Best caliber for SD, and LEO?


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Prosser
August 24, 2011, 08:46 PM
I had an interesting discussion today.
I'm wondering if the information is correct.

The LEO said that studies showed that the people who qualify everyday(Secret Service) are VERY accurate shooters.
The more often you qualify, the better shot you are, is pretty much the theory.

If that part of the theory is true, and, I think most would agree that shooting often is a key to being an excellent shot, how does that effect caliber choice for LEO, and SD?

My own theory has always been to have very accurate guns and rely on a few, heavy rounds to end a conflict.

That said, I'm wondering if the most important component isn't ammunition cost?

The gentleman's position is that the difference between daily qualification and normal LEO is between 5 out of 10 on target, and 9 out of 10 on target.

Comments? Are the theories correct?

His argument is that 9MM is so cheap that that cost is more important then any other component.

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gennro
August 24, 2011, 08:49 PM
Whatever caliber you are proficient with and you can afford to shoot.
The best caliber in any self defense situation is the one that is never shot.

BK
August 24, 2011, 08:57 PM
I chose 9mm. Inexpensive for the retail range ammo, and even more so if you progressive reload. Capacities of today's pistols are quite satisfying, so is the sizes of today's pistols, and the round really has a century's worth of proof to stand on.

Prosser
August 24, 2011, 09:16 PM
Given cost and real differences, I can see 9MM as the way to go.

What about .22lr?

For practice build identical guns in .22lr to the carry guns. You could afford to shoot ALL the time.

I've tried to do this for a different reason. I find big guns create flinches, and an easy, fun, and cheap way to identify the flinch is to shoot the same design gun, in 22lr or short, right after the big guns.

9mm recoils so little, it might not even make sense to do this. However cost wise, it sure would if the departments issue .45 ACP or .40.

Lawdawg45
August 24, 2011, 11:00 PM
"The LEO said that studies showed that the people who qualify everyday(Secret Service) are VERY accurate shooters."

Do you know this for a fact? I've never heard in my 30 years that the SS qualifies daily, highly questionable.:uhoh:

LD45

Ben86
August 25, 2011, 12:50 AM
To me 9mm makes all the other calibers look frivolous. It can do SD and LE duty very well.

I do practice more when ammo is cheaper. More practice means more to me than an extra few millimeters of bullet diameter.

9mmepiphany
August 25, 2011, 01:04 AM
The LEO said that studies showed that the people who qualify everyday(Secret Service) are VERY accurate shooters.
I've never heard this either...you'd would think their other duties would interfere

I've known several small departments that used to qualify monthly and known SWAT officers who would have formal practice 3 times a week (I don't think they ever qualified on the regular course)...but every day would really be excessive.

My personal choice is the 9mm, not because I can practice more, but because it allows me to place the most rounds accurately on target in the shortest time...I'd be really disappointed if I could only get 5 rounds out of 10 on target...but then I dry fire a lot (it's free). The other reason was that when I worked in the field, my cover might be a ways away...more rounds was a better tactical choice

wlewisiii
August 25, 2011, 01:23 AM
Proficiency is first. A small light round that is placed well will always be better than a big heavy one that misses.

A .38 or a 9mm in the hand of a well trained individual is going to be the best compromise. IMO & all that.

Prosser
August 25, 2011, 01:43 AM
I posted this because I don't know if that information is correct. I imagine it's possible but not likely. However, I can see that something like the presidential detail, with their own range in the White House, or some sort of facility, might be able to do that.

I was hoping someone knew about the secret service.

Lawdawg45
August 25, 2011, 08:01 AM
In answer to your original question, for me it's the 9mm. The Glock 19 is a very versatile weapon, being easy to conceal and having a 15 to 18 round capacity, depending on the magazine, and the 9mm cartridge can be loaded for plinking, range or self defense. A majority of LE has adopted the .40, but to me it creates significantly more recoil and robs the gun of 2 or 3 rounds, depending on the weapon. I've shot them all and I believe the .45 acp has less recoil than the .40.:o

LD45

Jonah71
August 25, 2011, 10:31 AM
I just read an article in the American Rifleman that said the standard issue for the FBI was now the G 23. They could also use the G 26 and another I can't recall. It had pics of the FBI issued guns beginning in 1935.

hardluk1
August 25, 2011, 10:45 AM
Just pick one shot it well

Lawdawg45
August 25, 2011, 02:56 PM
"I just read an article in the American Rifleman that said the standard issue for the FBI was now the G 23. They could also use the G 26 and another I can't recall."

The Glock 19 had been the standard issue for years, but things may have changed. The .40 in that sub-compact frame would be a lot to handle, though many are proficient at it.

LD45

RON in PA
August 25, 2011, 04:39 PM
The Glock 19 was never FBI issue to my knowledge. When the FBI went Glock they went right to the G22 and G23.

