Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Options Unexplored

So there is a lot of talk about the new Service Pistol contract and the web is all abuzz with opinions about what is going to be picked and what not.  I thought I'd take an objective look at what the Army actually said it wanted... and with an open mind... offer an answer.  What I came up with was off beat to say the least.

Let's go back to the criteria.  They said they wanted: simple, user friendly, modern, and more powerful.

So here is something I have been kicking around...  what if they went with something like... this...

Yep.  That's a Smith and Wesson M&P R8.  8 shots of .357 magnum out of a 5 inch barrel.  It even has a rail so you can mall cop it up if you want.  Now I know you're thinking I've lost my damned mind but think about it...  what's more simple than a revolver?  Ever had a wheel gun fail on ya?  I know I haven't.  Think this fella will have a problem with dirt and sand gumming up the works?  I sure don't.  And I certainly don't think anyone is going to argue that you can't put a hurt on someone with a .357 magnum.

That said... if I was designing it from the ground up.. it would be a .41 magnum or a 45 long colt instead. And it would get grips like the taurus tracker series.. which are by far the best grips on the planet when it comes to felt recoil reduction.  Either of those are going to ruin your day.  Even if armor will stop the shot you're not going to be in any condition to do much fighting afterwards.

I submit that this weapon meets all of the criteria and then some... and in a purely objective sense... it is the best answer to the Service Pistol question.  Its easy to use.  Its ultimately reliable.  It is a hammer.  The only advantage the autos have is speed of reloading.  Which I will argue isn't particularly important... since military context a pistol is only there to keep you alive until you can find a rifle.

Do I think this is what they'll choose?   No.  I don't think anyone will even consider a revolver for a second.

But that doesn't mean they shouldn't.


Russ said...

It's a badass gun no doubt, but my money's on the Sig.

Any chance they'll commission an entirely new pistol or cartridge?

Nate said...

i don't think we'll see a new cartridge. I think it will be a .40 or 45... and like you... my money is on the SIG.

I think SIG designed the striker fired pistol with this in mind and I believe the deal has already been made.

WaterBoy said...

Some thoughts...

There are only a handful of hard requirements known at this time:
- Ambidextrous (can be used right- or left-handed)
- Accessory rail
- Suppressor-capable
- Should be compatible with existing holsters (presumably sized to fit the M9)
- Include a Close Combat Mission Capability Kit (CCMCK), to swap out with the normal barrel/slide/magazine. Whatever caliber is chosen, the CCMCK should be capable of firing the 9mm marker ammunition already in stock.

That last requirement would seem to rule out any revolver, even with a speed loader (keying on the word "magazine").

When you consider that the Marines just awarded a new contract two years ago to Colt for their 1911 -- and they are also part of this project -- I'm guessing the winning bid will also be based on the 1911.

Consider the accuracy and the ergonomic requirements of the MHS and compare them to the Colt's:

""It was performance based. . . . We picked the best-performing pistol," said Charles Clark III, who oversees infantry weapons requirements at the Corps' Combat Development and Integration office in Quantico, Va. "There were three candidates that made the final round of consideration," but Clark would not discuss the competitors.

In addition to Colt, Springfield Armory's Full Size MC Operator and Smith & Wesson's 1911 design were also contenders, sources tell

Marine testers placed a high priority on accuracy. The winner had to be capable of putting five-shot groups on target that "didn't exceed four inches by four inches at 25 yards" from an unsupported firing position, Clark said. Reliability and magazine life were other important factors in the decision.

The new Close Quarter Battle Pistols will be very similar to the M45s they are replacing this fall. They will have a rail for mounting lights, a custom trigger, a manual safety, improved ergonomics and glowing Tritium sights for low-light conditions.

But that's just a guess....

Luke (alias "Lines With Chrome") said...

I'm thinking FNX or FNS

Nate said...

I would love to see them go back to a 1911 but I don't think they will. They are going to want a DAO or at least a DA/SA.

Nate said...

Smith and Wesson makes 9mm wheel guns.

Partisan Arms said...

What are the odds? We sold one of those R8's tonight on Gunbroker.



Nate said...

wasn't me. I love the weapon but I already have a tracker in 357 that does everything it would do.

Nate said...

did you fondle it Toothy?

Anonymous said...

"did you fondle it Toothy?"

You know it! I would have bought it, but I have other projects to finance at the moment.

It is surprisingly light, having that scandium frame. Kind of freaks me out when I pick it up.


jmyron said...

You are going to hate me for suggesting this, but what about the FN Five-seven?

It seems to me like the army will probably want at least some ability to defeat body armor. (According to the internets this thing will zip right through soft body armor.) A long thin bullet also may have the added benefit of becoming ballistically unstable when it hits flesh so it creates a much larger wound cavity without expanding - thus sidestepping the Hague conventions.

The army will also probably like the low recoil and high capacity of the pistol - remember girls get to serve in front line units now.

Anonymous said...

With that R8 being a little out of the price range, what would be a good first .357? Probably wouldn't be for carry.

Anonymous said...

Ruger GP-100 w/4" or 6" bbl.
Move up in price, Smith and Wesson.
The Ruger is best bang for the buck, but Smith triggers... wow.

Sorry Nate, can't recommend Taurus particularly, but I know you probably will.


WaterBoy said...

Nate: "Smith and Wesson makes 9mm wheel guns"

That may be...but then that still leaves them shooting 9mm live, doesn't it?

Depending on the outcome of the caliber testing, I think the 9mm will be ruled out (except for the aforementioned training rounds). That means conversion kits from whatever the live caliber is to the 9mm training rounds. That means semi-auto.

And it won't surprise me at all to see "semi-automatic" specifically required in the draft RFP when it comes out, along with two specific calibers, .45ACP being one of them. (The rationale for this also being that vendors are restricted to submitting no more than two entries for the competition, each one being a different caliber.)

Anonymous said...

Almost forgot: We've had decent luck with Charter Arms revolvers, too.
The are cheaper than the Ruger and Smiths, but decent.


Nate said...

I have two S&W wheel guns and a Taurus Tracker.

I can't imagine what trouble Toothy has had with them but its the first complaints I've heard about Taurus revolvers.

As far as I'm concerned they are top notch.

I really like the polyprotector. So much in fact that I made sure it was what my mom got.

Anonymous said...

All gun manufacturers release weapons for sale with defects occasionally. Just some more than others. Taurus isn't horrible, but neither are they stellar.

As a dealer, the issues we have with Taurus are warranty and spare parts availability and lead times, which you will never note, unless you get one with a problem.

These issues get worse as the age of the Taurus increases.

Like a lot of things, if you get a good one, you have a good one. If not...


Anonymous said...

BTW, NEVER buy a Chiappa (mega-POS)! We refuse to carry them, but still sell Pheonix Arms, if that tells you anything.


Anonymous said...

Thanks Toothy

Those were the two I was looking at.

Mark Andrew Edwards said...

Hopefully not resurrecting a dead thread but...had to chime.

The reload-under-stress issue isn't minor. True, speedloaders help but I think if it comes down to pistols, things are dire. No point in making it worse trying to reload a wheelgun.

Now, my beloved Chair Force did issue S&W 15s, though they were pretty much gone by the time I went through ROTC. And I think I recall seeing some in chest holsters in Vietnam photos.

The R8 looks like a great gun. But I'd honestly suggest the Glock 20SF. Love that gun. Easy to shoot, maintain and reload. And 10mm is respectable, if not magnum power.