As it currently stands, the FBI issues special agents a GLOCK 22 or a GLOCK 23 in .40 S&W caliber. If the agent fails their first qualification, Quantico’s quislings swap out the .40 cal pistol for a 9mm G17 or G19. The Fibbies’ “tolerance” for 9mm reflects a 2014 caliber study concluding that “the move to 9mm Luger can now be viewed as a decided advantage for our armed law enforcement personnel.” So here we are in November 2015 and it looks like the Fibbies are taking their own advice . . .

A TTAG tipster emailed us a link to the General Services Administration’s solicitation order for “various 9mm luger pistols and all associated replacement parts with the intent of making a single award of a fixed price indefinite-delivery indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) contract.” A closer look reveals . . .

The intent is a single award for a firm fixed price indefinite-delivery indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) contract that shall permit usage by other law enforcement entities. The maximum, not to exceed amount, over the life of the contract is $85m.

Now things get interesting . . .

GLOCK has proven that it will do whatever it takes to get government contracts. Smith & Wesson have made inroads into GLOCK’s LEO market share; they have both the products and manufacturing capacity to satisfy the FBI. FNH-USA has been hankering for a LEO contract for a long time; their FNS pistols are as good as any in the world. Beretta is still smarting from losing it military contract; they’ve got to want this one so bad it hurts. SIG SAUER will no doubt take a hard look at this, too.

If you were the GSA and all things were equal – which they never, ever are in these sorts of competitions – which gun would you issue to the heirs of Efrem Zimbalist Jr.?

[h/t Deportman]

145 Responses to FBI Ditching .40 for 9mm

  1. Glock. They work and there is no compelling reason to spend hundreds of thousands or millions to retrain thousands of agents on an entirely new platform.

    • Not at market price. Glock makes something like $200 profit on every pistol they sell in the U.S. While that is fine for people who purchase one or two pistols, a bulk purchase of something like 170,000 pistols deserves a deep discount. Even if Glock’s markup is only $50 on every pistol sold to the U.S. government, they stand to put $8.5 million in their corporate pocket.

      • Keep in mind two things.

        First, the government doesn’t exist to make a profit, at least not formally, and there’s very little personal stake for a purchasing agent in terms of how much profit the vendor makes.

        Second – and this was a welcome change – a primary criterion for purchase decisions can now be value, rather than simple cost. Even if a Flock costs 20% more per pistol than Acme El-Kabang Co., it can be selected anyeay on thr basis of performance, durability, etc.

        • Except Glock isn’t demonstrably superior to FN, Sig, HK, Walther or even the S&W M&P. That leaves training which can be minimized by sticking with a striker fired pistol without a manual safety — which all these companies have.

        • Actually if you are a “Government Contractor” your profits will absolutely be restricted, and you will be audited.

        • Two contract provisions to watch for:
          “Technically acceptable, cost, schedule and risk considered.”
          “Best value to the Government, cost and other factors considered.”

          Lotsa room for maneuver in those phrases.

          BTDT

        • KB > I agree that in SOME cases there is CLOSE examination of the ‘accounting’ on Contract suppliers…
          But it doesn’t “examine” profit!
          The Marine Corps would NOT be paying $2100+ per .45 cal handgun (including a cleaning kit and limited ‘service contract’…if they were monitoring “profit”!!
          NO ONE “needs” a SHOW GUN with sculpted multi-color hand grips and all the other ‘artistic’ work…for a COMBAT weapon!

        • Profit is a consideration in US Govt contracting. In most all cases, a profit greater than 10% will get a contract award in the spotlights. Some agencies employ “pricers” who’s job it is to compare, in detail, the bid price with similar items already on the market. Even the so-called Firm Fixed Price contracts must address expected profit. Only a corrupt contract official would award a contract that ignores profit analysis. Even when profit cannot be derived directly, there are assumptions made that are used to calculate a ‘target price’ in the official Independent Government Cost Estimate. And, after the contract is awarded, it is common to have a discussion with the vendor regarding ‘unearned’ or ‘windfall’ profits. And if the contract value is sufficient, there are either annual contract audits, or final contract audit (vulnerable for up to 3yrs). Sometimes both. The operating theory (not without grounds) is the vendor/contractor is price gouging at every opportunity. While not published policy, every government agency thinks vendors/contractors should essentially work for only cost reimbursement (yes, that is a tricky matter in itself) because the contractor/vendor is working for the welfare of the nation.

        • The last I checked, LEO prices on Glock 23’s Gen 4s w/o nights sights are 398.20 and $449 with steel tritium sights.

        • The individual officer price for a Glock 17/19 with tritium sights is approximately $450 and that includes the federal excise tax, so with the bulk discount and no tax, the cost for the FBI or any other agency for a Glock 17/19 with tritium sights will be in the $300-$350 range depending on how many they buy.

