12 November 2011

FWS Armory: Combat Pistols

With many apologies, FWS is finally updated! The staff have been too busy with Survival Mode on COD:MW3. FWS fears no Juggernaut!

Pistols, the most popular firearm type in the United States, often used as a personal defense weapon by civilians, police, and soldier through the ages. During times of war, the pistol does go into the battlefield, but unlike the assault rifle or machine guns, it is seldom used, expect in dire life-or-death situations.
However, in recent times, video games, movies, and TV have skewed the real-life role and usage of the pistol in armed conflict into the realm of fantasy in the minds of most people.
 In this blogpost, FWS will be exploring the usage of combat pistols in modern militarises, what will be changing, and what science-fiction as to say about the upcoming role of the combat pistol.

Modern Military usage of Pistols

Contrary the their depiction in mass media, combat pistols serve most of their operation life in waiting. Most are only fired on a range, and left in their holsters during combat operations. This is due to the combat role of pistols, to be a backup or secondary when the primary weapon is out of ammo or disabled. Currently, some of traditional roles of the combat pistols, like being the personal defense weapon of armored vehicle crews and medics for example, have been replaced by weapons like the Colt M4 carbine, the FN P90, and the H&K MP7. This happened before, during the Second World War, when the US developed the M1A1 carbine (my Grandfather carried one) to be a more offensive and capability personal defense weapon than the Colt 1911 .45 ACP. Given the limited role and rarity of use, governments often do not replace the pistol as frequency as other pieces of combat equipment, causing the same pistol to be used for decades, like the Colt 1911 and the Browning Hi-Power.

Common Combat Pistols

In the 1980's, the allied nations of NATO transitioned to standardized weapon calibers, 5.56mm for rifles and 9mm for sidearms and SMGs. This ended the rein of the Colt 1911 .45 ACP as the standard US sidearm, switching to the M9 Beretta 9mm in 1985, while the NAVSPECWAR (SEALs) carries the superior and more highly rated SIG SAUER P226 9mm (called the Mk 24 Mod 0). In other militaries around the world, the Beretta 92F series, SIG SAUER 226/229/228, the H&K USP, and Glock 17/19 enjoy global acceptances, and all chamber the 9x19mm round
However, in the shadow realm of USSOCOM, operators carry everything from custom-made 1911s, Glock 17/19s, the H&K SOCOM Mark 23 .45 pistol, and the the MEC 1911s.

Combat Pistol Calibers: Does Size Really Matter?

Since 1985, when the US military converted over from the classic .45ACP that had been in service since 1911, to the European 9x19mm round, there has been a debate over the size of the pistol’s caliber. Unlike in the civilian world, where shooters chose their pistol caliber based on their own personal preference, the military pistol users often have no choice on what sidearm they use or the size of the bullet. There is also a vast difference between the types of attackers and environments between the civilian and military usage of a sidearm. Most attackers in the civilian lethal force situations are not accustom to being shot, and one good hit from most any common round, ends the attack. While in the military, especially in Afghanistan and Somalia, where the attackers are fucked up on drugs and more used to be shot, deadly force or stopping power was paramount.
So, is the size of the bullet important to a combat handgun?
Supporters of the 9mm Parabellum round would often cite the low recoil, the faster speed of the projectile, the ability to carry more ammunition for less weight than the old .45 ACP. Even in the hallowed ranks of Tier One Special Operations, some of these operators carried 9mm sidearms, like Pete Blaber, who was a DELTA commander during Operation Anaconda, who carried a Glock 9mm.
Since most service branches of the military had no choice, they drilled shot placement to overcome the lack of stopping power that the 9mm round possessed, which was stated so well by a SEAL firearms instructor: “when I put two rounds through your heart and one in your head, you won't know the difference..” But even training could not make for the inability of the 9mm bullet to pierce body armors, which led to the downfall of the old standard of the submachine gun world, the H&K MP5.

