USAF Request Bids on new Handguns


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Mike Faires
November 1, 2006, 12:14 PM
Apparently someone finally woke up at the Pentagon. Today the Air Force issued a Request for Proposal for new handguns. One of the criteria is a caliber capable of 12 inch penetration of flesh and a permanent wound channel greater than 9MM, it goes on to say that 40 or 45 caliber is preferable. Bring back the 1911.

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Outlaws
November 1, 2006, 12:16 PM
They will never bring back the 1911. Get over it. Maybe some select units will, but never a full branch.

das028
November 1, 2006, 12:21 PM
Here we go again!

Anytime there is word on any branch of the military even considering a new sidearm, all the 1911 people have to chime in.

Get over it people! There are so many better choices out there. The 1911 had its place in the military but come on fellas, times change, and so do handgun designs. Just way to many better options.

They might as well bring back the M1 Grands too.:banghead:

Manedwolf
November 1, 2006, 12:22 PM
There's no logical reason for them to move from a 17 or 20rd issue weapon to an 8rd singlestack one. If you want a .45, there's much newer high capacity designs out there.

Personally, I'd think if they wanted a .45, the 24/7 SOCOM would not be a bad choice at all. Really excellent ergonomics and grip, even if wet. Also save the taxpayers some money! And, of course, there's the HK as well. If anything, I suspect they'll go for one of the HKs.

Why the hell would you want a 1911 instead of a new, high-tech positive-grip 13+1 capacity .45 ACP?

PershingRiflesC-7
November 1, 2006, 12:34 PM
According to Mike Golden, president of S&W, they intend to pursue these types of opportunities to replace the M-9 pistol. Their proposal will be the new M&P models.

gudel
November 1, 2006, 12:41 PM
I thought they cancelled it?

Bring 1911 back? You guys can't even make the regular production to work right out of the box, and you want this as a combat gun? :rolleyes:

outofbattery
November 1, 2006, 12:48 PM
I wonder how many times USAF personnel have used their sidearms since the Beretta was adopted and how many times the 9mm has failed.

Powderman
November 1, 2006, 12:50 PM
Ho-kay.

For all the 1911 bashers out there, consider that this pistol, in all of its sundry configurations, has been around for almost 100 years, and is still going strong.

There's a reason for that. It works. Plain and simple, it works--and it works well.

And, pray tell, which design is a better design than the 1911? Name one that is as durable. I know of some that are just as user friendly, and those are the Glock handguns--those are also rock-solid and tough as nails.

HK? Good weapons, but let something bust in the field. What do you have to do to fix it? Same thing with the S&W, or even the Beretta, for that matter.

Can you disassamble the pistol, completely, without special tools? The 1911 will do it.

Well, let's hear your choices--and why.

mp510
November 1, 2006, 12:51 PM
Bringing the 1911 back wouldn't be totally out of the quedtion, well sort of. There are domestic and imported double stacks that are only a few rounds shy of the 9x19 mag capacity. Para makes double actions- it could happen. Just in all likliehood it wouldn't.

A few years ago, the CG went to Sig .40's along with the rest of DHS.

Manedwolf
November 1, 2006, 01:02 PM
There's a reason for that. It works. Plain and simple, it works--and it works well.

For the time, yeah, it was great. But there's better options.

They didn't retire the Willys MB and Ford jeeps because they were bad...they work great, still, and were fantastic for their time. They moved to the Hummer because it offered a lot more. We don't use Sherman tanks anymore either, we use M1s.

Same with sidearms. Time marches on.

RustyShackelford
November 1, 2006, 01:05 PM
As I've posted here a few times the DoD/US military should issue a ambi type model of the new compact HK .45acp USSOCOM model. A mag of 8-14 rounds, ambi features(mag release, slide release, etc), plastic frame, 1913 type rail for white lights/lasers and a barrel that can have a sound suppressor would be great! :D

HK has a proven record with major LE agencies and military units. I hope and pray the DoD/military do not screw the tests up and waste $$$ like they did for the M-9 9mmNATO pistol tests. :cuss:

Our military troops deserve better!

Rusty S

two tone
November 1, 2006, 01:19 PM
the only weapon i see worthy of replacing it is a glock 22. same mag capacity. lighter weight. better design. unmatched reliability. and greater wound channels. :)

noops
November 1, 2006, 01:19 PM
I have a great high end 1911 (Ed Brown). I love it. Best gun I own, easiest to shoot, most accurate. But really, 1911's do take a lot of work to keep running when compared to something like an H&K USP, or a Glock (probably same for M&P).

So for me it's ok (although I carry the USP compact 9mm most of the time). But think about an armourer's job, managing and keeping running hundreds or thousands of 1911 pistols. I sure wouldn't want that job. I don't mind doing it on one pistol that was a "splurge" moment (that cost me too much money anyway). And I think not just the amount of time, but parts would probably drive up costs as well.

N

Manedwolf
November 1, 2006, 02:18 PM
the only weapon i see worthy of replacing it is a glock 22. same mag capacity. lighter weight. better design. unmatched reliability. and greater wound channels.

And lots of ADs when it gets caught on the holster/vest/belt/gear etc in a combat situation. Yes, it's user error, but combat is a high-stress situation, why have something that makes it easier to make a fatal mistake?

Grip safety is good. So is manual safety. IMO, trigger-safety-only is like lap belt only in a car. They thought it was fine for a long time. They know better now.

For combat use, I think Glock is way behind the times now. So many better products from HK, Springfield, Taurus, Beretta, even S&W.

ugaarguy
November 1, 2006, 02:51 PM
Everyone, go read the forum rules. Debate the pistol options on their merit and back up your statements. Don't call owners or fans of a particular make or model names. Lastly stop using the names of dieties/religious figures as an exclamation, explicative, whatever part of speech you want to call it, or any other casual and/or innapropriate use of those names since it's offensive to many on the forum. Let's get this thread back on the high road before it gets locked.

Hanzo581
November 1, 2006, 02:52 PM
And what about the XD45? Why would that not be an option?

'Card
November 1, 2006, 02:57 PM
Well, since this is the Air Force we're talking about, I think the Glock might be a great choice. It fits well under desks, requires little or no maintenance, and makes a servicable paperweight. They'll clearly need to do something about the grip, though. All those rough surfaces and hard edges might give somebody a blister, for goodness sake.

das028
November 1, 2006, 02:58 PM
"Everyone, go read the forum rules. Debate the pistol options on their merit and back up your statements. Don't call owners or fans of a particular make or model names. Lastly stop using the names of dieties/religious figures as an exclamation, explicative, whatever part of speech you want to call it, or any other casual and/or innapropriate use of those names since it's offensive to many on the forum. Let's get this thread back on the high road before it gets locked."

Who is calling people names? What are you talking about?

two tone
November 1, 2006, 03:01 PM
Grip safety is good. So is manual safety. IMO, trigger-safety-only is like lap belt only in a car. They thought it was fine for a long time. They know better now.

in that case lets just put rollcages in our automobiles and HANS devices like they do in nascar.

das028
November 1, 2006, 03:05 PM
"And lots of ADs when it gets caught on the holster/vest/belt/gear etc in a combat situation. Yes, it's user error, but combat is a high-stress situation, why have something that makes it easier to make a fatal mistake?

Grip safety is good. So is manual safety. IMO, trigger-safety-only is like lap belt only in a car. They thought it was fine for a long time. They know better now.

For combat use, I think Glock is way behind the times now. So many better products from HK, Springfield, Taurus, Beretta, even S&W."

While I agree eith you, I wouldnt call Glock behind in times. After all they are probably the most durable, reliable, and simple auto on the market today. But I do agree that there lack af a manual saftey to pose a saftey issue. To an individual shooter with proper training a Glock is probably the best choice for a combat gun. But its easier to use a pistol with a manual saftey, then it is to properly train our military personel. Sad, yes, but it is the truth.

