GLOCK Protests XM17 Modular Handgun System Award

The Government Accounting Office’s protest docket has been updated with GLOCK, Inc’s February 24 protest to SIG SAUER’s January 20th award for the XM17 Modular Handgun System.


The case remains open with a due date of 5 June, 2017. This means work cannot begin on the program until this protest is sorted out.

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79 Responses to “GLOCK Protests XM17 Modular Handgun System Award”

  1. jbgleason says:

    When the Solicitation states “pistol must have a frame mounted safety” (I think that was the wording) and their submission clearly doesn’t qualify then how do they protest? What are the grounds?

    • JC says:

      Have you seen their submission?

    • Nick B says:

      Glock has made guns with safeties in the past. It is very possible their XM17 had this feature.

      • BillC says:

        Pretty sure if it didn’t meet the requirements (manual safety), it wouldn’t have been at final 3 downselects.

    • Jman says:

      I have seen and I’ve held the GLOCK submission. (NDA’s people, so that’s all I’m going to say about it)

      The internet knows jack squat about what GLOCK submitted and if you are assuming things based on what you’ve seen commercially available from GLOCK, well you’ll make statements like the one above from “jbgleason” about how “their submission clearly doesn’t qualify” when you actually didn’t see the submission so you have no factual basis for such a statement or claim.

      Geez people, if they wouldn’t have met the requirements of the request do you think they really could have been downselected to one of the couple finalists?

      And yes, I was as surprised as most folks when Sig got the award announcement. But not being involved in the actual testing and selection process I couldn’t begin (and won’t) to speculate on why the Sig submission was chosen. But I’ll bet we’ll be able to glean some insight as the protest moves forward and documents related to it become public. Until then, it’s all conjecture and guesswork.

      • John says:


      • pigpen51 says:

        I only have the most basic of knowledge of the selection of the Sig. What little I know, would confuse, more than enlighten. The thing that I hope for is that the selection was made based on other than political reasons. With the choosing of the Beretta, rumor had it that Beretta wanted a big lucrative military contract, and the U.S. wanted cruise missiles in Italy. If Glock is contesting the choice of Sig, then I hope it is based upon a misinterpretation of the rules of submission, or the requirements, or some such thing that can be qualified, and not just sour grapes. The best thing about the entire thing is that it will serve to help not just the military, but the civilian market. And of course, either one of these companies will certainly build a quality firearm.

      • JC says:


      • Jet says:

        Like the pistol they didn’t submit for the FBI tests

  2. burdy says:

    I thought Glock did present a version with a frame mounted safety for this opp.

  3. Rob Garrett says:

    Does anyone know, or has anyone actually seen the pistol that Glock submitted. I’m not sure we can assume it is tha same model that can be bought on the commercial market. Just a thought.


    • JC says:

      It isn’t. It met the requirements or they wouldn’t have tested it…but the internet knows better.

  4. tremis says:

    So 4 more months of the Beretta are the fault of glock? Not the first time the Germans were in league with the Italians. lol

    • SecretSquirrel says:

      Well SIG still needs to build a new factory for the M17, and the Pentagon currently has a grand total of $0 in the budget to actually acquire the new pistols. The M9 wasn’t going away in a hurry anyway. It’ll be another few years minimum.

      • Lord Vyst says:

        Why do they need to build a new factory? I can tell you from firsthand knowledge, that SIG has already started expanding again and has already purchased and is installing new machinery to meet production demands.

        • PPGMD says:

          Also it should be noted that SIG moved to a new facility a couple of years ago. And that facility was chosen because it had plenty of room to expand.

        • SecretSquirrel says:

          I was under the impression (from rumors that were going around at the end of SHOT when all this was announced) that SIG had to build a new facility dedicated to the XM17 for the contract. Maybe it was just a new dedicated line in their NH facility now that the ammo production is moving to the new factory in Arkansas, and if that’s the case, I apologize for the mistake.

          That said, between the budget issue, spinning up production, and general timelines for government procurement and lot testing, I stand by the statement that the M9 will stick around for a few more years.

          Heck, the Army still has an open order that they’re taking regular deliveries on for brand new M9s, so it’s not like they expected the switch-over to be instant anyway.

      • joglee says:

        Why? All current P320’s on the civilian market are made in Exeter, NH.

    • Honsch says:

      Glock is Austrian

    • BillC says:

      Dude. It’s going to be years before the Army starts getting shipments of Sigs in. The M9 was adopted/selected in ’85, but they didn’t really get them until about 1990 for service-wide use.

      • mark says:

        my unit in the 101st deployed for Desert Shield/Storm with the M1911A1 and continued to field them for some months after we redeployed back to the states. Those guns were seriously worn out!

