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?