BTW, for a SHTF/combat sidearm I'll take a glock any day

Skywarp
November 1, 2006, 03:06 PM
A sig with a thumb safety would be perfect.

They are being produced in the SAO actions and probably be converted to DA/SA and enable cocked and locked carry with second strike capability. SIG has a pre existing contract with the military from the XM9 trials (which it should have won) as well as the contract for the SEALs and DHS contracts. The wiff off another big military contract will prompt SIG to customize the guns to mil spec.


Personally I think the 226 is perfect as is for this contract. Train the airmen to keep their fingers off the triggers and they'll be fine.

das028
November 1, 2006, 03:06 PM
"And what about the XD45? Why would that not be an option?"


I think it would be a good option. Its definitely on my list of guns that a far superior then the 1911

sm
November 1, 2006, 03:09 PM
ugaarguy wrote:
Everyone, go read the forum rules. Debate the pistol options on their merit and back up your statements. Don't call owners or fans of a particular make or model names. Lastly stop using the names of dieties/religious figures as an exclamation, explicative, whatever part of speech you want to call it, or any other casual and/or innapropriate use of those names since it's offensive to many on the forum. Let's get this thread back on the high road before it gets locked.

Correct!

fastbolt
November 1, 2006, 03:13 PM
Why not sit back, wait and watch what happens? Let's all be polite and cordial in the meantime, and bear in mind the forum rules, of course.

It's not surprising that the M9 is sometimes apparently reported to exhibit a bit of a potential sensitivity when it comes to functioning in a sandy environment. Of course, nothing mechanical LIKES sand, when it comes right down to it.

I always chuckle when I see folks bruit about some of the so-called "torture tests" involving sand exposure/immersion ... and then think of the very same makes & models of pistols that come through our range, and often exhibit functioning problems the first time an empty magazine is simply dropped onto the sand covering the range, and then 'functioning problems' occur once some of the magazines are reloaded and continued to be used ... with sand inside them. :neener:

Wanna impress me with "torture tests"? Take 100-500 representative makes & models of the same pistol and subject them all to the same conditions, at the same time, in the hands of different shooters ... and then see what happens. Don't be disappointed if some may function without problems, and some exhibit functioning problems, under the same conditions. Things happen.

Anyway, I thought it interesting that the USAF has actually expressed a potential interest in a pistol chambered in either .40 S&W or .45 ACP.

It'll be interesting to see whether the variable grip dimensions, especially in some of the newer polymer-framed pistol platforms, permit a .45 ACP pistol to fit the anticipated needs of the various intended shooters/users. The smaller framed .40 S&W models may offer a better 'fit', but I guess we'll see what the USAF thinks about things, won't we? Presuming, of course, this actually proceeds and goes somewhere in the next couple of years.;)

Might be interesting to see what this does to ammunition availability and cost of either caliber selected, too, when it comes to civilian/commercial sales.

This wouldn't be the first time the USAF has initiated a trend in small arms procurement for our military forces, either.;) Not as sexy as the SOCOM pistol subject, but it might turn out to have legs ...

bowfin
November 1, 2006, 03:13 PM
I think a Glock is a hard sidearm to beat, but the Smith & Wesson M&P and Springfield Armory's XD might do it.

I would rather see an American made (and not something imported by an American company) win.

two tone
November 1, 2006, 03:26 PM
im pretty sure the beretta m9 is made in America..

on the other hand i dont see glock as setting up shop here just to fill out a few contracts.

kentucky_smith
November 1, 2006, 03:30 PM
GLOCK is and forever will be out of the equation until Gaston releases the patents.

das028
November 1, 2006, 03:30 PM
Quote:
ugaarguy wrote:
Everyone, go read the forum rules. Debate the pistol options on their merit and back up your statements. Don't call owners or fans of a particular make or model names. Lastly stop using the names of dieties/religious figures as an exclamation, explicative, whatever part of speech you want to call it, or any other casual and/or innapropriate use of those names since it's offensive to many on the forum. Let's get this thread back on the high road before it gets locked.

Correct!
__________________


OK, if you are refering to me using the words "yahoo" and "christ", my bad. Didnt mean to offend. I'll go back and edit my post. Again, didnt mean to hurt your feelings.

Joe Demko
November 1, 2006, 03:39 PM
I don't think this is going to mark the return of the 1911. To take advantage of the design's virtues it has to be carried cocked and locked. The military mandated chamber-empty/hammer down carry because of problems with negligent discharge. The move to the DA Beretta was motivated, in part, by the idea of being able to carry more safely with a cartridge in the chamber...though from what I have heard the Beretta is often carried chamber-empty too. In any case, the 1911 design would be perceived as a step backwards. Sounds more like they are unhappy with the 9mm cartridge than they are with the Beretta, anyway.
I'd like to see them go with something of a modern design that can be fitted to the shooter's hand with interchangeable backstraps and the like.

Oh, and BTW, there's no reason to get emotionally incontinent over something as inconsequential as this thread. Try to be the people your mothers wanted you to be.

kmrcstintn
November 1, 2006, 03:40 PM
1) they could resurrect a 1911 variant with high capacity, a wide body grip, and a proprietary double action trigger...don't forget about ParaOrdinance in Canada

2) they could go with a neomodern polymer framed handgun from a number of highly qualified manufacturers...H&K, Glock, S&W, Ruger, CZ, Beretta, SIG Sauer, etc.

3) the part of the standing agreement for U.S. Government contracts is that an entire assembly plant (for guns, magazines, and parts) will have to be setup in a prescribed timeframe on domestic U.S. soil

4) we'll see what happens when it happens and more likely than not there will be a whole lotta people who will bitch, moan, and complain about the choice that is made...nothing ever changes...:banghead:

Headless Thompson Gunner
November 1, 2006, 03:48 PM
The only real downside of the original 1911 is the limited magazine capacity. A modernized 1911 would be an excellent choice as a military sidearm.

Military 1911's are famously reliable. 1911s tightened and tuned for match shooting tend to not be, and 1911s shrunk down and lightened for CCW can be hit or miss. But the basic military 1911 is about as reliable as an AK47, for all the same reasons.

"Technology moves on" eh? Tell that to the modern, high-tech Berretta M9, which can't seem to do what the "obsolete" 1911 managed to do for decades.

Glocks and Sigs and XDs and all the rest make for some pretty good police sidearms. But a police sidearm isn't used the same as a military sidearm, and what works well for the police doesn't necessarily work well for the military.

The only way to find out for sure that any of these newcomers would work well in a combat role is to issue them to combat troops and see what happens. But why take a chance on something new that may or may not work, when we already have something that we know works so well?

Building a effective, quality combat firearm doesn't require whiz-bang technology. A handgun is a simple beast, and added complexity doesn't improve it any. Incremental improvements, such as polymers (which do basically the same thing as steel and aluminum) and newer calibers such as .40 S&W (which does basically the same thing as .45ACP) are the most radical changes we've seen in an entire century. Incorporate these improvements into a modernized 1911 and you'll have the best of both worlds: proven design and modern improvements.

I don't honestly expect any service branch to re-adopt a 1911 variant. This is mainly because America is consumed by this premise that "new" equals "better". It ain't so, especially in regards to 1911s, but the mindset is a hard one to overcome. "Tacticool" is the way it'll be.

sm
November 1, 2006, 03:50 PM
I never served in the Military, never been a LEO. I did have Mentors that were, and I know folks in these Professions and Similar.

Personally, here is the way I view this. Bureaucrats have always been and always be a misunderstood bunch. Decisons based on emotions, promised deals, paybacks for assistance ...does not always equate to getting the best tool for the job.

Sometimes after all the posturing, and testing, the reason something is chosen, is simply because of lowest bidder. I always find this funny, as many attach something being the "best" based on the reasoning "XYZ" uses it. Oh while some purchases are in fact well thought out, tested , reviewed and chosen based on "the best tool for the task" many are simply reduced to "we can get these for less monies".

Marketing - we cannot forget Marketing in TV, Movies, and Magazines.

