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“The M9 is at the end of its lifecycle,” declared Maj. Art Thomas [not shown], small arms branch chief at the Maneuver Center of Excellence at Fort Benning, GA. “It is an old weapon.” Pig pile on Beretta! True story: comes not to praise the Beretta M9. They come to well and truly bury the Maryland-made 9mm handguns. Here’s the bullet point version of why our men in uniform need to ditch the bitch for something better . . .

• The[M9’s] slide-mounted safety. When solders rack the slide to alleviate a jam or stovepipe in the M9, they often inadvertently engage the safety — and won’t realize this until they reacquire and squeeze the trigger.

• The open-slide design, which allow contaminants and dirt into the system.

• The lack of a modular grip, integrated rail and night-sight capabilities.

• The inability to suppress.

• Limited service life — replacement should have a service life of at least 25,000 rounds.

That last one really sticks in the Army’s craw. “Service life is a key issue,” Daryl Easlick told the times. The project officer for close effects (“How was work today honey?”) reveals that the M9 is only required to fire 5,000 rounds. “We are looking for a threshold capability in the magnitude of five times better than that.”

But wait M9 fans! There’s less!

Lethality is among the M9’s several “limitations,” said Easlick. The requirement for a new pistol calls for “an increase in permanent wound channel,” which suggests something more powerful than a 9mm may be on the horizon.

We like . . . big bullets and we cannot lie! While Beretta’s imitating Donkey in Shrek (“Choose me! Choose me!”), and their PX models are the high(er) tech weapons the Major’s looking for, you can check the Italian-owned gunmaker’s odds of winning the contract to replace 239k U.S. military handguns at

So who’s it gonna be, then?

Glock obviously. Now that Glock manufactures/assembles handguns in Smyrna, Georgia, they can wave the flag as furiously as, say, the good old boys building Bubba Benzes in Tuscaloosa County, Alabama.

Glock’s got all the right guns–well, gun—in all the right calibers. They all feel the same in hand and under finger—the kind of uniformity bound to give Uncle Sam’s logistical coordinators a beancountergasm.

Reliability? Now that the Glock mag drop issue’s been sorted (steel mag this), the U.S. Army couldn’t ask for a better, more reliable, battle-tested pistol. And to answer the m,litary’s call for a gun with which poorly troops are less like to shoot themselves or their cohorts, Glock developed a .45 with a frame-mounted safety.

What’s not to love? Even so, you gottta think Smith & Wesson has the inside track. They’re D.C. savvy and all-American. Repeat after me: jobs, jobs, jobs. OK, and yes, the M&P is, now, a damn fine pistol.

“It’s kind of hard to beat the Smith and Wesson M&P right now,” said one industry insider from a competing company, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “It is a polymer gun with high-capacity steel magazines. It has a positive safety and ambidextrous controls … they simply came out of the gate with the right gun.”

While I agree that Smith has both the product and the juice to get this deal done, no firearms insider would ever doff their hat to the competition like that. That quote’s as fake as Dick Van Dyke’s Cockney accent. Anyway, Heckler & Koch.

The HK P2000 is lauded by the Border Patrol. They love its modular grips, dual slide release levers and mounting rails that easily accommodate a variety of lights, lasers and accessories.

Yes, well, H&K’s USP Tactical may have the unique selling point the Army requires (threaded barrel). The gun’s double action/single action may not suit you and me (but especially me), but the Army puts safety at the top of their list.

Unfortunately, money. H&K’s a pricey pistol. In these days of austerity (if only), the Army will put price right at the top of the list. Followed by reliability. Preceded by bureaucratic infighting and political lobbying.

Which is why Smith will probably beat out Glock for the contract, with H&K continuing to win friends and influence people amongst the federal law enforcement agencies.

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  1. What ever happened to the Joint Combat Pistol program of 2006? Were there any preliminary results, or was funding canceled before they got that far?

  2. “Lethality is among the M9’s several “limitations,” said Easlick.” Unless I’m behind on the times, and that’s certainly possible, this seems like an ignorant statement when the military is loading ball ammo in combat pistols. It’s time to cast off the Hague Convention requirements on non-expanding ammo and start giving our troops good effective rounds.

