U.S. Air Force Fielding 125,000 New Sig Sauer M18 Pistols
By Chris Eger
A variant of the Sig Sauer P320 with a number of upgrades to include a coyote-tan PVD coated stainless steel slide and a removable top plate for optics, the M18 can use a 17-round 9mm flush fit or 21-round extended magazine. (Photo: Sig Sauer)
The U.S. Air Force recently started fielding the new polymer-framed Sig Sauer M18 pistol to units and anticipates to have legacy handguns replaced by 2022.
The 9mm handgun — the smaller counterpart to the M17 adopted under the Army’s Modular Handgun System contract — replaces the Beretta M9 series pistols, which have been in service since 1986.
“The Air Force bought the M9s back in the 1980s, and the design has not really changed since then,” said Merrill Adkison, USAF Small Arms Program Office senior logistics manager. “M9s are larger, heavier, all-metal pistols; whereas M18s are lighter polymer pistols with a more consistent trigger pull and adjustable grips for large and small hands.”
The M18 will also replace smaller numbers of the M11, which is a version of the all-metal Sig Sauer P228, used by the Air Force Office of Special Investigations. Finally, the new pistol’s ability to use blank firing kits and Simunitions will allow it to replace theSource: Guns.com