Chief Seeking Smaller Pistols For Durham Cops


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Drizzt
March 2, 2003, 01:42 AM
Chief Seeking Smaller Pistols For Durham Cops

POSTED: 8:01 a.m. EST February 28, 2003

DURHAM, N.C. -- Durham police officials want some smaller and lighter pistols because the models now used are too big for officers with small hands.

The large pistols have been blamed for low scores officers had on the firing range.

At least one female officer candidate failed the firing test and couldn't join the force. Five or six officers fail the shooting test each year and are assigned to desk duty until they improve marksmanship scores.


Police chief Steve Chalmers has asked permission to use $50,000 in federal funds to buy 100 .40-caliber pistols and equipment. The .40-caliber pistol is a bit smaller than the standard-issue .45-caliber handgun.

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yayarx7
March 2, 2003, 01:50 AM
Maybe they should just lower the qualifying scores, that way everybody can pass, and feel good. Yeeesh.

And why the heck are they switching to .40? They cannot find a small .45? The government truely is filled with idiots.

boing
March 2, 2003, 01:50 AM
http://www.wxii12.com/news/2010710/detail.html

More info:

http://newsobserver.com/news/story/2265649p-2134742c.html

When more training is needed...buy new gear. :rolleyes:

Then again...I guess it's refreshing to see a departure from the "one size fits all" philosophy.

Redlg155
March 2, 2003, 01:55 AM
I would think a better solution would be to just approve a smaller pistol for shooters with smaller hands and let the rest of the officers carry the .45.

The .40 is a pretty snappy recoiling cartridge as well. Those smaller hand shooters might be better off with a 9mm instead. I don't you will have much success with a smaller size .40 if you can't shoot a .45 comfortably.

Good Shooting
RED

Blackhawk
March 2, 2003, 03:00 AM
What size hands are too small for a single stack .45? :confused:

I suspect there's more to the problem.... :rolleyes:

NotQuiteSane
March 2, 2003, 03:55 AM
IMO, a better way would be to set mininum standards for the carry weapon, let the officers buy their own, and then (after qualifying) refund up to X dollars for the weapon.

NQS

Fed168
March 2, 2003, 04:32 AM
Ok, guys and gals, a couple things are in order here before anymore flames get started. I know because I work for this agency.
Our duty weapon is the 4506. Those who have shot it or carry it know it is a big weapon. It does not fit all, and I have seen plenty of shooters have problems with it. The smaller statured males and females have problems operating it. Yeah, some of it is in the training, some of it is the weapon itself. They need something they can operate proficiently. Those with problems with the current duty weapons get extra training.
The smallest .45 issued is the 457, which just ain't fitting the bill for everyone.
Passing is 70%. You can't lower it anymore.
Several weapons were tested from a mix of officers. The final choice was the Smith P99.

Sorry if the thread sounds harsh, but that's the brass tacks.

M58
March 2, 2003, 04:53 AM
Looks like you are stuck on Smith.
What happened to the Smith CS45?
Hard to imagine the M457 did not work.
How do those officers handle fights?

In my day, I had to handle the M58 just like the guys.

Kahr carrier
March 2, 2003, 06:56 AM
Maybe when the P99 comes out in 45 auto maybe they can try those they maybe more ergonomic.

JamisJockey
March 2, 2003, 08:04 AM
Why is everyone so damn enamored by semi-autos?!?
:cuss:
Put this in the small-handed people (I, by the way, have very small hands, and have no trouble with double stack .45's)
Type: Revolver
Model: 627
Caliber: .357 Magnum® /.38 Special+P
Barrel Length: 5"
Capacity: 8 Rounds
Action: Single , Double
External Safety: N/A
Hammer: .500" Polished & Chromed
Trigger: .312" Chromed Smooth Target 5"
Grip: Hogue Rubber Firing System: N/A
Front Sight: Interchangeable Rear Sight: Micrometer Click Adjustable Black Blade
Frame: Large Finish: Satin Stainless
Over all length: 9-1/2" Weight: 44.0 ounces
Material: Stainless Steel
http://www.smith-wesson.com/products/firearms/images/standard/sw170210.jpg

Waitone
March 2, 2003, 08:46 AM
Ok. I know we're talkin' gov't here. Gov't, any gov't at any level, believes in "ONE SIZE FITS ALL."

Those of us not in gov't but pays gov't bills realizes people differ in any number of ways.

