In a recent article, Guns & Ammo editor Eric Poole gave us our first look at the Army’s new XM17 Modular Handgun System in action. Within the 3:12 runtime of the brief video, Poole gives a rundown of the handgun’s features and advertised benefits vs. the legacy Beretta M9 handguns currently in service, and gives us our first taste of the P320-derived XM17 in use on the range. Unfortunately, G&A has disabled video embedding, so the video can be found by following the link over to their website, and viewing it there.
SIG Sauer’s selection by the Army’s Modular Handgun System was the result of a program with a 13 year history, stretching back to the Army’s first attempt to replace the Beretta M9, the Future Handgun System (FHS) program of 2004-2005. This program evolved into the Joint Combat Pistol (JCP) program with the inclusion of a pre-existing SOCOM effort, SOF Combat Pistol. In 2006, the US Army dropped out, followed by SOCOM. JCP was essentially dead, but the effort to pick a new handgun restarted with an Air Force program – Air Force Future Handgun (AFFH) – that began in 2007. In 2008, this program was wrapped into a new joint program, the Modular Handgun System (MHS), which lay dormant until its formal announcement in 2013.