The U.S. Army and SIG Sauer recently announced the Model P320 will replace the standard-issue Beretta M9 service pistol that has been in use since the mid-1980s. The Army’s Modular Handgun System competition began in 2011, but multiple delays prolonged the selection until now. The $580 million contract includes firearms, accessories and ammunition.
Since its release in 2014, the polymer striker-fired P320 pistol has proven itself in both the U.S. and worldwide markets. The first modular pistol with interchangeable grip modules that can also be adjusted in frame size and caliber by the user, the P320 will be produced at the SIG Sauer facilities in New Hampshire. Moreover, the pistol can be adapted to shoot 9mm, .357 SIG and .40 S&W ammunition. The caliber the Army selected has not been officially disclosed yet, but our bets are on 9mm. Earlier this year, the P320 was used by SIG Team Captain Max Michel to set a new Guinness World Record for action pistol shooting.
U.S. Army soldiers will begin to receive the new pistols this year, with delivery of both full size and compact P320 pistols continuing over a period of 10 years. More than 280,000 P320 handguns are part of the contract, and the Army may order as many as 500,000. Additionally, all pistols will be configurable to receive silencers and will include both standard and extended capacity magazines.
“I am tremendously proud of the Modular Handgun System Team,” said Army Acquisition Executive, Steffanie Easter. “By maximizing full and open competition across our industry partners, we truly have optimized the private sector advancements in handguns, ammunition and magazines and the end result will ensure a decidedly superior weapon system for our warfighters.”
Ron Cohen, President and CEO 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 and their commitment to innovation, quality and manufacturing the most reliable firearms in the world.”