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Old February 20, 2013, 05:19 PM   #1
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Gonna be in LE

Going to school this August for Police Science then straight to certification then an Academy. Need some suggestions and insight on what caliber/make of a handgun a police officer would be honored to carry. Cost means nothing as I've been fortunate enough to save enough money for college and so on. I want the best.

To narrow it down...

I'd prefer a .40 or .45 but if someone can convince me that 9MM is more ideal, be my guest.

I've done some research but I'm sure I haven't even scratched the surface and would just like to hear other's opinions.
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Old February 20, 2013, 05:21 PM   #2
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First and foremost, congratulations!

Second, welcome to the Firing Line.

Finally, if you have some ideas of where or for what department you'll be working for, I'd suggest that you contact someone there and ask about what sorts of pistols are accepted as duty weapons. If there's only one accepted firearm, then nothing we say here will make a hoot's worth of difference.
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Old February 20, 2013, 05:22 PM   #3
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Good idea. Thanks, I'll look into it.
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Old February 20, 2013, 05:23 PM   #4
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Most Departments Issue Service Weapons

Therefore I can only assume you are looking for a personal piece that will closely replecate what you end up working with. I think Glock still has somethingn like 60% of the national LE market so being that you most likely don't know which agency you will be working for I would reccomend a G22 in a full size gun that will closely replecate what you are most likely to be working with.

I own a G27 subcompact and a G23 compact. (not being in LE I get to use guns that I like and fit my hands and needs). The full size is not a good grip for me therefore I do not own a full size glock. I will tell you that I don't think you can buy a better pistol for the $.

Congrats on your profession, Thank you for your upcoming service, and welcome to TFL!
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Old February 20, 2013, 05:46 PM   #5
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Don't most departments allow you to use your own if they pass certain criteria/tests? I'm pretty sure I need one for the academy?
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Old February 20, 2013, 06:14 PM   #6
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That really varies from agency to agency. Some supply it and thats all you can have, others have you pay for the pistol but it has to be from a approved list etc. and some will say carry whatever you want.
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Old February 20, 2013, 06:19 PM   #7
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I'll find out more as the schooling comes. Thanks for all of your imput. I was leaning toward a Glock 22 anyway :P
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Old February 20, 2013, 06:31 PM   #8
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40 cal, what I just bought and will learn to shoot with in LE myself. Finish collegei n another year and will apply.
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Old February 20, 2013, 06:35 PM   #9
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Not to rain on the parade but I wouldn't be worried about a sidearm at this point in the game if you haven't even started schooling yet.

There's gonna be a lot more other stuff your gonna need to remember.

If you graduate and get a job you'll be issued a weapon, also then depending on the department you can find if/what they allow for personal weapons on or off duty.

Since your leaning to the .40 I'll go ahead and say 9mm is better because its more affordable to shoot and has an easier learning curve thus letting you practice more and become a better shooter. I've found alot of novice shooters gravitate towards the .40 for some reason... Probably cuz the 'cops use it.' Odds are you'll be issued a .40S&W anyway so I wouldn't sweat it.
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Old February 20, 2013, 06:48 PM   #10
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Also to add to the above post, most firearms instructors I've talked to prefer you show up with little to no experience so you can learn their way of doing things.
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Old February 20, 2013, 06:53 PM   #11
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I'm not "worried". I'm just gathering information. Thank you for your imput though, I do realize 9mm is cheaper to shoot. I'd rather have something as close as I can get to the same sidearm as I would be using or will use. As of right now, I have zero experience with shooting pistols lol.
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Old February 20, 2013, 07:00 PM   #12
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An HK P7M10.
"9mm has a very long history of being a pointy little bullet moving quickly" --Sevens
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Old February 20, 2013, 10:35 PM   #13
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I personally like the Glock 35 better for duty. It's a little easier to shoot well with hardly any extra weight. The extended controls are easier to operate with your gloves on, and you get standard night sites (or at least mine came that way). Take a hard look at it, and definitely look at 23 or 27 as a backup (depending on your setup and size).
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Old February 20, 2013, 10:40 PM   #14
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As of right now, I have zero experience with shooting pistols lol.
get a 22 then. my buddy graduated from BLET in NC last spring and is now in LE, he used glock 9mm in the academy but his department issues sigs in 357sig. most likely you will be issued a department weapon when you get hired so logical choices now would be a 22 for lots of practice and/or something you could use as a BUG on duty. id personally recommend a 22 DA revolver, something that will challenge you to learn proper trigger control and sight picture as well as make whatever your issued seem like a breeze to shoot, and something like a keltec pf9 or one of the khar 9mms if your looking for a back up weapon
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Old February 20, 2013, 10:47 PM   #15
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I was given a Glock 22. Learned to love it.

No longer in it. Due to a crappy event, not age. I'm still a young one.

It boils down to what the department makes you or lets you carry upon qualification. There's a list of what you can, most likely.

Bigger things to worry about and focus on when going into LE. Crack the books.
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Old February 20, 2013, 10:48 PM   #16
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The pistol you are looking for is medium to large frame semi auto with one trigger pull and a caliber you can afford to practice with. If you have your heart set on one particular agency then focus on what they carry. Generally speaking your looking at a Glock or M&P, maybe a Sig. You could actually buy a .22lr and become a marksman and that experience would follow you to whatever gun and caliber you select. Purchase something relatively cheap, say a Glock or M&P 9mm or 40 cal, and then start going to schools you can afford. When you go to different trainers listen to them and keep your mind open, (one will eventually contradict another.) Marksmanship is something you learn and when you become proficient it will follow you to whatever your issued. Good luck.