    We keep dancing around this with SOST rounds and the such, why not just commit to a course of action. 9mm is perfectly acceptable for combat use; low recoil, high round count, etc. Giving a proper defensive load in a modern pistol just makes sense. Combat ammo should be designed to kill not just create holes.

  3. When DoD went looking for a new sidearm to replace the “Legend” they went with the M-9 for political reasons. We wanted to sell F-16s to NATO so we had to buy something in return. We chose the M-9 (millions for billions) because a 9mm would be NATO standard.

    It’s time to say goodbye to NATO and revert to the 45 as our standard sidearm round. I think we should go back to the 1911 with a few mods like a ambidextrous, decocking safety mechanism The 1911 served well in four wars and we should go back to it.

    • I’m sorry, but I disagree. The .45 is an worthy round but saying the 1911 pistol should be reinstated because it’s served ‘well in four wars’ ignores a slew of issues on the modern battlefield. Things like weight, round count, magazine changes, ammunition costs, weight, etc. Did I mention weight? The 1911 is/was a stellar platform but there are MUCH better options for a military issue sidearm.

      With modern combat/defensive rounds, the difference between .45 and 9mm performance nominal. Shot placement is king, right? So if the difference is nominal, shot placement determines the outcome, then why wouldn’t having higher cap magazines be better? Many military types issued pistols have just enough training to pass quals. Chances are, if they are in a gun fight and relying on their handgun, they are going to need/want those extra rounds.

      Now, if you want to change the conversation to include something like the FNH FNP-45 (15+1), then my take on the conversation turns a bit. Then again, FNH FNP pistols weren’t mentioned… which I think is a mistake.

      Ultimately, a military pistol has to be able to server the broadest spectrum of users. Small hands, large hands, men, women, sensitivity to recoil (limp wristing) …everyone. A modern 9mm can meet all of these requirements provided it’s fed a good combat/defensive load and it allows the current stockpiles of ball ammo to be relegated to training status to save money. Face it, the military budget is not increasing.

      • Except that we are limited to using ball ammunition on the battlefield by the Hague convention so JHP is a non player.

        You raise an important point with volume of fire and that is the best argument for something other then a 45. However, the sidearm is a last ditch weapon on the battlefield. If you haven’t put down the threat by round 7 you are probably on the losing end of the engagement.

        • “If you haven’t put down the threat by round 7 you are probably on the losing end of the engagement.” Ah yes. That must be the engagement in which you’re fighting just one guy. Wonderfully short engagements, those. Unfortunately, the US military tends to send us into harm’s way with fewer good guys than there are bad guys. We don’t have numeric superiority. If there is one of you, there’s probably five of “them.”

              • Spoken like a someone who has never been in close combat. (I haven’t been either, just 90 seconds of indirect fire)

              • Face-palm-slap..
                At what point did I call in to question your experience? I merely said it was an ignorant statement…because it is.

                That statement ignores all manner of things like disparity of training, conditions of weapons, environment, local, quality and availability of ammo, time of day, gender of shooters, etc so on and so forth. If you want to make such broad generalizations go for it. But when you get taken to task on a statement like that, instead of attempting to attack someone’s credibility, try showing some credibility in supporting your own position.

              • Face plant huh? Everybody I know who has been in combat or in a tight spot in government service says the same thing. The military guys tell me that the M-9 is there so you can fight to your rifle and the spooks tell me that they won’t carry because confronting a guy or two armed with an AK with your pistol is just plain dumb. So while I don’t have any direct experience beyond a couple of mortar rounds (and a 757). I work in an environment where many of co-worker have been in close combat.

        • I don’t know about you, but when I was in the Army, more often than not, my only weapon was the M-9 and that wasn’t very reassuring. The need for quality handguns is very high, that’s why you hear about pilots who bring their own (and leave them in country) or smuggle bigger issue aboard for if and when it comes to that.

          Ultimately whether the military decides to adopt a larger round or not, which I always hoped they would, training has to be better. The training regiment to qualify for the M-9 is significantly less than what they have in place for the easier to use and train with longarms. The handgun program needs to be more thorough and qualification with handguns needs to be more frequent, in addition to a new sidearm.

