which pistol to use as LE?


November 1, 2006, 02:34 PM
hi everyone

im going to be starting in the police academy next week and need to purchase my duty weapon.

i know nothing about guns and have never shot one... with that said i've been told i should go with a glock however im not sure which caliber...

i am 61 210 and built well so i can handle a little kick as i hear the .40 and .45s have, however i dont know if im better of going with a 9mm since its going to be my first time and im going to be learning how to shoot pretty much with this weapon.

they also want us to use the pistol that we will be using in the future to learn with in the academy so we get comfortable with it during the learning process...

so could someone let me know what caliber and brand would be recommended with someone in my position.

thank you

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November 1, 2006, 02:38 PM
glock 17 , you cant go wrong.

November 1, 2006, 02:42 PM
yea thats what a couple of people i spoke to have been telling me also, so u dont think .40 or bigger would be a good idea at the moment?


Joe Demko
November 1, 2006, 02:43 PM
Go to a range and rent a few different pistols before you choose. Anything we tell you here will just be espousing our own preferences. I, for example, would not choose a Glock. I owned a couple and didn't find them to my liking. I chose an HK USP 40 as my own duty pistol.

El Tejon
November 1, 2006, 02:47 PM
I second the rental range.

As to guns, the subjective is objective. Thus what you really like, someone else may dislike. Handguns are too personal to make stock recommendations.

Lots of ammo, practice time (including dry), magazines and instruction. Like any other martial art, skill through time and effort.

November 1, 2006, 02:51 PM
thank you everyone

i think im gonna go with the dept issue 9mm i think its a g17 im not positive and ill try out some of the other guys guns and see what they are like and ill also head down and rent a few of them b4 i decide, you are all correct something that feels right in ones hands could just be wrong for mine...

thanks again!

two tone
November 1, 2006, 02:56 PM

Optical Serenity
November 1, 2006, 06:33 PM
Welcome to Law enforcment :)

I'd personally go with a gun that is the same as what most everyone else carries. Also, purely from a job standpoint, you don't want to stand out with something crazy like a HK P7 or a shiney 1911. The vets on the force will notice that.

I also vote for the Glock. I've always carried Glock on duty, and it works. :)

November 1, 2006, 06:41 PM
thanks optical serenity;

i think im gonna stick with the glock gonna go rent it out first and see how it feels. the dept issue is a sw9mm...

im not sure about the calibur tho, any ideas with that?

November 1, 2006, 07:06 PM
Glock :barf: :barf: :barf: Sig P220 in 45acp and P226 in 40s&w. Springfield Mil-Spec or XD-45 in 45acp.

Jim Watson
November 1, 2006, 07:18 PM
Optical is right. Get whatever the department issues or if you want Something Else, be sure it is approved by the department and will be covered in their training program. They told you right, stick with the standard piece.

If you lack prior experience, I am not sure what a rented or borrowed gun will tell you in a week's time. Frankly, you do not know enough to ask the right questions or understand the answers. As for "feel" of a gun, do you know how it should line up as you grasp it? Are you familiar with the idea of "natural point of aim"? You can train and practice to shoot about anything.

Caliber; again, what does the department issue? If 9mm, there is good stout 9mm ammo that will do the job; Ranger T is well thought of, IF you get a choice, which is not real likely these days. Has the advantage of cheap stuff so you can afford to practice on your own time over and above whatever the department allowance might be. Another advantage is that the original Glock 17, if that is what your outfit uses, is probably the best of the bunch. Designed by and for Gaston Glock to arm his country's army; the rest are just something to sell to stupid Americans.

You can get by with .40 cal if you must.
Not many PDs going with .45 these days; the guns are just too big for the copchicks to handle comfortably.
There is some popularity of .357 SIG because it is close to the famously deadly 125 grain .357 Magnum revolver with more shots in a "modern" automatic. Loudest dam' thing I have ever heard in a standard gun, though.

November 1, 2006, 07:39 PM
Does your agency have any guidelines in regards to approved duty weapons? That might make a difference. Is there a shop that will give you a discount for making this purchase? What does your firearms instructor recommend?
For what it's worth, I like HK, Beretta and Glock in whatevery caliber you prefer.
Good luck!

November 1, 2006, 08:10 PM
Oh hell, the recoil of the 45acp is less than the recoil of the 40s&w and 357sig.

