Govt. Seeks up to 645,000 .45 Caliber “Joint Combat Pistols”

SOCOM, the U.S. military’s joint operations counter-terrorism command, is seeking submissions for a new “joint combat pistol.” It’s an ID/IQ (Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity) contract, but total quantities could be up to 645,000 units. Government proposal documents here. Via The High Road. A summary of the specs:

  • .45 ACP [9 mm (.355) is the NATO standard, but it's always been criticized for being ineffective in military hardball configuration]
  • SOCOM is examining models with and without an external manual safety
  • Mean Rounds Between Stoppage (MRBS) of 2000 rounds (T) and 5000 rounds
  • Mean Rounds Between Failure (MRBF) of 5000 rounds (T) and 10,000 rounds
  • 8 round or more magazine capacity
  • 10 to 15 round magazine capacity in high-capacity configuration
  • Lanyard attachment
  • MIL-STD-1913 accessory rail for lights and laser sights
  • Length less than 9.65 inches
  • Width less than 1.53 inches [that's mighty exact - they're clearly speccing this to allow a certain manufacturer to make the specs]
  • “The JCP shall function in double action/single action (DA/SA) or double-action only (DAO) including Striker-Fired Action (SFA) (T)” [Translation: DA/SAs, DAOs and striker-fired guns like the Glock, Springfield XD, and SIG DAK are fine, but single-actions like the 1911 are out]
  • DA/SA guns must have a decocker
  • Magazines must be drop free, i.e., you shouldn’t have to drag them out of the gun
  • “The JCP shall be operable for a range of operators from the 5th to 95th percentile per section 3.6.3. To aid in this, the JCP should incorporate a modular grip adjustment system to provide enhanced ergonomics (O).” [Can Glock meet that standard? They have fairly thick grips in double-stack .45. On the other hand the modular grip adjustment sounds just like the Walther/S&W P99 and the new S&W Military and Police.]
  • Drop safe [won't accidentally fire if dropped onto a hard surface]
  • Suppressor attachment available

There’s one eye-opener in the spec:

3.7.6. Weapon Shot Counter. The JCP should have a weapon shot counter to record shots fired (O). The shot counter, if provided, shall have a data collection device that connects the shot counter to a computer. The shot counter, if provided, shall have a Microsoft compatible software program that works in conjunction with the shot counter and the data collection device to allow the weapon data to be downloaded and stored on a computer. The shot counter, if provided, shall not interfere with any operations of the JCP.

The shot counter – which is a “should” rather than a “shall” – is vaguely specced: does it simply count the number of shots fired (like an odomoter) or does it also record the date and time the shots were fired (which is what Tasers do – that’s why you see news stories that mention how many times the Taser was used on a specific occasion). Is anyone aware of any field-tested guns that would meet this specification? I’m not.

Full specs from the original Microsoft Word documents below.


2.2.1. Specifications and standards. The following specifications and standards form a part of this document to the extent specified herein. Unless otherwise specified, the version of these documents shall be those listed in the Department of Defense Index of Specifications and Standards (DODISS) and supplement thereto, cited in the solicitation.

FED-STD-595B Colors Used In Government Procurement

MIL-STD-810F Environmental Test Methods and Engineering Guidelines

MIL-STD-1913 Dimensioning of Accessory Mounting Rail For Small Arms Weapons

ITOP 4-2-602 Rough Handling Tests

TOP 3-2-045 Automatic Weapons, Machineguns, and Hand and Shoulder Fired Weapons.

MIL-C-1311E Cartridge, Caliber .45, Ball, M1911, (A475)

MIL-C-60163 Cartridge, Caliber .45, Test, High Pressure, (M1)

SW010-AD-GTP-010 SMALL ARMS AND SPECIAL
WARFARE AMMUNITION
.45 caliber +P Truncated Cone, (AA18)

MIL-C-46482B Cartridge, Caliber .45 Ball, M1911, Match Grade, (A483)

Copies of military specifications and standards are available from: Standardization Document Order Desk, 700 Robbins Ave., Bldg #4, Section D, Philadelphia, PA 19111-5094.

