back to article British armed forces get first new pistol since World War II

The British regular forces are to receive their first new pistol since World War II, as the long-serving Browning 9mm sidearm is replaced by a new weapon from the well-known Austrian firm Glock. Out with the old, in with the new The new pistol is the Glock 17 Gen4, which fires the same NATO standard 9x19mm cartridge as its …

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  1. Zmodem

    buy your own desert eagle and pop heads like a melon

    1. Desk Jockey
      Coat

      @Zmodem

      While the Desert Eagle may look cool, it is possibly the most useless working hand gun in existence!

      Better late than never. The Glock is pretty much the AK of the handgun world - very reliable, very simple and thus very popular. Believe it or not, UK aircrew were still being issued Walther PPKs up until a few years ago. That weapon is even more out of date than the Browning.

      1. Grave

        Re: @Zmodem

        what about k100/gp6? http://youtu.be/AxHIKfyFuDU

        reliability supposedly in a range of 1mil rounds

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: @Zmodem

        The reason that aircrew were issued with the PPK is that it's smaller and lighter than the Browning. Experience from the Falklands and Gulf One showed that the sheer inertia of the big, heavy Browning meant that it was separated from the pilot when he ejected - literally torn off the harness in the 26g acceleration that happens when the rocket motor fires. The lighter PPK didn't share this tendency. Having a PPK was better than landing, unclipping one's chute and finding you had no pistol at all.

    2. Fibbles

      The Desert Eagle holds fewer rounds. Those in the services are trained to aim for the centre of mass, not the head. You're also going to have a hell of a time explaining why you can't use the 9mm NATO you've been issued.

      1. Zmodem

        i know, buy pistols are made for close combat situations, if that happens, you do it well with a av`eeet u fux

        1. Zmodem

          if your tip toeing around a building, you dont just want to give someone a limp, and have to waste half the magazine to kill them so you can move on

          1. Smallbrainfield

            Play a lot of COD, do we?

            Bigger isn't always better.

          2. NomNomNom

            zmodem is right. if you are in a combat situation you need to hit hard, hit fast and move on. for that you generally want a big fucking gun.

            1. Psyx
              FAIL

              "zmodem is right."

              No he's not.

              "if you are in a combat situation you need to hit hard, hit fast and move on. for that you generally want a big fucking gun."

              Yes: It's called a 5.56mm assault rifle. The Glock is a back-up piece. No soldier is going to use it or a stupid-ass IMI .50AE poser-piece instead of a real firearm as a matter of preference. Because pistols aren't for actual fighting.

              "hit hard, hit fast "

              On what planet is a gas-operated 2kg pistol with a 6 shot capacity firing heavy ammunition 'faster' to operate in CQB than a 9mm 650g Glock? And 'hard' is mooted by the fact that unlike the video games, actual people don't have 100 stamina points they can take before falling over.

              1. Ken 16 Silver badge

                BFG = Artillery

                I believe armies even have specialists in operating those big fucking guns.

          3. rh587 Bronze badge
            Facepalm

            Yes, yes you do want to leave him with a limp.

            A live prisoner is a burden on his colleagues who then need to medivac him out.

            Or alternatively can be taken as POW and questioned, potentially providing a source of humint if you can entice him to volunteer more than the personal details the Geneva Convention requires.

            War is about wounding, not killing (unless you absolutely have to). Once he ceases to be a threat, your job is done, and "being alive" does not necessarily constitute a threat.

            Plus, as others have more than adequately mentioned, getting shot hurts. You may be able to carry on running in CoD, taking 4/5 shots to die from a "wimpy" 9mm, but in real life your average solider will be rolling around on the floor shouting "ow fuckity ow. You shot me!" whilst painting the decor a damp shade of claret.

            1. Dapprman
              Coat

              Desert Eagles ....

              Love the comments about the IMI Desert Eagle. So lets get some facts straight.

              The Dersert Eagle was originally produced in two calibres, .357 magnum for armed forces and the police and .44 magnum for fire arms enthusiasts.

              The 50cal Desert Eagle was originally produced ONLY for the US collectors/firearms-nut market. I'm not sure it was ever officially sold else where.

              The .357 magnum model proved to have too recoil for combat situations (where a proper firing stance may not be possible) and so proved to be unpopular with the troops. As a result it was dropped and replaced with the IMI Jericho, which comes with two barrels, tow magazines, etc to be able to use one of two rounds. The classic 9x19mm and the harder hitting, but less rounds in the magazine 10mm magnum.

              Incidentally, I know from a US based friend and gun nut that the IMI Jericho is actually sold in the US as the Desert Eagle - I know so as we got into an argument as he claimed he had a 9mm Eagle - he sent me photos and I sent back reference photos.

              1. Zmodem

                Re: Desert Eagles ....

                you dont care for stances, if you kick open a door, aim and shoot

                1. Psyx

                  Re: Desert Eagles ....

                  "you dont care for stances, if you kick open a door then hop around on one leg with either a broken ankle or a foot embedded in an interior door while someone with an AK pops a dozen rounds into the fool ass of anyone who learned FIBUA by watching 'Navy SEALS'"

                  Fixed that for you. So you now want to use your back-up weapon for leading the clearing of a house. Personally, I'd get some other bastard to clear it using the proper tools* while I found a real weapon.

                  *ie grenades. Lots of them.

                  1. Muscleguy Silver badge

                    Re: Desert Eagles ....

                    I thought from Afghanistan that the favoured method of house clearance was a 1,000ib 'smart' bomb dropped by the jet you called in so none of your guys need put themselves in harm's way and sod the kiddies and other civilians and your crappy 'intelligence'.

                2. Aldous
                  FAIL

                  Re: Desert Eagles ....

                  ITT: Everything you need to know about weaponry you can learn from counterstrike

                  just hope the Terr's don't AWP you eh?

                3. Evil Auditor Silver badge
                  Stop

                  Re: Desert Eagles ....

                  @Zmodem

                  Seriously, where did you get all this rubbish from?!

        2. unwarranted triumphalism

          Who do you remind me of...?

          Ah yes. Spence from Ronin.

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=w1MkjmbdHUM#t=71s

    3. Psyx
      FAIL

      "buy your own desert eagle and pop heads like a melon"

      a) Handguns are illegal here. To stop kids being mown down by psychopaths. It works pretty well.

      b) The Desert Eagle is a gas operated civilian target pistol. Pretty much the last thing you want from a back-up weapon is non-ruggidisation and questionable in-field reliability.

      c) Where are you getting your spare ammunition from? I don't believe .50AE is NATO standard.

      d) Why the hell would you aim for the head when you were pulling a back-up piece anyway?

      e) Aiming at the head rather moots the point of a powerful round. You can kill just as well with a 9mm if you hit them there.

      f) Dead is dead. You get no extra points for creating a mess; just a bunch of post-traumatic nightmares.

      1. Zmodem

        if you have to buy your own boots and hats, you might as well go all out and buy your own sidearm, from a irish smuggler

        you have a smaller clip with the desert eagle, buy every shot is a kill shot, it might not be much use as a general sidearm for you normal soldier, the army should still have them to give to special OPs, they are better then carrying a shotgun in 2 hands

        1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
          Trollface

          Deagle brand Deagle!

          Every counterstriker is into it!

          Me?

          If I have to choose, H&K USP. Germans use it. Good enough.

          1. HKmk23

            HK .45USP tactical.

            12 rnd mag, silencer threaded barrel.

            20 rnd mag option

            1 hit = 1 stop dead

            9mm will not stop a drugged up assailant unless in a vital spot.

            .45 SWC (semi wad cutter) chucks em backwards....

            choice of SOCOG.

            stopped testing for failures at 40,000 rnds.

            at 25m I put 10 ot 10 into a 7" group in 30 seconds.

            1. Psyx
              WTF?

              "HK .45USP tactical."

              ...Is very expensive.

              And fires a non NATO standard piece of 100 year old ammunition.

              "1 hit = 1 stop dead"

              Massive myth. The .45 isn't that powerful. It's an old piece of lead kept popular by its iconic image. And I think only about a 70% stop according to FBI statistics. 10mm is more effective.

              "9mm will not stop a drugged up assailant unless in a vital spot."

              Nothing will. People only die from central nervous system damage or blood loss. Nothing else. If someone isn't incapacitated by shock and pain due to drugs, then they will not suddenly fall over by a bit of lead hitting them that has only marginally more energy than a different piece of lead.

              ".45 SWC (semi wad cutter) chucks em backwards...."

              Physics says "no"!

              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newton%27s_laws_of_motion#Newton.27s_third_law

        2. Psyx
          Thumb Down

          "if you have to buy your own boots and hats, you might as well go all out and buy your own sidearm, from a irish smuggler"

          Or 'terrorist' as we call them here. Seriously: What kind of jack-ass military do you think we run that lets squaddies wander around with illegally obtained and owned firearms that were never intended for anything other than target shooting and posing with?

          "the army should still have them to give to special OPs, they are better then carrying a shotgun in 2 hands"

          I hate to break this to you, but the only time you should use a pistol in one hand is when you throw it at someone if it jams. I mean it's great that you want to keep a hand free for picking your nose or whatever while firing a .50 Action Express rapidly in one hand, but I think that I'd rather stick to holding the weapon correctly and being able to hit the side of a barn.

          And .50AE has hell of a lot less energy than a shotgun does anyway.

          1. Zmodem

            the pistol would`nt jam if you never used it, village platoons, even in afgan and iraq, the shotgun goes in first, after the village has been cleared, the shotgun serves no use and nor does the person who is carrying it

            the desert eagle is a sidearm, leaving all to carry a proper gun when a single kill shot is not needed

            1. Psyx
              Meh

              "the pistol would`nt jam if you never used it"

              Oh, so that's the key to reliability: If one carries a fragile, civilian, over-complicated piece of chrome-plated trash around in a desert long enough without using it, it'll definitely work when you really, really, really need it to.

              Sweet. If only we'd have thought of doing that with the IW/LSW.

              "the desert eagle is a sidearm"

              ...That weighs 2kg unloaded. I can hear the PBIs squealing with glee at the prospect of carrying more useless, heavy, unreliable sh!t already!

              1. Zmodem

                its only chrome in the movies, 2kg is nothing, if you dont need 5kg in ammo, only the 1kg and a maximum of 10 clips for a maybe 4 days roll

                every gun jams

                1. Psyx

                  "2kg is nothing, if you dont need 5kg in ammo, only the 1kg and a maximum of 10 clips for a maybe 4 days roll"

                  Clearly you have never carried 3 bags of sugar around a desert for 4 days.

                  "every gun jams"

                  Every girlfriend cheats, but I don't see that as a good reason to date the one who does it four times a day.

                2. laird cummings
                  Facepalm

                  "2kg is nothing"

                  Thus speaks the person who has never had to carry a ruck.

                  1. Zmodem

                    Re: "2kg is nothing"

                    i do kung fu with 40kg, 60kg is a boring benchpress half hour

            2. nuked
              FAIL

              dude, play much less Black Ops

            3. Muscleguy Silver badge

              You are aware that the Yanks have developed a range of 'programmable' and explosive rounds for a shotgun, aren't you? They for eg enable you to shoot around corners and lob a round such that it will explode inside the room and not at the window or when it hits the back wall. These rounds are in theatre in Iraq and Afghanistan with the Marines.

              So perhaps you need to get up do date before you mouth of.

          2. mjwalshe

            I bleive that US army used to allow privatly owned wepons

            Patton was famous for it and certainly Mad Jack Churchils longbow and broad sword where not oficial issue wepons

            1. Johan Bastiaansen
              FAIL

              Re: I bleive that US army used to allow privatly owned wepons

              That's your proof? A general can carry anything he wants. If he decides his sidearm is a cucumber.

              Well, then his a sidearm is a cucumber. Doesn't make it a very effective weapon and it doesn't mean it is authorized by the US army.

              1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                Joke

                Re: I bleive that US army used to allow privatly owned wepons

                "......Well, then his a sidearm is a cucumber. Doesn't make it a very effective weapon....." I don't know, if some Marine was to come into the room with a mean look in his eye and a cucumber in his hand I'd sure be leaving fast!

                1. dssf
                  Joke

                  Re: I bleive that US army used to allow privatly owned wepons

                  Reminds me of in high school in JROTC and from watching one of the Vietnam war movies:

                  "THIS is my RIFLE, THIS is my GUN. THIS is for REAL, THIS is for FUN!"

                  Another possible use for a sidearm is for hostage taking --assuming one is not going to take a shot in the infamous (real life or TV) instant paralysis zone. And, assuming the person with the pistol at his or her head/neck/rib cage is not an expert and disarming and dodging CQB bullets. (Or, that general in Mars Attacks... Didn't he use a pistol?)

                  Does anyone know whether zmodem is real or a bot? He/she/it sure did lure in a lot of feeding, hehehe.

                  OT/Asides...

                  Anyway, unless I have significant, extensive, professional and paid-for range time and training, I probably not ever going to be confident of a 1-shot-1-kill with most pistols unless the barrel is self-landing with a Center of Mass audio cue. And, no, I would not care to use movie-style red lasers for pointing. All those lasers make me wonder who is the military or armory specialist advising the scriptwriters and director. I'd think that by now, some sort of IR or acoustic, signature-matching-for-raid-teams gizmo would exist so that there is insurance against bumping up against the targets using the same spectrum red. Might lead to a case of NO ONE firing, when they should, until it is too late.

                  And, if one is positing using a .50 cal DE at 500 yards or even 50 yards, why not go whole hog and start equipping battlefield soldiers with combat bows and arrows or 2,000 pound/pull, 7000 g-force black hole-generating arrow bombs? Hell, the whistling alone might open up a time-freezing rift. But, then that might spoil somebody's fun on the field of flames, assuming the arrows had boron or some solid fuel in their cores.... Hey, that might lead to 5-mile range arrows. Would give even Hercules a major boner.... But, maybe taking things up a notch with boron-fueled, FAE-speweing, timeline-freezing bomb-tipped arrow heads. What kind of treaty or arms limitations talks would have to be written for that shit to not become reality?

                  OK, enough of that OT of mine... (just wanted to inject some off-beat "humor" just in case it is useful...)

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          The point is not always to kill

          One of the reasons the SA80 has 5.56mm and not the 7.xxmm round is that the 5.56 is more likely to wound and the 7.xx is more likely to kil.....

          Whats the point you say...why don't you kill....

          Well in military tactics if a soldier is dead - no one is going to try and recover them, but if they are wounded, two maybe three of the opposition (sometimes more) will be busy treating evacuating etc and will be out of the fire fight!

          1. Dave 126 Silver badge

            Re: The point is not always to kill

            I think the only place I've seen a Desert Eagle is coming out of Robocop's leg- the film's prop department stuck some extra metal on the end and thought it would appeal to teenage lads and Zmodem. The film, like the rest of the 1980s Verhoven classics, is being remade this year- wonder what they'll give Cyborg Murphy this time?

            And Arnie's laser sight in The Terminator required a cable from the sight to a battery on his belt; again just a prop.

            1. John Hughes
              Gimp

              Re: The point is not always to kill

              That wasn't a Desert Eagle, that was a Beretta 93R

              http://www.imfdb.org/wiki/RoboCop

            2. Robert Sneddon

              Robocop

              The first Robocop movie used another dressed-up silly pistol, the Berretta 93R pistol-carbine and not the Desert Eagle. They modded it by fitting the carbine shoulderstock cam that allowed three-round burst directly to the grip to make the muzzle compensator flash look really good on film at 24 frames per second. Recoil was dealt with by having the gun mounted on a solid frame when it was being fired plus careful choice of camera angles.

            3. Archimedes_Circle
              Terminator

              Re: The point is not always to kill

              Robocop actually has a heavily modified Beretta 93R (with a 50 round clip :P). The character played by Kurtwood Smith though had numerous versions of the Desert Eagle.

            4. Slim

              Re: The point is not always to kill

              Not even Robocop was stupid enough to use a "DEAGLE", his was a modified 9mm Beretta 93R, called the "Auto 9". It was basically a Beretta 93R with a bigger magazine and longer barrel with "some extra metal on the end" to make it a bit more mean.

            5. Ron Christian

              Re: The point is not always to kill

              > I think the only place I've seen a Desert Eagle is coming out of Robocop's leg- the film's prop department stuck some extra metal on the end and thought it would appeal to teenage lads and Zmodem.

              Um, no, it was a Beretta 93R in 9mm, although the part about extra metal on the end is probably correct. As I recall, it fired in 3 round bursts, which is probably not a good idea with any of the calibers for which the DE is chambered.