        • “If you haven’t put him down by seventh round…” Respectfully, I’ll call bs on that. The only time I used a pistol in combat I rapid fired in the direction of the enemy – my goal was simple, make them duck for a second so I could get to cover (and a rifle). Note ‘them’ not ‘him.’ Even if they’d been standing up shooting at me like Napoleonic soldiers how many would i have hit with rounds bouncing all around me? How often do you actually see an enemy soldier? And if you do and they are that close – there are apt to be a bunch of them. if you like .45 that’s cool – but pack a lot of ’em into the mag.

        • We are NOT limited by the Hague Convention because Congress never ratified that agreement. The Hague Convention has no legal force regarding the U. S. military.

    • Why does so many people want to go back a century old design?!

      There are better pistols out there that shoot the same caliber. Yeah it looks cool, but it isn’t a modern pistol, and yeah I bet the 45 kicks ass but you get 7 rounds in the mag. We carried a total of 30 rounds with our M9s so that is two mags. You would have to issue 4 1911 mags to have similar bullet capacity and you would still be behind by 2 rounds.
      While you’re lining up that epic headshot on me I already shot 1+ several follow up shots to your chest. Where the 9mm can lack in single bullet damage potential(where there is only a small amount between the 45 acp as it is) you can make up for in rapid accurate shots in a good placement.

  4. I don’t think going back to the 1911 would be advisable… 8 round capacity??? talk about a tactical disadvantage for our troops. It’s a great gun but I think we can lean on modern technology to provide an effective platform in a respectable caliber… although I do agree with Severe about the ball ammo being standard.

  5. Hmm…

    the 1911 seems to fit the bill quite nicely.

    They worked well before, why not now? Most beginning women that can grip them properly shoot them better IME than any other gun.

    Most beginning male shooters can’t hit the side of a barn because they won’t listen worth a damn and want to copy what they see in rap videos.

  6. Our mistake was not going with Sig the first time around…

    I’m not real familiar with the M9, but I can agree that I hate the slide mounted safety. I don’t know why Beretta insists on putting it there, I hate the darned thing on my Cougar, makes me wish I had the DAO version.

    • The US did go with the Sig. It’s the P226 and the military calls it the M11. It is issued in limited quantities, primarily to personnel who need to carry concealed (which is sort of silly because the Sig isn’t that much smaller than the Beretta anyway. I think they just wanted to toss Sig a bone.) I carried a Sig in Haiti in 1994 for about 3 weeks while my buddy, a CI agent, was on leave.

  7. The US military will go back to the M1911…

    …about a day after Valentino Rossi trades his Yamaha in for an Electra Glide.

    As I’ve said before, the attachment to the M1911 is about 90% emotional. Now, if you’re talking about a personal use gun, then emote away – it’s your life, after all, so carry what you want. Obviously you’re going to shoot better with the gun of your choosing anyway, and if you think your M1911 is infused with the spirit of Chataeu Theirry and Nicaragua and Omaha Beach and Chipyong ni and Hamburger Hill, then who am I to say it’s not? (Hell, as a dyed-in-the-wool revolver guy, I should be the last one to tell you not to embrace an obsolete design!)

    But in a purely objective test, compared to the modern competition, the 1911 doesn’t really have a lot to recommend it.

    And that shouldn’t be seen as a diss of the 1911. It would be no more reasonable to expect a 1911 to stand up against a modern pisol than it would to expect a Model T to compare favorably to Porsche Boxster. Or even a Geo Metro. 100 years of technology have passed since the 1911 was fielded, of course there are going to be improvements. And while you could, I supposed, “modernize” a 1911 with features like a polymer frame, large capacity magazine, and so on, why would you? It would be like trying to shoehorn a hybrid engine into that model T.

    The M1911 has earned it’s exalted place in the history of firearms, but it’s not a serious contender for a purely purpose-built military sidearm.

  8. sig sauer hands down make the best handguns ..why would we give our men garbage? (Beretta,Glock)

  9. Well, I for one love my Beretta 92FS, but I have to agree that from a military standpoint, there may be better choices out there. The M9 has served the country well (and has aided the victory of countless media heroes, from John McClane to Martin Riggs to the original zombie killers themselves, the Resident Evil gang) but I can see wanting to move on.

