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LEO's: How did you department decide on the firearm and ammunition you carry?

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by Prosser, Aug 7, 2011.

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  1. Prosser

    Prosser Member

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    Hi
    I'm wondering what the criteria is for handguns and calibers picked by your LEO
    departments? What guidelines, research, decision making methods went into your service sidearm?
    Are you allowed to carry anything else?
    Our local PD had one person pick the caliber, the firearm, and train them at our local range.

    That person has the following credentials:
    Bomb expert
    Swat member
    Col. in the National Guard, perhaps to be promoted soon
    Licensed Smith and Wesson Gunsmith
    and that's just what I know.

    He picked Sig Sauer P220's, with Federal Hydra-Shock 230 grain HP's.
    He passed on Glocks because of their flat springs, among other things.
    Never asked him why he didn't go with a 1911, but, I suspect the first shot DA capability was the reason.

    Again, how was the decision process done in your department?

    Thank you
     
  2. steveno

    steveno Member

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    you forgot to mention lowest bidder
     
  3. MikeNice

    MikeNice Member

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    One of the big factors in switching guns was the size of the current Sigs. A lot of the females on the force had trouble drawing, disengaging the safety, and firing without shifting their hand position at least twice. It made for a slower first shot and lower accuracy. So, the department decided to switch to a gun that fit more people.

    After looking at several different brands, they chose the Smith & Wesson M&P. The two major factors were the versatility of the back straps and their reputation for dependability. Plus there were some safety features that were demanded by the upper brass. They wanted a magazine disconnect safety, DAO, and manual safety.

    The S&W was the only gun that fit the criteria and came in under budget.

    They chose the ammo to go with it by downgrading from 180gr Federal HST to 124gr+P HST for their new 9mm. They chose the ammo after studying literally thousands of real world shootings, getting doctors to reexamine over a hundred shootings, and looking at price.

    They came to the conclusion that there was no evidence of enough increase in performance to justify the price of .40S&W ammo in the current financial climate. They decided the tests showed the biggest factor for officer survival was training. They can afford more training by switching from .40S&W to 9mm.

    Versatility, price, and a reputation for getting the job done is what it took to get the contract.
     
  4. Prosser

    Prosser Member

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    IIRC, Glocks are almost always the low bidder.;)

    That doesn't seem to win out all the time.

    MikeNice:

    Thanks. That sounds like a fairly well thought out decision by your department.
    Who is the they? What positions do they hold, what experience?
     
  5. highlander 5

    highlander 5 Member

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    I'm not a Leo but in my city and several around us Glock got the contracts because there was no money involved. When my city went to semi autos Glock came in and made this deal.for every revolver you give us we'll give you a Glock with 2 mags. the oficers had to buy the spare mag. Now this was when everyone was going to 9 mm. Now the revolvers where sold on the used market. Then the 40 S&W "craze" hit town same deal trade 1 9 mm Glock and spare mags for 40 S&W Glocks and spare mags. IIRC Boston did this deal but when Mayor Menino agreed to the deal but forgot to have a no resale in Ma clause put in. One of the local distributors had some very good deals on slightly used 9 mm Glocks and "Mumbles" as he's known locally was having fits about it.
     
  6. Rexster

    Rexster Member

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    I have no earthly idea; it as if the committee were sworn to secrecy. Cost was not a factor, as we buy our own. The original approved models, when the policy was enacted in 1997, were the SIG P229, Beretta 8040 Cougar, and de-cocker single-stack 3rd-Generation S&W, all forties. Nobody had to buy themselves a new duty pistol; senior officers could keep carrying existing duty handguns. I carried "grandfathered" 1911 pistols until 2002.

    I can only speculate that .40 was chosen either as a compromise between large-bore and small-bore factions, or simply following the general trend. The former standard was .357 Magnum, with anyone past their rookie year able to switch to anything from 9mm and .38
    on the small end to .45 on the big end, inclusive; auto or revolver.

    The 3rd-Gen S&W model changed over time, from a single-stack to a double-stack. Both can still be found in duty rigs.

    The Glock G22 was added to the OK list about 2000 or 2001. Once again, there was testing involved, but it seemed to be very secretive.

    In 2007, the G23, P226, M&P40, and an XD were added to the list; same secrecy surrounding the selection process.

    Somewhere along the way, the Beretta 8040 fell off the list, replaced by the 96G, and then it fell off the list, too. Of course, due to nobody having to buy a new pistol against their will, both of these Beretta models can still be found in duty holsters.

