No, the Glock Protest is NOT likely to Derail Sig’s Win

I’ve rather enjoyed the hub-ub over the recent protest filed by Glock on the XM-17 Modular Handgun System award to Sig Sauer. The community is all abuzz with rumors and speculation, mostly centering on how Glock would not likely have a manual safety (they do for the submission) and how the MHS is the “only” modular system (it was not, two pins on a Glock and out pops the fire control group).

In large government contracts, a protest is almost always a given. When I was in defense Business Development, it was common to see it filed anyways for most contracts over $10 million, so at $500 million, it was just a matter of time until someone did it.

The fact of the matter is, protests rarely complete their objective into derailing a procurement. Yes, on occasion a procurement office/officer will make a mistake, but on the larger contracts the Government has gotten pretty good at dotting “i’s” and crossing “t’s”. In cases like this one, the protest is often the first step in trying to discover if the government did indeed do anything illegal or outside the defined procurement which would open up to legal action in Federal Court. Almost always, these are unsuccessful.

With Glock and Beretta both receiving a full debriefing by the Government prior to the award’s announcement (which I do see as a suspect timing right in the middle of SHOT), the Government having significant discretion in its choice, and the procurement as a full system including ammo, it’s highly unlikely that Glock will be successful.

Still, the drama is fun to watch and it always is possible, the safe money is on the P320 being deployed in short order.



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.

Nathan can be reached at Nathan.S@TheFirearmBlog.com

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


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  • EdgyTrumpet

    Hmm, delicious Glock tears…

    • Gary Kirk
      • Jim Slade

        It’s Gaston Glock…… those aren’t tears, they’re…. well, not really appropriate here to discuss to discuss the stuff he’s into.

        • m-dasher

          hes married to a super model and is a millionaire…..but im sure hes offended by your comments

          • NukeItFromOrbit

            Is he on wife #3 or #4?

            Hate to break it to you fanboys but he’s a creep.

          • Rob

            If you are into the whole morality police thing there are a lot more worrisome things concerning the upper echelons of Glock than Gaston’s fire team of ex-wives.

    • m-dasher

      again……glock isnt being salty…….this is standard practice…….had glock won, chances are good sig would have protested as well.

      • SeamusTheMIC

        The haters are just salty that even without the US.MIL contract, they’re the most popular handgun on the planet. Not saying everyone should go with a Glock, or even like one, but in failing to acknowledge their effectiveness it illustrates how shallow and myopic some people can be in their brand-whoring. The serious day-to-day trigger-pullers are still using them.

        Glocks are great guns, though I question their corporate decision-making paradigm quite often. It’s ok to like a product and critique the company that makes it. Granted, if I had a nickle for every time I’ve heard “I don’t like Glocks.” And when asked why and if they’ve shot them, their response usually goes invariably like this, “I’ve never shot one, but I don’t like how they look.”

        Really? Grow up. Gun people should be glad people are shooting. I don’t care if you shoot a 1911 or Glock or Sig. Just keep shooting. It’s good that you like guns and found one that works for you. Keep shooting. Stop whining and gloating and engaging in the tribalism “us-vs-them” when we’re all in the same tent.

        • EdgyTrumpet

          >the haters are salty
          >185 word response
          >n-not salty
          wew

        • valorius

          In the US the glock is only the 5th most popular design, according to the last 10 top selling list i saw.

          Oh.

          • M-dasher

            well i have an anonymous and unverified source that tells me glock is number 1……..just as much credibility as your list you saw once….

            oh.

          • valorius

            From the Motley Fool, Nov 26, 2016:

            1 Smith& Wesson M&P Shield.

            2 Ruger LCP.
            3 Springfield XD-S.

            4 SIG Sauer P938.
            5 Glock 19.

          • BaconLovingInfidel

            I would’ve guessed further down than that. My friend operates (runs?) a web retailer moving significant volume, and there aren’t any duty grade models in the top half dozen to ten of his best selling pistols.

          • valorius

            I was surprised it wasn’t higher. I think i saw the list on Business insider, but i’m not sure.

