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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Would a Colt Detective Special for plainclothesmen and an Official Police or Police Positive (functioning properly of course) still be acceptable among Police and Sheriff Departments (THAT IS: those that still allow revolvers)

I remember reading a thread a few years ago on TFL of a fellow that carried an old Colt 1917 (think that was the designation...maybe it was a New Service) that held .45 ACP from the 1970s well into the 1990s.
 

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While lots of departments and some federal agencies still allow revolvers for backup guns, very few will let an LEO carry a revolver for a primary handgun. I work for the FBI, and we haven't allowed revolvers, even as backups, for a couple of years. ICE still lets their guys carry revolvers as backups, but only Smiths. Colt hasn't been a major player in law enforcement for many years, unfortunately, so I think its too late for them to break in to the market with a revolver now. That backup niche has largely been filled with compact Glocks and J-frame Smiths.

When I came into the Bureau in 1991, lots of guys still carried revolvers, mostly Model 10s and Model 13s. There were a few, though, that had Colts that were grandfathered in. I remember one crusty old boy who carried a blue worn four inch Trooper, and I ran into another guy who carried a Python.

I carried this old warrior as long as I could....
 

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While the revolver "still delivers the goods", as far as modern law enforcement is concerned it's in the same position the Colt Single Action Army was in when the double action revolver took over.

The Colt Python used to have a "cult" following in the FBI years ago, to the extent that Efrem Zimbalist Jr, carried a 2 1/2" version in the TV show in order to be "authentic".

The day of the revolver as a primary or even secondary LE weapon is over, overtaken by developments in automatic pistols.

Today, you'll very occasionally see a revolver carried as a duty weapon, but these are either old "harness bulls" who see no reason to change, or cops trying to be different; something like the sheriffs or Texas Rangers still carrying Colt Single Actions in the 1950's.

You see a few snubby revolvers as off-duty or undercover guns, but due to modern "mini-guns" like the Glock and Kahr Arms, even these are quickly fading away.
 

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I've got to wonder why the semi-auto suddenly became so popular. It seemed to occur all at once while I was puzzling over what was the big deal. Except for the polymer frames, most of the other design features we see in the semi-autos were in existance prior to WWII, most prior to WWI. Since the systems and concepts that the semi-auto pistols of the present age possess were in existence for up to a century ago, it is curious that it took so long for the handgun user to embrace them.

I'm frankly prejudiced against the whole crop of later day semi-auto handguns. The only practical semi-auto handguns that I genuinely like are the Model 1911 and the Hi-Power. I don't do "plastic", alloy frames, DAO, or even DA/SA semi-autos. The .40 S&W and perhaps the .357 SIG cartridges are a beneficial result of the semi-auto craze. I don't see much else.

The DAO semi-auto is the concept that really sticks in my craw. A trigger that is deliberately designed to be more difficult to shoot well? Those who sing the praises of DAO pistols wouldn't have any use for a rifle or a shotgun that had a long, aim-disturbing trigger yet embrace the same trigger in a pistol. And no, safe-action or other gimmicky triggers don't make up for a proper single action trigger pull. If the DAO trigger design had been all that was available on semi-auto pistols for the past 110 years and someone marketed a handgun which, with the simple "flip of a switch" could be rendered safe or ready to fire with the additional benefit of a superb trigger pull, it would be hailed as the greatest advancement in design since the magazine-fed handgun. As it is the DAO design seems to be percieved as an easy way to side step proper training and is additional evidence of our dumbed-down, litigious society.

"Lots a' "bullets" and a subjectively quicker reload are the semi-auto's claim to fame and I suppose that is reason enough. For my purposes I choose to rely primarily on the double-action revolver for my personal protection.

Did I tell you that I like the revolver best?
 

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Somewhere down the lines of your well formed opinion- yes. /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

And also somewhere down the line you pointed out the reason why semiautomatic pistols like the 1911, the FN Browning Hipower,Beretta 92 or the Glock and many other makers and models became the service weapon for LEO and Armed Forces around the world. Larger magazine capacity and safety features. The day a service weapon just had to deliver a bullet in the designated direction have long gone and is also a product of the arms race between LE and criminals and not to mention the occasional law-suit of accidental shootings with service firearms.
It's also a matter of pure economics. What is cheaper in maintanance? A revolver or a pistol?

And yes, although I'm currently strawling down Semiauto-lane, I still consider myself a Wheeler!!
 

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I doubt any agency would purchase or issue used out of production firearms. With Colt not being able to furnish replacements as needed it just wouldn't make sense.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
These are all interesting points. But mainly I was talking about Police departments that allow police to carry revolver or auto and they have to buy their own guns and materials (Harris County, Texas for instance) about a month or two ago. I came across a young black policeman in Sterlington, Louisiana. He struck me as being about my age (late 20s) and he was carrying what looked to be a S&W K frame with speedloader pouches and all. Didn't have time to ask him anything as he was manning a checkpoint.
 

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if you ever get into a confrontation with someone who has a semi auto and you have a revolver you will learn real fast why semi autos are preferred.
 

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Re: Smaller deptartments-maybe Larger-no

With smaller departments sometimes the most experienced officer is the Chief of police. And maybe he was trained on revolvers and "OKays" others. Larger departments generally issue a common weapon and it is not a revolver anymore.
 

