GRAPEVINE: US Army Pays $207 Per Pistol to SIG SAUER for M17 Modular Handguns

With SIG’s recent win of the $580 million dollar contract for the US Army’s Modular Handgun System pistol, many are asking just how the American outlet of the Swiss-German SIG Sauer could have won such a large contract, especially against what many perceived was the strongest contender, Glock. Some saw the very text of the MHS solicitation as being biased towards SIG’s entry (which I do not think is true), while others assumed some backdoor deal must have occurred.

SIG’s victorious MHS submissions. Image source: sigsauer.com

 

The answer may be far simpler than that. SIG, having learned its lesson from the XM9 trials where it was beaten by the inferior but cheaper Beretta 92FS, simply underbid the competition. And how! Unconfirmed reports coming from the “writer grapevine” – specifically contacts of Andrew Branca’s – claim that SIG bid just $207 per P320 pistol to win the MHS contract, an incredibly low price even for a bulk order of modern polymer-framed striker-fired handguns. Although the exact quantity of pistols being procured is not known (because the contract is for an indefinite quantity over an indefinite delivery, called “IDIQ”), it is estimated that hundreds of thousands of pistols will be procured. The $580 million dollar figure does not just include those guns, however, but also spares, accessories, and even holsters, all to be procured from SIG Sauer.

The low procurement cost per pistol puts concerns that the M9 was “good enough” and that no pistol should have been selected to replace it essentially to bed: It’s very difficult to imagine that the M9 could have been kept operational for the projected lifespan of the M17 handgun for less than a mere $207 per gun, especially since the M9 uses lifed aluminum frames which eventually need replacing. In the long run – and probably the short run, too – the SIG P320 is likely actually cheaper than keeping the M9 on, especially when one considers just how ludicrously easy the P320 is to maintain when compared to its predecessor!





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 nathaniel.f@staff.thefirearmblog.com.


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  • BattleshipGrey

    Man, with that price, Sig was in it to win it.

    • Edeco

      Sig went HAM

    • M-dasher

      I honestly suspect thats around what all of the major contendors would have charged.

      I mean, S&W’s employee pricing on guns is 50% msrp…..i suspect the army can get a similar or better deal from any of the big players

      • Sunshine_Shooter

        Glock makes contracts to PDs all over the US for sub-$200 per gun all the time, I can’t imagine that they didn’t do the same for the US military. This is less an example of under-cutting the competition, so much as it is a lesson in economies of scale.

        • Citation? I’ve not seen that kind of price before, but I also don’t necessarily follow pistol contracts all that closely.

          • Sledgecrowbar

            That kind of markup on direct-from-manufacturer pricing to MSRP is par for the course. You can armchair economist that $207 is below cost because now everyone will want one and their civilian and even other military contract business will boom, and you might be right, but I doubt they’re taking any loss. They might be making less than $10 per gun, but it’s a wise deal at that scale and it will undoubtedly help their brand recognition.

          • Jayste

            They may not make much profit on the pistol, but when you figure in the profit on the holsters, spares, accessories, parts, extra mags,free advertising, & the ” I got 1 cause if it’s good enough for the military it’s more than good enough for me so I got 1″ group then SIG is making money by the truck load. This makes me wanna fondle one of the pistols. Anyone know what caliber the military chose?

          • mckinley boykin

            That’s exactly what they’re counting on people like you that want something that the military has.

          • Jayste

            They torture test firearms for us, & I’ve wanted a p320 in .357 sig for almost 3 years now. McKinley you were a WHO DAT right?

          • William Sullivan

            And what is wrong with that?

          • Publius

            9X19 NATO

          • Larry m

            9mm

          • WRBuchanan

            9mm

          • supergun

            plus all the accessories. It puts the name out there, don’t it.

          • Kivaari

            We never got such prices and I haven’t worked in 13 years. We were spending close to wholesale less the federal excise tax – $400.

          • supergun

            The Ruger LCP 380 cost about that price. Wow.

        • JoelC

          I’ve talked to Glock distributors who say Glock’s factory cost is $230 so unless they’ve recently got that dropped, I kinda doubt that price without citation.

          • G Stephen Manning III

            You’re correct JoelC.. Law enforcement price for a G17 is around $349. Paid $309 last year for a G42.

          • n0truscotsman

            I’ve heard that exact figure too.

          • David Teer

            They are probably seeking at a small loss, but are using the sent contact as free advertising to mark up the gun for commercial sell. Glock did the same thing when. Did is hoping everyone will want a 320 now since it is the pistol of the army

          • Steven Posey

            Found a P320 subcompact 9mm with the night sights last weekend for $650. The current list price on that model is $679. I’m interested to see just how much it goes up now.

          • nicholsda

            With or without the threaded barrel? That is the price I got quoted on Friday with.

          • Steven Posey

            Without. When the guy in the store first looked it up, he said he didn’t want to sell it to me because the current price was too high at $720 (I was looking at his computer screen, too, so I know he wasn’t lying). He talked to a manager and got it down to $675, and he thought it was still too high and got it knocked down to $650, tax included. I wanted one long before the Army deal, but it was always just wishful thinking until I put my hands on that one.

          • nicholsda

            I’m kind of kicking myself for not buying it but wanted to see what kind of deal I’ll get direct from Sig. Sig gives the same discount to certified NRA instructors that the LEO’s get.

          • Kivaari

            You can’t sell 230,000 pistols at a small loss. It makes no sense to lose any money on any aspect of the contract.

          • David Teer

            it is called free advertising. The public will be all over this pistol. Plus the contract is about 1200-1400 per gun. $207 per gun and the rest is for holsters, mags, spare parts, and ammo. I am sure Sig knows what they are doing

          • Tothe

            Businesses don’t take that kind of loss in the hopes of “free advertising.”

          • David Teer

            what do you think advertising is . Companies spend tens of million of dollars on advertising to increase interest in their product. The companies hope the increased interest translates into increased sells to offset the advertising expense and bring the a profit. Si can now make the claim they are the handgun of the Army and Air Force.

            I dont know if Sig is selling at a loss but a P320 for $207 seems to good to be true

          • Core

            Agreed. And I want one now that they passed the test. Been avoiding the $1200 226 due to the weight and thickness. I won’t buy Glock until they start using picatinny rails and regular sights.

          • Sam Ruez

            Not me! I have a Gen 1 Glock 17 in 9mm purchased in 1986! I have never had a failure with the firearm. We were issued a Beretta (piece of trash) and had to carry it on duty (Feds). But, as soon as I got home I strapped on my Glock and that was that.

          • Robert Kalani Foxworthy

            the first 40 sw glocks KB often.

          • Kivaari

            It was the ammo. The brass was too thin at the web and failed.