      • Noishkel

        So basically you just admitted that it’s standard practice for Glock to try and force government agencies to use their products even thought they don’t fit what the people that ordered them wanted in the begin with.

        Sorry fan boy, but Glock didn’t bother to provide a better gun that fit what the Military wanted. They just wanted to use their influence to win without trying. And no amount salt from you fanatics will just change that.

        • Rob

          I think you missed the point. This is standard in nearly all DOD procurements. The loser(not just glock) will protest the award unless there was something truly infavorable in the debrief. The good news for US is that this will result in a GAO report so we will be able to see the results of the test and why they landed at the desks ion they did. If Sig did not do as well as Glock on technical test but won the award due to price point or value it would still benefit Glock to have the report released even if they felt that the protest wouldn’t result in any change for the Army.

          It is rather funny so see all this loyalty to Sig vís-a-vís everyone else considering they have had more recalls, burned more customers with broken promises, and struggled with quality control more in the last ten years than any of the other finalists.

          Interestingly, even if the Sigs get issued, soldiers will still turn them in for Glocks if they find themselves in a unit under the SOCOM umbrella.

          • joe

            ” Sigs get issued, soldiers will still turn them in for Glocks if they find themselves in a unit under the SOCOM umbrella.”
            Not if SOCOM determines them to be every bit as good as or better than the Glock. There’s no reason to spend special mission funding on equipment big Army hands out for free if the big Army kit meets all your requirements.

        • m-dasher

          dude…..im hardly a fanboy……so quit with the name calling like a 9 yr old girl..

          if you had ANY experince with DOD contracts…….youd know this is nothing new…literally EVERY award contract gets protested…EVERY one…..and you complaining about it makes you look like a moron.

        • Nicks87

          Of course Glock provided a better gun, it was a Glock.

  • I’ve bought three Glocks in my day and carry one on the regular, but it delights me to no end to see GLOCK GmbH stepping on its own striker as a company like this. If we could somehow get this to involve Heckler und Koch filing a laughed-out-of-court suit as well that would be pretty much perfect.

    • Rob

      While I don’t think Perfection(tm) has it’s limits why do you think that they stepped on their own striker?

      It could be possible that Sig won on their own merit rather than the lack of from glock.

      Also why is HK involved in his fantasy? They didn’t even submit a pistol.

      • Glock has tripped over it because they’re filing a ridiculous protest that makes them look like they’re little better than corporate thugs throwing a tantrum because they didn’t get their way. From what we knew about the process all three final contenders were excellent pistols, and while politics always plays a major part in any big government contract, the P320 probably was the best pistol overall.

        The fact that so many people have taken for granted that Glock simply submitted an off-the-shelf model instead of designing a new one to meet the specifications– which is undoubtedly the case, and which they’ve done before– shows that their institutional arrogance has already delivered a possibly significant blow to public opinion, and this silly protest just adds to that. Articulating the concept of “institutional arrogance” in a room full of gun people pretty much requires taking a dig at HK in the same breath.

        • Rob

          Have you seen the Glock pistol submitted?

          • Nobody has, most likely because Glock is so invested in their ~~PERFECTION~~ aesthetic that they don’t want anyone seeing a different version and preferring it over their standard design, and that’s really not helping public perception of their actions with this submission. There would have been a lot less smirking and jeering from the general gun-owning public if they had at the very least released a brief description of the differences between a stock G19 and their submitted design, but that was never very likely to happen given how much of their manufacturing business model is driven by the lack of variation in their basic design.

          • n0truscotsman

            “aesthetic that they don’t want anyone seeing a different version and preferring it over their standard design”

            Thats an assumption on your part. Glock hasn’t publically released the model they submitted yet.

          • It’s an assumption, but it’s hardly uninformed; Glock is well known for this sort of thing and has been since they first started producing military contract specials in the late ’80s and subsequently ignoring all calls to offer those variants for general purchase.

          • Rob

            That is largely true of all manufacturers. Unless the product is COTS it will not be produced after it fails the bid for which it was designed.

          • The M&P 2.0 is on shelves now at very attractive prices.