.357 magnum
November 1, 2006, 09:16 PM
This is what I would recommend. It's a real man stopper. Very reliable, very accurate, no recoil issues. I would go with the Tactical model [5inch barrel] if your department allows it. You would never regret it. It will protect you and those you serve. Always serve with Honor and Honesty. Congratulations!!
The best to you and yours!


November 1, 2006, 09:27 PM
I concur with others that say go with what the department issues. For one, you won't stand out so much with the more experienced, and definately if you get into a fire-fight, if you run out of ammo, someone can through you a mag that you can slide into your gun, instead of reloading your magazine from theirs, and such. (Nice run-on there :neener: )

November 1, 2006, 10:01 PM
Go rent an example of the gun they issue. Does it fit your hand? Do you shoot it well? If that's a yes and a yes, then just go with that for the moment.

Despite what people on a gun board will tell you, you have much more important things to worry about at the moment than what will be riding on your hip. Once you get through your first year and have some practical shooting experience, you can reconsider what you're carrying. You'll have a better idea for what you like and dislike, and you'll have a better handle on what your PD will allow.


November 1, 2006, 10:22 PM
Some depts. dont issue. Best advice has been already given. Shoot a variety and see which feels the best. Personally i like the G22. Im more accurate with it than i am the 9mms ive owned. I wouldnt hesitate to carry a 9mm though.Im issued a G31. My brother's dept. issues G22s.

November 1, 2006, 10:26 PM
tnx everyone for your input

i will be going with the dept issue smith & wesson 9mm and then see where it takes me. What i wear on my hip shouldnt be the most important thing on my mind at the moment anyways. i need to continue memorizing all these codes and definetions by sunday.

Ill keep you guys updated with what i do and thanks again

November 1, 2006, 10:30 PM
If you have to buy your own get what everyone else has. Do not go out and shoot before going to the academy. It often is much easier to train a virgin shooter than to retrain someone what has bad habits. My.02:)

November 1, 2006, 10:36 PM
If it's gonna be a GLock, make it a 20. That way, you can stand out from and above the others;)

November 2, 2006, 12:39 AM
i need to continue memorizing all these codes and definetions by sunday.Been there, done that. Welcome to the job. Be safe.


November 2, 2006, 01:10 AM
Get a pistol that has a manual safety.

I would recommend an H&K - compact or full-sized - Variant #1 - 45acp - I carried one on duty - extremely accurate - reliable - ergonomically
shooter friendly. They also hold thier resale value if you would ever sell or want to trade for another type of weapon.

Glocks are a dime a dozen. The main reason many police departments use them is the low price they are offered at.

Sig also makes a fine weapon - model 220 in 45acp would also be a fine choice.


November 2, 2006, 01:13 AM
My one friend just recently got hired by Maitland PD and then my other friend is still in academy. They both used G17 9mm in firearms training in the academy, but I am sure you have already made your decision. Although, Maitland PD issues Sig P226 .40 cal to their officers, he still used the G17 9mm in academy training.

Go with whatever you may use in the future and what you are most comfortable with.

November 2, 2006, 06:20 AM

This is the way you want to go, for now! As a cop, my advice to you (not just for this firearm issue, but during your field training, as well) is that you want to be the invisible trainee. You want to be able to show up, do your job, blend in, and get off of training.

November 2, 2006, 07:25 AM
Just had a thought come bouncing through my mind (didn't take long, it's gone). How about going to the range with a bunch of your classmates and finding out what they have, shoot a bunch of different pistols then stop for pizza and beverages afterwards. Could be a bonding exercise, you will pick up some tips and techniques, and be able to become very familiar with the issue weapon as well. Worth a thought. You might want to pick up a supply of targets for the trip.

Tim James
November 2, 2006, 12:30 PM
How about a .44 magnum revolver?

November 2, 2006, 01:11 PM
you want to be the invisible trainee.Truer words were never spoken, at least if your academy is at all military-styled. Nails that stick up get hammered back down, if you follow me. Blend the heck in.


Northslope Nimrod
November 2, 2006, 05:26 PM
I'd try these and pick one:

1. Glock
2. Springfield XD
3. Sig
4. H&K

If I were a cop, I'd carry a .45. Most encounters would be close and you want the SHOCK that a large caliber provides. (personally, I like the new XD high capacity .45's....but all those listed are great...find one that fits your hand)

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