Why are LE gun contracts written around a specific model? Why are they not written around a specific manufacturer or a basket of models provided by a specific manufacturer.

Back when I was gainfully employed I was involved in an industry where annual bids for goods were common. Occasionally I'd run into a situation where an annual contract was based on one specific product. The vast majority of the contracts I worked was based on a basket of similar products. Incentives were provided to steer business to one or two products, but the contract was based on a basket purchase.

Back to the situation at hand. Why not negotiate a deal with S&W for a number of slide gun. Incentives to be provided for one or two specific models but provide the flexibility under the contract to choose smaller models as necessary.

I ask the question because one size fits all in today's economic environment is not necessary.

Pappy John
March 2, 2003, 09:23 AM
"A poor workman blames his tools."

El Tejon
March 2, 2003, 11:06 AM
Why not let the officer decide which weapon he will carry? I know, I know, that would make too much sense.

seeker_two
March 2, 2003, 11:15 AM
Any reason that the 1911 or the Para-Ord LDA wasn't included in the testing? :confused:

Fed168
March 2, 2003, 11:17 AM
The .45 P99 would be a malfunction nightmare for the officers with 4506 problems. A lighter gun, heavier spring, etc.
M58, our area has been Smith for a long time. The majority of the agencies in our area are Smith- it seems that certain parts of the state are different manufacturers. The CS45 is too small for duty use. For plainclothes, it may work, but it is too small IMO. Remember, the 457 is in the economical line of Smith guns. It can't stand the abuse that the guns take, be it shooting, weather and so on.
El Tejon, that sentiment has been echoed before. The problem comes down to logistics, training, paperwork. Can you imagine having to train 500 officers with 500 different guns? Ugh.

Blackhawk
March 2, 2003, 11:29 AM
Our duty weapon is the 4506.No wonder. A 42 ounce (empty) DAO pistol might be a bit hard for the smaller ones to qualify with absent being pumped on adrenaline. Seems like a poor choice for a duty weapon from the start.

No wonder Glock has made so many inroads among LEO agencies.

El Tejon
March 2, 2003, 11:29 AM
Fed, used to hear this all the time as well in another life. Logistics trumps tactics all the time.

However, many departments (including the militree) used to do this. Size of the department may have a lot to do with it.

Pilgrim
March 2, 2003, 11:34 AM
I was a firearms instructor for my department and encountered the same problems with deputies who had small hands and the department issue S&W 5906. While the small handed deputies could qualify with the 5906, their grips were not consistent and they had to waste time adjusting their grips after drawing their weapons.

I suggested buying some 3906s for those deputies. The suggestion was rejected out of hand as being a logistics and training problem.

I admired then the policy of the Arizona Highway Patrol which was to provide the officer with the model Sig-Sauer that fit the officer best, be it .45 or 9mm. The 9mm could be either single stack magazine or double stack magazine fed.

Baron Holbach
March 2, 2003, 11:44 AM
Notquitesane wrote, "IMO, a better way would be to set mininum standards for the carry weapon, let the officers buy their own, and then (after qualifying) refund up to X dollars for the weapon."

In my mind, this is a good idea. Police departments need more flexibility. However, there will be naysayers countering by saying problems will occur with supply logistics when several different calibers and pistols are carried throughout the department.

The department chief wants smaller and lighter pistols. A 44 ounce revolver would be too heavy, by department standards. The Tacoma police department uses the Kimber 4-inch Pro Carry. Why not the Durham department adopting Kimber's single-stack Pro Carry, even in .38 super, which would allow for nine cartridges? How about the Kimber 3-inch Ultra Carry in .45ACP or .40S&W? Surely, these guns would fit anybody's hands, and they only weigh 25 ounces.

Waitone
March 2, 2003, 12:10 PM
However, there will be naysayers countering by saying problems will occur with supply logistics when several different calibers and pistols are carried throughout the department.The DoD used to have the same problem with office supplies. The need for consistency was driven by the assumption that the DoD needed to purchase products. Then one day someone grew a brain and said, "Hey, lets give shop managers credit cards with pre approved spending levels for use only with office supplies." Suddenly a lot of bureaucratic BS went away.

Would it not be reasonable for a PD to fix the caliber or calibers, frame style, and perhaps the kind of ammo used. Then go out for a basket bid. Let the officers pick what fits and feels best. Ammo? expense it.

Logic and bureaucracies are quite often at odds with one another.

