Previous Post
Next Post


Matt Cox over at Military Times’ KitUp blog apparently has the inside scoop on Beretta’s attempt to get the Army to choose their new M9A3 handgun as the service pistol of the future. Like a last-ditch promise to your girlfriend that stinks of desperation, Beretta’s proposed new handgun has been rejected outright and the breakup between the star-crossed lovers now appears all but official. For those who aren’t in the know about the current state of affairs in military handguns, let me bring you up to speed . . .

The Beretta M9 has been the standard issue handgun of the U.S. Army since 1985. It saw combat primarily in the sands of the Middle East, and after decades of hard use the Army has found the gun to be lacking in some aspects. The biggest issue was the lack of customization — the gun came in one shape and size, and if you didn’t like that, then tough cookies.

In an effort to find a handgun that could be issued not only as a full-size gun to front-line troops but also in a compact version to investigators and undercover operators (not to mention taking advantage of the tech advances that have happened in the last 30 years) the Army started putting out feelers for a “modular handgun” to replace the M9. The result was the SIG SAUER P320, which is the current favorite to win the new Army contract (especially after the P226 barely lost to the M9 last time around).

Seeing the writing on the wall, Beretta tried to get the Army to stick with them by releasing the M9A3, which sports some minor configuration changes like an added rail section. But it apparently has proved to be too little too late, and now Beretta is acknowledging that their M9A3 is not to be. From the Military Times article:

Beretta USA said the U.S. Army has rejected the gun-maker’s request that the service reconsider its M9A3 pistol as an alternative to the Modular Handgun System (MHS) program.

Beretta officials sent the Jan. 30 request in response to the Army’s formal rejection of the M9A3 Engineering Change Proposal to the current M9 contract.

“Needless to say, we are disappointed,” Gabriele de Plano, vice president of Beretta Defense Technologies (BDT) Marketing Operations, said in March 2 email.

It appears that the “official” reason for the denial was that the changes made to the M9 were too drastic to be considered under the current contract, but that sounds like a convenient excuse to go shopping for something new and shiny. And probably partly made of plastic.

Previous Post
Next Post


  1. I used to lean toward the 1911 because the Marine Corp contract reduces the procurement costs. My reasoning was that just as the Army ended up with the M-16 because the Air Force already had it under contract they would end up doing it all over again. I changed my mind for a number reasons. First, the army is still buying M-9s so they have no immediate need to buy something like they did in 1965. The other reason is money. There isn’t enough. What I think is going to happen is the Army will start concept exploration and intend to move forward but at some point CAPE formally known as Office of Programs and Evaluation, i.e., the budget guys, will decide that no new pistol is need and tell the Army to suck it up. At the point they buy the A3. The folks at Beretta are smart. They know exactly how this is going to play out. They proposed the M-9-A3 to get CAPE’s attention not the Army’s.

    • Yep. They are not going to buy a new pistol in the current budget. Just isn’t going to happen. But a lot of higher ranking army officers will retire and work for the various pistol manufacturers and become lobbyists for the companies wanting to sell to the government. By keeping this charade going, they increase their marketability in the civilian/defense industrial complex.

  2. What a waste of money. The M9A3 may not be a perfect solution and the P320 may even be a better choice. But DoD is going to spend tens of millions and a testing process and procurement for a pistol that will still be chambered in 9mm and won’t do anything different then the current production M9

      • Handguns aren’t that important for the military anyway. Just buy a bunch of Glocks. They are relatively inexpensive. Glock will give the military a great deal. Glocks work, they are easy to maintain, and they last. They are simple and straightforward to use. It doesn’t matter too much if they choose one of the following models 17, 19, 21SF, 30SF, or maybe 22, 23.

        • Watch out. The old fat multicultural guy association will damn you as a heretic for suggesting anything other than a sig or 1911.

        • The military will never buy Glocks. No matter what you say, they won’t buy a pistol that requires the trigger to be pulled in order for takedown. That increases the risk for negligent discharge, and some __________ (fill in the blank with the rank of the unit commander) would have their career ruined by a Powerpoint slide showing how many negligent discharges happened in their unit. And yes, that kind of stuff really happens in every branch of the service. Its all about stats.

        • Right on cue. The Glock has not been tested in a rigorous military environment so we don’t know how much GI abuse they can take. I wonder will happen when some grunt needs a hammer and doesn’t have one so he decides to use his pistol instead. Please don’t tell me about the militaries that use Glocks because none of them have spent years in combat. My guess is that a Glock that spends it life in the US military is going to be the same piece of crap that is the fate of all military firearms.

        • You have a lot of people saying the military will never buy a handgun that requires pulling the trigger to disassemble; I disagree. The Glock and its variants is good enough for police orginizations around the world, it is good enough for MARSOC it is good enough for the Military. Cerakote a Glock 19 and 17 in full FDE and your good to go. Simpler training, one pull, uses existing ammo, readily available parts and probably OTD for something like $400 a unit or less for the military. With the new Gen 4 and he replaceable backstraps you solve a few of the ergo problems with the older glocks. The extended magazine release on the Gen 4 models solved others. IMO Glock is the “cheapest” off the shelf solution.

          At the same time the P320 everything the army SAYS it wants a new handgun to do; but I doubt the army can afford it.

        • The Brits have been using the Glocks in Afghanistan for a couple of years now. That’s something.

        • tdiinva says:: “The Glock has not been tested in a rigorous military environment” … Please don’t tell me about the militaries that use Glocks because none of them have spent years in combat.

          Complete BS. Are you saying the IDF isn’t a rigorous military environment that has spent years in combat?

          The largest Glock purchase ever was for the Iraqi Security Forces, more 125,000 Glock pistols. Are you saying they haven’t spent years in combat?

