MHS Competition Going Forward Despite Army Brass Comments

The United States Army Chief of Staff recently made a splash when be broke form and publicly complained about the Army’s Modular Handgun System procurement to select a new handgun. Citing it as an example of bureaucracy run amok. Senator Joni Ernst recently stated what many have thought, “Why is it so difficult for the Amry to buy a basic item like a pistol?”

According to, the Army’s Brass including Chief of Staff General Mark Milley met and determined that the Modular Handgun System program was to continue as planned. Per the source cites (who requested anonymity as they could not formally speak on the matter), the Chief of Staff’s office asked Special Operation Command’s G-8 office (responsible for fielding equipment) if the Big Army could join in their Glock 19 pistol contract.

If one were to look at only the price, moving to the Glock contract would make sound fiscal sense. SOCOM currently procures the handguns at about $320 each, well below the estimated $350 million cost of the Modular Handgun System program, though this does not take into account miscellaneous items.

 Lt. Gen. John M. Murray, deputy chief of staff of the Army’s office for programs, or G-8, agreed that the service has been down a “torturous path” on the handgun program.

“I will guarantee you [Gen. Milley] is involved with the testing, requirements and source selection, when we get to that point, in every intimate detail,” Murray said, describing how he has had “several very long and painful meetings with him in the past week or two and dug into how we got where we are and how do we fix this.”

Unlike any other conventional small arms program that the author is aware of, the MHS is also including the ammunition as part of the evaluation. In a serious break with the norm, the handgun supplier is also being required to show the capability to deliver ammunition in addition to the handguns, should they be selected.

Nathan S

One of TFB’s resident Jarheads, Nathan now works within the firearms industry. A consecutive Marine rifle and pistol expert, he enjoys local 3-gun, NFA, gunsmithing, MSR’s, & high-speed gear. Nathan has traveled to over 30 countries working with US DoD & foreign MoDs.

The above post is my opinion and does not reflect the views of any company or organization.


  • tts

    Sounds like politics and/or gun lobbyists won the day. If the prices are correct then going with a Glock of some sort is pretty much a no brainer because those things just plain work. Its not like they’re really trying to procure some sort of SUPER FUTURE WEAPON here anyways.

    • De Facto

      Agreed. Glock’s work, they’re cheap, and they’re as effective at pistol ranges as any other handgun. The whole program is just dumb. Only the DoD could make buying a pistol this hard. Government Bureaucracy at it’s best.

      For the record, I’m not even a Glock guy. They aren’t really my cup of tea. I’m just not as accurate with them as I am with other pistols for some reason, but I’m still minute-of-man at 10 yards.

      • spiff1

        Glock pistols are designed to be reliable and “combat” accurate, and they are. They are built to function reliably in the harshest enviroments, and they do….Yes, I am a GLOCK user, since 1986.

        • 2hotel9

          I give glock brand glock fans a hard time, does not change the fact it is a good hand gun, I just don’t personally like them. I prefer DA/SA, external hammer and a manual safety(which I rarely use anyway) over striker fired. Yea, weird, I know.

    • Am I the only person who thinks that just sole sourcing a contract to a foreign vendor based on some general’s gut feeling and/or popular knowledge is not a good idea? Yes, MHS may be a bit of a boondoggle, but I don’t know that the proposed alternative is that much better.

      • 2hotel9

        I believe Gen Miley was just using that as an example, glock brand glock from Cabelas. I think he may be in the “just stick with current pistol and stop wasting money” camp, to be honest.

        • I have no issue with sticking with the M9, either. I’m just wary of people hand-waving source selection as “no big deal”. That’s the kind of thinking that gets you shoddy products and corrupt governments.

          • 2hotel9

            Oh, I feel ya, bro. Its an old story as far as USG goes. If it is going to be single sourced it should at least be an American manufactured piece, keep the graft inhouse, as it were.

      • CommonSense23

        Considering the gun he is suggesting is the most common pistol in SOCOM, and had had a large amount of testing and use. Its not a bad idea.

        • spiff1

          And used by about half of the worlds police and military. Parts and service in the field would be a snap!

          • 2hotel9

            Hell, you could loot dead enemy for parts! Win/win.

          • Holdfast_II

            That pretty much saved the Brits in the Falklands. Without dead and captured Argies they would have run out of ammo and mags.

      • Joel

        Glock has a facility in the United States. This arrangement is similar to Beretta, who has supplied the M9 pistol.

        • Slim934

          And FN.

          • Brandon Cord Bradshaw

            So? It is still wrong.

          • tts

            What?! How? If the guns are being made in the US, and so by default are under US control in the event of war + economically benefits US workers by creating jobs instead of increasing a trade deficit, what is the problem?

            NIH is a bad thing not a good thing.

      • tts

        Its normal for foreign weapons vendors to sell the plans and/or agree to set up shop in the country that is buying the weapon so it can be produced domestically for national security purposes.

