Smith and Wesson will no longer be vying for the Army’s new Modular Handgun System contract after they announced to investors on Friday that the M&P will not continue its testing to replace the Army’s Beretta M9 which has been the Army’s official sidearm since 1985.
Smith and Wesson is the first company to lose the bid.
After the announcement, the stock of the company plunged 7.8%.
In 2014, the company partnered with General Dynamics. They provided barrels for the M&P and lent their expertise to the company. This partnership was considered to give the company a huge advantage.
“We and our partner in the pursuit of the U.S. Army’s Modular Handgun System, or MHS, solicitation to replace the M9 standard Army sidearm have been notified by the Department of the Army that our proposal was not selected to advance to the next phase of the competition,” Smith & Wesson said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The M&P has been one of the favorite handguns for law enforcement and many civilians. The gun was considered to be a contender to win the contract, but they did not make it to the finals. The guns functions and aesthetics seemed to have matched what the Army was looking for. The Army requested that the firearm be required to hit a 4 inch target at 50 meters 90% of the time during its lifespan. It also had to penetrate 14 inches through ballistics gel from a distance of 50 meters.
The contract is valued at $580 million. Some of the other top contenders are the FN Five-Seven, Glock 17 and 22, the Sig Sauer P320, Beretta APX and the CZ P-09.