My Patrol Rifle


September 1, 2004, 12:43 AM
I am a Police Officer for a mid-size suburb of Dallas. Not one of the affluent suburbs, but not a rat-hole either. My department issues Mini-14s (stainless Gov't models) with two 20rd mags to each officer. I am also authorized to carry a personally-owned rifle in my squad car, if I so choose. The department has some understandable guidelines for personally-owned rifles: 9mm to 30-30 (no .308), back-up irons must be "immediately" useable if an optic is also in place, etc...

I currently carry a Bushmaster XM-15E2S LEO rifle in addition to the Mini-14. I trust it far more, it is much more accurate, I have additional mags for it, and I have it set up better for my duty assignment (deep nights shift.) It is equipped with an Eotech, co-witnessed with BMAS flip-up iron sights. I have an M3 Illuminator attached to the picatinny gas block, Bushmaster 2-stage trigger installed, and it sports the lighter M4 profile barrel.

I couldn't think of a better rifle for what I do than this one. I have played with many other rifles, but it is my strong belief that none other can touch my rifle.

Any dissenting views, or better choices? I have tried to top it, but am at a loss. Remember, I can't go up in caliber to .308, and the rifle must have iron sights immediately accessible.

For other LEOs, what do you carry (other than shotguns)?

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September 1, 2004, 01:36 AM
You could be different and carry an AK-47. Criminals would know you mean bidness because, "AK-47 - The very best there is. When you absolutely positively gotta kill every mf'er in the room - Accept no substitutes."

Nice patrol rifle. I'd ditch the Mini-14 as well, or add some grip tape on the barrel and use it as a baseball bat. :D

September 1, 2004, 02:41 AM
+1 on the baseball bat sentiment:D

As for the "immediately available irons"...Do the flip ups qualify?? When i heard that "immediately available" caveat, i assumed fixed BUIS and standard front sight post....if you really wanted to split hairs on the meaning of "immediately".

Nice looking shooter by the way.

September 1, 2004, 03:09 AM
Needs an auto sear. :)

September 1, 2004, 05:48 AM
Needs an auto sear.

Third round burst IMHO is not much better than single firing. Full auto on an EBR is usually just a good way of using up ammo way too quickly and unsafely unless you do a lot of training.

All and all, nice rifle. If you do a lot of night work, flashlights are handy. I personally don't like using them as they tend to give away one's position.

Be aware that AR15's with collapsing stocks do not make good blunt force weapons. If you keep to hit someone/something with it, you'll likely snap off the stock. Not sure how likely this is to be a problem with you.

I'm not a fan of 5.56mm ball ammo, but to each their own. You might want to keep an extra match grade upper handy with a scope on it.

September 1, 2004, 07:20 AM

September 1, 2004, 08:43 AM
You might want to keep an extra match grade upper handy with a scope on it.

No THAT is probably the best argument I've seen in favor of an AR15 pattern rifle I've seen. Don't know why I never thought of it.

I was issued an M4A1 in the service (as well as M16A2s befoer that), and was underwhelmed. An AR15 would be more acceptable in a LE circumstance, especially if one were to keep both MOUT and a long-range-type upper as a package.

Bartholomew Roberts
September 1, 2004, 09:05 AM
I've read three reports of the 2-stage Bushmaster triggers failing on Twice the gun was rendered inoperable and once the gun began to burst fire (not double). I can't imagine that any of those scenarios are desirable in a patrol rifle.

If you must have a match trigger on your patrol rifle, I'd strongly recommend an RRA 2-stage. The worst failure I've heard of with the RRA is it goes to a mushy single stage instead of a crisp 2-stage.

Dallas also has a strong shooters community. I would recommend trying some 3-gun shoots or other local get-togethers as it is a great place to see different types of gear and get a feel for whether that is something you might like or not. It is also a good place to sort your gear out and spot problems before they become a serious issue.

Bill Davison of Tac-Pro Shooting Center does some very high-quality training on the carbine and so does Tiger Valley. Chris Grollnek of ProTac Global occasionally comes through town as well and he is very skilled at teaching carbine.

Master Blaster
September 1, 2004, 09:33 AM
I just put an RRA two stage trigger on my RRA varmint uppered BM lowered rifle, $92 from ADCO and he may even give a small leo discount. Its a great trigger and was easy to install.

