BREAKING: GAO REJECTS Glock’s Modular Handgun System Protest – IT’S OVER

It is finally official: The SIG P320 will definitely be the US Army’s next service handgun. Soon after the January announcement of SIG Sauer’s win of the half-billion-dollar MHS contract, gunmaker Glock filed a protest on the decision with the Government Accountability Office (GAO). The GAO had until Monday, June 5, to make a decision on whether to hold up the contract or allow the program to continue with procurement of the SIG handgun. Today, the news is out: The GAO has rejected Glock’s protest, and the MHS program can now move forward with procurement of the SIG M17, according to a story from Army Times.

The GAO’s decision effectively concludes the 13-year-long search for a new US Army handgun, which began with the Future Handgun System back in 2004. The SIG M17 is the winner, and will be the next US Army service handgun… Or will it? As Rambo said, in military procurement “nothing is over!” While the closure of the GAO’s decision is welcome (though, maybe not for Glock), the story of the M17 is far from over. As a comparison, the program to select a replacement for the M1 Garand lasted 14 years until a decision was made, from 1943-1957. Yet, 4 years after that decision was made in 1961, the chosen M14 was still not in the hands of front line US combat troops in Europe due to continuing delays and production problems, and the rifle controversy erupted again. Nor would it be truly settled for another 7 years after that, until 1970.

This is not to suggest that I expect SIG’s guns to have severe production issues, but rather that I’m not holding my breath that the matter is totally settled yet. There is still plenty of time for surprises.





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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  • Major Tom

    The Aglockalypse has been halted! We have been granted salvation by the gun gods!

    • AC97

      >says Aglockalypse has been halted

      >is a polymer framed pistol

      lolwut?

      • valorius

        Glock copied polymer frames from HK, you know that, right?

        • AC97

          Um, yes I do?

          In case you didn’t know, Nathaniel has been tagging “Aglockalypse” for other striker-fired guns, like the CZ P10, P320, and RP9.

          I never meant that Glock invented polymer frames.

          • valorius

            You mentioned, “But it’s polymer” like a glock.

          • AC97

            Okay then, let me try to explain this:

            The VP70 was the first polymer-framed gun, but for obvious reasons (blowback design, trigger, meh accuracy because of the trigger), it wasn’t that popular.

            Glock made striker-fired polymer pistols into a bandwagon (as seen by all of the polymer pistols that popped up afterwards), so the term “Aglockalypse” is meant more as a “jumping onto the bandwagon” kind of thing.

            Insert Joker rant here about how if you have explain the joke, there is no joke.

          • valorius

            The meh trigger of the striker fired VP70 was actually a safety feature, since it was intended to be a 3rd burst weapon with a shoulder stock. Heck the VP70 didn’t even have a safety.

            All Glock did was take HK’s design ideas and market them better.

          • Methinks you have never actually handled a VP70.

          • valorius

            Hey, i played the original resident evil!

            But seriously, i have.

          • So the difference between a Glock 17 and a VP70 is marketing? Surely you don’t mean that.

          • valorius

            The main difference between a VP70 and a Glock is the safe action trigger. The VP70 is more innovative, holds more ammo, and had a 3 round burst mode with it’s attachable shoulder stock, all things the Glock lacks.

          • Kivaari

            Seriously?

          • valorius

            I’ll say the same thing to you i said to nathaniel, put a glock safe action trigger on a VP70 and itd be a better glock with more mag capacity and a 3rd burst shoulder stock capability.

          • Kivaari

            The VP70 used an over-size bore that allowed gas passage to reduce the pressure so it would work as a straight blow back. It gave up quite a bit of velocity (power).

          • valorius

            It has velocity comparable to a revolver of the same barrel length. It’s also got a fixed barrel, so fewer moving parts, and less to go wrong.

            The only chrono data i could find was 1100 fps for standard pressure 9mm FMJ.

            Letting gas blow by was a clever way to run a lightweight slide in a
            simple blow back config. Of course later on HK would introduce the P7
            pistol, which accompished the same thing using a gas retardation system
            (for my money, the P7 is still the most accurate service pistol i have
            ever fired, with the most exquisite trigger pull).

          • Kivaari

            I simply dislike the VP70z.

          • valorius

            That’s fine bro. All you had to do was say so. All i’m saying is that HK was innovator of every technology that Glock copied. 😉

          • Dude, the VP70 sucks like an electrolux.

