I’ve rather enjoyed the hub-ub over the recent protest filed by Glock on the XM-17 Modular Handgun System award to Sig Sauer. The community is all abuzz with rumors and speculation, mostly centering on how Glock would not likely have a manual safety (they do for the submission) and how the MHS is the “only” modular system (it was not, two pins on a Glock and out pops the fire control group).
In large government contracts, a protest is almost always a given. When I was in defense Business Development, it was common to see it filed anyways for most contracts over $10 million, so at $500 million, it was just a matter of time until someone did it.
The fact of the matter is, protests rarely complete their objective into derailing a procurement. Yes, on occasion a procurement office/officer will make a mistake, but on the larger contracts the Government has gotten pretty good at dotting “i’s” and crossing “t’s”. In cases like this one, the protest is often the first step in trying to discover if the government did indeed do anything illegal or outside the defined procurement which would open up to legal action in Federal Court. Almost always, these are unsuccessful.
With Glock and Beretta both receiving a full debriefing by the Government prior to the award’s announcement (which I do see as a suspect timing right in the middle of SHOT), the Government having significant discretion in its choice, and the procurement as a full system including ammo, it’s highly unlikely that Glock will be successful.
Still, the drama is fun to watch and it always is possible, the safe money is on the P320 being deployed in short order.