Well, yes: A shorter slide does make drawing easier, and perhaps a tiny bit faster—and especially from an awkward position as when seated in a car.
When I first saw them way back, I was struck by the 6-inch S&W revolvers the LAPD officers carried in the TV show Adam-12. On the one hand I thought they would have been great for the better practical accuracy they could provide, but I also couldn’t help wondering how convenient those long barrels would have been to carry. I know that swiveling holsters intended for police duty use were available at one time, but they had their own drawbacks and didn’t solve all the long barrel problems.
“The fundamental cause of trouble in the world today is that the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt.”
— Bertrand Russell
|That rug really tied |
the room together.
I was of the opinion that FN sold like 500 pistols a year. You just dont hear much about them.
Often times a very small man can cast a very large shadow
Thought the 509’s had a slight water problem with the strikers and water in the channel liquid locking the striker.
Yes the internet rumor was you can't submerge your FN 509 in water and then fire it before the water drains out. My west coast contact told me that their officers who do routine underwater work, and select units who patrol south central LA will be issued the 509SG variant. The"SG" designation stands for "Spear Gun" as their pistols will fire an 18" barbed, stainless steel rod, and it will do it while the officer engages the suspect completely submerged and while wearing in full mask and snorkel.
|Sigforum K9 handler|
I read a somewhat interesting article last night about how the Glock 19 came to be as the standard issue pistol at SOCOM. The author claimed to be 3rd Special Forces Group I think.
Long and short, his version was that the big Army would not let SOCOM choose the 17 because of the “why it’s the same size as the M9” argument. So, they wanted Glock so the went around the big army by choosing the 19 as a compact pistol.
This however doesn’t track with what LAV, Kyle Dafoor and some others have openly discussed that the 19 was the better choice (over the 17) from a shooters perspective. Glock even went with the shorter slide 19x in the last round of pistol offerings.
The 19 size slide tracks more efficiently at speed. In the Glock, it’s about as good as it gets. Add in a MRDS and you remove the need for that extra half inch or inch size slide/ barrel difference completely.
I think the shorter barrel and slide are just more desirably at the end of the day. A lot of the companies see the continued success of Glock and the 19 and have to figure if it ain’t broke, stop trying to fix it.
"It's a bold strategy, Cotton. Let's see if it works out for them"
Yes, the 509 will only be issued to new officers in the Academy in lieu of the M&Ps. Others who want a 509 can buy their own.
The LAPD does not transition the whole Dept when the switch issue guns. Those happy with their Berettas, Glocks, S&Ws, 1911s and 2011s will carry on with their current guns or the alternative gun list they qualify for.
My understanding is the 1911/2011 program requires officer to shoot several high / expert qualification scores, buy an approved 1911/2011 and complete a multi day transition school.
Those who went through the academy with striker fired guns need to complete a TDA (DA/SA) school but my understanding is the schools have not been offered in many years.
While there are unfortunately agencies which only shoot 50 or 100 rounds per year LAPD shoots more frequently than most agencies.
My own agency shoots quarterly and our people shoot a minimum of 800 to 1,000 rounds a year.
That is an issue with striker fired guns in general. It also goes to why Glock makes maritime striker spring cups.
FN, like most euro gun companies, sees institutional users (LE/MIL/GOV) as their primary customers.
Their post Hi-power pistols prior to the 509 have all been flawed, half assed efforts, the FNP, FNX and FNS were all crap with the FNS being one of the first striker guns to have “not drop Safe / impact initiated” negligent discharge issues.
So what changed ? A bunch of big GOV pistol contracts including the MHS and various Federal LE agencies transitioning from 40/357 to 9mm. I.e. what FN sees as their “real” customers.
So FN brought in a bunch of engineers, GOV program specialists and marketers who actually knew the pistol side of the gun business.
The FN did well in the MHS though they came in behind SIG and Glock. An FN 509 variant passed the last round of DHS/ ICE handgun testing though again lost the contract to SIG.
The 509 is a decent modern striker fired pistol. Does it still have flaws ? Sure, the stock trigger is crap but I believe the LE model adopted by LAPD features the Apex trigger.
