British Forces to be Issued with New Sidearm

News Brief – January 11, 2013

British forces are to be armed with a new combat sidearm for the first time in forty years. The Glock 17 was chosen after extensive trials and will replace the Browning Hi-Power pistol, which came into service when ‘Beatlemania’ was still at its height.
The new pistol is lighter than the Browning, can be drawn faster, within a second or so, and it can carry more rounds.
Firearms experts view the Glock 17 as a better choice for close quarters combat.
The move to replace the older Browning comes after a spate of so-called ‘Green-on-Blue’ attacks in Afghanistan, where Afghan service personnel have turned their weapons on their Western counterparts.
In 2012 60 western servicemen and women were killed in such attacks, up from 33 the year before.
Being ‘faster on the draw’ than the ageing Browning, the Glock is simpler to use in close quarter shoot-outs where a split second can mean the difference between life and death.
The Ministry of Defence has ordered 25,000 Glocks for all three services and although not general issue, enough of them will be sent to Afghanistan to ensure all personnel serving there will have access to the weapon if necessary.

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