Sig Sauer recently announced plans to make a small number of the U.S. Army’s new Modular Handgun System (MHS) pistols available for commercial purchase.  The M17 pistols that will be sold will be nearly identical to the platform that won the U.S. Army contract, beating out entrants from other quality firearm manufacturers like Glock, FN America and Beretta USA.

“We are planning to do a limited release of about 5,000 of the Army variant of the M17 for the commercial market,” Tom Taylor, Sig Sauer’s chief marketing officer said. “The timing is not finalized yet, but it looks to be late spring.”

The M17s sold commercially will be very similar to those that are already being fielded by units like the 101st Airborne Division, though they will lack the anti-tampering mechanism for the striker action, as well as some of the special coating on internal parts.  That coating is intended to help maintain reliability under brutal field conditions, and Sig believes its absence likely won’t affect the pistol under most domestic circumstances.  While the military version of the M17 comes equipped with a frame-mounted thumb safety, the commercial variant will be available with or without it, depending on the customer’s preference.

As for the price… that’s still undecided.  Because Sig intends to only sell around 5,000 of these pistols, they will likely be in high demand, but Taylor made it clear that Sig Sauer doesn’t want to set the price higher than the pistol warrants.