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Old October 25, 2012, 12:24 AM   #1
Gunnut17
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Wierd, Police In Same Vehicle, Different Guns.

I was in a convenience store earlier tonight, and two LEO's were in there getting coffee, naturally, I was excited to see a real gun for once in what seems like forever, I glance at their holsters to see what they are carrying. Strangely, one is carrying a Glock (Model Unknown.), while the other has a 1911.

Is it normal for Police Officers to sometimes have two different pistols on two different guys, especially in the same car? I would of thought that there would be one kind of pistol for everyone to use. I have only ever seen Glocks on Belen and Los Lunas LEO's.

Thanks!
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Old October 25, 2012, 12:34 AM   #2
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Pretty common. The two most common reasons are:

The department adopted a new sidearm for all officers, but officers carrying the old one were grandfathered in.

OR

The department has a policy which allows officers to select a weapon from a limited range of quality manufacturers within a range of calibers, as long as they qualify.

For example, two officers of my local PD that came to my door last month when a bunch of kids keyed some cars on my street had different guns. Oddly enough, it was the opposite of the usual older officer with the 1911. The sergeant, late thirties or early forties, had a Generation 3 Glock G22 and the young, early twenties officer had a Kimber Stainless TLE. I asked them about it, and apparently my local department is the second type I mentioned above - .40 or .45 caliber are allowed, from a wide range of manufacturers. The sergeant said before the G22 .40 he packed around his own HK USP .45.
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Old October 25, 2012, 12:45 AM   #3
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the leo's mostly carry glock 22 pistols in my city. they get kinda jealous when i mention that i carry a sig lol.
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Old October 25, 2012, 12:59 AM   #4
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a lot of PDs allow officers to "roll their own". naturally they are required to qualify with the dept issued weapons but once they qualify some allow you to qualify with your personally owned weapons assuming that they meet certain criteria.

out here the 3 of the 4 PDs issue glocks with the fourth issuing M&Ps however they all allow officers to roll thier own so it is common to see Sigs, 1911s, XDs and Berettas.
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Old October 25, 2012, 04:07 AM   #5
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a lot of PDs allow officers to "roll their own".
I have seen this alot where I live...its quite common actually.
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Old October 25, 2012, 04:47 AM   #6
shuler13
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My loal PD used to let everyone choose their own, but recently switched to M&P.

Two opposing pints of view on this:

1) if in a situation where life is at stake, I'd like to have the tool I use best not what I was forced to use.

2) if I ran out of bullets, I'd like to borrow magazine from my partner.

Decisions, decisions.
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Old October 25, 2012, 06:08 AM   #7
WC145
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Many smaller depts either don't issue weapons so officers must provide their own or allow officers to provide their own based on dept criteria so you can see quite a variety. Bigger depts generally issue weapons with few allowances for personally owned duty guns. Most, if not all, federal agencies issue weapons with no allowance for for personally owned guns. A lot of it has to do with resources and consistency with dept issued gear and support. It's a lot more cost effective to order 5000 model x holsters for model y pistol than outfit different officers with different gear, ammunition, etc. Also, if they're big enough to have their own armorer(s) it's easier to have them trained to support one particular brand/line of weapon.

When I worked for the local S.O. they issued Glock 21s but you could carry anything that met the sheriff's criteria if you could qualify with it but you had to provide your own weapon specific gear (they provided ammo). I carried an HK at the time and other deputys had 1911s, Berettas, S&W autos, 9MM & .40 Glocks, even a S&W M66. Now I work for a very small dept that doesn't issue any weapons or related gear though they do reimburse for practice and duty ammunition. I carried a 1911 for the last several years but recently switched to a FNP45 Tactical (still carry a 1911 off duty).

Interestingly, here in Maine, our state agencies all carry different guns/calibers - the Warden Service carry SIGs in 357sig, State Police carry HK45s, Marine Patrol carry .40cal Glocks (IIRC), with no allowance for personally owned weapons. They all use different brands/styles of holsters and gear. Imagine the cost savings if all of the state agencies were to settle on one brand/line of sidearm in one caliber, with the same duty rig. The situation is the same with long arms.
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Old October 25, 2012, 06:15 AM   #8
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Around here - the PDs have to carry the issued weapon, but the Sheriff's dept has the choice of whatever they want, because they have to buy it themselves
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Old October 25, 2012, 06:24 AM   #9
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It's also possible one of them was part of a special team of some kind.

I know around here, the State Troopers carry Sig P229's, but if the Trooper is part of the SWAT team, they carry 1911's.

