XM17 MHS LIVE FIRE from Guns & Ammo: Shooting the Army’s New Handgun

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.



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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  • Tym O’Byrne

    Ya butt Glock this and Glock that! LOL!

    • Veritas

      Best description of a Glockite. I usually call them to ashamed to admit they are wrong and too poor to have more than one gun.

  • BenJamin

    I’m here for the emotional Glock meltdown

    • Nicks87

      Where exactly is this taking place?

  • Yenokh Yagoda

    I am pleased with the fact that the US has selected this POS. Now American soldiers will have inferior, cheep and laughable handguns.

    That’s great!

    • Drew

      Wait a second, I thought they didn’t select the Glock?

    • .45

      That will be a great consolation to our enemies as they run from air strikes…

      • Yenokh Yagoda
        • Suppressed

          Are you Sermon 7.62’s latest reincarnation?

          • AC97

            The profile creation date does make sense with that assumption, so I say it’s very plausible.

          • Yenokh Yagoda

            If you never heard about me then ask google about me, instead of asking me stupid questions.

          • Suppressed

            So yes, gotcha.

          • Blackhorse

            The same one

        • will ford

          AND who GAF?

          • Yenokh Yagoda

            WHO does NOT?

          • will ford

            FOR YOU____NOT_______DOLT

        • tazman66gt

          So, they have one ‘Growler’ for a demilled photo op while the rest can’t be built because Russia has no money.

          • Yenokh Yagoda
          • Blackhorse

            You do know that there are more cruise missiles deployed by the US than Russia has air defense missiles.
            Then there are 10 times (even more) still in inventory for follow on strikes.
            Russia now has a smaller economy than Spain and still shrinking. Its so bad that Putin cut funding for almost every social program and still had to cut defense spending. Its so bad that the T14 and T50 will be produced at such small numbers that older designs will be built or refurbished to fill the void.

          • Yenokh Yagoda

            Russia has more than 150 fire units of the S-400 alone. One fire unit consists of 8 launchers and 112 missiles. The S-400 unit’s cost is $400 million. Russia is OK.

            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f79844e8a9907e7539ace696184b6a6e42cc2ecf9a9453f882ed81f5011598c9.jpg

          • Blackhorse

            Hahaha

          • Yenokh Yagoda

            You are strange, fellow.
            Read about it.

          • Ebby123

            “Russia has more than America has. Because all America has is DEBT.” -Yenokh Yagoda

            No. That’s not how that works… That’s not how any of this works.

            I don’t stop having a bigger gun than you because I’ve also got some credit card debt.

          • Yenokh Yagoda

            You take a loan and by a house. Now, who owns that house? And having guns is not enough to win a war.

          • Ebby123

            You can argue you philosophy on property rights after I shoot you and take your house.

            Oh wait, no you can’t. You’re dead. =P

            Get my point?

          • Yenokh Yagoda

            Of course.
            But like I said in someplace else, it takes much more than a gun to win a war. So tell me, which war has the United States ever won?

          • Blackhorse

            That’s not the same thing.
            The debt isn’t a “loan”.
            The vast majority is owned by the US.
            If somebody tries to sell the debt (bonds and T Bills) it will go through the market and there is enough buyers out there to buy it up at a discount to its face value.

          • Yenokh Yagoda

            Debt is not a loan, but a loan is debt. You don’t understand what we’re talking about. Stop.

          • Blackhorse

            Correct and the US National Debt isn’t a “loan”. PERIOD
            You need to learn the difference dim witted twit

          • Yenokh Yagoda

            You are a funny fellow.

          • Blackhorse

            It’s fact.

          • James Young

            GDP of US is $18.5 trillion while Russia GDP is $1.2 trillion

          • Yenokh Yagoda

            Yes, but that’s not what matters. The US debt is growing much faster than its GDP and has exceeded 100% of it. And it is still growing at such a high rate that soon enough the US shall go bankrupt.

            Russian debt, on the other hand, had been decreasing before the sanctions for a couple of decades, and the GDP increasing. So instead of borrowing from the international banking cartels Russia chose to return its debt as well as all the external debt of the SU.
            And even during the recent period due to the sanctions its external debt has grown just from $30 billion to $50 billion, making just about 10% of the GDP (the GDP of course has decreased due to the sanctions).

            But even now, and even counting all bebt that Russia has inside of itself, including the corporations and banks, its total debt is just about 50% of the GDP.