Silly little tribes - Tamara

Be honest, how many bought a Beretta 92 based on the movie Lethal Weapon , and not because the Military chose that platform to replace the 1911?

The Browning Highpower in 9mm is a proven Combat Pistol , still in use today.
Who knows how many folks have fallen to 9mm ammo? Including the enemies of the US and our Allies falling to 9mm fired by other platforms, such as the Luger.

Gov't Model of 1911 is another proven Combat Pistol. As designed by John Moses Browning, it works, always has, always will. It is a tool unto itself, if needing to be taken all the way down for deep cleaning. Still do an Internet Search of Larry Vickers, he did a sand test, he acually poured fine North Carolina sand into various platforms. 1911s worked, many other platforms did not.

1911s have worked, and continue to work in freezing temps, blistering heat, rain, mud, snow, and you name it.

I am speaking of a 1911 style pistol made to specifications as designed, with the correct metallury and configurations as intended and designed by JMB.

Even the folks that wanted this 1911 pistol "enhanced" for other uses understood this. I know one person that shot competition for the Military, his 1911s were accurized and messed with just a little - and he would NOT carry those guns in combat, he knows the difference in a Combat gun, and a Range gun.
Bulls-Eye shooters enhanced guns, as did other disciplines, and these folks, Even Jim Clark Sr. knew the difference in a Combat pistol and the Bulls-Eye guns he was building.

Yes I am in the camp, give me a bone stock Gov't Model of 1911 with USGI 7 rd mags, and I fine.
Yes, I am in the camp , give me a bone stock BHP in 9mm and I am good to go.

Bureaucrats do not always have the best interest of the user of a tool at heart. Sorry, cold hard fact.

Now I have buddy of mine that builds race guns using the 1911 platform, his guns run, be they 45ACP, 9x23 or .38Super. His home gun, carry gun is the bone stock Gov't model of 1911, using USGI/ Colt 7 rds mags, with sealed baseplats. He never served in Military or was in LEO either.

Two other gunsmiths, now passed, did serve in Military and /or LEO and they too built Bulls-Eye and Race Guns . Again they used Bone Stock Gov't Models of 1911 with USGI/ Colt 7 rd mags. They also carried the Lightweight Commander too, with the same mags.

Yes I am in a Tribe as well, just mine happens to be a OLD tribe I suppose.

Just my personal experiences and observations, the 1911 and BHP , between these two platforms will fit 100% of the hands that will be using them.

das028
November 1, 2006, 04:00 PM
Fellas, govement issued 1911's were combat proven years and years ago. The fact is there is some many other options out there. If you look at Manedwolf's original post, he pretty much nailed it.

I just get the feeling that some people just really dont like change.

Example:

Look at the Japenese, and the small arms during that war. They thought it was efficient enough. But it wasnt! While it still functioned well and did the job, it was outdated!. And they sure paid for it

hso
November 1, 2006, 04:03 PM
We won't know until some organisation decides to spend the money on an across the board torture test. Let's hope the USAF does spend that money considering that, once parted from their multimillion dollar weapons systems and stranded on the ground, have nothing but a handgun to carry on the fight with.

two tone
November 1, 2006, 04:08 PM
so i wonder if the tests are open to 10mm and 357 sig.

atek3
November 1, 2006, 04:38 PM
Forget about doublestack 45 ACP's. A sidearm needs to be usable by people of all handsizes, Glock 21's are big, not to mention heavy. I'd suggest the XD40 or the M&P...

atek3

jwalk
November 1, 2006, 04:38 PM
Well, since this is the Air Force we're talking about, I think the Glock might be a great choice. It fits well under desks, requires little or no maintenance, and makes a servicable paperweight. They'll clearly need to do something about the grip, though. All those rough surfaces and hard edges might give somebody a blister, for goodness sake.


Well I guess a glock paperweight wouldn't matter for some paper pushers, but how about security forces, fly-away teams (ravens), para-rescue, aviators fixed and rotarary wing, combat controlers, tac-p, just to name a few.

If you're gong for simple and easy to use, I'd vote for Springfield XD (has a grip and trigger safety). I think almost anything would be better than the M-9. Almost everyone I have talked to, at home and in the desert, does not care for the M-9. The only positive I've heard is the safety features. Oh how about the government contractors also known as Blackwater? Do they carry the trusty old 1911? Nope. They carry sigs. 9mm's but they're still sigs. There are definately better options than the M-9, hopefully the AF doensn't blow it again.

Devonai
November 1, 2006, 04:53 PM
Be honest, how many bought a Beretta 92 based on the movie Lethal Weapon , and not because the Military chose that platform to replace the 1911?

It was Die Hard, actually.

45auto
November 1, 2006, 04:54 PM
The specs, from what I read, are pretty similiar to the last joint handgun request except the possibility of the 40. No SA actions, no "open" slides, lighter than the Beretta, manual safety, changable grips, and other "stuff".

How many times are "they" going to test pistols?

100,000 guns over a 5 year period.

I'm a 1911 devotee also, but even if they allowed SA actions, I can't think of a 1911 manufacturer that could produce 20,000 "out of the box" reliable guns per year that were light weight and held no less than 10 rounds. I'm not sure anyone could even produce 20,000 reliable 1911's in any configuration per year to be honest.

bb21
November 1, 2006, 05:09 PM
It seems to me that the Springfield XD-45 would be great, but my understanding is the US military sidearms must have a manual safety. So why not get rid of the trigger safety and add a manual safety along with the grip safety. It has plenty of knockdown 14 rds of .45, and is the easiest for the average person to get their hand around. For me Glocks and USP grips are too big and I can't reach the buttons/levers. The M&P would be good but the recoil of the .40 may be a bit much for some. The XD is fairly inexpensive and seems to be as reliable as any other reputable brand. I guess it will be interesting to see what happens. I can't wait to see the posts after the decision is made.

Jerry Morris
November 1, 2006, 05:15 PM
Fellas, govement issued 1911's were combat proven years and years ago. The fact is there is some many other options out there. If you look at Manedwolf's original post, he pretty much nailed it.

I just get the feeling that some people just really dont like change.

Example:

Look at the Japenese, and the small arms during that war. They thought it was efficient enough. But it wasnt! While it still functioned well and did the job, it was outdated!. And they sure paid for it

A handgun is not going to determine the outcome of the total military operation. It never did and never will. A handgun is an individual weapon, not a unit weapon. It is not offensive, but defensive. Crew served weapons win wars, individual weapons merely save individual lives.

Better tactics and strategy for the Japanese would have changed the course of the war, with the very weapons they began it with. And some of their weaponry was very advanced. The individual rifleman did not lose the war, the leadership did. They were mired in turpid gains and failed to advance the technology and its application.

IMO, the Japanese defeated themselves, by allowing too many fronts to open, too soon. Just as the Germans did. A proper sense of priorities and limitations is what was and is needed. Consolidation of gains, before widening wars is always a better way. A bull in a China Shop only creates bedlam. Bedlam is only useful in certain scenarios. Never fall prey to the sense you are actually invincible, but strive to create this impression within your enemies. Always enhance your line of supply, from the home front to the front lines and beyond. This is what wins wars. The individual warrior is only an example to feed the machine. Protect them and they will serve as moral boosters.


Jerry

Wesker
November 1, 2006, 05:26 PM
Well, since this is the Air Force we're talking about, I think the Glock might be a great choice. It fits well under desks, requires little or no maintenance, and makes a servicable paperweight. They'll clearly need to do something about the grip, though. All those rough surfaces and hard edges might give somebody a blister, for goodness sake.

Jealous?

I also understand they're great at very cold temperatures. Most AF offices have the AC to the point of being able to see your breath.

mp510
November 1, 2006, 05:41 PM
Grip safety is good. So is manual safety. IMO, trigger-safety-only is like lap belt only in a car. They thought it was fine for a long time. They know better now.