    I personally don’t like Glocks as much. They don’t naturally point for me and are too small for my hands.

    If price weren’t an issue, I’d suggest the HK P30 and HK45. But price is an issue, so there goes that.

  10. i saw destinee on a hickok45 video, i had never heard of her before, she has got to get rid of the techno music in the background its hard to take her seriously, that and the 90’s looking backgrounds. this is one pistol from my home state that i will pass on.

  11. A modern double-stack .45 would seem to be a worthy replacement for the current 9mm. Unfortunately, our troops are stuck with hardball ammo because our “leaders” want to honor a treaty that our Congress never approved. So, our soldiers will continue to die on the alter of political correctness.

    • What about something like a Springfield-Armory XD? They seem to come in 9mm, 40S&W, 45ACPand are available double-stacked.

      • “Elliotte says:

        August 29, 2011 at 11:19 AM

        What about something like a Springfield-Armory XD? They seem to come in 9mm, 40S&W, 45ACPand are available double-stacked.”

        Compared to the military graded and tested pistols the XDs wouldn’t stand a chance.

  12. For caliber, I really hope they go with 10mm. It’s a great caliber, but it’s relegated to obscurity by the chicken-and-egg problem. It’s expensive because it’s produced in such small quantities, it’s produced in such small quantities because it’s not very popular, and it’s not very popular because it’s expensive. If it were adopted by the US military though, the problem goes away.

    If lethality is high on the wishlist and they’re stuck with ball ammo, 10mm is a good solution that still would allow decent round count. The problem is people with small hands or recoil sensitivity. Then again, it’s not like the M9 is such a great gun for small hands anyway.

    Since safety is the top concern, they should be looking at Glocks equipped with a NY-1–or if they’re really paranoid–NY-2 trigger spring module. The thumb safety on so-equipped S&W M&Ps is a nice size and shape, but it’s not very stiff. If you click it off inadvertently, you’re left with a relatively light trigger pull.

    No pistol is perfect, but if it were my decision to make, I’d order the Glock 20.

    • interesting observation, i’ve held a g20 and its a BRICK ergonomically speaking, but there is little one can say against the 10mm, if they came out with a g20 gen4 that could get some traction, i say they go with the new g21 gen 4’s.

  13. Why not go with the XD? Mine are as reliable as Glocks but more natural to hold. Why pay double for an HK that is not as reliable?

    • i think the length of existence, source country, and reputation all play a factor in this, a Croatia sourced pistol just does not say “US Army” to me IMHO. XD’s are good guns, don’t get me wrong but they do not have the huge numbers of users worldwide or the reputation of the other choices. that and the fact that firearms have been manufactured in Austria since the 14th century.

      from a political standpoint, i think Sig’s and H&K’s are just too expensive per gun to adopt uniformly across an entire service branch.
      gen 4 glocks bring alot to the ergo table, a category in which they were sorely lacking in the previous iterations.

    • “stateisevil says:

      August 29, 2011 at 11:23 AM

      Why not go with the XD? Mine are as reliable as Glocks but more natural to hold. Why pay double for an HK that is not as reliable?”

      I don’t know what XD you have, State. Mine can’t go 6000 rounds on average without a cleaning or maintance without a failure.

  14. All limitations considered, do you think the US may skip all of these conventional calibers and move to something like the 5.7×28?

    Assuming: it must be fmj, capacity is critical, and weight is a concern- seems something along those lines may be a better choice.

  15. FNX-40. Or FNX-9 if they want to stick with a NATO standard. Made in the U.S., small grip, totally ambi, very reliable, and has a large frame-mounted safety with a decocker. All it would need is a threaded barrel, and FN already makes one for the FNP-45. (Which would also be a good choice, but is too large for general issue.)

    • +1 on the FNP’s size. It’s accurate, reliable, and shoots very comfortably but it’s gargantuan.

  16. Some further thoughts.

    The military investigative arms (NCIS, OSI and CID) have all moved to the FBI standard Sig 40 cal. I would not be surprised if the military would move toward Sig because most of the Federal Government uses this handgun. You can take advantage of existing contracts which would speed up the procurement process. If you went through a full source selection it would take five years at a minimum to begin full procurement.

