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.
More in my column at Guns.com.
One of the interesting things I came across in my travels around SHOT Show last month was that some classic Central European arms makers are still in the business of making classic European arms.
Over at Mauser’s booth, besides offerings in their classic M98 line for $10K+ safari rifles (!) there was the new M18, a $699 bolt-action billed as the “People’s rifle” (Volkswaffe) or “People’s repeater” (Volksrepetierer) by the German rifle maker. It’s a pretty sweet design, complete with a detachable mag, hidden cleaning kit in the butt (hey, it’s a Mauser) and a wide offering of calibers.
More about that over in my column at Guns.com
As for Steyr, which of course continues to market modern polymer framed pistols, precision rifles to include the giant HS-50 and their iconic AUG line of bullpups, they are bringing back the Zephyr. Now I had a chance to get my hands on a Zephyr .22 that belonged to my great-uncle as a kid and absolutely loved it. The reboot includes a traditional Bavarian cheek piece and fish scale checkering on a walnut stock, and an action so smooth it will make you cry.
More on that after the jump.
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.
More info if you are curious here.
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.
Soldiers of the Fort Campbell-based 101st Airborne Division are now being issued the winner of the Modular Handgun System contract, the M17 and M18 pistols made by Sig Sauer.
The much-modified Sig Sauer P320 9mm in two frame sizes is being fielded at the Kentucky base first in full-sized and compact variants, then will be pushed out to all units over the next 10 years, replacing the aging M9 Beretta. The division received more than 2,000 M17s and M18s, on 17 Nov and unpacked, inventoried, inspected and test fired a portion of the pistols, Nov. 27. It began fielding the MHS, 28 Nov, with C Company, 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment (“Currahee”), drawing the first pistols.
More in my column at Guns.com (though the pistol handling techniques in the videos from Fort Campbell are scary)