The Beretta M9 has been the official Army handgun for more than 25 years, but the Smith & Wesson Military & Police pistol may soon be in the holster of soldiers around the globe.
The Army wants to make sure their new pistol will last for the long haul, and the review process is exhaustive.
Their new Modular Handgun System must have modifiable grips, varied magazine options, ambidextrous controls, picatinny rails, and the ability to consistently reach out and touch a target at or beyond 50 yards. Smith & Wesson is in the final stages of review, but Sturm, Ruger & Company has opted out in the face of such stiff competition.
“We believe we pretty much know that it’s in its final, final review stage, so that’s a good thing,” said James Debney, Smith & Wesson’s president and chief executive officer. ‘With waiting the [request for proposal], our expectation is that that will be released very soon. It’s certainly in its final stages of review. We know that for sure, but for the exact timing we don’t know.”
But Mike Fifer, chief executive officer of Sturm, Ruger & Company, says the cost to benefit ratio of competing for the title may be too high.
“There’s enormous cause to participate and an extremely low likelihood for any one company of winning it,” said Fifer. “If you win it, obviously you’re in the capital receipt for the next 25 years, but I have a feeling competing for it’s going to be a little bit like being hit against a brick wall, and you’ll feel real good when you stop.”
“The risk factor of putting the huge investment of time, people and money into competing for something that there’s really very low likelihood of winning even it you have a much better product,” said Fifer. “And so those are kind of the pros and cons right there.”
While Smith & Wesson is still fighting for the massive contract, many other firearms manufacturers are also participating.
(This article was a submission by freelance writer Brent Rogers, H/T: Guns.com)