The now iconic Beretta M9 pistol — which for decades has been the stadard-issue pistol for the U.S. military and some government agencies — is soon to face stiff competition as the Pentagon launches a program to replace the M9 with a new, modular pistol.

Beretta announced last month it would submit the M9A3 to the Pentagon in hopes of satisfying the military's need without launching a full-fledged competition, but the Army reportedly has said the Beretta M9A3 won't pass muster.

Nevertheless, Beretta officials say they've not heard official word from the military nixing the design, so it's full steam ahead on the M9A3. And the best part; Beretta will be shipping the updated 9 mil to the civilian market soon.

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