When The Company You Work For Lives Up To Their Name, Look Elsewhere

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I got a press release in my email today from Sig Sauer announcing Jack Barnes as their new VP for Commercial Sales. Normally, I would not be blogging about something like this. However, in the case of Mr. Barnes, his former employer was a company that lived up to its name more than once:  Dick’s Sporting Goods.
Here is the relevant paragraph from the press release:

Barnes comes to SIG SAUER with a robust background in retail commercial sales, serving the last nine years at Dick’s Sporting Goods where he was Vice President General Merchandise Manager. While at Dick’s, Barnes focused on the hunting and outdoor categories, and led the development of the Dick’s Sporting Goods, Field & Stream retail stores from concept to grand opening. He further led the continued growth and sustainability for Field & Stream stores through sales, inventory control, and merchandising. Prior to that, Barnes worked for twelve years at Wal-Mart in various management roles. Notably, Barnes gained tremendous firearms experience as a professional competitive shooter, before he began to focus his career in retail sales management.

I don’t know whether Mr. Barnes left Dick’s on his own or was forced out when Dick’s CEO Ed Stack went full gun control after the Parkland mass murders. Regardless, I’m glad to hear he is now with a company that respects the Second Amendment.

By the way, this afternoon I drove right by a Field and Stream store and kept on going. Mr. Barnes did a good job in developing them but I refuse to spend my money with a company that advocates for gun control.

A Pair Of Firearm-Related Product Recalls

Safety is paramount when dealing with firearms. If either of these recalls effect you, please stop using the product and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for returning the product for upgrade or replacement.

First, for the person who assembles their own AR15 comes this from American Outdoor Brand’s Battenfield Technologies subsidiary. It is the AR15 lower parts kit (Item #110114) sold prior to September 12, 2017 and marketed under the S&W M&P label. It only applies to the lower parts kit and not to factory assembled S&W M&P-15s. The hammer in the kit is missing a pin due to a packaging error.

Here is a picture of the hammer involved and the steps you need to take to remedy the issue.

Remedy/Action to be Taken
DO NOT ASSEMBLE A RIFLE USING THIS M&P15 COMPLETE LOWER PARTS KIT. IF YOU HAVE ALREADY DONE SO, STOP USING THE RIFLE IMMEDIATELY.
Any unintended discharge of a firearm has the potential to cause injury. We are asking all purchasers of the M&P AR-15 Rifle Lower Parts Kit Complete to refrain from assembling a rifle using the hammer from the kit. If you have already done so, immediately stop using the rifle until corrective action can be taken.
To facilitate this repair, please contact Battenfeld Technologies, Inc. at the number below to arrange for the return and replacement of the M&P AR-15 Rifle Lower Parts Kit Complete, or the hammer only from the kit.
When you return the hammer, we will replace it with a new part at no cost to you. Your hammer will be returned as quickly and efficiently as possible. Remember, while you are awaiting the replacement hammer, any rifle assembled with an M&P AR-15 Rifle Lower Parts Kit Complete should NOT be used. The lower receiver should be disassembled and the rifle should be stored unloaded and with the safety in the SAFE LOAD/UNLOAD position.
Please do NOT return firearms or receivers to Battenfeld Technologies, Inc. Firearms or receivers received by Battenfeld will be returned to sender WITHOUT remedial action. The M&P AR-15 Rifle Lower Parts Kit Complete with the replacement hammer will be identified as Item #1085634.
For hammer-only replacements, you should note a J pin as shown in the photo below. This J pin is confirmation that your hammer has been replaced.
Consumer Contact:
To arrange for the replacement of the hammer, email us at recall110114@btibrands.com or call us at (877) 416-5167. Your hammer will be returned as quickly and efficiently as possible.
IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS ABOUT THIS RECALL, PLEASE CONTACT BATTENFELD TECHNOLOGIES, INC. AT (877) 416-5167.

The second recall comes from SIG and involves a limited number of their SIG716, SIG516, and SIGM400 rifles which may have an improperly heat-treated hammer in the trigger assembly.

Newington, NH (September 15th, 2017) – SIG SAUER, Inc. has determined that a limited number of rifles in the SIG716 DMR®, SIG516® Carbon Fiber and SIGM400® Predator models were built with a two-stage SIG SAUER trigger that may have an improperly heat-treated hammer. Over time this could result in a trigger malfunction creating a significant safety hazard. SIG SAUER is issuing a mandatory recall to replace the hammer and trigger assembly in these specific rifles. This recall does not affect any military or law enforcement rifles or any SIG MCX®/SIG MPX® products.

