The Army’s 101 Airborne Divisions received a much-needed upgrade. A new armament that will give them the edge they have been lacking when it comes to close quarter combat. The new M17 by Sig Sauer.
“You can close with the enemy in close quarter combat and engage the enemy with one hand. It is tough to do this with the M9,” Lt. Col. Martin O’Donnell, spokesman for the 101st Airborne, told reporters earlier this year.
The new pistol is built with a more ergonomic configuration to better accommodate the widest possible range of hand grip techniques for soldiers and enable rapid hand switching as needed in combat. The M17 is said by developers to bring much tighter dispersion, improved versatility and next-generation accuracy.
“With this weapon, you can change quickly from right hand to left hand. If you are shooting something that is not comfortable on your hand and can’t get a comfortable grip, it is not as accurate,” Sgt. 1st Class Andrew Flynn, 101st Division Master Gunner, said earlier this year.
The new handguns are built with an external safety, self-illuminating sights for low-light conditions, an integrated rail for attaching enablers and an Army standard suppressor conversion kit to attach an acoustic/flash suppressor, service developers said.
“It increases target recognition and increases capability with night sights,” Lt. Col. Steven Power, Individual Weapons Product Manager, Soldier Weapons, told reporters earlier this year.
The Army is now acquiring thousands of full-size XM17 and compact XM18 versions of the new 9mm pistol. The XM17 fires 147 grain jacketed hollow point ammunition.”
“When it comes to fast-evolving tactics now used in close-quarter combat, something with which Army soldiers fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan now have more than a decade of experience, an ability to maneuver with increased lethality in caves, tunnels, crawl spaces, attics or buildings allows soldiers to access life-impacting firepower more effectively – especially in “tight quarters” situations where a longer, larger rifle may not be available for use.”
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“Prospects for the handgun have been well received across DoD; the Navy, Air Force and Marines are also receiving this pistol, according to a report from Military.com.”