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Are revolvers obsolete for police work?

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by jski, Feb 11, 2019.

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  1. Fiv3r

    Fiv3r Member

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    A huge tip of the cap to the LEOs that keep us safe. I went to school to potentially do what you do. I quickly realized I dont have the sand and went a different direction. Kudos.

    I don't see how a revolver is a viable weapon for today's police officers. Many of us who don't carry full size large capacity pistols with multiple reloads site that we are playing the odds. The odds I will need my gun are infinitesimally small. I dont go looking for trouble. I live in a safe area. A big bore 5 shooter is good medicine.

    For a police officer, every single call could end up in a fight for his or her life. Every car he or she pulls over for a busted taillight may result in a late night knock on his door to his wife receiving very bad news. A weapon with good firepower makes sense to me.

    Does every department NEED a massive load out? Nah, probably not. There are 3 police officers in town whose jurisdiction is just the "city" limits of about 20 little streets. Sheriff Taylor would probably run into more trouble. The worst thing that happens is kids breaking into unlocked cars or tipping trash cans. Still, our guys wear Glocks with full belts. I dont begrudge them that. You never know. We as taxpayers, however, probably didnt need to buy the tactical SWAT looking Humvee that just sits in the police lot:scrutiny:
     
  2. rscalzo

    rscalzo Member

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  3. d2wing

    d2wing Member

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    My brother was the last one in his department to insist on a.357 revolver. before he retired even he switched to 9 MM if I remember right. That was maybe 20 years ago. Firepower and simplicity.
     
  4. GRIZ22

    GRIZ22 Member

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    I don't know of any LE agency that teaches "spray and pray".

    Shooting in a gunfight is much different than shooting on the range. Marksmanship is a small percentage of gunfighting. Mental preparation is 95%of gunfighting. That's what Jeff Cooper said and I agree with him.
     
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  5. labnoti

    labnoti Member

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    Look guys, this isn't bias. You're just not reading it right. You're trying to read into it whether I'm saying the violence cops start is justified or not. I didn't write anything about that.

    If a bank robber is robbing a bank, and the cops come in with the intent to force the robber to stop, the cops are initiating the violence between the robber and the cops. The robber might have "started it" by doing the robbery, but he didn't start it with the cops. Unprovoked attacks on cops are rare. That's just a fact. I never made any statements about whether anyone's actions on either side was justified or not, because it doesn't matter with respect to the equipment that best serves the cop's purpose. It would be pure stupidity to think the cops going into stop a bank robbery and apprehend the robber and incarcerate him need weapons for "self-defense." They need offensive weapons to go in and attack someone and either capture and subdue them or kill them. It's a completely different purpose than "self-defense." And it doesn't matter whether it's a bank robbery or just a vehicle stop. When the cop stops a vehicle, they are initiating the contact and the conflict. In my opinion, the submachine gun is the best equipment for their purpose and it has been for nearly 100 years. One of the possible reasons that US cops may have held onto the revolver for so long could have been the ideology that they were not to be belligerents and should be non-combatant. Therefore they were equipped with "defensive" arms as if that would somehow make their role less intrusive and America less of a "police-state." Whether that was a factor or not, I don't know, but regardless, that part is clearly in the past. Nowadays, most cops carry close to 50 rounds on their person at all times. The idea that it should be in three or four magazines is just as stupid as the idea that they should only have 6 rounds in the gun and some speedloaders or dump pouches. Bottom line: Submachine gun with 50 round magazines.
     
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  6. BobWright

    BobWright Member

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    Observing several body cam videos shows, that, maybe not taught, but certainly practiced. And one dash cam revealed that at least two of the first shots fired struck the ground between the officer and the culprit. And a recent film clip from a local police department training academy showed the student walking forward toward a paper target, firing as he moved. He emptied his pistol and scored few lethal hits, as I recall. Maybe that's notreferred to as "spray and pray" but sure is wild shooting.

    Bob Wright
     
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  7. ClickClickD'oh

    ClickClickD'oh Member

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    You don't think the robber.. robbing the bank initiated violence... You know, but committing a violent crime?