          • Robert Kalani Foxworthy

            it was unsupported chamber from what I always heard. probably both. and people shooting cast bullets out of it.

          • Core

            Yup both unsupported chamber and bad ammo…

          • Core

            I carried a M9 covertly. They were beat to hell and they were not ideal. If the mag locked in, and it would feed ammo, it was GTG. The SIGs were definitely better all around. I watched the British carry old HKs which were great pistols but they were beat to snot. After seeing the level of abuse on military duty guns I’m interested in seeing how the Glocks and P320 polymer hold up.

          • Jedediah Pendergast

            I thought it was settled fact that Glock produces its pistols at a cost of $75 per.

          • sbozich

            That might just be cost of materials. It likely doesn’t include all sorts of overhead expenses, depreciation expenses, etc.

        • Ted Unlis

          Dont’ know where you got that info Sunshine but it’s bogus. The LE agency/department price for a Glock (17 19 22 23 26 27 31 32 33) is in the $300 to $330 range depending the number of guns to be purchased, with the latter price is what the vast majority of U.S. currently pay for their Glock duty weapons and that price has remained relatively consistent for well over 10 years.

          • Ted Unlis

            FYI, the individual officer price at GT Distributors (one of the largest Glock LE sales dealers in the U.S.) is $398.20.

          • twr

            You can buy them direct from Glock Inc for that price also, unless something has changed they sent me the Leo/military order form in 2011.

        • supergun

          I love Glocks, but I will take a Sig over a Glock. Plain and simple, that is what happened here.

        • E Wolfe

          I’m going to suggest that Glock’s sales to LE agencies is, and always has been, sans support or repair parts, strictly an item for cash deal. Any repairs under a standard street warranty program.

        • twr

          You beat me to it. I believe that cost usually includes trades for specified (1-2) number of replacements.

        • DLLambert

          I’d add that Pasco County Sheriff’s Office(Florida) set up a deal with SIG Sauer & got brand new P320 9mm/.40 duty pistols for free by giving SIG the older Glock 17/22 gen 04 weapons. The Tampa FL area media & a few citizens questioned this move but the county sheriff considered it a smart plan. I’d want a new P320 in .40 or 9×19 over a Glock 17 or 22.

      • supergun

        But they didn’t.

    • Jason Lewis

      Always the lowest bidder.

      • Jason Lewis

        With the military.

      • Joshua

        Lowest bidder who passed every trial.

        • nova3930

          Yep, I can offer the Nova Gunworks Blaster 5000 for $1/each but without being able to pass requirements it’s a no go. Low price – technically acceptable is the proper term for it.

        • Jason Lewis

          True enough. I’d feel fine depending on a Sig.

          • valorius

            I’ve carried a Sig P228 on the street in some of the worst hoods in America….with total confidence.

      • MPWS

        Yessir, name of the game.

      • Anonymoose

        They finally learned their lesson after losing to Beretta twice in the 80s and recently to Glock for the NAVSPECWAR contract.

      • CapeMorgan

        This was a “Best Value” contract which is based on more than just overall cost.

    • Klingon00

      I wonder if that’s for a complete firearm or just the serialized trigger group module? I suspect, being a modular firearm, the rest may come as extras?

      • Anonymoose

        I think they’re just getting 9mm Compact RX models to start. If they want X5s or Subcompacts they’ll probably have to shell out more for those parts.

        • afvet262

          Nope, the contract is for the full size and compact models. No subcompact in the deal.

        • Jayste

          Think they’ll go 9mm even though they said there were so many complaints about the 9mm round? I figured the would try another caliber, maybe .40 or .357 sig?

          • throwedoff

            There may be some dissatisfaction with the 9mm NATO round, but unless NATO votes to abandon it for another caliber, I doubt we will see a general issue side arm caliber besides 9mm for U.S. troops as long as we are part of NATO. Of course the various special operations commands have a more leeway in arming their personnel and don’t have to bend to the general consensus.

      • David Teer

        for the gun, holsters, magazines, replacement parts and ammo. From what I read the actual cost of the gun is just over $200 a gun. The other $1000/ gun goes to ammo holsters mags, and parts. Not a bad deal considering how many round the army goes thru

      • Wzrd

        Good point. I hadn’t considered that.

    • valorius

      Great price but in IMO it’s still an un-neccesary expenditure of funds. Pistols in modern combat are just slightly more useful than swords.

      • soldier

        Until your rifle is down and you still need to engage targets.

        • valorius

          Or until your rifle is out of ammo because you had to carry 5 lbs of nonsense that you’ll never actually use. 5lbs of pistol/mag/ammo is the same weight as 5 extra 30rd fully loaded pmags.

          I’ll take the extra 150rds of 5.56mm thanks.

      • David Teer

        well the contract includes the pistol, holsters, magazines, replacments parts and ammo. All provided by sig.

      • Kivaari

        There are lots of places where pistols are used daily that don’t involve combat use. Just equipping the MP, AP, SP (MAA) and security details requires good guns.

      • Herp

        Weren’t you the one all mad about replacing bayonets with silencers?

        • valorius

          Yep, A soldier uses his bayonet every single day.

  • HemingwaysBeard

    $207 for the new modular Army pistol!
    (* fine print) Slide, frame and barrel sold separately…

    • Dave

      Well they lost to the M9 by only 3 million the first time around, you can be sure they wouldn’t make that mistake again.

      • MPWS

        I am also thinking about “global response”. After this, civilian market will go nuts after SIG 320. Then the profit can be easily recovered.

        • Dr. Longfellow Buchenrad

          It worked for Glock 30 years ago

    • olivehead

      Since us civies are hard pressed to find a conversion kit with one mag for less than $400, that’s a pretty good deal.

      • Sunshine_Shooter

        Civvies like us buy one at a time. If you put in an order for 250,000+…

  • malachi13

    Damn! SIG must have been ready for war this time. They never really accepted the loss to Beretta back in the day.

    • Sunshine_Shooter

      Considering they passed all the trials, “ready for war” is right.

  • thedonn007

    I will take 3 for that price.

    • Kovacs Jeno

      I am sure SIG will give you this price. In case of you will order for 580 million…

  • micmac80

    Beretta won the past tender wih 108$ and Sig was even cheaper only lost on pricy extra mags and at that time both guns were meatl , so more expensive to make than any polymer framed pistol.

    • Marc

      And how much are those $108 worth today after adjusting for inflation?

      • pbla4024

        $241

  • Stephen Paraski

    I guess it is a win for US Taxpayers.

    • TechnoTriticale

      It would be even more of a win if they could surplus off the M9s through CMP…

      …but then they’d need to first move the M1911s.

      In the new Admin, it could happen.

