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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Not sure this is the right place for this, but here goes anyway.

Just got back from a week in Costa Rica, both in the capitol of San Jose and out in the boonies in the northwest Pacific coast area. Lots of jungle, rutted dirt roads and very friendly local folks, particularly if you even tried to speak a little Spanish with them.

Anyway, while there, I kept on eye on the coppers I saw to get an idea of what they were carrying. I found that the local, municipal, state and highway cops and security guards, to a man, all carried .38 revolvers. I did not get a close look at the type, but I'm pretty sure they were not Smiths...rather, they were most likely Tauruses, Llamas or possibly Rossis. Was unable to see how reloads were carried...did not see speedloaders or speedloader buckets...saw only one copper, a highway patrol guy, carrying reloads on a cartridge belt slide. The cops were carrying their equipment on nylon duty belts and in nylon holsters, for the most part, with some occasionally still using leather.

The only law enforcement officers I saw incountry carrying automatics were the immigration and customs officers at the airport. They were carrying what appeared to be Beretta 84s-the 13 shot .380 automatics-in belt slide holsters with no reloads.

Thought it was interesting to note that in some places, the revolver continues to pull primary law enforcement duty.

Bob
 

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Bob,

Thanks for the interesting observation. I think the right revolver in the right LEO hands is still a capable combination today. I get to Europe a bit on business these days and Glocks, SIGs and H&K submachine guns are what I see (mostly) at big airports.

PGM
 

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Hi Bob,

When I was in Brazil lots of police in Minas Gerais still carried wheelguns. On the other hand, in Rio de Janeiro where there was ongoing organized crime in the favelas/slums the military police usually were carrying *two* Beretta/Taurus semi-auto pistols (lots of thigh holsters), a short-barreled M-16, a 5.56mm FN, or Beretta M-12 smg, etc. etc. Our Mexican friends on the post can comment much more accurately on Mexican LE practice, where one sees plenty of revolvers, but also lots of rather heavily armed rifle, shotgun or smg-toting police too. In Cuba, where I've gone to do research, the cops all carry Makarovs--as one would expect--but the motorcycle police seem to mostly have CZ 75s. I've also seen a Stechkin or two...The armored car guards there have some kind of shotgun with a box magazine (guard the hard currency from the tourist hotels!). Last, in Uruguay the police seem to have some really antiquated looking equipment with some very old revolvers in the beat cop holster, but with the ubiquitous MP-5 and so on carried by the more paramilitary-type police. Many contrasts! Did you see Costa Rican police with long arms of any kind?

Saludos,
Dave.
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
In Mexico the da revoler still rules, oh yes, the municipal,estatal and security cops use .38 spl revolvers, and as a reload they carry 12 rounds in cartridge loops.
Most of the handgus are very worn S&W and some colts and Taurus revolvers too.

Only the comandantes use berettas 9 mm's, but most of the police use the old .38 spl revolver.

Manny
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi, guys....Dave, I saw no long arms at all. With the state and highway coppers, I'm guessing that any long arms were probably in the trunks of the patrol cars...they certainly weren't out or being carried. The local cops I saw were either walking beats or were patrolling sections of rural areas on dirt motorbikes...these guys also were not displaying long arms.

Interesting about the Cubans....although I have no use for their politics, their choice of sidearms isn't bad at all...CZs and Maks are great pistols!!

I've heard that policing in Brazil is pretty rough, because the crime element is very high...I think I'll pass, thank you....

Hi, Manny....I haven't been to Mexico in 25 years or more, but vaguely recall from my last trip to Baja (Bahia San Quintin) and Acapulco that the cops at that time were carrying revolvers. I'm not surprised that they still are doing so...revolvers work pretty much all the time and they have to be in pretty bad shape not to work.

Sounds like everybody here has travelled more extensively in Central and South America than I have. I've travelled primarily in Asia, Australia and northern Europe...but again, not too recently. Costa Rica was really a blast and the people were so nice out in the country!!

Bob
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Dave you are right, when I told about revolvers it was about siderams, in long guns the police use a variety of them mostly Colts CAR15,UZZIs,Mendoza (Mexican clones of the uzzi), mossbergs pum shotguns,some M1 .30 carbine.

Our police departamentes are not very good about isuing one model or caliber to thier cops.