    There really are no words to describe that train of thought.

    What, do you really think the police are going to get a call of a bank robbery in progress, roll up to the scene, walk in the front door all calm and collected and address the robber with a polite, "Oi, what's this then?"... because you know, the bank robber hasn't initiated any violence or anything like that...

    You may have read a bit too much Judge Dredd. In the real world, police do as much as possible to avoid "attacking" anything unless there is no other choice, because that's how bystanders get killed. Most modern police departments in the US have patrol rifles, which they still employee in a defensive role.

    Okay, seriously, just stop. Now a reminder from the real world. In the real world, most police officers only ever touch their shotgun or patrol rifle when they lock it in at the beginning of the shift and when the pull it out of the cruiser at the end of the shift. Long guns generally only come out of the lock for felony stops or shots fired calls. Thankfully, those aren't daily occurrences unless you happen to work South Central LA.. Police work is dangerous, but the actual incidents in which an officer will need their firearm are very rare. If you were to transition the average officer away from a sidearm on their belt to a subgun, all that would happen is subguns being left on the seat or trunk of the cruiser at a shocking yet hilarious rate. Yes, subguns work well for special duty assignments, but once you get guys trying to climb in and out of cars all day with the damn things, reality starts to suck. Patrol sling an MP5 then get in and out of your car a few times. And remember to make sure you aren't still wearing it while driving... don't want that steering wheel pushing it through your sternum if you get in a wreck. Police had has subguns in their arsenal since the '20s. The demands of real world police work however has by and large kept the subguns set aside for special occasions, and a pistol on the belt the best option for daily work. See also: Why officers don't wear plate carriers all the time.

    I'm not even going to get into the whole new level of weapon retention training that would be required for patrol officers to be making arrests with slung subguns... or any of the dozen other little nightmares.
     
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  8. Drail

    Drail Member

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    It really doesn't matter if "spray and pray" is taught (it is not) but "spray and pray" is what most people will revert to if they can't hit their target. Again - training. L.E. firearm training has evolved over they years to the point where it is essentially very poor, very short and for the most part - everybody passes. No one is suggesting an officer carry a long arm slung while driving ( I wasn't and I hope no one else was) but if the streets are really that dangerous then you better grab a carbine or shotgun EVERY time you exit the vehicle and not slung but carried in a ready position. Every time I can ever remember being pulled over it took at least 4 or 5 minutes for the officer to exit his vehicle and approach mine and yes, I know there are very good reasons for that practice. I can't really see why an officer doesn't have time to grab something better than a pistol when he exits his vehicle. I think police should ALWAYS have two officers together to cover each other's backs - all of the time - but again, it's always about money. For everyone who keeps claiming that police work is SO DANGEROUS - for most of my working life I have always read lists that are compiled every year showing the most dangerous jobs in America - and police work isn't even on the list. I don't remember ever seeing it on the list. FWIW, I have worked two of the jobs that ARE always on that list and they on the list for good reason.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019
  9. GRIZ22

    GRIZ22 Member

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    Yes, let's form an opinion on police firearms training on a couple of body cam videos and a film of someone shooting at the police academy.

    I was a LE Firearms Instructor from 1976 to 2005 while an LEO for a local and Federal agency. I taught new recruits and advanced classes. I had contact with many Federal,State, and Local LE agencies in about 10 states and was aware of what their firearms training consisted of. The Federal agency I retired from required a minimum of 8 hours of training a quarter or 32 hours a year. That's pretty generous. Most local agencies can't afford that in time or money. I still do LE training on a regular basis.

    Some LE shooters are good and some just pass the minimum requirement. I never saw any agency teach spray and pray.

    What can I know? I've only been doing it for over 40 years.
     
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  10. bbqreloader
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    bbqreloader Contributing Member

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  11. Slingblade567

    Slingblade567 Member

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    I started out with an L frame on my side and a J frame in my armpit. Made the switch to an auto when forced to. S&W 4567 45acp for years. Still carried the J frame in my arm pit and would for the rest of my career. Then on to a glock 23. Plastic guns have no soul. Still like revolvers but cant see any PD going back to them.
     