              The Desert Eagle is a more massive handgun. There are versions with a barrel that long, but they don't look the same.

              > The film, like the rest of the 1980s Verhoven classics, is being remade this year- wonder what they'll give Cyborg Murphy this time?

              I did not recognize the handgun in the remake of Total Recall. (Much better film than the original, BTW.) I suspect it was created for the film. I suspect the same will be true for the new Robocop. (A film I plan to miss.)

              > And Arnie's laser sight in The Terminator required a cable from the sight to a battery on his belt; again just a prop.

              This is correct. Of course, these days, laser sights are common and relatively cheap.

          2. Alan Brown Silver badge

            Re: The point is not always to kill

            "Well in military tactics if a soldier is dead - no one is going to try and recover them, but if they are wounded, two maybe three of the opposition (sometimes more) will be busy treating evacuating etc and will be out of the fire fight!"

            Not to mention the demoralising aspect of the wounded soldier's companions having to listen to him screaming his tits off in pain.

            As for ranging: A carbine will always have worse effective range than a full rifle. Just because pretty much all military forces (except snipers) use carbines, doesn't mean that the guys on the other side will. Hunting rifles pretty much outclass anything soldiers carry except a sniper rifle at long ranges.

            Pistols are for when you're caught with your pants around your ankles.

            In a real firefight with one you'd be lucky to be able to hit the side of a barn. (FWIW, the requirement for UK police at places like Heathrow is to get 30% of shots on target - when provided unlimited time to aim and positon. Where the other 2/3 of shots go should make everyone in the area pretty worried - and you can be assured that 30% will become 1% in a real firefight. In those kinds of situations, pIstols are mainly about giving a false sense of security to the holder when used at ranges of more than 3 feet)

            1. Muscleguy Silver badge

              Re: The point is not always to kill

              And the carbine was originally issued to dragoons in their original role as mounted infantry. I have photos of my Great Uncle on his horse (Yeomanry Cavalry, so mounted infantry) in WWI (he was an Old Contemptible and served right through). He appears, small photo, to have a carbine. The point being weight and not wanting to tyre out your horse. The advantage was speed and mobility which made up for the lighter calibre. Just like horse artillery that kept up with the cavalry had lighter field pieces than the foot artillery.

              Modern warfare is much more about speed and mobility with other weapons that can be deployed or called up in support when absolute firepower is required. So the average foot soldier has a semi automatic carbine which is more for keeping the head down of the farmer with the hunting rifle while he is dealt with otherwise.

        4. Jean-Luc Silver badge
          Facepalm

          @Zmodem. going for a record?

          Seriously, you are getting so many downvotes it is not funny.

          >buy every shot is a kill shot

          A "kill shot" needs to hit first before it can think about killing anything. Duh!

          Two things matter here: accuracy and number of rounds. Pistols will struggle with the first, which is why they are backup weapons (on which you don't want to waste 2 kg of weight allowance).

          I'd much rather go with a gun without too much recoil, if I were in combat. Sure, on a range, you can take the appropriate stance and pause between shots. In combat, you want your barrel to remain roughly pointed at the target between shots, not flying around because you just had to shoot an elephant gun at a mosquito.

          Second, the ammo volume. .50 rounds are heavy so you won't carry too many. Doesn't give you much chance at wild shots/suppressive fire/etc... Nope, you are stuck with manly aimed fire, using a pistol. Clever.

          Just offhand, how many rounds fired do you think it takes an army unit to kill/incapacitate an enemy in combat, on average? Hundreds, if not thousands, except when snipers are involved. Big reason for 5.56, instead of 7.62.

          1. Zmodem

            Re: @Zmodem. going for a record?

            @Zmodem. going for a record?

            a kil shot kills in 1, a sidearm is for close combat, nothing much else, a eagle has a better range then a 12 yard shotgun

            Just offhand, how many rounds fired do you think it takes an army unit to kill/incapacitate an enemy in combat, on average?

            5. unless your american with 6000 dead troops.

            1. Psyx
              FAIL

              Re: @Zmodem. going for a record?

              "a eagle has a better range then a 12 yard shotgun"

              No. It. Doesn't.

              Clear indicator that you've learned about firearms from playing computer games. The only time you'd outrange a shotgun with a handgun is if you load it with birdshot. And who does that when you're shooting at people?

            2. tkioz
              FAIL

              @Zmodem.

              Zmodem dude... real combat is no Call of Duty... seriously WTF?

              1. Zmodem

                Re: @Zmodem.

                the actual kill range of a shotgun is 12 yards, the pellets might go futher and kill a weak person, the garenteed kill of a shotgun for 99% of the human race is 12 yards

                real combat is nothing like a bunch of nerds in your local target range on a saturday

                most people will never use their sidearm, except in close combat tip toeing around buildings, a 9mm wont kill most people, a desert eagle will probaly kill in 1 shot, you have less ammo, but you only need the 1 shot, and not half a clip of a 9mm

                if you have targets 100 yards away, you are probaly better off practicing with a grenade launch with angles and wind like a sniper

                most assault rifles do bursts of 6, if you dont have a target and its not cover fire, you dont fire

                1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                  FAIL

                  Re: @Zmodem.

                  "......a 9mm wont kill most people, a desert eagle will probaly kill in 1 shot......" Go back to CoD or whatever game you are using as a reference and - frankly - stop embarrassing yourself. 9mmP has probably killed more people than any other pistol calibre round ever, including .45ACP, having been the calibre of choice for the majority of armies during two world wars and countless military actions since. And even .22 or .25 will kill with one shot if the bullet placement is good and the bullet still retains enough velocity to penetrate and hit a vital organ. People have been killed by fragments alone from ricochets that have retained enough energy to penetrate to major arteries in the neck or thigh.

                  1. Zmodem

                    Re: @Zmodem.

                    you have to hit the heart to kill someone with a 9mm, any where else most people can survive with no serious injury,. you have to be a looser who sits on their ass alday to die from a 9mm to your stomach, leg, arm,.

                    if you shoot someone with the leg, arm, stomach with a desert eagle, you leg and arm would probaly fall off, and you stomach would never be used again, if you survived

                    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                      FAIL

                      Re: Re: @Zmodem.

                      "you have to hit the heart to kill someone with a 9mm, any where else most people can survive with no serious injury,....." Are you smoking crack? Seriously, does your mommie know you are using the Internet? That is simply too stupid a comment to consider as anything other than from a five-year-old or a drug-addled loser. As a very obvious example, police firearm specialist are trained to shoot suicide bombers in the head to get an instantly incapacitating kill. The effectiveness of that was shown, most unfortunately, in the case of Jean Charles de Menezes, who was killed by 9mmP. Other organs that will cause you to die quickly from blood loss include the liver and kidneys, and a lung shot can cause you to effectively drown slowly in your own blood. A stomach shot can be fatal through either blood loss or through infection from material in your guts.

                      "...... you have to be a looser who sits on their ass alday to die from a 9mm to your stomach, leg, arm,......". A gunshot wound to a major artery, such as the aorta or femoral - the latter is in your thigh - will cause you to bleed to death very quickly. Even a wound to a lesser artery, such as the radial artery in your forearm, can cause enough blood loss for you to die in less than an hour. And if you're unfortunate enough to get shot in the leg without the means to call for assistance, you could die from thirst or hunger before being found even if you don't bleed to death or die of a secondary infection.

                      At ten feet a .25ACP bullet will penetrate two inches of pine and still have enough energy to deal a fatal wound. Two inches of pine is more resistant than your ribs, breastbone or your skull, which are the only bones protecting the majority of your major organs. The FMJ version has a muzzle energy of only about 66ft-Lbs, compared to roughly nine times that amount for 9mmP. If a .25ACP can kill you so easily, you really want to pretend a 9mmP round is too weak to? If you do, then you really don't have even the faintest semblance of a clue.

                      1. Zmodem

                        Re: @Zmodem.

                        9mm started being used in the police force because they dont kill most people in foot chases etc like in the america, the american police stopped using the colt 45 in the 70s or 80s for that reason

                        1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                          FAIL

                          Re: @Zmodem.

                          "9mm started being used in the police force because they dont kill most people in foot chases etc like in the america, the american police stopped using the colt 45 in the 70s or 80s for that reason"

                          The .45ACP stopped being popular with the US police forces in the Twenties, when it was found to be largely ineffective when used against the new cars appearing with metal bodies and the early bulletproof jackets. Most US police forces in those days had revolvers in the new .38 S&W Special or .45ACP revolvers and automatics, Winchester semi-auto carbines, and sometimes the odd BAR in .30-60 Springfield calibre. The Winchester carbines were popular but had a small magazine, the BAR was rediculously long and heavy and too hard to control on auto, and the .45 handguns both ineffective and required considerable range time to gain accuracy with their heavy recoil. The FBI experimented with .45ACP Tommy guns and instead switched to .380 Super Auto. They also changed their M1911 automatics to that calibre and .380 Super Auto then became the preferred law enforcement choice for automatics as this higher-velocity round would go through car panels reliably and through body armour. In revolvers the Smith & Wesson .38 Special was the preferred choice for the same reason. At the same time, gangsters like Bonnie and Clyde were also switching to .380 Super Auto in both pistols and Thompson submachineguns for the same reason. Very few police in the States were using .45ACP handguns even into the Thirties, so your idea that they were using them in the Seventies and Eighties is simply wrong. Indeed, by then the .380 Super Auto and S&W .38 Special had been replaced by the .357 Magnum in revolvers and the 9mmP in automatics, the latter because 9mmP autos were cheap, easier to train on, and had larger capacity magazines.

        5. Matt Bryant Silver badge
          FAIL

          "......every shot is a kill shot....." Go back to Counter Strike. In the real World, shot placement is much more of an issue, and the weapon you can bring quickly to bear with the least pre-aim fiddling (such as cocking the slide or thumbing back the hammer or disengaging any safeties) will usually win the argument, especially if you can bring it back to bear for a second shot quickly. In that respect the Glock is excellent, but it is lighter than the SIG and Hi-Power so may suffer more from recoil. With the Desert Eagle your second shot is going to be long after the Glock shooter has put four or five rounds in you.

        6. leadpig

          have you ever fired a 50cal pistol?

          you have just as much chance of hurting yourself than anyone else shooting one handed

          this is the real world,not call of duty

    4. Eddy Ito Silver badge

      Hmm a desert eagle, let's see about half the ammo at three times the weight. I'll leave it to Poland's GROM units and carry something more practical instead.

      1. Zmodem

        but the person with the shotgun just gets to sit their and do nothing when your pinned down and targets 500 yards away

        1. Richard 81

          Well

          "when your pinned down and targets 500 yards away" ...you'll feel very silly for leaving your SA80 on the kitchen counter.

          A pistol is for when you're caught with your trousers down at close range and, for whatever reason, you can't use your main weapon. .50 cal is for heavy machine guns (less important these days) and ridiculously long range rifles (hardly ever needed).

        2. Steve Todd
          Stop

          You honestly think

          That you could hit something with a pistol at 500 yards? Shotguns like pistols are close combat weapons. At longer range you need a rifle. Even modern assault rifles aren't designed for much beyond 500 meters.

          1. Mayhem

            Re: You honestly think

            Yep, the range issue turned out to be quite a problem for the yanks in Afghanistan as the shiny M4 replacement for the venerable M16s also dropped max range from 800m to 600m. Unfortunately the rifle fire coming in from the other side tended to outrange it significantly.

            On the other hand, the various AK designs tend to be accurate out to only 350-400m so the M4 is pretty good in its weight class.

            Still better than a pistol, expensive toy or not - your Desert Eagle has an effective range of around 50m

            1. Psyx
              Pint

              Re: You honestly think

              "Yep, the range issue turned out to be quite a problem for the yanks in Afghanistan as the shiny M4 replacement for the venerable M16s..."

              I'd be very impressed if an individual rifleman could tag a target at 800m with an iron sighted M-16! I think the M-4 is rated at 400m or less, isn't it? Certainly I've never known Americans to train at 500m+ with them. The L85A1 used to be rated to 400m (w/ SUSAT) for individual fire.

              But yeah: Conflicts for the last 50 years have been pretty short-ranged affairs, and that - coupled with mechanisation - brought down the perceived need for a long-range clout. Then we get something that goes against the grain and designated marksmen and sniper weapons at squad level are all the rage.

              "Still better than a pistol, expensive toy or not - your Desert Eagle has an effective range of around 50m"

              To be fair, I expect they're better ranged than that, given that long-range target shooting is what they are designed for.

              1. Mayhem

                Re: You honestly think

                >I'd be very impressed if an individual rifleman could tag a target at 800m with an iron sighted M-16! I think the M-4 is rated at 400m or less, isn't it? Certainly I've never known Americans to train at 500m+ with them. The L85A1 used to be rated to 400m (w/ SUSAT) for individual fire

                Yep, the ranges I quoted were max ranges, from memory the M-16A2 with decent sights is really only effective out to 500-600m, while the M4 (which is just the carbine version under a new name) tends to top out at 2/3 that so around 350-450m.

                The updated L85A2 from memory is one of the longest effective ranged assault rifles, along with the german G-36 - most of the other major assault rifles like the FA-MAS or Steyr Aug are 300-400m tops.

                You're dead right that the changes in conflicts have moved to a requirement of putting lotsa lead in the right direction, ironic that the low impact guerrilla style wars everyone is getting involved in now have one side using a lot of hunting weapons, which tend to have a significant range improvement, if at the cost of ROF.

                Says it all really that someone else mentioned using Javelins as a fall back long range weapon, at £60k a pop.

                That, and I like Vic's idea of throwing the Desert Eagle, though I suspect it makes for a better club at close range.

            2. Vic

              Re: You honestly think

              > the various AK designs tend to be accurate out to only 350-400m

              Doesn't really matter. The primary purpose of the AK is to go "ratatat" and get everyone heading for cover. Hitting them is really an incidental bonus...

              > your Desert Eagle has an effective range of around 50m

              You can fling a 2Kg lump 50m and still hit something? I'm impressed.

              Vic.

            3. dssf
              Happy

              Re: You honestly think

              The larger of the DEs may be good for possibly two things:

              When undiscovered: Fire for effect (to get the enemy to die from excessive laughter)

              When trapped/outnumbered/meeting one's maker: fire to break one's own neck.

              I think I fired a DE on a controlled, indoor range, in 1992, and that mother***cker was heavy, and LOUD. I thought the DEAD could be awoken with it. The recoil definitely was a pure bitch. I thought it was shittier than a .45 cal, and I almost never hit ANYthing with a .45. I had better accuracy with smaller, easier to hold 9mm pistols, and had more confidence given the relative quietness and lesser recoil. The reverb in the range was a bitch, even with ear muffs on. Made me long for my JROTC days of .22 cal match rifles, when compared to the DE on an indoor range.

              As for CQB, either shotguns, grenades, or "The Room Broom" are probably the more desirable weapons even from a list of 50 pistol/short-stock options. No way in hell you can reliably safe a room -- unless the target is "Blade's" very fast "Biscuit Boy"....

              Rather than launching by gun, more excitement in getting into enemy confines might come from Tesla Grenades: lobby a trunk load into an area, then after a timer count, they start bouncing, like Bouncing Betties, lighting up the place, and going BOOM to some sort of masturbatory macho sound track for the benefit of the tosser/thrower/hurler. Clearing a room with a pistol is lunacy unless you have one of Shalon's people's TLC (Time Line Controller?) from Six Million Dollar Man, or one of those Scalosian Time Acceleration thingies from STTOS. Too many FPS games can make reality boring, eh?

          2. pepper

            Re: You honestly think

            Next you will suggest the armed forces should take out a knife when running...

            1. Stevie Silver badge

              Re: You honestly think

              Why would you need a knife when if you have done things properly you will have had the Sarn't Major order "fixed-bayonets" before you start running?

            2. MissingSecurity
              Trollface

              Re: You honestly think

              And remember the bomb kit for the fast defuse...

            3. TheRealRoland

              Re: You honestly think

              >Take a knife running

              Well, the NRA wants teachers with guns, so they can protect their students 'in time of need'...

              ”A pointed stick?!"

              "Bananas. How to defend yourself against a man armed with a banana."

              But, I'm glad zmodem has had his laugh for today.

              1. Zmodem

                Re: You honestly think

                you should watch more tv, 9mm dont kill people and why the police use them, its why american troops like the colt 45, because it kills in 1 shot

                sidearms probaly never get used by the everyday soldier so there is no real point having them outside of trench warfare or jungles

                1. Vic

                  Re: You honestly think

                  > you should watch more tv

                  You should watch less...