    My current choice is the P229 DAK. DAK was not officially OK until 2007, but I started carrying DAK in 2004, and made sure to only qual or otherwise practice at the PD range when "cool" supervisors or range officers were on duty. I recently learned that a committee did study and test the DAK before it was approved.

    Sorry, I cannot specify my employer, as there are rules about discussing certain things on social media while being identifiable as a member of my agency. There are several thousand of us, and it is a localized agency in SE Texas.
     
  7. Rexster

    Rexster Member

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    To answer some questions from the OP that I forgot, above, we can carry a very wide range of handguns for back-up and off-the-clock weapons. We are encouraged to carry our duty pistols when off the clock, or a smaller version of our duty pistol. While I usually tote a P229R DAK in the duty rig, when off the clock, I am more likely to conceal an "SAS" version of the P229, or a revolver ranging from a 4" S&W Model 19 down to a 2.25" Ruger SP101.

    The minimum cartridge we are to carry is .380 ACP, except that a smaller-bore can act as a back-up weapon to another handgun of .380 or larger.

    All handguns must be either semi-auto, or DA revolver. No single-action revolvers, though single-action autos are still OK.

    There are special cases for certain assignments and conditions. If I were to become a plainclothes investigator, for example, I could once again wear a 4" sixgun on the clock, as my primary duty handgun.
     
  8. Loyalist Dave

    Loyalist Dave Member

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    Beretta is made in Maryland, and so the lowest bidder won out for a while, when we carried 9mm. The detectives for a while carried S&W compact single-stack 9mm's (iirc) the 3906? Then the department went to Beretta in .40, and then to Glock in .40. I know the upgrade to 40 S&W was due to perceived problems with 9mm hydroshocks (note:..., before folks get into a debate..., I said "perceived"). As for the bullet style, that was probably due to lowest bidder too. I think the switch from the longer Beretta grip to the shorter Glock grip was due to female officers having a tough time shooting Beretta for qualification. I noted the same problem prior to joining the force when the Marine Corps went to the Beretta 92. Around Maryland I have seen Sigs, Berettas, Glocks, Ruger P85's, and H&K P7 M13's carried as issued sidearms.

    LD
     
  9. Lawdawg45

    Lawdawg45 Member

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    One of the few perks to being a small town lawman is that we purchased all of our equipment including handguns. I began in the wheel gun era and had the option of a .38/.357 or a .45 acp., but I was able to convince (well trick) my Chief into letting me carry a .45 Colt. Large departments rely heavily on FBI data as far as caliber selection, and maintenance/repair cost weigh heavily on brand selection. The last credible stats I saw said that 65% of departments carried Glocks.:cool:

    LD45
     
  10. JERRY

    JERRY Member

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    cheapest.
     
  11. Owen

    Owen Moderator Emeritus

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    This should probably be a spin-off thread, but what's wrong with flat springs?
     
  12. MikeNice

    MikeNice Member

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    The majors and chief had the final call. There was a panel of several officers made up of the department armorer, range officers, training officers, and a couple of budget people. The Chief and his assignees sat in on meetings and made sure reports were filed to prove people were working on it.

    Everything they come up with was run through an administrative panel. It was a long laborious process. In the end a good choice won out. However, there were compromises made that some officer's were not pleased with. There was a group that pushed hard for a metal gun. Others pushed hard for switching to the PDX-1 round because it is the FBI load. There was even a group that wanted to let officers buy there own gun and reimburse them $400.

    I got there as it was all winding down, and I am not commissioned so I don't get a say.
     
  13. Snowbandit

    Snowbandit Member

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    Mindlessly following the lead of the state agency. Most of the administrative types I had to deal with don't have enough brains to think for themselves.
     
  14. wacki

    wacki Member

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    Is any of the raw data or analysis public? It would be an interesting read for sure.







    .
     
  15. FIVETWOSEVEN

    FIVETWOSEVEN Member

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    :eek:
     
  16. MikeNice

    MikeNice Member

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    Wacki, as far as I know it is all public information since most of it came from other departments. If a shooting occurs and a police investigation insues the record of the case usually becomes public record after the matter is settled.

    If you know of a particular case or want to do research for scholarly purposes your local police should be able to help. Getting them to not think you are crazy or a sicko is another deal. They might stonewall you just because most of them never deal with non-professional request and find it kind of creepy.

    I am not allowed to discuss which particular information was used. I can say they looked at cases. I can very generally mention some of the things I had a chance to read. However, since it was used for internal decision making I can not name a specific case or use real names. That is just the departmental policy.

