The 101st Airborne Division is the first to get its hands on the Sig Sauer M17 handgun.

FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. — Army Times recently visited soldiers with the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, as they were among the first in the Army to qualify with the M17, the Army’s new handgun.

The Sig Sauer-made 9 mm pistol is part of the Modular Handgun System, which includes a hard plastic drop holster and two 21-round magazines and one 17-round magazine.

[Read: New in 2018: Army rolling out new handgun across the force]

The company won the 10-year, $580 million contract to make nearly 200,000 handguns to replace the Beretta M9, which has been in service since 1986.

Soldiers reported a smoother trigger and better gloved grip with the new pistol, as compared with the M9. More units will field the handgun this year but Army officials did not disclose which units or when those deliveries would occur.

Todd South has written about crime, courts, government and the military for multiple publications since 2004 and was named a 2014 Pulitzer finalist for a co-written project on witness intimidation. Todd is a Marine veteran of the Iraq War.

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