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Trigger Finger
12-20-2011, 14:29
I came on the job in 1974 and was issued a 38 S&W Revolver. Great gun. When the department approved the 9MM in 1986 I purchased one, went through 3 days of training and began carrying it full time. As the department progressed they approved many different pistols, from 40 S&W Caliber to 45 ACP. But there are some who just remained with what they were issued years ago. The department did not issue everyone a new 9MM auto, If you wanted to carry one you had to buy it out of your own pocket. We only began issuing a 9MM to recruits in the academy in 1989 I believe and there are some "old timers" to this day who still carry a 38 revolver!
I see that some other large police departments are the same way. I think this is a good read. This was sent to me by a fellow retired officer.

In New York , Old-School Officers Swear By the Vanishing .38

By MICHAEL WILSON

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/dropcap/r.gifRoughly 19 out of 20 officers in the New York City Police Department carry the semiautomatic pistols that have been standard issue for 11 years, a boxy handful of steel and polymer as clean and smooth as many of their young faces.
This story is not about them. It's about the 1 in 20, and the old, heavy piece parked on that officer's hip like a jalopy at the top of the driveway. Wow, people say - look at that thing. Does it work?
An older model of sidearm was grandfathered in with officers who are, in some cases, grandfathers. It is thick, but elegant in its way, its grip curling lazily out of the holster, the grooves in the hammer like those around aging eyes.
It goes by many names - thirty-eight, six-shooter, pea-shooter, wheel gun - but the .38-caliber revolver is a dying breed on the belts of New York , soon to go the way of the rosewood nightstick.
Today, a few more than 2,000 service weapons are revolvers, down from more than 30,000 in 1993. Never again, the police said, will new revolvers be issued, and so the number shrinks with every retirement. Many officers own two guns, and some officers continue to carry revolvers off-duty, but again, that choice is no longer available to new recruits.
More than anything else, it is carrying a gun - the daily familiarity of it, the expectation that it must be used on a second's notice - that most sets apart the police from the policed.
And yet, choosing the gun was unceremonial, rushed and uninformed: pick up a revolver off a table, see how it feels, try the next one, then a third, then pick your favorite. Then, during training, the recruits learned to respect this piece of equipment that can take a human life. Now it feels strange to leave the house without it. They have come a long way together, these 2,000 officers and their revolvers. Uniforms have come and gone, and the belly under the belt has grown, but the gun hanging there is not to be messed with.
"Eventually, they'll all be gone," said Inspector Steven J. Silks, commanding officer of the firearms and tactics section of the Police Academy . "It's like people who like to have a stick shift. You take it away from them, they feel like they can never drive in the snow again."
In the early years of the Police Department, officers carried any weapon they chose, until Theodore Roosevelt, as president of the Board of Police Commissioners, ordered the 4-inch, .32-caliber Colt revolver to be the standard sidearm. Training with the guns began on Dec. 30, 1895.
Ninety-eight years later, in 1993, after much debate among the department and the unions and legislators in Albany , the department switched from revolvers to semiautomatics, primarily to meet the advanced weaponry carried by criminals and dispel the perception that the officers were outgunned.
The newer guns were easier to reload and held 15 rounds in the magazine and one on the chamber, almost three times as many as the revolver. Officers with revolvers were allowed to keep them if they chose, while rookies received the new guns.
So, the model of an officer's gun dates him or her like rings on a tree. The outer bands are the semiautomatic, 9-millimeter pistols. The next ring is much thinner, the brief period of the so-called spurless revolver, a gun with an internal hammer that for safety cannot be cocked. Finally, in the center, there is the classic revolver, such as the Smith & Wesson Model 10 or the Ruger Police Service Six, more commonly seen on "T. J. Hooker" reruns or film noir than on the streets of New York .
The grips still echo the earliest revolvers, designed in the 19th century to feel like the handle of a plow in a man's hand. Lt. Eugene Whyte, 45, with 22 years on the job, remembers arriving at a meeting for the Republican National Convention this summer, and men in suits quickly calling him aside, agog at his snub-nosed sidearm. "I had Secret Service guys asking me if they could see it," he said. "It was as if I was carrying a flintlock pistol."
It is not only fellow law officers who notice. Officer Andrew Cruz, 41, was posted in Times Square recently when a tourist did a double take at his revolver. "He said, 'Old school,' " the officer recalled. They get that a lot: "You're a real cop," or, "You must have seen a lot," or, "You must be getting ready to retire."
"They say, 'What are you, an old-timer?' " said Officer Mark Steinhauer, 41, who joined the department in 1991. "My answer to them is, 'It worked for John Wayne.' "
The guys with revolvers, they say, are the same guys who married their high school girlfriends. Dependable. No surprises.
"It's put me through 20 years, and I'm still alive," said Officer Gregg Melita, 41, who not only carries a Ruger Police Service revolver, but the old "dump pouches," two leather carriers that hold loose cartridges. "This is when guns were guns, and cops were cops," he said. "The new guys don't even know what dump pouches are. They go, 'Hey, what's that hold?' " He chuckled. "'Bullets, kid.'"
The design of a 9-millimeter magazine, with a spring pushing cartridges in single file into the chamber, makes it susceptible to malfunction, to jamming. With a revolver, there is always another round ready to fire, no matter whether the one before it did.
"These aren't Ferraris," Inspector Silks said. "These are Chevrolets."
Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly ordered the switch to 9-millimeter pistols 11 years ago, and learned to shoot one himself. But it is his revolver, a Colt Detective Special, that he carries today, under the slight break in his trouser leg at the left ankle.
"It's easier to carry, for me, anyway, the revolver. I've carried it for a long time," he said. "I actually won it in the Police Academy , many years ago," graduating first in his class. It is inscribed: "Bloomingdale Trophy won by Probationary Patrolman Raymond W. Kelly. May 15, 1967."
As for the decline of the revolver, he said, "I don't think it means very much, tactically. I don't see that much difference in shooting a semiautomatic handgun or a revolver. The difference, people will tell you, is dependability. You take a revolver that's been in a drawer for 100 years, take it out, pull the trigger, and it's going to go off. Automatics have the potential, probably more so than revolvers, for jamming. At least, that's what people think."
Officers with revolvers say that yes, they feel more comfortable with a gun that is virtually malfunction-proof, and that six shots at a time, along with their extra six-shot speed-loaders, ought to be enough. "After 18 rounds, if I can't hit him, I'm in big trouble," said Officer Sean Murtha, 40, who carries two speed-loaders. (And he would be a statistical aberration. To date in 2004, the average number of rounds fired by a single officer in a police shooting is 2.8, down from 4.6 in 2000 and 5.0 in 1995.)
But there is something else about the gun. It makes a statement.
"It has to do with identity," said Officer Cruz, from the 88th Precinct in Fort Greene in Brooklyn . "You see someone with a .38, you know they've got some time on them."
Officer Melita, with his dump pouch, joined in 1986 and patrolled in Harlem for 18 years. He believes his gun shows younger officers that he was at work when times were different in New York . "That's how you can tell who's been on the job awhile," he said. "Back when it was, you know, wild."
Officers must appear twice a year at the firing range in Rodman's Neck in the Bronx . Detective Tomasa Rodriguez, with the Midtown South precinct, remembered the announcement for everyone with revolvers to step aside to a separate range. "It was embarrassing. All the young kids were looking at us like, 'Oh my God, these people, they're emotionally disturbed, they still have a .38,'" she said. "Before you know it, you're out of there. There's, like, two or three people. I told my partner, 'I was embarrassed at the range.' But I don't care. I like my weapon, I know how to use it."
The department had 2,367 revolvers in service in 2003. At last count this fall, that number had dropped to 2,019. Wait, make that 2,018 - Marty Paolino, 42, retired from the 88th Precinct a few weeks ago. ("I never wanted to go for the special training," he said on his last day of work. "They don't pay you enough.") Next year, with the expected retirements of officers who joined in 1985, a relatively large class of recruits, hundreds of revolvers will disappear from service.
It is too soon for eulogies, but not much. For an epitaph on the revolver's tombstone, consider two statements from two officers, six little words for why they kept their six-shooters.
"I hate change."
"It looks cool."


