U.S. Army Fields SIG M17/M18 Pistols for the First Time

Images Courtesy of the 101st Airborne Division.

The 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) became the first unit to field the U.S. Army’s new M17 and M18 Modular Handgun System.

The 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st ABN DIV (AASLT) received the new pistols Tuesday at Fort Campbell, Kentucky under the command of Col. Derek K. Thomson.

“What a great day,” said Thomson, according to a press release. “To witness modernization firsthand as my soldiers became the first in the Army and this storied division to fire the new pistol is an absolute honor.”

SIG’s MHS handgun is a variant of the widely popular P320 pistol  The MHS pistols are equipped with an external safety, an integrated MIL-STD-1913 Picatinny rail for the attachment of light and laser systems, self-illuminating night sights to maintain combat effectiveness in all lighting conditions, and is capable of accepting a sound suppressor.

“We are both humbled and proud that the P320 was selected by the U.S. Army as its weapon of choice,” said SIG Sauer president and CEO Ron Cohen. “Securing this contract is a testimony to SIG SAUER employees and their commitment to innovation, quality and manufacturing the most accurate and reliable firearms in the world.”

Over the next 10 years, the Army will distribute the new MHS handguns to all Army units replacing the Beretta M9 pistol.

SEE ALSO: Meet the SIG Sauer LIMA320 – A Laser Built Right into the Frame of Your P320

“That’s pretty dated technology,” said Lt. Col. Steven Power, Project Manager Soldier Weapons, individual weapons product manager. “The specific performance improvements of the MHS over the M9 include better accuracy, tighter dispersion, and better ergonomics, which when combined, result in a far more lethal pistol.”

“The world has changed since the strength and resilience of this division was forged during the maelstrom of World War II,” said Maj. Gen. Andrew P. Poppas, 101st ABN DIV (AASLT) commander. “In order to maintain our decisive edge, we must continue to outpace our potential adversaries with more lethal capabilities, from the modular handgun system we fielded today to the innovative and adaptive air assault concepts, equipment and training the 101st continues to perfect.”

***Shop for your new P320 on GunsAmerica***

About the author: S.H. Blannelberry is the News Editor of GunsAmerica.

{ 28 comments… add one }
  • josephpalaggi December 29, 2018, 9:48 am

    I own a 5 seven!!!

  • John July 21, 2018, 9:35 am

    Looking at the photo, it won’t matter what handgun the troops are using if they can’t grip it properly. Having the support hand well below the frame is just wrong!

  • unclejerr February 3, 2018, 2:22 pm

    Wow!! Some great info on good people most military on safeties, handgun caliber, and used equipment. Let’s talk safeties on firearms. The Navy did not want a safety on the 1911’s very beginning when the first contracts were being issued because their thinking was a military man should be familiar with his firearm and not need one. (Good reading if you can find it)Next, I’m not a great supporter of any 9mm handgun, but it’s better than none. It’s this NATO ammo thing that changed all of that plus their is so much of it available all over the world, so 9mm handguns are OK in my world but not my first choice. To me it’s a Chevy vs Ford argument. Next is the Obama era generals, and service system. It bothers me that our guys on the front lines that are being shot at don’t have a direct line or link to get anything they need to protect our freedom. Plus they have to pay for the internet. Shameful!! The new Trump system will see that all of that changes but it will take time. I thank all of you for your service and God bless our soldiers that protect our freedom and country.

  • Jon December 22, 2017, 6:41 am

    Don’t blame you.

  • RTW365 December 3, 2017, 8:50 pm

    I think adopting a “striker-fired” handgun is a good idea…not the huge useless costs of “making the decision”. I think a 40 caliber would have made a better military round…I don’t like the high pressure 40 S&W round, but perhaps a bit lighter bullet, reduce the chamber pressure and you might have a pistol cartridge that a huge variety of service men & women could handle. In the Corps we spent 2 weeks to learn how to shoot the rifle…I always thought learning the pistol during those 2 weeks would have been a “do-able” thing.

