Sigarms, Inc. and Heckler & Koch, Inc./HK Defense) both recently won monster pistol contracts (in 9mm, .40 S&W, and .357 SIG calibers)–for up to 65,000 pistols, each–with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Sigarms’ pistol contract is worth $23.7 million. The SIG-Sauer pistols chosen by DHS are the SIG P226R-DAK, SIG P229R-DAK, and SIG P239-DAO (double-action-only). The DAK trigger system is also double-action-only, only it offers a relatively light, smooth 6.5-pound trigger pull. The Heckler and Koch (HK)/HK Defense pistol contract is valued at $26.2 million. The HK pistol models chosen are the HK P2000 US, HK P2000 SK Subcompact (a.k.a. HK P2000SK Subcompact), and the USP Compact/LEM (Law Enforcement Modification). The LEM trigger is basically HK’s version of SIG’s DAK trigger (or Glock’s Safe-Action trigger), and vice versa. According to the company, the LEM trigger allows for faster follow-up shots (repeat shots) on target than a standard double-action-only system, due to a lighter trigger pull (7.3-8.5 lbs) and shorter trigger reset than standard DAO trigger systems. The LEM trigger utilizes a two-piece "pre-cocked hammer" comprised of a cocking piece and an external hammer. The hammer is pre-cocked when a round is chambered (slide is cycled). The LEM system supposedly also provides for more reliable primer ignition, since it utilizes a stronger hammer spring.
SIGARMS Incorporated and Heckler & Koch, Incorporated each received a contract award with a maximum quantity of 65,000 pistols that may be purchased over the next five years. SIGARMS Incorporated, a small business located in Exeter, New Hampshire, received a $23.7 million contract for 9 x 19 mm and .40 caliber pistols. Heckler & Koch, a large business located in Sterling, Virginia, received a $26.2 million contract for 9 x 19 mm, .40, and .357 caliber pistols.
The two contracts will enable DHS personnel to acquire handguns in three popular law enforcement calibers and a variety of sizes. These contracts represent the results of the department’s Strategic Sourcing Program that is designed to optimize cross-departmental acquisitions through collaboration of agency technical and acquisition experts. The Weapons and Ammunition Commodity Council, part of the strategic sourcing program, identifies and consolidates emerging firearms and ammunition requirements for all Homeland Security components. As part of this effort, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) released a Request for Proposals in February 2004 for the procurement of handguns. The ICE National Firearms and Tactical Training Unit led the ensuing evaluation.
“This type of multiple contract award will provide the government the flexibility it needs to enable the DHS entities to address their diverse operational missions, while still maximizing logistical efficiencies found through standardization,” said Thomas Trotto, Director of the ICE National Firearms and Tactical Training Unit.
The technical evaluation of the proposals included a comprehensive handgun test protocol involving a rigorous battery of environmental, reliability, durability, and other tests. Approximately three million rounds of ammunition were fired through 690 handguns of 46 different models during the testing, which took almost four months to complete. Aside from the actual live firing, additional testing was conducted through laboratory analysis and armory inspections. In all, each model was evaluated against more than 50 characteristics before arriving at a technical rating. This data was used in conjunction with past performance and pricing information to select the winning contractors.
The Homeland Security Weapons and Ammunition Commodity Council continues to analyze the department’s requirements for weapons, ammunition, and other officer safety products to identify additional strategic sourcing opportunities."