Just a side note. Take some time and learn to shoot. Your ability to shoot will not help you earn a job, but it will help you after the fact. The current crop of recruits is lacking in shooting skills and sometimes they lose their job because of it.
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Old February 20, 2013, 11:14 PM   #17
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My input...

For a new sworn LE career in 2013/2014, I would suggest buying a NIB(new in box) unfired, DA only semi-auto pistol with 3 dot night sights(glow in low light), a 1913-rail for lasers, white lights, etc. a ambi manual safety(frame mounted) & ambi type controls are a big +. You will trained to fire/reload one handed or learn "wounded officer" methods in your skill training. Get a new sidearm that works not just with your bare hands but gloves too.
It should be well engineered & robust to handle wear-use-weather conditions(rain sun snow mud dust). Don't buy cheap knock-offs or off-brands. That's a rookie rig. .
Good sidearm picks include; the PX4 C model in 9x19mm or .40, the SIG Sauer P229R DAK in .40S&W or .357sig, the HK P30 or P2000 LEM(law enforcement modification), the Smith & Wesson Military & Police full size(with manual safety, no magazine safety), the XDm in .357sig or .40, the Glock 22 or 32 gen04 with Trijicon HD 3 dot sights, . The Glock 22 .40 is popular with LE but I prefer the potent .357sig. It's fast, powerful & feeds great.

Some models may have compacts or sub-compacts you can buy for back up use or off-duty. They use the same brand full size pistol mags too.
Glock, SIG Sauer, Beretta, XDm, etc. for example; you could buy a P229R .40 or .357sig, then get a P224 DAK as a back-up. Or a P2000sk .40 or .357sig to back up a larger duty P2000 LEM pistol.
For cleaning products check . A good CLP is LPX, , Weaponshield, Ballistol, or Gunzilla; .
Read the manuals & safety material too. If a lawyer or judge asks you in open court or a hearing, you can be honest.
Carry only factory made or PD approved-issue rounds on LE duty. No hand loaded or reloads. Prices are super high but many LE instructors & armed professionals still advise using only factory made rounds.
For gun sales/resources, see: .
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Old February 21, 2013, 12:14 AM   #18
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Larger departments will usually issue you your weapons. Smaller departments will either let you select from an approved list or just let you buy your own.

If I were going to get on with a specific department I would talk to the other officers on the dept. and find out what they carry. It is always good to be able to share mags and ammo.
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Old February 21, 2013, 12:33 AM   #19
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I think most of the others have pretty well covered the duty weapon thng.

I would like to say Congrats on a career decision and good luck with it,

Also, I hope that it will not fall your lot during your career to carryout the disarming of this country further down the road. If this country continues on this path, there is little doubt in my mind that we well face that reality in the not so distant future, I am confident enough in that prospect, that if I were would keep me from a career in LE. But, I certainly hope that you are never faced with this reality. BTW, by disarming I mean, not so much confiscation, as enforcing the ever tightening restrictions and outright bans on firearms, Because, if the laws are passed, you will be bound to the enforcement.

God bless you and good luck to you.
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Old February 21, 2013, 12:58 AM   #20
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I have zero experience with shooting pistols lol.
Then I'd go with what Cbuck said and get a .22. Probably a Ruger Target or a Browning Buckmark. You can shoot a lot with them and when your old and gray and retired you can pass them down to your grand kids and they can shoot a lot with them. If money is no object get a S&W Model 41.

If you can find a handgun class take it.

Join a league and shoot competition.

When you get to the Academy be quiet, pay attention and shoot the way they tell you to shoot.

You'll do fine in the firearms department but people skills are what you'll use more often that firearms skills. Firearms skills may keep you alive but the people skills will keep you from being miserable most of the days of your career.

Good luck.
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Old February 21, 2013, 01:29 AM   #21
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15 rounds of .40 in a Glock 22 is hard to beat for uniformed service. My G22 was a municipal trade in when a Texas city upgraded their 10 year old stock for a later generation. I bought three at around 325 each and kept one. Second generation guns, dead night sights, and three mags each. Great guns. I probably should replace those sights but for now they are doing OK as they are.
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Old February 21, 2013, 01:35 AM   #22
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I'd prefer a .40 or .45 but if someone can convince me that 9MM is more ideal, be my guest.

Shot placement.
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Old February 21, 2013, 02:07 AM   #23
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Not much to add. I'm an LEO in AZ, almost every PD here issues a Glock 22. The sheriffs offices will issue the Glock 22 as well, but you can purchase something else from their list to carry. Some agencies are going to this and our range instructors are looking to add Glock 21 and the full size 9mm 17 or 19 as options we can carry but must buy on our own.

Strangely DPS our highway patrol is issued Sig P226 in 40 S&W. I think we are going to see a lot of AZ agencies leaving the Glock 22 as Gen 4s aren't being well received.
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Old February 21, 2013, 02:28 AM   #24
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First of all, welcome to the forum and congrats on going to LE academy.

One of my roomates just became an Orange County Deputy but he was living with me while he was in police academy (training). He told me their department gave each officer a choice of either Glock21 or Glock22. He picked the G21, but he is an excellent shot anyway being a veteran Marine.

Given the choice between 40 and 45, you really can't go wrong with either caliber. I'm sure people have their preferences and biases, but go with whichever you shoot better. 40 will give you a couple extra rounds, but 45 puts "bigger holes" if that matters.

In the end it will just boil down to your preference if your department gave you a choice between different calibers. Look into what's issued first, as they may just issue one caliber instead. If you also choose to buy your own duty weapon, you must qualify with that weapon before you can carry it on duty.

Best of luck!
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Old February 21, 2013, 02:31 PM   #25
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Also I'd focus on learning Spanish while you're in school.

When you're an LEO please don't be one of those that makes the profession look bad and remember you're in LE not the military.
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