New Hampshire Reacts
As you might imagine, local media here in the ‘Shire is a little bit excited over this, especially as SIG is saying that these pistols will be produced here in what we call the Portsmouth plant (it’s actually across the Newington line — the former Pease AFB, where the factory is, straddles the town line. These towns are in Rockingham county, in the lower right corner of the map on the right). On the one hand, newspapers (the Portsmouth Herald, Foster’s Daily Democrat of Dover, and the Manchester-based Union Leader) all went with the press release rewrites or cribbing from military-news websites, and have no local reaction in their stories. On the other hand, local talk radio, and the comments at the newspapers’ stories, have been highly positive. On the gripping hand, gun-culture folks encountered at FFLs (it was a pick-up-the-GunBroker-haul kind of day) were beyond positive. Grouchy old men were emitting giddy chuckles.
SIG itself totally confounded our expectation of a slow media response and got pictures of their XM17 winners (full-size and compact, replacing the M9 and M11)…
…and a press release out Friday — maybe late Thursday, SHOT time. Text of the press release:
SIG SAUER, Inc. announced today that the U.S. Army has selected the SIG SAUER Model P320 to replace the M9 service pistol currently in use since the mid-1980’s. Released in 2014, the P320 is a polymer striker-fired pistol that has proven itself in both the United States and worldwide markets. The P320 is the first modular pistol with interchangeable grip modules that can also be adjusted in frame size and caliber by the operator. All pistols will be produced at the SIG SAUER facilities in New Hampshire.
The MHS Program provides for the delivery of both full size and compact P320’s, over a period of ten (10) years. All pistols will be configurable to receive silencers and will also include both standard and extended capacity magazines.
“I am tremendously proud of the Modular Handgun System Team,” said Army Acquisition Executive, Steffanie Easter in the release. “By maximizing full and open competition across our industry partners, we truly have optimized the private sector advancements in handguns, ammunition and magazines and the end result will ensure a decidedly superior weapon system for our warfighters.”
Ron Cohen, President and CEO of SIG SAUER, said “We are both humbled and proud that the P320 was selected by the U.S. Army as its weapon of choice. Securing this contract is a testimony to SIG SAUER employees and their commitment to innovation, quality and manufacturing the most reliable firearms in the world.”
Well done, getting the word out, Ron and guys. We take back all our snide comments about your media shop.
Not Everyone Excels at Publicity
We’re not so thrilled with the MHS Team; in a world of increasing government transparency, they’ve emitted a lot more squid ink than information. When will we get a report on the course of the tests and how the various contenders did? The Army released this information from all the tests that led up to the 1911, and we got some information from the tests that led up to the M9. But the MHS Team has been treating the public like mushrooms: kept in the dark, and fed on horse $#!+.
A Glock Fanboy Reacts
Hey, you knew it was coming. Here’s Pete in The Firearm Blog. A taste:
Fanboy? Sure, call me names, throw rotten food at your devices, raise your torches and pitchforks. Listen to some Nickleback for crying out loud. But even if you pray to a different god, be it Sig, S&W, FN or some pot metal creation you got at a show a few years back – Deep down, you know the US Army should be carrying GLOCKs as their new handgun.
What’s a Nickleback?