I have just glanced at an article claiming the US military is looking to replace the 9mm pistol with something more powerful. The obvious move is to simply go back to the .45 ACP, but the article also talks about looking at the .357 SIG and .40 S&W.
Military trials in the past have often not been that scientific. A decision gets made in advance and the main purpose of the trial is to find evidence to support this decision. Some of you might reasonably be asking hasn’t the US military ever investigated handgun ammunition before? Yes they have! A very extensive study back in 1998 It found the .45 ACP to be superior to all lighter, higher velocity rounds. These findings have been mainly ignored.
Millions of dollars will doubtless be wasted selecting a new calibre.
Let us just consider for a second what the military actually needs from a pistol.
- It needs a round that works well at close range.
- It needs a round that can be used effectively with a suppressor.
Logically it needs a heavy, subsonic round, not a high velocity supersonic round optimised for ranges of more than 75 metres. Only one military pistol round meets those criteria and in addition has a proven combat track record. The .45 ACP.