The Army is Finally Replacing Its 75-Year Old Pistols

By Chris Mills on at

What with our Armed Forces being asked to fight pretty damn hard all over the Middle East, you'd think that they have high-tech cutting-edge weapons to do the dirty with, right? Ha, you joker. Actually, up until today, the issue Army sidearm was a Belgian-made thing designed in the 1920s.

Thankfully, the new issue pistol -- an Austrian-made Glock 17 -- is a bit more like it. It beat out a few other high-tech pistols in a 2-year competition (likely because it was the cheapest, but let's not be cynical here); it fires the same round as the Browning, but with an increased magazine capacity and in a lighter body. Being made in this century, it also features nice mod-cons like an actual working safety mechanism (the safety catch on the old Brownings were so shagged out that they never functioned properly) and custom-tailored holsters.

Though I'm slightly relieved that the Ministry of Defence are finally replacing the Browning, it's slightly bemusing that they've chosen the Glock; since 2003, Sig Sauer pistols have been bought as an emergency precaution for front-line troops, so by now the soldiers (and armourers who have to repair the damn things) are familiar with the Sig. Still, I guess the clever folks at the MoD know what they're doing -- after all, this is the same crack team that brought you the Nimrod never-actually-flew-but-still-cost £3.4 billion spy plane. We're in safe hands, then. []

Images courtesy Defence Image Database