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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Army to replace 9mm pistol with more reliable gun packing better 'knock down’ power

Published July 12, 2014


The Army wants to retire its supply of 9mm handguns and replace it with a more accurate and user-friendly model that also will provide soldiers with more “knock-down” power.

Army officials say their inventory of more than 200,000 semi-automatic Beretta M9 and Sig Sauer M11 pistols has become outdated, worn out and needs to be replaced with an updated model that also offers more reliability and durability.


They also are considering new ammunition, which has sparked considerable debate among military and civilian weapon experts as well.

“Advancements in firearms have taken place since the M9 was adopted nearly 30 years ago, and it is our intent to take advantage of these advancements,” a military spokesperson told FoxNews.com on Friday. “The Army is seeking to replace the M9 and M11 pistols with a handgun that is more accurate, ergonomic, reliable and durable than the current pistol.”

Officials seem opposed to an update version of the Beretta M9, despite the company offering to make changes.

"We have submitted numerous changes or product improvements that really address a lot of the shortcomings that are either perceived or real," Beretta development manager Gabe Bailey recently told Military.com.

The Army has been considering a change for several years and on July 29 will hold a so-called “industry day” to brief gun manufacturers about the competition requirements for a winning proposal.

The Defense Department will reportedly buy more than 400,000 new pistols if and when officials agree on a new model.

Beyond the 9mm’s durability issue, which Army officials says is costing them too much in repairs, soldiers also say the pistol needs a more ergonomic grip, its safety device too often locks inadvertently and its open-slide bullet chamber allows in too much dirty, which results in jamming.

Still, a large issue appears to be about the caliber of the new ammunition, considering most experts argue a person must be hit with several 9 mm rounds to be killed.

“We are not dictating a caliber during the competition,” the spokesperson said. “A vendor may submit multiple calibers of ammunition. However, the ammunition must exceed the performance of the current M882 9mm round.”

Among those likely to be considered in the Modular Handgun System competition are the .40 and .45 caliber rounds.

The argument against the .40 caliber round is that its heavier weight and stronger recoil causes excessive wear on a 9 mm pistol.

There have been no reports on how much the new weapons will cost, amid budget concerns. However, in September 2012, Beretta received a 5-year, $64 million firm-fixed-price contract for up to 100,000 of its M9 9mm pistols, according to Defense Industry Daily.

Following industry day, the Army will release a draft Request for Proposal, which seeks input from manufacturers.

The Army will then consider the manufacturers’ comments and modify the request, if necessary. It will then hold a final industry day before issuing a final proposal before the end of the year.

The next phase will essentially be a tryout and elimination process, which officials say will be based on technical results and will rely “heavily” on soldier feedback.

“One of the primary requirements for this weapon system is to provide the soldier with increased terminal performance,” the spokesperson said. “Feedback from soldiers in the field is that they want increased ‘knock-down power.’ And the MHS program will evaluate commercially available weapons that meet that requirement."
 

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The fact they are considering the .40 to replace the 9 should settle the argument of which of those has better "terminal performance"

I doubt they will consider recalling the 1911 after all it worked every time the trigger was pulled. When it was first tested for consideration by the government in 1910 they fired it 6000 times over a 2 day period without a single malfunction.

I expect something poly framed in perhaps 10mm.
 
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We will likely see the Glock in one caliber or another win this contest.
Like it or hate it, the Glock is durable, if it isn't it won't win.
It lost that last time because it was not made in the USA.

I remember the tests to adopt the Beretta and you knew after a while
that the fix was in.
 

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The fix is always in with these guys.

The fact they are considering the .40 to replace the 9 should settle the argument of which of those has better "terminal performance"
It settles nothing. If it did, why would they have gone from the .45 to the 9mm to begin with. 'It is what the US military uses' therefore 'it is somehow superior' is an argument that does not hold water. There reasons for doing things vary wildly...and are surely not always based on what the superior product happens to be.

Just ask Randy Cunningham.
 

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I carried an M1911 as an infantry company commander right before they were phased out. I would like to see them go to a high capacity .45 like the H&K USP. SOCOM got it right when they went back to the .45.
 
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They can switch to the FNH-45 which has a very slim grip profile.
My wife shoots one and she is very tiny.
I have the FNX-45 Tactical same grip but with a longer threaded
barrel.
You will not find a thinner grip on a double stack 45.
Much smaller than a Glock 21

Chances are the army will go to a 40 S&W I don't see them going back
to the awesome 45 ACP round.
 
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It settles nothing. If it did, why would they have gone from the .45 to the 9mm to begin with. 'It is what the US military uses' therefore 'it is somehow superior' is an argument that does not hold water. There reasons for doing things vary wildly...and are surely not always based on what the superior product happens to be.

Just ask Randy Cunningham.
When they went from the .45 to the 9 they were trying to standardize with NATO - 5.56, 9MM etc., neither of which have superior "terminal performance". The guys on the ground should be the final judge. You are correct there is no rational as to why those who make decision do things.
 

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I've carried the 1911 and the M9. I like them both, but for the "thud effect" I still like the .45 It will be interesting to see what they eventually come out with.
 

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So I wonder if they are bucking the NATO standard, or looking to lobby NATO to change the standard?
 
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I carried a M1911 A1 in the service and loved that pistol. As I said already, I hope the .45 caliber is brought back, would need to have double stack magazine and more modern composite. I remember when the switch was made to the 9mm and was told the ammunition was more prevalent worldwide as a NATO round. IMO it should be .45 all the way.
 

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Trained correctly, single stack mags can be swapped out in a hurry. However the amount of rounds in a double stack 9mm, in trained hands makes it easier to achieve and maintain suppresive fire, thus allowing appropriate maneuver. Not that one would choose a pistol over a battle rifle or SMG in general terms, but more rather in those situations where the pistol is a superior tactical choice or is the only weapon issued or available. If they want high capacity, and increased ability to penetrate car bodies, web gear, ammo pouches etc, would not be suprised to see the 357 SIG, in the running.
 

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I was thinking the same re: 357sig
 

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"The argument against the .40 caliber round is that its heavier weight and stronger recoil causes excessive wear on a 9 mm pistol." :hmmmm: I would guess it would if you ever got it in the chamber.

I believe they meant that most 40 S&W pistols are just a 9mm pistol that is bored out to
.40 S&W specs, so they tend to not last as long because they aren't a .40 S&W
platform to start with.


As far as 357 sig they'd have to reduce the blast that they throw. They have quite
the fireball.
 
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They plan to buy 400,000 pistols according to the OPs post. They were paying Beretta $640 per pistol also according to the OPs post. Thats $256 mill worth of guns if the price is the same. I suppose Glock could set up a store front and sneak the rest in for that kinda money.

BTW there were >2.7 million 1911s bought under government contract. Of course there were two world wars fought and other "police actions" using the 1911
 
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