March 2000

SIG, Smith & Wesson, Glock: We Test Approved Pistols of the FBI

The FBI has chosen three sidearms for new agents—the Glock 22, S&W’s 4586, and the SIG Sauer P239—each with a different design and personality. If it were us, we’d choose the SIG.

Current FBI regulations stipulate that three handguns, the double-action-only Smith & Wesson 4586 in .45 ACP, the Glock Model 22 in .40 S&W, and the SIG P239 chambered for .357 SIG, are approved carry guns for its field agents. Notably missing from this list, of course, are any number of 1911-style .45 ACPs, one of which Springfield Armory already supplies to the FBI’s Special Weapons And Tactics (SWAT) agents. Why the disparity?

Bureau thinking has it that SWAT-force officers frequently train for high-threat encounters, thus, they fire many times more rounds a year in training and qualification than the typical agent. In this view, the 1911 pistol, with its short, crisp trigg...

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