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There is nothing more frustrating than a firearm that turns out to be intrinsically full of problems.

After all, these precision machines have been part of our national identity since long before we were even a nation to begin with.

Without the idea of a Second Amendment fresh in the minds of the founding fathers, there is little doubt that convincing the population of the New World to rise up against the British would be a difficult task.  At the time, the British army and British navy were likely the most advanced in the entire world, and a ragtag group of colonists were taking an enormous risk in their revolution.

Since that time, however, the United Staes military has been on a path to total world domination in terms of technology and brute strength, expounding on the virtues of the Second Amendment as they went.

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This has led to a number of timeless military-grade sidepieces being issued to our brave men and women in uniform, meant to perform under any conditions.  From the sands of Iraq to the chilly mountaintops of Afghanistan, and from the beaches of Normandy to the jungles of Vietnam, American soldiers have been in need of a powerful, and more importantly, reliable sidearm to accompany them through a myriad of messes.

The U.S. Army’s latest Sig Sauer sidepiece is, unfortunately, anything but.

“Now that it has been in service for a little while, it seems there are a few problems with he U.S. Army’s new Modular Handgun System, otherwise known as the SIG Sauer P320.

“According to recently release Pentagon documents, there are some persistent problems with the pistol platform.

“This story from says an annual fiscal report, which you can read here, was released by the Pentagon’s Office of the Director of Operational Test and Evaluation detailed safety concerns, double ejections, and stoppage issues with the XM17 and XM18 pistols, when used with certain ammunition.”

Just how bad could it possibly be?

• Double ejections of an unspent ball ammunition round along with a spent round during firing.

• A higher number of stoppages experienced by shooters with both the XM17 and XM18 handguns when fired with ball ammunition as compared to the special purpose ammunition.

• Both weapons failed to meet the Mean Rounds Between Stoppage reliability requirement with ball ammunition.

• Two trigger-splintering incidents that officials believe were related to an engineering change made by Sig Sauer to correct a drop test deficiency in which testers saw the weapon fire when dropped.

• More than half of the stoppages reported were likely caused by use of the Army Marksmanship Unit’s “high pistol grip” method, which can result in the shooter engaging the slide catch lever and cause the slide not to lock in the rear position.


Certainly, we know now that the Sig Sauer XM17 and XM18 won’t end up in the pantheons of great military guns, such as the 1911, but they could find themselves a niche collector market among folks who still drive Chevy Corvairs and drink Crystal Clear Pepsi.


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