Air Force testing M17 pistol safety with ejection seats (PHOTOS)
By Chris Eger
“This is the first time any service has conducted this type of demonstration to ensure a side arm is safe for aircrew to carry in ejection seat aircraft,” says the Air Force. (Photos: DoD)
The flying service is testing the new Modular Handgun System’s capability to resist damage during the demanding act of ejecting from a moving aircraft.
The Air Force released a number of images of the MHS contract winner, designated the M17 by the military, undergoing testing at a facility at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, earlier this month. The photos show a full-scale anthropomorphic dummy clad in a survival vest and flight gear strapped to a simulated stand-mounted ejection seat. On the dummy’s chest are a pair of M17 pistols, one oriented for a left-hand draw, another for a right, alternating flush-fit and extended magazines.
Additional imagery shows a senior NCO inspecting an empty shell casing for signs of the firing pin striking the primer as part of the test.
“This is the first time any service has conducted this type of demonstration to ensure a side arm is safe for aircrew to carry in ejection seat aircraft,” says the service.
The M17 is based on Sig Sauer’s P320 platform, which drew