            The US total debt, at the same time, exceeded 400% and that means, in plain language that it shall take 4 times to produce enough product to return it and even that is possible just in case if the the debt stops growing and the GDP does not.

            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f3048431909baa9a71ba8bd3171c1de2e92f21aab42d0b6215070fc0eae5db6b.jpg

          • James Young

            US debt to GDP was 106% in 2016, not 400%. That’s good that Russia is keeping its debt under control, but that doesn’t mean that the US is going to collapse under its debt in the near future. For example, Japan’s debt to GDP is 250% which is crazy to think about. It has anemic or some years no growth, but it has not collapsed, and the currency has remained a safe haven for investors. Economies have to struggle to the point where confidence is lost in paying back debt which the US is not at risk of due to the ability to continue growing and attracting business and new capital. Russia has an issue in this respect for a dozen reasons (e.g. uncertainty, currency issues, geopolitical concerns, corruption, lack of confidence, less entrepreneurial culture, static population growth, etc.). It’s hard for Russia to attract capital from the West that could build their economy beyond oil and gas (not that there’s anything wrong with these industries), but with the growth numbers you showed, low taxes, the low debt, strong backing of gold, and strong industries I think Russia is on track to improve. I’m happy to see countries succeed economically since people in those countries are the ones who benefit from that.

          • Yenokh Yagoda

            Thanks for not being an as hole, but don’t confuse national debt with total debt. The US total debt is 400%. And no, it isn’t as safe as you think it is. Japan is a bankrupt state. All of that debt bubble is going to blow up, sooner or later.

            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c78ad00d078102088bf6992207b2a265ee8a1d4eb7e5b08efd261ff612a1fbc6.jpg

        • Blackhorse

          You mean the same system that Russia bragged protect all of Syria and then almost 60 Tomahawks hit a Syrian Air Force Base.
          LMFAO

          • Yenokh Yagoda

            Tomahawk missile’s cost is $1.8 million. Thus, 59 missiles equals $110 million. The result of that airstrike was: a warehouse, an educational building, a dining room, six MiG-23 aircraft in repair hangars, and a radar station.

            None of which belonged to Russia.

            Russian air defences were deployed in Syria in agreement with the government to protect Russian facilities – the airfield, bases, troops and infrastructure of the Russian Air Force.

          • Blackhorse

            So you’re saying when Russia announced their deployment and stated they would protect all of Syria, that it was a lie? Don’t say?
            LMFAO

          • Yenokh Yagoda

            There was an agreement. Look it up. Its conditions have changed now, but Russia is there to protect its own interests and its own assets.

          • Blackhorse

            So they lied when they first deployed the S400, contrary to what the agreement said.
            IE it was Russian propaganda
            Thanks for clearing that up
            LMFAO

          • Yenokh Yagoda

            The agreement was to protect Russian facilities: the Russian bases, Russian troops and infrastructure of the Russian Air Force.

            Understand, troll?

          • Blackhorse

            Again.
            Russian leaders claimed they would shoot down missiles and warplanes that try to attack Syrian forces.
            Doesn’t matter what their agreement “really” said but what they publicly claimed.
            But hey its nice to know that Russian air defenses just couldn’t do the job either way.
            Because if they could of stopped it they would of, and the US wouldn’t of been able to do anything about it. It would of made Russia look powerful and the US weak.
            Instead it made Russia look weak and many Russians complained about not keeping their public promises by doing anything at all.
            But hey, keep spewing what ever makes you feel better at night so you can sleep. LMFAO

        • Jim Slade
    • plumber576
      • Yenokh Yagoda

        Get back to your hole rabbit

        • Blackhorse

          Now now Sermon,
          Don’t be a sore loser.

    • Blackhorse

      Compared to what? A Glock? LMFAO

      • Yenokh Yagoda

        It is inferior, cheep and laughable compared to its counterparts. For example it’s inferior to the Chinese QSZ-92 because that’s the original modular design, so it’s also laughable that the proud US copies ideas of the commies and at the same time low IQ people of which consists the largest part of the population are proud about the “modern features” thinking all that was designed in ‘Murica.

        • Connor

          Why is it that whenever I see you on here you are getting your ass kicked in an argument that you don’t know much about?

          • Yenokh Yagoda

            You don’t know what I know and what I don’t know, so present an argument that is reasonable or piss off.

          • Karmen

            All I know is that he burned y’all on the qsz92’s modularity.