It's possible one of the officers you saw was a member of the regional SWAT team or equivalent, and was authorized to carry that sidearm as a result.
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Old October 25, 2012, 06:55 AM   #10
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The idea to share a mag with another officer seems to be a myth. From what I've read times that an officer has to borrow are extremely rare. Besides, do you want to give someone who has wasted his ammo your ammo to waste ?

I think it's smarter to let an officer pick his gun, one that fits him and he's confident with .
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Old October 25, 2012, 08:18 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mete View Post
The idea to share a mag with another officer seems to be a myth. From what I've read times that an officer has to borrow are extremely rare. Besides, do you want to give someone who has wasted his ammo your ammo to waste ?

I think it's smarter to let an officer pick his gun, one that fits him and he's confident with .
I agree, but a department may see it from a different perspective. I assume there are other advantages.
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Old October 25, 2012, 08:29 AM   #12
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Here in NYC I don't think the cops get to bring their own, but they do get to choose from several standard issue guns issued by the department. So far I've seen them with Glocks (23 I believe, some sort of mid-size) S&W 5946 (or some sort of steel framed S&W automatic) and DAO Sig 226. Those are all issued by the NYPD and the cops get to pick.

So yea,it's not out of the ordinary to see two cops carry different guns
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Old October 25, 2012, 09:13 AM   #13
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In the area where I grew up most of the departments were small enough that they didn't issue firearms to their officers. Officers either received a stipend to purchase their own from a list, or they carried one they already owned.

When I was working for the newspaper I lived in an area with a PD of about 15 officers for a borough of about 10,000 people. On the outskirts were several township police departments and a couple of smaller borough (few thousand residents) forces that ranged from 1 full time officer to maybe 8.

During my time there:

Several officers carried Glock 9mms. They tended to be younger.

Several carried other 9mms -- at least one Beretta, one S&W, and I THINK a Colt 1911 in 9mm.

Quite a few carried Colt 1911s in .45 ACP.

One carried a Colt Double Eagle .45.

As for revolvers:

One carried an S&W .44 Magnum (this guy was freaking ENORMOUS, in his hands it looked like a snubnose .38!)

Several carried .357 Magnums, mostly S&Ws but I think also one Colt.

I don't think anyone carried a dedicated .38 Special unless it was a snub as a back up or off duty.

The really neat one, though, was the chief of the little town up the road.

He carried the Colt New Service in .45 Long Colt that his Grandfather had carried as a peace officer around World War I and which his Father, also a police officer, carried at times.
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Old October 25, 2012, 09:16 AM   #14
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I personally, would never carry a different gun than my partner.
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Old October 25, 2012, 09:21 AM   #15
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I've always chosen a duty handgun from the approved list rather than the company gun......which is usually made by and purchased from the lowest bidder.

I was once scolded by a senior officer who lectured me on the advantages of using the common mags and same ammunition as my partner.

When he finished I told him; "El Tee if my partner uses up all his ammunition and don't hit anything, he sure ain't gettin any of mine."

You should always be allowed to use the gun that you shoot best and get fast accurate hits with. Not forced to use the cheaply made, striker fired plastic junk that didn't go through, let alone pass, a T&E but was selected because the agency bean counters liked the price. Or because they got them for free in exchange for the current company guns.

My 0.02 Regards 18DAI
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Old October 25, 2012, 09:26 AM   #16
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^That's just personal preference. My Glock 17 is "blue label" KFU and was $389 with 3 mags. Sucker functions like a beast.
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Old October 25, 2012, 09:33 AM   #17
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"I've always chosen a duty handgun from the approved list rather than the company gun......which is usually made by and purchased from the lowest bidder."



So, for example, you wouldn't, say, carry a Colt if it was the company gun, because it was made by the low bidder, but you'd carry your own gun, which might incidentally also be a.... Colt?

As often as not, unless you're talking about a HUGE police force with considerable purchasing power, the police issue guns came off the production line with noone ever knowing that they were going to be police handguns.
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Old October 25, 2012, 10:37 AM   #18
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As often as not, unless you're talking about a HUGE police force with considerable purchasing power, the police issue guns came off the production line with no one ever knowing that they were going to be police handguns.