Rexster
August 25, 2011, 04:51 PM
When the day comes that I only get nine out of ten on target, it is time for me to hand my badge in! When the day comes that I only get five of ten on target, they will TAKE my badge!

Where did you get those figures?

.40 is the standard primary duty pistol cartridge at my PD, though 9mm is strongly rumored to soon be an authorized alternative. My right hand and wrist are getting weaker all the time, so a switch to 9mm is a consideration for me, but only when it becomes REALLY necessary, as I must pay for the weapon and mags out of my pocket. More worrisome than qual scores is the increasing likelihood of the weapon being snatched during a tussle. Good thing is, I can retire at any time, now, and be financially OK.

Ben86
August 25, 2011, 04:52 PM
According to the NRA article the FBI approved handguns include the Glock 23, 21, 26, and the 1911 for HRT. I thought they could also carry the 22, 27, 17 and 19, but I could be wrong.

JJE
August 25, 2011, 06:12 PM
Daily dry-fire practice (about 50 "shots" each time) for about a month caused the biggest improvement in accuracy and consistency for me. After that, I have been able to maintain the same level of proficiency with dry-fire 3 or 4 or 5 times per week. I think (but don't know yet) that I will eventually be able to maintain proficiency with dry-fire twice a week. I ended up going to the range a bit less, and shooting better when I did go.

Bottom line: I think that you can do dry-fire practice that translates directly into better shooting without actually shooting more (if you're looking for SD accuracy - might not give you competition accuracy). I originally standardized on 9mm for SD because of cost considerations, but if I'd known how effective dry-fire is, I might have gone to 40 or 45ACP.

NM Mountainman
August 26, 2011, 08:38 PM
I believe the question would be better posed as which specific load (caliber, brand, weight, velocity, bullet type) is better than other specific loads. Deciding on the basis of "caliber" is less meaningful.

I have never read nor heard that any agency practices with live rounds every day. But I do know of some specialized units or individuals in some agencies who practice with live rounds more than once a week.

Prosser
August 27, 2011, 01:36 AM
I think the calibers are pretty much the same effect wise. They are different considerably in practice cost. As I stated in the original post:
If the theory that constant practice is the most important factor, then the most economical caliber, 9mm for one, becomes the better choice, not because of any effect it has on target, but, that because it's cheap, you can shoot much more often, and, are much more likely to put something you practice with more often on target.

WC145
August 27, 2011, 10:41 AM
According to the NRA article the FBI approved handguns include the Glock 23, 21, 26, and the 1911 for HRT. I thought they could also carry the 22, 27, 17 and 19, but I could be wrong.
Regional FBI SWAT teams also carry 1911s. I've shot with an FBI SWAT guy that works out of Boston, he competes with his duty piece.

Certainly the more you shoot/practice the more proficient you'll become with your weapon, if you're doing it right, anyway, regardless of caliber or platform. IMO, it has nothing to do with how often you qualify but how often you shoot and how you shoot when you do. (I've never heard of SS qualifying daily, that's ridiculous and, I'm sure, not true.) Our State Police Tactical Team trains/shoots monthly but only qualifies twice a year (IIRC), they're better than the average LEO here due to training frequency, not qualification frequency. We qualify annually but I shoot weekly and compete at least monthly, I'm a better shot and more proficient with my weapon than other LEOs in the area that also qualify annually but don't practice as much.

There's no doubt that a 9mm is easier to shoot faster and more accurately than a .45 but proper training and practice can close that inherent "caliber advantage" gap. Case in point, that FBI SWAT guy smoked 49 other LEOs at two different matches that I attended, shooting his issued 1911. Everyone there were good shooters, some very good, lots of SWAT, EST, etc type guys, shooting everything - 9's, .40's, .45's, Glocks, M&Ps, SIGs, H&Ks, 1911s. But this guy, in addition to being a naturally good shot, is a paid shooter, his job is to practice and he has nearly unlimited resources to work with to that end. He was not handicapped by the recoil and capacity of his 1911 because of the skills and proficiency his has built through proper, consistent, and frequent training.

GRIZ22
August 28, 2011, 01:36 AM
However, I can see that something like the presidential detail, with their own range in the White House, or some sort of facility, might be able to do that.

No LE agency qualifies everyday. The Secret Service has an operations center under one of the wings (can't remember which) but there is no range there. they would most likely go to their facility in Beltsville, MD if you were assigned to the White House.

There is no doubt that proper practice aids proficiency. The NYPD is probably one of the best recorders of gunfight stats. Back in the seventies these stats showed no relationship between how well someone qualified and how well they did in a gunfight. Read the chapter "Guns" in Robert Daley's book "Target Blue-an insiders look at the NYPD"

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