Friday, January 27, 2006

I was just waitin for it

In the post Hallelujah, praise the lord, and pass the ammunition I wrote the following:

From Global Security:

"The US Special Operations Command [USSOCOM] issued a solicitation in August 2005 to obtain commercially available non-developmental item (NDI) Joint Combat Pistol (JCP) system, Caliber .45 (ACP). The Program (which absorbed an earlier Future Handgun System program) will use full and open competition to fulfill the JCP requirement. The JCP will be delivered in accordance with specification entitled "Performance Specification Joint Combat Pistol" to be provided with issuance of the solicitation. Two configurations of the pistol will be required. One configuration will have no external safety and the other configuration will have an external safety.

The Combat Pistol System consists of: a Caliber .45 pistol and its ancillary equipment including: Magazines (standard and high-capacity); Suppressor Attachment Kit for operation of the pistol with and without sound suppressor; Holster; Magazine Holder (standard and high-capacity); Cleaning Kit; and Operator's Manual..."
I've been saying this was coing for a while now, first it goes to SOCOM, then we may see general issue. The Contractor grapevine has been buzzing that the RFP was written just for HK to get the bid, but we'll see.

... snip ...

Then theres this:

"The JCP shall have a standard magazine capacity of no less than eight [8] rounds (T), greater than eight [8] rounds (O) of .45 ACP ammunition. The JCP shall also have a high-capacity magazine of no less than ten [10] rounds (T), fifteen [15] rounds (O), of .45 ACP ammunition."
Hmmmm... somebody is either thinking HKP2000/USP Compact, a SIG P220, or a 1911...

and these two narrow it down further:

"The JCP length, with standard barrel, shall be less than 9.65 inches (T). The JCP width shall be less than 1.53 inches (T).

The JCP shall function in double action/single action (DA/SA) or double-action only (DAO) including Striker-Fired Action (SFA) (T). The JCP should have a modular action mechanism that allows reconfiguration at the unit level without modification to the weapon’s major assemblies (O).

All DA/SA pistols shall have a consistent trigger pull of eight to ten [8-10] pounds on Double Action, and a consistent trigger pull of four to six [4-6] pounds on Single Action and all DAO pistols shall have a trigger pull of five to eight [5-8] pounds (T). All pistols shall have a trigger pull that is consistent within one [1] pound from average pull (T). When pressure is applied to the JCP trigger and then released, the trigger shall reset to its forward-most position, even if the pistol is not fired (T). The operator shall be capable of pulling the trigger, without shifting the firing grip."

Uhhh yep, looks like a SIG or an HK to me, and HK is "owed" a major military contract. Actually the more you read, the clearer it is that this was indeed written for HK to win.

Well it seems my prediction is going to come to pass, at least in part:
U.S. Brings Back the .45

January 27, 2006: After two decades of use, the U.S. Department of Defense is getting rid of its Beretta M9 9mm pistol, and going back to the 11.4mm (.45 caliber) weapon. There have been constant complaints about the lesser (compared to the .45) hitting power of the 9mm. And in the last few years, SOCOM (Special Operations Command) and the marines have officially adopted .45 caliber pistols as “official alternatives” to the M9 Beretta. But now SOCOM has been given the task of finding a design that will be suitable as the JCP (Joint Combat Pistol). Various designs are being evaluated, but all must be .45 caliber and have a eight round magazine (at least), and high capacity mags holding up to 15. The new .45 will also have a rail up top for attachments, and be able to take a silencer. Length must be no more than 9.65 inches, and width no more than 1.53 inches.

The M1911 .45 caliber pistol that the 9mm Beretta replaced in 1985, was, as its nomenclature implied, an old design. There are several modern designs out there for .45 caliber pistols that are lighter, carry more ammo and are easier to maintain than the pre-World War I M1911 (which is actually about a century old, as a design). The Department of Defense plans to buy 645,000 JCPs. "

Well, the top rail is a universally stupid idea unless it's on a fixed barrel, with a low mass slide, or a bolt action system. I only know of one centerfire automatic pistol with that design that isn't a competition pistol, and that's the Desert Eagle; which is obviously not a consideration.

Oh and why a 15rd magazine? Servicemen with small hands ALREADY have a problem with the doublestack 9mm, a doublestack .45 is going to be that much worse.

There is NO reason to have either optics or a huge magazine on a military combat pistol. A pistol is NOT AN OFFENSIVE WEAPON. The SOLE purpose of a pistol in military service is to allow you to defend yourself until you can get to a real weapon, and preferably a radio.

Okay, end of rant.

Anyway, other than that, I see no reason to change my judgement that this RFP is written specifcally for HK. It also seems to me that the USP is still the most likely platform, even including the rail and 15rd mag.