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exbiologist's picture
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Duty and carry gun philosophies

What are you guys carrying and WHY?  We are being issued Smith & Wesson M&P .45s but can carry pretty much anything we want within reason.  I've never had any formal handgun courses until now.  Our POST Academy is gonna run us through 68 hours of Firearms training, and with that I'll put about 1,800 rounds through my gun.  So to a huge degree it makes sense to stick with what I will have practiced the most with, but I'm open to anything.  If we go 1911 or revolver, our instructors will give us another 20 hours on each of those, and I'm tempted to threaten to carry both for the extra training.

 

For backup guns (we still have to qualify with it), do you bother with another gun, or do you see it as redundant?

 

What about off duty/concealed carry guns?  Use your duty piece?  Something smaller?  Different?  Our instructors are trying to encourage us to carry something similar to our duty guns, and in my case the M&P compact makes a lot of sense, but for whatever reason it doesn't move me.  I'll have a small arsenal with me when on duty, but most of it will be in the truck.  We get issued .308 Rem 700s, and 12 Gauge 870s, plus have the option of adding an AR (20 more hours to qualify with one of those, plus 50 something more hours with shotgun and .308 after POST and to break up the wildlife law classes), then most everyone has at least a .22 rifle, sometimes a .22 handgun also.  So, any point to having a backup piece on my person?  I kinda want an excuse for a little J frame, but am uncertain if I want to carry it in addition to the duty gun.   

 

Any other philosophies you adhere to?

WesternHunter's picture
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duty

I'mnot LE, but I have plenty of extensive experience over the years in tactical shooting and competition shooting.  Pretty much anything that you fire well that's in the 9mm, .40SW, and .45ACP for semi-auto cartridges are good choices. But I personally don't like light framed polymer guns in .45ACP or even in .40SW for that matter, too much muzzle flip. Having owned and fired all three calibers extensively for years in various model handguns and at various targets I can honestly say that I've never felt undergunned with either caliber prvided that you go with the right bullet design and powder charge. 

I used to be a big fan of exotic hollow point ammo too for home defense, but no longer.  In my house I have solid wood doors on nearly every room, so I now stricktly keep higher velocity hot FMJ ammo in my home defense handguns.  Plus I just find hot FMJ to be one of those bullets that are good for a variety of situations, you never know what you may need to fire through. Now, ask me about carry guns and I'll have a different opinion on ammo choice. 

But in a real close quarter defensive situation I'll take a short barreled 12 ga loaded with 00 buckshot anyday over a pistol.  I'm pseronally not a fan of the AR type system for protection, especially home defense, not even for ranch protection down on the boarder.  I just think there are way better rifles and calibers to be had for a ranch rifle in the middle of drug war territory.

For a CCW gun it's best to go light, slim and smaller caiber. 

hunter25's picture
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I have carried concealed

I have carried concealed daily for about 2 years now. The first year was with a Glock 19 in 9mm that I shoot very well. The last 6 months or so have been with a S&W 45c. The gun has been 100% and very confortable and easy to shoot. The .45 recoil is very manageable and with the amount of training your going to get should be no problem at all.

That said I am now in the process of swithing over to a 1911 for my edc. Still have to finish putting it through it's paces but it has been 100% so far as well. I have a Dan Wesson CCO which is an officers frame with a Commander length barrel that carries and conceals very well. Just make sure if you go with a 1911 you get a good one and really wring it out before starting to carry. Not to ruffle Kimber owners but I think the Dan Wesson is a superior weapon and I have used and fired them both. 

I know you enjoy quality and unique firearms and carrying a 1911 will give you a much better feeling than an M&P, Glock or similar.

Lastly I firmly believe in a backup gun instead of just a reload. I'm back to plastic here as I carry a Ruger LCP .380. A little quirky when I first got it due to faulty magazine but runs perfect now. Takes a bit more practice to master but can be done as a short range weapon. Also I know people rail on the .380 but I have been very impressed using Hornady critical defense ammo. Full expansion and pass through on deer carcasses with with skin on and everything before field dressing for test purposes. About the same size as my wallet in my other back pocket with a thin pocket holster.