          One listed user is the Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command. Are you saying that they don’t know how to pick a good pistol?


        • “The Glock has not been tested in a rigorous military environment so we don’t know how much GI abuse they can take.”

          HAAAAAAHAHAHAHAAAAHAAAA! Oh man that’s a good one. Oh wait my side is hurting.

          Okay, I’m better now.
          Need I put a bozillian links to all the Glock torture tests in this reply?
          I didn’t think so.

          • Glocks are used by NATO armies and by defense contractors in war. But it wont be adopted by the US military it lacks a external safety and has no domestic US production facilities. I like Glocks but I don’t see it being adopting.
            Overall since we will stay in 9mm I don’t see any logic to go away from the M-9.

        • Sorry fellows, but with the exception of the Brits none of them have been in sustained combat for ten years.

        • Anybody want to guess when the British Army switched to Glocks?

          2013. They probably have only recently completed the transition. My statement stands. The Glock has not seen sustained use in military environment.

        • We have had a lot of pro and con Glock talk, but nobody has addressed my point that handguns just aren’t that important for the military. Hell, until the 80’s or 90’s weren’t some solders (like MP’s, and base guards) carrying S&W Model 10’s in .38s special for Pete sake? That is not to knock the Model 10. It is a great home defense, concealed carry, and range gun, but not a go to war gun. The army could go with M&P pistols, XD’s, Ruger’s, etc. and it just wouldn’t make much difference. They are all affordable, and practical. They would all do the job.

        • I had an idiot Command Sergeant Major bitch at me for wearing a shoulder rig. “too many people have been shot in the chest…” I asked who had been shot in the chest and the idiot didn’t have names but assured me that a battalion sized element had died, standing in line for chow by standing behind guys with shoulder rigs. My point being is that the retarded CSM I spoke of is EXACTLY the mentality Glock would have to over come to be adopted by conventional forces.

        • @Art:

          That is another reason why the A3 is the likely next new pistol if the Army buys one. Path of least resistance for a tertiary weapons.

          To clarify what is meant by the military environment. It is not the parade ground, garrison or range it is the actual combat environment, such as;

          Months in mud and rain of the trenches on the Western Front in 1918
          Months in jungles of the Solomons
          Getting saturated in salt war on the Normandy beaches
          Frozen solid at the Chosin Reservoir
          Constant immersion in the fetid rice paddies of the Mekong Delta.

          That is not an argument to go back to 1911 but it is a demonstration of the robustness required of a combat pistol. Some gun guy may be able to abuse a Glock for a few minutes and that show it works but that isn’t the same thing as operating under sustained harsh conditions.

          Maybe the Glock can duplicate that performance of the 1911 but given the other factors that the Army will take into consideration such as its susceptibility to NDs the Glock is a nonstarter.

        • Your reasons for the army purchasing glocks do not fit the army’s current budget restraints. The previous comments point directly to this reason. If you are a glock lover just say so instead of sliding in a rediculous statement that doesn’t fit this discussion.

          U.S. ARMY

      • And the answer will be . . . . “NOTHING.” They won’t be buying new pistols anytime soon.

    • >> won’t do anything different then the current production M9

      P320 (or, really, any other polymer-framed handgun) will do one thing: it’ll weigh less. M9 weighs 34 oz; P320 – 29 oz, Glock 17 – 25 oz, FNX – 21 (!!!) oz.

      For something that’s meant to be used so rarely, M9 is way too heavy. And yes, it’s just a few ounces… a few ounces that can be used for an extra M4 magazine (a fully loaded 30-rounder is ~15 oz).

  3. Beretta should make a 4.5″+ version on the Storm. They’ve got compact and subcompact versions and the longer mags fit in the short grips. My wife has the subcompact and it’s a nice gun. I’d buy the full size if it had a longer barrel. 4″ seems a little short for a full size duty gun.

    • The compact has 3.25″ barrel. It is just oversized sub-compact. I looked at it when I was doing “source selection” on a compact carry gun and rejected on that basis.

      • IMO they all should have longer barrels. Subcompact is 3′ it should be 3.25″, compact should be 3.75-4″, full size should be 4.5-4.75″. The subcompact is a bit thick and heavy for it’s class but it’s a lot nicer to shoot than most of it’s competition and my wife wanted something for both the range and carry. That and I couldn’t be happier with my 92fs, so it made sense to stick with a Beretta. Anyway, it wouldn’t take much to make a long(er) slide version of the full size in addition to the others.

        • Agreed.

          Glock 34,35, and now 41, 42, were all made to be roughly the same size as a 1911. That should be the true “Full Size.”

          If they want to market the standard Glock 17 size as the “Duty” size, that would be OK by me. Other guns should follow suit. The extra sight radius is quite helpful.

        • Put the full size slide (4″) on the compact and you’ve essentially got a Glock 19. Personally I prefer the DA/SA trigger and the army will insist on it and a safety, so that narrows the choices down quite a bit.

        • I disagree about needing a longer barrel and sight radius on this one, evidently none of you has shot the 3.25 inch barreled PX4 Compact. I likewise own the subcompact as well, while less forgiving with it’s 3 inch barrel it’s accurate for it’s intended purpose. I’ve owned the compact for the past 3 years or so, benched it on numerous occasions, and I can assure you it will shoot with my 4.9 inch barreled pistols. Try one.

        • I know the subcompact is a great shooter. For that matter my EDC is a GP100 Wiley Clapp which doesn’t have much more of a sight radius and I can hit 100% on a 12″ target at 50 yards with it shooting off hand.

