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View Full Version : LEO vs. Military Tactics and the 9mm


njtrigger
December 2, 2007, 06:24 AM
The 9mm was designed as a military round. This round can be fired fast, and with precision, in order to suppress the enemy. It wasnt designed for the shooter to double-tap, but to spray at the enemy. The enemy would then be more inclined to get themselves to the ground while the soldier was able to retreat or find his way to a rifle.

American LEOs are trained not to simply spray their weapons upon a target, although, this sometimes does happen. Instead, they are taught the "double-tap" and to fire to incapacitate. The 9mm was simply not designed to be lethal with just a "double-tap". It was designed to fire multiple rounds quickly upon a target. An American LEO spraying their 9mm upon a target just makes for bad press and lawsuits.

The .45, on the other hand, is the caliber that the American LEO should be using. It was designed for close quarters battle and can certainly stop with the infamous double-tap.

The 1911 is the ultimate close quarters battle weapon. Its heavy enough to knock someone over the head should the need arise. Its single-stack design is very reliable and two 230 grains can stop just about anything. Should the weapon be taken away from you, the inexperienced dont know how to work the safety and thus it gives you time to take it back from them.

On the other hand, I fail to see how the .40 and 357 SIG are good tactical rounds. The kick and blast makes it difficult to produce a good second or third shot. Most fellows report that its simply a bad time at the range with the .40 twisting their hands up and down. These rounds are definately fight stoppers, but not very tactical. They simply cant be used in a gun fight practically without lots of flash, sound and recoil.

For the American LEO, the tactical advantage is with the .45. The .40 and 357 SIG are simply not tactical weapons.

The 9mm is a great soldiers weapon that can deliver nice sustained suppressive fire. However, as a close quarters weapon, the 1911 is the weapon that most LEOs should choose.

Sometimes I think the departments around here have it all wrong. They developed all these weapons and calibers when the real tactical weapon was right there in front of them. That weapon being the 1911 and the .45.

You want to talk about being tactical then you should look towards the old standby which is the 1911...

Para Bellum
December 2, 2007, 07:01 AM
Sometimes I think the departments around here have it all wrong.
Sorry man, I think you have it all wrong.

If you want to be serious, get serious information such as here:
http://www.winchester.com/lawenforcement/testing/testing.aspx
Then click on: Launch Testing Comparison Tool
and then compare all the calibers you talk about or want to know about.
Please note that you have to scroll to the left to see all tested media.

You will then soon see that the .45 and the 9x19mm are almost the same in many ballistic situations with the 9x19mm penetrating better trough hard targets and the .45 doing a little better in solely soft targets. That is essential because even in airliner hostage rescue situations the .45 had actually failed to penetrate human skulls from suboptimal angles.
What then comes for the 9x19mm is capacity, follow-up-speed, and affordability of training as well as handgun size (just think of a Glock 26...).

As a final note: It doesn't matter at all what something has been designed for. The question is, how it works and what it can do. Salt was "designed" as a spice. But is works well in clearing icy roads too....

oldbillthundercheif
December 2, 2007, 07:17 AM
The .40 and 357 SIG are simply not tactical weapons.


Yes they are. They sure as hell are not strategic weapons as railyards and factories tend to hold up quite well to pistol fire. Why do people constantly say "tactical" when they really mean "ninja"?

Pretty much every weapon with under a 1MT yield is a "tactical" weapon.

JollyRoger
December 2, 2007, 08:21 AM
Discussion of what's "tactical" and what isn't aside, the 1911 in .45 is a good round and the 1911 is a good platform, but not necessarily for law enforcement. In my experience, given the same weapon, the recoil of the 9mm and the .40 are considerably less than the .45. I am talking about service loads here. Old GI ball in .45 is plenty mild compared to Golden Sabers or other service loads. The .357 sig is pretty bouncy, however, although the only one I have fired was a Sig issued to an Air Marshal and it may be more manageable in a heavier pistol. All these calibers have a pretty good track record, and all of them are at least comparable to the .38 special +p rounds we LEO's carried not-so-many years ago.

The real fallacy deals with the 1911 platform. No matter how we may wish it was not so (safety is between the ears and all that) the rate of AD's or ND's always goes up when you issue a single action or light-trigger action (read Glock) across the board. It did at my agency when we switched to Glocks. Your average LEO is not necessarily interested in guns. They need a weapon with a simple manual of arms and a relatively heavy trigger pull, at least for the first round. Things can get a little stressful on an arrest, and folks tend to put their fingers on the triggers when they get scared. Give them a single action weapon and you are asking for trouble. Plus, who wants to walk around all day with a 3+ pound gun on their belt when they can have one that weighs 2 pounds or less?

ESI Agent
December 2, 2007, 09:02 AM
Seems every one is looking for stopping power. Their are no magic bullets! What determines stopping power is shot placement and penatration.

Spade Cooley
December 2, 2007, 09:04 AM
As a retired LEO and shooter, give me the 9mm or any of the other new calibers in a pistol that is safe to carry hot. I have never been able to shoot the 1911 half as good as the newer weapons. I would rather carry a revolver than a 1911. In my opinion the 1911 is an outdated rattle trap. If you tighten it up it can loose reliability. The 45 auto cal. is fine but the LEO sould demonstrate profeciency with it. Give him one of the DAO pistols in 45 or one where the first shot is Double Action for reasons of safety. I would not want to carry a Colt 1911 cocked and locked.

evan1293
December 2, 2007, 10:04 AM
I wonder how long till this thread goes south?? :rolleyes:

DesertDawg
December 2, 2007, 10:32 AM
Everyone has brought up interesting "pro's" and "con's" about the 9mm and .45 ACP. Both were designed for specific purposes, mainly military-related, but very adaptive for LEO-related purposes.

Personally, having carried a .45 auto in combat and a 9mm as a LEO, I'll take the 9mm. It's a bit easier for making accurate follow-up shots AND for multiple suspects. I'm not demeaning the .45 auto, for I also like it....and own a superb Para Ord P-14 that would be outstanding for multiple suspects.

As for "bigger is better", watch the movie "Dirty Harry" again! Clint Eastwood wasn't exactly "puny" when he made that movie, but his .44 magnum had a LOT of muzzle climb....and he was shooting "Hollywood" light-loaded rounds! Of course, you gotta ask yourself, "Do I feel lucky?"

Para Bellum
December 2, 2007, 10:42 AM
Your average LEO is not necessarily interested in guns. They need a weapon with a simple manual of arms and a relatively heavy trigger pull, at least for the first round.
A true word written here!
Glocks with NY or NY-II triggers would be best for avarage LEOs IMHO.

Erik
December 2, 2007, 11:08 AM
Your assertions about the 9mm are incorrect.

Georg Lugar designed the 9mm Parabellum in the early 1900s for use in his Lugar pistol.

It is a immensly popular cartridge; nothing more or less.

PPGMD
December 2, 2007, 11:48 AM
I challenge any ER doctor, or coroner to tell me what the caliber is by looking at the wound track. They can't because the difference with quality ammo is so small it's not even funny.

Instant stopping power is psychological, a determined opponent can be a threat as long as his brain is able to send signals to his muscles. Even the vaunted shot to the heart allows a person to operate up to 10-15 seconds, long enough to empty the magazine on a handgun. Various other COM shots that miss the spine will result in up to 15 minutes before he bleeds out or is incapacitated for other reasons. The only instant stopping shot is a shot to the spine or to the home plate area of the head (eyes and nose area).

One thing that bigger caliber does give you is an extra millimeter or two that just might make contact with the heart, or the spine. Even then that is such a small amount that it probably doesn't matter in the bigger scheme of things.

mordis
December 2, 2007, 12:37 PM
shot placement and penetration are more important then caliber... Period. Put the round were it belongs, and it will do its job, regardless of weight, type or construction...

IdahoG36
December 2, 2007, 02:13 PM
American LEOs are trained not to simply spray their weapons upon a target, although, this sometimes does happen. Instead, they are taught the "double-tap" and to fire to incapacitate.

They may be trained to do so, but I have seen tons of videos on tv and on the internet where a police officer or multiple officers will fire an entire mag at one person. There are police involved shootings where 50-60 rounds were fired at one suspect, and the suspect was only hit a few times and survived. Sounds like "spray and pray" to me.

Double Naught Spy
December 2, 2007, 02:17 PM
The 9mm was designed as a military round. This round can be fired fast, and with precision, in order to suppress the enemy. It wasnt designed for the shooter to double-tap, but to spray at the enemy. The enemy would then be more inclined to get themselves to the ground while the soldier was able to retreat or find his way to a rifle.

Let's see, the 9mm was designed as a military round and can be fired fast and with precision. This is nothing special as a lot of rounds fit this description.

It wasn't designed for double tapping? Okay, I will buy that. No round has been designed for double tapping per se.

It was meant to spray the enemy? Okay, that is where the background facts go to hell given that the "spraying" concept is critical the following discussion pertaining to American LEO training.

Let's step back and look at this a little more objectively. The 9mm was designed as a cartridge for the Luger pistol. If it was also designed for spraying, then just what German doctrine specified spraying the enemy with Luger pistols?

To my knowledge, no such 9mm spray doctrine ever existed and the round was never designed as a round to spray. It wasn't even designed for full auto, technically speaking. It works fine for double taps, spraying, and for full auto, but it wasn't actually designed for these applications.

