US soldiers set to receive new holster as Army deploys its latest pistol

The U.S. Army has revealed a new holster that soldiers will rely on when drawing their new pistols.

American soldiers are receiving a new sidearm for personal protection, the Sig Sauer 9mm XM17, and the more compact version, the XM18. These weapons are replacing the M9 as the Army’s service pistol. 

Beretta’s M9 was first introduced as the Army’s sidearm in the Cold War era back in 1986 so this is the first time soldiers will be issued new sidearms in about 30 years.

Both new Sig Sauer pistols have great potential beyond self-defense, like close-quarter combat –so holsters that deliver smooth, easy draw are important.

Safariland’s commercially available tan 7TS holster will be used with the Army's new sidearm. 

The commercially available versions

There are different ranges tailored for duty, tactical and concealable. 

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The 7TS holster has a smart design that enhances draw. Inside the holster there are thin raised surfaces called “risers.” These create airspace around the pistol.  This is important because it keeps moisture and dirt from contact with the gun – and, crucially, reduces friction.

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7TS Tactical Edition (The Safariland Group)

The draw? Smooth and easy.

The Safariland 7TS holsters are lightweight, but rugged. Made from called DuPont nylon blend called SafariSeven, they can even perform in ultra-challenging environments, ranging from the Arctic to the desert. The holsters withstand extreme cold down to -50 degrees Fahrenheit and extreme heat up to 300 degrees Fahrenheit and still perform.

Rain, snow or fog? Not a problem. These holsters can be submerged in water for weeks and will still perform.  The 7TS holsters are a great choice for wet terrains and tough weather.

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Lasers and concealment holsters

As part of the Army’s Modular Handgun System (MHS) program to introduce a new sidearm, the Army has also been considering different holsters for different requirements.

In addition to this Safariland holster, another holster under consideration will provide soldiers with advantages when they need to shoot at night. The holster would be compatible with state-of-the-art tech.

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Both Sig Sauer pistols can be outfitted with suppressors. To attach lasers and lights, there’s an integrated MIL-STD-1913 Picatinny rail.

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File photo - US soldiers are set to receive a new holster (The Safariland Group)

Ideally, the new Army holster will be compatible with an XM17 with mounted aiming laser and light.

This would give American troops the advantage of being able to draw a loaded weapon that is immediately ready with a laser or light – instead of having to lose time to add either when it is needed and when every second matters.

The compact version, the XM18, would also benefit from a concealment holster.

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Safety

When a shooter holsters the XM17 in the 7TS, the pistol is secured with Safariland’s Self-Locking System (SLS) and the ALS Automatic Locking System (ALS)

Providing enhanced safety, the design incorporates this dual locking system: both the ALS and SLS locking systems.

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When a shooter unholsters the XM17, both locking systems can be released quickly with a single motion of the thumb of the firing hand.

When a shooter reholsters, the ALS locking lever helps to ensure the XM17 is secured. The lever automatically engages.

The XM17 is kept firmly in the 7TS holster with the thumb break locking lever. This also helps prevent snatching.

To help prevent the XM17 from being freed, the design also includes a strap that covers the back of the pistol. The SLS retention loop provides additional security.

It is expected soldiers will have a number of ways to mount the holster including drop leg and MOLLE mounting brackets.

Army receiving new sidearms

The Army recently began distributing the pistols. Over the next ten years, about a quarter of a million of the new weapons will be issued to all Army units.

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The XM17 and XM18 are variants of Sig Sauer’s publicly available P320 pistol. The XM18 is a compact version that can be carried in a concealed holster.

First unveiled back in 2014, the P320 is a polymer striker-fired pistol that was developed as a service pistol. It is modular with interchangeable grip modules. The user can adjust the caliber and frame size.

The P320 has a number of features handy for law enforcement and military purposes. The trigger has a short pull and reset.  It can also be disassembled without having to manipulate the trigger – and also without tools. And it was designed to fit a wide range of hands.

The military variants have a different paintjob. The Army also had different magazine requirements. Soldiers will be able to utilize both standard, and extended capacity, magazines.

For more details about the new Army pistol click here.

 

 

Allison Barrie is a defense specialist with experience in more than 70 countries who consults at the highest levels of defense and national security, a lawyer with four postgraduate degrees, and author of the definitive guide, Future Weapons: Access Granted, on sale in 30 countries.  Barrie hosts the new hit podcast “Tactical Talk”  where she gives listeners direct access to the most fascinating Special Operations warriors each week and to find out more about the FOX Firepower host and columnist you can click here or follow her on Twitter @allison_barrie and Instagram @allisonbarriehq.