Jon Wayne Taylor (courtesy thetruthaboutguns.com)

Active Duty and Veteran military and police make up a lot of TTAG’s Armed Intelligentsia. What firearms did you use, or do you use while on duty? Is there something out there you’d rather have?

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91 Responses to DeSantis Gunhide Question of the Day: What Gun for Active Duty Veteran Military and Police?

  1. On duty I use:
    Hand gun: Ruger P-89
    Rifle: Colt 9mm SMG
    Shotgun: Remington 870

    I would like to use:
    Handgun: S&W M&P9
    RIfle: AR-15

    Off duty I carry:
    S&W M&P or a SCCY CPX2

  2. I carried a Glock 17 the majority of my career. Locked in the car was a Rock River in 5.56.
    When I rode the Harley, I got to carry my FN P-90 in the saddle bag. Having a gun friendly chief who listened to reasonable advice helped.

  3. While in the Navy, over 20 years, I used a 1911, Mossberg 500, M-14, M-60, M-2, MK-19 and a M242 Bushmaster 25mm Chain gun.

    Now I carry a S&W Shield 9mm.

  4. One that goes bang every time when tested. Usually, but my no means exclusively, a Glock 26 or 36.

  5. Honestly given the choice I’d trade my M-4 for my SR-762 in a heartbeat, even my personal AR-15 (cheapo Delton) would be preferable to the weapons I’ve been issued over my career.

  6. In the Army I had either M4/M203 or M24, got out before the M110 was fielded by regular infantry units. Had an M9 but really they were just for walking around the FOB.

    Now carrying a Kimber SIS and PWS Mk216 on duty, both personally owned. I feel the same way about Glocks as I do AKs, I respect the reliability but will go to a lot of effort to avoid carrying one.

    • Finally found out what the hell a BUFF is after looking it up, a B-52.
      Never heard of the 52 referred to as a BUFF before.

      Also what ‘Tom in Oregon’ said.

        • Big Ugly Fat Fucker. Got it now? 🙂

          Oh, and Ralph – my grandfather was a B-17 pilot in the war, also flew the Berlin Airlift. There’s a fair chance you two may have crossed paths many moons ago.

          Tom

        • Tom in Georgia,
          Thanks, I was tired when read Bob’s post so the lack of a comma trough me off.

  7. Prior to Military retirement- primary- M21, TAC50, M24, M90 – secondary- Colt 1911, Beretta M9, Colt M16A1, whatever I could pick up if needed.

    Police Time- Beretta M9, M&P5 in .40, 12ga

    Today- EDC= Beretta Cougar 9mm or Springfield XDS, Colt M1991A1 depending on dress

  8. All the US Govt M9s I ever carried were trash. Except for the last one – we were issued brand new Berretas for my final deployment. They are night and day different when they haven’t been subjected to 10 years of “Joe”.

    Now I carry a Sig P320.

  9. On duty now I carry a Glock 21, kel tec pf9 as a backup, BCM AR and remington 870 (slugs only) are in the squad car.

    Off duty I carry either my glock 19 or if I’m headed to the gym the pf9.

    Currently in the process of switching from my Glock 21 to a Sig p320 in 9mm. If I end up liking the 320 enough it may also replace my glock 19.

  10. Never a cop. Was active duty decades ago. Does that count? As a CA resident I want the right to carry. And standard cap mags. And no bullet buttons. And…….

  11. Military: 1811, M-16A1, M60, and Model 12 12ga.

    Law Enforcement: Smith & Wesson 4006, 870 12ga

    Now: Depending of the alignment of the stars: Sig 290RS, NANO or LCP

    • Those Smith DA/SA guns are severely underrated. I’ve got an old 910, which was one of their cheapest models, and that thing is an outstanding shooter. I prefer striker fired, but for a DASA gun those old smiths are awesome

      • They are. I honestly do not know what police departments thought they were getting when they dumped these S&W DA/SA pistols for the striker-fired combat tupperware pistols. Oh, I’m sure I know what caused their decision(s) – free trips to the bars with nude women, expensive dinners on Glock’s tab, etc… but the actual win/lose issues for the cop on the beat? I don’t think the conversion to the Glock/Glock-imitations was an upside over the S&W’s. They’re a quality gun that is built to last, with good safety features.