The 9mm is a great soldiers weapon that can deliver nice sustained suppressive fire.

Actually, the 9mm is a bullet or a cartridge, not a weapon. It doesn't deliver suppressive fire, but can be delivered in suppressive fire. I think you have the cart before the horse with the horse harnessed upside down.

Once again, going back to what the 9mm was designed for, what German doctrine spelled out suppressive fire from Lugers?

You have confused design with application, weapon with cartridge, and incorrectly written 9mm history. Your description of the 1911 is equally bizarre and so too for the caliber .45 acp. The 1911 in .45 acp is a good platform and good cartridge, but it isn't for everyone.

Aside from everything you got wrong in your history and assessment, I thought you did a good job.

Hard Ball
December 2, 2007, 03:31 PM
"The 9mm was designed as a military round."

No it was not designed as anything. It is not really a 9mm. The original Luger cartridge was the 7,63mm Luger. When the Model 1900 7.63mm Luger was tested by the American and German armiies they rejected it because of its small caliber. To try to resolve this DWM eliminaked the bottle neck in the 7.63 case and used an 8.84mm bullet. They called the resukting cartridge the "9mm." It was adopted by the German Army in 1908/

Double Naught Spy
December 2, 2007, 04:51 PM
Good catch!

obxned
December 2, 2007, 05:17 PM
Both the 9mm, .357Sig, and 40S&W are just fine for police work with good, modern JHPs. I'd certainly prefer the 45ACP, or in some cases even a 10mm, but not every individual and not every department feels comfortable with these two rounds.

The only downside I can see to the double-stack pistols is the unconscious tendency to spray and pray.

Crosshair
December 2, 2007, 11:40 PM
No it was not designed as anything. It is not really a 9mm. The original Luger cartridge was the 7,63mm Luger. When the Model 1900 7.63mm Luger was tested by the American and German armiies they rejected it because of its small caliber. To try to resolve this DWM eliminaked the bottle neck in the 7.63 case and used an 8.84mm bullet. They called the resukting cartridge the "9mm." It was adopted by the German Army in 1908/

+1. The 9mm was a stopgap solution. Most users wanted something that fired a bigger slug than the 7,63mm Luger. However, DWM wanted to avoid having to redesign the Luger and retool it's equipment. So they simply put in as big a slug as they could and loaded it to a level where it would function reliably in the Luger.

markj
December 3, 2007, 02:04 PM
Carry what suits ya, I will carry what suits me. Ettiqette says do not tell a guy what he uses is wrong, take him out to the pasture where a carcass is, shoot it up with what you got and what he got, look at the results. Compare.

Hitting the bullseye is far more important, focus on that first. Start out small, work your way up. I really dig my .44mag but the .45 is a fun one too. :)

Glenn E. Meyer
December 3, 2007, 02:24 PM
This is from

http://www.policeone.com/pc_print.asp?vid=1357766

On what a single officer needs if faced with an active shooter.

- Plenty of ammunition. One thing that becomes abundantly clear is that having plenty of ammo is imperative. Resupply is problematic at best, and running out is just plain unacceptable. The average cop is most likely carrying a handgun fully stoked and two back up magazines. In a Government Model 1911 .45ACP that’s only 22 rounds; in a Glock 22, that’s 46 rounds; a Glock 17 equates to 52 rounds and a Beretta 92F (M9) is 46 rounds. While I know plenty of people who believe that 9mm is not powerful enough when facing multiple opponents, would you rather have 22 rounds of .45ACP’ or 52 rounds of 9mm? The answer is one that you have to be happy with.

Jeff #111
December 3, 2007, 02:37 PM
I'm one of a small number of officers in my department who has opted to carry the Glock 19 (Federal +P+ 115 grain JHP) instead of the G21. Before October of 2006 ,when my department went to issuing Glocks, I carried the Sig 220 or 245 for six years.

I like the 45acp, but I don't like the G21. And that includes the G21SF. Now all new hires are issued a G21SF only. They don't get a choice. So they learn to shoot that big old blocky auto or they get another job.:(

I like the smaller grip of the 19 and I do enjoy the ability to do fast and accurate shooting with the 9mm. And say what you will I like the fact that I carry FIFTY rounds on my person (my reloads are G17 magazines).

I also have a 12 gauge shotgun and an AR-15 in my car for heavy work. And if nothing else I can lay down supressive fire with my fifty tiny bullets while my fellow officers come to my rescue with their big old 45's.;)

I would rather carry a handgun that I have confidence in then the biggest baddest hand-howitzer on the block that I can't handle with skill.

By the way the ammo is issued to me so no lectures about how I should carry the 124 grain +P whatever. We have thousands of rounds of the 115grain +P+ in stock and ammo isn't cheap.

