02 September 2009

I don't leave home without it...

From the Cop side: A recent comment (Question) asked what pistol I carry on duty. Oh I could talk about this for hours. Our department issues the Glock 22, .40 cal. This is a very good weapon, but I'm an old school 1911 type. I think most weapons are judged on the 1911, so why not carry some version of this? I carry a Para LDA (Light Double Action) 14 shot .45 auto. I picked it up when I returned from Iraq in 2005 and started using it where I used to work.
When cops work at a department that allows them to carry what they want, they ask me what they should buy. I think cops need to study this and make a choice that they can live with. You can debate over 9 mm, .40 cal, .357 Sig and .45, but make sure you fully understand the rounds...using modern ammo, not the military FMJ - Full Metal Jacket.
I've heard people say the .40 cal was much more powerful and accurate than the .45. I asked how they figured that and they said: "Well, it's newer, it must be better." Huh? The .40 cal was developed after they FBI issued the 10 MM. The 10MM is a very good round. However, it was "too hot" for many shooters and the round was long. So they made a reduced load 10MM for the FBI. That was dumb. Then the bullet makers and Smith and Wesson looked at the idea of making a shorter 10mm and calling it the .40 caliber. So, a .40 cal is a milder 10mm. Now days it's hard to even find a pistol that will shoot a 10mm round. Too bad.
I carried a Beretta 92 9mm for years on patrol, in Bosnia and Iraq. It is a very good 9mm. I like the feel, the safety system and the longer barrel. It was the most tested and argued about small arm ever in the US military. Every time the soldiers testing them destroyed one, Beretta would fix it and make it better. The Sig and Glocks are also very good. But I like the Springfield XD better than the Glock--it feels better to me. So, what to do if you're carrying a perfectly good pistol now, but you think you should upgrade? A new pistol will not usually make you a better shooter. Only quality practice and training will do that. Sometimes I've suggested to a young cop that they take the pistol they're using and spend half the money they'd spend on a new gun and buy ammo to practice with. If you are a poor shooter, practice and train. Buying a new pistol will not all of a sudden solve your problems. I say if a cop is well trained, gets regular practice and is competent, let them carry what they want if they qualify with the weapon. But I also know that keeping lots of different ammo in stock is a pain in the ass also. Any other thoughts or ideas?

7 comments:

Opus #6 said...

Interesting post. I'm a 9mm Beretta lover myself, although I don't own it. I dream. It was the gun that worked best for me on the firing range. Some day.

AirmanMom said...

Most interesting.
I'm just a mom of adult children, so the need for a pistol is gone ;)
I have been to the local Izaak Walton trying to learn to fire a pistol, my hand is too shaky...never even hit the tree! I'm much better at shooting at theose clay pigeons!!!!
~AM

Anonymous said...

1. Shot quite a bit of military match in the Corps. Have some minor qualifications in that area.
2. Pistol was match .45, maintained by match armorers. Used Lake City Match .45 Ammo.
3. The old double distinguished instructors started us off by saying that every American male thought he could shoot a hand gun, by right. Wrong. The Russians and Swiss were cleaning our clocks in international competition.
4. Pistol was called the old man's sport, because it took so many years to master.
5. After a lot of snapping in (years), finally started to medal.
6. Have taught many folks pistol marksmanship, then and now.
7. From my point of view, comes down to trigger pull and forcing yourself to focus on your front sight.
8. These are necessities for punching holes close together in a piece of paper.
9. The Corps thinks good marksmanship will help in a fight.
10. Agree, to a certain extent.
11. Eventually had Cal's Custom in Fallbrook CA make me a match .45. Allowed me to snap in, out of season. Had the best trigger I've ever seen.
12. STI guns have good triggers, as do the Para guns.
13. If you have an educated trigger finger like mine, you can memorize a trigger pull in one or two tries. The action needs to be stoned by a world class armorer to get a perfectly clean break.
14. My personal gun has the best trigger I have ever seen.
15. Since it had a Navy slide, wouldn't fit the template and had to use USMC march guns in USMC operated matches. That meant trying twenty or thirty of their guns, looking for a trigger pull I could live with.
16. Found that Korean Army issue ammunition was more accurate than Lake city -but had to use issue stuff in matches.
17. Took about 7 or 8 years before having an accurate weapon and superior ammunition made a difference.
18. All of this has little to do with weapons in combat or police work (which I know little about).
19. Can say that I always carried a long gun. When they wouldn't issue me a M-16, wangled a shotgun.
20. Pistol carriers are targets for snipers in a war zone.
21. Anyway, am more interested in how someone shoots than how they are equipped.
22. On your advice (from side panel) tried the H&K USP. Liked it a lot.
23. Will probably stick with what I know although a double action .45 makes a lot of sense for police or self defense.
24. Thanks for the history on the .40 cal.
V/R JWest

CI-Roller Dude said...

O#6, I suggest that folks go to a range that will rent or laon pistols so you can try a few to get the best "fit" for you. But go right after they've cleaned them because some ranges let them get really dirty and they may not work right.

Airman Mom, The need for a firearm is never gone. #1, they are always fun to just plink with. #2, you never know when evil lurks around the neighborhood.

JWest, I was on the CA NG state pistol team until they disbanded it. The state thought we needed to just do "combat" matches. I would draw 10,000 rounds of .22 and 5,000 rounds of 45 and shoot it all in a few months...and go back for more. We signed out weapons, but I had my own Colt NM that shot so damn good that it was impossible to have it shoot any better. I came from the factory and I fired a few hundered rounds...never needed any polish as it was perfect! I wore it out.

Now Calif wants to put some really wierd restrictions on ammo sales. You wont' be able to give a person more than 49 rounds without a lic. They want finger prints and silly stuff. But the felons won't do that...only us honest citizens.
It will do nothing to fight crime.

j summ said...

yeah, one must find something that fits your hand. that is paramount. next it has to be something you are willing to be "wed" to. no point in having a ccw permit and leave your piece it in the car, cause it's heavy and hard to hide. i think that's the reason the xd(m) and s&w m&P are selling so well. they are big but the adjustable back strap helps to "customize". as far as caliber goes, with the excellent science involving ballistics development, i feel good about anything 9 mil and above. everybody likes the semis, but it's hard to beat a .357 as it will take .38s. immediate action involves just pulling the trigger again. i can carry lots of speed stripes unobtrusively, but it's hard to hide double stack anything mags in shorts and a tee shirt.

CI-Roller Dude said...

Revolvers have their place, I had to carry one my first several years as a cop...and I was one of the range masters who kept trying to get police chiefs to let us carry autos. I will never carry a revolver for defense against people. I can load and fire so much faster with an auto.
I can still get off 12 shots out of a revovler in under 5 seconds, but it's so much easier with an auto.

Coffeypot said...

I have to leave home without it. Otherwise I might shoot myself in the foot or some innocent person trying to get it out of the holster. Quickdraw McGraw I'm not. Besides, with my temper, well, it’s best I don’t carry one.