Why is the U.S. Army Making the Switch to Sig Sauer P320?
After years of deliberation, this January the U.S. Army finally announced that Sig Sauer’s P320 will replace the Beretta M9 weapons system that has served the military for over 30 years. Read on to learn about the factors leading to the switch and the features that made Sig Sauer the winner of this $580 million dollar contract over some major competition including GLOCK, Smith & Wesson, and Beretta.
Background on the Switch
Since 1985 the U.S. Army has relied on the Beretta 92 / M9 weapon system. Although the decision to adopt the firearm was initially controversial, the U.S. Army has used the system for over 30 years. In 2011, the military’s contract with Beretta was up. With the current system showing its age, the need for a new system emerged. And so the search began for a handgun that could easily have it’s frame, sights, grip, and caliber easily changed out from a manufacturer that could provide not only the weapon itself, but also optics, suppressors, parts, and ammunition.
Following years of research, the Army launched its XM17 MHS competition to determine the model that would replace the Beretta M9 system. According to Steffanie Easter, Army Acquisition Executive, the military chose this approach because “By maximizing full and open competition across our industry partners, we have optimized private sector advancements in handguns, ammunition, and magazines, and the end result will ensure a decidedly superior weapon system for our warfighters.”
After years of research and testing systems from competitors including GLOCK, CZ, STI, KRISS, FN Herstal, Smith & Wesson, and Beretta, many were surprised to see the U.S. Army decided to go with the Sig Sauer P320. In response to the decision, Ron Cohen, CEO of the firearm manufacturing giant told Military.com, “We are both humbled and proud that the P320 was selected by the U.S. Army as its weapon of choice,” going on to say, “Securing this contract is a testimony to Sig Sauer employees, their commitment to innovation, quality and manufacturing the most reliable firearms in the world.”
Why Sig Sauer P320?
Although this may not seem like the obvious choice, the experts at Defender Outdoors think that the decision to go with Sig Sauer P320 has to do with factors including performance, features, pricing, and, most importantly, modularity. This modularity means that serialized components of the pistol are crafted of solid steel, nested within the handgun’s grip assembly as well as its’ external frame. Because of this modular construction, almost all components of the pistol can easily be switched out.
According to Wired, some of the other key design features making the P320 the final choice for the military include its interchangeable grips, which take into consideration the increased number of women in the military since the M9 was selected over 30 years ago, as well as the variety of accessories, such as silencers, which can easily work with the pistol.
Want to Try Out a Sig Sauer P320 for Yourself?
If you have never tried the Sig Sauer P320 and want to see what all the fuss is about, come by our Nashville shooting range to test out the modular handgun that beat out major competitors to secure a $580 million dollar contract with the military. Our five-star indoor shooting range is the perfect place to test out the one-of-a-kind features offered by the P320