POLICE Magazine

JAN 2019

Magazine for police and law enforcement

Issue link: https://policemag.epubxp.com/i/1067555

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Page 36 of 84

34 POLICE JANUARY 2019 penetration into the target. It's something we're continuing to explore as we go forward." REDUCED RECOIL A major benefit of the 9mm round's design is reduced recoil, providing a tactical advantage. Reduced recoil allows for faster target reacquisition. Harris explains that this lower recoil also creates less recoil anticipa- tion, which creates more accurate and faster follow-up shots. is results in better shot placement, even while moving, which is important to officers on the street. is benefit also translates to better qualification scores, Harris says. "Most agencies have gone away from static shoot- ing to more of a 'combat' style, where movement is incorporat- ed while shooting the qualification course." As increased recoil can cause difficulty for officers of small- er stature, more controllable recoil also makes the 9mm round accessible to a wider range of officers, adds Hinton. GAP as a law enforcement round. He notes that it was never widely accepted in law enforcement, but it was used by several large police agencies domestically. "I think there's been a real drop in recent years in .38 special and .357 Magnum," adds Hinton. "And obviously revolvers as a whole are not the choice of most law enforcement agencies because of low capacity." He also notes that almost no one car- ries revolvers anymore period. Just five to 10 years ago, it was still common for officers to carry revolvers as backup guns on duty or for concealed carry off duty. But now they have better options because of improvements in firearm construction and the double-stack 9mm trend. STRONG CONTENDERS A variety of calibers are still being used by law enforcement agencies and individual officers, despite the popularity of the 9mm. Hinton is confident that .45 ACP and .40 S&W will continue to be popular enough that they'll stick around for the foreseeable future. And although the .40 caliber round is being replaced in large numbers by the 9mm round, Harris concedes that the .40 is still "somewhat popular in domestic law enforcement," so it might have a chance. One caliber that is gaining ground, especially among spe- cialized units, is the 10mm. To capitalize on this trend, Feder- al is introducing a new 10mm round, which Hinton describes as a 200-grain HST bullet that "should be a fullpower load at 1,130 fps." ere may be recoil concerns for some shooters, but it could be a good fit for tactical teams. "As metallurgy and other technologies improve on the fire- arms side, it's much easier to make 10mm at an affordable price that are officer capable," says Hinton. Which is why so many firearms manufacturers have been coming out with weapons including handguns in this caliber in the last few years. CALIBER OF CHOICE MORE ROUNDS Another factor in the popularity of the 9mm round is driven by practicality. It's smaller, and therefore officers can carry more of it with them. Any officer will tell you that having more am- munition on hand is always a good idea just in case you need it. In addition, as trauma surgeon and tactical medical expert Dr. Sydney Vail noted shortly after the FBI made the change from .40 S&W in favor of 9mm rounds, "Having more rounds in your pistol's magazine increases the potential for accurate shots. Hence the FBI chose to make the change to the 9mm round, which usually offers a higher round count per maga- zine, faster and more accurate follow-up shots, less perceived recoil, and very similar physical bullet characteristics to the .40 S&W." AMMO FALLING OUT OF FAVOR As 9mm becomes the caliber of choice for law enforcement agencies and individual officers, other once popular calibers are falling by the wayside. For example, SIG's Harris says a combination of factors in- cluding price and availability have led to the "demise" of .45 PHOTOS: SIG SAUER Manufacturers continue to push the boundaries of ballistic performance when designing ammunition. They use both in-house and FBI testing to determine where to make improvements and how to best meet the needs of law enforcement officers and agencies.

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