          • valorius

            The trigger sucks. In all other ways (esp. with the shoulder stock attached), it’s both groundbreaking and pretty awesome.

            Put a glock safe action trigger on it, and i can’t see how a glock would be in any way ‘better.’

          • Kivaari

            The VP70 was a club-like pistol. It was horrible on every level by which a pistol is judged.

          • valorius

            Disagree. 🙂

          • Yeah, the “Aglockalypse” isn’t really about everyone buying Glock, it’s about the striker-fired polymer-framed design scouring the handgun market of lesser configurations that use things called “steel frames” and “hammers”.

        • Kivaari

          But HK did them wrong. Having them in the P9s and VP70 pistols. Junk.

          • valorius

            The P9 is junk? o.O
            Heretic! Burn the witch!

  • Patrick Karmel Shamsuddoha

    The editoral tone of this blog is increasingly jaded and to the extent that it doesn’t add value to the conversation.

    • valorius

      Glock fan?

      • Patrick Karmel Shamsuddoha

        actually no, lol but just irritated by reading articles the the authors seem forced to write about because it’s news, but instead of just giving us the plain facts, they add editorial voice that insinuates it doesn’t matter, so why even bother.

        • anon

          If you aren’t jaded by military procurement and Glock’s obligatory cursory protest, then you’re either a procurement officer or you work for Glock

        • valorius

          Well in reality what pistol is used on the modern battlefield doesnt really matter.

          • Patrick Karmel Shamsuddoha

            so why add anything at all just give use the info and move along “headline ” see source :” ” glock rejected by GAO have a nice day

            lol

          • valorius

            Because you have to ‘add something’ to an article to make it interesting and attract readers?

          • Patrick Karmel Shamsuddoha

            no you don’t …. thats why it’s called news …

          • valorius

            NPR reports (their version) of news. Their viewership is miniscule compared to many more flamboyant ‘news’ sources.

          • Patrick Karmel Shamsuddoha

            and how many flamboyant “news” sources report on the minutia of the firearms industry? most of the TFB readership come here because it functions as a firearms specific news source thus the tag line “Firearms not Politics”. I just think we (the TFB readership) can handle the news without the sugar coating.

          • valorius

            If you don’t like the site…

          • Patrick Karmel Shamsuddoha

            Listen my temp is only to make an honest critique. I enjoy reading this blog on a daily basis I enjoy Nathan other writing on this and his own site. this was in no way meant to be a personal insult or the denouncement of the TFB

          • The titles are written in accordance with TFB’s style guide.

          • Don Ward

            You do know that the “F” in Nathaniel F stands for Flamboyant, right?

    • Don Ward

      SAYWA?
      The author is kind of a Glock fan if you care to look at his bylines. Not sure what jaded editorial tone you’re talking about.

      • Andrew

        The author’s claim that this ruling still doesn’t mean SIG has won sounds like grasping for straws.

        • Oh they’ve won, alright. I am just not holding my breath that the M9 replacement saga is over, yet.

          • CapeMorgan

            I think the Steyr patent lawsuit can and will delay actual purchase.

  • Sense Offender

    Prob could have stuck with an M9A2 for another decade.

    • m-dasher

      probably could have just ditched a handgun all together if were honest.

      • Anonymoose

        Should have just given Mk18s to everyone in place of a handgun.

    • int19h

      Cuz if you’re carrying a doorstop, might as well carry the one that’s bulkier and heavier?

  • Gary Kirk

    Here we go.. Gotsta go get me some popcorn..

  • borekfk
    • valorius

      LMAO

    • A.WChuck

      So much WIN!

    • Sunshine_Shooter

      Shouldn’t there be a gag on the Glock person, bearing the label “GAO”?

  • Don Ward

    *Insert Grumpy Cat “Good” gif here.*

  • Brett baker

    Not perfection.

  • Tim

    I felt a great disturbance in GLOCK perfection, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced.

  • TheNotoriousIUD

    Why anyone outside of the military cares about this is beyond me.
    Or anyone IN the military for that matter since the chances of them using their sidearm for anything other than a hammer are remote.

    • USMC03Vet

      It’s mainly for the appeal to authority fallacy, but it also shows Glock isn’t the hottest thing on the block these days AND with the M9 being so antiquated it’s nice to see something new.