In this day and age I can't understand why any officer would not use an automatic. It seems to be an officer safety issue!! Stay Safe.

Ajon412
12-20-2011, 14:59
Great article.....Brings back memories...Back in 1982 when I started at the NYPD Academy, we only had two choices (actually 3) which were, as mentioned, the S&W M&P 4" in both round and square butt and the Ruger Police Service Six. IIRC, each were about the same price ($156..Not a typo). While in the academy, you had about 10 min to handle each weapon and make your decision.THAT WAS IT!!!! We were also limited to the choices of off duty revolvers which were the S&W M&P Model 10 2", S&W Model 36, both 2" and 3", Ruger SS 2 3/4" and the Colt Detective Special... I'm still very fond of revolvers to this day and still carry them..

Trigger Finger...Thanks for the article.....:wavey:

fastbolt
12-20-2011, 15:20
Yeah, thanks for the article. ;)

I carried a M66 and then a M686 as a young cop at the beginning of the 80's. I never felt particularly under-equipped with my revolver, although I carried an extra speedloader or speedstrip (or 2) above the required extra 12 rounds. Since my other off-duty weapon was a 7+1 Commander, as well as a number of 6-shot revolvers, the fact that I was carrying a 6-shot revolver on-duty didn't bother much.

Over the years I ended up carrying a number of different issued pistols. Magazine capacity varied, including 14, 15, 12, 9, 8 & 7 rounds, in that order as retirement approached. While I finished my career carrying a 7+1 capacity 4513TSW (lightweight compact for plainclothes assignment), I'd not have been all that upset if they'd asked me to carry a new .357 Magnum revolver once again. Especially if I could have picked one of the 7 or 8-shot revolvers. ;)

Most of the younger crowd entering LE work nowadays haven't grown up or been trained to accurately and effective shoot DA or DAO revolvers, though.

But hey, even though I have a safe full of subcompact, compact & full-size pistols from which to choose for my retirement carry needs, I still grab one of my J-frames more often than not. Easy to slip into a pocket holster, along with 2-4 speedstrips or speedloaders, and I can still shoot them passably well. (I still shoot them a fair amount, though, too ... as I want to make sure my DA/DAO revolver skills don't disappear.)

I'll never argue against the advantage of having more rounds available between the need for loading (or reloading, if you'd rather), but I'd much rather see younger shooters trained to make their shots count. Knowing you have fewer of them might make some folks more attentive in their efforts. Dunno.

