FBI Picks Glock as it’s Next Go To Gun

By John Farnam

Glock G19 Gen4 Pistol
Sample Glock G19 Gen4 Pistol (FBI’s model choice is as yet known) (original image by Aaron Ragusa at www.illinitactical.com )
Defense Training International, Inc
Defense Training International, Inc

Ft Collins, CO –-(Ammoland.com)- FBI goes with Glock!

According to a June 29, 2016, post from the General Services Administration, Glock has just been awarded a contract worth up to $85 million to supply handguns to the Federal Bureau of investigation.

After much testing, debating, hand-wringing, and all the rest that invariably goes along with major government contracts, the FBI has settled on the Glock pistol for issue to Special Agents, once again.

All this, after the SIG320, and some other competitors, looked so promising!

Not many additional details so far, other than it will be in 9mm, G17/19, and we are NOT calling it “Gen5!”

Friends familiar with the process tell me that extensive testing clearly revealed that no other pistol tested came close to Glock with regard to durability. Glocks run and run, and don’t break.

Lots of other find pistols can say the same thing, just not to the degree that Glock can!

Our armed services may be next!

/John

About John Farnam & Defense Training International, Inc
As a defensive weapons and tactics instructor John Farnam will urge you, based on your own beliefs, to make up your mind in advance as to what you would do when faced with an imminent and unlawful lethal threat. You should, of course, also decide what preparations you should make in advance, if any. Defense Training International wants to make sure that their students fully understand the physical, legal, psychological, and societal consequences of their actions or inactions.

It is our duty to make you aware of certain unpleasant physical realities intrinsic to the Planet Earth. Mr Farnam is happy to be your counselor and advisor. Visit: www.defense-training.com

  • 53 thoughts on “FBI Picks Glock as it’s Next Go To Gun

          1. The FBI has authorized Glocks for over 20 years. In the 90s, when the Bureau was issuing Sig P226s, agents were authorized to carry personally-owned Glocks in 9mm or .40 caliber. (They were also authorized to carry personally-owned P220s, and there were still some who bitterly clung to their S&W revolvers.) Around 2000, the Bureau started issuing ..40 caliber Glock 23s, and authorized personally-owned 22s and 27s. So if someone gave them good advice, they did it a long time ago.

    1. I’ve read the rationale for the return to 9MM by law enforcement agencies. Generally, mag capacity, shooters with smaller stature, etc. What it really comes down to is that most cops I know are lousy shots. More practice could cure this for the majority of them. They’re also not helped by the fact that police departments usually require DAO pistols. DA/SA pistols can generally be shot more accurately.

      An apparently omitted consideration is the simple fact that a .40 S&W makes a bigger hole and therefore does more damage. If you want to know what I mean, look up data for both rounds on “crush zones” and “stretch zones.”

      1. The performance demonstrated with both the 40 S&W and the 10 mm on gelatin blocks are extremely impressive. Training time at the range always makes a difference, especially when you are talking in terms of hundreds of rounds down range.

      2. All the available current data shows no appreciable performance difference between modern .40 and 9mm defensive ammo. “A bigger hole” is something people say that haven’t done the research. Also, people die and don’t die from multiple rounds of both.. Since it’s about shot placement on number of rounds on target, the consideration is which caliber is easiest to shoot and gives you superior capacity. The 9mm is the clear winner in that regard. The size of the hole, unless you are talking about much higher powered carbine ammo, is irrelevant.

        1. Andy Selby writes: “Since it’s about shot placement on number of rounds on target, the consideration is which caliber is easiest to shoot and gives you superior capacity. The size of the hole, unless you are talking about much higher powered carbine ammo, is irrelevant.”

          Taking you at your word, I assume therefore that your carry load is .22LR.

          1. Based on MEDICAL data he is right but there is a threshold. The threshold is 380cal. Everything from 380 and up is qualified for the statement. below that the data falls off precipitously. At 380cal and up the issue is FAR more to lead toward repetitive rounds then depending on single hits in critical regions. Now if we are talking about 300 blackout or 308 then that is a different ballgame. The issue is limited to handguns and the argument is between 380 and 50cal. Shooters for some reason seem to think that bigger is better when in reality from a surgical standpoint I am FAR more concerned about numbers of rounds of any caliber and the damage they produce. I can save the life of someone with a “dead shot” to the heart with a 45cal far easier then with multiple shots of 380cal to the intestines lungs liver and spleen. It all comes downs to tissue destruction and organ damage and a single round has extreme limits where multiple rounds are more medically devastating. Dr D

            1. Are you a trauma surgeon? If so, I will defer to you.

              If not, as a physician myself I call into question your assertion that saving the life of a patient with a “dead shot to the heart with a 45cal” being far easier than multiple 380 rounds to the gut.

