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Uh....1911? It amazes me how we cater to those who just want to line their pockets with OUR money. We have been down this road more than once.

Army wants a harder-hitting pistol
By Matthew CoxPublished July 03, 2014Military.comFacebook54 Twitter48

U.S. Army
The U.S. Army is moving forward to replace the Cold War-era M9 9mm pistol with a more powerful handgun that also meets the needs of the other services.

As the lead agent for small arms, the Army will hold an industry day July 29 to talk to gun makers about the joint, Modular Handgun System or MHS.

The MHS would replace the Army's inventory of more than 200,000 outdated M9 pistols and several thousand M11 9mm pistols with one that has greater accuracy, lethality, reliability and durability, according to Daryl Easlick, a project officer with the Army's Maneuver Center of Excellence at Fort Benning, Georgia.

"It's a total system replacement -- new gun, new ammo, new holster, everything," Easlick said.

'It's a total system replacement -- new gun, new ammo, new holster, everything.'
- Daryl Easlick, project officer with the Army's Maneuver Center of Excellence
The Army began working with the small arms industry on MHS in early 2013, but the effort has been in the works for more than five years. If successful, it would result in the Defense Department buying more than 400,000 new pistols during a period of significant defense-spending reductions.

Army weapons officials maintain that combat troops need a more effective pistol and ammunition. But experts from the law-enforcement and competitive shooting worlds argue that tactical pistol ammunition -- no matter the caliber -- is incapable of stopping a determined adversary without multiple shots in most cases.

One of the major goals of the MHS effort is to adopt a pistol chambered for a more potent round than the current 9mm, weapons officials said. The U.S. military replaced the .45 caliber 1911 pistol with the M9 in 1985 and began using the 9mm NATO round at that time.

Soldiers who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan have complained that the 9mm round is not powerful enough to be effective in combat.

"The 9mm doesn't score high with soldier feedback," said Easlick, explaining that the Army, and the other services, want a round that will have better terminal effects -- or cause more damage -- when it hits enemy combatants. "We have to do better than our current 9mm."

The MHS will be an open-caliber competition that will evaluate larger rounds such as .357 Sig, .40 S&W and .45 ACP.

The FBI and several major police departments recently decided to return to using the 9mm round after finding that .40 caliber ammunition was causing excessive wear on its service pistols. The heavier bullet and greater recoil over time resulted in frame damage to well respected makes such as Glock and Beretta, according to Ernest Langdon, a shooting instructor and respected competitive pistol shooter who has worked for gun makers such as Beretta, Smith & Wesson, and Sig Sauer.

"Most of the guns in .40 caliber on the market right now were actually designed to be 9mm originally and then turned into .40 calibers later," Langdon told Military.com.

Langdon served 12 years in the Marine Corps where he was the chief instructor of the Second Marine Division Scout Sniper School and the High Risk Personnel Course. He's been a competitive pistol shooter for 15 years where he has won competitions in the International Defensive Pistol Association and two World Speed Shooting titles.

Larger calibers, such as .40 S&W, have significantly more recoil than the 9mm making them much harder for the average shooter to shoot accurately, he said.

"I don't think anybody would argue that shot placement is the most important for terminal ballistics," Langdon said. "Even though you say a .45 is better than a 9mm, it's still a pistol caliber. Chances are if it is a determined adversary, they are going to have to be shot multiple times regardless of the caliber."

Many law-enforcement shooting incidents have shown this to be reality, he said.

"I talked to a Chicago cop that shot a guy eight times with a .45 to kill him and that was a 230 grain Hydra-Shok," Langdon said. "And that guy now carries a 9mm …he realized that handgun bullets suck. "You have to shoot people a lot with a handgun."

Langdon has trained numerous personnel from all branches of the U.S. military, FBI, Secret Service and other federal agencies as well as state and local law enforcement.

As part of the joint requirement process for MHS, Army weapons officials did a "very thorough cost-benefit analysis" that showed supported the effort, Easlick said.

"We have got an old fleet of M9s right now; it's costing us more to replace and repair M9s than it would cost to go get a new handgun," he said.

The Army spent years on an effort to search for a replacement for its M4 carbine, but ended up adopting the improved M4A1 version used by special operations forces.

Beretta officials maintain that the company has offered to upgrade M9 many times.

"We have submitted numerous changes or product improvements that really address a lot of the shortcomings that are either perceived or real," said Gabe Bailey, Business development manager for Beretta's military division.

The Marine Corps adopted the M9A1 in 2006 that features a rail for attaching lights or lasers, checkering on the front and back of the grip and a beveled magazine well for smoother magazine changes.

Some of the improvements Beretta offered included an enhanced sight system, changing the angle of the slide-mounted safety to avoid inadvertent safety activation and a threaded barrel, Bailey said.

Army officials, however, say the M9 does not meet the MHS requirement.

"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-**** and safe the weapon system."
 

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I personally would rather have an M9 than a 1911 in combat.

I think a nice USP 45 or FNX 45 would fill the niche nicely. I think they could get more service life out of the M9 also if they changed their ammo choice.
 

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I don't see them going back to the 1911. As I understand it, part of the MHS system is for adaptable grip systems so the handgun can be modified easily to fit different hand sizes. That is why several companies have a model that is adaptable along those lines, but also have the safeties required by the Army as well. They want a safety lever that is also a decocker, as well as a grip safety. Even the Springfield XD(M) has a version that is set up that way, so does Taurus (IIRC) in their version of the 1911......

