Help please in re:Berettas in Britain?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by capttom, May 24, 2010.

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  1. capttom

    capttom Member

    Apr 1, 2006
    I was doing some web surfing this weekend, mostly concerning British pistol laws and armed police officers when I was directed to links on Wikipedia. Yes, I know that Wikipedia isn't the end-all in authoritative research, but this article got me asking some questions.

    One article dealt with the execution of a mentally retarded convicted in a police killing. The killing was in late 1952. The article mentioned that the police responding to a burglary call were armed with .32 calibre Webleys, while one of the perps carried a Colt New Service in .455 Eley. Talk about undergunned coppers!

    Another article mentioned, in passing, that as a result of a review of this shooting, Metropolitan Special Branch and Royalty Protection Officers being armed with “an early version of the Beretta automatic pistol.” A link from this reference took me to an article on the M951 Beretta.

    I'm a fan of the big S/A Beretta, having owned a couple over the years (along with it's Egyptian clone, the Helwan). Currently, I'm waiting for Sarco, Inc to get some more 951s in stock so I can order another one.

    I thought I knew just about everything there was to know about the 1951 and the reference to Special Branch and RPOs being equipped with the pistol surprised me. I would have thought the Browning Hi Power would be more likely if the Brits wanted to go with a 9mm, since it's already in military use. I also think that the royal detail were issued Walther PPs and PPKs but were unhappy with them and eventually went with the Glock. (Apparently, the Glock wasn't the best choice. There have been several accidental discharges since going to the Glock.)

    Digging around on the net about SO13, CO19, etc. revealed no mention of the 951. I couldn't find anything beyond Wikidedia . Is there anyone out there who has any other information about the M951 in official British issue?

    For those interested, they can find this info in Wikipedia articles on Specialist Firearms Command and the Derek Bentley case.
  2. groundhog34

    groundhog34 Member

    Aug 25, 2008
    My Glock has been sitting by my bed for 12 years and has yet to accidentally discharge. Should I be worried?
  3. Jim K

    Jim K Member.

    Dec 31, 2002
    I once ran across the interesting information that one of the major qualifications for a British police officer being armed is that he or she know NOTHING about guns, and have NO experience with them at all. The theory is that the authorities don't want "gun crazies" being armed and that any "training" will work better if the officer has no bad habits to unlearn.

    They have a sort of point, but the main idea seems to be that a police officer must hate guns and be ready to kill without compunction anyone he or she thinks might be armed. Incidents of trigger happy British police gunning down everyone in sight seem to indicate that the program is working.

  4. Quiet

    Quiet Member

    Apr 29, 2007
    bouncing between the 909 & the 702
    Even with all the gun control laws in the UK, this is what the London Police are now carrying on patrol.

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