Good luck with your training and career, sounds like your going to have some fun.

WesternHunter's picture
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What type of LE?

Ex, what type of law enforcement are you going into.  Sound from your post that it's as a Game officer, it that correct?  If so, then I'd highly consider carrying a backup sidearm for sure.  From what I understand wildlife officers duties are often very much like that of a state patrol officer.  You are likely run into situation on your own where you "might" need a back up side piece.  If I recall correctly, the .22LR that most game officers carry is usually kept in the vehicle or on the person for dispatching game in an urban area or an area where a larger cartridge would be inappropriate.  Not sure that the .22 is used as a back-up piece, but I'm sure it can be quite effective as one oif used correctly. 

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I personally like the 40

I personally like the 40 caliber as a handgun round and after trying several different makes of semi autos, I have settled on the Ruger SR40 as the gun that fits my hand the best. I find the recoil is very mild and I shoot it well. Although I usually carry a S&W snub nose .357 as my cc weapon, I am considering replacing it with a Ruger SR40C (same operation as the bigger SR40) or the new Pit Bull 40 caliber snub nose from Charter arms ( same ammo as the Ruger). The reason I am considering the Pit Bull is that I carry a handgun as a back up for finishing off downed animals and in one state that I hunt, Semi autos are not legal for hunting.

WesternHunter's picture
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Ruger

Old Professor wrote:

I personally like the 40 caliber as a handgun round and after trying several different makes of semi autos, I have settled on the Ruger SR40 as the gun that fits my hand the best. I find the recoil is very mild and I shoot it well. Although I usually carry a S&W snub nose .357 as my cc weapon, I am considering replacing it with a Ruger SR40C (same operation as the bigger SR40) or the new Pit Bull 40 caliber snub nose from Charter arms ( same ammo as the Ruger). The reason I am considering the Pit Bull is that I carry a handgun as a back up for finishing off downed animals and in one state that I hunt, Semi autos are not legal for hunting.

 

I've never been a fan of polymer guns, but I have seriously been looking at the newer Ruger SR series.  Highly considering getting an SR-9 or SR-9C.  What you think of the reliability and ease of field stripping?  If recoil is manageable in .40SW then I'm sure in 9mm it's nothing.  What do you think of the overall quality of the gun?

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Ruger SR series

I find the quality of the Ruger SR series to be excellent in the guns that I have handled.  One thing I did notice was that the SR40 that I bought needed no "breaking in" before cycling reliably every time. The CZ75 that I previously owned took 200 rounds break in before cycling reliably. Once broken in it functioned just fine. I went to the Ruger SR because it fits my hand, which is small, better and recoil seems less than the CZ, which in its self was mild.

WesternHunter's picture
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Ruger

Old Professor wrote:

I find the quality of the Ruger SR series to be excellent in the guns that I have handled.  One thing I did notice was that the SR40 that I bought needed no "breaking in" before cycling reliably every time. The CZ75 that I previously owned took 200 rounds break in before cycling reliably. Once broken in it functioned just fine. I went to the Ruger SR because it fits my hand, which is small, better and recoil seems less than the CZ, which in its self was mild.

 

Good to know.  Sounds like it may be a good gun for my hands.  Being 6'1" tall and just under 200lbs I have relatively small hands for my size and age.  I haven't actually handled one of the SR guns because I'm likely to buy one right now if I do lol .  Just have other priorities with money right now, you know kids and all. 

Of all the handguns I own the only one that seemed to require a break-in was my SIG P220 that I bought brand new back in 2001.  In fact of all my semi-autos that P220 is the least reliable of all.  Granted it hiccups about once every 500 rounds (failure to go fully into battery). But when you consider that my 1911's and Browning Hi-Powers have several thousand rounds through each and regularly digest a variety of various ammo (both factory and reloads) and have fired those for years with ZERO issues, even when extreamly dirty........ Whistling.....makes me wonder about my SIG.

