In a notice put up on a government website, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) indicated that it has chosen 9mm Glocks for its new line of service handguns. According to the notice, the contract could go as high as $85 million for the Austrian gun maker, which also has a factory in Smyrna, Georgia.
“The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is issuing an unrestricted solicitation for various 9mm Luger pistols and all associated replacement parts with the intent of making single award of a fixed price indefinite-delivery indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) contract,” the FBI’s procurement arm stated.
The agency first announced in 2014 that it will be ditching its iconic .40 S&W round and returning to 9×19 Parabellum. In 2015, the FBI submitted a new request for proposal (RFP), which sought both a new compact pistol capable of holding 14 rounds, and a new full-size handgun with a capacity of at least 16 rounds. The contract reportedly will also be responsible for equipping up to a dozen federal agencies, including the Drug Enforcement Agency; the U.S. Marshalls; the Department of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms; the Capitol Police; the Postal Service; the Park Police; and the Department of Defense.
As many expected, Glock surfaced as the prime contender for the government contract. Expert speculation once leaned toward the SIG Sauer P320, but the agency ultimately decided to go with a gun maker it was already very familiar with. The Glock 22, chambered in .40 S&W, has been the FBI service pistol since 1997.
The agency initially made the switch over to the .40 S&W caliber after a notorious shootout in 1986. FBI agents had been pursuing two serial bank robbers, William Russell Matix and Michael Lee Platt, when the confrontation turned into a gun fight near Miami. Despite being outnumbered and wounded multiple times, the better-armed criminals were able to gain the upper hand in the resulting battle. Matix and Platt killed two agents and wounded five more before succumbing to their own gunshot wounds. In the aftermath, the FBI concluded that it needed a more powerful and modern round, ultimately landing on the .40 S&W. The agency also made the switch from revolvers to semi-automatic pistols.
However, the performance of the .40 S&W has been plagued with criticism, and the FBI may be seeking something a little more conventional with its new contract, perhaps something like the now ubiquitous Glock 17.
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