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SOCOM’s potential new firearm is a revolution

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Flux Raider on M17

Last year, Sandboxx News reviewed the Flux Raider and speculated it could be a great sidearm option for special operations forces; now, the 19th Special Forces Group is evaluating the Flux Raider for use.

The Raider is a very specialized grip module for the P320 pistol that was recently adopted by the Army as the M17 and M18.

One of the features that make the P320 so remarkable is its removable fire control unit (FCU) that contains the weapon’s “guts.” This allows the user to swipe grip modules, barrel lengths, slides, and even calibers quite easily. FCUs come complete, partially complete or even in 80 lower formats. The Flux Raider allows the FCU to drop into the grip module and then slap on the slide and barrel from the M17. The Raider then provides a stock system and forward grip as well as an accessory rail for optics and lights – it essentially turns the M17 pistol into a submachine gun-sized weapon. 

A pistol with a stock and optic is hardly a pistol and is instead a very short rifle. Although it’s barely bigger than a pistol, its effective range is radically increased as is control and overall accuracy. Sandboxx News theorized that the P320 with the Flux Raider would make a useful weapon for special operation forces who need something more capable than a handgun but much shorter than a rifle. Our speculation seemed to be on the money – or at least close to it. 

Verified special operations use 

Flux Raiders tested by 19th Special Forces Group. (Creative Commons)

The 19th Special Forces Group is testing the Flux Raider with the M17. This has been confirmed by Flux and substantiated by numerous publicized photos from the Group’s arms room. 

The Green Berets have outfitted the handgun for modern warfare with a number of accessories, including, what appear to be, Aimpoint T2 optics, Surefire X300 weapon lights, and IR laser aiming devices.

Shooters can still use the iron sights with the Raider, but it’s much easier to shoot quickly and accurately with an optic; it’s also much easier to aim the weapon with one hand if you are using a red dot. The presence of a light- and laser-aiming device also makes them easily usable in dark environments. 

Related: This is why a SEAL Team 6 member uses the odd Taurus Judge revolver

Confirmation, rumors, and speculation

While we know the Raider is being tested by Green Berets, it seems that Flux was also awarded a contract with the U.S. Navy, which has led many to think the Raider is in testing with the Navy SEALs with some speculating that the Flux Raider may even be tested by DEVGRU, also known as SEAL Team 6. 

There has been no confirmation of this, but according to sources speaking anonymously to Sandboxx News, the MP7 that SEAL Team 6 is using is on its way out. DEVGRU wants something that’s compact and capable, but they no longer want the MP7: the Flux Raider fills the role of a personal defense weapon and can be used with the ammo and magazines already in use by the U.S. military. 

SOCOM is also reportedly testing the Flux Raider with another of its units that has not been disclosed. Versions of this gun are reportedly being field-modified to work with the M17 optic created by SIG. This optic attaches directly to the slide of the M17, which constitutes the need for a mod to remove the rear optic’s rail.

Related: Incredible mortar-assembly challenges with the Green Berets

The future of the Flux Raider

The Flux Raider is a very small and compact platform. Although it is not much bigger than a handgun, it is much more capable and gives you an amazing sidearm.

It might not become the complete sidearm of choice for every member of SOCOM’s operation forces, but it would excel in some niche uses. For example, if you are climbing ladders and boarding ships, guns like the M17 combined with the Flux Raider offer you a very capable single-hand weapon. In general, the Flux Raider could be useful in any scenario involving very close quarters and will likely have a future with America’s elite warriors.

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Travis Pike

Travis Pike is a former Marine Machine gunner who served with 2nd Bn 2nd Marines for 5 years. He deployed in 2009 to Afghanistan and again in 2011 with the 22nd MEU(SOC) during a record-setting 11 months at sea. He’s trained with the Romanian Army, the Spanish Marines, the Emirate Marines, and the Afghan National Army. He serves as an NRA certified pistol instructor and teaches concealed carry classes.