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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Like many folks. I have seen a number of news stories on border issues. Many times I noticed that Border Patrol agents are wearing revolvers with the 12-round cartridge loops in front on the pistol side of the rig belt, just like we many years ago.

This morning I saw another story and two agents were taking people into custody and both agents had revolvers with the cartidge loops in front on the gun side.

I thought someone here might have some insight. These agents were not old timers, they looked younger than me. There seems to be quite a few agents carrying revolvers. It is just unusual in this world of automatics.

I'm curious as to why.
Thanks.
 

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Hello. I've not kept up with what the Border Patrol folks are toting, but was aware of their using some sort of semiautomatic. It may be that they have a choice or the revolvers pictured are substitute standard issue while their autos are being ordered or repaired. I flat don't know. I do believe that revolver can be a very viable defensive tool and one that I prefer for longer-than-normal shooting distances.

As you note, I believe that "gun people" do sort of take notice when we see a revolver in a police holster these days. Not all that long ago, it was the rule rather than the exception.

Best.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Mr. Camp. It did seem strange. The footage was recent, not archival and the agents appeared to be under 40. The cartridge loops really stood out. They may have had speed loaders on the opposite side. It simply seemed a bit nostalgic to see a rig belt like that.

There are a lot of border stories being broadcast. See if you notice the same thing.

Thanks so much.
 
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In my local jurisdiction some of "the city's finest" carry revolvers (Rugers). They aren't common, but they're out there.
 

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Hi there,

Here in SC, we occasionally see uniformed DNR officer's armed with S&W .357's instead of the ubiquous Glock.

Chris
 
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I've seen a couple of older guys carry Rugers, most of the young kids carry the Glocks. I've ran into a couple of retired LEO's working security after the hurricane carrying wheelguns, and they all looked a lot more comfortable than the auto guys.
 
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I live in SE Arizona, close enough to the border that I see a lot of on-duty/commuting BP agents.

As best I can recall, none were packing revolvers.

It could be that this area is atypical, because a lot of agents are on solo patrol in remote areas, where they need firepower. More likely it's because expansion has skewed the agent population toward toward more-recent hires.

I've heard and read some grumbling about the BP being given second-class treatment when it comes to equipment budgets. Maybe it's just that they were slower to switch to autos and upgrade guns in the field.

Ran
 

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As recently as 7 years ago a small town police force still carried revolvers, M13 Smith if I remember right.

I believe toward the time I was getting ready to leave they had begun the transition to autos.

Josh <><
 

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Hello,

I was recently passing through O'Hare airport in Chicago and noticed several members of the Chicago PD carrying (what looked to me like) S&W Model 10s or 15s, with two speedloaders in reserve. The guys I saw had some grey in their hair and the revolvers may have been "grandfathered" during the transition to semi-autos. In any event, even in Chicago, with the second largest PD in the nation, we find the esteemed Smith wheelgun still on active duty.

PGM
 

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Greetings from S. Texas.
I've seen plenty of Border Patrol, but have yet to see one with a revolver as a service handgun. I have seen LE in some spots who retain the revolver, but not very many.

--d.
 

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Revolvers as duty gun or back-up? Saw an article in, I think, the NY Times, to the effect that you could tell a guy's length of service by the kind of gun he used (BTW, in New York, a police officer is required to carry a weapon at all times, on or off duty). The younger cops carry autos, but the diminishing number of veteran harness bulls often carry revolvers. The police commissioner himself, a thirty-year vet, was reported to wear a five-shot .38 Smith in an ankle holster. And an aside: NYC was one of the last big-city PD's to go to autoloaders. I don't remember whether safety or firepower or weapons familiarity or what was the issue. Maybe just reluctance to change.
 

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I am a fed in southern AZ but do not work for Border Patrol. Their issued weapon is now one of the H&K 40s, not sure of the model. It is replacing the Beretta 96 40 DAO. I have been in southern AZ seeing BP folks since 1998, and they have been using semi-autos here at least since then.

They are increasing the number of folks that are hired to transport in some areas now, and ours is one of the busiest in the country for illegal aliens apprehended. So I am wondering if it might have been some newly hired transport folks, actually not Border Patrol as everyone here is using that phrase. They would be in very similar uniforms and would appear to be BP. Maybe they are giving them revolvers until they get enough pistols to issue them. I really don't have a clue, so just speculating on that last part.

twoguns
 

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The contract security folks supplied to the gummint here are issued Taurus revolvers.

Regards,

Pat
 
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I normally carry a 1911 on duty. However, I have been known to break the 586 S&W out on occasion, when I begin to feel nostalgic. I do not feel any less well armed with the wheelgun.
 

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In '87 when I came on the job we had 681 Smiths. Great guns! We qualified at 50 yards, learned hip shooting, were taught about conserving ammo, counting your shots and how to load fast from loops. Then we went to Glocks. While the Glock is fine, I still wouldn't feel underarmed with the 681 or a 41,44 or 45 revolver. In some ways they're better, especially if you work in the country where that extra ooomph is needed when putting down cattle, bear, deer and the bad guys wear heavy clothes in winter. Just a thought from a crusty old fart.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Hi and thanks for the replies. Since I posted this I have seen a number of stories on immigration issues. I did see footage of another Border Patrol Agent with the bullet loops in the front just like we used to have on our rigs. Twoguns has me thinking these may be transport folks. I usually watch FOX News, so I'm pretty sure that's where I saw the stories.
Again, I was surprised, these guys didn't look like older.
 

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I believe that older guys on the job with NYPD are authorized revolvers. Last I was there (2005) I noted a guy of my age toating a S&W model 10 in an ancient ratty holster.
 

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My first centerfire handgun was a 1911a1 which was an unmitigated disaster (it was me not the gun but I didnt know that at age 15). I soon gravitated to a .357 magnum revolver for defense and that followed me into my first Law Enforcement job but I soon changed over to a 1911 after reading a lot and acquiring one of the first Colt Mk IVs.

But I still have an emotional tie to wheelguns. My uncle, killed in 1963 (by a drunk driver), carried a 5" Model 27 on duty and I still dearly love .357 revolvers though, in the hunting field, I learned that they do have limitations and are by no means magic.

They will certainly do, so will a .38 with +P ammo. But today, with all the dope and terrorists floating around, I would rather have a way to stay in the fight if 6 rounds dont happen to work (I admit that is probably a minoirity of the time).

Still and all, I often carry a wheelgun as a second gun (usually a .44 mag or .45 AR or Colt) and I always carry one as a 3rd gun (a J-frame .357).

Wheelies are certianly viable and will work in 95% of cases just fine. If that 5% makes you nervous, carry two!

Jim H.
 

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Revolvers? Its been years since I saw an officer with anything but a Glock. Were I an officer in wide open areas, outside city limits, I'd be very tempted to carry a six inch .357 or larger caliber for the power and somewhat extended range afforded by these. In fact, when I'm in the "boonies" on my ATV, my old Ruger Security Six is always close by.
 

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The Border Patrol around Green Valley to Nogalis Arizona carry autos. I would like to see some revolvers though.
 
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