Personal Defense Weapon for Everyday Police Carry

By Jim Pope, Captain, Columbus Police Department, Columbus, GA
Officer Jim Pope makes the case why a compact personal defense weapon should be come standard issue and everyday carry for police officers in the USA.

Heckler and Koch MP7 Personal Defense Weapon
Heckler and Koch MP7 Personal Defense Weapon
AmmoLand Gun News
AmmoLand Gun News

USA -( I’ve seen a lot in 30 years of law enforcement. Tactics have come and gone. Weapons and ammunition have come and gone.

The new and shiniest toy became obsolete, etc. When we get these new and shiny toys people (typically people that know absolutely nothing about tactics or police work in general) always chime in and it’s usually negative. When we switched from a revolver to a semi auto handgun, there was a huge outcry.

They claim we were going to spray down entire neighborhoods with rounds and kill countless citizens. It never happened and as with all of these things it never does.

It’s a training issue and no more complicated than that. When we began going to a carbine rifle and away from the trusty Remington 870 shotgun, the same cry could be heard. We would now routinely kill citizens from a half mile away, shoot through three walls and kill citizens, the brass would pile up to the point of it being a health hazard, etc. It never happened, another simple training issue.

Now we step forward into what I believe needs to be and should be the next shiny tool in our tool box, the personal defense weapon (PDW). We need a one gun does it all. We should not have to retreat to the trunk of a patrol car to get a tool to address a lethal threat. That tool should be on our person at all times. We cannot go into a domestic disturbance and when the husband comes out of the back room with a shotgun; ask for a time out to go back to our vehicle and obtain the correct tool. We can’t approach a vehicle on a traffic stop and when the driver suddenly comes out with an AR15, and ask in the interest of fairness for the suspect to allow us to go and retrieve a long gun to at least make it an even match.

In light of the five slain officers in Dallas, every officer on the scene should have had a weapon on their person capable of penetrating at least level III A soft armor (we’ll get more into that later) and that weapon should have a minimum effective range of 100 yards. Very few of them did.

So for the layman, what is a PDW (Personal Defense Weapon). The PDW bridges the gap between the pistol and the long rifle. It falls much closer on the scale to the long rifle but doesn’t have quite the effective range. Think of a rifle with a shortened barrel, shortened stock and in many cases a different, smaller caliber from the typical 5.56 or 7.62 weapon but not always.

“A personal defense weapon (PDW) is a class of compact magazine-fed, self-loading, select-fire firearm – essentially a hybrid between a submachine gun and a carbine, retaining the compact size and ammunition capacity of the former while adding the stopping power, accuracy and penetration of the latter.” (

That’s an oversimplification and in my opinion it doesn’t have to be select fire.

According to “… it can be generally agreed that the modern personal-defense weapon will be a short-barreled rifle (SBR) chambered in a caliber more powerful than a typical handgun cartridge. Often, the PDW will have select-fire capabilities.”

Personal Defense Weapon Options

Okay, you get the picture so what are our options? These are in no particular order and there are many PDW in addition to these. This is for informational purposes only at this point.

Israel Weapon Industries X95 Bullpup CQB Rifle

Israel Weapon Industries X95 Bullpup CQB Rifle
Israel Weapon Industries X95 Bullpup CQB Rifle

MFG's Description : The Israel Weapon Industries X95 Bullpup CQB Rifle is the Special Forces firearm for the 21st century. Like all IWI firearms, it was developed in close cooperation with elite units of the Israel Defense Force, tailored to their specific requirements and needs. Taking cues from the Tavor TAR-21 issued to the IDF, the X95 continues the evolution of the modern bullpup CQB rifle. Slim and compact with a 13” barrel and an OAL of 22.8”, it is offered in 5.56 NATO, easily converted to 9mm Luger Parabellum and soon to .300 AAC. The X95 features STANAG magazine compatibility, forefinger ambidextrous magazine release, interchangeable pistol grip assemblies and a tri-rail forearm with removable rail covers for easily customizable accessory placement (flashlight, laser, vertical fore grip, bipod, etc.). Like its predecessor the TAR-21, the X95 is 100% ambidextrous to right or left hand operation with the optional opposite hand bolt.

