New Service Pistol: What Should It Be?

New Service Pistol: What Should It Be?

The U.S. Army will hold an industry day July 29 to kick off a new Modular Handgun System project.

Photo by Jeff Rose

The Beretta M9 has been serving for almost 30 years. Its introduction was controversial, and since then it has not been especially beloved by service personnel during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Its reliability and stopping power have been questioned, and even its fans concede its basic design dates all the way back to the 75-year-old Walther P.38.

Traditionalists will call for the reinstatement of the M1911, but it's hard to imagine that classic ever again being issued to anyone other than specialists. You can love the M1911 and still admit that just maybe technology has advanced in more than 100 years. The Army is apparently open to all calibers, and will be looking for an entire system, including ammunition, holsters, web gear, etc.

Cynics will note that Beretta was awarded a contract for 100,000 more M9s less than two years ago, so the Italian product is in no danger of being displaced anytime soon. But a whole lot has happened in the pistol world in the last 30 years. What hasn't changed is the requirement for ball ammunition, which argues in most minds for a larger caliber like .40 S&W or .45 ACP. The benefits of 9mm, most importantly standardization with other NATO countries, reduced shipping weight and use of raw materials and ease of training, seem to have taken a back seat to the desire for a more effective sidearm.

One thing that seems unquestionable is that the new pistol will have a plastic frame; the advantages in cost and durability are just too great to ignore. That frame will have an accessory rail and will come in multiple sizes. The gun will probably have a threaded barrel for mounting a suppressor and will have the capability to mount optical sights of some sort.

The Army indicated it was looking for a .45 pistol a few years back, leading manufacturers to develop several new designs, then pulled the carrot away. Those guns are presumably still on the shelf, along with some significant developments that have come along since, like the SIG P227.

If a new pistol contract comes to fruition, it will definitely be worth winning, with a projected 400,000 guns required. Pistols arouse a lot more passion, than do, say, new howitzers or trucks.

The pistol is the most personal weapon of all, so the interest in it greatly exceeds its tactical importance. What's your nomination for a new service pistol? It can be a gun that actually exists or one that's just in your imagination.

Recommended for You

2nd Amendment

Virginia Governor Northam Declares War on Gun Owners

Virginia Citizens Defense League - July 09, 2019

Governor Northam is calling a special session of the General Assembly on Tuesday, July 9th, to...

2nd Amendment

Ontario, Canada Chief Firearms Officer Comments on AR-15 Buying Surge and Gun Licensing - July 16, 2019

Ontario Chief Firearms Officer, Dwight Peer, spoke with about the Canada-wide...


World War II German Elefant Tank Destroyers

Neal S Shera - July 12, 2019

The last of Germany's infamous Elefant tank destroyers.

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Ruger introduces Rifles Chambered in the All-New .350 Legend

Two Ruger American Ranch rifles and the AR-556 MPR are now chambered for Winchester's .350 Legend cartridge.

New Bushnell Prime 1700 and Nitro 1800 Rangefinders

Jake Edson of Bushnell Optics tells OSG's Lynn Burkhead about the brand new Prime 1700 and Nitro 1800 rangefinders.

Springfield Armory Saint Victor in .308

The Saint Victor in .308 features a 16" light weight barrel, M-LokĀ® free float hand guard and included flip-up sights.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

2nd Amendment

2020 is Trump's to Blow with Gun Owners

David Codrea - July 09, 2019

No one can restore receptivity to another Trump term with these disaffected gun owners but the...

2nd Amendment

Virginia Governor Northam Declares War on Gun Owners

Virginia Citizens Defense League - July 09, 2019

Governor Northam is calling a special session of the General Assembly on Tuesday, July 9th, to...

2nd Amendment


John Peterson - May 22, 2019

Rhode Islanders are setting brushfires for freedom once again as they advance a Second...

See More Stories

More Handguns


Glock Unveils Slimline G43x and G48 Pistols

Jim Grant - January 03, 2019

Glock has formally announced the addition of the model 48 and 43x.


Inter Ordnance AR-15 9mm & 5.56 Pistols - A Green Beret Evaluation

John 'JD' Morris - November 26, 2018

Former Green Beret JD Morris tests the Inter Ordnance M215 ML-7 in 9mm & 5.56.


Sneak Peek at the New Beretta 92X Family

James Tarr - July 31, 2019

Beretta just introduced their new 92X family of pistols and Jim Tarr was lucky enough to get a...

See More Handguns

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction.


Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services


GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.