LEO back-up choice

LEO back-up choice

This is a discussion on LEO back-up choice within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I am in a police academy right now. I currently looking for the right back-up gun to compliment my Sig 220, which is for duty ...

View Poll Results: LEO Bug

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  • Sig 220 Compact SAS (approved)

    27 27.55%
  • Sig 239 SAS 9mm (approved)

    17 17.35%
  • S&W 340 (approved)

    37 37.76%
  • Sig 232 (if I can get it approved)

    5 5.10%
  • Rohrbaugh R9 (if I can get it approved)

    10 10.20%
  • Seecamp LWS32 (if I can get it approved)

    2 2.04%
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  1. #1
    Senior Member Array '75scout's Avatar
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    Feb 2006

    LEO back-up choice

    I am in a police academy right now. I currently looking for the right back-up gun to compliment my Sig 220, which is for duty use. My problem is I have to work off of an approved list or I can buy a gun and let them see if they will approve it (I'm poor right now so buying a gun and not being able to use it is not an option). I really want a Rohrbaugh or Seecamp. Maybe I can make some friends with the range staff and they'll approve what I want.

    Here is whats approved and what I'm thinking about getting.

    1. Sig 220 Compact SAS-fairly small for a 45, takes the same mags as my duty weapon. Most heafty of the bunch. Great trigger.

    2. Sig 239 SAS 9mm-slightly smaller and lighter. Carries two more rounds. 9mm doesn't bother me for a BUG or a primary really. But it isn't compatable with my duty weapon. Great trigger. May get my wife one so the mags would be compatible when off duty.

    3. S&W 340-Smallest and lightest. By far the least fun to practice/qualify with. 5 rounds of up to 357 mag. Trigger not near as good, poor sights.

    4. Sig 232 (if approved)-17oz, fairly thin. Also might get my wife one for carry so mags would be compatible her for off duty also.

    5. Rohrbaugh R9 (if I can get it approved)-my favorite of the group. I've been lusting after one for 6 months or so. Alot of punch in a very small package.

    6. Seecamp LWS32 (if I can get it approved)-Smallest gun by far, weakest caliber. But perfect for BUG and light carry off duty.

    Also please no suggestions for kahrs/Kel-Tecs/other snubbies/Glocks/XDs/ect. I would really prefer to stick with metal frames.
    Yeah I like Glocks, wanna fight about it!

  2. #2
    Member Array FknRa's Avatar
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    May 2007
    Folsom, Ca
    While I'm not an LEO my philosophy is interchangeability. The more mags you have that work for more guns the better. .45 is always a good number and to have a substantial amount of rounds that work in any gun you have is a good thing.
    To those that paid for my freedom,

    As with all statements I've made and All that I will make, please check your local laws to verify accuracy. (and if i'm wrong let me know as I like to be right in the future) After all I'm just some goofball posting on an internet forum.

  3. #3
    Distinguished Member Array Doc Holliday's Avatar
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    Mar 2006
    I am not a LEO but here is what I would do.

    I would go for the P220 Compact since you can use the same mags as your full size P220.
    Why Ike, whatever do you mean? Maybe poker's just not your game Ike. I know! Let's have a spelling contest!

  4. #4
    Assistant Administrator
    Array P95Carry's Avatar
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    Mar 2005
    South West PA
    I'd say try for R9 - simply because it is a good pocket rocket - and despite some earlier concerns over reliability - there have been some changes which when put together make this now an even better proposition.

    Go read my update on the R9 FAQ ,a site of mine - which will describe the beneficial small changes.

    Otherwise I'd go for 239 - not as small of course but a good choice still. Great to know you are now in the academy - hope all goes well .... good for you.
    Chris - P95
    NRA Certified Instructor & NRA Life Member.

    "To own a gun and assume that you are armed
    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."

    http://www.rkba-2a.com/ - a portal for 2A links, articles and some videos.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Array '75scout's Avatar
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    Feb 2006
    The Rohrbaugh is my 1st choice. The 239 SAS 9mm is my 2nd choice. All the others fall in the back.
    Yeah I like Glocks, wanna fight about it!

  6. #6
    JD is offline
    Array JD's Avatar
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    Jun 2006
    Central Iowa
    I'd say the 239 since it is approved, and close to the size of the 232, the R9 is a sharp little pistol, but IMHO is overpriced to be a BUG.

    I hate it when people do this... but are any Kahrs on the list? The PM9 or MK9 would make a nice little BUG, and aren't as pricey, and are good performers.

  7. #7
    BAC is offline
    VIP Member Array BAC's Avatar
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    May 2007
    Tampa, FL
    You're a half-step closer than I to becoming a LEO, but I'll take a stab at this.

    Look at the events that would cause you to draw your back-up gun. My guess is you can safely say your back-up gun, being a back-up, is probably your "oh **** things aren't going so well" gun. Do you want to carry two types of ammunition on you? How many types of magazines? Will your BUG and duty weapon be similar to one another in use, or will they require different shooting practices?

    Consistency and simplicity will probably save your life if you've been forced to draw the back up. Since your duty gun is the 220, and you will already have training with it, the 220 Compact integrates better than any of the other choices into your current training. If you haven't guessed yet, my vote is for the 220 Compact.


  8. #8
    Senior Member Array cockedlocked01's Avatar
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    Jul 2006
    I voted the 340, although I'd personally prefer the 442/642. A BUG NEEDS to go bang, & a good condition (Taken care of etc) revolver has a better chance (However slight) of doing so.

    It also won't have a problem at point blank (In their belly) range, fired while in a pocket, less chance of "crud" screwing it up, no mag issue, & if by chance you have a bad round, you pull the trigger again.

