Stop basing firearms preferences on what LE and Military choose.

This is a discussion on Stop basing firearms preferences on what LE and Military choose. within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I find it odd that people base their firearm preference on what LE administration's choose. We see it on forum's constantly, hear it in retort; ...

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Thread: Stop basing firearms preferences on what LE and Military choose.

  1. #1
    Distinguished Member Array matthew03's Avatar
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    Stop basing firearms preferences on what LE and Military choose.

    I find it odd that people base their firearm preference on what LE administration's choose. We see it on forum's constantly, hear it in retort; such and such agency went with product X, so that's what I use. So and so changed caliber from X to Y so that is the best projectile.


    You have to remember police officers carry what is given to them, not necessarily what is the best or most preferred of the status quo. We have seen major departments choose one firearm over another simply because the manufacturer provided leather gear to go with it, took previously issued guns from a different company in on equal or near equal trade for new, offered extremely viable maintenance/replacement contracts, or simply traded out one gun for a new one for no cost, etc.

    Reference the US Military's adoption of the M9; it didn't actually outperform the competition, Beretta was simply allowed knowledge of the bid by Sig and under cut that bid slightly. Not to mention the fact that the contract allowed us to put intercontinental ballistic missiles in Italy during the Cold War.

    I choose my self defense firearms by what preferences and advantages they bring me, not on what fiscally benefited the LAPD or NYPD.

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  3. #2
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    Typically I'd agree with you, especially when it comes to those who copy the military.

    BUT.. it is often recommended to carry what your local or state LEOs carry so that if you are ever in a self defense situation and your caliber or choice of firearm is brought up you can respond with, "Well, this is what law enforcement in our state carries."

    It should not be the only basis upon what you choose but for some new shooters it's a good place to start.

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    I don't know. Some military firearms are just plain cool (the ones that have some history behind them). Also, over the last century and a half or so, much of what becomes available to the public is just that type of battle tested weapon, like the 1911. So it's natural that folks gravitate that way.

    For concealed carry (this still is a forum that, at least partially focuses on that, right?) I think you're on the mark, there are a lot of other options that, for some, might make more sense.
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    It is as valid a reason as basing the decision on how "pretty" a gun is.

    I let other people worry about their decision-making criteria. I don't have the time.
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    Will if I want to.
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    Senior Member Array sigs's Avatar
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    Perhaps this can be one of many factors not necessarily [/B]the [/B]factor in a purchase/use. Like most decisions we should weigh many facts and opinions and give them the weight they deserve.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sigs View Post
    Perhaps this can be one of many factors not necessarily [/B]the [/B]factor in a purchase/use. Like most decisions we should weigh many facts and opinions and give them the weight they deserve.
    ^^^This^^^

    It would be foolish to select a CCW soley upon it's use by any given agency. It would be equally foolish to ignore the value of the data such use provides regardless of the reason Dept. X went with Pistol Y.
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    In the early days of space exploration, there was a saying stenciled on the gantry of the space vehicle. It was the last thing the astronauts saw as they entered their space capsule. It said: "As you enter this spacecraft, remember that it was built by the lowest bidder." Firearms selection by police and military administrators follow closely along those guidelines.
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    Distinguished Member Array Rexster's Avatar
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    Yes, but on the other hand, a bunch of other folks testing a weapon in the real world can be an indicator of reliability and ruggedness, which can increase my comfort level. Like bmcgilvray, I will if I want to!
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    Its human nature to choose what someone else did because people for the most part,are lazy.

    I've heard it many times...".the police/military thought it was good enough for them, so its good enough for me" argument when someone was buying a gun. Since large depts, and the military does do some research on things before they buy them, it can be a valid argument.Police Depts can be the same and I''ve been in on some of the discussions. " The Sherrif over in so&so county really likes Brand A, better than Brand B because they had issues, so we'll get 30 of Brand A.Some dont have the man power, the time or the inclination because they see it as a duplication of effort and they can spend their time on doing something else.

    Others will simply see something on TV and get the bug for that particular gun. Dirty Harry Calahan caused a run on Model 29 Smith and Wessons in .44 mag when it came out and other follow up movies related to it kept it high in sales. Bruce Willis once quipped that the Glock was the preffered weapon of terrorists because it couldnt be detected in airport metal detectors, in one of his movies. Guess what? Glocks became popular almost overnight. Remember the original Miami Vice? Don Johnson sported a Bren Ten a 10 MM pistol that became popluar.His sidekick often carried a sawed off Remington 870 that spiked sales of SBS's were they were legal.

    I remember watching John Wayne as a kid. I always wanted a Colt.45 and the "Rifleman" Chuck Connors spinning that lever action around walking down the street. Me and half the kids in the neighborhood had plastic models that fired caps. With a bit of practice, one could walke the street while shooting his cap gun at the mailman walking by.Its not a bad thing really...buying a gun just because you saw one somewhere else that you liked.

    Half of my shooting buddies have seem some of my things and ended up buying one just like it.I have done the same many times.

    Most people figure that if the police or military got it, then its got to be good enough. They do some serious testing,often testing to failure and they use conditions that most privatley owned firearms will never see.There's more to it though. If the military or police get something, its likely that a whole industry will support them with parts, aftermarkets items, magazines and all kinds of other gear...look at the AR/15 platform as an example. Even the ole .45 ACP started off as a military gun and look how it's survived time.

