posted on Jun, 17 2004 @ 12:49 AM
I worked was in law enforcement until the middle 90's. I was not in uniform, but was armed during transport and interrogation of suspects. Though
not required by office, I trained on monthly firing exercises with uniformed officers.
My choice was a Revolver, a 5 rd. S & W type 44 special w/ 3 in. barrel, low rounded front sight with optic paint on my side of the sight. Here's
1. Heavy caliber meant penetration of doors, sheetrock, armor, etc.
2. 5 shot meant the k-type frame fit my plainclothes a bit better than 6 shooter would.
3. frequent loading/unloading upon entering/leaving secure facilities. Cops put a lot of wear on cartridges before they're fired. Worn cartridges
have more misfeed/jam problems. Not often, but once is too many.
4. Most people train in a "shooting stance." The firing arm is braced. in exercise or confrontation, most shots are fired with a bent elbow. The
bent elbow absorbs recoil, and often causes semi-autos to jam. I was surprised by the high number of "Stovepipe" jams officers had, particularly
with barettas. The shell is only partly ejected when the bolt returns and tries to cram the spent shell into the barrel sideways. This happens a lot
when recoil is absorbed.
you don't see this type of jam in traffic stops, but in building entries and multi-shooter scenarious. My colleagues wanted the boss to force
me to carry a semi, but the firing instructor and boss both refused to make me change my choice of carry.
In all my years of service, my 'wheel-gun' never jammed. not once.
5. A lot of semis have too many moving parts and springs under tension. Until you get used to assembling/disassembling them, cleaning the things are
an incredible pain. I sometimes took money to clean people's guns they couldn't reassemble properly. I also never let them cover MY back.
6. Many semis don't wear well. I originally carried a Glock. But the plastic frame was cracking where tracks for the lower receiver meet the
plastic. I started looking at colleague's Glocks and every one I ever saw that had fired more than 500 rds had the same cracks. That's when I got
7. On a silly note, my gun played a readily identifiable note when fired. Everyone knew by sound which shot was mine.
8. Intimidation value. Always a central consideration for enforcement. I've only drawn twice in a 'situation.' In the one where beligerants had
the time to see me, they stopped at the sight of my pistol. One told me later that he could see the hollow point talons in the cylinder. I doubt it,
but he definitely surrendered when confronted.
9. Well over 3/4 of all firefights occur with the assailant less than 30 ft. from you. No time to get into a stance, or even aim. If you EVER pull
the trigger and something wont come out, you're done.
10. Semis have a larger capacity, but except for SWAT corps, the capacity shouldn't come into play. The only fire scene I visited where the cops
had emptied their clips was where two rookies were firing at a target 60 yards away. They were hiding behind a dumpster, scaring the crap out of the
taxpayers, and never hit a damn thing, except for various parked cars in front of them . . .
If I ever shoot all 5 of my bullets, and my assailants are still coming, my problems are worse than what a few more shots can fix.
I do have a speed loader that's as quick as another clip, though.