Rethinking the wondernine
William Thomas Quick's post on dissatisfaction with the Beretta 92 as the standard US military sidearm continues a long-running debate over its adoption.

For the record, I vote to go back to the .45, or try the .40 S&W. NATO standardization here is less important than for service-rifle cartridges. To observe the Geneva prohibitions against expanding bullets, heed Jeff Cooper's recommendation for the jacketed truncated-cone design.

For those who oppose changing pistols or calibers because of the cost, allow me to offer this fiscally responsible solution:
Let commissioned officers buy their own, and give NCOs an allowance toward theirs. Give them a list, however short or long the DoD wants to make it, of models which are allowed (better yet, which models are prohibited). Whatever sidearm they pick must use Uncle Sam's chosen caliber and loading. Allow them to deduct the cost of purchase, modification, and accessories on their Federal income taxes. Require them to qualify with it every 60 days, or they can't wear it or deploy with it. Require them to wear it once a week, including designated PT runs, reveilles, and retreats.

What is reliable and what is not will get sorted out quickly and communicated efficiently through the ranks. Fitting the sidearm to the hand of the user becomes the user's responsibility, facilitated by a free market---if the Beretta doesn't fit the hand of the 5'0" 95-pound female, she has several single-stack alternatives.

Objections along the lines of "but you'll put an eye out" will not be entertained.

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