Not every branch of the US military was drinking the 9mm Kool-Aide, DELTA Force, the Marine Expeditionary RECON units, and The FBI HRT modernized the M1911 pistol well into the 21st century. They and other .45 ACP supporters cited stopping power and the ability to penetrate ballistic armor as key points for the US military to return to the good ole .45. This lack of spotting power was seen in operations in Somalia in 1993 and more recently in Operation Anaconda during 2002, when experienced enemy targets were able to resist multiple hits by the M9 sidearm. After this, it seems now, that supporters of the .45 ACP had gotten their wish, in 2006, the DOD approved for the development of a Joint Combat Pistol which tested various .45 ACP , and Hecker & Koch entered with former DELTA Operator Larry Vickers, the H&K45. However, by 2007, the JCP and its successor were halted, extending the life of M9 Beretta. In 2010, USSOCOM and NAVSPECWAR official approved the H&K45C for service, ending a portion of the 9mm in service with the US military.
It seems that size does matter.

Future of Military Pistols

I'm Sexy, and I know it!
The long-held argument of which caliber is more effective in combat could be coming to an end. 9x19mm, the most widely used pistol/SMG caliber,  as its days numbered, due to an odd twist of historical irony. Similar battlefield pressures that led to the adoption of Colt 1911 .45 during the Moro guerrillas uprising in Philippine, is forcing the US military to re-evaluated their usage of the 9mm Beretta.This as led to the adoption of the H&K .45 by USSOCOM and NAVSPECWAR, and most likely, the entire US military. Another pressure on current crop of military/police pistols is hostiles using body armor that can defeat the commonly used 9x19mm bullet. In response, there as been development of new high-velocity rounds, like the 5.7x28mm and the 4.6x30mm, that easily slice through Kevlar. It is my guess that it will not be too much longer before these HV calibers are as widely accepted as the venerable 9mm and .45.

Why doesn't every soldier carry a pistol?

When I take to the paintball field, I carry my Tippmann Alpha Black carbine on my chest, and on my leg is a Tiberius TAC-8 magazine-fed pistol, and when I run out of CO2, or the marker fails, I switch to the pistol without leaving the fight. I've had to run entire games with only my sidearm, and this got me to thinking, why doesn't every soldier carry a sidearm?
If I was deployed into a warzone, I'd want a primary and a secondary, along with my trusty tomahawk, and would not every soldier want that sense of security of having a backup, even if they never use it?
Part of argument against this could be money and weight. The US military spends over $400 for each of the M9 Beretta, which would have to be added to the cost of outfitting every soldier, couple that with increasing the production and supply of 9mm ammo and magazines.
All that begins to add up, along with the extra weight to a soldier's base combat loadout. Also, I think that commanders don't want a soldier to go all Bruce Willis and switch from their assault rifle to a much less able weapon just to live out some boyhood fantasy. I've been guilty of this sin a few times in video games and paintball.
The advantage of every soldier carrying a sidearm to me, would be a sense of security and if anything goes wrong with your M4 carbine, you're not bring a knife to a gun fight.  
According to my research, these are the members of the military allowed to carry a pistol:
  • Machine Gunners
  • Medics
  • Radio Operator
  • Heavy weapons operators
  • Snipers
  • Officers
  • NCOs
  • Personal protection details
  • Special Operations soldiers.
  • Pilots
  • Armored vehicle crews
  • Artillery crews
  • Military police officers
  • Guard duty detail
  • Dog handlers
Popular Perception of Pistols

