The issue of 9mm vs. 45 calibers is relatively unimportant in the military (any military) of today. It is like the US Army worrying itself sick about a saber for the cavalry. Some companies have come up with a lot better solution to the pistol for today's soldiers and Marines that don't need or wish to carry an assault rifle. LOAD and LOCK! A couple of thoughts and hopes.
1st-"Don't count your chickens 'til they're hatched" We need to write/contact/input the testers and decision makers and let them know WE want the .45 ACP. Second-For the hundred, no thousand plus time a 9mm bullet is .355 cal, a .45 is BIGGER thus it makes a BIGGER hole in the target. This means more blood loss- which translates to the enemy gets killed and the American hopefully comes home and tells his grandkids about reality land versus the "High-Tech" star wars game players.
3rd-For the devoted 9mm types out there(yes you with the coco-puffs) read the FBI report about the "Miami Shootout", after which they traded in their 9mm pistols, because of the facts of bullet wound examinations. 4th-Check-out the winners of most all pistol matches: Almost everyone uses a 1911/1911A1 in .45 ACP! Remember folks-We are talking about the ARMED FORCES of the USA.
Sight Picture/Sight Alignment! There is a reason that most of the militaries that have tested it have rejected it. Now, if the military wants a smaller primary weapon, the weapon already exists in the inventory. It is the SOCOM pistol made by HK, which for offensive purposes is a whole lot better than the P90.
Note that this contract is being let by USSOCOM. That means it is for a sidearm, not a primary weapon. And as a sidearm (meaning a secondary weapon carried by someone who also carries a primary weapon, usually a rifle), the M1911 .45 is superior to the P90 and to the HK and definitely to the Beretta. Don't be surprised if a Glock wins this contract. I don't expect Glock to win a US military contract - the American military doesn't seem to like the idea of a pistol without multiple external safety levers and mechanisms.
Glock pistols, great as they may be, use simple, idiot-proof internal safety mechanisms. If the Army did go with a Glock, it would be interesting to see if they would adopt the new 45 GAP cartridge. Same caliber bullet, even available in the same bullet weights, loaded into a shorter case - to allow for a smaller handgun that takes advantage of modern propellants. I personally don't like Glock. I have large hands and shoot pistols with a double handed grip. I personally like the Colt 1911A1 series for its balance, weight, and comfort.
But that's me. How about the USP .45? SOFs of course have been using the Mk23 for some time. Who buys isn't always who gets. The Army's Automotive Tank Command has bought pistols for the USAF for example.
SOCOM is the buyer; everybody is going to get these. That's what the "joint" in Joint Combat Pistol means. SOCOM sure does not need up to 645,000 pistols over 10 years. Some things are already set.
They spent the last year or so with market surveys, field suitability tests, etc looking at what's out there, trying stuff, deciding what they wanted. The Future Handgun System program wanted adjustable grips, accessory rail, threaded bbl, modular/variable trigger operating system (SA to DA to DAO). The SOF Combat Pistol program wanted a 45 ACP and would have settled for another 1911. Those were combined into this Joint Combat Pistol (JCP) program. They want a 45 ACP, not a 45 GAP.
Don't be surprised if Glock can't even compete depending on what the details are for the trigger operating system. Some folks think they had the HK USP full size and compact Tactical/P2000 in mind when they wrote the specs. Details will be in the RFP (request for proposals) that comes out next.
Victor Epand is an expert consultant for http://www.WarGear.info/. WarGear.info carries the best selection of military clothing, war gear, and combat accessories on the market.