      • Anonymoose

        Gibe M14 parts kits pls.

      • Audie Bakerson

        John “Sing for the Kong” McCain already got the 1911s that were going to be sold melted down as part of a budget amendment.

        • Edeco

          Exquisite. I rarely literally agree with him, but somehow that guy still is the gift that keeps on giving for me. When it looked like the 1911’s were coming thru many thought me a crank for saying the CMP is a crappy anachronism, were ready to forget principle for maybe a couple hundred dollars worth of utility. Where is their god now?

        • David Teer

          McCain has taken Rhino to a whole new level.

          • Simcha M.

            RINO, not Rhino. And yes, you are very correct in your statement. He happens to be my Senator and I agree.

        • nicholsda

          Nope. That got voted out of the Bill.

      • Joseph Smith

        With the addition of a decock only (“G” kit) I’m a buyer!

        Edit: I would pay for the kit/install myself I mean. Obviously these should be sold in M9 config.

  • Geoff Timm

    I have long suspected the Euro-guns were overpriced. Example: Glock $500 and up S&W SD9VE Clone $280 on sale. I suspect every over the counter SIG buys one for our service people. Geoff Who thinks it’s a good gun, but I’ll stick with my SWaMPy 9c compact and my Walther Creed full size.

    • Oronzi

      sorry, a clone will always be cheaper (no r&D in it).

      • Ebby123

        Bingo. And according to the Taurus business model – if you make it cheap enough, people will be very accepting of lower consistency, performance, quality, etc.

        That doesn’t mean they’re “junk”, simply that because people paid less for X product, they will be more forgiving of its shortcomings.

        • LGonDISQUS

          Talk about KelTec fluff and buffs straight outta the box!

    • Marc

      All consumer-priced guns are overpriced when compared to a bulk order of hundreds of thousands of units and don’t tell me “Euro-guns” are overpriced when Colt wants $800 for a basic 1911.

    • M-dasher

      ….have you really made it to this point in your life without knowing hiw the basics of our economy work?

  • ozzallos .

    They’ll easily make that cost up in the civilian market. Very shrewd move.

    • Ebby123

      As shallow as it is, I suddenly want to buy a 320 now even though I had little interest in it before.

      • Stan Robertson

        LOL. Not shallow. I got one 2 months ago

      • Anonymoose

        They’ll charge $1000 just to have a thumb safety on an FDE RX model and call it the “Army Model.”

      • Bill

        I’ve already gotten offers on mine, even though I never implied it was for sale.

        Our head gun guy’s head will explode; we discussed getting these earlier and didn’t, going with the M&P, and now there’s the M&P 2.0. He’ll never get any sleep now.

      • ozzallos .

        I’d b in the same boat if I didn’t already have my XDm to be honest.

  • M&M’s

    The price isn’t just per pistol. It’s per pistol package which includes mags, holster, ammo, and suppressors (limited).

    • Ebby123

      Citation?

      Not doubting, I just want to read more about it.

    • “The $580 million dollar figure does not just include those guns, however, but also spares, accessories, and even holsters, all to be procured from SIG Sauer.”

  • Major Tom

    I think the only better deal they could have gotten on the basis of price was selecting Hi-Point.

    • LGonDISQUS

      You mean the P11 isn’t suitable? :p

  • FredXDerf

    We can put a man on the moon but we cant match the two shades on FDE on the slide and frame…

    • Bill

      I’m really not surprised, given the two different materials, but if they can match paint between car parts, you’d think it would be doable.

      • Ebby123

        If they were painting the polymer frames that would be easy, but that defeats part of the benefit of using a polymer frame in the first place.

      • Edeco

        Doable, but makes sense to me not to bother. Like how sporty cars shouldn’t have metallic paint. It probably wouldn’t directly make them perform more crappily but it’s a distraction.

      • John

        It is doable. I’ve got a Jeep Grand Cherokee that’s all one color. But the two-tone serves three purposes:

        1. Camouflage. A solid block of color is noticeable from a distance; shades of colors less so. Up close, you’re already dead.

        2. Cost. For what Sig is charging, they’ll go the minimum effort on all pistols, and maybe do “custom” versions for those willing to pay for it, or as “gifts” to generals, procurement officers, Senators, etc.

        3. Planned obsolescence. When the pistols get beat up, chipped, cracked and look like crap after a decade of use, it’ll be that much easier for Sig to offer a newer shiny product.

        That’s my take.

    • Ebby123

      1 – Matching colors on different materials with different surface textures and coating methods is nearly impossible. Injection-molded polymer, anodized aluminum, and all the various methods of coating steel are rarely, IF EVER a good match.

      2 – WHO CARES?
      Its a war-fighting gun, not a showcase custom 1911.

    • olivehead

      Considering that’s it’s almost impossible to match the molded color frame to the coated slide, if you’re not going to have a perfect match, those two shades are about as aesthetically pleasing as you can get, IMHO.

      • Kurt

        Take a look at the CZ 805 BREN in FDE, sure likes like it matches up well on that firearm.

      • Oregon213

        Why not match the slide coating to the color of the frame?

        This isn’t exactly rocket science… to get back to the first comment.

        • Because it isn’t that easy with PVD coatings.

        • Kivaari

          Because it’s close enough for government work.

    • Dr. Longfellow Buchenrad

      When youre dealing with Injection molded plastic and Cerakote? – whatever that finish is; certainly not injection molded plastic – its impossible to match because they respond differently in changing light conditions. Even if it is perfectly matched in one setting, in another it will be glaringly off.

    • bmstylee

      That’s what makes it cool. Look at FN. 50 shades of FDE.

      • Robert Kalani Foxworthy

        the five seven matches

    • blobface

      You could get the whole thing Cerakoted in one color, but why would they waste that money for this application… also, I always find the slight tonal differences to be aesthetically pleasing, tan guns in a single color looks almost like a resin cast.

  • Bill

    Wonder if fed agencies will begin to pivot towards the 320, based off the .mil model.

    And before anyone starts screaming about fraud and bribery, remember that there are these things called Inspectors General and House Oversight Committees that live to chew up people on cases of procurement fraud.

    • hking

      Did any agencies adopt the M9 after that won the solicitation? I wouldn’t be surprised to see some outside the mil adopt them but most agencies have their own requirements and solicitations for sidearms, which are far different from the Army requirements.

      • Oregon213

        I bet that more agencies (especially local, rather than fed) will actually consider the 320 now, but most that have the budget to upgrade guns likely already have armories full of Gen4s. Glock has been pressing for agencies to trade in Gen3s pretty hard here in the pacific northwest.

