Local Police Dep. can't carry 1911's?


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Fedaykin
October 29, 2007, 06:59 PM
Maybe this is common knowledge but it's news to me. And I did try searching so if this has been answered, sorry. A buddy of mine just became an police officer and I'm always telling him how much I like 1911's and he came over and said that he heard the police weren't allowed to carry them because they were "unsafe" somehow??? A type of danger with the firing pin or something? They're standard side arm is a sig by the way. Does this sound right? I dont' see how such a popular sidearm could be "inadequate" for law enforcement.

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Euclidean
October 29, 2007, 07:11 PM
A lot of PDs are worried about liability and have basically disallowed single action pistols, the justification being that a single action trigger is too light and crisp. The idea is that a double action trigger takes a deliberate effort to pull, and therefore a negligent discharge is impossible. Yeah, right.

It's the same thinking as the "NY trigger" on the Glock.

Aguila Blanca
October 29, 2007, 07:13 PM
The "problem" is two-fold: (1) The 1911 has a single action only trigger, that is usually set at about 5 to 6 pounds and has a very short travel. Many police departments think the longer and heavier travel of a double-action only or DA/SA pistol is safer in terms of having less chance of a negligent discharge; and (2) the proper mode for duty carry of a 1911 is cocked and locked, and many people who are unfamilar with firearms see that cocked hammer and become afraid the gun will go off all by itself while it sits there in the officers holster.

Some departments/jurisdictions either issue or authorize the 1911 for duty carry, but they are (unfortunately) in the minority.

JesseL
October 29, 2007, 07:17 PM
Some people feel that single action autos carried cocked and locked are unsafe, though I have yet to hear a cogent explanation why.

They will not fire unless the trigger is pulled (and in the case of a 1911 the manual safety is disengaged and the grip safety is depressed). It seems to come down to people being intimidated by the sight of a cocked hammer.

RancidSumo
October 29, 2007, 07:22 PM
Some of the police where I live carry 1911's.

Fedaykin
October 29, 2007, 07:24 PM
Well thats kind of what I was trying to say back to him. But then he said he was told something about if you drop it the firing pin isn't held in place or blocked or something so it could go off. I'm guessing they mean if something were to hit the back of the firing pin while the hammer was cocked, but it still couldn't go off with the safeties on right?

JesseL
October 29, 2007, 07:32 PM
The original design for the 1911 has a spring loaded inertial firing pin. In theory, if one is dropped hard enough on the muzzle, the firing pin could slam forward hard enough to fire the chambered round.

IMO this is an extremely unlikely event, but there have been updates to the design (Series 80, SW1911, etc.) that mechanically block the firing pin until the block is disengaged by some other action (usually pulling the trigger or depressing the grip safety, IIRC).

mp510
October 29, 2007, 07:53 PM
Law Enforcement is afraid of scaring the sheeple as much as they are of getting sued.

I recall a magazine article that described an individual "informing" a 1911 toting LEO that he was carrying his pistol cocked- as if insinuating that he was doing something improper. That is really bad for a departments public image.

Smith & Wesson puts a warning in their 3rd gen auto manuals that the DA/SA models will have a lighter trigger pull on subsequent shots for this same purpose.

RPCVYemen
October 29, 2007, 08:01 PM
Probably a better question is why would Police Departments want a 1911?

The only advantage of a 1911 - as working tool - over the SA/DAs is a very nice trigger. Probably a better question is why would Police Departments want a 1911? The SA trigger is probably of no little/nor value to working LEOs. Encounters tend to be at very short distances, and there's enough adrenalin pumping to take care of the DA to SA a non-issue. Fast double taps at 25 yards are more useful to sports shooters than anyone else.

I can't see any advantage - other than a "sweet trigger" - that a 1911 has over the SA/DAs or Glocks. I can see a lot of disadvantages.

Expense -- A reliable 1911 is going to be more expensive than a SIG/Glock. There are lots of folks who swear they get 1911s all the time that are 100% reliable out of the box - but there are a lot of folks that have to have feed ramps polished, try different kinds of mags, etc. to get a reliable 1911.

Complicated to use -- Cocked and locked means one more thing to forget when someone is shooting at you - compared to a Glock, for example. You have to drill constantly to make sure that you sweep off the safety.