      • TheNotoriousIUD

        Like I said I couldnt possibly care less about this subject.
        All I know is I own Sigs and Glocks and my Glocks have never malfunctioned or needed to be sent back to the factory.

        • Eric H

          Then why are you commenting on it? No one is forcing you to read or comment on the story.

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            To piss you off.

          • Eric H

            And you failed at that since I’m not pissed off in the slightest.

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            Liar.

          • Eric H

            Go do your trolling elsewhere.

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            Go be mad somewhere else.

          • Gary Kirk
          • TheNotoriousIUD

            To some extremely mature individuals any stated opinion that does not align seamlessly with their own qualifies as a trolling attempt.

          • Gary Kirk

            Oh.. Hungover, at 5:30 AM on the Chesapeake drinking a beer sounds like a trolling attempt to me.. Hell, we’re even pretty successful most of the time..

          • Person

            Open container spotted. I’m sure it’s not the captain’s cold one.

          • Gary Kirk

            Nope, we definitely keep that one in check..

          • Person

            I retired from guiding fishing trips last season, but having spent 15 years on the water making a living, I thank you. Weekend warriors suck.

          • Gary Kirk

            We’re pretty much weekend warriors, summer means real life work for us.. The fishing is just a labor of love thing.. Now, during the early spring trophy/ fall season.. We’re all working together to keep at least one boat in the water full time..

          • Marc

            More talk of morning drinking…..I’m strangely aroused.

        • Anonymoose

          I used to despise Glocks and Berettas, but now I like them, just not as much as some people.

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            One will make as good a doorstop as the next.

          • Anonymoose

            Or paperweight.

          • Gary Kirk

            Low velocity user propelled assault weapon..

        • neckbone

          Everyone hates on glock, until they use one.

          • Marcus D.

            I learned how to shoot a handgun with one. I have never owned one, and never will. I don’t like the way it fits my hand and I don’t like the way it shoots and I don’t like the “safe” action trigger that is drop safe only and yet prone to ADs.
            So there. ***rasberry***

        • Phil Hsueh

          I own both and I’ve never had to send either back and I actually prefer my Sig over my Glock. But, since my Glock is my first gun I’m keeping it (mostly) for sentimental reasons. That being an older model Glock (pre-ban) and living in CA I would have to sell it out of state making it a big pain to sell.

      • Jason

        Appeal to authority is only a fallacy if the authority is unqualified. Presumably the Army is not an unqualified authority on firearms quality (they are, of course, not the last word either). For people considering firearms, that a major military chose this arm is ONE consideration in favor of it.

    • Gary Kirk

      Or those in, that do use their sidearm on a regular. But, they pretty much have a choice in what they carry anyway..

      • TheNotoriousIUD

        Yeah, those guys dont buy off the rack.

    • Get over it fanbois

      If the Army was serous, they wouldn’t have passed on adopting a PDW like every other military in NATO.

      • TheNotoriousIUD

        Because what we really need is a pistol thats next to useless on the modern battlefield.

        • Get over it fanbois

          I was thinking that could have adopted the BT MP9 or the MP7. However that ship has sailed. It’ll be another five years before they realized their mistake.

          • hikerguy

            This. Either would have been a better option. A more expensive one I know, but it would have been more useful in the very end when you needed it.

        • Don Ward

          You never know that when the chips are down, the last SAW has jammed and most of the M4s have melted after Jihadist ChiCom Russkies have over run the FOB; you know, the Major from Civil Affairs will step in to save the day, armed with his Modular Handgun System.

        • Kivaari

          There is still a place for handguns in the military. PDWs are big and a nuisance to carry.

    • Andrew

      What professionals use (military and police) is a sign that brand has been tested and deemed to be high quality. Most people cannot do their own scientific testing so they look to others that have. Also people want what is cool and they idolize soldiers so they want what the troops use.

      • TheNotoriousIUD

        What?
        For every gun on the market there are about 547,983 professional and amateur reviews published or posted online.

        And I believe its the other way around. The military is wanting to upgrade to the cool stuff we civilians have been playing with for years while theyre stuck with a gun that reached peak cool factor around the time the first “Die Hard” came out.