SIG SAUER will correct any of the affected firearms at no cost to the customer.

To determine if a specific firearm is affected by the recall, go to https://www.sigsauer.com/support/safety-center/rifle-safety-warning/ and utilize the serial number identifier and visual inspection instructions.

If you are a customer who is affected by the recall, stop using the firearm immediately and follow the instructions on the website or call SIG SAUER Customer Service by dialing 603-610-3000, option #1. Have the rifle’s serial number available.

To reiterate on both recalls, if you own either of the products involved, stop using them now and contact the manufacturers involved.

UPDATE: In an absurd posting, the Bloomberg-financed, anti-gun “news service” (sic) The Trace criticizes SIG over their safety warning and recall. They contend that SIG is “keeping gun owners in the dark” by just saying it can cause a “trigger malfunction” due to the improper heat treatment of the hammer. The Trace wants SIG to go into chapter and verse over what a trigger malfunction might cause. They point to the safety warning (probably mandated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission) issued by Takata on their air bag recall.

I think the average firearm user recognizes that they are a) using a tool that can have deadly consequences if misused, b) that a trigger malfunction is not good, and c) you don’t mess around with trigger malfunctions.

SHOT Show Day Three – Gunblast.com

The highlights of Jeff Quinn’s third day at the SHOT Show include the Sig Sauer P320 X version, Rob Pincus’ Avidity P10, and a unique barreled rifle from the Italian firm Sabatti. I will say I learned something about rifling as I had never heard of multi-radial rifling which sounds quite intriguing as it helps increase velocity and reduce bullet drop at longer ranges.

Great News For Sig Sauer

Just a day before a new administration takes office the US Army has finally decided who will be making their Modular Handgun System. It will be Sig Sauer.


From a DoD contract announcement released today:

Sig Sauer Inc., Newington, New Hampshire, was awarded a $580,217,000 firm-fixed-price contract for the Modular Handgun System including handgun, accessories and ammunition to replace the current M9 handgun. Bids were solicited via the Internet with nine received. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of Jan. 19, 2027. Army Contracting Command, Picatinny Arsenal, New Jersey, is the contracting activity (W15QKN-17-D-0016).

 More on the contract win from Military.com:

Sig Sauer beat out Glock Inc., FN America and Beretta USA, the maker of the current M9 9mm service pistol, in the competition for the Modular Handgun System, or MHS, program.

“By maximizing full and open competition across our industry partners, we have optimized private sector advancements in handguns, ammunition and magazines, and the end result will ensure a decidedly superior weapon system for our warfighters,” Army Acquisition Executive Steffanie Easter said said in a press release.

The Army launched its long-awaited XM17 MHS competition in late August 2015 to replace its Cold War-era M9 9mm pistol. One of the major goals of the effort is to adopt a pistol chambered for a more potent round than the current 9mm. The U.S. military replaced the .45 caliber 1911 pistol with the M9 in 1985 and began using the 9mm NATO round at that time.

In the press release, the service didn’t offer any details about what caliber the new Sig Sauer pistol will be.

 The MHS pistol is reportedly based upon the Sig P320 and both .40 S&W and 9mm were submitted for consideration by the Army. ArmyTimes reports that the first pistols could be fielded by the Army sometime later this year.

The procurement of these new handguns has been plagued by some controversy for taking so long.

The Wall Street Journal notes:

Gen. Mark Milley, the Army chief of staff, last year criticized the protracted buying process and said he would prefer to take a check to an outdoor retailer to expedite the process of replacing the pistols used for more than 30 years.

“We’re not figuring out the next lunar landing,”” Gen. Milley said at a defense conference last year. “You give me $17 million on a credit card, and I’ll call Cabela’s tonight, and I’ll outfit every soldier, sailor, airman and Marine with a pistol for $17 million. And I’ll get a discount on a bulk buy.”

The contest included the elimination last year of Smith & Wesson owner American Outdoor Brands Corp. and partner General Dynamics Corp., and the hundreds of pages of requirements for the contract became a focus for critics of the Pentagon’s acquisition system.

The big loser in this is obviously Beretta which held the Army contract for 30 years. Now that they don’t have the Army contract any longer, you have to wonder how soon they will be closing up things in Maryland and finishing the move of operations to Gallatin, TN.

The other loser is Glock but they will have their large law enforcement market to fall back upon. It was reported that the decision came down to Glock and Sig.

UPDATE: Sig released these pictures of the XM17 – the military’s version of the P320 – on Facebook today.

