Marine Leaders Explain Corps' Decision to Buy Army's New Pistol

From Military.com.

https://www.military.com/kitup...rmys-new-pistol.html

Marine Leaders Explain Corps' Decision to Buy Army's New Pistol

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- Marine Corps leaders today offered a glimpse into the service's decision to adopt the Army's Modular Handgun System as a replacement for its 9mm M9 pistol.

The Marines, along with the Navy and Air Force, are in the process of buying thousands of MHS pistols a little more than a year after the Army awarded Sig Sauer a $580 million MHS contract in January 2017.

The Marine Corps earmarked enough money in fiscal 2019 budget to buy 35,000 Modular Handgun Systems.

Anytime the Army moves in a direction, especially in small arms, the Marine Corps tries to follow as long as it makes sense, Brig. Gen. Joseph Shrader, commander of Marine Corps Systems Command, told Military.com at the annual Sea-Air-Space exposition on Wednesday.

"Frankly we have been asked by Congress to do that -- if the Army is going to go one way with something, the Marine Corps should have a good reason not to go the same way," Shrader said.

The Marine's decision to expand its fielding of the M27 Infantry Automatic Rifle to every Marine in the infantry squad is an example of when the Marines chose to go a different direction than the Army, Shrader said.

"We have determined that we have a requirement for that rifle," he said.

So far, Army officials maintain that the service is not interested in the M27 and will instead develop a next-generation squad weapon that potentially features case-telescoped ammunition.

"In a lot of our decisions, one of the things that really factors into the calculus very strongly is, what's the Army doing, and does it make sense for the Marine Corps to go that way with them. Or are there enough compelling reasons -- operational, business, all those things we look at -- that we stay our own path?" Shrader said.

"I think if we were to unpack [the MHS] decision from a requirements standpoint, I think we will find that there was not enough compelling reason there for us to stay with the Beretta," he added.

Sig Sauer beat out Glock Inc., FN America and Beretta in the MHS competition, an effort the Army launched in late August 2015. The striker-fired MHS pistols can be outfitted with suppressors and accommodate standard and extended-capacity magazines. There is also an accessory rail for mounting accessories such as weapon lights.

"When we purchase anything it's to make us more lethal; it's to make us more ready," said Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Ronald Green.

But the decision also has to do with cost, Green said, referring to the deal the service is getting on MHS.

The Marine budget document does not provide a total dollar amount for the MHS, but lists the unit cost of 35,000 Sig Sauer MHS pistols at $180 each.

"We don't have an infinite amount of money," Green said. "We have to budget according to the budget that we have."

Green said he has not yet had the "opportunity to fire [the MHS], but I will be down at Quantico in a couple of months, and I will have the opportunity to do that."

The Navy plans to field 60,000 of the compact version of the MHS -- the XM18. The Marine Corps may decide to adopt only the XM18 as well, Shrader said.

"I know that we are looking at the compact version, I just don't know whether they have made that decision," Shrader said.

Regards.

Mark

Formerly known as ML

Original Post

Selecting Glocks would've cost around +/- $70 million more than Sigs for Big Army. The Army cut corners in the MHS trials (The Beretta M9 and Sig P226 were subject to more testing in the '80s) and it showed soon after the Sig pistols were fielded and started shitting the bed.

_______________________

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of Evil is for good men to do nothing." ~Edmund Burke

 

"You are here to put in work...If you know AR 670-1 better than FM 7-8, get the fuck out of my face." ~MickFury

I think the assertion that Sig "beat out" the others is pretty optimistic. I think they were the least expensive option. 

I REALLY hope this pistol actually ends up good. But I'm not optimistic about it. My discussion with a trooper yesterday that is issued a P320 didn't warm my heart from hearing all the troubles he say they have had.  But they are not the same gun exactly. Hopefully they're improving over time.

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It's easy to make assumptions about puppies strapped to missiles, but good science requires research.

 

Joined: 12-2005          Location: Central OK

A LOT of agencies have have had significant issues with that gun. Conversations with someone I trust on the matter said it had them in the MHS trials as well. Someone(s) wanted this to be the pistol chosen for whatever reasons.

Location: North Carolina

I remember when MRAPs / MRAP-like vehicles started appearing in Iraq. Rumor was that the 101st procured them through unconventional channels, but they worked so well that not only was no one punished, but as we all know they became a Big Army procured system.

If the 320 goes the way many of us fear, I wouldn't be surprised if some GPF unit just started finding a way to get Glocks. Of course it would have to be in a war zone. No matter how bad the 320 is, it will remain the military's sidearm until the next major war. 

CWM11B posted:

A LOT of agencies have have had significant issues with that gun. Conversations with someone I trust on the matter said it had them in the MHS trials as well. Someone(s) wanted this to be the pistol chosen for whatever reasons.

 I get the sense that there are a lot of folks in the military who dislike the Glock just because it's the popular thing to so. Also, some are married to sig lore no matter how badly they perform.

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It's easy to make assumptions about puppies strapped to missiles, but good science requires research.

 

Joined: 12-2005          Location: Central OK

Agreed. I've said it before, I long ago got over "fanboyism" (before the term was coined, in fact). I had great service out of my legacy SIGs (West German),  Beretta 92 series, Glocks, & M&Ps. Also out of several S&W revolvers. For all of my military time and my entire LE career, I had no choice in what I carried (and for a significant portion of that time the lack of choice applied to OD carry as well). All of the major manufacturers of duty/service grade pistols put out a pretty decent product. They all have some issues, go through poor management/QC issues (Sig for the last ten years at least, but how many of us remember the Bangor-Punta days at S&W? Colt hasn't exactly been run by rocket surgeons either).

Personally, I think the Army should have taken the M9A3 deal. Thats just me though. I never had any issues with the M9, and the A3 addresses the grip size problem many folks have with it. I can carry whatever I want these days, more often than not it is a J frame in a pocket, or an original M&P 9C with Hyve extensions. Sometimes my Shield. A M&P 2.0 Compact is about to go into the carry  battery as well.

Were I to have a requirement to carry a duty sized weapon in an environment I would potentially be holding people at gunpoint in a security/LE role, given  the choice it would be a 92 series in a G configuration. This whole thing has been a fiasco from the beginning, just like the last one. The military is over thinking this. They could have just looked at what some of the larger LE agencies have done (FBI testing comes to mind) and picked one. No one abuses or neglects their sidearms more than LE, and there is very little organizational control once they are issued.

Location: North Carolina

The M9A3 would have been the cheap route, and with a rail, would be an adequate solution.  However, look at what size frame most of the services are trending toward - compact versions.  The M9 was anything but compact.

Relying on the average .mil guy to know about current industry trends, like Sig's QC issues of late, is an effort in futility.  I'd love to have or carried an M11 - they had a very good rep. 

Tankersteve

In Yorktown, VA.          Joined August 2008

Gov't Civilian, after retiring from active duty in 2015. 

 

'One's own open sore never smells.'  - Haitian proverb

The M11 is very expensive, comparatively. The M9 is a pig for smaller hands. Both the M9 and 11 had lots of parts to lose and get put back wrong when you take it apart beyond your training (inevitable). Then there was the problem of never replacing mags that wore out or were not original and sucked. 

I did a pistol class for an Air Force rotc class last year. I was shocked at the number of function issues the M9 had in one afternoon. I think it needed to go.

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It's easy to make assumptions about puppies strapped to missiles, but good science requires research.

 

Joined: 12-2005          Location: Central OK

I have no doubt the old M9s are worn out and have issues. I would also bet the overwhelming majority of them have probably never had a recoil spring replaced over their service life. Regardless of the sidearm, after a thirty plus year life span of typical PM in the military, I suspect any choice is going to be declared a POS by the later users.  Some of the 1911A1s I shot were dogged out by the time my hands touched them. I agree there are a lot of parts that can go flying during unauthorized E3 gunsmithing on M9s and M11s. I can only imagine the problems when snuffy starts tinkering with the swiss watch of a FCU in the M17/320. Hell, maybe the pistols ought to be a unit level choice for as much as they are used. I realize the logistics nightmare this would be, but  recall several Navy units being at Blackwater back in the day (IIRC, they were crews from coastal patrol boats and special boat units) and each unit seemed to have their own handgun. I saw P226s, 228s, M9s, and HK USP 9s. When I asked a sailor about it, he told me command had the discretion. Not sure what the answer is. Kind of surprised me.

No matter what is fielded, someone is going to bitch about it for sure. For the sake of the guys and gals who have to take these things in harms way, I hope SIG fixed the problems and our folks wont be carrying a subpar pistol.

Location: North Carolina

SPDSNYPR posted:

 lots of parts to lose and get put back wrong when you take it apart beyond your training (inevitable).

Ahhhh, yes.  I'm checking posts one night and at our fixed post (railroad holding) I find LCpl (soon to be PFC) J*&^%  with his .45 completely disassembled.  I don't know WTF he was thinking. 

He seemed glad to see me and I assembled the pistol for him as the Cpl of the Guard was bringing out his relief.

He took it in stride, hell, when I told my wife she was more upset than he was about the deal.

Barracks life.

 

 

SPDSNYPR posted:

The M11 is very expensive, comparatively. The M9 is a pig for smaller hands. Both the M9 and 11 had lots of parts to lose and get put back wrong when you take it apart beyond your training (inevitable). Then there was the problem of never replacing mags that wore out or were not original and sucked. 