You need a good Bayonette, CDNN has some nice new colt bayonettes for $29.95


rock jock
September 1, 2004, 10:37 AM
Nice setup.

September 1, 2004, 06:17 PM
I've heard the comments about the Bushy match trigger. I just got a RRA 2-stage for my Bushy 20" gov't, and it is very nice. The reset on the RRA trigger isn't anything to speak of, as compared to the Bushy trigger which is truly awesome.

However, tons of people say the AR platform is unreliable, underpowered, and plagued with all kinds of other problems. I haven't had any trouble with an AR platform or the Bushy trigger. So I think I'll stick with what I've got.

Master Blaster: I actually HAVE a bayonet, but it doesn't fit on the 16" rifle (only the 14.5".)

Unfortunately, all of the action shooting sports (3-gun, etc...) are held about an hour or so out of the metroplex. I would love to participate, but I can't justify driving so far and spending that much time away. I've got a one-month old at home, and time away from the fam is pretty hard to come by.

I keep my BUIS in the 'up' position while stowed, they were just folded down for the pic. However, I believe even in the 'down' position I would be ok per dept policy.

A match upper with scope would negate "BUIS immediately accessible". It would also be a bit overkill for my mission.

September 1, 2004, 06:50 PM
Looks like you're set. :) Stay safe out there.

Chris Rhines
September 1, 2004, 06:50 PM
I have seen two seperate Bushmaster 2-stage triggers fail, and both failures completely locked up the rifle. Ditch the Bushmaster trigger, and switch to a JP single-stage. Or, you could pay your local gunsmith a few bucks to tune up your AR trigger.

Aside from that, your carbine is very similar to the one I use for home protection. Amazing how smart a guy is when he agrees with you, eh? ;)

- Chris

September 1, 2004, 07:47 PM
Put either a Surefire M500 Millenium fore-end light (the big honking one on the upper right side you see sometimes), a Surefire M900A vertical foregrip light (better control of the weapon, with a light on it)

If neither of those get your fire lit, a M952 from them would work well too.

Compared to an M3, they look like the finger of God zapping you with a lightning bolt. :)

Be aware the 500A would replace the upper foregrip, the M900 would require something like a Fobus M1913-rail foregrip or an RAS/RIS etc to mount it on.

A Magpul collapsing stock would give you a better cheekweld, and give you a place to store spare batteries for the dot scope and light.

September 1, 2004, 08:00 PM
Be different! Go with a Marlin 336.

September 1, 2004, 11:44 PM
Looks like you are in good shape. When I'm in a patrol car I carry a Rock River 16" m4 leo rifle. It's very similar to yours except I do not have optics mounted.

I've seen enough triggers that use screw adjustments come unglued during Highpower competitions that I would never trust one on a duty rifle. I would strongly recommend the Rock River National Match trigger. I like to operate on the KISS principle and the Rock River Trigger is just one less thing to go wrong.

I have 2 Colt rifles in my inventory with the Millenium lights. They work very well but are bulky and just ruin the handling characteristics of the rifle for me. I think a Streamlight M6 weapon light would be the way to go if you want a white light for your rifle.

Choose quality ammo and practice, practice, practice! A worthwhile accessory might be a .22lr upper, similarly configured to make all that practice a little less expensive!

Stay safe brother!

September 2, 2004, 01:58 AM
+1 on the RRA 2 stage.

What a sweet trigger...and if you look hard you can find them for around 75 bucks.

September 2, 2004, 02:40 AM
I am interested in the mini-14 Govt model. May I have a picture, please?


September 2, 2004, 02:47 AM
Most people are only interested in the mini 14 until they try to hit a target with one.

sad reality.:(

September 2, 2004, 06:17 AM
Only thing I can think of to improve it would be to add a case or two of ammo & get some serious shooting practice in.... :D

However, I could see a rig like that giving the Highland Park soccer-mom crowd a coniption fit. If the PC issue comes up, you could always go to a levergun. The new Browning BLR Lightweights in .243 or .223 looks promising in this regard.....

On second thought, to heck w/ the HP PC crowd. Carry that cool EBR w/ pride... :cool:

September 2, 2004, 07:36 AM
That's a great rifle.
I don't want to hijack the thread, and if you don't care for the Mini14, that's your choice.