2.3. Non-Government Documents

2.3.1. Non-Government Specifications and standards. The following document(s) form a part of this document to the extent specified herein.

ANSI/SAAMI Z299.3-1993 Pressure and Velocity for Center Fire Pistol

2.4. Order of precedence. In the event of a conflict between the text of this document and the references cited herein, the text of this document takes precedence. Nothing in this document, however, supersedes applicable laws and regulations unless a specific exemption has been obtained.

3. REQUIREMENTS

NOTE: Thresholds and Objectives. Section 3, designates threshold requirements and objectives. All Threshold requirements are marked with a (T). All “shalls” designate a threshold requirement. All Objectives are marked with a (O). All “shoulds” designate an objective.

3.1. JCP Definition. The JCP System shall include:

3.1.1. Weapon. A caliber .45 pistol, two [2] standard-capacity magazines, operator’s manual, and cleaning kit.

3.1.2. Holster.

3.1.3. High Capacity Magazine. Four [4] high-capacity magazines.

3.1.4. Magazine Holder.

3.2. Performance Requirements:

3.2.1. Reliability. The JCP shall have a Mean Rounds Between Stoppage (MRBS) of 2000 rounds (T) and 5000 rounds (O) firing A475 and A483 ammunition. The JCP shall have a Mean Rounds Between Failure (MRBF) of 5000 rounds (T) and 10,000 rounds (O) firing A475 and A483 ammunition. The weapon shall function reliably when operated in extreme environments per section 3.6.

3.2.2. Accuracy. When fired from a rest, at a range of 50 meters, the mean radius of a 10-shot group fired from the JCP shall not be greater than A) 3.15 inches or B)1.8 inches over baseline ammunition performance, whichever is less (T). Baseline ammunition performance is defined as the average mean radius plus two sample standard deviations of three 10-shot groups fired from a test barrel at 50m.

3.2.3. Service Life. The JCP shall have a service life of 20,000 rounds (T), greater than 20,000 (O), using A475 .45 ACP Ball, and/or A483 .45 ACP match ammunition. The JCP should be capable of a service life of 20,000 rounds when firing 5% AA18 .45 +P ammunition (O). Receiver service life shall be defined as a receiver that is at the end of its usable life cycle.

3.3. Physical description.

3.3.1. Magazine Capacity. The JCP shall have a standard magazine capacity of no less than eight [8] rounds (T), greater than eight [8] rounds (O) of .45 ACP ammunition. The JCP shall also have a high-capacity magazine of no less than ten [10] rounds (T), fifteen [15] rounds (O), of .45 ACP ammunition.

3.3.2. Pistol Lanyard Attachment Point. The JCP shall have a rigid attachment point for a lanyard (T). The JCP lanyard attachment point shall not interfere with the JCP control features or magazine unloading and reloading, and shall minimize snag hazard (T).

3.3.3. Accessory Rail. The JCP shall have an integral MIL-STD-1913 rail for the attachment of accessories (T). The rail shall be located forward of the trigger guard on the lower portion of the frame (T).

3.3.4. Surface Finish. The JCP surface finish shall be non-reflective, resistant to peeling, flaking, and chipping, and require a minimum of operator preventive maintenance (T). Internal coatings should be lubricious/low friction mitigating the use of lubricants (O). Non-metallic components shall be fungus and battlefield chemical resistant (T). JCP materials and coatings shall protect the pistol from degradation in all climates and geographical areas including maritime, coastal, desert, tropical jungle, arctic, urban areas, and mountain environments (T). The materials and coatings shall minimize the attraction of dust and contamination (T).

3.3.5. Color. The JCP frame and JCP holster shall be delivered in Color #30118 (Flat, Dark Earth), Per FED-STD-595B (T). The barrel and slide shall be anti-reflective, matte grey or matte black finish comparable to FED-STD-595B series #36000 or #37000 colors (T).

