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WALB reports that the Albany Police are unhappy about the Smith & Wesson 99s carried by their officers. Very unhappy. So unhappy that they’re pulling them from service ASAP and replacing them with Glock 22’s in 40 S&W (ironically enough). While the po-po say there haven’t been any “on the job” failures, they’re concerned about “potential malfunctions.” Apparently, “city and police leaders say the guns can jam when fired.” Albany City Manager Al Lott (no relation to the stat-wielding More Guns, Less Crime author) was quick to assure the populace that “Everything’s all right, Everything’s fine. Nothing to see here. Go back into your houses and go to sleep now.” Or words to that effect. Such as . . .

“It’s not a major event. We don’t have to stop everything we’re doing. It’s not that those Smith & Wessons aren’t operational. It’s just that there’s a much better weapon, and we don’t want to take any chances with our police officers.”

Them’s fighting words! TTAG’s put the call in to both the Albany police and Smith & Wesson. Watch this space. Meanwhile, here’s’s take on the weapon.

The .45 SW99 from Smith & Wesson is a first class modern auto pistol, very well suited for police duty, or for a civilian who likes the power of a .45 in a reliable, accurate, yet relatively lightweight package. Of all of the .45 caliber polymer auto pistols on the market, the SW99 has the best feel, to my particular hand.

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  1. Interestingly, the frame of the SW99 is actually made by Walther in Germany. I guess the Albany Police like them some teutonic guns even if they're changing the flavor from German to Austrian.

    From the Wiki article:

    The modified receiver used in the SW99 is supplied by Walther and is manufactured in Germany. Smith & Wesson manufactures the slide and barrel of the SW99 in the United States. Though there are slight variations in aesthetic design, the function of the SW99 is identical to its German-made

    As I recall, S&W introduced the 99 some years ago after their first polymer pistol the Sigma, got less-than-great reviews (when I was working armed security it was generally considered that a Sigma was a cheap knockoff of the Glock and only suitable for someone who wanted a Glock but couldn't afford one.)

    Interesting that the 99 no longer appears on S&Ws home page, my guess is that they've been "orphaned" by S&W (a practice that S&W has an unfortunate habit of doing with many of their products.)

    One has to wonder if they really had problems with the 99's or if maybe Glock made them a better offer and they need an excuse to justify the expense of replacing their pistols.

  2. Where might one acquire one of these Albany, GA garage-sale Smiths? One police department purchasing agent's loss is a well-armed civilian's gain.

  3. One can only guess where they'll turn up, but generally speaking they go to any number of secondhand wholesalers. J&G Sales in Prescott, Arizona (NW of Phoenix) seems to deal in a lot of Police trade-ins, a buddy of mine picked up a couple of Smith and Wesson revolvers from them for a very reasonable price.

  4. I think most Police and Law Enforcement switch to Glock because it's idiot proof. "Potential failures" like leaving the safety on or negligently dropping the hammer or dropping your gun into water or onto pavement don't matter to the Glock. It's idiot proof point and shoot.

    For that idiot proof concept, you get a reliable gun with a fairly heavy trigger pull.

    I'm not bashing Glock. I own one. But they're not my first choice. They're a utility gun. I think there are better weapons out there in terms of function and capability.

    And let's be honest, Glocks chambered in .40 S&W and .45 GAP have had their fair share of negative publicity – they're the ones that started the whole "Glocks explode" thing.


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