Here’s Why Glock’s Protest Against The Army’s Handgun Award Was Thrown Out

Gear
Photo via Sig Sauer

A newly released report just shed light on why Glock lost its protest against Sig Sauer, providing fresh insight into the U.S. Army’s selection for the Modular Handgun System contract.


According to the report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office, Glock lodged its protest Feb. 24, citing three main reasons: U.S. Army Material Command did not properly evaluate its proposal; the second downselect phase of the testing program was not carried out; and finally, Sig Sauer’s XM17 entry was not properly evaluated. Glock also claimed Army evaluators were biased during evaluations.

According to the GAO’s 17-page decision, Glock contended “that the [Army Materiel Command] improperly failed to complete reliability testing on Sig Sauer’s compact handgun.” Moreover, Glock asserted that “the agency’s evaluations under the price, license rights, manual safety, and penetration factors and subfactors were flawed.” However, while the GAO acknowledged that “the agency’s evaluation contained some errors,” it judged that “they did not result in prejudice to the protester.” And while the GAO found that the Army had incorrectly calculated the cost of the ammunition license and the per-unit price of the Sig XM17 pistol, the office’s calculations were only about  $1.6 million off — far below the $68 million that Glock claimed them to be.

Glock also lodged a series of complaints regarding the Army’s ammunition requirement, the weighted importance of the manual safety, and the performance of its special purpose ammunition during testing. Unfortunately for Glock, the GAO dismissed or denied all of the complaints. On top of outlining Glock’s reasons for protesting and why its protest was rejected, the GAO’s report also provides insight into how both companies’ bids compared.

The Army believed that the Sig had a “slight technical advantage” over the Glock; a table in the GAO report suggested it scored a “good” rating to Glock’s “acceptable.”  The Sig also won high points in both ergonomics and ballistic performance. Moreover, Sig offered a two-gun proposal — the XM17 and compact XM18 — to Glock’s single-gun bid.

Perhaps most importantly, price is always a factor when it comes to government contract, and Sig undercut Glock’s bid by a wide margin. Sig’s bid came in at just about $169.5 million, a whopping $103 million less than Glock’s. The savings clearly made a difference: The decision notes that this substantially lower bid offered “overall the best value to the government.” In fact, The Army’s final selection report, quoted in the GAO’s decision, called price “a significant discriminator” in the two firms’ proposals.

Another of the major advantages of Sig Sauer’s proposal was the firm’s partnership with Winchester; the Army reported that Sig’s ammunition supply proposal was “outstanding” while Glock’s was only “marginal.”Sig Sauer’s partnership with Winchester enables the company to provide not only the standard full metal jacket ball ammunition but also the “special purpose” jacketed hollow-point ammunition, which significantly increases the pistol’s lethality.

While the GAO discovered some discrepancies in terms of cost calculation and trials evaluation, it found that, even if upheld, Glock’s complaints did “not appear likely to provide [the firm]with a substantial chance of receiving the award.” So Sig Sauer’s selection is upheld, and work on the M17 is moving forward. In fact, according to comments made to Task & Purpose in March by Col. Richard Spiegel, the public affairs director at Army Materiel Command, Glock’s protest to the GAO has not held up production of the new M17.

While Sig Sauer will surely welcome the GAO’s decision, it is not the end of the company’s short-term worries — it still faces a lawsuit for patent infringement from Steyr Arms. Even so, U.S. troops will begin receiving the M17 later this year, with troops from the 101st Airborne Division at Kentucky’s Fort Campbell set to be the first to get their hands on the new sidearm.  

Members of Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 462, Marine Aircraft Group 16, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, and 1st Transportation Support Battalion, 1st Marine Logistics Group, prepare a seven-ton Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement (MTRV) to be lifted by a CH-53E Super Stallion at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif., on Jan. 16, 2019. (U.S. Marine Corps/Lance Cpl. Clare J. McIntire)

Editor's Note: This article by Matthew Cox originally appeared onMilitary.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

If you are in the market for any size of military surplus vehicle, keep an eye on GovPlanet. The online auction house is about to start selling U.S. Navy and Marine Corps surplus M1161 ITV Growlers and seven-ton Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement trucks.

Read More Show Less
(From left to right) Chris Osman, Chris McKinley, Kent Kroeker, and Talon Burton

At least four American veterans were among a group of eight men arrested by police in Haiti earlier this week for driving without license plates and possessing an arsenal of weaponry and tactical gear.

Police in Port-au-Prince arrested five Americans, two Serbians, and one Haitian man at a police checkpoint on Sunday, according to The Miami-Herald. The men told police they were on a "government mission" but did not specify for which government, according to The Herald.

They also told police that "their boss was going to call their boss," implying that someone high in Haiti's government would vouch for them and secure their release, Herald reporter Jacqueline Charles told NPR.

What they were actually doing or who they were potentially working for remains unclear. A State Department spokesperson told Task & Purpose they were aware that Haitian police arrested a "group of individuals, including some U.S. citizens," but declined to answer whether the men were employed by or operating under contract with the U.S. government.

Read More Show Less
Heckler & Koch's first batch of M27 Infantry Automatic Rifles

Have you ever wondered what would happen if the employee behind a firearm company's Facebook page decided to goaded a bunch of Marines into destroying their brand new firearms? Now you know.

Read More Show Less
Maj. Gen. William C. Lee

A marble statue memorializing the founder of the U.S. Army Airborne was set on fire Thursday in North Carolina, and museum officials believe it happened because vandals confused it for a Confederate memorial, according to the Dunn Daily Record and other media outlets.

Read More Show Less

A top Senate Republican and fierce ally of President Donald Trump reportedly exploded at Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan recently about the U.S. military's plans to withdraw all troops from Syria by the end of April.

"That's the dumbest f******g idea I've ever heard," Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) reportedly replied when Shanahan confirmed the Trump administration still plans to complete the Syria withdrawal by April 30.

Later, Graham told Shanahan, "I am now your adversary, not your friend."

Read More Show Less