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  1. #1
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    Jan 2014
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    FBI switching to 9mm?

    I heard a rumor that the FBI may begin a switch to 9mm for all agents. The reasoning would be advances in bullet technology combined with better qualification scores. When I googled this I found posted on several forums that it is at least a proposal. Can anyone verify? Opinions?

  2. #2
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    Oct 2012
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    I am not a ballistics expert by any means, however I have read some articles recently proclaiming that the .40 is losing popularity with LE agencies due to advances in ammo manufacturing that have made the 9mm much closer in power to the .40. Also, recruits with smaller hands and less handgun experience definitely have an easier time with the 9mm due to the lower recoil as compared to the .40.

    Personally, I favor LEOs being given a range of choices for firearm and caliber, since everyone has different preferences and agents/cops should have what they are most comfortable with to protect themselves. However, budget issues and uniformity concerns tend to push agencies towards adopting one firearm/caliber for all. If that has to be the case, I think the 9mm makes the most sense since it is probably the easiest to shoot (of the commonly accepted LE handgun calipers anyway).

  3. #3
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    IANTFBI (I Am Not The FBI) but to generalize, advances in load & bullet designs have made the 9mm much more versatile than it might have been a few decades ago. You can achieve roughly the same ballistics as a .357SIG with a "hot" 9mm load. And, frankly, analysis of handgun wound ballistics in "real life" targets tells us that in generally all handgun rounds are pretty crappy at quickly stopping humans... but the faster follow-ups that most shooters can manage with a 9mm can help. Market forces also make it CHEAPER (the most common handgun caliber in the western world) ad that certainly helps, too.

  4. #4
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    Nov 2010
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    I'm not a ballistics expert, I don't play one on TV, and I didn't even sleep at a Holiday Inn Express last night, but I'd rather see them apply whatever magic they've done to 9mm rounds on the .40 and .45 rounds and really up the stopping power ante. My gut tells me this is a move towards saving money, and the alleged science behind it is just the excuse to do that. If you can't manage to qualify with a .40 (with simply qualifying being an awful easy minimum standard), you probably don't belong in public carrying around a gun.

  5. #5
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    Jul 2011
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    159
    You are absolutely correct about handguns being pretty crappy about stopping humans quickly. On the other hand, carrying around an M4 all day would be a bit uncomfortable for civilian law enforcement.




    The old sheriff was attending an awards dinner when a lady commented on his wearing his sidearm. “Sheriff, I see you have your pistol. Are you expecting trouble?” “No Ma’am. If I were expecting trouble, I would have brought my rifle.”

    A reporter did a human interest piece on the Texas Rangers. The reporter recognized the Colt Model 1911 the Ranger was carrying and asked him, “Why do carry a .45?”. The Ranger responded with, “Because they don’t make a .46.” * Credit to Retired Texas Ranger Joaquin (Waukeen) Jackson, Alpine, Texas.

  6. #6
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    Mar 2004
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    Quote Originally Posted by boredesq View Post
    I heard a rumor that the FBI may begin a switch to 9mm for all agents. The reasoning would be advances in bullet technology combined with better qualification scores. When I googled this I found posted on several forums that it is at least a proposal. Can anyone verify? Opinions?
    I have not heard anything in any shape or manner, of any switch. Not sure how much "advancement in bullet technology" really matters. It is all about shot placement, and size of the hole.

    If you can't handle a .40, you should be in another line of work.

  7. #7
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    FBI did a significant ballistics study post the 1985 Miami shoot out and instantly went to a heavier 9mm (115 to 147) and quickly to the ill-fated 10mm. Now with the significant investment in the .40 caliber round (and contracts for firearms/bullets a truly exhausting effort) I can't see them moving backwards.

    Fully concur on qualifying with the .40 caliber. If you can't do it, you shouldn't be carrying anything.
    Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride!
    Hunter S. Thompson

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
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    26
    Caliber discussions always seem to bring out some strong opinions.

    pistol-training.com � Blog Archive � FBI & 9mm

    For the record, I'm just a S/A candidate with probably less firearms experience than anyone here. In my limited experience, I don't find .40 recoil that much different than 9mm in a full size pistol. I do think the Glock 26 (smallest 9mm) I had was more pleasant than the Glock 27 (smallest .40) l I have now. I started the thread to see if anyone had info or an opinion. The only preference I've developed is for pistols that have the same trigger pull every time instead of sa/da.
    Last edited by boredesq; 02-01-2014 at 19:02.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    194
    This is the excuse I need to tell the wife why I have to buy a new Glock.

