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Mich. Police Get Bigger Pistols

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Mark Tyson, Mar 21, 2004.

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  1. Mark Tyson

    Mark Tyson Member

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    http://www.policeone.com/policeone/frontend/parser.cfm?object=News&operation=full_news&id=82361

    Mich. Police Get Bigger Pistols
    03/20/2004

    Department Follows Larger Bullets Trend

    By Joseph Deinlein, The Times Herald (Port Huron, Mich.

    Officer Doug Decker didn't mind his old 9-mm Sig Sauer pistol.

    But he's pleased with the new Glock .45-caliber guns the Port Huron Police Department will be phasing in by the end of this month.

    Port Huron is one of the last departments in the Blue Water Area to move away from handguns that fire the smaller 9-mm rounds. The Michigan State Police began carrying .40-caliber guns about three years ago. The sheriff departments in St. Clair and Sanilac counties and many other local departments carry .40 caliber, too.

    The trend has been toward .40- and .45-caliber bullets because the 9-mm rounds weren't good at stopping the bad guys, police said. They say larger rounds work better.

    "Anything that gives us an advantage is a positive thing," Decker said.

    Because the larger-caliber rounds can do more damage, some people worry what it means about society now that police are carrying them. While police departments, including several locally, are making use of less-lethal Tasers and pepper-ball guns, officers don't want to be out-gunned by criminals.

    "It really puts agencies between a rock and a hard place," said Carollynne Jarvis, executive director of the Michigan Partnership to Prevent Gun Violence.

    Changes in firepower

    Police departments throughout the country carried .38-caliber revolvers until the 1960s, local police chiefs said. In the 1970s, many switched to .357-caliber Magnum revolvers. In the 1980s, departments moved to semi-automatic handguns because they could hold 15 bullets versus six shots in a revolver.

    "The majority went to 9-mm," Richmond Police Chief Dennis Privette said.

    But those guns weren't as good because they didn't pack the same punch as the .357.

    Enter .40- and .45-caliber weapons.

    "It takes less shots to stop a perpetrator, in theory," said Detective Scott Pike, who researched the new guns for Port Huron police.

    Port Huron bought 72 Glocks for about $200 apiece, Pike said. That's after the department's 10- to 12-year-old Sig Sauers were used as trade-ins. The balance was paid for with drug forfeiture money, he said.

    Knock-down power

    The so-called knock-down power of larger-caliber guns is behind the trend, police and experts said.

    Nine millimeter rounds are smaller bullets and move fast, said Ken Cooper, founder and director of Tactical Handgun Training of New York, who has 16 years of experience with police tactics and firearms.

    "Because it's a smaller round, it goes right through the body, leaving no energy," he said.

    Rounds of .40 and .45 caliber are slightly bigger, but move slower. Also, they typically have a hollow point, which makes the bullet expand like a mushroom when it hits a target, said Steven Robbins, Chesterfield Township police chief. That transfers more of the force into the target and reduces the risk of the bullets going through the target and injuring a bystander, he said.

    More force means the bullet can do more damage. But Cooper said that doesn't mean one shot with a .45-caliber gun will stop every crook. That's why police officers go through hours of training.

    "There is no magic bullet," he said. "Bigger bullets make bigger holes. Fine. But it's the training that makes the difference."

    Local rationale

    Many police in the Blue Water Area and across the state said they switched to larger rounds because criminals were carrying more powerful weapons.

    "We switched simply because the cops were outgunned," said Sgt. Richard Hale, primary firearms instructor for the Michigan State Police.

    St. Clair County Sheriff Dan Lane agreed.

    His department moved from 9-mm weapons to .40-caliber Glocks about two years ago.

    "In the last 13 years with the 9-mm, we found that some of the people we were dealing with have even larger caliber guns," he said. "If we ever have to use it, we want a gun with enough shot power to put a person down and eliminate that threat."

    That rings especially true in rural areas. Croswell Police Chief David Hall said his officers face the possibility of having to handle crooks by themselves.

    "Up here, your backup could be 40 to 50 minutes away," he said. "Having a larger caliber is to your advantage."

