Military Pistol/Cartridge


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Pigoutultra
March 18, 2011, 11:04 AM
I have heard for at least the past 10 years that the US military is looking for a new pistol and cartridge. What do you think the Pistol should be? What caliber? I have also heard that they are considering going back to .45 ACP. Do you think they should use more modern forms of that cartridge such as the .45 Super/SMC or .460 Rowland? If they should use a new cartridge how should it perform? Low mass high velocity, or high mass low velocity? Now I know there are going to be people who say go back to 1911 and that is a legitimate option, but should they use double stack 1911's?

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SSN Vet
March 18, 2011, 11:14 AM
everyone is looking for a magic, do all, one shot stop cartridge/bullet....

yet multi-purpose designs almost always involve compromise...

and when the necessary kinetic energy to do all the desired tasks is achieved, it's quickly dished because 90 lb. folks with skinny wrists can't manage it.

the quest has been going on since the civil war and will likely go on for some time to come

Pigoutultra
March 18, 2011, 11:31 AM
I think that high mass subsonic cartridge would be the most versatile due to its ability to be readily used with a suppressor and unlike 9mm will have weight of 230-255 grains compared to 158 at subsonic velocities. Since they have to use FMJ(not really but they do it anyways), a flat point bullet with a relatively large meplat would create the largest diameter wounds with any given bullet diameter. Even with the meplat a .356 bullet will not have the wounding characteristics needed of a dedicated combat pistol. I think .40 minimum possible up to .50 though having a double-stack in .50 would prove to be a hassle. Weight would have to be on the heavy side for optimum recoil control, thus ruling out polymer designs. I don't think that we should bother trying to be the same as NATO cartridge-wise for logistics reasons;I have not heard of a single case where in the heat of a conflict a US soldier would be willing to give some of his ammo to an English soldier.

rstull85
March 18, 2011, 11:59 AM
I would love to see the U.S. Military go back to the .45 auto. There is something American about the .45. Not to mention it is really just a great round. Whatever we go to I at least hope that it's American made. I never fully understood that while we have some of the best firearm manufacturers in the world here in the U.S. (Springfield armory, Smith and Wesson, Remington, just to name a few) why we keep going out of the country to buy our weapons. What happens if our relationship with Spain and Belgium deteriorates, will we still be able to get FN rifles and berretta pistols?

ATBackPackin
March 18, 2011, 12:13 PM
If they do get rid of the M9 I would be surprised if they did not go with the FN Five Seven or something similar that uses that round.

Pigoutultra
March 18, 2011, 12:19 PM
The 5.7 round is only effective when used in a full auto smg. In a semi-auto pistol its wounding capabilities are nearly laughable.

ATBackPackin
March 18, 2011, 12:29 PM
The 5.7 round is only effective when used in a full auto smg. In a semi-auto pistol its wounding capabilities are nearly laughable.


Would you care to elaborate a bit other than merely saying it's laughable?

Pigoutultra
March 18, 2011, 12:32 PM
The 5.7 produces a permanent wound cavity much less than a 9mm. Police departments did tests of the 5.7 and found it to be severely unsatisfactory as a service caliber.

ball3006
March 18, 2011, 12:39 PM
The muslim that shot all those soldiers at Fort Hood used a 5.7......chris3

Pigoutultra
March 18, 2011, 12:42 PM
I'm not denying that the 5.7 round is capable of killing, just that it is not as capable as other more common cartridges such as 9mm and .45 ACP.

DoubleTapDrew
March 18, 2011, 12:44 PM
This has been going on for several years about new pistol and cartridge trials, then the army up and ordered a bunch more M9s.
If I was in charge I'd lean towards the Springfield XD45 (with the external safety, since that's a requirement for the .mil). It's got a more powerful cartridge, good capacity, and the grip is small enough for most hands. Double stack 1911s are too fat for my mitts, and pretty heavy.

Patriotme
March 18, 2011, 12:45 PM
Considering that the military will no doubt continue to use ball ammo I would like to see them go back to .45acp.

InkEd
March 18, 2011, 01:01 PM
It will not happen soon. The military requires an external safety. The last set of semi-serious tests that occurred the top choices were the XD45, Taurus OSS, Sig226 (or 229) and a double stack 1911 by somebody (possibly Para?). Anyway, the whole thing was just a dog and pony show. They stuck with the Beretta M9 and 9mm cartridge. In fact, they order a ton more of them a short while later. The Beretta M9 is probably going to be standard issue for at least another 10-15 years. )FWIW Glock didn't enter a pistol because they did no lt want to add an additional safety and probably didn't feel the tests were going to result in a new contract. )

Out of the serious aforementioned contenders, I would pick the XD45 without a doubt. It's lightweight polymer, striker fired, reliable and easy to maintain. My second pick would be
the Sig226 because it is what performed the best the last time when we went with the Beretta because of financial and political reasons. My only request is that of the Sig was chosen they either use DA/SA or DAO and not the DAK trigger system. I tried a friend's yesterday with it and really didn't like it all.

HorseSoldier
March 18, 2011, 03:41 PM
I have also heard that they are considering going back to .45 ACP. Do you think they should use more modern forms of that cartridge such as the .45 Super/SMC or .460 Rowland?

