LAS VEGAS – The company that was picked to provide the holster for the Army’s newest handgun is ready and waiting to make the next variation of the well-received holster.

A Safariland design team member told Army Times that they have materials and designs ready to accommodate pistol accessories such as a suppressor or rail-mounted light, when the Army selects what kind of add-ons it wants.

In November, Army officials with the Program Executive Office Soldier told the press that the service had selected the Safariland holster company for its initial issue of the new Sig Sauer-built M17 9mm handgun, which replaced the 1980s-era Beretta M9 pistol last year.

Army officials said that they would also need a holster that could hold the pistol with one or both extras – a suppressor and some type of sighting system.

The service’s fielding of the the new handgun is considered by some as a first step in re-focusing efforts to improve close-quarters combat.

But until the Army decides what type and size of suppressor and which sighting system it will adopt, holster makers such as Safariland will have to wait.

The handgun has an upper receiver that allows for mounting a top sight, though Maneuver Center of Excellence Lethality branch deputy Daryl Easlick said the Army had put more into development of a light/laser combination that could be mounted on the underside rail.

Army Times learned here at the annual Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade show that LaserMax Defense has sent prototypes to PEO Soldier for testing and is producing 100 of the devices to ship later this year for further evaluation.

The holster now paired with the M17 handgun was well-received by soldiers and marksmanship instructors with the 101st Airborne Division when Army Times visited in December to see pistol qualification by the first unit to receive the handgun.

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