Lv 4
C.M. asked in Politics & GovernmentMilitary · 10 years ago

What is your opinion on issuing new sidearms to US military, models, calibers?

Currently the standard issue sidearm for the US Military is the Beretta M9, chambered in the 9x19 cartridge. The military switched to the beretta after decades of using the Colt M1911-A1, chambered in the .45 ACP cartridge. Ballistically, the .45 was superior, although the military believed it to be logistically impractical, and opted for the 9mm in the less tested beretta.

Every Military serviceman I've talked with have called the M9 a piece of crap or worse, and I haven't found the weapon itself to be particularly appealing, much less the round it fires. Add to that, the 9x19 isn't particularly effective either, at least not in an FMJ, and expanding ammunition is illegal in war. Logistically speaking, it would be less expensive and be a great help on the battlefield to retire an outdated weapon that is as ready for combat as a newborn, and replace it with a polymer pistol of a more effective caliber

So, what weapon and caliber would you like to see the US Military adopt? Personally, I would like to see a return to the .45 in a Glock 21. A .45 is one of the only handgun rounds that can stop a threat with one, maybe two decent shots even with an FMJ round, aside from a .44 magnum or .50 AE, however a desert eagle is a little bit much. I also would be open to a Glock 31, which is the full sized Glock in .357 SIG. The Glock is the top choice for law enforcement here and abroad. It is standard issue for most federal agencies and is combat ready out of the box. It has a .5 inch trigger reset, compared to the much longer and heavier pull of an M9. As well as the fact that the Glock is arguably the most versatile and indestructable firearm on the planet.

And yes, i am a little biased as I carry a Glock 22 (.40 S&W) everyday, and it's never failed me. I would especially like to hear from military personnel.

Oh, and if you're firearm and combat experience comes from Call of Duty, go somewhere else, shooting a CGI created weapon on a tv does not count.


NOTE: I realize the M9 has been replaced by the M4 for marines under the rank of colonel although I think that every person in combat ought to have a secondary weapon, regardless of corps policy.

I also like the 1911 and own one, however I will not own a kimber, I have no incentive to pay 2 grand for a weapon that I can get for a fraction of the price with rock island or a Springfield.

The Glock may not be pretty but it WILL go BANG everytime you pull the trigger as well as hold twice the rounds and half the weight.

Update 2:

2nd Note: the 9x19 and .45 are not comparable and I don't believe you'll find any experienced shooter who will say they are. It's like comparing apples to...cattle. Yes the muzzle energy is greater but the argument that a smaller, lighter bullet is superior to a larger, heavier one doesn't fly. And no, the 9mm does not create the same wound as a .45, not even close. You should research before making claims. I have never seen anybody taken down with one center-of-mass shot with a 9mm, I have seen/heard of dozens where a huge guy was taken out with one shot the chest with a .45.


7 Answers

  • 10 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    First, let me say that I've never served in the military.

    That said, from what civilian experience I've had with weapons, the Glock 21SF would be my choice as well. I'm all for the stopping power of the .45 ACP round, and I am a very strong believer that simplicity is reliability and reliability is life.

    Don't get me wrong. I love the 1911, but in realizing the pistol itself was difficult for recruits to learn, requires more thinking before it can be used, and seems to scare the hierarchy to the point where they require it to be carried without a charged round...I would not recommend it this time around. The last thing our service men and women need is another gun they can't carry ready to use.

    The Glock, being extremely simple in design and function, can be learned by anyone. It can be repaired with drop-in spare parts, a HUGE advantage in a military setting, and it can be fitted with an underbarrel flash light to further free the hands of the person using it. The SF allows for smaller hands to control the weapon, as well as for ambidextrous magazine release. This give left-handed shooters the same control as a right handed shooter, and gives short-thumbers (like me) the ability to drop the magazine with their trigger finger, rather than have to change and then reacquire their grip on the pistol.

    If I was stuck in the middle of nowhere, the pistol I would want on me is without-doubt the Glock 21, SF model preferred.

    If they would make one capable of doing so, I'd reaaaallly like a 21SF, but with a full array of drop in barrels and magazine inserts, so I could effectively use any ammunition I happened to acquire. For pressure purposes, they may have to beef the frame and slide slightly, but it would be nice to have a 21 barrel that for .40sw, one for 9mm, .357 Sig, 10mm, etc. I have (I know it's not supported by Glock Inc.) switched barrels with a 19 and 23, and have fired 9mm from the .23 and .40sw from the 19 (magazines too) and am currently accepting donations for the spare .357 sig round. :D

    ** edit **

    Out of curiosity, though, was the .45acp discarded for practicality, or in an effort to standardize NATO calibers?

