Jan 15, 2015

Beretta M9A3: US Army Rejects Evaluation of Service Pistol Replacement

The US Army has declined to evaluate the new Beretta M9A3 as part of a contract of US military service pistols. The US Army has been using the Beretta M9 since 1985, but the service pistols are starting to show their age from such long service. Despite accepting an updated M9 to replace worn out pistols and the cost of maintenance has made the Army and the Pentagon to look for something more modern and more affordable. However, in the meantime, the Army has an open contract with Beretta to stock armories as necessary. Beretta wanted the contract to be extended and continued, so it developed the M9A3, which has several features the Army was looking for at a lower price per unit than the current contract.

By declining to evaluate the new Beretta for a new contract, the Army may have an alternative in mind or is waiting to see if there is something else on the market from another manufacturer. According to Gabriele De Plano, Beretta vice president, they never bothered to examine it …
They didn't ask a single question; didn't ask for a single sample.
De Plano explained that Beretta could supply the military with M9A3 pistols for “hundreds of millions” of dollars less than the cost of the MHS program, and pointed out they could at least roll out the M9A3 side-by-side with whichever future pistol the Army selects to finish out their contract with Beretta.
The newly designed M9A3 features new sights, a rail for mounting lights and accessories and improved reliability, stated Beretta officials.
According to Military.com:
Current plans call for the Army to purchase more than 280,000 handguns from a single vendor, with delivery of the first new handgun systems scheduled for 2017, according to PEO Soldier officials. The Army also plans to buy approximately 7,000 sub-compact versions of the handgun. … The Army maintains that the M9 design does not meet the MHS requirement. Soldiers have complained of reliability issues with the M9. One problem has to do with the M9's slide-mounted safety. During malfunction drills, the shooter often engages the lever-style safety by accident, Army weapons officials say.
M9A3 with Suppressor
Brendan McGarry, Military.com field tested the M9A3 recently and announced that Beretta plans to release the M9A3 to the civilian market soon.
One of the new features is a Cerakote earth tone color and a thinner Vertec grips with an optional wrap-around grip for folks with larger hands. The front and rear sights are removable and sports a threaded barrel for use of a suppressor. The magazine capacity has increased from 15 to 17 rounds and comes with a sand-resistant magazine. In the test, the magazine insertion is smoother than the M9A1 and the new sights line up targets quickly. The price of the new pistol in the civilian market will range from $600 to $1,000. The following video is the indoor range test by Military.com:


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