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Discussion Starter #1
Does anyone have some inside info on what the status is on the Military Pistol Contract for a new .45acp.?? Last I saw was the contract called for part of the order with a safety and part without one.

But what brand and type are they looking at?

Anybody know?

og...like my youngest grandson used to say "I can't know that" ???
 

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It's more a bid solicitation than a contract. Makers to be determined at the end of the bid process.

Personally, think H&K. The USP already comes with a wide selection of firing mechanism configurations.
 
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Our US Military? This is news to me!!! Where did you hear that the military was planning on adopting a .45ACP? Is it for standard issue or for a special purpose use? From what I've hear, the M9 will remain the standard sidearm for quite some time. What branch is planning on using the new .45?

I know that only certain select teams in the Marine Corp MEU(SOC) carry a home grown modified M1911A1. Funny some people believe that our MEU SOC has funding to purchase new Kimbers ::). Not the case. Not every one in the MEU carries the 1911 like everyone seems to think. Most MEU Officers and Non-Comms carry the M9. Certain SOCOMs use the H&K .45 for certain missions

Anyway Just curious, where you heard about it from?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
various web sites have mentioned the search by the military. Here is a typical post....
http://www.glocktalk.com/showthread.php?s=d955b27bbd70cf305edde404a027e17a&threadid=464358&perpage=25&highlight=Military+Contract+45acp&pagenumber=1

but some sites even mention the contract number. You'll have to do some searches yourself to find more.

Hope this brings you up to date!
og

Oh, BTW, I think the correct number of the contract is going to be 65,000 without safety and 45,000 with safety. And as you read the post, HK seems to be ahead as of now.
 
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DoD (dept of defense) website under search and then contracts. I know that they (military) had bought a certain limited number of the Ruger polymer framed pistols for some reason. Not sure what caliber. I'm sure there are always weapons test being conducted for future use.
 
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DoD (Dept of defense) website shows May 9, 2005 a new $6.5 million contract was awarded to Beretta USA for M9 pistols. Seems the M9 isn't going away anytime soon. Still can't find anything regarding .45 ACP on their contract site.

Are you all sure that this .45 pistol thing isn't just someones eager imagination starting rumors??
 

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I am by no means an expert or current on military procurement, but I have had the opportunity to spend millions of your tax dollars on behalf the military. (In my case it was buying GPS stuff for all services, some federal agencies, and some of our allies). Given the way the procurement system works, trying to meet immediate needs, and get equipment in the pipeline to meet 5 years down the road, it is no wonder that the status of a new pistol is confusing.

Just poking around a bit, here's what I see.

One component of the military, specifically the US Special Operations Command, is interested in buying pistols that shoot .45 ACP ammunition. You can read for yourself what they are interested in right here:

http://www.fbo.gov/spg/ODA/USSOCOM/SOAL-KB/H92222%2D05%2DR%2D0017/SynopsisP.html

Please note that the USSOCOM has its own procurement authority and budget, on par with the US Army, Air Force, Navy/Marines. Just because USSOCOM is doing something does NOT necessarily mean the individual services are doing the same thing. When I was in the GPS business, the NAVSTAR GPS Joint Program Office, run by the Air Force with people from other services, was by DoD policy, supposed to be the sole agent for procuring GPS equipment for the DoD. Except that USSOCOM could do, and did, whatever they wanted w/r to GPS procurement (I am not complaining about this, just stating a fact), and sometimes the services themselves, including parts of the Air Force, would strike out on their own. This generated many interesting meetings and struggles within the military bureaucracy! So it is not surprising that various parts of the military may be off buying Glocks, Rugers, Kimbers, more Berettas, or what-have-you while simultaneously trying to launch a Joint Combat Pistol. It doesn't mean that the military has or has not decided to stay with the M-9 or go with a .45. Sometimes you have needs that just can't wait on the super-duper solution, so you grab what you can. Plays hell with logistics, but that's the price you pay.

Back to the pistol - judging by the maximum numbers in the synopsis, it appears they are making the contract ceiling big enough to allow the other services, and maybe our allies, to also buy whatever the SOCOM .45 ACP pistol turns out to be, if they want to without having to let another contract. There may or may not be some firm commitments from the other services to do this. ("Firm commitment" means they have actually promised money and have set it aside in their individual budgets. If you want to know what the services are serious about, look to see where they have actually put real money). Given that the name of the pistol is "The Joint Combat Pistol System," it appears that they at least hope for this. "Joint" projects always rate higher in the funding cycle than individual service projects. Having other services involved may also account for requiring some pistols with safety levers and others without.

