Friday, June 19, 2015

Army Plans to Start Replacing M9 Pistol in 2018

One of the major goals of the MHS effort is to adopt a pistol chambered for a more potent round than the current 9mm, weapons officials said. The U.S. military replaced the .45 caliber 1911 pistol with the M9 in 1985 and began using the 9mm NATO round at that time. Soldiers who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan have complained that the 9mm round is not powerful enough to be effective in combat, Army officials maintain.


California Midwesterner said...

No pistol with ball ammunition is an effective combat weapon, especially compared to a rifle. The difference in wounding effect between calibers is near enough to negligible that the difference in magazine capacity is more important.

With just FMJ, I'd rather have 15+1 of 9mm than 7+1 of .45 ACP (I know, it's blatant heresy to say it).
Heck, even with quality JHP--meaning HST, Gold Dot, Ranger T or Bonded, etc--I'd rather have the 9mm for overt carry.

Frankly, it's hard to see the Army going away from 9x19mm NATO any time soon. The only real change is likely, IMO, in the launcher.
And frankly, the M9 is a big SOB for launching 9mm rounds. The M9A3 is a step in the right direction (though it isn't adopted) with the modular grip, and the Brigadier slide/barrel length would be even better.

But realistically, the near-ideal outcome would be something like the M&P 9mm with a thumb safety (or not, I'm not picky but it is Big Army here). It's lighter, handier, more compact, easier to carry, and holds 2 extra rounds, plus it has the modular backstrap inserts so smaller-handed shooters can get a decent grip more easily.
For that matter, a 4th Gen Glock would do just about as well, and offer interoperability with our British allies.

All in all though, pistols aren't significant as military weapons. I doubt more than a comparative handful of Soldiers, Marines, Airmen, or Sailors have had to use a pistol in solo self-defense during combat.
According to the guys I've talked to, pistols are most useful for being technically "armed" while walking to the chow hall on base, without having to tote a long gun around inside the wire. That being doubly true for officers and senior NCOs, who also use the pistol-instead-of-M4A1 as a status symbol.

Army, stop wasting money on trivial bullshit. Upgunning Stryker and Bradley is more worth the effort.
Getting a better MMG or HMG is more worth the effort. A sidearm is not. Even then, just some modest alterations to the one already in service (which Beretta helpfully already did, in large part, with the M9A3 ECP) would offer 80%+ solutions for almost no additional cost.

Anonymous said...

Three things.
1). With any luck, all the old M-9 pistols could end up for sale at CMP. Always
wanted a Beretta 9.
2). Because a 'bulge' or an 'imprint' is now legal, I'll probably start carrying
one of my three 45's. It will likely be the P-250 Sig DAO because I don't have
to carry it with the hammer cocked back.
3). Watch out bad guys. I'm packing heavy...and I don't ever miss inside twenty feet!

Anonymous said...

After they start replacing the M9 there should be some good buys for M9s on the surplus market... that is, as long as a democrat is not president then. A gun-grabbing democrat president will just have them destroyed.

- Old Greybeard

Anonymous said...

Ghee! Didn't this all happen before ... over 100 years ago!


Informed42 said...

If the military really wants stopping power and magazine capacity, they should get
Belgian FN 5.7's for side arms. With regular ammo, muzzle velocities are well over
9 MM rounds. With 20 round magazines, good accuracy and penetration, a number of European law enforcement groups have already gone to them because they have also
penetrated a lot of the body armor on the market.

Anonymous said...

I'll take the .45 over the 9mm para-ballerina anyday, and I DO.
Wa good enough back then and still is. I want WEIGHT behind my last ditch, back up weapon.

Joe said...

Ironic. A NEW Army contract to produce several thousand, updated,
1911 based, .45 acp pistols will come just in time to save the Colt
firearms' factory bacon....again.

It's like some weird remake of the old Time Tunnel T.V. series.

What's next, A brand new Colt contract for Thompson Submachine Guns ?


Anonymous said...

The size of perforation of a body from a 9mm ball and a 45 Ball is negligible. The 45 earns its money when you use hollow points, however, the same can be said for 9mm and you have a crap ton more of them. The simple statistics of shooting incidents flatly does not support the notion that one single bullet will stop the fight. The gun community really needs to accept that. The math does, however, support the fact that a bunch of rounds carefully placed will end the fight. Lighter recoil and, consequentially, faster follow up shots and better accuracy are what win the day. The FBI spent a bunch of tax payer money recently to come up with this conclusion. If you take this information to the extreme and try to apply it to the .22, the ballistics is not there. 9mm is the most available round we have that gives you the biggest bang for your buck. I cannot fault anyone for wanting to carry the biggest round possible for defense. There is a certain comfort in that but no more than anyone else who carries a viable defensive round. Again, 380 and 22 need not apply unless that is all you can comfortably shoot. In that case something being better than nothing can be easily argued.

Now that we have that out of way, we can focus on the gun. The M9 does have some issues when you compare it to other pisols. Glock, XD, S&W, and 1911 fanboys will chime in with their favorites. Bottom line is that the guys with the biggest problem with the M9 are the same guys that have a problem with the M16, namely the guys who shot beat to hell, driven hard and put up wet examples in basic training and never touched them again. Or they are the Cosmoline guys who parrot each other on internet forums. Both the M9 and the M16 have killed a whole crap ton of bad guys and they will continue to kill so long as they are reasonably maintained.

If you have the coin, Wilson Combat does a rework of the M9 that is a beauty to behold. The ergonomics of the gun are sound, so with the exchange of certain plastic parts with metal (it should be noted that the civvie version Beretta 92 already has the metal parts), and a little trigger job, the M9 will give you many years if hard use with little complaint.

Give it a chance, at least.

Anonymous said...

I saw (yet another) article on the web researching bullet diameter, weight, style, and shot placement as ingredients for a sure fire fight stopper. These are not new discussions. Look up "Hatcher Index" and or "RSP". This latest article concluded that with the exception of hits to the medula or heart, fights stop when the person who has been shot decides the fight is over. People have quit after being hit by a .22 rimfire. Others have kept on after multiple heavy caliber hits.

Yet the U S Government has cycled over the .36 vs .45 debate multiple times and likely will continue to do so until sometime after our descendants are all carrying some kind of directed energy weapons.

Anonymous said...

"People have quit after being hit by a .22 rimfire"


Ed said...

I took the "Hatcher Index RSP" search string suggestion, with this as the first result:

Considering what rounds the military can use, then you can look up what the RSP can be for those rounds in this table. It makes the USCG's choice of a 12+1 round DAO SIG P229 in .40 S&W seem reasonable, especially since they do have the requirement to share 9mm ball ammo with NATO partners. Since the Army requires interchangeable back straps or the functional equivalent and a manual safety, then the striker-fired SIG P320 in the double stack magazine caliber of the Army's choice may be a workable solution.