    Your BUG, especially in LE, is your last chance.
    "Use human means as though divine ones didn't exist, and divine means as though there were no human ones." Baltasar Gracian
    Integrated Close Combat
    NRA Member
    Glock 19 & 26, Kahr CM9 & P45, Para P12, Kel-Tec P-32, S&W 442, & Dan Wesson 14-2.

  9. #9
    Senior Moderator
    Array HotGuns's Avatar
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    Dec 2004
    As already stated...its a BUG. If you need it, it could be the differrence between going home or not.
    Think about if you need it. Your primary is either empty,disabled or it may be that the badguy has it. It could be that the badguy is on drugs,meth,cocaine or alcohol, or all of the above. He may be enraged, suicidal,scared almost to death and he may have a wild adrenaline flow going, meaning that you are goin to need a serious caliber with some serious hits and you are going to need it right then.

    I like the Sig 239 and have one in .40 that I carried as a backup. Fact of the matter is...its too big and heavy for a backup. Yeah its a great gun, yes it will do the job but it really not something you wanto carry everyday with the other 20 pounds of stuff you'll be carrying.

    Its got to be small enough and light enough that you will carry it every single time you got out. The 220C is an exellent gun but in the same category. Too big and heavy.

    Whatever you carry, make sure that you carry it, and that you can get to it easily, whether you are rolling around on the ground or sitting in yout patrol car. Make sure that its not a wimp caliber, it needs to be at least .38 special. Practice with it like you may have to use it. Put it somewhere close where you can draw it without concious thought.

    Like just about every other cop alive, the first BUG you get probably wont be your last and no amount of well meaning info gleaned from the internet can take the place of trial and error. Your BUG will at times be your primary fpor one reason or another and it seems like no matter what you carry there is always something else that will tickle yout fancy.

    Good luck. Great choice on the 220 Sig, that is what I carry.
    I would rather stand against the cannons of the wicked than against the prayers of the righteous.

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  10. #10
    Ex Member Array BikerRN's Avatar
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    Jan 2007
    State of Discombobulation
    I agree with cockedlocked01 on this one. Go with the Revolver.

    My agency doesn't approve a BUG, but off-duty I can carry a BUG if I choose to, and do. What do I carry? One S&W 442.

    I have a PM9, which is the right size and weight for a BUG, and it has never jammed on me once I broke it in. But, and it's a big but, I trust the Revolver to go bang just a bit more than I do any BUG sized "bottomfeeder".

    Think about it. If you are going for your BUG you are beyong the "Oh Crap" stage, it's do or die time. At that time I want something that I can shove in to an opponent's belly and fire. You can't do that with an autoloader. I also want something that has the capability of being fired from a jacket pocket repeatedly. You can't do that with a "bottomfeeder". I also want something that when it's coated in blood, body matter and dirt will still function. I know of no BUG sized autoloader that can do that reliably.

    Good luck, stay safe and let us know what you choose.


  11. #11
    VIP Member Array semperfi.45's Avatar
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    Aug 2006
    Over here now!
    I BUG a 442 on my vest. S&W 442/642 are the most popular LEO BUGs for a reason.
    Training means learning the rules. Experience means learning the exceptions.

  12. #12
    VIP Member Array ron8903's Avatar
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    Sep 2005
    South Florida
    R9 if I could afford it, but all the years on the job, Sig P230/232
    was what I carried.
    "A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on."
    - Sir Winston Churchill

  13. #13
    Array SIXTO's Avatar
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    Oct 2006
    j frame, no question about it.
    "Just blame Sixto"

  14. #14
    VIP Member Array ron8903's Avatar
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    Sep 2005
    South Florida
    Quote Originally Posted by SIXTO View Post
    j frame, no question about it.
    My old dept. mandated semi auto only, no revolvers on duty.
    If aloud, j-frame for BUG
    "A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on."
    - Sir Winston Churchill

  15. #15
    Distinguished Member Array fed_wif_a_sig's Avatar
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    Jan 2006
    Denton, TX
    Don't know if my opinion will be desired but I'll give you what I learned over the past 20+ years on "the job".

    Stick with a light weight wheel gun for several reasons (but in my opinion go with the S&W 442 not the 340).
    1. Wheel guns seem to mold into the space between the tibia and fibula bones and wear more comfortably.
    2. Wheel guns are less sensitive to gunk that an ankle gun gather (ie they'll be more reliable going bang).
    3. If you need your BUG its not a pleasant situation, because one of three things has happened. a) Your main gun broke which does happen. b) Your main gun was taken from you and c) You need to arm someone else - not likely but can and has happened.

    Now there are some sweet BUGs out there but after all my years and watching others and carrying myself, I stick with a j-frame snubby.

    Now on the difference between the 340 and 442. Most agencies require that you qualify with what its "capable" of shooting. I used a 340PD for several years and dreaded each and every qualification with it. Simply it hurt. The 442 loaded with quality 38SPL+p ammo will sufice just fine to get you out of whatever jam your in.

    Now one final thought. Because of the nature of the three reasons I mentioned earlier for choosing a wheel gun, I also suggest that you seriously consider putting a pair of CTC Laser Grips on your BUG. Their the only weapon I'll put lasers on, and because if you need to reach for that weapon, you have to "Get it out, get it up and get it off" REAL quickly and the little sights on j-frames just arnt that helpful in speed under serious "pucker factor" stress.

    Good luck and by the way, which acadamy are you attending? The one in Collin County?
    "Respect all ... Fear none!!!

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