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Old 05-18-2010, 02:40 AM
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Default Would any cop today feel an advantage with a .357 Magnum revolver?

Would any policemen today feel better armed with a .357 Magnum over say a 9mm or a Glock .40 high capacity gun?
The .357 Magnum used to be favored for some because it was a much more powerful load than the standard service arm (back then a .38 Special)...it still is! What it lacks in capacity it more than makes up for in literal firepower (adding penetration abilities and "stopping power")...even rated against the .357 Sig it oversteps it especially with heavier loads in 158-200 gr.
On the side, a 4-6 inch barreled N frame, L or even K frame .357 Magnum with a half or full underlug looks mighty intimidating compared to a little glock box

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Old 05-18-2010, 04:01 AM
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Not a cop, however, we were issued the .357 1988-1992 when it was replaced by the 1006, replaced in 2006 by the M&P40. The round gun comes in dead last as a combat weapon.
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Old 05-18-2010, 05:37 AM
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Years ago the FBI in Miami gave some agents handguns and sent them to a rifle fight. The result was pretty bad. They could have admitted it was a dumb thing to do and improved their procedures but, being what they are, the Feds proceeded to spend lots of time and money on extensive studies which concluded, I guess predictably, that they needed to buy lots of new stuff. They needed handguns that held more ammo and went bang louder. Smaller agencies gleefully agreed. The whole thing is nonsense. Handguns stink even for personal defense, and are a joke for "combat". They're just easy to carry and conceal. If you've got to go where there might actually be some shooting at people, a shotgun or rifle is highly recommended. Better yet, stay home.
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Old 05-18-2010, 06:31 AM
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I just read the aftermath of a shootout in A Handgunner. LEO working pvt security in uniform in FL. Anyway a shootout ensued at close range,while wounded,under extreme duress. He may of had one or 2 rounds left in his hi cap Glock 22. I wouldn't fault him at all for using that many shots. He was shot in the jaw & a few other places right from the get-go. I think there is a notable difference in proper armament between the 'low probability' CCW guy & a front line LEO. I would prepare accordingly.
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Old 05-18-2010, 06:38 AM
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Revolvers of any caliber are not really good choices for an officer. I really like my revolvers, and sometimes carry them, but if I was in uniform again, I would not want a revolver. Now, for outdoor activities like hiking or camping, they're the way to go.
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Old 05-18-2010, 06:50 AM
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I was hired as a police officer in 1988 and was issued the S&W 681 with 125grain 357 magnum loads. About two months later, I was issued an S&W 669 with standard pressure Remington 115grain jhp's. I felt then, that I had to turn in my 357 magnum for a semi-automatic "38 special". If i was still on the job today and had my choice between the two, I would choose the magnum although we have come a long way with bullet design, like the CCI Gold Dot round, etc, making the 9mm a reasonable choice now.

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Old 05-18-2010, 07:52 AM
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Just my two cents, but firepower and magazine capacity will never replace the actual ability to hit the target. In most "shootouts" you read where the police or bad guy will fire dozens of shots with only one or two hits. One hit with a .38 special round nose beats 17 misses with a .40 hollow point any time.
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Old 05-18-2010, 08:15 AM
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Gentlemen,
I worked in Cleveland's worst area for over 13 years with a model 10 heavy barrel. I felt 'undergunned' only one time (the only time on the job that I was really worried.) The revolver will do 98% of what you have to do, providing you do your part.
I love them - and always will. To this day (retired 11 years) I carry a 2" model 60 from 1974.
Semper fi,

