4 Exceptional Handguns That Were Passed on in U.S. Military Handgun Trials

Posted by GunBroker.com on January 11th, 2021

Military weapon selection is hugely influential on the civilian market. If you are not convinced, check out an online firearm marketplace for the availability of the Colt 1911 and AR 15. There is a good reason for that—the military puts any weapon they adopt through an incredibly rigorous vetting process, choosing only the best. However, that selection process is always controversial. Conceding that controversy, and in honor of the recent military adoption of the Sig Sauer M18 platform, here are some excellent handguns that did not make the military cut.

Steyr GB

The Steyr GB is altogether impressive. One of the earliest iterations of the Wonder Nine, the GB sports a capacity of 18+1. It is regarded as a workhorse and commended for accuracy many of the other contenders against the M9 could not touch. Unfortunately for Steyr, their exceptional, high-capacity pistol lost out in Austrian military trials, for which they were considered a shoo-in, against a then virtually unknown Austrian contender called “Glock.”

Heckler & Koch VP70

While Glocks are virtually universally considered the originators of the high-strength polymer-framed pistol, they are not. In fact, they were beaten to the punch 12 years earlier by Heckler & Koch with the release of their VP70. The light, durable HK VP70 also used a Glock-style spring-loaded striker rather than a conventional firing pin. So, we should probably say that Glocks use a VP70-style striker. Most interesting, the military version of the HK VP70 is a machine pistol with a selective fire switch for 3-round bursts at 2200 rounds per minute.

Walther P88

The Walther P88 is the legendary German gun company’s last metal-framed service pistol. While it lost out to the Beretta M92, its legacy is akin to a rarer CZ 75—tough as nails and a tack-driver, leaving 1-2 inch groups at 25 yards. Like the Steyr GB, the Walther P88 is now a highly sought firearm among collectors.

Webley-Fosbery 455

The Webley-Fosbery was among the few revolvers included among the automatics in the 1907 army pistol trials. The Webley-Fosbery revolver is best known as a novelty and anomaly—the world’s most famous and only commercially-produced automatic revolver. However, there is more to it than that. The Webley-Fosbery automatic revolver not only passed all of the firing tests, but it also out-scored the automatics in the dirt and rust drills. Despite their quality and reliability, the Webley-Fosbery was deemed to have no practical advantages over the automatics. Despite no military contracts nor much public demand, they are prized today and consistently fetch five figures in sales and auctions.

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Original Source: https://bit.ly/39km1Dp


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