The SIG Sauer M17 and M18 are service pistols used by the United States Armed Forces.
On January 19, 2017, the United States Army announced that a customized version of the SIG Sauer P320 had won the Army’s XM17 Modular Handgun System competition. The full-sized model will be known as the M17, and the smaller-sized carry model will be known as the M18. There are 2 color variants, “Coyote tan” and black, for both the M17 and M18.
Modular Handgun System competition
When the requirements were formulated for a new handgun for the U.S. Army, one of the tenets of the proposal was that an existing model handgun was desired to fulfill the requirements laid out in the Modular Handgun System Request for Proposal, known as the XM17 Procurement. SIG Sauer submitted a P320 with a number of modifications for the XM17 Modular Handgun System competition.
- Slide cut out to facilitate the addition of a reflex sight; this is the slide from the RX Series.
- Ambidextrous thumb safety.
- Loaded chamber indicator.
- Improved slide sub-assembly to capture small components when disassembled.
- Improved trigger “mud flap” to prevent foreign debris from entering the pistol action.
- 120 mm (4.7″) barrel length in full size M17.
- 98 mm (3.9″) barrel length in carry M18.
- Chambered in 9×19mm Parabellum; unable to adopt other calibers or frames because of the spanner screw on the frame’s chassis.
- Pistols chambered in 9mm can feature a 17-round magazine in standard with optional 21-round extended magazines available.
- Steel components are given a physical vapor deposition (PVD) corrosion-resistant finish.
- Using spanner screws instead of normal screws to resist disassembly farther than field stripping by non-armorer users.
SIG Sauer wins the award
On January 19, 2017, the United States Army announced that the SIG Sauer P320 MHS variant had won the military’s Modular Handgun System trials. The P320 is known as the M17 (Full-Size) and M18 (Carry) in U.S. military service. Though the pistol will remain chambered in 9 x 19mm NATO rather than a larger caliber, the contract allows the Army and other services to procure SIG Sauer’s proposed XM1152 Full Metal Jacket and XM1153 Special Purpose ammunition. The ammunition chosen to go with the pistol is a “Winchester jacketed hollow point” round; similar in appearance to the Winchester PDX1 round but with some differences to the design of the hollowpoint petals. The M17 has better accuracy and ergonomics and tighter dispersion than the M9 and will be fielded more widely, being issued down to squad and fireteam leaders. Special forces dual-arm all of its members with a pistol and rifle. Junior leaders in regular infantry units who were previously excluded from carrying sidearms will be given more choices and options in close quarters battle situations under a new policy. All Army units are planned to have the M9 replaced with the M17 within a decade.
U.S. military services adopt the M17 and M18
In May 2017, the Army announced that the first unit that will receive the M17 would be the 101st Airborne Division by the end of the year. At the same time, the rest of the U.S. Armed Forces revealed they also intend to acquire the handgun, making it the standard sidearm for the entire U.S. military. The services plan to procure up to 421,000 weapons in total; 195,000 for the Army, 130,000 for the Air Force, 61,000 for the Navy (M18 compact version only), and 35,000 for the Marines.
The U.S. Marine Corps is replacing its M9, M9A1, M45A1, and M007 handguns with the SIG Sauer M18 handguns. The M9 and M9A1 were produced by Beretta while the M45A1 was made by Colt and the M007, which was only recently accepted as a variant, is made by Glock.
Although it has been announced that the U.S. Coast Guard is also adopting the M17/18 handgun, there are no purchase numbers as yet.
In November 2019, SIG Sauer announced the delivery of the 100,000th M17/M18 handgun to the U.S. military.
|Mass||M17 834 g (29.4 oz)
M18 737 g (26.0 oz)
|Length||M17 203 mm (8.0 in)
M18 183 mm (7.2 in)
|Barrel length||M17 120 mm (4.7 in)
M18 98 mm (3.9 in)
|Width||35.5 mm (1.40 in)|
|Height||140 mm (5.5 in)|
|Muzzle velocity||360 m/s (1,200 ft/s)|
|Feed system||17 or 21-round box magazine|