    • I carry a .40 cal. and I trust the .40 cal. Unfortunately, with hardball ammo, there’s very little if any ballistic advantage to the .40 over the 9mm. It’s only with hollowpoint ammo that the .40 reaches its full potential.

      • “It’s only with hollowpoint ammo that the .40 reaches its full potential.”

        I wonder. The ballistic gel tests I’ve seen on the Web don’t show much difference in any major handgun caliber.

  17. Seems the SOCOM boys figured out the handgun problem with the Mark 23. Right caliber, easy to manipulate with gloves and in SHF situations, good safety/decock/slide release setup, threaded barrel, good mag cap, already proven in particularly ugly environments.

    So just buy a pile of them. About the only issue is manipulation by those with particularly small hands, but if we use that crap as a deal breaker (again), the actual merits of a given pistol are meaningless anyway.

    • At 2k a pop this just isn’t politically feasible. This gun is awesome but it’s twice what a P30 costs and is overkill for a standard sidearm.

      • When you buy a quarter million of something, you don’t pay retail. I would expect a volume purchase of the weapon with all the ancillaries to bring it into the $800-1k range. 250 mil is chump change in the context it would be spent.

  18. I didn’t like the fact the safety drops the hammer when engaged, I would rather not see the hammer fall when I put a safety on. I know that’s petty but that’s my opinion. I served when the slide stop issue was an issue. We had to count rounds and send them back to Beretta before 1000 came up.
    The long barrel used in the 92 FS gave the 9 mm some velocity and punch, but I didn’t like shooting it. The grips suck and it seemed to have a lot of vibration.

    They should look at the Springfield XD, it’s versatile enough for any Army.

  19. I think anything the military adopts will have to have some kind of safety switch. The military (well, the Army but I think most of the services are pretty much the same) is more afraid of accidental/negligent discharges than anything else. That’s why even in the military police we were required to carry our M9’s in Condition 3 (chamber empty, mag loaded, safety on.)

    And wouldn’t you know it, even with the SA/DA action of the M9, negligent discharges were far from rare (when I was in Kuwait there wasn’t a week that went by without someone either losing a weapon or firing a round into the clearing barrel and about 90% of the weapons involved in both were pistols.) This is because the Army regards the pistol as something that is not worth practicing or training with, it is just something that is issued and then forgotten about. Most non-combat arms soldiers who are issued pistols (field-grade officers, support personnel, aviators, etc) only qualify with them once a year and in many cases, they’ve never handled a handgun before.

    It’s also not unusual in combat zones for people to carry a pistol who have never qualified or even familiarized with one. That’s because when you’re “in country”, the rules often require military personnel to be armed at all times. Since a pistol is smaller and easier to carry than a rifle, often a soldier who has never handled a pistol in his/her life will pick one up from the armory so as not to be unarmed (and because an M16/M4 is too cumbersome to lug around.)

    And if you think that an organization could not possibly be so stupid as to allow someone to carry a firearm that they were completely unfamiliar with, and do so in a combat zone, then I can only assume you’ve never been in the military.

  20. Where is the money for new weapons coming from? Last time I checked, the US was broke. And will be broke for the next century or two.

  21. If the military keeps shortening the barrel on the M16/M4, it may end up being the new military handgun!

  22. The military has a genuine need for a round capable of defeating mild body armor and defilade. Why in the world would they go from 9mm to .40 or .45 or something similar? Wouldn’t something more high-velocity and pointy like the 5.7mm round be more desirable?

    • The M1 Tank has a 120mm main gun.. about 4 and 3/4s of an inch in diameter.

      The Sabot round (one of the types of rounds it shoots) is it’s primary armor defeating round..

      It is less than a few inches in diameter. Think of lawn darts only traveling around a mile a second.. made from some of the hardest and most dense materials in the world.

      The same principle applies to our handgun.. Such a dart is surrounded by what is called the SABOT which functions to hold the round in the case and keep it centered and the propellants behind it as it travels down the barrel..

      The same thing can be applied to a .45 cal bullet.. Only at conversational distances the Sabot when striking an unarmored opponent will help in making that nice big hole from which leaks spring and death rapidly approaches.
      If it hits armor the Sabot goes no where but the armor defeating portion of the round penetrates the armor.. again making a smaller hole and smaller leaks which is better than no hole or leaks at all.

