General Mark Miley (courtesy thetimes.co.uk)

“We are not talking about nuclear subs or going to the moon here. We are talking about a pistol.” It looks like General Mark Milley wants a little perfection for his troops. “The Army launched its long-awaited XM17 MHS competition in late August to replace its Cold-War era, M9 9mm pistol,” military.com reports. “[General] Milley criticized the program’s 356-page requirement document and lengthy testing phase slated to cost $17 million for technology that has existed for years. ‘The testing itself is two years long on known technology,’ Milley told law makers at a March 16 House Armed Services Committee hearing.” Yes, well, we all know . . .

That the U.S. military procurement process is almost as corrupt as Rhode Island politics. Given the political machinations surrounding any military contract, the chances that the Army will ditch its MHS tender and buy 287 thousand GLOCK 19s from Gaston’s mob are about as high as the chances that Republicans will sweep into power in the Ocean State (currently 16 Republicans out of 113 legislators). Even though (especially?) as the buy would cost $98m vs. the $350m allocated for the MHS.

In short, General Milley may be throwing his career prospects to the wind. Coincidentally, a legislator from Georgia — where GLOCK is based — likes the idea of perfecting the procurement process. A lot. “I think it’s absolutely ridiculous that you don’t have the authority to pick a pistol for the Army,” Rep. Austin Scott told Milley during last week’s House Armed Service Committee hearing.

161 Responses to U.S. Army Chief of Staff Mark Miley: Forget the Modular Handgun System, Let’s Just Buy GLOCKs

  1. I’d still like to see Ruger throw their new American pistol into the ring – but I haven’t heard any rumours that they would.

      • Let me guess, that “horrible frame design” just doesn’t fit your hand. Did you come up with that expert opinion on Glock deficiencies all by yourself, or did you base it on what you read online or heard from some dude working the gun counter at Gander Mountain for ten bucks an hour. Too funny!

    • They specifically stated that they weren’t planning on doing so.

      …and @Greg, unless you’re talking about aesthetics, I have only heard one other person corroborate MAC’s feelings on the thumb pain thing to any degree (and it was a low degree “it seems to rub a little” comment). That’s after about a dozen people shot my RAP and then asking a few dozen at SHOT Show Range Day after they test drove it at Ruger’s booth, and witnessing a bunch of them actually exclaim on the firing line, “oh, weird, this doesn’t bother my thumb at all.” Most people seem to think it feels pretty good. Big a$$ on the gun or not.

    • Count me among those who think the RAP design is at least uncomfortable. Not particularly pleasant to shoot IMO. But that’s a subjective thing just like the Glock grip angle; works for some not for others. That said, I see no real reason the military, or law enforcement for that matter, would not want to just go with a proven design like Glock or M&P, in terms of a polymer frame, striker-fired pistol, unless cost were the sole criteria. Even then, I would expect that to get the contract, Glock or Smith would be able to underbid most other manufacturers.

      • Well they’d have to change a whole bunch of what they’re looking for in the MHS and toss many of the requirements out the window. First, there’s nothing about the gun having a polymer frame or being striker-fired. All it says is that the action must not be single action only. Which actually would rule out the RAP but not a GLOCK or most other striker guns where the trigger does do some of the cocking of the action. However, the specifications mandate a manual safety, a neutral color, and the ambidextrous controls or at least the ability for as many controls as possible to be swapped from one side to the other at the end-user (in the field) level. I guess GLOCK achieves that with the GEN4 mag release, but there’s no safety and to meet the MHS they’d have to add an ambi one from the sounds of it. They’d also have to provided threaded barrels and taller sights.

        So either the guns would have to change, or many of the MHS requirements would have to be ignored and scrapped entirely. Which I suppose is the subject at hand here anyway (ignoring the idea of MHS trials and reqs and just buying something that’s already proven, like Glocks).

        • I agree I’ve gone off into the weeds a bit here. But if we’re strictly talking about the MHS RFP then why talk about anything other than M&P and FNS, which are available with factory manual safeties (and only talking striker here although that’s not in the RFP). Glock, Sig P320, etc, would all be out.

    • To be fair, the $350mm or so up for grabs in the MHS contract is for a lot more than just the pistols. It includes suppressors, conversion kits for threaded barrels and tall sights, and other stuff. Don’t recall if there’s replacement/spare parts, service/maintenance/warranty, holsters, ammo, etc also included. But I do remember it was silencer system and related parts in addition to the guns.

  2. I realize this is egregiously controversial, I would just give troops a voucher. Troops are in the best position to know what they need. I realize that armorers and logistics may require a certain amount of standardization, but I am pretty sure it can be suitably managed.

    • You would have some guys buying 1000 dollar HKs and Sig legions and other guys buying 200 dollar tauruses (taurii?) Also, what happens when some guys daewoo k5 or Steyr M-A1 goes down in country? Doubt you’ll find parts or mags for those anywhere.

      Also don’t forget the ever popular “I was checking out my buddy’s *Insert Pistol Brand* when it went off! I didn’t know how the safety worked!”

      • “$200 taurii”
        The Roman Empire once gave a stipend to it’s troops for gear. Instead of armor, they bought big shields and prostitutes.

        Must’ve been what they felt they needed.

        • Prostitures? Wait,….. are we talking about the Roman’s or the current Potus’s Secret Service? 🙂

    • You would end up with a monstrous mix of high points, glocks, double barreled 1911s all tucked in their pants because no one thought they had to buy their own holster. The guy with the 50bmg pistol would be one of the few that actually could find his ammo readily available.

