bought. Can they??

  • Malthrak

    Whats fundamentally wrong with the M9? Aside from issues with military guns not being properly maintained and serviced over 30 years, the M9 does everything any other handgun out there does. Most complaints are subjective and preference related in nature (e.g. not liking the safety location, not liking the grip, etc), there’s nothing out there that’s going to bring any meaningful cost or performance advantage. to the table over the M9. One might point to small improvements here or there, but nothinf to justify the effort of dumping the platform. Same reason the military is sticking with the M16/M4 over newer offerings.

    I mean…would anyone consider a soldier with an M9 at a relevant disadvantage next to an opponent armed with a Glock or an M&P or a VP9 or a P226? No.

    As for caliber…what are they thinking of? Going back to 45? There’s zero medical data to show any substantive difference between the two, and no surgeon is going to be able to tell if a wound was caused by a 9mm or a 45 or a .40 S&W. Shot placement and ammo selection are king. Are they thinking of going to something like 10mm? Then they’ll run into the same cost and recoil issues the FBI had, on top of supply issues with other NATO forces.

    There’s a lot of effort going into what is essentially a “we want a new toy” project.

    • Uncle Festet

      The M9 is simply too big for most women to operate easily. For many people, a smaller weapon would be a better choice.

      • Malthrak

        That’s possible, but doesn’t appear to a major point of the replacement initiative.

    • SM

      I’ve said from the beginning that the army with either buy a bunch more M9/M9A1s and waste a bunch of money on this project (like the last few projects) or just pick up the M9A3 because the people running the budgets won’t let them get anything else.

      I will be legitimately surprised if they actually choose a new, non-M9 variant pistol.

  • Cattoo

    The Springfield Armory xD series of sidearm would be more than sufficient for the Army’s needs. It’s all it can be and not a glock.

  • Spartan

    It’s not that 9mm isn’t effective, it because The Geneva Conventions. Under The Geneva Conventions, they are required to use ball ammunition instead of hollow point ammunition. If the military adopted “Tactical Tupperware” like Glock, and used 147 grain bonded hollow point ammunition, they would be in good shape.

    • CommonSense23

      The Geneva Conventions have nothing to do with pistol or rifle ammo.

      • Spartan

        My mistake. Looks like the Army is considering using in 2018.

  • Steve T

    Better ammo! The side arm is a last resort weapon for close range. High capacity is important. Because, if a soldier is using a pistol. he’s on the verge of being over run, and his rifle is not available. The Browning HP is a superior firearm with automatic capabilities. Use some polymer in the design and get it done. Rifle adaptions are also available. Why reinvent the wheel? Do R&D on ammo, and quit porking the soldier and taxpayer.

  • James Matters

    I think Trump just found his SecDef…

  • James Matters

    ANY quality 40 full size would be an improvement. Pick one and be done with it. Take the money saved and add a nice sub-gun to the mix.

  • MRHapla

    I blame JFK, LBJ and McNamara, for this CharlieFoxtrot.

  • cwolf

    1. In this case, the acquisition cycle was complicated by the budget cycle. However, the decision to put both the caliber selection and the pistol selection in one contract created a lot of problems (doubling/tripling development costs and risk). One of the side effects is the companies involved complained to the politicians.

    2. Yep, it is easy to criticize the bureaucrats. It’s helpful to remember that many brands flunked previous testing. Or remember when a certain rifle didn’t go through the acquisition cycle and failed in combat. And, that the losing bidders will always sue if every detail is not done just right.

    3. Yep, “lethality” is very difficult to define and measure because the weapon system (sights, caliber, bullet design, ergonomics, et al) affect Ph/Pk. Synergy. Clearly a .50 AE HP causes more tissue damage, but it is a tad more difficult to carry and shoot. Various studies of real world shootings have a hard time controlling all the variables.

    4. “Why don’t we use xxx bullets?” Military ammo has to function in a variety of weapons (including full auto), get shipped around the world, and get produced in high speed/high volume machinery (Lake City makes 1.6B rds of small arms ammo/year).

    5. Yep, Soldiers are intimately involved in testing. It’s not just put the weapon in a vise and fire 5,000 rds. Of course, 500 Soldiers may have 1,500 opinions. The SCAR went through years of testing around the world with tons of military folks. There were still a few folks who didn’t like the stock or whatever.

    6. Yep, decision making requires looking at the overall effect.

    The FBI choose the 9mm because: (a) it passed their penetration/performance tests, (b) could be accurately shot by more people, and (c) resulted in more rounds on board (see the Miami shootout LL).

    But, but, a .45 ACP hit on a Bad Guy’s pinkie will cause him to fly ten feet backwards and instantly die.

    The .45 ACP semi-auto replaced a modified .38 cal. black powder cartridge revolver. It is a great round.. if you design the bullet/cartridge well. See what the NSWC did with the Mk 262 BTHP/OTM vs FMJ.