  5. Stefan S. says:

    Another fiasco brewing? What happened to American made weapons? Don’t give me that “but they are made in the USA” crap. Still foreign owned companies.

    • BillC says:

      Okay, go make a completely US service pistol that out-competes in every metric than those submitted. Nothing is stopping you. And if that doesn’t work out, go out and sell it on the international market. The “not from here” mentality is toxic to procurement and development. If we had to the “only from here in every way”, everything military would be another M14 situation.

    • bloke_from_ohio says:

      That Juche nonsense is straight up silliness.

      Sig terk are jerbs!

    • some other joe says:

      SIG Sauer fled an oppressive government and immigrated to the US. German coverage of the pending adoption of a new service rifle (and the HK433) identified them as a US firm and thus unlikely to win vs a HK or Rheinmetall/Steyr bid.

      They’re American now, with HQ in NH and additional manufacturing in AR. The European holdings were sold and are now the separate company Swiss Arms.

  6. Marcus says:

    I can’t wait to see the legal and factual grounds for their protest…

    Good grief.

  7. Jonathan Harpe says:

    I’m sure the Glock submission met the requirements. However the truth with most gov’t contracts is that the best product isn’t always chosen. Plus if Glock was under bid that makes all the difference. TBH I like versions of the Glock and the P320 equally. I hope this can be resolved so the warfighter can get much needed new equipment into the field

  8. BM says:

    Hey, if you can’t win on the merits you can waste DOD time and money and try to legalese your way in.

  9. SFCL.L. says:

    There is a lot of money to be had prolonging the problem. Manufacturers tied to .Mil contracts should all be given notice. Time to shake the blanket and realize why the Defense budget is as high as it is. Did Hi-Tec teach us nothing!?

  10. Msc says:

    Im sure the the glock would have had a safety added. If you look at the p320 that got selected vs the civ p320 the civ lacks a thumb safety

  11. PPGMD says:

    This is my shocked face.

  12. SigMan says:

    Sig is a multinational company like Glock. Perhaps not identical, but close.

    I saw Sig winning the original bid as a win for a struggling company. Something Sig desperately needed. Especially, in the Northeast anti-gun culture.

  13. Matt Edgar says:

    I don’t give a shit.

  14. Mike says:

    Does anyone actually know what the issue is that caused the protest?

  15. Miggy says:

    If I understand the process correctly, the contract also required that the guns have a PROVEN military track record (to what degree “proven” means, I am not sure). The Sig P320 has NO proven military track record. As a matter of fact, their barrels from the guns sold in the civilian market have been getting shot out after only a minuscule 10000-12000 rounds (That is horrible). So this issue with the barrels needs to be resolved, STAT. Also, Sig’s ability to produce the guns in the amount and time required is questionable. Glock has a PROVEN MILITARY TRACK RECORD and has more guns in military operation than any manufacturer. Glock has a Frame mounted safety add on and it has the production capabilities to meet the military demands. The barrels are outstanding, with many Glock owners running barrels for 75,000 – 100,000 rounds with consistent accuracy.

    • MSHarpsucker says:

      Miggy, from where did you get your 10,000-12,000 rounds number?

      • joglee says:

        The test only went to 12,500 per handgun sample just fyi, and from what I have heard the P320 barrels are button broached.

    • PPGMD says:

      I can tell you from personal experience that the barrels are good for at least 20,000 rounds. I think one of my former teammates had at least 50k through a barrel.

      • Paul J says:

        They can do low quality product if you ask them to The P2022 delivered to the French LE were a good example of how bad a product can become depending on the client requirements.

  16. Matt says:

    There have been mumblings of problems with the P320. Further, the granting of the contract just prior to Mr. Trump being sworn in has led some to think ti was rushed so as to avoid any chance he froze spending or directed the project be canned. I recall it was criticized by several high-ranking folks and congress critters as being a superfluous purchase.

    I am not affected by whose pistol wins, but there is some reason to think a proven Glock 19 platform would have been a very good general service pistol. For all the new tech Sig offers, the likelihood of the military taking any real advantage of the modularity is highly unlikely, save for specialized units that already get pretty much what they want.

    Having served seven years in the infantry, I think pistols are pretty much useless for most of what Big Army does. By the time pistols matter to most who carry them, the pistol they have won’t matter. Those who need pistols as part of their daily regimen, such as MPs, shouldn’t be saddled with a general issue pistol anyways. They should have what they need for LE purposes.

    Not saying it wasn’t time to upgrade the 60’s/70’s tech that the M9 was based on, or that better designs aren’t available, but did we really *need* a big program that included ammo and accessories? As far as spare parts go, Glocks are sufficiently reliable that I shudder to think of unit armorers screwing with them.