3.3.6. Length. The JCP length, with standard barrel, shall be less than 9.65 inches (T).

3.3.7. Width. The JCP width shall be less than 1.53 inches (T).

3.4. Weapon controls.

3.4.1. Action: The JCP shall function in double action/single action (DA/SA) or double-action only (DAO) including Striker-Fired Action (SFA) (T). The JCP should have a modular action mechanism that allows reconfiguration at the unit level without modification to the weapon’s major assemblies (O).

3.4.2. Trigger Pull: All DA/SA pistols shall have a consistent trigger pull of eight to ten [8-10] pounds on Double Action, and a consistent trigger pull of four to six [4-6] pounds on Single Action and all DAO pistols shall have a trigger pull of five to eight [5-8] pounds (T). All pistols shall have a trigger pull that is consistent within one [1] pound from average pull (T). When pressure is applied to the JCP trigger and then released, the trigger shall reset to its forward-most position, even if the pistol is not fired (T). The operator shall be capable of pulling the trigger, without shifting the firing grip as will be tested in section 3.6.3.

3.4.3. Magazine Release / Tactical Reload: The JCP shall allow the magazine, empty or with any number of rounds loaded, to drop free of the magazine well when the magazine release is activated (T). The magazine shall fall free when the pistol grip is held at any angle from 0 degrees vertical (normal firing attitude) to 45 degrees from vertical (T). The magazine shall also be capable of manual extraction when held at any other angle (T). The pistol shall be capable of firing with a chambered round and without a magazine in the magazine well (T). The pistol shall reliably fire when the pistol has a round in the chamber and a fully loaded magazine is inserted with the slide fully forward and the pistol is fired (T). The operator shall be capable of operating the magazine release with the firing hand (T). The operator should be capable of operating the magazine release without shifting the firing grip (O).

3.4.4. Ergonomic Enhancements: The JCP shall be operable for a range of operators from the 5th to 95th percentile per section 3.6.3. To aid in this, the JCP should incorporate a modular grip adjustment system to provide enhanced ergonomics (O).

3.4.5. Sights: The JCP sights shall provide rapid target acquisition and shall be optimized for snag-resistant rapid deployment (T). The JCP sights shall be replaceable at the organizational level (T). The JCP sights shall be drift-adjustable for windage (T). The JCP sights shall be self-illuminating for low light situations without ambient or external light source “charging” (T).

3.4.6. Safety:

3.4.6.1. DA/SA Pistols. The JCP in the DA/SA configuration shall have an internal safety mechanism that prevents the loaded cartridge from firing if the pistol is dropped or struck and mechanically prevents the firing pin/striker from contacting the cartridge primer unless the trigger is pulled (T). DA/SA pistols shall have a de-cocking lever that lowers the hammer from a cocked position and returns the pistol to DA mode when activated (T). The JCP design shall prevent the firing of a chambered cartridge when the hammer is cocked and the de-cocking lever is activated (T). The operator shall be capable of activating the de-cocking lever with the firing hand (T). The operator should be capable of activating the de-cocking lever without shifting the firing grip (O). If configured with external safety, the weapon shall meet the requirements of 3.4.6.1.1.

3.4.6.1.1. DA/SA Pistols with External Safety. The JCP in DA/SA mode with an external manual safety shall meet all the requirements of 3.4.6.1 with the addition of: The external manual safety shall prevent firing when the manual safety is applied and the trigger is pulled (T). The operator shall be capable of activating the external manual safety with the firing hand (T). The operator should be capable of activating the external manual safety without shifting the firing grip (O).

3.4.6.2. DAO Pistols. The JCP in DAO shall have an internal safety mechanism that prevents the loaded cartridge from firing if the pistol is dropped or struck and mechanically prevents the firing pin/striker from contacting the cartridge primer unless the trigger is pulled (T). If configured with an external safety, the pistol shall meet the requirements of 3.4.6.2.1.

