Procurement: September 1, 1999

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The Mexican company Aquila has developed a new mini-shell for 12 gauge shotguns used by law enforcement agencies. The shell is only 35mm long (half the length of a standard 2.75" shell) but carries a 25g slug. While this has less energy than a standard shell, it has nearly as much as the reduced-recoil shells now coming into vogue with law enforcement. The smaller shells also allow the ammunition load of a standard police "riot gun" to be nearly doubled. The lighter recoil provides better control, and the low-energy shells are less likely to go through building walls. The shells will not cycle a semi-automatic shotgun, and there are still some problems with reliably feeding pump shotguns. Even so, this may be the future direction of law enforcement firearms.--Stephen V Cole

The Russian Army is looking for a new pistol to replace the venerable Makarov. Several new types (MR443, MR444, MR445, MR446, and 6P35) are all undergoing tests. It should not be surprising that all of these use double-stacked magazines to carry at least 15 rounds. All can be carried "cocked and locked" which the Russians prefer because the weapon can be brought into action sooner. Amazingly, all of them (except the MR445) are chambered for 9x19 NATO ammunition rather than 9x18 Russian ammunition, indicating that the Russians have finally given up trying to boost the Makarov round into the class of the venerable Luger parabellum cartridge. The MR445 is chambered for .40S&W and is clearly intended for export; no one believes for a minute that the Russians would adopt this caliber.--Stephen V Cole

The Turkish military is reorganizing its arms purchasing bureaucracy, shifting control away from appointed civilian officials into the hands of career officers. Some western companies think this will result in more outright purchases and fewer licensed production or co-production deals.--Stephen V Cole

 


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