                  Vic.

            4. Lupus

              Re: You honestly think

              But of course! If you're carrying a knife, you're not carrying a gun, so you'll run faster!

              It's just common sense.

          3. Eddy Ito Silver badge

            Re: You honestly think

            I think it's a .50 caliber think lock leading to a misconception that all .50s are the same. You know, it's the 'a .50 cal. (AE) is a .50 cal. (BMG)' mindset. I think he is also ignoring the fact that a hit (with a 9) is worth more than a miss (with a .50).

        3. jason 7

          @Zmodem

          So when and where did you serve in Iraq or Afghanistan? How many tours did you do?

          Just interested in your wealth of experience of combat situations.

          Kind of intrigued about these 500 yard gun battles with over-powered handguns and shotguns. Did you not mean 50 yards?

          1. Zmodem

            Re: @Zmodem

            "So when and where did you serve in Iraq or Afghanistan? How many tours did you do?"

            im no army man, the desert eagle was made in the 90s, when shotguns weight 8kg, a reinvented desert eagle with todays metals, would server more use with 3 people having them with 10 clips each, then 1 person with a shotgun

            1. rhydian

              Re: @Zmodem

              By your arguments of shot weight/calibre being better than magazine capacity we should give all our soldiers sawn-off 12 bores firing deer shot...

            2. Eddy Ito Silver badge

              Re: @Zmodem

              "a reinvented desert eagle with todays metals, would server more use with 3 people having them with 10 clips each"

              Two points, first I have a 30+ year old shotgun that weighs a tick over 8 lb not 8 kg and the ones made with "todays metals" run closer to 7 lb but most of that is in the synthetic stock not the metal bits. Second, you need to learn a little about material stress so here's a quick primer. A higher pressure round needs more material to keep it from coming apart in all the wrong directions and the larger the diameter is the larger the stress in the metal so again more metal is required to keep it from coming apart. No matter what you do it will still require a certain amount of high strength steel unless you have far more dollars than sense and don't go thinking that S&W's scandium frames are much more than an expensive aluminium alloy and such a wonderful modern technology because aluminum frames have been around since about the 1950s.

              1. Zmodem

                Re: @Zmodem

                its still over 3.4 kg, and the users only main weapon, and cannot carry an a assault rifle of any kind, a shotgun case is still bigger then any bullet and kill range is still only 12 yards

            3. jason 7
              FAIL

              Re: @Zmodem

              "I'm no army man"

              Yes it's bloody obvious. One shot within ten yards and you'd crap your pants like the rest of us.

              Stick to packing your 360 controller instead. Fantasy warrior!

              1. Zmodem

                Re: @Zmodem

                if im in london, i just go give them a slap

                1. Zmodem

                  Re: @Zmodem

                  either way, if you have been in the army a few years and not just left school, you wouldnt notice a bag of sugar hanging under your arm after a week or so, and have a desert eagle as your side arm, and still have your full assault rifle

                  1. Heathroi
                    Holmes

                    Re: @Zmodem the

                    I'd suggest that its not just a bag of sugar but adding to the total of kit that a defence establishment has figured out that a combat soldier needs to drag round.

                  2. Psyx

                    Re: @Zmodem

                    "if you have been in the army a few years and not just left school, you wouldnt notice a bag of sugar"

                    Three bags of sugar. 2 for the poser-piece and 1 for ammunition. Yeah: Because it's fun to carry 30kg+ of kit and then carry another 3kg of trash just for fun up mountains in 40C heat. Are you seriously still trying to argue the point that a .50AE is anything other than a fap-off piece for gamers and gangstas?

                    "hanging under your arm after a week or so"

                    Under your arm? So you're not wearing your vest then? Or is that magic kevlar and ceramics you have on, which is paper-thin?

                    1. Muscleguy Silver badge

                      Re: @Zmodem

                      " Or is that magic kevlar and ceramics you have on, which is paper-thin"

                      I expect zmodem is imagining the level where he has done the side quest and got the mythril plate armour with added anti grav/speed boots [+30.+15](+25,+40) while also playing in 'so piss easy your 8yo could do it' mode.

                  3. Roger Stenning
                    Stop

                    Re: @Zmodem

                    Oh, don't be an idiot all your life, boy. Life is far too short.

                    I served with the Territorial Army, and while that might have been something of a joke back then, it's all too serious now. When I trained, it was with a 9mm SMG as my primary weapon, the 7.62mm LMG as a secondary weapon, and the 9mm pistol as a toy that we needed to be familiar with. The infantry trained with 7.62mm all the way.

                    These days, my present-day equivalents are training and actually operating with 9mm pistols, 5.56mm rifles and light machine guns, 7.62mm GPMGs, as well as 40mm grenade launchers, and other munitions besides.

                    Not one of them considers the IMI Desert Eagle to be a valid choice. Not one of them has a moment of patience for a keyboard warrior like yourself.

                    You want to earn respect? Join up with a unit that has more than half a chance of being deployed in the nasty places of the world, either as a reservist or a regular.

                    Only then, when you have earned that Operational Service Medal (what used to be called a General Service Medal) will anyone really pay much more than pico second of interest in the utter rubbish that you are pedalling.

                    Formerly 24910712 Cpl Stenning, RMP(v)

            4. Vic

              Re: @Zmodem

              > im no army man

              ...And you hide it so well...

              Vic.

          2. Arctic fox
            Trollface

            @jason 7 RE: "Did you not mean 50 yards?" I would imagine the he in common with.........

            ................most "pistoleers" would have difficulty hitting the proverbial barn (let alone its door), even at 50 yards, with any kind of side-arm. I can see him now going over the top* with his DE in one hand and a Ruger Blackhawk in the other - in his fantasies.

            *I am not sure whether that expression is used in the way I meant it in US English. If not, then for our friends across the pond it is World War One slang used by British soldiers meaning to leave your trench and attack across "no man's land".

            1. jason 7
              Thumb Up

              Re: @jason 7 RE: "Did you not mean 50 yards?" I would imagine the he in common with.........

              I was being generous I know.

              I remember reading up that after the Korean war to investigate body armour they pulled together all the injury stats from WW2 and up to Korea and found that in actual fact, in battle, you have much chance of being hit by an aimed bullet as you have with a random one or shrapnel. It's just a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Plus most injuries occured within ranges of 300 meters not 2000 as has always been specified by the army ballistic rule book.

              Basically in a actual battle situation accuracy and range goes to pieces. Being able to spray a lot of ammo very quickly in the enemies general direction is often the most common scenario.

              Hence why there was a move to smaller caliber ammunition like the 5.56mm that didnt need to have effective aimed stopping power over the longer range 7.62mm.

              Taking out bad guys from 100m away with your Desert Eagle is for the bad guy in the Steven Segal movies.

              You might hit an elk at 10m with it though.

              1. Arctic fox
                Thumb Up

                @jason 7 RE: "I was being generous I know." I would argue that you were being positively.....

                ...saintly! As for the elk I suspect that that king of the forest would likely make cover before our "correspondent" managed to hit him. Though he might manage entirely randomly to fell a few trees while he was at it. :)

    5. Flawless101
      Joke

      The CTs armed forces should also look into using bunny hopping to get to unreachable locations and gain superior speed over the Ts other combatants..

      1. Richard 81

        @Flawless101

        They should also be taught to fire a rocket at their feet while in mid jump will boost their jump considerably, thus allowing them to reach even more inaccessible locations.

        1. BonerNose
          Thumb Up

          Re: @Flawless101

          Oh how I chuckled =D

    6. Dana W
      FAIL

      Desert Eagle? Are you kidding?

      Why??? Seriously, it's a silly, silly gun. For a start its HUGE, it's heavy, its clumsy, it has terrible capacity, and it has all the concealability of a watermelon.

      I've been shooting since I was 18 and I've seen quite a few people with Desert Eagles, and whereas I hate the people who try to disparagingly compare weapons with genitalia, the Desert Eagle comes close. it's a gun favored by insecure man children desperately trying to overcompensate for something.

      It's the trophy wife, combover, cheap sports car, midlife crisis of handguns . It's usually in the hands of skinny short guys trying to prove they are "real men" and people who do 99% of their shooting on an XBOX.

      1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: Desert Eagle? Are you kidding?

        "...... it's a gun favored by insecure man children desperately trying to overcompensate for something......" On visits to ranges in the US it used to be almost certain you would find someone swaggering around with one. Nearly every bloke in the place would want to shoot it once, just for the experience, but none but said "compensators" would want to shoot it again. Amusingly, I did note that most women at the range also wanted to shoot "a big one" just as much as the average guy.....

        1. laird cummings
          Facepalm

          Re: ...someone swaggering...

          Even the other shooters think the guy with IMI's chrome paperweight is an idiot.

          Personally, have never bothered to even pick one up.

          I have, however, had my shooting position peppered with cases from a DE in .50AE with a bad extractor. THAT was sufficiently annoying that I cut my range time short that day, and have never since agreed to share a shooting line with anyone carrying one of those chrome bricks.

        2. Fatman Silver badge

          Re: ... most women at the range ....

          I do know one woman, who, just before she had to return her ex's Desert Eagle 50, went to the firing range with it, and shot targets.

          As required by the divorce court, she handed it over along with the last target she shot with it.

          I wonder what he did to 'deserve' her putting all of the rounds shot through the genital area of the target???

          But, he got his "toy" back.

        3. Dana W
          Happy

          Re: Desert Eagle? Are you kidding?

          Since I'm not a bloke, perhaps I miss the point. I also live up north where most people are reasonably sane. There was one of those guys last time we were there with his girlfriend, he was trying to impress her. Everybody in the range was laughing at him.

        4. Ron Christian

          Re: Desert Eagle? Are you kidding?

          I'm not exactly sure what you're talking about. As previously mentioned, the DE is routinely chambered in .357 mag, .44 Mag, and (rarely) .50 AE. I own a Ruger Super Blackhawk (single action wild west revolver) in .44 Mag, and shoot it regularly (although after 18 rounds or so, I'm done with it for that visit). The gun is uncomfortable to shoot and the noise and kick are prodigious. On the other hand, it'll knock over a rather large steel plate at 25 yards where my 9mm will only go "tink".

          Getting to the point: I rented a DE in .44 Mag one time, and was somewhat surprised at how much more comfortable it was to shoot than the Blackhawk, partly because of the increased mass and partly because of the gas operation. I wouldn't consider it to be something someone shoots "just once" and I don't see any real swaggering potential, to be perfectly honest. It's a massive gun, but that's because it shoots a high powered round.

          .357 and .44 Mag are fairly common on the range in the US, and .357 Mag in particular is considered the "top stopper" for a defense round. .44 Mag is not generally considered a common defense round, being rather unmanageable in a tactical situation, but .44 Special (same slug, less powder) is.

          ...so I'm a little puzzled by this "desperately trying to compensate" thing. Unless one's experience with firearms was limited to the world of Ian Fleming, where .25 ACP is considered an effective defense round and .32 a top stopper.

          Now, the .50 AE is a bit ridiculous. But the .50 AE is not considered a round for personal defense even in the movies.

    7. Jon Green
      Paris Hilton

      First slug in the bad guy; second slug in the Moon.

      'Nuff said.

    8. Anonymous Coward
      Facepalm

      Ooh! a conversation about guns. Let me paint my neck red, get my cock out and start wanking.

      1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
        FAIL

        Re: madra

        "Ooh! a conversation about guns. Let me paint my neck red, get my cock out and start wanking." Better still, you could drop one of those groundless prejudices you have been spoonfed and actually hear from people that actually have shot weapons, rather than just people that hate those that have. For a start, this is one of the ranges I've shot at, not a redneck in sight, but plenty of bankers, several politicians, some civil servants, and even a doctor, but no wanking (maybe that's just some subconcious, Freudian, homo-erotic slip on your part?): http://www.serc.org.uk/

    9. Trollslayer Silver badge

      Desert Eagle?

      AKA the chrome plated penis.

      1. Danny 14 Silver badge

        Re: Desert Eagle?

        We engaged targets over 500m with either mortars or javelins. L85 hit little at at that range in practicality. Shooting at real things in doorways and windows is nothing at all like being on a range. Pistol hits at 10 are good enough for most but simple body armour stops 9mm hence why fibua prefers shotguns (or tank induced patio doors if roa l.ets you) Pistols are for remfs

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Seems to be good enough for Police too

    The Police service of Northern Ireland swapped out their old trusty revolvers for new Glock 17's a few years ago. Seems to be a popular weapon.

  3. HP Cynic

    No idea why it took 2 years to pick the exact gun almost everyone would have suggested in the first 2 mins of them saying "Let's replace our Brownings".

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
      Boffin

      "No idea why it took 2 years to pick the exact gun almost everyone would have suggested...." The British Army already had three versions of the SIG Sauer P226 in use, the L105A1 (standard P226), L106A1 (improved P226) and L117A2 (P229). Needless to say there were many in the Army that were quite happy with the SIG and thought it was better to buy more rather than introducing another pistol, another cleaning routine, more spares, etc. TBH, given the reports of happiness with the SIG, I'm surprised the Glock won unless there was some heavy discounting involved.

      The really funny bit is the EU spent lots of UK taxpayers' money giving out thousands of Glocks to the Iraqi police and national army after the invasion at the same time the MoD was still debating the best pistol question.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I was in Iraq at the time this happened...

        The EU and US presented the Iraqi's with 40,000 Glock pistols. I kid you not. 40,000. A week later a batch was discovered in Manchester.

        1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
          Trollface

          Re: I was in Iraq at the time this happened...

          You mean it fell off a truck in Manchester or was it shipped back (hopefully billed to the occupying forces)

          I like these cozy "industrial policy" deals pushed by our manufacturers and cronies.

          Same with the containers of AKMs ordered by Petraeus. Quite a lot went missing. Arm the people etc.

      2. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
        Boffin

        @Matt Bryant...

        Matt,

        I'm pretty sure there is a huge price difference if you go by the MSRP that they charge civilians.

        The Sig is approximately twice as expensive.

        I've shot both and I prefer the Sig because its metal not plastic, and has a bit more heft to it.

        Also I have large hands so I prefer the grip.

        I also like the trigger.

        But its just my opinion...

        1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

          Re: @Matt Bryant...

          "....if you go by the MSRP that they charge civilians......" The source in question works at the MoD. Allegedly, etc. I have friends in all types of low places.

    2. Sebring

      Now I'm perplexed as to which HP you're a "HP Cynic" about...

    3. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Happy

      I think you'll find 2 years is *quick* by the standards of this sort of thing.

      "No idea why it took 2 years to pick the exact gun almost everyone would have suggested in the first 2 mins of them saying "Let's replace our Brownings"."

      When the US chose a new handgun I think it took most of a decade before going with the Beretta.

      I did not know until recently that the Desert Eagle came from Israeli Defense Industries

      Has any one thought "Small guys try harder?"

    4. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Mainly because Glocks have a hell of a kick and a reputation for the exit chute jamming when least convenient.

      Brownings may be many things, but they're also tolerant of dirt.

      1. Ron Christian

        > Mainly because Glocks have a hell of a kick and a reputation for the exit chute jamming when least convenient.

        So... hang on... There might be a bit more felt recoil, the Glock being a slightly lighter firearm than the Sig, but "hell of a kick" doesn't scan, either for the Glock 17/19 or pretty much any firearm in 9mm. It's not that powerful a round.

        Moreover, Glocks have a pretty good reputation for reliability. I have a Glock 21 (.45 ACP) that would not feed reliably when I got it, but eventually found out the previous owner had mucked with it. After fixing what he'd done, it could shoot boxes of ammo without one FTF (failure to feed). I'm not sure I believe the stories that you can kick them around in the dirt and freeze them in a block of ice and they'll still fire, but they're considered reasonably reliable.

  4. graeme leggett

    testimony to design, or tradition

    that, aside from the number of rounds and the safety setup, the Browning was still judged to be up to the job?

    1. Danny 14 Silver badge

      Re: testimony to design, or tradition

      It shot bullets that killed people.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    9mm?

    I have to ask why replace underpowered 9mm with more of the same. The 10mm model would have been better, but for military use the FN Five-seveN would have been my choice as it will penetrate body armour. I'm guessing the reason is cost as usual (they'd have to splash out for decent ammo after all).

    1. richardcox13

      Re: 9mm?

