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
I’ve have been shooting and carrying one of Beretta’s newest versions of their iconic Model 92, the 92X, and have a few things to report.
While the standard/full-sized 92X uses a 4.7-inch barrel to produce an 8.5-inch long handgun that tips the scales at 33.4-ounces while unloaded, the smaller Centurion is a more Commander-style offering with a shorter 4.25-inch barrel which boils down to a 7.75-inch overall length.
Going even shorter, the 92X Compact has the Centurion-length slide and barrel on a shorter frame (5.25-inches high, versus the standard 5.4-inch) to produce a handgun more suited for concealed carry. This puts the Compact in roughly the same class, size-wise, as guns such as the Glock G19, Sig Sauer P229, and S&W M&P M2.0 Compact.
I have carried it for over 400 hours and ran 2,000 rounds in it drawn from a selection of loads from Winchester, Federal, CCI (Blazer), Wolf, and PMC in weights between 115- and 147-grain with a mix of various training and self-defense ammo in standard commercial, military, and +P velocities.
Long story short: one malfunction in shooting, some belly skin lost in carry. Other than that, not bad. Not bad at all.
In the end, the 92X gives the modern shooter a reliable handgun that stands on 40+ years of legacy while having a lot of features– DA/SA hammer-fired action, all-metal construction, slide-mounted safety/decocker– that you aren’t going to find on the average plastic fantastic.
Further, it does it all in three available sizes with a ton of aftermarket support. The 92X series may not get people to drop their polymer striker-fired handguns, but it does give those who are familiar with, or prefer, the 92 families a more contemporary pistol that is both fun to shoot and dependable.
See the full review with more context in my column at Guns.com
Groovy and very sci-fi looking new guns competing in the U.S. Army’s Next Generation Squad Weapons program were shown to the public last week.
Intended to replace the current standard M4 Carbine and M249 SAW light machine gun, the new NGSW contenders — which use 6.8mm (.277-caliber) hybrid ammunition with an EPR bullet– were on hand at the largest land warfare conference and tradeshow in North America: the Association of United States Army annual meeting (AUSA 2019) last week in Washington DC.
General Dynamics Ordnance & Tactical Systems, which is working with True Velocity and Beretta, showed off their new RM277 NGSW platform, a bullpup with lots of modularity.
Notably, the gun uses True Velocity’s 6.8mm composite-cased cartridge, which has a “drastic reduction in cartridge weight and enhanced accuracy.”
Other contenders include a team made up of Textron, which has subcontracted with ammo maker Winchester-Olin and firearms maker Heckler & Koch, while Sig Sauer is going it alone.
In the below, BG Dave Hodne, Director SL CFT, and BG Potts, PEO Soldier, talk about soldier lethality and how the NGSW fits into the equation, below.
Spent lots of time on the range this weekend as I am T&E’ing several new guns such as Beretta’s 92X Compact and Diamondback’s DB9 Gen 4. I also took advantage of the great weather (70 degrees, a downright cold front in Mississippi!) and lane availability to dig out some classics from my gun lockers.
Lots of badly injured paper men, one painful yet minor case of slide bite, and 3,000~ rounds of brass left behind for the case goblins.
All that being said, not a bad weekend. I’ve had worse
Dating back to 1814, and as such predating modern Italy, the Carabinieri are that country’s famous national gendarmerie force.
Long equipped with Beretta-made sub guns, LMGs, rifles, and handguns, the force has always been well-armed. Back in WWII, they used the M934 Beretta in 9mm Corto (.380ACP), replacing it in the 1950s with Beretta’s popular M1951 Brigadier series in 9mm Para. That gun, a single-stack 8-shot locked breech, short-recoil semi-auto, was modified and given a double-stack magazine, making the Beretta 92 that we know today.
Adopted by the Carabinieri in the 1970s, the early 92S is much the same as today’s 92FS, with the exception of some minor internal differences and the same M1951-style magazine release button located towards the bottom of the left-side grip.
Replaced by more modern versions, these retired gendarmerie guns were imported in big numbers to the U.S. in the past couple of years.
Sure, they are 30~ years old, but the average LE handgun is only fired 2-4 times a year (if it is issued) for qualification and familiarization, with the round count likely at the 200-ish mark per annum. That translates to about 6,000 rounds downrange over a three-decade service life (if it was issued for all 30 of those years.) Even if you double that, you are only looking at 12K rounds. As the average durability of Beretta M9 slides is over 35,000 rounds, frames are over 30,000 rounds, and locking blocks are 22,000 rounds, they are only about a third of the way through their likely lifespan.
I picked up a few from SOG last fall (before they went out of business!) for sub-$300 and spent the better part of the day on Sunday giving one of these beaters a workout.
In all, I put some 250 rounds of Winchester White Box 124 grain FMJ (if it makes it with WWB, it will make it with anything, lol!) through it with (zero) malfunctions.
Last month at SHOT Show, I talked to Marine, champion shooter and firearms instructor Ernest Langdon spent a year of his life running up the rounds on a Beretta 9mm that just wouldn’t die. Langdon (who has won national and world championships with Berettas) is well known on the training circuit and he is a very gregarious guy. However, his recent Beretta journey wore on his nerves a bit.
You see, he ran 50,000 rounds through a PX4, and it still works after some routine maitenance of sorts.
“That’s a lot more ammo than most people realize,” said Langdon, who dutifully put box after box through the handgun under all conditions.
More in my column at Guns.com.
I’ve been corresponding with Eric B., who reached out to fill in the blanks on a version of the M1951 rarely seen outside of the sandbox — the Beretta-licensed Iraqi Tariq pistol.
Made by Al-Qadisiyyah in great numbers, many Americans who have served in CENTCOM have encountered one of these so-called “Saddam Berettas” but only a small handful have made it over to the states and Eric was lucky enough to acquire one.
The guns are kinda clunky for U.S. users familiar with a Beretta 92/M9, as they have a single stack mag, use a heel-mounted release for the same, and suffer from a lack of Western quality control.
More, including a bunch of photos, in my column at Guns.com