Sunday, August 28, 2011

Praxis: Pistols with a shot at replacing the M9

From the Army Times.


Anonymous said...

Another 9mm... Woo Hoo.

Oh, it's gonna be a .40 caliber!

And Obama ain't a Marxist either.

millerized said...

Must be part of the 'Clinton/S&W' deal from years ago.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad XD's aren't in the running. That way WE will still be able to get a better pistol than the military! And all other government it appears......mtheadIII

Dennis308 said...

The 1911(in.45 of course)is the handgun I go to and carry, its easy to operate, accurate, and Most of all Dependable. And top all that off with a round that will knock a man down(230 gr. at 750-800 fps)even if they are wearing body armor.


Ed said...

Why does it appear that the "problems" with the weapons are:
1. Accidentally activating the manual safety, so that nothing happens when you intentionally pull the trigger.
2. Having no safety, so the weapon discharges when you accidentally pull the trigger.
Both are operator error issues best resolved by training.

It is odd that the Coast Guard chose the DAK double action only variant of the Sig p229 in .40 S&W, as it is usually the enlisted personnel who are in the boarding parties. You need to pull the trigger intentionally to fire. The Navy Seals (who some argue fire more rounds in training than the entire U.S. Army) use the Sig 226 and P228 (M11) in 9mm. Other Federal services currently use various Sig models in 9mm and .40 S&W as well as .356 Sig rounds.

There are more foot-pounds of energy delivered by .40 S&W rounds than comparable rounds in either .45 ACP or 9mm+P or NATO rounds. Whether there is sufficient energy to penetrate body armor is questionable.

Please read "An Alternate Look at Handgun Stopping Power" by Greg Ellifritz, posted on the Buckeye Firearms Association Site:

Ellifritz's conclusion?
"This study took me a long time and a lot of effort to complete. Despite the work it took, I'm glad I did it. The results I got from the study lead me to believe that there really isn't that much difference between most defensive handgun rounds and calibers. None is a death ray, but most work adequately...even the lowly .22s. I've stopped worrying about trying to find the "ultimate" bullet. There isn't one. And I've stopped feeling the need to strap on my .45 every time I leave the house out of fear that my 9mm doesn't have enough "stopping power." Folks, carry what you want. Caliber really isn't all that important."

What does appear to make a difference is training and practice.

Anonymous said...

Whole article is stupid. Pistols are anemic weapons anyway. No major difference in wound channel with main calibers or stopping power, so they should invent a death ray.

The most important thing is reliability. Beretta M9 is a reliable handgun, albeit perhaps too large. Sig Sauer M11 is a reliable piece, yet heavy. I use larger capacity Mec Gar mags and 32 round Pro Mag happy sticks for both pistols.

How are the other handguns that much of an improvement?

Arctic Patriot said...

Amen to training and practice. Run what you know. I'm an XD fan, and I recently acquired a Glock through barter.

I am extremely impressed with Glocks, and the XD has not let me down in any conditions, from being run dirty and dry to firing at -40.

Both are .40 S&W. I'm a .40 fan as well.

It goes without saying though, that the military's decision will be based on politics, not practicality.

I think the ability to put rounds on target, under pressure is paramount and trumps firearm model and caliber when engaging two legged predators.


Anonymous said...

The DoD would do well to dump the FMJ for a hollow point round. Of course politics and legal eagle minutia get in the way. I rather suspect SpecOps chooses their own anyway... If it's ok for law enforcement, why isn't it ok for our fighting men and women??

What gets chosen to replace the Beretta will be political, bet on it. That's the history of such things. I've personally experienced being part of a team that presented the Air Force with a supierior product that not only exceeded specs, but beat the competition, -until the Air Force changed the specs to favor the other guy. All politics. Shit happens.

Placement, practice, training, wash, rinse, repeat.

Buy what works for you and learn the weapon. As AP says, train under pressure as part of your regimen. Not only is it more fun, it'll work out some wrinkles...

Bob Katt

Semper Fi, 0321 said...

The military is relegated to the use of 9mm FMJ, therefore most rounds just punch small holes with little wound channel. We however, have the option of using any HP we choose, which makes this a whole different ballgame. Carry what you like and feel comfortable with, there is no 'perfect' pistol.
And let the military choose another boat anchor, it's not your problem.

Scott J said...

Indeed, AP. Rounds on target in a hurry under less than ideal conditions are where it's at with handguns.

I used to think I was a really good shot because I could do stuff like this slow-fire, single action:

And this double-action:

Then I got into IDPA. Add running and shooting from concealment to the mix and it's a completely different world:

Dedicated_Dad said...

I find it interesting that the article describes the Sig 229 as DAO - mine's DA/SA as are all others I've seen, stop they certainly are available if DAO is a problem for Army brass...

As to .40 S&W, I personally find the recoil a bit snappy, and a bit more challenging to keep follow-up rounds on target a compared to 9 mm or .45. Add to this that I do more shooting than any 10 soldiers I ever met, and I doubt if .40 is a good choice for the .mil...



