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M18 Sig Sauer now standard 9mm pistol of US Marine Corps

The Sig Sauer M18 will be now the standard 9mm semi-automatic pistol of the U.S. Marine Corps and will replace the Beretta M9, the Glock 9mm, and the Colt M45A1. The M18 is a smaller version of the M17 which was selected by the U.S. Army.
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Sig Sauer M18 9mm semi-automatic pistol. (Picture source Army Recognition)

Currently, the M17 and M18 are in service with the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard. The delivery of M18 to the United States Marine Corps has started in 2020. In June 2019, the company Sig Sauer has announced that the United States Marine Corps (USMC) is set to adopt the M18, the compact variant of the U.S. Army’s Modular Handgun System (MHS), as their official duty pistol.

The M18 is based on the Sig Sauer P320 featuring a plastic clip-on piece, which enables Marines to change grip sizes to accommodate different hand sizes. The P320 is a modular semi-automatic pistol made by SIG Sauer, Inc. of Exeter, New Hampshire, and SIG Sauer GmbH of Eckernförde, Germany. It is chambered in 9×19mm Parabellum was introduced in the North American market on 15 January 2014.

The P320 was designed to be ambidextrous in handling, sporting a catch lever on both sides of the slide and user-reversible magazine release, and all other operating controls are designed so they can be operated from either side. The firearm can be field stripped with no tools. Additionally, the firearm can also be field stripped without depressing the trigger, an additional safety feature to prevent negligent discharge of the weapon

 M18 Sig Sauer 9mm semi automatic of USMC United States Marine Corps 925 001

The M18 is a 9x19mm Parabellum caliber, striker-fired pistol featuring a coyote-tan PVD coated stainless steel slide with black controls. The pistol is equipped with SIGLITE front night sights and removable night sight rear plate, and manual safety. It has a weight of 797 gr and can use 17 and 21 round magazines.

The M18 pistol is a new generation of handgun that incorporates the latest technical advances in firearm design for military forces. The pistol is made with a stainless-steel chassis that sits inside of a flat-dark-earth polymer grip frame, and the slide is also machined from stainless steel. The barrel is machined from carbon steel and features a nitride finish to protect it from wear and corrosion.

The M18 is a mechanically locked, short recoil-operated pistol with semi-automatic reloading. Firing takes place with each press of the trigger until the magazine is empty. The slide remains open after the last round has been fired from the magazine.

The automatic striker assembly lock and manual safety ensures the safe carrying of the firearm. Distinctive high-contrast sights, in conjunction with the ergonomically correct grip, ensure rapid target acquisition and engagement, even under poor lighting conditions. Interchangeable grip modules of different sizes allow for optimal adaptation of the firearm to the individual user.

A loaded chamber indicator provides a physical and visual method of identifying that there is a round in the chamber. A MIL-STD 1913 rail is integrated into the grip module, facilitating the easy attachment of industry standard tactical accessories. The closed design of the pistol helps keep dirt and other debris from entering the pistol, ensuring proper function in adverse environmental conditions.

During a trial test, the M18 had successfully completed an MHS Material Reliability Test that consisted of firing three M18 pistols to 12,000 rounds each for a total of 36,000 rounds in accordance with the MHS requirements. Comparatively, the U.S. Army’s legacy pistol was only tested to 5,000 rounds making the test duration for the M18 pistol 2.4 times greater than that of the legacy pistol. In this testing, the M18 experienced zero stoppages despite being allowed up to twelve stoppages. Additionally, the M18 passed a parts interchange test and met stringent accuracy and dispersion requirements.

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