Army wants a harder-hitting pistol

Discussion in 'General Firearms Discussion' started by tallbump, Jul 3, 2014.

  1. tallbump

    tallbump Supporting Member

    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    The MHS would replace the Army's inventory of more than 200,000 outdated M9 pistols and several thousand M11 9mm pistols with one that has greater accuracy, lethality, reliability and durability, according to Daryl Easlick, a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, Georgia.

    "It's a total system replacement -- new gun, new ammo, new holster, everything," Easlick said.


    Army weapons officials maintain that combat troops need a more effective pistol and ammunition. But experts from the law-enforcement and competitive shooting worlds argue that tactical pistol ammunition -- no matter the caliber -- is incapable of stopping a determined adversary without multiple shots in most cases.

    Soldiers who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan have complained that the 9mm round is not powerful enough to be effective in combat.

    "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 FBI and several major police departments recently decided to return to using the 9mm round after finding that .40 caliber ammunition was causing excessive wear on its service pistols. The heavier bullet and greater recoil over time resulted in frame damage to well respected makes such as Glock and Beretta, according to Ernest Langdon, a shooting instructor and respected competitive pistol shooter who has worked for gun makers such as Beretta, Smith & Wesson, and Sig Sauer.

    "Most of the guns in .40 caliber on the market right now were actually designed to be 9mm originally and then turned into .40 calibers later," Langdon told


    Larger calibers, such as .40 S&W, have significantly more recoil than the 9mm making them much harder for the average shooter to shoot accurately, he said.

    "I don't think anybody would argue that shot placement is the most important for terminal ballistics," Langdon said. "Even though you say a .45 is better than a 9mm, it's still a pistol caliber. Chances are if it is a determined adversary, they are going to have to be shot multiple times regardless of the caliber."

    Many law-enforcement shooting incidents have shown this to be reality, he said.

    "I talked to a Chicago cop that shot a guy eight times with a .45 to kill him and that was a 230 grain Hydra-Shok," Langdon said. "And that guy now carries a 9mm …he realized that handgun bullets suck. "You have to shoot people a lot with a handgun."
  2. aeroe

    aeroe Member

    Was he going for fingers and toes?

    Here's a spoiler alert, the US military will do nothing. I don't think they'll budget for a new service pistol or caliber. They've held events for the M4 on multiple occasions, only to come away with "it's good enough" or meaning they can't afford anything better. I'm ready to draw the same conclusion for the Beretta and 9mm as with the M4 and iffy 5.56.

  3. If they are going to change, the .357 Sig is the way to go. It would do well in a pistol and make for an excellent sub gun.
  4. SWAGA

    SWAGA No longer broke... Lifetime Supporter

    7.62x25 ;)
    Also good for SMG
  5. The more things change, the more they stay the same..

    Here we go again, searching for the mythical holy grail of gun and cartridge! I was glad to hear the U.S. Marines, then the Army, decided to stay with the M16/M4 after all the money, time and effort wasted on a 'super-weapon' replacement. Every gun & cartridge combination has its strong and weak points - there is no 'best'. I love my '33 Tula Mosin rifle, but would not want to depend on it for close quarters battle - too long, heavy and only 5 rounds, even though the 7.62x54r has terrific power. I also prefer to shoot 115 or 124 grain fmj in my C9 pistol for home defense, because I may have to shoot thru something to reach the vitals of the target/criminal. Shot placement and penetration are still #1. One shot killing power is a direct hit to the brain stem or spinal cord. (or being hit by a 105mm howitzer shell) ;)
  6. tallbump

    tallbump Supporting Member

    Two things. There are plenty of known instances of folks being shot with multiple. large caliber rounds and kept fighting. I have a Social Security client who took several rounds .45 from point blank rang to the torso. Pretty sure the guy sitting at my desk across from me was alive and well.

    As fat as the Army, I'll give you the benefit of the doubt that you didn't read the whole article

  7. The problem is not the 9mm round, it is capable of doing the job. If your combatants are wearing body armor, which is likely then no handgun round is going to get the job done. Unless it is a high power small caliber round. Something along the lines of 7.62 X 25, but hotter. The Russians had it right, they knew that if they faced the US the soldiers would be wearing body armor. At that time the Tok round would penetrate soft body armor.

