The Army wants a new pistol again?

We’ve been playing this game off and on for a long time now.
But what the hell?  Let’s play…

They Army is wanting something fresh.  Which means the Good Old Boys are not in the running… The SIG’s, the Colt, the normal choices are out.  They want something new.  But the Army is all about having that Manual Safety.  That leaves something from HK, one of the FNH FNX pistols, or the Beretta PX4 Storm.   I’m betting on the Storm.  Okay – just a couple years ago, the US Army threw down a contract with Beretta that’s basically good for five years.  So we’re looking at at least another 3 years of Beretta M9’s.  Then late last year, the US Army dropped 49 million dollars on holsters for the Beretta M9.  And now they want to shake that tree?  Doesn’t make sense.  But the Military never let that stop them before.  Making sense is for Civilian Contractors – not the Actual Military.   But since there are contracts in place, it kind of makes sense that the replacement will be a Beretta.


The Px4 Storm would be a great sidearm for the Military.  The safety and trigger are the exact same that they are used to, so no new training issues.  The Storm’s action does a great job of reducing felt recoil.  Accuracy and Reliability are top notch.   Mostly likely though the M9’s replacement could be an M9A1… which all those new holsters will already fit.  But really this isn’t so much about the pistol, but the cartridge.

Basically the Army is looking at more powerful rounds.  .357 SIG, .40 Cal, and .45 are the likely candidates of course.   I’m not sure the US Army wants to go back to the .45 because they Army loves higher capacity and going back to .45 Auto would show they made a big freaking mistake going away from it.  Even though we have a history of using .45, dumping it, going back to it, then dumping it again… Picking something else would break that cycle of abuse.

Realistically this means .40 cal or .357 SIG.  Either way, I’m fine with these choices.   But if I had my druthers, it would be the .40.  Between these two.  Of course, I’d love it if we went to 10mm.  But that’s just not happening because 10mm is never going to get the recognition that it deserves.  Because of The Prophesy.  It’s written.

I like the heavier bullet weights with the .40.  But on the battlefield the higher velocity and greater accuracy will give the .357 SIG the edge.  .357 SIG just makes it easier to hit the target when it’s at unknown distances.  The Sig round also gives us better barrier penetration.

The downside of cost is not a consideration for the US Military.  But the requirement of more frequent spring swaps will be.  The military is not used to replacing parts at regular round count intervals.  But this is something that they can get used to doing.

So a Px4 Storm or an M9A1 chambered in .357 SIG would be a likely and logical replacement to the 9mm M9.

12 thoughts on “The Army wants a new pistol again?”

  1. They won’t pick the PX4. One of their complaints about the M9 was the slide-mounted safety getting manipulated while working the slide. With SOF buying whatever they want and Big Army shooting less and less people in the near future, this will die a slow death when they get to the pricing stage. This is the same Army that wouldn’t pay a buck a uniform more in licensing fees to Crye Precision.

    1. One of the improvements made in the Px4, was a redesign of the thumb safety so that *supposedly*accidental engagement is all but precluded.

      1. “The M9 doesn’t meet it for a multitude of reasons,” Easlick said. “It’s got reliability issues; the open slide design allows contaminates in. The slide-mounted safety doesn’t do well when you are trying to clear a stoppage — you inadvertently de-cock and safe the weapon system.”

        It’s rather obvious that they don’t want a slide-mounted safety regardless of any ergonomic changes since the fix is already available and has been declined. I would modify all the M9s into G models instead, but nobody asked me.

  2. The Army has long had spring length standards, any Small Arms repair person had the length marked in colored tape on their workbench back in the 70’s. Even a unit armorer can be taught that and check spring length on the turn-in inspection.
    Set back with the .357 SIG is a problem and adding cannelure to the spec would cost too much. Turning the .40 S&W into a 10mm standard will be as fraught with consequences as turning the .222 Remington into the .223 and then into the 5.56×45 NATO. Then again a couple of bright young officers should be able to turn even a failed program into an elevator to Colonel and a comfortable retirement.
    Who suspects the Army is running this one up the flag pole to see if anyone really has anything new to offer.

  3. I’ve fired the Storm in .40 and while it shot well for me, the Glock was more accurate fired the same day with the same ammo. Which was odd, because the Beretta felt much better in my hand. The US Army, I suspect is not getting pistol training despite the massive expenditures on ammo and weapons and other nations are even worse. I believe the 9mm is the lowest common denominator for military pistols. I like it for the flat concealable sidearms we carry here in the land of Spandex and Shorts, Florida. Geoff Who has a Kahr in that slot.