They will not fire unless the trigger is pulled (and in the case of a 1911 the manual safety is disengaged and the grip safety is depressed).

Can that be remedied with training? Maybe. Are you as a taxpayer ready willing and able to pay for that training (in addition to the other training)? And for what purpose - to learn how to use a slightly more complicated tool that is no more effective than that the tool in current use? Say 10 hours of overtime every week for every officer? Budget increase of 37.5%? I think you'd find a lot of LEOs happy to get the paid overtime.

On THR, the assumption is that LEOs are mainly guys who get to run around with guns. But my guess is that to working LEOs, a gun it one tool among many - and perhaps the least frequently used tool of their trade. It's just another tool they need to work when they want it to work. The less training the better - they spend a lot of time training to use their other tools. Legal training, using their patrol cars, communications devices, social welfare bureaucracy, etc.

The folks that I know that like 1911s enjoy endlessly tinkering with them. They enjoylots and lots of training drills. The sweet SA trigger - for accuracy or bragging rights is the most important characteristic of the weapon. And I got to tell you that even among a large portion of those folks, the "have to go bang" CCW or nightstand gun is a Glock, or some other non-1911.

Mike

1man
October 29, 2007, 08:14 PM
I believe that majority(85%) of law enforcement officers are not knowledgable enough and have enough experience in the use of firearms. Majority of the LEOs experience of firearms is the training they receive in the academy!

No matter what weapon anyone handles, ALL the Safety rules still apply!.
1911 take a little more discipline and care to handle. There have been a lot of military personnel that had ND/AD's using the 1911 back in the era were the 1911 was the primary standard sidearm for duty. Proper Training, Cautionous Weapons Handling/Manipulating, Prefect Practice, and experience will prevent AD/ND's.

SEMO Shooter
October 29, 2007, 10:34 PM
It seems to me that 2 manual safeties on a 1911 are safer than a DA/SA with no manual safeties. I own both types and my preference is the 1911.

Kurt_D
October 29, 2007, 11:57 PM
Probably a better question is why would Police Departments want a 1911?

The only advantage of a 1911 - as working tool - over the SA/DAs is a very nice trigger. Probably a better question is why would Police Departments want a 1911? The SA trigger is probably of no little/nor value to working LEOs. Encounters tend to be at very short distances, and there's enough adrenalin pumping to take care of the DA to SA a non-issue. Fast double taps at 25 yards are more useful to sports shooters than anyone else.

I can't see any advantage - other than a "sweet trigger" - that a 1911 has over the SA/DAs or Glocks. I can see a lot of disadvantages.

Expense -- A reliable 1911 is going to be more expensive than a SIG/Glock. There are lots of folks who swear they get 1911s all the time that are 100% reliable out of the box - but there are a lot of folks that have to have feed ramps polished, try different kinds of mags, etc. to get a reliable 1911.

Complicated to use -- Cocked and locked means one more thing to forget when someone is shooting at you - compared to a Glock, for example. You have to drill constantly to make sure that you sweep off the safety.


Quote:
They will not fire unless the trigger is pulled (and in the case of a 1911 the manual safety is disengaged and the grip safety is depressed).

Can that be remedied with training? Maybe. Are you as a taxpayer ready willing and able to pay for that training (in addition to the other training)? And for what purpose - to learn how to use a slightly more complicated tool that is no more effective than that the tool in current use? Say 10 hours of overtime every week for every officer? Budget increase of 37.5%? I think you'd find a lot of LEOs happy to get the paid overtime.

On THR, the assumption is that LEOs are mainly guys who get to run around with guns. But my guess is that to working LEOs, a gun it one tool among many - and perhaps the least frequently used tool of their trade. It's just another tool they need to work when they want it to work. The less training the better - they spend a lot of time training to use their other tools. Legal training, using their patrol cars, communications devices, social welfare bureaucracy, etc.

The folks that I know that like 1911s enjoy endlessly tinkering with them. They enjoylots and lots of training drills. The sweet SA trigger - for accuracy or bragging rights is the most important characteristic of the weapon. And I got to tell you that even among a large portion of those folks, the "have to go bang" CCW or nightstand gun is a Glock, or some other non-1911.