    • nova3930

      No what won the day is current law covering procurement. As bass ackwards and stupid as a lot of it is, current law and regulation covering procurement is mandatory for big army. They’ve identified capabilities gaps and generated requirements based on those and thus now are legally obligated to satisfy those requirements if it’s possible within budget.
      If you as a program manager go out and sole source an item that you KNOW ahead of time doesn’t meet the requirements, and the Glock does not, you are asking to be on the wrong side of a congressional investigation with potential penalties to include prison and having to pay back Uncle Sam for the $ you spent. Raise your hand if you want to stick your neck out to the tune of 10 in the pen and multiple millions of dollars. Anybody?

      • tts

        The military has abandoned procurement and development programs multiple times in both near and far past.

        Just because they’re legally obligated to replace the current handgun doesn’t mean they have to go through the process they’ve currently chosen. There is no risk of anyone going to prison here.

        As far as requirements go those are easily changed, its not like any of the requirements they want that Glock couldn’t meet are all that game changing either here, and in reality everyone knows the Glock could easily meet the military’s needs.

        • nova3930

          I don’t think you really understand how procurement works. Yeah, they can drop the MHS has currently constituted. The identified capabilities gap, analysis of alternatives and material development decision will still stand. Part of the process is looking at all the available options including COTS and other non-developmental items to see if one of those will meet requirements. None of the available options would so they decided to develop. And yes, indeed, if they decided to sole source an item that they knew would not meet requirements, somebody would pay for it. I have seen it happen in some smaller programs I’ve worked.
          As far as changing requirements, yeah, you can do that. If one is not technically achievable within budget it can be done. Or you can go back to square one and start over and identify capabilities gaps, do another AoA, etc etc. The former is usually how requirements are changed. The latter does happen but typically only when it’s believed that required capabilities have changed.
          With the integration of women all MOSs, raise your hand if you think the 5-95 human factors compatibility requirement will change. Nobody? With budgetary pressure requiring stretching each dollar to the max, raise your hand if you think the modularity requirement will change. Nobody?
          And everyone “knows” it would meet the needs? Well prove it. Enter the Gen 4 Glock into the competition and let it go through the testing. The whole reason the procurement process is designed as it is, is to stop people from just buying their favorite that they “know” will do the job without having the testing and validation to back up the decision as the best solution available. That system is what we had before and that’s how we got weapon systems that just flat out didn’t work worth a darn.

          • tts

            If they drop the current procurement process they can just start another one with different requirements to allow the Glock in if necessary.

            And none of the requirements you’re talking about are particular showstoppers (small stature people generally don’t have a issue with shooting Glocks) or even really apply since, if the cost numbers are correct, Glocks would be waaaaaaay cheaper anyways.

            Glocks have been tested numerous times around the world and has been adopted by other militaries without issue. They’re incredibly reliable and durable and since the US govt. isn’t trying to get the pistol to do anything special (no super duper special FUTURE ammo, no red dot sites, no freakishly low weight requirements, etc.) of course a Glock would work fine. Heck US Special Operations Marines have had Glock 19’s in use since 2015 so they’re already being used by some US military forces without issue.

          • nova3930

            Again, I don’t think you understand how procurement works.
            As I said, to start another one with different requirements means starting over from square one. All the way back to a new Initial Capabilities Document, Capability Production Document, etc etc. At this point, given the integration of females into all MOSs, along with other factors, those identified requirements are not likely to change. It’s possible, but not probable.
            It’s great that small people don’t “generally” have problems shooting glocks. But that’s not the same as passing full 5-95 HF qualification testing. It’s all anectdotal. The point you keep missing is that it’s not enough to just SAY something is adequate, you have to PROVE it based on formal testing, with written standards based on formal requirements.
            As far as cost, cost only comes into play when you have two solutions that satisfy the threshold requirements. At that point, specific analysis is done to determine what the cost/benefit of each solution is WRT objective requirements. A solution with higher capabilities that is in budget will usually win. The issue is never overall cost, the issue is overall cost compared to what Congress has budgeted for the program.
            Glocks have been adopted by many other militaries and law enforcement orgs. They all have DIFFERENT requirements than the US military does. Same thing with SOCOM. SOCOM requirements are NOT the same as big army requirements. There’s a big difference between procurement of a 10k pistols for a relatively small force and buying 500k pistols for a big one. In the latter there are a whole host of other considerations that must be taken into account. Not to mention that SOCOM has a lot more leeway in small quantity procurement in order to meet their immediate needs.
            And again, reliable and durable as anecdotes don’t matter a whit. There’s a lot of formalized testing that goes into quantifying exactly how items compare in those respects.

    • Out of the Blue

      Sig Sauer makes a modular handgun, auppressors and an ammo line. Guess who lobbied for this program.

  • 2hotel9

    Changing firearm or caliber is pointless. Want higher lethality in handguns. Hollowpoints. Period. Full stop. Our enemies are not signatory to Geneva Accords or any other international laws on warfare and we are crippling ourselves by observing them while fighting these subhuman animals.