    • People have already touched on this, but the point of a military unit is interchangeability, supply lines, and uniformity. How are you supposed to train people on the range when each and every guy has a different handgun? How are you supposed to fix guns on the front lines when you don’t have the same parts? How are you supposed to order the correct parts in the correct quantity when everyone has different guns? This makes no sense whatsoever for anyone but special units like Spec Ops.

      • You go to the armorer, get a new Glock, and the broken one goes back to Glock for repair or replacement. At a projected price of $250 a piece, who needs parts?

        • The army will get them cheaper than 341. Glock will give them a steal of a deal just for the publicity of supplying the troops.

        • I was responding to the individual that was asserting that people should be able to choose their own firearms rather than have a standard firearm. As such, your comment would meant that the army armorer would need to keep parts in stock to nearly every single handgun on the market which is not only costly but logistically foolish.

        • I’m pretty sure the price per unit would come down is Uncle Sugar bought each of *us* one, too.

      • I’m retired Army, 26yrs, mostly Rangers & Special Forces – this guy gets it. Logistics drives EVERYTHING

        • Including the tactics, apparently. Logistics are part of the mission support, not the mission itself. Something about the tail wagging the dog.

          Choose an appropriate tactic and tell the logistical train what they need to do to make it happen. But focus on executing that tactic, for that is what kills the enemy and breaks their stuff.

        • I’m no expert on either, but it is plainly obvious that tactics wins battles, but logistics wins wars. The goal isn’t to kill the enemy or break their stuff, but to remain in the war longer. In modern warfare you’re not going to kill enough of the enemy that they don’t have enough people left to fight. You MAY kill enough that the remainder is demoralized, but far more likely they are going to lose effectiveness due to not having food, not having water, not having ammo, not having fuel, or just not having enough money to pay the soldiers or replace broken parts (or to pay for any of the other resupply issues).
          Given that tactics don’t win wars, but logistics do, doesn’t that mean that the emphasis at a national level for the armed forces should be more on logistics and less on tactics?

    • Flash to a Monty Python skit….Vochers for Arms. Get your arms here. Vochers for Arms. Stacks of swords, cross & longbows, armor, and a horse.

  3. Brits went with glock 17s, Germans use them, and if we’re supposed to try and be on a NATO standard, why not join them? I’m sure the brits would send us their testing data, and any SF unit would still be free to select a pistol more suppressor ready.

    You can get it in FDE, but I would request that glock remove the finger grooves, but that’s an easy fix.

    • This!!!

      Just do it already. And get the 17 not the 19. It is not like they need to conceal anything so why not have 2 extra rounds and .5inch of barrel length.

    • The NATO standard is the CZ P-01, and has been for years. I agree, it’s definitely what the US Army needs to switch to – it’s a far superior pistol to everything else being discussed so far. All metal, an actual hammer, 14+1 and extended mags to boot (all CZ-75 mags work with no tuning necessary). It’s inexpensive, accurate, has available threaded barrels, and the new version with the Omega trigger has interchangeable safety/decocker. They don’t break, super reliable, simple, and a fantastic trigger – did I mention accurate? It’s accurate. Pretty much the anti-glock.

    • Father and Father In Law were in Combat infantry and thought pistols were worthless. Give support troops an SBR. M1 Carbine was developed because most troops were incompetent with a pistol.

      • And size. The ever increasing amount of stuff hung off of military guys’ loadout rigs is seriously starting to make space a scarce commodity. If the army is as slow as usual in making a decision on anything, by the time they get around to it, all the poor soldiers will have room for, will be a snubbie.

  4. Springfield and Walters are better pistols than Glock. Glock’s only advantage is that it is manufactured here. My guess is that If the US military uses it Glock’s reputation will be ruined because Army will be run it into the ground. The M-9 passed every torture test that the Army out it through but everybody now thinks it sucks.

    The Glock is used by the world’s garrison militaries. They seldom get shot and don’t spend very much time in the field so you can’t judge how well it will stand up in US military use. Stick with the M-9A3.

    • Brother I hate to tell you this, But Walter Firearms Used to be in excellent company They are pretty much junk now.Springfield isn’t made in the United States of America so it cannot be bought by the United States military end of the story with that one. You have to know that for the last 20-plus years the military has been using Glock already in special forces units And even I in the 82nd Airborne Carried a Glock 19 for four and a half years over in Afghanistan. People with smaller hands That couldn’t manipulate the safety And fire the gun accurately the M9 was ditched And we were issued Glock 19 in 9 millimeter Parabellum. Now mind you I didn’t see a lot of them But when it came to working with Delta Or the SEAL Teams Most of those fellows carry Sig Sauer Or Glock I didn’t see but one guy in Delta Force caring and M9 Beretta. But he had huge hands And shot the weapon very well So each to their own.

      • My wife is 5’4″ with small hands. She has never had an issue with her M-9. When she goes to the range she collects a crowd because she shoots out the 10 ring and inner half of the nine ring at 25 yards.

        There are a lot if toys the specs ops guys get that the rest of the military doesn’t have. They are very hard on equipment and when it breaks they toss it and get a new one.

      • Ah, if you forced me to shoot up a few hundred rounds of your ammo every day for a year, I bet even I would shoot pretty well.