    The stuff that the police/military gets may not be the prettiest,the sexiest, the most ergonomic, it may not have the highest dollar parts in them and often they will be built by the lowest bidder, but they usually do work and on a firearm, that really what matters.
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    Ex Member Array JBachman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by limatunes View Post
    Typically I'd agree with you, especially when it comes to those who copy the military.

    BUT.. it is often recommended to carry what your local or state LEOs carry so that if you are ever in a self defense situation and your caliber or choice of firearm is brought up you can respond with, "Well, this is what law enforcement in our state carries."
    I don't understand this philosophy... It doesn't really matter what weapon or caliber you use to stop an eminent threat. Are there any cases in which a GOOD SHOT was subject to scrutiny due to caliber and/or weapon choice?

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    Senior Member Array MilitaryArms's Avatar
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    This practice has been going on since the beginning of gun rags.

    People by our very nature are followers. We look for a leader and when they find one, they tend to follow them. Sometimes that leader isn't a person but an entity, like the FBI or Military.

    Back when the police predominately used .357 Magunms and .38 Specials, the FBI jumped to the 9mm and semi-auto handguns. The first one adopted was the S&W 459 in the early 1980's and they were ear marked for the then new Hostage Rescue Team. Once the FBI adopted the 9mm, police departments around the country couldn't ditch their S&W revolvers fast enough. Civilian shooters followed suit, and the 9mm became all the rage in the 1980's.

    Then the 1986 Dade County shootout happened. The poorly designed Silver Tip bullet of the era, which had become popular because of the FBI's use of the ammo, was deemed a failure. The FBI had something of a knee jerk reaction and adopted the 10mm. There were factions within the FBI that wanted to keep the 9mm and use more effective ammo, and there were factions that wanted the .45 ACP. But they decided the magic caliber was .40 and set about adopting the 10mm. Of course the 10mm ammo that Norma loaded was hot stuff, and was too much gun for many agents. The FBI then adopted the "FBI Load" 10mm which was a 180gr JHP loaded to a more modest 950fps. The pistol they adopted was the 1076.

    One again the race was on. Everyone had to own a 10mm. Companies started making more and more 10mm's of various designs and S&W sold a metric ton of 1006's, 1076's and every other model they devised in that chambering. Everyone follows the FBI.

    Then the FBI decided that the new S&W .40 was better as it allowed a more modest sized pistol to be used. The 10mm wasn't small gun friendly and required a larger framed handgun given the OAL of the cartridge. When the 10mm was dropped by the FBI in favor of the .40 S&W, the move away from 10mm by the gun buying public was swift... so swift that the fledgling round nearly died completely. It still barely clings to life...

    This is one of the reasons I refuse to adopt the .40 S&W. First, it's an answer to an non-existent problem. Secondly, I can't bring myself to follow the pack just because it's the taticool thing to do. Sure, if the .40 S&W actually offered something substantial over the 9mm or .45 ACP I would use it. But as it stands, the .40 S&W is little more than the latest FBI fad and it's popularity in the civilian shooting world is directly related to this.

    With that being said, the .40 is a fine cartridge.

    Good luck getting the majority of the gun buying public to stop following the FBI, LEO's in general or even the military. The military, for example, has always influenced civilian shooting. There's a few reasons for this.

    1) Surplus rifles
    2) Surplus ammo
    3) Millions of Americans serve in the military and get their first exposure to firearms there, they bond to their weapons and calibers
    4) If you want an effective fighting rifle, most are of military design and hence use military calibers

    There's not much we can do about it. :D
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    I never choose a carry gun based on what the local LEO's use. First, because the majority of agencies in this area don't issue guns. Officers own their duty weapons and can typically carry what they want. Second, anything purchased for use by a governmental entity is based on the "lowest qualifying bidder" system. Having spent years in a Federal agency, involved in the purchasing of "specialized equipment". Qualifying the best choice fell a distant second to the overall "bottom dollar".

    I choose want I like and don't worry about what anyone else thinks...
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  15. #14
    Distinguished Member Array bigmacque's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by limatunes View Post
    Typically I'd agree with you, especially when it comes to those who copy the military.

    BUT.. it is often recommended to carry what your local or state LEOs carry so that if you are ever in a self defense situation and your caliber or choice of firearm is brought up you can respond with, "Well, this is what law enforcement in our state carries."

    It should not be the only basis upon what you choose but for some new shooters it's a good place to start.
    Normally I agree with you on just about everything limatunes, but on this one, not so much. I honestly can't see that line ever being something that helps in defending your use of deadly force in self-defense. I'd have to believe that by the time that situation arises, anyone who wants to know is only thinking a gun is a gun is a gun.
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    Distinguished Member Array Rexster's Avatar
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    A short follow-up to my earlier post: I work for the PD of one of the largest local jurisdictions in the USA, and our pistol selection process is decidedly NOT low-bid. We have a list of approved pistols, all .40, all some form of double action. The high end, price-wise choices are the SIG P226 or P229, with either the DA/SA or DAK trigger systems. On the less expensive end are various models of Glock, S&W M&P, and XD. (If SAI does not resolve the roll pin breakage issue, the XD will be pulled from the list, soon.) We buy our own pistols, which is actually not at all uncommon in the USA. I heartily agree this, as I need not fear being compelled to carry a low-bid firearm, or that is an ill fit, though I do miss the days when we could carry an even wider variety.
    USPnTX and ironmike86 like this.

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