    • Jon December 22, 2017, 6:43 am

      Probably would have been RT. But that would have made sense. Doesn’t seem to be the common denominator here.

  • GS December 2, 2017, 10:45 am

    I just went to the range and shot both pistols. I tore up the center with both pistols but liked the 320 a lot more…mostly trigger and ergonomics. I’m looking forward to the change.

  • Sepp W December 2, 2017, 7:05 am

    I remember when I was on active duty and transitioned from the M1911 to M9 Beretta. The M9 took some getting used to. It was significantly lighter and took some time to learn how to control it. Additionally, being a double stack magazine-fed pistol, the grip was quite bigger. Frankly, I hated it and wished the M1911 was never taken out of service. Like everything else in the Army, God giveth and the Army taketh away.

  • Russ H. December 1, 2017, 6:34 pm

    First off, I\’ve been in the Army/Army Reserves for 39+ years now. To address some of the comments… The new Sig will be easier to shoot as it\’s a striker fired pistol and not a DA/SA like the Beretta (one trigger pull style vs two). The P320 has an easier trigger to operate = more accurate. We had the 1911 when I came in and I have hated the Beretta ever since it was forced on us – thank God we are getting the P320 Sigs now. I think a safety on a striker fired weapon is dumb (it\’s like a revolver). I don\’t know ANYONE in the Army who wanted Glock\’s. Not one. Some SOF elements have G26\’s. No one has to buy any gear to deploy to AFG – sometimes they run out of correct boot sizes (or knives), Soldiers can wear their old style boots – someone simply wanted the new coyote boots. The internet is run by the Afghans over there and they are allowed to charge us $15 for private internet – I paid it too. The Army provides free internet in MWR facilities and in the unit offices (as available). A lot more Soldiers carry sidearms these days than when I first came in in 1978. On my last three deployments I was issued both an M4 and a M9. Elements within the Army are still trying to get hollowpoints approved but the Geneva Convention or something is still a hangup (I don\’t think the Taliban or ISIS abides by the Geneva Convention).

    • Barry Soetoroe December 2, 2017, 5:40 am

      I used a Glock in Iraq for 3 years and in my 3-gun comps stateside for the past 6 years. Not a single misfire. Never a jam, never a failure of any kind. Not so for the P320. The guys using the P320 at 3-guns are living proof of the many failures and issues that SIGs come with. Yes – P320’s are pretty guns but “pretty” doesn’t do much toward stopping a thug trying to kill you…unless maybe you throw really hard and hit the asshole in the head.

    • Tony E December 2, 2017, 8:30 am

      Hauge Convention not Geneva. The US never ratified that portion of the treaty that bans expanding ammo.

      • Alan December 15, 2017, 6:38 am

        In fact, The Hague convention was not signed by the UK either. Germany wanted shotguns banned as cruel and destructive weapons. My understanding is that the Army will be using some HP variant from Winchester. The special operations groups have been using HPs for awhile.

    • Jon December 22, 2017, 7:18 am

      First and foremost Russ, thanks for your service. Next, I think it’s nice of you to take the side of the taliban and think it’s ok to charge our people money to get on the internet while they are getting killed and maimed trying to give them freedom. Next, you’re correct, my son did want new boots. Maybe he should have gone over there with the worn out junk that he was issued which had made some 20+ jumps and walked hundreds and hundreds of miles in. Please remember we’re discussing the 101st Airborne. Please post a picture of the knife the army is currently issueing. Among the other items he was told to purchase, a “Gerber” was one of them. If I can figure out how to post the letter I will. The “Geneva Convention” – a “Bronze Star” – one “9mm is more lethal than another” – a plastic Sig is more “accurate” than a Beretta – drawing your side arm, forgetting to disengage the safety under duress verses haveing to squeeze off a DA only first round is “better” (? Let’s spend more money we don’t have) – loving the comments. Even a three gun reference. You guys are awesome. Gives me hope that there is still some semblance of common sense out there, even if there is none left in our government.