      • ARCNA442

        A large number of agencies switched to the 92 after the military adoption. However, I think most of them were switching from revolvers so the situation was a little different than now, when most police already carry striker fired guns. But I bet the 320 will become more mainstream.

    • Joshua

      I wouldn’t mind the Sig become the AR of the handgun world.

      Because with the way it’s modular is practically the M4 of the military world.

      • Bullphrog855

        I would but I believe it’s inevitable at this point. Standardization, as boring as it is, is the way forward.

        I just do not want to see all our diverse and unique options for pistols in the market become 3000 dollar range toys that only match the P.320 in performance because one design dominates the market much like the long gun market.

        • Joshua

          I understand.

          Sadly modularity is something the handgun market has been needing, just imo of course.

          The rifle market is dominated by modular systems, it was bound to happen eventually to handguns.

      • Audie Bakerson

        I’d expect Sig would have some kind of patent that relates to the new pistol. Getting other manufacturers will take like 17 years.

        • Joshua

          Won’t stop people like Magpul from making their own stuff to fit the weapon

          • Jai S.

            At the risk of sounding like a fanboy, I would be really interested in a Magpul frame.

          • Joshua

            That plus I’m curious to see what companies design slides for it.

            It’s popular to build slides for Glocks, so I can see this becoming very popular given the modularity of the system.

  • Jim Slade

    Couple of things on I.D.I.Q. contracts-
    They have built in escalators for yearly increases in inflation and materials costs- i.e., the price that’s being thrown around now will absolutely NOT be the price the Army pays for the last one off the line. There’s piles of money hidden in the fine print- guaranteed. Stephen Hawking couldn’t compute the actual price that’s going to be paid for this thing eventually. ‘Member what a F-35 was supposed to cost 10 years ago? Different contract format, but DOD math is always smoke-and-mirrors. ALWAYS.
    Second- these contracts are a foot in the door as much as anything else- there is always a need for more of whatever is being contracted, and it’s easier for the massive Federal bureaucracy to issue a change order on an existing contract to acquire whatever it is than it is to go through all this chaos of a new RFQ. Nobody in the media, nobody’s congressman, no competing contractors are going to say a damm thing about it years from now when it’s not the hypothetical “XM-” model and is actually in the troops hands. You will never hear about the found money SIG will make on the back end of this deal, and that’s the way everybody likes it.

    • 3 of 11

      This, this right here is important to understand. It doesn’t really matter HOW (legally) you get on the BGT (big government t…), just as long as you do, then you can Change Order it to the hilt later to make your money.

      It isn’t just guns you are selling, its magazines, holsters, spares, armory training, future upgrades (it is modular, after all), lights/accessories.

  • Jason Lewis

    I’ll give Sig $100 more than the Army.

  • Joshua

    Considering a M4A1 with a KAC RAS system costs the military $638, $207 per handgun is certainly a believable amount.

  • Joel

    Well, the Glock did not offer modularity. Plus, the Glock’s manual safety solution was probably not as good as the Sig’s. The contract was basically written for Sig and when they came in with a low price, they were awarded.

  • MPWS

    With this price the profit may be marginal, if any. But, it is possible (and as matter of fact conceivable) that SIG will farm out bulk of work to subcontractors. It is a ‘consumer’ item after all – just like kitchen appliance.
    The other subject to look at is construction of mechanism – it is mostly stamped assembly with some odd MIMed part. Way to do it.

    • There isn’t much to farm out. I believe only the injection molding, MIM, and the metal coatings are done by sub-contractors. Beyond that it just sticking blocks of metal into a CNC mill and pressing the go button.

  • Wang Chung Tonight
  • Remember, the XM17 MHS contract is not just for full-size and compact pistols. The solicitation also included blank conversions, sim marker conversions, suppressor kits, General Officers models (full-size and compact), cutaway and demonstration models, spare parts, gages, ammunition (XM1152 Ball, XM1153 Special Purpose, XM1157 Blank, and XM1156 Dummy), and finally, the Technical Data Package for everything listed above.

  • retfed

    That sounds about right. When you buy guns by the ton, you get a good discount.
    When my old agency bought Ruger revolvers in 1985, they paid $168 apiece for them. In 1996 they paid $297 apiece for Beretta 96s. Both guns are more complicated and expensive to manufacture than polymer striker-fired pistols are. (Probably enough to overcome 20 or 30 years of inflation.)

  • Mmmtacos

    “…by the inferior but cheaper Beretta 92FS…”

    Thems fightin’ words.

    • n0truscotsman

      I disagree with that statement completely too.

      The M9 is one of the most underrated, maligned service pistols in history, and its completely unjustified IMO.

      The adoption of the M9 harmed the motives of many parties, with individuals already having a preference for SIG.

    • Steve_7

      The actual XM9 trial guns were significantly different to what came later. I owned an XM9 P226 and it was definitely inferior to a 92SB. The P226 was a prototype at the time and it showed in the submitted guns. Also, even later guns cracked their frames routinely up to serial no. U150000 roughly (serial numbers start at U100001, except for the XM9 guns.) It took several years for the bugs in the P226 to be worked out, the 92 was a perfected design by the XM9 trial.

  • 22winmag

    Even Army Chief of Staff Mark Miley expressed exasperation with the process, saying, “We’re not figuring out the next lunar landing. This is a pistol…You give me $17 million on a credit card, and I’ll call Cabela’s tonight, and I’ll outfit every soldier, sailor, airman and Marine with a pistol for $17 million.”

    The first lunar landing was “figured out” on a movie set. The next one will computer graphics.

  • Joseph Smith

    You mean I can’t take [bid price / units = cost] like everyone was doing last week? LOL!

    Sig also met the actual written requirements as we’ve discussed. They had this thing cornered.

    Now you’re going to unleash a wave of complaints on MSRP vs unit cost. “Why do I have to pay to $500 when the Army gets it for $207?!?!?!!!”

    • Paul White

      I can’t lie, there was that tiny voice in my head going “I wish I could pay that!”

      I know why I can’t mind you, but damn I wish

      • Joseph Smith

        Oh me too!

        Vets should get cost, right? 😉 Someone tell KAC.

      • int19h

        You know, I often thought that the feds should actually do this kind of thing, in the vein of “well-regulated militia”.

        Basically, require that any arms contract for the military is also open to other buyers for personal use at the same price, provided that they are in any branch of the military, including National Guard and State Defense Force / State Guard.

        For bonus points, also cover any militia that has regular drills conforming to some standards (which the feds could set and verify conformance to).

  • A bearded being from beyond ti

    What’s that black plate looking thing after the front sight?

    • Anonymoose

      That’s a red dot cut.

      • A bearded being from beyond ti

        Are you taking the piss?

        • Anonymoose

          The only “black plate looking thing” I see is the cover for the red dot cut, unless you’re referring to the top of the chamber.