    All of which gets back to testing. Soldiers, for example, complained the 556 was not lethal because they aimed ctr mass at a running bad guy at 200 m who continued to run. Tests with highly qualified shooters showed them unable to hit moving targets. Even with moving target training, it’s still difficult to do because iron peep sights aren’t very good at moving targets. And, the Bad Guy may have been dead but still running (ask any deer hunter).

    Lots of folks believe that people die instantly when shot and fly backwards ten feet because they’ve seen hundreds of TV shows/movies.

    Further, the reality is the human body is an uneven mess of bone, muscle, and voids. Wounded versus dead ratio is like 15/1. Most dead folks bleed out.

    So, how do you give Soldiers real objective tests so they understand real capabilities?

    7. So, the General is honestly frustrated, and he can certainly pick out a gun he likes. Then, if that gun fails in combat or if folks with different size hands than his can’t shoot it, then he can be fired with no retirement. Easy. Simple. That’s how he describes accountability.

    Then we can start all over.

  • mhtexas

    Let them buy it like the F-35. Award to preselected vendor, design, build, test fly, redesign, test fly, retrofit, test fly…. repeat until the money runs out.

  • buzzman1

    Yeah the acquisition process is just that jacked up but I don’t think the general is competent enough in the firearms arena to make that call. Fix the damned system.

  • Phil Hsueh

    Good God! How can anyone make heads or tails out of that?

    • politicsbyothermeans

      This is why you never start land wars in Asia.

      • Miguel Raton

        “And never bet against a Sicilian when death is on the line!”

        • politicsbyothermeans

          AHHHHH HA HA, A HA HA, A…. *blarg I’m dead*

  • Mikial

    Sadly, I’m actually very familiar with this particular diagram, having worked on USG programs in Afghanistan since 2008. Unbelievable.

  • Mikial

    ” if you succeed, you are promoted and I give you a medal. If you fail, you are fired. You hold people accountable.”

    Unfortunately, this isn’t the way the USG works . . witness the ongoing presidency of you-know-who.

    But seriously, Milley is correct. You could give pretty much any experienced shooter $17M and tell him/her to go buy some nice pistols for the military and we could do it in a weekend shopping spree from any number of suppliers. Sig, Glock, Springfield, IWI, Beretta, HK . . . and on and on. Any of those would be completely acceptable and practical as a handgun for the military right off the shelf. And yet, the government takes years and years and millions of dollars to find the “perfect” gun, that often turns out to be less than perfect and no better than any number of existing weapons right off the shelf.

  • 2hotel9

    Said it before, will continue to say it, you want knockdown from a pistol rd then use hollow points. FMJs, no matter the caliber, just don’t get it done.

  • 2hotel9

    And his Cabelas idea is how it should be done, although, he could beat their pricing and service by looking around a bit. Just sayin’.

  • Zebra Dun

    It will be an FN and in 5.7 x 28 mm OR it will be a Beretta in 9 x 19 mm Parabellum.
    Not because I wish it so, nor because I am an expert or not.

    Not because either are more or less lethal, the best or the worst but because the two main groups want one of these two to be the new cartridge and weapon.
    At a dead lock they cannot move forward.

  • Zebra Dun

    Did this not lead to Custer’s last stand and Vietnam?

    • politicsbyothermeans

      You may have picked two of the military disasters you can’t actually blame on Powerpoint.

      • 2hotel9

        I don’t know, Yogi! The ability of powerpoint to screw sh*t up knows no bounds or limits.

        • billyoblivion

          Well, one limit would be that it can’t ACTUALLY impact the past.

          • 2hotel9

            Really? So, you “think” “history revision” is a “good” thing? Okey Dokeyt, then.

  • Miguel Raton

    Let me get this straight: 50 years ago SecDef McNamara peremptorily replaced an adequate but otherwise too-long-delayed implementation of a battle rifle with an inadequately developed carbine chambering a round that didn’t meet any of our treaty obligations, and now our Army CoS, who might actually be expected to *know* something about how firearms work & how to go about selecting one [unlike the appointed civilian SecDef] is complaining that he can’t do something similar with as non-essential a weapon system as a handgun.

    [sarcasm] I don’t understand where he’s coming from at all! [/sarcasm]

  • Mazryonh

    Even if General Milley had the authority, would he still be able to overcome the standardization problem? Modern handguns (not revolvers) almost always load from the grip, which means that the size of the magazine influences the size of the grip (and the resulting comfort when used by a specific shooter). STANAG magazines aren’t loaded in the grip, so they don’t suffer this problem.

  • Warren Ellis

    Didn’t the M9A3 Beretta recently put out, the one with removable grips and such, pretty much address the issues with fitting this gun into the palm of everyone, from big to small?

  • CavScout

    I shuttered at first at his claim about ‘going out to Cabelas’ but it would probably still be better. I own a decent number of pistols, no Glocks and no plans to, and I’d even be willing to pick the gen3 Glock 19 for everyone, just so it would be done.