    • I too think giving the agents a choice makes sense since we all shoot better with different guns but I suspect that this is not really about getting the agents ‘better’ guns. I imagine that it is about awarding a sweet contract.

    • Agree 100% with Kevin.
      As for Phydeaux (love the handle), the brands you suggest are not demonstrably better than Glock, either, and except for S&W, are more expensive.
      As I told a friend who was bragging about his SIG P226, and dissing Glocks, “Your SIG might be better than my G19, but it ain’t $100 better !”

    • I think it makes a lot of sense for the congressional lapdogs at the FBI to stick with Glock. Probably the G19 across the board. Why retrain and re-equip when you have a platform that works already?

  2. Clean sheet of paper?

    Sig 320 Series. Though if I were the procurement agent, I’d want them to have a few more years of experience working out the bugs.

  3. I’d go with the P220 series. (Probably a 226 / 229 in 9mm). The pistols are top notch, concealable, have a plethora of parts and service support.

    The biggest advantage I can think of is the DA/SA trigger system and lack of any external safeties. This should help with negligent discharge issues that many striker centric departments have been having. It’s sort of hard to “accidentally” let off a 10lb trigger.

    • Except for southpaws. The right-hand only decocker is entirely a non-starter. While you might say only 1 in 10 folks are lefties, the agency I work with is 40% lefty (handed, not politically) which took Sig out of the running before any of their T&E guns were able to make it through the door.

      • I have multiple P22x series guns with decockers, and am exclusively left handed in shooting. If you can’t run a sig with a decocker left handed, you need to rethink how you train. I find it easier to use a sig with a decocker than a beretta with a shitty slide mounted safety. It isn’t hard.

        • And if you have to loosen your left-handed grip to run the decocker you’re not training with the right firearm. This argument can go on forever. Suffice to say, once you have a firm and stable grip on a pistol, you shouldn’t have to release that grip to make it safe.

    • Glock and negligent discharges–again.
      Cops have negligent discharges when over-amped and undertrained.
      “But it happens all the time with Glocks”.
      Yes because the majority of cops are issued Glocks. If you have 60%+ cops potato guns they’d screw up with those too.
      “But what about all the civilian ND’s with Glocks?!? Huh?”
      Market share again coupled with the fact that every Joe Operator out there thinks he’s the pistol whisperer and carry a different type of handgun every day and be proficient with it after the hour he spends once every couple of months at a square range punching paper.

      • Nothing against Glocks but they were designed for a different LEO mentality. European LEO’s are trained to leave the pistol in the holster and only draw as a last resort, in other words you draw to shoot, in effect the holster serves as a safety. US LEO are taught to draw at a much lower threat level and with a “live trigger” accidental discharges are more likely.

        • Honest questions:

          Did we have more or fewer ND’s when the primary LEO carry weapon was a revolver? That’s a “live trigger,” also, right?

          If different ND rates between striker, safetyless pistols and revolvers, is the ‘conclusion’ that it was trigger pull weight?

          And…if so, has the increased trigger pull weight in NY lowered the ND rate to below the rest of the country?

      • Did you see “Glock” anywhere in my post? The issue is the short and light trigger pull on all striker fired guns. It exacerbates the problem of poor gun handling discipline that is endemic to police forces.

        • So you want to solve a training issue with hardware.
          Makes perfect sense, if you’re the government.

        • Let me preface this by saying that I am not intending to take any side in your debate about this firearm issue, but…

          Solving a training issue with hardware is common in any large organization, and has been for a long time. If the cost of training for a particular safety issue is anywhere near the cost of eliminating the issue with better hardware you would be a fool not to get better hardware. Unless you have a limitless supply of disposable people, in which case you don’t give a damn about safety anyway.

        • “you would be a fool not to get better hardware. “

          Okay, likewise not getting into the Glock vs not Glock debate and only addressing this one statement on its face…

          Your assertion here kind of assumes that going to “better” hardware to solve that one issue does not also introduce other issues or exasperate existing ones.

          In other words, define “better.” Better can be “better from this single, one dimensional criterion” but not “better” overall.

          In that case, one would most assuredly not be a fool to consider better training on hardware that solves more problems.

          In short…purchasing decisions should not be made but automaton bureaucrats that look at issues one dimensionally. Issues are often cross correlated and not independent. Blanket statements generally have lots of exceptions, and that’s the problem with blanket statements.

    • The P220 series is already used by a number of alphabet agencies, but then again the FBI likes the “special” title…

  4. long ago, i was associated with GSA contracting. There is no (theoretically) “choice”, but only a selection based on published specifications and evaluation factors. of course, we are talking about “all things being equal”, right?

  5. OK, so it’s down to just me liking the .40 S&W now?

    That’s fine. I’ll be “snappy” all by myself.