To some degree I miss the days when we required folks to learn to accurately shoot revolvers with awkwardly shaped wooden grip stocks, heavy DA triggers and either iron or adjustable sights (with red inserts that weren't all that easy to see when they got dirty) ... and they only had 6 rounds available.

I've typically found it easier to transition someone over from revolvers to pistols than the other way around, and I've long felt it was probably due to the better foundation skills required for learning to shot DA revolvers.

I'll say one thing, though, and that is that as an armorer I'd much rather work on most any pistol than a revolver. :rofl:

Thanks again. :supergrin:

leadbutt
12-20-2011, 15:57
When I hit the street first time in 68, I was issued a S&W model 27 3 1/2" magunum, and carried various wheel guns well up into the 90's then we switched over to the autos, I hae never had an revolver fail me , but have had a couple of autos go bad, now retired I admit I carry an auto most times but by and large when in the out back you will find me packing a revolver

Agent6-3/8
12-20-2011, 17:18
Cool article, thanks for posting! :cool:


I'm a youngster, but cut my shooting teeth on my grandfather's Colt Official Police. I love wheelguns, from .38 snubbies to large frame magnums and shoot them quite well. With that said, I think its very hard to ignore the advantages of a semi-auto as a duty pistol.

On side note, I have no issued carrying a revolver as an off-duty/ back up weapon. Been thinking about picking up a 3" 686+ for just that purpose.

Patchman
12-20-2011, 19:28
Wow, it really is a very well researched, well written article.

The only thing he didn't talk about was the types of .38 ammo used over the years.

clancy
12-20-2011, 19:37
When I hit the street first time in 68, I was issued a S&W model 27 3 1/2" magunum, and carried various wheel guns well up into the 90's then we switched over to the autos, I hae never had an revolver fail me , but have had a couple of autos go bad, now retired I admit I carry an auto most times but by and large when in the out back you will find me packing a revolver

Were you able to keep that 27? I sure hope so.

CAcop
12-20-2011, 19:54
I carry a 1911 with 7 round mags. I still couldn't make that leap to a 6 shooter.

Vigilant
12-20-2011, 20:03
The older Smiths were great guns, no doubt. When I started in Corrections, we were still carrying some of the worst revolvers ever made, if not the worst: the newer Smith M65s. M65-2, M65-3, etc ad nauseum. I have a lot of confidence in the M&P40s we carry now, but I doubt that I would ever be comfortable with a 'modern' Smith revolver again. The older Smiths, Rugers and Colts were no doubt worthy of the praise we still hear to this day.

GioaJack
12-20-2011, 20:20
When I started in '73 we had a choice, a department issued Smith, 4 inch model 15 or carry our own 4 inch Smith or Colt. (Older guys had been grandfathered in to carry 6 inch if they desired.)

If you chose to carry your personal gun it could be chambered in .357 but department issued 158 grain LRN had to be carried. (Around '76 or '77 we transitioned to 158 grain LSWCHP's. A vast improvement to say the least.)

Originally we could carry any BUG we wanted from .25 up to .44, excluding any magnums or reloads. Close to the time we changed duty ammo they changed the bug policy to any gun that could chamber the duty round.

Since there were a lot fewer guns to choose from back then than there is now most guys who carried a BUG went with a Smith 36 or 60. (Due to the South Florida climate stainless or nickel was vastly preferred over blue be it holster gun or BUG.)

The most common mode of carry for the BUG was in the strong side back pocket shielded by the black notebooks we used to carry. My 60 sported a bobbed hammer and served me very well... I still carry it on occasion with the same type of ammo.

For those who haven't seen as many New Years as some of us and think that it might have been a disadvantage carrying a revolver take note that there weren't that many semi's out there... certainly not hi-cap mags with the exception of the BHP and later the Smith model 59. For the most part you came up against other revolvers for your everyday bad guy. When cocaine and the Columbians started moving in we began to see higher firepower including MAC-10s and Uzis.

If I was still working the street in the same environment would I carry a semi? Sure, why not, but like CAcop I'd carry a 1911 in .45. (Carried a Star PD for years in plain clothes assignments and off-duty. Some habits are hard to break.)


Jack

steveksux
12-20-2011, 20:25
The old Smith model 10 was the one back in the early 80's when I was a reserve.. Range officers used to badmouth the semi-autos. Said if they had the line filled with em, one would jam...

Just give them your DL, they hand you a pistol, just like checking a book out of the library...

Randy

3Speedyfish3
12-20-2011, 20:50
We still carried S&W Model 64's when I started in 1987. The transition to S&W 669's began that year. I think that big stainless revolver looked like a real police gun. Wouldn't trade it for my P226R for work now, but they did command respect.

Randall

ateamer
12-20-2011, 20:57
I started in '88 with an issued S&W M66. The first one they issued me was broken by a drill instructor at the academy. He cocked the hammer and pushed on it until it went forward to the firing position. He said it was a dangerous condition called pushoff and I would not be allowed to fire that gun on the range. Our department armorer was furious, as the DI broke the sear when he did that. The academy was instructed by our agency that their DIs were no longer allowed to inspect our weapons for anything other than cleanliness unless they were certified armorers.