      So you get the best of both worlds in a manner of speaking..

      On the other hand extremely high speed rounds have already shown a propensity to require multiple hits before Incapacitation sets in even though death will result in time. That time between being hit and Incapacitation is a period of vulnerability for our folks.


    • There is one more aspect that I mistaken left of..

      The US Military has quite mistakenly apply the laws of land warfare, including the Geneva Accords to our current enemies. Inasmuch as our current enemies are not uniformed nor do they have a discernible well-defined chain command.
      They’re not entitled to the protections of the Geneva Accords or laws of land warfare.

      The Geneva Accords not only protect combatants from both sides of a conflict. They also place stricter definitions implicitly in order that one may be entitled the protections accorded to civilians.

      Our current enemies in Afghanistan and elsewhere fail to wear uniforms, their chains of command they hide and therefore they are unlawful combatants.

      Not only would single single Officer trials in the field followed by immediate execution if that is the sentence ( as practiced in World War II). Proscriptions against the use of hollowpoint ammunition which exists in the Geneva Accords are not applicable.

      In that case the use of your smaller but faster bullets designed to rapidly incapacitate would be legal. Just as they are for use against criminals which is why the 9 mm for example and even the 380 when using hollowpoint ammunition for example are reasonable self-defense rounds. Your 5.7 also has various rounds available on the civilian market which would not be lawful to use by the wrongly adopted military standard for dealing with our current “kinetically active” enemy. lol

      Hope this helps


      • The research that I have done indicates that there is nothing in the Geneva Accords about ammunition types. It is the Hague Convention that prohibited ammunition that “deforms or fragments”. However, the U. S. never ratified the Hague Convention, so those ammunition restrictions do not apply to the U. S. military. Since the 1960s the U. S. military has issued rifle ammunition the fires a bullet that often fragments by breaking in two at the canular, and no one has cried foul because we never signed on to the Hague Convention agreement.
        If my research is inaccurate, please let me know.

  23. I’d go along with what Elliotte suggests above. I’ll go ahead and predict that the next general side arm will be a polymer framed striker fired handgun that is ambidextrous. Yes, people love their 1911’s for whatever reason, but the attachment seems largely emotional (I call them old geezer guns, lol). Recall, 1911’s are all steel guns with lots of fitted parts that would become a nightmare for any armorer. The military is as likely to readopt the 1911 as it is to put the M14 back into main usage. Both are timeless classics but there are better choices for the modern world.

    From what I’ve read from a variety of gun magazines and from trainers with years of experience in courses I’ve taken, the most malfunctions, misfeeds, etc occur in double/single actions and with 1911 based side arms. Sometimes, the most expensive toys aren’t always the most reliable. Respectfully, I am far more comfortable trusting my life with a polymer striker fired handgun over an all steel 1911. YMMV

    My vote would go with the Springfield XD in .45. The XD being of modern design, ambidextrous, polymer frame, and which due to its narrow handgrip accommodates a wide variety of shooters. And with 13 rounds out of a steel magazine it’s an easy win over the 8 rounds out of a 1911. I’d love the XD to be adopted IF Springfield will relocate manufacturing stateside.

  24. Just a suggestion:

    XD, M&P, Glock… 1911… let the best man win.

    regardless the outcome.

    It needs come from a 100% American Owned Company with no reasonable expectation the company will be bought out anytime soon. It should be like the 1911.. open for manufacture under license by other gun makers so we have the kind of ramp up capability the 1911 and other weapons had in WWII.

    100% Made in the USA by Americans, including all components and materials. (US Steel and Plastics as applicable)

    Finally let’s have a real contest.. Let every manufacturer and builder (in the case of 1911’s for example) . establish three of the challenges each.

    Let Army Procurement Folks establish the standards of performance objective but deny them the right to eliminate anyone a priori (before the contest) on that basis…

    Set goals in terms of reliability, ease of assembly disassembly, and maintenance but no hard and fast rules upfront.