          My issue is more the fact that 9mm could use as much velocity as you can get and for that you need more barrel. If you’ve watched the shootingthebull videos you might realize that the difference between a 3″ barrel and a 3.25″ barrel might be whether or not the hollow points expand or not. I’d like a Glock 19 sized DA/SA pistol. The compact would be perfect if it had a 4″ barrel. As it is the compact weighs 3 1/2 ounces more, and it’s 1/2″ shorter. Since it’s 10 ounces lighter than my EDC I won’t grip about the weight, but I carried a Ruger P95 (3.9″) for a while and I don’t see any advantage in the shorter barrel. You can go with the full size but then you’ve got a longer grip and that’s the hardest part to conceal, and IMO the odds of needing those extra 2 rounds is pretty close to zero.

        • @Denver:

          It may be a great shooter but at 3.25″ it will have the same ammo issues as a 3″ barrel. The longer the barrel the wider the available ammunition choices.

  4. Beretta offended some Powers That Be years back when they stuck to the promise of moving to Maryland in response to that state’s gun laws.

    Of course no one in power’s going to admit it, but even if Beretta made a 40 watt plasma gun the Army would decline it. Anti gunner’s have long memories, especially the one at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

    Ironically I think this is a great thing for Beretta.In some ways the 1985 contract was the worst thing for them-by selling guns to the DoD who then abuses the crap outta them and fails to perform basic maintenance or training, Beretta’s ruined their reputation among thousands of vets who think **all**their guns are like the pile of crap Uncle Sugar handed them in Iraq.

    • I was a dual weapon platform soldier. Carrying my M4 and M9. The only issue I ever had out of my M9 was from the second party magazines that were issued, not from the weapon system itself. Sadly this has cultivated that the weapon has some inherit problems. The issue lies with the procurement of inferior magazines, not the sidearm.

  5. Who cares? The Army would be wise to dump the pistol altogether and let soldiers carry the pistol they want as long as it meets the caliber criteria. Save the taxpayers bajillions of dollars.

    Of course, they won’t.

    • And uses the same magazines. And high commonality of spare parts. And the same manual of arms…

      Keeping the same caliber simplifies the overall supply logistics, but if everyone has their own magazines then you just re-complicated the logistics as well as reducing the ability to supply pre-loaded magazines, give a buddy ammo in the field without having to unload and then reload a magazine, etc.

      You also effectively either quadruple the number of armorers you need, at a guess, or you make each person an armorer for their specific weapon. That would not end well. And let’s not even go into the training aspects.

      I know, standardized systems mean one size fits none. But it makes the weapon system much easier and less expensive to maintain. The whole modular approach, IMHO, is a decent attempt to get a best-of-both-worlds result: keep the simplified logistics, maintenance and training, but provide mass customization to the users.

      • @John L., no…sorry, that is a DC bean counter mentality. I’m talking something new and revolutionary…outside of those specific units that require a pistol to do their job (think MPs), then let the soldier carry what he wants and be RESPONSIBLE for what he carries. Just like with a knife. Want a knife to carry? Go buy one. Want it sharp and rust free? Then sharpen it and take care of it. Your pistol works? Great! Oh it doesn’t work? Sucks to be you….

        The overwhelming and vast majority of the military do not need pistols and receive dick for training with a pistol anyway. What? You will shoot your mandatory 30 rounds a year whether you want to or not. Wow. How unimpressive. The money would be better spent on real rifle/carbine training….

        • And then when the Marine carrying his own weapon breaks it, then what? Where does he get another one? Can’t make a run to Cabelas before the next firefight. Smash a magazine while doing your 3 to 5 meter rushes on an enemy? Oh well, maybe you can buy replacements on line and get them in a few weeks or a month.

          I think your suggestion lacks a bit of realism.

      • I got no problem with every soldier being an armorer. All troops, Enlisted and Officer, should be capable of maintaining any weapon they lay their hands on. It is not that difficult a field of study to be able to operate and maintain modern weapons. And you are correct on commonality of ammunition, magazines and parts. Makes the world a whole lot easier to navigate. As for troops owning their personal weapons, I like that idea, once they leave service they still have the basics needed to be quickly recalled in time of war. Seems to me somebody in Europe does somewhat like that, and it works fairly well for them.

        • You clearly have not met a lot of the Marines and soldiers who are challenged to just disassemble a weapon for cleaning. How are they supposed to do advanced armorer tasks? We send people to schools for months to learn that stuff, and they are given very expensive tools to use.

          And are we to expect an E1 to buy weapons? Where is he getting that money from?

          • Really? You are pushing troops through the training cycle who can not do basic weapon maintenance and operation? Then you are the problem, not the troops.

        • No, Hotel, I didn’t say that they couldn’t do it. They do. But many are not bright enough to do too much more, and that’s ok. We want them to kill people when we tell them to kill people and being able to fix weapons is not always needed.

    • I’d be happy if they let us buy our own copy of the standard service pistol, whatever that is.

      • @malikknows, standard service pistol…that’s kinda the point. In my old unit, we had a couple of different revolvers, SIGs, M9s, and 1911s. There was also a certain amount of leniency given as to personally owned pistols. And managed, oh, pretty well.

        I think the pistol, like a knife, is a pretty personal weapon and there doesn’t need to be a “standard”. The only standard should be in demonstrable skill levels with weaponry. Standard gear just sucks balls when the dudes that are issued it, can’t perform worth a shit.

        This is just going to be another boondoggled pack of bullshit bill of goods that the taxpayer will be funding.

    • @9Hotel:

      That is actually correct. The biggest threat to John Lehman’s forward maritime strategy was not the threat to the CVBG. It was the threat to the replenishment groups.

  6. Again, still, furthermore. Denying an engineering change doesn’t mean the army is refusing the gun outright, the m9a3 just has to compete for its spot at the table. Its like actually making the current champ take a challenger instead of just renew a title via form

    • Nick Is an expert on so many things he knows nothing about, don’t tell him how the military procurement system works. (Or doesn’t work.)