Reality is, with quality ammo, most Mini14s will do 4" or better at 100 yards, out of the box. Many will do better than that.
Then, with less money than is typically spent on an AR, they can be turned into 1" guns.

But, nobody is interested in facts. :rolleyes:

And, as I've said, I don't want to hijack the thread.
I really miss my Bushy. I had the shorter A1 stock, and the M4 profile barrel.
For some reason, since I wasn't allowed to have the collapsible stock, I really wanted one. :confused:
Now that the ban is expiring, who knows.

How comfortable is the collapsible to shoot?

If your rear ever ends up in the sling, I think either the AR or the Mini would save your bacon.
Shoot the one that you're most comfortable with.

Art Eatman
September 2, 2004, 08:39 AM
How much precision (in terms of small group-size) is needed for, say, the fifth or tenth shot, when having to shoot at people? Me, I dunno. My suspicion is that anything that shoots tighter than three to four MOA will serve as well as a match-target's 1/2 MOA.

5th or 10th shot is not what I'd generally consider to be a "police sniper" situation. To me, that's a firefight situation. And, odds are, well within 100 yards.

Not trying to hijack a thread, but accuracy comparisons seem to be a part of the discussion...


September 2, 2004, 09:30 AM
Hey Art- was that a question to me, or to those bringing up the effectiveness of the Mini-14?

My department issues the Mini as the standard patrol rifle. I don't personally have a problem with it, except that I prefer the AR platform. My department issues the S&W 5906 as the standard sidearm, but I prefer (well, anything is better than the S&W) other makes and models. I currently carry a Glock 21 with an M3 in a Safariland rolltop. As I said, I work deep nights, so having lights on my guns makes sense.

I will think about switching my triggers around, and putting the RRA in my patrol rifle, and the Bushmaster match trigger in one of my other rifles.

Anyone near Dallas know of a place that hosts 3-gun or at least IDPA/IPSC? My monthly quals are getting boring, and I miss the action!

I think I'll stick with the M3 on my rifle. The other lights add too much weight/bulk and don't really offer any performance over what I've got. Not to say they don't put out more candlepower, but that the additional CP is unneeded. By the way, it's actually the M3LED which offers a nice option of low powered/subdued light (red) if the situation demands it.

I don't have any pics of the Mini-14, but I'll try to shoot some and post them tonight or tomorrow.

El Tejon
September 2, 2004, 09:48 AM
I would eschew the two stage trigger. Have seen failures in school (one time, at gun camp . . .). YMMV, I like simple, that's just me.:D

How's the EOTech at night? Checked it's backlight?:confused: Would only matter up close and personal anyhow, but in LE you have to go up close and personal at times (well all the time).

If I was doing a lot of sneaking and peeking, maybe go Aimpoint but use it as an occluded sight instead? If the back light on the EOTech gives you away?

Maybe a suppressor as well in case of meth house shootings? Those little Gemtechs rock.

Just throwing out things that pop into my empty head, officer. Feel free to accept or reject it.:)

September 2, 2004, 05:58 PM
Good looking rig.

I'm not (being a Marine no longer on active duty) overly fond of either the AR-15 action or the .223 Remington cartridge on 'hostiles'. Still, it has performed and will continue to do so in the hands of suitable troops.

I like rifles that don't have stuff to catch on bushes or doorways. I'm not a big fan of extended magazines, for that reason and they are hard to shoot prone.

I'd probably go for a Marlin 336 in .30-30, with synthetic stock and a red dot sight of some sort. (With the original sights still there are back ups.) Possibly I'd select a similarly altered SKS (not AK), if I could find one that would hold a silouette target to 150 yards or so.
And.. I could live with some form of illumination device, but probably wouldn't use it much.

Still... what you got probably works to the point where I wouldn't change it.

September 2, 2004, 06:43 PM
Carry a one of those Striker-12 streetsweepers or a USAS-12 in the trunk so you have a badass shotgun too. :p

September 2, 2004, 06:49 PM
Never had a problem shooting prone with a 30 rounder myself.

3-gun matches are run up north of Dallas at uh....... Mind went blank..... big training school/range north of Dallas a ways. PM me I'll think of it in a little bit, it's run by a Brit guy who used to be SBS.