          • A bearded being from beyond ti

            I just find it strange that they would need such a thing. Seems like irons would do on a pistol that they aren’t likely to use that much anyway.

          • Joseph Smith

            Modular. The system is open to whatever upgrades the mil might need/want down the road.

          • A bearded being from beyond ti

            Im sorry for my moronic comments. I will cry now :'(

          • Joseph Smith

            It wasn’t moronic. (passes Kleenex)

            This is really a forward thinking system and Sig deserves a lot of credit.

          • Anonymoose

            The weird thing is that I’m not sure the P320X5 has red dot cut, and I would expect a competition pistol like that to have one… https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/607fbfefbc998458217bca8bbb242b1c12bdc813e27f612b778fca4e5b00169f.gif

        • Joseph Smith

          “Taking the piss” would be telling you it’s the bacon compartment.

  • jfbtx

    Well we should have never switched from the 1911-A1.

  • Fruitbat44

    I guess that’s what you call a bulk discount.

  • That’s actually a really good price

  • Actually, the P320 is accurate.

    • Rob

      When I meant they couldn’t hit anything I was referring to a lack of training with handguns in the military, not that the Sig is inaccurate. I have never encountered a Sig that didn’t shoot straight. I saw plenty of “inaccurate” M9 pistols that magically shot well in an instructors hands. My favorite was a Gunny shooting the 5 yard line from the 25 yard line and attempting to blame the pistol.

      After rereading my post I can see how you might have needed to read my mind to realize what I was saying.

      • nicholsda

        Must not be the military of old. Dad qualified yearly from 1946 to 1971 with a 1911 while in the Navy. And could go to the range any time. Navy at the time had match ammo while the AF used reloads. 2 for 1 trades Navy got plenty of time on the range even after qualifying. 🙂

    • Robert Kalani Foxworthy

      yes their was a minimum mechanical accuracy for the entrant test units. like one inch groups at 50 yards or some thing along those lines

  • I have no preference between the two. Daniel’s the big expert on the XM9 trials, but I was under the impression that in the last round SIG’s was judged better.

    • At the end of the XM9 trials and the completion of the first round of
      bidding, the SIG-Sauer P226 held the lead with a score of 853.6 in six evaluation factors, while the Beretta 92SB-F scored 835.34.

      However, in the final bids for the M9 contract, Beretta underbid Saco
      (SIG’s U.S. importer at the time). Saco bid $77,816,000 for the
      pistols, magazines, and spare parts. Beretta bid $74,762,000. This was
      controversial since in the original series of bids, Saco had underbid
      Beretta by just over $9 million. With the final prices factored in, the
      scores changed to Beretta 858, Saco 847.

      This led to allegations that the Army had leaked Saco’s bids to
      Beretta for the purposes of undercutting them. This argument was
      bolstered by the fact that Beretta USA’s general manager delivered their
      final bid personally. The bid document was type-written with blanks for
      the final prices, which were then written in and initialed with ink by
      the general manager.

      • Whoa. I can only imagine a alternate past using P226’s.

        @danielewatters:disqus What was the quanitites on the XM9’s? Or was it IDIQ?

        • DAAA09-85-C-0275 was a contract for 315,930 M9 pistols. However, there were options for additional pistols.

  • Matthew Groom

    The notion that a Beretta 92FS is “inferior” to a SIG P226 with a stamped and welded slide is farcical at best. SIG didn’t mill their stuff from billet back then, and if you had ever read the GAO’s report on the XM9 trials, it’s clearly indicated that both the Beretta and the SIG exceeded the number of rounds required (5000), but very shortly thereafter, the SIGs had NUMEROUS slide failures that the Berettas did not experience. Your preferences do not trump facts, and the fact is that the Beretta was superior in durability AND price.

    • Rob

      I linked the report in a previous post on this page. Sig also failed the mud test. It was actually the only entrant to struggle with it. The Beretta was the only entry to finish every test with a passing grade.

      • Matthew Groom

        This nonsense about the M92 being unreliable isn’t true (although Chris Bartochi revealed that the Army never allowed Beretta to use anything other than Gen.1 Locking Blocks in the M9, which do eventually result in breakage), but it’s a vampire-like rumor that refuses to die; just like the Soviet propaganda spouted by their operatives in the US Media that the AKM is more reliable than the M-16. It’s ridiculous and absurd, and easily proven false, but it still abounds among people who should know better.

        • MichaelZWilliamson

          When my unit adopted the Beretta, it was right after that Marine ate a slide. Each pistol came with two slides, and one was sent back for magnaflux inspection every 1500 rounds, then all the guns were sent back for a stronger slide stop.

          That’s not a myth.

          Now, since then, the pistols seem a lot more reliable. But a number of them were certainly garbage at the time, and those actual instances will color the public impression of the entire weapon, and in fact, the company.

          • Matthew Groom

            They weren’t garbage, and if the early field models came with replacement slides for what can only be assumed to be a long-term endurance test, it was out of an abundance of caution; it doesn’t mean that any of those slides which were sent back were damaged, worn, or defective, and may have been good enough to return to service. The only thing that was changed on the slides between the early trials guns and the US made examples was the source of the steel used in the forgings, which had to come from the US in order for the pistols to be Berry Compliant for US military service. The larger hammerpin was a precaution, not a necessity.

            There’s no way that a stamped and welded SIG Sauer slide was or could be stronger than the forged slides of the Beretta M9, which is as thick as a 1911 slide at the M9’s thinnest point. That’s simply a fact of material science, and is certainly the reason why SIG-Sauer stopped using that technique to produce slides over a decade ago. Beretta slides are still built the same way, and I doubt that anyone has seen a broken one in person in the past 30 years.

            I am glad that the P320 won the contract, however, so we can spend the next 35 years hearing about how SIG-Sauer stole the contract from Glock with an inferior clone of the G19.

  • Maxpwr

    Good deal price and now sell the surplus M9s to deserving American tax paying citizens for $300 and #profit.

    • MichaelZWilliamson

      Eh, I’ll pass. There are guns I like a lot more than the Beretta, like, almost all of them.

      Seriously. At $100 I might grab a couple as collectors. I’d shoot them once to say I did.

      But I agree it would be good to see the CMP be allowed to sell them, and 1911s, and dare we hope for Grease Guns and M14s?

  • nova3930

    Street price from a dealer for a P320 is about $500 so $200 isn’t all that shocking for a bulk contract that includes accessories and spares. Wouldn’t surprise me if that’s cost or even slightly below it, making up the difference elsewhere…

  • John

    >”especially since the M9 uses lifed aluminum frames which eventually need replacing.”

