The Air Force is replacing its aging Beretta M9 pistol lineup with 125,000 Sig Sauer M18s.
A press released from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base quotes small arms program office senior logistics manager Merrill Adkison saying,
The Air Force bought the M9s back in the 1980s, and the design has not really changed since then. M9s are larger, heavier, all-metal pistols; whereas M18s are lighter polymer pistols with a more consistent trigger pull and adjustable grips for large and small hands.
The M18 is a P320 platform pistol chambered in 9mm and designed for military use. And besides being lighter than the M9, having adjustable grips, and delivering a better trigger, the M18 “costs the Air Force about one-third of what it would cost to buy an M9 today.”
Lead small arms program manager Brian Lautzenheiser commented, “It is important for the U.S. Air Force to move forward with improvement and replacement of weapon systems to keep pace with potential adversaries and field the best technology and equipment available for our warfighters.”
UPI Defense News reports the M18s shipping to the Air Force have “17-round and 21-round magazines.”
Tom Taylor, Sig Sauer chief marketing officer, spoke to Breitbart News about the Air Force adopting the M18, noting the adoption of the M18 now reaches all military branches. He said:
We are so honored to see the adoption of the P320 based M18 by the U.S. Air Force. This continues the deployment of the M17 full size and M18 compact size Modular Handgun System across all branches of the U.S. Military. It is very exciting to see the U.S. Air Force join the U.S. Marine Corps in fielding the M18 and we are confident they will immediately see the increased capability driven by the new Modular Handgun System.
AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can sign up to get Down Range at breitbart.com/downrange.