    • BillC says:

      At the end of the day, the P320 =/= equal the XM17 submission.
      I was surprised, like everyone else, that Glock didn’t win; but like 99.9999999999% of y’all, I wasn’t there for testing.

    • SSD says:

      I’m not sure what your source is on the Trump angle but in case you haven’t noticed, defense spending is increasing, not being frozen.

      • Matt says:

        It was reported in several articles that the issue of the modular handgun competition was brought up during confirmation hearings and criticized. Some folks were concerned also that the new SecDef would not look favorably on the program as necessary given the other pressing needs. Yep, 54$Billion in increased defense spending, but also a dire need to modify formations and doctrine to meet emerging and legacy threats, needs for improved cyber capability, needs for improved force projection, outdated armor, reduced lift capacity, etc. A pistol is a drop in the bucket cost-wise, but much less than that when it comes to it’s ability to help our forces win wars. By freezing spending, I meant concerns that he would pause all procurements until they could be reviewed or “renegotiated.” After all, he had an impact on the F35 and AFOne programs with little more than a tweet.


        The program was getting close to being considered wasteful or at least mis-managed. Lets keep in mind that it was a pretty complicated way to pick something that is simple, non-essential to strategic goals, already exists in numerous proven formats from multiple vendors, is used far more in civilian armed conflict than military armed conflict, and in the end resulted in nothing really new or evolutionary. Plus, Sig, Beretta, and Glock are already in use in the filed, with NSNs, so why not just buy more? Was the M9 irredeemably bad? Is the Sig so superior to the Glock? Are they not all hi-cap 9mm service pistols?

      • Matt says:

        Well, I had a detailed response then wordpress ate it. That has happened a couple of times, SSD, not sure why.

        As far as sources, nothing was implicitly stated, but there were several articles that mentioned the modular handgun competition in relation to the Mattis confirmation hearings. A couple of lawmakers were complaining about the frivolousness of it or the complexity of choosing a pistol. There was reason to think that Mattis would not look favorably on the program or perceive a need for such a program.


        There is plenty to be critical of. A six or so year program costing millions of dollars to select a handgun? The selection offers no advantage in ballistic capability over the legacy weapon, offers no significant new technology that wasn’t already COTS-available, and lacks military issue history or significant combat pedigree.

        The 54$Billion in announced new defense spending is barely going to cover all the needs. Like re-configuring formations and doctrine to meet new, emerging, and re-emergent threats. Like winning the cyber battlespace. Like AI-driven weapons. Like reducing the overmatch advantage possessed by peer/near peer enemy indirect fires. Like replacing worn out armor and helicopter platforms. Like improving lift and rapid deployment capability.

        Yet the Army was spending money on selecting a pistol, something that in the end has zero measurable impact on the strategic level, and almost no impact on the tactical level. Certainly the new Sig will bring no added combat power to the battlefield over the M9, and it’s only real “feature” is that it’s new. The DoD already has Berettas, Glocks, and Sigs with NSNs and in-use. Why not just get more of those proven pistols and motor on? Why even try to “develop” a pistol instead of just picking form the gazillion proven, capable, and modern solutions already out there?

        In the end, what was gained. really? The Beretta’s downfall is being 35 years old. Got it. So is the M1, M2/M3, UH60, AH64, HMMWV, etc. If we needed a “modern” pistol, fine. But in any argument, the Glock is proven rugged, has the fewest parts, is the most mechanically simple design of any current pistol, and has the best overall record. Oh, wait…it’s 35 years old, too.

        (For the pedantic, I’m using 35 years broadly to describe systems reaching issue or common use in the mid-80’s)

        Instead, we get a new pistol using an unproven (but admittedly promising) chassis system. Made by a company that struggled a bit with quality in the recent past. I guess I don’t see it. Then again, I carry a pistol every day at work and have a much higher likelihood of needing it on a given day than most who will carry the new GI pistol. We made a selection in 6 weeks. We didn’t reinvent the wheel, either. What makes the Army think they need to try to “do” pistols better than the civilian LE and CCW markets already have? Besides needing a rugged finish, simplified maintenance, a lanyard loop, and a safety?

        • PPGMD says:

          These competitions are required by law that is why.

          If everyone just went “Well we have Glocks lets just buy them” we get exactly what we deserve a company that doesn’t actually update their product. Ever notice that the only time Glock develops an update is when a major contract threatens to go else where?

          IMO these competitions are good for Glock, even if they lose the contract because just maybe Glock will bless us with these updates.

  17. mudd says:

    The units that use pistols, already have pistols. Couldn’t care less about if it takes 10 more years to replace one mediocre dive weight on the belt with another one.