I have read in the past that Glock has made such modifications in the past for other governments contracts.

longboard
November 1, 2006, 05:42 PM
I know people have favorite guns , but how about no matter what type of weapon they get it is an AMERICAN COMPANY.
Longboard

Headless Thompson Gunner
November 1, 2006, 05:48 PM
I'd prefer to see the military pick whatever handgun will best protect our servicemen, regardless of what country it's made in.

If the best design happens to be American, great! If not, well, that's what we get for not being able to design a superior weapon.

Why put our troops at additional risk just to satisfy some petty preference for American made weapons?

High Planes Drifter
November 1, 2006, 05:52 PM
quote:
Glocks and Sigs and XDs and all the rest make for some pretty good police sidearms. But a police sidearm isn't used the same as a military sidearm, and what works well for the police doesn't necessarily work well for the military.
-------------------------------------------

I'll agree to an extent. However, remember that Law enforcement officers use pistols more often than military. It would stand to reason that Law enforcement would know what a good, solid, reliable pistol is. Example - Remember the Homeland Security trials? One of the most, if not the most, extensive trials ever conducted, and the largest pistol contract ever awarded in the United States.

tikka_fan
November 1, 2006, 05:59 PM
Pistols look cool in your leather shoulder rig. They have little use in real combat except as a last ditch option. Really last ditch.

The Delta Force reload is kind of cool though. But that take a lot of training. The Air Force would be lucky to shoot qualification targets 2 times a year.

That being said, I'd like to see something made here is the USA. S&W, SIGARMS, Kimber, something...

KurtC
November 1, 2006, 06:05 PM
Single action is out, as well as some other suggestions.

http://www.fbo.gov/spg/USAF/AFMC/WRALC/RFI%2DHANDGUN/listing.html

ugaarguy
November 1, 2006, 06:08 PM
Folks, my first post here was an attempt to keep the thread on track. Too many times I've seen threads turn into silly arguements, no meaningful disussion occurs, even though the topic had great potebtial, the degenerates, and the mods have to lock it. The forum rules are clear that we are to debate things on merit and not on emotion. The rules are also clear that we are to be respuctful of one another's religious, racial, and ethnic backgrounds. I was just trying to help the thread focus on meaningful discussion. Many thanks to those of you who have made some interesting and insightful posts.

'Card
November 1, 2006, 06:43 PM
I received a PM in response to my comment earlier in this thread.
Well, since this is the Air Force we're talking about, I think the Glock might be a great choice. It fits well under desks, requires little or no maintenance, and makes a servicable paperweight. They'll clearly need to do something about the grip, though. All those rough surfaces and hard edges might give somebody a blister, for goodness sake.
I appreciate the fact that the person who sent me the PM brought up the issue privately, but since it appears my comment offended publically, I think it'd be best if I also apologize publically.

I'm a veteran of the US Army infantry, and a former member of the 82nd Airborne Division. Rivalry, teasing and good-natured ribbing are a long-standing tradition between branches of the service, and it was in that spirit that I made the comment about the Air Force. I do not feel, and did not intend to imply that those who serve in the Air Force are asked to sacrifice, risk, or work any more or any less than those who serve in other capacities.

It was intended as a joke, but it wasn't taken that way - and for that I apologize.

Geno
November 1, 2006, 06:59 PM
'card:

I don't get it...it wasn't offensive. It was obvious sarcasm, a form of humor. In fact, it is my favorite form of humor. Oh well. My hat's off to your integrity!

Doc2005

EdLaver
November 1, 2006, 07:05 PM
I would love to see the M&P .40 get the contract...its one of the most underrated new pistols on the market next to the Sig Pro 2022.

HorseSoldier
November 1, 2006, 07:09 PM
From the RFI --

Action may be Double-Action/Single-Action (DA/SA), Double-Action Only (DAO) or Striker Fired Action (SFA). Various/changeable configurations are desirable

Sounds to me like another attempt to get an HK pistol onto the books.

The option for 40S&W is interesting, and another hint or suggestion that DoD is thinking about making a relatively major switch in that direction.

Headless Thompson Gunner
November 1, 2006, 07:16 PM
What's their big gripe against single action pistols?? SA has some significant advantages over the others.

HorseSoldier
November 1, 2006, 07:41 PM
What's their big gripe against single action pistols?? SA has some significant advantages over the others.

Takes time and money to train guys to be competent and safe with a single action pistol. DAs are more forgiving in the hands of semi-competent shooters (for which, read: new lieutenants, just to name one famous group of potential problem children), and one can be assured that any military pistol will find itself in the hands of someone you would not want to trust with an unloaded weapon from time to time.

ugaarguy
November 1, 2006, 07:52 PM
Well since it's out in public, here's the deal folks. I sent the PM to 'Card. It's no secret that I'm in the USAF, and currently serving in Iraq. My thanks go out to 'Card for the explanation. Unfortunately when you're in a combat zone being shot at sometimes the sarcasm rubs you the wrong way and you just react. 'Card I'm sorry I took it the wrong way. Everyone else, let the Ch-Air Force comments roll in whilst I fly this desk when I'm not out fixing comm. :D

f4t9r
November 1, 2006, 09:31 PM
1911 is one of my favorite guns . It works and has worked for years. The orginal 1911 and the 70 series worked right out of the box for me and most others I know that used them and they just fit the hand so well. I have had some Kimbers that were a little tough during break in maybe because of tighter parts, I really do not know but it seems the newer models have some break in time before becomming fully reliable. My opinion does not mean there is not a better choice out there and if If you want a newer model I would say the Sig P220 would be good. It is double action and has the decocker and still has the 45 round for knockdown power. I would not be against any of the guns listed in the other threads.

DRZinn
November 1, 2006, 10:13 PM
atek3 nailed it, and was roundly ignored:

You can't use a double-stack .45, because it's TOO BIG. I have pretty average-sized hands, and the M9 is about the biggest I can handle well. The 1911 works for me as well, because it's slimmer. A double-stack .45 is a Bad Idea.

shaggycat
November 1, 2006, 10:14 PM
The 1911 is still good enough for Marine Expeditionary Units. That is a pretty darn impressive group of warriors that finds the "old, outdated" piece of metal designed by JMB plenty good enough in Iraq, Afganistan, or in any other theatre to which an MEU is deployed.

Until we start using lazers or something, the 1911 is going to be revered for it's combat reliability, ease in maintanence, accuracy, and ergonomics that no tupperware can provide.

Headless Thompson Gunner
November 1, 2006, 10:29 PM
Doublestack .45ACP HKs and XDs aren't terribly big. They're certainly no bigger than the M9. So it can be done, if that's what you want to do.

KurtC
November 1, 2006, 11:03 PM
Pistol should have appropriate safety mechanisms that prevent accidental firing of cartridges. Operator must be capable of activating/deactivating safety mechanism without shifting firing grip.

I think this rules out Glock, M&P, XD and most Sigs. Sig only puts a safety on their single actions, which are already ruled out.

ugaarguy
November 1, 2006, 11:24 PM
KurtC, thanks for getting us the link. Looking at the requirements, and desired extras, of 40 S&W or 45 ACP, Minimum 10/8 round capacity on full size/compact, manual safety, changeable trigger group, and manual safety amng them I think the HK 45 (designed for the now cancelled full Army trials) has a strong lead in the development end. I'll second that with some of the designs like the XD45 and the slim double stack 1911s that a twin column isn't out of the question. The ammo capacity requirement doesn't necessitate a double stack either. The fact that 40 S&W is also an option provides even more leeway in gun thickness. Beretta's PX4 and new 90-two seem to also fit the requirements in a 40 S&W, and perhaps the Browning Pro 40/FN FNP 40 as well. The RFI leaves a good amount of flexibility open within it's parameters as I read it. Like the shift to the M-16, could the USAF once again lead the way in a new firearm for all US Military branches (exempting the USCG and their new DHS SIGS)? I think this will be interesting to follow and see what happens.

Lone_Gunman
November 1, 2006, 11:31 PM
I think the Air Force ought to quit wasting tax payer money and just whatever handgun they already have in inventory.