The second revolver issued to me was a POS. M66 (that's all we were allowed to carry), worn out. After firing about 50 rounds or so, the trigger would get very hard to pull on four out of every six rounds fired. The pull was probably 20-25 pounds and consequently those rounds were nowhere the rest of the group. An armorer (a real one) found that two chambers were swelling, causing the cylinder to bind.

Third time's the charm? Not! You know that lug on S&W revolvers at the bottom of the opening for the cylinder on the left side of the frame, the lug that keeps the cylinder from sliding off the yoke? It didn't keep it from sliding off if I got a little too vigorous when ejecting rounds. There were file marks where some lop had ground it down, maybe to fit some kind of weird holster or something. I didn't turn that gun because I figured they'd decide I was too much trouble and trade me to CHP for two dispatchers and a dozen doughnuts.

We got Glocks in late 1990, and I've carried one ever since. When we got Glocks, almost everyone's range scores went up by about 10%.

Broke Hoss
12-20-2011, 21:59
When I got on in '84 we were issued 4" S&W Mdl 66. Only other authorized was Colt. For plain clothes duty, you could carry a J frame or 2" Colt. We later were authorized to purchase S&W 1086's if we wanted a semi-auto. A few years after that it opened up more for autos of various makes.

I'm carrying a Glock 31 & constantly threaten to just carry 1 spare mag. Because I never felt under armed when I had my 6 shooter & 2 speedloaders; why do I need a box of ammo on my belt?

Great article, thanks for posting

ateamer
12-20-2011, 22:28
I just have to completely disagree with the old guys (who are my age or even younger) who think revolvers are better and don't see any problem with carrying loose rounds in an antique pouch. Live in the now.

SAR
12-20-2011, 22:45
My revolver in its Hoyt holster along with two speedy loaders sits in my file cabinet at work. There will come a day that I strap it back on because that's what I was issued and here I still am...

Hack
12-20-2011, 22:54
I just have to completely disagree with the old guys (who are my age or even younger) who think revolvers are better and don't see any problem with carrying loose rounds in an antique pouch. Live in the now.

Quite frankly I don't see a problem with learning to shoot both. When I first got into corrections I shot .38 six shooter with a borrowed .357magnum. A decent heavy gun which kept recoil down, and a person could choose to sneak in a .357magnum I suppose, but it was for work. I stayed current with a AR 15 and a 12 gauge pump afterwards, and bought my own .357 magnum for off duty. I still have that one to this day, although because of its age and being well worn I don't shoot it as much for practice, but I keep it handy. I guarantee that a couple of well placed shots of either caliber will end stupid, right quickly.

I regularly carry a 9mm in the city.

SAR
12-20-2011, 23:00
I just have to completely disagree with the old guys (who are my age or even younger) who think revolvers are better and don't see any problem with carrying loose rounds in an antique pouch. Live in the now.

I can tell you one thing. Almost without exception, the revolvers on our Department score higher on the bonus shooting range. As a matter of fact, there are some officers who do not actually carry a revolver in the field, but still come up and qualify with their revolvers. When the Department switched to semi-autos, shooting medals went down across the board-- this includes the recruit classes so you can't chalk it up to guys transitioning over.

Agent6-3/8
12-20-2011, 23:42
I can tell you one thing. Almost without exception, the revolvers on our Department score higher on the bonus shooting range. As a matter of fact, there are some officers who do not actually carry a revolver in the field, but still come up and qualify with their revolvers. When the Department switched to semi-autos, shooting medals went down across the board-- this includes the recruit classes so you can't chalk it up to guys transitioning over.

Yup, I think some of it has to do with the horrid DA triggers of DA/SA pistols. IMO, all I've ever felt have been horrid when compared to a S&W or Colt revolver. Heck, I even find my 442's trigger more predictable and manageable than that of the 4566 I carried at my last gig. No comparison with my S&W 25-13 or Colt DS.

Another thought not necessarily applicable to your comments about qualification scores dropping when the swap was made, is the way we're training these days. Once upon a time, training focused a lot more on basic marksmanship. My academy experience was that we got enough basic slow fire, marksmanship training to get everyone qualified (some just barely) and then quickly moved on to more dynamic drills. Some of the drills we never got scored and shared targets. Its pretty quickly got to the point you really didn't know if you were hitting anything or not.

While dynamic firearms training is excellent, perhaps even a must, I sometimes think we're lost too much focus on basic marksmanship. Seems to me there is a type of spray and pray mentality being created by pushing inexperienced shooters forward before they're ready. Its not the intent of the training, but it does seem to be the result.

SAR
12-21-2011, 08:05
Yup, I think some of it has to do with the horrid DA triggers of DA/SA pistols. IMO, all I've ever felt have been horrid when compared to a S&W or Colt revolver. Heck, I even find my 442's trigger more predictable and manageable than that of the 4566 I carried at my last gig. No comparison with my S&W 25-13 or Colt DS.



That has something to do with it I am sure, but it still doesn't account for the overall downward spiral in qualification scores on our Department with the Glock.

The Hawk
12-21-2011, 09:26
There is a lot to be said for revolvers. I am proud to say that I started my law enforcement career many years ago (retired in 2008) with a revolver. Our dept. changed over to Glock 40 cal. several years ago. I made the switch and was fine with it. When we retired, we were allowed to purchase our old issued S&W model 66 .357 magnum revolvers, which I did. I am comfortable with either handgun.

