Waiting For Other Services To Get The Army’s New Pistol? You’ve Got A While

Gear

Last week, we got confirmation of a sort that the other three armed services would adopt the Army’s new Modular Handgun System, the M17, to replace the old Beretta M9 service pistol. At least, that’s what Army officials told Military.com in a widely shared story about the MHS program’s progress: The Air Force, they said, was down for 130,000 pistols; the Navy would buy 61,000; and the Marine Corps would take 35,000. Altogether, the three services would take more of the guns than the Army, which was ordering 195,000 M17s.


Not so fast, though. Task & Purpose asked representatives of the individual military branches about their plans to replace the venerable M9, and for the most part, they’re not yet on the same page as the Army.

Asked if the Marines intended to replace the M9 with the M17, a spokeswoman for the service told T&P;, "No decision by the Marine Corps has been made." She added that "the Marine Corps is looking at it, and has been involved in all testing, but we do not have a timeline yet for procurement."

"The Navy plans to procure a Modular Handgun System through a multi-service contract," a spokeswoman for the Navy's Naval Sea System Command told T&P; — but since the Army’s MHS contract is being contested, she couldn’t say when the Navy's buy might actually happen; certainly not anytime soon.

The US Air Force did not respond to Task & Purpose’s request for a comment before publication.

Back in January, the Army announced the selection of SIG Sauer's entry into the MHS program, awarding the company a 10-year contract worth $580 million for more than 300,000 pistols, as well as spare parts, magazines, and training. Some controversy has arisen over the contract, with SIG's rival, Glock, lodging a Government Accountability Office protest in February. More recently, Steyr Arms launched a patent infringement lawsuit against SIG. While the GAO protest is expected to be ruled on in June, it remains to be seen whether these challenges will delay, or even scuttle, the adoption of the M17 by the other service branches.

While the other services were involved in the Army's MHS program, it is probable that funding is the primary factor that delays the M17’s general adoption by the other service branches. The purchase of a new sidearm is inevitably a low procurement priority for the naval and air services — though, when funding becomes available, the M17 will almost certainly be their the choice, as noted by  Military.com.   

The US Army recently announced that the 101st Airborne based at Fort Campbell in Kentucky would be the first unit to be issued the new sidearm.

U.S. Army
(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Moments before Army Staff Sgt. David Bellavia went back into the house, journalist Michael Ware said he was "pacing like a caged tiger ... almost like he was talking to himself."

"I distinctly remember while everybody else had taken cover temporarily, there out in the open on the street — still exposed to the fire from the roof — was David Bellavia," Ware told Task & Purpose on Monday. "David stopped pacing, he looked up and sees that the only person still there on the street is me. And I'm just standing there with my arms folded.

"He looked up from the pacing, stared straight into my eyes, and said 'Fuck it.' And I stared straight back at him and said 'Fuck it,'" Ware said. "And that's when I knew, we were both going back in that house."

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(Photo courtesy of Philip Stackhouse)

Former Army Special Forces Maj. Matthew Golsteyn will plead not guilty to a charge of murder for allegedly shooting an unarmed Afghan man whom a tribal leader had identified as a Taliban bomb maker, his attorney said.

Golsteyn will be arraigned on Thursday morning at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, Phillip Stackhouse told Task & Purpose.

No date has been set for his trial yet, said Lt. Col. Loren Bymer, a spokesman for U.S. Army Special Operations Command.

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Taran Tactical Innovations

John Wick is back, and he's here to stay. It doesn't matter how many bad guys show up to try to collect on that bounty.

With John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum, the titular hitman, played by 54-year-old Keanu Reeves, continues on a blood-soaked hyper-stylized odyssey of revenge: first for his slain dog, then his wrecked car, then his destroyed house, then ... well, honestly it's hard to keep track of exactly what Wick is avenging by this point, or the body count he's racked up in the process.

Though we do know that the franchise has raked in plenty of success at the box office: just a week after it's May 17 release, the third installment in director Chad Stahleski's series took in roughly $181 million, making it even more successful than its two wildly popular prequels 2014's John Wick, and 2017's John Wick: Chapter 2.

And, more importantly, Reeves' hitman is well on his way to becoming one of the greatest action movie heroes in recent memory. Few (if any) other action flicks have succeeded in creating a mind-blowing avant garde ballet out of a dozen well-dressed gunmen who get shot, choked, or stabbed with a pencil by a pissed off hitman who just wants to return to retirement.

But for all the over-the-top acrobatics, fight sequences, and gun-porn (see: the sommelier), what makes the series so enthralling, especially for the service members and vets in the audience, is that there are some refreshing moments of realism nestled under all of that gun fu. Wrack your brain and try to remember the last time you saw an action hero do a press check during a shootout, clear a jam, or actually, you know, reload, instead of just hip-firing 300 rounds from an M16 nonstop. It's cool, we'll wait.

As it turns out, there's a good reason for the caliber of gun-play in John Wick. One of the franchise's secret weapons is a professional three-gun shooter named Taran Butler, who told Task & Purpose he can draw and hit three targets in 0.67 seconds from 10 yards. And if you've watched any of the scores of videos he's uploaded to social media over the years, it's pretty clear that this isn't idle boasting.

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The Navy's electromagnetic railgun is undergoing what officials described as "essentially a shakedown" of critical systems before finally installing a tactical demonstrator aboard a surface warship, the latest sign that the once-beleaguered supergun may actually end up seeing combat.

That pretty much means this is could be the last set of tests before actually slapping this bad boy onto a warship, for once.

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(AP Photo/Denis Poroy)

The Justice Department has accused Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) of illegally using campaign funds to pay for extramarital affairs with five women.

Hunter, who fought in the Iraq War as a Marine artillery officer, and his wife Margaret were indicated by a federal jury on Aug. 21, 2018 for allegedly using up to $250,000 in campaign funds for personal use.

In a recent court filing, federal prosecutors accused Hunter of using campaign money to pay for a variety of expenses involved with his affairs, ranging from a $1,008 hotel bill to $7 for a Sam Adams beer.

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