The Top 10 Kit Up Posts of 2017

The new Tikka T3X TAC A1 tactical bolt-action rifle at SHOT Show 2017. Photo: Beretta USA.
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1. Beretta Unveils the New Tikka Tactical Bolt Gun

By Matthew Cox: "Beretta unveiled the new Tikka T3X TAC A1 tactical bolt-action rifle at SHOT Show 2017. 'It's the game-changer,' said Philip Jones, rifle product manager at Beretta USA. 'As far as precision rifles go, we think this is really going to set a very high and new bar.' The TAC A1 features a 'very smooth, very dependable' Tikka bolt action and a two-stage trigger that can be adjusted to between 2-4 pounds, Jones said. 'One of the things that is obviously very important with this rifle is durability,' he said. 'If you look at the AR-compatible stock on this gun, it is a machined- aluminum piece with a steel hinge.' Read more.

2. Army Expected to Sell Off Thousands of Surplus 1911 Pistols

By Brendan McGarry: "The U.S. Army is expected to transfer upward of 8,000 surplus M1911 pistols for civilian sale in fiscal 2018. That's based on this year's National Defense Authorization Act, a massive defense policy bill recently approved by Congress and awaiting President Donald Trump's signature. The legislation includes an entire section -- Sec. 1091, to be exact -- detailing how the iconic firearms can be transferred to the entity that oversees the Civilian Marksmanship Program, a government program that allows eligible civilians to purchase surplus military weapons." Read more.

3. Army Test Report Buries Performance of Magpul PMAG

By Matthew Cox: "The U.S. Army 2015 test report on commercial rifle magazines appears to bury the findings that show that the Magpul PMAG polymer magazine outperformed government magazines and other magazine vendors in the evaluation, according to a copy of the document. U.S. Army Aberdeen Test Center evaluated 10 commercial magazine designs and two government magazine designs for Product Manager Individual Weapons. Testers loaded the magazines into M4A1s, M16A4s, and Marine M27 Infantry Automatic Rifles and fired thousands of rounds during the evaluation." Read more.

4. Army Eyeing 6.5mm for Its Future Battle Rifle

By Matthew Cox: "The U.S. Army's chief of staff recently made a bold promise that future soldiers will be armed with weapons capable of delivering far greater lethality than any existing small arms. 'Our next individual and squad combat weapon will come in with a 10X improvement over any existing current system in the world, and that will be critical,' Gen. Mark Milley told an audience at AUSA 2017 on Oct. 10. Milley's pledge to 'significantly increase investments' in a leap-ahead small arms technology appeared low in the story I wrote for Military.com since soldier lethality was the lowest of the Army's top six modernization priorities." Read more.

5. Glock Released Photos of its Modular Handgun System Entries

By Matthew Cox: "Glock Inc. has decided to release photos of the pistols it entered in the U.S. Army's Modular Handgun System competition. The Smyrna, Georgia-based company submitted versions of its 9mm Glock 19 and .40 caliber Glock 23 pistols in the Army's effort to replace its M9 9mm pistol. The release of the photos comes three weeks after the Government Accountability Office denied Glock's protest against the U.S. Army's decision to select Sig Sauer, Inc., to make the service's new Modular Handgun System. 'GLOCK, Inc. met or exceeded all of the mandated threshold requirements set forth in the RFP by the Army,' Josh Dorsey, vice president of Glock said in a statement." Read more.

6. Soldiers Test Army's New Sidearm

By Matthew Cox: "Soldiers from conventional and special operations units recently got the chance to test the Army's new M17 Modular Handgun System. Most soldiers who tested the MHS at Fort Bragg's Range 29 on Aug. 27 were assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, said OTC's Col. Brian McHugh in a recent Army press release. Testers were pulled from across the military, including soldiers of the Special Operations Aviation Regiment, based in Kentucky, and of the 3rd Infantry Division, based in Georgia. Some of the military occupational specialties involved include police, pilots, infantry and crew chiefs." Read more.

7. Inspired by Military, Converse Unveils Tactical Footwear

By Brendan McGarry: "Converse appears to be rediscovering its military past. The Massachusetts-based company and Nike subsidiary -- which made footwear for the military during World War II -- has rolled out a new line of 'Urban Utility' sneakers designed with durability in mind. The new footwear features 'Gore-Tex bonded seams throughout for waterproof wear, reflective panels for visibility, and military-inspired textiles for added durability,' according to the company's website. It comes in two types: a high top unisex boot for $170 (in black or white) and a Chuck Taylor 70 utility hiker for $150 (in neon orange, black or tan)." Read more.

8. Marine Corps Will Likely Adopt Army 5.56 Rifle Round, General Says

By Hope Hodge Seck: "After repeated urgings from Congress to move to a common rifle round with the Army, Marine Corps officials told lawmakers Tuesday that they're getting close to being able to do so. The Marine Corps continues to use M855 ammo for their M16A4 and M4 5.56mm service rifles, instead of the M855A1 Enhanced Performance Round the Army uses for its rifles. The problem, Marine officials have said, is that the newer round causes problems with the Marines' M27 Infantry Automatic Rifle, with tests indicating use of the round with the IAR results in reliability and durability issues." Read more.

9. Marines' Cold Weather Gear Faces Overhaul After Poor Showing in Arctic

By Hope Hodge Seck: "A hump through the snow-covered sub-freezing moonscape of the Arctic is the wrong time to find out your boots won't stay latched into your skis. But that's what happened to many troops from Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 2nd Marines, as they completed an extended stretch of cold-weather training in Porsangermoen, nearly 1,000 miles north of their headquarters position here at Vaernes. During this first deployment for Marine Rotational Force-Europe, troops spent weeks training and operating in gear they described as badly in need of an overhaul: inflexible zippers, seams that separated and tore, pack frames that snapped, and boots that pulled loose from ski fastenings over and over." Read more.

10. Beretta Takes Shot at Army MHS Reliability

By Matthew Cox: "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." Read more.

-- Brendan McGarry can be reached at brendan.mcgarry@military.com. Follow him on Twitter at @Brendan_McGarry.