My love affair with the Browning Hi Power began with a book. Fellow S.W.A.T. alumnus Marcus Wynne wrote a novel called No Other Option. It showcased a customized Hi Power, which in Wynne’s world was toted and employed handily by the JSOC-veteran hero of the story. I’ve lusted for one on and off since reading the story almost a decade ago
Beretta knows how to build guns. It is an established company, but many shooters may not realize just how established Beretta is. Consider this: When the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock, the Beretta family had already been making firearms for over 120 years! Beretta has had a dominant role in the U.S. service pistol market
First appearing in 1950, the Colt Cobra amounted to a lightweight version of the Colt Detective Special revolver, which was introduced in 1927. Where the all-steel Detective Special weighed 21 ounces, the Cobra tipped the scales at six ounces less, due to the aircraft-quality aluminum alloy of which its frame was made. The two revolvers
The S&W M&P is issued by many agencies, including the Maricopa County, Arizona, Sheriff’s Office (MCSO). Maricopa County is the fifth largest county in the United States. Encompassing 9,226 square miles, it is actually larger than four states. MCSO is the third largest sheriff’s office in the country. MCSO employs 3,300 people (sworn, detention, and civilian). With a budget of $353.4 million, they have the resources to choose whichever pistol they feel is best for their needs—and they chose the M&P as their issue pistol. Incidentally, the Shield is MCSO’s only officially authorized off-duty gun. In January, S&W introduced the latest pistol to the M&P line—the M&P M2.0™ pistol.
Every few years, the FBI looks for a new pistol. I was initially trained with revolvers. When the field SWAT program was transferred to the Special Operations and Research Unit, we acquired the 9mm S&W 459 pistol, while field agents carried the S&W M13 revolver.
The Beretta 71 was a fairly common plinker in the 1950s and well regarded. The Model 71 is a fixed-barrel, open-slide blowback .22 Long Rifle pistol. The little 17-ounce Italian single-action autos dried up when the Gun Control Act of 1968 made little guns into “bad guns” and ceased importation of many small handgun models. The 71 essentially became a secondhand-market curiosity for Beretta fans.
I’ve spent most of the year shooting the BCM AR pistol, monkeying with different holds and techniques and generally seeing what the gun could do. I compared it head-to-head with a new, box-stock Glock 17 across pages of pistol drills. I stretched it out to carbine applications and compared it to a ROBAR PolymAR-15L I’ve been running. After a healthy pile of brass and a stack of data, I’ve got some idea of what it will and won’t do.
Recently I had the privilege of instructing the “revolver day” of a New Mexico Law Enforcement Academy’s Firearms Instructor Course. Fourteen cops were in the class, and experience ranged from a few years to one gent with 27 years in the bag…
Many shooters who have come into the community in the last decade view the service revolver as a throwback one-half step ahead of cowboy action shooting. Others view it very specifically as a pocket and/or ankle gun à la the five-shot J-Frame.
In the last few years, a lot of people have accepted that the police, no matter how good, are really historians. When they arrive, they ask, “What happened here?” in the past tense. When an attack is happening here, the police are usually way over there. That makes you your own first responder.