Mike

+1 and I like to add one more thing - capacity. 7-8 round mags vs 12-13 if we're talking .45 acp, more if talking .40 and 9mm.

Yes, I know the stats say the average shoot out last x number of seconds with something like less than 5 shots fired, but that's an average. The last one here lasted 12+ hours (off and on exchanges) with God knows how many shots fired.

shooting4fun
October 30, 2007, 01:13 AM
Howdy All,

Interesting thread. Goes to show just where the priorities of some of the law enforcement communities are based on policy and training practices.

Here in SE AZ the Cochise County Sheriff's Department carry 1911s in condition one. They have other tools at their discretion too! Local PD uses Glocks and of course other tools!

While on the topic of LEOs, a big Thanks to each and every one of them for service to the community!

Cheers!

MASTEROFMALICE
October 30, 2007, 01:24 AM
With about 350 officers on my department I am one of two who are authorized to carry a 1911 off duty, and the other one is our range master.

Forget about the public telling me my hammer is cocked, almost every time I go to court in plain clothes I have a cop tell me my hammer is back.

I actually had one exchange with an officer far senior to me who demanded I put my hammer down. I told him no because "That would be dangerous."

Norm357
October 30, 2007, 01:34 AM
I know a lot of cops who carry a 1911.

Honestly, 7+1 shots and a couple of reloads will get 100% of todays cops safely home. If they need more than that, then they need a rifle. And lots of friends with rifles.

This wheelgunner syas that the 1911 is a great LEO weapon, provided proper training is given.

10-Ring
October 30, 2007, 02:30 AM
Probably just depends on your local PD/SO -- police commission or city council and what your chief/ sherrif prefers more than the "safety" of the 1911

possum
October 30, 2007, 03:15 AM
yeah i don't see alot of leo with 1911's, i see mostly glocks, that is a shame that more departments don't allow the 1911's.

RON in PA
October 30, 2007, 05:52 AM
Mike, one of the most intelligent posts I've seen in a long time.

Double Naught Spy
October 30, 2007, 09:05 AM
Local Police Dep. can't carry 1911's?
Many depts have limited carry options. 1911s aren't singled out per se in those cases, but lots of guns are disallowed. We have a lot dept that only allows Glocks and Sigs. In my town, our department allows 5 different platforms including the 1911, but after those 5, that is it.

Complicated to use -- Cocked and locked means one more thing to forget when someone is shooting at you - compared to a Glock, for example. You have to drill constantly to make sure that you sweep off the safety.

You know, this is one of those supposed horrors of 1911s, remembering to disengage the safety under stress. I would contend that if you are incapable of doing this, then you haven't had proper training. The same can be said for safety holsters.

Funny thing about safeties, whether on 1911s or other guns, then guns are taken from cops in scuffles, the one thing that often saves the cops is the fact that the bad guys, unfamiliar with the platform, can't get the gun to fire.

crankshop1000
October 30, 2007, 09:06 AM
I'm burning all my Jeff Cooper articles.

outofbattery
October 30, 2007, 09:19 AM
My sheriff's department has 3 simple rules regarding what a deputy can carry: must be a minimum of .38 or 9mm,can't be single action,can't be anything "magnum".1 is very understandable,2 recognizes that most of them are not the most proficient shooters in the world and also ties into point 3 which is the liability/public image if a shooting were to take place.The sheriff would not want to have to defend why a deputy shot someone with a firearm that has a "hair trigger" or .357/.44 Magnum in a good shoot as it would most certainly be questioned.
Other than qualifying to dismally low standards and perhaps 50 rounds of practice for that once a year,most deputies do not shoot on a regular basis.Sorry,but that's the state of LE these days:most of them were not raised with firearms and have little interest in becoming better shooters.

RPCVYemen
October 30, 2007, 12:29 PM
Sorry,but that's the state of LE these days:most of them were not raised with firearms and have little interest in becoming better shooters.

I am not sure that is a fair statement. I am not sure that little interest is fair or accurate. LEOs get the same 24 hours/day that the rest of us get. We all have to juggle the times that we allocate to each task we'd like to do, each task we have interest in. It would take me 30 hours/day to get to all of the tasks I have a high interest in - so I can't even get to those.