The public imagination with pistols as been fueled by too many  Old West movies, Hong Kong cinema, video games, and gang culture, leading to misinformation on the abilities of a standard pistol, despite these weapons being the most common firearms in the US. The vast majority of visual media projects the wrong abilities onto a pistol, showing them to be a good replacement for an assault rifle or even an SMG. This is true in shows like 24 where Federal Agent Jack Bauer uses an USP compact to take down bad guys using all manner of fully automatic firearms, however at least, 24 demonstrates Jack reloading and using a proper grip. That is another issue, improper handling, lack of simple aiming, and hand placement, then followed up with actors unloading the full magazine. Due to the use of blank guns in TV and movies, actors can ignore the basic laws of proper handling in sidearms, like not bothering to aim or stop from unloading the clip, which would throw off an ability to aim at a target. Don't even get me started on the morons that hold their pistol sideways!
Then there is the worst popular misconception, the Magnum Research Desert Eagle. It seems that every major video game, Anime, or shoot'em film as some asshat wielding this handcannon, unloading .50 AE rounds one handed. I've rented and fired a Desert Eagle .50 Action Express, and I was unimpressed to say the least. The slide of this beast seems to be like a freight train about slam into your face, followed by the brutal recoil, and the slide locking back into place, it was jarring, and my shot placement was not good. After three slow-fired rounds, my wrist hurt, and I turned the weapon to my buddy to finish off the magazine. The reality of the powerful large-framed Desert Eagle pistol as been replaced with a fantasy and bad rumors of the pistol being the standard pistol of the IDF (The Desert Eagle is actually American). While the Desert Eagle is a well made weapon, it was not designed to be a standard issue military sidearm, due to it being designed to fire larger caliber bullets, like the 357, .41, .44, and .50AE, which none are military standard calibers and not in the supply chain. Also, the pistol is heavy, along with its expensive ammunition, weighting down the wearer just that much more, when a .45ACP would do the job just as well. The Desert Eagle is a sidearm at home on the range, not the battlefield.
And then that brings us to the subject of dual-wielding pistols...

Can you Dual Wield?

Question: Are you have you been previous or currently a member of the SPARTAN-II program? Are you a supersoldiers? Or are you using paintball pistols, Airsoft, or twin.22s? Are you interested in wasting ammo while hitting nothing?
The plain fact is that firing pistols from both hands original occurred  when pistols were blackpowder and single shot. This tactic was especially used by ship boarding activities and horseback infantry. The traditional continued into the American Old West, where the romantic imagine of Cowboys and Outlaws firing from both hands. This tactic of using two guns were used due to the painfully slow reloads required for black powder revolvers, and it is likely that they used one then switched out when it ran dry, this called the "New York Reload." The old Soviet NKVD intelligence force used to train their troops to fire two-at-once tactics to force the enemy to dive for cover.
Today it is very common to see two pistols, often 9mm or .45 ACP being fired akimbo, and havoc being wrecked on the bad guys as shell casting fall and techno music thumps.
Now, I agree its cool and makes for pretty combat scenes, but I call bullshit on that. Some people that are not Neo or Noble Six could fire two 9mm pistols at once, but the question begs itself why?
Human begins are not Owls, their eyes cannot target two objects at once and use either pistol to attack them independently At best, dual-wielding is a self-covering-fire tactic, which is how I use it in the realm of paintball, at worst, you waste ammo and spray the surrounding countryside with pistol ammunition. Once you've bleed off your ammo, you have another issue: reloading.
Since you're not Vishun, you have drop one and slowly reload both, great time to get yourself killed. Then the real question comes up of what would hitting a single target with two pistol blazing away? If you strike your target with a 9mm or .45 in the desired locations, would two be really needed? You are not shooting at a bear or a Terminator, but a human being, one or two rounds is more than enough, trust me. I've worked in an ICU for nine years, and I've seen many GSWs, one bullet in the right area, and you're toast. It's all about control and aiming in the real world, not styling and mimicking Chow Yun-Fat.

Science Fiction's Perception of Pistols

Where would we be without the iconic large-framed blaster in most sci-fi works, or even the ray-gun of the action-adventurer of the atomic rocket ship pulp-era? The field of sci-fi is littered with all manner of combat pistols, most are the popular "blasters" that seem to fulfill both offensive and defensive roles. The popularity of these DEW large framed weapons as altered the public and sci-fi fans on the role of the pistol and its capabilities. Han Solo holding off a team of Stormtroopers with his DL-44 comes to mind. Often, the pistols in science fiction are used as primaries, and little regard is cast towards the reality of combat pistols. Some shooter MSF video games have attempted to demonstrate the reality of using a pistol in a combat zone, via the benefits and weaknesses. However, most gamers drop the "weaker" pistols for another kind of assault rifle or shotgun, making pistols low on the list for video game creators.

