It’s no secret the U.S. Army has begun the search for a new handgun system. Before you count the battle-proven Beretta M9 as down for the final count, though, there are have been several other similar announcements, each stalled without replacing the aging fleet of 9 mms. Beretta has also unveiled an improved version, which could keep the legendary firearm company’s products on the front line of freedom for years to come.
There’s a facet to the current search that’s long overdue, though. Ammunition submitted with each handgun for testing can include frangible or expanding (hollow-point) bullets, which breaks a decades-old tradition of honoring the 1899 Hague Convention—even though the United States never signed the agreement. Army Times broke the story earlier this month and cites the Army as stating, “The use of this ammunition supports the international law principles of preventing excessive collateral effects and safeguarding civilian lives.”
It’s about time. With any luck, those in uniform will soon have their official sidearm loaded with a round that minimizes the bullet’s ability to pass through a terrorist, yet maximizes the energy it transfers upon impact. It’s the least we can do for those who go in harm’s way—allow them the use of today’s generation of high-performance, technologically superior ammunition.