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New USAF Handgun?

Discussion in 'The US Air Force Forum' started by BrokenArrow, Nov 3, 2006.

  1. BrokenArrow

    BrokenArrow Millennium Member

    Aug 11, 1999
    Lost In Space
    http://See the RFI (reqest for information) at:


    Responses Requested By November 14, 2006

    The United States Air Force is seeking information from prospective commercial suppliers for a new Air Force Handgun.

    FAR 52.215-3, Request for Information or Solicitation for Planning Purposes (Oct 1997) applies to this request for information.
    (a) The Government does not intend to award a contract on the basis of this solicitation or to otherwise pay for the information solicited except as provided in subsection 31.205-18 Bid and Proposal (B&P) Costs, of Federal Acquisition Regulation

    (b) Although "proposal" and "offeror" are used in this Request for Information, your response will be treated as information only. It shall not be used as a proposal

    (c) This solicitation is issued for the purpose of planning and budgetary forecasting by the government.


    We are seeking this information for a new handgun with improved capability as compared to the current M9 pistol. Our objectives are as follows:
    • Weapon must be reliable in sand and dirt and have closed slide design
    • Magazines must be reliable and durable in sand and dirt
    • Weapon must be ergonomic and should have variable grip sizes
    • Weapon must have capability to be configured for night aiming
    • Weapon must have an integrated interface such as a MILSTD 1913 rail
    • Weapon must be chambered for a round that provides an increased permanent wound channel diameter over 9X19mm NATO round and at least 12 inches penetration in human flesh when firing ball ammunition.

    Performance Parameters

    DESIRED Performance Parameters for the new handgun are as follows:

    Characteristic Performance Parameters

    Caliber Must be chambered for round that has increased permanent wound channel diameter in human flesh over current M9 pistol and at least 12 inches penetration when firing ball ammunition. Preferred calibers are .40 S&W or .45 ACP as these munitions are currently available within DoD or will be available in short-term.
    Action Action may be Double-Action/Single-Action (DA/SA), Double-Action Only (DAO) or Striker Fired Action (SFA). Various/changeable configurations are desirable
    Operation Semi-automatic, magazine fed and closed slide.
    Size/Variations System should include standard and compact versions.
    Weight Should weigh less than current M9 pistol (33.86 oz w/empty magazine and 40.89 oz with fully loaded magazine..
    Safety Pistol should have appropriate safety mechanisms that prevent accidental firing of cartridges. Operator must be capable of activating/deactivating safety mechanism without shifting firing grip. Pistol must be capable of withstanding an impact when dropped on a hard surface from a height of 1.2 meters without accidental discharge or degradation of function or safety. (Damage to, or movement of sights is permissible)
    Magazine Release Left or right (ambidextrous) magazine release changeable by user is desired.
    Ergonomic Enhancements Should incorporate modular grip adjustment system to provide enhanced ergonomics for wide range of operators.
    Accuracy - Must meet or exceed accuracy specifications as follows.
    Center of Impact: The average center of impact for ten, 10-round shot groups fired from a weapon at 50 meters shall not be more than 10 centimeters radially from the point of aim. Dispersion: The mean radius for ten, 10-round shot groups at 50 meters shall not be more than 3 centimeters greater that that for the same ammunition when fired from the standard proof barrel.
    Sound Suppressor Should be adaptable to accept installation of sound suppressor and sights must be accessible with suppressor installed on barrel.
    Sights Sights must provide rapid day/night target acquisition and must be optimized for snag-resistant rapid deployment from a holster. Sights must be replaceable at organizational level. Sights must be fixed, but drift-adjustable for windage. Self-illuminating sights for low light situations without ambient or external light source “charging” should be available.
    Rail System should include a common integral interface such as 1913 MILSTD rail for attachment of accessories. Rail may be located at either top or bottom.
    Magazine Capacity Must have magazine of no less than 10 round capacity for full size version that will minimize snag hazard when inserted in the magazine well. Compact version must have magazine of no less than 8 round capacity
    Surface Finish Surface finish must be non-reflective, resistant to peeling, flaking, and chipping and require minimum of operator preventive maintenance. Internal coatings should be lubricious/low friction mitigating use of lubricants. Non-metallic components must be fungus and battlefield chemical resistant. Materials and coatings must protect pistol from degradation in all climates and geographical areas including maritime, coastal, desert, tropical jungle, arctic, urban areas and mountain environments. Materials and coatings must minimize attraction of dust and contamination. Pistol and its component parts and accessories must be corrosion resistant and should be corrosion proof.
    Lubrication Must not create any new lubrication requirements over existing systems
    Worldwide Operation Weapon system, to include ancillary accessories provided by the manufacturer, must operate effectively in all climates and geographical areas, including, swamp, tundra, grasslands, forest, jungle, urban areas, maritime, riverine and alpine/mountainous environments. Pistol must operate at high and low temperature extremes, as well as other hostile (ice/rain/sand/dust/dirt/mud/surf/salt fog) environmental conditions.
    System Configuration System (kit) should include a Pistol, holster, magazine pouches, 10 magazines, cleaning kit, and an operator’s manual. Holsters/magazine pouches readily available on the market.
    Maintenance Support Spare parts, any special tools needed for depot repair and inspection gauges should be readily available.

