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Army's New Handgun Program is About Ammo, Too

A 101st Airborne Division soldier fires a Sig Sauer pistol during weapons training May 29, 2015 at Tactical Base Gamberi in eastern Afghanistan. (U.S. Army photo by Capt. Charlie Emmons)

If you haven't already done so, check out my colleague Matthew Cox's story about the U.S. Army finally kicking off its Modular Handgun System, or MHS, program.

One of the big takeaways is that the service isn't just looking to buy a new 9mm pistol. It also wants to lock in an ammunition supplier.

As Cox reports:

"In a break from tradition, the Army is also requiring competing firms to prove that they are capable of delivering millions of rounds of pistol ammunition per month in addition to delivering thousands of new handguns per month, according to the request.

...

The winning contractor will have to be able to ramp up to delivering 2.8 million rounds of ball ammunition per month within three years and 1.6 million rounds of special-purpose ammunition per month within three years, according the RFP."

That's per month.

So after the Army picks three finalists, it will ultimately select a winner to produce more than 280,000 full-size handguns and 7,000 compact versions, and the other services may buy another 212,000 systems, according to the article.

And on top of that, the winner will also be supplying the bullets. It'll be interesting to see how the gun-makers and ammo-makers respond to the request.

 

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