            How long were people clamoring for a single-stack 9mm Glock before they finally got around to the 43? Smith&Wesson had the 9mm Shield in stores three years earlier, and Kahr’s been making single-stack polymer 9s since the turn of the century. Before then, I remember plenty of lamentation from the gun periodical oldschoolers that they couldn’t get a G17S with a thumb safety like the ones Glock sold to Israel et al. This really isn’t new behavior on their part.

          • n0truscotsman

            “Glock is well known for this sort of thing and has been since they first
            started producing military contract specials in the late ’80s”

            Is that why they have had a variant with a manual safety over 10 year ago?

            Your argument doesn’t make any sense.

  • M&M’s

    Shot Show timing is irrelevant. The timing of the announcement the day before the inauguration and Mattis being sworn in as secdef was likely not a coincidence considering his statements in 2016 regarding the process.

  • SPQR9

    OMG. So many people don’t get it. Its just part of the process.

  • valorius

    Anyone got a pic of the trials Glock with the ambi manual safety?

  • Ed

    In the end Glock still gets US military contacts. SOCOM still buying the G-19. USMC may follow suit.

    • FactChecker90803

      The M17/MHS is a DoD program, the M17 is scheduled to replace/succeed the M9, SIG 226 Navy, SIG 228(M11) and Legacy 1911 In all 4 branches. So NO, the USMC. Is not going to go nor be allowed to go outside the DoD and adopt a USMC only Sidearm ( Maybe MARSOC, like SOCOM, will pickup some Glocks, but likely adopt the M17 in due course, just as NSW will replace there SIG 226 Navy with a version of the M17 MHS.

      • Rob

        FactChecker90803, chck your facts. NSW just adopted the Glock 19MOS w threaded barrel(nsn 1005-01-658-1930 assign date 09/16/16) and Glock 26 (nsn 1005-01-658-7261 assign date 10/13/16)as the Mk27 and Mk26 respectively. MARSOC and USASOC have been issuing the Glock 19 for some time now. The Army is the the program manager for the M17. The other DoD components don’t like not having control over weapons programs. This is especially true for SOCOM.

        • FactChecker90803

          The same.way that the M9 was an Army Program, it’s a DoD replacement for the M9, Secretary Made Dog, has already let it be known, that Service Specific Programs will have to be Justified and must Demonstrate a Critical Need, the days of services waiting Tax PAYER funds on Exquisite programs is Over.

          • Rob

            M9 was an Airforce program. Regardless, the program hardly displaced all pistols. The Sig p228, Sig P226, m1911, Mk23, Mk24 and various Glocks have all been in use by the US military since the adoption of the M9.

  • LCON

    Do we have any solid data on the Glock submission now? I mean Realistically Sig Won and there is no changing that those will become the M17. But It would be interesting to what Glock offered.

  • Gregory

    This is all to do about nothing. Glock or Sig, who cares? As long as a quality gun is selected it does not make a bit of difference. My gun is better than yours, no mine is better, who gives a crap, get over it.

  • TimRoy

    Good article. I had 20 yrs in defense contracting and have had exactly the same experiences you describe re protests.

  • idahoguy101

    Ask SIG how their protest over Beretta winning the M9 contract went!

    • Rob

      Sig (Saco was the importer at the time) did not protest. SW did. There actually was bias found against the SW entry and the contract was rebid. Beretta won the second bid as well and Saco did not resubmit due to being unhappy with their initial result. I guess it is Sig’s time in the spot light and others can be salty but we will know more when the GAO report is publish. The silver lining is that the protest will result in the publication of the report. Glock would not protest unless they wanted everyone to know what happened.

      Also keep in mind that Colt was able to derail the military ever getting any M4 carbines marked Remington Defense so the process does work from time to time.

  • Andrew

    I’m having a really hard time believing that Glock developed a totally new design with a removable chassis and there has been zero reporting on it other than this blog post. It just couldn’t have been kept secret considering all the fan interest in Glocks. Even if they swore hundreds of people to secrecy wouldn’t Glock want the public to know that their submission really did meet the MHS requirements instead of leaving the impression that they submitted an off the shelf 17/19 and are just being sore losers?