Seems to me this is the same kind of situation.

larry_minn
March 2, 2003, 12:29 PM
Heck I got a nice single stack S&W 39 series by a dept mandating all officers have to have 59 series handguns. Few officers with smaller hands had to try to work with them. The reason? "So that in a fight if one officer runs out of ammo the other can throw him a mag" Lets see 8x3+1=25rds for single stack. Most who went to 59 carried only ONE spare mag. So 25-31rds. (never had one of the 59 but think they are 12 to 15rds?
Has there ever been a case where a officer who was effective had to get a mag from another officer?
I only recall one situation and the other officer refused to give her ammo and suggested she grab shotgun. She never hit her targets but did hit two squad cars from neighboring state.

Archie
March 2, 2003, 02:37 PM
The problem comes down to logistics, training, paperwork. Can you imagine having to train 500 officers with 500 different guns? Ugh.

Fed, the assumption that all 500 would choose different guns is over stated. The second assumption is that the firearms training officers are not smart enough to learn the function of more than one gun. These two thoughts are the result of years of studied governmental ignorance.
I work for a Federal agency; the lack of knowledge is overwhelming!:banghead:

Please don't think I'm flaming at you. I am appealing to you to look at the reality of the situation; are your fellow officers really too dimwitted to evaluate their own needs?
Are your firearms staff not equipped to deal with more than one weapon type?

My solution is to allow those who wish to choose their own to do so. Only a limited number of calibers allowed. Concurrent with that would be the requirement to show higher qualification scores and ability.

The undecided would be issued a pretty much standard pistol, with some attention paid to the officer's hand size. One good thing about S&W is they offer the same pistol type in single and double stack magazines.

But that violates the other principle of governmental management: I SAID SO! :barf:

BOBE
March 2, 2003, 03:57 PM
To add to what larry-minn said, if a fellow officer has shot up that much ammo with no results to show for it, why shood I give him mine to waste?:confused: Just kidding:D

Zundfolge
March 2, 2003, 05:40 PM
I'd say the solution is pick a full size 9mm to issue to the officers for free or they can choose a purchase allowance of X dollars (equal to the departments cost for the full size 9mm) to purchase whatever gun they want. Require them to qualify with it before they can carry it and thats that.

If its 9mm they will get free ammo from the department. If they want a .45 or .40 or .357mag or 10mm or 9x23 for that matter they have to buy their own ammo (maybe let them turn in receipts for a reimbursement equal to the cost of the 9mm ammo the department buys). I could see restricting some calibers (there could be liability or at least PR problems with cops carrying the new .50mag or .480 Rugers or other odd calibers).


Why does this have to be so complicated :rolleyes: (I know, I know ... gubment bureaucracy)

Lexter
March 2, 2003, 06:02 PM
Durham PD needs some guns with Hi-Cap magazines too! Those can be some pretty mean streets in Durham!


Lexter in NC

j.wise
March 2, 2003, 06:40 PM
When I read crap like this, it makes me so PROUD of my department's "common-sense" approach to this issue.

Everyone gets issued a S&W 5906. Once you qualify with the city's issued weapon (70%), you can purchase and carry the weapon of your choosing. It has to meet a VERY lenient specifications requirement (>9mm/.38, and range officer's approval for fit and function), but most any pistol anyone with any sense would WANT to carry would be just fine.

The plus side to carrying the issue-gun is a free holster and mag pouch. The range stocks all common calibers, so even though I carry a .45, I still get free ammo for qualifications. The down-side to carrying your own is that you have to pay for it. But honestly, who couldn't use another reason to go buy a gun?

Our range officer is a competent individual, so he knows how to handle just about any firearm most people would bring out.

It sure is fun going out on a call and checking out what the other guys chose as sidearms. Just the other day I get out on a possible suicidal and my back-up shows up wearing his Colt Delta Elite. Too cool! Makes life much more interesting than if we all HAD to carry the same gun.

Detritus
March 2, 2003, 07:21 PM
what is the SHERRIF'S Dept. regs on all this?? i swear when i moved away (spring 99) that most of the Deputies were carrying private purchased guns. including a friend of mine who carried a 9mm ruger.

if this is still the case come come the city guys can't seee the logic??


Detritus (who wishes he could move back some day)

DeltaElite
March 2, 2003, 07:24 PM
Pathetic wimps, wussies, pansies, candy butts, etc.....