Ajon412
12-21-2011, 10:26
Yup, I think some of it has to do with the horrid DA triggers of DA/SA pistols. IMO, all I've ever felt have been horrid when compared to a S&W or Colt revolver. Heck, I even find my 442's trigger more predictable and manageable than that of the 4566 I carried at my last gig. No comparison with my S&W 25-13 or Colt DS.

Another thought not necessarily applicable to your comments about qualification scores dropping when the swap was made, is the way we're training these days. Once upon a time, training focused a lot more on basic marksmanship. My academy experience was that we got enough basic slow fire, marksmanship training to get everyone qualified (some just barely) and then quickly moved on to more dynamic drills. Some of the drills we never got scored and shared targets. Its pretty quickly got to the point you really didn't know if you were hitting anything or not.

While dynamic firearms training is excellent, perhaps even a must, I sometimes think we're lost too much focus on basic marksmanship. Seems to me there is a type of spray and pray mentality being created by pushing inexperienced shooters forward before they're ready. Its not the intent of the training, but it does seem to be the result.

I totally agree...You gotta get back to basics and practice the fundamentals....A portion of our spring qualification is spend on just this and you'd be surprised how "rusty" you get when you don't periodically re-visit the basics....We've got quite a few guys that still carry revolvers (OD and BUG) and some actually shoot better with revolvers then with their duty G22's...

Snowman92D
12-21-2011, 12:20
My revolver in its Hoyt holster along with two speedy loaders sits in my file cabinet at work. There will come a day that I strap it back on because that's what I was issued and here I still am...

A wheel man is a real man. :thumbsup:

Dragoon44
12-21-2011, 12:35
When I started Dept. Issue was S&W M10 and dump pouches. Then we went to S&W M65. Soon as the L Frame smiths came out I bought one and carried it (S&W 681 until about 1986 when I went to the Sig P226.

While I would not feel undergunned with a Revolver I prefer semi auto's.

3Speedyfish3
12-21-2011, 13:08
In my 1987 Police Academy, I had a shoot-off for Top Shot. My S&W 669 verses an officer with a S&W Model 65. Apparently, I was the pistol vs. revolver guinea pig, since my agency was the first to go autoloader. The other guy edged me out by two shots of 68. They dumbed down the course by letting me only reload at six, like the wheel gun. With a better trigger pull, I swear I would have beaten him. Ah, the good ole days...

Randall

Snowman92D
12-21-2011, 13:25
"After 18 rounds, if I can't hit him, I'm in big trouble," said Officer Sean Murtha, 40, who carries two speed-loaders. (And he would be a statistical aberration. To date in 2004, the average number of rounds fired by a single officer in a police shooting is 2.8, down from 4.6 in 2000 and 5.0 in 1995.)
----------

Looks like somebody's got a handle on what's going on. Looks like NYPD's Gold Dot +P ammo is doing its job, too. :thumbsup:

series1811
12-21-2011, 15:47
First carried duty weapon was a Smith and Wesson model 49. Then I was issued an M13 S&W, and carried the 49 for a back up. In 1988, I bought a Sig P226, (but couldn't get any extra magazines for it for almost six months) threw the M13 in a drawer and left it there until I changed agencies and turned it in (they wouldn't let me turn it in, although I didn't have to carry it or qualify with it any longer). Got issued a Glock 17 in 1991 and haven't had a revolver since.

One good thing about that M13 was that it was accurate as hell, right up until that seventh shot. :supergrin:

Dragoon44
12-21-2011, 16:11
First carried duty weapon was a Smith and Wesson model 49. Then I was issued an M13 S&W, and carried the 49 for a back up. In 1988, I bought a Sig P226, (but couldn't get any extra magazines for it for almost six months) threw the M13 in a drawer and left it there until I changed agencies and turned it in (they wouldn't let me turn it in, although I didn't have to carry it or qualify with it any longer). Got issued a Glock 17 in 1991 and haven't had a revolver since.

One good thing about that M13 was that it was accurate as hell, right up until that seventh shot. :supergrin:

When I bought my P226 it was so new you couldn't even find one in the gunshops. I had gone to a Gun trade show in Orlando ( the kind where you had to be a dealer or LE to get in) I was actually looking for a Star M30 but nobody had one. Met a guy that was a Vice president of a wholesaler outfit and he sold me on the P226 which he said they had just gotten in.

He gave me his card and gave me directions to their place in orlando. I went there ( it was the kind of place you had to be buzzed in to get into) the guy there told me. "We don't sell to individuals I can't sell you one.". I handed him the vice presidents card and said, "This guys says I can buy one here."

He looked at it for a minute and said, "well, ok". so I walked out with a P226 and five extrra mags.

Trigger Finger
12-21-2011, 16:51
As I said before I was issued a S&W 38 Special, Combat Masterpiece. Very nice gun and I replaced it in 1981 or 82 with a six inch barrel which was just authorized. I then replaced it with a Beretta Model 92 in 1986, when the 9MM was authorized. but throughout my entire career I always carried my Smith and Wesson Model 49 Bodyguard!!!

Later I went to a Smith and Wesson 4506 but continued to carry the Bodyguard as my backup. Off duty I carried a 9MM and sometimes in the summer I would carry the bodyguard, and sometimes both. That gun has been with me my entire career. and I will probably take it to my grave.!!