    • CoastieGM

      While I agree with you to a point the military still needs to keep ball ammo on the books for two big reasons.
      1. Ball ammo is cheaper to train with and
      2. Yes our current enemy tends to not wear body armor but if we get into a shooting match with a legitimate 1st world standing army i.e. Russia, Iran, China that fields standardizrd body armor then your going to want ball or even A.P. ammunition for all your weapons systens. Logistically it wouldn’t be that difficult.
      The coast guard carries both ball and hollowpoint for our standard duty weapons depending on where we are condicting our missions (JHP for inconus, ball for international) and it isn’t an undue burden on us.

      • 2hotel9

        I did not say get rid of fmj. The point is changing between manufacturers of handguns is pointless when you still use the same ammo. The pistol is irrelevant, it is the bullet that does the work.

        As for other nations which are signatory, fine, as long as THEY are following the same rules as us. Which is highly questionable in the case of China and Iran, among others.

        • CoastieGM

          Yes the bullet does the work, but I’d still rather have a G19 then a hi point. I agreed we need to use top quality ammunition and base it for the situation which means having ball ammo and JHP on the books but we need to pair it with a quality durable well designed pistol.

          • 2hotel9

            Yep, I have never fired a HiPoint, so I can’t really say how crappy they are. They certainly look crappy. This whole procurement process is a screwup of epic proportions, and I don’t see it doing anything other than wasting money. Choosing a sidearm for a military is just not this f**king complicated.

      • M

        I don’t think 9mm ball ammo would make a difference with #2 unless you’re talking about the Russian overpressure AP ammo, which the m9 is definitely not designed to handle. It can barely handle 9mm NATO as is

    • CissyScum

      The Hague Convention prevents to use of expanding ammunition, not the Geneva Convention.

      Regardless, I agree with you.

      • CommonSense23

        And we didn’t sign that part of the Hague Convention

        • CissyScum

          Yes, of course. I’m sure that NATO complicated things, though.

      • Thank you. I did not know that. I was one who mistakenly ascribed their purported banning in international warfare as coming from the Geneva Conventions. In America this incorrect citation is possibly most often brought up to attempt to contrast the state’s demonstrably higher respect for foreign combatants’ lives than for their own citizens, as evidenced by the fact that American domestic police use expanding rounds on civilian citizens. That’s the main point not where it came from but it is lamentable that it’s been so oft wrong cited.

        Also I clicked on an article from The Gun Zone entitled, “Military Open-tip Ammunition The Myth of the “Geneva Convention” and other Gunstore Bullroar” and in it the author correctly cited The Hague Convention but used as commentary about the whole thing what he wrongly referred to as Gobbels’s concept of The Big Lie. It wasn’t Goebbels. It was Hitler. And it wasn’t what most of us were taught that it was either. I found that funny.

        • CissyScum

          You’re very welcome.

    • zxcvzxcv

      You’re fooling yourself if you think that hollow point handgun ammunition would make a significant difference in the relatively short engagements that handguns are generally used in. If you’ve ever spent the time to read about wound ballistics you would know this. If you want to be able to read a lot of it in one place I would recommend the FBI’s “Handgun Wounding Factors and Effectiveness.” In particular this section:

      >Physiologically, a determined adversary can be stopped reliably and immediately only by a shot that disrupts the brain or upper spinal cord. Failing a hit to the central nervous system, massive bleeding from holes in the heart or major blood vessels of the torso causing circulatory collapse is the only other way to force incapacitation upon an adversary, and this takes time. For example, there is sufficient oxygen within the brain to support full, voluntary action for 10-15 seconds after the heart has been destroyed.28

      The most effective way of stopping a determined attacker is not more expensive ammunition that will give you a very slight extra margin of error on hitting what’s important (only comes to 1/4″ to 1/3″ extra margin of error when going from a non expanding, non tumbling .22 caliber bullet to the best performing .45 ACP and 10mm ammunition). The most effective way is to be able to accurately put more rounds on target faster.

      • Big Daddy

        Very cool someone who gets it.

      • 2hotel9

        “The most effective way is to be able to accurately put more rounds on target faster.” And using hollowpoints makes that even more effective.

    • John

      No, we don’t. By holding our militaries to a high standard, they are given something worth fighting for.

      • 2hotel9

        Hahahaha. Really? Not killing this enemy is giving us something worth fighting for? Okey dokey then.

  • 2hotel9

    Oh, and this little gem,”capability to deliver ammunition in addition to the handguns”. Really? The manufacturer of the weapon will be responsible for supplying ammo? Is that to the USG or will they be running supply independent of each military arm? How about just purchasing direct from munitions manufacturer instead of third partying it. Sounds like another kickback generating boondoggle that will f*ck the GIs yet again.

    • JumpIf NotZero

      I’m not sure where your surprise is coming from. That’s been part of the contract from day1.

      • 2hotel9

        Has this always been required? Was Colt required to produce all the ammo when DoD accepted M16? Never knew that.