    P.S. – I think it’s due to the suppressor popularity, possible de-regulation thingy. : )
    Ain’t worth trying to suppress .40 S&W.

    • With that in mind, I’ve got a Gen3 Glock 23 I should probably get rid of before the seconds market is swamped.

    • Supressor companies aren’t really putting in the effort. Probably not a large market. 40 & 45 don’t suppress as easily as the 9mm and below.

    • Joe you are NOT alone-the FBI BS is just so weenies can “handle” their duty gun-and yeah they dumbed down from 10mm to “small & weak”(so what does that make 9mm-cheaper?). BTW WHAT’S with the Quisling remark? Nazi ally executed for treason? A mite harsh
      RF. I hope the used GLOCKS in 40 drop to $200-I’ll get one…

    • Know that you do not stand alone in your preference for the mighty .40, though it often does feel as though our ranks are shrinking. I looked high and low to find a CZ 75b in my prefered calibre and it is still my EDC as well as my favorite to shoot. Fires with some authority, don’t ya know!

      I am an instructor who teaches a number of newbies. I always start with a .22, work up to the 9mm, and if they still seem comfortable, offer them the .40. A fair number tell me it was their favorite. Of course the CZ has great ergos. That might be a factor too.

      We probably need a support group.

      • Nah Bigdiogi-it was GREAT after the ammo famine always finding 40-and never finding 9mm. Amazingly short memories for so-called gun guys…and I still don’t get the violent,snappy 40 comments. I guess I’m just too manly (LOL)…

  6. Hmm. I thought a Quisling was an enemy sympathizer. How can the FBI be a bunch of Quislings when they ARE the government?

    With the change to 9mm, does that mean that the shops will soon be flooded with barely used FBI-surplus Glocks? Or will they melt them all down to keep the EveryMoms happy? Or maybe Bloomberg should just buy them all and HE can melt them down to keep them off the streets.

    • With the change to 9mm, does that mean that the shops will soon be flooded with barely used FBI-surplus Glocks?

      All those Glocks should be near their design life maximum round count … because they must have shot up the billion+ rounds of .40 S&W hollowpoint ammunition that the feds ordered for range practice.

    • RF must like the alliteration.

      But yes, unless there’s something treasonous in switching to 9mm, quisling is the wrong term.

    • Run it through ballistics, it’s the same gun.

      Anyone think it might have something to do with micro-stamping / smart-gun push? TURN IN ALL YOUR GUNS, WE WILL GIVE YOU NEW ONES ON MONDAY. . .

      • Actually it is *exactly* the same gun. I think I need to form a LLC to bid on the contract. Take in a GLOCK 22 or 23 and turn it into a 17 or 19 overnight with a barrel change to 9mm. Bet I could do it cheaper than GLOCK could…

  7. Feds should be purchasing Smith and Wesson M&P 9 series. They are rock solid reliable, a huge number of accessories are available, they are made in the U.S.A., and they are less expensive than Glocks.

    If we are going to spend tax money, we should be getting a great value AND shoring up domestic businesses.

    Disclaimer: I am NOT a Smith and Wesson fanboy. I do NOT and have not ever owned a Smith and Wesson M&P 9.

    • Obviously you’re unaware of the M&P9 quality control lapse debacle by Smith & Wesson that cost the company millions in lost revenue after agencies encountered a variety of flaws/malfunctions that should have never happened.

      http://www.texastribune.org/2014/04/17/dps-suspends-use-new-handgun-over-concerns/

      In the initial order of only a couple of hundred M&P9’s, Texas DPS encountered a ridiculous percentage of problems, but the two that guaranteed TXDPS will never again issue a S&W product were front sights and slides flying off new issue M&P9’s during recruit firearms training. I’ve never experienced a problem with my C.O.R.E. 40, hopefully my pistol didn’t leave the factory during the time S&W QC Inspectors weren’t doing their job.

      • and therein lies the problem; limited data points. yes, dps had a terrible time with the mp9. how many mp9s have been sold? how many malfs like dps experienced? how many malfs anywhere since the dps experience? one bad run means all runs are bad, you cannot trust any weapon from a company with an identified and fixed quality control problem? how often do you need a gun to do what a gun is designed for (self-defense). how often do you need a car? cars/trucks have abominable quality control by comparison.

  8. I would find it hard to argue against Glocks because of the familiarity already metioned in an above post, but I do like the idea of giving money to domestic companies such as S&W. MP Series are, IMHO, very reliable and I know they are carried by many LEOs already.

  9. I think they should give agents a choice of 3 manufacturers. The modular Sig 320 series may be the best option if they go with one mgf.

  10. How about each agent go to their local gun store and buy a new 9mm of their choice that is compliant for civilians in accordance with their state’ laws?

