The hunt is on for a new sidearm for the U.S. Army. After 30 years, the military has decided it is time to move on from the Beretta M9 as the standard-issue pistol. The stakes are high for the gun companies vying for the contract, so expect to see a lot of entries during the trials.
But let’s get ahead of the curve here and figure out what the next sidearm for the Army should be. As much as I like shooting .45s, we’re probably looking at another high-cap 9mm pistol, given that it’s used by other NATO forces.
One strong contender is sure to be the Glock 17 Gen4. It is simple, robust, and has an impressive track record as a service pistol.
A more refined European arm that might have a shot is the HK VP9. Like the G17 G4 it is a polymer-framed, striker-fired pistol. But if I could select any of the HK pistols for this role, I’d opt for the HK 45 Tactical, which is chambered in the verboten .45 ACP and has a threaded barrel for a suppressor.
But my gut tells me none of these guns are going to get the nod. I think a great contender would be the Smith & Wesson M&P9. Made in ‘Merica, it is a workhorse of a pistol. It too is polymer-framed and striker-fired. It also comes with interchangeable inserts for the grip, allowing it to be easily adapted for different sized hands. I’m quite partial to this pistol given that it’s the one I compete with regularly, and it has never let me down.
Who else? Sig Sauer can’t be counted out. The P226 is a terrific 9mm that already has a good rep based on its use by the Navy SEALs. There’s also the P227, alas, another .45 ACP, that I would use to protect myself under any circumstances. I mean just take a look at the TACOPS model.