For a gun that is much, much more likely to be used against multiple assailants why adopt something that will slow engagement times dramatically?

Low mass high velocity, or high mass low velocity?

For a military gun it has to be able to punch body armor.

I think that high mass subsonic cartridge would be the most versatile due to its ability to be readily used with a suppressor

For Big Army that's a complete non-issue. Even in SOF units that's a major non-issue. Why compromise performance in 99.9% of all handgun use to make it suitable for a circumstance only a tiny fraction of users will have a need for in 0.01% of their employment?

The last set of semi-serious tests that occurred the top choices were the XD45, Taurus OSS, Sig226 (or 229) and a double stack 1911 by somebody (possibly Para?).

The project didn't go far enough forward for anyone to be considered a top choice in terms of performance, but when it was a SOCOM only project the Sig P220 and HK USP45 (both in their tactical incarnations) were considered the likely winners. The Glock 21 was also considered a strong contender.

Anyway, the whole thing was just a dog and pony show. They stuck with the Beretta M9 and 9mm cartridge.

The whole program comes out of SOCOM's desire to be done with the M9, which is simply an inadequate design for heavy use. Doing training on the flat range in the SFG I was in we usually went through about one locking block per 50 shooters per day (doing a mix of pistol and M4, more if exclusively pistol).

Unfortunately, what was pretty much a done deal years ago attracted the attention of Big Army who decided that they wanted a new pistol also and jumped on the program, ballooning the contract size dramatically (SOCOM wanted tens of thousands, Big Army plus SOCOM was hundreds of thousands) and also imposing a bunch of additional headaches since Big Army can't trust Joe with a weapon without an external manual safety for underemployed Sergeants Major to spot for in the DFAC etc.

SOCOM was very serious about ditching the M9. Big Army appears to have been very serious about finding new ways to spend lots of taxpayer money early on in the war when blank checks were generally the order of the day. Fiscal prudence tanked the whole program, but the SOF side of the house went right back to the drawing board looking at what to replace the M9 with (and end users went right back to scrounging up 1911s, pulling other designs out of the JOS Warehouse, and whatever else they could do to get rid of the Beretta).

A replacement exclusive to SOF is still in the works. When I got out in '08 the big debate at that point was back to caliber, with some of the super cool kids having already gone to .40 cal handguns and some people thinking following their lead was preferable to a 45. The Glock was considered a strong possibility, especially with the requirement for an external safety and ability to be mounted on a reflective belt and whatever other retardation Big Army brought to the debate removed from the equation.

THE DARK KNIGHT
March 18, 2011, 04:39 PM
I'm not denying that the 5.7 round is capable of killing, just that it is not as capable as other more common cartridges such as 9mm and .45 ACP.

What you're failing to take into account is that a .45 doesn't kill anyone who's wearing the most basic of soft armor. The 5.7 is not intended to make similar wounds to those calibers on unarmored targets. The purpose of that weapon and caliber is a 20 round magazine (almost triple the firepower of a 1911) and capable of penetrating soft armor that other handgun rounds literally shrivel up against.

Pigoutultra
March 18, 2011, 04:59 PM
Belgium VBR has technology that makes .45 armor piercing bullets.

Robert
March 18, 2011, 05:00 PM
Howdah Pistol?

Owen Sparks
March 18, 2011, 05:07 PM
As I understand it, the reason Springfield started offering the XD with an optional thumb safety a few years back was to try and get a military contract. I love mine as the grip angle is the same as a 1911 plus all the controls are in the right place. This is the pistol our military should be using if they want a high capacity .45.

Pigoutultra
March 18, 2011, 05:16 PM
I have seen on the Handguns tv show a "torture test" of a Springfield XD and I was impressed. It definitely holds up to stress and impacts better than the Beretta.

Link to VBR Belgium's Armor Piercing 1911 video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q3K1VgJpiNE

Shadow 7D
March 18, 2011, 05:22 PM
Which in the 5.7
brings us back to:
AP round are POOR performers when it comes to wounding dynamics.

rcmodel
March 18, 2011, 05:28 PM
The purpose of that weapon and caliber is capable of penetrating soft armor that other handgun rounds literally shrivel up against.Thats what the M4 Carbine is for.

The handgun is for getting to the rifle.

rc

NG VI
March 18, 2011, 05:39 PM
What happens if our relationship with Spain and Belgium deteriorates, will we still be able to get FN rifles and berretta pistols?

My guess is our relationship with Belgium and Spain will never affect our ability to receive Beretta pistols, partly because it's an Italian company and partly because they manufacture pistols in the U.S. too. As far as FN goes, they also have U.S. manufacturing, though I'm not sure where the bulk of their U.S. military-oreinted production goes on.


The muslim that shot all those soldiers at Fort Hood used a 5.7......chris3

Muslim Soldier that shot all those other Soldiers?


I can't see us changing from the M9 for a good long time, and I don't expect to see us switch away from the 9mm until the same kind of situation that would cause us to leave 5.56mm happens, in other words such a major shift in ammunition and firearms technology happens to literally render the cartridges and weapons of today obsolete.