There was a time when I had more contact with LEOs than I do now, and the picture that I got was that LEOs do a lot of required training, some paid for, some not paid for.

If we want LEO's to train 10 hours a week on a range, we should pay them for that 10 hours a week.

My impression - and I may be wrong - is that LEOs would be pretty happy to do more weapons training if they were paid to do weapons training. Many of them do unpaid weapons training now.

Most LEOs that I knew were very traditional guys - I'm stereotyping, I know. But they tended to have wives and kids that also needed time. Many were involved with kids athletics, etc.

If you said, "Most of them do lots of unpaid training, and are less interested in more unpaid training than they are in spending time with their families", I think you'd be closer to reality.

Do you support a tax increase/LE budget increase to support the kind of training you think LEOs should have? Most people don't, but maybe you do.

Mike

RPCVYemen
October 30, 2007, 12:43 PM
You know, this is one of those supposed horrors of 1911s, remembering to disengage the safety under stress. I would contend that if you are incapable of doing this, then you haven't had proper training.

The horrors are not all supposed. If you search youtube, you can find a pretty recent one. I don't have a citation, but I think there was a long THR discussion of this.

Can this issue be remedied with proper training? Let's assume it can.

How much training?

How many hours of initial training do you think would be required to develop the instinct to swipe off the safety reliably on a 1911 in high stress scenarios?

How long before the error rate - of forgetting to swipe off the safety on a 1911 - is so low that the 1911 is as reliable in the hands of the trainee as DA revolver or Glock?

How many hours a week/month afterwards to maintain that level of performance?

I am really curious about the number of hours. I really don't have a clue.

Mike

CPshooter
October 30, 2007, 12:46 PM
I think a C&L 1911 is safer than a Glock. Keep in mind that I've never owned a 1911 and have owned 2 Glocks. The firing pin/hammer issue is stupid first of all. The chances of that happening are no greater than a Glock having an AD. There's a manual safety which automatically adds a REAL element of safety, whereas a Glock will go boom no matter what if you pull that trigger. And the trigger safety on the Glock? C'mon now..

Also, the 1911 has a grip safety which makes sure the user has a firm grip on the gun before it can fire. How is this not a safe system? I don't know. The 1911 is easier to set off due to its SA trigger, however this is only when the gun is ready to fire and aimed at a suspect. I'd imagine that is exactly why LE agencies aren't allowed to use them. If a police officer's trigger finger is on the trigger and adrenaline is pumping, you never know when a round might be squeezed off when the tension gets high. That's when a fat lawsuit bites them in the you know what...

On that note, if I were a LEO I would never choose a single stack .45 over the high mag. capacity of a nice double stack .40 service pistol. You never know when poop hits the fan.

Autolycus
October 30, 2007, 01:25 PM
Because .40 S&W is a better round than .45 ACP for LE. :)

Fedaykin
October 30, 2007, 04:11 PM
Thanks a lot for the opinions and the information guys! Now I'll be able to have a conversation with my buddies that are the LEO's I was asking about and I'll have a pretty good idea of what I'm talking about. From what I've read, I think I'd still have to go with my 1911 if I were to carry. Besides if 8 rounds won't do, the thing is still heavy enough to make a nice bludgeoning tool :D

ClickClickD'oh
October 30, 2007, 05:14 PM
Can this issue be remedied with proper training? Let's assume it can.

How much training?

How many hours of initial training do you think would be required to develop the instinct to swipe off the safety reliably on a 1911 in high stress scenarios? How many hours of training are required to teach a shooter to pull his finger out of a Glocks trigger guard before holstering it?

Want me to find a YouTube video of someone skipping that step, or a post here on THR? There was one not to long ago.

Any gun is a death trap without proper training. A physical safety isn't any better or any worse. Just go over to the threads on the new Ruger and watch people jump for joy that there is now combat tupperware with a physical safety.

You want ten hours of overtime training a week to learn how to use a physical safety? Would it scare you much to learn that's more than most officers recieve in firearms training all year long?

Here's how it works: The officers who want to be proficient will seek out training and practice on their own and will become proficient. The rest consider their weapon to be another uncomfortable thing they have to haul around and wouldn't really care if you put a Ruger MK1 in their holster. The guys most likely to chose a 1911 are the ones most likely to know how to use it properly.