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Old 05-18-2010, 09:25 AM
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There are surely a lot of anti six gun sentiments expressed by the gun rag commandos. The next step is to condem the auto loader (high cap) in favor of a submachinegun.
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Old 05-18-2010, 09:29 AM
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I never felt underarmed with a revolver{40 years ago in the dark ages} and quite frankly I still do not. My favorite "service" revolver is the 7-shot 686 Mt. Gun. The main advantage, in my opinion, for the auto loader is the speed of reloading and initial on gun ammo load. As long as it is over in the first few rds. I shoot better with the wheelgun and will continue to use it to "fight" my way to my rifle. There is truly a good reason when you see all those old photos of the Texas Rangers that they are usually pictured holding long guns.
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Old 05-18-2010, 09:44 AM
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When I became a LEO some 48 years ago, we were issued .38 spls. (Colts) That progressed to 357 mags (SW and Colt) (both great revolvers.) From there the semi auto years arrived and we went to Beretta 9mm 92F's. (Extremely well made and dependable) which I was carrying when I retired after 29 yrs of service. Since then my department has switched to H&K .45's. An excellent pistol from all reports. The only time I ever felt under gunned was with the .38's. The 9mm were also not as powerful as one might like but did provide more rounds between reloads. These observations are only my opinions and I'm sure that there are many out there with different points of view.
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Old 05-18-2010, 09:48 AM
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NOTHING wrong with "the round gun." I learned how to fight with a revolver, and still can. I would gladly carry a .357 on duty. We have long guns that should be broken out if you are on your way to a call where you already know the bad guy is armed.
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Old 05-18-2010, 09:55 AM
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I would not feel under-gunned with a .357 magnum revolver. I've talked to a lot of dinosaurs who started out with revolvers, say the same thing. In my experience, when we went to autos, the agency marksmanship requirements and individual marksmanship abilities took a nose-dive. I'm not against training to shoot close and fast, but I believe the fundamentals of marksmanship should be ingrained first.
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Old 05-18-2010, 10:00 AM
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Default Two for one answers.

I carried one of two .357’s to work every day for 27 years, and I never felt out gunned. By the time my department replaced the issue M-19’s with autoloaders I was working investigations and had a certain amount of latitude in duty weapon choice. Over the years I have owned any number of high quality automatics and from time to time carried one of them as my “off shift” weapon, but I still prefer a quality .357 as my weapon of choice.

As for the F.B.I. gun battle in Miami.
1-Sadly some brave men died that day.
2- I have studied varying accounts of that tragedy, and I will NOT second guess what the agents did or did not do. They were the ones on the scene and took what they believed was the only course of action open to them at the time.
3- I will note that the shotgun was not brought into action until the fight was almost over. If I remember correctly all but three (3) of the agents were armed with S&W .357 revolvers. (The two (2) H.R.T. agents were armed with 9 M/M pistols) Yet none of the agent’s .357’s were loaded with .357 ammo, and the agents were shooting 38 special +P ammo. If Platt and Matix had been shot with .357 rounds would that had taken them out of the fight sooner, no one knows.
4- Matix was shot once in the right arm early in the fight that wound along with the fact by firing his Mini 14 directly in front of Matix; Platt took him out of the fight. Platt was wounded several times but was still able to continue the fight. Only the COURAGE and DEDICATION of Special Agent Edmundo Mireles, Jr. prevent Platt from temporally escaping.
The FBI’s actions after the shoot out was typical for any government agency, throw money at the problem do a study and the problem will end up going away. It’s sad that a number of brave Federal agents had to die before changes were to be made.
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Old 05-18-2010, 10:06 AM
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I've probably mentioned this before, I work as a firefighter in a city where there is a lot of gun play. Shootings mostly are ambushes/drive-bys where 9mm and 7.62 x 39 are the primary choice. Clearly, if you get shot multiple times with either one of those rounds, you're screwed.

However, the most devastating one shot stops (dead) that I have seen were from .357 Magnum 125 grain JHP and 12 gauge 00 buckshot. Currently, the 45 ACP incapacitates like no other and the .40 S&W does well when placed well.

YMMV.
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Old 05-18-2010, 10:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pinkymingeo View Post
Handguns stink even for personal defense,
Really? If someone tries to assault me with his fists or a knife, I think I have an advantage with my handgun. If he has a handgun, then we're equally armed. In neither case am I at a disadvantage. I don't see how a handgun "stinks" in self-defense situation.
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Old 05-18-2010, 10:12 AM
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Handguns stink even for personal defense, and are a joke for "combat". They're just easy to carry and conceal.
I recall a few years back when there was a "man with a gun" alarm in one of the big cities. It was Halloween, and some idiot had dressed up in robes with an Osama bin Laden mask and a cut-out-of-plywood silhouette AK-47. A camera truck responded with the officers, and there was video of two officers, Glops drawn, advancing on the underpass where the fool was reported to be. They arrested the idiot and all was well, but if it had been an actual bad guy with a real AK, there would have been two dead cops. I just shake my head when I see all the police video on the various shows where officers head into a confrontation with a known gunman with only handguns.

