Four special Sig Sauer M17 pistols to arm Sentinels at the Tomb of the Unknowns (VIDEO)
By Chris Eger
The four ceremonial handguns are filled with details about the history and reverence of the Tomb Sentinels. (Photos: Sig)
The Army is slated to accept a quartet of specially created M17 pistols from New Hampshire gun maker Sig Sauer later this month intended for a very special purpose: to arm select Sentinels at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers, the resting place of service members who are “Known But to God.”
The Tomb Guard Platoon of the U.S. Army’s 3rd Infantry Regiment — the Old Guard — today continues a 24-hour/365-day perpetual watch over the tombs of the nation’s Unknown Soldiers that has remained unbroken since 1937, in any weather. While the rank and file Sentinels have, for decades, been armed with M14 rifles, the squad commanders, non-commissioned officers, are armed with holstered handguns. Currently, those handguns are ceremonial-grade M9 Berettas. After Oct. 11, they will be M17 Sig Sauers.
Completed to the same specs as standard-issue M17s, itself a variant of the Sig P320 that won the Army’s Modular Handgun System competition last year, the four pistols for the Tomb NCOs will have a non-railed aluminum grip module rather than a polymer frame, a high polish stainless steel slide, wood grip inserts,