That being said, the guys who write the list of allowed weapons generally are beaurocrats and not gun savy types. They think C&L is dangerous, no matter how much you attempt to explain firing pin blocks, palm safeties and such.

And yes, there are other advantages of the 1911 over other guns like a Glock. Some people actually like a physcial safety and there are documented instances of a weapon being take from an officer by a BG who couldn't operate it because they didn't know about the safety. Some officers like the grip profile better than most of the double stack weapons.

MASTEROFMALICE
October 30, 2007, 05:15 PM
Not as much as you'd think. We're issued HK and have to sweep the safety off anyway.

How much training?

How many hours of initial training do you think would be required to develop the instinct to swipe off the safety reliably on a 1911 in high stress scenarios?

How long before the error rate - of forgetting to swipe off the safety on a 1911 - is so low that the 1911 is as reliable in the hands of the trainee as DA revolver or Glock?

How many hours a week/month afterwards to maintain that level of performance?

I am really curious about the number of hours. I really don't have a clue.

ClickClickD'oh
October 30, 2007, 05:19 PM
Not as much as you'd think. We're issued HK and have to sweep the safety off anyway.You just reminded me.

When the Beretta M.92 was the new hot customer in town and being carried by huge departments, no one was bagging on them for having a physical safety, which is very much more inconvenient to operate than the 1911's.

camsdaddy
October 30, 2007, 09:11 PM
Here locally our Sheriff carries a 1911 and the deputies carry 45 Glocks. I dont know if is by their preference or departments. They seem satisfied. I smile when I see him out and about with his 1911 on his side.

SouthpawShootr
October 30, 2007, 09:43 PM
They're not unsafe. The individual officers are unsafe with them. They work very well if you don't develop the habit of putting your finger where it shouldn't go until you're ready to fire. Very few LE agencies allow them for anything less than special operations teams (SWAT and the like). LAPD, I'm sure everybody knows, issues them, but only to SWAT. Most departments are unwilling to invest in the training necessary for these guns. Most of the LEOs out their only shoot their guns for twice year qualifications and that's not enough.

FRT007
October 31, 2007, 10:57 AM
I work for a corrections department that includes probation/parole officers. We qualify once per year - total of 72 rounds. We have mandatory training (tactical scenarios) once per year - 100 rounds. That's it. We offer practice sessions that are voluntary, and many don't attend. Few buy their own ammo and practice off-duty. I know of many agencies that require only annual qualification. Further, the Glock, with a 5.5 pound pull, is a pretty easy trigger to manage. The 1911 is rarely seen in a police holster in these parts.

Mainsail
October 31, 2007, 12:25 PM
I recall a conversation with a knowledgeable gun guy. He pointed out the so-called ‘extra step’ of remembering to disengage the safety, but that wasn’t really the reason departments didn’t allow the 1911. The problem was the legal issue of an officer holding someone at gunpoint and having a negligent discharge. In the revolver days the police were trained not to cock the hammer on their DA revolvers for the same reason; high stress and very light trigger pulls are not a safe combination. It’s one thing to un-holster their weapon, point, and fire it, but they un-holster, point, and not fire much more often.

RPCVYemen
October 31, 2007, 12:33 PM
he problem was the legal issue of an officer holding someone at gunpoint and having a negligent discharge. In the revolver days the police were trained not to cock the hammer on their DA revolvers for the same reason; high stress and very light trigger pulls are not a safe combination. It’s one thing to un-holster their weapon, point, and fire it, but they un-holster, point, and not fire much more often.

That's a very good point - I had never thought about that.

Mike

foghornl
October 31, 2007, 12:45 PM
Mentor, Oh PD carries some type of 1911. Not sure which brand, but I have seen them being carried cocked-n- (I Hope!) locked.

Supertac45
October 31, 2007, 05:59 PM
I read that the Tacoma, Washington P.D. had on the average 2 accidental discharges per year prior to going to 1911 in 1996 or 97. Zero since adopting the 1911 department wide. I believe they carried Glocks prior to the 1911. I've never check it out, but I read it someplace. I believe the biggest influence over the selection of a pistol is the cost. A couple of years ago, a Glock 22 in 40 cal went for about $425 to a Department.

