Author Topic: Modular Handgun Program under fire  (Read 3321 times)

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Offline Thucydides

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Modular Handgun Program under fire
« on: January 13, 2017, 19:55:01 »
The US is looking to replace the Beretta 9mm handguns in service, and their program is about as messed up as anything we could do (remember the last attempt by the CF to replace our 1944 vintage Browning Hi-Powers?)

https://bearingarms.com/bob-o/2017/01/13/republican-senators-slam-modular-handgun-program-mattis-hearing/?utm_source=thdailypm&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=nl_pm&newsletterad=

Quote
GOP Senators Slam Modular Handgun Program During Mattis Hearing
Posted at 12:09 pm on January 13, 2017 by Bob Owens

The down-select for the Army’s Modular Handgun System (MHS) contract was supposed to have been in August of 2016. If the Army has gotten that far, they haven’t bothered to let anyone know, and the bloated program, wallowing in red tape, has come under fire again from Republican senators, this time during the Secretary of Defense confirmation hearing for Gen. James Mattis:

The Army‘s troubled program to buy a new standard-issue handgun for soldiers was the subject of renewed debate on Capitol Hill.

During Thursday’s confirmation hearing for retired Marine Gen. James Mattis to become defense secretary in the Trump administration, Republican Sens. Joni Ernst of Iowa and Thom Tillis of North Carolina took turns criticizing the service’s XM17 Modular Handgun System (MHS) program, a $350 million competition to buy a replacement to the Cold War-era M9 9mm pistol.

At a time when Russia is upgrading its service rifle, “we continue to modify our M4s [and] many of our troops still carry M16s, the Army can’t even figure out how to replace the M9 pistol, first issued in 1982,” Ernst said.

The senator, a frequent critic of the program who in 2015 retired as a lieutenant colonel in the Iowa Army National Guard, said she and others would joke while in the military that “sometimes the most efficient use of an M9 is to simply throw it at your adversary.”

Ernst blasted the Modular Handgun Program’s many requirements. “Take a look at their 350-page micromanaging requirements document if you want to know why it’s taking so long to get this accomplished,” she said.

She also mocked the stopping power of the 5.56mm rifle round. “Our military currently shoots a bullet that, as you know, is illegal for shooting small deer in nearly all states due to its lack of killing power,” she said.

Tillis went even further by showing up to the hearing with the pistol program’s full several hundred pages of requirements documents wrapped in red ribbon. “This is a great testament to what’s wrong with defense acquisition,” he said, slapping the three-inch-tall stack of paperwork.

The general idea for a new pistol is sound: the current-issue M9A1 is a large handgun that many shooters with smaller hands cannot shoot well due to the size of the grip and the longer reach of the DA/SA trigger, and the older M9s  in inventory are simply wearing out from 30 years of service. The program hopes to find “one handgun to rule them all,” with different frame sizes and slide/barrel lengths to use in both front line service and for special uses (such as concealed handguns for special operations or plainclothes military police).

With the wide array of quality handguns on the market, it’s absurd that the process is taking so long and using so much budget for a secondary weapon. It seems obvious that the Army and Air Force should have been able to find a commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) solution that doesn’t require so much red tape.

Senator and retired National Guard Lt. Col. Ernst is correct in noting that if the Army is going to spend a considerable amount of time and money on a weapon, it should be on updating the assault rifles that are the primary arm for our infantry forces, who are still saddled with a round of questionable utility for the kind of wars we seem to be fighting. I’d rather the Army  invest their time and energy investigating a slightly larger caliber intermediate caliber round with better terminal ballistics at short range and and an extended practical engagement range.

m9a3_final_0007

MHS is increasingly looking like a waste of taxpayer dollars. Unless program managers can rapidly come up with a winner, it should be among the first military projects killed by the incoming, and the Army should simply adopt a COTs solution or the engineering change request (ECP) to upgrade the Beretta M9A1 to the M9A3, which accomplishes many of the goals of the MHS program.

