At least two of the competitors for the Army’s Modular Handgun System to replace the decades-old M9 were featured at the annual outdoors and firearms expo for civilian purchasers.
Sig Sauer ultimately won the 10-year, $580 million contract a year ago to produce more than 200,000 sidearms for the Army and a total of more than 400,000 when the other service branches replace their stocks.
Though to the non-expert, the Beretta and Glock entries have most of the major characteristics of the Sig.
All include polymer frames and striker-fired mechanisms — advancements over the original M9 made by Beretta and selected in 1985 to replace the now century-old 1911 .45 caliber pistol.
Beretta originally sought to continue upgrades to the original M9, now in its third variant. But officials decided that the changes required to create a modular system were too great to continue using the 1980s-era design, even with the upgrades.
Sig submitted a handgun that could fit two frame sizes, ultimately the M17 and M18, a standard size and a compact size, respectively.
But Glock submitted only the Glock 19X, a single handgun that meets the requirements for both standard and compact that the Army needs.