      "NATO Standard Rounds" makes for simpler logistics, and in the end conventional wars are more about logistics than anything else.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: 9mm?

        Well yes that's right but as they aren't issuing side-arms to everyone, just those that are judged to need them why not give them the best tool for the job. (I don't know if its particularly common but the Five-seveN uses the same round as the P90 which is in use already with the US military at least).

        1. Psyx
          Pint

          Re: 9mm?

          "Well yes that's right but as they aren't issuing side-arms to everyone, just those that are judged to need them"

          10mm is better, but simply not in the logistics chain. It would cost a ton of cash and a whole bunch more testing and pen-pushing in order to deviate from the 9mm as common issue. And 25,000 is a vast number of sidearms, given the size of the UK military, so it's not really a particularly special issue weapon.

          "(I don't know if its particularly common but the Five-seveN uses the same round as the P90 which is in use already with the US military at least)."

          Where and by whom? [citation needed!]

          If it's only by a T1/T2 spec-ops team, then that doesn't really count as being an influential part of the logistics chain. It was twenty years after the SAS were first seen swaggering around with M203s before anyone else ever got to play with anything similar.

          "why not give them the best tool for the job."

          BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Man, that's funny. Since when has the UK military EVER had the best tool for the job? We still had boots that gave people trench foot until after the Falklands! We've never had a decent field radio, and it took twenty years of "Do we forward assist this week" to sort out the basic service rifle.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Where and by whom?

            First sales of P90 were made to Saudi Arabia in early 1990s; today it is believed that FN sold more than 20 000 of P90's to a wide variety of law enforcement agencies and military special operation units worldwide, including US Secret Service, Austrian Army rangers, Dutch BBE special operations forces, Belgian Army and others. Most interesting fact about adoption of P90 is that so far it has been adopted for the role, directly opposite to its original niche of "personal defense weapon". In fact, most services and agencies that adopted P90 use it for offensive roles, as a specialist or even a primary weapon for various assault teams, and other "professional small-arms users", as opposed to military personnel which primary functions do not include use of small arms.

            (no, its not from Wikipedia)

            1. Psyx
              Pint

              Re: Where and by whom?

              "First sales of P90 were made to Saudi Arabia..."

              I didn't see any mention of regular US forces though, as was cited. Non-military divisions of the US government procure their own bits and bobs and are outside of the NATO logistical chains. The British military aren't going to start using new ammo just because the US Secret Service have adopted it and have a few thousand rounds of it kicking around somewhere.

              The only NATO military that uses them is Belgium, and they own less than 200 is a Spec Ops capability.

              "(no, its not from Wikipedia)"

              For once Wiki seems to be a good source on the matter, giving a break-down of ownership and even specific numbers purchased.

              1. pepper

                Re: Where and by whom?

                Everyone rushed out to buy it after seeing Startgate SG-1!!

            2. Keir Snelling

              Re: Where and by whom?

              P90 is also used heavily by USAF Stargate Command.

              1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
                Happy

                Re: Where and by whom?

                "P90 is also used heavily by USAF Stargate Command."

                You beat me to it.

                TBH it wasn't till I saw it on CSI and googled it I realized it was real.

          2. Desk Jockey
            Pint

            Re: 9mm?

            There is nothing wrong with 9mm. It is cheap and still puts a painful hole in people. The 57 just puts a smaller, faster hole in people. 10mm is a bigger hole, but the costs outweigh the benefits.

            I would treat the armour piercing claims of any handgun round with a pinch of salt. Sure they might penetrate old style kevlar, but any competent army uses ceramic plate specced to stop assault rifle rounds up to and hopefully including sniper rounds. No handgun round can compete. That is why UK soldiers are meant to use their rifles first and pistols in emergencies.

            Adding the fact that the Taliban don't often have armour, just about every competent Western army has pretty much agreed that if you are shooting an armoured target with a pistol you are doing something wrong and thus 9mm is much simpler for all concerned. Even if you have to shoot a person with body armour with a pistol, just hit them in the gut several times until they fall over and then put a finishing shot in. Unlike computer games, you don't stay standing up and go 'ouch' if you get hit by 9mm even with body armour.

            For those who want to refer to those stories of crazy drugged up people shot 30 times by police before they went down, they werent wearing body armour, they were just pumped up and nuts. Using armour piercing arounds actually makes the problem worse because the bullet goes through them rather than bounces around until it hits something important. This is why the police like shotguns, even with body armour the force will still throw you back some. You probably wont get up unless you are wearing an iron man suit!

            1. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
              Boffin

              @Desk Jockey... Re: 9mm?

              First the 5.7x 28mm round is a fast round. In the FN 5N7 pistol, its a loud round and its not very effective unless you are using the steel core bullets which are only available for the Military.

              The P90 is meant as a close quarter gun. Not something that would be standard issue.

              The 5n7 pistol is a fun toy. Loud, and decent out to a good distance.

              I'm not sure how lethal the gun is when using the civilian rounds. Its a small higher speed projectile.

              In terms of stopping power in a pistol, you'd want a big fat, slower moving round. Since you're not going to use it for anything longer than 50 yards. (Your main battle rifle would be your primary weapon.)

              I'd say the .45 ACP is probably a better choice for stopping power. For home protection, JHPs work well.

              If you like Sigs, the 220 is a nice gun, or one of their 1911 models.

              The biggest advantage of the 9mm is that in a double stacked magazine you can hold 15 rounds in the grip, 20 if you have an extended magazine. the 1911 hold 8.

              1. Psyx
                Unhappy

                Re: @Desk Jockey... 9mm?

                "I'm not sure how lethal the gun is when using the civilian rounds. Its a small higher speed projectile."

                Pretty lethal, tragically. As used at... Fort Benning, was it?

            2. Ron Christian

              Re: 9mm?

              > Unlike computer games, you don't stay standing up and go 'ouch' if you get hit by 9mm even with body armour.

              Um, no, not really. Contrary to what is commonly seen in movies, the impact of a pistol round doesn't really throw people back onto the ground. The force absorbed by the target is identical to the force absorbed by the shooter as recoil, according to this guy named Newton. So if you're not knocked on your ass, the person you're shooting at is unlikely to be, either.

          3. Matt Bryant Silver badge

            Re: 9mm?

            ".....Where and by whom? [citation needed!]....." AFAIK the FN P90 is only used by specialist teams and police units, not as a main sidearm of any NATO partner and not at all in the UK.

          4. Magnus_Pym

            Re: 9mm?

            "Since when has the UK military EVER had the best tool for the job?"

            Agincourt?

            1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
              Boffin

              Re: 9mm?

              "Since when has the UK military EVER had the best tool for the job?" History has shown many times that the tool is often no better than the training and commitment of the man holding it. Outnumbered and underequipped British troops with the "outdated" SLR won the Falklands War for a reason.

              1. Psyx
                Stop

                Re: 9mm?

                "Outnumbered and underequipped British troops with the "outdated" SLR won the Falklands War for a reason."

                Erm... the other side had them, too!

                And there was absolutely *nothing* wrong with the SLR!!

                1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                  Pirate

                  Re: Psyx Re: 9mm?

                  "....Erm... the other side had them, too!...." No, they had FN FALs, which they complained about jamming a lot. They also had more nightvision kit, prepared positions, and more artillery. The Brits won at places like Goose Green because, when it mattered, our soldiers were better trained, more motivated and better led than theirs. And before you start saying it was just Argentinian conscripts at Goose Green, the Argentinian forces there were some of their best troops, such as the 25th 'Special' Infantry Regiment, and trained to their commando regime.

              2. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
                Boffin

                At Matt Bryant... Re: 9mm?

                "Since when has the UK military EVER had the best tool for the job?" History has shown many times that the tool is often no better than the training and commitment of the man holding it. Outnumbered and underequipped British troops with the "outdated" SLR won the Falklands War for a reason."

                The interesting thing is that with a .308 round. the SA-58s that were full auto tended to become 'spray and pray' weapons. The SA-58s that were semi-auto only worked fine.

                But to your point, the biggest difference is that the Argentines used conscripts who were suited up, armed and then dumped on the island. The Brits used professional troops. Now who do you think will win? ;-)

                I've had the fun of firing an MP-5 (9mm) FN-2000 (.223) and the P90 (5.7 full auto)

                I was the most accurate with the MP-5 because it was easier to fire short controlled burts and stay on target.

                The larger .223 kept pulling me off center.

                I guess if I had more time than just two mags with each gun, I could have mastered them. The point is that with a sub-machine-gun, I was able to control the recoil and keep on target. Didn't adjust well to the trigger and sights on the P90, but it was a rental. I also shot the 5n7 pistol and while loud, it was fairly accurate, however... so to is a .22 and the ammo costs a lot less.

                1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                  Boffin

                  Re: At Matt Bryant... 9mm?

                  ".....the Argentines used conscripts who were suited up, armed and then dumped on the island....." I refer you to my post from 12:17 GMT today regarding the Argentine 25th 'Special' Infantry Regiment at Goose Green. The "just homesick conscripts" myth was perpetuated after the war by those sympathetic to the Argentine cause who didn't like the idea of an "imperialst, colonialist" army beating what was supposed to be one of South America's finest armies. During the war, the Argentine junta had two reasons to hide the details of the troops it had on the islands; firstly, to stop the Brits getting an accurate intelligence picture of what they faced; and secondly, because they thought stressing the "conscripts only" message would be more popular with the Argentine public.

                  In reality, even the conscripts were highly-trained and well-equipped, as shown by the 5th Naval Infantry Battalion of the Argentine Marines at Tumbledown. The 5th refused orders to abandon their compromised positions twice, despite their being flanked on one side by the Gurkhas and having 2 Para coming through the positions in front of them. The 5th wanted to fight on but was ordered to surrender. They weren't lacking, it's just the British troops involved did a better job, despite having "inferior" tools.

          5. Ron Christian

            Re: 9mm?

            >> "(I don't know if its particularly common but the Five-seveN uses the same round as the P90 which is in use already with the US military at least)."

            > Where and by whom? [citation needed!]

            From the wiki:

            The P90 is currently in service with military and police forces in over 40 nations, such as Austria, Brazil, Canada, France, Malaysia, Poland, and the United States. In the United States, the P90 is in use with over 200 law enforcement agencies, including the U.S. Secret Service. The standard selective fire P90 is restricted to military and law enforcement customers, but since 2005, a semi-automatic carbine version has been offered to civilian shooters as the PS90.

            The Five-seven [pistol] is currently in service with military and police forces in over 40 nations, such as Canada, France, Greece, India, Poland, Spain, and the United States. In the United States, the Five-seven is in use with numerous law enforcement agencies, including the U.S. Secret Service. In the years since the pistol's introduction to the civilian market in the United States, it has also become increasingly popular with civilian shooters.

            1. Psyx
              Stop

              Re: 9mm?

              "From the wiki:

              The P90 is currently in service with military and police forces in over 40 nations, such as Austria, Brazil, Canada, France, Malaysia, Poland, and the United States. In the United States, the P90 is in use with over 200 law enforcement agencies, including the U.S. Secret Service."

              So: NOT the US military then. At all.

              Read the distribution numbers.

        2. Eddy Ito Silver badge

          Re: 9mm?

          The P90 is used by a few branches of DHS and the Secret Service but strictly speaking it isn't used by any standard military forces but that isn't to say it isn't available to special forces but then, they are special forces after all.

          1. Psyx
            Joke

            Re: 9mm?

            "The P90 is used by a few branches of DHS"

            Feck: I'd better pay for that sofa!!!

    2. Fibbles

      Re: 9mm?

      UK forces aren't likely to adopt the Five-seveN until its ammunition is NATO standard. The 5.7×28mm will only become a NATO standard round over the German arms industry's cold dead body.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: 9mm?

        Sounds like a good start. Practice before killing the US, UK, French, Russian, Swiss, Belgian and Israeli arms industries?

    3. annodomini2

      Re: 9mm?

      Probably have large stocks of 9mm ammo.

    4. S4qFBxkFFg

      Re: 9mm?

      Logistics I'd guess, if 9mm is a standard, it makes things simpler.

      Also, if an enemy isn't likely to be wearing armour, better penetration than a 9mm might not be desirable.

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: 9mm?

        > 5.7×28mm will only become a NATO standard round over the German arms industry's cold dead body.

        Simpler to invade Belgium again.

        1. Psyx
          Joke

          Re: 9mm?

          "Simpler to invade Belgium again."

          The problem with doing that is that it's easy to over-shoot, go through the whole place, and not realise until you're just outside Paris.

        2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
          Happy

          Re: 9mm?

          "Simpler to invade Belgium again."

          Careful we don't want to remind people of the unpleasantness during the middle of the last century, do we?

    5. Cucumber C Face
      Headmaster

      Re: 9mm?

      I've owned a Browning Hi-Power and fired Glock 9mm's. I've also shot .357 and .44 magnum handguns.

      Both the 9 mm's allowed me to put 2-3 times as many bullets into a man size target at 20 metres per unit time.

      If you get to draw, lift and perfectly aim your weighty Desert Eagle - and make that first shot count - fine. Otherwise you may achieve little more than deafen yourself and your target. But once you start trying to rapid fire the magnums you struggle with the recoil and getting the thing back on target.

      1. damian Kelly

        Re: 9mm?

        If you are using your 9milli its already gone shit yourself, i am going to die, titsup in a handbag, Beiruti unload and hit the deck is the sop and hope your mates behind you.

    6. Steve May 1
      FAIL

      Re: 9mm?

      9mm because it is the NATO standard pistol round. No matter how good any alternative might be, it will be useless if there aren't any around when you need them. Armies run on logistics and minimising the number of supply chains can matter more than individual weapon effectiveness. WW2 German armour was individually superior to feeble M4s and crude T34s but in the end numbers counted for more than quality.

      Military sidearms are the final defensive option under most circumstances. I suspect that their real effectiveness is debatable beyond the confidence boost they provide. From the pont of view of the average squaddie, the most imporatnt considerations are reliability, size and weight, not necessarily in that order. On a long deployment, size and weight will dominate since the weapon will seldom if ever actually be used but WILL have to be carried around at all imes.

      Given that friendlies are far more likely to be wearing body armour than unfriendlies, (in low-intensity conflicts at least), the pentrating powers of the Five-seveN round would seem to be a positive disadvantage. This will also be an issue in urban situationsm where penetration of walls etc generally leads to collateral damage. (Dead civillians.) The other significant advantage if the Five-seveN is lighter weight, but this is of no great consequence for sidearms.

      Desert Eagles are great for those over-compensating for something. Assuming they are expert shots, as they will nort get a second round off, being deafened and flash-blinded and with the barrel pointed at the ceiling. Using this analogy every squaddie should be issued a Barrett 50cal rifle. Terminal ballistics lie someway down the list of real world military specifications.

      I am astonished that the selection process took as little as two years, as normally it takes the pen pushers that long to work out what kind of biscuits to have at the procurement meetings.

  6. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

    OK

    Glock 17 - check.

    Crowbar - ...?

    HEV Suit - ??

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yes, but

    Is it running Android or Windows?

  8. Mondo the Magnificent
    Thumb Up

    Suck my Glock..

    .. was the sbumper sticker I had on my car in South Africa in 1997. It said "Gun Free S.A. suck my Glock" and was a stab at the anti-gun lobbyists who believed that law abiding, legal gun owners were the cause of violent crime that was rife from 1994 onwards.

    I bought my Glock Model 17, Generation 2 in 1994, a fine pistol indeed. Light, easy to maintain and strip, plus it held 17 rounds of Federal Hydrashok 117Gr +P hollow point rounds in the magazine.+ 1 in the "spout" which is always a round nosed full metal jacket in the chamber in case I ever shot myself in error.. as the Glock's safety mechanism is on the trigger

    Don't pull the trigger and it won't go off was the brainwashing I had to give myself when I forst took delivery of the Austrian potent polymer pointing device.

    It's a good choice for the armed forces, a proven design with a solid track record and the 17 is chambered for NATO's tried and tested 9x19mm ammo choice, 9mm ammo is easy to obtain (legally)

    Sure the legendary Browning HP 9mm has had a good run in the British forces, but it's time to move on and I think the MOD made a wise choice with the G17 as a replacement

    Useless info:

    Strangely enough most believe the Glock 17 got it's model designation from the magazine capacity, i.e. 17

    But it was the 17th patent of the company, hence the model number..

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: Suck my Glock..

      > Federal Hydrashok

      Why U buy fancy stuff? Standard ball not good enough?

      1. Mondo the Magnificent
        Holmes

        Re: Suck my Glock..