    Not every police official agrees. Capac Chief Raymond Hawks said his officers carry a mix of 9 mm, .40 and .45 caliber. He carries a 9 mm and said it is the officer's ability to use the weapon that makes the difference.

    "My theory is carry what you can shoot," he said. "My main concern is that they're accurate with what they carry."

    Trend in society

    While increasing their firepower, many area departments have bought less-lethal weapons, such as pepper-ball guns or Tasers. Such weapons can incapacitate a subject without killing them.

    Marysville Police Chief Mark Thorner, whose department just ordered five Tasers, said such weapons are good alternatives to guns. But they aren't replacements.

    "I've never had to shoot anyone in my career," he said. "That's good. But that doesn't mean that I'll leave my gun home tomorrow when I come to work."

    Jarvis, with the Michigan Partnership to Prevent Gun Violence, said her organization is not against guns. But the trend of police carrying higher-caliber guns is worrisome because of what it means about society.

    "We know the struggle police agencies have to protect their people," Jarvis said. "But look at the society we're building."
     
  2. nipprdog

    nipprdog Member

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    they could get a deal from Portland and save taxpayer money:D
     
  3. tc300mag1

    tc300mag1 Member

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    Good for them Im all for bigger guns.. I like how they paid the ballance with drug money
     
  4. BluesBear

    BluesBear member

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    What about us law-abiding citizens being caught between that roack and that hard place? We have to walk amongst those same criminals and WE are often their targets.
    As for what it says about our society? Don't make me laugh. That our so called society had become a society of blisninnies and bleeding hearts that allow criminals to roam free is one of the reasons that so many of us feel the need to protect ourselves. We have realized that the Police can't do it and that "society" won't do it.

    And what is with that crappola about not being against guns? Why do they call themselves "the Michigan Partnership to Prevent Gun Violence"?
    Why not call themselves the "Michigan Partnership to Prevent ALL Violence"? :confused:
    Is knife violence any less evil than gun violence?
    Is Tire Iron violence somehow more palatable?
    Is hitting you in the back of the head with a brick some sort of lesser dead?

    Why don't we start the American Partnership to Prevent Dumb People from Mucking About in Our Private Lives?

    [​IMG]
     

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  5. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

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    Wrong. It says something about criminals, not society as a whole.
     
  6. goldust

    goldust Member

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    The quote by Jarvis suggesting that the switch to a larger caliber says something significant about society demomstrates the general public ignorance about firearms that she is playing to.....the only thing significant is that law enforcement is understanding and applying physics a little better. The caliber choice argument is pretty well worn. Going back to big slow bullets completes a full circle over a hundred years old. Larger diameter heavier slower bullets demonstrate generally better energy transfer into the target than smaller faster lighter often overpenetrating bullets. What really matters is hitting the target. Chief Raymond Hawkes has it right. "Carry what you can shoot." Caliber matters very little if shots are well placed. Back in the 80's there was a famous FBI/drug gang shootout in Miami, which embarrassed the FBI's use of the 9mm. Lots of rounds fired to little effect, good guys down..bad guys still shooting....I believe the last bad guy was put down with a 38special round. Wild Bill favored 36 cal. pistols. Much ado about very little, in my opinion unless it has to do with a threshold of performance including penetration of materials between the gun and the target such as auto glass and metal. Here, I think the bigger bullets have an advantage. Anyway, The Michigan departments are following a trend which is 15 to 20 years old now It's not like this is really news.....more an opportunity for antigun groups to misuse firearm terminology in inflammatory declarations about the deeper and sinsister meaning of it all.
     
  7. Declaration Day

    Declaration Day Member

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    It bothers me...

    .......when I hear about police departments being pressured to use tasers and less lethal projectiles instead of lead. It makes the police look soft in the eyes of criminals. Don't get me wrong, it's not that I want to see more people die, even if some deserve it. But criminals don't understand reason, their language consists of violence and a show of force. The police, and the citizenry must speak their language if we are to have the upper hand.
     
  8. cslinger

    cslinger Member

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    ...the trend of police carrying higher-caliber guns is worrisome because of what it means about society.

    Ohh you mean like 158 grain .357 magnums, or .44s or to a lesser exent .41s. How about .45 Long Colt, been quite a few lawman back in the day to pack one of those.

