US Customs and Border Patrol Seeks New 9mm Pistol

Matthew Moss
by Matthew Moss
US Customs and Border Protection officer firing his pistol at the range (ABC News)

The US Border Patrol’s parent agency the US Customs and Border Protection have released a solicitation for a family of new 9x19mm striker-fired, semi-automatic pistols. On 2nd July, the Customs and Border Protection agency published a solicitation with a specific set of requirements for size and modularity.

Customs and Border Protection are seeking an initial order of 1,000 pistols as part of an indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract for a family of lightweight, striker-fired, semi-automatic pistols. These will be in made available in various sizes and colours. The broader contract period is stated as 10 years with a contract ceiling listed at as much as $85 million. Making it potentially one of the biggest domestic law enforcement agency contracts of all time.

What do Customs and Border Protection Want?

The solicitation notice lays out a very comprehensive set of requirements, which cover both standard side arm use and more specialised, tactical uses. Three pistols, full-size, mid-size and compact, are sought with a number of common features between the family with 70% interchangeability required. All pistols submitted should be striker-fired, hammer fired (either exposed or internal) weapons are not permissible.

All of the guns will have ambidextrous controls, with multiple grip sizes for each pistol, the pistols will have no manual external safeties, a trigger safety is permissible, and the trigger pull with a minimum weight of 4.5 lbs and a max of 8lbs is desired. The full and mid size pistols should be optics ready with cutouts and cover plates for mounting red dot optics. An internally flared magazine well is desired with extended magazines requested for use with the full and mid size pistols. The magazine capacities for the full size pistol will be 16, 14 for the mid size and 10 for the compact. Each pistol will ship with three magazines, a clean kit and three varying sized back straps or frames all packed in a plastic 12x10x2″ case.

The pistol should have a low bore axis of less than 1.75 inches, most of the guns will have black or dark grey finishes but colours similar to Flat Dark Earth and Ranger Green are also desired as options. Internally, the components should be polished and corrosion resistant. US Customs and Border Protection desire the pistol to have an aggressively textured grip and slide serrations for cocking at the front and rear of the slide. In terms of disassembly, pistols that require the user to pull the trigger during disassembly are acceptable but not desired. The specification requests Trijicon HD (or equal) style sights.

29 full and mid size pistols and 7 compact pistols are required for initial testing and evaluation. The successful vendor will have to provide ‘advanced depot level armourer training classes’ each year for the entire 10-year contract. Red and Blue inert training pistols are also sought in all three sizes. The red pistol will be inert but functioning while the blue will be capable of firing simulation ammunition.

Who Will Submit?

As a potentially large contract all of the major manufacturers are likely to submit with SIG Sauer a likely favourite, Glock, Beretta and Smith & Wesson also all have pistols which could, with some adaptation, be submitted and meet the criteria. The solicitation closes on September 19, 2018, giving vendors three months to respond.


‘9mm Handgun’ FedBizOps, ( source)

Matthew Moss
Matthew Moss

Managing Editor: & Overt 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. Matt is also runs 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:

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  • ICU ICU on Aug 06, 2018

    Glock 17 or 19, Sig P226 or P320, Smith & Wesson MP, and some products from FNH, Walther, HK. There is a lot of choice but I’d be surprised if it’s not a Glock or P320!

  • Ruark Ruark on Aug 09, 2018

    Walther P99AS.