  • 13” barrel, 22.8” OAL, 5.56 NATO

Lewis Machine & Tool CQB MRP Defender Model Piston 12 Carbine

Lewis Machine & Tool CQB MRP Defender Model Piston 12 Carbine
Lewis Machine & Tool CQB MRP Defender Model Piston 12 Carbine

Lewis Machine and Tool CQBPS12 (

  • 12” barrel, 29” OAL, 5.56 NATO (Some would argue that this one doesn’t belong in the category of a PDW)

FN P90 Personal Defense Weapon

FN P90 Personal Defense Weapon, Tactical
FN P90 Personal Defense Weapon, Tactical

MFG's Description : Just like the Five-seveN handgun, the P90 submachine gun was developed around the 5.7x28mm ammunition to meet the Armies requirement in terms of efficiency.

The Tactical version incorporates most features of the Standard version plus an enlarged top rail for add-on sighting systems. Both the Standard and the Tactical versions can be fitted with an integrated visible or infrared laser.

  • Barrel 10.4”, 19.9” OAL, 5.7 x 28 (50 round non protruding magazine)

Desert Tech DT Micro Dynamic Rifle

Desert Tech DT Micro Dynamic Rifle
Desert Tech DT Micro Dynamic Rifle

MFG's Description : The MDR was designed for military, law enforcement, and civilian users to be the most adaptable and portable autoloading rifle in the world. This is accomplished with a bullpup design, multi-caliber capabilities, and modularity. The MDR is fully ambidextrous with no modifications necessary. It sets a new standard for speed and precision. (

  • 10.5” barrel, 20” OAL, 5.56 and 7.62 NATO

Heckler and Koch MP7 Submachine Gun

Heckler and Koch MP7 Submachine Gun
Heckler and Koch MP7 Submachine Gun

MFG's Description : The MP7 represents a new generation of enhanced-performance submachine guns that bridge the gap between assault rifles and conventional submachine guns. Developed as a genuine personal defense weapon, it far exceeds the NATO requirements profile.

The MP7 is extremely compact, lightweight, can be used in very confined spaces, and is practically recoil-free. It can be carried continuously, making it the ideal personal weapon for the soldier of today. Those who carry it will be suitably armed for the broadest range of operations.

Comparing the calibres, the penetration and terminal effects of the 4.6 mm x 30 cartridge are several times those of the standardised 9 mm x 19 cartridge. By way of illustration: The new high-performance calibre penetrates the NATO CRISAT TARGET (1.6 mm titanium and 20 layers of kevlar) even at 200 m. One fundamental requirement: At the same time, the risk of overpenetration is reduced to a minimum.

  • 7.1” barrel, 16.3” OAL, 4.6MM x 30



MFG's Description : The LWRC IC-PDW is the smallest and most unique rifle of the IC family. This gun is designed to be an ultra compact personal defense weapon. Directly descended from the rifles developed by LWRCI to meet the requirements for the U.S. Army Individual Carbine program, the IC-PDW is built for high performance in an ultra compact configuration.  It’s compact size and light weight means it can be carried and deployed in a variety of roles.  (

  • 8.5” barrel, 20” OAl and up, 5.56 NATO

Personal Defense Weapon

As you can see Personal Defense Weapons come in all shapes, configurations and calibers. Bullpup designs have a length advantage over others but the triggers tend to be not as good. The P90 by not having a protruding magazine has an obvious advantage in terms of carry and convenience. The H & K MP7 is so small it can be worn in a thigh rig. 5.56 ammo is a whole lot cheaper and more readily available than the other calibers mentioned. The other calibers generally lack the same stopping ability as the 5.56 and much less than 7.62.

The purpose of this article is not to endorse any one over the other. I do not have a dog in this fight one way or the other.