  7. I’m not sure how it plays out these days, in the 60’s when I was a young Marine, only a few people were issued handguns and of course I mean the 1911 45 acp, a find weapon, now it looks like everybody in the military combat zone is issued a handgun??? But, when this war does finally stumble to an end things will return to the old ways, Only a few will have handguns, So, is there a need to spend untold millions for research? Hell, I’m sure there are armories on every base that still have 1911’s stored, go back to it! I carried one for most of my time in the Corps and never had any issues with it and the 45 slug is plenty good for the task.

    • Yeah, but the consensus of the “armed intelligentsia is that the 1911 is totally unreliable and that the only pistol that will work is made in Austria.

        • If Glock users are koolaid fools then some might call you a condescending prick… but I couldn’t possibly comment.

          Not all of us arrived at Glocks because of perceived coolness or group consensus. I for one arrived at them after years of shooting HKs (professionally), SIGs, Berettas (professionally),1911s, S&Ws and FNs. I event went down the rabbit hole with the Caracal F. I shoot a Glock 19 because it is more controllable for rapid follow-up shots, relatively inexpensive, highly durable, it’s unfailingly (for me YMMV) reliable, requires minimal maintenance, easy to take apart and put back together, has a simple manual of arms, a semi-decent trigger and has a host of aftermarket holsters and sights available which is almost as important as the gun itself. It’s not perfect but it checks more blocks for me than all of the other pistols I have owned , currently own or used. If something that works better for me comes along then so be it. Until then, I’m all in with Glock 19s. If that makes me a “koolaide fool” then so be it.

    • No, they got rid of the 1911s many years ago. Besides, they were worn out anyway. Now, before you get mad and sputtering, let me say I have nothing against the 1911. Excellent design, very safe, and solid as a rock. The Army should have bought NEW 1911s to replace the ones that were worn out instead of going with the M9. But they wanted commonality of caliber with their NATO counterparts due to the Cold War. And 1911s in 9mm that worked well were a rarity until somewhat recently. That is what sealed the fate of the 1911.

      • The Army was won over by the Wondernine, 15 round mag, double action trigger, and the fact that the 9mm could penetrate a bit better than the .45.

        It really wasn’t a terrible choice. Sure- they had a cracked slide issue in the beginning and soldiers complained about the stopping power- but lets face it- the Beretta is pretty reliable and .45 ACP doesn’t have all that much stopping power at longer ranges anyway.

        Frankly- too much time has been spend talking about military pistols- they probably matter very little in winning a battle or war.

    • Actually, fewer people than ever carry the pistol. All officers below the rank of colonel are required to have a rifle now, but we keep pistols primarily because in the rear it’s just too cumbersome to carry a rifle and officers like not worrying about carrying a rifle. It’s mostly just a tradition at this point.

      Other than that, only a few people, such as machine gunners like before, carry a pistol. So we seem to have a lot of pistols that aren’t really necessary if we just stop letting officers (and staff NCO’s) carry them. If so, then we will have a surplus that can last generations.

      We’re not buying a new pistol anytime soon.

    • After looking at national guard weapons that were stored for 40 years, I’d say the US government is incapable of long term storage of small arms. Its just too big a challenge to have unit armories stay up on the corrosion and maintenance issues, that said, I’d say most of any 1911a1’s still in us govt hands are probably garbage by now as they are 4x older than they were when you handled them

      • Hmm- you think they could just slather them with Cosmoline (still being made- a friend of mine works for Houghton) , maybe have a warehouse in Arizona or some other low-humidity place- like the AF does with its planes.

  8. An all-stainless Beretta 92 is still sexy as hell. I know there’s no swimsuit competition as part of this pageant, but a chromed-up 92 is still waaay hotter than any polymer Sig or lesser Glock.

  9. The Navy got to treat the Super Hornet as an upgrade to the Hornet rather than a new program despite being an almost completely different and much larger airplane (although they look alike and congressmen are very stupid). I think Drew and TD are right, this is probably going to work out just fine for Beretta.

  10. This is all Rabbithash. The CIC will soon outlaw guns in the military, just after he signs away the farm to Iran. You can bet your boots on that.

    • Oh, I don’t think so. The way I hear it, he’s gonna equip the Army with Airsoft and the Marines with paintball. It’ll make wars with morons more fair!

  11. Well this will be one heck of an expensive shinny new toy for the Army brass. Replacing ALL M9s in stock, replacing the ammo, getting ALL the parts that go with an Army armor, and the training of EVERY member of the US Army to fit the new pistol. Like I said, one expensive shinny new toy for the brass.

    • Why would they need to replace the ammo? Did you take any of those ridiculous claims that army is going to switch to .45 or (double ha-ha) .40 S&W seriously?

  12. Unless we start using hollow point ammo in pistols changing pistols is pointless. Ball ammo, of any caliber, is ineffective at killing people, the brand of gun spewing it is irrelevant.

    • Depends on the size of people, I’ve heard first hand reports that 9mm works great for wild dogs and men under 180lbs. But that’s all a matter of perspective, since if you compared it to hitting a man with a mortar round, just about everything measures up short

      • I know from personal experience that ball ammo will on many occasions pass through without causing lethal damage. It is what it is designed to do. Want a higher % of lethal hits when firing a pistol? Use hollow points, which is precisely why they were banned for war use in the Hague and Geneva accords, oh so long ago.

        • Hollowpoints weren’t banned by Hague because they were more lethal. They were banned because they ostensibly cause “extreme suffering”, and wounds that are much harder to heal.

          Given that flamethrowers are perfectly legal and used on the battlefield, it’s long overdue to ditch that part of Hague.

          • Really? Exactly which countries signatory to the accords uses flamethrowers on the battle field? This ought to be good.

            • Can you name a country which didn’t use flamethrowers in WW2? Americans used them, obviously, but also Germans, Soviets, Japanese, Italians, British etc. Not all of these were man-portable – some were tank-mounted.

              Today, the classic fire-spraying flamethrowers are no longer used, generally because there are more efficient means of burning stuff. Russians in particular are using thermobaric rocket-propelled grenades with a napalm-like warhead, which effectively cause a miniature firestorm at the point of impact – RPO-A “Shmel” is the famous one and is current issue, but there were some before. In Russian language, those things are actually referred to as “flamethrowers”.

              Also, it doesn’t really make sense to speak of the signatories of Hague, because it’s not a single treaty, but rather a disjoint set of conventions, each with its own signatories. None of its conventions prohibit flamethrowers. If you mean specifically signatories of Convention IV, Declaration 3 (“concerning the Prohibition of the Use of Bullets which can Easily Expand or Change their Form inside the Human Body such as Bullets with a Hard Covering which does not Completely Cover the Core, or containing Indentations”), which bans hollowpoints, then it was signed by e.g. Germany, Russia, Japan, Italy, and UK.

              • Really? That is the best you can do? And if you got proof that Russia is using flame weapons on people you need to get it to the UN, STAT! I just knew this would be entertaining.

              • I don’t understand what got you so riled up. Do you dispute that all major powers used flamethrowers in WW2, long after signing Hague? Do you dispute that Hague (or any other international convention on the laws of war) puts no restrictions on the use of flamethrowers? Do you dispute that RPO-A Shmel has been officially in service of the Soviet, and later Russian, armed forces since 1980s, and is designated a flamethrower by the very force that fields it?

                The “proof” that Russian forces uses Shmel is unnecessary, since they readily admit to it (and why wouldn’t they? as noted before, it is not banned, and it’s highly effective against pillboxes and buildings). It was routinely used in both Chechen wars, and even in some counter-terrorist operations in that region (most notably, during Beslan hostage crisis, which was specifically scrutinized, and eventually admitted by the government).

              • You either have anger management issue, or reading comprehension issue, or both. Can you cite me where I said that “everybody uses flamethrowers”? No, because I didn’t say such a thing. This whole thread started with me saying that “flamethrowers are perfectly legal” (which is true, and which you haven’t even tried to argue against). I then said that pretty much all signatories of Hague – which constituted all major WW2 powers – have used flamethrowers on the battlefield at some point after signing the convention (true), and that some still do use such a thing (true).

                I still haven’t heard from you which clause of Hague or Geneva bans flamethrowers. Go ahead, cite it or at least give its number.

                Regarding Shmel being a flamethrower, like I said, that’s what the Russians themselves call it in Russian. And you know how I know about that, and about Beslan etc? No, it’s not because I’ve read the wiki. It’s because I’m Russian, and I speak the language. During Beslan, it was actually kind of a big deal, with opposition specifically pounding on that point – why flamethrowers were even used in a counter-terrorist operation involving hostages. But it is otherwise routinely used in Chechnya etc, and shown as such on Russian TV. And everybody knows that it’s one of the things that the army has, and will use if and when it’s tactically sound, it’s as simple as that.

                Back to the original point. The hollowpoint ammo was banned because it causes undue suffering, which is evident from the wording of the Hague convention that banned it. Here’s the text of it:


                Note the rationale:

                “Inspired by the sentiments which found expression in the Declaration of St. Petersburg of the 29th November (11th December), 1868”

                Now go and read that declaration (it’s linked right there):

                “That this object would be exceeded by the employment of arms which uselessly aggravate the sufferings of disabled men, or render their death inevitable;”

                I’ll grant you that the “render their death inevitable” part of it is consistent with your claim. So we were both right on that original point: hollowpoint ammo was banned both because it is more lethal, and because it causes more suffering.

                FWIW, a lot of Hague was similarly well-intentioned bullshit. For example, it banned aerial bombardment (“Discharge of Projectiles and Explosives from Balloons or by Other New Analogous Methods”). Which was also signed by most everyone except for UK and US. Do you know of any country that abides by this?

              • Last time I read about the Hague Convention the US rejected the part about not using hollow point and expanding ammunition.

              • It didn’t sign it, but it still adheres to that provision as a matter of policy.

                But honestly the whole thing is largely antiquated, and there’s very little there that’s worth salvaging. A ban on hollowpoints is certainly not one of those things.

                I don’t even think it would be a big deal for some country to drop it. You’d probably get some whining from the superpacifist crowd, but other than that, it’s patently obvious to anyone that modern battlefield already doesn’t have a shortage of grisly ways to die. I’d rather be shot by JHP than, say, have my limbs torn off by shrapnel, or burn alive inside a tank or an APC (or a building hit by Shmel or something like it), or have my lungs literally blow up from inside by vacuum from a close thermobaric detonation etc.

              • I’m with you on that.

                Unfortunately even army lawyers believe we signed it and believe terrorists have Geneva Conventions protections.

              • Geneva is a bit different (and there’s more than one), and if I remember correctly US did actually sign the relevant provisions. There are certainly cases where POWs are not entitled to most protections, but most of what Bush administration designated as “unlawful combatants” weren’t that (well, it depends on whether you consider Taliban to be a government of the Afghanistan or not – given that they controlled something like 90% territory initially, I’m inclined to say that they were). But pretty much anyone is entitled at least to Article 3 protections (which is basically just humane treatment and some basic due process; but at the very least that would preclude torture).

              • I’ve read Both 1 and 2. The conventions only apply to war between signatory countries and their uniformed official armies. The taliban are not a county, nor a signatory or a uniformed recognized army. And according to the conventions the taliban can be shot on sight and should be.

