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Tomb of the Unknowns Guards Begin Use of Custom M17 Pistols

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by hps1, Feb 18, 2019.

  1. hps1

    hps1 Member

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    Received this email today and thought it was worthy of passing along:

    " Tomb of the Unknowns Guards Begin Use of Custom M17 Pistols img_7452.jpg Recently, Tomb Guards from the US Army’s 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) were presented with 4 ceremonial M17 pistols at Arlington National Cemetery. These works of art were created by SIG SAUER specifically for use by the Guards.

    img_7454.jpg This ceremony marks the first use of the M17, which will accompany the Sentinels of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers as they stand guard 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

    img_7455.jpg The unique distinguishing features for the M17 Tomb of the Unknown Pistols include:


    • Pistol Names: each of the four pistols bears the name of Silence, Respect, Dignity, or Perseverance and is featured on the dust cover. Dignity and Perseverance represent “The Sentinel’s Creed,” and Silence and Respect represent the request to the public by Arlington National Cemetery when visiting the Tomb of the Unknown, and during the Changing of the Guard;


    • Custom Wood Grips: in 1921 the chosen Unknown was transported to the United States of America aboard the USS Olympia. The custom wood grips are made with wood from the USS Olympia and include the crest of the 3rd Guard, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier identification badge inset;


    • Cocking Serrations: XXI cocking serrations are engraved on the slide to signify the twenty-one steps it takes for the Tomb Sentinels to walk by the Tomb of the Unknowns and the military honor of a 21 Gun Salute;


    • Sight Plate: an engraved impression of the Greek Figures featured on the east panel of the Tomb – Peace, Victory, and Valor – are featured on the sight plate;


    • Sights: a glass insert made with marble dust from the Tomb of the Unknown fills the sights of the ceremonial pistols;


    • Engraved Magazines: the 21-round magazines feature an aluminum base plate engraved with the names of the Greek figures featured on the Tomb of the Unknown – Peace, Victory, and Valor – and include a name plate on the bottom of the magazine engraved with the Tomb Sentinel badge number.


    • Serial Numbers: the pistols are serialized with a unique set of serial numbers that incorporate items of significance to the Old Guard: “LS” represents line six of the Sentinels’ Creed, “My standard will remain perfection; “02JUL37” to signify the first 24-hour guard posted at the Tomb of the Unknown on July 3, 1937; “21” to signify the 21 steps it takes the Tomb Sentinels to walk by the Tomb of the Unknown, and the military honor of a 21 Gun Salute.


    The full series of M17 Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Pistols serial numbers are LS02JUL37A21 (Silence), LS02JUL37B21 (Respect), LS02JUL37C21 (Dignity), LS02JUL37D21 (Perseverance)


    "A veteran is someone who, at one point in their life, wrote a blank check made payable to The United States of America for any amount, up to and including their life."


    Our flag does not fly because the wind moves it. It flies with the last breath of each soldier/sailor/marine/airman who died to protect it.

    Our flag does not fly because the wind moves it. It flies with the last breath of each soldier/sailor/marine/airman who died to protect it. "
     
    drobs, Wishoot, BobbyV and 11 others like this.
  2. Deltaboy1984

    Deltaboy1984 Member

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    That is so special!
     
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  3. Deanimator

    Deanimator Member

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    They should have blued S&W Hand Ejectors in .45acp.
     
  4. JR24

    JR24 Member

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    Yeah, there was a thread about this a while back.

    I still think they are terribly ugly and a 1911 is more appropriate next to a Garand.

    I think maybe a flush fitting mag or better looking extension would go a long way to de-hideous the M17 there
     
    LUCKYDAWG13, qwert65 and Texas10mm like this.
  5. Wisco

    Wisco Member

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    There was a previous thread on this.

    Those Sigs are disgusting gimmicky atrocities.

    The guards have M14s, probably because they looked more “classic” than anything like the M16. They should keep the theme and use M1911s.

    Or M1903 rifles and M1917 revolvers.

    Or Garands.

    I’m a plastic fanboy, but parade-level dress is a thing that really requires wood and steel and deep bluing.
     
  6. Sistema1927

    Sistema1927 Member

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    What is that word I am looking for?

    Oh yeah, "Gaudy".
     
  7. .455_Hunter

    .455_Hunter Member

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    Ugly yes, but my concern is that they are truely functional and reliable for low level production weapons. These guys have a higher chance of actually needing to shoot than many other armed personnel.
     
  8. AlexanderA
    • Contributing Member

    AlexanderA Member

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    Absolutely. This is all part of Sig Sauer's marketing campaign and the Army is complicit in it. The Tomb Guards use M14's. Their handgun should be contemporaneous with the M14.
     
    Mosin Bubba, Texas10mm and <*(((>< like this.
  9. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

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    Oh boy, engraved 21 round EMPTY magazines. The guns are nothing but fashion accessories.
     