        • Blackhorse

          QSZ-92 isn’t “modular”.
          It wasn’t even the first polymer pistol.
          Want to try reality next time.
          Modular LMFAO

          • Yenokh Yagoda
          • Blackhorse

            They’ve been designing pistols like that for decades before China did it.
            That’s not modular LMFAO

          • Yenokh Yagoda

            Modular, troll, means “employing or involving modules as the basis of design”. And QSZ-92 is 100% modular. Because it uses detachable steel frame. Thus, the same pistol can be re-configured to use 5.8x21mm ammo or 9mm, and it has two models of grips to choose from. This is what is called “modular”. It was designed in 1994.

          • Blackhorse

            The QSZ-92, TT-33, and 1911 breaks down into 8 parts/assemblies basic cleaning. Not very modular.
            The QSZ-92 started to be developed in 1994. It encompasses multiple different pistols and not one is caliber interchangeable.
            QSZ-92-5.8 (DAP92-5.8) is the only 5.8X21mm version in production and only issued to Chinese military.
            QSZ-92-9 (DAP92-9) is issued to the Chinese police forces and some military units. It is of a different operating system internally and can’t exchange parts with the 5.8 model.
            China only exports the QSZ -92-9.
            NP-42 and CF-98 are export and commercial civilian models missing features the Chinese military/police have.
            NP-42 is sold to other goverments/police/military. Most are 9mm only with a few hundred sold in 7.62.
            CF-98 is 9mm only and is exported for commercial sales to civilians.
            QSZ -926 is a different grip style and controls in 9mm only.
            CS/LP5 Compact model of the CF-98 in 9mm only.
            The newest incarnation is the QX-04 which is supposed to be caliber interchangeable in 9mm, 45ACP, 7.62mm, and 40 cal. Only models in each caliber where shown without any shown to be interchangeable. That was in 2014 and it hasn’t been released as of yet.
            Now they could change calibers in the QSZ -92-5.8. That would require different barrel, magazine, bolt head/face, springs, and feed ramp. Would probably also require over 80% of components since the 9mm has higher pressures.
            The differences between 9mm and 5.8.
            5.8 is 32.5mm long and rim diameter of 7.97mm with a pointed bullet with lower pressures.
            9mm is 29.69mm long and rim diameter of 9.96mm with a rounded bullet with higher pressures.
            To change grips in a QSZ-92-9 one has to replace the whole polymer frame/pistol grip/magazine well. Which isn’t sold by the manufacturer as a replacement part.
            The picture you posted is of a QSZ-92-9 and not the QSZ-92-5.8. Different pistols internally.

  • Matt

    Watch them fire the pistol more times than a marine ever will.

    • nova3930

      Carried a lot. Shot once a year in qual. Then hopefully surplused out to us civvies sometime in the future 😀

      • JumpIf NotZero

        You know you can get a P320 for under $500 right? Like, today, without looking all that hard.

        You don’t need some POS that Private Clownshoes kept smashing into rocks trying to “get” a spider.

        • Suppressed

          I found this funnier than I probably should have.

        • nova3930

          Like today, I have 2 sitting on the shelf. A 320C as primary carry and a 320RX just for fun.

          I would want one for the same reason I wanted, and got, an M1 Carbine, Mauser 98, or SMLE because honest military use gives it some historical value for me to have in my collection. It’s the same reason I’m gonna snag a GI 1911 from the CMP if they get them even though I know they’re pretty rough….

          • tazman66gt

            what is your opinion of the 320RX and the Sig red dot?

          • nova3930

            It’s decent enough. Holds zero without a problem. I’ve only done target shooting with it so I can’t really comment on overall durability. Build quality seems on par with other optics in the price range.

  • Independent George

    I don’t believe anything that Guns & Ammo, or any other gun mag, has to say about anything.

    If they said water was wet, I’d check the faucet just to be sure. And then I’d wager that they’d started taking ads from a plumbing company.

    • Suppressed

      To be fair, Recoil is bready gud.

      • FightFireJay

        To be fair, isn’t Recoil the gun mag that said we should make “reasonable” or “common sense” compromises on gun control for AR-15s?

        Or was that a different gun mag with premium print paper?

        • Suppressed

          I didn’t know about that until you mentioned it. Apparently the editor resigned from his position after those asinine comments, so I got no beef with them.

        • Blackhorse

          The exact reason I don’t read their drivel anymore.

  • feetpiece _

    We’d be better off specifying a caliber and models for individual procurement. Soldiers need something to pay attention to since shining boots and pressing uniforms isn’t a thing anymore.

    • Holdfast_II

      Uh huh. And how do they source spare parts while on deployment in Goatf*ck Nowhere, Afghanistan? And who pays for the spares?