      • spiff1

        Beretta ammo and holsters?

    • vereceleritas

      I believe holsters are part of the solicitation as well. Packaging all three into one solicitation and not specifying a caliber is the reason the MHS has received well deserves criticism from every level. The troops could conceivably end up with the second best pistol, the best ammo and the worst holster.

      Caliber and cartridge should have been selected first. Manufacturers can then optimize their pistols for the cartridge and submit their designs. Then select the best holster for the winning pistol.

      • nova3930

        That’s the biggest issue with MHS. It should be split into multiple procurements covering the weapon, ammo and any required accessories. The kitchen sink approach is asinine…

      • 2hotel9

        Which has always been my problem with DoD procurement of anything. You got a pack of idiots with little clue what is needed being led around by a bucket full of lawyers who don’t give a sh*t what is needed. Just look at the ongoing fight to dump the A 10, in spite of the fact there is nothing even on the drawing boards that comes close to replacing it. ’nuff said.

  • Drew

    The program is dumb, but if we are getting a new gun, it might was well be the FNS or the S&W M&P.

    FN makes our rifles, and light machine guns, why not a pistol on the cheap?

    S&W got a military contract manufacturer with General Dynamics, and wouldn’t it make more sense for the winner to be an American company with a well proven American pistol?

    • Gregory

      It would make sense if the M&P were not a piece of junk. The M&P inadvertently drops full magazines. It has a vague trigger reset that can lead to short stroking the trigger. The slide is too wide for the caliber it is chambered in. The grip shape causes the hand to move away from the tang.
      I cannot comment on the FN because I have never owned one.
      The Glock is not perfect either but it is way better than the M&P.

  • Bub

    The Army can’t just buy an affordable high quality pistol like the G19, because it just isn’t fair to the soldiers and taxpayers. We need more testing standards must be maintained.

    • tts

      Huh? Glocks are pretty well tested and known to be durable and reliable. Everything breaks eventually but they’re pretty much the industry golden standard for reliability and durability right now.

  • ChierDuChien

    Frankly, the military should develop a new cartridge that would only be available to the military and then let the gun makers adapt their pistols to that cartridge. Not a drastic new cartridge but something like 10.2mm or whatever. That would make it easier to keep “Military” weapons and ammo out of the hands of the public. Same with the eventual new rifle.

    Then all existing old military style hardware would no longer be “Military Grade” , but curios and relics and freely available, NFA excepted, to the shooting public without scaring liberal-progressives.

    • KestrelBike

      errr.. No.

    • tts

      Wuut? What will switching to a .40 caliber bullet get the military that modern 9mm bullets can’t already do? And why would you want to keep it military only? Restricting supply will guarantee the price never goes down and you want widespread usage so supply is readily available.

    • JumpIf NotZero

      Your post should be reported for being way below the too stupid to be allowed to exist limit :

    • ARCNA442

      I hope you realize that almost every common cartridge today was originally designed exclusively for the military?

      Further, the anti-gun groups probably wouldn’t even realize the difference given their general lack of knowledge.

  • ChierDuChien

    Why is the government getting the G19 for $320 while Bass Pro Shops are selling them for $600 ? The actual cost must be around $225.

    • 2hotel9

      Dick’s is on that same bandwagon. I was shopping around for a new pistol a few months ago, checked out Walther PPQ since I like Walther, Dick’s was sale priced, marked down, for $599, Rural King had PPQ for $369 regular price, sale price $329. I bought a SAR K2P for $239 and after 2 months and 600rds I am liking it. Oh, Dick’s had K2P for $439, so there ya go.

      • Ed Forney

        Bought a Ruger 22/45 (22 LR) from Gunbroker at $100 less than Cabelas.

        • 2hotel9

          Looked online a bit, found some really good deals. Wanted to put my hands on, compare and contrast, so ended up doing an excellent deal at Rural King. And met some great folks, been out shooting with a couple of them and another is helping me get setup to make my own kydex holsters and sheaths.

      • Visited a Rural King near Ashland, KY. It was like the best adult toy store ever!

        • 2hotel9

          The happiest place on Earth! I suggested they sell tshirts with “Rural King The Redneck Store” but I don’t think they will go with it.

    • Calimero

      Because Glock & others cut prices down as selling to the Military and LEOs is marketing and not real sales ?

      Also: large volume, obviously.

      • nova3930

        Exactly. Buying 50k direct gets you a big volume discount, not to mention elimination of marketing and distribution costs.

    • navydave

      Who pays $600 for a Glock? The everyday price is way under $550 and on sale under $500. A blue label runs around $425.

    • I’ve read the cost is closer to $125. Glock is reputed to have a 65% profit margin according to a 1994 lawsuit they filed.

      Given the incredibly basic design (a mildly milled rectangular piece of barstock slide, a barrel, and then 30 small plastic and stamped sheetmetal components) it is one of the cheapest possible 9mm handgun designs to produce.