PDW Everyday Carry

The nest issue to address is how would the officers carry these weapons. I have spent many hours contemplating this and think there is only one practical solution. A hard plastic containment system or BFH (big freakin holster) would need to be designed and incorporated into an external body armor rig. The containment system should be at a 45-degree angle across the torso. The rig/holster would be in a fixed secure position and the gun would basically snap down into a mold the shape and size of the weapon. We should all be wearing external body armor in a MOLLE type rig at this point anyway. Concealed body armor is too hot, too cumbersome and does not allow the use of rifle plates in addition to or as a substitute for the soft armor. Also, when you get to a secure air-conditioned area to do your paperwork, you can’t just slip it over your head temporarily to try to cool down. The containment system should have a slight degree of adjustability in terms of the angle, height, etc. If it were me I would design a concept similar to the Safariland SS III in terms of how the weapon would release. But that’s just me, I don’t like Level II security holsters for a primary weapon and would never rely on a level I.

New standardized training for weapon retention goes without saying as this is a whole new concept for the officers. Remember my earlier point about big changes being a training issue.

PD Weapons and the Public

The next issue to be addressed is public perception. There is the way the liberal media portrays police equipment/tools for public consumption and then there is the truth. They are two completely different concepts. Take armored cars for example. This is a purely defensive tool. It is designed to prevent officers from getting shot, period. We, to my knowledge, have never killed anyone with an MRAP or a BearCat. The liberal media drums up notions of a military take over every time we roll out an armored vehicle. You hear about the militarization of the police. The nature of our jobs would dictate that we would use some of the same equipment. We also breath the same air the last time I checked but that doesn’t make the US a police state nor does it give us the ability to call in an airstrike.

Although, I’ve had a few times where I wished I could. If you can’t take a joke, please don’t read any further as the contents of this article are way beyond your comprehension.

It will no doubt be a shock for citizens to see police walking around, coming into their homes, businesses, etc. with what is essentially a short barreled rifle across their chest. Even more so if the police do not educate the public in advance of the change and seek their support which they should. Perception was an issue when we switched to semi-auto pistols, carbine rifles and when we started using tasers. It lasted a little while and the public and the media moved on to the next item of interest. This won’t last either. It will pass. Millions will not be slaughtered. There will be no police take-over. Gradually personal defense weapons will become the norm just like all other additional tools in our tool box.

Officer Survival

If this change takes place, I submit to you that the percentage of officers surviving armed encounters will increase substantially. I submit to you that in active shooter scenarios such as schools and theaters, many lives will be inevitably be saved because the first officer on the scene will actually have the right tool for the job. (Although the only real solution to this is an armed civilian population with the right mindset and training) I submit to you that shooters such as in the Dallas incident or Baton Rouge and other similar incidents sure to come, will be eliminated much sooner and thus lessen the overall body count.

Last, I submit to you that the murdering scum bags that do these horrible things will be “slightly” less inclined to do them. If I’m right on just one of these and all common sense would dictate that I’m right on all, this is a step in the right direction.

There is another side issues that I won’t spend a lot of time on. That is the issue of what will happen in a car accident. The seat belts and airbags are not designed to function optimally when you have a long steel object running across your chest at a 45-degree angle. You might even see car manufacturers claim that we void the warranty and/or safety assurances by doing this and God forbid if the trial lawyers get involved. That being said, I would gladly take my chances in the accident. I consider it a tradeoff.

This is not a cure all and there is no such thing in police work. We carry guns and we go up against people carrying guns. People are going to die. Sometimes it’s the good guys and sometimes not. But officers need to stand up for an issue like this. We have a right (Yes, I said a right. Believe it or not, police officers have rights to) to carry tools that give us the best reasonable chance of surviving armed encounters. I said reasonable. I’m not talking about flame throwers and RPG’s. The public should support this. Police administrators should support this. City, State and Federal officials should support this.

In reality, the only people that should be opposed to this are the people that want to kill us.

  • 79 thoughts on “Personal Defense Weapon for Everyday Police Carry

    1. Just my opinion but if weight would not turn into much of an issue I would opt for something around the size of an MP7 as a primary, handgun as secondary, and if you’re really worried about needing more than keep a BUG as your tertiary.