I thought it was butt ugly at first but it was the primary backup gun at the time for my department. Everyone called it the Camel Hump and we were encouraged to get the steel frame to handle 38 Spl +P. Now that about half the bluing is worn off it looks pretty good!

Even now I primarily carry a Glock Model 27 but find myself drawn to the Bodyguard. :supergrin:

Bullman
12-21-2011, 17:08
I started back in the revolver days, right towards the end in 1988. Ruger GP100, sorta wish I had bought a 686, but the Ruger served me well enough. I wouldn't mind carrying a revolver again, an 8 shot 627 in a AE Nelson frontbreak would be great, but I doubt my hip could handle all that weight anymore, I am getting old.

captcurly
12-21-2011, 17:28
Got on the job in mid July of 1964 and was issued a S&W Model 10 4" heavy barrel. In Jan.1966 switched Depts and was issued a S&W Mod. 15 4' barrel. In 1987 we went to Glocks. I still have a S&W Mod. 60 (first stainless revolver made by Smith) and this weapon was purchased in Nov. of 1968. I currently have three Smith J frames, 637,642 and a Mod.36 classic. I am still a Glock guy but IMHO the revolver still has a place in LE and self defense. As a BUG you cannot go wrong with a revolver. When you pull the trigger it will go bang. I guess I am just an old school guy. Merry Christmas to all my brothers and sisters and their families at Cop Talk. Stay safe out there and wear your Kevlar. I will always be proud to have been a member of the law enforcement community. God bless you all.

CJStudent
12-21-2011, 18:58
My old agency still issues Ruger GP100's. Granted this is corrections, but still. I always thought it was a little odd of a look to have an X26 on one side and a six-shooter on the other, with two speedloaders, though, lol.

We were better off than another institution local to us, though. They didn't even get speedloaders, or any reload at all! :shocked: Just the six rounds of .38, and a lot still were issued round nosed lead!

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Broke Hoss
12-21-2011, 21:50
Should've mentioned in my earlier post, but.....

My primary BUG is a revolver, a Mdl 60, I bought in the academy. It wears Pachmayr Grippers & I bobbed the hammer spur. It was my off duty companion as well until about 5 years ago. During qualification a few years ago, the rangemaster almost crapped when he came to my target; no hits in the X or 10 ring. I'd put em all in the head. He called me a smartass & showed me qualified.

series1811
12-22-2011, 07:54
so I walked out with a P226 and five extrra mags.

I got mine directly from Sig, in a group agency purchase. They were still almost unobtainable in gun shops in 1988 as I remember.

Another day I remember was when a Sig rep showed up at our office with a sack of the (brand new at the time) Sig 20 round magazines and gave them out like party favors. I wasn't around, but my partner managed to get away with two of them and I wrestled him down for one of them. :supergrin:

unit 900
12-22-2011, 11:03
I was able to swap my model 10 for this 64 when I made sergeant. The departmental armorer was a sergeant and that was his gift to all new sergeants if they so desired. That puppy shot like a dream. Had to shoot at 60 yards as part of the qualification. You could watch the 147 grain wadcutters drop in on the target like mortar rounds.:cool:

http://i20.photobucket.com/albums/b222/heysox/DSC_0429.jpg

DFin
12-22-2011, 11:39
It is just too risky to carry only a revolver these days.

DFinch
12-22-2011, 13:52
I feel a huge amount of nostalgia for the wheel gun, but I don't miss the poor retention of the holsters we used back in the day or the reduced capability in cases where capacity provides an advantage, like officer rescue and/or extraction.

Back when the transitions started to happen we had a bank robbery turn into a running gunfight with two former soldiers who were well armed and using solid tactics as they moved. Two revolver shooters were down to one round by the time it was over and that experience got them to sign up for the transition class.

I still love the look on the youngsters' faces when they see a well practiced revolver reload. :)

fran m
12-22-2011, 14:40
In 1987 My department issued Smith and Wesson Model 67 with a dump pouch with six additional rounds in it. That was it. No speedloaders were allowed. The duty round was a lead semi wadcutter. Finally they went with the same bullet but this time it was a +P load. Later were were issued a speed strip that went in the dump pouch.

I could shoot that revolver very well. At that time we had to qualify as far as 50 yards.

In 90 or 91 we went to Glock 17 and 19 9mm with Federal 124 grain +P+ ammo. We were only recently issued a third mag and new mag pouches.

I wouldn't want to go back to the revolver but I did like mine a lot. I couldn't buy my first issued revolver but did buy one when I found a used one.

We have increased the weapons available on the street by officers due to a patrol rifle program, SWAT guys taking an AR on patrol with them and having shotguns available.

Can't say we are under gunned or under equipped.

JC2317
12-22-2011, 15:56
I just have to completely disagree with the old guys (who are my age or even younger) who think revolvers are better and don't see any problem with carrying loose rounds in an antique pouch. Live in the now.

Exactly. The officer with the dump pouches(not authorized) should look up officer Scott Gadell, NYPD. He was shot and killed in June of 1986 while trying to reload from a dump pouch during a gunfight. I had just graduated the academy, we were told he had the six rounds in his hand when the perp ran up and executed him. His death lead to us being issued speedloaders. Before I retired the only guys that still had revolvers were the inside guys.
The not getting paid enough to train was a dumb statement, they were giving him better tools to protect himself and his partner but he didn't take advantage of it. This I cannot understand. Many of us carried unauthorized 9mm to even the odds if it hit the fan.

