Army introduces new war-ready M17 pistol that’s about to substantially change modern combat

Better warfare through better technology?

The U.S. Army says a new war-ready M17 pistol will change modern combat by giving soldiers an improved ability in close quarter combat scenarios, according to Fox News.

The M17 and M18 pistols will follow the Army’s current M9 Beretta.

The new high-tech 9mm pistol is engineered to substantially change combat tactics, techniques and strategies for dismounted soldiers on-the-move, Fox News reported.

Soldiers in the 101st Airborne Division were the first to try the next-generation firearm and they are giving it a ringing endorsement.

“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 division, said earlier this year.

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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.

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.

 

101st Division Master Gunner, Sgt. 1st Class Andrew Flynn, spoke of the flexibility of the M17 pistol.

“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. Flynn said.

“This adds a whole new dynamic to close-quarter combat,” Flynn added. “A standard pistol cannot change grips or allow a soldier to switch from a right-handed shooter to a left-handed shooter. This is a great capability for us to put in play.”

The M17 and M18 are manufactured by Sig Sauer and the Army is fast-tracking the acquisition effort, Fox News reported.

The Swiss-German company won a $580 million contract to produce the new pistols in January over competitors Glock, FN America and Beretta USA.

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Tom Tillison

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