How often does someone in the Air Force need to fire a pistol in a warzone anyway?

shaggycat
November 1, 2006, 11:41 PM
I would imagine Combat Controllers, Pararescue, TACP's, etc are all more in need of a good handgun as much as anyone else in another branch is.

Whirlwind06
November 1, 2006, 11:45 PM
The 1911 is still good enough for Marine Expeditionary Units. That is a pretty darn impressive group of warriors that finds the "old, outdated" piece of metal designed by JMB plenty good enough in Iraq, Afganistan, or in any other theatre to which an MEU is deployed.


Well that is the point. Those Marines are well trained. A general issue sidearm needs to be fairly idiot proof. Don't get me wrong I love 1911's. Just don't see em being reissued.

I think the Air Force ought to quit wasting tax payer money and just whatever handgun they already have in inventory.

How often does someone in the Air Force need to fire a pistol in a warzone anyway?

Probably more often then Army or Marine troops.

Shrike360
November 1, 2006, 11:47 PM
So far I see the Beretta Px4 and maybe the FN FNP/Browning Pro matching the criteria.

jwalk
November 2, 2006, 12:03 AM
ugaarguy :
No offense taken, I've made plenty of comments or two about army guys in my camp. Sometimes people need to be informed of the realities some personel in the AF face, SOME people. Obviously you're not one of them.

Lone gunman:
as shaggy cat and Whirlwind06 said, plenty of airforce personnel need reliable handguns. Add search and rescue aircrews and special operation aircrews (usually the same) to the list. Throw in aircrews in questionable parts of the world too. A lot of the time a sidearm is all AF personel have. I can list more than one time my crew members and I had no confidence in our M-9. Can anyone tell me they would choose a 9mm if all they could use was standard ball ammo? Shot placement doesn't fly when you're dealing with skinny, sinewy terrorists. Ask the guys in Moghadishu. If you don't hit a vital they'll pop right back up.

berettaman
November 2, 2006, 01:06 AM
I pray that some company other than Beretta gets this contract.But then again,(oh heck,lets just start the lies now) Itally might need some missle's or a goverment insider might get a heads up on the price per pistol bid! :banghead: :neener:

DRZinn
November 2, 2006, 01:19 AM
Doublestack .45ACP HKs and XDs aren't terribly big. They're certainly no bigger than the M9.Well, I've never handled either one, so I won't argue. But if it's no bigger than an M9, it must be a pretty drawn-out stack. How many rounds do they fit in there?

Dienekes
November 2, 2006, 01:49 AM
Well, it's been a long time since I was in the USAF--but the part I was in had a lot of S&W .38 Specials--M15s and even some old Victory Models. Truth is that those are still sufficient for the "casual users" which is what most people were. For those actually going in harm's way and willing to acquire proficiency, something on the order of a Mil-Spec 1911 (decent trigger, decent sights) is just fine.

Pilots could carry either the K frame or a 1911 according to preference. Some would exercise the option, most wouldn't.

When I was in I suggested that a stainless N frame in .45 ACP and 4" barrel be adopted--essentially a M22 in stainless. Guess no one was listening.

General LeMay nonwithstanding, the USAF is not all that interested in anything smaller than 20mm, and preferably nuclear.

hso
November 2, 2006, 02:17 AM
How often does someone in the Air Force need to fire a pistol in a warzone anyway?


The role of USAF personnel has changed in the past 5 years. Under the old model, USAF personnel were primarily expected to fight the war from airbases with acres of tarmack and security personnel protecting the perimeter. All they had to worry about was being a big fat target for people with heavy ordinance they couldn't even shoot back at. The exceptions were the PJs, flight crews, FACs, Combat Weather and USAF Spec Ops. Now things are much more fluid and USAF personnel are operating in environments other than the large airbase. They're in smaller more forward positions because there is no "front" any more to stay behind. They're "loaned" to US Army units because of skills needed by those units. The days of the airconditioned office are over for many.

Manedwolf
November 2, 2006, 02:43 AM
As to the XD, they're good, but aren't they made in Croatia?

What happens if that area goes through more coups and renaming to republics of somebodynewistan or whatever? What happens to your parts supply for an entire branch of services' sidearm?

I would say to ONLY buy a sidearm from a country that's been stable for far longer.

Manedwolf
November 2, 2006, 02:45 AM
You can't use a double-stack .45, because it's TOO BIG. I have pretty average-sized hands, and the M9 is about the biggest I can handle well. The 1911 works for me as well, because it's slimmer. A double-stack .45 is a Bad Idea.

Uh. Too big? You ever handle a Para Warthog or Taurus PT-145? :scrutiny:

Josh Aston
November 2, 2006, 03:07 AM
I don't see why the AF would care if the pistol had a safety. SOP for the AF has always been round in the chamber, hammer down, safety off. Me personally, the M9 works just fine. Other than the grip size (which fits me) I don't see a need to replace it. But if they must, then I want the S&W MP. Of course I'll be out by the time anything actually changes.

Rob96
November 2, 2006, 05:48 AM
The role of USAF personnel has changed in the past 5 years. Under the old model, USAF personnel were primarily expected to fight the war from airbases with acres of tarmack and security personnel protecting the perimeter. All they had to worry about was being a big fat target for people with heavy ordinance they couldn't even shoot back at. The exceptions were the PJs, flight crews, FACs, Combat Weather and USAF Spec Ops. Now things are much more fluid and USAF personnel are operating in environments other than the large airbase. They're in smaller more forward positions because there is no "front" any more to stay behind. They're "loaned" to US Army units because of skills needed by those units. The days of the airconditioned office are over for many.


Not to mention that they are running convoys in Iraq, out patrol towns on foot hunting insurgents. You just don't get to hear that much about it. It all is related to the doctrine of a smaller but more flexible force. Todays Security Forces guys and gals are doing more and different things than when I was an SP.

Now as to the claiber, weapon platform thing. I just don't see the need to switch caliber. Too many out there that have said the 9mm works. Face it, fmj is fmj. The wound channel may look different in gel, but in tissue you cant tell the difference. Tissue is elastic, gel isn't. i believe they would be well served by looking for a new platform.

max popenker
November 2, 2006, 07:46 AM
In 1978 the USAF ordnance research laboratory at Eglin AFB began a test and evaluation process in the search for a new military sidearm.
They should wait two more years to release that requirement.

Wonder how far this will go, and at what stage Army will ring in to get a grip on the process, like it did back in '80 ;)

Seven High
November 2, 2006, 07:56 AM
9MM is still NATO standard. It is not going away any time soon. The USAF would be better served by seeking a more effective 9MM round for the M9.

Ray P
November 2, 2006, 08:10 AM
They might as well bring back the M1 G(a)rands too.

That idea does have some value; last I heard, the M14 (a Garand with a detachable box mag & a selector switch) has established a niche for itself in Afganastan & Iraq.

Why are you all assuming this RFP has Airman Snuffy as the intended recipient? OK, it could be intended for some AF specwar group; but most likely it is intended for some A-76 security contractor or a group of Iraqi pilots or IAF security police under instruction.

HorseSoldier
November 2, 2006, 08:10 AM
Wonder how far this will go, and at what stage Army will ring in to get a grip on the process, like it did back in '80

Well, USASOC is still pursuing a new pistol, despite the cancellation of the RFP for .45 cal weapons a couple months ago, so this is kind of a concurrent issue rather than one where the USAF is getting out in front of everyone else.

9MM is still NATO standard. It is not going away any time soon. The USAF would be better served by seeking a more effective 9MM round for the M9.

