Increasingly, rumors are filtering through the interwebs, confirmed by those close to the shadowy Navy Seal community that the nation's preeminent special operators are going Glock to phase out a number of SIG pistols they have carried for generations.
Unofficial use by the Uncle
Using personal funds, Glocks to include the G22, G17 and G19 series have been used by numerous individual soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines deploying downrange since 9/11. There has long been an NSN for the Glock 19, which allows for small-scale buys with unit funds (such as inside AFSOC units), which, coupled with personal weapons, would explain numerous images of U.S. joes and aircrew with Glocks.
Further, troops seem to love getting their hands on them with Allies overseas.
U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. Ansil Lewis, Weapons Training Battalion Sgt. Maj., fires a Glock 17 pistol the Royal Marine Operational Shooting Competition (RMOSC), hosted by the British Royal Marines at Altrar Training Camp, Hightown, England, Sept. 9-16, 2015. The purpose of the RMOSC is to evaluate the marksmanship skill, and physical and operational abilities of American, British, French, and Dutch Marines in combat related shooting matches by utilizing realistic structures, fast-moving targets, and movement to contact drills. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Timothy Turner/Released)
Joseph Trevithick over at War Is Boring in September detailed an extensive move by special operations elements inside the military to acquire Glocks by any means necessary.
This included the transfer of 2,500 Glocks from the Dept. of Homeland Security to the Special Operations Command (SOCOM) in 2010.
"The transfer allowed DHS to divest itself of excess weapons and fill a USSOCOM requirement," a public affairs officer at SOCOM told War Is Boring in an email. "USSOCOM incurred no obligation to DHS in return."
This was followed up this year by orders from the Marines of Gen. 3 and 4 Glock 19s for certain units of MARSOC, the Leatherneck's special operations command.
Trevithick did the digging on the fact that the Army has ordered 1,600 G19s of their own and (wait for it) three select-fire Model 18s. There is also a contract believed to be worth some $12 million for even more Glocks for Big Green.
In short, the commandos and raiders who make up the sharpest end of the spear dig the Glock. Then there is...
Naval Special Warfare Command
Scott Witner over at the Loadout Room earlier this week ran with the news, linked from a thread on a gun forum, that the Seals are moving forward with replacing both the P239 (which was issued for personal protection when in plainclothes) and the P226 (known as the Mk 25 in Naval weapons parlance with the Seals since the 1980s) which is used as a personal sidearm while in the field, with the lighter Gen 3 Glock 19-- perhaps with maritime cups which would make sense.
The idea is the G19 can take the place of both the concealed and duty SIGs, but will not be slated to replace the HK Mk 23 .45ACP offensive pistol.
"There is nothing wrong with the Sig P226. It has served the Teams for many years and is a proven reliable system. However, as firearms evolve the military needs to keep pace. In this case the move to the Glock 19 makes sense," wrote Witner.
His piece was picked up by military blogs Real Clear Defense, Defense Review and Foxtrot Alpha who all praised the move as well.
On the 23rd, Soldier Systems Daily and Tacretailer came out with the closest thing to official confirmation yet by writing that small-scale use has been going on for years, but is in the process of going bigger:
As I understand it, over time, use of the Glock 19 began to proliferate throughout the community. Earlier this year some East Coast SEALs conducted an evaluation and the decision was made to adopt them on a wider scale.
However, they haven't purchased additional pistols yet, nor completed a fielding plan. If there are any new users, the pistols most likely came from SOFSA.
We have emails into NSWC Public Affairs and are treating this as a developing story
In other news, Glock, meanwhile, will provide 20,000 Glock 17 Gen4 "intervention pistols" worth EUR8.7 million ($9.54 million USD) to the country of Slovakia with deliveries starting in January 2016. The first 12,000 of these guns will go to the Slovakian Ministry of Internal Affairs who will issue them to police officers for patrol work, replacing the CZ vz 82 chambered in 9x18mm (which will be sold soon on the surplus market!). Another 8,000 G17s will go to the Slovakian Army. Price per gun is announced to be EUR290 ($318 US).