05 Jul 2014

Army Wants a More Potent Sidearm

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The sidearm they need has already been invented.

Military Times:

The U.S. Army is moving forward to replace the Cold War-era M9 9mm pistol with a more powerful handgun that also meets the needs of the other services.

As the lead agent for small arms, the Army will hold an industry day July 29 to talk to gun makers about the joint, Modular Handgun System or MHS.

The MHS would replace the Army’s inventory of more than 200,000 outdated M9 pistols and several thousand M11 9mm pistols with one that has greater accuracy, lethality, reliability and durability, according to Daryl Easlick, a project officer with the Army’s Maneuver Center of Excellence at Fort Benning, Ga.

“It’s a total system replacement — new gun, new ammo, new holster, everything,” Easlick said.

The Army began working with the small arms industry on MHS in early 2013, but the effort has been in the works for more than five years. If successful, it would result in the Defense Department buying more than 400,000 new pistols during a period of significant defense-spending reductions. …

One of the major goals of the MHS effort is to adopt a pistol chambered for a more potent round than the current 9mm, weapons officials said. The U.S. military replaced the .45 caliber 1911 pistol with the M9 in 1985 and began using the 9mm NATO round at that time.

Soldiers who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan have complained that the 9mm round is not powerful enough to be effective in combat.

“The 9mm doesn’t score high with soldier feedback,” said Easlick, explaining that the Army, and the other services, want a round that will have better terminal effects — or cause more damage — when it hits enemy combatants. “We have to do better than our current 9mm.”

It shouldn’t take a long time to figure out that pretty much the ideal design already exists and dates back 103 years.

9 Feedbacks on "Army Wants a More Potent Sidearm"

bob sykes

They will totally screw this up. They will never go back to Browning’s design. Never. Expect a 10 mm POS Glock.

Tim P

I have to agree.
However, I own a Glock 21 (.45ACP) and I have no complaints.

Donald Sensing

Have to disagree. I carried the M1911A1 for many years on active duty, right up until they took it away and gave me the Beretta.

I do not defend the Beretta, but it would be a bad mistake to revert to the 1911. The magazine capacity is far too small and its design is antiquated. Incomparably better to got with a higher-capacity .45 model that’s more ergonomic, of which there are several examples.

Kris C

I agree with Donald. I LOVE the 1911 and own many. But for a service sidearm there are many modern alternatives that are better suited. There is a reason Glock, Sig Sauer, and other foreign based manufactures have opened production facilities in the US now.


They will probably go with a .40 cal.

Not a bad choice. It would hold a couple more cartridges than a .45 due to the smaller diameter, and power is in the same ballpark as a .45.

I recall the controversy over the original decision to replace the .45. There was no need at the time. A waste of money. Contractor politics.

At least they didn’t make the same mistake when it was proposed to replace the Browning .50 BMG, which has served extremely well, and still does the job as well as any alternative.

Finally, the gov’t is still buying BILLIONS of rounds of .40 cal hollow point ammo to use against Americans by Obama’s “civilian military”. WUWT?


What bullet are they using FMJ or JHP?


I favor something new. A better balance between stopping power and capacity with a strong emphasis on reliability. I understand the macho desire to just go big (.40, 10 mm, etc) but the search for a better sidearm should be more then that.


The Army wants a modular firearm in 45acp
there is one now with STI but the Army is needs 400k and STI doesn’t have the capacity so they will have to hook up with a major. They don’t want a 357 or 40.

Joseph P. Martino

If they want higher ammunition capacity, they could go with the ParaOrdnance P-14. It’s really a double-stack 1911. Holds 14+1 rounds.


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