Snowman92D
12-22-2011, 16:09
That was the was the shooting out on far Rockaway...right? I remember that.

JC2317
12-22-2011, 16:17
That was the was the shooting out on far Rockaway...right? I remember that.

That was it. Perp had a high capacity 9mm I think. City's answer was speedloaders.

fran m
12-22-2011, 17:17
The last cop I saw with a revolver on duty was an old Phila PD Sergeant in the 19th District that retired at the end of last year. This guy had a lot of years in and was resistant to the change I guess.

Don't know how many are left in Philly.

Very sad that an NYPD Officer lost his life when better equipment was available.

SpoiledBySig
12-22-2011, 17:53
In 1983, I was issued a S&W Model 67 (a stainless version of the Model 15) they gave us 2 speed loaders and +P ammo. In like 1989, or 1990 we were then issued S&W model 6906 auto pistols and later issued S&W 5906's. Both were great auto pistols.

They later let us buy and use our own auto pistols if we wanted (we had to buy our own leather if we chose to do so), so many bought Glocks and Sigs. I chose to carry my own Sig Sauer P-226.

I'm also a big revolver fan, but I prefer to carry an auto pistol for duty. These days I'm issued a Glock 21 SF in .45 acp, just love it.

Trigger Finger
12-22-2011, 18:12
Exactly. The officer with the dump pouches(not authorized) should look up officer Scott Gadell, NYPD. He was shot and killed in June of 1986 while trying to reload from a dump pouch during a gunfight. I had just graduated the academy, we were told he had the six rounds in his hand when the perp ran up and executed him. His death lead to us being issued speedloaders. Before I retired the only guys that still had revolvers were the inside guys.
The not getting paid enough to train was a dumb statement, they were giving him better tools to protect himself and his partner but he didn't take advantage of it. This I cannot understand. Many of us carried unauthorized 9mm to even the odds if it hit the fan.

That's why I always carried a backup revolver. The quickest reload is another gun. Even when I was using a S&W 4506, 45ACP I had my 38 Special Bodyguard as backup.

Simply stating that an auto would have saved this officers life is oversimplifying. And I would never advise or advertise that I was carrying an unauthorized weapon that is not within department policy. That can open up the officer using an unauthorized weapon to a law suit as well as disciplinary action by the department!

Revolvers still have their place in police work. Perhaps not as your primary weapon but definitely as a BUG!

JC2317
12-22-2011, 19:02
That's why I always carried a backup revolver. The quickest reload is another gun. Even when I was using a S&W 4506, 45ACP I had my 38 Special Bodyguard as backup.

Simply stating that an auto would have saved this officers life is oversimplifying. And I would never advise or advertise that I was carrying an unauthorized weapon that is not within department policy. That can open up the officer using an unauthorized weapon to a law suit as well as disciplinary action by the department!

Revolvers still have their place in police work. Perhaps not as your primary weapon but definitely as a BUG!

You are quite right. There are many factors that lead to the tragic outcome in that incident. I was just using the incident to respond to the officer in the story who did not feel the need to use the equipment that is readily available to him. I think the fact that Officer Gadell was trying to reload his empty 6 shot revolver when he was killed would lend someone to believe that a faster reload (speedloader, second gun) or a primary weapon that did not have to be reloaded after 6 shots, would have given him a better chance against a perp with a 10 or 12 shot semi-auto pistol. I was merely pointing out that when you had to carry a revolver with dump pouches, while the perps had semi-autos, you were at a disadvantage. That disadvantage was corrected, first by the issuance of speedloaders, and later the switch to semi-auto pistols. When the officer in the story was being interviewed he had the ability to carry a semi-auto on duty and he chose not to. Officer Gadell did not have that choice.
As for carrying an unauthorized pistol. This was the beginning of the crack explosion in NYC, 1985, 1986 The dealers were well armed to protect the huge amonts of money they were making. Addicts were armed and violent to get money to buy the crack. Going up against a drug dealer or addict armed with a high capacity semi-auto was common for NYPD officers. After the murder of Officer Gadell many officers decided that in order to come home we would try to even the odds. We didn't openly advertise that we were carrying an unauthorized gun, but you knew the guys you worked with. And you knew who carried one. If the gun was needed in a shtf incident so be it. Charges, departmental or criminal or civil were considered an acceptable result of having used that gun, and survived to go home. "The most important thing was that you and your partner sign out at the end of the night and go home" was preached at every roll call.
As for carrying a revolver as a backup. I carried a "New York Reload" every day of my career, and for many of those years it was a revolver. There is certainly a place and a need for revolvers in police work, especially as BUG's. I carry one on occasion to this day.

series1811
12-22-2011, 19:47
In 1983, I was issued a S&W Model 67 (a stainless version of the Model 15) they gave us 2 speed loaders and +P ammo. In like 1989, or 1990 we were then issued S&W model 6906 auto pistols and later issued S&W 5906's. Both were great auto pistols.

They later let us buy and use our own auto pistols if we wanted (we had to buy our own leather if we chose to do so), so many bought Glocks and Sigs. I chose to carry my own Sig Sauer P-226.

I'm also a big revolver fan, but I prefer to carry an auto pistol for duty. These days I'm issued a Glock 21 SF in .45 acp, just love it.