    The internal reports our department issued on the information are not public record. They are sealed up with enough confidentiality contracts and clauses to baffle most lawyers.
     
  17. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    I'm not sure why you would be surprised that H&K would market the P7 to LE. The reason that H&K modified the original P7 (often referred to as the PSP) into what became the M8 is because of the requirements of the New Jersey State Police. H&K made a big push to try to break into the LE market, when it was pretty much owned by S&W. They were offering the M8 for $352 and the M13 for $378..when the retail price was ~$450

    To address the OP:
    Our department formed a committee (I think it was 7 members) which was chaired by the Capt of the Training Division. They polled the troops (about 1200) over caliber selection. The recommendation went to the Sheriff and the 7 Chief Deputies.

    The issue gun became (replacing the S&W M13) the Sig Sauer 225/226/229. 9mm in the first two and .40 in the latter...our tactical teams were issued the 220 in .45ACP. At the next sidearm rotation, they changed to the 239/226R/229R in either 9mm or .40 for everyone. We had the option of carrying our personally owned Sigs and the option of .45ACP
     
  18. 303tom

    303tom member

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    The LEO`s around here would probably say , what ever .40 you are comfortable with.
     
  19. Prosser

    Prosser Member

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    I forgot to mention my experience in SF. Of all places, San Francisco has had in the past the S&W 57 as an issue gun.:what:

    That's the .41 Magnum.

    While the issue guns are going to semi autos, don't remember which ones, the guy I hung out with that worked the roughest areas of SF stayed with his .41 Mag, and the department still issued him ammo.
     
  20. Lawdawg45

    Lawdawg45 Member

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    "Is any of the raw data or analysis public? It would be an interesting read for sure."

    Wacki, it sure is. It's also very telling that their standard issue is the Glock 19.;)

    LD45
     
  21. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

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    This is a rather cheap shot and not at all appropriate. The logic is fairly sound. If you trust the superior agency to have done due diligence in making their decision and you believe that your needs mimic the needs of the superior agency, plus if you can find out if their decision has been a good one, then is there really a lot to be gained by spending a lot of time and money re-inventing the wheel?

    MikeNice's group went to a lot of trouble to reach a really interesting decision on ammo, that they did not see a significant difference in performance such to warrant going with a more expensive caliber.

    In the real world, so long as departments can get reliable guns that their officers can use effectively that shoot quality defensive ammo of decent caliber, then the differences in outcomes really are going to be in how the officer handled the situation, not the gun or ammo. The guns and ammo have to be able to be used effectively by the officers and that means the guns have to fit the officers, the ammo must be reliable performers, and recoil must be controllable and there really are a plethora of guns and ammo that will meet those criteria.

    Our local department has officers supply their own guns (based on a pretty big list of choices) and if they desire, their own ammo, though the department will also provide ammo. The officer can choose to use it or use ammo from set of approved makes and models. So if the officer thinks that Speer Gold Dot will stop zombies on crack better than what the department will provide for free, he can carry his Gold Dots.

    The department ammo decision was made based on letting makers bid for the contract for a multi caliber contract and stipulations were made that rounds of each caliber had to have certain performance characteristics....which were pretty much the standard velocity, penetration, reliability, quality control, and flash characteristics that you would expect. Samples were submitted for testing and verification and the company that did the best overall across calibers that was within budget was selected (though I don't think it was the cheapest, IIRC, but it certainly wasn't the most costly).

    So our local folks did not go with what the State had done before them because the State's needs were much more narrow than what our local department needed (one or two types of gun in one or two calibers versus more than 10 models of guns and a half a dozen calibers).
     
  22. lead slinger

    lead slinger Member

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    i have herad form a local gunsmith that the two citys by me one usees kimber and the other has sigs
     
  23. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    It was actually the m-58 - the M&P model
     
  24. armoredman

    armoredman Member

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    6000+ department, lowest bidder, so we have Glock 19s and 17s.

    Edit to add, not street cops, so it wasn't quite that important as it is for regular LEOs.
     
  25. Plan2Live

    Plan2Live Member

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    What does IIRC stand for? Or YMMV?

    I'm frequently tickled by the tendency to us initials; OP, POS, IWB, DOA, DRT, PDQ, etc. rather than just spell it out. Sometimes it just comes across as OMG, or LOL and somtimes just ROTFL. Don't assume everyone knows the secret handshake.
     
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