    • Jon December 22, 2017, 7:18 am

      First and foremost Russ, thanks for your service. Next, I think it\’s nice of you to take the side of the taliban and think it\’s ok to charge our people money to get on the internet while they are getting killed and maimed trying to give them freedom. Next, you\’re correct, my son did want new boots. Maybe he should have gone over there with the worn out junk that he was issued which had made some 20+ jumps and walked hundreds and hundreds of miles in. Please remember we\’re discussing the 101st Airborne. Please post a picture of the knife the army is currently issueing. Among the other items he was told to purchase, a \”Gerber\” was one of them. If I can figure out how to post the letter I will. The \”Geneva Convention\” – a \”Bronze Star\” – one \”9mm is more lethal than another\” – a plastic Sig is more \”accurate\” than a Beretta – drawing your side arm, forgetting to disengage the safety under duress verses haveing to squeeze off a DA only first round is \”better\” (? Let\’s spend more money we don\’t have) – loving the comments. Even a three gun reference. You guys are awesome. Gives me hope that there is still some semblance of common sense out there, even if there is none left in our government.

  • steve December 1, 2017, 3:27 pm

    wait, the sig 320 is more accurate than an m9? that’s news to me(not that it matters, the difference is accuracy of two handguns will most likely never be a problem, especially in the military where they get so little training with their sidearm, and almost never use them in combat.)
    also, not saying I’d prefer an m9 over a 320, I certainly wouldn’t. I just thought m9s were very accurate, and 320s no more accurate than glocks.

    • Alan December 15, 2017, 6:42 am

      The M9 is DA/SA. The most important shot is the first one. The M17 is striker fired and every trigger pull is consistent around 6 pounds. My P320 SC breaks at 5 and with no trigger work. The M9 DA is about 11 pounds on the first shot. Accuracy of each pistol on a rest isn’t the question. Accuracy of the average shooter to control the trigger and hit the target is effective accuracy.

  • Shawn December 1, 2017, 2:59 pm

    So, the Lt. Col. believes that the 9mm SIG Sauer M17/18 is more lethal than the 9mm Beretta M9. Very interesting conclusion he has drawn from comparing the 9mm to the 9mm.

    • Barry Soetoroe December 2, 2017, 5:32 am

      The Lt.Col is a f#@king genius. Give that man a bronze star for such intelligence.

  • Dave Brown December 1, 2017, 1:02 pm

    Well they should have went to .40. As for the Safety, get over it, some of us like Safeties, but then some of us started hunting at a oh so young age, and a guy won’t hunt if they don’t have a Safety, or at least they ain’t hunting with me. I am guessing our Military knows a little about firearms, and also about Safeties. Do Not Drink the Cool-aid that says Safeties are for Sissies. Making a fuse about them and not wanting one is very strange to me, thus there are a lot of strange people and LE out there that don’t have a Safety. Now Free your Mind as guess what, a guy can use the Safety to stuff er into the holster, and Then Just Flick Er Off Safe. That Was Easy. Dave

  • Jeff December 1, 2017, 12:00 pm

    Great, now instead of our troops complaining about the Beretta and preferring Glock, they can complain about Sig while still preferring Glock… Oh and don’t let me forget that the Army mandated these new “evolved” pistols still have unnecessary thumb safeties. Classic Army wasting our tax dollars. At least they’re consistent…

    • Dave Brown December 1, 2017, 1:05 pm

      Sorry Bud, but I am guessing They know a little more then you do, and they decided to use a Safety. I hunt, and I won’t hunt with anyone that dosen’t use their safety. Now can they take it off without me knowing it, Yes, but any good hunter would never do so. Also, a Safety allows you to do things like stuff er in your holster under stress and not worry about shooting your leg. If a guy wants to he can stuff er in and then flip er off safe. That Was Easy, and Safer…………… Dave

      • Alan December 1, 2017, 3:41 pm

        That’s twice, Dave.
        You like safeties, so what.
        I hunt with a Blackhawk, no “safety” there. My old Lever gun doesn’t have one either.
        Nor do most D/A revolvers.
        Newer Marlins and other lever guns do, what a crock of shit.
        So, if one of your huntin buddies wants to hunt with a S&W .460, he can’t hunt with you?
        Hmm, guess it just depends on certain things now, doesn’t it?
        Sounds like you have ‘safety sensitivity’ on the brain.
        I also carry my Kimber ‘condition one’!
        Now free your mind and do what YOU want, and others will do the same.
        Best not tell ya how I carry my H&K, you might have nightmares.

