Last year the U.S. military recently adopted the SIG Sauer MHS as its primary sidearm. To celebrate this landmark decision, SIG is releasing a special limited-edition run of MHS handguns to the general public.
The MHS contract is worth as much as $580 million but even more important than that, it’s a real win for SIG’s prestige. While some military units have used SIG pistols for years, the MHS is largely replacing the Beretta M9 family of sidearms.
“We are planning to do a limited release of about 5,000 of the Army variant of the M17 for the commercial market,” said Tom Taylor, SIG vice president of commercial sales. “The timing is not finalized yet, but it looks to be late spring.”
These guns have the same controls and finish as the MHS and flat dark earth frame and slide. Internally, the commercial gun will have a standard P320 chassis.
The military chassis is a little different from the commercial design. Some of the components have a different finish for enhanced lubricity. On the other hand, the chassis also has an anti-tamper mechanism to prevent user-level service. Additionally, commercial users will have the option of having a model with or without the MHS manual thumb safeties.
Otherwise the guns will be the same as any full-size M17 pistol going into use with the Army now. Chambered for 9mm Luger and rated for over-pressure ammunition, they have 17- and 20-round magazine capacity and full-length 4.7-inch barrels.
Each pistol will come with military-style serialization and a matching serial number coin. Also, every gun will come with a certificate of authenticity signed by SIG Sauer’s CEO Ron Cohen.
SIG is waiting to set the price on the commercial model. SIG wants to make the guns special but not so expensive that people won’t be able to afford them. Standard P320 pistols retail for between $500 to about $900, depending on the configuration and accessories.
Time will tell if SIG will also release a run of M18-based pistols to the public as well. The M18 is the compact variant of the SIG MHS pistol for select users.
The MHS design is an updated version of the original P320, SIG’s first polymer-framed, striker-fired handgun. SIG improved a few components to make it more reliable in the field and in harsh environments.
It is also much more drop-safe than the original P320. After testing showed a flaw in the original P320 design, SIG incorporated many of the MHS design changes to the rest of the P320 series.
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