  • Robert Powell

    So the manufacturer has to “to show the capability to deliver ammunition in addition to the handguns, should they be selected.” Sounds to me that Sig is the only company currently able to fulfill this portion of the contract.

    • 2hotel9

      I think there are several manufacturers producing .357sig. May be wrong.

      • Robert Powell

        The way I understood the wording is that the pistol manufacturer had to also be capable of producing ammo for the pistol under the terms of the contract. Caliber not necessarily being part of the conversation.

        • 2hotel9

          Which does not make a lot of sense, pistol ammo of all flavors being widely available at rather low cost in bulk. As I said above, sounds like a boondoggle meant to put cash illicitly in somebody’s pocket.

      • tts

        I thought they need to keep it 9mm for NATO compliance purposes?

        They can keep the caliber the same but still change the bullet + powder charge to change performance. Pretty much what the Russians have done I believe and if they aren’t lying about the performance, which I doubt they are, it seems to work pretty well. Still lets them shoot regular 9mm ammo too if need be which is a big deal.

        Modern cartridge, powders, and bullet design can pull off some really cool stuff but you have to be able to supply it too and 9mm is everywhere and a new cartridge would take years to become common place.

        • 2hotel9

          As you say, 9mm is widely available in various bullet weight and charge weight configuration, trying to tie a contract on a weapon system to the same maker also supplying ammo is just, odd, unless they are wanting a proprietary caliber of weapon and ammunition. Such as SIGs .357sig or FNs 5.7. Last I heard DoD had expressed a lack of interest in the 5.7, not sure why, but that may be what this clause is geared towards. Never can tell, once the lawyerscum get their slimy tentacles into the mix.

          • tts

            The only thing I can think of that makes sense is they don’t actually want the gun designer to supply the ammo necessarily. Just give a working example of ammo that they know works with the gun and maybe they’ll contract supply out to a major ammo manufacturer.

            If they actually really expect some random gun company to supply all the ammo with the gun then WTF.

          • 2hotel9

            Yea, way too many varieties of 9mm out there for this to make sense. Comes back to a proprietary caliber of some kind, which is also already available, and would be a nightmare supply-wise.

          • ARCNA442

            That’s a good point given that the issues with the M16 adoption were mainly because it was not possible to mass produce the ammunition the gun was designed for.

    • JumpIf NotZero

      Don’t you think there was a reason S&W partnered with GD?

  • Rock or Something

    Well, the show must go on.

  • Renov8

    Sounds to me like the procurement qualifications were written to exclude most suppliers and specifically written to those who would be able to meet the handgun and ammunition requirements. Not unusual, given the size of the contract and the amount of exposure this would bring the winning company. As they say “follow the money”.

  • Will

    Some body bought off a bunch of congressmen who proceeded to brow beat General Milley into submission and now we are back to square one and congress’ favorite motto:
    “If it’s not broken throw money at it until it is broken.”
    Most of these morons in “Sodom on The Patomac” have never carried a weapon in defense of their country nor do they have A CLUE what a soldier needs.

  • Flight Er Doc

    Jeez…..just give everyone in Basic a $400 allowance and a list of acceptable firearms and holsters to buy.

    This isn’t rocket surgery…

    • tts

      That is asking for trouble historically speaking. You end up with a hodge podge of random guns that end up breaking in the field and can’t get support from the armory.

      Its not like the military doesn’t have enough cash to just buy the handguns anyways. This whole thing is stupid. The only silver lining I can see is that its highlighting how crappy the military’s procurement is in a very public way.

      Maybe it’ll be the straw that breaks the camel’s back this time. Of course I would’ve thought the F22 or F35 would’ve done it by now so what do I know.

      • Flight Er Doc

        As the CoS said, we’re talking about the least lethal and least important firearm in the inventory….why spend hundreds of millions of dollars on evaluating them?

        And if it breaks, so? Order another. Like a pair of boots. Some things can be operator repaired, others require specialized tools – just like boots. When boots break in the field you just get another pair.

        • tts

          At $400/person you’ll be spending more than if you’d bought them all glocks + still have to deal with the issues of having no common weapon to repair.

          And expecting soldiers to order parts and do repairs for the own weapons is asking for even more trouble. Not saying armories are perfect but they’re clearly better than what you’re suggesting.

          • Flight Er Doc

            We expect soldiers to be able to maintain their personal issue items right now. They can figure out when they need boot laces or a new toothbrush, and get them and put them into service. We test them on keeping their M4’s and M9’s clean right now.

            And you may have missed the part I said about an “approved list”. So parts would be available.

            For $400, they can get a weapon, several magazines, a field and a concealed holster, and cleaning materials.

            And it would do away with this silliness.

          • nova3930

            Your list of “acceptable guns” is a logistical mess waiting to happen. You can do things like that with small forces like SOCOM because the spares inventory required is so much smaller. When you’re talking big army, it quickly becomes untenable. Having different spares for different weapons that are in different concentrations in different units is nearly impossible. Your total life cycle costs go through the roof and far eclipse the amount you spend on initial development. Logistic and sustainment costs compose 80-90% of the total life cycle cost of a system anyway.

