Lethality is among the M9’s several “limitations,” said Daryl Easlick, project officer for close effects. The requirement for a new pistol calls for “an increase in permanent wound channel,” which suggests something more powerful than a 9mm may be on the horizon.
Other limitations the new pistol must overcome include:
• The slide-mounted safety. When solders rack the slide to alleviate a jam or stovepipe in the M9, they often inadvertently engage the safety — and won’t realize this until they reacquire and squeeze the trigger.
• The open-slide design, which allow contaminants and dirt into the system.
• The lack of a modular grip, integrated rail and night-sight capabilities.
• The inability to suppress.
• Limited service life — replacement should have a service life of at least 25,000 rounds.
There is a lot of talk about switching to a .40 S&W. The big contenders would be Glock, Sig, HK, and of course, S&W’s M&P. I’m a little biased because my EDC are an M&P 9 and 9c (sometimes one or both).
My personal opinion would be the adoption of a polymer-framed, striker-fired “family” like the Glocks or M&Ps.