The Marines have begun fielding the service’s first new pistol since the early 1980s. The M18 Modular Handgun System went into service at the Corps’ Formal Marksmanship Training Centers, Reconnaissance battalions, Provost Marshall offices and with Marine Corps Security Forces this month.
Based on the Sig Sauer P320, the 9-mm M18 replaces the M9. Like the P320, it is striker-fired and semi-automatic. It offers several improvements over the M9, the Marine Corps believes. It is lighter in weight than the steel-framed M9, and does not require two different trigger pulls to fire a round. Interchangeable components allow the M18 to be modified to fit different-sized hands.
The Marines and Army cooperated on the development of the M18. The Army fielded its version beginning in 2017.