Should the US Army replace the M9 pistol with the Glock 19?
General Mark Milley, the Army Chief of Staff, seems to think this is a good idea. Frustrated with the overly complicated and expensive acquisition process involved with choosing a replacement for the M9, General Milley is looking for ways to streamline the process.
The Army launched the Modular Handgun System (MHS) project in order to decide which handgun would replace the M9, which has been the standard sidearm of the Army since the 1980s. In a recent Congressional hearing, General Milley criticized the program as being unnecessary:
The testing itself is two years long on known technology. We are not talking about nuclear subs or going to the moon here. We are talking about a pistol.
In an effort to rapidly field a new replacement at a lower cost, General Milley is reportedly investigating the feasibility of expanding an existing contract the Army Special Operations Command (USASOC) has to procure Glock 19 pistols.
The 9mm Glock 19 is one of Glock’s most popular models and is used by numerous law enforcement and military forces all over the world. Not only is the Glock 19 a combat proven and reliable firearm, but it could also be procured at a reasonable cost.
USASOC reportedly pays approximately $320 for a single Glock 19. If the contract could be expanded to accommodate an additional 287,000 handguns as outlined in the MHS program, that works out to approximately $92 million. While that is a lot of money, it is significantly less than the $350 million the MHS program is estimated to cost.
Since the Glock 19 and the M9 are both chambered for the 9mm Luger cartridge, adopting the Glock 19 would not require the military to adopt a new handgun cartridge. Depending on how you look at it, this could be considered either a good or a bad thing.
On one hand, this would save the military a considerable amount of time and money because the existing stocks of 9mm ammunition could be used in the Glock 19.
However, one of the goals of the MHS effort was to adopt a handgun that fires a more powerful cartridge than the 9mm, which due to the poor stopping power of 9mm full metal jacketed bullets displayed on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan, has a poor reputation among Soldiers.
What do you think? Should the US Army replace the M9 pistol with the Glock 19?