U.S. Military Seeking New Handgun

Army Beretta M9 Pistol In Training   The U.S. Army is once again flirting around with the idea of replacing the Beretta M9 as the standard sidearm for all U.S. Military forces. From my understanding this is the third or fourth time the idea has been tossed around, but this time it looks like they may be serious about it. A meeting with industry manufacturer's reps was scheduled for late July 2014. The results are unknown but it was probably just a chance for various brands to submit their proposals for consideration. The next phase will likely be comprehensive testing of the actual firearms. 
   The proposal for the new Modular Handgun System also seeks to replace the 9mm cartridge with a "more powerful" round.
The Army’s list of requirements includes:

·         A more user friendly safety that is not susceptible to accidental engagement
·         Accessory rail, night sights and interchangeable grip modules
·         A slide that is more resistant to debris
·         Threaded barrel for suppressor
·         Service life of at least 25,000 rounds
   There a lot of people who are saying to just go back to a 1911 platform but it’s doubtful the Army will do this. They would be going back to a platform they deemed “obsolete” 30 years ago. Still a lot of Special Forces and Marine units continue to use the 1911 today because they feel it is still superior to the M9.
   Among possible contenders are Smith and Wesson M&P, Beretta 96A1, Sig Sauer P226 or P250, HK P2000, Glock G21, a Springfield XD variant in .45, and possibly an Offering from Colt similar to the Marine Corps M45 Close Quarter Battle System (AKA a tricked out 1911).

Here are the actual specifications as worded in the Sources Sought Request for Information:

1. Performance Improvement: Request information on potential improvements in handgun performance in the areas of accuracy and dispersion out to 50m, terminal performance, modularity, reliability and durability in all environments.

* The handgun and ammunition combination should, at a range of 50 meters, have a 90% or better probability of hit on a 4 inch circle when fired from a test fixture. It must maintain this throughout the life of the system. Systems are encouraged to utilize ergonomic and design improvements to minimize the effects of greater recoil energies, reducing the degradation of shooter-in-the-loop dispersion thereby improving the probability of hit.

* Modularity includes but is not limited to compatibility with accessory items to include tactical lights, lasers and sound suppressors. There is specific interest in designs that would be adaptable and/or adjustable to provide enhanced ergonomics that ensure 5th percentile female through 95th percentile male military personnel access to controls, such as the safety, magazine release, slide release and all other applicable controls. There is also interest in designs that offer these enhanced ergonomics while providing full ambidextrous controls.

* The handgun ammunition's terminal ballistics will be evaluated at ranges of 0-50m, over 0-14 inches of ballistic gelatin, to determine whether it provides more lethality when compared to the current U.S. Military M882 ammunition fired from the M9. Ammunition evaluated will meet international law of war conventions that bound current general purpose military ammunition. The Pistol evaluated must be capable of chamber pressures equal to or greater than SAAMI specification for the given cartridge, with prolonged reliability equal to or greater than the current M9. However, the ability to accommodate higher chamber pressures in excess of 20% over SAAMI spec without degradation of reliability is of specific interest.

* Reliability and Durability includes but is not limited to Mean Rounds between Stoppage (MRBS), Mean Rounds Between Failure (MRBF) and Service Life. There is specific interest in designs with ratings of at least 2,000 rounds MRBS, 10,000 rounds MRBF and 35,000 round Service Life.

Of course everyone has a favorite pistol and they are going to think that it fits the bill perfectly. Let’s just hope the Army finds the next 1911 and not a repeat of the M9. You won’t find many people that will argue that the 1911 was one of the best weapons ever designed but the M9 proponents are few and far between. My opinion is they should give in and come on over to the Dark Side and get a Glock. As much as I love old battle weapons and classic designs, I cannot argue with the virtues and proven reliability of the polymer wonder gun.
Glock 21 .45 Next Army Pistol
See the full RFI HERE

H&A Hopkins And Allen Top Break in .32 S&W with SAFETY

H&A Hopkins And Allen Top BreakH&A Hopkins And Allen Top Break
   The Hopkins and Allen company was founded in 1868 by S. S. Hopkins, C. W. Hopkins and C. H. Allen. The company experienced financial difficulties and in 1898 was reorganized as the Hopkins & Allen Arms Co. A fire in 1900 hurt them and in 1901, they were forced to merged with the Forehand Arms Company. The manufacture of Hopkins and Allen firearms ceased in 1917 when the plant was taken over by Marlin-Rockwell Corporation for the war time production of Browning automatic rifle components. Hopkins and Allen was well known for the many models of inexpensive revolvers and shotguns. H&A used various trade  names  including Blue Jacket, Ranger, Dictator, Smoker, Kitemaug , Defender, Pioneer, Capt. Jack, Tramps Terror, Bang-Up, and Czar.

   All Hopkins & Allen Arms Co revolvers manufactured from 1902 until 1917 had serial numbers stamped into the bottom of the handle. Most H&A handguns were nickel plated, with blue finish originally costing $.50 extra, grips were hard rubber, wood or pearl. Some had engraving from low to very good quality. Revolver barrel lengths varied from 1 3/4-6 in. Calibers were .22 rimfire (.22 S, L, or LR) up to .38-40 WCF.
The American Society of Arms Collectors article on Hopkins and Allen by Paul Berg http://americansocietyofarmscollectors.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/B020_Berg.pdf
Another source of Hopkins and Allen info is HERE at AmericanFirearms.com
H&A Hopkins And Allen Top Break Cylinder
H&A Hopkins And Allen Top Break Cylinder