76shuvlinoff
October 31, 2007, 10:23 PM
If sweeping the safety off is a potental problem then leave it off and you have a 1911 GLOCK or XD.:evil:


and yes I have an XD too

Autolycus
October 31, 2007, 10:32 PM
I prefer DAO myself but occasionally I want an HK USP .45 to mess around with.

Double Naught Spy
October 31, 2007, 10:33 PM
The horrors are not all supposed. If you search youtube, you can find a pretty recent one. I don't have a citation, but I think there was a long THR discussion of this.

Can this issue be remedied with proper training? Let's assume it can.

How much training?

Well if we do away with safeties on pistols because of the horrendous amount of training needed to teach a person to disengage it, then do we do away with safeties on rifles and shotguns? I noticed that there are not a lot of Glock safe action rifles around. I wonder why? I don't see many double action rifles either. Why?

You know, guns don't fire when you don't pull the trigger. How much training does that take to learn to pull the trigger. Gimme a break. It isn't a higher mental function to sweep of the safety or a fine motor skill.

Funny thing about Glocks, I see they are now installing after market safeties on them.

Quoheleth
November 1, 2007, 12:08 AM
I think that most police officers should be able to carry what they want within certain parameters. I agree that .38 Spcl/9mm is the minimum - that would be one parameter. If I were in a large metropolitan area (I live near Houston, so I could see this applying here), I would agree also that the Magnums are probably out - the greater potential for excessive penetration (although that can probably be cured with rapid-expanding hollowpoints, but then there is the legal threat of having such ammo).

However, when I was up in East Texas, I wouldn't blame cops for wanting to carry .357 Magnums. They might be miles and miles from backup and need heavier firepower. I know...pack a rifle or shotgun. Lotta good it does a LEO if his AR15 or Mossberg 500 is in his car, 25, 50 or 75 feet away.

Some guns are out. I don't think a SA revolver has much of a place anymore; at least, in semi urban to urban areas. Maybe out west where bigger, heavier calibers (see above) are handy. A Desert Eagle is just asking for trouble for a cop.

If a cop can show proficiency in a reasonable sidearm, let him (or her) pack it. If he wants a 1911 and can handle it through training, so be it. If it's a Glock, more power to you. If it's the M&P, yippie-kay-yae-aye. If its a .357, go John Wayne!

These folks put it on the line for us each day. It's a shame some departments require our finest to carry 2nd best because it's cheap, someone's cousin knows a guy, or someone once heard something that someone said XXX style/brand/caliber isn't good.

My $.02 worth...refunds on request...

Q

TL1234
November 1, 2007, 01:14 AM
I'm going into LE, and even though I love 1911s, I wouldn't carry one for two reasons. First, is the manual safety. Many departments require retention holsters that usually have at least 2 or 3 safeties, and adding one more to the mix on the gun itself just feels like overkill. With good trigger discipline (which everyone should practice, regardless of weapon preference), the safety is just a liability.

Second is capacity. An LEO is certainly more likely to need lots of rounds than your average CCW holder, just because of the nature of the job. I know there are double stack 1911s out there, but they generally aren't that comfortable. Plus, cops are more likely to need to shoot through barriers (windshields) than a CCW holder, so a round with better penetration (and capacity) like .40 would be preferable.

Nothing wrong with 1911s, I just don't think they are as well suited to LE work as other guns.

Norm357
November 1, 2007, 01:31 AM
Second is capacity. An LEO is certainly more likely to need lots of rounds than your average CCW holder, just because of the nature of the job.

More bullflop.

Almost 100% of police gunfights are over with less than 5 rounds fired. Events like the Hollywood shootout are an anomaly, and that could have been solved if the LAPD had issued rifles to its officers.

everallm
November 1, 2007, 10:17 AM
Alas a large reason is budgetary.

Companies like Glock offer substantial LEO and departmental discounts
As mentioned previously the 1911 platform CAN have higher tweak and maintain costs than other platforms
9mm ammo is about 15% cheaper than .45

jefnvk
November 1, 2007, 10:25 AM
How much does a base 1911 cost.

Now, how much does a base Glock cost .

I think that has quite a bit to do with it.

