Smith & Wesson Awards Military-Grade Barrel Contract to General Dynamics Ordnance Tactical Systems

Hammer forged, military grade gun barrels are now on order

Older woman are growing demographic of gun owners

Smith & Wesson has awarded a multi-year contract to General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems to produce hammer forged, military grade gun barrels.

According to a recent press release, the barrels produced under the contract will be used in Smith & Wesson’s M&P pistol. This is reportedly being offered for the U.S. Army’s XM17 Modular Handgun System (MHS) competition.

Tim McAuliffe, vice president and general manager of medium caliber ammunition and weapons for General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems, reveals that General Dynamics “brings additional cost-effective manufacturing capability to Smith & Wesson for the Army’s XM17 Modular Handgun System competition.”

McAuliffe acknowledged the company’s 32 years of experience in “producing military grade, hammer forged barrels.”

For many gun owners, the difference in barrel rifling and the processes used make the difference between an average gun and one that is truly a crafted item. Although gun owners don’t always agree on which is best, some prefer hammer forged as opposed to the more common button rifling, which cuts rather than pounds the barrel during manufacture.

An American innovation, Button Rifling has been common in American-made firearms for a long time. Hammer Forged rifling is a German-invented process and has been most common in European models. Many claim that it’s a faster process and results in a barrel that stands up to the heat of repeated firing.

“We believe our combined capabilities will provide the Army with the most advantageous MHS solution while expanding our global strategic partnership,” McAuliffe added.

Smith & Wesson president and CEO, James Debney, said the collaboration with General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems for production of the firearms “demonstrates the evolution of our partnership.”

“A key initiative within our strategic plan has been the continual development of our flexible manufacturing model through added component outsourcing,” Debney said. “That approach has served us well by providing a solid and highly adaptable manufacturing platform for growth. Our contract with General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems represents an enhancement of that initiative and demonstrates the evolution of our partnership. Together, we believe we are well positioned to compete for the Army’s XM17MHS program, for which we recently submitted our proposal.”

Photo credit: Tony Faiola via / CC BY