Escalation: Police Weapon Evolution as a function of Demographics

PK NOTE: Reader submission (I’ll let you try and figure out which regular member of the comment section this one is from). As one of America’s biggest proponents of the Second Amendment, I’m happy to publish this piece and welcome – and invite – any regular member of the comment section at SBPDL to submit original material to be published here. I’m working on formatting a number of books – and finishing some research on big columns for Vdare -so please enjoy this guest piece.

Why is crime so low in those states without Red?

For over 70 years Gun Experts have quietly been reacting to the changing demographics of criminals and Race riots by “upping” their loads to be more effective against large blacks. While the overall population of blacks has actually dropped (as a percentage of the population), the embracing of criminal culture by blacks and the near total breakdown of the black family has lead to a minority population that is willing to engage police in gun battles at will. The response to this increase in criminality is plain, though unspoken, for fear of charges of “racism”. Please note I do not include the formation of special units like SWAT and Hostage Rescue Units or other specialized Entry Units but concentrate on the average police officer, nor do I discuss such exotic alternatives as the Tazer or Pepper spray, which are unsuccessful attempts to allow 120lbs female Affirmative Action hires to equal a 250 deputy in the realm of intermediate force.

From the 1880’s up through the 1930’s officers in the USA carried the Colt single action or Smith and Wesson DA revolver and perhaps a rifle in the same caliber (45 Long Colt or the .44-40). There were no SWAT teams, Special Entry Teams, K9 units or “backup”. The motto among police was “One officer, one riot”. Police carried 6 rounds in the pistol and 12 on the belt.

By 1935, the weak 38 Special or weaker .38 Police Positive was king for both police and civilian alike. The 9mm, 38 Super and 45 ACP were avoided because of the smooth full metal jacket ammo that at the time was required for auto pistols for smooth operation. FMJ ammo was also avoided due to over-penetration, bounce and ricochet of FMJ ammo as well as the tendency of the auto pistol to jam more frequently than the revolver without gunsmith attention and for FMJ bullets to “zip” through the human body without apparent effect. Further, Police departments considered 45’s autos to be “for War” and “too much” for civilian law enforcement against Whites. Many famous lawmen still carried the SA Colt Peacemaker in the 45 Long Colt. The .357 Magnum revolvers were not even carried in the regular S&W catalog, they were special order only for “men of exceptional physique” and used for long range target shooting or hunting. The Police standard long gun was the double barrel shotgun or pump, proven effective in WWI. The Tommy guns and high power rifles needed for take down such as Bonnie and Clyde or Pretty Boy Floyd were never adopted by average officers.

In the 1950s, lead by Ed Mcgivern, Elmer Keith and others who saw the writing on the wall, advocated for the widespread adoption of the .357 Magnum with a 158 grain soft lead Keith designed semi-wadcutter slug over the then standard police 38 Special 158 grain round nose bullet for more stopping power. Only experts adopted it as the recoil of the .357 was deemed “too heavy”.

In the 1960’s the excellent .357 Magnum 125 grain hollow point revolver load was introduced, upping the power even more and giving excellent results for stopping (it remains the top revolver fighting load to this day). This load gradually became the police standard for the next 30 years. Revolver magnum hollow points widely appeared and the 38 Special among the police began “The Long Fade”. FMJ ammo was still the only carry ammo for automatics. “Radical” gun guys modified their revolvers by shaving the hammer, tuning the action and had quick draw holsters, which brought the six shot revolver to the high point of its development. The pump shotgun became standard over the double barrel (except in NYC) for its larger number of shells.