  4. Ummmm…M&P has an optional safety. Super reliable, great ergonomics AND AMERICAN MADE…or at least made within US borders in Massachussetts. Maybe army contract would force them do do a trigger like Apex’s DCAEK.

    What’s the best Ball ammo? I love the .357 sig, and you get the flat trajectory and a bit more hydrostatic shock. On the other hand, flat tipped .40’s might be one of the better choices for stopping power. Bigger hole and flat tip doesn’t slip through tissue so easy.

  5. Maybe Sig will throw itself back into the fray and offer their P226 in .40 or maybe even their P227 and restart interest in the 45ACP. Sig already has the high end reputation thanks to the Navy and the SF community, and the P227 has a great magazine capacity. It can’t cost much more at this point than a PX4 replacement, and it sticks to the military practice of heavy duty, all metal frame pistols.

  6. Forget the .357SIG, it’s a 9mm in a .40 case, not an improvement and as far as hydrostatic shock? Please, any round under 2000fps is going to offer minimal hydrostatic shock under any conditions. The .45acp is going to be a nightmare to adopt because A) as Ogre said it would be admitting that it was a mistake to drop it in the first place, and B) any hi-cap .45 (SIG 227, M&P, H&K, etc.) is going to be to large for ‘soldiers of smaller stature’ (AKA women) to use effectively and/or not have enough rounds to bother with over a single stack magazine.
    Which leaves the .40 S&W (the 10mm has too many issues of size and power to make a serious run for the gold here). The .40 would not be bad given our adherence to the Hague Conventions and Geneva Accords (P.S. we never signed EITHER ONE, we just adhere to them) and their insistence of FMJ ammo. A flat-point FMJ .40 does deliver more energy to the target than a .45 and does more tissue damage than a 9mm. Likewise, when the military adopts a new pistol round the also get new SMG’s (as opposed to having 2 pistol calibers in service ), there are several .40S&W SMG’s about so this would not be a huge issue either. Considering the number of Federal agencies which use the .40 *cough*coast guard*cough*, it might be a start to streamlining the Feds procurement systems overall.

    I do wonder if this all might be a red herring though. Think about it, what if they decide that a “New” “Revolutionary” small arm would be better. Something in a devastating 5.7mm? or maybe a 4.6mm? After all the proliferation of body armor in the world means traditional pistol calibers are becoming less and less relevant on the modern battlefield, even with special ammunition like the Russian 7N21 and 7N31 9x19mm rounds.

    Or maybe this is all just another tax payer funded circle-jerk designed to enhance the prospects of certain officers to get good defense contractor jobs when they retire. Of course I have been accused of being cynical.

  7. Patrick K:
    “as far as hydrostatic shock? Please, any round under 2000fps is going to offer minimal hydrostatic shock under any conditions. ”

    Ummmm, quick: which is more effective? .357 magnum or .38 special? .22 LR or .22 WMR? And what is the difference? bullet diameter?

    Sure 2000+fps is more effective but there IS a difference in pistol rounds.

    That said, I’d still agree on the .40 choice for reasons stated in my post above. And it’s widely manufactured for police and civilian use. Maybe it’s time for NATO to add it to the list.

  8. Since when does logic or effectiveness have anything to do with military handgun procurement? IF a new weapon is adopted (a damn big IF), it will involve politics of the maker, and a good ole’ boy getting a reward for past service. Why do you think the Russki’s adopted the makerov?

  9. It will be 9mm, like it or not.

    This is the same Army Ordinance that put magazine disconnects on Springfields to discourage profligate ammo use, and thought the Trapdoor was a good idea for similar reasons.

  10. Boy, Jeff Cooper was right when he said that fighting is the last thing that soldiers are expected to do nowadays. If they weren’t so hung up on that damn manual safety and DA/SA nonsense, they would just adopt the G17. Done. End of story. It’s lighter than all the other choices up there, they wouldn’t have to go through the hassle of changing calibers; it’s just as affordable, if not more so, than the competition and is simpler to operate and holds just as many rounds, if not more, than the competition. If they want a more powerful cartridge; G21. The end. If some people find that the grip is too fat, well thats what training is for. You can get used to almost anything with training. They are soldiers right?

    But I guess that makes too much sense for a bureaucratic, rube goldberg machine like the federal government.

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