Do any service people still carry revolvers?


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Ash_J_Williams
September 23, 2011, 04:16 PM
Just wondering, I know most carry modern autos, but I wonder if it's required or by choice.

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rcmodel
September 23, 2011, 04:27 PM
Modern army's issue you a pistol, and thats what you carry.
You generally don't have a choice, unless you are a General!

For the most part the U.S went all auto pistols about 1980 or so.
Prior to that, revolvers were still issued to pilots, air crews, and some specialized investigative units.

And I suppose today, SEAL Team 6 or the like can carry a S&W 500 Magnum or a .22 Kit Gun if it serves a mission specific purpose.

But for the average grunt that is even issued a handgun in the first place, it's going to be a 9mm auto.
And most likely a Beretta M9.

rc

Ash_J_Williams
September 23, 2011, 04:38 PM
I was mainly thinking police officers, not so much military. I know they get issues something, and I'm sure most of those guys want something tactical as hell when they finally get a choice.

MagnumDweeb
September 23, 2011, 04:58 PM
It all depends when it comes to law enforcement. In college one of my professors had been a cop for more twenty years(detective for ten of those, and before that he did special squad assignments) and I asked him about revolvers. The thing was you could carry a .357 magnum revolver but you couldn't load it with .357 magnum ammunition(fear that the bullets would go through BP vests and if the BG got it away from the cop he would kill him with it). So naturally when left with only the .38 special in revolver or 9mm auto, he went 9mm auto. Mind you this was Orange County Florida and they didn't even let cops carry .45 ACP autos for the longest time till Glock created the .45 GAP.

Then if you go to Volusia County in Florida where cops make like $14.50 an hour, if you can qualify with it and it's not a .44 magnum or bigger you're fine to carry it if it is a reasonable service revolver. A buddy of mine told me he carries his Dad's old Model 28 with a 4" barrel(never seen it) because he's had his service auto jam too many times during practice for him to be comfortable with an auto plus the big gun scares folks into listening to him he says(I think it's a psych thing, bigger the gun the more dangerous it must be).

If you are a Sheriff's deputy and live out in the sticks, and the Sheriff don't mind. My cousins tell me deputies out in Georgia carry .44 Magnum revolvers(probably loaded with .44 special).

If you can't carry .357 magnum or .44 magnum there isn't much need to have a revolver if it's not a BUG snub nose .38 special. Some departments let the officers carry autos with .357 SIG as the caliber so the return value then on a 4" barreled .357 magnum starts to diminish.

rcmodel
September 23, 2011, 05:04 PM
I was mainly thinking police officers, not so much military.Oh!
I thought you said Service People, so I just naturally assumed you ---- Aw never mind!

rc

Guillermo
September 23, 2011, 05:35 PM
^^^^^^^

hehehehehehehehe

:evil:

warrconn
September 24, 2011, 12:23 AM
I know one Chicago cop, that still carries a 6 shot S&W model 10. Doesn't know how to (or care to) use the computer in his squad car, either.

HDCamel
September 24, 2011, 12:38 AM
A lot of guys still carry them as back ups (even in jurisdicions where they're not supposed to).

Some officers can be specially qualified in some jurisdictions. There was a precinct in a pretty rough area where I once lived (I won't mention which one to keep people out of trouble) where the guys often had (against regulation) .357 magnums. They told me that their superiors "looked the other way".

On the military side, 2 of my former roomate's cousins are Navy Seals. They told me that some of their guys and some Delta boys carry big bore revolvers (usually on a per mission basis). One guy apparently also uses a quad-Derringer-knife (a knife blade with double-barrel derringers on either side replacing the grips) chambered in .45-70...

Spec Ops guys do some crazy stuff, I tell you what.

Tallinar
September 24, 2011, 12:41 AM
I know several LEO's who carry revolvers when off-duty.