One thing the 509 has going for it is it has, hands down the best factory modular optics system on the market. Given the inevitable trend towards pistol mounted optics (PMO) in LE and the importance of mounting in the durability and reliability of PMO that is a real selling point for FN.
That is a valid issue with prior FN pistols but was one of the issues addressed in the 500 series.
There was a lot wrong with the FNS. It had some real issues, the biggest being they were the first of the fully tensioned striker guns to have true accidental discharges cause by impacts including two I’m aware of where guns went off in holster when officers bumped into things with holstered pistols. The FNS also failed miserably in some Agency testing though the details are covered by NDA.
You also never saw P320 style lawsuits because the FNS never took off the way the 320 did after the MHS contract and FN was likely smart enough to settle instead of attracting attention.
In addition to the ADs there were reliability issues with the FNS, the most common issues were WML induced malfunctions and the ambi mag release accidentally releasing the mag when worn concealed / IWB.
It is to FN’s credit that they were smart enough to bring in an outside engineer who really knew pistols and really make a fresh start.
PS- I am confident the 509 does not share the FNS’ AD issues.
As my prior posts indicate, I think the FN 509 is a viable duty gun.
However, I was NOT a fan of it’s very flawed predecessor the FNS.
This is from an LEO whose agency adopted the FNS without a “real” vetting process:
There is also a 2018 “service bulletin” on a condition which can cause FNS pistols to fail to fire :
|Do---or do not. |
There is no try.
The other reason for s shorter slide, however slight the difference between it and the full-length version, might be a little less for a suspect to try and grab in a struggle for an officer's pistol.
I graduated from the LAPD Police Academy in 1978. We were issued S/W Model 67 .38 revolvers. Carried two speedy loaders on the belt for a total of 18 rounds 158 gr lead round nose on duty. Had an Ithaca Shotgun in the car and 18" of hickory or later a PR-24. No stun gun, no mace, no radio once you left the car, no computer. Pretty much Adam-12 style with the mickey mouse lights on the car.
An FN issued pistol? Light years beyond 1978.
Had LAPD mandated DAO for revolvers by that time or did that come later?
Doesn't impact my FNS, since it's a post-Feb '17 build. This is the defective striker issue, where a contact fire attempt (muzzle pressed against a target) causes the circumstance where the slide goes out-of-battery and causes the gun to initially fail to fire. The trigger winds up not resetting, nor following all the way back to a fully pulled rest position. The striker as well winds up in this same netherland where any subsequent jarring motion or contact bump can launch the striker forward causing a delayed discharge. FN fixed the issue by replacing the defective striker design with a new, properly designed and engineered unit. That said, with this defect these guns did NOT go off on their own. A specific sequence of actions has to take place in order to create this delay fire scenario.
I hadn't heard of the WML problem that you've mentioned in response to different post about the FNS, though it sounds a lot like the old Glock G22 WML problem, or at least a vaguely familiar facsimile. However unlike FN, Glock didn't abandon their G22. They kept at it, turning it into a tremendously capable and reliable firearm. FN chose otherwise. Then again I haven't mounted a weapon light on my FNS at all since this particular pistol up until now has been just a recreational shooter, and only an occasional one at that. Honestly my primary motivation for buying the FNS in the first place was just for me to own a poly striker from the company. So this is not a situation that I would've put myself in a position to encounter. That said, it may be time to hang a spare TLR-1 on my gun just to see what happens.
Had LAPD mandated DAO for revolvers by that time or did that come later?[/QUOTE]
HCM - all were DAO when I came on the job. Your back up had to be neutered as well. Almost all of us on patrol carried .38 you couldn't see. Mostly,a neutered five shot Smith .38 model 36 or something similar. I carried mine in a ankle holster, some carried them under the uniform shirt in a shoulder holster.
HCM - Also, my father was on the job and started in 1959. I have his issued 6" Smith and his 4" Smith. The 4" was neutered.
At one time he was in Robbery/Homicide and later SIS and carried a Browning Hi Power but went back to the 4" Smith until he retired in the mid 80's. I have the Hi Power as well.
How long did you work at LAPD? Truly a fascinating agency.
Their gear selection has always been interesting and still is. I would like to know how many 3rd Gen S&Ws are out on the streets now.
What method did they use to neuter the 4" Smith?
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