In the 1970’s the .41 Magnum was introduced with a soft lead slug for experts. Though it proved to be a failure with minimally trained police officers, experts loved the big N frame .41 Magnum and some still carry it to this day. The even more powerful 44 Magnum was already in existence via Special Order and 4 month wait from the factory and was considered exclusively a hunting arm for Bear or Moose. The weapon was viscerally exposed to the public in the movie “Dirty Harry”. Ironically the first people shot with a 44 Magnum in that movie is are 4 blacks. Demand for Smith and Wesson.44 Magnums far exceeded the supply for the next 15 years. The model 29 (44 Magnum) and the model 57 and 58 Smith and Wesson’s (41 Magnum) proved to be the high point in terms of the pure horsepower in the police revolver. Only one police dept (San Francisco) issued 41 Magnum as standard (San Antonio also did, but insisted that the revolvers be marked “.41 Special for Politically Correct reasons). Later both dropped the 41 Mag as the training level necessary to control such a powerful load was deemed too expensive.

In the late 1970’s, led by the SuperVel company, autopistol cartridges came out with the first hollow points for autos that worked reliably, thus 9mm and 45 automatics were encouraged for speed of reloading and higher number of cartridges. The .357 Magnum still dominated police sales and the powerful 125 grain Jacketed hollow point was standard issue and extremely effective. Shotguns get extended magazines to 8 shots. Rifles are first considered for patrol officers, upping the number of shots from 5 to 8 in a pump shotgun to 20 for a rifle. Gone was the idea of “one officer, one riot” and the militarization of police began in earnest, first with the introduction of SWAT teams.

In the 1980’s police still used the 357 magnum revolver almost exclusively but the autopistol began to make serious inroads encouraged by weapons masters such as Massad Ayoob and Col. Jeff Cooper. Hollowpoint bullets for these weapons increased in reliability and gun manufactures began to turn out pistols that were reliable right out of the box. The 10mm Auto cartridge, equivalent to the 41 Magnum in an auto pistol, was developed and embraced by weapons masters and adopted by the FBI, but this weapon proved too powerful, especially for the female Affirmative Action hires. The FBI eventually settled on a shortened, lower pressure version of the 10mm Auto called the 40 S&W. This was considered a compromise design with more cartridges than the 45 ACP and more stopping power than the 9mm.

In the 1990’s, in the aftermath of the 4 day 1992 L.A. riot (which marked the first filming of civilians shooting blacks with assault rifles on American soil) which made our largest city look like a war zone in Nigeria. After watching the LAPD finding themselves in over 200 firefights simultaneously, the police went over completely to the auto pistol. Police abandoned the concept of the pure horsepower and reliability of the revolver so as to gain a numerical number of cartridges defense against large numbers of minorities attacking at once or extended firefights. The concept of +P cartridge designation developed, as auto pistol owners still longed for the horsepower of the revolver. The Great Debate began between the 9mm advocates and the .45 ACP devotees. Older cartridges such as the 32 ACP, the 9mm Kurtz (380 Auto) and to some extent the 9mm were dropped for lack of power against large blacks. Each officer now carried 45 or more bullets in total in three magazines of 15 cartridges each, one in the gun and two more on the belt. Body armor is now recommended for every officer and sold by companies such as Second Chance, Inc. Military rifles in .223 are issued by request to patrol officers as SOP with 20 round magazines in L.A. as an alternative to the pump shotgun. The 9mm Submachinegun makes it first appearance on the 1992 L.A. streets but lacks range and striking power. Accuracy also suffers because of the difficulty of mounting optics.

In the 2000’s it was standard for police to be issued 17 round magazines (51 Shots total on their person!) in 40 S&W. The 38 Special and 32’s are considered only for housewives or backup guns. The police long gun standard is the AR military rifle in .223, though stories of failures to stop influenced Springfield Armory to release the .308 M1A (A semi-auto version of the Army’s former Main Battle Rifle, the M14) in a shorter barreled “Scout Squad” version, directly aimed at the civilian police market. Reports are favorable and several major police departments adopted the weapon. Reliable 25 round magazines are available.

This increase of over seven times the firepower in the space of only 100 years represents an unacknowledged but important change in the thinking of those who carry weapons. As the demographic of felon has changed (more likely to shoot back, larger physically, less concerned with the consequences of shooting police, etc), the reaction of the defending professional has been to shoot harder, faster and more.



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