Quoheleth
September 24, 2011, 09:14 AM
Houston Police Department and Harris County Sherriff's Officers can carry revolvers as service belt guns if they are grandfathered in - you have to be with the respective agency since a certain date and have qualified with it the whole time. They can carry them as BUGs, though, as long as they qualify with it.

A friend who was HPD and now with the county Constable's office said he knew a few guys who carried .357 and .38s as regular belt but they were few and far between. He was with HPD long enough ago that everyone carried wheel guns. He said back in the day K-frames were very popular with a few guys carrying bigger Smiths and Colts in .357, .41, .44, and .45. Don't see them much any longer, though, as most guys went to autos.

Couple of years back, the balliff who was monitering the jury I was serving carried a Ruger Service Six. It was well-worn. I asked him about it at our lunch break and he said he shoots it weekly in a local club.

Q

Lawdawg45
September 24, 2011, 09:32 AM
Our large metropolitan department here in Indy (IMPD) issues a Glock .40, and the only on duty option for a Patrolman is a Glock .45, but for off duty revolvers are ok, and many carry a J-frame. I do know of a few Detectives that carry a full size .357. Just a side comment, if I were still on the road I'd carry the new S&W scandium frame 8 shot .357.;)

LD

goodtime
September 24, 2011, 10:38 AM
WIth very few exceptions here and there, law enforcement has moved to pistols exclusively for duty use. You'll still see a few old timers in places like Chicago PD who still carry revolvers, but they're the relics who are grandfathered in and have been carrying them since starting decades ago; the department just doesn't want to force them to convert.

Off-duty carry is another story, and many departments allow revolvers for off-duty use, as the revolver can fit this task well.

dodo bird
September 24, 2011, 11:35 AM
I have seen several young and old Houston International Airport police carry revolvers.

rayman
September 24, 2011, 11:59 AM
Their current sidearm of issue is the S&W model 10 or 64 depending on which joint you're at.

Bobson
September 24, 2011, 04:47 PM
I know one Chicago cop, that still carries a 6 shot S&W model 10. Doesn't know how to (or care to) use the computer in his squad car, either.
Sounds like Chicago should be hiring soon.

Aside from while off duty or as a backup gun, no, cops aren't issued revolvers any place I've ever lived or visited in the US.

rcmodel
September 24, 2011, 04:55 PM
As Quoheleth said above:
I was watching COPS on TV not long ago and some of the older Houston TX police officers were carrying S&W revolvers.

rc

Friendly, Don't Fire!
September 24, 2011, 04:58 PM
I do building repairs (service) and I carry a revolver.:scrutiny:

PRM
September 24, 2011, 05:24 PM
We have several agencies in our state that authorize their officers to carry revolvers.

I would not say the are exclusive to "relics" who were "grandfathered in" either. Although the exception, we have a few recruits come through our State Academy each year with them.

trikster
September 24, 2011, 06:26 PM
I am currently on my honeymoon and while waiting in the train station, two of the private security guards that were roaming the station were both carrying revolvers. Not 100% sure the model, but they were S&W .357's. They also had lanyards and were stainless. The higher ranking of the two also had an M36-2 just like mine as a backup. Their broken English and my lack of French hindered finding out more than that. Seems the M36-2 had been the guys backup for a very long time, he talked about it very fondly.

Lone Star
September 24, 2011, 09:13 PM
Trikster-

Are you honeymooning in France, then? Some French police (not just guards) have used Ruger SP-101's quite recently, and may still. Maybe detectives. One that I saw in a news photo was on a female detective. That's probably why Trautsch (sp?) makes grips for the SP-101. But the girl I saw the pic of had regular Ruger grips 0n her gun.

French and Austrian police have also used a lot of Ruger-based Manurhin MR-88 revolvers and some MR-73's. GIGN and other special ops people use what they want, if they can get it, from what I can tell. I think all French cops carry issued guns. Not sure. But GIGN and the Spanish equivalent and German agencies have definitely issued some revolvers.

