Sig Sauer’s M17 and M18 pistols, the army’s replacements for the M9 Beretta, are coming online at long last. Sig Sauer won a contract to produce 195,000 pistols over the next 10 years. The contract is worth $580 million.
The 101st Airborne is the first unit to receive the M17 and M18 pistols that will become the standard sidearm for the U.S. Army. The new pistol will replace the M9 Beretta, which has been the service’s primary handgun since 1986.
The 101st received more than 2,000 M17s and M18s, some of which have been unpacked and test-fired since their delivery late last month.
Selected soldiers fired the weapons straight out of the box and turned in glowing reviews.
“It is easier to fire and simpler to operate,” said Sgt. Matthew J. Marsh, a member of the 1st Brigade Combat Team, comparing the new pistol to the M9. “The pistol felt very natural in my hand. I am excited to take my experience back to my unit and share it with my soldiers.”
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