New Hampshire-based Sig Sauer announced on Tuesday that the company has achieved an important milestone in the Pentagon's Modular Handgun System contract. 

Sig advised it has recently delivered the 200,000th 9mm MHS pistol to the U.S. military, and this month marks the first that it has shipped handguns to all service branches where it is set to replace an amalgam of firearms to include the M9 (Beretta 92), the M11 (Sig Sauer P228), and M15 (S&W K38), among others. First adopted after the MHS competition in 2017, variants of Sig's P320 have been adopted as the full-sized M17 and more compact M18 pistol

"These milestones are a testament to Sig’s ability to adapt and succeed amidst the extraordinary circumstances we have faced throughout this pandemic," said Ron Cohen, Sig's president and CEO. "Our supply chain was challenged, and the strength of our manufacturing systems has proven that we will, without hesitation, continue to outpace the stringent demands of the delivery schedule of the MHS program."

The MHS system is a P320-based platform, featuring coyote-tan PVD coated stainless steel slides with black controls, utilizes both 17-round and 21-round magazines, and are equipped with SIGLITE front night sights, removable night sight rear plates, and manual safeties. The M18 is shown in the foreground while the M17 is in the back. (Photo: Sig Sauer)

Adopted by Every Branch


While the Army is the primary user, with a reported 231,586 MHS pistols — mostly M17s — ordered over the past three years, the platform is also being acquired by the rest of the U.S. military as well. As noted in the Navy’s FY 2019 procurement budget justification for the Marine Corps, 35,000 M18s will not only replace aging M9 Berettas but also the Colt M45A1 CQB .45ACP railgun and the newly acquired M007 Glock.

Likewise, the Navy is set to purchase at least 60,000 M18s to replace its current M9 and M11 pistols.

The Air Force is also going all-M18, using 125,000 of the compact 9mms to phase out their M9s and M11s, the latter a version of the Sig Sauer P228 used by the Air Force Office of Special Investigations. Further, the M18s ability to use blank firing kits and Simunitions will allow it to replace the venerable .38-caliber Smith & Wesson M15 revolver, which is still used to train military working dog teams.

Banner image:  The Company Commander of Alpha Company "Sapper" 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, qualifies on his assigned handgun, the Sig Sauer M17, 8/25/2020, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. (U.S. Army photo)