The ability to maneuver will save lives.
Key point: The new pistol is built with a more ergonomic configuration to better accommodate the widest possible range of hand grip techniques for soldiers and enable rapid hand switching as needed in combat.
The M17 and M18 pistols are manufactured by Sig Sauer, who earned the $580 million contract to produce the weapons in January of this year.
Earlier this year, soldiers with the Army’s 101st Airborne Division were the first to receive the services’ new high-tech 9mm pistol engineered to give dismounted infantry a vastly increased ability to fight and close with an enemy in caves, tunnels, crawl spaces, houses and other close quarter combat scenarios.
Service weapons developers and soldiers say the new M17 and M18 pistol, designed as a next-generation handgun to follow the Army’s current M9 Beretta, is expected to substantially change combat tactics, techniques and strategies for dismounted soldiers on-the-move.
“You can close with the enemy in close quarter combat and engage the enemy with one hand. It is tough to do this with the M9,” Lt. Col. Martin O’Donnell, spokesman for the 101st Airborne, told reporters earlier this year.
Prospects for the handgun have been well received across DoD; the Navy, Air Force and Marines are also receiving this pistol, according to a report from Military.com.
The new pistol is built with a more ergonomic configuration to better accommodate the widest possible range of hand grip techniques for soldiers and enable rapid hand switching as needed in combat. The M17 is said by developers to bring much tighter dispersion, improved versatility and next-generation accuracy.
“With this weapon, you can change quickly from right hand to left hand. If you are shooting something that is not comfortable on your hand and can’t get a comfortable grip, it is not as accurate,” Sgt. 1st Class Andrew Flynn, 101st Division Master Gunner, said earlier this year.
The new handguns are built with an external safety, self-illuminating sights for low-light conditions, an integrated rail for attaching enablers and an Army standard suppressor conversion kit to attach an acoustic/flash suppressor, service developers said.
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