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Sig Sauer Builds Ceremonial M17 for Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Guards

SIG has announced that they have built four ceremonial M17 pistols to be presented to the Tomb Guard Sentinels that have the honor of guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The features carved into the pistol pay homage to the traditions that surround the Tomb.

The ceremonial M17 pistols to be presented have a high polish aluminum frame with Silence, Respect, Dignity, or Perseverance engraved into the dust cover.

 

Sig M17 Tomb Of The unknown Dust Cover

The roman numeral XXI or 21 used for the cocking serrations is a reference to the prominence of the number in much of the Tomb Guard Sentinel’s duties. Each pass down the 63-foot black mat laid across the tomb requires the Sentinel to take 21 steps south, the guard then turns east to the Tomb and faces it for 21 seconds, then turns north and changes the rifle to the outside shoulder and waits 21 seconds before taking 21 steps and repeats the process.

Sig M17 Tomb Of The unknown Hero Image

 

The sight plate features the Greek figured featured on the east panel of the Tomb, Peace Valor, and Victory. The sights have a glass insert made from marble dust from the Tomb of the Unknown.

Sig M17 Tomb Of The unknown Sight Plate

Even the wood chosen for the grips has special significance. The first Unknown Soldier was transported back to the US on the U.S.S. Olympia, the grips on the pistol are made from wood taken from the ship.

Sig M17 Tomb Of The unknown

There are no plans to offer the pistol for commercial sale and hopefully, it will remain that way.

More from Sig:

Newington, N.H. (October 3, 2018) – SIG SAUER, Inc. is honored to announce the production and presentation of the M17 Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Pistols for the U.S. Army’s 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) for the Tomb Guard Sentinels.

The M17 Tomb of the Unknown Pistols are unique M17 pistols that were created using the same specifications for the U.S. Army’s M17 Modular Handgun System. The ceremonial pistols are 9mm striker-fired pistols with a non-railed aluminum grip module, stainless steel slide, wood grip inserts, a 21-round magazine, and features the same optic cut as specified by the MHS contract, front night sight, removable rear plate, and black controls. The pistols also feature a high polish to withstand the inclement weather while the Tomb Sentinels stand guard.

The unique distinguishing features for the M17 Tomb of the Unknown Pistols include:

  • Pistol Names: each of the four pistols bears the name of Silence, Respect, Dignity, or Perseverance and is featured on the dust cover. Dignity and Perseverance represent “The Sentinel’s Creed,” and Silence and Respect represent the request to the public by Arlington National Cemetery when visiting the Tomb of the Unknown, and during the Changing of the Guard;
  • Custom Wood Grips: in 1921 the chosen Unknown was transported to the United States of America aboard the USS Olympia. The custom wood grips are made with wood from the USS Olympia and include the crest of the 3rd Guard, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier identification badge inset; 
  • Cocking Serrations: XXI cocking serrations are engraved on the slide to signify the twenty-one steps it takes for the Tomb Sentinels to walk by the Tomb of the Unknowns and the military honor of a 21 Gun Salute; 
  • Sight Plate: an engraved impression of the Greek Figures featured on the east panel of the Tomb – Peace, Victory, and Valor – are featured on the sight plate; 
  • Sights: a glass insert made with marble dust from the Tomb of the Unknown fills the sights of the ceremonial pistols; 
  • Engraved Magazines: the 21-round magazines feature an aluminum base plate engraved with the names of the Greek figures featured on the Tomb of the Unknown – Peace, Victory, and Valor – and include a name plate on the bottom of the magazine engraved with the Tomb Sentinel badge number. 
  • Serial Numbers: the pistols are serialized with a unique set of serial numbers that incorporate items of significance to the Old Guard: “LS” represents line six of the Sentinels’ Creed, “My standard will remain perfection; “02JUL37” to signify the first 24-hour guard posted at the Tomb of the Unknown on July 3, 1937; “21” to signify the 21 steps it takes the Tomb Sentinels to walk by the Tomb of the Unknown, and the military honor of a 21 Gun Salute. The full series of M17 Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Pistols serial numbers are LS02JUL37A21 (Silence), LS02JUL37B21 (Respect), LS02JUL37C21 (Dignity), LS02JUL37D21 (Perseverance).

The M17 Tomb of the Unknown Pistols will be presented to the Old Guard in an official ceremony on Thursday, October 11, 2018 at the Arlington National Cemetery Chapel. The ceremony will begin at 9:00am and include a private presentation ceremony, followed by a Changing of the Guard in which the 3rd Guard soldiers will return to duty with their M17 Tomb of the Unknown Pistols. The presentation ceremony will conclude at 10:15am with a wreath laying at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Silence, one of the four ceremonial pistols to be presented to the U.S. Army’s 3rd Guard will be on display in the SIG SAUER Booth (#3425) at the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) Annual Meeting, October 8th – 10th at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Washington, D.C.

 

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