    • The Brits specifically bought the Glock for Afghanistan. As long as they were in garrison, they were happy with Septuagenarian Hi-Powers, but the G17 was bought to specifically address instances of Sudden Jihad Syndrome occurring inside CPs – essentially they wanted something cheap and reliable that you could just yank out of the holster and start blasting at some Sudden Jihadi while simultaneously pissing yourself.

      • The Brits got rid of their Hi Powers because they were 50 years old and the bought Glocks because they were cheap. Anybody who trains with a gun that has a thumb disengages the safety before the gun even leaves the holster. If there is one thing the Brits are is well trained. You Glock guys seem to think that you draw the gun and then disengage the safety.

        • I dissengage the saftey on the way up. I think doing it in the holster unsafe. At our PLPFD, we all do this, cept the Glock guys. To even get close to winning in an
          PLPFD match your finger has to be on the trigger as soon as your hand hits the holsterd gun.

        • I bet you disengage the safety as part draw and by the time you have the gun level the safety is off and you are in the same position as someone with safetyless gun.

        • Holy crap THC….. Finger on the trigger in the holster? That sounds approximately 1000 times more dangerous than disengaging the safety. Unless “you are ready to fire” while its pointed at your lower regions……. I can appreciate its faster but holy crap.

        • tdviina,

          We were “doing combat” (as much as you ever do with pistols) with the old High-Powers in 2003-4ish and their age was really showing. The short-term solution was an Urgent Operational Requirement buy of SIG-Sauer P226, which were already in use by some SF and close protection units, to replace the old Brownings – this was pretty well in place by the time the “insider threat” became a serious concern.

          In slower time we did a competitive evaluation and the Glock 17 won on reliability and cost grounds (in that order) and was adopted as the new Service pistol. There were, from memory, about six candidates, all of which did well technically; the Glock was narrowly leading on reliability, and was also significantly cheaper (as a whole life, maintain-for-decades package) so was chosen. Feedback’s been very good and it seems well accepted.

      • Jason:

        I think somewhere I noted that UK Is only other force that comes close to the US in deployment time. I would think the French Foreign Legion is up there too and they use H&K USPs. I think the UK falls under the cash strapped military category and the low procurement cost of a Glock is appealing. The US military is still relatively flushed with funds but there fiscal pressures that make the procurement of any new small arm problematic. That is why I think sticking with the M-9 is lowest cost option since the supporting infrastructure is in place. The A3 addresses most the Army’s issues.

        On a personal note, do you know LCOL Neil Fisher, Royal Signals? I worked with during Allied Force and some other projects.

        • tdiinva,

          Cash matters, but according to my sources in ITDU there were several very successful candidates in their trials and the Glock was one of them, which then won as “cheapest of the top set”. We’re short on cash, but frankly a simple handgun procurement for all three Services is less than one F-35 and there’s no point saving a few pennies to buy something that’s noticeably inferior. There’s a case that the SIG-Sauer had an advantage because we had it in use already… though not enough to win out.

          I’d admit to a personal bias, having owned a Glock 21 pre-handgun ban and liked it – though it was interesting that the IPSC shooters, previously firmly wedded to M1911s in either .45ACP or .38 Super, had a significant move to Glocks until the ban made the issue moot. My own experience with Glock was that it was ferociously reliable, which is the key attribute ITDU wanted and prioritised: when it’s a last-ditch backup, it really needs to go “bang!” on demand without hitches or hiccups.

          Don’t know your scaley friend, unfortunately – I’m Navy rather than Army so don’t run into that many land-based sparkies.

  5. The MHS was supposed to be about modularity, and caliber conversions were an important part of that. 9mm Glocks can’t convert to anything, unlike the .40/.357 Glocks. You do have backstraps, a light rail, barrels, and sights you can swap out, I guess (although most people hate Glock factory sights). I foresee a rise in negligent discharges because of the lack of a safety or DA pull, though, if we were to go through with this. Scrapping a program to adopt a handgun just because cops and a couple other NATO countries use it is pretty idiotic, especially when just as many NATO countries and almost as many cops use P226s.

    • The safety isn’t an issue. Glock has variants with safeties that they sell in Europe.

    • You most definitely can change a Glock 19 and 9 millimeter Parabellum to a 40 caliber Smith & Wesson or a 357 Sig it just requires a barrel And recoil spring assembly change And magazine And of course ammunition

    • Maybe I’m missing something, but I can’t quite see the advantage of caliber conversion for a military sidearm. If you’re equipping an army, you buy a few hundred thousand pistols, a couple million magazines, and a few warehouses of ammo. Where does caliber conversion fit in there, other than being a neato thing to say you can do?

    • “The MHS was supposed to be about modularity, and caliber conversions were an important part of that.”

      There’s nothing in the MHS at all about caliber conversions. It’s an open-caliber trial and the Military is looking for a more effective round than the current 9mm ball ammo. That leaves it open to other calibers but doesn’t necessitate a departure from 9mm (just the use of different ammo), and there’s no requirement at all that the pistol must be able to convert between multiple calibers. In fact, that’s the opposite of what the Military typically wants as they prefer all parts and inventory to be as standardized as possible. Whatever caliber is chosen, it’ll be one single caliber and apparently two projectile options.

  6. Buy the troops Glocks, make sure you buy them plenty of first aid kits when waves of NDs start occurring across the armed forces. perforated legs and feet.

    Or buy the Glocks with the manual safety installed and then it becomes no more advantageous than many other pistols.

