LONDON, Jan. 11 (UPI) -- British military forces are abandoning their Browning L9A1 pistols for Austrian-made Glock 17 Gen4 pistols, a Ministry of Defense official said.
The 9mm Glock 17 is lighter than the Browning, has an increased magazine capacity -- 17 rounds compared to 13 -- and is also more accurate than the Browning, which Britain's military has carried for 40 years and which have become increasingly expensive to maintain.
"We are determined to provide our troops with the best possible personal kit available and these new Glock 17s will give them greater firepower and accuracy on operations," said Minister for Defense Equipment, Support and Technology Philip Dunne.
The order for the pistols, together with 25,000 holsters, was placed with Viking Arms Ltd. of Britain.
Troops deploying to Afghanistan will be the first to receive the new pistols and deliveries are to begin shortly.
British authorities said it began examining new pistols for its military two years ago.