Joint Service Small Arms Program

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The Joint Service Small Arms Program, abbreviated JSSAP, was created to coordinate weapon standardization between the various U.S. armed service branches.


Their first major program involved the search for a new 9x19mm Parabellum pistol to replace existing M1911A1 handguns. The trials would begin in 1979 and continue into 1983[1] with the U.S. Air Force originally selected to lead the selection process.[citation needed] Entrants in the first trials included the Beretta 92S-1, Colt SSP, FN DA, FN FA, FN GP, Heckler & Koch P9S, Heckler & Koch VP70, Smith & Wesson 459 and Star M28 alongside the existing M1911A1.[2] The Beretta would be declared the winner, but the U.S. Army contested the results. The Department of Defense and JSSAP gave the task to the Army starting in 1981.[citation needed]

The first Army test resulted in all pistols failing. The standards were lessened and a retest was done, but again, none passed.[citation needed]

By 1983, a new program was started, now under the XM9 name. These service pistol trials would result in adoption of the Beretta 92F as the M9 Pistol.[citation needed] Note that these later trials did not have all of the same pistols competing.

Controversy over these trials lead to the XM10 trials in 1988. Ruger submitted their new P85. But the trials were boycotted by some makes and resulted in the Beretta M9 winning again.[citation needed]

SIG Sauer's P226 passed the XM9 trials but lost out in the final bidding. In a later competition for a compact service pistol, SIG Sauer's P228 became the M11 pistol.[citation needed]

In the 2000s, a new joint service handgun was started, the Joint Combat Pistol which was actually the result of a merger of two earlier programs: the U.S. Army's Future Handgun System and United States Special Operations Command's SOF Combat Pistol. However, the Army ultimately pulled out of the competition.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Markham, George. Guns Of The Elite: Special Forces Firearms, 1940 To The Present. London: Arms and Armour, 1987. Print. P.58,62 ISBN 0-85368-866-4
  2. ^ The First JSSAP Pistol Trials