I served briefly as a Deputy and part-time small-City PD in the early seventies. I carried a Model 19, a Colt Diamondback, and a S&W Model 39 at various times. If I were suddenly called on to be an LEO today, and had a choice, my first choice would be a good mil-spec 1911A1 with high vis sights and 230 grain hardball, and second choice would be a Model 19 with 158 grain .357 ammo. I would want a carbine and a shotgun to be available within seconds in my patrol vehicle.
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Old 05-18-2010, 11:32 AM
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When I started my LEO career I was issued a Model 10 HB and then the dept replaced them with S&W model 15's.

I carried a Colt Combat Commander as a BUG and I never felt underguned

I my have been bias as I has just served 10 years in the USMC (1961-1971 retired) and was fond of the 1911
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Old 05-18-2010, 11:32 AM
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Quote:
Would any cop today feel an advantage with a .357 Magnum revolver?
I carry a .357 on duty fairly often and a 9mm auto the rest of the time (recently changed to a S&W 1911 9mm Pro Series). I don't feel that I have any advantage when carrying the .357 but I certainly don't feel that I am at any disadvantage. When I do carry a revolver it's a 586 L-Comp, it's fast, accurate, holds 7rds, and is quick to reload with moonclips. I feel perfectly comfortable carrying it and do not feel "undergunned" when compared to a hi-cap auto.
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Old 05-18-2010, 11:34 AM
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Choose a good load for any of the service calibers and any differences are minimal compared to awareness, tactics, your ability to hit with the weapon, and so on. Ideally they would be best served to carry whatever they hit the best with and are the most competent with.
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  #21  
Old 05-18-2010, 11:38 AM
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In my 28th year as a cop. 20 in Harlem NYC with a model 10 Smith. Now in Florida with a Glock 23. Never needed to shoot someone but a revolver could never replace my Glock, on patrol. For duty a semi auto ( Glock for me ) is the only handgun for patrol, and off duty, Glock 27. I will always love revolvers, just not for work.

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Old 05-18-2010, 12:13 PM
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I carried a 6 inch .357 for my first 10 years on the job, usually with the Magnum loading of my choice. I had great instructors at the academy and later training I attended on my own dime, and felt quite comfortable with the revolver, due to the stopping power of the cartridge and the mechanical reliability.

The department then transitioned to autopistols, and we could furnish our own from a fairly broad list. I chose, and still carry, a 1911 with 7 shot mags (have been more reliable, for me, than the 8 shooters). I thought at the time that the 9mm was no better than the .38 Special and I would have much rather stuck with my 6 shot .357 than any 15-18 shot 9mm ever made.

I spent a few years in robbery-homicide after that. Bullet development has given us bullets in all of the fighting handgun rounds that work pretty well. 9mm +P+ isn't too far behind the 125 grain .357 in real world performance.

That said, the most important round you shoot in a gunfight is the first round. Second round is the next most important. In most circumstances, round number 15 is a whole lot less critical.

If you examine police shootings, most of the time when an officer empties a high capacity pistol, it is because he isn't getting any hits, or empties it just because things go so fast. You can easily shoot a .40 Glock dry in under 2 seconds.

For a person who can shoot well, 6 shots of .357 should be more than enough.

For a person who shoots badly, 18 shots of 9mm may not be enough.

I am still trying to find a gunfight where a party needed more rounds after getting 3, 4 or 5 good hits out of the first 6 fired, using a reasonably effective cartridge. People who haven't solved the problem with 6 rounds aren't very likely to solve it with 15 or 20 rounds.

All that said, psychology is a huge factor in conflict. If you know you can shoot your handgun well, because you have in the past, and you know your handgun to be reliable, and you know your cartridge is generally an effective round from the experiences of others, I don't think it really matters what gun you have, revolver or autopistol.

I am happy with my .45 ACP. It is easier to carry all the time than my old 6 inch .357, lighter, flatter, shorter, probably as good (or bad) a stopper. But if I had to go back to a good .357 revolver, especially in uniform, I wouldn't loose much sleep over it. I just don't see any reason to do it.
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Old 05-18-2010, 12:21 PM
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Default Real Cops carry revolvers

I was LE from 1974 - 94. When I first started I was issued a Model 15, that was shortly relplaced by Model 28s, (I still have mine, I was allowed to keep it when I retired).