My favorite examples of Sci-fi pistols

The Pflager Katsumata series-D M2019 "Detective Special" .44 From Blade Runner 

The hero prop itself is like Blade Runner itself, was a mixture of odd bits to forge a dark vision of the future, two separate guns were mixed to make the M2019 .44  Detective Special, The Steyr .222 Model SL receiver, Carter Arms .44 Special Bulldog revolver. I've written about my love affair with this pistol before, but it goes without saying, the Blade Runner handgun is, in my opinion, the greatest sci-fi pistol of all time.

Spike's Jericho 941 from Cowboy Bebop

In my favorite Anime series, Cowboy Bebop, one of the primary characters Spike, carries the "baby eagle", the Jericho 941. While the series uses realistic weapons and picks for all manner of weapons, this is odd choice, given that the 941 is not a popular weapon, along with not even standard issue pistol for the IDF. However, this pistol just works well when the framework of the series, and after watching this, I added the Jericho 941 in the .40 S&W round on my firearms want list.


I have to give credit where credit is due, Bungie out did themselves with the Special Operations sound suppressed variant of the M6 12.7mm handgun, a great deal of thought went into making the arms and mission of the ODST different than the normal UNSC forces, especially the SPARTAN-II. Most creators of sci-fi do not invest this heavily into presenting a pistol tailor made for elite operations, along with making it have a balance, rather than just a weak, forgettable weapon. Plus, its really satifiing to pop grunts in the head with this.
This is based off of the real-steel H&K MK 23 SOCOM Offensive handgun.

The Colonial Sidearm from Battlestar Galactica (2003)

After the second season of the new Battlestar Galactica, the old Colonial sidearm that was patterned after the Blade Runner M2019, was dropped for the real-steel FN Five-Seven pistol. The pistol appeared  throughout the series with only one modification from the original, a micro-grenade launcher. I was impressed with the decision by the producers to use a real-steel pistol over their original prop, not to mention the wise choice of the Five-Seven, which after firing one myself, is currently one of my favorite pistols, only second to the Sig Sauer P229.  

The Visitors' Laser pistol from the original V sega

Growing up in the 1980's, allowed me to experience the "blaster" tread in sci-fi first-hand. During this period of everyone trying to be Clint or Han, was the NBC TV series V. The hostile lizard aliens that came to Earth to eat us and steal our water used a unique design for their DEW blaster, appearing to be two weapons fastened together, however, the size and function of it seemed to be more than a simple combat laser-blaster, more like the primary armament for their military, and the rifles were only wiped out when the situation warranted it, much like Starfleet.

The M5 Seburo from Ghost in the Shell
I'm just going to say it, Shirow is a fucking genius. In 1989, he designed a compact combat pistol that very similar to the FN Five-Seven pistol: the Seburo M5 5mm. Much like the real-world  FN Five-Seven pistol and its PDW big brother, the P90, the M5 chambers the same anti-body armor HV round as the PDW used by Section Nine. Even the round that the M5 fires, the 5.45x18mm round, was developed by Shirow to counter the effect of body armor over the 9mm, which is now current trend. The M5 appears mainly in the Ghost in the Shell manga, and was not animated until the Ghost in the Shell TV series, the 1995 OVA, the role of the M5 was taken over by the real-steel CZ 100.

The H-90 Mars Gallant from Robotech: The New Generation and The Sentients

Much like the M6C SOCOM from HALO 3: ODST, the H-90 Mars Gallant was a pistol built up to be an offensive mission-flexible weapon. The foundation of the H-90 was the oval-shaped particle pistol fed via "flat-cells" of protoculture. The base pistol's range could be extended with a barrel extension, and the power output with a "stock" that used a large power-pack. this one of those great designs that does not receive the credit for being one of the coolest unknown sci-fi guns.

