New Hampshire-based Sig Sauer announced last week that they have reached a milestone in delivering new pistols to the U.S. Armed Forces.
Since winning the contentious Modular Handgun System contract in 2017, beating out big-name pistol makers from around the globe to replace the M9 Beretta, Sig has exceeded performance standards and recently delivered the 100,000th MHS series gun to the military.
The MHS system comprises the Sig Sauer M17 full-size, and M18 compact handguns, each based on the company’s P320 series pistols, as well as Winchester Ammunition’s 9x19mm M1152 Ball, M1153 Special Purpose, and M1156 Drilled Dummy Inert cartridges.
Over the coming five-to-seven years, upwards of 350,000 handguns and 100 million rounds of ammunition are scheduled for delivery to the Pentagon.
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All branches of the U.S. Armed Forces have placed orders for the M17/18 Modular Handgun System according to Sig Sauer. (Photo: Chris Eger)
Though originally a winner for an Army contract, Sig officials report that every branch including the Coast Guard has placed orders for the modified P320 pistol platform.
Sig’s M17/18 pistol, the winner of the Army’s Modular Handgun System contract last year, is set to be fielded by not only the land service but the Air Force, Marines and Navy as well as the Coast Guard, according to company representatives.
The handguns will begin replacing a host of other platforms, including various marks of the M9 Beretta in the Army. As noted in the Navy’s FY 2019 procurement budget justification for the Marine Corps, 35,000 of the Sigs will not only replace M9s but also Colt M45A1 CQB .45ACP pistols and the newly acquired M007 Glock. In Coast Guard service, the gun will augment the Sig P229R which was adopted in 2005. The Air Force has been quietly acquiring the guns and testing their use for compatibility with aircraft ejection seats.
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In the above video shot by my homie Ben Philippi, Sig’s Rich Morovitz talked to us at SHOT Show about the U.S. Army’s new M17 sidearm and points out some of the differences between the military’s variant and winner of the landmark Modular Handgun System contract and the standard Sig Sauer P320. Besides the manual safety– an Army requirement– Morovitz also goes into detail on the removable top plate for a Leupold DeltaPoint Pro sight, which is a big move for a MIL-STD handgun meant for the common Soldier in the field.
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The flying service, which is purchasing 130,000 of the new Sig P320 variants, is testing the Army’s Modular Handgun System’s capability to resist damage during the demanding act of ejecting from a moving aircraft.
The Air Force released a number of images of the MHS contract winner, designated the M17 by the military, undergoing testing at a facility at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, earlier this month. The photos show a full-scale anthropomorphic dummy clad in a survival vest and flight gear strapped to a simulated stand-mounted ejection seat. On the dummy’s chest are a pair of M17 pistols, one oriented for a left-hand draw, another for a right, alternating flush-fit and extended magazines.
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