        @Destroy All Monsters

        > Federal Hydrashok

        Why U buy fancy stuff? Standard ball not good enough?

        No they are not, at close on 1000FP/s they tend to go straight through the [human] target and don't always immobilise them

        Hollow points cause massive tissue damage and mass bleeding, thus almost always rendering your target immobile in an efficient manner.

        Now please bear in mind, I have never shot or even pointed at any human being with my weapon, but if I have to, the hollow point will do the job effectively.

        I do use RNFMJ for target practise at the range though, consideably cheaper and a little more accurate on the long distance targets.

      2. Rampant Spaniel

        Re: Suck my Glock..

        having been to SA (and loved it) I can understand the OP's wish to be well armed, most of the wildlife and a good number of the locals are pretty deadly (or at least were then). The old Joburg domestic departure lounge was scary enough, driving round some parts had you white knuckled and doing meercat impressions at every intersection. Having said that I would go back in an instant, beautiful country, amazing wildlife and truly awesome people. They also play decent rugby when they aren't tearing northern hemisphere teams apart ;-)

      3. eldel

        Re: Suck my Glock..

        In general - no. Standard ball is only used for practice (coz it's cheaper) and by the military (as per the Geneva convention I believe). JHP is way more effective and less likely to pop out the other side. Personally I ask the local cops what they use - Hornady Critical Duty/Defense seems to be the order of the day in mid Texas. If they are willing to spend the FBI's time and money figuring out the 'best' stopping round then I'll go with that.

        1. sandman

          Re: Suck my Glock..

          Yep, you can only use solid ammo if you are a "combatant" according to the Geneva Convention. As a civilian you can use whatever the hell you like, subject to the law within your own country.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Suck my Glock..

            There's an ex SA policeman who drinks round here, says he used to rub ginger on the rounds cos he and his mates believed that you just had to wing someone to give them septicaemia. Oh well. Makes me think of the cover illustrations of the Tom Sharpe novels such as Riotous Assembly, featuring an old lady and a four-barrelled elephant gun.

            1. dssf

              Re: Suck my Glock..

              You owe me two keyboards....

              Can the septicaemia-inducing ginger stay on the tip long enough at the speed the bullet is going? I am assuming friction/heat will take it off the bullet unless the person is shot under 50 feet.

              Would be interesting to see the coroner reports collations if garlic-induced septicaemia started popping up around the world.

              (On a humorous side: Makes me wonder whether Ginger Team had a local set of human mutants or vampire equivalents, but required ginger vice garlic. )

      4. Matt Bryant Silver badge
        Boffin

        Re: Suck my Glock..

        ".....Why U buy fancy stuff? Standard ball not good enough?" If your life depends on it, and Mundo seems to have believed he was in danger in SA, then you will want the "best" bullet hitting the target. After all, even Hydra-Shok is cheap compared to the value you put on your own life.

    2. Joe User
      Thumb Down

      Re: Suck my Glock..

      I owned a Glock 17 a few years ago. The trigger insert does not qualify as a real safety in my book. If you keep a round in the chamber and anything gets inside the trigger guard and pulls back on the trigger, it will fire. The Glock's internal hammer is nice, but I prefer a real safety switch on my pistols.

      1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: Suck my Glock..

        ".....The trigger insert does not qualify as a real safety in my book......" IIRC, it was blamed for the infamous incident when a cop giving a gun safety briefing to school kids managed to shoot himself with an "unloaded" Glock:

        http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v=2442_rmiidY&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3D2442_rmiidY

        1. Rampant Spaniel

          @Matt

          Whats the old adage about treating every gun like it's loaded? That's one thing I liked about side by sides, you would carry them broken so there were no accidents (plus you could easily tell how dangerous a friends gun was) and you damn well didn't point it at anybody or anything you didn't want dead. From the minute we went near guns we were always told every gun is loaded, even the ones you 'know' aren't.

          1. despairing citizen
            Big Brother

            Re: @Matt

            You mean like thames valley firearms officer shooting civilian colleague in a class room with a weapon he didn't think was loaded.

            Proving that the most dangerous component of any weapon system,

            .... the nut behind the trigger.

            1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
              Boffin

              Re: despairing citizen Re: @Matt

              ".....Proving that the most dangerous component of any weapon system,.... the nut behind the trigger." More accurately, the HUMAN BEING behind the trigger. Making mistakes is human, which is why we have gun use procedures that both coppers should have been following but which they did not. Not following a procedure does not make you a "nut", it may mean you are incompetent but not necessarily a "nut". Adam Lanza was a "nut", the problem is we need to treat the Adam Lanza's of the World and either keep them away from guns and/or away from the public, without reducing the rights of those that have no "nuttiness".

              We also need to face up to one other and very simple bit of empirical evidence - when the "nuts" do get behind the trigger, there are two common points in their target selection - it's not just the areas which offer the biggest pain to the society the "nuts" want to strike out at, it's also areas which cannot defend themselves. When was the last time a "nut" went on a rampage at a shooting range, an NRA meeting, or an armed police presence?

              1. despairing citizen
                FAIL

                Re: despairing citizen @Matt

                Which part of check the F***ing weapon is empty prior to entering a building, is difficult, hard, or memory oversight, if you are trained firearms user.

                Never did it once in a couple of decades of handling and instructing on a range of firearms.

                Anybody who does not follow standard safe handling procedure, has a demonstrable lack of regard for human life, and hence by definition is a nut.

                It might be understandable as a mistake if the operator had only 2 hours sleep in the last 36 hours, and that was huddled up in the lee of a bush with the rain going sideways with the high winds. Walking into a prepped instructional session with a loaded weapon.... well just beggers belief if not for the evidence of the crippled victim whoose only mistake was to turn up to work.

  9. Dr_N Silver badge
    Happy

    Love some of the posts on this topic.

    "Handguns-woooo, I'm getting a warm tingly feeling just saying the ******* word!"

  10. Rampant Spaniel

    Just out of curiosity (I prefer a bow) I checked to see if I could buy one. Apparently (and worryingly?) I can, they also make a 50cal version for 13k. Poor Bambi, there wouldn't be enough left for a sunday roast.

    1. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
      Boffin

      @ Pampant Spaniel

      .50 cal is the diameter of the bullet.

      The big gun aka Ma Duce or M2 machine gun shoots a .50 BMG. You can't put that in to a handgun.

      But there is a .50 AE round. As well as a .50 caliber muzzle loader.

      The 50 AE is a big round. But so too are the revolver rounds like the .480.

      If you were to use the .50 AE for hunting, you would need to be close and its not going to do the damage you seem to expect because you are thinking of the BMG.

      1. Robert Sneddon

        Stupid guns

        "The big gun aka Ma Duce or M2 machine gun shoots a .50 BMG. You can't put that in to a handgun."

        Bets? People do the stupidest things with firearms. There's a Russian company who make revolvers chambered for .600 Nitro Express. They kick a bit.

        http://www.gunspictures.net/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/boom_pfeiferzeliska3_gunspictures_thumb.jpg

        Long time back I got to fire someone's Swing pistol chambered in 7.62mm. That kicked a bit too.

      2. Rampant Spaniel

        @ Ian

        I was referring to this :)

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accuracy_International_AW50

        It's $13000 there's a couple of dealers have them here. Given the comments about taking out radar installations & lightly armored vehicles I assumed it would pack enough punch to do some serious damage to bambi. To be fair i am guessing as this isn't anywhere close to what I would use for hunting.

      3. despairing citizen
        Happy

        Re: @ Pampant Spaniel

        "The big gun aka Ma Duce or M2 machine gun shoots a .50 BMG. You can't put that in to a handgun."

        You do realise that now somebody in Huntsville has probably taken that statement as an engineering challenge!

  11. Grimster
    Black Helicopters

    Re: Suck my Glock..

    Ball generally makes a hole, hollow point spends its kinetic energy in your body and forces you to stop what you're doing.

    Both however, when injected at speed will make you feel somewhat unwell.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Suck my Glock..

      "Ball generally makes a hole, hollow point spends its kinetic energy in your body and forces you to stop what you're doing."

      and hollow points can potentially get you put in front of a firing squad (dependant on who gets to you first), for breaking international treaties on what military forces are allowed to use as small arms amuniton. (along with other explosive ammo)

      yes folks the police can use stuff that the military has been banned from using for the last century, because it was deemed in-human.

      ...don't quite understand the logic, but nobody said the law has to be logical

  12. Camilla Smythe

    Don't Understand.

    "Bootnotes

    *The Glock has triple safety mechanisms which mean that its firing pin will not move forward unless the trigger is back, the trigger cannot be moved back unless a finger is pressing on its front and the weapon will not fire if dropped. The weapon's hammer is internal, and as such cannot snag on clothing or be bumped inadvertently into a different position.

    By contrast the Browning had only a manual safety catch for its hammer only, and the external hammer could fairly easily be inadvertently brushed or knocked back to full cock. This meant that it was in general forbidden to carry it with a round in the chamber, as the risk of an accidental discharge would be unacceptably high (although certain very highly trained special operations units did carry the Browning with a round up the spout as routine, until that community moved to Sig Sauer pistols in the early 1990s). Unfortunately this meant that in general it would take quite a long time to get off a shot, as the user would have to work the slide to chamber a round after drawing the weapon.

    The Browning did have a design feature in which its hammer could be put at half-cock (aka "half bent"). Provided the mechanism was working correctly, even if the trigger was pulled from this position the weapon would not fire: and if the hammer was joggled it could not travel forward beyond half-cock, preventing a chambered round being fired. If a round was chambered, the user would need only to thumb the hammer all the way back to full cock in order to shoot.

    However there were several ways this could go wrong, and the standard British manual for Browning use specifically forbade the use of the "half bent" position as a safety device."

    It seems to me that a side arm/pistol is a weapon of last resort.

    When you draw it there should be no 'safeties'.

    1. Rampant Spaniel

      Re: Don't Understand.

      True, but whilst you are bouncing around in a vehicle with it pointing towards your leg \ your fellow soldier, a safety might be appreciated.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Don't Understand.

        "True, but whilst you are bouncing around in a vehicle with it pointing towards your leg \ your fellow soldier, a safety might be appreciated."

        Ah, the so-called 4ton safety test. load weapon, apply safety, throw the weapon into the back of a truck, does it fire?

        Glock, probably not

        Any SA80, probably yes, as some prat put a trigger interupt "safety" on it, hence any jolt that trips the sear lets the weapon fire. (most rifle safeties block the pin in some way shape or form)

        This is why SA80 family weapons have high trigger pull weights, as it reduces the number of people shot with their own weapon, or that of their buddy sat next to them, when the when is jolted.

        PS

        if you pull the trigger real hard (like a physically fit bloke with lots of adrenilin going through your system), you can make it fire with the cross bolt safety on, not only does it fire, the bent safety then hold the trigger in the "pulled" position, particularly impressive if you have it set to auto, with another 27 rounds in the mag.

    2. Psyx

      Re: Don't Understand.

      "It seems to me that a side arm/pistol is a weapon of last resort."

      Correct.

      "When you draw it there should be no 'safeties'."

      There should be no *manual* safety features that you have to physically waste time engaging. There should most *certainly* be enough safety features to enable carrying a round in the chamber without risk of discharge.

      All of the Glock's safety features are passive. ie: You don't need to physically do anything or move any manual safety catch: As long as you are intending to fire the weapon and have a finger on the trigger, it will discharge when you pull the trigger. That's frankly the ideal situation.

      1. jason 7
        Facepalm

        Re: Don't Understand.

        I read somewhere that the pistol is only really there to help get you back to your rifle which you should never have dropped in the first place.

        1. Psyx
          Go

          Re: Don't Understand.

          "I read somewhere that the pistol is only really there to help get you back to your rifle which you should never have dropped in the first place."

          You should have never had it disconnected from you unless you were sleeping!

          The sling system is one of the best things about it. It was designed so that there's pretty much no excuse for putting the rifle down.

  13. Dana W
    Happy

    Super choice! It's safe, reliable, easy to service, and accurate. That's why I carry one every day! Though I favor the Glock 36. It's slim, light easy to conceal and it's a .45 .

    I always thought it was a shame we moved away from .45 though it makes sense in maximum ammo compatibility wit our allies.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Love it. Your mates think your strange for wearing a wristwatch, but carrying a gun causes no comment.

      1. Rampant Spaniel

        sorry, I guess attraction was the wrong word, rationale?

      2. Dana W

        That's because I taught most of them gun safety and they trust me to be responsible adult with it.

    2. Rampant Spaniel

      Just curious but what is the attraction to concealing a weapon? Why not just carry it openly holstered? I'm not saying its wrong but I grew up in the countryside where people wandered around with their side by sides broken over their arm.

      1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
        Boffin

        "....what is the attraction to concealing a weapon?....." Well, it's not as much the concealing it as the carrying it somewhere on your person in the first place. Not many people actually want to walk around with a holster strapped to their leg, most people want a weapon they can drop into a coat pocket or - in the case of women - into a handbag. Of course, doing so automatically makes it "concealed" by definition even if you didn't have a nefarious reason for doing so. It's one of those neat legal tricks the anti-gun lobby came up with to discourage ordinary citizens from protecting themselves.

        1. Rampant Spaniel

          Ah right thanks. Personally I assume everyone on the mainland is carrying. Makes life easier. I haven't used pistols much, never tended to have a need, but they were usually wedged in a belt (unloaded). We have no concealed carry here (Hawai'i) which seems to work quite well but it does upset a lot of folks moving here who like to carry. Personally I don't care if its concealed or not, thats not really the point, it should be just whether or not you can carry (having lived in both carry and non carry places I can see the benefits of each). If it's concealed or not doesn't really make much of a difference to me.

        2. Psyx
          Stop

          "Not many people actually want to walk around with a holster strapped to their leg, most people want a weapon they can drop into a coat pocket"

          Which is kinda strange to my mind.

          Carrying an open firearm as a deterrent makes some kind of sense.

          Carrying a concealed firearm so that you are still a target for crime but if you are then it is immediately escalated into a lethal confrontation makes very little sense.

          1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
            Joke

            Re: Psyx

            ".....Which is kinda strange to my mind....." Well, for a start, have you ever considered the endless and painful queries from the fairer sex - "Dear, does this holster make me look fat?"

            Then again, it could be a boon to the economy as many women would insist on a holster to match each outfit, just like their handbags and shoes, and they'd have their "going away" pistol, which would have to be different from their "shopping" pistol, and their "winter" pistol would have to have a faux-fur warmer.....

            1. Psyx
              Pint

              Re: Psyx

              "Then again, it could be a boon to the economy as many women would insist on a holster to match each outfit, just like their handbags and shoes, and they'd have their "going away" pistol, which would have to be different from their "shopping" pistol, and their "winter" pistol would have to have a faux-fur warmer....."

              I think that many gun owners pretty much do that in order to justify owning thirty different firearms anyway. I know that a lot of pistol shooters I knew seemed to need a firearm for every conceivable event or occasion.

              "Now this is for home defence when it's raining outside but not much, and if I have guests over. But not if it's a Tuesday. I *had* to buy this one for Tuesdays..."

              It was the male version of shoe-buying, I swear.

    3. streaky Silver badge
      IT Angle

      "I always thought it was a shame we moved away from .45 though it makes sense in maximum ammo compatibility wit our allies."

      Probably because unless you're in the movies both it and it's silly-sister the .50 are stupid rounds to be firing from a sidearm. Forget semi auto they're worthless in a firefight with rounds that big, the second one is going nowhere near the first. Also the compatibility thing..

  14. N2 Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    About time too!

    However, I actually much preferred using a 686 Smith & Wesson revolver, chambered .357 magnum. But firing a .38 special with dosnt have as much clang as the magnum round, far more accurate than any automatic pistol I tried.

    The Glock will be a good replacement for the Browning & hopefully is able to withstand the odd rogue round if we still buy our ammo from Pakistan - a few years ago they had QC issues & could shatter the breech of the Browning.

    As for the Desert Eagle brigade, that is like a Lamborghini Countach, best for hanging a picture of it on a 12 year olds bedroom wall. I would choose that last, at least you might frighten them off with the bang, as it does that very well!

  15. stu 4
    Holmes

    shooting Glock 17 from a UK newbie.