    • Obviously you’ve never been in a large group being trained for firearms in the military. You keep your finger off the trigger unless you were going to shoot the weapon system End of story. The Glock is much easier to train people to shoot on because it doesn’t have any safety gadgets levers and other crap to get in the way You simply pull it pointed aim it and squeeze the trigger The M9 Beretta sucks If you try To do a speed reload like you would do with a Glock or 1911 you end up engaging the safety and when you release the slide the hammer drops as well In safe mode That kind of crap in a combat situation when bullets are coming both ways will get you killed quick cash it.

      • “If you try To do a speed reload like you would do with a Glock or 1911 you end up engaging the safety”

        I’ve been shooting a SA/DA CZ clone for over 20 years, a friend of mine had a BHP and 1911’s, I’ve been to IDPA matches (and other competitions) with guys shooting Sigs, 1911’s and all manners of other semi-auto’s with manual safety…

        And I have never once seen anyone engage the manual safety after a reload.

        Gonna call “Straw Man” on this one.

        • It is legitimate issue with the M-9 because you push down to engage the safety. It is easy to inadvertently push down on the safety during a reload.

    • If the Glock’s lack of an idiot switch was all that unsafe for those trained to use it, the cop shops in the U.S. would have ditched the platform decades ago.

  7. I thought soldiers carried and used rifles. When/where and why would the military need handguns, for more than officers anyway? Corruption and endless waste are the defining characteristics of government, of course, so it’s no surprise they think nothing of wasting more billions on this boondoggle.

    Personally, if they really have to get new guns, the HiPoint would be ideal. They’d never wear them out in a million years. 🙂 So we would not ever have to deal with this idiotic song and dance again.

    • I will tell you exactly why the military needs a handgun. When I was first deployed in 1991 to Iraq For operation Iraqi freedom Are m16a2 turned into bolt-action rifles during sandstorms it was because of the lubricant we were using at that time was designed For the M16 back in the Vietnam era when we were dealing with high humidity and wet climates. When we used the lubricant In the desert The weapon system would attract dust and sand particles that would take and dry almost like concrete the weapons system was completely useless unless you had it spotless clean Everyday. When your primary weapon system goes down and you’re in a firefight you need to have a backup sidearm That’s just the way it goes or you’re dead.

      • Hmm, seems it would be a whole lot better (and cheaper) simply to go to a dry lubricant. But of course the Army wouldn’t EVER want to change anything important like that. (I was a Marine “brat” and a Navy wife, so I do know what I’m talking about. 🙂 )

        An even better idea… bring all the Americans home from the hell holes of the world and leave those people alone to work out their own affairs. Would save trillions, and a lot of innocent lives. The contractors and suppliers would hate it, naturally, but such is life.

        • An even better idea… bring all the Americans home from the hell holes of the world and leave those people alone to work out their own affairs.
          A totally un-American idea. Contradicts all the wonderful nation building we accomplish when we are fighting for peace in foreign lands.

        • And let’s reimpose the embargo act as well. We should let greedy capitalist get involved in foreign wars. Since we get so little revenue from tariffs these days it won’t bankrupt the government like it did in 1809.

        • Actually if we would be willing to invest the time money and effort to rebuild a country in our image we can do so, it is called Germany and Japan after WW2. What is lacking today quite sadly about everything in our country is the will to do so.

        • Im with you on that, Its to bad tho that alot of people make alot of money on those hell holes. Russia is the worlds second largest arms producer in the world, USA number one. ” Lives < money

        • Actually if we would be willing to invest the time money and effort to rebuild a country in our image we can do so, it is called Germany and Japan after WW2.
          How is that working out?
          See how long Germany lasts with the Muzzies and how long Japan lasts after the population implodes.

        • MamaLiberty,

          There is one small wrinkle with your proposal to completely withdraw from the world: rare-Earth elements and certain raw materials. Rare-Earth elements and certain raw materials are essential ingredients in essential devices/industries in our nation that are only available outside the United States.

          The most obvious example is rubber. We cannot grow rubber trees in the U.S. Another example: tantalum. Tantalum is a critical ingredient in electronic components that is absolutely necessary for miniature electronics that we rely upon as a nation. If there is no tantalum, your smart phone and hand-held GPS units become the size of a small suit case.

          If we withdraw from the world, someone like China or Russia will step in and take control of those essential rare-Earth elements and other raw materials. When they do that, they can simply refuse to sell them to the U.S. (or sell them at totally outrageous prices) and bring our nation to its knees without ever firing a shot.

          I am no fan of sending our military all over the world and building nations. I am also no fan of China or Russia reducing our nation to the likes of Cuba. I don’t see any good answer to any of this.

        • uncommon_sense — it’s called TRADE. What we don’t produce ourselves (usually only because of gov. idiotic restrictions, regulations and political crap), we trade for with something we actually can produce. It’s called the free market… something the world has seen only a little in the last 250+ years, but would work wonders for everyone. Yes, really. Everyone wins when a willing seller exchanges goods with a willing buyer. Try reading some sound economics at Ludwig von Mises.

          There is no rational reason to go to war with half the globe for these things, and I’m quite sure it makes them both far more expensive and actually harder to get.

          You ever try to FORCE a cow to “give” milk?

        • But it’s the trade that gets us into foreign wars. See the Napoleonic and First World Wars. It was the lack trade from the South that led to pressure in the UK and France to get involved on the side of the Confederacy. If Queen Victoria was not in sympathy with the anti-Slavery side Britain probably would have intervened. Trade lead to foreign involvement. Given the size of the US economic footprint in the world trade inevitably leads to war when third party trading partners go at it. If you want to stay out of other countries affairs then autarchy is the only way to do it.