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  12. GRIZ22

    GRIZ22 Member

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  13. 748

    748 Member

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    Depends on the type of "police work".
     
  14. D.B. Cooper

    D.B. Cooper Member

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    I'm really disgusted by the anti police rhetoric here. I feel very blessed to have been raised, and live, in a black & white world with clearly defined lines between right and wrong. Police are having a "PR problem" because people want to see the world in shades of gray because that's a lot easier than taking a side.

    Now I don't know about revolvers being obsolete for police work, but they're obsolete for competition. I've spent the last 15 months shooting a revolver in USPSA...and getting my butt handed to me every week. The reload times alone are enough to do you in, and you have to reload...A LOT. I don't know about you guys, but I'm tired of coming in dead last every time. All the time. As much as I like revolvers, I just bought 1k rounds of 9mm for my XDe; the next league season starts next week.

    As a number of you have already said, revolvers are likely well suited for civilian self defense and hunting/camping scenarios. I really like my revolver. It's insanely reliable and simple. I know that when I need it, all I have to do is point and pull the trigger. A bear isn't likely going to let me reload, and a bad guy isn't likely to stick around long enough to wait for me to reload.
     
  15. labnoti

    labnoti Member

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    Almost every single interaction a law enforcement officer has with the public in the official line of duty is demanding compliance backed up by the threat of use of force, and there is practically no limit to the amount of force they are willing to bring to bear to force compliance or death. Every time they ask for a DL or ID, they will back that demand up with force, and they will escalate the force against any resistance all the way up to lethal force to either get compliance, incarceration, or death. The demand on the toolbox they use in such a role in our society is completely different than what non enforcement people demand of theirs.

    When I analyze the violence in a robbery, the criminal's actions against their victims have no bearing at all in the conflict between the criminal and the police. It is a different conflict entirely. You're only seeing that the cops are justified in starting a conflict with the criminal because the criminal did violence to a victim, but that has no bearing on the fact that the cops use offensive and not defensive tactics and tools to initiate their attack on the criminal with the intent to obtain surrender or death. In most cases other than the rare unprovoked attack on cops, it is the criminal who is in the role of the defender with respect toward the police. They were doing their predatory role against victims and most probably hoping not to ever see a cop. When they do, they're forced to either surrender or defend themselves against the attack by the cops. I realize how that might sound stupid or biased in some kind of favor toward the criminal. It's neither. It's simply a matter of filtering out who is "right" and who is "wrong" who is justified and who isn't in their actions because those moral judgments do not have any bearing on the tactics that are most appropriate.

    This is not anti-police rhetoric. I've written nothing for or against anyone. Stop seeing through the lens of moral judgments and look at it from a purely tactical perspective. It has nothing to do with who is right.

    Think of it with a hunting analogy. Criminals hunt victims. Cops hunt criminals. What is the relationship between the criminal and the cop? The criminal is the prey and the defender, and the cop is the predator on the offensive. It is extremely rare that cops are the intended victims of any criminal enterprise. They are traditionally the mortal threat to criminal enterprise.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019
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  16. D.B. Cooper

    D.B. Cooper Member

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    Deleted. I don't need to roll in the mud. Besides, we're on the short path to a closed thread now.
     
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  17. D.B. Cooper

    D.B. Cooper Member

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    Deleted[/QUOTE]
     
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  18. labnoti

    labnoti Member

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    But those moral judgments have no bearing on what is the appropriate equipment for the job to be done. If the cop's are the "good guys" how does that affect which tool is better for the job they do? I understood this thread was about appropriate tools for police work and an inquiry about the revolver in particular. The answer to that has nothing to do with how righteous or otherwise cops are. I never made any statement that cast judgment on cop work whether it was moral or otherwise. I only asserted that their role is almost always offensive and not defensive because that has a great bearing on the appropriate tools for the job.

    Changing the topic to one where we moralize about police work doesn't serve any purpose in identifying what is a good tool for the job. At the end of the day, it doesn't matter anyway because none of us are going to decide what tools they will use anyway. Where our thoughts really do have bearing is on how much we emulate police in our own personal choices about carry guns.