3.4.6.2.1. DAO Pistols with External Safety. The JCP in DAO with an external safety shall meet the requirements of 3.4.6.2 with the addition of: The external safety shall prevent firing when applied and the trigger is pulled (T). When configured with an external safety, the operator shall be capable of activating and deactivating the external safety with the firing hand (T), and should be capable of activating and deactivating the external safety without shifting the firing grip (O).

3.4.6.3. General Safety. The JCP shall be capable of being produced either with or without an external manual safety (T). The weapon shall not create a hazard to the operator or others in close proximity during normal handling, transport, and use (T).

3.4.7. Slide Lock. The JCP shall incorporate a slide lock that will lock the slide to the rear after the firing and ejection of the last round from the magazine (T). The operator shall be capable of locking/unlocking the slide lock with the firing hand (T).

3.5. Design requirements.

3.5.1. Caliber and Chamber. The JCP shall be chambered for standard .45 Auto per ANSI/SAAMI Z299.3-1993. The JCP shall safely fire all .45 caliber ACP cartridges referenced in paragraph 2.2.1 of this performance specification (T). Each JCP shall be capable of withstanding the firing of a M1 Cartridge, .45 ACP High Pressure Test detailed in MIL-C-60163 and marked accordingly (T). The pistol shall have proper headspace for .45 ACP cartridges (T).

3.5.2. Field stripping. The JCP shall be capable of quick and easy field stripping, without the use of tools, for normal care and cleaning in the field (T). The weapon shall be incapable of improper assembly at the fieldstrip level to the detriment of safety (T). Takedown pins should be captive (O).

3.5.3. Parts interchangeability. All component parts or inseparable subassemblies shall be 100% interchangeable between pistols without hand or machine fitting (T). Interchange of parts of like condition shall not adversely affect safety, functioning, reliability or accuracy of the pistol (T).

3.5.4. Non-catastrophic failure. The JCP shall not fail in a catastrophic manner when subjected to extremes in operational and environmental employment, or due to over stressing of the system during high operational use and extended round counts (T). “Catastrophic manner” is defined as the JCP failing in such a manner as to become a hazard to the operator or friendly force in the immediate vicinity. Failure inducing conditions may include but are not limited to: bore obstruction (including water and projectile) and environmental extremes.

3.5.5. Lubrication. The JCP shall not create any new lubrication requirements over existing systems (T); the JCP should not require the application of grease or lubricants (O).

3.5.6. Rough handling. The JCP shall be capable of withstanding the impact, when dropped from a minimum height of 1.5 meters (5 feet), as described in TOP 3-2-045 and ITOP 4-2-602 without firing a primed empty cartridge and without causing any damage that prevents operation of the pistol (T). The JCP shall withstand vibration and rough-handling requirements as defined by MIL-STD-810F, Method 514.4 without firing a primed empty cartridge and without causing any damage that prevents operation of the pistol (T).

3.6. Operational environmental requirements.

3.6.1. Environmental requirements. The JCP shall operate reliably in all climates and geographical areas that include sand, swamp, tundra, grasslands, forest, jungle, urban areas, maritime, riverine, and alpine / mountainous environments (T). The JCP shall operate at high and low temperature extremes (-40 ?F to 140 ?F) as well as other hostile (ice/rain/sand/dust/dirt/mud/ surf/salt fog) environmental conditions (T). The JCP shall exhibit no functional degradation after a salt fog exposure of four [4] days (T), ten [10] days (O).

3.6.2. Immersion. The JCP shall be capable of being submerged in salt or fresh water to a depth of 66ft. for a minimum of two [2] hours without operational degradation (T), eight [8] hours without operational degradation (O).

3.6.3. Operational Suitability and Effectiveness. Operational suitability and effectiveness of the JCP is based on the ability of the JCP system to meet all stated threshold and objective requirements as well as Operators’ (subjective and objective) determination of operational suitability and effectiveness. Factors include but are not limited to overall reliability, controllability/shootability as measured by live-fire hit scores and engagement times while shooting with two hands and single handed (both strong and weak hand), ease of reload and malfunction clearing, ergonomics, snag free operation, and ease of maintainability while in the field (T). The JCP shall be durable, and easily maintainable in the field (T). It shall be usable by right or left-handed operators (T). The pistol shall be operable by personnel wearing anti-contact protection (cold weather, scuba, or Chemical, Biological, Radiological gloves) (T). The pistol shall not present any sharp edges or pinch points that could damage the clothing or protective equipment of the soldier or injure the soldier (T). The JCP design shall allow the Operator to immediately clear a malfunction without the use of tools (T).

3.7. Ancillary equipment.

3.7.1. Suppressor Attachment Kit. The JCP shall have a Suppressor Attachment Kit that provides for the attachment and operation of the suppressor to the JCP (T). This kit shall cause no change in operation of the JCP with or without suppressor attached (T).

3.7.2. Holster. The JCP shall have a rigid holster system that allows rapid withdrawal and secure holstering of the pistol with both standard and high capacity magazines (T). The JCP holster shall allow mounting on the thigh, hip, and SPEAR/BALCS body armor (T). The JCP holster shall have a rotating, snap-free hood securing mechanism that allows the pistol to be drawn when pressure is applied to the hood, and the hood is rotated down and forward (T). The holster design shall not allow the gun to be drawn when the hood is in the “secure” position, and pressure is applied to the pistol in an attempt to draw the pistol (T). The holster design shall not damage the weapon’s surface finish, sights or any other component through repeated drawing and holstering (T).

3.7.3. Magazine Holder. The JCP shall have a magazine holder that attaches to SPEAR/BALCS body armor and accepts two [2] standard and high-capacity magazines (T). This requirement may also be met with two [2] magazine holders that hold one [1] magazine each.

3.7.4. Cleaning kit. The JCP shall be equipped with a compact cleaning kit for general field maintenance and cleaning (T).

3.7.5. Operator’s Manual. The JCP shall be equipped with an operator’s manual in accordance with DD1423 CDRL A001 (T).

3.7.6. Weapon Shot Counter. The JCP should have a weapon shot counter to record shots fired (O). The shot counter, if provided, shall have a data collection device that connects the shot counter to a computer. The shot counter, if provided, shall have a Microsoft compatible software program that works in conjunction with the shot counter and the data collection device to allow the weapon data to be downloaded and stored on a computer. The shot counter, if provided, shall not interfere with any operations of the JCP.

3.7.7. Force-on-Force Training Module. The JCP should have a force-on-force training module that uses a non-lethal marking ammunition round that does not significantly or permanently injure operators when fired during force-on-force training (O).

3.8. Workmanship. Workmanship and finish shall be in accordance with the best commercial practice (T). Finished pistols and parts shall not exhibit poor material and processing such as seams, laps, laminations, cracks, visible steps, sharp edges, nicks, scratches, burrs, deformations and missing operations which may affect serviceability, functioning, operation, appearance or safety (T). Flashing or other extraneous material shall be removed from cast or forged parts (T).

3.9. Weapons Rack. The JCP should be capable of being secured in the M14 Small Arms Storage Rack, NSN 1095-01-236-2203 (O).

3.10. Identification markings. The JCP shall display identification markings addressing weapon nomenclature and caliber, manufacturer, and serial number (T). Identification markings shall be engraved, cast, or stamped (impressed) on the receiver in a manner easy to read and identify, not susceptible of being readily obliterated, altered, or removed (T). In the case of polymer weapons, this data shall be placed on a permanent metal surface (e.g., onto a metal plate inserted in the receiver). Identification should be accessible without removing the weapon from its rack (O).

UPDATE SEPTEMBER 9, 2006 – According to Defense Review the project has been postponed indefinitely.