Andrew E. said...

As many problems as the M9 has as a service weapon (many of them related to bad maintenance practices and specifying a shitty magazine finish), it's really not worth the money right now to switch over to a new sidearm. It's of such trivial importance, that as long as the guns aren't shot-out completely (as some of the 1911s were: to be fair, the newest ones dated from late 1945), just go on with what you have. Nothing out there (I say this as a longtime owner and user of 1911s and Glocks in various calibers) is really much of an advance, anyway. Especially not something with a grip safety that also locks the slide up (i.e. the XD series) so you can't even clear a malfunction without two working hands on the gun...

Plus, just last year or so the Army bought another half-million M9s. They aren't going anywhere, it seems. At least not for the forseeable future. Give it another 15-20 years, maybe.

Oh, and no handgun caliber will "knock a man down, even in armor" with any kind of predictability or reliability.
Heck, there's a video out there (maybe on Youtube) of a guy getting shot in the chest with a 7.62 NATO from a FAL, while wearing a rifle-rated vest, and staying perfectly upright. Did I mention, he was standing on one foot at the time?
Moral: Newton's 3rd isn't just a good idea, it's the law. If it didn't knock you down in firing, it cannot "knock down" the other guy.
He might psychologically give up and fall down, but that's different. And certainly not a reliable effect.

Anonymous said...

"Moral: Newton's 3rd isn't just a good idea, it's the law. If it didn't knock you down in firing, it cannot "knock down" the other guy."

Yes, but in all the TV shows.......

Death rays indeed!

Anonymous said...

The US Military's (and law enforcement's) fight between those who have to procure ammo and pay for it on the one hand and those who have to use it on the other has probably been going on since Washington's time. Time and time again we have to relearn the fact that while ammo measuring .36 in diameter is cheaper and you can carry more rounds for the same weight, ammo that measures .45 is better at stopping fights.

The REMF's that buy the stuff will always go for .36 whether you call it .36 cap and ball, .38 S&W, .357 Magnum, or 9x19mm Parabellum.

The guys who have to depend on it in a firefight seem to prefer something else entirely.

"April 11, 1986. Two FBI agents and two suspects were killed in a prolonged shootout between the FBI and bank-robbery suspects William Matix and Michael Platt in Miami, Florida. The event became one of the most famous shootouts in American history, with 10 participants, roughly 145 rounds fired, and four deaths. It took a total of 18 hits (6 on Matix, 12 on Platt) to bring the gun battle to an end
Deaths: FBI: 2; Suspects: 2." -- wikipedia

Another great summation is here:

The FBI participants were armed, more or less, with 9mm pistols. Two agents who were carrying .357 revolvers "lost control" of them in the vehicle crash that resulted from the "felony stop" that preceeded the firefight.

Yup...... That 9mm is one heck of a sure fire fightstopper.

Dennis308 said...


"Newton's 3rd isn't just a good idea, it's the law. If it didn't knock you down in firing, it cannot "knock down" the other guy".

Think Ya can find someone to test that theory.

Special Opperations Group (aka Seals and Delta) went back to
.45 cal.,why?


GrayMan said...

My main carry gun is a smith and wesson M&P 40 and I love the gun its just a great platform and I havent had any problems nor negative feedback from friends who have shot it as well.

Mark Roote said...

I'm a little late to the party (Irene caused flooding and power outages in my AO), but I have to throw my $0.02 out there, even if it falls in the sewer...
I have an M&P .40 compact that has been my carry piece since 2008. I no longer track the rounds I've put through it, but I have never had a malfunction.
After the first 5,000 rounds, I decided to do a little test to see what it would take to jam it up. So i went out each weekend for 4 weeks and fired 200 rounds the first day and 100 rounds the next 3 weekends. I did not clean it or do any other sort of maintenance, just kinda let it sit around and let the residue "soak" in. after that 500 rounds, I still did not have any malfunctions (I fired about two hundred hand loads that 4th weekend after the 500 test rounds). I had no ill effects. I had planned on going longer without cleanings to see what it would take, but it was driving me nuts that I was letting it sit like that (you know that OCD feeling most people have towards their firearms... that kicked my ass in the end).
Anyway, the M&P is comfortable to me and it's as accurate as I can be (I'm no great marksman).
My next pistol will be a full sized M&P pistol since I now open carry instead of concealed, but I will wait to see which is more comfortable for my wife to shoot (9mm or .40) so that I only have to reload one round (the last 10 years have brought many improvements to ammo so that caliber is really not as important as it used to be).
As for the other weapons, I never liked the M9, I had too many issues with the ones I was issued. The Glock is a perfectly acceptable gun, but it is uncomfortable to me (the angle of the grip causes my wrist to hurt after about 50 rounds). And the XD's weren't comfortable to me (the grip felt "fat" to my little hands).
I don't have enough experience with the others on that list to have any valuable info, so I won't comment on them.