              Having dissected my share of cadavers, and not being entirely unencumbered by a certain knowledge of cardiac anatomy and physiology, if you stop the pump you stop the brain and if you stop the brain you stop the threat. As you know and are well aware, in the ER people with utlmately fatal splenic ruptures can sit up on a gurney for 15-30 minutes before expiring. Not so with 45 caliber shots to the heart.

            2. Greg
              Trauma trained surgical oncologist but the issue was unfortunately missed by several members you included. the 1980’s of the gun ammo choice thinking was based on bigger is better. Today we know that NOT to be true. I HATE to bring up the issue of 22LR because every time we bring it up someone will use the info here to go out and buy one then feel totally safe with it. The issue is that placement is far more critical then caliber. The issue of size and speed of the ammo is FAR less important now that we have realistic ballistic date from guys like the FBI and Lutz’s work as well as several others. What we do know is that if the goal is to stop a person and not to blow them into smithereens or insure they are alive to testify but to actually stop their action and that is it then the most valuable variable is shot placement and the damage the actual bullet makes. To that end the actual damage is a direct relationship between bullet design and material and NOT caliber. A 45cal ball or basic JHP is FAR less likely to deliver better stopping damage then say a 380 with higher tech bullet design like Lehigh or Hornady or even the new PolyCase ammo coming into play now. The issue is placement and with placement being the MOST critical then gun movement and recoil and barrel lift become the most critical
              The reason our LEO’s have the worst in the field shot record is not because they lack training (although I have been bitching about that for 3 decades now) it is because in the course of a REAL life or death incident you know as well as I as I do that the life or death flight or fright responses take over. They lose 83% of their vision they lose 705 of the finger control 60% of their wrist control 50% of their elbow control and 40 percent of their shoulder control. With that the body actually refuses to accept brain signals and is trying to freeze rather then act. Anything that interferes with accuracy will limit stopping power and that means caliber is the largest factor. Same LEOS with lower calibers do much better then when we give them bigger caliber guns. The decision to go to 9mm is the best decision that an agency has made since accepting semi-autos into their departments. When I started we were required to carry revolvers and I got special permission to carry my Walther. then when all the rest went to semi’s and got bigger and bigger ones I stayed (with permission) with my 380cal Walther. It was only a few years ago that I agreed to go to a 9mm G-19 and still have my PPK as my back up and or to go piece when the larger G19 won’t fit under the suit or Tux or shorts.
              We need to SERIOUSLY educate away form emotional caliber and design types and support the decisions by raw empirical data obtained from human bodies that arrive in wounded or fatal condition and decide not in gel but in tissue what the best reason is for stopping a BG in action. So far that is placement and not caliber. Hey for all I know there is a new ammo out there that gives both but so far it hasn’t crossed my ED room doorstep and or my LEO desk
              Dr D
              PS Yes a direct to the heart explosive shot will cause a DOS so it won’t matter as I surely won’t be treating it but the real issue was missed by the emotion of the comments.

            3. Dr. Dave
              Your informed response is eminently reasonable and rational. In orthopedics, bigger is always better, it’s just the way it is. Surely you are aware of Martin Fackler’s work in this area. I tend to view these things on a continuum, taking into account the criticality of shot placement while also considering the size, shape and speed of the projectile. I am not a ballistician but I do find ballistics fascinating.

            4. @Greg and Dr Dave, I want to thank you both for one of the fascinating dialogues that I have ever read here. In my own limited experience, I just shoot them with what the Army provided until they stop moving.

            5. Fakler is the father of medical ballistics he left the Navy and went to the Army (traitor) about the time I got to the DoD. If you follow him then you understand the issue is all about placement and destruction. He suggested that it was FAR better to rip an organ apart by fragmenting then to tear right thru it and make holes. That is why current high tech ammo is based on “pealing back” or even fragmenting all together rather then worrying about going all the ay to the spine or thru and thru. I can patch up thru and thru IF I have margins. The issue is when pieces and parts of the round fly off and rip the heck out of soft tissue putting the edges back together is often preliminated by bleeding out.
              Now that some military guys chimed in it makes a HUGE difference if we are talking about military activity or civilian activity. The military is designed by intention to kill as in one round one dead or the like with the SEALs and Delta. In civilian we are INTENDED to use the force needed to stop further activity and IF that includes death so be it. One infers a killing machine the other infers a defensive action to stop an aggressor.
              With that in mind the best option is to have a fast accurate activity that stops the person and allow the victim to either escape or remain safely until PROFESSIONAL law enforcement arrives. Self defense is NOT the same as armed militia!!!!
              Yes both are included in the 2ndAm but they are spoken about differently and legally and morally they are different. The militia is a force to use both offensive and defense tactics to defend the US of A. The Self Defense activity is used to ONLY defend oneself (or close by ones) from an otherwise illegal activity until appropriate assistance arrives. We are NOT supposed to mix the two together BUT I think that most “gun enthusiasts” sometimes think that the two are comingle able and the same if given an opportunity. I don’t agree and neither do most DA’s and juries.
              Dr D

    2. When one looks at actual shooting statistics of what has worked on the street (Marshall’s “Stopping Power”), it makes sense. Ball and the best J.H.P. rounds of 9mm and .40 S&W are very comparable when either are used in combat.

