Queue the caliber debates…
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The MHS would replace the Army’s inventory of more than 200,000 outdated M9 pistols and several thousand M11 9mm pistols with one that has greater accuracy, lethality, reliability and durability, according to Daryl Easlick, a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, GA.
“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 Modular Handgun System is an interesting concept, and one of the reasons I find the SIG P320 so interesting.
Featuring a modular grip frame and removable fire control assembly pioneered by SIG SAUER, the P320 is customizable to any hand size or duty requirement. The P320 can quickly be converted from a Full-size to a Carry pistol. Slide and barrel conversions allow the P320 to change between calibers and barrel lengths as well. The P320 will be immediately available in 9mm, .40S&W and .357SIG, with .45ACP coming later in 2014.
It appears that SIG was/is onto something. At any rate, I think a modular handgun makes perfect sense from a size perspective, but switching calibers depending the mission/shooter? I’m not sold on that just yet.
You can read more here.