Army orders 20,000 more M9s

From Strategy Page via Gunpundit, the Army has gone ahead and procured 20k more M9 pistols for TACOM (Tank and Automotive Command).  The article at Strategy Page then goes on to bash the M9 for the usual specious reasons; and then proceeds to make the following reference, and really just toss any credibility right out.

What resulted was the Mk 23 SOCOM. This .45 caliber pistol has a 12-round clip

I’m not normally a nazi about proper terminology, but come on.  It’s a magazine.  This is an article that other people will read.  The word here is magazine.  Of course, the article doesn’t stop there and goes on to sound very much like it was written by an HK fanboy who doesn’t know a whole lot about military unit procurement.  For example:

But when the other guy is likely to shoot back, you want as much knock down power as you can get. Thus cops who shoot a lot, prefer 10mm and larger calibers (like the 11.4mm .45). The Special Forces, and SOCOM in general, have the authority to get any weapons they think they need, with no interference from anyone. SOCOM has lots of small unit operations that use pistols. The SOCOM operators believe that the 9mm pistol is not adequate, thus the adoption of the Mk23. 

Activate: SNARK MODE.  Really?  Knock down power?  And man oh man my favorite line about how SOCOM operators can get whatever weapons they want without asking permission, I love it when that one is repeated, because all you have to do is look at the SEALs and see that their standard issued sidearm is a…wait for it…wait for it…9mm Sig Sauer P226.

Now, I’m not knocking the .45.  The Marines Expeditionary Units carry 1911s in .45, and they love it, and I think it’s a great gun as well.  However, the reason I think it’s a great gun is not because of the caliber, but rather the package that it’s in.  You put that .45 ACP in a 1911 and it becomes one of the most user friendly and shootable guns on god’s green earth.

But back to the issue at hand – it is nice to see that the Army is making sure that their tank and vehicle guys at the very least have new M9s, are aren’t being issued ones that have been all shot to pieces in the various combat theatres we’re in right now.


  1. I’m not a stickler for correct terminology, but I do notice when people who claim a certain expertise don’t use the correct words. It make me wonder what else they’re incorrect about.

  2. Did anyone notice that this is “Tank and Automotive Command”? If these guys end up using any firearms, let alone sidearms, the situation is already badly buggered. Expecting them to carry Mk23s is just lunacy, especially as something like a P90 or MP5k isn’t all that much bigger. The Mk23 is meant to be a primary weapon; the M9 is just a sidearm. I suspect our the regular infantry could benefit from 1911s, but this procurement doesn’t seem all that odd.

  3. Tank and Automotive Command is the part of Army Materiel Command that has proponency for vehicles, armament, watercraft, construction equipment, etc. The weapons aren’t being ordered for TACOM, but rather by TACOM – for the Army as a whole. The overwhelming majority of personnel in TACOM are civilians.

  4. Rich is on the right track.

    In late 1994, the US Army Armament, Munitions, and Chemical Command (AMCCOM) was disestablished. The armament and chemical defense functions of AMCCOM become the Armaments and Chemical Acquisition and Logistics Activity (ACALA). The Tank-Automotive Command (TACOM) was then assigned operational control of ACALA, the Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC), and the Belvoir Research, Development and Engineering Center (BRDEC). As a result of the added responsibilities, Tank-Automotive Command was redesignated the Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command. The acronym TACOM remained.

    There has been shuffling of subordinate commands since then, but TACOM retains the procurement authority for the majority of the US Army’s small arms. It also piggybacks small arms orders for the other US service branches, Foreign Military Sales (FMS), and even Federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies on occasion.

    The TACOM contract for 20,000 Beretta pistols is a FMS to Iraq. This could have been easily confirmed by the StrategyPage author if he had just looked up the contract number. The contract document is publicly available online from TACOM as a .pdf file.

  5. Has anybody but Hollywood and Mall Ninjas with money to burn actually used the Mk 23?

    Oh and he also used “Silencer” instead of Suppressor….and implied the military actually USES that monstrosity.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: