A recent article in the Marine Corps Times highlighted Marine Corps Systems Command’s interest in the XM18, the compact version of the recently adopted XM17 that the U.S. Army will begin fielding en-masse in the oncoming months. Gunner Wade, known popularly through his Gunner Fact or Fiction Youtube videos, commented that the service would probably be more interested in the compact version over the full size version, because it offers similar capabilities in a smaller package, saying that,
“We prefer our pistol be as compact as possible without loss of capability … after all, it’s a pistol,” Wade said. “As soon as the U.S. Army is ready to sell them to us, we will begin this program.”.
His point about “after all, it’s a pistol” is a statement that I think we need to take seriously because numerous entities appear to be taking a service handgun much more seriously than what I think they should be. At the end of the day, a Marine’s sidearm is possibly the least used weapon in the entire arsenal. It has to work, it has to be reliable, but it doesn’t have to be a “Force Multiplier”.
However, much more interesting is his comments about pushing for Glock 19M purchases. In his Fact or Fiction video he specifically mentions that:
Wade is already working on a requirement for a concealed carry handgun using the Glock 19M, a variant of a handgun already used by some Marines.
Although photographs from the current Marine advisory force in Helmand province has shown that Marines in Helmand are still armed with M9s. Marine Corps Systems Command did recently put in an order for several hundred Glock 19Ms, lumped in with an FBI purchase of the handgun. This appears to be completely separate from MARSOC’s Glock 19 adoption, and is intended for FMF Marines deploying to Afghanistan.
Much thanks to Daniel Waters for finding the Systems Command contract for Glock 19Ms!