        • MamaLiberty,

          Apparently you did not read/understand the nuances at the end of my comment: there are dictatorships in the world that are not interested in trade when they can TAKE what they want from others. Saying it another way, trade is only possible if both parties are honorable.

          Why would a dictatorship want to trade with the U.S. when they can refuse to sell us critical raw materials, promptly send us back to the stone age, and then take whatever they want from us?

          Look at it this way. What does China or Russia need from the U.S. that they cannot possibly design and manufacture themselves? Answer: nothing. China manufactures something like 90% of the electronics that the world uses. They don’t need us to do it. Farm equipment or cars? Russia and China can design and build those as well. Computers? China already designs and builds those. I imagine Russia could crank them out in short order. As for nuclear materials and reactors? Both China and Russia can make their own as well. The only thing that is unique to the United States is our music and movies … and China and Russia don’t care about those.

        • Actually, Russia cannot. It’s having major problems right now because of that – because its electronics industry is basically stuck in mid-80s, and it’s a very expensive tech sector to develop yourself, so it’s been buying electronics from China and also US (because for real high-tech stuff, like the kind you launch on satellites, US companies like Texas Instruments is where you go first).

          A good example was the flight recorder of that Su-24 that got shot down in Syria. Did you see the video where they open it up, and all the electronics is messed up? Russia claimed that it was the consequence of the nearby missile hit, but all people who specialize in hardware who saw that video say that it’s basically because they bought cheap Chinese consumer chips that are simply not designed to handle the kind of stress that occurs when the plane hits the ground. Some people with more knowledge in the industry said that the original design called for components from TI, which they can no longer get because of embargo.

          Long story short, Russia is not China, and the trend for its economy and industrial capacity keeps going down, not up. It’s also a notoriously corrupt country, top-to-bottom – so whenever they try to do anything to fix it, most of the money allocated for it in the budget ends up in someone’s pockets, and they’re not punished for it because they’re some friend of a president’s relative etc.

        • int19h,

          I don’t know the state of Russia’s electronics industry at the moment. I suspect that Russia would have a hard time passing up a golden opportunity if the U.S. pulled out of the world and left critical resources totally up for grabs.

          Having said all that, you bring up an interesting concept: it seems like serious internal corruption is a guarantee at all nations — does that alone prevent ALL nations from ever being able to control world resources?

  8. There’s not supposed to be common sense in government! Just pick an established, not too expensive brand and go with it. Stop trying to duplicate the F35 fighter in a handgun that will be shot once a year!

      • So you put a Hellfire launcher, radar antenna, grenade launcher, rear view mirror and an after-burner on a Glock and everybody’s good to go.
        The Log Tail on that would be fierce to supply though.

  9. Government is amazing. They design a process that has the express purpose of saving money and reducing corruption/kickbacks. What ends up happening? The same people who used to take kickbacks take control of the process and just make all the corruption nice and legal and it all costs more than before.

  10. S&W M&P gets my vote, the M does stand for Military after all. They are in common use so parts are available, they are ambidextrous for the most part and can fit different size hands with the backstraps. The thumb safety is an option if they really want it. They are reliable, and, not that it matters, but a lot sexier looking than a Glock.

    *Just make sure they get the new ones with the good trigger, the old one was crap.

  11. Here’s a novel idea. How about just give us an allowance to go buy our own 9mm duty handgun? Make it our responsibility to maintain it, bring the appropriate replacement parts on deployment, and have us qualify annually with them. If our handgun should go down on deployment and not be repairable, have the M9 in reserve to issue out.
    Honestly I don’t see why the handgun is what the Army is focusing on. We could bring all of our M4s and M16A4s into the 21st century with lightweight Keymod or MLok forends and mid length gas systems and it would have a much greater impact on combat effectiveness.
    The M9 isn’t even that bad. The worst things about it are the grip circumference and sights, fix those and you have one hell of a sidearm, the trigger is freakin sweet, even (especially?) on an old armory beater.
    But hell Im a Marine so none of this MHS crap is going to effect me (at least for 5 years) anyway. Can’t wait to get the Army’s ragged out M17s… Not, just give me my CZ SP01 please.

    • No need for a mid-length gas system on a 14 inch barrel, or any length barrel the military fields for that matter.

  12. The 9 millimeter Glock has more than enough power To do the job as a sidearm With the Glock 19 we can go to 40 caliber Smith & Wesson,357 SigThat should give you enough range of choices and ammo And Firepower To cover the job. It’s like they’re trying to reinvent the freaking wheel LOL

  13. Whatever you do, make sure it has LCI, mag disconnect and micro-stamping.
    What’s good for California is good for the nation.
    /s

    • Actually, there was some serious discussion about imposing “smart gun” technology on the military. Yeah, because *that* will go over real well. Can you guess who was promoting it and shoving it over to the Pentagon? None other than good ole Crocodile Tears himself–weeping for the future servicemembers who will be affected.

  14. FIRST- Instead of buying new pistols, spend a third of the money and teach soldiers how to shoot any pistol properly.

    SECOND- give them some modern day ammunition that is known to stop threats (+P HP)

    THIRD- give them more training and NOT just once a year.

    A 9mm HP from an M9 put in the right place is worth 10 – 45’s that either miss or hit nothing vital.