    The money would be far better spent giving every trooper a 1-6x optic and training to use it.

  18. mudd says:

    How many times have GPF, or for that matter SOF, engaged bad guys with a pistol?

    Units that use pistols already have good enough ones.

    Money better spent putting a 1-6x on each m4 and training to use it.

    • PPGMD says:

      This contract wouldn’t even remotely cover the training, let alone the cost of buying a quality 1-6x optic for every US Army M4.

  19. Joe T. says:

    This is a payback to Sig-Sauer as they should,have got the M-9 starting in the 80’s,
    with the P-226, over the Beretta 92F, the Beretta had deficiencies and still does,
    today. We wanted that real estate in sunny Italy, Sig-Sauer, still has a load of,
    M-11’s Sig-228’s in the system. All in all I favor the Glock. As for polymer guns,
    the H&K VP-70 was first.

  20. Unless this is an appeal of a previous decision, the GAO protest might have been filed too late. The GAO has a 10 working day limit on filing award protests. While the GAO can consider a “untimely protest,” it is just as likely to dismiss it outright.

    That was the fate of the 1985 protest filed by Saco Defense (SIG-Sauer’s US representative for the XM9 procurement.) Their protest was rejected because it was filed a mere one day late. They did not understand that Inauguration Day counted as a Federal working day.

    • Brian says:


      Glock had 10 days from their debrief to protest. The clock doesn’t start until you gain the information that spurs the protest not when the award announcement happened. I have no clue when the debrief happened but I doubt it was immediately following the award announcement.

  21. Matt says:

    Oh boy, all we need now is someone to comment about “lowest bidder” and some service getting another service’s “hand me downs” and then we’ll have every single bone-headed government procurement myth represented in the comments…

    If you have never been involved in large, service-level procurements you should probably just excuse yourself from the keyboard unless you just like the taste of your foot…

    • BrettW says:

      ^ This.

      It looks like a lot of folks stayed at the Holiday Inn Express last night … LOL

  22. JSGlock34 says:

    It seems to me that the complexity of the XM17 contract (particularly the provision of ammunition) opens more avenues to contest the award than simply the merits of the pistol. Like the SIG P226 and Beretta 92 in the XM9 trials, both pistols (Glock and SIG P320) may have passed the requirements and been declared as acceptable to the Army. Other factors determined the award of the M9 contract than the pistol itself, and it may well be that case with the XM17.

  23. Ryan says:

    This seems to be Glock’s move. I work for a large police service in Canada. We recently tested several new pistols to replace our current one. Glock and the Sig P320 were both tested along with 3 others. When Glock got word that Sig was going to be chosen over them they threatened to sue and they began the testing process over. The second time around we chose Glock. Go figure.

  24. Ranger Rick says:

    2nd ID in Korea was issuing the M9 by mid 1986.

  25. James F. says:

    Glock just needs to release that 17 and 19 with a frame mounted manual safety to its commercial line.

  26. Gaston says:

    Sig USA quality has been less than par. If they can’t get their shit together I hope Glock wins the lawsuit.

  27. Gerard says:

    Im sure Gaston Glock regrets that the German Army didnt invade switzerland when he was serving with them during WW2, if they had they’d have killed of the swiss arms industry

  28. Whit says:

    I worked in an Air Force contracting office for 15 years. Protests happen frequently these days, especially since dollars from DoD are less. In fact, its a strategy for losing bidders to automatically protest even if they don’t think it will go their way. Its a “we’ve got nothing to lose” strategy.

  29. GI Joe says:

    USMC went Glock
    SOCOM buys Glocks for partner nations
    Most active duty guys own and shoot Glocks
    Glock 19, proven track record
    Most police use Glock
    (External safety aftermarket COTs avail already for Glock!)
    Not required IMHO, train to keep finger off trigger I less you want it to go bang!)
    I love the metal SIGs, 225, 226, 229 etc.
    I own a Glock, SIG and 1911s . I my observations inexp shooters shoot better with GLOCKs.
    So… In not a 1911 Commander, 🙂 then go Glock, GEN 4
    PS. Parter nation Glocks have no external extra safety… We train them, why why not our troops ? Just something extra not required
    Did the USMC (MARSOC) Glock contract have extra safeties or are they stock?

  30. Will says:

    None of the current Glocks have safeties, which is why everyone is so interested to see what the submission looks like. Looks like it will be awhile due to NDAs.

  31. Joe T says:

    Glock is known as a safe action pistol. It has a trigger, fireing pin, and drop safety. Just keep your finger off the trigger. Glock’s have fallen out of several types of aircraft been recovered and still worked, even from a HALO jump. Go figure. I am anxious to see how this case developes. STAND BY.