As far as which one is better, using ball ammo the .45 has been shown to be clearly superior to the 9MM. For a civilian, hollowpoints greatly narrow that gap. Therefore, each has it's advantage. The .45 is clearly a scary weapon that will have a great affect at stopping agression just by it's huge bore making an appearance. The 9MM on the other hand has a greater magazine capacity. The recoil for each would depend on the loading. My wife and my sister both prefer shooting .45's (Shooting Winchester white box 185gr) to 9MM's.....

As far as effectiveness goes, caliber helps, now doubt about that, but shot placement is more important than caliber...... A shot between the eyes with either 9MM ball or .45acp ball will stop the fight "Right Now"! I own the 1911, and the Berretta (as well as several other pistols in various calibers). My personal CCW firearm is usually an XD-45, but were I limited to the 1911 and the M9, I would take the Beretta, but only because I have big hands and it "fits" me better than the 1911....
 

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I just think you rained on all the 1911 fanboys parade.....LOL
 
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How bout a sawed off shotgun shooting slugs..... Any crazed zealot drugged or not is going to require more than 1 shot. Until the brain is dead they will keep on moving. Kind of like zombies....
 

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I thought when the realized the M9 was not a 1911 and they wanted something "Harder Hitting" in a Pistol they went to the M4 GI1
 

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"I talked to a Chicago cop that shot a guy eight times with a .45 to kill him and that was a 230 grain Hydra-Shok," Langdon said. "And that guy now carries a 9mm …he realized that handgun bullets suck. "You have to shoot people a lot with a handgun."
Kill or stop?!?

Shots to extremities or heart/CNS?



Military is already at a disadvantage with non expanding projectiles and the they decrease the diameter?!

I can't see anything less than .45 cal. Now if you want to play with powder or projectile weight, that's another story.
 
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I would predict Sig in .40 cal, but I've seen how unseen forces and factors come into play. But maybe .40 cal is the one sure thing, amongst the known cartridges anyway.
 

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"Army wants a harder-hitting pistol". This again? History repeats for those who forget it. Anyone care to remember why the 1911 .45 ACP was created (hint: .38 revolver)?

"I talked to a Chicago cop that shot a guy eight times with a .45 to kill him and that was a 230 grain Hydra-Shok," Langdon said. "And that guy now carries a 9mm …he realized that handgun bullets suck. "You have to shoot people a lot with a handgun."

Bullet placement and accuracy counts! I would like to know where those bullets hit the "perp".

Regards,
D1
 

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I would predict Sig in .40 cal, but I've seen how unseen forces and factors come into play. But maybe .40 cal is the one sure thing, amongst the known cartridges anyway.
I don't know what caliber but I too think that they will most likely end up with some version of a Sig.
 

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"Hard-hitting" came from the old mythic idea of "knock-down" power. If you want knock-down power find something that launches bowling balls real slow. Even cannon balls knocked off arms, legs, and heads! This all precedes from a lack of knowledge of basic physics.

Hard-hitting or so much shock to the CNS that the body ceases to function. But even animals that have been hit in the heart - lung area continue to travel before finally bleeding out. Humans, like animals can still do a lot of damage while they bleed out and before they die.

Incapacitation only works with a shot to the brain stem. Even the damage caused by high velocity rifle bullets is not fully understood and does not really apply to pistol velocities - think. ;-)
 

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A pistol is a backup weapon for a crewman (aircraft, armored vehicles, and tanks). All tankers carry a pistol strapped on their body and bail out if necessary with it as do air crews.

Harder hitting is an ongoing battle online even without the military entering the fray. There are a lot of issues that the military can learn from without expensive and lengthy ammo tests.

1. Review police and FBI experience
2. Look at specific bullets and ascertain what the military's real requirement is (a pistol is not a reliable AP round, it is a short range weapon at best normally)
3. Pick a caliber once 1 and 2 are done
4. Review the ability of average troops to use this caliber (not a marksmanship unit)
5. Cost of ammo
6. Style of bullet vs. treaty expectations (FMJ vs. HP vs. other)
7. Weapon selection based on all of the above
8. Procure and issue and eliminate the old stuff

Much of this has been done by numerous police agencies and this should not require a 2-5 year study. If done well, 1 through 6 above could be done in 6 months. Politics come in with 7 and 8.

I'm not expecting a 6 month study.
 

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No fans of 10mm here? I know a guy who carries one for polar bears.
Given the number of women in the military now, I don't think there is anyway that the Army will go with a 10mm. I find it somewhat doubtful they will even go with a .45.
 

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The Marines went back to the 1911 for a reason. The Army should be smart and follow suit. The 1911 had been around for over a 100 years for a reason. It flat works.
Umm. No. Just No.

M45 Meusoc pistols in their various incarnations were not without flaws. They went through several different iterations (USGI Parts) (USGI Frames with Caspian slides) (off the shelf Kimbers) before finally deciding to compete a wholly new contract. They wanted a .45 Caliber pistol with demonstratable parts interchangeability however funds were limited. On the supply side because they had been using 1911's for so long they had a large supply of magazines. So to cut costs the new pistol was required to work with the seven round single stack magazine already in inventory. It didn't actually have to be a 1911. Also there are several internal changes to the new colt m45 such as a dual recoil spring system that make it far different internally than the legacy 1911.

Also it is not available to your average grunt. The standard issue side arm is still the M9 with the M9A1 as the substitute standard. The M45 CQBC pistol is only available to MEU(SOC) and MARSOC personnel and is issued on a limited basis.
 
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