Texas Highway Patrol Dropping SIG Pistols in .357 SIG for S&W Pistols in 9mm
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UPDATE: This story was originally ran back in December 2013 and we now have an update. It seems the Texas DPS is delaying implementation of the S&W pistols due to reliability concerns. According to a report by TTAG,
As you are aware I approved the adoption of the Smith and Wesson M&P 9mm as the Department’s service handgun beginning with Recruit School A14. However, we have been experiencing malfunctions during Recruit School firearms training, which is unacceptable, and I have suspended the transition to the Smith and Wesson M&P 9mm.
Even if the manufacturer is able to address our issues over the next week, we cannot afford to risk the extra training time that was added to address transition contingincies. Education, Training and Research will continue to work with the manufacturer on this issue, but today, Trooper Trainees will be issued Sig Sauer 357 handguns, which we have in our inventory as a precaution.
ORIGINAL STORY FROM DECEMBER 2013:
I think this will probably be seen as a hit for a caliber that seemed to be on the rise over the last few years.
According to local media reports, the Texas Department of Public Safety will stop issuing their troopers Sig Sauer Pistols in the .357 Sig caliber and switch to Smith and Wesson pistols chambered in 9mm.
Reasons for the switch seem to favor capacity in the classic “caliber vs capacity” debate which include lighter weight, more rounds per magazine and less recoil for quicker follow up shots.
It’s not directly mentioned in the article, but it’s safe to assume the Smith and Wesson pistols in question are the company’s extremely popular striker fired M&P line. The pistols feature interchangeable backstraps which all for a pistol to be fitted to the shooter’s hand.
Smith and Wesson has been making a big push for law enforcement to adopt this line of pistols in recent years by offering very cost effective contracts and trade in programs.
Troopers who are currently issued .357 SIG pistols will be permitted to keep them if they desire, while new troopers will be issued the Smith and Wesson pistols by default.
The Texas DPS became the first law enforcement agency to adopt the cartridge back in 1995. It is currently used by around a dozen law enforcement agencies across the country including the Secret Service and Federal Air Marshals.
The .357 Sig round is a proprietary round created by Sig that was meant to emulate the ballistics of the popular, proven man-stopper .357 magnum. The magnum round is a revolver cartridge (though some semi-auto pistols have been made to utilize it).