          • Flight Er Doc

            The current situation is a logistical mess that has already happened, Continuing to do the same thing over and over again will most likely not result in a different outcome. It never has.

            So, try something new. It can’t be any worse.

            Or, just pick the Glock 17/19 platforms and be done with it.

          • nova3930

            Don’t see where you’re coming from with that. As currently constituted, the Army has to maintain spares for one handgun. Logistically all you have to know is how many handguns a unit has and keep the appropriate number of spares on hand.
            De-standardize the weapon and you have to know how many of each type is on hand and again keep appropriate spares on hand. Nevermind that the mix may change as say Private Smith decides he doesn’t like the Glock he initially chose and trades it on an M&P or whatever.
            We have done the large variety of weapons thing in the past and there are reasons we’ve moved towards standardization in the last 60 years.
            And with the current laws and regulations governing procurement, you can’t just pick the Glock, not unless you as the program manager want to risk jail and paying back Uncle Sam the $ you spent. The Glock does not meet the requirements as currently constituted. Part of the procurement process is conducting an Analysis of Alternatives. As part of the AoA, if there’s a COTS solution that meets requirements, you can just go buy it. A material development program is the absolute last recourse in the process if no other solution meets the requirements.
            I’ve said before on here, the procurement process is a lot of things, it sucks and has a mountain of issues, but one thing it is not, is optional. The MHS program is a prime example of the issues with the “everything plus the kitchen sink” approach MHS took but at this point it is what it is. A lot of the issues could be fixed by splitting it into 3 different procurements which may happen before it’s all said and done.

          • Flight Er Doc

            There is far more standardization now, granted…So?

            When I joined, the cops carried Smith 10’s and had all the duty gear that went with them. Pilots carried Smiths in 4″ (except F4 pilots who were issued 1911’s), OSI agents carried Combat Commanders, Generals had .380’s. Armories managed to keep up.

            Claiming the Glock doesn’t meet the requirements just shows the requirements are the problem. It’s a pistol, not a space program. People have been building them for 400 years. And the M9 did not meet the stated requirements that it was supposed to: The procurement politicians somehow managed to overlook that fact.

            This handgun replacement farce has been going on since what, 2006? Still no replacement, still funding too many government and DoD procurement drones sucking at the taxpayers teat while NOT providing a replacement. It seems the only adult involved is the Army CoS. Anyone advocating to keep running the same defective program is the problem.

          • nova3930

            “When I joined, the cops carried Smith 10’s and had all the duty gear that went with them. Pilots carried Smiths in 4″ (except F4 pilots who were issued 1911’s), OSI agents carried Combat Commanders, Generals had .380’s. Armories managed to keep up.”

            Every additional spare and accessory for each of those items eats up money, time and manpower. For sharp tip guys like you, it’s not much of an issue, but for all the guys like me in the shaft of the spear, trying to figure out how to #1 pay for it all and #2 make sure you have all the items you need, when you need them, so you don’t have a non-functional weapon, these are non-trivial issues.

            “Claiming the Glock doesn’t meet the requirements just shows the requirements are the problem. It’s a pistol, not a space program. People have been building them for 400 years. And the M9 did not meet the stated requirements that it was supposed to: The procurement politicians somehow managed to overlook that fact”

            If you’ve got an issue with the requirements, that’s fine, but it doesn’t change that they are binding. The have a 5-95 Male/Female compatibility requirement that the Glock just doesn’t meet. It also does not meet the modularity requirement that the Army wants in order to reduce the number of serialized items that must be tracked.

            As far as the M9 program, there are several issues at work there. #1 is that in initial AF testing, the M9 did meet requirements. #2 is that when the Army took the role of service lead, their initial 2 rounds of testing failed ALL the entrants. One of the ways in which requirements can be relaxed is if they’re not technically achievable. If your requirements say the pistol must come with a unicorn, it’s just not gonna happen. #3 is that the procurement regime in place in the early 80s was VERY VERY different than the one we’re dealing with in 2016. There is significantly more regulation and oversight in place now than there was then.

            “This handgun replacement farce has been going on since what, 2006? Still no replacement, still funding too many government and DoD procurement drones sucking at the taxpayers teat while NOT providing a replacement. It seems the only adult involved is the Army CoS. Anyone advocating to keep running the same defective program is the problem.”
            I work in it every day and I’ll be the first to tell you the procurement system is broken. The level of oversight and documentation generated is a function of the program cost and not complexity. I’ve got airplanes flying now, loaded to the gills with cutting edge sensors, that don’t and won’t have the documentation this handgun does because their overall program cost was lower. That’s asinine. My only point in all this is, until CONGRESS changes the law, this is the system we have to deal with. Not that we should but just that we have to.

          • tts

            You’re not proposing anything new though.

            Your idea is how militaries used to handle handgun buys in the past. They all moved away from it because it was such an awful mess.