    Let’s hope so. Pistols aren’t rifles and the plastic should be a lot more durable, but the G36 is getting canned.

  • Harry’s Holsters

    I wonder if this price is including everything or this is just a per unit price and Armor training and parts support is separate.

  • phauxtoe

    Economy thru Scale!

  • Joe Gamer

    Whew…
    That is an amazing price if true.

  • H John

    Maybe they figure that losing money but winning the contract will give them the publicity to drive sales elsewhere.

    • Midwest Marco

      Agree. It’s called the “halo” effect. At my local range today and talked with the guys about the P320. They said they’ve sold out and expect a back order. Sig will sell *LOTS* of civilian based on the “…it’s just like the soldiers use…”

  • Lee M Attinger

    Damn, the slide is already cut for an RMR sight? Why wouldn’t they do this with the P320 too?

    • Rob

      They have them available from factory with a red dot already mounted.

      • Midwest Marco

        I really hope both of you are joking about an RMR sight. A red dot sight on a pistol is fine for a video game or an afternoon at the range but not actual combat use. An optical sight on a pistol is too delicate for your life to depend on it.

  • forrest1985

    How much would an upgrade package to the M9 have cost? Personally I love SIG and have never been a massive fan of Beretta, but considering how much actual use a sidearm gets in regular service it seems a waste buying new pistols when the current pistol does a decent job. “If it aint broke” and all that jazz? Just my 2 pence.

    • LGonDISQUS

      Frame life on a lot of the M9s were overdue. My father was neighbors with a Langley base armorer, and in 2004, he said he was junking fatigued M9 frames that were coming back from OIF, and weren’t even suitable for annual quals use.

    • n0truscotsman

      Buying more M9s would have been a tough sell, since reception regarding the Beretta is pretty low, despite most of those concerns not being factual.

  • Seaux

    Another unseen reason is to stick a finger in the eye of Special Forces Command. The SF leadership got tired of the MHS Requirement taking so long in US Army acquisitions red tape. They used their own funds to buy every Green Beret a Glock and assumed that the US Army would acquire the sustainment cost when Glock won the solicitation for Big Army. Some officer showed those pesky SF types not to buck the system!

  • Drake Becksted

    I have never understood the stance that the M9 was and is inferior to the Sig 226 as far as longevity is concerned. Both are fairly large pistols for caliber, and both are of similar constructuon. The M9 had teathing issues and I suspect the 226 would have as well if it were adopted. I am biased as I own and love the 92 series pistol and carry my M9 every day. Yes, I actually conceal a Beretta every day, and I have the holster wear on the gun and my ass to prove it. Haha.

    But I have shot and handled and dealt with the 226 quite a bit. I feel both pistols are equal in their construction quality, but the shooting experience between the two the 92 series are smoother than the 226 variety. Both are fine pistols but I believe the track record of the US military employing equipment not yet ready for prime time and having negligible maintanence schedules and updating on small arms has proven to be a root issue associated with weapon system issues over the years.

    I am glad to see a fine handgun has been selected to serve our fine men and women in uniform, but I am sad to see the end of the Era of the M9. My only question is, when will the Berettas hit the market as Surplus via the CMP? Lol

    • nicholsda

      The Sig was a lighter gun than the M9. The M9 was of the same weight of the 1911 it replaced.

  • David Lowrance

    Has anyone else noticed the thumb safety on this version of the P320. It is not on any of the versions currently listed on the Sig website. It looks very small, and is it on both sides?

    • bohemond

      Correct. The base civvie P320 doesn’t have a manual safety, but the Army insisted that MHS have one. Yes,it’s ambidextrous.

  • Gary Howell

    Wonder if the Seals are going to stay with the Glock 19’s ? I’m thinking Spec Ops can get what they need and want.

    • bohemond

      SpecOps can get anything they desire as long as it is chambered for one of the mil-standard cartridges.

  • valorius

    For that price i’ll take 3!

  • Will

    As with EVERYTHING furnished to our military it’s all about the bottom line; except for rediculously priced aircraft that are not up to snuff and WAY, WAY, WAY OVER BUDGET!!
    Never forget, GI, your equipment is made by the lowest bidder.

  • JoelC

    I suspect that this is a mistake in the calculation due to the nature of this contract type. I do work in the government bidding business and know that official descriptions are not to be trusted.

    The cost per unit may be $207, but I suspect you are seeing quite a few conversion kits and different frames (since it i a modular gun) that are counting to a unit. In other words, unit most likely does not equal a complete gun.

  • Johanne Johanne

    Don’t worry, the civilian version will cost $900.

    • MichaelZWilliamson

      Berettas did. In late 80s dollars.

  • GordonTrenchard

    “Inferior but cheaper Beretta”???? Don’t think so dude. Get your facts straight. The Sig js a good gun no doubt but this is a waste of money. Hopefully Trump will whack it.

    • bohemond

      The Army’s current inventory of M9s is approaching frame age-out: they have to be replaced, with something.

      • GordonTrenchard

        They can replace them with new parts/ frames at a fraction of the cost. If they want a new gun they can buy the M9A3 which meets 80% of the MHS requirements and it has 90% common parts with the M9. That is not to mention holsters, training ,etc. that does not need to be done. The rational and fiscally responsible thing to do is go that route. It is interesting to see the Sig fanboys, most of whom are I gather mostly conservative, make the argument the Army needs to make a change.

    • Donkatis

      I wouldn’t bet on it. The contract has already been awarded and a cancelled contract means an automatic lawsuit, but, we are talking about Trump….

      Now – if Mattis wants to take a relook at the evaluation and award process, I’m good with that.

      While I want my tax dollars to be spent wisely, I’m far more concerned that our military folks have highly reliable, durable, and effective equipment to accomplish their missions.

      Otherwise, I don’t give a damn who makes it or where.

  • Alex Fehrman

    Sorry, but kind of a sloppy opinion piece.

  • idahoguy101

    I’d bet money that after the new pistol gets issued some troops will whine about wanting the M9 back.
    I’ll also bet that one or more loser companies will be saying the adoption was illegal and their gun wasn’t properly considered

    • MichaelZWilliamson

      It’s almost like you’ve seen that before.

  • 5ini5ter

    My Sig was Waaaaaaay more expensive.

  • mazkact

    If they only made ten dollars per gun it would still be a smart move on Sig’s part. Think of all the civilian sales they will make as a result of the contract.

  • David Teer

    Looks like Sig is taking the glock approach, still your guns at cost to the government and use the contact as free advertising to sell a make up version to the general population.

  • Ben Stoeger

    “SIG, having learned its lesson from the XM9 trials where it was beaten by the inferior but cheaper Beretta 92FS”

    So do you have a source backing up your statement about the Beretta 92 being inferior to the SIG P226 or is that just your personal bias? The link you made in the text gives exact evidence to the contrary.