The release from Sig Sauer that accompanied the photo:

SIG SAUER, Inc. announced today that the U.S. Army has selected the SIG SAUER Model P320 to replace the M9 service pistol currently in use since the mid-1980’s. Released in 2014, the P320 is a polymer striker-fired pistol that has proven itself in both the United States and worldwide markets. The P320 is the first modular pistol with interchangeable grip modules that can also be adjusted in frame size and caliber by the operator. All pistols will be produced at the SIG SAUER facilities in New Hampshire.

The MHS Program provides for the delivery of both full size and compact P320’s, over a period of ten (10) years. All pistols will be configurable to receive silencers and will also include both standard and extended capacity magazines.

“I am tremendously proud of the Modular Handgun System Team,” said Army Acquisition Executive, Steffanie Easter in the release. “By maximizing full and open competition across our industry partners, we truly have optimized the private sector advancements in handguns, ammunition and magazines and the end result will ensure a decidedly superior weapon system for our warfighters.”

Ron Cohen, President and CEO of SIG SAUER, said “We are both humbled and proud that the P320 was selected by the U.S. Army as its weapon of choice. Securing this contract is a testimony to SIG SAUER employees and their commitment to innovation, quality and manufacturing the most reliable firearms in the world.”

UPDATE II: Two more comments on the XM17 from Michael Bane and John Farnam.

First from Michael on the implications for the civilian market.

The implications are pretty obvious. As with the Beretta M9, the Big Army contract, the most coveted handgun contract in the world, will launch the already successful 320 into the stratosphere. Validation by the U.S. military makes the gun an easy chose for a potential flood of other agencies. Over the years I have seen estimates of at least the same amount of sales to other Federal agencies, law enforcement and civilians clamoring to own the same gun the military uses. While the caliber was not announced, let me go out on a limb here and suggest that it will be 9mm. Why? I would say logistics…the huge military pipeline is already set up to provide 9mm ammunition worldwide, and changing to a different caliber would be a nightmare. I once had a very long and fruitful conversation on military logistics by one of the most knowledgeable men in the industry — Ron Cohen, the head of Sig Sauer. Funny, that.

The military contract will also open the floodgates of aftermarket parts to support the gun. That aftermarket will be increasingly driven by civilian and LEO acceptance of the 320 as a platform. Obviously, this is already underway with the relationship between Sig and GrayGuns. Bruce Gray, one of the greatest minds in the firearms world, has hammered out the 320 trigger, working essentially as an in-house R&D guy, and has a huge head start on aftermarket 320 parts. There will be lots of others!

Make sure to read his full post on this as it contains other nuggets of wisdom.

John Farnam has more information on the military version of the P320 or the XM17 along with some commentary about the changes in his Farnam’s Quips email.

Friends as (sic) SIG tell me these additional details about the pistol that will
ultimately be delivered to the Army:



Our military’s version of SIG’s 320 pistol will have a manual safety
lever. Of course, most troopers will never be allowed to even have a magazine
inserted into the pistol, much less carry the weapon with a round
chambered, so the manual safety lever will have little real function.



Two more “enhancements:”


The take-down lever will be “secured” in some way on the right side, so
that it cannot be removed at the field level which would allow complete
removal of the fire-control unit from the plastic frame.



The slide cover-plate at the back will be “secured” in a similar fashion,
and for the same reasons.



Army procurement people obviously do not want “end-users” (the ones who
may actually have to shoot someone) taking the gun apart any further than
field stripping.



I carried a SIG320 for most of last year. My copy has no manual safety,
as I have no interest in one and consider it a mostly useless and
unnecessary addition. If I were carrying a 320 with a manual safety, I’d leave it in
the “off” position. However, a manual safety that does not exist cannot
be inadvertently left in the “on” position, and that is why I like it gone!



Not everyone agrees, however.


“There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently what need not be done at
all”



Drucker

SIGTac Stabilizing Brace

I’ve written in the past about devices and/or gimmicks such as the Halix NSN chin brace that will allow you to use an AR-15 pistol as a PDW or personal defense weapon. The general consensus at the time was that it had marginal utility and that the ATF would probably decide it was a stock.

Now comes word that Sig Sauer’s SIGTac line is coming out with the SB-15 stabilizing brace. As you can see in the video below, it is a method of strapping the recoil tube to your forearm. According to SIGTac, it is ATF approved. They plan on rolling this out at the NRA Annual Meeting so I’ll be interested in seeing the approval letter.

It does appear effective in stabilizing the AR pistol. No word yet on the price.

UPDATE: The ATF approval letter can be found here. Also, according to a comment on this post, the MSRP for the SB-15 will be $139.

H/T GearScout