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Old 01-01-2018, 10:01 PM   #1
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Road Bumps for the new U.S. Army Handgun?

An interesting story, documenting some of the issues (both performance wise and business wise) being encountered during the work-up of the U.S. Army's new Handgun:

The U.S. Army?s New Handgun Is in Big Trouble | The National Interest Blog

<http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-us-armys-new-handgun-hot-water-after-multiple-reports-21883>
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Old 01-01-2018, 10:26 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by DavidE View Post
An interesting story, documenting some of the issues (both performance wise and business wise) being encountered during the work-up of the U.S. Army's new Handgun:

The U.S. Army?s New Handgun Is in Big Trouble | The National Interest Blog

<http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-us-armys-new-handgun-hot-water-after-multiple-reports-21883>
Anything more recent then August? Also the issues mentioned don't affect the XM17 as it has a frame mounted, manual safety.

Last edited by SpecialEd; 01-01-2018 at 10:31 PM.
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Old 01-02-2018, 06:37 AM   #3
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They should NEVER have abandoned the 1911!!!
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Old 01-02-2018, 07:07 AM   #4
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The problems with the Sig are trivial. The original triggers had slightly too much mass and the pull weight was slightly too low, so that inertia was sufficient to effect a trigger pull if the pistol was dropped in exactly the right way. There is no fundamental flaw, and slight tweaks fixed the issue.
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Old 01-02-2018, 11:11 AM   #5
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The problems with the Sig are trivial. The original triggers had slightly too much mass and the pull weight was slightly too low, so that inertia was sufficient to effect a trigger pull if the pistol was dropped in exactly the right way. There is no fundamental flaw, and slight tweaks fixed the issue.
You under-estimate the power of the US soldier. I heard a DI once say to a Marine...

"A Marine could break a crow bar in a sandbox"

I learned Firefighters are much the same.

The sheer numbers of the US Military, coupled with minimal training, people who are not gun people, generally just don't care, or careless by nature...I figure that one little "flaw" would take a life or two, and probably wreak a little havoc within the military. Chit-happens, and Mr. Murphy really likes to follow soldiers around.

Glock has the patent on the trigger dingus, and I suspect they just don't want to send any money to Glock EVER (which I can 100% understand). However, since this is going to one of the larger military's in the world, I think Sig made a bad call by not putting the dingus on the trigger.

Now theoretically the safety should prevent it from ever happening. But we don't really know how the regs are going to address daily handling/carrying...so who knows?

I personally think the trend away from manual safeties will peak at some point and we’ll see a return to manual safeties with large organizations who issue firearms. I’m actually delighted that the US decided to require a manual safety on the 320 as I think it will be helpful FOR THEM, as well as other large agencies who have to accommodate a wide and diverse group of shooters with all sizes, shapes, backgrounds etc.
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Old 01-02-2018, 02:39 PM   #6
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With any new weapons system there are development bumps.
The press typically do reports that the new weapon is ineffective, unreliable, and a waiting death trap for the troops.

Recall the CBS 60 Minutes knife jobs on the M1 Abrams tank and the Bradley.
Going farther back, there was the Beretta M9 that shot the slides into the shooters eye, and even farther back the disastrous M16 rifle.
Even farther back was how complicated and inaccurate the M1 Rifle was.

The reports done by the TV shows had the Abrams a death trap because the filters clogged so troops would be out fully exposed to fire while changing filters, the sights were so bad gunners told CBS that they didn't even try to use them they just eyeballed the target, and the gas turbine burned fuel so fast the tanks would be quickly stranded.

The Bradley's armor was so poor that enemy tanks could shoot through it, it couldn't ford streams without sinking and drowning the crew, and the Bushmaster gun was unreliable.

The press is right JUST often enough that people don't just ignore them.
They were right about the ill-fated Sargent York Air Defense gun, so that makes the press think they're experts on complicated subjects they know nothing about.
These people went to journalism school where they learned to write.
That seems to also make them experts on police, military, medical, weapons, consumer products, cars, engineering, foreign relations, and any other subject under the sun.

After all, the M1 Abrams and Bradley failed so horribly in the Gulf Wars.
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Old 01-02-2018, 03:30 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by dfariswheel View Post
With any new weapons system there are development bumps.
The press typically do reports that the new weapon is ineffective, unreliable, and a waiting death trap for the troops.

Recall the CBS 60 Minutes knife jobs on the M1 Abrams tank and the Bradley.
Going farther back, there was the Beretta M9 that shot the slides into the shooters eye, and even farther back the disastrous M16 rifle.
Even farther back was how complicated and inaccurate the M1 Rifle was.

The reports done by the TV shows had the Abrams a death trap because the filters clogged so troops would be out fully exposed to fire while changing filters, the sights were so bad gunners told CBS that they didn't even try to use them they just eyeballed the target, and the gas turbine burned fuel so fast the tanks would be quickly stranded.

The Bradley's armor was so poor that enemy tanks could shoot through it, it couldn't ford streams without sinking and drowning the crew, and the Bushmaster gun was unreliable.

The press is right JUST often enough that people don't just ignore them.
They were right about the ill-fated Sargent York Air Defense gun, so that makes the press think they're experts on complicated subjects they know nothing about.
These people went to journalism school where they learned to write.
That seems to also make them experts on police, military, medical, weapons, consumer products, cars, engineering, foreign relations, and any other subject under the sun.

After all, the M1 Abrams and Bradley failed so horribly in the Gulf Wars.
In your examples, the press was mostly right. All those weapon systems did have some serious issues when first fielded. The Garand had some real issues when adopted. The M14 worked, but was a train wreck in most other way. The M16…well, we all know that story.

The Abrams and Bradley both had some serious issues.