  • Jon December 1, 2017, 6:52 am

    What a joke. My boy is in Afganistan getting shot at right now. He is part of the (what they formed/are calling) the “Red Devil Brigade” (so you can look it up). He had to buy his own boots and knife. If we wants to get on the internet to email, skype, or text us, they make him pay $15.00 dollars for an “internet access card”. All that money wasted on plastic guns that the ones doing the fighting don’t even have. We should all be ashamed of ourselves. “An honor”? It’s an embarrassment.

    • Mike December 1, 2017, 10:00 am

      I feel your pain!
      The problem of the Obama holdover generals and admirals are very Deep State. All the good brass were forced to retire. So unfortunately it will take a while like any bureaucracy to get fixed.
      Sad but true.

      • Jon December 22, 2017, 6:40 am

        Trudat. Thank you sir.

  • loupgarous December 1, 2017, 4:26 am

    Who in the 101st Airborne carries pistols at all? I was under the impression that RTOs and other traditional pistol carriers were assigned the M4 carbine a decade or two ago instead of pistols. Not to question Lt. Col. Steven Power’s assessment that one pistol is significantly more lethal than another in the same caliber, because better aiming devices such as lasers and a pistol built to handle hotter loads than the old M9 can might have a significant edge in lethality.
    I just don’t recall reading studies that back that up. The SEALs had an M9 blow up on an operator (“black tip” 9mm ammo loaded to cycle well in submachine guns was supposedly the culprit), went over to supposedly more durable SIGs in 9mm, and then discovered they needed .45 caliber knockdown power and commissioned H&K to make the USP for them.
    Lethality in pistols is a fraught topic, even after decades of trying to get a better gauge than Gen, Hatcher’s Relative Stopping Power formula. based on emergency room statistics, police reports, and modelling bullet behavior in gelatin blocks (and meat).
    I wouldn’t raise the discussion of lethality as an issue, but the popular (non-gun) press has picked up Lt. Col. Power’s quote “The specific performance improvements of the MHS over the M9 include better accuracy, tighter dispersion, and better ergonomics, which when combined, result in a far more lethal pistol.”, and paring it down to “the MHS is more lethal than the M9”.
    Journalists, these days, are people who are skilled at cutting and pasting phrases from other sources on the Web, not demeaning and tedious tasks such as research and interviews. It’s why there’s so much nonsense floating around on guns and gun owners on the Web – so-called “pajama journalists” are often more inclined to write balanced and accurate articles than employees of the soi-disant mainstream media. Articles in specialist media sites like this one are needed to throw claims that one pistol’s much more deadly than another in the same caliber and barrel length into needed perspective.

    • Joe December 1, 2017, 11:32 am

      I think you are right. I’m a unknowing non military person who figures if a soldier loses his main battle rifle, he should have access to what I call a back-up handgun. Small frame, single stack .45 acp, for close combat. Most of the handguns won’t defeat body armor most front line soldiers have. The only full size handgun I would chose is the FN FiveseveN. I want a round capable of at least having a chance to penetrate body armor.

    • Sepp W December 2, 2017, 7:23 am

      Officers, aviators, and armored crewman typically carried a pistol as their side arm (personal weapon). Everyone else carries a rifle. Things likely have changed by now since I was in, but generally it all depends on the Table of Organization and Equipment (TOE).
      I have a 320 carry in .45ACP and it’s quite nice. A fine shooter, as all my SIGs are, but not going to spend $300+ for the kits to change calibers.

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