        1. I don’t see where he mentions anything about military combat. he just mentions combat, as in two combatants going at it, hand to hand or otherwise. So yeah, think before you post.

            1. I think that combat may have implied military operations in the past, but now days there are so many former soldiers in in the law enforcement community, and federal agents that have trained with the U.S. Army, that a lot of terms, including combat, have bled over into the law enforcement lexicon. Remember how the term “Rules of Engagement” got that woman killed at Ruby Ridge. Here is another: During the Rodney King riots, local, federal, and CA National Guard teams manned road blocks. One of the check points was taking fire. The leos turned to their NG counterparts and said, “Cover us. We are going in” The leos made for the source of the shots fired. The NG poured fire on the target. The leos ran back to the NG saying, “Don’t do that. Just cover us.” Having thought about the matter, I think that you are both kind of right.

    3. Personally, I think the earlier ammunition testing that leaned, VERY HEAVILY, toward a recommendation of the 10 mm round, and subsequently the Glock Model 20 as the FBI’s first choice. The only reason they took a step back, was the recent influx of female agents, who couldn’t handle the recoil. The reasoning behind a single caliber is the thought that a firefight may require sharing ammo, . . . . but when was the last time that happened, and how OFTEN has it happened? What a shame those who drive the desks in the J. Edgar Hoover Building make these important decisions!

      1. Federal agencies don’t buy their ammo at Walmart. Every different caliber and type of ammunition has to be separately tested, so the agency doesn’t get sued by the manufacturers of the ammo it didn’t buy. Then the funds have to be appropriated separately, then each caliber has to be purchased separately. It’s very expensive to carry more than one caliber of ammo. Just the extra time and paperwork to test, appropriate, and purchase is a small fortune. And you pay for it.
        Ten-millimeter guns are difficult to conceal under a jacket, too big for a lot of people’s hand (including mine, and I wear size L gloves), and their recoil beats up the guns and the shooters. The guns don’t last as long (extra expense for you), and the recoil makes it hard to do the “3 rounds in 2 seconds from the holster at 1.5 yards” part of the quarterly qualification.

    4. It makes perfect sense to standardize weapons, magazines, and ammo, a fact not lost on our military. The standard NATO round is 9mm, like it or not. I believe even our elite Navy Seals are soon to adopt the Glock. It has served the Austrian army well, and a host of police departments use the Glock as well. It is not always advantageous to always kill, sometimes wounding can serve the purpose. Remember, law enforcement serves with a different mission than the military. The Glock is a time proven design, more cost effective than the Sig (any taxpayers out there), simple to repair, and they seem to last forever. I am retired law enforcement and I own two of them.

      1. Like what? The awkward and uncomfortable M&P? I don’t think smith&wesson could meet the demand anyway. The Xd is a Croatian production and, feels ridiculously top heavy with it’s skyscraper high bore axis. You can’t expect the purchase of some form of 1911. If there were a decent domestically produced small arm that argument would hold true. lets face the facts FN, Glock, Walther, SIG, H&K, Beretta and a plethora of others have built the better mouse trap.

        1. Trent, I was never a fan of Glock until I fired one and was able to hit with it. Furthermore, I’ve never heard anyone complain about reliability issues with a Glock. I’ve always been pleased with my S&W’s and love the XD’s, especially the XDS in 9mm. I love the M&P Shield 9mm which has nice quality, reliability, nice trigger, and price,–for about a hundred dollars less than any of the comparable pistols available.

          1. Yes indeed, let’s turn back the clock 50 years. Why not issue round nose lead bullets while we’re at it? Six rounds? Hell, five should be enough for anyone. And let’s not forget the best two parts on the revolver agenda list: A. 100% of the felt recoil is transmitted from the gun to the shooter and B. The life expectancy of a revolver before a rebuild is approx. 50-60,000 rounds vs 200-300,000 rounds for, say, a Glock. Yup Tex, you’ve got it all solved.

            1. @Vanns40,what I talking about is I think S&W revolvers are the best of all other brand revolvers. I wasn’t comparing revolvers to Glocks or any other semi-auto handgun. Take care.