Ah! Tac Pro shooting center..... they run some WICKEDLY interesting 3-gun matches..... all real world stuff too. No 9,000 round 400 target stages.

El Rojo
September 3, 2004, 12:15 AM
Interesting that you carry both your AR and the department Mini-14 as well. How many rifles can you use at once? Two I guess. :D

September 3, 2004, 06:52 AM
Nice rifle.

May I do small hi-jack?

My Patrol rifle is a little different, but the area I patrol is very different than a metropolitan suburb.

I Patrol the creek bottoms, brush and prairies looking for thieves. Local residents have been complaining of illegal aliens stealing their food supplies. I have authorization from the government to stop these illegals using any means necessary including deadly force. Most of my patrol, like yours, is done at night when these theives are most active.

My efforts are being rewarded as the activity in my area is rapidly decreasing. There is a large family that lives around here that are very thankful the family of Odocoileus Virginianus really appreciates my efforts.

I have attached a picture of my patrol rifle and also a picture of the theives. I am authorized to deputize anyone, on the spot, to aid in the capture or termination of these theives.
Patrol Rifle
Acorn Theives held in custody.

Thanks. We return you to your regularly scheduled thread.


(sorry about that....:D )

September 3, 2004, 07:15 AM
Sir, that looks like a solid, practical choice. And likely to have the most compatibility with other departments, add-ons etc. And preserve your investment.

Does the department issue ammo, or do you have to buy your own?

September 3, 2004, 07:52 AM
We have a local gathering of THR members in the area on second Saturdays and fourth Sundays - come join us! Particularly when we go to Gibson's, you'll see a range of battle rifles and carbines (though a lot of them are .308s).

Come join us!

September 3, 2004, 07:58 AM
I carry both rifles because policy demands it. The Chief worked hard to get us these rifles, and so he wants one in EVERY squad, whether or not we carry an additional one ourselves. Whatever, it's not like it takes up much space...

I have to respectfully disagree with those offering up a Marlin 336 as a suitable choice. You might choose to arm yourself with a 30-30 if you're going into a mall/school/church after an active shooter/terrorist/nut-job-with-an-AK; but as for me, I'll carry something a little more matched to the job at hand. I shoot from prone all the time. Not "sand-bag" prone, but REAL field prone with my elbows on the ground. The 30-rd mag doesn't get in the way at all, but I've got long arms...

The department provides Winchester SXT 69gr BTHP ammunition in .223REM. If we choose a different caliber for our rifle, we have to provide adequate duty ammo ourselves.

NFA items are fun, but not for a patrol rifle. Too much risk of getting "looked at funny" by the higher-ups/courts. I'll just be sure and not touch off a round in a meth lab... I WOULD like to have one of those Gemtechs, though... Hmmm....

El Tejon
September 3, 2004, 08:34 AM
Smoke, *AHEM* those are ALLEGED acorn thieves.:D

Jwise, I rock Gemtechs but lots of good tubes out there. The example of the cooker house is just a way to sell the suppressor to da Chief in case you want/need a letter. "Gee, Chief, just think that if, Vishnu forbid, we have to defend ourselves in there, we don't want to start a fire and possibly hurt others."

Bartholomew Roberts
September 3, 2004, 08:43 AM
Anyone near Dallas know of a place that hosts 3-gun or at least IDPA/IPSC?

Collin County Gun Range offers IDPA on a regular basis. They also offer 3-gun matches on a less frequent basis (once a month sometimes less) to members of CCIDPA who have shot the required number of IDPA matches.

They are in McKinney not far off of the Hwy 380 and Hwy 5 junction.

TDSA also offers both IDPA and 3-gun matches. They run three-gun more frequently than any other place I am aware of and are building up some nice facilities, to include a shoot house and a lot of bays. The long range portion of the range needed some work last time I was there though. They are about 30 min. south of downtown Dallas.

Finally, Tac-Pro Shooting Center in Mingus, TX offers a 3-gun match twice a year. It is easily the best match in the area and the facilities at that range are very good as well. The next match is in October and available slots fill up quick. TPSC is run by former Royal Marine Commando and SBS member Bill Davison and he has considerable real-world experience that he applies to the matches. It is easily worth the money; but it is essentially and all-day event and it may be tought to get a slot at this date.

