More than a year ago, we reported that the U.S. Army was holding trials to select a new sidearm to replace the Beretta M9 pistol.
While they haven’t made a decision on which gun they want, they have decided on which gun they don’t want—the Smith & Wesson M&P.
According to this story from guns.com, S&W notified its investors Friday that the M&P will not advance to the next phase of testing in the Defense Department’s quest for a new Modular Handgun System. The company is the first to formally get turned down.
“The Massachusetts gun maker campaigned heavily for the contract, even partnering with defense giant General Dynanics in 2014 for an added boost. GenDyn signed on to provide barrels for the M&P and also lend its expertise navigating the bureaucratic process.”
It’s a big blow for the firearms giant, as investors were anxiously awaiting news on the huge $580 million contract.
The M&P was a top contender alongside the Beretta APX, CZ P-09, FN Five-Seven, Glock 17 and 22, and the Sig Sauer P320, the story says. It also says that, while the military didn’t specify a caliber, it has been reported that the 9mm and .40 S&W were being heavily considered, while the .45 ACP was ruled out because of size, weight, and accuracy.
The FN Five-Seven doesn’t fire a 9mm or .40 S&W, but rather the 5.7mm round, which is basically a shrunken-down .223 rifle round. The Army also hasn’t ruled out hollow-point or another ammo alternative to full-metal jacket bullets.
Currently, Beretta holds the military handgun contract with the M9 pistol, which has been the Army’s official sidearm since 1985.
Aside from some aesthetic changes represented by the M9A3, which the Army rejected, hasn’t changed much in the past 30 years.
Here are a few details on the pistols still in the competition. One of the handguns below will become the Army’s next sidearm.