Army Switches to SIG pistol

sig 320

The U.S. Army has announced that after 6 years of trials for 9 different handguns, they are choosing the modular striker fired SIG Sauer P320 to replace the 30 year old Beretta M9. The moniker that will be attached to the military version is”M17″, denoting the year it was adopted into service.

The SIG is revolutionary in that it is an interchangeable system of barrels, frames, and slides that revolve around a single trigger housing module. That trigger housing is the actual legally defined firearm.

For our army men, the fiberglass-reinforced polymer frames will come in 3 different sizes for the diverse hands out there (small, medium, and large), as well as frames for 2 different length barrels (full-size and compact) . If I’m not mistaken, 3 x 2 is 6. Have fun armorers.

The 320 pictured above is the compact commercial version which has a 3.9 inch barrel. The army will purchase the compact version along with the full-size, version which has a 4.7 inch barrel.

One difference between the current commercial version and the model(s) that the army will buy is an ambidextrous safety catch. The one pictured above has no safety.

Another interesting little facet is the fact that the caliber of barrel can be changed out in each pistol. The commercial versions currently offer barrels chambered in 9mm, .40S&W, and .357 SIG. Publications are now saying .45 ACP will be added for the M17.

Our servicemen have been voicing their opinion on the 9mm’s stopping power for awhile now. Hopefully the different caliber options will address some of that. I would imagine the 9mm will be the initial way they go, but with a modular system like this, they can change any time they want.

I actually looked at this gun for myself when it first came out. It is a great idea considering that the trigger assembly is the only thing that I would be given a background check for. The problem was, when I started to look at the overall price, I couldn’t  justify the cost (it’s still a SIG). That being said, the fact that the government will be buying a butt-load of these, and that they are reporting the individual unit cost at $207, makes it much different.

I give the Army a thumbs up for this choice.

Photo Credit

Lineup

lineup

I thought this would be a fun picture. I grabbed different types of empty brass that I had lying around and lined them up in ascending order. They include from left to right: .22 LR, .32 ACP, .380 ACP, 9mm Luger, .40 S&W, .45 ACP, .45 Long Colt, .50 AE, .500 S&W.

The last (furthest to right) is the bottom section of a 30 x 173 mm fired from the GAU8 Gatling style cannon. This is the round used in the A-10 Warthog tank killer. Given to me as a gift, it apparently was coated in a lacquer, artistically painted upon, and intended to be used as a shot glass. Considering that this particular round fired depleted uranium projectiles at a velocity of somewhere around 3,300 ft/second and at a rate of 3,900 rounds per minute, it’s no wonder they called the A-10 a tank killer.

 

Reloads from Dad

reloads - hollowpoints

Look what I got today. Every once in awhile Dad will send me some reloads. No, he didn’t mail or ship them. We have this mutual arrangement. I give him spent brass (of many types). He gives me some reloaded rounds. Today’s batch are .40 S&W hollow points. Thanks Dad.

Happy Father’s Day Present

glock mug and cup

My wife and daughter gave me a Glock coffee mug and travel cup today for a Father’s Day present. Sweet.

Toys and Play: Training for Life?

cap gun

I enjoy watching my daughter play. Some of the things she plays with are Barbies, Legos, Polly Pockets, stuffed animals, board games and various electronic gadgets.

After observing her, it has occurred to me on several occasions that play is training for the future. A little girl might play with dolls to learn about caring for younger children, or a toy chainsaw to learn how to cut down an evergreen. A little boy might play with blocks to learn how to build, or a toy car to understand how to drive. Think about even a kitten or puppy with a ball. They are learning how to catch prey.

As adults, we still play. Our toys are just bigger (and usually more expensive). We will pay big money to escape our normal life and just play for a little while.

When I was a boy, I played with toys like Star Wars, G I Joes, Blocks, Hot Wheels, and airplanes. I also loved playing with guns. Cap guns, dart guns (foam), and just plain inanimate plastic guns.

If a manufactured toy gun was not available, my brother and I would make a gun out of anything that resembled the shape. A mini war could break out at any time, at any place.

I see now that the toy guns that I had when I was a boy helped start to train me for being a responsible gun owner now. All the “war” games we had back then prepared me with a different mindset than someone who never touched a toy gun. Firearms are not terrible, fearful objects, but tools that are to be respected and used wisely. In the sporting context, they are meant to even be…..well, fun.

Even the military calls some of their training “war games”. They spend millions (if not billions) to play at battle. It may feel like fun to them, but it is actually training.

With all this in mind, I’m glad my parents encouraged me to “train” with toy guns. Some would now categorize their parenting in this area as criminal. I’m glad I wasn’t completely walled off from all that had to do with anything remotely violent. I’m glad they bought me a cap gun.