The US Army’s roll out of the new M17 Modular Handgun System continues with the US Army Military Police School among the latest units to recieve the new SIG Sauer-made pistols. The US Army Training and Doctrine Command have posted an article announcing the Military Police School’s transition and getting some reactions from those now using the pistol.
The Military Police School’s Deputy Commandant, Mark Farley, explains that they have seen an increasing number of reliability issues with ageing M9s, which have been causing “readiness issues”. Farley says that the school’s M9s have on average had about 20,000 to 30,000 rounds put through them during their service life. Gary Homer, an instructor at the school noted that “with these 17 and 18s, you won’t get degradation of the barrel until after 25,000 rounds. The new MHS has an exponentially longer lifespan or life expectancy.”
The Modular Handgun Systems adjustable grip frame size is also coming into its own at the Military Police School with Farley noting that:
The Military Police Corps, is about 16 percent female Soldiers, so this is a big deal when you’re talking about Soldier lethality and accuracy. For all Soldiers to be able to hold that weapon with a proper grip and use the right fundamentals of firing – it’s very important in order for them to be able to engage the target and thereafter. One size does not fit all.
Another instructor, John Scarbrough, appreciated the striker-fired M17’s consistent trigger pull, explaining that “you don’t have to get used to 12 and then a 4 1/2 or 5 1/2 pound trigger. Your first shot is the same as your 17th shot.” In the past, Scarbrough has seen students pulling the M9’s trigger with two fingers because of their lack of finger strength.
The Deputy Commandant believe that the change over came “at the right time where we were trying to make training a little more stringent and harder. This gun won’t make it easier, but it will ease some of the transition on this new qualification table that is just now being exposed to Soldiers in the field.”
The Military Police School has so far received several hundred new pistols, with the final inventory expected to be around 1,400. The M17 and M18 recently had its reliability verified by a report from the Director of Operational Testing and Evaluation.