With the exception of the M16 & M14, all the other weapons systems were corrected before they saw war. But had war come earlier, we could have had a considerable number of young kids in pine boxes.

Fortunately with the M17, this is A – a rather minor issue. B – A very easy fix.


BTW - Got to sit in and play around with a Sgt York once. There's one at one of the military bases outside Little Rock.
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Old 01-02-2018, 04:54 PM   #8
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They might also wish to re-visit the sear/striker geometry. Given the prevalence of various types of gloves in use in the Mil/LE market, triggers would be best if they had a decent amount of travel and weight.

The gloves also impact the utility of any manual safety. I was quite surprised at how some "tactical" gloves degraded feel.

On the Bradley......some of the flap on that was way over blown. I used to shoot with a guy who was program director of the Bradley. If you got him started on the media hack job, you were in for an afternoons rant. I remember seeing (CBS?) showing footage of a Bradley being holed by an Abrams and portentiously droning on about the utter failure. Got news for you Dan, it was never designed to go toe-to-toe with an MBT.
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Old 01-02-2018, 05:48 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by William R. Moore View Post
I remember seeing (CBS?) showing footage of a Bradley being holed by an Abrams and portentiously droning on about the utter failure.
I don't think there's a track on the planet that wouldn't get "holed" by an Abrams.
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Old 01-03-2018, 01:59 AM   #10
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I remember the hit job done by TV news on the Maverick missile. The narrative was that in the smoke and dust of a battlefield the Maverick would be worthless. Problem was they focused on the tv-guided version and virtually ignored the IR seeker.

During the Gulf War the IR Maverick often turned out to be the last thing A-10 pilots fired. They kept it on the wing station and used the seeker to find the heat signatures of Iraqi tanks buried up to their turrets in the sand. At night. In dust and smoke.

After they'd expended all their gun ammo on buried tanks, they then fired the Maverick as a parting shot.
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Old 01-03-2018, 04:34 PM   #11
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Speaking of the Abrams.....
Someone asked why they saw lots of pictures from the Gulf Wars of Iraqi-Soviet T62 tanks destroyed, with the turret laying upside-down on the chassis.
They wondered how the turrets got turned over.

It was explained that when an Abrams "Silver bullet" anti-tank round hit the "monkey model" Iraqi T62 the turret was blown off and went straight up about 50 feet where it made 1/2 turn and crashed back down on the chassis upside-down.

It was in the Second Gulf War that an outnumbered unit of American Abrams and Bradley's belonging to the 2nd ACR took on a far larger force of Iraqi Republican Guard T62 tanks and BMP's, and wiped them out.

There's a cable show on about it called "73 Easting".
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Old 01-03-2018, 09:17 PM   #12
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To All,

What I don't understand is WHY we have need of a "new Army handgun". = Everyone who I know (except those who pine for the old 1911A1) who is issued one LOVES the M11.

Just buy more of the M11 & HUSH.

yours, sw
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Old 01-04-2018, 04:49 AM   #13
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SW, I believe one answer to your question is the military's desire for modularity. The M-16/M-4 experience has led the services to recognize the value of guns that are adaptable to both the mission and the individual.

If the RFP had simply said "great handgun" any number of outstanding candidates, including the M11, would have fit the bill. Change the requirement to "great modular handgun" and you're playing a whole new ball game.
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Old 01-04-2018, 07:17 AM   #14
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Speaking of the Abrams.....
Someone asked why they saw lots of pictures from the Gulf Wars of Iraqi-Soviet T62 tanks destroyed, with the turret laying upside-down on the chassis.
They wondered how the turrets got turned over.

It was explained that when an Abrams "Silver bullet" anti-tank round hit the "monkey model" Iraqi T62 the turret was blown off and went straight up about 50 feet where it made 1/2 turn and crashed back down on the chassis upside-down.

It was in the Second Gulf War that an outnumbered unit of American Abrams and Bradley's belonging to the 2nd ACR took on a far larger force of Iraqi Republican Guard T62 tanks and BMP's, and wiped them out.

There's a cable show on about it called "73 Easting".
I read a book on the battle of 73 Easting.

Something that isn't well known is that the Iraqi tanks really didn't have a chance. While the tanks themselves were very good tanks (mostly T62's & T72's), with very good guns. The Iraqi's decided to make their ammunition domestically. A study after the war showed that the Iraqi produced tank rounds had about a 2% chance of cracking the M1's armor even at its weaker points.

There were many M1's that took mulitple hits, only to destroy the enemy after soaking up those hits. Almost felt sorry for those Iraqi tankers...almost.
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Old 01-04-2018, 07:19 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by stand watie View Post
To All,

What I don't understand is WHY we have need of a "new Army handgun". = Everyone who I know (except those who pine for the old 1911A1) who is issued one LOVES the M11.

Just buy more of the M11 & HUSH.

yours, sw
I would be willing to bet the M17 is cheaper than the M11. And with better performance and versatility.
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Old 01-04-2018, 02:32 PM   #16
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No doubt cheaper. The jury will be out for some time on performance and versatility.
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Old 01-05-2018, 04:11 AM   #17
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Don't forget the weight. I am an advocate of every trooper armed at all times in territory where an Ally might shoot you in the back at any given moment. The compact M17 doesn't weight as much as an M-9 or M-11.

Geoff
Who was impressed by a Luftwaffe officer's comment about the Spanish Civil War, "The Walther PPK was the best pistol. We could carry it anywhere."
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Old 01-05-2018, 06:42 AM   #18
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Don't forget the weight. I am an advocate of every trooper armed at all times in territory where an Ally might shoot you in the back at any given moment.
And IMNSHO, that includes Stateside bases as we saw at Fort Hood and the Navy Yard.
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