    • Yeah, give the agents a small bump in pay and let them buy their own and buy their own ammo. I suspect that that would be cheaper than maintaining the federal infrastructure and sweetheart deals involved. It would also support businesses that provide good service. Even if some bought Taurus Curves, the fact that those agent are unlikely to get in a gunfight anyway makes that not such a huge deal. In the end I bet the decisions overall would be better than they are now.

      • That comment shows how little you understand about the FBI. It is an organization made up almost entirely of Lawyers and CPA’s. Outside of an Ivy League school, there is no larger group of type-a personalities. “Business Casual” at the FBI is loosening the tie on your Blue, Black or Charcoal suit. A free for all in buying their own sidearms is culturally impossible.

        My brother is a field agent. He carries his Glock 22 everywhere (even on planes). He can carry a 23, but he must buy it himself, then have it gone over by an FBI armorer, who then certifies it for him. If he is ever involved in a shooting, either “on duty” or in line at the quickie mart, he is acting as an FBI agent if he uses his 22 or certified 23, and the FBI investigates and determines if its a clean shoot or not. If he has his P229, he is joe citizen in the eye of the Bureau and on his own, and left to the mercy of the local LEO’s.

    • Nah, they’re better than the average civvy. They are more trained and more responsible than us…

      Not cop hate, just carve out hate.

    • Good opertunity to lead by example and all be issued those brilliant “smart guns” wouldn’t it.
      Or the new super smart guns that are blued toothed active and just tell Siri where the bad guys are and let her shoot. Odd of hitting intended target wouldn’t decrease any.

    • California based Fibbies must buy an on-roster 9 mm, with the requisite CA-capacity mags. I like it! No Gen 4 Glocks, no M&P’s for you, no VP9. Even better, go buy an on-roster P226/229, with LCI, stupid warnings and a mag disconnect! (My coffee just kicked in.)

      • This doesn’t smell right to me. First, federal agents are immune from state laws while acting in the course of their employment. Second, LEOs in California (and FBI are LEOs) are exempt from roster requirements. Most state and local cops here carry Glocks, in .40, with 17 round mags, even in San Francisco and L.A. Therefore, I find it difficult to believe that the State of California can dictate to the FBI what weapons its agents may carry.

        • Fibbies are like any other exempt person when it comes to roster guns and lo-cap mags in CA. Does not apply. This my coffee-induced wishful thinking for the day.

    • Agreed, bought one last year and its been my nightstand gun for a while now. So easy to shoot that it feels like cheating.

    • Agree.

      P-01 would make a good platform. Extremely reliable, accurate, good concealment size, plus a little more frame weight to help the light weights with recoil.

  11. I’d go with a platform that has compact/full size options, simple, ambidextrous controls, preferably American-made, good grip design with inserts for accommodating a range of users.

    Nobody really does all of this, but the ones that come closest IMO are the S&W M&P, Walther PPQm2, and H&K VP9. Glock falls short on its small-hands useability, though the gen.4 has definitely been an improvement.

    • You just described the FNS. I personally don’t know how they shoot, but that’s almost straight out of their ad copy.

      • They shoot as well as a SIG, already make the M4. Available with suppression capability.Dead nuts reliable. I have had people firing. 40Cal in them think it was a 9mm. Glock 21 is authorized optional so the Fn in. 45 meets that like. My wife carries fnp I rotate out with 226 & Fn, occasionally a Glock. 45 or P99. The USSS is not going to drop the. 357 SIG. We’ll have another ineffective shoot with 147gr ammo, dead agents another study then back to. 40. Rex. Applegate, Elmer Keith both thought that enforcement should carry. 41Mag.
        Had the luck of meeting both of those old guys when I was little and had been given a. 38 model 10. by my sperm donor & both showed me a few things. They are spinning in the grave at the dumbing down after losing as many to LACK of PRACTICE by agents. If they really wanted to practice the 5.7×28 would be as good full commonality of ammo, virtually no recoil. My wife is 5’0,118lb daughter 4’10, 95lbs Sgt USMC & Both can handle. 40 or. 45 no problem. Friend that’s 80 & partially paralyzed uses a 45colt SAA. that hurts me. Comes down to practice and not being a wussy.

  12. 9mm offers more capacity to compensate for their inability to hit a flock of low flying barns. They need more rounds because their shots tend to fly off target, they need more chances. Screw the bystanders…

    This whole process is comical… We need something better than the 9mm! Ok, here’s 10mm! That’s way too powerful! Ok, try this neutered version called the .40 S&W, but make sure you use some other company’s gun with it, perhaps a foreign sycophant!? Even that is too much for us now! We want the 9mm back cuz we can’t hit anything and need more chances in the magazine!

    These are my owners? Whatever…

  13. Cops should carry .380 or rubber bullets with the hit ratios I been reading about. My 12 year old daughter can qualify on static paper targets.
    Under stress they hit about 2:20 sending 18 rounds into anything that happen to be in the general direction.
    A scared cop is the deadliest thing on earth. They actually have a worse hit ratio than Chi-town gang bangers shooting gangsta style.
    Unless they train a min. Of once a week and can consistently out shoot me (not Ave. Joe, but the average rage going target shooter) they are more of a threat than a Service and shouldn’t be allowed to carry anything but rubber bullets.

    Say what you want, but you all know good a well if you got shot 15 times with rubber bullets, you’d stop long enough for him to get close enough to tase the $hit out of you until you could be cuffed.
    Flame away, but I stick to my opinion.
    Excluding the law and what would happen if you actually returned fire at a cop, I’d honestly like my odds more in a shootout with a average cop over any of the millions of retired vets (any age) walking around..

    • Some cops repeatedly fail marksmanship qualifications that I could literally pass blindfolded, but I think the FBI are held to somewhat higher standards.

    • If were gonna downsize, why stop at the 380! Lets give the cops an NAA revolver, in 22 long rifle, After they gain proficiency, they can graduate to the 22 Magnum!
      Don’t need spare magazines either, The tiny little revolver are so small, they can just carry three or four of them, one in each pocket!

        • Yes! Why not, and you can have a retired Japanese army Colonel Accompany him for the latest up to date instructions for firing and cleaning. The Nip dude might even have some left over rounds from WW2 floating around in his pocket!

  14. From the list, I’d be inclined to go with the Sig P320, for the combo of modularity and good trigger. The idea of authorizing other makes has some things to recommend it. However, I’d like to put in a plug for the Springfield 3.8 Compact–whether as issue or as option. I like the backstrap safety as an extra measure of safety for training a workforce that runs from geeks to highly experienced gunners. The versatility offered by the two magazines is a cheap form of modularity that would probably be popular with the agents. The barrel length is perfectly adequate (like the Sig P320 Compact) for most uses, but the shorter magazine version allows for somewhat better concealability than the Sig. For agents with special needs, such as routinely working in rural areas, make other models/makes available–along with the long guns that are already issued.

    • I think the Sig 320 might be what the contract is aimed at buying. If you read the solicitation I think Glock and Springfield XDs are out. It says no finger grooves so that takes out Glock. It also mentions that grip safeties are not allowed which takes out Springfield. Also interesting, it has to be striker fired and come with night sights (specifically says Trijicon HDs are preferred).

      • Also interesting, the barrel lengths seem to exclude the M&P series. The compact and full size barrel lengths are too short to meet the specs provided. It really seems to me that this contract was written to exclude everything but the Sig 320.

  15. “which gun would you issue to the heirs of Efrem Zimbalist Jr.?”

    More importantly, which gun would you issue to the heirs of J. Edgar Hoover?

  16. Agree 100% with Kevin.
    As for Phydeaux, the brands you mention are not demonstrably better than Glock, either, and except for S&W, are more expensive.
    As I said to a friend who was touting his SIG P226, ” thet SIG may be better than my G19, but it ain’t $100 better !

  17. Sig P320

    The ability to have the same exact trigger assembly in 4 different ambi carry options can’t be overlooked.

  18. Beretta or Sig. I just like hammers. I was a carpenter before I became ‘The Gov.’

    Put the full size PX4 Storm slide and barrel (4″) on a compact. Similar to a Glock 19. And then make it available to public.

  19. The biggest advantage I see for FNS is that it is fully ambidextrous out of the box. No mods needed for southpaw agents or LEOs.
    That feature was the main driver behind me choosing the FNS9 for my first pistol.
    Now I have the FNS9C and the FNX45 as well.
    H&K also makes full ambi pistols. VP9, VP40, P30SK etc….

  20. I just think it’s kinda funny that after all the sound and fury of finding an “effective” caliber for their agents, the FBI is going back to the “ineffective” 9mm that they spent so much time, money, and effort replacing. As for the question: If they are carrying Glocks now, they should probably keep on carrying Glocks unless Gaston goes crazy on the price. Altho I too really think the Feds should “lead the way”, and use the “immense power of their purse” to pioneer the use of “smart guns”. Let EJ Dionne show them how to use them.

  21. they should go back to the American 9 {.38} in S&W 6 shot and speed loaders
    then listen to them complain, if they want an Auto, Coonan arms or desert eagle may make one

      • Now that is entirely too logical, too cost effective and doesn’t pay off a major corporation in some manner. Shame they won’t do it.

  22. I personally think, that as the Nation’s premier law enforcement agency, the FBI should lead from the front… So for me it’s the Armatix iP1 or GTFO

  23. I wouldn’t issue any guns at all. I would issue ammunition in a single caliber and let the agent choose and pay for his/her own side-arm.