NATO standardization for handgun cartridges does not seem to be a real big priority right now. With SMGs being pretty much dead, it really would not be a big issue even if we did a major shooting war as part of NATO. Rifle and MG ammo matters, but pistols are pretty incidental, even with the recent major increase in basis of issue.

cyco668
November 2, 2006, 10:05 AM
My vote is for any gun that shoots 10mm.
The military usually uses US made fire arms. I think all standard issue weapons are Made in USA. The Beretta's are made in Maryland.
Since a 10mm is unlikely, my next choice would be a CZ in a .40 cal. It's the right size, super reliable, and great ergonomics. CZ's also have all the latest features: rails, ambi- safetys, polymer frames, highcap, decockers, just about anything. They are also probably the simplest to field strip with a minimum numbers of parts.

HorseSoldier
November 2, 2006, 11:20 AM
Why are you all assuming this RFP has Airman Snuffy as the intended recipient? OK, it could be intended for some AF specwar group; but most likely it is intended for some A-76 security contractor or a group of Iraqi pilots or IAF security police under instruction.


Could be, though I think certain aspects of the request don't suggest that (i.e. requirement to be able to fit a suppressor doesn't seem like a necessary idea for Iraqi security forces, decision to change to 40S&W or 45ACP). Plus it's a largish contract -- 100K weapons over five years time. And the Iraqis and Afghans don't seem to have to run their pistols through the same contract solicitation as stuff intended for US personnel -- somebody just gets the money and buys 5K Rugers, Glocks, whatever.

progunner1957
November 2, 2006, 11:42 AM
As I understand it, the design criteria requires an autoloader chambered in
.25 caliber with a triple stack magazine capacity of 30 rounds...:D

ugaarguy
November 2, 2006, 01:21 PM
The USAF would be better served by seeking a more effective 9MM round for the M9.

Well that's a wonderful idea, but how should we do that. LOAC (Law of Armed Conflict) pretty well restricts us to ball ammo. Expaning ammo is not allowed. So you're stuck with FMJ, and the only way to increase performance is to get a wider bullet or deeper penetration, or both.

jwalk, I'm with you on what you're saying. Where I am now I don't need a weapon, but we still take indiredt fire. However, we do train to set up our own sites outside of a fixed installation, provide our own security and run our own convoys. In fact, some time ago another squadron was here when our site was moved from it's previous location to it's current one, and they convoyed the equipment thru Iraq. We don't need it all the time, but do train for the possibility. Of Course, I'd be carrying a rifle and not a pistol in those situations. For others, such as you, a good sidearm is critical. I hope this progresses well and you and others get a great pistol out of it. I'll be keeping my eyes open. Of course 'Card is just an old grunt messin with us Air Force types, all in good fun. :p

HorseSoldier
November 2, 2006, 02:11 PM
Well that's a wonderful idea, but how should we do that. LOAC (Law of Armed Conflict) pretty well restricts us to ball ammo. Expaning ammo is not allowed. So you're stuck with FMJ, and the only way to increase performance is to get a wider bullet or deeper penetration, or both.


When I was on a Bradley crew it was always legal to engage troops with 25mm HEI. Someone just needs to figure out how to cram about 40 grains of high explosive and a delayed contact fuze into a 9mm round and -- no muss, no fuss, and no worries about JHP ammo. :)

Probably really a bad idea on a lot of levels, but awfully amusing in certain specific ways . . .

possum
November 2, 2006, 07:10 PM
how about this we all sit back and wait and if any change is made it will happen that is about the only way i believe anything to do with the military is when it actually happens!:)

XavierBreath
November 3, 2006, 08:11 AM
ugaarguy,
'Card,
Everyone knows we don't need the Air Farce or the Urmy Inpanties as long as we have NavAir, the USMC and the rest of the US Navy. ;)

Good show gents...........
Nobility is shown in how a man makes good.

Oh, and on that 1911 gun thing........I vote that every service member in Iraq should get an extra magazine of ammo for his carbine, and adequate body armor instead. How about a pay raise for the family back home too? Keep the silly new handgun........

Of course my vote means little......

jaysouth
November 3, 2006, 09:32 AM
Xavierbreath said:

Oh, and on that 1911 gun thing........I vote that every service member in Iraq should get an extra magazine of ammo for his carbine, and adequate body armor instead. How about a pay raise for the family back home too? Keep the silly new handgun........



Xavier,

You must be the only other combat veteran on this board. A stinking silly handgun is a waste of carrying capacity for a combat solder. In vn we would have rather had dry socks and a hot meat once a week.

It might be worth noting that the Air Force abandoned the 1911 in the 50s. The reason was to give aviators a one handed gun to carry on their survival vest. Ditto, the Army, aviators were issued revolvers because a revolver could be put into action with only one hand. That is, draw and shoot.

Some of you may not remember, but armed forces doctrine expressly prohibits carrying a 1911 with a round chambered, even in combat. Indeed, the armed forces expressly probhibited their personnel from carrying a 1911 in the SOG, that is seat of government that we know as Washington, D.C. MPs working the District of Columbia carried revolvers from WWII until the time the M-9 was issued.

Dunno what it is about the services and 1911s that brings out the nitwittery in the tactical commandos.

45auto
November 3, 2006, 09:52 AM
As noted, there is no funding for this "request" anyway!
So, don't hold your breath.

There has to be some political/insider "stuff" going on in the armed forces for a request such as this again... given the previous defunct Joint combat handgun proposal...has to be! ;)

All this for a handgun. Doesn't make much sense given all that's going on.

Jkwas
November 3, 2006, 10:04 AM
They should issue S&W model 64's with 3in barrels.:D

Devonai
November 3, 2006, 10:34 AM
A stinking silly handgun is a waste of carrying capacity for a combat solder.

Tell that to the M60 gunners and the 11 Charlies in my unit.

DRZinn
November 3, 2006, 11:19 AM
Dunno what it is about the services and 1911s that brings out the nitwittery in the tactical commandos.So anyone who thinks a 1911 is a good choice of handgun is a "tactical commando," right?:rolleyes:

HorseSoldier
November 3, 2006, 11:19 AM
Tell that to the M60 gunners and the 11 Charlies in my unit.

You guys still have 60s? I thought they were even gone in the 'Guard except for door guns. (/off topic mode)

KurtC
November 3, 2006, 12:53 PM
Keep in mind that the Air Force has issued an RFI, not an RFP. They are not looking for bids, they are still looking for ideas. The only thing you can read out of this is that they do not want another 9mm, and they do not want an open slide.

Soybomb
November 3, 2006, 01:56 PM
I'd like to know how often the air force uses a handgun. I can't imagine much of the military winds up using handguns all that often.

KurtC
November 3, 2006, 02:42 PM
Actually, the Air Force probably carries a handgun more than the Army. Everyone in a combat zone needs to have a sidearm, and most Air Force duties inhibit the carrying of anything as large as an M4 carbine. The list would include all pilots, aircrew, maintenance and logistics personnel.

jwalk
November 3, 2006, 02:55 PM
Soybomb:

The Airforce uses handguns very fequently. Ask security forces how often they use handguns. Like I said before many AF members are only issued handguns. Aircrews, and pilots are only issued M-9's they don't have the room for any M-16's/M-4's unless you're on a helicopter crew. That would mostly be search and rescue. Pararescue, tac-p's, security forces that fly with aircrews all use handguns. How often are they actually used? Not much. I'll give anone that. But, that shouldn't let that stop you from looking at a new handgun. Why even issue sidearms in the first place? If we're going to stick to regular ball ammo I believe we have to go with a bigger round than the 9mm.

On the cost or funding of a new handgun:
The AF said it was looking at purchasing 100,000. If you get a contract for $500-600 per weapon that's $60 million. Bump that up to $100 million for parts and magazines. I know 500-600 might be low, but you're generally looking at $100-150 million to get it off the ground. That's one less airplane, or cut R&D on some projects for one year, ish. I personnally feel it would be a good investment. Get all the military off the 9mm and into something bigger. We're looking at a decades-long conflict off and on in the Middle East and throughout the world. Why not give our military a reliable weapon with some knockdown power?

jaysouth
November 3, 2006, 05:02 PM
Everybody take a deep breath.

When the army carried 1911s they werre crap. The finish was worn off, they rattled, the signts and triggers were lousey, and they did not work half the time.