They then desided we could carry semis' and I carried a 1911A1 for a while but went back to my Model 28. We had critters that often needed to put down and I found the 357 and its penitration was a bit better suited for the task.

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Old 05-18-2010, 12:50 PM
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I'll start by pointing out I own more .357 sixguns than any other kind of gun, including autoloading pistols.
That said, I also spend a lot of my shooting time in "action" competitions like USPSA and to a lesser extent, IDPA and ICORE. I finished fourth overall in an eight-stage, 96-round "carry gun" match behind three Glocks and ahead of thirty other shooters, and I'm "B-Revolver" in USPSA. So I do have a some minimal level of handiness with the revolver.
No, cardboard sports are not related to gunfighting. The only things they can provide are:
A level of stress in shooting nearly all of us can't get practically anywhere else;
And a hard-numbers, real-world answer to how fast you really can place bullets in specific target areas, under that certain amount of pressure, and in certain varying degrees of physical limitations such as awkward angles and in motion.
I don't shoot .357 in competition because after that first shot, it's not a good fighting caliber. Don't take my word for it. Go to a cardboard match with a .357 and see for yourself. I did, a number of times. My scores drop like a rock. Not just for a 26-round course; for a six-round stage, too.
As a result, a .45ACP revolver is about the only sixgun I'd say is good for fighting with.
I have an excellent Detective Special filled with Buffalo Bore semi-wadcutters that I shoot a lot, have some decent skill with, and it might be okay against a lone opponent, and is sure more practical than a Mountain Gun or New Service. So it gets used when I leave my home state sometimes.
But the .357's blast and recoil are a big problem when you're in a hurry.
I've been to an LEO training officer-friend's office and looked through his large real-world video collection of active shootings.
I can't say, after having seen all this mayhem, that six rounds is a comfortable number. Especially nowadays in this era of drug-addled attackers who feel little or no shock or pain from a good hit.
Another good friend of mine watched as his partner put six high-performance .357 slugs into the torso of a drug-crazed lunatic attempting to behead my friend. They never even slowed the guy down and my friend nearly died. Several officers were injured taking down the guy with the six slugs in his guts and chest.
Both my friend and his partner went out and bought hi-cap autos as soon thereafter as they could. Bobby never carried a sixgun again in the line of duty.
I must reject any suggestion that limiting one's ammunition capacity is tied to better training or marksmanship.
I love my sixguns and shoot the dickens out of them, but I have no illusion that I'm better off with six .38s than nine .45s on board.
I will defer on one point to kraigwy- in certain rural applications, I, too, would want a Model 28 for its penetration and possibly greater effective range over the .45ACP.
Close up, fast, adrenaline going, it's a 1911 for me.
The timer and targets tell the tale.

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Old 05-18-2010, 01:15 PM
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For a person who can shoot well, 6 shots of .357 should be more than enough.
For the person who shoots .357s well, 6 shots of .357 should be more than enough. That's why I never understood the training rationale of the Model 19. When it was discovered that the K frame simply could not withstand the constant pounding of full-house .357 loads, LE simply started shooting .38s in practice and training and carrying the gun with .357. A firefight is perhaps the most critical time for you to be absolutely familiar with your weapon and the ammo in it. That means carry what you practice with--your life may depend on it.

For concealed carry, that means if your .38 snub nose is rated for +P, then do a fair amount of your practice shooting the +P rounds you intend to carry. If's it's a .357, the same is true. Don't practice with .38 wad cutters and then carry the darn thing with full-house .357 loads in the cylinder. What good is all that power if you can't hit anything?
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Old 05-18-2010, 03:19 PM
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I don't see how a handgun "stinks" in self-defense situation.

