Army Wants a Harder-Hitting Pistol |

The U.S. Army is moving forward to replace the Cold War-era M9 9mm pistol with a more powerful handgun that also meets the needs of the other services.

As the lead agent for small arms, the Army will hold an industry day July 29 to talk to gun makers about the joint, Modular Handgun System or MHS.

The MHS would replace the Army’s inventory of more than 200,000 outdated M9 pistols and several thousand M11 9mm pistols with one that has greater accuracy, lethality, reliability and durability, according to Daryl Easlick, a project officer with the Army’s Maneuver Center of Excellence at Fort Benning, Ga.

“It’s a total system replacement — new gun, new ammo, new holster, everything,” Easlick said.

via Army Wants a Harder-Hitting Pistol |

I love the old M1911A1, and never have liked the M9. I know people that do, but they’re wrong.

One of the real issues with pistols in the service is that they may only fire Full Metal Jacket ammunition. That really constrains their terminal ballistics. Given that restriction, a larger, slower round like a .45 is going to do much better than the zippy little 9mm.

15 thoughts on “Army Wants a Harder-Hitting Pistol |”

  1. Does anyone believe the Army will actually get a new pistol? I imagine this ending the same way the carbine survey and other previous small arms “programs” have gone – no change. I seriously doubt we’ll see a .45 as a service pistol with so many woman in uniform, and the focus on getting them everywhere possible regardless of merit. At best I imagine a PIP for the M9. The guys that actually need a good pistol already have them, and its not like there is a surplus of fun money in anyone’s budget to invest in a brand new service pistol. Very nice of them to start the program *after* ten-plus years of war, just as everything is now winding down. Sharp bunch.

  2. The Navy has bought the HK USP45 ELITE, and the HK45 in limited numbers. The HK 45 would make a particularly good choice. A coworker, who, on a hot day, and allowing for expansion, is 5’1″, and she does quite well with my SIG P250C. But she also wants to shoot it, which makes a big difference in mastering a weapon.

  3. When I first qualified with the pistol, it was the M1911. Marines everywhere were angered and sad to see old slabsides depart, even the old and beaten specimens we were firing in the mid-late 1980s. The really maddening part of it all was that the shortcomings of the M9 pistol design (the grip is actually significantly wider than the 1911, and much harder for smaller hands) and the inferior ballistic qualities of the 9x19mm were well known for decades before the decision was made to adopt the damned thing. The Marine Corps got wise, finally, and is going back to the M45, and not just for MEU/SOC. Colt has an IDIQ contract with the USMC. If the Army was smart, they would adopt the M45 just as is, but without the “USMC” engraved on the slide.

    1. The Army kinda sorta backed into adopting the M4 as the service weapon that way, and Congress was more than a little pissed about it. Less opportunity for dipping beaks.

      The Marines buying 5-10k pistols is one thing. A few hundred thousand pistols is another.

    2. The difference between 10k pistols and 200k pistols will be unit cost and manufacturing lead time. Gubmint bunkers are still stocked with 230gr .45 ACP ball MILSPEC.

  4. Maybe part of the problem is that they are looking for a joint Modular Handgun System instead of a pistol.

  5. I just bought a Remington Rand-made 1911 (they made 1911s from 1942-1945) from an old vet who says he carried it in the Korean War. I can’t imagine a market for 70-year-old M9s.

  6. So they need a new holster? I love my current holster. The only drawback to ditching the UCP pattern for uniforms and gear is that my holster is UCP.

  7. Timactual – fantastic point, but
    Do they need a “pistol”?

    Perhaps the problem is they *arent* looking for a joint Modular Handgun System? They are looking for a pistol and calling it a JMHS?

    Werent all of these issues what started the PDW concept in the 80s?

    The problem seems unsolvable, one shot kills from assault rifles are unlikely, expecting more from a handgun?

    Whats the purpose of a handgun?
    Serious shooting?
    Oh **** I’m gonna die

    Both offer a lot more than a Colt Single Action.

  8. @TrT “Whats the purpose of a handgun?”

    To keep the other guy busy until you can bring a rifle into play . . . .

    1. When SOP says everyone has to carry a weapon even in the rear areas, a pistol is a helluva lot more convenient than a rifle.

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