I did a pistol class for an Air Force rotc class last year. I was shocked at the number of function issues the M9 had in one afternoon. I think it needed to go.

Yeah, I shot the M9 well enough, but my tiny girl hands cannot work the slide-mounted safety without really re-adjusting my grip.  A black marker in the red dot indicator on the safety/decocker worked wonders in allowing me to simply carry it in my holster with a round in the chamber off-safe.  Also, when deployed, only ran my personally procured Mec-gar mags - 2x 18-rounders and a 20-rounder in the gun.

The potential savings from the M9A3 would have come from TCs/TMs/FMs and many parts and accessories not having to be replaced.  But a more compact pistol is definitely the right route, even if not the 320...

Tankersteve

In Yorktown, VA.          Joined August 2008

Gov't Civilian, after retiring from active duty in 2015. 

 

'One's own open sore never smells.'  - Haitian proverb

And yet, the exact problem with the M9A3 is that it is backward compatible with so much stuff. 
This means that the clapped out parts, holsters and magazines that are squirreled by commands with little control over the lower echelon would continue to be issued and used. This is absolutely a leadership problem, but more than any thing it is a systemic problem of guys pushing the "Easy" button.

A whole new system guarantees that the old stuff, even if it is kept in storage for whatever arcane reason, doesn't get handed out. 


I continue to be amazed at the parts I find kicking around in our armorers box. So far, I have found nearly enough parts to build a Sigma (Previous issue to our M&P, circa 1996), hammers, sears springs, sights and sight adjustment tool for the 5913 pistols (issued prior to the Sigma) and various lockwork for the 686 and M66 revolvers that were issued prior to the 59 series. And then there are the M16A1 parts that turn up- We never issued A1 or A2, but a local Guard unit cleared their small arms parts inventory sheet into our garage when they were BRACed a couple decades ago.

Longeye posted:

And yet, the exact problem with the M9A3 is that it is backward compatible with so much stuff. 
This means that the clapped out parts, holsters and magazines that are squirreled by commands with little control over the lower echelon would continue to be issued and used. This is absolutely a leadership problem, but more than any thing it is a systemic problem of guys pushing the "Easy" button.

A whole new system guarantees that the old stuff, even if it is kept in storage for whatever arcane reason, doesn't get handed out. 


I continue to be amazed at the parts I find kicking around in our armorers box. So far, I have found nearly enough parts to build a Sigma (Previous issue to our M&P, circa 1996), hammers, sears springs, sights and sight adjustment tool for the 5913 pistols (issued prior to the Sigma) and various lockwork for the 686 and M66 revolvers that were issued prior to the 59 series. And then there are the M16A1 parts that turn up- We never issued A1 or A2, but a local Guard unit cleared their small arms parts inventory sheet into our garage when they were BRACed a couple decades ago.

Just an idea here, but you could probably sell those parts to Numrich Arms.  The department would get a little recovery back and you'd clear some room in the armorer's box.

-------------------------

Mark

Swear allegiance to the flag Whatever flag they offer

Never hint at what you really feel

Teach the children quietly For some day sons and daughters

Will rise up and fight while we stood still

 

Joined:  2/24/2003                          Location:  Nevada, USA

About the M9 being too big for some:

Beretta makes a smaller diameter grip, called the Vertec.  This is the same as on the M9A3, as mentioned above.  And Beretta makes a compact version of the 92, with a shorter slide and a shorter grip.

So if they blended these two versions  . . . .  there would be an easier to use compact M9A4 available.  But the width of the slide would not be changed.

But that is just alternate history now. 

Total BS that adopting the 320 has anything to do do with attaching lights or suppressors. The USMC already runs the M9A1, which has a light rail. Threaded barrels are readily available, and the platform handles cans well. 

I agree that most reliablility issues come from complete lack of PM. The military (in general) treats guns worse than rental ranges do. Its a major institutional problem that results in Joe losing confidence in his weapon system. Saves the taxpayer a $7 spring, though. 

I absolutely loved my M11, even if I did break a roll pin.

I’m not 100% happy about the    MHS, but I am cautiously optimistic that it will be easier to teach the lowest denominator to qual with than the M9.    

 

1168 posted:

Total BS that adopting the 320 has anything to do do with attaching lights or suppressors. The USMC already runs the M9A1, which has a light rail. Threaded barrels are readily available, and the platform handles cans well. 

Not defending the MHS, but M9A1s are not in widespread use. I got out six months ago after eight years in the infantry and never saw one. So you would be buying new guns either way. On top of that the M9s we have are one foot into the grave. New guns are needed period. Not retrofitting what’s already there. Same thing with the M27 and M4 stuff. 

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