Handguns are ~very~ underpowered compared to other firearms. You give up power for a convenient package. I would rather go into a gunfight with a full power rifle than a handgun any day of the week but I can't fit a rifle in my pocket. It's all relative.
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Old 05-18-2010, 03:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BE Mike View Post
I would not feel under-gunned with a .357 magnum revolver. I've talked to a lot of dinosaurs who started out with revolvers, say the same thing. In my experience, when we went to autos, the agency marksmanship requirements and individual marksmanship abilities took a nose-dive. I'm not against training to shoot close and fast, but I believe the fundamentals of marksmanship should be ingrained first.
I am one of those "Dinosaurs) In mid 1960s the Dept. issue was the mdl. 10 .38 spl. Did we feel "under gunned = YES, But Many of us switched to .357 mag.s ASAP Mine was a 4" 19 ( also carried a 6" in the "outback")

In the mid 60s,the Dept. started looking @ Semi Autos. They settled on "testing out the S&W 39 ( 9mm) They had a few of us "instructors" put them through the "paces" Our "conclutions:
1. As a Duty gun = NO
a. Not as "reliable" as a Revolver
b. 9mm rnd. = no better than the .38 spl. & def. not as good as the .357 mag.
2. Off duty ( we we req'd to carry 24/7) ok
3. Plain Clothes = ????

The Dept. did go to semis in the late 70s, but Many, (esp. the "old timers) got "waivers" & stayed with their .357 mag.s

Did we ever "feel" under gunned ?? Depends
1. In respect to a "hand gun" situation ( where we could not access our "long guns" (12ga. shoot guns or our rifles) = NO

BTW, I still most often carry a .357 mag ( occasionally a .45 ACP 1911)
Do I feel "out gunned with my .357s ?? + NO But then again I was "trained" to "put rounds on target" & NOT "s\Spray & Pray"

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Old 05-18-2010, 04:10 PM
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Handguns are ~very~ underpowered compared to other firearms. You give up power for a convenient package. I would rather go into a gunfight with a full power rifle than a handgun any day of the week but I can't fit a rifle in my pocket. It's all relative.
Until I can figure out how to comfortably carry an 870 pump concealed, I guess I'm just stuck with an underpowered handgun.
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Old 05-18-2010, 07:08 PM
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An advantage? No. At a disadvantage, no unless at I was a shooting competition that stacked the deck in favor of high capacity autos. When working cases where a vehicle take down is likely I usually have a 4" .357 in addition to everything else. Please don't beat up the rifle/ shotgun / thermo nuke is better argument, I know. I also know shootouts are very fluid and unfold rapidly. I might not get to my long gun and I prefer the penetration of a .357 on auto bodies over my.45's. I wear both when working.
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Old 05-18-2010, 07:14 PM
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This is better than a bear thread
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Old 05-18-2010, 07:23 PM
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Semi's are much better bear guns because they usually have smaller front sights. Less pain when the bear shoves the gun up your "other" holster.
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Old 05-18-2010, 07:26 PM
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You have to be able to shoot under duress. If you can't do that it doesn't matter what you are armed with. At close range a .22 is just as dangerous as a .44 magnum. IF you are a shooter.
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Old 05-18-2010, 07:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Proffesor View Post
I am one of those "Dinosaurs) In mid 1960s the Dept. issue was the mdl. 10 .38 spl. Did we feel "under gunned = YES, But Many of us switched to .357 mag.s ASAP Mine was a 4" 19 ( also carried a 6" in the "outback")

In the mid 60s,the Dept. started looking @ Semi Autos. They settled on "testing out the S&W 39 ( 9mm) They had a few of us "instructors" put them through the "paces" Our "conclutions:
1. As a Duty gun = NO
a. Not as "reliable" as a Revolver
b. 9mm rnd. = no better than the .38 spl. & def. not as good as the .357 mag.
2. Off duty ( we we req'd to carry 24/7) ok
3. Plain Clothes = ????

The Dept. did go to semis in the late 70s, but Many, (esp. the "old timers) got "waivers" & stayed with their .357 mag.s

Did we ever "feel" under gunned ?? Depends
1. In respect to a "hand gun" situation ( where we could not access our "long guns" (12ga. shoot guns or our rifles) = NO

BTW, I still most often carry a .357 mag ( occasionally a .45 ACP 1911)
Do I feel "out gunned with my .357s ?? + NO But then again I was "trained" to "put rounds on target" & NOT "s\Spray & Pray"

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My point of relaxed agency marksmanship requirements and individual marksmanship abilities weren't intended to mean that limiting an officer to six shots improved his level of proficiency. For some reason, when my agency went to all autos the scoring rings got bigger and the distances shot were decreased significantly. The new recruits from the academy had difficulty qualifying with this easier course. The dinosaurs didn't have that problem. I shot the old course with revolver and auto (both with service issued duty ammo) and my scores were within 1 point, so lack of accuracy from the auto wasn't the problem. I just think that the fundamentals of marksmanship were never instilled in the trainees when autos were introduced. There was a new philosophy, to which I still don't subscribe.

