A commercial version of the U.S. Army’s newest service pistol, the M17, will be sold by Sig Sauer starting next year, Military.com reported.
“We are planning to do a limited release of about 5,000 of the Army variant of the M17 for the commercial market,” Tom Taylor, Sig Sauer’s chief marketing officer and executive vice president for commercial sales, told Military.com. “The timing is not finalized yet, but it looks to be late spring.”
Taylor told Military.com that the commercial version will be almost identical to the Army’s Modular Handgun System, except it won’t have an anti-tamper mechanism for the striker action and it won’t have special coatings that keep the internal parts lubricated.
While the Army’s version has a frame-mounted thumb safety, the commercial version will have an option of whether or not to have it.
Taylor told Military.com that the price of the commercial version of the pistol is not yet known.
In January, the United States Army chose the Sig Sauer P320 handgun for the Modular Handgun System to replace the Beretta M9 pistol.
Sig Sauer was awarded a $580 million contract for the service pistol and chosen over Glock, Inc.; FN America and Beretta USA.
The contract covers 10 years of procurement to supply the Army with the M17 and M18 versions of the pistol.
The Army first announced the competition for the MHS back in 2011, but because of several delays, the most recent solicitation deadline was February 2016. It launched its MHS competition in August 2015 to replace the M9 Beretta, which was the service’s pistol of choice for 30 years.