          • CommonSense23

            Cleaning a firearm is not the same as maintaining it. The vast majority of military personnel, including combat arms have no clue how to actually maintain their firearms.

          • tts

            Historically what you’re talking about has been tried and failed miserably. Conflating weapon cleaning with weapon support is an incredible stretch to say the least and is definitely not sound logic.

            Your rationalizations for an idea that is, in theory but not actual practice (again, history counts here), simple aren’t sound reasoning at all.

    • Cmex

      Even if you happen to have a bevy of spare parts and magazines for all the various guns, that still makes things painfully complicated, especially at things like the company level on down. Say you have a company that’s 85% Glock 17/19 users, but then the others in the company have XD9’s, M&P’s, CZ-75’s, and one guy with a BHP. Odds are that the supplies on hand are pretty much going to just be for Glocks. If a Glock 19 guy has a broken mainspring, no big deal. But if the lone BHP guy has a failing extractor,he’s likely SOL. And of course all the armorers are going to need to be trained to deal with all the different pistols. A more pressing issue is magazines. Magazines get lost, broken, and worn all the time, especially in the field. The cost of maintaining a diverse array of enough magazines to handle anything in any pistol is going to be higher than just having a number of spares compatible with a single pistol. And then come training problems. Trying to train guys on an array of different handguns at once is asking for trouble. Different designs, manuals of arms, ergonomics, capabilities, and so on. How do you even design a qualification course for that when not all the handguns have the same functions? “Fire 5 rounds, return to condition 1, and then reholster” doesn’t really mean anything to someone using a striker-fired DAO. Last but not least, that idea is far more expensive than the $320 ea Glock proposal.

      • Flight Er Doc

        First of all, “approved list”. Limits the choices.

        Secondly, I’m fine with just Glocks. I’d also be fine with telling people what spares they have to have with them: All the glock spares I anticipate ever needing didn’t cost more than $50 from Brownells.

        As far as the qual course, Fire 5 rounds, make safe, return to holster. Simple enough.

    • RealitiCzech

      They’ll hit up a strip club and buy a Lorcin.

      • mig1nc

        True story

  • Austin

    It will probably end up being a polymer frame 9mm that can handle +p+(the best solution to getting more powerful ammo and stay in NATO compliance).

  • Dr. Longfellow Buchenrad

    The only bright side to this whole ordeal is that we get cool new guns. I shot a Sig P320 the other day and its the sweetest shooting factory spec striker gun Ive shot. Im also drooling over the STI-Detonics STX with the SAO slide.

  • RickH

    I for one am happy that this is going forward. Nothing I love seeing more is our military spending money foolishly………….sheeeesh!!!

  • Lance

    May go forward. But this shows a large rift in Army command over this. Again I say if we goto a new caliber then this makes sense. If we stay with 9mm NATO than this is another waste of time and money. Like the doomed ICC seems Army has two paths for its pistol question.

  • Cmex

    “Senator Joni Ernst recently stated what many have thought, “Why is it so difficult for the Amry to buy a basic item like a pistol?””

    Well, if this is any indication, perhaps spelling errors are the culprit? It’s hard to keep things in order when you have different guys all talking about pistols, pistles, pistuls, pistloz, psitlos, pistoles, pitsoles, and so on.

    In all serious, I think it’s pork and politics. Private interests have way too much say in what gets fielded. And of course the generals have to be looking out for themselves; if they muck too badly with somebody’s war cash cow, they’ll be having a hard time getting a nice consulting or marketing job with some defense firm when they retire, or they’ll make political enemies prompting someone in congress to in turn make life hard for them.

    Procurement is a lot more complicated than a corner store try’n’buy. Things have to pass legal requirements, have to pass competition requirements, have to persuade generals that the benefits of the new thing are worth the expenses of throwing out the old thing. Plus, pistols aren’t glamorous items. Ambitious types who become generals don’t get there by swabbing barracks and meeting PFT standards. A general looking to make his mark, his legacy, and to set up a career for himself afterwards doesn’t have too much to gain by hawking on small arms, which are relatively inconsequential in the grand scheme of things and not that profitable compared to things like computer programs, avionics systems, drones, and helicopters. Besides, gunmakers aren’t made or broken on handgun contracts; they don’t need military insiders to help them survive, not when they have shooting teams,celebrity deals, film deals, and so on. Contractors like General Dynamics and BAE Systems, however, live or die depending on how enormous defense contracts go. These are the guys who need the generals with insider knowledge and contacts and pull, who can get favors and support from other bigwigs to get something through.

    In the past, when the military determined what the military got without private companies being entrenched like they are today, we got regular trials and could get new equipment quickly. Nowadays, we have political and bureaucratic nightmares. As always, the best thing for the army is whatever the army claims it is, but when that’s complicated by corporate and congressional interests, things get intractable.

  • Audie Bakerson

    If the army adopts a Glock, will more companies support AR15 style part built “Glock”-like pistols? You can already build one from parts, though the variety isn’t nearly as good as an AR15, AK or 1911.