The Cosmo Dragoon from Captain Harlock and Galactic Express 999

According to the legends that surrounds this pistol, it is the only weapon that could kill machine-people, and in the universe of Matsumoto, there are only five that are spread out across the several of Matsumoto's series. This gun as a beauty to it that Sir Francis Bacon would have enjoyed.

The Moses Brothers Self-Defense Engine Frontier Model B from Serenity and Firefly

Space Westerns have been a oddity of sci-fi, and none have been done as well as Firefly, and what Space Western could it be without a cool kick-ass futuristic pistol? Enter the pistol of Mal Reyolds, the Self-Defense Engine Frontier Model B.
For such a small gun there seems to a great deal of theories on it, I've personal read four different operational inner workings of Mal's futuristic revolver, here is one:
"Barlow's Guide to Small Arms (2462 ed.)';

Following the growing trend of multi-use sidearms, this pistol fires several different types of ordinance. The weapon features two distinct firing systems - a Newtech Gauss / coilgun carriage and a conventional hammer-based firing system. The default for the gun is Gauss mode, but the switchover to certain conventional shells is immediate. The coilgun carriage is powered by a hefty battery carried in the pistol's grip. This leads to one of the pistol's main drawbacks - weight.The primary ammunition is Newtech Gauss Caseless Quadloads. Favored for both their punch and small size, the unique aspects of Gauss firing allow multiple shots to be carried in a single shot."

This would make the Self-Defense Engine Frontier Model B handgun needlessly complex, over thought, and it is completely unneeded for any handgun to have two KEW systems, especially when their targets are not wearing body armor. Whoever wrote that knows very little about firearms. This also files in the face of the independent spirit of the outer worlds, attempting to escape the grip of the inner worlds' government.
When I researching the laser pistol from "Heart of Gold", there were references to the outer worlds returning to less complex and more 'traditional firearms' to avoid reliance on the central government for supplies and spare parts for their fancy DEW blasters. The older chemically propelled firearms allowed for the outer worlds to still have a way of defending themselves without fear of the inner worlds cutting of the wagon train


  1. Hey, William- Thanks for the informative post on combat pistols. Many misconceptions about these weapons have beens spread by uninformed Hollywood movies, and this helps clear them up!!

    The raygun or blaster is generally thought of as a large framed pistol of sorts. Often, a future space explorers, soldiers, or freedom fighters carry such a raygun as their primary weapon. Disruptor rifles or laser carbines might exist, but are only seen in situations that warrant their use. This concept is so ingrained that when discussing rayguns, most scientists will reiterate the issue being that modern lasers are too bulky to fit in a holster.

    I really like the H-90 Mars Gallant. That system is both a pistol and a pulse energy carbine in one kit. The pistol uses disposable energy capacitors (laser bullets) that contain enough energy for 3 1.5 kJ antipersonnel shots or 1 4.5 kJ antiarmor shot. With the flat protoculture cell inserted in the stock, the Mars Gallant is capable of firing 48 90kJ blasts that pierce most light armors. Unfortunately, an active Mars Gallant using the protoculture cell is easily detected by Invid sensors...

    Another example of freedom fighters using a large framed raygun as their primary weapon occurs in the Dr. Who episode Day of the Daleks. Guerilla soldiers from an alternate version of 22nd century Earth travel to 20th century Earth attempting to assassinate Sir Reginald Styles, a diplomat who is trying to avert WW3, with futuristic pistols the Doctor refers too as "ultrasonic disintegrators". These disintegrators fire an invisible ultrasonic blast- there is no visible beam- capable of atomizing a target in one shot.