    My reasoning. I have carried both in multiple conflicts from 1972 – 1992. I was more than properly trained with all weapons I carried and some I just took from the other guys when needed. Never had an issue with either. Never had a bad guy go home and have dinner after being hit with a 9mm. Lucky for us, we have almost always carried 115 PLE9’s which are +P+ Federal 115 hydra shok.

    Ball is for practice and idiots who don’t know what a pistol is for in the military. It is the last item between you living or dying. Strictly a defensive weapon and only used offensively when nothing else fits the bill.

    I have carried the M9 in military, as a police officer and carry either an M9 (92FS) or a Beretta Cougar daily. I trust them in processing my loved ones more than any other weapon. The best part is it goes bang every time I pull the trigger and is perfectly safe carried safety OFF and chambered.

    My two cents!

    PS- please do some reading before you make and ass out of yourself by telling me I am wrong on carrying HP’s in the Army because everyone knows they are against the Geneva Convention. Read up on it before you step on it!

  15. Not only are Glocks exceptionally reliable, but they are light and cheap as well. It’s a combination that works for a lot of people and will work for the military. Glock 19s aren’t perfect, but they are definitely good enough to use a a low maintenance, low weight backup to an M4.

    • I’m not a huge Glock fan. By that, I mean that they are good guns, not great guns. But for all of the reasons you have stated, the G19 would make an ideal service pistol for the big army.
      That said, I’d never trust a single man, much less a general officer, to make the decision for the entire force on his own.

  16. Just buy the Sig P320. It’s striker fired, modular, and better than the Glock. It’s the best handgun you can buy right now for under a grand. No brainer.

    • Hey Gabe! If you study the MHS specifications (as well as the FBI specs for their new pistol) you’ll see that the SIG P320 is about the only pistol in production now that meets all of the specs.

    • Got news for you Gabe, 287K G-19’s for $98 million works out to about $341 per pistol and “better” is a relative term when comparing Sig or any other quality firearms manufacturer to Glock which is one of the most battle tested, reliable, and cost effective manufacturer of quality firearms for law enforcement and duty use.

      The P320 is a great handgun and probably has the best out of the box trigger on any striker fired pistol, but there’s no way Sig could come close to the $341 per gun mark since they lack the production capacity to produce 287K guns, and it will be many years before we know if the P320 can measure up to the Glock 17 or 19 reliability and longevity. There’s a reason that Glock has a great reputation for customer service while employing relatively few customer service representatives to handle warranty returns.

      General Milley will be in forced retirement before Washington caves to such a common sense allocation of taxpayer dollars to purchase Glock pistols at less than a third of the budget estimate. The lobbyist, politicians, and bureaucrats will never allow that to happen and miss out on their cut through kickbacks.

    • big fan of the Sig P320. I liked being able to convert down to the carry size from full size. I don’t know if Glock’s do this but it was part of the RFP.

  17. I don’t really care what they buy, what I care about is that they want to spend $17M doing trials on 100 year old technology.

    20-30 guys already on the military payroll could spend $10K buying all of the most common popular pistols in 9mm (already chosen by special forces as the caliber of choice in a handgun) and shoot another $10K worth of ammo.

    Pick a winner and buy a pile of those.

    The way our government wastes money SHOULD be criminal. Virtually every member of congress is getting their beak wet with projects like this. Not just dollars for their districts but money being funneled directly into the pockets of their relatives and friends.

    • You make it sound like a great big government boondoggle. It’s as if a bunch of hacks in the rear with the gear, with no combat experience, will be making decisions for troops on the ground at the tip of the spear. Think about all the promotional opportunities that would be missed if this wasn’t a lengthy process! You sound like one of those “crazy” right wingers who doesn’t want his taxpayer money wasted. I bet you even think the A-10 is a badass warplane that doesn’t need to be decommissioned for something that costs more and is less effective on the battlefield.

      If we listened to people like you our military is going to be more deadly. What we really need is a military that is more sensitive.

      /epic sarc

  18. Buy x-number each of Gen4 17s and 19s and that gives a total range of 10 configurations (2 different models with 5 backstrap/no backstrap combinations for each) that should fit just about any hand size and preference, and 17 mags can always be used in the 19s. The manual of arms if virtually identical between the 2 pistols so if you can shoot one competently, you can shoot the other.

  19. Common sense and politics are two forces that will never co-exist.

    And what’s wrong with RI politics Bob? Do you not like the Rhode Island law that fines people for not trimming their hedges?

  20. If they do go with the Glock, they will have to modify it or switch to something else soon afterword. Why? Women.

    I know the plight of women given my forearm strength and recoil sensitivity. A 1911, Beretta 92, CZ, or SIG is a dream to shoot. A Glock, XD, or M&P is a torturous nightmare.

    Unfortunately, when you can only buy one model handgun for millions of people, you’ll have to go with close to the lowest common denominator in order for the majority of people to be effective shooters.

    There is no option to “just make women stronger”. You can only get them strong to a certain point given their muscular and biomechanical limitations in the upper body.

    So the choice is to buy a heavier gun that virtually everyone can shoot well or buy a light gun that the majority of women can’t shoot well. Given the military’s push for women in combat, it doesn’t seem like a good time to push for a handgun that will be detrimental to many if not most women’s shooting skills.

    I think if they want to get away from the Beretta, then either go back to the 1911 or look at SIG and CZ. That’s about the only way to make sure everybody can shoot optimally.

    Also, there is no argument that heavier guns with less recoil make more rapid and accurate follow up shots. The army has to decide whether accurate follow up shots or light weight is more important.

    • Because the minority of women who say they enjoy Glocks is the same as the millions that will be forced to use them. There’s only way to find out, go through the proper testing protocols. The army is not going to do that. They will learn the hard way.

      I have yet to meet a woman who *preferred* a light polymer gun to a heavier recoil reducing gun. Does not mean they do not exist. Doesn’t mean that some shoot Glocks and say they like it. I’ve met those women. I know at least three who have gone through it. They got a polymer gun, talked about how well it shot, and how much they loved it. Shot it a couple of times a year. Then they tried a lower recoiling gun, got rid of the polymer gun, and began to enjoy shooting.

      Like I said, we won’t know what “average” is without a study. I can only go on my anecdotal experience. My anecdotal experience is that many people get Glocks because you are supposed to like Glocks. Women do it too. When they try something different they often like it better.

      That doesn’t mean Glocks aren’t good. That’s doesn’t even mean they aren’t the best. They could be the absolute best option. But my experience says when the rubber hits the road and proficiency is required from people with weaker grips and forearms–not to mention recoil sensitivity–things are going to get interesting.

      But the firearms industry is a testosterone driven industry. Many men are afraid to say how they really feel. Or they try to convince themselves they really do like something that is not comfortable to shoot. I know a big 300lb testosterone driven guy who shot a Glock 17 for many years and it literally made his hands bleed after a couple of magazines. Ripped the skin off between the thumb and finger. He said, “Ah, I don’t mind.” Then he shot a CZ and said, “I didn’t know it could actually feel good to shoot a gun.”

      Women are not immune to the testosterone. They either want to impress their boyfriends/husbands or they try to convince themselves so they can fit in with what they are supposed to like.

      That doesn’t mean all people are like that. Millions love polymer guns because they actually enjoy them. Many do not. Once people cut through the marketing hype and testosterone BS they can pick a gun they really like and really start to enjoy shooting. I do not believe that firearm will be a higher recoiling gun for the majority of women.

      Thus sayeth John.

      • Given that we’re talking about the army here, most of the people carrying these Glocks will never actually fire them outside of training and qualification – it’s not their primary weapon. So even for women, lighter weight is going to be much more important than heavier recoil.

        • If a person is recoil sensitive, they are more likely to train with a weapon they are comfortable shooting. Shot placement is the most important factor in stopping a threat. If a recoil sensitive person gets a gun they are uncomfortable shooting, they will likely practice less and be less proficient. When the time comes that they must rely on that weapon for survival, their lack of training could cost them their lives.

          So the options are to use a lighter recoiling weapon with which they have proficiency and be prepared to use it, or use a heavier recoiling gun they rarely train with and pray they never have to use it.

          The middle ground is something like the Ruger American. A customizable polymer gun that still has enough substance to dampen recoil.

          In an ideal world, the soldiers would have a choice given it’s their lives on the line. One size fits all is not a good idea on your last resort weapon that could save your life.

  21. This TTAG article is a magnet for ignorant half baked dumb@$$ed comments and opinions from virtual small arms experts who are drawn to this forum. Glock is one of the most battle tested, reliable, and cost effective manufacturers of quality firearms for law enforcement and military duty use in the history of modern firearms. There’s a reason that Glock has a great reputation for customer service while employing relatively few customer service representatives who actually have to deal with warranty returns. The fact that General Milley wants to get the most bang for the buck by purchasing G-19’s at $341 per pistol and forgo reinventing the wheel proves he’s a rare breed in Washington which likely means he’ll be forced into retirement since his common sense proposal will take money out of the pockets of lobbyists, politicians, and bureaucrats in D.C. by denying them the cut or kickback a lengthy MHS selection and appropriation process will surely deliver

    • The reason that Glock’s are popular with LEOs and cash strapped militaries is that they are cheap and reliable not because they are the best option. Virtually every military force that bought Glock products are garrison forces. Only the US and to some extent UK forces deploy and fight for extended periods. As noted above US spec ops forces use Glocks but they also get to replace things break. What happens when private sniffy decided to use his plastic pistol as a hammer?

      There are several better modern polymer pistols that are superior to Glock products like the Springfield XD/m and Walters PPQ. Some say the M&P is at least as good. I am sure that Springfield would be willing to build an XD/m for the military in Illinois.

      I have a better idea. Buy the 9mm Range Officer. A 1911 chambered in 9mm would be a dream to shoot.

      • >> What happens when private sniffy decided to use his plastic pistol as a hammer?

        If you put it that way, there’s no shortage of plastic things to break already. Like, say, pistol grip on their M4s. What if they decide to use that as a hammer (with grip as the head)?

        Same thing happens. If they break it, it goes to the armory and gets replaced.

        This notion that it must be a beefy chunk of steel so that it can be (ab)used by soldiers as tool is absurd. And reminds me of something similar from over a century ago – when Russian Imperial army was considering adopting Nagant revolver as a side arm in lieu of then-current S&W Model 3 in .44 Russian, many of the old guard objected, among other reasons, because “the weight of S&W makes it a formidable melee weapon, while Nagant cannot be used in the same manner”.

        • You have to admit that private snuffy does rough up the equipment.

          As per the Russians desire to have a formidable melee weapon. That is not so absurd in 1900 as in the present day context.

