Gun-Day Monday: The Army and the New Pistol, and No More Iron Sights for Marines?

Two items of interest again today!

The first is General Milley, the Army Chief of Staff, who cuts through the fog and nonsense surrounding the quest for the new military handgun:

The U.S. Army’s chief of staff said Thursday that if he had his way, he’d abandon the bureaucratic Modular Handgun System effort and personally select the service’s next pistol.

Speaking at the Future of War Conference 2016, Gen. Mark Milley said he has asked Congress to grant service chiefs the authority to bypass the Pentagon’s multi-layered and complex acquisition process on programs that do not require research and development.

„We are not exactly redesigning how to go to the moon, right?“ Milley said. „This is a pistol. … And arguably, it is the least lethal and important weapon system in the Department of Defense inventory.“

The Army launched its long-awaited XM17 MHS competition in late August to replace its Cold War era M9 9mm pistol. One of the major goals of the MHS effort is to adopt a pistol chambered for a more potent round than the current 9mm. The U.S. military replaced the .45 caliber 1911 pistol with the M9 in 1985 and began using the 9mm NATO round at that time.

The whole article is very much worth reading. I think the good General has a great point, and I hope he carries the day.

Next– my answer to a question Tango Seven-Six posed five days ago, promising more later:

The second story was on the elimination of fixed Iron Sites [sic] on the M4 in the USMC. Also the removal of the carrying handle etc. Would love our USMC brothers and sisters in arms comments.

I say this: removing the fixed irons is a great idea, but removing them without adding on the folding back-up iron sights is a terrible idea. I have heard some discussion that the use of optics eases initial marksmanship instruction in recruit training and increases hit percentages. If so, good. BUT, that has to be followed by training on the irons for the inevitable optics failure. He who can’t use iron sights cannot master his rifle.

(Oh, and off with the carrying handle. Utterly unnecessary.)

Über vmijpp

VMIJPP hails from the star city of the south, Roanoke, Virginia. A 1989 graduate of the Virginia Military Institute, he is a retired artillery officer in the United States Marine Corps, with time in both the active and reserve sides. He served in Iraq in 2004, and in Afghanistan in 2009-2010. He joined the magnificent as a guest blogger from the now defunct but never uninteresting Rule 308, where he denounced gun control and other aspects of tyranny, and proclaimed the greatness of the United States. When the sun set on, he migrated here with Keydet1976 and the others.
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