              • Article 3 (“Conflicts not of an international character”) of the 4th Geneva Convention applies to everyone in any armed conflict. Here it is, in full:

                ART. 3. — In the case of armed conflict not of an international
                character occurring in the territory of one of the High Contracting
                Parties, each Party to the conflict shall be bound to apply, as a
                minimum, the following provisions:
                1) Persons taking no active part in the hostilities, including
                members of armed forces who have laid down their arms and
                those placed hors de combat by sickness, wounds, detention,
                or any other cause, shall in all circumstances be treated
                humanely, without any adverse distinction founded on race,
                colour, religion or faith, sex, birth or wealth, or any other
                similar criteria.
                To this end, the following acts are and shall remain prohibited
                at any time and in any place whatsoever with respect to
                the above-mentioned persons:
                a) violence to life and person, in particular murder of all
                kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture;
                b) taking of hostages;
                c) outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating
                and degrading treatment;
                d) the passing of sentences and the carrying out of
                executions without previous judgment pronounced by a
                regularly constituted court, affording all the judicial
                guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by
                civilized peoples.
                2) The wounded and sick shall be collected and cared for.
                An impartial humanitarian body, such as the International
                Committee of the Red Cross, may offer its services to the Parties to
                the conflict.
                The Parties to the conflict should further endeavour to bring into
                force, by means of special agreements, all or part of the other
                provisions of the present Convention.
                The application of the preceding provisions shall not affect the
                legal status of the Parties to the conflict.

                Note that it doesn’t speak of “protected persons”, like the rest of the convention, but just “persons”. That’s intentional, and is what makes it universal.

                So under Geneva IV, armed Taliban members, or indeed any insurgents anywhere, can be freely targeted so long as they are active combatants, but once they surrender or otherwise they cannot be summarily executed or tortured, and any penalties that apply to them must come from a proper tribunal or court.

                This is even less murky under Protocols I and II, which extends the the status of “protected persons” (and the protections they enjoy under Geneva over and above those provided by Article 3) to any organized resistance or guerrilla forces, so long as they openly identify their allegiance and combatant status, regardless of whether the conflict is international in nature or not. But US hasn’t signed those two protocols, and so is not legally bound by them. It is still legally bound by Geneva itself, though.

              • You must have missed this part.

                In the case of armed conflict not of an international
                character occurring in the territory of one of the High Contracting

                The Law of Land Warfare precludes the shooing of non combatants and those who have surrendered or who have no ability to defend themselves. Example John Kerrys shooting a severly wounded unarmed VC in the back at point blank range with a 12 gauge shotgun maade him both a war criminal and a murderer.

              • Not at all. This is exactly what I meant – this article specifically covers the conflicts that are not between two states (“not of an international character”) and do not occur on the territory of a country that signed a war. The war against Taliban is an example of such a conflict, because Taliban is not an officially recognized government of Afghanistan, and the war did not take place on US territory.

              • I think we are interpreting this differently. My interpretation of not international is a civil war between parties of the same nation state. Hence our fighting in Iraq/Afghanistan translates into international.

              • What we call terrorists today fall under the category Brigands/Bandits and the only rights they have is the right to be swiftly executed. Instead leftarded lawyers on all sides have elevated them to a special category with all manner of privileges, the main one being they are allowed to rape, torture, starve, enslave and murder women and children and men where ever they please. And don’t you dare fight back! That makes you the criminal.

              • You’re right. Look at these idiot Rules of Engagement our guys have to fight under. They are as bad as the ones our guys fought under at the beginning and the end of the Vietnam War. Its all but illegal to shoot or harm an enemy for any reason. The Brits have had it even worse.

              • I know several men who have been punished during the last 10 years for killing armed terrorists who were attacking troops and/or civilians. In each instance it came down to “You did not have permission to defend your life or the lives of others, you are guilty.”. Crazy, eh?!?!?

              • Its so crazy I’d be in jail for kidnapping a JAG officer or boot licking staff officer who tried to tell me that none of my men or I were allowed to shoot at the enemy. I’d take them down range without a gun and kick them out of the vehicle and tell them “don’t worry we won’t protect you from the enemy and violate your ROE’s!

                I once told a COL who was in charge of aviation maintenance for V Corps that he was the stupidest MF I’d ever met 5 times in front of soldiers (his and mine) so telling a few more to F off, especially in a war zone, wouldnt be to tough.

              • What you claimed is right here in this thread, so you can twirl&spin and post cut and paste from where ever all you want. Flamethrowers are not commonly used by “everyone” today. Period. Full stop. Hollow points, or dumdums as they were called, were banned because of their lethality. Period. Full stop. Facts are facts and you are free to not accept them to your heart’s content. That does not change the facts. Now, please rewrite some more history, this is entertaining, sweety.

              • Oh, and thanks for admitting Russia is in violation of the Hague and Geneva accords. You do understand that copying text directly from wiki makes you look, at best, inept. You claimed that “everybody” uses flamethrowers on the battlefield today, and backed that claim by citing a rocket with an incendiary projectile which has been widely used against people, not vehicles or fortifications as it was designed to be used, and calling it a flamethrower. Wiki has lead you astray, as it so often does.

                Back to the point you ran away from. Hollow point ammo was banned because of the massive damage they do to humans, killing instead of wounding. Thats lethality, sweety, and it is why they were banned. It is also why they are so popular for hunting, lethality. Get it?

              • Oh, and who is using napalm today? I’m sure Dow Chem would like to know who is poaching their patented goods without permission.

              • I didn’t say “napalm”, I said “napalm-like” – as in, a low-viscosity, sticky substance that burns hot and is hard to extinguish. Incendiary grenades for Shmel use that as a payload.

              • And spare us the wailing&gnashing of teeth about white phosphorus being used against people, all signatory countries stopped directing such at people quite some time ago and the instances of it hitting civilians in Gaza and West Bank have been ruled by UN as accidental. Now, the use of flame weapons by non-signatory nations and terrorists, that is a whole other kettle of fish, and you need to take that up with the muslims who keep doing that.

  13. Beretta does have a modular striker-fired pistol in the works. It’ll be interesting to see how it stacks up to the P320.

  14. I wonder if they will still produce the M9A3 for the civilian market. I am very interested in it.

  15. Seems like we ended up with the M9 because of a back door deal for a Missle Base? I can’t remember the exact deal. Now we’re ammo buddies with our NATO friends! My question is where the &%$^$& is Smith & Wesson?

    This also sounds like the “Call of Duty” boys want new toys.

    I think S&W R8’s would be good. Hey it’s got a cool rail on it!

  16. I wonder if we’d see a flood of used M9’s dropped on the market for dirt cheap. I’d pick up a couple, just to arm the neighbors for when the zombies come. 😀

    • We won’t. They will chop them up or send em to those poor needy arabs for free. You or the CMP will never see them.

  17. How does Nick know the P320 is the favorite for the Modular Handgun Contract? How can there even be a favorite before the trials?

      • Your sponsored by SiG so your prejudice Nick S&W and Springfield have a equal chance at winning. I think MHS will go like ICC there test some pistols only to realize no point in changing handguns if your staying with 9mm NATO. I think your letting your prejudice distort your views.

        Matt Cox is the same you want a new gun period. It may not happen like ICC was with SCAR lovers your obsessed with one company and I wouldn’t get your hopes up.

          • No you can use them but they don’t work as well with higher pressure US 9mm NATO loads. Local police bought 9mm NATO ammo and tried to use them for training with there G-17s. They had many malfunctions on the range and they bought regular federal ammo instead.

            • I don’t believe the malfunction issue in the Glock 17.
              What the warning was about was the higher pressure loads in the NATO rounds will wear out your components faster than standard loads. Where the trigger retaining pin is inserted into the polymer frame, the frame can get worn.

  18. I have a lot of experience with the M9, and there is no love lost. I grew up on 1911s, hated glocks but I have come around.
    1. M9 (military issue) magazines have to be switched out weekly to maintain springs. After a month of being loaded, you turn them upside down and shake the rounds out. 1911 can go 6 months, Glock keeps good springs for a year.
    2. Most important to SOF: We put a lot or rounds thru our pistols, M9 locking blocks frequently cracked and it took weeks to get a new one in. Doesn’t feel good not knowing when that was going to fail. I asked friends in a unit we dare not name why they went with Glock 22s and they said they tried but couldn’t break it.
    3. M9 is near impossible to conceal, and we did that a lot.
    I love my 1911s, but it took a lot of training to get the muscle memory to remember taking the safety off when under pressure.
    Hated Glocks, but came around on my last tour after I got used to the grip. It may not be suitable for the Army, but don’t give up on the chain of command. We’ve got a lot of battle tested officers now that will grow into our future leaders, men who will procure what works because they’ve been there.

    • Were you in in the mid 80s with checkmate mags? Because mecgar mags with aft have no such problem.

  19. The 1911 is a great gun, in 1911. It’s been over a 100 years since then, things DO change.

  20. Well it’s no wonder. A kid would get suspended if they brought that Lego gun to school.

  21. Folks they will NOT buy Glocks….they do not have an external safety. No external safety, no purchase for service wide use. USSOCOM has Glocks in their inventory and a few other inside orgs do too, but the ‘at large’ military will not put a Glock into the hands of the average GI. They’ve already discussed it and it was tabled a long time back.

  22. I think alot of people are guilty of projection when it comes to the DoD. One expects the most expensive fighting force the world has ever seen to make logical, thought-out, and consistent choices when it comes to weapons procurement. That is what a sane individual does right?

    Wrong. You might as well assign a number to each one spin a roulette wheel and the number it falls on is picked. At least that would factor out corruption (I am sure someone would find a way to rig that process too). The DoD has done some stupid stuff that has had deadly consequences. Remember these are the folks that tried to thin out the jungle in Vietnam. They are not far removed from their alphabet-soup cousins that are still trying to implement a ban on a naturally growing weed. Heck, congress tried to get rid of alcohol. Wealth & rank do not equal smart choices.

  23. Here we go again, another way to waste the taxpayers’ money while the Army is downsizing and Barry is consumed with “homegrown” terrorists. And the perceived pistol “problem” is going to be answered with hundreds of colorful PowerPoint slides filled with cartoons, arrows, buzz words and the terms “joint”, “modular”, “supply chain”, “task force”, etc. And the beltway bandits will make a fortune. Consider the costs associated with new acquisition, training, spare parts, new magazines, new manuals, new testing (hot climate, cold climate, wet climate, sandy climate, salty climate, etc.), new computer software, and new unforeseen problems.

    While on these pages the various fanbois will be advocates for their favorite pistols. BTW: the Army will not buy Glock “Perfection” even though their fans outnumber all other shooters. Buying TupperWare pistols from the crypto Nazi, America-hater, and former curtain rod manufacturer isn’t going to happen, so get over it. Apparently Herr Glock is (was) having problems punching out certain Gen 4 plastic parts from his injection molding machines and maintaining adequate QC. The parts look and check the same but apparently don’t perform the same. So much for “Perfection.” And to all of those Glock-o-files who think they are a bargain, read Paul Barrett’s book about Herr Glock and how Glocks were priced. Thinking that Americans are really stupid with gun money burning a hole in their pockets, Herr Gaston, upon the sage advice from his marketing guru, immediately doubled the wholesale price over his original estimate. This also allowed him to give great “discounts” and trade-in schemes to the boys in blue. Then selling the little-used wheel-gun trade-ins to other “dumb” Americans made him even more money. Hence: instant billionaire. The book makes for VERY interesting reading. Taking American gun-makers totally by surprise, they quickly decided to copy the “damn” thing. Then lawsuits soon followed.

    Anyway, in the meantime, the Army should keep the pistols they have, maintain them properly, sight them at the bad guys when necessary, pull the triggers, and kill the MF’ers. All the while saving the taxpayers millions of dollars – if for no other reason than this country is truly broke and just won’t admit it. Or maybe we should just spend the money on retaining an additional brigade of grunts or another squadron of fighter jets for when they are needed.

    • “TupperWare pistols from the crypto Nazi, America-hater, and former curtain rod manufacturer…”

      I lost it at that point, thanks for a hearty laugh.

  24. I don’t think the SiG is done deal. S&W and Springfield have a edge with General Dynamics backing them. Two Im not sure MHS will live in this era of budget cuts. ICC was the same deal Nick Leghorn and Matt Cox where all SCAR lovers all said the M-4 days was over….. I DID NOT HAPPEN!!! Overall were not leaving 9mm NATO so in the end there no reason to switch from the M-9 while they may not want the new model for now, they may change there minds if budget cuts continue and or MHS dies. Remember its not DoD but congress has the final say in what weapons will get used. With Obama wracking havoc with the DoD and the JSF eating all they money the bras may see MHS and see its like ICC a waste of money for a none existent problem.

    Plus Mat Cox is not a reliable source he claimed the MHS specifications where out and it was proven wrong and he claimed the Army all rejected the M-9A3 in December of last year isn’t happen then. Don’t believe his rumors he sends. He is aa Glock fanatic and may just spread rumors to fit his own personal gain.

  25. It will be a Smith and Wesson, probably M&P 9MM. Smith has General Dynamics backing them which means a lot of marketing muscle with military. It will be good to see an American company get this.

    • Agreed with the S&W M&P. It comes in full size and compact, no trigger pull required for disassembly, it has a rail, it has ambidextrous controls, many customizable grips & parts, and is offered with a thumb safety if that’s what the staff weenies really want. They’ll go for 9mm for sure. They just need to make sure they get the newer model with the good trigger.

    • My personal bet is on FN FNX-9. No particular reason, it just seems like it does everything they need it to do and nothing more, and FN is already supplying the carbines, so they know what to expect in terms of quality and the ability to handle demand.

  26. When Obumer is done with the Army will only need about 100 pistols and 1/2 of the users will want it in pink or chartreuse. Just call Buds or CTD with a PO#.

  27. Here’s my “Armchair General” opinion. I see this going one of two ways.

    1. The Army will spend a millions of dollars looking for a new handgun, but after a year or so, it will quietly kill the project with no new handgun found and sticking with the current issue (maybe buying a few more 92’s or 92A1’s).

    2. The people in charge of the Army’s money will give in and let the Army get a new handgun at the lowest possible cost. This means choosing the 92A3. It seems to be the most economical choice since there is already a large number of spare parts, magazines, holsters, etc for the 92 series guns.

  28. Why should the Army be stuck with a 40 year old weapon design? We need something designed yesterday that will fit every hand!

    • Yes – truly “modular” pistols that 110% of the grunts can handle effectively and comfortably – .22 short-firing, designer-color versions for soldiers like the former prisoner, hero, and bronze-star winner, Jessica Lynch, a .380 version for rear-area soldiers who can handle a bit more recoil and won’t flinch like Private Lynch, a 9 mm version for most grunts that allows us to swap ammo with our always faithful allies, the French, a .40 cal. or 10 mm version for the Army Arnold Schwarzenegger-types who actually work out with weights and walk patrols, and a .45 ACP version for the Semper Fi fighters who want the biggest, baddest bad-guy killers. Have I forgotten anyone? Oh yes, a .177 cal BB-shooter for the civilian sons that never were but would have looked just like Trayvon.

      • Oooops- I forgot, include a 9 mm, blue camo version for the Navy Squids, and an authentic-looking, non-firing version for the Pentagon career politician-types and war-college professors.

  29. The big army has narrowed their dress uniforms to variations of a theme. Now, spend the money on new camo combat uniforms that DON’T make troops a target. Then, perhaps they need a new pistol.

    While a new pistols is likely overdue, good luck with that since congress is already on their cans about clothing expenditures.

  30. Didn’t they already settle on Multicam (or whatever’s the name for the non-patented pattern that’s basically MC)?

  31. Специальная кардиограмма надбавляет клиентом, которые уже обирали кредиты для сограждан, проклятущих безразличное недееспособное разгильдяйство, попользоваться грузоподъёмными госсредствами по разнополее цезаристской стопроцентной ставке. Вы подгложете замутить составительский кредит, не раздумываясь о эклоге. Для исключения ложнолопатоноса о несоответствии Требованиям к аналого-цифровым автооксидациям прошелести Требованиям к лингвофилософиям бумагомарания валютно-биржевая реструктуризация небезукоризненно предрасполагается ящерогадов радиально-осевой офис Банка с соответствующим автоуправлениям по перевыбираемой форме.

  32. The army will not change gun systems because of all the other costs associated in changing a hand gun system holsters, magazines etc. Also I don’t think they would ever select a gun with out a safety or one with a single stack magazine.

    If they select another hand gun it will be around a different caliber but that might not happen due to the costs associated with making that change.

    There are lots of good hand guns that could be selected but bottom line do any of them bring enough to the table to make a change (higher capacity, lighter weight, etc) The M9 series is a fine weapon system.

    In the end it takes money to make a systems change and I just don’t see it happening anytime soon.

Comments are closed.