        • Sure, soldiers will rough up equipment. My point is that Glock wouldn’t add anything to the picture that’s not already there (i.e. plastic parts of firearms), and so the mitigation to that problem will also be the same as it already is.

          As for melee weapon, it was absurd, because those units that only had a sidearm and no rifle (which has bayonet), like artillery, had a much better standard-issue melee weapon anyway – tesak:

          https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%A2%D0%B5%D1%81%D0%B0%D0%BA#/media/File:%D0%A2%D0%B5%D1%81%D0%B0%D0%BA_1810.jpg

          And if they didn’t, then the proper response would be to issue them something like that, instead of intentionally keeping a much heavier and less efficient (single-action, vs double-action Nagant) sidearm, just because it makes it a better club.

  22. I’m sure the General would love to choose the gun the tax payers foot the bill for. I’m sure the General would love to get a job with Glock after this gig with the army is over. I’m sure the General would never abuse that type of power.

    Yet, history has shown over and over that General Officers do just that. From LtGen Royal Moore, who abused flight time in the gulf war and had his crypto stolen from his military vehicle while banging his driver in a motel, to Gen Amos who abused the judicial process, to every other sort of abuse. Generals are to be trusted when they obey the law. This General doesn’t seem to think laws apply to him.

    And this stupid General just ruined the bidding process and made it worse because now every competitor can now sue the government for having a biased bidding process. Stupid General.

    He might like Glocks, and all his toadies might like Glocks, but the decision is not his to make.

    The M9 is perfectly fine. No need to waste any money on a replacement.

  23. I’m not a Glock fan at all, but this makes sense. There’s no need for them to spend gobs of money trying to figure out the absolute best for something that is, ultimately, a fallback, final resort firearm for most soldiers (and special units will do their own thing, anyway). It just has to be “good enough”; so go take something that’s already been proven in the field many times over, is cheap, and is easy to maintain, and call it good. Glock is undeniably all of these things.

    And I’m sure that the company will be happy to accommodate any custom requests, given the size of the contract. Like, say, making them in coyote brown to match MARPAT and Multicam, or adding an external and/or grip safety.

    The same money could be spent with way more effect by improving the primary weapon instead.

  24. He is 100% correct. All the US Army needs to do is run to any Cabalas, buy a bunch of the full sized plastic fantastic pistols in 9mm, and pick one. They are all very good, and all very similar.

    Or just buy Glock 17’s.

    The General is right, its not that complicated this is pretty much perfected technology at this point. Heck they could do a lot worse than bid out the contract to Glock, S&W, H&K, Walther, Sig and simply buy the least expensive.

    Toss a coin plastic 9mm’s are all just about the same.

  25. Smith and Wesson Model 66 in .357 – I know, I know the modern battlefield dynamic requires a G18 w/ 32 rd mag, blah,blah,blah.
    Better yet use the mountian of .45’s that Obuma was supposed to get back.
    Cause the common GI does not need a pistol. He has a M4.. Why would you bring a pistol to a real assualt rifle fight? The people that have the handguns don’t use them for “Combat” much. MP’s and Officers. (of course I got out in 1992, so maybe I’m a bit behind) If you need a pistol for “Secret Squril” Black ops, they will provide one.

  26. Can’t help but chime in again. Considering the very small amount of training the military spends with pistols, giving the average joe’s ANY pistol not equipped with a manual safety will prove to be disastrous.

    For a moment think about the number of ND’s that take place today with supposedly trained individuals using pistols with safe-action style triggers. Now give out 217,000 (BLOCKS) to soldiers who qualify once a year if there lucky. Accident(s) waiting to happen.

    • As others have noted, Glocks with external safeties do exist for special contracts, and if the Army requests such a thing, there’s no reason to believe that Glock wouldn’t accommodate it.

  27. Heavens to marclar. If switching from a foreign pistol in 9mm to another foreign pistol in 9mm generates this much heat, I would imagine the debate between the venerable 1911 in .45 and a Euro pistol in 9mm was much worse. Granted it was before the internet (took off) but still.

    • It was worse. Personally I think replacing the 1911 with the beretta was a typical army procurement boondoggle. The army knows its choice has never been accepted by the country and now is looking for a replacement of the replacement.

  28. Sounds to me the biggest issue is finding a handgun that can comfortably fit multiple hand sizes. Wouldn’t adjustable back straps take care of 75%+ of that issue, why spend $17 million on technology that has been around for decades.

    I’m sure if GLOCK (or any other manufacturer) were to be offered the contract they would be more than willing to come up with a version of any of their products that used adjustable back straps.

  29. the M-9m was a political ploy to supposedly make it easier for female gender to shoot, less felt recoil?? what was wrong with the 1911a1 was the Manufacturer (colt) made cheap guns and sold for a mint! so along came a spider and said, my lets give you more ammo to shoot, cause at the ratio of 5— 9mm bullets to 1———— .45, we all win more, sold more guns for supposedly weaker gender, more money in the till of the politician who pushed the deal and paid off his buddies to vote his way, personnel experience (9’s do not stop well) especially with the anemic 115 grain loading hard ball!

  30. Dumb question time. Why not chose a nice Ruger? Come in different calibers, safeties on some and made in USA.

    • Because there is no such thing as a “nice” Ruger (from a military perspective). Its going to be H&K, Sig, S&W, Beretta, or Glock (people who actually make and sell guns to militaries / law enforcement agencies).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *