The military has bought into the M17 and M18 pistol platform. While the civilian version, the Sig P320, had some issues, the M17 and M18 don’t seem to share them.
While it’s still early to judge the Army’s new sidearm, it seems the Navy and Air Force don’t want to be left behind.
The US Navy and Air Force have confirmed their adoption of the compact variant of the US Army’s new pistol, the Modular Handgun System.
Last month the US Navy confirmed the procurement of 60,000 XM18 MHS pistols, the compact variant of the SIG pistol. The Navy will replace its Beretta M9s and SIG Sauer M11 pistols with the new sidearm. Navy spokesman Ben Anderson confirmed to Military.com that the “money has been allocated for contracting this year, with delivery to the Navy to commence in FY19.”
At the same time the US Air Force has also confirmed that it will adopt the XM17 / XM18 Modular Handgun System to replace its existing inventory of ageing Beretta M9 pistols. An Air Force spokesperson, Laura McAndrews explained that the Air Force has “started the procurement process and plan to buy approximately 130,000 weapons.”
Needless to say, this is great news for Sig.
While the Beretta M9 has been a real workhorse for the military for several decades now, the arsenal of pistols isn’t exactly new. It was time to buy new guns, and that means it’s a fine time to update the firearm.
The M9 is a fairly heavy weapon. While that offers advantages, it also means the guys who are already weighed down with gear, armor, and ammo are also carrying weight they don’t necessarily need to carry in this day and age.
Enter polymer handguns and the M17/M18.
They’re lighter but still offer just as much of a punch as the M9.
It’s time for a new handgun, and it’s good to see my beloved Navy adopting the new weapon. It’s also good to see the Air Force do so as well. It seems that the early reports on the weapons are solid enough that the branches are confident in making purchases to re-outfit their people with the new firearms as needed.
Now, what does this mean for the civilian gun owner? Probably not a whole lot, as if you’re someone who likes having what the military has, you’re going to want to get a P320. That’s the long and the short of it.
However, there is an upside for Sig here from the civilian side. I’ve known several vets who purchased Beretta 92’s because it was what they were familiar with from their time in the military.
Those coming in now will spend their time with the Sig instead. That means when those guys get out, they’ll be buying Sigs instead. Plus, the P320 has a compact version for concealed carry, so that’s the second purchase to these guys.
Granted, I’m not sure there are all that many of those types out there, so it might not matter, but it does funnel some customers in their direction over and above the people who would have gone with a P320 anyway.
Back to the point of this news, though, it seems the M17/M18 integration is well underway in the DOD.