If you see regular French cops, are they carrying Beretta M-9's (M-92G) or the newer issue SIG's with polymer frames? I forget the model number. 2022?

In Dallas, TX, I think cops can still carry S&W .38 or .357 guns, but few do. Most use SIG autos, which is what the dept. sells to them and considers to be official. The few revolvers I see are usually on black officers, often female.
I think they may have bought them cheaply or are afraid of autos. (This is an observation, not a racial slur.)

The city security people have S&W M-64 .38's that I suspect they got when the real cops went to 9mm's. (Cops can also carry .357 SIG autos. One I asked said they got this approved by pointing out to the chief that they could carry .357 revolvers, so what was the issue?)

Private security people sometimes carry issued guns here, but most furnish their own. I moonlight three nights a week in security, mainly because I need the money and can write on the job. I use a S&W M-66 with four-inch barrel in a Bianchi basketweave-stamped No 5BHL holster. I carry lead .38 Plus P HP's indoors or in very populated areas. With few people there at night, I may load Federal 158 grain .357 JHP's. Those are also preferable if I have to shoot into a vehicle.

Hope the honeymoon goes well!

Thanks,

Lone Star

goodtime
September 24, 2011, 10:00 PM
I mentioned the "relics" who are "grandfathered in" with express relation to places like Chicago PD. In departments such as CPD, pistols have been mandatory for new officers for many years, but the officers who were carrying revolvers at the time of the conversion were allowed to continue to carry them.
I also mentioned that there are "very few exceptions," and there are. Sure many LE guys know of a few departments who still issue or allow revolvers, such as one of the hospital PD's here in Chicago, but the total number of agencies nationwide who issue or allow new officers to carry revolvers is very small compared to the total number of agencies who issue or allow new officers to carry pistols only.

bnkrtstk
September 24, 2011, 10:06 PM
I was at the Philadelphia Hero Thrill Show today and noticed a good amount of older, and/or obvious desk jockeys still carrying revolvers.

Warp
September 24, 2011, 11:33 PM
Revolvers as a primary sidearm for law enforcement? None I know of off the top of my head. I am sure there are some, but few and far between.

As a backup? Lots of officers in that category.

Lawdawg45
September 25, 2011, 08:52 AM
"Revolvers as a primary sidearm for law enforcement? None I know of off the top of my head. I am sure there are some, but few and far between.

As a backup? Lots of officers in that category."

And that's interesting to me. I'm guessing that shot capacity was the major issue in retiring the wheel gun, but in off duty/back up situations where small high capacity semi auto's are available (Kahr PM-9, Ruger LC9, subcompact Glock, etc) many still choose the J-frame!:cool:

LD

Warp
September 25, 2011, 12:13 PM
When talking small backup guns of a sufficient caliber the difference in capacity between a revolver and a semi is not as significant as it is with duty size weapons. A lot of officers also seem more concerned with the reliability of their backup if fired off hand, injured, upside down, at contact distances, etc. The extreme reliability of the wheelgun and the difficultly of jamming one up seems to come out on top for a BUG

postalnut25
September 25, 2011, 10:34 PM
My father in law is grandfathered in with his department and carries a 6" S&W 686. He works a desk and doesn't feel like taking the time and effort required to qualify with anything else. Otherwise, all the revolvers I see are backups or off duty.

USSR
September 26, 2011, 12:01 PM
Corrections Officers in New York State are presently carrying revolvers when I see them escorting prisoners into the hospital.

Don

Rexster
September 26, 2011, 12:45 PM
Two of my colleagues, at my station, on my shift, still carry S&W revolvers. I think several others on day shift still carry sixguns. I carried either a Model 19 or a Model 66 in my duty rig until 1997, and sometimes wish I had stayed with the sixguns. I still see plenty of sixguns in the holsters of older officers at my PD, who work for other divisions, particularly those in support divisions, but quite a few still on patrol. The 4" .357 sixgun was standard until 1997, when the standard became DA .40 autos, but nobody had to switch; existing weapons, whether revolvers or autos that were not on the list of DA forties, could be "grandfathered" indefinitely. Autos, particularly .45 ACP, were popular choices before 1997; I grandfathered three 1911 duty pistols until 2002.

