16 September 2008
Once it was a good idea...then it went to h....
From the Soldier side: If you were interested in firearms in the 1980's...then you might recall the US Military effort to find a replacement for the 1911 A1 .45 ACP. All of the services got together (in spirit anyway) and said they wanted a 9mm semi auto pistol to replace the .45. They came up with a list of requirements for safety, durability, ease of use, etc and put the word out to all the gun makers to "Make it this way!"
Colt, Smith & Wesson and a few other companies could not come up with anything worth a hoot...it took 2 foreign countries to build pistols that would meet what the US military needed.
This was a good idea...except for a minor point... why 9mm? Since the military is forced to use FMJ (that means full metal jacket) loaded to a useless velocity...where as if they'd stuck with a BA.45 (Big Ass .45) they'd at least have a big chuck of lead flying at the target...oh well...N.A.T.O. thought the 9mm was better....so we got stuck with it.
OK, so the US Army did the testing...and I have to say...no other handgun or weapon was ever tested as hard as in this test. They dropped them in mud...they dropped them in sand...they froze the guns, they heated them up, they did everything they could and which pistol won?
The Beretta Model 92F...now called the M9. It IS A GOOD GUN. I know, I carried one as a cop by choice for several years and I carried one in Bosnia and Iraq. The only reason I don't still use one for police work is I can now carry a .45 auto! If I was limited to only a 9mm, I'd carry the Beretta.
So...now my National Guard Unit is getting re-organized. (all so a LTC would have a job) and they re-organized weapons. We now have the Sig M-11 9mm pistol. This is not the first time I've seen these. They are a somewhat more compact version of a 9mm pistol (4 inch barrel compared to the M9's 5 inch barrel)...but as some units found out too late when going to Iraq...the M9 and the M11 use different magazines....totally different! One will not work in the other...no way. I saw a few officers take M9 magazines, fully load them, then when they were heading outside the "wire" in Iraq...tried to shove them into their M11 pistol. Oh shit!
The M11's are supposed to be for "special" people. But if I have to deploy again, please give me an M9---unless I can take a .45... and very few officers should be given firearms in the first place.