Checkman
November 1, 2007, 10:46 AM
My department used to allow 1911/Hi-Powers to be carried C&L. But last year we went to issuing Glock 21's. Those officers working before the transition were given the option of the G19 if they didn't want to carry the 21. All hired after the transition get a G21, nothing else.

Why? Economics. Instead of having to keep a large supply of 45, 40, and 9mm we now have 45 and a smaller amount of 9mm. For training it puts us all on the same sheet and logistically it has simplified things tremendously.

Training is a good thing, but most of my fellow officers won't do it on their own time. Its true. The Glock is well suited to law enforcement. The 1911 isn't. FWIW back in the day when I was a young soldier we had to carry the 1911 with the hammer down and no round in the chamber. C&L would have gotten me and my fellow soldiers in a world of trouble.

Grandpa Shooter
November 1, 2007, 12:08 PM
I have been around law enforcement both personally and by acquaintance. For a number of years I assisted with firearms training. IN MY EXPERIENCE I saw far too many officers, trainees, and paper pushers who needed to qualify once a year. They would come out to the public range and fast and furiously attempt to regain skills they had lost over many months of never doing anything more than halfway cleaning their firearm. It was a scary situation watching them trying to get their sidearms out and on target and hit anything. It ws easy to tell which ones were comfortable with their guns and which were uncomfortable if not outright scared of them.

Many of them, the younger ones and many females, admitted to me that they had never been around guns, and that they had been issued one by the department and only given the most rudimentary training. It showed in their handling of the sidearms.

I felt sorry for them, knowing that if they were pushed into a gun battle they would be at great risk. I tried to instill in them the individual responsibility that professionally carrying a firearm required. Their answer was invariably "I don't have time and the police range is never available anyway."

Since the department is responsible for maintaining the firearms they issue, the tendency is to keep it simple and cover your ***. They issue what is the least expensive to maintain, where they get the most manufacturer support, who has the best purchase program and who will upgrade their firearms most frequently. For a number of years it was Glock. In recent years the other manufacturers, who want to compete in the LE market, have become more aggressive in their PR and marketing methods.

There is no easy answer as to why a department allows multiple makes and models of firearms. The one thing I have seen is that the departments want uniformity. Makes for much simpler purchasing and maintenance. And yes, they do have to answer for the cost of running a PD. Right down to the last bullet fired!

I once carelessly said to an officer that watching them trying to shoot was why I carried. He winced and then replied, "And I for one, am glad you do!"

novaDAK
November 1, 2007, 12:11 PM
A C&L 1911 is only dangerous if the user is an idiot :D

TL1234
November 1, 2007, 12:16 PM
More bullflop.

Almost 100% of police gunfights are over with less than 5 rounds fired. Events like the Hollywood shootout are an anomaly, and that could have been solved if the LAPD had issued rifles to its officers.

I'm well aware of the fact that most police gunfights are over with less than 5 rounds fired, you don't have to be a jerk about it. Nothing wrong with BEING PREPARED. By your logic, we might as well say "Why carry a gun at all when you will likely go your whole life without ever having to use it?"

mpmarty
November 1, 2007, 12:53 PM
Every year our local club hosts the annual Glock match. Glock has set up two divisions with prizes for both; one for leo and one for civilians. Now to begin with, we can assume (I know, makes an A** out of You and Me) that any leo who comes out and pays to shoot in a Glock match is more interested in shooting than the average leo or he/she wouldn't be there. That said, the worst mis handling of pistols we see every year is by leos, they sweep the spectators, drop the things in the dirt, experience NDs and generally cant hit the plates eleven yards away from them. I agree, 1911s are beyond the ability of these leos. I'm not saying all of the leos are this untrained, there have been a few who impressed me with their gun handling skills, but they were few and usually USPSA (IPSC) competitors on their free time. Perhaps we should make the PDs hold off on issuing firearms until and unless the officer demonstrates a willingness to master the tools of his/her trade? Send them out with Tasers and Tear Gas unless they can draw and clean six plates at eleven yards in under six seconds. An average competitor, even one my age (pushing seventy) can do it in less than four seconds on a good day and real pros do it in under three.