We buy our own duty firearms, a common practice in this region of the USA, even for large agencies.

Admittedly, a double-column auto is a better choice for simple efficiency of space on the duty belt for the weapon and ammo, as we must now carry so much more stuff. My duty belt has not increased in available real estate since I was a rookie 27 years ago. (I eat no more than two or three donuts a year. ;). )

I avoid specifying my employer, due to rules about using social media, and rules about publicly discussing certain subjects whole being a member of my PD. Clues: it is a BIG city, in the southeast quadrant of Texas, with thousands of officers.

Rexster
September 26, 2011, 12:52 PM
Perhaps I should add that I do still use revolvers as back-up weapons, and nothing prohibits me from deploying a back-up weapon, while leaving the duty auto-pistol holstered. For various reasons, I have done that, multiple times, and a back-up need not be little. I keep a 4" revolver on my "qual" list as a back-up weapon, as opposed to a duty handgun.

Regarding state corrections officers still using revolvers, last I knew, Texas state corrections officers were still using revolvers, too. Revolvers are still very handy for administrative handling, so for handguns that must be frequently unloaded and secured, a revolver is still a very practical choice.

QuietEarp
September 26, 2011, 10:04 PM
While working at a festival in the NV desert at dinner I noticed one of the Sheriffs had some speedloaders on his belt. Then I noticed that he was carrying a revolver. I asked him about it and he said "I wouldn't take a nice autoloader out in this dust." He said he had been grandfathered in to having the option of carrying the revolver. It did catch my eye and he was more than willing to talk about it.
I am pretty sure a semi-auto works pretty well out there though.

Lawdawg45
September 27, 2011, 07:26 AM
"I wouldn't take a nice autoloader out in this dust."

Although broad in scope, he does make a point. Even back in the late 80's, early 90's our academy was not favorable to the departments allowing a 1911 for on duty carry, due to the maintenance/feeding issues. I realize that Glock and other Polymers have corrected that problem for the most part, but with the new 8 shot Scandium frame from S&W, I'd still lean towards a wheel gun and speed loaders.;)

LD

Mp7
September 27, 2011, 07:40 AM
... here in Hamburg is the only unit that uses revolvers.
Police usually use Nines like the Sig P226, HK or Walthers.

But this unit decided to get K-Frames Model 13/65 :)

They said it was due to more ammo versatility.

sarge83
September 27, 2011, 01:40 PM
I have a friend who worked at the local sheriff dept. as a deputy a couple of years ago that carried a model 10 and he had no rifle in his vehicle until he bought a surplus mosin-nagant he kept in the trunk.

45Fan
September 27, 2011, 01:55 PM
"Revolvers as a primary sidearm for law enforcement? None I know of off the top of my head. I am sure there are some, but few and far between.

As a backup? Lots of officers in that category."

And that's interesting to me. I'm guessing that shot capacity was the major issue in retiring the wheel gun, but in off duty/back up situations where small high capacity semi auto's are available (Kahr PM-9, Ruger LC9, subcompact Glock, etc) many still choose the J-frame!:cool:

LD

My normal go everywhere pistol was, until recently, an LCP. I recently picked up a used smith 442, and have fallen in love with it. The way it naturally points, and the accuracy I gain over the small auto, I can begin to understand exactly why many choose to stay with their beloved j-frames.

otcconan
September 27, 2011, 02:08 PM
Sheriff's deputies in my home county carry S&W Police Specials.

Revolver Ocelot
September 27, 2011, 02:35 PM
I've seen a navy seal fairly recently with what appeared to be a 686, but generally we all get some variant of the m9, Aside from that the most common semi autos seem to be glock 19s and sig p228s, though alot of higher tier groups get their pick while the 686 is a mission needs sort of thing.