    So far the main arguments against the subguns are basically that they're inconvenient. They get in the way of the steering wheel, and they'll be left behind. Those sound like some of the same arguments that we hear against certain civilian carry guns. On one hand, guns like the LCP, 365 and G43 sell like hotcakes, and we hear things like "It's no good if you won't carry it." "The mouse gun in your pocket is better than the 1911 at home on your nightstand." But on the other hand, the only thing that's better than the 43 with 7 rounds is a 365 with 10 and better still the 19 with 15. And we hear things like, "you’re just not trying hard enough," or "you need to dress around the gun" and "carrying a gun is supposed to be comforting, not comfortable." We will vehemently defend the right to carry guns with 19-round magazines not just for the sake of civil liberty, but because we honestly perceive there is a purpose and justification for this in personal defense. Again, I'm not making any personal judgment, just stating that if one were to claim that a 7-round revolver is sufficient for SD or that "no honest man needs more than 10 rounds" they will be flogged mercilessly not just because they'd insinuated that the right to have more should be removed, but because many people will insist on justifying carrying many more rounds than that.

    Actual police use of firearms is best served by the submachine gun. The only arguments against it are things like, "it prints too much." "It's too heavy." "It gives me a backache." My answer is, "you're just not trying hard enough."
     
  19. labnoti

    labnoti Member

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    Ok, maybe the sarcasm in my answer was too hard to be understood. Study the OP carefully. "Are revolvers obsolete for police work? Personally, I think I'd feel just as safe with a S&W L frame 7 shot 3" .357 mag. as I would an autoloader 9mm, while walking down an alley in New Orleans red district at 1am ... provided I had 3 or more speedloaders."

    Three speedloaders? Really, take a minute to think about this carefully. This is clearly a case of somebody wanting to justify their personal tactics as an emulation of everything they learned about extreme police alley combat from a first-person shooter video game. Now I say: submachine gun.

    While my answer comes at a bit of expense to the OP, it also points out the fact that a great deal of the people responding to posts on The High Road don't actually think about what the person is really asking, but they just write what they have to say themselves.

    [Watch out, I'm about to moralize for the first time in this thread]
    It also points out the fact that a mentality for police tactic emulation among civilians is widespread despite the fact that civilians should not have the predatory, offensive role that police rightfully have. Despite being accused of doing so, I never wrote in this thread that police should not hunt down and arrest violent criminals to prevent them from doing any further harm to innocent people, or that police shouldn't relentlessly pursue the lawless to bring them to justice. I only pointed out that this role of theirs is indeed an offensive one. If it were not, and police were primarily "defenders" then it would be perfectly acceptable that a civilian emulate them in every respect. It is not.

    Don't interpret this as an argument to restrict civilian access to any type of firearm, but see it for what it is: calling out fools who would carry a revolver with 28 rounds of ammunition for "self-defense."
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019
  20. jski

    jski Member

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    I saw a cop car video of a shootout between a cop and bad guy where the cop is killed in the encounter. The cop is armed with a high cap 9mm. The bad guy has paratrooper M1 Carbine. Not sure if he had a 15 or 30 round mag.

    The cop did so many things wrong, like allowing the aforementioned bad guy to calmly walk to his truck, slam a mag into the M1 Carbine, and turn on him. But what stuck out most was the cop just blasting through that mag of 9s. It didn't appear these were well placed shots.

    Evidently, when the cop had exhausted all his ammo, the bad guy (again calmly) walked up to the cop who was pulling the trigger on an empty gun, and he unloaded on the poor frightened cop. I didn't see the bad guy just blasting away.

    Somewhere in the engagement the cop did manage to put one in the bad guy's gut but it didn't appear to phase him.

    Moral of the story: high cap magazines are no substitute for disciplined fire.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019
  21. labnoti

    labnoti Member

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    Some people will resent me for suggesting that the appropriate equipment for them as civilian self-defenders is something they see as "less" than what cops carry. They have a desperate need to know that the firepower they carry is no less, regardless of the fact that they never do police work.

