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I pity the poor bastards who have to fill-out all the paperwork to bid for a government contract. It’s certainly not child’s play. In fact, they’re pencil-pushing mavens genetically predisposed to eat legal language for lunch and savor a federal form like a oenophile sipping a 1982 Chateaux Margaux. Still, better them than me. And they sure do earn their crust. “Under this contract, the M&P40 pistol is not only qualified for purchase by the ATF but has also been made available to multiple U.S. Federal Agencies who may now use this contract vehicle for their purchases. The potential value of the contract award is $40 million over 10 years.” Oh, a hat tip to the ATF as well, who not only had to brush aside political considerations to award the contract, but also had to fire—-guess how many rounds? The press release tells all (as if) . . .

The ATF awarded the contract to Smith & Wesson after a rigorous, multi-step evaluation was conducted on the M&P40 full-size and compact pistols. The evaluation consisted of a multiple- agent, live-fire assessment of 5,000 rounds. Additionally, the pistols were fired 15,000 rounds during the endurance phase of the test, for a total of 20,000 rounds each. The pistols were further subjected to an environmental exposure test and a post-endurance evaluation.

That’s it? I can go though a thousand rounds in a day. Just me. Of course, I don’t scientifically measure the aftermath. And that’s 5k rounds per gun X an unknown number of competitors. Anyway, Smith & Wesson Prez Michael F. Golden isn’t wrong when he points out that this contract is something of a milestone for the occasionally lamented M&P.

This award by the ATF marks a milestone for our company and for the Military & Police Pistol Series. Beyond the value of future orders we may receive under the contract, it is an important validation of our M&P products. During the ATF’s stringent testing process, the M&P pistol performed exceptionally well, demonstrating excellence in the areas of reliability and performance, two key benefits that have made it a frequent choice by federal, state and local law enforcement professionals.

Over to you, Glock.

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  1. Compare this to the truly exhaustive evaluation/selection tests which chose the Beretta 92 to replace the 1911.

    5,000 rounds per gun? That really doesn’t prove much. I own several guns that have exceeded that round count. Whassamatter? SIGs not cool enough any more?

    And didn’t Homeland Security award an enormous contract to SIG a few years back?

  2. Good find! The ‘old’ SIGs I was thinking of weren’t in this evaluation; they’re alloy-framed and this contract was only for polymer-frame pistols.

    And boy did the plastic SIGs blow it! Each gun was fired 4000 times. The Glock had 7 total FTFs, all judged to be shooter-induced. The S&W had 16, also shooter-caused, and the SIG had 58. ‘Only’ 13 of these were judged to be the gun’s fault.

    But, still. 58 failures out of 4000! That’s a failure rate of 1.45 PERCENT. Its shooter-induced (I.e., ergonomic) failures were nearly three and nearly seven times, respectively, the ergonomic failures for S&W and Glock. Who collectively had ZERO mechanical FTFs.

    Sorry, SIG. Ya blew this one. On the basis of reliability alone, I would have selected the Glock.


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