    Oh and don’t play games with magazine size to exclude anyone from the competition. The most important feature is the weapon must reliably go “Bang” and kill people effectively when they are hit. Had that criteria been applied when the effort to buy the Beretta occurred it would never have been adopted and we all know that.

    (I just do not want to see the most reliable weapon eliminated in advance because it holds only 7 or 10 rounds instead of 15. Reliability takes precedence over capacity in my book.)

    Let’ts take 25 of each model and from each manufacturer and shoot the living crap out of them.

    Subject them to every torture test suggested by each competitor as well as the Army’s list of desired characteristics/capabilities.

    Obviously we need the .45 cal round back.. The dumb-asses who ignored the extensive testing and real world results that brought the US Army to that conclusion in the first place 100+ years ago only cost lives for the sake of Politics. (We may well need a different case size than the ACP but it is just as likely we can design or adopt existing rounds with AP capability in the 45ACP 1911 dimensions. (Doing so would have the effect of making available a whole slew of Machine Guns the US has had in inventory and used before like the M-3, MAC 10. both Combat Proven Weapons as well. (not a bad thing when kicking in doors in house to house fighting (excuse me CQB er no CQC..what ever the next acronym will be).

    Finally before we buy a few million of something that after all the testing turns out to be a piece of crap (see Murphy)..

    Let’s order 1000 of each of the top 5 and deploy them to various units who have demonstrated they consistently make use of the pistol in the current conflict (That group may not exist which should be a point for consideration itself.) One reason magazine size IMO should not be an eliminating criteria.

    I thought the LAV was fine until one waddled up to me in sand and I said to the TC “that thing looks pretty cool”.. “Piece of Crap” was his reply.. Having run long in tracked vehicles then finding himself assigned to his wheeled “Piece of Crap” unlike a younger Vehicle Commander he new what had been lost..

    The guy who was raised on a Beretta 9 mil and may have even had some success cannot be expected to know just what he lost when Old Slab Sides was prematurely retired even if the evidence is clear the 9mm cartridge is inadequate.

    Lets have Line GIs and Jarheads in on the evaluations and decisions from the beginning. Oh and don’t overweight to SF.. if they want some special crap let them buy it they have the money to do so…

    We may want to think twice before we saddle everyone with screw on silencer capability where they are not going to see one in general inventory in their lifetime.

    Who hasn’t bought stuff at Army/Navy Surplus stores that they never once saw in their line unit’s supply room during their entire career? That’s the idea behind the above point.

    There is nothing Ninja Secret about the standard issue sidearm capabilities. So let’s not pretend there is. Instead lets demand that those whose job it is to make it happen go about openly and honestly working a way to the next and best sidearm our forces can get their hands on.


  25. This is the same ole non-sense Beretta bashing when it first replaced the 1911. But this time written by a Glockaphile. The M9 is not going anywhere until at least 2016 and has served remarkably well in numerous theatres of war for the past 25 years. This is BS. The US military is the most abusive towards their weapons more so than any Army of earth. And you wan a striker fired weapon? It ain’t gonna happen folks. The Beretta 92F survived exposure to temperatures from -40 to 140 °F (-40 to 60 °C), being soaked in salt water, being dropped repeatedly on concrete, and being buried in sand, mud and snow. Additionally, the 92F proved a MRBF (mean rounds before failure) of 35,000 rounds. It beat out; Colt, Smith & Wesson, Walther, the Star M28, and various Fabrique Nationale and Heckler & Koch models in at least 2 trials. I’d wager the house that the M9 would still be more reliable than any current competition out there even today. This is BS

  26. This article is an absolutely pathetic hit-job on a superior pistol. You people should be ashamed of yourselves for posting this trash. The Beretta M9/92fs is a fantastic sidearm. How do I know? I have one, with at least 10,000 rounds through it and NOT ONE stoppage or malfunction of any kind.

  27. I just had to comment on this garbage. First off I have no military service, not for lack of trying (dumb teen), and thank those for their military service. The Beretta is a fine weapon in my experience with it, and I’ve had and handled several. I have a Sig 226 as well, and for price point I would go with the Beretta, especially if I was buying in the amounts that the US military would. All weapons have their place and some are just twists on each other. I have a couple Glocks, and shoot them well, but I personally had to spend more time with them. All that aside, there is certainly more to the decision making by the governments in these situations than just caliber and round count. Everybody is a fanboy of something, just baffles me with the close mindedness of some.