The same kind of change that was looked for during the AICW program decades ago, where they realized we are pretty much not going to get any better hardware for the forseeable future.

In FMJ ammunition I don't think .45 really offers anything significantly better than 9mm.

AlexanderA
March 18, 2011, 06:08 PM
Go back to the M1911A1 in .45 ACP! (Maybe with some small changes such as 3-dot sights, an ambidextrous safety, etc. But make the changes backwards-compatible.)

HorseSoldier
March 18, 2011, 09:26 PM
What happens if our relationship with Spain and Belgium deteriorates, will we still be able to get FN rifles and berretta pistols?

Since the factories that build them are located here in the US (as required by US law) we're not in any danger of losing our access to M9s, M240s, or anything else procured in major quantities by the US military, even if all of western Europe joins some satanic communist muslim militia tomorrow. (The only exception of stuff that's currently in US service are some of the low quantity stuff in service with SOF units -- HK never made Mk23s here in the US, if I recall correctly, and the Mk17s are still coming out of Belgium.)

J_McLeod
March 18, 2011, 09:45 PM
Some Army units are unofficially using Glock .40s already. I think they should use the either the .40, or the .45 and switch to a Glock or XD. I prefer the XD.

The 5.7 is just like the comments made above about silencers. It makes no sense to adopt a pistol round that is effective against body armor when so few people that the US military shoots at wear armor. Much better to have a round that is effective against unarmored targets, and will still hurt armored personnel. The shooter at Ft. Hood fired 214 rounds, hit 43 people and 13 of those were killed. Those soldiers were very lucky that he was a poor shoot and using ineffective ammunition.

rstull85
March 18, 2011, 10:38 PM
NG VI, good catch on Italy. I had a bit of a brain fart on that one. Even is we can still get M9's regardless of our relationship with Italy ultimately the money is going to an Italian company. I don't like seeing our taxpayers money going to any other country than ours. Giving Springfield armory or smith and wesson or any other U.S. Based country is going to help our economy.

MutinousDoug
March 18, 2011, 11:26 PM
I think a low pressure cartridge in a large caliber has a niche use in military application. i.e. indoor SWAT/building clearing /underground/low light situations.
My limited experience in such climes was in RVN clearing bunkers or trenches/underground fortifications. The .45 was painfully loud in confined quarters, the .38 SPL less so. I would have preferred a Ruger Mark I .22 If I'd been allowed to apply one (and have somebody else carry it for me [since I didn't have to climb into any of those holes more than once or twice] and a guy with an appropriate pistol would have been brought RIGHT to the front of the line as the need arose.)
Just ruminating,
Doug

Owen Sparks
March 19, 2011, 12:06 AM
I am an average size male, 5' 10" 175 pounds with a 33" waist and the Glock .45 is too big for me, it feels like a brick in my hand. The XD .45 does not.

razorback2003
March 19, 2011, 12:12 AM
We need to spend money on training. A handgun is a backup to a rifle. The problem is a lot of people don't spend enough time on the range. I'd hate to spend a bunch of money on toys and more expensive ammo and not much on how to shoot. 9mm is somewhat cheaper than 45 acp.

ATBackPackin
March 19, 2011, 05:08 PM
We need to spend money on training. A handgun is a backup to a rifle. The problem is a lot of people don't spend enough time on the range.

I couldn't agree more. When I was in we went to the range once a year to qualify and I would usually qualify on the first day. So typically I was able to live fire twice a year, one day for the rifle and one day for the pistol. Even though I was an E-4, I was issued a sidearm and a rifle because I was a motorcycle courier. I would always ask to go to the range every time it came up but there usually wasn't enough room to go on the rifle range detail. I did however get to go to the pistol range at least three times a year. I would ask my SNCO so often when there was a range open that he would eventually tell me to go and get the hell away from him.

Shawn

rstull85
March 19, 2011, 05:37 PM
ATbackpackin, what branch were you in? While I was in the navy the only time I handled a weapon (with the excetion of when I was home on leave) was boot camp. I think we fired fifteen rounds through a pneumatic simulation of an M9, five rounds through a pneumatic simulated shotgun and then fifteen live rounds through a berretta. Other than that getting an opportunity to qualify at the range was very hard to get. Generally you has to know somebody. The military does need to spend more money on properly training all of it's personel on how to properly handle a firearm. We actuallly had an accidental shooting on my ship once because a gunners mate went to clean an M16 but didn't think to check to see if it was loaded.

ATBackPackin
March 19, 2011, 06:09 PM
I was in the Marines. While my MOS was 2841 (comm tech) I was stationed with the 6Th Marines HQ CO so we got to do all the fun infantry stuff as well. MCRE's are really fun. :cuss:

Our company had a simulator as well and if I recall it $2,000,000 piece of junk that maybe worked 50% of the time. Like I said I only went to the rifle range once a year, but the pistol range was easier because not as many people were assigned sidearms (mostly SNCO's and Officers). I always tried to go on all of the fun gun details as well like the M240, M203 ( love the 40 mike mikes), and of course the "Ma Deuce". :evil:

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