        • I think part of it may have had to do with the heyday of the 10mm in the 1990’s. My department used the Smith 1076’s, like the FBI had. From what I am told by our armorers who were around then (I was still in school), the full power 10mm loads were hell on the guns and shooters alike, and they had issues with parts breaking. When the FBI had the 10 neutered, and the .40 rose to power, that was pretty much the end of my departments use of the Smith and Wesson handguns. Between the sour taste left in their mouth from the guns (including two catastrophic failures during officer involved shootings that left them unable to return fire) and SIG coming along and offering them a sweet deal, that was all she wrote.

          A lot of gun companies get business from departments by offering the initial purchase at a crazy good deal. We had ancient AR-15s and Smith and Wesson (guess the grudge isn’t last too long) came three years ago and offered us the MOE edition as an even trade, no extra money needed. When we switched from Sig to Glock, it was partially because Glock did an even trade and threw in an Armorers course with 40 seats as an added bonus. That’s how they get business, not necessarily nudie bars

  12. My T.O. weapon was the Gov’t Model 1911A1 pistol for the ten years I was in the Marines. It was fine, but I’ll admit to having bought and carried the original .45ACP Colt Commander (with the aluminum frame) on duty because it was lighter and handier.

    Now, 34 years after resigning the commission, my daily carry is a DW V-Bob .45ACP.

    • Overseas, personal weapons were out, but working in counterintelligence just post-Vietnam, the armory was full of interesting stuff. Mostly I carried an Airweight J-frame .38 Special for duty involving the Class A uniform, but a few times we broke out Uzis for our role as outliers on VIP protection detail. I still have a fondness for J-frames, but they seldom leave the safe.

  13. Military – M-16A1 through M4, M203, M60, M2 for a short time. etc…..

    Civilian – Tried Ruger P-89, SR9, Couple of S&W’s, now, after many years avoidance, Glock 19 and 23 depending, occasionally Bersa Thunder .380, Would like another Sig P226r but now sure I’d carry it much. But really like them.

    Mossberg 500, AR-15, Remington 700 in .308, have played with the idea of an AR-10 but $$$$.

  14. Active duty=1911, Grease gun, Ma Deuce, 105 mm, M240, M60
    Now Glock 30s, Glock 43 or NAA Guardian .32 acp.

  15. You shoot the one issued. Trained on M9 and M16. Gulf 1 was issued a 1911, two magazines, 100 rounds of Israeli ammo. Hat tip to world trade if an American shot an Iraqi with Jewish bullet.

    • For decades, I thought my dad had a 1911, for he’d always told me he had a .45.
      Recently, I found out that the gun kept handy in his workplace was a M3, which is an entirely different kind of .45ACP.

  16. Back in the day, 1917 Enfield {Boot Camp} M1 Garand {qualification} M14, Junk {M16A1} AK, SKS, Junk S&W39, {9mm} 1911A2 870 Remington!

    Carry , Depending on where I’m going! either A Charter Arms .44 special or, Home Brew M1911a2 .45 ACP
    haven’t found a Snub nose.44 mag

    • “haven’t found a Snub nose.44 mag”

      My 2 favorite hiking/camping/winter carry guns are Smith & Wesson ‘Night Guard’ series revolvers…scandium framed, 2.5 in Barrel, Tritium big-dot front sight and Cylinder & Slide rear sights. One is a 5-shot .44 spl Model 396NG and the other is a 6-shot Model 329NG in .44 mag.

      Super light carry guns and they have the best defensive handgun sights I have ever used, bar none…and they are eminently carriable. Not a ‘day at the range’ gun due to the super-light scandium frame which ensures stout recoil, but beautiful and effective carry guns.

      Highly recommend!

  17. Veteran and now a civilian cop. On duty I carry a Glock 21 Gen 4, Colt AR-15, and a Remington 870 12 Gauge (less lethal). My duty carry is rounded out by an ASP, OC Spray, and Taser.

    Off-duty I can carry whatever I like as long as I qualify with it. I usually alternate between either a Glock 30 Gen 4 or Ruger LCR 357.

  18. Most of my time active was with M4/203 and a Valon. Time fuse, Det chord, blasting caps, fuse igniters, etc. Was a 249 for a bit. SMAWs are always fun.

    First dept was a g17 and my k9 as backup. Now a m&p45. When I’m off usually it’s the k9 in a Bianchi pancake(which btw you can get for a great deal if you’re a southpaw off amazon).

  19. Service years: M16A2, M249, M9, M2
    Since then: SKS & Tokarev if I’m walking on the back 40, .38 Rossi in public.

  20. When I was in the Navy, we used the M9, M16A3, Mossberg 500 and MK43 (M60) machine guns. The only thing I would change would be the M16. It was too long for use inside the sub and not powerful enough to use at sea. I would have replaced half of them with M14s and half with an MP5 or something similar.