I always liked the shotgun when going into a known "situation". In my first agency, the shotgun was handy in the car. As a general rule, in the agency where I retired, long guns weren't readily available. When I found myself in a scrape, I only had a handgun.

I do feel lucky that I received so much top notch firearms training and tactical training throughout my career. It was sometimes a pain, but we always seemed to be able to qualify with all weapons every three months. Many aren't nearly as fortunate.

While never feeling under-gunned with the .357 magnum revolver, I felt equally comfortable with a .40 S&W auto.

Last edited by BE Mike; 05-18-2010 at 07:30 PM.
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Old 05-18-2010, 07:35 PM
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I started policing in 1963-1967 in the USAF Air Police. I retired from active law enforcement in 1992 and transfered to our unpaid reserve unit, where I still serve. During my career I carried S&W model 10, 38, 19, 65, 66, 4046, SW99 40, and now an M&P 40. I was proficent with all. The only time I have felt at a disadvantage was when I didn't have my model 37 on my ankle.
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Old 05-18-2010, 07:36 PM
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As for the F.B.I. gun battle in Miami.
4- Matix was shot once in the right arm early in the fight that wound along with the fact by firing his Mini 14 directly in front of Matix; Platt took him out of the fight.
Actually, Matix was discovered to have taken a round in the head during autopsy. It's theorised that concussion from that wound took him out of the fight. (Right arm???????)

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Old 05-18-2010, 08:39 PM
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Very interesting, I never have been in a gun fight,so I really cant say much.I have always liked the 357magnum,but I like the size hole a 45 acp makes,so I hope a 41 Magnum will fit the bill.! What do you think of that.
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Old 05-18-2010, 08:46 PM
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Very interesting, I never have been in a gun fight,so I really cant say much.I have always liked the 357magnum,but I like the size hole a 45 acp makes,so I hope a 41 Magnum will fit the bill.! What do you think of that.
I personaly do not like the .41 mag. ( noise & recoil) IMHO, either step"down" to the .357 or up to the .44 mag.

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Old 05-18-2010, 08:50 PM
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Kraigwy makes the point that not all law enforcement takes place in the concrete jungle. The additional range and energy of a .357 might still be a deciding factor for rural law enforcement. That is also an environment in which an officer could literally wait the rest of his life for backup and so could benefit from having a full box of ammo on his Sam Browne. The decision has to be based on what is more likely to happen HERE, not what could possibly happen. (I suppose its possible to imagine multiple assailants driving vehicles at you simultaneously, thereby requiring the penetration of a .357 and the capacity of a high-cap auto, but likely?)

Would ANY cop today? Yes, I suspect some would, and with justification. Is it ever likely to make as much sense as it did 30 years ago for urban/suburban law enforcement? Not hardly. Too many advances in the reliability of autos and the effectiveness of their ammo, and too many whackos who are either ready to die or don't think they can.

I worked in the day of the straight stick and the revolver with a NY reload. Most of us don't live in that world anymore.
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Old 05-18-2010, 08:54 PM
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This is better than a bear thread
Hey! I resent that. My bear thread was much more interesting!
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Old 05-18-2010, 09:01 PM
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The additional range and energy of a .357 might still be a deciding factor for rural law enforcement.
The OP and the post above touch on the main advantage a max power .357 has over other commonly used pistol calibers, more penetration (assuming suitable slugs), more energy at all ranges with the advantage increasing with range and a flatter trajectory (probably not significant in 98% of LE engagements).

Having said that, I think most LE would be better served with today's semi autos. There certainly are those who master revolvers but doing well under stress shooting DA with a revolver I think is far harder than getting good hits with a Glock, 1911, Sig, etc. Don
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Old 05-18-2010, 09:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Buford57 View Post
Kraigwy makes the point that not all law enforcement takes place in the concrete jungle. The additional range and energy of a .357 might still be a deciding factor for rural law enforcement. That is also an environment in which an officer could literally wait the rest of his life for backup and so could benefit from having a full box of ammo on his Sam Browne. The decision has to be based on what is more likely to happen HERE, not what could possibly happen. (I suppose its possible to imagine multiple assailants driving vehicles at you simultaneously, thereby requiring the penetration of a .357 and the capacity of a high-cap auto, but likely?)

