Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Made in America: Sig Sauer gets Army service pistol contract  By  Kelly

Image: Sig Sauer
Image: Sig Sauer
SIG SAUER, Inc. announced today that the U.S. Army has selected the SIG SAUER Model P320 to replace the M9 service pistol currently in use since the mid-1980’s. Released in 2014, the P320 is a polymer striker-fired pistol that has proven itself in both the United States and worldwide markets. The P320 is the first modular pistol with interchangeable grip modules that can also be adjusted in frame size and caliber by the operator. All pistols will be produced at the SIG SAUER facilities in New Hampshire.
Sig Sauer beat out Smith & Wesson, Beretta and Glock for the Army contract worth up to $580 million, which includes firearms, accessories and ammunition.

The MHS Program provides for the delivery of both full size and compact P320’s, over a period of ten (10) years. All pistols will be configurable to receive silencers and will also include both standard and extended capacity magazines.
The US army is retiring the standard-issue Beretta M9 after 35 years in favor of a more modern sidearm. And like so much tech these days, the new handgun is modular.
According to Wired, the pistol, called the P320, was originally designed by the German firm Sig Sauer for civilians in 2014, and it can be easily reconfigured to suit a variety of needs. The Army plans to purchase more than 280,000 of the handguns (and could eventually order as many as 500,000), and Sig Sauer says it will manufacture all of them at its factory in New Hampshire.
The P320 features interchangeable grips to accommodate hands of all sizes—something the Army needs, because the number of women in the service has grown significantly since the Army adopted the M9 in 1982.  Beretta tried to preserve its Army contract by offering the M9A3, which has some improvements like new sights and better ergonomics, in 2014, but the Army wanted a fully modular handgun.
According to the Marine Corps Times,  Barbara Hamby, a spokeswoman for Marine Corps Systems Command, told Marine Corps Times that the Marines will stick with the M9 Beretta for the foreseeable future.
“That said,” she added, “the Marine Corps is collaborating with the Army to shape the modular handgun requirements.”
The bureaucracy of purchasing new weapons is notoriously slow – the Army’s search took more than five years. And the Corps has not officially begun the process.

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