WOW: Smith & Wesson Loses Army Contract to Supply Pistols

It’s unclear if the Army has settled on a winner. Only Beretta and Smith & Wesson have publicly acknowledged participating in the bid.

Smith & Wesson has lost a bid to supply the Army with its next standard-issue pistol.

The Army opened bidding two years ago for a possible replacement for the Beretta M9A1 semiautomatic, its standard-issue sidearm since 1985. It’s carried by officers, special forces and some soldiers.

Smith & Wesson entered the race and partnered with General Dynamics (GD), a company better known for jets, tanks and submarines than small arms but with a lot of experience with government contracts.

But in an SEC filing late Friday, Smith & Wesson said it had been notified by the Army that it would not advance to the next phase of bidding. Smith & Wesson (SWHC) stock was down 5% at the start of trading Monday.

Beretta, a 500-year-old Italian company that has made guns in the United States since 1987, is the only other company that has publicly acknowledged participating in the bid.

Beretta proposed supplying the Army with an upgraded model of the M9 called the M9A3. Its magazine can hold two extra bullets, for a total of 17. The M9A3 is also tailored for the desert. It’s the color of sand and designed to prevent jamming in sandy conditions.

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