SHOT Round Up Off-Duty Pistols

Amongst my many other duties at the 2012 show, I was tasked with keeping an eye out for practical off-duty pistols for law enforcement officers. That I did and I’ve compiled a short list herein.

GLOCK has dubbed this model a “sub-compact”, but it is still good sized defensive gun.  The magazine holds ten rounds of 9mm and naturally the gun will accept both G17 and G19 higher capacity magazines.  Barrel length is 3.43 inches with an overall length of 6.42 inches.   The height is 4.17 inches and empty weight is 19.75 ounces.  The GLOCK “safe-action” trigger system is straight-forward and easy to master.  In my humble opinion, the G26 is the J-frame of the 21st Century.

Parting Thoughts

Yes, you will have noted that most all the guns listed are either 9x19mm or .380 ACP in one case.  I am pretty much over the .40 S&W cartridge.  There is no denying that the .40 cartridge is a high-pressure round, severe enough to damage handguns over time.   Currently, .40 S&W ammunition costs 25 to 30 percent more than comparable 9x19mm ammo.  I like to shoot and practice with my defensive hardware.  Comparing apples to apples you also lose two to three rounds in the magazine with a .40.  

Full disclosure, I was super excited about the G23 in .40 S&W back in 1993 when I was a rookie cop.  I bought one as soon as I could and shot the snot out of it.   I still have the gun and carry it daily but it now has a Lone Wolf 9mm barrel and is fed by G19 magazines.  A pistol is never going to be as powerful as a rifle regardless of the current “magic bullet” loaded in it.  If I have to use a handgun for personal defensive I want it to be controllable for fast follow up shots and have a plethora of ammunition. 

Regardless of your brand loyalty, all of the pistols mentioned here come from reputable manufacturers who have proven track records.  Choose the one you like and practice with it.  A shoot out while off-duty is bad enough without having to worry about your hardware or lack or practice.


About The Author:

Mr. Markel is a former United States Marine, Police Officer, and has worked as a professional bodyguard both in the U.S. and overseas. A Subject Matter Expert on Small Arms and Tactics, Markel has provided instruction to law enforcement and U.S. Military troops.

As a recognized author and writer, Paul has penned several hundred articles published in numerous professional journals and trade periodicals. Topics include firearms training, use of force, marksmanship, less-than-lethal force options, product reviews and evaluations, emergency medical care, and much more. Sought after as a public speaker, Mr. Markel is at home in front of an audience large or small.

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