The Sig Sauer P320 handgun is the winner of the Modular Handgun System competition and will be the new Army service pistol.
The United States Army announced at the 2017 SHOT Show that it will be awarding a 10 year, $580 million contract to Sig to produce a special version of the Sig Sauer P320 handgun that it will officially designate as the M17.
Among other companies, Sig Sauer beat Glock (which submitted the Glock 17 and 19), FN, and Beretta (the current manufacturer of the M9, which submitted an updated version of pistol known as the M9A3 and a completely new handgun in the striker fired APX) in the Modular Handgun System competition, which lasted over a year.
By choosing the Sig Sauer P320 (soon to be known as the M17), the Army will replace the much maligned M9 with a radically different handgun. The P320 has interchangeable grips, safety and slide-catch levers on both sides which make it fully ambidextrous, a Picatinny rail system, an orange loaded-chamber indicator, and a flap in the trigger well to prevent debris from entering the pistol.
The P320 is also designed to facilitate easy conversion between 9mm, .357 SIG and .40S&W. Sources indicate that Sig submitted both 9mm and .40 S&W versions to the competition. While it's not 100% clear at this time which caliber the Army will choose for the new M17 handgun, it's likely that the service will stick with the 9mm Luger cartridge.
The Army will likely purchase over 280,000 of the new M17 handguns. Additionally, the Army could also buy an additional 7,000 sub-compact versions of the Sig Sauer P320. Sig will produce the new M17 handgun at its factory in New Hampshire.
Ron Cohen, chief executive officer of Sig Sauer, said:
We are both humbled and proud that the P320 was selected by the U.S. Army as its weapon of choice. Securing this contract is a testimony to Sig Sauer employees, their commitment to innovation, quality and manufacturing the most reliable firearms in the world.
In addition to all of the handguns the Army plans to order, the other branches of the military could also order an additional 200,000 or more of the new M17 handguns.
What do you think about the Army's decision to choose the Sig Sauer P320 as its new service handgun?