    Now I carry a Glock 32 or a Colt Detective Special.

  21. Service: M16A4, M16A2, and M249

    In all honesty, combat engineer companies are fairly well equipped. We don’t have anything other than “light infantry” weapons simply because all the other crap we have to carry.

    • I always thought it was cool the amount of ass an engineer line platoon could pull. Though typically as you said we Didnt draw everything because of all the other shit we had with us or to do.

    • Perserge,

      ENGINEERS UP, Yeah we can build that, sure we channel the enemy and kill them effectively, then we’ll get the hot water going for ya.

      7th Engineers, 1st FSSG. Translation, if I wasn’t building bridges, I was building shitters.

      Good days

      • Hot water? Shitters? Where did you go to war, Disneyland?
        I kid. Because I am bitter. So, so bitter.

  22. First issued rifle was a M16A2 with about an 1/8 of an inch of play left to right between the upper and the lower receiver. The darn thing seemed to misfeed every 3rd or 4th round.

    Second was a brand new M4 with a M203. Overnight I went from barely able to qualify to shooting expert rifle. The only other non crew served weapon that I’d shoot regularly was a M9 but even then only when the officers wanted someone to drive them to the range or if CO wanted to embarrass a new LT. (LT you shoot so poorly, I bet my driver can score higher than you…)

    Today I carry a Kahr P380 with a couple of spare mags. It’s tiny and shoots easy. I like it.

  23. When I was in the navy I was issued an M-1 carbine a couple of times for guard duty with two 15 round mags but we were told not to load the rifle unless we were ordered to do so. I think that would have been a little late….

    When I got into law enforcement in 1991 my first duty pistol was a 4″ Smith 686 with a Model 38 Smith as a backup. I still have the 686 and take it to the range for fun. I replaced the model 38 with a 640 hammerless and I’ve still got it.

    In the mid 90s I took a semi-auto “transition” course and went to a Smith 4006 because I thought that .40 was the way to go and I was still a Smith guy. I carried the 4006 as a duty weapon for about 10 years.

    In 2008 we elected a new sheriff who was a retired army MP. We had a nice discussion about 1911’s and he said that 1911’s were okay as long as we could “demonstrate safe gun handling procedures”. The big problem has always been the public perception of safety with a cocked and locked pistol. So I did my qualification and started carrying a Springer Mil Spec as a duty pistol and Kimber Ultra Carry II as my back up. Last year I found that arthritis is creeping up on this old man. I hate to admit that 9mm doesn’t beat me up quite as much as .45 and these days a Springer XD9 rides on my belt. I carry 3 mags plus one in the gun with the idea that lots of little holes are almost as good as a few big ones.

    These days my hide out is a Ruger LCP, I have stayed current on the Kimber so I can carry that off duty.I’m good to go with my old (1975 production) Mossie 500 and Remigton 870 and both will do the job.

    • Does your boss let you buy your own duty weapon? If so that’s awesome, I wish we could do that. When I came to my current spot I was hoping that’d be the case since we’re small, but no dice

      • We have a list of “approved” pistols that we can carry. We can also talk to our firearms instructors and supervisors for special permission. For example I think that a Wilson Combat 1911 would be approved even if it wasn’t on the official list. In Oklahoma its pretty common for deputies to provide their own weapons

        • Approved lists were something I always heard about, but never actually encountered once I got into LE. At least in VA that is, and right now including brass we got 10 people. I think it’d do a lot to help overall LE firearms proficiency/care if they were personally invested in their weapons.

  24. Army was primarily M240b with a piece of crap M9 as a side arm.

    Police I carry a Glock 22 Gen 4(no choice in the matter), a 30 year old Remington 870 Wingmaster with the smoothest action I’ve ever seen in a shotgun, and a Smith and Wesson M&P 15 MOE edition.
    Backup is a Shield 9mm that doubles down as my EDC off duty.

    I wish I could trade the 22 in for a 17.

    My belt has from belt buckle going clockwise-
    S&W handcuffs, Vexor pepper spray, handcuff/car keys, Glock, ASP baton, another set of smith handcuffs, glove pouch, ring to hold maglite, radio, 5.11 TPT L2 (awesome value flashlight, by the way), TASER, and lastly two magazines. Keep a Gerber gator in my pocket and a Mag Lite in the car I use as my primary light on calls

  25. PISTOL: Some fashion of Glock 9mm for carry (17, 19 or 26 depending on season/weather) with a 43 in my glove compartment.