IdahoG36
December 3, 2007, 07:40 PM
IMO, 115gr +P+ is the best load available in 9mm for SD work.

Frankyoz
December 3, 2007, 09:48 PM
I guess I must of misunderstood your thread title since I dont see your intial point that ties it to your header?

seeker_two
December 6, 2007, 01:46 PM
Based on your "analysis", the best weapon for law enforcement should be a S&W revolver in .44SPL or .45LC........

....not that there's anything wrong with that.... :cool:

IZinterrogator
December 6, 2007, 02:47 PM
It wasnt designed for the shooter to double-tap, but to spray at the enemy. No military pistol field manual I have ever read has advocated use of a handgun for suppressive fire. Sidearms are a last resort, and you shoot to kill with them.

kgpcr
December 8, 2007, 11:32 PM
I personaly thing the 9mm is a poor choice for a handgun for LEO or the military. When i was in the Marines i would not carry the 9mm i would only carry the .45. I want to make a big hole. big holes mean bad things to the guy getting shot. even the 5.56 will make a hell of a hole at close range.

suppressed_shooter
December 12, 2007, 08:05 PM
I'd have to disagree with both the spray-and-pray and double-tap comments regarding the military and handguns. Most of the military training I have run across with the Beretta for standard line troops is to put two rounds n the chest and follow it immediately with a third round to the head (I've heard it called a failure to stop drill).

In my (admittedly slim) experience, the doctrinal difference between military engagements and police engagements regarding handguns is the priority that the handgun recieves in self-defense.

In law-enforcement, it seems to me that the handgun is the primary defensive tool, while the rifle / shotgun / subgun is the fallback weapon. In the military, handguns generally take second place to the assault rifle or light machine gun. Basically, you transition to a handgun only if your primary weapon jams or you run out of ammo.

Now, depending on your rules of engagement, the military can be in situations where there is less concern for collateral damage than the LEO community, but in most of those situations a servicemember is much more likely to be using their primary weapon system for suppressive fire rather than their handgun (even assuming that they are issued one) After all, would you choose to fire a higher-felt-recoil weapon with 15 rounds of ammunition (and having two spare mags) or a lower-felt-recoil weapon with 30 rounds of ammunition (and 6 spare mags) and a greater chance of defeating soft cover?

The information I recall (I can't remember my source and I'm too lazy to try to find one to attribute it to) is that the U.S. military switched to the lighter, faster 9mm cartridge in order to make it easier for slighter-statured servicemembers to fire the weapon accurately. For at least the last 10 years, the U.S. Army has been fairly serious about being able to put rounds on target accurately (also laziness regarding sources, as I can speak from experience only to that point). It makes sense, at least to me, to use a lighter calibre round that more people can hit things with. I can only engage so many targets in a brief span of time. If the troops to my left and right are hitting what they aim at, that's less work for me, neh?

Of course, given my choice, I'd carry my Glock 29 subcompact in 10mm as my secondary rather than a beretta.

Tartaruga
December 13, 2007, 10:44 PM
The double tap is a ridiculous notion. Police shoot until the threat is eliminated - no more and no less.

Plus under stress a lot more lead will be dispensed than the officer intended usually.

The military went to the 9mm Parabellum to conform with all the other NATO countries.

The Body Bagger
December 13, 2007, 11:14 PM
Sorry man, I think you have it all wrong.


I agree. Comapring FMJ 9mm and military tactics to LEO is comparing apples and oranges. As for the 1911, yes I love mine, but I have not seen a box stock average 1911 work 100% in 20 years.

When i was in the Marines i would not carry the 9mm i would only carry the .45

Really? When were you in and what did you do that allowed such a choice? 1986 is the last time I saw a 1911 when I was in.

oldbillthundercheif
December 14, 2007, 12:35 AM
I have not seen a box stock average 1911 work 100% in 20 years.

I have not seen a stock 1911 fail to function out of the box in at least that long (except for guns from Auto Ordinance, which is less a firearms manufacturer than a paperweight distributor).

I would venture to say that 99% of the 1911 problems I have ever seen were caused by substandard gunsmithing. They work until you cause them not to work, usually.

Double Naught Spy
December 14, 2007, 08:29 AM
I take it that njtrigger isn't going to attempt to defend or explain his original positions. I call "Troll" thread.

Jeff #111
December 14, 2007, 09:59 AM
I would also like to hear from njtrigger. He has been a member since 2006 and has over 150 posts. His previous posts don't seem to have that Troll quality. So how about it njtrigger. Any defense of you position?

Capt Charlie
December 14, 2007, 12:34 PM
Sorry guys; for reasons I won't go into, njtrigger won't be responding to this or any other thread here at TFL, and this one's run its course.

Closed.