Army Announces New Gun to Replace M9 Service Pistol

A long-awaited decision is finally made.

Sig Sauer P320 Compact

Sig Sauer was the lucky winner of a government contract worth $580 million to begin making the next Army service pistol. Glock, FN America and Beretta were in the running along with Sig Sauer for the contract to supply guns for the MHS (Modular Handgun System) program.

The decision to pick a new gun maker was started in August 205, and it has taken this long for a decision to be reached. The previous service gun was the Beretta M9 9mm, which did not rank well in handling, accuracy, and maintainability. 26 percent of soldiers surveyed reported that their weapon jammed while shooting at the enemy. 46 percent were reported as not having confidence in their pistol’s reliability. Beretta put forth a new gun in order to try to keep the contract. Its updated M9A3 was a possibility, but ultimately the Army decided against it. In December, the Army narrowed the field down to the Sig and either Glock’s 17 or 19 models. We’re sure that Glock is not happy about not being chosen.

The caliber of the new P320 is yet to be decided. But, one of the goals of the replacement program was a more potent round than a 9mm. The U.S. Army replaced the .45 caliber 1911 with the M9 in 1985. The P320 is a polymer striker-fired pistol.

One of the reasons the P320 was selected was because it is modular and customizeable, with interchangeable grips, multiple sizes and calibers that can be 9mm, .357 Sig and .40 SW. Current plans call for the Army to purchase more than 280,000 handguns, according to Program Executive Office Soldier officials. The Army also plans to buy approximately 7,000 sub-compact versions of the handgun. Soldiers should start getting the new handgun this year.

Image of the Sig Sauer P320 Compact from