Marine Corps following Army’s lead and adopting a new, smaller handgun

soldier outfitted with the US Army’s Modular Handgun System
during tests at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, August 27,

US Army photo by Lewis

The Army plans to start distributing its new Modular Handgun
System, the Sig Sauer P320, to soldiers from the 101st Airborne
Division at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, this fall.

The rollout would come less than a year
the Army awarded the $580 million contract to Sig Sauer
to produce the gun, also called the XM17.

And Marine Corps officials have said their
personnel may soon adopt a more compact version of the pistol,
called the XM18.

Chief Warrant Office 5 Christian Wade, the small-arms expert for
the 2nd Marine Division, told Marine Corps
Times that the service would perform a review in the near future
to learn which positions need the new weapon.

“We prefer our pistol be as compact as possible without
loss of capability,” Wade said. “After all,
it’s a pistol.”

Earlier this month, the Army assembled soldiers, sailors,
Marines, and airmen at Fort Bragg in North Carolina to put the
new handgun through a round of
, using it alongside the M4 rifle and cold-weather

service member fires the Sig Sauer P320 during Modular Handgun
System tests at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, August 27,

US Army photo by Lewis

The Army-led training mainly featured soldiers from the
508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, and Army officials have not
said what other units were present.

Earlier this year, an official from the Marine Corps
Capabilities Development Directorate’s Maneuver Branch said the Corps was
taking part in the Army’s Modular Handgun System selection effort
in order facilitate its own search for a new sidearm.

The official also displayed a chart showing the Marine

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