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M17

Semi-automatic pistol

M17 pistol

The M17 is the new US military pistol, which will replace the previous M9

 
 
Country of origin United States
Entered service Expected in 2017
Caliber 9x19 mm Parabellum
Weight (empty) 833 g
Length 203 mm
Barrel length 119 mm
Muzzle velocity ~ 360 m/s
Magazine capacity 17 rounds
Sighting range 50 m
Range of effective fire 50 m

 

   The XM17 Modular Gun System as a program, originally initiated by the US Air Force in 2008. The program was carried out in conjunction with the US Army. It called for a new military pistol which would replace the M9, that was adopted back in the mid 1980s. The main reason for the program was that the M9 pistols were worn-out and approaching the end of their service life. Also today the M9 is an out-dated platform, outclassed by most modern pistols. The XM17 program called for commercial off-the-shelf pistol with modular features, which would be more effective, accurate and reliable than the M9, and would have Picatinny-type accessory rails.

   A competition was first announced in 2011. In 2014 the SIG Sauer submitted for the XM17 program a P320 pistol. In 2017 their design won against 8 other competitors, including Glock 17 Gen4, Beretta APX, CZ P09, Smith & Wesson Military & Police, Detonics Defense STX, and some other designs. Interestingly Beretta designed an updated version of the M9 with some improvements, the M9A3. However this pistol was not submitted for the competition. Instead the Beretta competed with their new APX striker-fired pistol, which eventually was not selected.

   The SIG Sauer P320 will enter service with the US Air Force and the US Army as the M17. Also a compact version of this pistol was selected for procurement. It is planned that the first M17 pistols will be fielded by the end of 2017. It is planned that full-rate production will begin in 2018. It is expected that a contract for roughly 280 000 full-size pistols will be awarded for the US Army, plus additional pistols by the US Air Force. It is going to be the largest pistol contract since 1985, when the US Army adopted the Beretta 92FS as the M9. Within the next 10 years the new M17 pistols will be gradually replace the M9s.

   The US Marine Corps also participated in the XM17 Modular Gun System program, but most likely will not order new pistols until their current pistol's life cycles end in the mid 2020s.

   There were complaints about the insufficient stopping power of the M9s 9x19 mm round. So the XM17 program was an open-caliber competition to allow submissions chambered for more powerful  ammunition. Eventually the US military has chosen the SIG Sauer P320, chambered in the same 9x19 mm Parabellum round. The same ammunition is used by the M9 pistol. However the P320, as well as the M17 has a modular and multi-caliber design. It can be adapted for .40 S&W, .375 SIG, .380 ACP and .45 ACP ammunition. SIG Sauer offers conversion kits for this pistol. Caliber conversions are performed simply by changing barrels, slides, frames and magazines. Both full-size and compact models use the same trigger group.

   The M17 is a self-cocking striker-fired pistol with a double-action only trigger. It is a short recoil operated weapon, which fires with the locked breech. It uses the typical SIG Sauer cam-operated barrel.

   The slide is made of stainless steel. Frame is made of polymer. Slide hold and release buttons are ambidextrous. This weapon can be field stripped without using any tools.

   Average soldiers had problems with the M9, as it was heavy and uncomfortable to hold. The M9 does not fits every hand well. On the other hand the M17 is lighter and has got an ergonomic grip. The XM17 Modular Gun System program called for an ergonomic pistol, that could be controlled by female soldiers.

   The M17 chambered in 9x19 mm Parabellum ammunition is fed from 17-round capacity magazines. There are also optional 21-round extended magazines. Magazine capacity differs depending on the chambering of the pistol. Versions chambered in .40 S&W and .375 SIG use 14-round capacity magazines. Version chambered in .45 ACP uses 10-round magazines. Magazine release button is reversible.

   This pistol has got 3-dot iron sights. Both front and rear sights can be adjusted for windage and elevation. This pistol can also mount a red dot sight. This pistol has an effective range of 50 meters.

   The M17 comes with a standard Picatinny-type pistol rail. It accepts all standard tactical accessories, such as flashlights and laser pointers. This pistol can be configured to receive a suppressor.

 

Variants

 

   Compact version with a shorter 98 mm barrel and shorter grip. Magazine capacity differs depending on the chambering of the pistol. It will replace the M11 compact pistol. Perhaps as many as 7 000-10 000 compact pistols will be ordered.

 

 
M17 pistol

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M17 pistol

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M17 pistol

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M17 pistol

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M17 pistol

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M17 pistol

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