    Information Requested from Industry

    The following information is being sought by USAF from prospective commercial sources that will assist USAF in considering and defining a new handgun as follows:

    • Each kit should include a Pistol, holster, 10 magazines, cleaning kit, and an operator’s manual
    o Also included should be an Initial fielding spare parts package to include required inspection gages (total system fielding approach)
    • Our estimated buy quantity is for 100,000 pistols over a five year time frame
    o Your response should indicate the estimated contractor production rate (maximum monthly production capacity)
    o Response to include estimated pricing data for the kit and spare parts package identified above; quantities at which significant price breaks occur should be identified.
    o Response should include information on the manufacturer’s standard commercial warranty
    • Response should indicate manufacturers recommended spare parts package based on rounds fired
    • Response should indicate projected life expectancy data
    • Items should be compliant with DoD unique item identification (UID) in accordance with clause DFARS 252.211-7003 or DoD identified commercial equivalents as defined at the Buy American Act and Berry Amendment requirements. Respondents should confirm ability to comply in their response to each issue or identify their position with respect to these requirements.

    Responses may include commercial literature regarding the respondents products, but this is not a requirement of this RFI. Electronic responses are authorized and preferred.

    How to Respond to this Request

    Responses to this RFI are requested no later than November 14, 2006.

    Responses should only be as detailed as required to support the required analysis and should not provide information, which is not needed by USAF to evaluate prospective handguns. USAF will not disclose or publish any specific data whether provided as proprietary information or not. Prices submitted are to be considered budgetary estimates for planning purposes only and are not to be considered firm proposals. At this time, we are primarily interested in the technical specifications of the product or products you propose to provide, and your response should address the technical capabilities of your product or products as they relate to the above performance parameters. If you have a product which you feel meets some but not all of the parameters above, you may still submit information on it, since we are at this time only conducting market research and want to include as many products as possible. Information regarding the qualification of the respondent and other marketing materials should not be submitted at this time.

    As noted above, no funds have been currently identified in the Air Force budget for this effort, and the Government does not intend to award a contract on the basis of this solicitation or to otherwise pay for the information solicited except as provided in subsection 31.205-18 Bid and Proposal (B&P) Costs, of Federal Acquisition Regulation.

    Responses should be directed to:
    782 CBSSS/PKA Attn William Downs
    380 Richard Ray Blvd Ste 104
    Robins AFB GA 31098-1640
    Telephone 478-926-9264
    Fax 478-926-9108

    Respondents are advised that unless the information is provided to the above address, it may not be considered in the Air Force analysis.
  2. Moshe

    Moshe -

    Aug 26, 2006
    I thought the part about it being mandatory to have a larger caliber than 9mm was interesting.

    I'm thinking the military will move to .40 soon..... but time will tell.

    Any ideas who's going to win this bid?

  3. meeko


    Apr 15, 2006
    If it's even true it will be dead in the water if not already. I can tell you as a career AF Security Forces member and CATM instructor I will be shocked if the AF or any other branch goes to anything other than a 9mm for general issue. Keep wishing though. The stories of the military readopting the 45 are keeping us entertained!!
  4. BilltheCat

    BilltheCat Quieter Cat Millennium Member

    Apr 4, 1999
    Sanford, Florida
    well at least you dont have those combat masterpeices in 38 cal anymore!
  5. MrMurphy

    MrMurphy ********* Moderator Moderator Millennium Member Lifetime Member

    Jan 16, 2001
    Buried in the X-files
    We still have clearing instructions for them on the wall next to the barrel though. :)
  6. meeko


    Apr 15, 2006
    Those Model 15's were (at least the ones at my base)in very good condition and great shooters. In fact we recieved our initial shipment of M9's in late 1988. Most of us were the old revolver mentality and didn't do very well with the M9's at first. Our SQ CC gave us the option on which one we wanted. It was a 50/50 split. We kept our wheelguns for duty use until the base closed in late 91/early92 time frame. I'd still carry one if they let me.
  7. BrokenArrow

    BrokenArrow Millennium Member

    Aug 11, 1999
    Lost In Space
    This is just a RFI (information), not RFP (proposal).

    It's a looooong way from this to anything actually getting purchased.