On my first tour in VN, we had so much trouble that they were withdrawn. No body complained.

The 11B pig gunners were happy

The 11Cs were happy

The 11Hs were happy

The 1142s(lieutenant platoon leaders) were happy

The XO and Co were happy.

The armorer was delirious.

We had never inflicted a casualty on the enemy. We had one GI dead and one GI WIA from negligent discharges.

It took half an hour a day to scrub the rust off so they could rust again overnight. We carried them in leather holsters that were as wet as we were from 24 hours daily monsoon rains.

Every thing we had and fought with we carried on our backs. We got resupplied every other day and otherwise ate, slept, deficated, fought and died in the triple canopy rainforest that covered 4,000 foot mountains. When we were relieved of those stupid .45s, we supplimented the weight with extra frags, ammo, trip flares, claymores and medical supplies that could save our lives.

We never suffered a casualty from an enemy that was located within handgun range. I never saw a tripwire or boody trap that could be taken out with a pistol. I never heard of anyone shooing an RPG or mortar round out of the air with a .45. No body ever killed a machine gunner up the mountain with a .45.

They were a stupid waste of weight and effort.

Anybody that thinks the 1911s that we had were effective weapons is probably too dumb to figure out that Mack Bolan books are fiction.

Boats
November 3, 2006, 05:31 PM
Anyone who thinks their anecdotal evidence is proof of their assertions has some issues of his own.

http://www.sightm1911.com/ Check out the "Myths & Legends" page for battlefield accounts and MOH and other individual citations from WWI through Vietnam, and you'll find the M1911 had, and has, a hard to ignore track record in actual conflict.

Is the 1911 a good candidate for reissue? No, the PC faction in the military has always been uncomfortable with the weapon, especially in peacetime. Is any other pistol really an improvement upon it? Not really.

Just like all branches of the military might have been better served by actual Armory level remanufacturing of the rattle trap 1911A1s even I used in the Navy in the late 80s, the M9 wouldn't have half the bad rap it does if the DoD spent appropriate upkeep money. Nothing would perform well with Checkmate magazines in it is my suspicion.

What would indeed be funny, should it ever come to pass, is were Beretta, already in Maryland, to win the next pistol contract with their PX4. There'd be some high-pitched whining heard that day for sure.

Skywarp
November 3, 2006, 05:41 PM
Of course the MOH winners are going to show the stunning credentials of the 1911. That's what was issued. If we issued high powers people would be goign on and on about how amazing the high power and 9x19 are.

Boats
November 3, 2006, 05:51 PM
Well, DUH! If we'd adopted the .45ACP Luger, it'd be that one. Most of my post was in specific response to this commentary:

They were a stupid waste of weight and effort.

Anybody that thinks the 1911s that we had were effective weapons is probably too dumb to figure out that Mack Bolan books are fiction.

Just because one guy's unit had crappily maintained copies of a particular weapon doesn't mean carrying one was a universal waste of weight and effort or all, or even many, were combat ineffective.

raven1124
November 3, 2006, 08:00 PM
Being in security forces, I carry the M9 everyday. No it's not my choice in a handgun, but this is the Air Force we're talking about. I really don't see them getting a new pistol anytime soon.

grimjaw
November 3, 2006, 09:21 PM
USAF Request Bids on new Handguns

Guess those range-only M9s just weren't cutting it on the paper . . .

I kid! :p

jm

jaysouth
November 3, 2006, 09:56 PM
Boats,

There were two things militating against the 1911 as a military weapon.

First there was the age and condition. I was on active duty from 63 until 71. The 1911A1s that we had in the 509th in germany were as crappy as the one that we had in the 82d at Fort Bragg. Those were slightly better than the ones that we had in the First Cav in VN. Handguns were a low priority. There was also a propensity for GIs to abuse them and misuse them. Commanders were always glad to keep them locked up in the arms room. We made a training jump in Libyia in 64. A grenadier lost his .45 on the DZ. We swepth the desert for two days looking for it. No luck, the Company commander, A ringtapper(west pointer) got relieved on account of this infraction of regs and the embarassment of losing a weapon in a place that was as politically sensitive as Libyia.

Secondly, the regs absolutely forbade the weapon from being carried with a round in the chamber. Doing so would get you an asschewing. Carrying with a chambered round with the hammer cocked would get you, your squad leader and your platoon Sgt a hefty fine and the loss of a stripe or two.

Humping the bush in combat, you carried it wrapped up in a plastic bag inside your holster, to keep the wet leather holster from eating it alive. To get the gun into action, you unsnapped the flap, lifted the flap, removed the gun, took it out of the plastic bag, chambered a round and then looked for a target. We sure were glad to get rid of them.

In the rear where you did not need a weapon, but weapon carry was mandated, a pistol was great to carry. Trips to the village to visit the ladies comes to mind. Great for escorting payroll too, but it sucked to carry in the bush.

I guess that if you were a low drag highspeed snake eater hopping and popping into the tribal regions of Pakistan or some such, it would be nice to carry a pistol to augment what every your long was. But not many folks do that or need a pistol. Carry extra grenades and mags.

Boats
November 3, 2006, 11:06 PM
I wasn't disagreeing that the M1911 won't be coming back as general issue. It has become a HS/LD sidearm, evolving away from the lowest common denominator.

My point was that a handgun is a handgun is a handgun. Push comes to shove, you'd rather be relying on almost anything else that goes bang.

I'm sure there are tales of the M9 saving someone's bacon. The details of the next military sidearm are fairly unimportant, only that the service folks who most need them have something that works.

PhillyGlocker
November 4, 2006, 02:10 AM
I think the Glocks are the best choice hands down. I've fired a lot of Glocks and let me tell you, they really do go bang 99.999% of the time. It's very rare I ever see one malfuntion at the range. I had one jam due to breaking in a 33 round mag, and that was over 2 years ago. Since then, 0 problems after thousands of rounds.

98% of police in my city/Philadelphia, Pa carry Glocks. I don't believe it's a price issue. The reliability of Glocks, and their reputation for very few problems are why a large portion of LEO's carry them.

greener
November 4, 2006, 10:51 PM
A quick read of the RFI almost sounded like the AF was looking for a pistol like the M&P. It doesn't say that they are looking for special situations or a "one size fits all persons and situations" sidearm. Who knows? If you staff a bureaucracy with card carrying Mensa types, it would still be an idiot.

JSouth's comments on sidearms in combat are pretty good. The effective range of a sidearm is about the same distance you can throw a grenade, maybe less. Most people aren't particularly efficient with a handgun. And, if I had a long gun, why would I put it down and start shooting with a less accurate sidearm? I was retiring from the Army Reserve about the time we were changing to Berettas. My very limited experience with it left me convinced that if I were to really have to carry a sidearm in combat, I'd find a 1911 and ammunition somewhere. I'd also be one of those field grades running around with an M-16 if I were where I might have to actually use the firearm.

I hope the improvements in materials and technology will make the handgun much more useful than it was 4 decades ago in Viet Nam. We should be able to come up with something that holds up better.

It will be interesting to see what's tested and the results of their evaluations.

SoCalShooter
November 4, 2006, 10:55 PM
1911 is a dream to come back into wide service, but HK or Glock or SIG is not. As for wound channel, .45acp makes a nice wound channel like what they are looking for.

Curare
November 4, 2006, 11:06 PM
I don't see a new GI handgun anytime soon.

akodo
November 5, 2006, 06:36 PM
I agree that for most grunts packing a rifle, a handgun is added weight that would be better put to use as XYZ. Now, it does seem that certain troopers have liked to carry handguns before because it made them feel more secure, nothing wrong with that, and if the world had infinite money, then go for it.


Now, the airforce does seem to send a lot more people out in the harsh world with just a handgun and no rifle, so for them, this seems reasonable. Many other posters listed airforce personell and MOSes that did indeed head off the airbase and into harms way.