    Was in Florida for 2 weeks in November there, so wandered into gun shop/range and borrowed a glock for some shooting practice. First time I've ever shot a handgun. Quality america safety briefing : "here's a pair of ear protectors and shades. how many boxes of ammo do you want?".

    luckily I'd watched enough TV to work it all out.

    really nice gun - amazed me how light it was - feels like a toy... till you start blasting things with 9mm bullets :-)

    I had a go of a 45 too. Was amazed how much bigger the bullets were. And the gun felt more unwieldy. Though you could feel the extra kick.

    Still amazes me you can wander in off the street in the USA, not knowing one end of a gun from the other and 5 mins later be shooting up a range with a 9mm handgun... whereas over here even an SAS bloke gets locked up for years for having one in his house....

    stu

    1. Dana W
      WTF?

      Re: shooting Glock 17 from a UK newbie.

      Any shop up here that did that would be closed so quickly that it would just be a blur.

      On the other hand did you ASK for instruction? Just because they were stupid was no reason for you to follow suit, Florida is a lunatic asylum.

      1. James O'Shea Silver badge

        Re: shooting Glock 17 from a UK newbie.

        "Florida is a lunatic asylum."

        No, we're not. Not when compared with Texas, anyway. And Alaska.

        Hmmm. On further consideration, perhaps it's time to move to somewhere civilized, like, oh, West Virginia.

        1. Dana W
          Meh

          Re: shooting Glock 17 from a UK newbie.

          I live in Minnesota. We have guns, we even have concealed carry, but we also have training requirements and real background checks and don't go handing pistols out like party favors.

          Any shop that would hand a pistol and ammo to someone who never shot before is criminally negligent at best, and flatly stupid at worst.

          I've taught gun safety and how to shoot. The dangerous and silly things an untrained person will do with a handgun will turn your hair gray.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Carry law

            MN has "carry" laws. MN Statute 624 does not address, permit, require, of forbid "concealed" carry.

            Sorry, anal and pedantic, but it's a pet peeve of mine.

            Thank you for your work in gun safety training, by the way.

          2. eldel

            Re: shooting Glock 17 from a UK newbie.

            I've taught gun safety and how to shoot. The dangerous and silly things an untrained person will do with a handgun will turn your hair gray.

            I used to run a ladies handgun training class - I always knew I was in for a stressful evening when 2 friends would come in together for their first class. They always want to 'share' the experience - which means turning to speak to their friend. Normally forgetting about the bang stick in the hand.

            On the plus side - they do listen - which makes them a damn sight easier to teach than the guys that come in convinced they can outshoot John Wayne because they've watched the movies. How often do you have to explain that gangsta style shooting is just on the screen and that 9mm handguns do not have an infinite magazine.

          3. N2 Silver badge

            Re: shooting Glock 17 from a UK newbie.

            "The dangerous and silly things an untrained person will do with a handgun will turn your hair grey."

            Agreed, when I was range qualified, we had the cheap and nasty SMG & when the weapon was being cocked, if not done correctly, it could chamber a round & fire, even though the safety catch was on - shudder!

            1. This post has been deleted by its author

            2. Trevor Marron

              Re: shooting Glock 17 from a UK newbie.

              "Agreed, when I was range qualified, we had the cheap and nasty SMG & when the weapon was being cocked, if not done correctly, it could chamber a round & fire, even though the safety catch was on - shudder!"

              When I was a SAA instructor I had a cadet student on the range cock his SMG with a cupped hand in the rain. He only got the working parts back past the magazine before the cocking lever slipped out of his hand. The resulting bang and sight of a smoking hole in the ground by the toe of my boot remained with me for a long time. It was early in my career as a SAA and something I made sure would not happen again.

              That said, I liked the SMG, it was basic but it worked almost always.

          4. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: shooting Glock 17 from a UK newbie.

            I would be happy to have a full background check, training, psych evaluation and cavity search to be able to simply own a few hand guns and be allowed use them at a target range...... all i can use now is black powder guns...

            1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
              Flame

              Re: Re: shooting Glock 17 from a UK newbie.

              ".....to be able to simply own a few hand guns and be allowed use them at a target range...... all i can use now is black powder guns..." Well, not quite. You can still purchase and use a lot of rifles that in many US States you would be refused, and keep them all at home in your approved gun cabinet. And shotguns too. Both a lot more deadly than handguns. For a bit of pistol-shooting it's still possible to nip over to France or Norway and go guest on one of their ranges. But, what the Heck, banning handguns in the UK cut down on guncrime, didn't it? Oh - no it didn't.

          5. fajensen Silver badge

            Re: shooting Glock 17 from a UK newbie.

            While visiting Knoxville, Tennessee, I visited in the gun-department of the sports shop. A customer looks down the barrel of an (unloaded) gun.

            I heard this gem: "Excuse me sir! See, that part being where the bullet comes out, we want to point that away from yourself at all times sir," - in a very heavy southern accent. That made me laugh.

            PS, I liked Knoxville, very friendly and relaxed place.

          6. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: shooting Glock 17 from a UK newbie.

            "Any shop that would hand a pistol and ammo to someone who never shot before is criminally negligent at best, and flatly stupid at worst."

            True

            And here in the UK, despite several goes at improving safety through more firearms legislation, there is still no training requirement for a Section 1, 2, or 5 firearms liscense.

            Want to drive a car, pass the test and written exam.

            Want a gun, sure, just make sure you get two masons to sign off saying you are a good person.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: shooting Glock 17 from a UK newbie.

      Totally agree, hand guns should be legal in the UK, criminals will just buy illegal guns, steal guns or use knives... banning guns don't stop crime

      1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge
        FAIL

        Re: "banning guns don't [sic] stop crime"

        Oh good lord. Nobody ever claimed it did.

      2. Rampant Spaniel

        Re: shooting Glock 17 from a UK newbie.

        The UK didn't ban guns? It restricted the type of guns you could own, where you could have them and got strict on loonies having them. I grew up around guns, they're a tool. In the wrong hands at the wrong time they're incredibly destructive. In the hands of a drunk farmer they're excellent for controlling vermin and keeping a chest freezer well stocked.

        The argument for restricting guns to some degree isn't that it would stop crime but that it would make a dent in the many thousands of people who are shot and die each year either by reducing the number of incidents or the severity of them when they do happen. It's also one part of a very wide range of solutions that need to be looked at. They need to drown that idiot in charge of the nra, his BS is going to result in us having even less freedom to use guns for recreation, sport and protection.

      3. jason 7
        Happy

        Re: shooting Glock 17 from a UK newbie.

        As a 41 year old living in the UK I am more than happy that handguns are banned.

        That ban affected very few people (just collectors and a few other individuals) and was no great loss.

        So in my 41 years of living in the UK I have never seen a handgun in the hands of anyone but an armed Police Officer. I have never been threatened with a handgun. Never been shot at. Never seen any direct evidence of their use in my daily life or never had any of my friends hurt, killed or threatened with one either.

        I'm more than happy for it to stay that way.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: shooting Glock 17 from a UK newbie.

          > That ban affected very few people (just collectors and a few other individuals) and was no great loss.

          Try asking the people who if actually affected if it was no great loss.

          > So in my 41 years of living in the UK I have never seen a handgun in the hands of anyone but an armed Police Officer. I have never been threatened with a handgun. Never been shot at. Never seen any direct evidence of their use in my daily life or never had any of my friends hurt, killed or threatened with one either.

          I have a special rock here that keeps bears away; would you like to buy it?

          1. jason 7
            Facepalm

            Re: shooting Glock 17 from a UK newbie.

            @AC 4.17GMT

            So a few people lost their toys. So what.

            I guess you are from the other side of the pond and a gun supporter? I guess the concept of people not feeling they need firearms and not having ever been directly affected by them either fills you with dread or jealousy?

            Me? I fell pretty relaxed about it all. Handguns...we never needed them in the UK, totally different culture with regards to the needs of firearms. The country was largely settled and tamed before firearms even appeared.

            From my experience of living with folks in the US, many nasty situations would be avoided if they just locked their doors and windows at night. Kind of a vaccine rather than a messy cure.

            1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
              Boffin

              Re: Re: shooting Glock 17 from a UK newbie.

              ".....The country was largely settled and tamed before firearms even appeared....." Nope. Victorian Britain had such endemic levels of crime that gentlemen in cities like London carried firearms as a matter of habit. The popular "Bulldog" pocket revolvers of the 19th century originated from British designs, notably that of Webley & Sons, and were widely sold and copied across Europe and the US. In the mid-1800s, you were actually more likely to die due to criminal violence in London than on the Frontiers of the Wild West! Up until the 1920 Firearms Act (which was spurred by a fear of the "Bolshevik" revolutions sweeping Europe), many small villages in the UK had popular shooting clubs and rifle ranges were very common. I was reminded of this only a week ago when I visited friends in Jersey, which has always had very low crime rates, and we walked past the Victorian rifle range outside the tiny hamlet of Grouville (still in use by the local club).

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: shooting Glock 17 from a UK newbie.

              Here in the UK you are also unlikely to need to deal with a bear coming in through the side of your caravan.

              When we moved pistols from S1 to S5, we also lost out on winning gold medals at pistol competitions, so given the number of people killed and injured at football matches, versus those killed an injured by legally held firearms issued in acordance to the letter of the firearms acts, the logic would be to ban footballs for everybody except ManU Players. (except you can't spin that as a vote winner amongst the largely ill informed UK public)

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: shooting Glock 17 from a UK newbie.

          "So in my 41 years of living in the UK I have never seen a handgun in the hands of anyone but an armed Police Officer. I have never been threatened with a handgun. Never been shot at. Never seen any direct evidence of their use in my daily life or never had any of my friends hurt, killed or threatened with one either."

          If you where close enough to see a met or thames valley firearms officer, you where probably at risk, and just didn't realise it.

          The safest place on the planet I have every been to, was late night on a friday at the main railway station in Zurich, wall to wall assult rifles, along with the 18 to 45 year olds carrying them, and not a mugger in sight!

    3. jason 7

      Re: shooting Glock 17 from a UK newbie.

      The Gf and I were in Vegas a few years ago and I wanted to go along to a gun shop to try some out.

      Off we went and the Gf had a 9mm auto to try out (wasnt a glock) and quite enjoyed that.

      I on the other hand first asked to try a M16 in 5.56mm. Quite nice, pulls up and to the right. I reckon a few more clips and I would have got the hang of it just fine. On semi auto or auto it really gets through the rounds quick. Blip blip blip and you are done. This wasnt the pre mid 70's clip size either.

      Then I asked rather cagily if they had anything in .44 Magnum calibre. Well you have to really. So the guy smiled, reached under the counter and pulled out a stainless steel Ruger with a 9" barrel. "This do?" he asked.

      So there I was left alone with a .44 and twenty rounds. Found it not that hard to shoot, quite a kick. Must say my right thumb ached a bit the next day.

      If I go again I might try the Barrett Light 50 and a classic Browning .45.

      When we walked on the range someone was trying out a Thomson 'Tommy gun'. That had to be heard to be believed, even with ear defenders.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: shooting Glock 17 from a UK newbie.

        A military friend of mine was once posted to a job where a pistol would have been utterly useless in any foreseeable attack. So to emphasise the stupidity of an officer having to have a sidearm, he carried a Thomson.

        This being the British Army, he later discovered that his successor was told it was a tradition that the base CO carried a Thomson.

  16. sgtrock
    Joke

    Maybe NATO should follow the lead of the USMC?

    http://www.stripes.com/news/after-30-years-the-marines-are-returning-to-the-colt-45-pistol-1.186159

    I'm sure that Colt would be willing to license manufacturing to a solid UK firm. ;-)

    1. bitten

      Re: Maybe NATO should follow the lead of the USMC?

      The Browning (FN HP) was already an improvement on the Colt 45 (a Browning from 1900). So the US went back in time to an earlier Browning.

      1. pball

        Re: Maybe NATO should follow the lead of the USMC?

        Except the 1911 has both a thumb safety and a grip safety, it was designed to be and has been proven over the course of 100 years to be absolutely safe to carry with a round in the chamber and the hammer cocked. Granted it's only 7+1, but if ya need more than 8 .45 rounds, you never should have put that rifle down in the first place.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Enjoy it while it lasts

    Consider these good times for the military. I reckon 5 years after we're out of the middle east, budget cuts will result in Tommy Jenkins having to go over the top, point his finger at the enemy and shout, "Bang!".

    The report into the ensuing inquiry into what the press will dub "the 21st century charge of the light brigade" will conclude that Johnny Foreigners was simply a bad sport on the day and didn't play fair.

    1. Rampant Spaniel

      Re: Enjoy it while it lasts

      Wasn't that what they had to do at the navy training academy due to lack of funds?

    2. Ian 31
      WTF?

      Re: Enjoy it while it lasts

      Tommy Jenkins? It's Tommy Atkins you're looking for.

  18. Sebring
    Joke

    I guess someone at the MOD finally got themselves a Cypress Hill album

    That is all.

  19. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
    IT Angle

    Stuff the L115A

    I want an AS-50 (also made by the same company)

    Sidearms are for wimps who let the enemy sneak up on them.... kill everyone within 1000 yrds with a .50 cal round and people learn 2 important things... 1. you dont need sidearms for your troops and 2 the locals stay well clear of you.

    Brg.Gen. Boris 'mad dog' Cockroach KBE DSE BSE, care of "sunny view" retirement home for ex-loonies and tory peers

    1. sjs298
      Gimp

      Re: Stuff the L115A

      "I want an AS-50 (also made by the same company)"

      Old news bro (like it's from 2007 dude)... you now want an AX-50 ;o)

      http://www.accuracyinternational.com/ax50.php

      Although they do an AX-338 which is probably good enough for plinking targets in your back yard.

      1. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
        IT Angle

        Re: Stuff the L115A

        Yes , but you're missing the point ..

        The AS50 is semi-auto while the AX50 is still a bolt action.

        And the AX338... good for plinking... if your back garden is long enough..... about 1200 -1600 yrds

        Right the nurses have come round with my medication again

        1. SkippyBing Silver badge

          Re: Stuff the L115A

          At some point while the Navy were reminding me how to shoot, in case it came in handy, our instructor mentioned that a bolt action rifle is better for a sniper as with a semi-auto you get some kick back before the round has left the barrel which can put your shot off enough to miss at the sort of ranges they work at.

          Having heard an AS50 go off it's considerably louder than an M3M firing 600 .50 cal rounds a minute, f**k knows why but despite being warned every time it was fired it was still alarming.

          My weapon of choice? The M3M door mounted on a helicopter, you can walk the rounds in* to the target and then f**k off at speed.

          *The manual says not to do that, but it's the only way to be sure.

          1. Robert Sneddon

            Re: Stuff the L115A

            "a bolt action rifle is better for a sniper as with a semi-auto you get some kick back before the round has left the barrel which can put your shot off enough to miss"

            Old wives tale. A rifle bullet as used in sniper work (7.62mm or the newer .338 Mag) takes less than 2 millieconds to clear the muzzle after firing whether in a bolt-action or a self-loading rifle. The gas-operated piston in a self-loader doesn't start to move until well after the bullet is gone, never mind unlocking the bolt and starting extraction. Felt recoil from the shot is the same whatever weapon you fire, pretty much.

            A bolt-action has better repeatability shot to shot compared to a self-loader with better control of the headspacing, cartridge seating in the breech etc. which means better accuracy at range. It's also lighter and more compact than an autoloader in the same calibre, important for a sniper who often has to carry all their own kit for long distances in rough terrain and it's more reliable too with fewer moving bits to go wrong.

            1. SkippyBing Silver badge

              Re: Stuff the L115A

              To be fair that's probably what he said, the ravages of time and alcohol simplifying the explanation to something my fragile little mind could retain!

              1. Psyx
                Thumb Up

                Re: Stuff the L115A

                "To be fair that's probably what he said, the ravages of time and alcohol simplifying the explanation to something my fragile little mind could retain!"

                Nah: He probably said it. It's one of those enduring myths.

                There are arguments either way with marksman weapons. Semis are faster-firing for follow-up, have less gubbins, and don't require the shooter to move between shots (throwing aim and attracting attention, potentially). Bolt actions don't throw brass around until you want them to.

  20. John F***ing Stepp

    Having owned 9s and 44s

    For personal defense neither is perfect.

    The 9 (a S&W 59) was somewhat underpowered and would lead one to use up ammo for a positive takedown.

    This is fine for the police but I, personally, do not want to injure or kill a bystander (the police have insurance and attorneys).

    The 44 (a S&W 659) had only 6 shots but would stop a Mack truck; over penetration and inaccuracy were other downsides; again, bystanders.

    I currently have a pair of 1911 single stacks; 18 shots overall and the caliber still has the number 4 in it.