            2. Actually, 100% of felt recoil is also transmitted from a pistol to the shooter. Can’t get around the laws of physics.

          2. Tex: Got ya!
            Clark Kent: Felt recoil is mitigated by the recoil spring in semi-autos. Third Law of motion being what it is, there is nothing inbetween the first part of the action and second part-all the felt recoil is transmitted directly to the shooter with a revolver. With a semi-auto the recoil spring absorbs a portion of the second part of the Law (reaction) before it is transmitted to the shooter.

            1. That still does not negate the FACT that 100% of the recoil is still imparted to the shooter, regardless of pistol or revolver. Nice try, no cigar. Go read a physics book.

    5. Show me some stats on why the Glock is more cost effective than the Sig. This is easy to say but I’m pretty sure you can’t back it up. I am a gunsmith and I have repaired as many Glocks as Sigs.

      1. 1. Parts are cheaper than Sig and a lay person can completely rebuild a Glock, ground up, start to finish, in 21 minutes or less.

        2. While Sig makes a good product, I have heard numerous stories of Glocks running past the 200,000 & 300,000 round mark before needing to be rebuilt. I own two such guns, a Glock 19 and a 23 and they both went south of the 220,000 mark before I decided to rebuild them both. I only replaced the barrel on the 23 because Storm Lake was having a sale. The stock barrel on the 19 was just fine. The slides on both guns were fine.

        So, you can claim my experience is anecdotal and it is but you did ask for instances and here are two. I do have a Glock 17 but the round count is too low to be of any use.

        I also shoot with people who have similar round counts. What are the Sig round counts you encounter?

        1. I agree the issue of being a gunsmith and rebuilding various models doesn’t work because you are only getting the broken ones. How many more Glocks are out there then Sigs needs to be weighed in. The G19 is the most used semi auto handgun in the world so if you are seeing equal numbers of G’s and SIgs that means that the Glocks are standing up better since there are like 2 or 3 to one more Glocks then SIgs
          PLUS remember the issue with Gov armorers is uniformity and time to get a gun back in the field. In the case of the Glocks they can basically issue the parts and have the agent toss them in after the next range session. Remember agencies work off of maintenance schedules not waiting till they break to fix things but after certain time or rounds have been met they cycle out certain parts and lubricate as per a set of directions.
          All in all the G is not a bad decision regardless of the personal opinions of the forum here there is really no bad to this choice. Dr D

    6. John,
      You and I competed against Police Officers (other than you) many times.
      A few were highly proficient, mainly the SWAT guys. The rest, not so much.
      As an IDPA RO there were times when we had to follow a cop around
      the range to keep an eye to se that no one would get hurt.
      A Friend who is a retired Federal Officer, once shared that after
      a motor cycle accident, he carried a non functioning pistol on duty for
      several weeks before the Department Armorer insisted on checking it, and
      found that it was damaged.
      If anything at all good can come out of the Dallas Tragedy, it is that it
      will provide the kick in the pants that Officers need to get to the range
      and practice.

    7. Glocks are the most desirable,dependable,quality handguns on the market. There are other quality handgun manufacturers,but none can hold a candle to Glocks. nuff said ! ‘TEXAS,LIKE A WHOLE OTHER COUNTRY’ !

    8. My unit used the Glocks since they came in the 80’s I was the last to fall from Walther grace about 5 years ago when I to went to the G19. I went kicking and screaming but I do like it now although I do own both personally.
      The other manufacturers over the long haul are simply to hard to keep up with and the issue of 9mm vs 40 or 10mm is moot. No one but civilians want the bigger caliber. My guys much prefer to squeeze off 9mm double taps then single shot 10mm all day long. My guys are some of the best shooters and they still can’t justify the extra cost and extra wrist power needed for the bigger bang. We train for multiple shots as opposed to single exposure. SO far we have yet to lose a team member to gun fore and I started the unit in 1979 and all of our jobs are SWAT like operations. Our guys like the lower bang 9mm as they can get on and stay on point longer without the concern of recoil and muzzle lift AND the department loves the savings in cost of 9mm over anything short of 22LR (and we all know that is no longer cheap)
      The FBI creates the ballistics data for the world so it surely has a grasp on what is the sweet spot between cost and accuracy and stopping power.
      I think the G17/19 is a good choice for them and will allow a common use between ammo magazines and parts.
      Dr D

    9. I have Glocks, SIGs, and S&W. All good pistols. I do action work and install night sights on Glocks and S&W. I don’t do anything to SIG pistols. All are fine weapons. Use what you shoot best with. I hope the FBI Glocks are specced with the metal night sights.

    10. Maybe they think sending a contract for handguns Glock’s way will absolve them from the ‘sins’ of their Leader? LOL

    11. Hey Pete come to my department and I will show you great shots. Even a woman that will out shoot you!!! Don’t talk about what you don’t know about.

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