    Later, we see the guerillas using these disintegrators against Ogrons- aliens the Daleks imported as security forces- to great effect, atomizing them in a flash of light. I have to admit that I like these weapons- it is refreshing to see a SF blaster that does not fire a visible beam, and lethal sonic weapons are fairly rare in most SF. Sadly, the blasters are of no use against the heavily shielded Daleks- the only thing that works against them is a highly efficient chemical explosive referred to as "Dalekanium". The rebels stole the formula from the Daleks.

    The laser pistol from V isn't as impressive as disintegrator guns, but was still fairly effective. Apparently, its effects could be dialed from less-lethal to highly lethal, and they were powered by cold fusion cells, so they had unlimited ammunition. Useful for any resistance fighter that stole one...

    The V laser pistols and carbines kind of remind me of the handguns and submachine guns Nazi's and freedom fighters used alike during WW2. Not surprising, since their were some definite, intentional parallels between the lizard aliens and the Nazi's.

    On a personal history note, my grandfather was in the resistance in Italy when he was a boy. He carried messages for the resistance leaders and he was given a submachine gun (apparently, all resistance fighters have submachine guns). Later, my grandfather had to hide in a mental institution to escape Nazi's, but he could not handle life in the nuthouse and left after only two weeks. When he was living in America, his concept of a firearm was a submachine gun, not a semiautomatic weapon or handgun, but he couldn't obtain one- it is hard to get a fully automatic firearm in the U.S.

    By the way, my grandfather was the director of the AFI's Center for Advanced Film and Television Studies. He taught films students how to make and edit films, and many of the directors of films you have no doubt seen dreaded hearing his question, "What is the premise of your film?" which meant your film didn't have one!!

    Christopher Phoenix

  2. Our grandparents' generation and the things they lived through amaze me, makes my problems of Starbuck's making my coffee hot rather than iced seem very small.
    It is odd how the SMG (like the Nazi MP40) was the choice of resistance forces since their development...will keep that in mind for the upcoming post on Subs.
    Are those references to Dr. Who from the classic series or the new series, Mr. Phoenix?
    BTW, your grandfather sounds like an interesting man!

  3. Hello, William!

    Yes, my grandfather was a very interesting man. Sadly, he died before I could know him. I have heard stories of his life from my parents and grandmother.

    The things our grandparent's generation lived through amaze me too. We haven't lived through occupations, the rise of fascist (don't forget fascism started in Italy, where my grandfather grew up), or the space race. Most people are so preoccupied with their problems, they don't realize that it is a luxury that they can even worry about things so trivial. There was a time when the fate of the free world didn't seem certain at all. We could all have been speaking German or Japanese if our grandparents had not fought the Axis powers with the determination that they displayed.

    The Dr. Who episode I was referring too is from the Third Doctor, the Pertwee era, not the new series.

    I've wondered what it would be like to resist an occupation by an advanced alien species or simply a human-run totalitarian state. With all the technology we have today- drone aircraft, satellites, etc, and the technology we might have very soon (i.e. combat robots, laser strikes from orbit, etc.) it might be unlike any situation our forefathers faced.

    The best bet for a guerilla force will be to hide as best they can and strike at vulnerable assets. Then again, there are technologies that can neutralize some of the fancy electronic technologies the oppressors might use- EMP's, pocket heat rays (to shoot down drones), laser dazzlers (takes out satellite sensors), and so on.

    Maybe you can do a post on resistance fighters and guerilla soldiers in real life and SF? After all, a lot of SF portrays resistance fighters- remember Star Wars, Dr. Who, Robotech, etc. What are the realities and myths of these portrayals, compared to real life guerilla fighters throughout history?

    At any rate, I want an ultrasonic disintegrator gun if I have to face such a situation.

    Christopher Phoenix

  4. For reference the 5.45x18mm MPTs cartridge was actually designed by the Russians in the 1970s. It was made for use in the PSM pistol. The PSM pistol was meant to be concealable while sill having the ability to pierce body armor. Apparently it was popular with the KGB.

