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NEWS | Oct. 6, 2021

177th Fighter Wing leaders qualify with new service pistol

By Senior Airman Hunter Hires, 177th Fighter Wing - New Jersey Air National Guard

ATLANTIC CITY AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, N.J. – 177th Fighter Wing leaders fired the new SIG Sauer P320-M18 service pistol Sept. 24 at the Transportation Security Administration range at the FAA William J. Hughes Technical Center in Egg Harbor Township.

There were two principles behind the 177th FW leadership firing the M18: qualifying with the weapon themselves and gaining insight into the experience of the Airmen who will carry the gun.

After 35 years, the M18 will be the first sidearm to replace the Beretta M9 as the U.S. armed forces service pistol. Both the M17 and M18, built on SIG Sauer’s P320 frame, have a removable trigger module that can be mixed and matched with different grips, barrels and slides. This enables Airmen to optimize their M18 for specific scenarios.

“The Air Force is fielding the M18, and that’s why we’re here,” said Capt. Christopher M. Gable, 177th SFS operations officer. “If we expect our Airmen to qualify with it, we should, too.”

The 177th FW leaders said the weapon felt more modern, and they appreciated its modularity.