    What would they even call it?

    • Andrew Dubya

      I`ve never seen one do it, closest is a company using an acronym for their name followed by a “-15”.

      • Audie Bakerson

        I meant if random companies can use “M16” or other designations. I know the military has trademarks filings on their uniform designs, but no idea if designations are protected in any way.

        • Andrew Dubya

          Me neither. I suppose since nobody has done it on a big scale there`s probably some sort of protection.

          • Audie Bakerson

            Actually just remembered everyone call their short AR15 an “M4” and this actually resulted in a Colt v Bushmaster suit that Colt lost.

            “The magistrate judge concluded that the undisputed evidence established that M4 was a generic term for a class of carbines and therefore could not be trademarked by Colt”

            “there is no dispute that the term M4 was coined by the military as part of its weapons designation nomenclature.   Bushmaster presented evidence that the relevant consuming public continues to associate M4 with the military designation for a carbine that has certain characteristics.   Colt has presented no more than a scintilla of evidence to show that the relevant public has come to understand M4 as an identifier of a Colt-made product.”

            Nothing about if the military owns “M4” or not, but if they didn’t step in then I doubt they care to protect those much.

  • M1911.A1

    Anyone know if the VP9 is in the running? As a Glock owner many times over, current Glock armorer and lifetime GSSF member, IMO, the VP9 > Glock. My only complain of the VP9 are the expensive magazines (for really no good reason) and lack of more replacement sight choices.

    • Bronson

      Why do you think the VP9 is better than a Glock?

      • M1911.A1

        WAY better trigger. The VP9 has the 2nd best trigger I’ve ever felt on a polymer gun (PPQ being first). The VP9 is more accurate. Even with the fat factory sights, I can hit steel IDPA size targets at 50 yards with far more regularity (as in ~90%) than with my most accurate Glock (~60%). This may or may not have something to do with the trigger but I’ve tried various triggers (from polishing to replacements like the Skimmer) with the same results. The VP9 also has better ergonomics. The design plus the width and depth adjustability of the grips simply fits my hands better. The magazine release took a little getting used to but I ended up really liking them. They’re ambi too and I find that releasing the mag with my trigger finger allows me to maintain my grip. Just so you know, outside of the VP9 and the P7’s, I pretty much hate all other HK pistols so it’s not like I’m a fanboy (I don’t do fanboyism). The VP9 is just simply a better gun all around. If the mags were cheaper and there was more aftermarket support (really, just more choices in iron sights and holsters), I would see absolutely no reason to buy a Glock.

  • RealitiCzech

    “Senator Joni Ernst recently stated what many have thought, “Why is it so difficult for the Amry to buy a basic item like a pistol?””
    You and your colleagues.

  • john

    This sound like going down costly path where f-35 program has end up. Look fact they want one handgun use same action they can put in different size frames. Yes I know that possible all ready been done. So now where gone waste a lot money test on new handguns have been combat test so we can buy some new that is gone better at replace what being used at less cost right now combat. Sound stupid enough be true right now.

  • Bjørn Vermo

    Why would a modern military waste time and money on a handgun in the first place? Give those who cannot carry a rifle an MP5. If that is too big, give them a P90.

  • Robert

    I think they wanna see something compete against a hotter 9mm. Here’s a bright idea, how about we just select from the NATO approved list. Exact models just modified to appeal to the U.S. Glock, Sig, CZ, Browning/FN. Each submits two pistols. One in 9mm and one in some other caliber and let them battle it out. And have end user feedback from the top but also new recruits. See what performs best vs cost and pick. The models approved have already been battle tested in 9mm. adding a threaded barrel, night sights or any other b.s. thing wont affect function much. And if the military wants a newer caliber then let the testing last a bit longer. Otherwise this shouldn’t take long.

  • Bob

    so tell me again, why are we going to a 9mm BALL ammo gun again?
    I realize that a 9mm with modern hollow points (which aren’t allowed in the military) approach the efficiency of a 45, but remember, this is for the military!

  • TW from MN

    I really don’t understand the big fuss with them wanting to switch to a
    new handgun. The M9 is old and doesn’t fit many people right, its a big
    brick of a handgun. I’m not saying the M9 was bad, it served well since
    the 80s, but their are better shooting, lighter, and modern designs that
    can fit most and work with accessories.

    On that same note I
    don’t think the G-19 is the way to go for the big army. The G-17 gen 4
    with some modifications I think would fit perfect though.

  • Rb

    The requirement for the handgun manufacturer to also supply the ammo clearly shows that Sig is the preferred choice, and the MHS process is a joke. As Nathan S. pointed out, tacking on additional Glocks to the existing order makes fiscal sense, which is only trumped by “kickback” in the government’s lexicon. Congrats to Sig!

  • Stomper

    Why is is so difficult for the “Amry” to buy a basic item like a pistol?” Because CLEARLY nobody in today’s ARMY can spell! LOL!!