Tag Archives: Army

200,000th M17/M18 Delivered to DOD

Sig Sauer has been trucking right along with deliveries of the Modular Handgun System pistols– the full-sized M17 and more compact M18– since 2017 and just announced they have delivered the 200,000th such 9mm sidearm to Uncle.

Of note, the M17 and M18 are in use by all four Pentagon-reporting service branches and some 451,586 are on the schedule.

The MHS system is a P320-based platform, featuring coyote-tan PVD coated stainless steel slides with black controls, utilizes both 17-round and 21-round magazines, and are equipped with SIGLITE front night sights, removable night sight rear plates, and manual safeties. The M18 is shown in the foreground while the M17 is in the back. (Photo: TACOM)

More in my column at Guns.com.

Welcome (back), M16A4

The humble original M16 was originally Armalite’s AR-15, and was first ordered for military service with a contract issued to Colt Firearms in May 1962 for the purchase of early Model 01 rifles to be used by Air Force Security Police.

Note, these guns had waffle-pattern 20-round mags, no forward assist, a thin 1:14 twist barrel, and the early three-prong flash hider.

Fast forward to the XM16E1, which became the M16A1 in 1967, and you started to come closer to the standard Army/Marine rifle used in Vietnam and throughout the 1970s and early 1980s. It used a forward assist and a 1:12 twist barrel.

By 1983, the M16A2 came about, it had a thicker barrel in front of the front sight, a modified flash suppressor (closed on bottom), a new polymer buttstock (lighter and stronger), faster barrel twist (from 1:12 to 1:7), and a spent case deflector for left-hand users. Considered downright vintage by the Army and Marines, the Navy still sports them these days.

M16A2- check
M9 in drop leg holster- check
Body armor- um, about that……

By 1998, the M16A4 was in play, primarily for the Marines, which had a removable carry handle, a Picatinny top rail to allow for optics, short rails on the handguard for accessories, and a 20-inch barrel with a 1:7 RH twist rate.

Note the size difference between the compact M4 Carbine, top, and the full-length M16A4 rifle, bottom. (Photos: Department of Defense)

Since the GWOT kicked off in 2002, the big shift over the years has been to move from the full-length M16 family to the more compact M4/M4A1 carbine, with its collapsible rear stock and stubby 14-inch barrel, leaving the increasingly old-school style rifle as something of a relic today. Heck, the Army for the past couple years has been very actively working on replacing their 5.56 NATO rifles and SAWs with a new 6.8mm weapon. 

Now jump to 2020, and the M16A4 is now apparently the Army’s designated rifle for Foreign Military Sales to equip overseas allies in places like Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, and Nepal.

Colt and FN are competing in a contract to supply as much as $383 million smackers worth of M16A4s by 2025.

More in my column at Guns.com. 

There will soon be some milsurp U.S. Army M17s in the wild

Sig Sauer has a small number of military surplus M17 pistols that have seen varying degrees of genuine field use and is passing them on to collectors.

As explained by Sig, the guns were early military models with coyote tan surface controls. Since then, the M17 has been updated to black controls and the Army arranged to return those early guns to Sig for new ones. The now-surplus guns still have government control numbers and have seen a mix of action, with some pistols saltier than others.

Sig says these guns were previously fielded by the U.S. Army and their condition will vary, “making each one uniquely different, and making this truly an opportunity to own a piece of history.” (Photo: Sig)

More in my column at Guns.com.

100K MHS Series Pistols and Counting

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.

More in my column at Guns.com 

The story of how Remington helped win the air war

On the skeet range at N.A.S. Saint Louis, Missouri, 29 April 1944. Gunner is Lieutenant Junior Grade Rothschild, instructed by Martin. Shotgun is a Remington Model 11, 12 gauge semiautomatic, on a shotgun mount assembly Mk. 1 Mod. 0 consisting of gun mount adapter Mk. 12 mod.2 and .30 caliber stand Mk.23 Mod.0. Note boxes of Peters “Victor” brand skeet cartridges. Description: Catalog #: 80-G-237387

Rapid sight alignment when leading a flying target was a skill quickly taught to aerial gunners in World War II with the help of more than 70,000 training shotguns.

The Model 11 was the first auto loading shotgun made in the USA. Patterned after the old Browning square back shotguns, this shotgun is reliable and effective. There were approximately 850,000 of these shotguns made from 1905 until 1947, and they are still considered classics.

It’s a simple concept, with a shotgun being easier and cheaper to cut a trainee’s teeth on “wing shooting” than a full-sized machine gun. Accordingly, the Army and Navy bought 59,961 Remington Model 11 semi-auto (the company’s version of the Browning A5) and 8,992 Model 31 pump-action shotguns as well as 204 million clay targets and got to work.