    If they change the 357 sig would probably be the way to go with a spire projectile. The military needs the opposite of what LE needs.
  8. 45Man

    45Man Member

    The FN 5.7x28mm was developed specifically for this purpose. I witnessed body armor tests at an FN public demo in 1999. Body armor was no match for it. They collected all the empty casings, no souvenirs.
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2014

    GLUGLUG Supporting Member

    Sounds like it's time to allow hollow point ammo in warfare. FMJ was originally used to wound and not kill. Now it sounds like they are wanting to obliterate the target. I for one don't know why they strayed from the 1911 and .45 acp.
    There was a confirmed report of a man taking a bunker with nothing more than his 1911 and getting 8 kills with 8 rounds. What more can you ask for?
  10. Hollow points in a war with another modern military would be useless.
  11. planosteve

    planosteve Lifetime Supporter

    My personal preference is a 500 lb. MK 82, go big or go home.
    Outlaw likes this.
  12. ajole

    ajole Supporting Member

    NE Utah
    Precisely. Hollow points are generally totally defeated by armor.

    Of course, the stuff that will penetrate armor is mostly still just pistol ammo. None of it is going to stop everyone fast. That is exactly why the Army went to 9 mm, it gave you more bullets in the gun, which is what you need, statistically speaking. The 5.7 does as well, but it's still just a fast .22, really.

    Unless they plan on going Automag and using .357 or .44 mag...that might do it.

    My are the GIs using pistols for? You have a sweet little CQB weapon in the M4, why are you deploying handguns?
  13. 45Man

    45Man Member

    One branch of service won't use what another branch uses. The Navy SEAL's have the H&K MP7 in 4.6x30mm ammunition, which seems comparable with the FN 5.7x28mm. They could have used the 5.7, but it's the same old NIH (Not Invented Here) mentality. I worked for all of them & the mentality still exists because all the retired military become defense contractors & branch loyalty overrides common sense.

    The same thing happened with the Joint Strike Fighter. Air Force has the F16, Navy has the FA-18, Marine Corps has the Harrier. They all wanted their own replacement. Congress would not fund this & the Pentagon was ordered to get together.

    Now they all get the same one, the F35 Lightning with variations for each branch.
    F35A - Air Force (conventional take off & landing)
    F35B - Marine Corps (short takeoff/vertical landing, i.e. STOVL)
    F35C - Navy (carrier variant, i.e. CV)
    Army doesn't get a version, they get attack helicopters, Blackhawk; almost got the Comanche until program got cancelled.

    A&C engines are the same, B is 80% the same. C has stronger landing gear. It's grown from a $30M plane to a $100M plane, but that's how it's done in the USA.
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2014

  14. Probably the same reasons we civilians do, carrying a rifle 24/7 is kind of difficult. There are also situations where the manueverability of a pistol is advantageous, such as inside a vehicle or other small areas. Also for things like sentry and dog removal, a suppressed handgun is usually much quieter than a suppressed rifle.
  15. 45Man

    45Man Member

    MP7 is pretty small.
  16. Kiln

    Kiln Member

    Except for in the last two countries we've been in, it hasn't been an issue. Fighters in Afghanistan and Iraq are more likely to be wearing explosives than body armor. Half joking.

    Not really a "modern" opposition though.
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2014
  17. ajole

    ajole Supporting Member

    NE Utah
    Yeah...the other 99.9% of the guys in the military that DO carry a rifle 24/7 are laughing right now. It's not difficult at all.;)

    Seriously. You don't fight from inside the vehicle unless you're on a ring gun or in a fighting vehicle...which has ports for rifles. Normally, you drive out, or you get out and fight. Sentries and dogs? Not to be rude, but that sounds like COD more than real life military ops, unless you're a SEAL or a Superdude. So again, the 99.9% of the military that doesn't ever use suppressed guns to shoot sentries or dogs should be using rifles. Because that's how you kill the enemy.
  18. Liberty

    Liberty Shhh! Lifetime Supporter

    .50 cal with R.I.P. ammo.

    Or start teaching the boys to aim for center head instead of center mass. Last I checked nobody was wearing armored jackets over their mouths.
  19. Bull

    Bull Just a Man Supporting Member

    Some should though.......
  20. Not2ManyGuns

    Not2ManyGuns Member

    It is my understanding that the H&K USP was one of the, if not the, first pistol specifically designed around the .40 S&W round.

    I have shot the 12 round .40 S&W H&K USP Compact model with a factory Law Enforcement Modification (LEM) trigger and find that due to the use of a narrow, full-hand grip, the pistol is easy to shoot and the LEM trigger allows for very rapid triple tap capability.