Responses to Questions Posed by Beretta on the M9 Handgun

NSIAD-89-59: Published: Jan 4, 1989. Publicly Released: Feb 14, 1989.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided answers to nine questions posed by the M9 9-millimeter handgun's contractor on M9 quality and performance.

GAO found that: (1) field units have not reported any broken or cracked M9 frames; (2) as of October 18, 1988, 16 slides from M9 or military-owned civilian M9 versions broke during field use and laboratory testing; (3) five slide failures have occurred at 10,000 rounds or less; (4) as of October 1988, the Army had endurance-tested 172 M9; (5) the Army has not pinpointed a particular chamber pressure level that induces barrel-ringing, but has determined that barrel-ringing relates more to barrel toughness or hardness than to ammunition; (6) the Army did not impose restrictions on the use of M882 ammunition in any weapon, but recommended that users replace the M9 slide after firing 3,000 rounds; and (7) as of October 1988, the Army had replaced about 1,821 slides. GAO also provided: (1) details of each slide failure, including the weapon type, number of rounds fired, and the round count at failure; and (2) the inventory status of ammunition used during the Army's laboratory tests.

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