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  10. JR24

    JR24 Member

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    Ah, yes I should have realized it was an M14. Mea Culpa
     
  11. .455_Hunter

    .455_Hunter Member

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    Are they really unloaded? If so, that's Army stupidity at it's highest. Might as well just have a sign that says "Welcome snack bars!"
     
  12. Nature Boy

    Nature Boy Member

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    Maybe they're accessorizing since the pistols match their patent leather Corfam low quarters (which I hated with a passion)

    PS: It also looks like they cut the heal and toe off of a pair low quarters to make the holster.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2019
    HB likes this.
  13. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    Sistema1927

    Or tacky, garish, showy, ostentatious, unattractive,...take your pick, they all apply!
     
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  14. AlexanderA
    • Contributing Member

    AlexanderA Member

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    The last Unknown (from Vietnam) was entombed in 1984. (He was later disinterred and identified through DNA, so the Vietnam crypt remains empty.) I suggest that the Guards wear 1984-era dress uniforms and carry 1984-era weapons. The pistol, therefore, should be the M1911A1, and the rifle, strictly speaking, should be the M16A1. Since it's harder to do their manual of arms with the M16, I would allow them to continue with the M14. But there's no reason, for the pistol, to have anything newer than the venerable M1911A1.

    Or, better yet, since the Tomb was first established in 1921, use uniforms and arms from that era. The classic Springfield M1903 would be ideal (along with the M1911). And, for God's sake, don't polish or chrome the guns!
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2019
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  15. DairyVet

    DairyVet Member

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    A lot of accurate descriptors already provided above. I think one thing we can all agree they aren’t is “classy”.

    This honor guard really shouldn’t be a billboard for a recent government contract.
     
  16. JONWILL

    JONWILL Member

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  17. CapnMac

    CapnMac Member

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    Ok, I'm confused as to why third herd need BBQ pistols in low-retention high-gloss holsters when they managed with what they had for decades.

    Third Herd polishes everything it does not chrome. Just is the way they are.
    This is from 2015:

    note no magazine in the M-14
     
  18. roscoe

    roscoe Member

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    So hideous,especially with that extended magazine.
     
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  19. Sistema1927

    Sistema1927 Member

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    Really? My understanding is that the honor guard carries unloaded weapons.

    However, I would be surprised if there weren't some "high speed, low drag" types in the vicinity in case someone tries to target these important landmarks.
     
  20. Madcap_Magician

    Madcap_Magician Member

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    The holsters and extended magazines are way worse than the guns.
     
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  21. MillCreek

    MillCreek Member

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    If the magazines were loaded, and the pistol was ever fired, think of the hours of work to clean it and shine it up again.
     
  22. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    I don't mind the pistols, they really don't look so out of place with the uniform and dress, and it could have been FAR worse. I do like the IDEA of commemorative, decorative pistols, and do like the idea of symbolism on these soldiers hips, even if it's a bit manufactured. Don't mind the extended magazines in the least. I've visited the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier many times, I don't think I've made a visit to the Capital without stopping there. Just something I'm compelled to do, as I'm proud to be protected.

    What may have driven these, which doesn't seem to have been considered here, may not have been a Sig initiative at all. I'd be just as likely to expect these were a bargaining chip in the negotiation of the larger contract - where either Sig dangled a rider perk of commissioning these (and likely others), or some .mil or gov't personnel in on the negotiations threw in a request for "taking care" of our special issue/service weapons to sweeten the deal for their side.
     
  23. sgt127

    sgt127 Member

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    I’m ok with the gun.

    The extended magazine looks utterly out of place. Just awful.

    The holster is another story all together. It looks like it’s injection molded plastic. Doesn’t fit the gun. Should be at the bottom of a pile of $1.00 holsters at a surplus store. Is that really a couple of holes worn in it?

    The Tomb Guards are the epitome of polish and military bearing. That combination is the antithesis of everything I expect.
     
    Madcap_Magician likes this.
  24. Old Dog

    Old Dog Member

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    I don't really have any issue with the SIG bling (well, the extended mag certainly doesn't seem necessary); the holster is … heinous …

    Love the M-14s, but one would think a magazine (with cartridges loaded in it) would be helpful, but having once served on an funeral
    honor guard for a gun salute with M-14s, I get why the mags are in the way of the ceremonial stuff.

    Yeah, I personally think a nice 1911 would be appropriate, but at the end of the day, I'm not gonna obsess about the pistol the Old Guard carries. Those guys are awesome; I salute them.
     
    Patocazador likes this.
  25. Fiv3r

    Fiv3r Member

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    I don't have much to say about the guns themselves other than I really hate extended mags on the SIG pistols as far as looks and balance goes.

    Now, I keep the 320 by my bed loaded with a 21 round magazine, but I'm not carrying or looking at it. It's the first gun I would grab if a bump in the night is heard. Hideous looking on the gun, but I prefer to have the extra rounds.
     
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