Jeff Timm
September 3, 2004, 08:49 AM
In a decision which will leave most THR regulars stunned in shock and awe, I agree with your choice of weapon and also the department choice.

I also advise practice with the telescoping stock in both or all three, depending on model, positions, Just In Case.

Who has great faith in the Stoner system. :cool:

September 3, 2004, 11:27 AM
I have to respectfully disagree with those offering up a Marlin 336 as a suitable choice. You might choose to arm yourself with a 30-30 if you're going into a mall/school/church after an active shooter/terrorist/nut-job-with-an-AK; but as for me, I'll carry something a little more matched to the job at hand. I shoot from prone all the time. Not "sand-bag" prone, but REAL field prone with my elbows on the ground. The 30-rd mag doesn't get in the way at all, but I've got long arms...

One technique is using the mag as sort of a monopod, then put non-shooting hand around the mag well. My arms are a bit long for it, but I've seen it used very effectively.

Milage may vary.

September 3, 2004, 02:11 PM
My dad was issued a M-14 by is dept, through a Government grant. It will rock and roll if it the SHTF

September 3, 2004, 02:45 PM
Thoughts on the mini-14. I like them and they are serviceable. The weakness is the sights and the ergonomics of the safety and magazines IMO. Worked one out the other day-ringing an empty propane bottle from 100 yards kneeling and some CQB work (standing, walking, turning etc...)at 3-15 yards. The rear peep sight is slow, so I looked over it...good results, not as tight grouping as a ghost ring AR, but not missing by any means.

Since you have to carry the Mini anyway, be sure to practice with it too...Your sweet Bushy might be home one day for whatever reason when the SHTF.
I have tried to top it, but am at a loss.

Um, that barrel profile leads me to believe you could mount an M203.:evil: :D

The Grand Inquisitor
September 3, 2004, 06:45 PM
What exactly does a suburban cop need a high powered military rifle for? It seems that the best thing you could do with that is accidently kill a few civilians with.

Police should be the last ones to carry military rifles.

Andrew Wyatt
September 3, 2004, 07:14 PM
I like your choice.

I'm a mini shooter myself, and would probably have gone with a mini with an aimpoint or other red dot optic on a downbore mount , and a surefire with tape switch on a rail. some of the downbore mounts mactually make the mini shoot better once torqued down.

remember, don't feed the trolls.

September 3, 2004, 08:08 PM
What exactly does a suburban cop need a high powered military rifle for? It seems that the best thing you could do with that is accidently kill a few civilians with.

Police should be the last ones to carry military rifles. It's OK for civilians to have powerful rifles but not the local police department? By your argument none of us should have "military" rifles. Senators Kennedy and Kerry would agree with you.

I submit that if his Chief read some of the posters here, they'd be carting M240's and Barretts and their backup units would be M3 CFV's......;)

September 3, 2004, 10:23 PM
"OH Grand Inquisitor" [soaked with sarcasm]

I have seen the light of your opinion. Tonight when I roam my city to defend its citizens, I will leave my gunbelt at home along with the rifles. In fact, what do I need of body armor if I pose no threat to evil-doers? When called upon by the citizenry to come and render aid, I will thunderously reply... "who me? Help yourself!"

El Rojo
September 3, 2004, 11:01 PM
Don't feed the trolls! They will bite the hand that feeds them everytime.

September 4, 2004, 01:37 AM
While I sort of see the point that Grand Inquisitor is trying to make, I will put the politics aside on this one. At the end of the day, a cop has just about as much say in the Federal laws that infringe on our rights as a cocker spaniel does. Can't blame them for the BS that the boys in Congress come up with.
Anyhow, Given your restrictions and the function that your rifle has to serve, I doubt that you could do much better. Stick a fast moving varmint type round in that rifle and you have a real bad wound and more importantly, very little chance of overpenetration. Sorry guys, but I doubt that you could do that with an AK or SKS and I am almost certain that you can't with a 30-30. And with the switch of a mag, you could have SS109 and be punching holes in some bad guy's body armor or shooting through his getaway car. All in all, about as good of a choice as you can make. If it works for you, I say stick with it.