In Mexico City you a heve a greta variety of sidearms, I've been seen taurus,s&w and colts revolvers, berettas, glocks 17 (lately) and some Steyers 9 mm too, the alameda cops (wearing charro or mariachi costums) use .357 mag revolvers.

It's scary see cops with almost cero gun handling istruction and cero shooting range time carrying Uzis and CAR15 as you said abou the police women putting the MP5's over the table.

The average cop only fires about 50 rounds per year in shoting range qualifications or sessions!!!!! really believe me.

If you want (as a cop) fresh ammo you must PAY IT? oh yeas!! this means that if I want one or two reloads I have to pay almost 25 U$D per 12 rounds!!!

Even if a cop shoot one or two rounds in the line off duty he/she must pay the spent rounds to the police armor man.

Sans the berettas 9mm and the glocks 9 mm all the revolvers (855) are very worn and beaten.

The special forces task officers wear berettas or glocks and MP5's or galilis or CAR15 carbines.

The Federal cops (AFIS) wear brownings HP35 MKIII's in 9 mm and .40.

Manny
 

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Hijole! I had no idea ammo was that expensive! And police salaries are rather notoriously low, no? I guess the revolver's six cartuchos is better for the average budget!

I don't want to hijack the thread on the revolver's continued use/viability as a police sidearm and its use by police in Lat. Am. But I would like to ask Manny about the liberalization of private firearms ownership in Mexico? My understanding was that a law or bill was afoot that would make restrictions on civilian guns less strict? Did that happen, or get shelved?

Back to the revolver as sidearm...

Saludos,
Dave.
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I'm glad this topic is here. I have also wondered about such matters.

I talked with a trade rep from Star at the SHOT show a couple of years before Star went out of buisness, and he mentioned that the Guardia Civil had M-30's and the Cuerpo General de Policia had mainly Star M30PK's and the smaller SA Star 9mm like the .45 PD. The name escapes me at the moment. BS? Quite a few are sold here now as surplus, so I think they've recently discarded them.

I have a gun book printed in Spain that suggests that the trend there is toward H-K USP's and that some police use S&W .357 revolvers, M-66's and M-686's.
A Spanish member of the S&W forum www.smith-wessonforum.com has been asking about S&W revolvers for private purchase. He mentioned both .38 and .357 models.

Articles in military type magazines, "Soldier of Fortune", etc. say the Beretta M-92 is popular in Columbia, many bought with US funds to fight drug dealers.

Gemini 2
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Considering Manny's mention of their less-than-adequate training, I'd have to say that revolvers are probably a good way for them to go. There's not much to remember about shooting, cleaning, or reloading a revolver.
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The New Mexican Gun Law is on the shelf still, the senators have not released yet, this new law is good to hunters but for the average citizen is not.

I really believe a COP is better served with a medium frame da revolver if police dept (like the Mexicans) does not make qualification (bymonthly at least) or give to the cops plenty ammo for shooting range sessions.

I recall one day I was buyin a .22 lr brick in the local sporting good store when a cop walked in with an Uzzi pointing at avery people in the store, knowing this Uzzi could went off very easily in full auto really scared me, even the cop had the finger in the trigger!!!!

Manny
 

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fwiw: I'm just back from my first trip to Puerto Rico.
Male and female LEO all had S&W semi-autos, but I saw one plain-clothes with a SIG 226, a security guard with a blued .38, and a cop with a stainless S&W revolver of some kind.
 

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Hi dave,

According to my wife, who is Puerto Rican, the larger city departments, i.e. San Juan, Ponce carry the S&W automatics and some of the smaller departments, i.e. Cuomo, carry a variety of revolvers and automatics.

Federal agencies will carry whatever is the issue up here as they are generally the same agencies, i.e. FBI and ect., as they are up here in the upper 48 states.

Chris
 

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Hello H&A message board folks:

Just got back from Jalisco, Mexico. Lots of the regular cops in Guadalajara have .38 revolvers or empty holsters. Bike cops have snazzy mountain bikes, but very old wheelguns on their belts. The state police all had semi-autos, but it was difficult to make out what they were. One motorcylce cop had a Glock.

The state police guarding banks and other high-value real estate had Galil or M16A2 rifles either carbine or rifle-length. I also saw a crazy chopped and cropped M-1 carbine (Universal?).

--d.
 
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