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Thread: US military handgun adoption - then and now.

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    US military handgun adoption - then and now.

    For those of us old enough to remember and maybe those younger folks who have read the history, the XM9 trials of the early 1980's were a huge political sideshow. They involved Congressional testimony, GAO investigations, accusations of favoritism and secret agreements, etc.. Part of it was the replacement of the iconic M1911A1 with a European-designed weapon of a smaller caliber. In fact, it's still a sore point with some (older) folks.

    Fast forward to the replacement of the M9 by the M17/M18 handguns. There was a GAO protest by Glock, and a few debates here and there, but the process went largely without the heated atmosphere of the older XM9 trials. Even Congress seemed generally uninterested, and I don't recall any extensive pro/con arguments from the Army.

    So is this a sign that the current crop of politicians have taken less interest in these programs? Or have military handguns become more and more comparable?

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    In the 80s we went from the venerable 1911 which served four generations of warriors to a high capacity "wonder 9" design that will fit the hands of female non combatants and other girlie men. That is basically how I remember the trials being described.

    Now we are simply going from a sorta heavy wonder 9 which doesn't have the most magnificent trigger in the world to a striker fired wonder 9 that comes in several barbie gun sizes and currently a few coloe options, but stand by for a rainbow of candy coated flavors. This is SIG after all.

    I just hope the damn thing works the first time we take it to war. If it performs like a Glock then fine, if the new trigger module / lego system regularly fails it will be a problem.
    It's hard to be a ACLU hating, philosophically Libertarian, socially liberal, fiscally conservative, scientifically grounded, agnostic, porn admiring gun owner who believes in self determination.

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    I wonder if Glock would have been more competitive if they had a grip angle more like a 1911. I carried a 1911 on uniform patrol for the last few years before I retired. The last time I was in the Firearms Simulator I had to use a Glock and I shot over the heads of most the bad guys (& in the past I usually did really well in the Simulator). I own a few Glocks but I don’t carry them.

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    Glock only underperformed in price. Sig basically is giving the military those pistols for free. If you read the protest Glock filed, itís easy to infer that the Glock out performed the Sig in testing but that for the price the Sig was good enough. They didnít even complete the testing as the SSA didnít see how the Glock could overcome the extreme difference in price with superior performance. As long as the Sig met the baseline, it won.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ThirdWatcher View Post
    I wonder if Glock would have been more competitive if they had a grip angle more like a 1911. I carried a 1911 on uniform patrol for the last few years before I retired. The last time I was in the Firearms Simulator I had to use a Glock and I shot over the heads of most the bad guys (& in the past I usually did really well in the Simulator). I own a few Glocks but I don’t carry them.
    The Glock vs. 1911 debate.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ThirdWatcher View Post
    I wonder if Glock would have been more competitive if they had a grip angle more like a 1911. I carried a 1911 on uniform patrol for the last few years before I retired. The last time I was in the Firearms Simulator I had to use a Glock and I shot over the heads of most the bad guys (& in the past I usually did really well in the Simulator). I own a few Glocks but I donít carry them.
    Put your 1911 and Glock next to each other on a table, upside down, on their sights. You might be surprised how close they are in the angle of the front strap. Its easiest to see on a no-groove model, but you can see it with the other gens, also. The hump is what messes with people, and might go partway toward explaining the popularity of the 19x/G45. That and the chonky grip in the Gen 3s. If you have a Gen 4 or 5, you can see what I mean by that by adding the backstraps and seeing if your natural presentation changes. I was actually a little surprised at the effectiveness of those. But even with the backstraps, the Gen 4 still feels less chonky than the Gen 3. Either one simply requires practice, like any gun, and monogamy helps greatly. Aaron Cowan has a video on ďDeveloping Point of Aim with the RDS HandgunĒ that can be illuminating for iron sights users, also.

    Steyr, the M9 only fit hands Largo and up. The 1911 is actually much more friendly to small hands. The M9A1 helped that a bit (USMC). Pistols are, in fact for non-combatants, just as much as for machinegunnners. For either, their main use is to check the block on having a weapon while eating chow and buying dip. I doubt weíll see much of the 320ís modularity, and after receiving them, Iíve gone from cautiously optimistic to distrustful. At least its lightweight.

    Iíve been issued 1911ís, and they werenít really the best option, despite being maintained by armorers that would know what they are doing. They are heavy and low-cap. And logistics support isnít as easy as visiting the nearest S4 types and trading some smokes and a shiny coin for a couple mags and a can of ammo when your combo isnít working right suddenly.

    I really liked the M11/P228, and they basically had to pry my rattly example out of my hands when we got G19s. Pretty funny memory, actually.

    As to the last question in the OP, I do think that the handguns attempting to get military contracts are much more comparable than in the 80s. There are some AMU types floating around here somewhere that probably know a lot more than me about this topic. I just train with whatever they hand me. It really doesnít matter very often for wars.
    RLTW
    ďY-you realize that nighttime makes up half of all time?Ē -Rick Sanchez

    Disclosure: I am affiliated PRN with a tactical training center, but I speak only for myself.

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    I think the last handgun adoption process went “smoother” because:
    -unlike the 1911 the M9 has never really been liked and didn’t have the cult following that the 1911 had/has. There are still people that are butt hurt that we got rid of the 1911. Sig or Glock probably should have won the M9 trials.
    -given the lack of cult following people realized it was time to get rid of the beat to crap, abused, worn out M9. Even though the 1911 was in the same boat in the early 80s the lore around it made the M9 adoption process much harder.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ThirdWatcher View Post
    I wonder if Glock would have been more competitive if they had a grip angle more like a 1911. I carried a 1911 on uniform patrol for the last few years before I retired. The last time I was in the Firearms Simulator I had to use a Glock and I shot over the heads of most the bad guys (& in the past I usually did really well in the Simulator). I own a few Glocks but I don’t carry them.
    Glock lacked a double strike feature which was a requirement for the XM9 competition.
    It's hard to be a ACLU hating, philosophically Libertarian, socially liberal, fiscally conservative, scientifically grounded, agnostic, porn admiring gun owner who believes in self determination.

    Chuck, we miss ya man.

    كافر

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    Quote Originally Posted by CRAMBONE View Post
    I think the last handgun adoption process went “smoother” because:
    -unlike the 1911 the M9 has never really been liked and didn’t have the cult following that the 1911 had/has. There are still people that are butt hurt that we got rid of the 1911. Sig or Glock probably should have won the M9 trials.
    -given the lack of cult following people realized it was time to get rid of the beat to crap, abused, worn out M9. Even though the 1911 was in the same boat in the early 80s the lore around it made the M9 adoption process much harder.
    There are plenty of articles describing the politicization of the Beretta trials and why they won the M9 contract. No one really wanted it. No one who had to carry it, anyway.

    Regarding the 1911, the Marines still carry it. SMUs still have access to it. It ain't going away anytime soon.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SteyrAUG View Post
    Glock lacked a double strike feature which was a requirement for the XM9 competition.
    Didn’t know that.

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