As for the issue of replacing the M-4 and the NATO standard 5.56X45 round, that is worth looking at, but I suspect the issue really needs some totally new ammunition technology (like caseless or telescoped rounds) to really make the program worthwhile. Completely different ideas on how to take the fight to the enemy (like the XM-25 or Anti Personnel Guided Missiles) might also make this idea moot at some level as well.
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Offline Brihard

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Re: Modular Handgun Program under fire
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2017, 20:16:08 »

As for the issue of replacing the M-4 and the NATO standard 5.56X45 round, that is worth looking at, but I suspect the issue really needs some totally new ammunition technology (like caseless or telescoped rounds) to really make the program worthwhile. Completely different ideas on how to take the fight to the enemy (like the XM-25 or Anti Personnel Guided Missiles) might also make this idea moot at some level as well.

I'm not convinced that any degree of technological innovation is going to obviate the need to send infantry in to sweep an area and occasionally yell 'surprise!' and shoot someone in the face. We will need to do so with a weapon that lets us move around easily, effectively engage a target quicker than they effectively engage us, has enough transfer of kinetic energy into a target to allow for rapid incapacitation through one or multiple controlled shots, can be produced with relative ease, can be quickly trained, and can function on its own without access to any other technology or power source. Personal rifles or some analogue thereto will not go away because of smart grenades or missiles.
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Offline MilEME09

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Re: Modular Handgun Program under fire
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2017, 20:27:10 »
I'm not convinced that any degree of technological innovation is going to obviate the need to send infantry in to sweep an area and occasionally yell 'surprise!' and shoot someone in the face. We will need to do so with a weapon that lets us move around easily, effectively engage a target quicker than they effectively engage us, has enough transfer of kinetic energy into a target to allow for rapid incapacitation through one or multiple controlled shots, can be produced with relative ease, can be quickly trained, and can function on its own without access to any other technology or power source. Personal rifles or some analogue thereto will not go away because of smart grenades or missiles.

I tend to agree, even things like EO tech optics and such are great, but as soon as your battery is dead you've got a useless piece of weight on your rifle. Now by all means lets create better ammo (even the CF wants the replacement for the C-7 to use telescoped rounds). Lighter weight means mobility,and mobility is key in the modern battlefield.
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Offline Jarnhamar

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Re: Modular Handgun Program under fire
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2017, 21:07:25 »
Quote from: MilEME09
  Lighter weight means mobility,and mobility is key in the modern battlefield.

Which is why our new chest rigs will be 19 pounds empty :)
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Offline NavyShooter

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Re: Modular Handgun Program under fire
« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2017, 16:28:15 »
It's been said before, the troops used to carry a hundred pounds of really heavy things, now they carry a hundred pounds of really light things...

A handgun is a requirement.

A rifle is a necessity.

\TANGENT

We can't even get boots right....

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Offline tomahawk6

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Re: Modular Handgun Program under fire
« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2017, 23:03:26 »
I remember moving on from the 45 to the Beretta. If we buy anything it should be a Glock,otherwise leave the pistol alone. As has been said update the rifles first.

Offline MilEME09

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Re: Modular Handgun Program under fire
« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2017, 02:50:46 »
I remember moving on from the 45 to the Beretta. If we buy anything it should be a Glock,otherwise leave the pistol alone. As has been said update the rifles first.
I would disagree, of course at risk of say company x is better then company y. Replacing our own pistol will require a lot of durability. Something i personally dont trust to composits.

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Offline NavyShooter

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Re: Modular Handgun Program under fire
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2017, 07:12:58 »
Glock has a variety of models that can be selected from to suit operational roles that all have the same manual of arms, just different sizes.

Additionally, for aircrews and such you can pick up a RONI, HERA Arms or other pistol chassis system and the pistol can become a handy little carbine.  Gives rifle-ish accuracy and stability for slightly more than pistol size weapon. 

