Weren’t we just talking about how the military can cut down on their budget without compromising the security of the nation during this campaign? There’s an opportunity on the table right now to do just that, assuming that the massive federal bureaucracy can figure out how to get out of their own way. As military.com reports this week, the US Army is in need of a replacement for their standard sidearm. They’ve been using the cold war era M9 for thirty years now and are looking for something more modern, but the normal procurement process has them tied up in knots.
The U.S. Army’s chief of staff is searching for alternatives to the multi-year Modular Handgun System effort, to include piggy-backing on Army Special Operations Command’s current pistol contract.
Gen. Mark Milley has used recent public appearances to criticize federal acquisition guidelines that all services must follow when choosing and purchasing weapons and equipment…
Milley recently asked the Army Special Operations Command’s G-8 office, which oversees fielding of equipment, if there is room for the Army to join its pistol contract to buy Glock 19s, according to a source who asked to remain anonymous because he is not authorized to speak to the media.
The compact Model 19 is one of Glock’s most popular handguns. The striker-fired, 9mm pistol features a four- inch barrel and has a standard capacity of 15 rounds, although 17-round magazines are available. The polymer frame features an accessory rail for mounting lights.
The logjam they’re dealing with comes in the form of the Modular Handgun System (MHS) effort, involving a 356-page requirement document and seemingly endless testing program before any new weapon can be qualified for use by the military. Milley’s argument against this huge wall of paperwork seems rather sensible.
“We are not talking about nuclear subs or going to the moon here. We are talking about a pistol.”
Just going through this MHS process is estimated to cost upwards of $350M by the Army’s own projections before they have a single new weapon in the gun locker. By contrast, they could buy the required 287,000 G19s for $91.8 million. What part of this isn’t obvious?
The only argument against going with the Glocks which makes any sense at all is the desire of the Army to obtain a weapon with a more powerful punch than the current 9 mm they have, but there are surely ways around this. Supporters of Milley’s plan point out that they could easily get permission to stock up on hollow points instead of the default civilian round. It is the military after all. And let’s say that didn’t satisfy their requirements. There are bigger handguns out there already which could fill the bill. Glock also sells the .45 caliber G21 which comes with a 13 round magazine standard and could be adapted for a larger capacity if needed. (I can’t speak for the company, but I imagine that Glock would be fairly accommodating when looking at the prospect of selling more than a quarter million units in short order.)
It just seems as if this is a self-driving problem that ignores an easy solution which is already within reach. Glenn Reynolds expands on this idea.
I bought my first Glock (the nearly omnipresent G19) back in December, and have found it accurate and fun to shoot, a breeze to maintain, and easy to carry. The price was right, too — for the same $17 million the military plans to spend on “testing,” they could have already purchased 34,000 G17s or G19s complete with two magazines each.
Let’s get on the stick here, Army. This is a challenge you could solve with a stroke of the pen and then brag to Congress about the hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars you saved. And besides… who doesn’t want a Glock?