    After firing a 44 magnum, a 45 feels a bit like the old 22 caliber target pistol I had as a kid*.

    Best choice for defense seems to be, not being in a place where crap happens and not pissing the crazies off (being thought of as one of said crazies helps a lot too).

    *'Murica.

    1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Happy

      Re: Having owned 9s and 44s

      Real nice work on your daughters laptop.

    2. Danny 14 Silver badge
      Stop

      Re: Having owned 9s and 44s

      A single 9mm will put someone down. Gunshot wounds are no laughing matter. People who preach about stopping power of pistol rounds have only ever been on a range and most certainly never seen the effects of being shot by a single bullet.

      1. Psyx
        Go

        Re: Having owned 9s and 44s

        "A single 9mm will put someone down."

        Eventually. Something like a 60% first-round take-down according to studies, as I recall. .45 ACP is barely any improvement. The whole ".45 is awesome and drops people in one shot straight away" thing is a big pile of donkey poo.

        The key is to shoot someone in the right place, or do it a few times!

    3. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: Having owned 9s and 44s

      Maybe you should try different ammo.

      There are some 9mm rounds that have a lot of stopping power.

      1. annodomini2
        Thumb Down

        Re: Having owned 9s and 44s

        DumDum's, Hollow points or other types of expanding bullet are banned in international warfare under the 1899 Hague convention.

        1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
          Boffin

          Re: annodomini2 Re: Having owned 9s and 44s

          "DumDum's, Hollow points or other types of expanding bullet are banned in international warfare under the 1899 Hague convention." Well, yes and no. The intention was to stop the use of bullets designed specifically for their wounding ability, such as the Dum Dum which was little more than an ordinary FMJ round with the covering brass peeled back to expose the lead center of the bullet - when the bullet hit, the soft lead mushroomed and caused a larger wound. The rules were drafted to stop the use of the day's technology.

          The intention was that forcing all parties to use FMJ bullets would eliminate the use of "extra-wounding" rounds, but the reality is it was simply designed around, most notoriously by the British .303 MkVII bullet. Whilst the MkVII had a FMJ, it had a lighter material in the nose than the lead at the tail of the bullet, making it unstable upon deflection or impact. It was designed to fly straight and then topple upon impact rather than drill straight through. The result was the bullet was massively more damaging than other rifle rounds of the day, but it was still "legal" in the terms of the Convention.

          More recently there are the "anvil bullets", designs which have a FMJ and a hard metal penetrator in the nose to aid penetration of bodyarmour. It was found early on in developing such rounds that when the bullet hits, the hard penetrator slows as it pierces the target, but inertia means the lead behind carries on forward and smears outward behind the penetrator. By shaping the rear of the penetrator, it is possible to force the lead out so it splits the FMJ and mushrooms more than normally, effectively making the bullet more damaging to fleshies. In essence, such designs conform with the Convention, but are expanding bullets.

          The Russian 5.45x39mm 7N10 is an example of the purpose-designed anvil bullet that is still compliant with convention. Unhappiness with the SS109 not fragmenting and expanding enough when fired from the short-barreled M4 made the US look at anvil designs. Hilariously, they sold the public on the new M855A1 round by hyping its "environmentally-friendly" lack of lead! They kept very quiet about how it's "stacked cone" penetrator design enhanced mushrooming and made it more wounding than the old SS109 bullet, but still Convention compliant.

  21. Stevie Silver badge

    I don't understand.

    I had apprehended from various media sources that current state of the art in military equipage was a Barret .50 cal in one hand and a Chainsaw in the other for personal close combat defense or one of those drum-fed grenade launcher tommy guns with an integral lightsaber bayonet.

    All this talk of handguns seems rather quaint.

    1. Rampant Spaniel

      Re: I don't understand.

      No waist mounted 60 cal? :-)

  22. Glenn Amspaugh
    WTF?

    Zmodem thrash

    Sigh. In WWII we had rifles with big .30 cal rounds and pistols with big .45 cal rounds. Know why we went to smaller rounds? Be cause big weapons and ammo are heavy! And every year they're coming up with more and more stuff to carry, while still keeping things in the mythical 80-90lb range (275 kilos-centigrades/hp per gallon if my American metrics maths is correct).

    Also, there's all sorts of special forces that do get to choose their own gear. Ya don't hear about any of them using DE's do ya?

  23. Herby Silver badge

    Of course there are alternatives

    A nice small nuclear weapon will cure LOTS of things in short order. Of course it has instructions kinda like fireworks:

    "Light fuse and run away".

    As the saying goes: "Closeness only counts in horseshoes and atom bombs".

    All in all an interesting discussion, even for one who likes personal weapons, but doesn't have one.

    1. Swarthy Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: Of course there are alternatives

      The phrase I was taught by my father was "Horseshoes, hand grenades, and the occasional atom bomb."

      <--As he never played horseshoes, and wouldn't let me use hand grenades.....

  24. peter 45

    Odd story

    'cos about 7 years ago I was introduced, and taught to shoot, the Glock as the new replacement personal weapon for the British Army. Wonder what happened?

  25. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge
    WTF?

    I was expecting....

    ... a re-issue of the C96 Mauser Broomhandle.

    At least that would have style. And it looks good on the wall. And it's sighted up to 1000 yd, with an effective range of about 200. I've always wondered about that one...

    1. cortland

      Re: I was expecting....

      An elevation screw and trunnions, perhaps.

    2. Psyx
      Pint

      Re: I was expecting....

      "I've always wondered about that one..."

      My car's speedo goes up to 150mph, too...

  26. Don Jefe

    Sig Sauer

    I find it odd they didn't adopt the Sig Sauer pistols. They already have some & costs are comparable, using the Glock just creates more procurement & service work. I like a Glock just fine but why make extra work for yourself?

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: Sig Sauer

      "I find it odd they didn't adopt the Sig Sauer pistols. They already have some & costs are comparable....." Word from a mate in the know is that the Glock quote worked out £200 cheaper per weapon. Due to the size of the contract that's quite a bit, probably enough to offset the cost of new training manuals, new cleaning regimes, stocking spares, etc. Up until price came into it the Glock was only winning on being lighter, the SIG was matching it in all other measures.

  27. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    a note on calibres and stuff

    As someone once observed amateurs talk weapons and tactics. Professionals talk strategy and logistics.

    Guns and ammo are kind of like Gillete and razors.

    The ammo mfgs would almost give the guns away for free.

    Changing calibres is a really big deal. Imagine changing the standard connector for Ethernet and implementing it globally.

    As for the Desert Eagle how many know what the recoil on that lump is? This weapon has to be carried and fired IRL by ordinary soldiers. Fit, yes. Vinnie Jones. No.

    It's important to remember that the weapon of choice for hostage rescue remains the SMG with 3 round burst despite most action taking place at <10m. Quantity really does trump quality. Above a fairly minimum calibre does it really matter how big a bullet you put in someones head?

    I'm also slightly surprised that the UK govt didn't go with something from H&K. After all they are owned by the UK Gov's favorite armsdefense company BAe.

    IIRC the Broomhandle Mauser was a beautiful example of German precision craftsmanship with no screws and an all interlocking design. So quite prone to jamming when dirt (or sand) was ingested. Fairly probable in a desert I should imagine. Not good news given the fact that if you have to pull it at all things have gone fairly sideways.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: a note on calibres and stuff

      The Broomhandle Mauser also used real clips. It was a (pre) WWI gun though. By the time of the Afrikakorps, there were Lugers and Walthers P38. Guess those broomhandles wouldn't have seen much desert except in Sergio Leone movies.

      1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: Re: a note on calibres and stuff

        ".....Guess those broomhandles wouldn't have seen much desert except in Sergio Leone movies." Ah, you were watching "Joe Kidd" the other night too!

      2. JT163

        Re: a note on calibres and stuff

        I thought the Mauser '96 was fed via strippers into a fixed magazine?

        1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
          Boffin

          Re: a note on calibres and stuff

          "I thought the Mauser '96 was fed via strippers into a fixed magazine?" Correct, the original C96 had a built-in 10-round magazine. Copies made by Spanish gunsmiths in the Twenties and Thirties, especially their machinepistol versions, introduced detachable magazines, often of twenty or thirty rounds capacity. Finally, irked by sales lost to the copycats, Mauser made their own Schnellfeur automatic version with a detachable box magazine. Post-1945, copies and guns made from spares often had semi-auto C96s actions with detachable box magazines.

          On a side note on the "big'n'slow" .45 round versus the smal-calibe but high-velocity argument, espcecially for Zmodem, the Thompson-LaGarde Tests carried out in 1904 included shooting live cattle in the chest to judge effectiveness of bullets. Cartridges tested included the preferred .45, which was the eventual winner. During the tests, the only round that scored a one-shot kill of a cow was the 7.63mm fired from a Mauser C96.

    2. sjs298
      Devil

      Re: a note on calibres and stuff

      "I'm also slightly surprised that the UK govt didn't go with something from H&K"

      They did. It's called an L85A2 and it's a pretty nice bit of kit ;)

      But in all seriousness, they reason they use different manufacturers (see here for variety: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modern_equipment_of_the_British_Army) is because each weapon requirement is put out to tender.

      The MoD then go through a purchasing process that includes user testing (as in they issue them to soldiers) and field trials. They then pick the weapon which has the best price/performance ratio, often unfortunately in the past caring more about "good enough and really cheap", rather than "best and affordable".

      That's all been changing recently. Being a soldier is a shit job, but at least HMG is starting to issue shiny and working toys to while away the time with.

      1. despairing citizen
        Happy

        Re: a note on calibres and stuff

        "is because each weapon requirement is put out to tender."

        There's a confidence booster for somebody betting your life on a bit of kit working when you need it....

        ...it was built by the lowest bidder

        aka

        never mind the quality, feel the width

        1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
          Thumb Down

          Re: despairing citizen Re: a note on calibres and stuff

          ".........it was built by the lowest bidder aka never mind the quality, feel the width". If that was the case then there would never be any failed weapons development projects and no cases where troops at the front have to wait for a weapon to be approved. In truth, plenty of weapon projects fail because the weapons tendered do not meet the troops' requirements, and cost usually doesn't come into the matter until AFTER the weapons that meet the requirement have passed that first hurdle. You could argue that the MoD are bad at setting requirements, or that the selection processes are too long so that the requirements change before the weapon gets to the troops, or even that the MoD avoid setting the requirements until well after the need is obvious, but saying cost is the only criteria is simply silly. If cost was the only consideration our troops would be getting something from Kel-Tec or probably the Chinese QSZ-92, or simply being told to keep on using the old Brownings.

          1. despairing citizen
            FAIL

            Re: despairing citizen a note on calibres and stuff

            I'm guessing you work for MoD (PE).

            In the real world, you get to be an instructor on the most scariest f*!king piece of junk every to be given to a soldier.

            Crap build quality. e.g. Sight fitting so bad that if you crank the ironsight over as far as it can go, to the state you can't lower the rear sight, and you are still having to aim off to be able to hit a target at 300m in zero wind. (I also qualified as a marksman, so weapon error, not operator error)

            The TMH attached to the weapon with a bolt that is so easy to accidentally remove, because of cheap crap clips, that the only way to return the weapon to use is to ram the bolt back in on the otherside, and leave the armoury with a cutting tourch to sort it out afterwards.

            The magzines of such poort qualifty materials and construction, that using 30 in a mag rather than 28, crapped out the spring in short order, and the burrs inside the mag caused frequet jams, hence why colt did a roaring trade flogging mags of decent quality to the services.

            I could literally write a book on the design defects, and crap build quality on SA80 family when it was issued.

            MoD (PE) then spent more tax payers money getting the damn thing fixed to a serviceable weapon, but only after enough casualties that even Sir Humphrey couldn't turn a blind eye.

            and it's not just the small arms, the Warrior has had a known problem since the turn of the century with uncommanded fire, due to a cheap crap electrical switch that can short. MoD's answer ignore problem, pay BAe to build new 40mm turret to hide safety defect............

            I do wish Lewis would do a new Lions, Donkey's and Dinosaurs, there is still a lot of material out there that he hasn't touched on.

            1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
              FAIL

              Re: despairing citizen a note on calibres and stuff

              "I'm guessing you work for MoD (PE)....." Nope. Just because I have a difference of opinion I must have a vested intetrest? Fail.

              "......I could literally write a book on the design defects, and crap build quality on SA80 family when it was issued....." Because every other weapon was perfect from day one? Like the M16? No, that had such a crap rep originally that some US Special Forces troops ditched it in favour of the old .30 Carbine from WW2. The M16 had to be redesigned, altered and adjusted, through the M16A1 and then the M16A2 and M16A4, then redesigned again into the M4, all at far greater cost than the SA80, and the Yanks are still not happy with it, hence the look at the FN SCAR, H&K HK416, etc., etc.

              ".....The magzines of such poort qualifty materials and construction, that using 30 in a mag rather than 28, crapped out the spring in short order....." Historically a problem with many guns such as the Bren, Sten or M16A1/2/4.

              ".....and the burrs inside the mag caused frequet jams, hence why colt did a roaring trade flogging mags of decent quality to the services....." I can still remember my father going on about how the soldiers with a clue would strip down any new weapon they were given and file off the burrs. The smart ones would even file down the rivet heads in their Stens and the welds on the associated magazines. Some, believing the grass just had to be greener, tried captured MP40s instead, only to find they jammed twice as often. I'm sure they would have liked more expensively-made magazines, but they seem to have coped without half as much bitching.

              1. despairing citizen
                Big Brother

                Re: despairing citizen a note on calibres and stuff

                The assumption of a vested interest, is the only people I have previously come across trying to claim that black is white when it comes to the SA80 shambles, either worked in the MoD, or where regurigating the PR crap MoD/RO//BAe put about, without having ever been in the room with any of the SA80's.

                The US DoD procurement system has historically been as bent as a nine bob note, see Col Burton's book which touch's upon some of this. The UK now seems to be trying to follow, given the number of Junior Ministers and Senior Officers that have been using the revolving door into BAe, et al. (again would like to ask for Lewis to do a follow up to his book, and include the gerimandering drivers behind things like the Tucano contracts), but the bottom line is I don't care if the DoD buy crap, I only really care when I'm paying for it, and people I know are having to use it.

                Fundamentaly our (UK) equipment selection is driven by politicians, both civilian and uniformed, resulting in most kit not being up to the job when purchased. The UK Tax Payer then gets to pay defence companies to fix their broken designs, while UK service men get to pay in blood for their own weapons and equipment trying to kill them.

                To put it mildly I REALLY DO NOT APPRECIATE BREACH BLOWS CAUSED BY THE WRONG F'*!@ING METAL BEING USED IN PRODUCTION, I then get very agiated as the company then gets millions to fix breaches that where shattering. (X-rays showed that every weapon suppled had micro-fractures in the breach). in 6 years as an RCO, my life was at serious risk 3 times, and on 2 of those occasion it was a failure in the weapon, not the user.

                For me the Colt mags worked a treat on the 80's, never had any problems with them, just with the junk from Nottingham. Colt used more and better quality metal and production, as demonstrated by the fact that their magazines did not "flex" as much as ours, and don't get me started on the Radway Green ammuntion.

                Your comments about Sten's is spurious in the context of modern military procurement, we ain't got the german army poised to invade, with most of the weaponary left on a french beach. In that situation fast & cheap is better than nothing, whcih was the alternative.

                Bottom line in this day and age, we should be able to build, test and delivery good quality equipment to our service men, at a sensible price. We don't, we get shoddy, what's my margin, kit at vastly over the odds prices.

            2. Psyx
              Pint

              Re: despairing citizen a note on calibres and stuff

              " colt did a roaring trade flogging mags of decent quality to the services."

              Ah... good old Colt mags: A sure sign the owner is on good terms with the armourers (and hence probably an NCO). Hope you taped 'em black, 'cause those things were sniper-bait!

              They were really good pieces of kit...when they worked. I loved SUSAT, loved the sling, loved the accuracy and ease of use... unfortunately the fact that they were appallingly unreliable and bits fell off rather spoiled it all.

    3. Sebring

      Re: a note on calibres and stuff

      "I'm also slightly surprised that the UK govt didn't go with something from H&K. After all they are owned by the UK Gov's favorite armsdefense company BAe."

      Not any more - BAe sold HK off a few years back.