    It looks like since the SOCOM's SOF CP (Special Operations Forces Combat Pistol) program and the Army's FHS (Future Handgun System) program were merged into the 645,000 JCP (Joint Combat Pistol) program, than scaled back into the 50,000 CP (Combat Pistol) program, and then put on indefinite hold, that the USAF is attemting to take the lead in a new pistol program. 100K pistols is more than the USAF alone would need, less than everybody would need, but would cover USAF and SOCOM requirements...

    Could be interesting. The USAF got the ball rolling on the Colt AR/M16s in the 60s, and the Beretta 92/M9 in the 70s. Everybody ended up w both of those. Might happen again? ;)

    What we are seeing with all this is the tug of war going on between the factions that think the 9 and/or M9 is still fine, those that think we need a new gun and/or caliber, and those who don't want to spend the money at all on any new pistol right now.
  8. Decguns


    Dec 29, 2003
    The SOCOM project started pretty small, about 20K pistols to replace the eclectic collection of 45 ACP pistol already in SOC's coffers. It seems everyone else jumped on board to mitigate costs of R&D and such. Of course, the mainstream military had no plans on adopting anything other than a 9MM of the model that won. The suggested 650,000 pistols is far in excess of what the military would need (about 2X the number of pistols currently on hand).

    The Air Force has piggy-backed on Army purchases of M9 and M9A1 models recently. Just enough pistols to get by for another 10 years or so. While the Army historically lets moss grow on small arms projects, leave it to the Air Force to follow through!

    The retro 45 ACP crowd has a pretty big voice at the Pentagon, problem is they got nothing to back them up to resurrect it. Their own data suggests the 9MM NATO is more lethal and offers a substationally higher probablity of hit. The M9 is fine, and I bet there's little interest/money to replace it.
  9. marchboom


    Aug 18, 2006
    The military can get whatever gun they want but if they don't properly train their people there won't be very many hits. After 27 years in the AF Guard and reserve I'm surprised that the majority of people can hit anything. And that's under a controlled senario, without anyone shooting back at you. The Army isn't much better. When we completed against the Army Guard we almost always beat them. And we weren't that great either.

    The military must take firearms training much more seriously and stop using the excuse that extra ammo isn't in the budget.
    Cancel just one training flight of a fighter 2-ship and you will have more than the money needed to purchase the required ammo.
  10. tyesai


    Nov 12, 2005
    Or we could stop pissing money away on things like new BDU's, new service dress uniforms, worrying about obscure regs and making up new ones, figure out a better way to use end of year fiscal money rather than just buy a bunch of crap you don't need because we all know if you don't spend it, you loose it.

    I'm sure we piss away money in the AOR flying around some dip-sh!t tool/politician that doesn't have any need to be were they are. We could probably save money by not changing the tail flashing on the C-130's at Little Rock airplane patch when we get a new commander because he doesn't like what is on them now.

    I've noticed at a few of the squadrons on the flightline the OP's people have bars installed on their side of the building. I bet not all that stuff in there was "donated", I'm sure someone pissed away that money.

    You also see lots of new flat screen tv's in damn near everybuilding you go into anymore. What about these great new CAC/ID cards, I wonder what the cost benefit is on those things, they are a PITA if ya ask me.:soap:
  11. marchboom


    Aug 18, 2006
    Don't get me started on the new BDU's. I sent lots of letters to certain politicians urging them not to change the AF uniform. The original ones had the color blue in it. Now where in nature do you find blue? Blueberries aren't even blue! I guess the AF hides in different surroundings than the army and Marines. The Greek AF has green/blue/gry BDU's and they look bad. But it always seems that some General wants to make a name for himself and be able to say that he was responsible for some change...whether it is good or not. I think the military is a training ground for people who want to become politicians. It teaches them how to waste taxpayer money.

    Ammo is cheap and we could buy a lot of it (and provide great training) by eliminating very simple, non-essential things.
  12. BrokenArrow

    BrokenArrow Millennium Member

    Aug 11, 1999
    Lost In Space
    Considering the USAF just bought about 18,000 new M9s, the USMC 7,500 new M9A1s (frame has a rail), the Army has new contract options on 70,000 more new M9s until 2010, and the Army has just bought 900,000 new M9 magazines w options on up to 14 _million_ more until 2010, I don't expect a new service pistol program to really get going until 2010.

    But I could be wrong... have been before, will be again. :)
  13. tnoisaw


    Jul 28, 2006
    Ahh... the good ol' days.
  14. DJ Niner

    DJ Niner Moderator

    Feb 13, 2001
    North-Central USA
    Yep! Shot for my first Elementary Level Excellence-In-Competition medal with one of those sweet little K-Frames; won the match, too! Probably one of the many fond memories that keeps me shooting those great little guns.