GaryNConcord
September 27, 2011, 05:47 PM
It all depends when it comes to law enforcement. In college one of my professors had been a cop for more twenty years(detective for ten of those, and before that he did special squad assignments) and I asked him about revolvers. The thing was you could carry a .357 magnum revolver but you couldn't load it with .357 magnum ammunition(fear that the bullets would go through BP vests and if the BG got it away from the cop he would kill him with it). So naturally when left with only the .38 special in revolver or 9mm auto, he went 9mm auto. Mind you this was Orange County Florida and they didn't even let cops carry .45 ACP autos for the longest time till Glock created the .45 GAP.

Then if you go to Volusia County in Florida where cops make like $14.50 an hour, if you can qualify with it and it's not a .44 magnum or bigger you're fine to carry it if it is a reasonable service revolver. A buddy of mine told me he carries his Dad's old Model 28 with a 4" barrel(never seen it) because he's had his service auto jam too many times during practice for him to be comfortable with an auto plus the big gun scares folks into listening to him he says(I think it's a psych thing, bigger the gun the more dangerous it must be).

If you are a Sheriff's deputy and live out in the sticks, and the Sheriff don't mind. My cousins tell me deputies out in Georgia carry .44 Magnum revolvers(probably loaded with .44 special).

If you can't carry .357 magnum or .44 magnum there isn't much need to have a revolver if it's not a BUG snub nose .38 special. Some departments let the officers carry autos with .357 SIG as the caliber so the return value then on a 4" barreled .357 magnum starts to diminish.
MagnumD., interesting comment about carrying a bigger gun to get people's attention. I remember way the heck back in the early 60's an Uncle of mine was a part time cop. One day he was telling the same story that he had traded his revolver for a different, larger one. He'd done it for the same reason, said that people paid a lot more attention/respect to a larger gun than smaller, regardless of caliber.

AJMBLAZER
September 28, 2011, 12:39 PM
Perception is everything.

I have a S&W 10-6 .38 snub that's nickel plated. Someone's old carry piece as it's been tuned a bit but still looks stockish.

I've had several people look at it, ponder the wear and use on it, feel the heft, admire the shine, and then declare it "a man's gun."

I've then had several be surprised it's "just a .38".:rolleyes:

.45FMJoe
October 19, 2011, 08:08 PM
I wish I could, but my agency does not allow it.

harmon rabb
October 19, 2011, 09:04 PM
I know a cop in LA who carries a 686 with custom wood grips. Apparently the other guys made fun of him until he outshot all of them in qualification, and has repeatedly done so every year. :D

harmon rabb
October 19, 2011, 09:05 PM
"I wouldn't take a nice autoloader out in this dust."

Although broad in scope, he does make a point. Even back in the late 80's, early 90's our academy was not favorable to the departments allowing a 1911 for on duty carry, due to the maintenance/feeding issues. I realize that Glock and other Polymers have corrected that problem for the most part, but with the new 8 shot Scandium frame from S&W, I'd still lean towards a wheel gun and speed loaders.;)

LD
Eh, a good autoloader is more resistant to dust than a good revolver...

C-grunt
October 19, 2011, 10:08 PM
I carry a J frame as my back up gun. When I was in Omaha this past summer I saw an older LEO at the airport there carrying a S&W wheelgun.

rromeo
October 19, 2011, 10:24 PM
California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
Their current sidearm of issue is the S&W model 10 or 64 depending on which joint you're at.
Is that still the case? I am seeing CDC marked S&Ws all over the gun stores and shows out here.

Spec ops Grunt
October 20, 2011, 12:44 AM
I've seen some LEO's in real rural parts of Oklahoma with revolvers.


Also Revolvers seem to be pretty common with Campus police, who seem to be older guys on the way out anyway.

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