    RIFLE: FN SCAR 17S SBR (13″) with AAC 762-SDN-6 suppressor.

    SHOTGUN: Remington 870 SBS (12″).

      • 4+1. Its a standard capacity 870 chambered for 3″ magnum that is cut at the first full rib after the bracket for the magazine.

      • Thats all personal equipment. Not job related.

        The stuff I carried during my time in the Navy was far less impressive – M14, M9 and Mossberg 500s. M60s on the bridge wings, M2s at four hard points on the O2 level and a pair of M79s. Although we did get a pair of Bushmaster 25mms and a pair of Mk19s for our second deployment.

  26. As an active duty Marine Corps Officer and Naval Aviator: M9 and M16A2 for three deployments, more recently the M9 and M4.

    I’ve carried many different pistols over the years for concealed carry: .45, .40, 9mm and .380. Currently leaning on the G43 in 9mm, its a great blend of size, caliber and shootability. Although I love my Sig P238 .380 and my S&W Gunsite .45 for carry as well I can’t switch things up and expect a steady level of performance.

  27. I was too late for Vietnam.
    Dad played with a lot of weapons. One of the cooler ones was an M36 Tank Destroyer with a 90mm high velocity anti-tank gun. Others include 60mm mortar, .50 caliber Browning, BAR, Thompson, M1 Garand, to name a few.
    Grandpa was a forward observer for a battery of 155mm howitzers in WW1. The howitzer battery could annihilate an exposed infantry company rather quickly.
    Grandpa did enjoy the 1897 Trench Shotgun and the Lewis Light Machine Gun.

  28. On active duty I had the finest selection of harsh language and at hand office goods impromptu projectiles.

    Now an M&P 9C or Shield.

  29. Current active duty : m4 CQBR, m240b, Sig p229 DAK in .40 SW. Can you guess what branch of the military I am in ?

  30. The M9 sure seems to come in for a lot of hate.

    I’m not in the service, never have been due to disability. But most of my folks have been Air Force with a few in the Navy. None of them seem to have gotten much experience or training in the way of small arms that I know of, though. My uncle, retired USAF and his youngest is an active duty Navy officer, has a Beretta 92FS that if memory serves, was purchased around 1991. It’s been a long, long time since I’ve fired it, but I remember it all too well – had one of the strongest magazine springs known to mankind. It also had the ‘von stavenhagen’ aka dot-the-i sights, by far my personal favorite. The DA trigger pull was awfully long but that notwithstanding I liked the gun and shot it very well.

    Question for interested parties: Do most of you dislike the M9 because they were worn out or what? In light of the replacement sidearm search, would the military be best served by simply getting a new round of M9’s or a different platform altogether?

    Tom

    • I’ve never carried an M-9. My son has a Taurus Beretta clone that I’ve put a few hundred rounds through. If I had to guess why most people are less than excited about the Beretta platform its because the pistol is large, heavy and clunky in a less than powerful cartridge loading. Issue an M-9 in a decent caliber like .45 or .40 and opinions might change. Issue a pistol In a decent caliber and the shooters will love them.

    • For me, the 92 was always extremely reliable and reasonably accurate. The downsides were that, first, it really likes big hands, as that grip is quite wide, and second, that slide mounted safety is just horrible. It’s hard to release quickly, and it’s easy to accidentally engage it when you draw or rack the gun.

    • My beef with the M9, purely from a technician’s perspective, is that it is over-designed, has lots of small fiddly parts to get lost when you do a detail strip, which makes detailed cleaning/stripping something that is probably done by no one other than a unit armorer. You need specialized roll pin punches and spring hooks to get the gun apart and back together.

      I contrast that with the 1911 Government, which can be detail stripped with no tools other than the rim of a .45 ACP case – and maybe a twig or pencil to push in the firing pin.

      • yep What he said, +1
        DP ” has lots of small fiddly parts to get lost when you do a detail strip, which makes detailed cleaning/stripping something that is probably done by no one other than a unit armorer”

        I was talking to an army friend, I wanted his opinion of the M9 and/ or 92 verses a classic Sig. ( I always thought M9/ 92 looked neat, but I would prefer a D or G slide without safety)
        I commented (to him) that looking at the diagrams , that there were too many tiny parts to lose, taking one apart to clean. I like SIMPLE…..
        He said soldiers did not do anything more than remove slide off frame. anything more went to the Armorer ( who I suppose, could lose the tiny parts.)

        His preference was a 1911. Hmmmmmm, pretty simple!

