TAKING ANOTHER SHOT

SMITH & WESSON, THE AMERICAN GUN MANUFACTURER THAT THREE YEARS AGO LOST A BATTLE TO PRODUCE THE MILITARY'S PRIMARY HANDGUN, IS AGAIN TRYING TO WIN THE ARMY'S BUSINESS IN A NEW CONTRACT COMPETITION ORDERED BY CONGRESS. BERETTA, AN ITALIAN COMPANY THAT PRODUCES ITS M-9 PISTOL IN MARYLAND, WON OUT OVER THE MASSACHUSETTS-BASED SMITH & WESSON IN THE 1985 COMPETITION. MANUFACTURERS OF 9MM AUTOMATIC PISTOLS INCLUDING SMITH & WESSON, BERETTA AND STURM, RUGER & CO. OF CONNECTICUT HAVE BEEN INVITED BY THE ARMY TO SUBMIT 30 SAMPLE GUNS EACH BY AUG. 17. THE CONTRACT FOR 146,000 GUNS, WITH AN ESTIMATED VALUE OF MORE THAN $30 MILLION, IS EXPECTED TO BE AWARDED NEXT YEAR.