    ** edit again **

    2nd answerer just reminded me of something. I like the HK USP and the Sig as much as the next guy...think they're great guns, but like the Beretta their standard configuration involves the which-trigger-this-time-? mode. In all, there is a lot of play between trigger reset and firing, in addition to the change from double to single action after the first round.

    This means, when you release the trigger after firing to the point where it clicks to tell you it has reset, there is some sloppy distance to travel before the hammer falls again. The Glock's trigger not only resets AT the firing point, but it is purely consistent. Be it 3, 5.5, 8, or 12 lbs., it is the same weight distance each and every time.

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  • Your
    Lv 5
    10 years ago

    I agree that the M9 isn't exactly the greatest sidearm. I'm not a fan of Berettas nor the round.

    I enjoy my 1911. It is both reliable and effective. Ours are made by Kimber. I've never had a problem with it.

    Glocks... now thats a different story. I'm not a fan of pistols that feel like squirt gun.


    C.M.: I agree, I wouldn't pay for a Kimber neither. Luckily, I don't have to lol. I own a couple Springfields and love them.

    I've handled a few Glocks. My main issue with it is its accuracy when compared to the 1911.

    For the most part, Glocks are very reliable. I had a few feed issues and one had some real bad extractor issues. It is also a little too light for my liking. While I was at the range, a guy next to me had a catastrophic case failure which led to some nasty gashes in his hand. That was a few years ago though... I'm sure they have corrected the problem.

    I personally wouldn't trust anything smaller than a .40. I don't want to feel like I need to do double taps with a 9mm to defend myself.

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  • 10 years ago

    in the coast guard we switched from the beretta to the Sig Sauer® P229R DAKTM .40 cal. i personally dont like it. i have never been a fan of sig's to begin with, i have always been a glock guy myself, i carry a glock model 17. i know that the DOD has to use NATO rounds for legal reasons... saying that, some changes would have to be made to change to something different. on a personal note i dont mind the beretta but i dont like the 40. i find i can shoot a lot more accuratley with the 9mm and in the end of the day rounds ON target are far more effective then rounds AROUND the target ;)

    as far as carbines go i love the M-4!

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  • 10 years ago

    first off, very few service members carry side arms. MPs carry them in garrison, medics/corpsmen sometimes carry them, and 1sgts and above and company XOs and above carry them. oh sf carries them too but they get the 1911s.

    that being said: they're rarely actually used in a combat situation,a nd those that do carry them in combat always have a m16 or m4 with them anyway that is their main weapon. its not like call of duty where you're running around spraying off 90 rounds quick then you hae to switch to yoru side arm to get another kill or 2. if you've used all 210 rounds (or more depending on unit) of your primary combat load, then chances are you're in a situation where having a side arm isnt going to do you much good anyway.

    its not so much that the 9mm is a piece of junk, its that the barretas are. glock, walther, springfield, h+k, etc make great 9mm pistols. the 45 is a more powerful round with better armor penetration, but sidearms isnt what the military should be focusing time and money into right now: a new main weapon system is.

    edit: why should everyone carry one? its another piece of gear to keep track of and one thats not very combat effective at that. for certain personel (medics, fisters, platoon sergeants, etc) it makes sense for them to carry it: since if they're doing a part of their job chances are one of their hands is busy, and its more practical to have a side arm to lay down a little bit of supressive fire with with the other hand. for your average infantryman though: theres no need at all to carry a side arm.

    Source(s): former 82nd airborne
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  • 10 years ago

    "Ballistically the .45 was superior..."

    Actually once you get past all of the "opinion" and look at the facts, the 9x19mm Parabellum ball cartridge due to its higher velocity has slightly greater muzzle energy than the .45 ACP and both cartridges produce nearly identical wound channels in ballistic gel. You can speak to the several million people who have been killed by the 9x19mm round over more than 1 century of use as to how effective it is.


    I find the Glock weapons to be relatively shoddy, especially when you compare them side-by-side with a really nice piece of kit like a SiG. To me it is no wonder the Glock is the favorite of ghetto gangsters.

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  • Anne
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    Still the M9, 9mm Beretta...and it sucks!!! I carry one every day and I'd rather have one with more range and stopping power. I prefer to either go back to the .45 caliber or at least to a .40 or .357. Beretta makes decent weapons, but 9mm is just not as effective as others.

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  • 10 years ago

    Pistols are ok in house to house fighting, but they lack accuracy at range. About 25 yards is how accurate the soldiers would be and the average distance between both sides in a fire fight is about 300 yards.

    Probably the very compact (it can be reduced to the size of an uzi) version of the XM8 would probably be better. One could make a barrel change out in the field to make into a decently accurate rifle out to 300 meters which is 100 yards better than the AK-47.

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