Texas DPS started switching over to the new Smith & Wesson M&P 9mm handguns recently for their state troopers. The polymer framed striker-fired handguns are popular with police departments and competition shooters. The ability to carry more rounds per magazine (9mm vs. .357 SIG) in a lighter gun were among the stated reasons for the change. But it appears that the latest wave of recruits in training have experienced an “unacceptable” number of issues with the new gun, and the department is rolling back the changeover, moving back to their tried and true SIG SAUER P226 pistols in .357 SIG. As an owner of a P226, I can’t say I blame them. Here’s the word to the troops from the man himself, forwarded by a source close to TTAG . . .
As you are aware I approved the adoption of the Smith and Wesson M&P 9mm as the Department’s service handgun beginning with Recruit School A14. However, we have been experiencing malfunctions during Recruit School firearms training, which is unacceptable, and I have suspended the transition to the Smith and Wesson M&P 9mm.
Even if the manufacturer is able to address our issues over the next week, we cannot afford to risk the extra training time that was added to address transition contingincies. Education, Training and Research will continue to work with the manufacturer on this issue, but today, Trooper Trainees will be issued Sig Sauer 357 handguns, which we have in our inventory as a precaution.
To be fair to S&W, almost every time a major department transitions from one product to another there are problems. It could be that DPS hasn’t found the right ammo or something similarly trivial, but for now the Republic of Texas will remain a SIG SAUER state.