  24. Makes sense. there was nothing really wrong with 9x19mm in the first place. Only error with LE and 9mm was in the late 80s when LE chose light and faster 115gr 9mm bullets for ammo. Most of the problems the military faces with 9mm is not the M-9 but the M-882 124gr ball round. Both light super fast bullets over penetrate. LE and SOCOM came out with 147gr bullets which correct the issues as far back as the 80s. The 147gr HP/FMJs are slower, but are fast enough to cut into a oppoints flesh still at super sonic speeds. 147gr HST 9mm is the favorite 9mm of local Police and they generated very good wound and none over penetration in shoot outs. So the Fed see finally the need to move away from .40 S&W which can wear out service pistols faster than lower pressure 9mm and .45ACP to 9mm is a move to cut cost and improve accuracy with G-mans side arm.

  25. Sig M11
    It’s already in the government inventory, carried by an investigative arm of the federal government and as a superb reputation for quality and reliability.
    Only downside is price per unit, but although I have no ill feelings for Glock(own a G30 myself), thier dominance of the marketplace was established based on their novelty. A striker fired, polymer framed handgun. Another pretty much everyone out there makes a striker fired polymer frame handgun, it’s time to start looking at more than just what’s the most popular offering.
    This isn’t high school class president elections, Glock shouldn’t simply be handed the contract because they’re the “captain of the football team”

  26. @Erich: ““which gun would you issue to the heirs of Efrem Zimbalist Jr.?”

    More importantly, which gun would you issue to the heirs of J. Edgar Hoover?”

    After Waco and Ruby Ridge?

    Blank firing.

    “Stop! Or I shall shout BANG! at you again!”

    A bit more seriously, what happened to the lessons of the Miami Shootout that led to the adoption of the 10mm and then the .40 S&W in the first place? Forgotten… until the next Miami Shootout?

    Those who won’t learn from history are doomed to keep flunking the tests.

    • The failures of the Miami shootout have been traced more to poor ammo choice than caliber.

      Modern defense / duty ammo in 9mm is not what they were carrying i the early 1980’s. Both the technology available and our understanding it has changed a lot since then.

      Also, another important lesson from that shootout: one injury sustained by one of the bad guys very early in the shootout was indeed fatal. It just took a while. The dude was dead on his feet but still able to return fire.

      That’s a risk with all handgun rounds.

      I’ve seen it personally with .357 Sig (armed robber sustains 5+ hits and was still on his feet and “in the fight” though at autopsy, all 5 were found to be mortal wounds).

      There’s also Jared Restin’s gunfight with a bad guy where Restin sustained multiple non-fatal wounds (including being shot in the jaw) from a .45 and he hit the bad guy 7 times with a his .40 before finally dropping him with THREE contact head shots.

      Of those three contact headshots, autopsy showed only ONE to be fatal.

      So, keep wrongly thinking caliber matters all that much…

      The failure in Miami was not caliber choice, though that shootout sure has done a LOT to perpetuate the caliber myths and Geezer Science we have to contend with now.

      • Another factor in the 1986 Miami shootout was that the Agents were unprepared to confront committed criminals who weren’t afraid to die. Of the 11 FBI vehicles in the surveillance that fateful April day, at least 3 were two man units yet no one riding shotgun had a long gun in hand at the ready despite knowing in advance the suspects were responsible for multiple violent takeover bank robberies and at least one murder. Had even one of the Agents been able to put rounds on target with a rifle or shotgun at the moment the suspect vehicle stopped, the chances of the soon to be dead suspect Micheal Platt unleashing hell with a Mini 14 would have been greatly reduced. The FBI bosses of that era had an aversion to arming Field Agents with AR-15’s or M-16’s, only their HRT Agents were equipped with rifles during that regime even though other officer involved shootings in preceding years had prompted agencies like the Oklahoma Highway Patrol (began issuing CAR-15 in the late 70’s) and the Texas Highway Patrol (began issuing Mini-14 in 1984). Had that felony traffic stop been conducted by a dozen OHP or THP Troopers instead of FBI Agents in 1986, the shooting would likely have commenced before Platt or Matix ever got a chance to get a shot off.

        You’re absolutely right about 9mm duty ammo changes since then, this new generation of 9mm duty ammo like Federal HST is why 9mm will displace 40 S&W, 45 ACP, & 357 SIG as preferred duty ammo in the next few years. Some of the dumb@$$ed comments ridiculing the FBI for adopting 9mm are obviously made by folks ignorant of the amazing technological advancement in 9mm bullet performance over the last 3 or 4 years. Any doubts I had about the potency of the new offerings in 9mm duty ammo went away after seeing ballistic testing outcomes.