    2. I respect the police but, they arrive too late.Citezens need the right to carry in all 50 states and PR.An armed citezen could have have taken out James Holmes in the Aurora Colorado theatre he chose for his masacre.Armed citezens and security gaurds already do take out terrorists in Israel.

    3. I know I’m late to this party but… Capt., the Desert Tech MDR isn’t even available yet. Your article, for me, would have more power if you had stuck with weapons that actually exist at the time of writing. Just saying.

    4. Ah no. How many police killed or wounded on duty would have been “saved” by them having a PDW? Well, why not issue each cop a personal tank? Wouldn’t that virtually guarantee their survival? It seems a knee jerk reaction to move to this type of firearm when I’m guessing that in 98% of all shooting encounters the police are involved in it would make no difference at all.

      1. Are YOU a police officer, Rob? If not, how in the world do YOU know about ‘98% of all shooting encounters’? Seems to me your comments are knee jerk ignorance in action. Grow up.

    5. I think police should be trained more like the military along with the civil training. Unless the ridiculous scenarios we see today are from Vets with PTSD, I would say that I would trust a Veteran CHP holder with one of these more than I would trust my neighbor on the police force.

      Oh, and one more thing: Police can have them if WE can have them.

    6. Hold on, are you arguing that felons and thugs should be allowed to own weapons regardless? Is that not the reason for “background” checks? I realize the argument regarding politicians & governments having the knowledge of fire arms ownership, however, there must be some accountability somewhere. A weapon found at a crime scene has to be traced to some one, hopefully the shooter.

      1. Wahoo,what’s up with this” register” thing you keep referencing?? Again,registration serves no real world purpose beyond the basis for a Confiscation List if/when a MORE anti 2A government takes power or is further enabled.
        Whether or not a weapon or owner is ” legal” is/should never be the basis for any interaction.
        Whatever have !or don’t have is None Of My Business….or anyone else’s.
        I believe the OP was mainly focused on issued/approved equipment ie ” intermediate PDW and carbines”… Frankly,as I and others have already said,” if you and/or your department can afford it AND you are able to qualify with it AND it’s appropriate for its usage” it’s ALSO None Of My Business.

    7. Hey, “shoot ’em up Wild Bill” answer this question. A home owner notices 2 people sneak up on his front porch, steal 2 chairs at 2 A.M. He calls 911, they are all busy on more important business. Does the homeowner approach the thieves, then gun ’em down or let them steal his chairs? Who needs an AR15 with a 20 round mag for hunting OR self defense?

      1. @wahoon,in the hypothetical scenario you described I would approach the turds with my weapon pointed at his head and explain that it would be in their best interest to lay on the ground until police arrive. (Of course if they decide to go rabbit I’m not going to shoot them over a couple of cheap chairs) ! One other thing,don’t ever refer to Bill as “shoot ’em up Wild Bill” again !

        1. Also at wahoon, Oh, and I have not used an AR 15 modern sporting rifle for self defense, but I have used my M16A1 for my defense and yours. Is that close enough?

      2. @Wahoon, My hourly rate is $600 per hour. Upon receipt of your check for my fee, for the first hour, I will gladly answer your hypothetical. Please make your draft out to Wild Bill and send it to the First National Bank of Yantis, Texas, 75494. I will contact my banker so that she knows to expect it. Oh, yes and what jurisdiction will your hypo be in?

        1. @Wild Bill,who does the Wahoon moron remind you of ? I think it’s that Bill Plaisance fool we were dealing with a couple weeks ago. Same writing style,same nonsense.

    8. The cops are up against it right now (not withstanding the incidents of their own making). I just don’t think that an escalation of armament is the answer. Besides, don’t a lot of police carry a .223 carbine in the trunk of their patrol car? That or a riot shotgun should be enough for the majority of situations. Cutting a .223 rifle down to 7.5″ cuts it’s effectiveness quite a bit. I’d take a 12 gauge shotgun with buckshot over that. and I bet it would be a lot safer to unleash in an urban area than a full-auto PDW. I don’t think we want to start an arms race here. Full-auto shootouts between law enforcement and bad guys while kids ride the bus home from school are a nightmare I never want to experience (or even read about).

