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Old January 17, 2013, 04:04 PM   #1
simonrichter
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Service handgun: full size or compact?

It might be a little detail, I just wondered: When a service handgun for any military is chosen, it's quite self-explaining that this will normally be a full size handgun, e.g. a G17. Still, in the recent years there have been some large contracts awarded for compact size service handguns (e.g. the G19 for the Iraqi security forces).

Is there any logic behind that or is it just that the real-world difference beetween full size and compact size is actually neglectable, thus making the choice a mere matter of taste for the ones to decide?

Not to be mistaken, I'm talking about main military sidearm contracts, not police or military police units or whatsoever where maybe concealed carry could be an issue...
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Old January 17, 2013, 04:36 PM   #2
Punisher_1
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I would think they take into account that the duty firearm will also be the off duty firearm and therefore a smaller frame would be easier to carry off duty. Most of those guys don't have a variety of firearms at home to choose something else for different carry circumstances. Who knows the Glock 19s might have been police trade-ins since we use alot of those in the states.
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Old January 17, 2013, 08:29 PM   #3
Archie
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Not Sure...

...if "government decisions" equate to "logic". Ever.

A standard duty sidearm is normally a full-sized, full weight pistol. The Beretta adopted as the M9 comes to mind.

For law enforcement or security work, the standards are a bit different. For instance, In the early 90s, U. S. Customs decided to replace the issue sidearm - then a Smith & Wesson 685 called a 'CS-1' - with the S&W 6946, a cut down 9x19 pistol made for concealed carry. The original idea was this pistol would be issued to all troops, uniformed and plain clothes alike. (Then, the Service allowed the plain clothes agents to carry non-issued weapons and the uniforms were stuck with the short and wide gripped 6946s.)

Historically, military air forces carry smaller, lighter guns. I think - not for sure - the reason was to keep weight to a minimum. (For instance the Italian Air Force's 1935 Beretta in .32 ACP and the U. S. 'Aircrewman' revolver made of aluminum and chambered in .38 Special.)

Logic? I think it's more along the lines of someone is assigned to decide and a particular firearm is selected based on whatever criteria that 'someone' decides. Then whoever offers the suitable item at the cheapest price gets the deal.
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Old January 17, 2013, 08:38 PM   #4
Alabama Shooter
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A lot of Middle Eastern Leader don't like to be seen carrying a gun. That does not mean they don't carry one.
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Old January 17, 2013, 11:31 PM   #5
Rainbow Demon
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U S and U K Aircrew pistols were normally full size steel frame before WW2, Most other militaries had already accepted the smaller blowback autoloaders as officers pistols if the officer was expected to use it in a defensive role rather than as a combat weapon.

During WW2 many aircrew received rib injuries on bailing out if wearing a 1911 or S&W revolver in a shoulder holster or in a pocket of a survival vest. In post WW2 years the USAF began looking for a much lighter handgun that would not slam into the crewman's ribcage when his chute opened.
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Old January 18, 2013, 02:31 AM   #6
warningshot
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Quote:
Service handgun: full size or compact?
Full Dinner or A-La-Carte?
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Old January 18, 2013, 03:21 PM   #7
simonrichter
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Other than the Iraqi Security Forces I have thrown in a san example, I've learned that what is called the Afghanistan National Army (turncoats welcome, I suppose...) has been equipped with a newer Version of the S&W Sigma, which would be a full-sized option...
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