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.[3] 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
  3. ^ XM9/XM10 trials