I am so sick of the pansies that are being hired into Le.
If you can't hold the gun, how on earth can you expect to hold onto a bad guy that is fighting you.
Go work elsewhere.
Le is a contact sport, there are no points for second place, so if you can't cut it, please go away and leave us cops alone.

Can you see why I am not in recruiting? :neener:

LostOneToo
March 2, 2003, 07:28 PM
That's part of the reason the US army swapped over to the Beretta from the .45; it was "too difficult for new people to learn to shoot" is what I was told as a Drill Sgt.

Let's just lower the standards and we won't have to worry about it.:fire:

MountainPeak
March 2, 2003, 07:33 PM
I agree with Pappy John.

M1911
March 2, 2003, 08:33 PM
Folks (e.g., archie), don't beat up Fed168. I strongly suspect that he's not the desk pogue who sets policy. It's not his fault that the higher ups are screwed up and I'm sure this isn't the only agency where that might be the case...

Yohan
March 2, 2003, 08:35 PM
If the guns ain't working- there's always the night sticks :D :evil:

moa
March 3, 2003, 07:29 PM
I read a study done some time ago by Massad Ayoob (sp?) about the need for both LE and civilian high capacity handguns. Massad was against the 10 round limitation imposed by Congress. His study showed:

1. 54% of all LE shootouts involved multiple, armed suspects. And, because civilians usually kill two or three times the number of perps that LE does annually, it makes sense for civilian use too of higher capacity firearms.

2. The increasing use of ballistic body armor by criminals.

3. Many suspects are zoomed on powerful narcotics, and they do not feel much pain, if any at all.

For the above reasons, it would seem wheel guns are not sufficient firepower-wise no matter how good a shot you are. However, a wheel gun might make a good back-up weapon.

seeker_two
March 3, 2003, 10:25 PM
For the above reasons, it would seem wheel guns are not sufficient firepower-wise no matter how good a shot you are.

Care to explain how a .41 Magnum, .44 Magnum or a .45 Colt +P is lacking in the "firepower" department? A few large bullets do a whole lot more damage than a bunch of little ones...:evil:

BTW, if the aforementioned agency is so desperate for a smaller, more accurate caliber, they could always try some of those "tactical .22's"...:scrutiny:

NotQuiteSane
March 4, 2003, 01:31 AM
Care to explain how a .41 Magnum, .44 Magnum or a .45 Colt +P is lacking in the "firepower" department? A few large bullets do a whole lot more damage than a bunch of little ones...

Lets say you're facing 4 individuals, and you cannot acess reloads/2nd gun (no time, too close, etc)

can you shoot the perps, in a mannor that will neturalize the threat, with only 6 rounds? remember they won't be standing still, you'll be under extreme stress, and it is likely they'll be on drugs, so they may not relize they're shot and continue to attack you.

NQs

Archie
March 4, 2003, 03:12 AM
I wasn't meaning to be beating up on Fed 168. You're right about him not the only one in the same situation, I am too.

So Fed, like I said, that wasn't intended as a flame.

However, I will take issue with NotQuiteSane. Your situation is one of those "what-ifs" that are made up to prove (or disprove) the need or practicality of anything.
Frankly, I'd rather chance giving all four one good lick with a heavy loaded .4X Magnum than attempting to double or triple tap them.

"What if" you work in an environment with anywhere between 150 and 3000 innocent bystanders? Encounter ranges will be anywhere from powder burn to 200 feet; probably mostly in the 15 to 35 yard distance. Do you really think a multishot 9x19 and suppression fire is the best solution?

NotQuiteSane
March 4, 2003, 03:33 AM
I'll agree, what will be required beforehand can't ever be known. I'll also agree 9mm is next to useless

but I'd rather have a 10 shot (or better) 10mm or .45 acp, and spare mags (which are quicker to reload, at least for me, than speedloaders) than a 6 shot large caliber revolver.

NQS

seeker_two
March 4, 2003, 05:03 AM
Lets say you're facing 4 individuals, and you cannot acess reloads/2nd gun (no time, too close, etc)

First: If they're that close, what makes you think that you'll have access to your FIRST gun quick enough?

Second: You and three of your friends are approaching a person. Suddenly, that person pulls out a gun and shoots two of your friends. What is your first reaction? MOVE & COVER, I'll bet. Most BG's, even when drugged up, still have the basic instinct to run AWAY from the danger.

...and it is likely they'll be on drugs, so they may not relize they're shot and continue to attack you.

Third: And they'll notice being shot w/ an auto a few more times any more?