Ca_Vermonster's picture
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Well, the frist 7-8 years of

Well, the frist 7-8 years of my career, we carried the Beretta 96D in .40 cal.  I did not like it very much at all.  The last 7-8 years, we have carried the H&K P2000 in the standard version.  Love the gun.  Shoots smoothly, easy to carry.  The plain clothes guys can get the subcompact model, and that's even better for concealed carry.

We don't have the option to carry other guns.  They used to allow the SIG 229 also, but not anymore.

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J-Frame

So what handgun did you end up with?

As for carrying a BUG, I fully endorse a J-Frame in the pocket and one on the ankle, or at least a blade on the ankle to cut the opponent off you. I'm a big fan of always carrying a BUG on the support side and have had to use it to stop a fight once.

Sadly my employer does not issue, or allow, a second gun. They do however give me a partner so I use them as cannon fodder. ;) The handgun in the pocket looks very unthreatening while allowing you to have your hand on a gun when things just don't feel right but a gun in the hand is not the proper response at that point in time. It's been said that the fastest draw is a gun in your hand and I agree.

As to why a J-Frame and not some new-fangled bottomfeeder in the pocket or on the ankle? Pocket and ankle carry tends to attract dirt, grit, grime, and gunk to your gun. Revolvers, or resolvers as I like to call them because they have solved a lot of problems over the years, tend to be more forgiving to the application of dirt, grit, grime, and gunk.

Good luck with whatever you decide. Take care and stay safe.

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  Its sounds like your LEO

 

Its sounds like your LEO situation is with the DOW or similar in which case you will be dealing with remote areas. Generally 308 rifles are not an option for ANY officer in urban areas except for qualified snipers. I am in a similar situation with a major volunteer LEO reserve program. Like you, I have the choice of almost any handgun within reason. At this time, I'm opting for a Glock 20 10mm with weaker "FBI lite loads" for most duty carry. I will keep one magazine out of three loaded with full power, 10mm loads for situations where I might be placed in remote areas where four legged critters, or multiple layers of clothing on subjects could be an issue.

 

I've thought about the situation for months and although I can carry, and often shoot better with a 1911, I think the way to go is a Glock or M&P. (I like them both.) I think the extra capacity of the plastic pistols and the durability are paramount for a duty pistol. I also think the largest caliber/most powerful caliber is mandatory in a situation where you could be hours away from backup assistance.  Chances are you will not have to be worried about over penetration in a remote, forested setting. The other issue is weight, a "bat" belt gets heavy and I think any way to save weight within reason is important. A fully loaded, G20 with 15 rounds of ammo weighs about the same if not less than a fully loaded 5" 1911. If 10mm wasn't an option, I think my next choice would be the G21 (45ACP) with +P loads. If +P loads weren't an option, I'd probably go with a M&P Pro in 40SW with hot 180 bullets.

 

As for a BUG, absolutely. You could be hours from a hospital - you MUST win any gun fight you get into and having a backup is only prudent. If possible, get one that uses the same magazines as the main carry gun. I'd stay away from 380's and standard 38 specials (+P would be OK). If size or weight is an issue, a j-frame with .357's might be an option, so would some of the newer, smaller 9mm semi-autos. I'm thinking the penetration, distances, barriers (brush), heavy clothing, grumpy animals, could all be realistic challenges to a gun in a remote self-defense situation. Despite the advancements in modern bullet design, a good XTP, Gold Dot, or whatever, does not turn a 38special into a 44magnum.

 

As for the rifle classes, I think any class like that you can take is a great idea. Knowledge is power, and it this case even more so as you can use that knowledge to carry additional weapons. Good luck in your endeavors!

 

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