        • The stats look great, expansion in gelatin is great, but when shooting transfers to tissue the equation changes. I’m still seeing officers missing with 9mm 50 rounds a year is not enough to keep skills up no matter the caliber. I just washed out a female cadet that could not accurately fire a 5.7×28. Fn. She had a degree in criminal justice & thought because she saw a few videos & used a laser simulator it was real world. Ideally the. 357Mag would still be the working round since it has all the real world requirements but, never happen due to the 6-7-8 shot limits.
          But departments still allow 1911’s with 7-8 rounds. It all comes down to cost of ammo & dumbing down for political correctness. A 165gr. 40, or a +p+9mm which one? The cheapest when dealing with government purchasing and the one the majority of PC hired can punch paper with.
          Calibers and police lives are the last thing politicians care about. Out of the 50 or so FBI agents I personally know all but 3 have law degrees others are C.P.A.’s. They need to get away from the Hoover ideal agent if they are going to be in the gun fighting side of the law. Stick to after incident and investigation and leave enforcement to the US Marshals. Other option do away and put the USM over it all as its the only truly authorized federal agency. Just revise. FLETC’s training to teach that people are citizens not subjects.

        • Retired LEO you just can’t imagine how foolish you come across to folks who know better. Either you’re expressing an opinion based on what you knew about the FBI 30 years ago, repeating what you’ve heard, or maybe you’re just making $#it up. Over the last 15 or 20 years the FBI has hired a high percentage of Agents with prior LE or military experience. Hoover’s FBI is long gone and has been for at least three decades, to suggest they’re still only hiring attorneys and accountants is complete bull$#it. Stop embarrassing yourself.

        • I am referring to agents I personally know & deal with on a daily or weekly basis. They still act like J. Edgar Jr.’s, all have law degrees or accounting & just because they are not practicing lawyers doesn’t mean they aren’t.

          The F.B.I. Field agents should be under the U.S. Marshals. The Clarksburg clerks and NICS converted can stay to catalog evidence. B:ut I have had better luck with state labs.VICAP. in 30 years gave me leads on a total of 4 case’s. More luck from beating the streets and opening my eyes to the crime scene. 167 murders investigated when I was working homicides with a 84% conviction rate. Several died before they could be indicted. All without violating anyone’s rights or beating a confession, I did let a father have 5minutes with the guy that raped his 8 y/o daughter.

  27. Will you smart fellers explain to me why only one comment mentions the Springfield XD/XDM series as an alternative for the fibbers?

    • Because a car with two scared cops with XDM 9mm that holds 19+1 and two spare mags is a good way to get 116 rounds fired and hit 6 houses, 12 bystanders 7 dogs and one suspect with a shoulder wound.
      Give them the XDM .40 With 16+1 and you get 66 rounds spent and with the same result except a few birds die also.

      I’m fine with them having those pepper bullet guns or rubber bullets until they can “protect” me by being able to out perform me under stress.
      Until then, I’d rather trust my wife and kids protection and life with my XDM and my abilities. Hell, I’ll even do my best to protect them while they are getting their m4 ready to hand to me.

  28. This is in no way an “advantage.” This is the age-old government practice of lowering weapon caliber simply because some pansies couldn’t hit the paper enough times with the big scary gun. It’s just like when the US military adopted .38 Long Colt and 9mm over .45s, and various police forces mandated .32 and then .38 (not .357!) revolvers over .44 Specials or .45s before switching to S&W 39s and then Wonder 9s. If thy wanted a “decided advantage,” they’d issue Glock 29SFs and 30S’s.

  29. If you remember, back in the late 70s early 80s the military went from the .45 to the 9mm. Cost was a huge factor. Now I had a buddy who was DEA. He refused to carry a 9mm. He said the bad guys laughed at them. Wasn’t uncommon for a bad guy to show you his bullet hole scars from a 9mm. So, he carried a .40 as his side arm and backup (leg holster). Honestly, if perspective agents cannot qual with the existing .40 then what is the FBI doing, dummying their requirements down? The 9mm is easier so go to that? Sounds like the direction our education system is taking. Look, I’m not putting the 9mm down. I own one. And it is a great gun. I use it as my “other” CCW. But as a tax payer when you tell me the FBI is about to spend millions to change weapons because not enough cadets can qual with what is currently provided, I say get better candidates.