Fourth: Anything keeping YOU from moving? Ideally, you would shoot each BG once (maybe twice if they're still moving). Then you would move to cover, reload, and reasess the threat.

I'm not flaming you or any auto-users. I'm one myself. But I'd be hesitant to discount the qualities of a good sixgun (or sevengun or eightgun...:D )

But again, YYMV...

Fed168
March 4, 2003, 11:39 PM
Archie, no flame taken.

Coronach
March 5, 2003, 12:45 AM
Ok, guys and gals, a couple things are in order here before anymore flames get started. I know because I work for this agency.
Our duty weapon is the 4506.Enough said, right there.

People, I have average-sized hands, at best (ahem...I'm above average in, uh, other areas. yeah! ;) ). If I hold the 4506 in a shooting grip, I cannot reach the magazine release or the slide stop with my thumb. It CANNOT be done. I have to shift my grip to even TOUCH either one. And this is me, with average or only slightly smaller than average hands. Someone who actually has small hands is just SOL.

This gun, while utterly reliable, was built with the ergonomics of a troll club. I can easily see why most "average" people do not shoot it well. Its not that its a bad gun, its just a bad gun to try to issue to everyone on your payroll, in a blanket fashion.

Mike

Gusgus
March 5, 2003, 07:56 AM
Uh, didn't anyone else do the math on this? $50,000 for 100 pistols? That's $5,000 per pistol! Even with holsters, extra mags, barrels, etc., isn't this a little excessive?

Edited to add
I've got to stop posting before my morning coffee. OK, $500 per pistol is actually very cheap.

hammer4nc
March 5, 2003, 08:07 AM
That's $5,000 per pistol! Even with holsters, extra mags, barrels, etc., isn't this a little excessive?
Depends on your perspective...$4,500 may or may not be a "little" excessive. :rolleyes: :D ;)

Coronach
March 5, 2003, 10:05 AM
Well, $50,000, if it were just buying 100 pistols, would seem steep. However, it is overwhelmingly likely that figured into that cost would be the complete set-up for their ordnance department and all associated change-over costs, which are always far in excess of what those of us out-of-the-loop would think.

Plus, I'll bet that the fed.gov puts out grants at set dollar amounts. And before anyone says that this is probably a waste of grant money and promotes wasteful purchases, yes it is and yes it does.

Mike

George Dickel
March 5, 2003, 10:13 AM
I am of average size (5'9") however I have short fingers on wide hands and cannot grip most double stack autos well. Even large frame revolvers are a problem. I have to shift my grip forward towards the trigger to be able to get my finger on it comfortably. I never had any problem with the 1911 or small frame revolvers. I don't know why some posters have the idea that small handed people can't defend themselves or back up their partner in a confrontation. I worked as a Military Policeman for a number of years and had no problems handling a situation because of my hand size.

chaim
March 5, 2003, 10:34 AM
Uh, didn't anyone else do the math on this? $50,000 for 100 pistols? That's $5,000 per pistol! Even with holsters, extra mags, barrels, etc., isn't this a little excessive?

Um, you may want to recheck that. 50,000 divided by 10 is 5000, divided by 100 is only 500. $500 per pistol, including the costs of new spare mags, holsters, spare mag carriers, and other miscellaneous changeover costs doesn't seem too bad to me.

BigG
March 5, 2003, 10:37 AM
Um, $50,000 = $500 per pistole/rig/setup to my math challenged pencil.

DeltaElite
March 5, 2003, 10:59 AM
What I find truly sad is that they are stuck with Smith autos. :(
There are plenty of good 45's out there, they deserve one of them.

BigG
March 5, 2003, 11:16 AM
Sure, they could have Delta Elites! :D

DeltaElite
March 5, 2003, 11:22 AM
That's a great idea. :D

10-Ring
March 5, 2003, 11:55 AM
What's wrong w/ spending time improving your skills if you lack proficiency in something that may save your life or the life of someone else? Isn't that part of the job?

Dave Williams
March 5, 2003, 12:02 PM
I think J. Wise's dept's policy is the best. Issue a mid frame 9mm, and let those who want to, carry what they want to. One of my state's most progressive dept's does this, but with a Glock 17.

Dave

Coronach
March 5, 2003, 01:07 PM
What's wrong w/ spending time improving your skills if you lack proficiency in something that may save your life or the life of someone else? Isn't that part of the job?Who said it wasn't?

Mike

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