The U.S. Army is holding trials to replace the standard issue sidearm, and Smith & Wesson is now out of the running.
The U.S. Army started holding trials to replace the standard issue Beretta M9 pistol. Those trials are still in process. While they have not determined a winner, they have thinned out the competition: in this press release from September 23rd, Smith & Wesson notified its investors that the M&P will not advanced.
Smith & Wesson had worked heavily for the $580 million contract, even going as far as working with General Dynamics to provide the barrels for the M&P. Losing the contract, and being the first knocked out, has to hurt.
The M&P was competing against the Beretta APX, CZ P-09, FN Five-Seven, Glock 17 and 22, and the Sig Sauer P320. The caliber is not specified, as the army is considering 9mm and .40. The S&W. .45 ACP has been eliminated due to weight, size, and lack of accuracy.
Beretta has been the Army's official sidearm since 1985 and hasn't changed much since. But the Army has rejected the new M9A3, prompting a two-year, 17 -million-dollar trial to outfit and determine the best pistol.
Personally, I wouldn't let this bit of news stop me buying an M&P. The M&P is a quality gun, especially at the price point. It comes in many different variations, including compacts, making it a favorite for concealed carry.