Prior to issuing a draft request for proposal (RFP), SOCOM probably held one or more "Industry Days" where they people from the arms industry to come in and hear what the governments plans are for pistols and other stuff. No promises are made, but the government will tell industry what it is thinking, and ask for comments, and tries to get a feel for what is possible, and tries to get industry thinking in the government's direction. So maybe HK decides to take a chance and work on a pistol along the lines that the government is thinking. If they've sold a similar pistol to SOCOM before, then that probably reassures them that they will be in the ball park when the RFP comes out. No promises, tho!

So far USSOCOM has published a draft Request for Proposal, and is giving potential bidders a chance to ask questions, point out things that don't make sense, etc. This is very useful. Generally the originator of the question/comment is kept private by the government, but the question/comment and the government response is published for all the bidders to see. After a couple or more rounds of this, a final RFP will be issued, and then the official race begins. Bidders generally have a limited period of time to provide a proposal and test items for the government to evaluate. Since this an Non-developmental Item procurement, the government believes that the basic pistol is available commercially, doesn't require a lengthy development cycle, and will only need a few tweaks (putting on a safety? taking off a safety?) to make it acceptable for government service. The NDI definition sometimes gets stretched pretty hard, but it basically is the way the government tries to take advantage of commercial products.

The procurement rules and process are biased towards promoting as much competition as possible, and providing the industry as much leeway as possible in meeting the government's needs, so as to come up with the best possible solution for the least amount of money. If you specify a 1911 design in .45 ACP right out of the box, you obviously cut out a lot of other potential solutions, e.g. Glocks. It is interesting that the synopsis specifies .45 ACP - that means someone had to write a lengthy justification as to why that is the only caliber that would meet the government's need, to the exclusion of .45 GAP, .357 sig/magnum, 9mm, etc.

BTW, the best solution for the least amount of money does not mean the low bidder always gets the nod - in the particular GPS procurement that I spent most of my time on, the high bid got the contract because their product was so much more superior to the others that it was worth the extra cost. Note that the synopsis states "the Government will reserve the right to award to other than the lowest priced offeror and other than the highest technically rated offeror."

While the pistols are being tested, the companies are being evaluated, among other things, as to their past history (have they meet their past contract commitments?), their ability to manage a project of this size, and the ability to produce the required number of pistols. For example, the Stephen Camp Caspian Long Slide Schuetzenboomer Company may produce a .45 that goes 100,000 rounds between malfunctions, never needs cleaning, and can shoot the eye out of a jihadi at 5000 meters, but if his production facility consists of his garage, a workbench and few handtools, staffed by him and his dog, he's probably not going to make the cut.

Note also that this is a ID/IQ contract, meaning that the government is not sure at the point exactly how many pistols it is going to buy, and wants the flexibility to buy anywhere from a minimum of 24 total - for the whole contract - to 200,000 in a single delivery order. So the fact that there will be an announcement that the Stephen Camp Caspian Longslide Schuetzenboomer Company just won a $13 million dollar contract does not mean that ol' Stevie will be rolling in dough - it just means that if he is lucky the government may buy anywhere from zero to 200,000 pistols per year for the next five years. $13 Mil (or whatever the final maximum is) is only POTENTIAL money. And the decisions are made yearly - if the USAF is short of $$ for bombs one year, they may forego acquiring JCPs that year. So the most Stephen can accurately plan ahead is a year. Makes it tough to decide whether or not to mortgage the house so he can expand the garage and get another dog.

So will the SOCOM pistol be the one that replaces the M-9 throughout the military? Maybe!
While the government doesn't usually put out solicitations just so they can walk away from them, it is not clear from the info I have seen that the pistol chosen WILL eventually replace all the M-9s and other stuff that is out there. It might, it might not, just depends on SOCOM and the other services' priorities and funding from year to year.

Now that you are all dead asleep from boredom, I'll return you to your regularly scheduled posting. ::)

elb
 

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I just noticed the specs for the JCP appear to call for a two-tone pistol - "Flat, Dark Earth" for the frame, and "anti-reflective matte grey or matte black" for the slide and barrel.

How interesting. Will definitely be the "coolest" looking pistol in the inventory... :)

elb
 

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A tip of the cap to elb for his clear explanation of the antics involved in the government procurement process!
Also furnished us with the knowledge that Stephen has a new partner helping out in the garage.
Regards to all, G>M>F>
 

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Hahahahaha! I'm not sure what the military will wind up with, but waiting for me to do long slides would be a long wait as I'm so slow. By the time I got one done, we'd probably be using laser weapons instead of firearms.