As for durability of the Glocks, well, I clean mine every couple of years whether it needs it or not, and there was a guy a few years ago that did some 'torture' testing of his Glock.  He tied it to the bumper of his car and drove around, buried it, froze it, and then even dropped it from an airplane.  It still worked.  A friend of mine fired an estimated 225,000 rounds through his G17L, and when the guide-rod hole on the slide broke around that point, he ended up getting a warranty replacement from Glock because they wanted to see how it'd failed.  He did replace the trigger bits a couple of times in there (he was an IPSC shooter and had it tuned up nicely...for a Glock) but that's normal maintenance that'd get picked up during an ATI.

I've had multiple pistols on our shooting team break (all of them Sigs, the old Brownings never died) with it mostly being spring failures, but we have had 2 pistols (out of 10) swapped out due to cracked frame/slide rails.

I'd trust my life to my Glock based on my own experience with it.

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Offline tomahawk6

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Re: Modular Handgun Program under fire
« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2017, 08:38:18 »
The winner is Sig's P320 or a variant. Sig has a factory in the US so thats a plus.

http://www.military.com/daily-news/2017/01/19/army-picks-sig-sauer-replace-m9-service-pistol.html

LAS VEGAS -- The U.S. Army on Thursday awarded Sig Sauer a contract worth $580 million to make the next service pistol based on the company's P320 handgun.

Sig Sauer beat out Glock Inc., FN America and Beretta USA, the maker of the current M9 9mm service pistol, in the competition for the Modular Handgun System, or MHS, program.

Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: Modular Handgun Program under fire
« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2017, 09:46:35 »
The winner is Sig's P320 or a variant. Sig has a factory in the US so thats a plus.

http://www.military.com/daily-news/2017/01/19/army-picks-sig-sauer-replace-m9-service-pistol.html

LAS VEGAS -- The U.S. Army on Thursday awarded Sig Sauer a contract worth $580 million to make the next service pistol based on the company's P320 handgun.

Sig Sauer beat out Glock Inc., FN America and Beretta USA, the maker of the current M9 9mm service pistol, in the competition for the Modular Handgun System, or MHS, program.

Make America's handguns great again?
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Offline Thucydides

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Re: Modular Handgun Program under fire
« Reply #10 on: February 11, 2017, 19:44:49 »
WRT replacing rifle rounds with "something else", I was mostly commenting on the fact that rifle ammunition has essentially been optimized, so replacing 5.56 X 45 with 6.5 X 45 or something similar isn't really going to change the game.

Telescoped rifle ammunition is one way to go, since it decreases weight, but alternatives like explosive ammunition etc. are other ways of skinning the cat, and may provide options and new ways of doing things (while still allowing you to shoot people in the face. Being shot in the face by a FRG-12 grenade is bound to hurt a lot more, even if you are covered in armour.....)
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline Colin P

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Re: Modular Handgun Program under fire
« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2017, 16:11:09 »
We now have at least 2 NATO compliant pistols to choose from, just buy one, both will fit our needs without some stupid process that ends up costing more than the buy itself.

Offline Cdn Blackshirt

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Re: Modular Handgun Program under fire
« Reply #12 on: February 13, 2017, 19:02:00 »
We now have at least 2 NATO compliant pistols to choose from, just buy one, both will fit our needs without some stupid process that ends up costing more than the buy itself.

Way too many salaries to be justified to go and do something rational like that....
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Offline Colin P

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Re: Modular Handgun Program under fire
« Reply #13 on: February 14, 2017, 10:40:37 »
Can't we use those PY for lethality testing of the various platforms?

Offline tomahawk6

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Re: Modular Handgun Program under fire
« Reply #14 on: February 28, 2017, 09:30:43 »
Glock has filed a complaint so everything is on hold until that is resolved. The contract is worth alot of money so I dont blame Glock for trying.

https://www.armytimes.com/articles/glock-protests-armys-choice-of-sig-sauer-for-new-handgun

Offline Colin P

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Re: Modular Handgun Program under fire
« Reply #15 on: February 28, 2017, 10:07:38 »
There should be a severe penalty if such complaints are found not to have merit, filing appeals have become so common place that it is likely factored into the bidding process. The appeal process should be short, no more than 6 months from submission to final verdict, penalties as stated for frivolous complaints.