    It was also used in the OTs-23 "Drotik" pistol. The OTs-23 is an interesting machine pistol. It held 24 rounds of 5.45x18mm ammunition and was capable of firing semiautomatic or 3-round bursts. The bursts were fired at a rate of 1800 rounds per minute. Recoil was kept low by compensator vents built into the barrel.

  5. Ah yes...you are completely right! I forgot that 5.45x18mm was a real-steel caliber and not a creation of Mr. Shirow. Thanks for catching it!

  6. Jack Bauer does NOT use a proper grip. He uses a teacup grip.

  7. I just did some research on the teacup grip, and you are correct. At times Jack Bauer does use a proper grip, but it seems most of the time, he does use teacup. Thanks for the comment!

  8. Welcome and thanks for being open to an anonymous comment. :)

    Have a good one.

  9. "Horse infantry" are you sure that's not cavalry? Also why not allow the infantry a pistol?

  10. Did I write that? Oh my. Yes, cavalry...sorry about that, must have been writing with a beer or low-blood sugar.
    I personally think that all soldiers should have the option of carrying a sidearm that is the same caliber as the standard issue. As long as these soldier accept the risk of carrying a weapon not tested by the US military. I would carry a pistol...and a tomahawk

  11. I carried a primary M4 and a M9 9mm the feeling of security was nice. However, the problem is that most of the pistols we have in the line units were purchased in the 80s and 90s and the administrations occupying the white house during those times to now correctly focused on maintaining our rifles. Therefore another reason to not allow everyone to carry a pistol is simple safety because the weapon may not have had proper maintenance during its life cycle in the infantry.

  12. A childhood friend of mine in the USMC carried an M9 that he said was more used up than old whore's bed.

  13. They definitely get used a lot I am a FMF Corpsman that served with USMC units and loved it. My M9 was definitely used up a lot. Man those things were beat to hell anyway I really enjoy your blog thanks for the reply

  14. Fun article to read, but grossly inaccurate on many of the things you said. Starting with Jack Bauer...even when he's not using a teacup grip, he still wasn't holding it properly...he almost never has his hand high enough on the backstrap, and his support hand position is always very poor. Second, you comment about the weapon of SEALs. I realize that hindsight is 20/20, and you wrote this in 2011, but SEALs still standard issue the P226 in 9mm, not the HK in .45 ACP. I know this first hand, as I've trained with SEALs, and am also a SIG Sauer armorer. The Five-Seven round is carried by virtually nobody. After it was used in real world ops (primarily in the P90), it was found to be horribly ineffective as a fight stopper, and pretty much every agency/ unit that went to it has gotten rid of them. you comment about soldiers switching to a handgun out of preference to relive childhood fantasies, as you put it, is moronic. Airsoft and paintball are not real life. If you'd ever been in a combat environment, with real bullets flying, you'd realize how ridiculous your statement was. In combat you want the biggest, baddest, gun you have on you, with the most ammo. Lastly, something you forgot to mention is the psychological effect of a pistol. In many parts of the world, pistols have always been the weapon of choice for public executions. The locals are used to seeing AK's slung around town, but pull out a pistol and people get scared.

  15. Thanks for the comment, and as you said the article was written in 2011 and it was the first of the FWS Armory series...so it was not the best. I may rewrite elements of this.
    At the time of the writing of this article, the H&K .45ACP was being heavily explored and tested for use by USSCOM. Some SEAL units, according to sources, were testing the H&K 45. As you say, the superior SIG Sauer P226 is still the sidearm of choice of the Teams, and one of my favorite sidearms. I used to own an P229 .40 S&W/.357 SIG.
    I do find it said that the 5.7x28mm round is not enjoying the attention. The P90 is a nice weapon, as is the FiveSeven pistol.
    You are correct on the use of pistols as being execution weapons...nice catch!
    Thanks for the information!

  16. Hey there, great article!

    I'm saddened, though, that machine pistols aren't their own category in the Armory section. They are weapons in their own right, but are rarely talked about much anymore :c

  17. Fear Not! Machine pistols will be getting their own blogpost in the Armory Serial soon.