U.S. gunner with a training weapon, a or Remington Model 11 set up to emulate flexible-mount .50 caliber M2 Browning. The most common version was the Remington 11-A Standard Version with a 29-inch Barrel and a built in Cutts compensator.

The rest, as they say, is history.

Another 14,000 of these Remington Sportsman guns were delivered with the smaller 20-inch barrel and different stock from the Remington 11-R version (Riot special-made for the Police market) for issue to military police, penal units and base guard forces, but that’s another story.

Wanna see the Glock MHS entry?

With the Army’s Modular Handgun System contract now firmly in the hands of Sig Sauer, images of Glock’s entry for the M17 and M18 pistol have emerged and they have a number of differences from their standard offerings.

These include a lanyard ring at the bottom of the grip, black ambi surface controls, a lack of finger grooves, a manual thumb safety, extended mags, and a flat dark earth finish. The models offered outwardly seem like otherwise variants of the Gen 4 G19 in 9mm and G23 in .40S&W. Not pictured are threaded barrels, a contract requirement, or ammunition, which was provided by Federal.

More in my column at Guns.com.

Sig Sauer came correct with pricing for Army MHS contract

The Government Accountability Office on Friday released the detailed decision on a contract protest by Glock over the Army’s selection for the Modular Handgun System contract.

The 17-page decision chronicled the Army’s efforts between August 2015 and August 2016 when the field of nine proposals from five companies was reduced to an offering by Glock and another, ultimately winning bid, by Sig Sauer. The difference between the two bids was a staggering $100 million.

In the end, Sig quoted $169.5 million for up to 550,000 M17/18 handgun systems, or just $308 per pistol, which is a deal when you take into account the amount of spare parts, mags, cleaning kits, and cases that are included.

The M17 comes in a full size (with extended mag) variant and a more compact model, below, to replace both the M9 and M11

Glock on the other hand was a lot higher.

More in my column at Guns.com

What your average Tommy DMR looks like

Photos via British MoD

Photos via British MoD

Here we see the British Army’s L129A1 service rifle, sniper, better known on this side of the pond as an LMT LM308MWS. The Brits bought 3,000 of these bad boys in 2014 and are known for a sub-MOA group at 800m with match 7.62x51mm NATO ammo, which is not bad out of a 16-inch barrel. The basic optic is the Trijicon 6×48 ACOG. Also shown are the standard SA80/L-85 Enfield bayonet (note the wirecutter sheath in the top left), and the MilSight S135 Magnum Universal Night Sight (MUNS).

Not pictured is the L17A2 Schmidt & Bender 3-12 × 50 Sniper Scope for long distance work and the SureFire SOCOM762-RC husha can for when you want to spend some quiet moments in the hills looking for ISIS-types. Weight all up (with the ACOG) is 11-pounds, if carrying other sights or the can, this jumps, as does adding a bipod or scrim. She takes regular AR-10 style mags, which you will notice that the Brits use PMAGs (doesn’t everyone).

What she looks like with her shit together

With the U.S. Army looking for a new commercial-off-the-shelf Interim Combat Service Rifle (ICSR) in 7.62x51mm, you better believe guns like the LMT 308MWS are being looked at.

We have the DOD FY18 budget briefs

In brief (pardon the pun) no 600 ship Navy or million-man Army any under these budgets, which, of course, still have to run the gauntlet. On the bright side, the A-10 gets to stay.

Army Budget Director Maj. Gen. Thomas Horlander briefs Pentagon reporters on the president’s fiscal year 2018 defense budget proposal, May 23, 2017.

Air Force Deputy Assistant Secretary for Budget Maj. Gen. James Martin Jr. briefs Pentagon reporters on the president’s fiscal year 2018 defense budget proposal, May 23, 2017.

Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Budget Rear Adm. Brian Luther briefs Pentagon reporters on the president’s fiscal year 2018 proposal May 23, 2017.

Inside the Sullivan Cup

The Army has a two-part video series about the Sullivan Cup, “This ain’t your mama’s table VI qualification.”

Big Green takes the top 16 M1 tank crews and pits them against each other in a week-long competition at Fort Benning.

The production team from the Defense Media Activity goes down to Fort Stewart, Georgia, to see two 3rd Infantry Division tank crews, “Cannonarchy” and “Count Trackula”– both from Charlie Co. 1-64 Armor— compete for a chance to go to the Army’s premiere tank crew competition.

And it’s really well done and insightful. The term “degraded engagement” takes on new meaning.

Part I

Part II

« Older Entries