    We should never have to justify the civilian right to any arm with a purpose such as "self-defense" nor should we have to justify it with some other purpose like "hunting" or "sport." The purpose of the 2nd Amendment was never and shall never be to give rights to the people for some purpose. It was and always will be to restrict the government from infringing on the people. The people should never be in a position to have to justify keeping their liberty from oppression for some "reason."

    If anyone wants to carry 60 rounds of ammo in any number of any size magazine, I want them to carry it too. If they want to carry a .500 S&W Magnum with a whole belt full of moon-clips in Detroit, I want them to do that too. Knock. Yourself. Out. But don't try to justify doing things like this by claiming that it's necessary or even appropriate practice for self-defense and expect those arguments to be accepted as rational. Don't try to justify it by claiming that cops have borne out the necessity of this tactic for survival on our streets. I don't need you to give me a reason, but if you need to self-justify, do it for the exercise of civil rights. You're also welcome to choose not to carry those things. If you can help yourself, you might even find that an ordinary revolver makes a fine companion.
     
  22. Elkins45

    Elkins45 Member

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    As a primary weapon it is at least obsolescent, if not obsolete. As a backup gun the J frame still seems to be pretty popular. I believe S&W still sells a lot of them to police agencies: there's a reason the only revolver they offer without a lock is a J frame model. Some agencies won't buy the guns with locks.

    I could see myself carrying one of the new 8-shot N frames with moon clips, but I can't imagine any agency authorizing it. The last time I was in Chicago I was surprised to see a mounted officer still carrying a model 10, but that was several years ago.
     
  23. labnoti

    labnoti Member

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    S&W doesn't have to sell to the public what they sell to any particular agency. The reason S&W sells some guns to the public without locks is that those guns have totally concealed and inaccessible hammers and therefore can only be fired with a very heavy double-action trigger. The purpose of the locks is child-safety and the young children that they are intended to secure the gun from cannot pull a DA trigger. I've given a Centennial-style J frame (the only revolver S&W sells without a lock) to an 11 year old boy, and he could not pull the trigger. My wife cannot pull it either. But I don't know a 5-year-old American boy that can't cock a hammer and pull a SA trigger. The lock on all SA/DA revolvers is for 5-year-olds, not for 10-year-olds that could soon enough figure out how to disengage it anyway. S&W's reasoning for offering a Centennial-style J frame without a lock is that it is sufficiently secure from a 5-year-old. One could question this rationale, whether it makes any sense, but S&W's effort seems to be to prevent a 5-year-old from shooting, and not so much a 13-year-old who disables the lock or overcomes the DA pull and shoots, for whom there is less sympathy because they possess less innocence. In practice, the locks seem to be entirely vestigial. But S&W seems to be more concerned with their intent within a vacuum apart from reality than with what customers actually do.
     
  24. GunnyUSMC

    GunnyUSMC Member

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    I do have to say that about 90% of what you have posted in this topic has nothing to do with the topic. About all you have done is stand on your soap box to give your point of view about police.
    In your way of thinking, if someone were to pull a gun on you, You would become the attacker if you used more force then the guy trying to robbing you, and he would become the Victim.
    Using your way of thinking, if a parent spanks their child, then the parent is the aggressor.
    What color are the trees in your world?
    You have stated a few times that unprovoked attacks on cops are rare. Tell that to the two city officers and the deputy that Gavin Long killed. I knew all three of the officers, one was a friend of mine.

    Now back to the topic.
    The revolver has been pushed aside, in police use, just as the the bolt action rifle by the military as a main battle rifle. One reason the revolver hung on so long in law enforcement was based on opinions and not facts. It was said that it would be harder to train officers to use them, but we know that is not true. Many did not trust them to be reliable, even tho the military had been using them for many years. And then there were a bunch of old farts in charge that just refused to change. No offence meant to any old farts here on the forum. :)
    Just ask yourself this. If you knew that you were going into a gun fight and the bad guy was going to be using a Glock 17 with a 32 round extended mag, what gun would you want to have?
     
  25. Elkins45

    Elkins45 Member

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    I would want one of those robots they used to blow up that cop murdering A hole in Texas.
     
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