    By the way, I just happen to work in acquisition for the federal government. Any large dollar contract involves a lot of people and a lot of processes. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that those involved have the slightest idea about the item at hand. The person’s involved in this purchase may know very little about 9mm pistols. Theoretically there should be a subject matter expert on weapons involved. But what will happen is a document such as a Statement of Work (SOW), will be written which will outline the requirements of the program, i.e., number of weapons, schedule for delivery, period of performance, caliber of weapon, spare parts required, etc…A specification document will also be included; life expectancy of the weapon, how many FTF per number of rounds, FTE per number of rounds, etc…You get the idea. These documents will be sent to all the prospective suppliers who will be given the chance to respond with a proposal. Then the various proposals will be scrutinized and a choice made. If there are 2 or 3 suppliers who are real close they may be given the opportunity to provide prototypes, or a chance to rebid so there is a clear winner. My point is, the majority of all this is done on paper with little or no physical proof of concept. The people making the final decision more than likely will not be the end users.

    • DaveC,

      As we have said on this forum numerous times, all handgun calibers are anemic to some extent and you could argue that it almost doesn’t matter what caliber you carry.

      Having said that, I nevertheless recommend that everyone carry the largest caliber that they can shoot accurately. If that is 9mm, so be it. Fortunately, ammunition manufacturers have made great strides in the terminal ballistics of the most modern 9mm bullets — especially out of 4.25 inch and longer barrels. That being the case, I don’t see a huge advantage to .40 S&W over 9mm any more with careful ammunition selection.

      For what it is worth, I personally carry .40 S&W because I want the largest and heaviest bullet possible with the greatest capacity possible. And .40 S&W sits right between 9mm and .45 ACP. You get almost all of the capacity of 9mm and almost all of the size/weight of .45 ACP without the huge grip of .45 ACP.

      And now, let the caliber flaming begin!

  30. They must have watched some of Shootingthebull410 ‘s ammo tests and thought “yeah, we can get it done with the HST.”

    I’d it were up to me, I’d buy a bunch of used Ruger P series guns with the decocker. Cause they’re cool.

  31. One thing overlooked here is that many new recruits are women, and women often have smaller hands. a double stack mag can make for greater difficulty in weapons handling. And then there is the issue of personal preference. I have never shot Glocks well and I don’t care for the grip angle. There are more ergonomic guns out there. I’ve only shot a .40 once, and it didn’t seem any sharper in recoil to me that my subcompact 9mm (3.5″ barrel), so I think the issue is more than simply recoil, but as I said, ergonomics and learing how to shoot under stress.

  32. Not every person shoots every gun the same. What works for me doesn’t work for you. Which would I choose? Isn’t the goal to be the most efficient and least hampered by the firearm? If so, issue them all. Remember, you said if I was the GSA. My goal in the FBI, and all LEO agencies, would be to allow the agents to determine what they are best with. Most of these modern firearms as stupid simple (for reliability) so there really isn’t that much of a need for a one stop shop armorer that can only stock parts for one type of gun. Allow the agents to choose what they want and leave them on the hook if you will to learn it and be competent enough to maintenance it in the future. I know, liability nightmare, but you said I was in charge and I don’t care. 🙂

  33. The caliber, provided its 9MM or above really isn’t the issue. They need to practice at least weekly with a quality weapon capable of doing the job. The training needs to be realistic.
    The weapons they already have a capable-apparently the agents aren’t.

  34. I think they’ll always be looking to waste our money on guns that can easily last a lifetime. At lease caliber/brand fanboys will be able to feel somewhat proud that a government organization, they traditionally would loathe chose their favorite.

  35. Switching to 9 mm is a wise decision. The best available data on shootings with modern defensive ammunition shows no significant difference between handgun calibers from .38 special and 9 mm on up. Even .380 isn’t bad. I know from personal experience that I shoot better when recoil and muzzle blast are reduced.

    The FBI has to buy some guns to replace the ones in calibers other than 9 mm. Glock makes sense for several reasons. One of them is that the G17, G19 and G26 are almost identical except for ammunition capacity. The G43 is close. My personal choice would be various versions of Smith and Wesson’s M&P. I find it fits my hand better than any of the other popular choices.

    • The more I read the requirements and look at it the answer is the Sig 320. I think the solicitation was specifically written to exclude any other options.

  36. Our local PD dumped Glocks after a few officers got the dreaded ‘Glock leg’ from ND’s . They should outfit them with Ruger 9Es and save the taxpayers some money. Just as good a sidearm as any mentioned in these comments.

  37. Walther PPQ M2 for Duty/Service carry and the Walther PPS for off duty.
    Hands down one of the best out-of-the-box pistols offered. Plus, in a few years I can pick up a used/issued model for half price.

  38. “…which gun would you issue to the heirs of Efrem Zimbalist Jr.?” Don’t you mean Inspector Erskine?

    I would suggest H&K VP9, or the Sig Sauer P320. I have the P320 Compact in .40S&W and love it. I saw Hickok45 review the VP9 and VP40 and it seem like a really good pistol.

  39. My preference would be an M11-A1, or P229, however the penchant for uniform trigger pulls would see the FBI choose an M&P or FNS-9 both with manual safeties.

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