    "But baby, the BU is switching calibers, I have to buy the G26 now!"

    Sweet.

  10. #10
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    Mar 2004
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    Quote Originally Posted by boredesq View Post
    Caliber discussions always seem to bring out some strong opinions.

    pistol-training.com � Blog Archive � FBI & 9mm

    For the record, I'm just a S/A candidate with probably less firearms experience than anyone here. In my limited experience, I don't find .40 recoil that much different than 9mm in a full size pistol. I do think the Glock 26 (smallest 9mm) I had was more pleasant than the Glock 27 (smallest .40) l I have now. I started the thread to see if anyone had info or an opinion. The only preference I've developed is for pistols that have the same trigger pull every time instead of sa/da.
    Just be FYI that whatever they give you at the Academy, is what you have to qual with. If we are mentioning manufacturers, I prefer the Sig's over Glocks for shooting accuracy but many never could figure out (we are not talking nuclear science, but...) the de-cock, low ready, to go holster actions. So the Glock (a great weapon also, I own one myself) seemed to become popular plus likely beat Sig on price points. This is in the 90's. I want to say DEA/FBI officially switched to Glocks in 1999 or so and stopped issuing Sig's to new agents. I am sure you can google search that.

    Good luck, again, what they issue you at the Academy is what you gotta qual with. Tip, don't talk guns or trigger pulls at the Academy with the firearms staff. Sad to say this (sounds harsh) but nobody cares about your opinions. It would be like attending night-parachute training at SEAL school and telling the instructor about your love of parachuting for fun.

    At the academy, cooperate = graduate. Low profile. Good Luck

    ** shot placement wins over hole size. With that said, hole size (caliber) is next. Tactics before both. Well maybe next is internal damage, after entry (bullet tears up more organs). I would rather have a .380 and put 5 rounds into a bad guys head versus a 44 magnum 6 times into his foot. Most would agree.

    9mm v 40 is like Ford v Chevy, each group has its own fans.
    Last edited by satpak77; 02-01-2014 at 20:02.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
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    26
    Thanks for the advice. I assure you I don't intend to voice my opinion on firearms at the academy. One reason I posted a question here is that I was curious but didn't really think it was an appropriate question for my Applicant Coordinator.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    NYC
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    Personally, I like the .40 over the 9mm hands down. I own and have a free one in both. I own both Glocks and Sigs. NY state Police, and I believe PA SP recently went to the .45 GAP. There tests, last 4 or 5 years, found serious penetration issues with 9mm and winter clothing. Other SP's are carrying some kind of .40 or .45.

    I have carried the Beretta 96D in .40, Sig 229 in both .357 and .40 and the Glock 26 9mm for work. The 26 is the lightest and easiest to conceal. But its what I wear when I'm doing office work or surveillance or off duty. The .40 goes on arrests, warrants and ops.

    The 27, which I owned before I was forced into a 26, is small and the recoil is affected by this in my opinion.
    "He pulls a knife, you pull a gun, he sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue, that's the Chicago way.."

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
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    125
    It seems like a no-brainer to me.

    Faster follow-up shots, more rounds in the magazine, and cheaper training costs all while achieving the same penetration, which from what I've read of the 1986 shootout was the glaring takeaway.

    Run the par times between a Glock 17 and Glock 22--same shooter, same drill--and you'll shave seconds off of your times.

    The obvious downside is the expense of what to do with all of those 22's and 27's.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
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    7,369
    I don't dismiss the ballistics numbers entirely, but if there is any way to justify the 9mm option I can see agencies going that route just based on cost saving alone in today's budget environment. I've carried 9mm, .40 and .357sig at various times over my career, and would take any of them as long as I had some options on make and model.

    If this does happen, I also expect the announcement and contract will be followed by conspiracy theories about how DOJ is trying to take all the 9mm ammo off of the market...

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    159

    FBI Switching To 9MM?

    Quote Originally Posted by DrGlock View Post
    .....The obvious downside is the expense of what to do with all of those 22's and 27's.
    My understanding is that it is possible to convert a Model 22 to 9mm. I have no idea what that does to any warranties, the cost, reliability, etc. I just point it out because it might be an option. Now, if it were me, and I had Glocks that were earlier generations, I might be inclined to move to a newer generation Glock.


 

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