I wish the FBI would produce a well conceived, 10-12 minute video about the switch and why/how they arose at that conclusion. I want to see actual side by side .40 to 9mm gelatin shots and the results first-hand, broken down Barney-Style


...... so that it can be dispensed to police administrators everywhere as an attempt to try and quell the stupidity they spout when choosing a duty round. I needs to be short to allow for the demands on their time () and easily comprehended by even the most backwater, unbelieving, stuck in his ways chief or sheriff.





Joined:      14 January 2010                Location:  MAINE

So what changed in the development of the 9mm to facilitate this? Why is 9mm finally doing so well in testing?

Also, how does the 9mm compare to the .40 and .45 in terms of intermediate barrier penetration? In my mind, no pistol rounds do well with barriers like auto doors or glass so it doesn't matter. Is there more to it than just that?

"Experienced cops don't have 'hunches'. They have superior observational and analytical skills which allow them to make the connection between otherwise innocuous facts, and take appropriate action to assess that perception."

~ Doug Mitchell


Life is Good!

Joined: 03/08/2008     Location: Sandy Hook, NJ

I hadn't seen this coming, but it's not surprising, either. I'd long suspected that most handgun calibers were not dissimilar in performance, as they're not... dissimilar (grossly).  


Expectedly, the three most important factors regarding bullet effectiveness remain to be placement, placement, and placement.


Logically, I'd not be opposed to going from my currently-issued .40S&W back to 9mm (might be a good excuse to get that 9mm M&P Core) but my instincts still make me lean towards a Glock 20 loaded with 1500+fps 135grn JHPs.

Endeavor to be emulable, not suck, persevere, and, imbue ostrobogulousness. 

I had an FBI agent whom I recall to be an instructor tell me a couple years ago that he recommended the authorized G21 over the 40 for any agent that had trouble with the 40. They found it is easier to shoot in comparison. I would expect that this is a big factor in performance in shootings, as training is cheaper and easier, and proficiency more likely to be developed and maintained. Since placement/placement/placement is the first issue, that's likely to be a BFD, especially when considers that objective testing (scroll up into Gary's materials) shows no real difference in typical service handgun caliber performance with good loads.

- - - -
Never be biased. Get to know people, and then hate them for objective reasons. They will almost always give you plenty.

www.routledge.com/9781138302969 (NOTE: Live Link)

They switched to a much, much easier qual course about two years ago.


I don't know that they've even tested this across an entire academy class yet, since there haven't been any on deck.


So will scores go up? Sure. But is anything gained? I'm not wholesale behind this as arguing for identical terminal performance, in terms of penetration depth, ignores the fact that a ,40 SW round carries about 15-25% increased expansion and 15-25% increased bullet weight over a comparable 9mm round. Of course this comes at a relatively equal increase in perceived recoil. 


I'm plenty happy with a .40, but I'd carry a 10mm (G20 SF) if I was allowed to. I'd love to see that round stacked against 9mm and .40 if we are using similar bullet construction.

We recently replaced all of our duty pistols with the exact same duty pistol - we replace them every 10 years.  I pushed for switching from the .357 sig to the 9mm - I was told no and they wouldn't even consider it.  Going in saying the FBI had just switched may have gotten them to listen briefly.  Instead, we are paying twice as much for ammo for a round that is no more effective. 


It's easy to make assumptions about puppies strapped to missiles, but good science requires research.


Joined: 12-2005          Location: Central OK

Interesting that 2 fellow 10mm nuts have chimed in.


I like the 10mm a great deal, but any proper LE duty load taking advantage of modern bullet design AND the slightly increased available range/velocity envelope of the 10mm is a rare, rare thing. ATK has declared it "dead" in LE for a good long while, despite some ardent cultish fans like myself. Without a major manufacturer putting out at least one good standard LE duty round (ie 180gr GDHP @ 1200fps) it's even less likely to thrive.


At the end of the day, the G20/10mm doesn't offer me much  (if anything) worth the increased recoil, size, and cost of the platform/round. We are issued .40s but I'd go back to my G17 tomorrow if the HMFICs would allow it.


Just about every time I run off-duty quals or shoot for "fun" (ie pistols other than .40s are on the line), the 9/40, 9/45, 38/357, 9/357 and other debates rear their heads. Thank God that simple, "cop-proof" data is available from Doc and others to ease the minds of my girth/velocity obsessed co-workers.


Any bets on which large agency will go back to 9mm next? TX DPS and FBI *should* be enough to get folks' attention, but I always like to see how things progress once a ball gets rolling.

Condition Yellow: For a Longer, Happier Life

With a good part if modern PDs in America playing monkey-see, monkey-do with whatever the FBI does, I'd expect that there'd be a metric fuckton of agencies willing to emulate.

Just a matter of time, money, and a lack of egos.

Endeavor to be emulable, not suck, persevere, and, imbue ostrobogulousness. 

Ok, let me think this through................speaking in generalities,  a long time ago they had the "FBI shoot-out in Miami".  Several FBI agents were killed as I recall. Somewhere along the line it was determined the FBI needed a better caliber. Soon thereafter, the new 10mm was decreed as the new whiz-bang caliber for the FBI.  Then not too long after that, the gnarly 10mm had to be throttled back, due to agents that had a hard time managing the gun. Hence, the .40, as I remember.  (I do not know if the FBI ever officially went to a .40, but I think they had some type of reduced-load 10mm (?)

   So, as the pendulum swings, the FBI went from whatever caliber they had before the shootout,  up to a 10mm, and now a 9mm?

  I would be curious to know how many agencies nationwide already use the 9mm.  


Cripes...its already impossible to get my Federal 9mm order. This is not going to help

"Without training they lack knowlege, without knowlege they lack discipline , without discipline they lack victory"


“Go as hard as you can, for as long as you can, and then quit.”


Joined: October 2, 2007

Bill, back then the FBI had a mix of .357 and 9mm I believe. One of the two shooters took a 9mm more or less to the heart and didn't quite die fast enough, shooting several agents even when he was supposed to be 'dead'.


I know in the 2000s FBI agents in my area were carrying Glock 22's and appeared pretty happy with them.


So low speed, i'm in Park.

"I could stand to hear a little more.." Jayne

Training is brief. Death is forever. PAY ATTENTION.

Joined: 6/14/03 1:02 PM

Maybe, after countless arguments, debates, papers, and screaming matches about what handgun round has the most death-power, people are finally starting to understand that it is a fucking defensive handgun, and, no matter what, it will never be the best fight ender.  I think that the increase in agencies issuing patrol rifles has had an impact on re-examining the handgun role in LE.  I think that more agencies, and Officers, have been shifting their tactics to considering the rifle as the primary, rather than something in the trunk to get out in a rare occurrence.


At least, that's what I hope. 

- Gene

____ "Fight like you're the third monkey trying to get on Noah's Ark...".

____ "If you can't do something smart, do something right." - Jayne Cobb

____ " Pull your huggies up, shut the fuck up." - gruntpain


Joined: 4/28/08   Location:  Seattle


SA Urey Patrick of the FBI Firearms Training Unit wrote the following to emphasize this point:


“...no law enforcement officer should ever plan to meet an expected attack armed only with a handgun.  Experienced officers implicitly recognize...when potential violence is reasonably anticipated their preparations are characterized by obtaining as many shoulder (fired) weapons as possible.”

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