Best.
 

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Gents,

This is called a "Request for Proposal" (RFP). I't merely a solication and specifications for a new item. I've done a couple and the paperwork is horrendous. Ours was for Mine Detectors.
The process helps weed out the makers who don't have the production capability, engineering, quality, etc. to fill the contract.
The contract, if awarded, allows very little profit. The real money is in the contract support. Spares, training, etc. That's why we wind up with $850 toilet seats. The CDRLS do not get the oversight that the main contract does.
Unless the numbers are huge there is little reason to bid. Other than the prestige and advertising value that goes with such an award. The Beretta contract is a prime example. The specification was for X amount initially and the remainder had to be made in USA.
Hope this helps
Wes
P.S. Just wait until you deal with the Dept. of State trying to ship items overseas!
 

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I skimmed thru an article in the Shotgun News the other day about the Kimber Warrior pistol. Sounds remarkably like the what's being asked for in the Joint Combat Pistol program. Not surprising, given that Kimber already provided 1911 .45ACP pistols to the special ops community, Marine Corps element if I recall correctly, and I think the Kimber Warrior is supposed to be the commercial equivalent of the marine handgun. I'm sure a lot of experience from that went into this RFP.

Gets into a touchy area in government procurement, tho. Generally the gummint is not supposed to make the specifications so tight that only one company can supply the product. That opens the door very wide to competing vendors lodging legal protests. The gummint's batting record at overcoming protests is actually quite good, but it can really slow things down and eat up a lot of money for both the gummint and the contractors.

Weshowe wrote: "Unless the numbers are huge there is little reason to bid. " This is very true. Just bidding on the contract is a huge expense; note that the bidders have provide 24 sample guns, plus be able to start production of up to 5000 a month within 60 days of award (I didn't go back to double check these numbers, but I believe I am close to correct). That means all the bidders essentially have to have the production capacity NOW, which really means only big boys need apply, and even for them it is a big risk - if they don't win, they better hope they can sell a lot of civilian pistols so as to keep that production plant occupied - or they lay off a bunch of people, sell of a lot of equipment, and maybe go broke anyway.

(This is why you sometimes see, particularly on missile contracts, the "loser(s)" being awarded a lesser percentage of the total award, which they have to build according to the winner's design. Keeps them from going broke, so there's competition for the next bid. If they are better at production than design, they sometimes eventually make more $$ than the "winner".)

So if you are a potential bidder, and you think Kimber may have lock on the contract due to the specs and the fact it was a previous supplier, you may just decide it ain't worth your time.

For the winner, it may mean that his civilian products will be in short supply for awhile, since he will probably being throwing all hands into meeting the initial contract demand, while trying to hire more people to back fill the commercial side. He may suddenly contract out some items that he used to do internally so as to concentrate his people and skills on what he considers to be the essential big stuff. Lotsa ripple effects.

Oh, and I haven't even mentioned the effects of senators and representatives getting into the act. (True fact: one of the very first thing actions I had to take, after the Source Selection Authority picked the winner of the GPS contract I mentioned above, was to notify the Air Force's congressional liaison office so they could notify the appropriate senators and representatives, so the congresscritters could be the first to publicly announce that a company in their district had won a government contract. The congresscritters had absolutely nothing to do with this contract, but when they get to announce it first, it might appear to their constituents that they brought home the bacon. Woe to the program manager that let a congressman read about a contract award in the paper without already knowing about it.)

A lot more goes into picking the next gun than just whether it can shoot or not!

This should be fun to watch, and keep the gun forums humming for several years.

elb
 

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Wes,

Actually, for procurement purposes, I was on the "giving" end of the gummint. I often felt sorry for some of the gyrations we put the contractors thru -- then one of them would do something off the wall, and my sympathy would evaporate for awhile...:)

elb
 
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The USMC bought some Kimbers. They also bought some SA Professional models after that...

The JCP is a combo of the Army's FHS (Future Handgun System) program and the SOF Combat Pistol program.

"The JCP program is a joint program between SOCOM and the US Army. The quantities also cover USMC pistol requirements."

Regards,
John Pfender
Contract Specialist
Crane Division, Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC Crane)

The draft specs for the SOF/CP specified a 45 ACP and was written so single action pistols (1911) could compete. That was changed for the JCP: pistols must be DA/SA, DAO, or Striker Fired.

A lot of internal and external (congressional) opposition to this. Some would like to stall, change, or kill it. Seems to be behind schedule so far. Projected date for final RFP release was Jan 06. Did not happen AFAIK.
 
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