THE Browning pistol is to be replaced after more than 40 years in service, the Ministry of Defence
Troops in Afghanistan will be some of the first to take delivery of the Glock 17.
The weapon is around two-thirds of the weight of its one-kilogram predecessor when unloaded, easier to maintain and quicker to deploy due to the absence of an exterior safety catch.
Those using the new personal protection asset will also enjoy an increased magazine capacity, rising from 13 nine-millimetre rounds with the Browning to 17 with the Glock.
Col Peter Warden, head of the light weapons team at Defence Equipment and Support, said the announcement was great news for troops operating on the ground.
“As with cars, there is a point at which it becomes a lot more effective to replace an old weapon with a new one and the Browning is pretty much at the end of its service life,” the officer explained.
“It was becoming increasingly expensive to maintain so it was decided the time was right for us to replace it.
“With a lighter weight, we are doing our bit to reduce the burden on soldiers and from a combat perspective the Glock is easier to bring into action.
“We are very pleased with the change and think it is a much more effective piece of kit.”
More than 25,000 of the fourthgeneration models are being supplied to the UK’s Armed Forces under a £9 million contract with Yorkshire firm Viking Arms Ltd.
SSgt Matt Hodgkinson (REME), a weapons artificer at the Infantry Trials and Development Unit, told Soldier the testing stage soon revealed the Glock to be the better option.
During a three-day, 20,000-round trial the model required no fixing.
“It performed the best and had the least amount of issues,” the Serviceman added. “We had two stoppages the
whole time while the other pistols went into double figures.
“We want something that’s going to be easy to repair and won’t break.
“After all, the more time it’s in my hands the less time it’s in the user’s.”
Read February's issue for more stats on the new pistol...