Would ANY cop today? Yes, I suspect some would, and with justification. Is it ever likely to make as much sense as it did 30 years ago for urban/suburban law enforcement? Not hardly. Too many advances in the reliability of autos and the effectiveness of their ammo, and too many whackos who are either ready to die or don't think they can.

I worked in the day of the with a straight stick and the revolver
NY reload. Most of us don't live in that world anymore.
GOOD thoughts !!

BTW, I, as you may have "noticed" I am of the "straight stick & revolver"era plus the Leather with "dump boxes" ( think dump on the ground in a situation ) I rode a very "large" rural area & back up was VERY iffy,Plus commo was a joke.

Even though MANY LEOs ride the "boonies" & back up is a "ways away", they (at least in my area) have better commo & equip. IMHO, it depends on the Officer & His/Her "preference, comfort zone, & training.

Today, if I were back on the "Job" it would still be my .357 mag., my shot gun ( 00 buck TAP ) & my SOCOM16 (7.62 NATO)

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Old 05-18-2010, 09:36 PM
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Whatever your preference, be it a pistol or a wheel gun, there is no substitute for training. I carried a pistol for years because that need existed. Now, I carry a wheel gun because I don't require the capacity nor will I find or allow myself to be in a position of disadvantage due to my training There is a tool for every task, a poor craftsmen blames his tools !
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Old 05-18-2010, 09:52 PM
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Not in LE not ever have been so I am unable to answer the question directly. I love shooting my Smith revolvers; I just dumped about 100 rounds through my 610 this evening. That said, while a well-aimed shot is just that, six well-aimed shots is good, but six just cannot be better than 15 well-aimed shots with a faster reload of 15 more shots available.

Nothing can replace solid training except solid training with more ammo on one's primary weapon and a back-up weapon for that.

Last edited by devildog66; 05-19-2010 at 05:48 AM.
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Old 05-18-2010, 11:29 PM
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Default Definate 357 Advantage

My S&W Performance Center 327. Eight rounds of 357. Definate advantage.

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Old 05-19-2010, 03:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug.38PR View Post
Would any policemen today feel better armed with a .357 Magnum over say a 9mm or a Glock .40 high capacity gun?
The .357 Magnum used to be favored for some because it was a much more powerful load than the standard service arm (back then a .38 Special)...it still is! What it lacks in capacity it more than makes up for in literal firepower (adding penetration abilities and "stopping power")...even rated against the .357 Sig it oversteps it especially with heavier loads in 158-200 gr.
On the side, a 4-6 inch barreled N frame, L or even K frame .357 Magnum with a half or full underlug looks mighty intimidating compared to a little glock box
Sir, FWIW, I suspect that those who prefer a .357 are mainly old guys who started out with revolvers "back in the day." I doubt many of today's patrolmen would be comfortable with any revolver, regardless of caliber.

JMHO.

Hope this helps, and Semper Fi.

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Old 05-19-2010, 05:35 AM
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I'm an old guy who started out with a revolver back in the day. I became a state certified firearms instructor and after a few years was lead instructor for my agency for over 20 years. I carried a Model 19, Model 66, and finally a Model 686 before we authorized autos in 1982.

I felt well armed with the 357 but it was problematic when the day came that required qualification with full power ammunition. Most normal people, cops included, have great difficulty shooting 357 magnum ammunition. Most can shoot 38s all day long but a qual with 357s will induce anticipation and a host of other problems in short order. A K or L frame loaded with the hot 357s had a lot of recoil, muzzle flash, and muzzle blast.

Even back in the old days most cops were not gun guys and most only went to the range when required by the job. Many never spent the time or effort to master the 357. Most agencies used 38s in guns chambered for 357. Like hollow points, magnums were not politically correct until in the 80s.