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[ QUOTE ]
if you ever get into a confrontation with someone who has a semi auto and you have a revolver you will learn real fast why semi autos are preferred.

[/ QUOTE ]
Why is that? A good revolver shooter with speedloaders can just about match anyone changing mags in a semi-auto and remember not all semi-autos use high capacity mags.
 

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Re: It takes less time to train someone to do a

mag. change with a auto than a speed load on a revolver. I fully agree wiht Lorraine. Why go to a gunfiight with maybe a disadvantage? When the smoke clears it only matters who's standing not who was able to shoot a classic revolver and look good doing it.
 

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Re: It takes less time to train someone to do a

Our Sheriff's Department in East Baton Rouge Parish still allows some of their deputies to carry four inch barreled 357 DA revolvers. But I think that they limit them to carrying 38 special while on duty. I know that Baton Rouge City Police are issuing Glock 22's and the baby Glocks of the same caliber for off duty carry. But we have a lot of Poe-Dunk little towns in Louisiana with very limited budgets who are still allowing the use of DA revolvers or whatever you want to carry. As long you can qualify it'll fly is my understanding.

Dave
 

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Re: It takes less time to train someone to do a

i carried a ss King Cobra from December 1991 to October 1993...

my shift lieutenant carried a blue Trooper III that had no rifling for about 1" from the cylinder...

lots of model 19s on the force (of 43 uniformed officers) but mostly G17s with a bunch of Sig229s coming on. several officers went big bore with the 220s as i was getting out...

single action autos were verboten...

david
 

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May I never be required to get into a gun battle with anyone, no matter what they are shooting.

That said, may no one attempt to engage me and my revolver in a gun fight because I'll be certain to survive it.

My confidence is bolstered by 30-sumptin' years of handgun shooting, handgun hunting, and handgun competition. A mega-magazine won't trump accurate bullet placement. High capacity magazine semi-auto pistols need not be intimidating. They don't have some mystical power to accurately place bullets.

I'll never be tapped to be a law enforcement officer at my age but if I was I would honestly feel more confident with a revolver as a side arm. The only semi-auto I'd enthusiastically carry would be a 1911.
 

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I love my wheelguns, and just got back from the club where I was going to run an IDPA match (rained out) with a .357 Model and Comp IIIs. But I have no illusions about getting in a fight armed with one.
An LEO facing two (or even more) assailants, moving around unpredictably,possibly getting some good cover, and attacking the whole time, needs more than six to defend him- or herself.
I love accuracy and accurate placement, too, but in those conditions, it would be hard to absolutely depend on good placement with just one or two rounds.
I practice speedloader refills until my hands are raw. I can never approach what I can do with a 1911. With a double-stack, it isn't even a discussion.
Running through a few IDPA and USPSA matches with a wheelgun disabused me of the practicality of a six-shooter in a confrontation any more complex than a single attacker, out in the open, at modest range. For a civilian, this might be the most likely use of a self-defense gun, but it's not realistic for an LEO.
Again, I love my wheelguns- I just spent a whole lot of time cleaning the three I was using today- but I can't say I'd prefer to have one in a fight.
Bill
 

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When I think of revolvers in the police roll I think of the late great Bill Jordan. He did more with his 6 shot model 19 than any bad guy could dream of doing with a high capicity auto.

I'd prefer a 1911 because that is what I used for 3 years in the service but I have defeated some dopers with a .38 in my jacket pocket. /forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
[ QUOTE ]
May I never be required to get into a gun battle with anyone, no matter what they are shooting.

That said, may no one attempt to engage me and my revolver in a gun fight because I'll be certain to survive it.

My confidence is bolstered by 30-sumptin' years of handgun shooting, handgun hunting, and handgun competition. A mega-magazine won't trump accurate bullet placement. High capacity magazine semi-auto pistols need not be intimidating. They don't have some mystical power to accurately place bullets.

I'll never be tapped to be a law enforcement officer at my age but if I was I would honestly feel more confident with a revolver as a side arm. The only semi-auto I'd enthusiastically carry would be a 1911.

[/ QUOTE ]

In addition to that, I would say a man who is placing his confidence in a "mega magazine" is actually making the "mega magazine" your advantage. He will be missing that much more if he is putting his trust in how many bullets he can spray in your direction. You on the other hand are firing well placed shots by point shooting or taking the time necessary to aim.

When I am at the range with my Sig P226 firing 15 rounds, I am shooting away taking aim as quickly as possible and firing. By the time I get to round 10 or 12 I am thinking "The gun fight was probably over back on shot 3 or 4 at the most...and I probably lost if I am still having to shoot all 15 rounds."
 

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My agency no longer allows revolvers to be carried as primary sidearm -- only as a back-up. We do not issue pistols.

When we transitioned to SAs in the late seventies, we allowed both. A problem surfaced because the recruits would use a revolver in the police academy and after they got hired by our department and could afford it, they bought a semi-auto. Then it would be to us to give them transition training. We had to stop allowing the SAs but we grandfathered the revolver shooters. Sadly, all the revolver shooters are gone.

I have carried some flavor of Colt 1911 for the past 30 years, but given the choice between a revolver of any caliber or a wondernine, I would carry my custom 1917.
 
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