        • oops sorry DG,
          I slipped thinking about a nice cold Dr. Pepper. fingers followed the thought.

  31. When active duty carried M16A2 Colt 1911 and Mossberg 590A1. Was lucky had friends who rebuilt 1911s so never had to draw one that fell apart. On last two deployments also carried Smirth K frame was hreat for things going bump in the night

  32. In the army it was a 1911 and an M16.

    While doing PSD work in Iraq on three different contracts I carried a Hi Power and an AK, then a Glock 17 and a Bushmaster SBR, and finally a Kimber 1911 and a Colt M4. The last contract was very high class. 😉

    These days my EDC is a Glock 21 and my favorite rifle is a S&W M&P M4. Although I like my Jericho and my 1911, but don’t really carry them.

  33. Marine Corps
    M16A4
    M9

    Sheriff’s Office
    Glock 22

    Would like to carry for both-
    CZ75 SP01 9mm (safety not decocker)
    BCM mid length AR with KMR 13 handguard and full ambi lower.

  34. Military”

    Basic M16 and a 1911 as an MP

    Before Peace Officer Retirement:

    On Duty:

    Kimber Pro CDP II
    Bushmaster H-Bar AR, patrol rifle
    Benelli M2 Tactical, patrol shotgun

    Off Duty:

    Generally a Kimber Ultra Carry II w/complete Robar NP3 treatment.
    Sometimes a SIG P220 Compact or a Colt ‘New Agent’ 1911.
    Benelli M2 or Bushmaster AR as truck gun

    After long-awaited and blessed retirement:

    I always carry on my person, always… and always have a truck gun, always. My on-person gun depends on weather, clothing, locale and/or mood.

    For Hiking/Camping:

    Carry either a .44spl S&W 396NG or .44mag S&W 329NG

    Regular Day/Putzing Around Carry:

    1911 of some sort or another, or more rarely and based on locale and clothing, a SIG P938, S&W 340 M&P or Glock 43

    I always carry a ‘minimum’ of additional two handgun reloads, either extra mags or speed strips, so as to be able to fight my way back to my primary gun, my long-gun/rifle (as my old military mentor always reminded me).

  35. USAF Security Police/ Forces: Rifles:M-16A1-M-16A2-M-4-GAU.
    Pistols:S&W Model 15-M9 Beretta.
    Shotgun M-500 Mossberg
    Grenade launcher:M-203 40mm
    “Heavy Weapons” Mk19 GMG-M2 HMG-81mm Mortar
    LMGs: M-60-240B-SAW
    Worked joint with the Luftwaffe for 4 years:
    Qualified on G3, P1, MG3, Uzi
    Retirement: Preferred Carry Beretta Px4 Sub Compact 9×19 or HK USP Compact .40
    Safe: M&P 15, Mossberg 590, HK USC .45ACP

  36. On duty – HK P2000 LEM .40

    Off duty – same or Kahr K40 or Jframe depending on how I NEED to dress.

  37. Airborne in the 60’s we were short rifles and ammo, learned to jump on the enemy’s back and chew thru the jugular vein, bleed them to death. Now as a civilian, I carry an extra set of teeth.

  38. On duty:
    Pistol: Glock 19
    Rifle: M-4

    Off duty:
    Pistol: Glock 19
    Rifle: LWRC M6

    No reason to mix things up.

  39. On duty: Smith 4006 TSW, Rem 870, and Sig M400

    Off duty: Glock 23 w/ 9mm conversion / Smith Bodyguard 380 / Modded Glock 35 / Smith 340 PD / Sig 226 Tac Ops for handguns

    Mossburg 930 SPX / Modified Rem 870 for shotguns

    Rifles: Modded AR 15 and AR 10 with 18″ stainless barrels, nickel boron full auto BCGs, single stage triggers, BCM charging handles, Magpul CTR grips and stocks.

    What do I wish I could carry on duty? Probably an STI 2011 in 9mm, one of my personal AR builds, and a Mossburg 930.

  40. carry –
    Remington New Model Army Revolver ( commonly known model 1858 Remington )
    Colt Dragoon Revolver
    LeMat Revolver
    Luger

    backup –
    Colt 1903

    rifle/ shotgun
    Winchester Model 1892 “Mare’s Leg”
    Winchester Model 1897, also known as the Model 97, M97,
    Spencer Repeater
    Howdah pistol- 2 or 4 barrel

    Shtf
    Gatling gun

  41. When I was an active LEO, a Sig P220 w/ a Remington 870 in the car. Daily carry is now a Sig P320 Compact.

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