The U.S. Army's chief of staff said Thursday that if he had his way, he'd abandon the bureaucratic Modular Handgun System effort and personally select the service's next pistol.It's a fair point. Pistol technology is mature. The basic design of the semi-automatic pistol has been refined rather than fundamentally altered in the hundred years since John Moses Browning's 1911. The common choices among elite military forces today have fused plastic receivers, and polycarbon slides, neither of which can be readily disassembled -- but which are so reliable and cheap that they never need to be. They're good-enough accurate out of the box and indestructible in normal use with normal lifespans.
Speaking at the Future of War Conference 2016, Gen. Mark Milley said he has asked Congress to grant service chiefs the authority to bypass the Pentagon's multi-layered and complex acquisition process on programs that do not require research and development.
"We are not exactly redesigning how to go to the moon, right?" Milley said. "This is a pistol."
For an army made up mostly of teenagers and 20-somethings, several manufacturers offer off-the-shelf pistols that are not just adequate, they're perfect. Pick one.