ClickClickD'oh
November 1, 2007, 01:23 PM
I agree, 1911s are beyond the ability of these leos.That's why Those LEOs got issued Glocks.:neener:

...unless they can draw and clean six plates at eleven yards in under six seconds. :uhoh:

I'm scared of your LEOs now..

You should handicap next year. The LEOs get their Glocks, you guys get SAA revolvers.

Noxx
November 1, 2007, 01:49 PM
Not really adding anything new, just compelled to throw in my two cents.

I really don't believe the 1911 platform is any more or less inclined to AD/ND than anything else. If you carry a weapon as part of your job, it's your duty to train with it to a certain level of competency.

That being said, I believe that in this day and age, the 1911 is much more suited to CCW, because of it's slim profile. If one is to wear a weapon openly all day long, I would personally opt for any number of modern double stacks. While it may be statistically true that the average gunfight is over in 5 rounds, I'll take every round I can get, and then one more.. no one ever lost a gunfight on account of bringing too much ammo.

From a "must carry" or "must not carry" standpoint, well, I don't believe in any of that hogwash. If you trust a mans judgment enough to send him out into the world both armed and empowered to enforce the law, and keep the peace, then you should certainly trust him to carry whatever sidearm he is comfortable and competent with.

Coronach
November 1, 2007, 01:50 PM
This has already been said, but here are the reasons I have heard against 1911/BHP/Traditional SA carry by LE agencies:

1. The trigger is "too light"

2. There is a manual safety that the user could forget to disengage

3. The hammer is cocked, leading to panic among the ignorati (to include LE administrators and city officials).

Can all of these be overcome with good, solid training and a dose of common sense? Yes, absolutely. Sadly, those are two things in short supply in most government organizations.

As an end-user, I'm forced to agree. Your standard street cop doesn't get enough trigger time with his weapon (partly the agency's fault, but mostly the officer's) and there is not enough organized training with the weapon (how to shoot and move, how to move under pressure and not shoot, how to not muzzle-sweep your co-workers in the midst of a furrball, etc) to ensure that the officer behind you is not running around with his safety off, finger on the trigger, and muzzle pointed at the back of your head. There should be that level of proficiency and I wish there was, but there isn't, and with budget realities being what they are, there isn't likely to be that level of proficiency in the near future. And so, PDs do what PDs do, which is seek equipment solutions to training problems.

Mike

45crittergitter
November 3, 2007, 10:25 PM
In the course of a contact I had with 3 local deputies, the "meeting" progressed into a gun show, where I exhibited a custom 1911. One of the officers recognized the very high grade manufacturer's name and wistfully remarked that they weren't allowed to carry single action pistols. I replied with a smile, "I don't have that rule." :neener:

nauss
November 4, 2007, 01:32 AM
Glocks scare me because many LEO barely know how to even use them.

Little alone a 1911

45auto
November 4, 2007, 08:36 AM
All I shoot is a 1911, but I doubt there could be a "less friendly" handgun for the "masses" with minimal training.

Police departments have never carried a 1911 in large numbers and the Army retired them over 20 years ago.

Much shorter trigger "throw" will cause more AD/ND's IMHO...if you issue it in large numbers to minimally trained people. I think that's common sense.


Expensive to buy compared to all the others.

Doubtful you could buy large quantities of "working" 1911s from any existing manufacture today. I don't mean the FBI ordering 500 custom 1911's per year at $1800, but a large LEO ordering several thousand at $750! Which is probably double what they paid for the Glock already.

I don't buy the manual safety part, all autos should have safeties IMO, particulary since they "open carry" in the public...but that's me.

phantomak47
November 4, 2007, 11:14 AM
I have several friends who are LEO and some are even third generation LEOs at that. A point that people seem to forget here on the high road is that not all LEOs are gun people, some of them literally shoot their 50 rounds to qualify every year that thats it until next year. They do not have interest in firearms or shooting sports and some even feel as if qualifying and maintaining their pistol is a nuisance.

Why are Glocks the most issued pistol to Law Enforcement today? Because they are easy to operate with limited training and are cost effective, plus they have that nice heavier trigger unlike a sweet single action trigger. Also we live in the world of the lawsuit........"Officer I have a report here from a major firearms maker that states that their trigger pull on their pistol is typically 8 pounds which is considered the most used police sidearm in America, around how many pounds was your model 1911?".........

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