Early in October, I was fortunate enough to have enough time to visit Rock Island Arsenal Museum and see their small arms collection. I can say that I was not disappointed with the collection on display. There were firearms that I had both never heard of nor seen and firearms that I have always dreamed of seeing. Among these were some Special Purpose Individual Weapons (SPIW) Program firearms and the Cadillac Gage Stoner-63 machine guns, respectively. There are over 1,000 firearms on display. Unfortunately, a couple of years ago, the number of displayed pieces was cut drastically, and those firearms were stored in Alabama.
As seen in Thunder Roads Louisiana Oct. 2017 Vol. 14 – Issue 9.
SIG-Sauer and Glock continue to hold the covers of magazines and the front of web-pages across the internet. For SIG, the headlines consist of the Army’s M17 variant and the “voluntary upgrade” program on “unsafe” P320s in the civilian arena. For Glock, their headlines cover the good and the bad of the new Generation-5 line of handguns. Of course, both issues were met with various degrees of controversy.
I have always had a special interest in the proceedings of small arms contracts within the U.S. Armed Forces. I’ve never served in the Armed Forces, but with the dream of becoming a firearms designer and manufacturer; it is extremely important to me to take into account what is happening in current conflicts to adjust to what is needed.
It should go without saying that the following thoughts are of civilian nature and is complete chairborne speculation.
The SIG-Sauer P320 is probably the most searched of firearms on Google and the most popular handgun on the market right now. I don’t believe that there are many who would disagree with that statement. Make no mistake, the P320 was popular before the U.S. Army concluded their Modular Handgun System program and named the striker-fired SIG the winner. The key word there – and stone cold fact – being modular. I was fortunate enough to be allowed to borrow a full-size 9mm P320 from a friend recently. I must say; this SIG platform continues to leave an impression on me. I have had the opportunity to fire several 9mm Compacts and one .45 ACP Compact, in the past.
There are many options on the market, for one to choose from, when it comes to thinking about their go-to self-defense handgun. I can walk into any of my local firearms dealers today and find display cases awash with various handguns. The question that each new shopper faces is; ‘which one is the one?’. We all have our reasons for the handguns that we end up choosing and I have my complaints about some of those methods; such as relying on the dealer’s salesperson for advice or buying third-rate gear when one more paycheck could’ve gotten them something tried and true. I’ll share some of my experiences and learning from over the years, as a civilian shooter.