Partnering with defense contracting giant General Dynamics apparently wasn’t enough to keep Smith & Wesson’s M&P pistol in the running to win the U.S. military XM-17 contract to replace the venerable Beretta M9.
The U.S. Army has cut Smith & Wesson from its competition to replace the Beretta M9 as its standard-issue sidearm.
The Army’s hunt for a company that can make its upcoming Modular Handgun System by 2018 has been narrowed down to just a few gun makers, such as Glock and Sig Sauer.
The Pentagon told Smith & Wesson and partner General Dynamics of its decision late Friday.
“We and our partner in the pursuit of the U.S. Army’s Modular Handgun System, or MHS, solicitation to replace the M9 standard Army sidearm have been notified by the Department of the Army that our proposal was not selected to advance to the next phase of the competition,” Smith & Wesson said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Fox Business reported Monday.
The winning proposal, which is expected to be announced August 2017, will result in a contract for roughly 500,000 pistols.
The Army was expected to announce their down-select to three finalist designs in August from among the 11 contenders. So far, only Smith is publicly out of the running, and the three finalists have not been publicly named.
The only truly modular (serial numbered chassis, with swappable frames and top-ends) handguns remaining in the competition are Sig Sauer’s P320, Beretta’s APX, and the long-shot Sphinx SDP.
It remains to be seen if Glock has submitted their Gen 4 as is suggested by the media, or if they instead submitted the so-called “Gen 5” gun without finger grooves that won the FBI contract and which is already being tested (with varying results) in some police departments.
The contract will likely be won by one of these three contenders (Beretta, Glock or Sig Sauer) unless the military decides they won’t go with a polymer-framed handgun, and throws everyone for a loop and selects the Sphinx SDP, which has an aluminum upper frame and polymer lower frame.