Jeff Timm
September 4, 2004, 08:02 AM
Goon commented: "While I sort of see the point that Grand Inquisitor is trying to make, I will put the politics aside on this one. At the end of the day, a cop has just about as much say in the Federal laws that infringe on our rights as a cocker spaniel does. Can't blame them for the BS that the boys in Congress come up with."

I disagree. The police unions represent the police. In many places union membership is required.

The Police Unions have been opposed to the Constitution of the United States many times.

I have to hold individual police officers responsible, if they are union members.

On the other tentacle I marched in a civil rights demonstration against gun control in the Ohio State Capitol, Columbus, with two guys from work. Behind us were representatives (about 20) from the Toledo, Ohio Black Shield organization.

Who has been around a while. :cool:

El Tejon
September 4, 2004, 09:31 AM
Grand, so jwise should carry his Mini-14, but not his AR?:confused: ***, over? What's the difference between the two weapons?

We all certainly hope jwise never has to shoot, but if you are concerned about accidently harming third parties then I am certain jwise will let you pay his tuition at a Gunsite or Thunder Ranch carbine class.

September 4, 2004, 10:35 AM

Just have to thank you and all LEO's for your vocation. Then I would just encourage you to seek out and find a local IPSC club, and shoot shoot shoot. You will soon find out what indeed does work, and what is unnecessary, or just plain counter procuctive.

September 4, 2004, 01:14 PM
What do you feel the advantage of having a flip up front sight as apposed to a solid A3 sight is? What do you think the advantage of the 6 position stock is with the wide base, compared to the narrower based stock?
I think you made some fine choices there. That looks like a rifle that will serve you well in times of trouble. Your vision of the ideal patrol gun is the same as my vision of the ideal shorter range homeland defense gun.

September 4, 2004, 05:15 PM
I took your advice, and got serious about my training. I shot at a local IDPA match today, and had a blast! I'm planning on going tomorrow to another match at another local range (same IDPA organization.) Once I shoot in a few of their pistol matches, I can shoot in one of their monthly 3-gun matches. I'm excited!

I like the flip sights because I prefer not to have any obstruction when using the EOTech. I like a field of view better than a big sight tower sticking up in front of me.

The telestock is the standard Bushmaster telestock. It's six position, and I prefer it on the 2nd or 3rd position out from fully collapsed. I don't really care about the baseplate much...

Thunder Ranch, Gunsite, etc. is definitely in my plans. I have the goal of both taking a carbine course AND attending a major gun training school. May as well kill two birds with one stone!

Blue Line
September 4, 2004, 06:15 PM
I'm curious about the EOTech. How do you like it and how does it hold up?

September 5, 2004, 07:33 AM
I like my EOTech. The sight picture is GREAT! A large (72MOA??) ring with a single 1MOA dot in the middle. The ring is perfect for fast shooting, and the 1MOA dot can really help you make precise shots at 100yds and out.

The display is great, co-witnesses with AR sights, easy on-off with auto shut-off features, 500 hours of battery life (AA version), sturdy as a tank with the steel "canopy", easy click adjustment with a coin or brass casing, retains zero after removing it from the rifle, quick and easy removal with thumb screw if it fails (takes a round?), etc...

How it holds up? Like a champ! ;)

Here's a decent pic of the sight picture co-witnessed with irons:

Blue Line
September 14, 2004, 07:53 AM
Are those the fold down iron sights? Do you shoot the Eo with both eyes open?

September 14, 2004, 02:31 PM
If you ever have to touch off a .223 round indoors, make sure your chief knows it can cause INSTANT and PERMINANT hearing loss to anyone next to your barrel.

For your fellow officer's safety, and for the safety of everyone in a meth-lab flamible type situation, I would actively encourage you into keeping a Gemtec mounted on your AR. Get this, they also improve accuracy (which can be sold as 'reducing the potential for stray bullets and the associated liability! :)

As for your platform? EOTech mounted on an AR-15/M4? It's the choice of our armed forces for a reason, good call!

Magupl stock (to hold batteries for...) Surefire fore-end would be a useful ergonomic addition, but does add weight (possibly of little concern in an LE situation, where you'll be asked to carry it all fo 100 feet I hope!)

By the way, I think you guys should be able to have anything we other civilians have. Thanks for standing between us and harm's way.

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