      Never mind when your buddy tries to use you gun (because you’ve lost interest in it due to death) and can’t figure out the weird safety.

      • Jason Culligan

        The Soviets had the right idea in one respect. Hold a competition for the design and, once a design is selected, contract the manufacture of said design out to anyone who meets government standards.

        Hell, the exact same was done by the US with the M1 Garand and M1 Carbine.

        • Blackhorse

          The Soviets didn’t believe in personal property nor copy rights. Everything belonged to the people. If it existed they believed they had a right to it and to copy it as needed.
          US small arms were produced under license as required by law and appropriate royalties were paid to the patent holders/parent company.

        • Flounder

          That happens whenever you need to make more guns than one company/factory can provide.

          There are still provisions in place so that the government can do that at need. It just isn’t our style anymore. Our native factories can produce more than the government needs. So we have trials. Where only one company can win. If they cannot provide the guns then the runner up is selected. Although, the trial do specify you turn over all information. Think of FN winning the M4 contract and Colt winning the SAW contract. That has happened in the last few years.

          I am sure part of that is due to the difference in producing guns. No two factories are going to have the same heavy machinery. So, if you told them to make identical pistols the end result would be rather different. You can see this in garands produced by different factories.

    • MeaCulpa

      proper uniforms are due for a comback as are shiny boots. What’s not due for a comback? Individually procured firearms or the pistol as a meaningful weapon.

    • Blackhorse

      With multiple deployments almost a guarantee for most soldiers “parade ground spit and polish” is the least of their needs nor worries.
      Fighting wars/conflicts tend to do that.

  • I wunder

    But muh G19, 15 pound ar, Rem 700 .308, Mossberg 590A1, Yeager, Costa, Zero, Ayoob, carbine class! There I think I hit all the required echo chamber musings typical of the tacticool/ gear over skills group. The MHS program was retarded. Most every major player makes reliable pistols. Off the shelf offerings would have worked just as well. We should have just got a bunch of hi points, no more than pistols are used and all. Then spent the difference saved on rifle ammo to teach real marksmanship skills.

    • john huscio

      Whos carrying 15lb ARs?

      • I wunder

        The tacti cool crowd with a m lok rail, surefire light, dbal,bi pod, foward grip, magnified optic, unmagnified aim point, bottle opener, kitchen sink, coupled mags, etc all on a safe queen that probably sees a few hundred rounds a year at best. To top it off, the rifle is usually something like an oracle. No segment of the community is as gear over skills/trigger time oriented as the tacticools. Never been to a public range without seeing someone with a 10+ pound scoped oracle-esque ar doing mag dumps at 20 yard targets with groups worse than a cylinder bore 12ga shooting 00 at 50 yards.

      • Flounder

        Lots of civilians end up building excessively heavy AR-15s. One local gun shop would not build a sub 12lb AR without the scope or bipod. And literally called one with a standard barrel an assault rile and one with a heavy barrel a lightweight hunting rifle. I had nothing to say at all. I just left.

        So the answer is… No one is carrying 15lb ARs. But lots of people build them and leave them in the safe.

  • Christopher Wallace

    *glocktistic screeching*

  • Mr. Katt

    Outside of SpecOps and military law enforcement/investigators, you could have issued a S&W M66 and no one probably would have known the difference . . . or use.

  • Turd Sterling

    I’m just here for the Glocks

  • Raginzerker

    Are pistols even used much in the military? Like actual combat?

    • Blackhorse

      A lot more than people want to admit. Especially in urban combat and house/building/room clearing.

      • Raginzerker

        That makes sense, wasn’t even sure if everyone got a pistol

        • Blackhorse

          Everyone doesn’t. Now officers and appropriate personnel do and they were heavily used in Iraq while doing house clearing.

    • Seamus Bradley

      Also when officers just don’t feel like carrying a rifle, they carry a pistol. 🙂

  • Seamus Bradley

    What I want to know is, does the P320 frame (w/o manual safety) work with the M17/M18 (with a manual safety)? That way I can buy my own frame and stipple the hell out of it.

  • jerry young

    Can we have a moment of silence from the .45 enthusiasts for the .45, gone is a truly great weapon replaced with a light weight piece of plastic you will be missed dear .45!

    • Connor

      Good riddance

  • Gregory

    Why can’t we all just, (snif, snif) Glock along?

  • Obi Sean

    Aaaaaand the PVD finish is already coming off the slide LOL!