  28. as a 34 year user of .45s and other pistols, I say I dislike the M9, too bulky. But lets remember, a handgun is a last-ditch Defensive weapon when you have no other weapon. If your M4 dies you need an extra weapon. it should be simple as possible too, just a shooter, no lasers, rails or garbage on it. The 9mm should be replaced by the .40 and the Glock is the best–simple to use, fast and reliable as many cops will attest. Toss the M9.

  29. The real issue here is not a change in caliber it is a change in manufactuer.
    Barrettas cant handle the conditions.
    The least bit of sand screws them up, they are hard to assemble/dissassemble and they r junk after 5000 rounds. I agree we need better ammo but the truth is a glock (and a couple other models) last for at least 15000 rounds, are easy to take down/reassemble and if you drop them in the sand just blow off the dust n keep shooting. Bigger cals have their merits but save the country a bunch of money and a whole bunch of soldiers lives by sticking with 9mms but giving the soldiers reliable, easy to care for glocks with apropriate ammo to shoot out of it.
    Just my humble opinion.

    • Beretta was chosen for the military for many reasons. No offense but the US military knows far more about it than you do. It was chosen for the reliability(testing for 5k rounds and it lasted 65k without failure that’s 60,000 more rounds than their goal) Also the m9 was tested with sand, dirt, mud, and various other contaminates that would be found in or around a battlefield. No issues were found. The complaints by soldiers over the Beretta is due to cheap magazines(not factory made mags) and operator error(meaning the soldiers error not the firearm.) In other words soldiers don’t like them because they’re bias, not because the weapon wouldn’t function.

    • “least amount of sand screws them up” “hard to assemble/disassemble” “junk after 5k rounds” with statements like those I don’t believe for a second you have enough time behind an M9 to even comment on the subject. Sand screws up any piece of gear that relies on close tolerance moving metal parts, but the least amount? not a chance. I am a Navy small arms marksmanship instructor and have run a ton of outdoor ranges. We have our shooters ground their M9s on the dirt/sand all the time. Do we have hiccups, yup, but certainly no more than any gun treated that way would have. I personally own an M&P9 and a 1911. The M9 is just as easy as the M&P to break down and tons easier than the 1911, I don’t know how much easier you want a weapon to break down? Junk after 5k rounds is simply not true. I have personally sent 1,000 rnds down a single M9 over a 2 day range period with no cleaning. So I guess that gun will be out of service after a few more range days eh? nonsense! almost every single malfunction I have seen in the M9 was due to mags and shooter induced stoppages and I log more range time than most with our service weapons. If we need a new sidearm for US forces it’s not because the beretta is crap, it’s because there are better pistols available these days. I see many comments about H&K’s and FNH’s, good weapons for sure, but per dollar not worth it in my opinion. Everytime I pick up a friends Glock I shoot well, they’re cheap, widely available,TONS of accessories already in place (we will need new holsters for our web gear). I like my M&P, US made,cheaper than the M9,widely available,etc I think our next service pistol must be a poly design. I like the Sig M11 (which I’ve shot as well) but the all metal designs are just too heavy. Poly guns are so far beyond the original “plastic is bad” perception and have been proven time and time again. Start stacking on gear and every ounce counts. Just my $.02

  30. Have owned nothing but Beretta’s for the last 26 years, 3 to be exact, and I have NEVER had a jam, stove pipe or anything else that could go wrong ever happen to mine. My 1st one was a 92F I bought new in 89, and it shot so good I bought a new

  31. Hmmm, WW1,30-06,1911 we won, WW2,30-06,1911,we won, Korea 30-06,1911 we sorta won. Vietnam M16, 1911 we sorta won. Now M4A2 n M9 and after what 20 years we still aint sorta won? Is it the weapons or the people behind them?

  32. Why are most of you talking about guns, the Army has not decided which it would be, but they have said they don’t want the weaker 9mm, I’ve heard it’s between 40 s&w or 45 acp and where has the glock been combat proven unlike the m9, HK and Sigs are the best small arms.

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