But which of those MOSes, users, and uses require a supressor? Now, granted, making your sights a little higher and threadign the barrel isn't asking a whole lot, but really, how necessary is it? can't the few airforce personell who would actually need a suproessor just draw a SOOCOOMMMM?

jaysouth
November 5, 2006, 10:00 PM
What on earth is a Sooocoommm? Sumptin with retractable landing gear?

Tombeis
November 6, 2006, 05:57 PM
Socom is a HK Mark 23 cal. .45 pistol.

Manedwolf
November 6, 2006, 06:36 PM
Well that's a wonderful idea, but how should we do that. LOAC (Law of Armed Conflict) pretty well restricts us to ball ammo. Expaning ammo is not allowed. So you're stuck with FMJ, and the only way to increase performance is to get a wider bullet or deeper penetration, or both.

I wonder if they could get around that with discarding-tip rounds like the Pow'rball?

jaysouth
November 6, 2006, 08:49 PM
Tombeis,

Is this an item of issue to our armed forces?

Gewehr98
November 7, 2006, 12:16 AM
It might be worth noting that the Air Force abandoned the 1911 in the 50s. The reason was to give aviators a one handed gun to carry on their survival vest. Ditto, the Army, aviators were issued revolvers because a revolver could be put into action with only one hand. That is, draw and shoot.

As aircrew, they took my M38 (aka S&W Model 10 Military & Police) revolver away on the eve of Desert Shield/Desert Storm and gave me a 1911A1. All was good in my little world, if I got shot down, I could at least make .45 caliber holes in whatever, compared to the 148gr HBWC loads we potted our targets with using the M38.

Then, once domestic production was up to speed a little while later, they took my 1911A1 away and issued me a new M9 as part of my survival gear. Yippee.

I'm so glad I retired last May. I sold my personal Beretta M92 since I don't have to requal M9 each year, and I may do the same with my Colt AR-15 since I don't have to requal M16 each year.

mp510
November 7, 2006, 12:26 AM
When the army carried 1911s they werre crap. The finish was worn off, they rattled, the signts and triggers were lousey, and they did not work half the time.

Take into account that the 1911A1 productionceased with the end of WWII, and those pistols were (re)issued for decades afterwords. It is possible for 1 pistol to have served in WWII, Korea, Viet Nam, various police actions, and Desert Shield/Storm in addition to a myraid of training/ qual exercises and other carry. Over a half century, that's a lot of wear. No doubt that one will be in worse shape at 65 that they were at 18.

jaysouth
November 7, 2006, 01:37 AM
The vast majority of army issued 1911A1s were made 1943 to 1945. There were none brought back from the Pacific, Europe, Korea or VN. The ones issued to troops in the pacific were buried at sea, the ones the army took to the ETO were put into depots, given to our gallant allies and destroyed after the maintenance became too burdensom. The ones taken to Korea were given to the ROKS and the ones taken to VN are now in warehouses in now communist viet nam. No weapons were brought back to CONUS after a conflict until Desert Storm.

The wear and tear on surviving issued 1911s came from excessive stripping and cleaning. I had one assigned to me for almost two years in Germany. Every week, I drew it from the arms room, stripped it, cleaned and returned it to the armorer for inspection and return to the rack. During that time I got to shoot it once. 50 rounds at a round target at 25 years, strong hand holding the gun, weak side hand inserted into the left trouser pocket. This was the only acceptable way of shooting a handgun in the Army. The targets were burned and everyone later received an 'expert' qualification badge to make the commander look good for having trained so many superb marksman.

The one that I had in VN was a Colt 1911A1. It took half an hour daily to scrub the nightly accumulation of rust off it. Then it went into a plastic bag and was inserted into the wet issue leather holster. Carry mode was empty chamber with the hammer down. Any other carry mode would get you in big trouble. If you needed a weapon in a hurry, this was not it. By the time you lifted the flap, withdrew the weapon, took it out of the plastic bad, racked the slide to chamber a round and aim at your source of trouble, the trouble was gone or you were a statistic. Mercifully, our battalion commmander gave us the option of turning them in, which we were glad to do.

With the exception of a few guns assigned to Advance indivitual training units, I doubt that any 1911 ever fired a thousand rounds.

I would be the first to defend the 1911 platform as the basis for a superb firearm. I have a safe full of them and delight in firing, fondling and admiring them. However, the army and marines did not have Wilsons, Baers, or Kimbers. What they were issued was worn out crap. Crap with no finish remaining, terrible sights, terrible triggers and loose sloppy fit. As an aside, something for you to think about, at this point in history these guns were the same age as most of the Berettas in the hands of our troops now.

The golden age of the 1911 started with Jeff Cooper preaching about them and Kimber finally delivering a usable product with all the features that made a decent .45, at a reasonable price. You don't like Kimber? Well, if you don't like their guns, give them credit for making colt and springfield ship guns with decent sights, triggers, and controls that made them user friendly and accurate.

I adore and dote on my Les Baer and STIs, but have no more fond memories of GI issued 1911s than I do of C Ration toilet paper or sleeping in the snow.

KurtC
November 18, 2006, 06:02 PM
Feedback is starting to come in:

http://fs1.fbo.gov/EPSData/USAF/Synopses/1202/RFI-HANDGUN/ClarificationsQuestionsandResponses.doc

shooter71
November 20, 2006, 03:18 PM
my choice would be something in 40sw , most guns in this caliber have more rounds than most all 45's ..and it has more punch than a
9mm..i could name a bunch of guns but ill just say this , since the military has been using berettas why not the PX4 , thats a practical choice with all the safties and changeable backstraps for people of all hand sizes..not the prettiest thing around but from the practical side you gotta admit it would be a great choice

30 cal slob
November 20, 2006, 07:16 PM
Personally, I'd think if they wanted a .45, the 24/7 SOCOM would not be a bad choice at all. Really excellent ergonomics and grip, even if wet. Also save the taxpayers some money! And, of course, there's the HK as well. If anything, I suspect they'll go for one of the HKs.

My goodness, have you seen how big and bulky a Mk23 Socom pistol is? No pilot in his right mind would carry one in such tight quarters! I have a freakin' thigh holster for my Mk23 and it feels like I'm lifting weights when I walk around the range.

HorseSoldier
November 20, 2006, 09:04 PM
Yeah, the Mk 23 has pretty much been a failure within SOCOM due to the ergonomic issues (too big, too heavy for most applications). Nowhere near enough were ever purchased to fully equip SOCOM's subordinate units and the units that did get them mostly left them in the arms room in favor of their existing pistols.

Definately is not the answer for the USAF, whose pistols are going to have to work as well for a five foot nothing female pilot or Sec Forces airman as they will for a guy with huge hands.

dm1333
November 20, 2006, 11:07 PM
But you need to carry it just a little bit further!

ugaarguy,
'Card,
Everyone knows we don't need the Air Farce or the Urmy Inpanties as long as we have NavAir, the USMC and the rest of the US Navy.

....and the Coast Guard to show the Navy how to drive ships, small boats, helicopters, etc. The Navy even ripped off a picture of a CG rescue swimmer over NO during Katrina and used it in a recruiting add. And as a veteran of the Navy and the CG I know what I'm talking about.:neener:

One person way back in the beginning of this thread mentioned that us Coasties are already using the Sig 229DAK. I'll be the first one here to make the prediction that a new sidearm is coming down the pike for the rest of the services and that it is going to be the Sig.

Autolycus
November 21, 2006, 04:37 AM
I am suspecting that the new sidearm will be an HK. Possibly the HK 45 as it seems to meet those specs. But I could also see a P2000 or a P30 as well.

ABBOBERG
November 21, 2006, 06:45 PM
Does anyone know where I can find a copy of the bid request?

KurtC
November 21, 2006, 08:40 PM
http://www.fbo.gov/spg/USAF/AFMC/WRALC/RFI%2DHANDGUN/listing.html

If you enjoyed reading about "USAF Request Bids on new Handguns" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!