  • Hey, thanks for the mention. 🙂

    –Andrew

  • TJ Bone

    This makes no sense to me and is a waste of tax dollars as always. Why would they not choose Glock if they wanted a polymer striker fired gun? Glocks have been around for decades already and are reliable. Instead they choose something like this? SOCOM is using the Glock 19 now. Glock parts are already abundant and cheap. I noticed that HK did not attempt to bid on this contract with the VP9.

    • MichaelZWilliamson

      It makes sense if the cost savings is deemed worthwhile. Why would you not choose a Ferrari, the standard in performance, over a Corvette? The Ferrari is the choice of more race drivers!

  • GordonTrenchard

    I meant the fiscal responsibility aspect of it. Not spending money on things you don’t need. A very rational argument could be me made they need to update the 50 year old battle rifle instead of the pistol which is rarely, in comparison, used. I am a conservative by the way.

  • Sicks5

    I’ll stick with my glocks! Love my 9s and 45s!

    • Realist

      This…no need to try and reinvent the wheel.

    • KFeltenberger

      My prediction is that within five years they’ll be looking for a replacement. This design is going to be prone to failure.

  • kcshooter

    “Unconfirmed reports coming from the ‘writer grapevine'”

    Read that to mean “bullshit clickbait” on this blog until someone more reliable confirms it.

  • Steven Kaspar

    good luck with the sig if their pistoles are anything like the 556xi russian they make biggest piece of junk I ever owned,wooden’t even shoot 6 bullets in a row without jamming or short stroking.

  • Jumpshot

    I’m guessing the extra lever in the back is an idiot switch…..other than that, I love SIGs

  • Chuckwagon524

    At that price and volume, the cost to Sig to manufacture might be $50-$60? The grips are probably pennies in plastic mold. The slide, barrel, and trigger being the most costly in machining mad labor. But once you pay off the CNC and other machines to manufacture, that’s probably get inexpensive as well.
    Which makes you think how much we overpay at gun shops.

    • MichaelZWilliamson

      When Beretta got the contract, their civilian price for the ’92 was $800ish, in 1980s dollars. It’ll be interesting to see what the civilian price of this does.

  • l2a3

    Not being a knuckle dragger, I’ll stay with the M1911A1 or P35 Browning Hi Power. At least I can reach the trigger with my trigger finger on the same hand that is holding the pistol. Just because it is old and proven doesn’t mean it is not good.

  • CliffMcC

    I had a Sig Sauer sub-compact once but sold it after only about 300 rounds. The trigger pull was just too long for my tastes. I then bought a G23 Gen 4 and have been satisfied with that. Now that the Army has chosen the Sig P320, which is striker fired, it has piqued my interest enough so, that when I get to the range I am going to try it out. Additionally, since my Marine Corps may follow suit, it makes me want to consider it as an additional pistol in my very small collection. But I prefer a compact or sub-compact that will support at least 15 rounds at .40 S&W.

  • Joseph Anthony

    Beretta got the initial contract because each M-9 came w/ a spare bbl and slide. Can’t remember what else. It’s been too long.

  • Rusty Shackleford

    Guess it is pretty easy to understand what is going on here.
    Make the money from it through the accessories.
    Lots of public advertising
    Markup on the civilian side.

  • Marshall Sattler

    I am tired of the Govt. Buying foreign made products with American paid tax dollars,this is an item the the union workers will take to the president.

    • jcitizen

      Our US military manufacturers sell a lot of weapons and systems to foreign countries – if you want them to buy your stuff, then you got to buy their sfuff, once and a while – especially if it makes sense.

    • KFeltenberger

      Any large weapons purchase requires that they be manufactured in the US. Beretta had to build a factory in the US as part of the M9 contract award just as FN had to build one here when they won the M240, M249, and other contracts. American workers are building these firearms as required by law.

    • some other joe

      Yep, NH is a foreign country. Just like CT. And MD. And GA. And….

  • Martin frank

    Inferior but cheaper beretta 92fs? Let’s not mention how the beretta beat the sig in the tests tho. I can’t believe your considered a journalist. You sound like any other forum fan boy troll.

  • WRBuchanan

    OK,,, so the Us Govt is buying 280,193 Pistols? That seems like a lot?

    And they all will be 9MM because it is cheaper to shoot than .40 S&W or .45 ACP.

    Sounds like nobody actually compared the guns or ammo, but just the price.

    My main question is why they would buy an unproven gun for our Combat Troops?

    The Sig Pistol has only been in existence for 3 years, and has not been used in any armed conflict. This needs to be looked at a little closer as just because something is cheaper doesn’t mean it will cut it in the real world.

    I run into this with Govt Procurement all the time. I will get underbid on a product by $5 to someone who says they can deliver, only to find out that they are going back after the fact with Cost Overruns and ending up getting paid more than I bid for the same parts I have already made in the past for what I bid. Happens all the time.

    This is exactly what happens when you let people who know nothing about what they are purchasing, buy stuff. They only look at the price, because they don’t understand what the end product will be used for.

    I mean a gun, is a gun,,,, Right?

    Trump ground down the F-35 and AF-1 contracts and if Sig can’t deliver on time, on bid, then they need the contract yanked!

    Just like the Beretta’s this was a mistake. It should have gone to Glock.

  • Colonel K

    Firearms are like furniture when it comes to pricing. Lots of markup.

  • John McDowell

    what is ” lifed ” aluminum frame ? Paragraph number 3…

  • carlcasino

    When I was letting bids for my company the OTHER things were more important than price. Unconditional warranty on workmanship and material. Operational integrity was up front. Here are the parameters that MUST be met….. A simple demonstration that took less than 12 hours either confirmed or denied meeting specification. In my business 0.001% failure was unacceptable because lives were at risk for failure. Any updates to the basic design were to be proven and retrofit at suppliers cost. I usually could close a deal within 30-60 days instead of two years. In some cases I spent up to 50% more for an item but the payoff was the OTHER things. I learned from the circular firing squad in the military acquisition system.
    Military purchasing is a Joke. The pentagon should become a triangle by elimination of the bureaucracy that was necessary in 1945 ( manual typewriters and filing cabinets ) . Google The Intellectual Yet Idiot by Taleb.

  • MR_Mr_Deplorable_Hapla

    So,,final answer,,,,is the Sig a good choice??? I gotsta know,,,,,,,

  • Daisym1

    Why do the armed forces need a new handgun?

  • dltaylor51

    Cheap,cheap,cheap,I’ll just stay with my Colt that at least no one can accuse of being cheap,when your life may depend on it going cheap offers little comfort.

