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Thread: Phrobis M9 replacement slide? (Historical)

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    Phrobis M9 replacement slide? (Historical)

    I've only recently learned about this (apparently) short-lived project. Phrobis was best known for designing the M9 bayonet and other knives, although they had some talented engineering folks on staff.

    I'm guessing this was a solution looking for a problem? Maybe at the time it was seen as a viable product due to the M9 slide breakages in the late 1980's.

    Evidently, the surviving examples (of which there are very few) command prices in the $thousands.






    Last edited by Slater; 04-17-21 at 21:38.

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    Never head of these, designed for the Navy? Likely the SEAL's going with the SIG P226 killed the project.
    “The Trump Doctrine is ‘We’re America, Bitch.’ That’s the Trump Doctrine.”

    "He is free to evade reality, he is free to unfocus his mind and stumble blindly down any road he pleases, but not free to avoid the abyss he refuses to see."

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    Although Beretta touts the open-top slide design as a reliability feature, I think if these Phrobis slides were on the market today they'd probably sell pretty well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mack7.62 View Post
    Never head of these, designed for the Navy? Likely the SEAL's going with the SIG P226 killed the project.
    Precisely. The SIG 226 and the Beretta scored almost identically throughout the Army selection. SIG was aced out only by price per unit. The Navy chose the 226 for SEALs as the quickest / most economical option since they had both just completed trials.

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    I’ve wanted one of these for a long time (just because they’re an interesting footnote in history). I’d even be interested in a newly manufactured copy but I doubt there would be enough interest to make them affordable. I wish I’d known about them when they were (evidently) advertised for sale on Shotgun News.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sinister View Post
    Precisely. The SIG 226 and the Beretta scored almost identically throughout the Army selection. SIG was aced out only by price per unit. The Navy chose the 226 for SEALs as the quickest / most economical option since they had both just completed trials.
    Mr. Sinister, why would the Beretta not have been easier to adopt for the Navy??
    Had the Army gobbled up most of the production??
    I just assumed that the 226 did something the Navy required a bit better than the M9??
    (Please bear in mind, I am a civ, & also NOT a historian) so not only have I not been there, nor done that 😂...in this case, I haven't really ever been able to figure out how or why the Navy adopted the Sig, but it's adoption has always interested me.

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    The SEALs had tried many new 9mm pistols available in the early 1980s for the counter-terrorist mission. The Beretta, being the Army's new service pistol, should have been the perfect choice.

    SEAL Team 6 was one of the first to try the pistol and started shooting it in their routine training. A few Beretta slides failed and SEALs were injured (to include facial and dental injuries. I worked with one of the guys who caught a slide in the kisser).

    Army and Beretta started finger-pointing at each other whether it was the SEALs' shooting schedule (the Army's requirement was for a 5500-round service life) which the SEALs FAR exceeded, or the ammunition (Beretta claiming 9mm NATO or non-standard / non-military).

    The Army's trials had both the Beretta and SIG passing all Army requirements. Rather than start an all-new trials the SEALs flat-out said "No" and went with the competitor. The Navy bought the M9 for the rest of the force.

    Bottom line the M9 failed often enough that the SEALs lost confidence in the design and dumped it for the SIG.

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    Sinister,Thank you for that explanation.
    That was indeed a fascinating bit of history, which I enjoyed greatly as I own & carry both pistols.
    Hearing the ins & outs of small arms selection has always been of interest to me...especially in regards to sidearms.
    Thank you again for your time & knowledge.
    E.t.a as to the OP it would have been interesting to see how the Beretta would have stacked up, had it been equipped with the Phrobis slide.

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    I remember reading about this.
    I think the first I read of it was in SOF and then many years later some stuff in PM magazine.
    It made me look pretty closely at any issued weapons for a while.

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    Found this GAO report about the issues with Beretta slides.

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