    Heck based on that the 80s and wonder nines must have been next to crime free. :rolleyes:
     
  9. 7.62FullMetalJacket

    7.62FullMetalJacket Member

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    And the 9/40/45 argument goes on. What is really depressing is that people in the biz know so little.

    The only thing that made sense was
    ding ding ding, we have a winner :D
     
  10. PATH

    PATH Member

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    Desert Eagles! Give them all Desert Eagles!:D

    I sure am glad this has not turned into a 9 vs. .40 vs. .45 thread!:rolleyes: :D
     
  11. Matt G

    Matt G Moderator Emeritus

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    Heh. This stuff reminds me of when, after the Hollywood bank robbery, LAPD announced that, to meet the new crime trends, they were going to equip officers with rifles and .45 caliber pistols.

    I laughed and laughed at this "new concept," thinking back to just about every episode of Gunsmoke I'd ever seen.
     
  12. Treylis

    Treylis Member

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    Drug "forfeiture" money usually makes me cringe and think of violations of the 4th Amendment. The assets forfeiture laws are pretty disgusting.

    Supposedly the ballistics on those were wildly different than what you might expect... though he had some pretty strong words of praise for the Colt '08 Pocket Pistol.

    Indeed. A hit from a .22 is better than a miss with a .44.
     
  13. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    Has anybody told those good people up in Michigan about the new S&W 500 Magnum?? They do make a short-barreled "carry" version. Shades of Dirty Harry.
     
  14. deleteall

    deleteall Member

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    Wait, are they .45 acp or a .45GAP?
     
  15. 7.62FullMetalJacket

    7.62FullMetalJacket Member

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    The "journalist" writing the story wouldn't know a .45GAP. from a .45ACP. from a .45LC. :banghead:
     
  16. ceetee

    ceetee Member

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    I've never heard it said better...
     
  17. Andrew Rothman

    Andrew Rothman Member

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    If only someone could make a 9mm hollow point!
     
  18. aquapong

    aquapong Member

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    I would trust .45 to penatrate better than 9mm. However, the difference in stopping power between the premium factory loads in .45 and 9mm is nearly nil. Too bad there's not a single .45 that fits my hands. Man why did Glock have to make the 45Gap instead of a M17 sized .45? That would've been the first one.

    All .45's made right now are either too big, too small, have a mag extension for a third finger, not comfortable, not available in dao with a reasonably weighted trigger, too chincy feeling, or are made by an anti 2nd company *cough*Ruger*cough* (too bad because I actually liked the P97). I would love to see a Sig Pro in .45 with the new K trigger, but that won't be anytime soon.:cuss:

    Now back to your regularly scheduled thread...
     
  19. redneck2

    redneck2 Member

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    Para-ordinance???
     
  20. Fudgie Ghost

    Fudgie Ghost Member

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    That FBI shootout in Miami was with bank/armored car robbers (Platt & Matix). IIRC, they were not drug dealers. FWIW.
     
  21. Treylis

    Treylis Member

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    Why not buy a used one so they don't get any money?
     
  22. carpettbaggerr

    carpettbaggerr Member

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    Ummm, Ruger sells guns to the public. If they were anti-second amendment, don't you figure they'd only sell to law enforcement?
     
  23. kbr80

    kbr80 member

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    :what:


    :what:

    Some one has doubled up on stupid pills.
     
  24. Unlucky

    Unlucky member

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    :confused:

    I thought Wild Bill died in 1877 or thereabouts.




    I think this news item means the officers can now "spray and pray" with a larger caliber round.
     
  25. cratz2

    cratz2 Member

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    Raymond Hawks's is the only quote that makes a lick of sense to me...

    About the 9mm zipping through the body leaving no energy... HPs anyone?

    And the trend to moving towards 40s and 45s over 9s being something new... I somehow think that one police officer carried a 45ACP or 45Colt before a police officer carried a 9mm in this country... Just a guess. :rolleyes:

    If my backup is 40 to 50 minutes away and I'm involved in a shootout, whether my handgun is a 9mm, 40 or 45 is much less of a concern than how many loaded 30 round mags I have for my AR. :p
     
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