On 17 June, SIG Sauer, Inc. announced the United States Marine Corps (USMC) being set to adopt the M18, the compact variant of the US Army’s Modular Handgun System (MHS), as their official duty pistol. The MHS handgun is a variant of the SIG Sauer P320 pistol and is equipped with an external safety, an integrated MIL-STD-1913 Picatinny rail for the attachment of light and laser systems, self-illuminating night sights to maintain combat effectiveness in all lighting conditions, and is capable of accepting a sound suppressor. More on the P320 and its variants here.
“The Marine Corps announcement to put the M18 in service with the Marines is a very exciting development for SIG Sauer, and a true testament to the success of the MHS programme,” Ron Cohen, President & CEO, SIG Sauer, Inc., explained. “The Marine’s procurement of the M18 brings the adoption of our Modular Handgun System full circle, as this means, beginning in 2020, either the M17 or the M18 will be officially in service with every branch of the US Military.”
Recently, the M18 successfully completed a MHS Material Reliability Test that consisted of firing three M18 pistols to 12,000 rounds each for a total of 36,000 rounds in accordance with the MHS requirements. Comparatively, the US Army’s legacy pistol was only tested to 5,000 rounds making the test duration for the M18 pistol 2.4 times greater than that of the legacy pistol. In this testing, the M18 experienced zero stoppagesdespite being allowed up to twelve stoppages. Additionally, the M18 passed a parts interchange test, and met stringent accuracy and dispersion requirements.
“The success of the MHS programme is the direct result of the indisputable performance and superior quality of the M17 and M18 pistols, and the commitment and dedication of the men and women of SIG SAUER to those that serve in the defense of freedom,” continued Cohen. “We are very proud, and humbled, to have earned the trust of every branch of the US Military through their acceptance of the MHS programme and adoption of the M17 and M18 pistols.”
Currently, the M17 and M18 are in service with the US Army, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard. The USMC will begin their acquisition of the M18 pistol in 2020. Furthermore Denmark and Norway have also opted for the P320, as well as several Police Departments across the US.