      1. Danny 14 Silver badge

        Re: a note on calibres and stuff

        Nice bit of kit? No it has a nice sight. Cleaning is a nightmare when it is wet. Dry pull through in sand at the cost of carbon build up. My dad had a better deal with his fn fal

        1. sjs298

          Re: a note on calibres and stuff

          "Nice bit of kit? No it has a nice sight."

          Are you talking from experience with the A2 version, or experience with the L85 in general? The L85 was shocking, best defect of all was that the magazine catch had no guard, so when you ran and it slapped across your chest, your magazine fell off. The A1 was better (because they put a guard on the magazine catch ;o), but the A2 was a complete overhall of the original weapon by H&K (who didn't make the original). It works better than both the previous versions, but it is not perfect, hence it is a "Nice bit of kit" - but it is not an "Amazing bit of kit".

          "My dad had a better deal with his fn fal"

          Ahh yes - the mythical L1A1 SLR. I've heard it was nice, but then again I wonder how it would stack up against a modern 7.62mm weapon, I mean it's hardly a Paratus-18 is it... http://youtu.be/SJ8Ndkg8urw - I agree your father may have had a good deal in comparison to other weapons available at the time, however I don't know whether issuing an FN FAL today would evoke a similar level of praise.

          1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
            Stop

            Re: a note on calibres and stuff

            "..... the mythical L1A1 SLR. .....FN FAL....." The SLR was NOT the same as an FN FAL. Apart from the SLR being semi-auto only (because the Brass in the '50s worried about the squaddies shooting off all their ammo in a few minutes), it had some unique touches like sand-clearing grooves which helped make it much more reliable than the bog-standard FAL. The Enfield modifications not only made the SLR 2 inches longer but also slightly heavier than the fully-auto FAL, but in the Falklands War the Argentinians made many complaints about their FALs jamming whilst the SLR had no such issues. In short, the SLR was long, heavy, and only went bang once for each pull of the trigger, but the squaddies loved it because it always went bang with very good accuracy every time you pulled the trigger, and would do so after you had tabbed across tundra, desert, or up a mountain. The Aussies in Vietnam moaned about the weight but still prefered it to the M16s the Yanks brought with them. The reason the L85A1 came in for such a bashing was because it was compared to the tried'n'tested "mythical" L1A1 SLR.

            1. JT163

              Re: a note on calibres and stuff

              "The reason the L85A1 came in for such a bashing was because it was compared to the tried'n'tested "mythical" L1A1 SLR."

              Oh yeah the other reason teh L85A1 was slagged off was that it did actually fall apart a lot.

              A lot of modern rifles do.

              Our locally manufactured F88s ()Australian Steyr AUGs) suffer fromt eh same problem as do most of the AR/M16 family.

              They are made of aluminium and plastic.

              Those are both reatively fragile materials.

              They are still OK weapons, but they do fall apart a lot more than the old fashion twice the weight steel SLRs, M14s and AKs.

        2. despairing citizen
          Happy

          Re: a note on calibres and stuff

          "Nice bit of kit? No it has a nice sight. Cleaning is a nightmare when it is wet. Dry pull through in sand at the cost of carbon build up. My dad had a better deal with his fn fal"

          I do believe the poster was being sarcastic.

          ....and your grandfather had a better weapon with the Lee Enfield, which also could be used as club when you ran out of amuntion, and did not auto-disassemble by being dropped on to a hard surface.

      2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
        Go

        Re: a note on calibres and stuff

        "Not any more - BAe sold HK off a few years back."

        I'm actually shocked at this.

        I guess it had too much involvement with civilians for their liking.

        Sounds like good news for H&K.

    4. Matt Bryant Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: a note on calibres and stuff

      ".....I'm also slightly surprised that the UK govt didn't go with something from H&K. After all they are owned by the UK Gov's favorite armsdefense company BAe....." Nah, another "triumph" of Blair's was to sell H&K back to the Germans.

  28. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
    Devil

    Meh!

    First the Browning Hi Power is a good arm. Its a slight improvement over Browning's 1911.

    Out side of that... 1911 is still a great gun.

    Personally I'd rather have a SIg P226 over the Glock. But that's just a personal opinion.

    I think the Glock is a good basic weapon, but I'm not a big fan of plastic guns. Again its a personal preference.

    1. Trevor Marron

      Re: Meh!

      "First the Browning Hi Power is a good arm. Its a slight improvement over Browning's 1911.

      Out side of that... 1911 is still a great gun.

      Personally I'd rather have a SIg P226 over the Glock. But that's just a personal opinion.

      I think the Glock is a good basic weapon, but I'm not a big fan of plastic guns. Again its a personal preference."

      Do you not know the difference between a pistol and a gun.........

      1. Danny 14 Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: Meh!

        Yeah, the gun goes to the thicko in the platoon, ammo to the next thicko and when clansmen were around, 351 batteries to the next thicko

      2. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
        Boffin

        @ Trevor ... Re: Meh!

        Yes, but a Plastic gun sounds better than a plastic pistol.

      3. SysFX

        Re: Meh!

        A gun is pulled by horses and fired at the French.

        1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
          Happy

          Re: Re: Meh!

          "A gun is pulled by horses and fired at the French." I think the previous query was to that old song from the film "Full Metal Jacket" - "this is my rifle and this is my gun, this is for fighting and this is for fun!" Must say your idea of fun sounds quite odd!

        2. Psyx
          Go

          Re: Meh!

          "A gun is pulled by horses and fired at the French."

          Other similar versions:

          "Guns fire shells, firearms fire bullets."

          "Guns are things that go on ships."

          Usually followed with "Now drop and do 20 for getting it wrong!"

    2. Matt Bryant Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: Meh!

      "......but I'm not a big fan of plastic guns....." Don't worry, Gumbers, I hear a lot of the old-timers back in the day refused to take "them new-fangled automatics" over a trusty revolver.....

  29. figure 11

    half bent

    On the occasions where I carried the browning, it was with one in the chamber and hammer at half bent, safety off. I was never picked up for it. You could pull the hammer back to full cock from half bent whilst drawing the pistol from the holster with a little practice.

    Indeed in the balkans we were required to put one in the chamber leaving camp, pistol or rifle.

  30. streaky Silver badge
    IT Angle

    Browning.

    All these pages of comments and I'm seriously wondering why nobody has mentioned the fact the reason the L9A1 is still in use is that it's a very solid design. The fact the L9A1 isn't the same as the WW2 design, it's a British modification, and, in response to some comments previously and in the article itself: you don't have to carry it cocked/locked - really only if you intend to fire it. And not for nothing as *many* have mentioned because it's obvious - SIG Sauer, who took the kickback there exactly?

    Also AWSM really? Get off Wikipedia 'reg.

  31. G_232

    I'm not sure if anyone's interested, but I'm a soldier and I've used all three of the pistols mentioned in this article (I'm currently carrying a Browning). Here are some advantages/disadvantages for them.

    Browning.

    A: Weight helps to keep it steady, so if you're firing quickly then the fall of shot is fairly consistent. People with big hands find it comfortable to hold. It's easy to aim. It's (almost) impossible to break or degrade - missfeeds are normally due to the magazine rather than the pistol.

    D: You need a fair grip strength to cock it whilst keeping it and yourself pointing forward due to the powerful return spring ("backhand" cocking it isn't completely safe IMO). Cocking it is slow and easily fumbled, especially with wet/oily hands, so a poor choice for dealing with surprises. Poor safety features mean it's not safe to carry it if it's made ready. Uncomfortable for small hands.

    Sig.

    A: Easy to cock. Can be carried loaded and made ready, with the hammer forward, so it's ready in a pinch. Light.

    D: The lightness gives it a tendency to bounce about a bit if you're firing quickly, so the fall of shot can rise if you're not careful (and if you've drawn it in a hurry) - this can be countered with a good grip, but you might not have time to think of that. The decocking lever is a bit far back if you've got long thumbs.

    Glock (disclaimer: I fired 1 magazine through one of these about 3 years ago, so not as familiar as the other two).

    A: Easiest pistol to use in the world as far as I can tell. Fall of shot is incredibly tight. Light. Virtually no bouncing around or rise so you can fire accurately pretty much as fast as you can squeeze the trigger (not sure how they manage this with such a light pistol, must be very well balanced). Large magazine.

    D: None that I can think of.

    By the way, it's not just "that community" that use Sigs - as far as I can tell pretty much all of the pistols carried in theatre are Sigs - I've only seen a few other people with Brownings. The RQ actually apologised to me when he gave me a Browning to bring over. I don't mind though, I prefer it to the Sig.

    By the way, the desert eagle is a joke. It's designed for rednecks and saudis.

    1. Cupboard

      You seem to come to conclusion that the Glock is best, followed by the Sig and then the Browning. So why do you prefer the Browning?

      1. G_232

        If someone were to offer me a glock now I'd bite their hand off, but I prefer the browning to the Sig. It's partly aesthetics, but also the fact that I'm not in an environment where a green-on-blue is likely to happen, so the Browning's poor performance when it needs to be used at extreme short notice isn't an issue, and I'm a much better shot with a Browning (I can get a clean sweep on an ACMT with a Browning, whereas I normally drop a couple of shots with a Sig). I've been issued a pistol so that I don't need to carry my rifle everywhere without leaving me totally unarmed, so my motivations are different. If I was in a green-on-blue environment I'd choose a Sig over a browning.

    2. Matt Bryant Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: G_232

      Best of luck!

    3. Roger Stenning

      G_232 - "A: Easiest pistol to use in the world as far as I can tell. Fall of shot is incredibly tight. Light. Virtually no bouncing around or rise so you can fire accurately pretty much as fast as you can squeeze the trigger (not sure how they manage this with such a light pistol, must be very well balanced). Large magazine."

      The lack of muzzle rise is down to two main factors aside from the shooters positive grip of the weapon; these two design factors are: The relative angle of the grip (which is more acute, or swept back, compared to other handguns), and the position of the barrel relative to the forward-pointed forefinger (which on a Glock is somewhat lower than comparable handguns).

      Similar examples of grip angle would be the Nambu model 14 pistol, and the P.08 "Luger". The only pistol I can think of with a similar barrel to forefinger position would be the S&W Sigma, which is a very close external copy, for all intents and purposes, of the Glock.

      OK, so I know the topic well: I used to be a civvy pistol club shooter, and was the armoury storesman in my T.A. unit for a while, as well as an SA(B)90 Range manager and shooting coach. You learn and pick up a few things along the way. *shrugs*

      Keep up the good work over there, and keep your head down.

      R.

  32. Tank boy
    Thumb Down

    25,000 Glocks

    Great, so the officers and senior NCO's that will likely never have to pull pistol will be issued them, and the poor joes on the ground will have to use the old equipment. Brilliant plan. No wonder this god-awful war has been going on for so long.

  33. TheKeffster
    WTF?

    We have had a new pistol for a while...

    The author may not have noticed, but due to an Urgent Operational Requirement (UOR) notice, we have had the SIG P226 in service for a considerable while now, they are now in service in enough numbers I haven't seen a Browning in quite some time!!

    But it may have already been mentioned...

    1. G_232

      Re: We have had a new pistol for a while...

      True. Brownings tend to get given to REMFs and senior officers (disclaimer: I'm a REMF).

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Thanks for this article

    I hadn't realised, until reading the comments here and looking up WTF they are talking about on WP, just how many people spend so much time masturbating over ammunition specs.

    (Anon because some of them - even if it is not as many as they would like - have guns...)

  35. This post has been deleted by its author

  36. stu 4
    Holmes

    geeks and guns

    Well, at 212 comments and counting, I think we can safely assume there is a link between geeks and guns...

    1. Magnus_Pym

      Re: geeks and guns

      " I think we can safely assume there is a link between geeks and guns..." All it really proves is the link between guns and controversy.

      I did notice however the three seemingly different threads going on.

      1. Forces thread - reliability, practicality, weight

      2. Amateur shooter - calibre, ammunition, accuracy

      3. Gamers - Bigness, shootyness, shiney.

  37. Dave Bell

    On the plus side

    Thank you for a well-informed article. As an occasional writer of fiction, it's always good to see a view of the reality.

    I can now see why the Glock is a good choice, though the Browning has has some safety improvements made. So has the Colt M1911A1. But a new Glock still looks better than a new Browning.

    Some of the comments are a tad fanciful, aren't they.

  38. LeeS

    Actual experience

    I shot pistols (not in combat) for years, most of it in practical pistol competition (yes I know that's not actual combat, but I'm on about the weapons). I've shot a huge range over the years, and owned a lot of different models.

    I owned a Glock 21 (45 acp) and it was a superb pistol, utterly reliable, easy to use, easy to strip (which I haven't seen mentioned, a very important point if you were in the field), if I were going into a nasty situation I have no hesitation that I'd be taking in a glock. I have used the 9mm as well and its every bit as good, especially the 17 round capacity. My second choice would probably be the Sig, but I also had a soft spot the the 92fs, I honestly don't recall having a single jam or misfire on the 92 in thousands of rounds, but it was not as accurate.

    My actual competition gun was a Tanfoglio 10mm with a built in compensator etc, very fast gun but would be useless in combat, I had to load my ammo out of spec to prevent jams! In the real world you wouldn't touch it

    Now I also owned a Desert Eagle, but the 45 cal version (they also made them in 357, they use revolver cartridges not auto). It was a total hoot, I loaded it with slower powder for a great flame show, but as a practical pistol it was totally useless, it would jam from time to time, and worse still it had a nasty habit of throwing the empty, extremely hot, cases straight into your forehead, and when they sit on your glasses burning you its a bit off putting.

    As everyone else apart from the couple of idiots earlier has said, if you think the Desert Eagle is anything other than a toy, or that you shoot a pistol single handed (other than in target shooting), go back to your Xbox, and as for the DE being a target pistol, I'd be using a revolver for that.

    We did have a saying for the DE though (non PC), "The 7 rounds are to shoot the camel then you beat the guy to death with with the gun when he falls off"

  39. Silverburn
    Facepalm

    Depressing Irony

    Did anyone else spot the depressing irony that we had to ship our SA80's to the GERMANS for them to work correctly?

    BAE systems...if their weapons were as efficient as their ability to suck tax pounds out of every wallet, we'd still be an empire.

  40. Grease Monkey

    Our local news managed to run this as a local story, since the MoD is apparently buying it's Glocks through a local business. Now of course that may be good for our local economy, but is it good for the MoD and hence the tax payer? Surely it makes more sense to buy direct from the manufacturer. Sure buying from a British supplier means some of the spending goes into the British economy, but it also means that the MoD are paying more (roughly to the tune of the amount going into the economy) than they would if they bought direct.

    1. annodomini2
      Devil

      Probably some friend of the Civil servant in the purchasing dept.

  41. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Happy

    Better a plastic gun..

    Than a rubber gun.

  42. John 104

    wow. A lot of nonsense on this article. Definately a lot of folks who have never used handguns but like to talk the big game. I'm not a soldier, but I do own handguns (for now a privelege of being a US citizen). My fav is the Glock 19. Utterly reliable, simple, and accurate (and as stated, easy to take down). It isn't elegant or fancy, but it gets the job done.

    As for rounds carried and stopping power, do some reading on combat engagements, the US Army did after WW2. They found that the caliber of a weapon is far less important than the number of rounds you can throw at the enemy. In engagements with enemy forces, it was multiple shots to connect, not awesome Jon Wu style gunfights with massive editing to make the good guys look good. With that in mind, lighter caliber rounds and more of them are the adopted theory that the US took, hence the AR series of rifle. Light ammunition, more of it, and the ability to saturate a target area. Same goes for a hand gun.

  43. Jay Holmes

    New kit always appreciated!

    Although not taken one into combat I have represented the RAF at shooting competitions firing with both variants of the SA80 and the also the Browning. In these conditions all were accurate any issues were operator related lol. The SA80 was accurate upto 500 metres (dont forget competition accuracy is a lot sharper than combat accuracy, you have more time to take your shot without someone firing back).

    Im not going into the dumbass comments about bigger being better, because lets face it they are dumbass comments and not worth the time.

    The Browning is a good pistol and yes there are better pistols out there, but since this is what we get issued it is what we have to use. Most people complain about it, because they are not given enough training in how to use it correctly. Before I joined the shooting team, I had no need to use the pistol and only fired approx 60 rounds through the rifle each year. Granted the Army do fire more, but thats a different point all together.

    I am looking forward to the Glocks coming in as I have had the chance to fire it, it's nice, lighter, more responsive (for me anyway). I still like the Browning though lol

  44. JT163
    IT Angle

    What hammer? The glock is striker fired.

    Hi Lewis,

    The Glock does not have a hammer it is striker fired

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