Exactly. They're just priced differently to LE and marked with different serial numbers to keep them in line.
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Old October 25, 2012, 11:03 AM   #19
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The idea to share a mag with another officer seems to be a myth. From what I've read times that an officer has to borrow are extremely rare. Besides, do you want to give someone who has wasted his ammo your ammo to waste ?
You're assuming everyone gets there at the same time. Norco, Newhall, the '86 Miami FBI shootout, among others all involved LEO's arriving at different times.
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Old October 25, 2012, 11:32 AM   #20
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i never knew that certain guns were meant for police from the beginning, thats pretty interesting. i learn something new every day on this forum.
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Old October 25, 2012, 11:44 AM   #21
tahunua001
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I personally, would never carry a different gun than my partner.
many smaller PDs do not assign permanent partners. everyone has to cycle shifts(personal observations show an average of every 3 months). if everyone rolls their own then that means that you have to buy a new gun every 3 months in order to have interchangeability with your partner. good luck with that.

most shootouts are a 3 shot affair where the perp pulls a gun, fires and officers respond with a double tap. in the very rare case where it degrades into a standoff it's not going to be like the movies where the cops are all huddled behind their cruisers filling the building with lead, it ends either be talking the perp down or by swat team intervention.

over 95% of peace officers will never have to fire their gun in the line of duty, of those less than 5% will see a situation that involves prolonged standoffs where they need extra ammo. I agree that the need for interchangeability is a myth. there is little need of it.

if I was ever in a situation where my partner had shot up all his ammo and I still have a mag to spare you can bet he isn't getting the whole mag, I'm jacking a few rounds into his hand and that's all he's getting, maybe he'll place his shots better knowing that he's an idiot that just wasted his only line of defense.
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Old October 25, 2012, 12:03 PM   #22
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guns, "excited", duty uses...

I'm interested by the forum member's post because he was "excited" to see "real guns" .
I'm not quite sure what that means but to answer the topic question, I'd add that in my metro area, most PDs & sworn LE deputies all carry the exact same brand/model but the larger LE agencies allow some minor changes.
The large city PD where I live has issued the SIG-Sauer P226 & P226R in 9x19mm for over 18 years. They carry the top rated Ranger T 127gr +P+ 9mm JHPs. The PD considered switching weapons & calibers(.45acp, .40S&W, etc) about 3 years ago but decided to maintain the 9x19mm due to budget/logistics/training standards.
The police union pushed to allow the personal use of .357sig & .40 caliber SIG models if the sworn officer buys it. The police chief granted the union change.
The sheriff's office deputies & detectives pack the Glock 21 .45acp pistol but many LE deputies carry 9mm & .40/.357sig model Glocks too.
Many uniformed county deputies tote a Glock 21 .45acp with a white light, then carry a model 36 or a 30 as a BUG(back up gun).
State sworn LEOs mainly use the Glock .45GAP line. I think it was politics & budget/$ issues that pushed that choice. To my limited knowledge, a few state LE agencies nationwide have cut the .45GAP, switching to a .40 or .357sig type Glock.

Many of the small PDs & county sheriffs where I live tote SIG Sauer .40s or Glock duty pistols.
If I were a sheriff or police chief, I'd issue a standard DA-only semi auto pistol to uniformed patrols & tactical teams(SWAT, K9, EOD-bomb squad, etc) but would allow detectives/undercover agents to carry sidearms of their own choice(within certain department guidelines).
Combat veteran & tactics trainer; Jeff Cooper once stated; "Officers have the most faith in a weapon of their own choosing.". I agree, but in today's age there are many practical elements to consider when picking a sidearm.

Clyde
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Old October 25, 2012, 01:01 PM   #23
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I know my local sheriffs office has a single standard sidearm (Glock 22). I don't if it is issued or purchased by the deputies. I do know the deputies are not allowed to modify it all (i.e. trigger, sights, etc).
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Old October 25, 2012, 01:55 PM   #24
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The departments in my area and those of officers I know seem to be either the "We issue the Glock 22, and everyone must carry it and like it" or the "Anything off of this list and/or in this caliber" schools.

My city department is all Glock 22s. An officer I know an hour or two north of me can carry anything in 9mm, .40 S&W, or .45 ACP.
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Old October 25, 2012, 03:30 PM   #25
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Common in my city and surrounding departments. They have relaxed the mandatory issued carry gun because it has been proven officers that carry their approved and preferred side arm shoot them better qualifying. Its a win win situation because they get officers that practice more and shoot better on duty.
Most of my buddies that are on the force and SWAT detest having to use their issued Glocks from years back. Most have purchased their own duty gun and leave their Glock at the armory. SWAT has totally went to Kimber 1911's and it is permeating out to patrol officers. Only the newbies are carrying Glocks anymore. Sig Sauers, FN, and 1911's are the more popular carry arms. There is also a PPQ movement going on as well.

Last edited by Mystro; October 25, 2012 at 03:38 PM.
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