  • Core

    I believe SIG delivered a winning solution. Glock has a history of incorporating proprietary solutions into their pistols that don’t always work out for the masses. My advice to Glock is to be open to new things, like picatinny rails, and adjustable frames, and secondary safeties. Once Glock starts listening to the masses and makes some fundamental changes they will be more of a contender for the military. I think we can watch to see how they perform for MARSOC and wait to see what develops. If I was Glock, I’d want to be more like SIG and deliver products with standardized options and modularity.

    • Doom

      Uh…Glock has a pic rail and adjustable grips. They also have options for manual safeties. Glock has a decades long track record, millions upon millions of civilian, LE, and military users, the P320 is a New and untested design in comparison.

  • Vee

    It sure puts the $600+ retail price of the P320, and even the essentially identical sub $400 P250 into a different perspective, doesn’t it? These guns (and Glocks) are overpriced, and we let these companies get away with it because of their names.

  • CavScout

    Repackaging Chinese Sig pistols for the US gov…

  • charlest

    Have had a 9mm Sig Sauer P228 in South Africa since 1990. Expensive compared to Glock then. Worth every cent. Since then a huge wave of purchases of Glocks here. Just doesn’t compare to Sig in safety issues or plain ease of use. Just my opinion.

  • jonp

    wow…sounds like a loss leader to win the contract and they will make up the difference in parts, frames etc during the life of the contract. It sure is one way to gain contracts with other NATO nations and Law Enforcement around the world. The eventual goal is to go head to head with Glock and win contracts.

  • DLLambert

    Beretta USA actually won the XM9 T&E twice. The first XM9 test showed both the SIG P226 & Beretta 92F were nearly the same in the set conditions the DoD & US armed forces used. The SIG Sauer P226 9x19mm had a slight edge but it cost more per unit(sidearm) & at the time there were no US production locations. Beretta had a plant in Maryland that could make 9mm M9s with US labor. That factory has now relocated. A few XM9 gun companies like S&W & FNH(Browning) complained & filed lawsuits so a new T&E was done in the mid-late 1980s. Beretta USA won that selection too. Minor gripes about NATO ammunition & wear led Beretta to make the 92FS model which is more common today than the first 92F model M9s. The US Navy SEALs & SpecWar chose to stay with SIG P226 9mm sidearms & SIG Sauer later did get the big M11 9mmNATO contract(P228 compact model).

    • FWIW: Beretta USA’s plant was not set up to make the M9 at the time of the award. Initial M9 deliveries to the DOD used Italian made pistols. This then transitioned to pistols assembled in the US from a mix to US and Italian parts, and finally to all US content.

      SIG-Sauer’s US partner for the XM9 contract was Maremont-Saco.

      At the end of the XM9 trials and the completion of the first round of bidding, the SIG-Sauer P226 held the lead with a score of 853.6 in six evaluation factors, while the Beretta 92SB-F scored 835.34.

      However, in the final bids for the M9 contract, Beretta underbid SIG-Sauer/Saco. SIG-Sauer/Saco bid $77,816,000 for the pistols, magazines, and spare parts. Beretta bid $74,762,000. This was controversial since in the original series of bids, SIG-Sauer/Saco had underbid Beretta by just over $9 million. With the final prices factored in, the scores changed to Beretta 858, SIG-Sauer/Saco 847.

      This led to allegations that the Army had leaked SIG-Sauer/Saco’s bids to Beretta for the purposes of undercutting them. This argument was bolstered by the fact that Beretta USA’s general manager delivered their final bid personally. The bid document was type-written with blanks for the final prices, which were then written in and initialed with ink by the general manager. The same Beretta USA executive later admitted that they priced the M9 at their cost for buying them from Italy.

      HK and S&W filed GAO protests. HK’s protest was denied, and S&W’s protest was dismissed after S&W filed a Federal lawsuit instead. S&W lost in court twice.

      The SEAL teams went to the P226 because they already had four members take broken Beretta slides to the face by mid-1988. Mind you, the SEAL teams had begun using commercial Beretta 92S as early as 1982, long before the 92SB-F was selected as the M9.

      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/9ef3c6babdfe442a624277cfbca0eb023d85265b5dd332f7bffc1536e39f2a94.jpg

      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a190f1a1deb79f2a19567865cb5383d854b37f2493c73024ceb3b5ae7b088bb6.jpg

      • DLLambert

        That’s a detailed post. To my knowledge of the era(mid 1980s), part of the “slide cracks” & tests with the Navy SpecWar models were due to improper pressure or +P+ type 9mm FMJ rounds used. The open(thin) Beretta M9s would wear out. Beretta USA took M9 slides to be inspected & X rayed at one point. They later released the thicker “Brigader” pistol which became popular with US law enforcement. The INS & US Border Patrol selected the .40 Beretta 96D with the Brigader slide.

        • The pressure issues with early M882 Ball tracked back to where the
          pressure measurements were taken: case mouth versus midway down the case’s sidewall. Lots that measured safe at the case mouth were showing excessive pressures when measured at the lower position.

          The troubling issue with the slide breakages was how suddenly they occurred. Note that the M9 in the July 1988 incident had just been Magnafluxed seven days earlier. Even worse was a breakage that occurred during testing by the US Army on February 8, 1988. ARDEC was conducting an engineering study of the M9’s barrel. The slide failed at round number 6,007. However, that was a mere 7 rounds after the pistol had completed magnetic particle inspection, which showed no evidence of cracking.

          Even once the ammunition issue was sorted out, the slides continue to break. However, the 92FS hammer pin modification has prevented injury. Unfortunately, some early M9 missed the March 1989 MWO for the hammer pin/slide modification. Back in 2015, a Soldier was injured when his early M9 suffered a complete slide fracture. At the time, I captured the following Facebook post from the Army’s PS Magazine staff.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b97533c6313e24e988e82379fde27d03b3aee8d550f69e4ccbd0fdbadeb8999b.jpg

          • DLLambert

            Id heard a story too of how a Beretta 9x19mm M9 slide cracked or broke during a display at a gun range in Crane IN(US Navy Small Arms Research Center). The pistol slide broke while a congressional delagation was touring the US Navy center. I carried a M9 92F pistol on active duty for approx 24mo. My MP unit had minor problems with M9s that would misfire or have double feeds. A lot of the problems were with milspec 124gr FMJ or the M9 magazines. We did not have or use any M11 SIG P228 compact sidearms. At my post, CIDC special agents & a few MPI had them. Reports I heard, informal were +.

          • That may have been the July 1988 incident. It came out in Congressional hearings that the Secretary of the Army actually saw the injured SEAL shown in the photo above. (Besides the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane also hosts the Crane Army Ammunition Activity.)