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16 Responses to Govt. Seeks up to 645,000 .45 Caliber “Joint Combat Pistols”

  1. Interesting…the modular grip requirement would seem to eliminate the HK USP, if the width requirement didn’t already kill it.

  2. SayUncle says:

    Joint Combat Pistol

    Les has the skinny on SOCOM’s request for a joint combat pistol in 45ACP. They want a shot counter, which I find a bit odd. Reading the specs, it’s difficult to find a gun that fits the bill. So, let’s play a game. Which gun do t…

  3. bill says:

    I think I will just keep my 1911. Why waste the taxpayers money on this when there is a provem design that has been through it all.

  4. mike says:

    Heartless, HK USP45 width is 1.26 inches per their own specs on http://www.hecklerkoch-usa.com. The HK Mark23, which is universally regarded as a big honking pistol, is listed on the HK site as 1.53 inches wide – which is the measurement coincidence I think being pointed out above.

  5. Bob1 says:

    I can’t tell from these specs, but would the Para-Ordnance “light double action” 1911 variant be competitive? I have one, and it’s sweet. I don’t know about a supressor, though.

  6. J-Dog says:

    Guys, what about a Colt produced variant of the Para, with a synthetic body? I have also read that the Ruger P345 is a contender here but have no experience with it.

  7. JRowley says:

    I think the new H&K 45 and 45C coming out early 2007 is a shoe in for the Joint Combat Pistol. It is pictured in the new issue of Guns and Weapons for Law Enforcement. It incorporates the ambidextrious magazine and slide release of the P2000, modular capability of the USP and is almost as thin as a 1911, Full size will hold 10 rounds and Compact will hold 8. I will be getting the compact the day it comes out.

  8. Tony C says:

    Y’all are kidding right? the pistol above is a SIG 220

  9. Asa says:

    The shot counter mechanism is currently under development. The idea is to change the frequency of preventative maintenance/parts replacement/firearms overhaul from a time based system to one based on the number of rounds fired. Doing so can save a lot of unnecessary work, potentially saving time and money.

    Shot counters have been tested on M16/M4 rifles (installed in the pistol grip), and may be incorporated in these rifles in the future.

    Incorporation of a date/time feature requires incorporating a clock – already part of any modern CPU – and enough memory for the extra data.

  10. coxy says:

    dont wanna puta downer on the .45 but perhaps it is somewhat ou dated? have they ever thought of looking outside a standard> take a peek at the FN 5.7 series. it can defeat kevlar body armour and its designed and ready to go less a shot computer butis that really important. I Say no who am i a armourer in the british army so i would like to think i know andit would make next to no saving in maitance time but a massive increase in assosiated paperwork

  11. coxy says:

    dont wanna puta downer on the .45 but perhaps it is somewhat ou dated? have they ever thought of looking outside a standard> take a peek at the FN 5.7 series. it can defeat kevlar body armour and its designed and ready to go less a shot computer butis that really important. I Say no who am i a armourer in the british army so i would like to think i know andit would make next to no saving in maitance time but a massive increase in assosiated paperwork

  12. matt says:

    SIG 220 Combat hands down. 250,000 rd tested! I wish it was .40 for the JCP, even if it has to fire FMJ. Bigger bullet=better wounding right? Bull! Like that 5% of an inch matters. And as far as knockdown power…who tha hell has ever been knocked down by a bullet? Maybe their knees buckling from trauma or severed spine. Don’t kid yourselves.

  13. http://www.lanyards.e5h0p.com

    It is true that uncovering credible information on this subject can be difficult.

  14. Lanyard Hooks

    It is wearisome trying to number the time we\’ve exhausted looking for Lanyard Clips webpages.

  15. I wonder whats going on with this now that we have a new president.

  16. bobby b says:

    Wouldn’t it be much more efficient to drop most of these specs and simply add “the JCP shall be manufactured at _________ Street, [city], [state], and the final pre-delivery inspection of the JCP must be performed by a current employee of ____ ______, Inc.”?