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Beretta Takes Shot at Army MHS Reliability

Beretta Defense Technologies said recently that its M9 pistol is about 10 times as reliable as the U.S. Army’s new Modular Handgun System.

Beretta lost its hold on the U.S. Military’s pistol market in January when the Army chose Sig Sauer to replace the M9 as the standard sidearm.

Beretta officials maintain that new M9 pistols tested at the company’s manufacturing facility in Gallatin, Tennessee have continued the world-record reliability pace for the product, according to a Sept. 13 press release.

Beretta U.S.A. completed the fourteenth consecutive M9 Lot Acceptance Test this month with an average of only one malfunction every 19,090 rounds.

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During this testing period 42 M9 pistols were fired 210,000 rounds, with resultant reliability “almost 10 times better than the rate of reliability required by the U.S. Army in its current Modular Handgun System program,” according to the release.

“The incredible reliability of the M9 pistol is being continuously confirmed,” said Gabriele de Plano, Vice- President of Military Marketing and Operations for Beretta Defense Technologies. “Half of the LAT reliability tests resulted in ‘perfect’ reliability scores with zero malfunctions in 15,000 rounds!”

This is not the first time a gun maker that lost out in the Army MHS competition has publicly stated that its pistol is more reliable than Sig Sauer, the competition’s winner.

In July, Josh Dorsey, vice president of Glock Inc., said that Glock maintains that the Army's selection of Sig Sauer was based on "incomplete testing" and that Sig Sauer's bid was $102 million lower than Glock's.

The Government Accountability Office denied Glock’s protest of the Army’s selection, but the GAO describes the Sig Sauer as having lower reliability than Glock 19 on page 11, footnote 13 of its findings.

"Under the factor 1 reliability evaluation, Sig Sauer's full-sized handgun had a higher stoppage rate than Glock's handgun, and there may have been other problems with the weapon's accuracy," GAO states.

From January to September 2016, the Army conducted what Dorsey calls initial, phase one testing and not "product verification testing described in the solicitation" which is the only way to determine which of the MHS entries meets the Army's requirements for safety, reliability and accuracy, according to Glock's legal argument to the GAO.

Glock also argued that the Army's testing only went up to 12,500 rounds when the "service life of the selected pistol is specified to be 25,000 rounds," according to Glock's legal argument to GAO.

Like Glock, Beretta officials maintain that the “most important characteristic of a military firearm is that it function as intended when needed in a crisis,” Franco Gussalli Beretta, Executive Vice-President of Beretta U.S.A, said.

“The M9 has always proven itself to be the most reliable combat pistol in its 30 years of service with the US Armed Services and new M9 pistols being delivered today continue to show that reliability and performance.”

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