      • m-dasher

        Military quality = the cheapest option that mostly meets our requirements

        military quality =/= high quality

    • hikerguy

      i agree. I do know this: If you are down to your sidearm and involved in some sort of engagement your day has already been a bad one and is most likely going to get worse. I was for the B&T MP9 myself.

    • JSmath

      Well, I do like surplus stuff.

  • valorius

    Out of curiousity, what happened to the M12, M13, M14, and M16? Shouldn’t this pistol be the M12?

    • Gary Kirk

      The M14, the M16 happened.. The M16, the M4 happened..

      And technically, the M12 was that horrid POS the army called a holster for the M9..

      • valorius

        Pistols are numbered sequentially with rifles or carbines.

        The last three pistols were the M9 beretta, M10 Sig (USN), and M11 Sig.

        The next pistol should be the M12.

        • Gary Kirk

          Before the m9 was the m1911??

          Anyways, was just being a jackass..

      • Anonymoose

        The M15 was the automatic rifle version of the M14. The M4 Carbine was originally successor to the M3 Submachinegun, but in nomenclature became successor to the M3 Carbine. “XM9” was probably chosen arbitrarily because it was supposed to be in 9mm. The XM10 was their failure to re-adopt the P226 over the M9 Beretta. The XM177 probably has something to do with the M16, but idk where the XM8 designation came from. The Mk22 is the S&W 39 with a lockable slide and a suppressor, the Mk23 is the SOCOM Pistol, the Mk24 is the HK45CT, and the Mk25 is the P226 with a bulkier “in-spec” rail. idk where the Glock 19s SOCOM has adopted fit in there, if they do at all. The MP5 and MP7 have never received an official designation besides MP5 and MP7.

  • JumpIf NotZero

    If you wanted to win a modular handgun competition, you probably should have submitted a modular handgun.

    • They obviously did submit a “modular” handgun, or the Army wouldn’t have downselected to them.

      • USMC03Vet

        I question the legitimacy of this claim. Is there any way to actually know for certain or do we filthy plebs just have to rely on the good graces that military procurement does the right thing?

        • “Modular” here is defined by the US Army and their requirements (which Glock met), so, yes, we do know.

          • USMC03Vet

            This is the internet. Pics or it never happened!

      • John

        If you wanted to be the US pistol, you should have made an external safety.

        #whereisthegiggleswitch

        • BattleshipGrey

          You’re aware that a giggle switch is for full auto right? If that’s what you meant then carry on 🙂

    • Badwolf

      Damnit my back straps are interchangeable! -Gaston

    • n0truscotsman

      Why is this myth continuously spread around?

      Its quite obvious what wouldve happened had Glock’s submission not been truly modular.

    • WheresMyLunch?!

      Or rip off a Steyr patent…

  • Don Ward

    Meanwhile, Beretta M9s will keep soldiering along for – what – another decade or so?

    • Gary Kirk

      Until all stocks of replacement parts are exhausted.. So, until they break them all..

      USAF = forever
      USN = We use SIGs for the most part anyway
      USA = 5 or so years
      USMC = next Thursday..

    • Rnasser Rnasser

      And SOCOM glocks too….

  • Anonymoose

    YOU LOSE! GOOD DAY, SIR!

  • Brad

    There is a great disturbance in the (Glock fanboi) force. I see much gnashing of teeth and tearing of clothes in their future.

    • m-dasher

      yeah im gonna be honest here…..i dont think anyone actually cares what handgun the military is using…….i mean hell, the military doesnt even care what handgun they are using, its not like they see any significant use anyways.

      • Brad

        Oh, there was one group of handgun users that REALLY cared. Go back and look at some of the other post about the MHS and you can read their butthurtfulness.

      • Paveway

        I agree, its not 1985. There are all manner of pistols to chose from, and many have huge after market support without a big military contact under them.

    • n0truscotsman

      Or they will continue training and focusing on their carbines rather than getting wrapped around the axle about handguns in a military force whose procurement system is f–ked up beyond all recognition.

  • john huscio

    I was wrong, The Cohenization of the US military has officially begun.

  • Raptor Fred
  • Dave

    Well considering the first 5k pistols are slated to be delivered this year to the Rangers, I’d say its a done deal.

  • Seth Hill

    So now the last hurdle is the Steyr lawsuit.

  • KFeltenberger

    There is still Steyr’s patent suit against SIG that could kill the deal.

  • Uniform223