Sig Sauer Inc. just released the civilian version of the U.S. Army's M18, the compact pistol that may be the most popular of the Modular Handgun System line.
The Army selected Sig in 2017 to make the full-size M17 and compact M18 versions of the MHS. Now, the gunmaker is offering the P320-M18 9mm striker-fired pistol a little more than a year after it introduced the civilian version of its M17 variant, according to a recent Sig Sauer news release.
The P320-M18, like its military counterpart, features a 3.9-inch barrel and an overall length of 7.2 inches compared to the military and civilian variants of the M17's 4.7-inch barrel and 8-inch overall length.
The smaller, more concealable size of the P320-M18 -- which is comparable in size to the popular Glock 19 -- may prove to be the most popular on the civilian market. It certainly has with the U.S. military.
The Army plans to buy 195,000 MHS pistols, the majority of which will be M17s, but the rest of the services so far prefer the M18.
The Air Force is scheduled to purchase 130,000 M18s, and the Navy plans on buying 60,000 of them. The Marine Corps plans to buy 35,000 MHS pistols, which will make the M18 the official sidearm of the Corps, according to the Sig Sauer release.
The P320-M18 is configured nearly identically to the military models and features black manual safety and other controls, a carry-length coyote-tan grip module and a coyote PVD-finished slide, the release states.
It comes with one 17-round magazine and two 21-round magazines. The pistol features a SIGLITE front night sight and a removable night sight rear plate. The slide is optic-ready when the rear sight assembly is removed.
"Since the official selection of the M17 and M18 by the U.S. Army for the Modular Handgun System (MHS), we've seen significant civilian interest to own both variants of the handguns," said Tom Taylor, chief marketing officer and executive vice president for commercial sales at Sig.
The company recently announced it has delivered 100,000 MHS pistols under the 10-year Army contract, which is worth up to $580 million. Sig Sauer beat out Glock Inc., FN America and Beretta USA in the 17-month competition to replace the Cold-War era, Beretta M9 pistol.
-- Matthew Cox can be reached at email@example.com.