The Modular Handgun System in Action at Fort Bragg

    Suffering Teething Troubles

    Serviceman at Ft. Bragg puts MHS rounds down range (U.S. Army photo by Lewis Perkins)

    The first photos of the Army’s new M17 Modular Handgun System in action have emerged. The photos, taken during U.S. Army Operational Test Command testing at Range 29 at Fort Bragg, show service personnel from a number of units getting trigger time behind the MHS.

    The new M17 (MHS) in action at Range 29 Ft. Bragg (U.S. Army photo by Lewis Perkins)

    These are the first official photos to emerge since the Army announced SIG Sauer’s entry had won the Modular Handgun System back in January. The photos accompany an article from Fort Bragg’s base news site, Paraglide.

    MHS 21-round extended magazines loaded and ready (U.S. Army photo by Lewis Perkins)

    The OTC’s Col. Brian McHugh said “we wanted to make sure that we have a huge sample to make sure that we’ve got this right — that the Army has it right,” to ensure this personnel from across the service are taking part in the OTC’s program. The range day at Ft. Bragg included soldiers from the Special Operations Aviation Regiment, the 3rd Infantry Division, 16th Military Police Brigade and the 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment. OTC is looking to span not only units but also MOS too, with police, pilots, infantry and crew chiefs all getting trigger time.

    Note the boxes of Winchester 9×19 on the loading table, Winchester is SIG Sauer’s MHS ammunition partner (U.S. Army photo by Lewis Perkins)

    “These are the Soldiers who would be using the weapon every day,” said OTC testing officer Maj. Mindy Brown, “so getting their feedback on the pistol is really what is important for operational testing.”

    The M17 in a right-side, low slung holster system – it is not yet confirmed if this is the MHS’ approved holster configuration (U.S. Army photo by Lewis Perkins)

    Capt. Christina Smith, the Individual Weapons program manager, is overseeing the OTC’s testing of the MHS at various sites. It’s her task to ensure the quality of the new handgun system’s, “It’s worth it to make sure you get the right product to the right soldiers” she told Paraglide.

    A soldier has two standard 17-round magazines in pouches attached to his Improved Outer Tactical Vest (IOTV) (U.S. Army photo by Lewis Perkins)

    Some of the personnel lucky enough to get some time behind the new pistol were also interviewed. Sgt. Emily Todd, 16th Military Police Brigade, felt that the testing was a “great opportunity for soldiers… to have a forward look into what the Army might use some day.” Sgt. 1st Class Kevin Custer, of 160th SOAR, also appreciated participating in the OTC’s testing: “It’s good. We don’t really get the opportunity to test the equipment in the unit we’re in.”

    Despite recent controversy surrounding the MHS’ parent pistol, the P320, the Army is expecting to begin fielding the M17 in the fall.

    Matthew Moss

    _________________________________________________________________________ – Managing Editor – Managing Editor

    Matt is a British historian specialising in small arms development and military history. He has written several books and for a variety of publications in both the US and UK. He also runs Historical Firearms, a blog that explores the history, development and use of firearms. Matt is also co-founder of The Armourer’s Bench, a video series on historically significant small arms.

    Here on TFB he covers product and current military small arms news.

    Reach Matt at: [email protected]