I remember being issued Safariland Comp II speedloaders (for the youngsters, they were these things that looked like cylinders that held six or five bullets and that you could use to load all the chambers of your revolver at once). :supergrin:

series1811
12-22-2011, 19:49
That's why I always carried a backup revolver. The quickest reload is another gun. Even when I was using a S&W 4506, 45ACP I had my 38 Special Bodyguard as backup.

Simply stating that an auto would have saved this officers life is oversimplifying. And I would never advise or advertise that I was carrying an unauthorized weapon that is not within department policy. That can open up the officer using an unauthorized weapon to a law suit as well as disciplinary action by the department!

Revolvers still have their place in police work. Perhaps not as your primary weapon but definitely as a BUG!

In my first agency, before autos were allowed, we all carried autos as unauthorized back-ups, with the idea that if you were scared enough after emptying your revolver, to pull it out, your were past worrying about getting fired. I carried a CZ-75 until Sig P226's were authorized and then I sold the CZ to get money to buy the Sig.

Bullman
12-22-2011, 20:15
I remember carrying a Safariland quad loader, carried 4 Comp I loaders. The big thing around our department was bullet loops though, because they looked so cool. Looper Leather would make you a set of built up loops so they stood out from the belt a bit, our LT who would later be chief had a 18 round loop built for him, when most guys were just carrying 12 rounds of loops and maybe a speedloader. Everyone liked loading their loops up with silvertips, again cause it looked cool.

igor
12-22-2011, 20:43
i went to the first dept, i bought a sw mdl 19 4 in. i went to baltimore city in 1973 and was issued a sw mdl 10. i went to aa county in late 74 and was issued a 6 in mdl 10. we switched to sw mdl 65s in 81 or 82 , then went to beretta 92fs. in 1996 wd went to sw 229 40 s.
i retired and went to u of md and we had issued sig 228s, after retirement from there the sheriffs had sig pro 40 cals.
even nmow i qual under hr218 with both senis and revolvers cause a 5 shot is a great back up during the holdup season like now.
boy that was a lot of weapons

Vigilant
12-22-2011, 20:43
Bud's Police Supply has some nice M10s and M64s at a pretty decent price, if anyone is feeling the urge...

Back in about 2004, I saw an old, old Fayetteville, NC Police Officer with a 6" service revolver on his hip.

Ajon412
12-23-2011, 06:32
That was it. Perp had a high capacity 9mm I think. City's answer was speedloaders.

Yes...Baby Steps..Dump pouches to Speed Loaders...38 Spl 158gr SWC, then the +P Version (Nyclad), then the +P HP version (Nyclad), then to semi's..This entire process took approximately 6-8 years for the ammo progression before switching over to 9mm...

leadbutt
12-23-2011, 11:19
clancy, I got to keep the 27 it was purchased through pay roll deduction, carried it to the lovely place of RVN, and lost it down a tunnel some where. purchased a new one when I returned and still have it.

DonGlock26
12-23-2011, 13:01
I was issued a Mod. 10 .38spl. I bought my own Glock 17 gen one as soon as possible. We soon went to P228's- issued weapon. I'm issued a P220 now.:number1:

jolly roger
12-23-2011, 21:51
Old Timer here still plugging along. Started in 1980 with a S&W 66. Good revolver but I like my Glock 21SF and 30SF detective gun just fine. Firearms instructor for 24 years so I HAD to stay current. Still love shooting my old S&W 28 though and of course still have a 66. My trunk gun is an M14....love those bad boys. Plan to go another couple years then out to fish and hunt full time :)

SpoiledBySig
12-23-2011, 22:56
I remember being issued Safariland Comp II speed loaders (for the youngsters, they were these things that looked like cylinders that held six or five bullets and that you could use to load all the chambers of your revolver at once). :supergrin:

Yep. I was trying to remember what brand of speed loaders they were and I think you're right. Lake Worth PD provided HKS, but Boynton PD issued me Safariland speed loaders. Man, that was indeed a long time ago. :supergrin:

larry_minn
12-23-2011, 23:04
Wow, it really is a very well researched, well written article.

The only thing he didn't talk about was the types of .38 ammo used over the years.

Its sad they don't allow a Officer to carry what they are comfortable with. IIRC the standard load for .38 was 158g lead round nose. (no HP or useful bullets)
My first handgun was a S&W 66-2. Was very comfortable with it for many yrs. IIRC 10-A speed loader. or a speed strip when wearing summer cloths.

I am watching for a snub 38. It sure beats a nasty look. :)

fla2760
12-23-2011, 23:12
That's why I always carried a backup revolver. The quickest reload is another gun. Even when I was using a S&W 4506, 45ACP I had my 38 Special Bodyguard as backup.

Simply stating that an auto would have saved this officers life is oversimplifying. And I would never advise or advertise that I was carrying an unauthorized weapon that is not within department policy. That can open up the officer using an unauthorized weapon to a law suit as well as disciplinary action by the department!

Revolvers still have their place in police work. Perhaps not as your primary weapon but definitely as a BUG!

I carried the model 10 along with a model 36 in an ankle holster and a model 49 weak side pocket. I also carried the then unauthorized speed loaders in the strong side pocket and the dump pouches on the gun belt. I was on the job in 1986 when Scott was killed.