Army to replace Cold War-era pistol

The end of an era? The U.S. Army is looking to retire it's Cold War-era M9 pistol.

The U.S. Army is seeking to replace the Beretta M9, the semi-automatic double action pistol that has been the standard issue sidearm for the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, and U.S. Air Force for nearly 30 years.


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Officials say that the pistol, which fires a 9mm round, is outdated and replacement is long-overdue. The Army is expected to replace it with a weapon that has greater accuracy, lethality, and reliability.

The plan to replace the M9 first surfaced five years ago when soldiers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan complained that the low caliber round was not lethal enough for combat. The Pentagon’s goal is to find a sidearm that is effective for other branches and services, not just the Army, including law enforcement officers, many of whom also complain that the M9 lacks stopping power. According to Army officials, the M9 also has reliability issues, including faulty safety mechanisms and a flawed slide design. The M9 replaced the popular Colt M1911A1, which served as the standard-issue pistol for U.S. Armed Forces servicemen from 1911 to 1985.


Caliber: 9mm

Weight: 33.9 ounces (40.9 ounces with full 15-round magazine)

Length: 8.5 inches

Barrel Length: 4.9 inches

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