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Old 05-19-2010, 05:54 AM
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The mainstream of Cops today are of the same mind set as Cops 20 to 30 years ago. The issued .38 and .357 was the top of the line then. Cops of today feel the same with being issued a 9mm or .40S&W today. I do feel that Cops are not that into guns like they use to be. PPC shooting was a big thing in many areas but has died off now. Far too many feel revolvers are old and not dependable and think only a high cap auto is the way to go. I carry a S&W 4566 but wouldn't mind packing a old S&W .357. I have the option and have thought many times to do so.
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Old 05-19-2010, 07:08 AM
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I started my LEO career with the .357 magnum, in Model 27 guise. It saved my life one night and I still have strong emotional ties to that particular model and caliber. I've relied on all the major service calibers at one time or another, for both on and off duty use and find caliber selection to be the least important factor in the equation. There have been enough advances in bullet technology in the last decade that caliber debates are largely academic exercises.

While I'm a six-gunner at heart I have to admit the semi-auto is a tactically superior weapon. When approached from a logical and dispassionate angle there's no getting around it. Consequently, while I love my revolvers, all of my duty related weapons are semi-autos. If I had to carry that 27 into harms way again I wouldn't feel undergunned but it wouldn't be my first choice.

I do find it amusing when I talk to LEOs who can't handle the "snap" of a .40. I often wonder how they would have reacted back in the day when our guns were made of steel and said "magnum" on the barrel. I do miss the days when we stepped to the line during qualification and it was like the wrath of God being turned loose.

Last edited by Trooper224; 05-19-2010 at 07:12 AM.
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Old 05-19-2010, 08:52 AM
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The only worry I ever had about carrying a revolver was the limited rounds it could hold. I loved the reliability of it going bang any time the trigger was pulled. I never feel 100% secure with a semi auto, but like knowing I have lots of bullets. I was fast enough with a speed loader to notice that at the range I could reload my revolver as fast and one could reload his semi auto. I never trust the semi auto to keep firing after the first round and I worry that in a shoot out I might be so nervous that I cant reload. Having had a few real shootouts, I can say I fired as few as one and as many as six....and like Dirty Harry in all the confusion I could not remember if I had fired five or six.....the last bad guy didnt press his luck....I was happy about that....He also did not want to know and I did not tell him...that particular night I had nothing to reload with either.....and that my friends was a wake up call.....
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Old 05-19-2010, 11:30 AM
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Wow, I almost feel obligated to respond to all the misinformation that gets thrown around about the 4/11/86 shootout in Miami.

The Bureau didn't go to semi-autos as a result of Miami. The change was well underway already. There were a couple of Smith 9mm present during the shooting, and Jerry Dove's 9mm launched the Silvertip that caused all the subsequent controversy.

As noted, it was SA Mireles' personally owned four inch 686 that brought things to a close. Not long after the shooting he began carrying a Sig 220.

There were long guns available. SSA McNeill had an 870, but elected to use his personally owned Model 19. With it, he stuck a bullet in Matix's face and effectively removed him from the gunfight. SA Mireles used his 870 after he was shot, but it was largely ineffective. Other agents in the rolling stakeout had MP5s and ARs, but they got to the scene after the shooting was over.

Somehow it has become chiseled in internet stone that the FBI blamed the whole thing on Jerry Dove's under-penetrating 9mm Silvertip. Not true. I came into the Bureau five years after the shooting, and the critique of every aspect was still on going. Changes were made in tactics, training, and equipment. Ammunition was a part of it, but a relatively small part. The Bureau took a look at all of its shootings, set a standard for performance based on the most likely scenarios, and began testing ammo to meet that standard. For us, penetration is important. We don't issue ammo to other agencies, so they are free to choose ammo that meets their needs. I'm happy with the 230 grain Golden Sabres they give me for my Sig, and the 180 grain bondeds I get for my baby Glock.

I started my LE career 27 years ago with a Model 15, and couldn't wait to get one of the fancy new semi-autos. I was later issued an auto, but continued to carry revolvers on occassion, until they were disapproved for carry a few years ago. I'll retire soon, and probably go back to carrying a revolver, but if I was given the responsibility of arming a police department I doubt I'd even give revolvers a serious look.

For anyone interested, there is plenty of reading to be found here:

Federal Bureau of Investigation - Freedom of Information Privacy Act

Its pretty much all there - backgrounds of the shooters, the weapons and ammo used (including serial numbers), photos, charts, and diagrams.
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Last edited by sigp220.45; 05-19-2010 at 01:02 PM. Reason: Fixed the spelling of SSA McNeill's name.
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