    9. When I was a deputy sheriff, we mostly carried 357s, sometimes 1911s.
      Anything larger would have just been too awkward for constant carry.

      We usually had a 30-30 and / or a 12 guage “riot gun” locked in a floor rack, door rack, or (pickup) back window rack.
      Sometimes, a scoped 30-06 rifle locked in the trunk.

      Handguns buy you the time to get to a carbine, a rifle, or a shotgun.

    10. If the regular beat cop had a weapon beside a handgun maybe these officers won’t wait hours outside a shooting waiting for SWAT. The regular street cop has come to over depend on SWAT which costs many lives. Give them the tools to do the job so they aren’t out gunned by the terrorist.
      This is why I always have a AR Pistol sitting on the seat beside me, locked and loaded. If I ever happen upon a active shooter scene I want to be prepared. I have it setup for in close shots and longer shots. I can handle easily hundred yard shot and longer.
      Cops have become targets in today’s environment, be ready to give them a hand if need be.

    11. Are you a police officer, peace officer, or are you a soldier? Carrying a PDW/SBR fits the image of the warrior cop that is becoming more and more prevalent in today’s America. When I was a kid we were stationed in Frankfurt. I remember landing at the Frankfurt airport, the German airport as we flew on our own dime, and seeing polezi armed with rifles. It was shocking to me. I don’t like seeing Mexican soldiers and police officers walking the streets of Playa with rifles and smg’s. I understand that they have a need for them, but right now I don’t believe that we do. I pray that we never will, but I take exception with the authors flippant remark regarding how we will get used to it. I disagree about the statement that we aren’t a police state. We’ve become used to having our civil liberties eroded bit by bit. We’re not living in a police state yet, but we’re getting damn close. This idea of carrying a PDW is just one more step in that direction. He’s right about one thing. Should this become the norm we will get used to it, and that should scare us all

    12. Are you a police officer, peace officer, or are you a soldier? Carrying a PDW/SBR fits the image of the warrior cop that is becoming more and more prevalent in today’s America. When I was a kid we were stationed in Frankfurt. I remember landing at the Frankfurt airport, the German airport as we flew on our own dime, and seeing polezi armed with rifles. It was shocking to me. I don’t like seeing Mexican soldiers and police officers walking the streets of Playa with rifles and smg’s. I understand that they have a need for them, but right now I don’t believe that we do. I pray that we never will, but I take exception with the authors flippant remark regarding how we will get used to it. I disagree about the statement that we aren’t a police state. We’ve become used to having our civil liberties eroded bit by bit. We’re not living in a police state yet, but we’re getting damn close. This idea of carrying a PDW is just one more step in that direction. He’s right about one thing. Should this become the norm we will get used to it, and that should scare us all.

      1. Obviously you have NO CLUE about police work in 2016 America. Go on some ‘ride alongs’ with your local law enforcement agency before you spout more bilge about the ‘police state’ crapola. You will find that during any given shift the police barely have enough staffing within a district to control the interior of a 7-11 store. What scares me is ignorant, paranoid folks like you who are TOTALLY IGNORANT of the lack of staffing and crappy equipment law enforcement has to deal with daily. Grow up.

    13. Who usually goes to court when a thief breaks into a home and is shot by the home owner or concerned citizen? The law should immediately prosecute any one caught with an illegal or unregistered weapon. Hats off to the citizens who care enough about self- protection, but beware courts and judges are around the corner. As well, the police should never be out gunned!

        1. @ Wahoon, Who usually goes to court when a thief breaks into a home and is shot by the home owner or a concerned citizen? Well here in Texas, no one. The homeowner has a presumption of right action. The thief/burglar goes to the morgue. Oh, and what, pray tell, is an illegal gun?

        2. I agree- ALL restrictions and attempts to ” register”( as in “track and control”) firearms are intrusive(at best)and outright prohibitive….
          Take note of many ” Anti 2A Utopian Paradises”(yes, I am sarcastic)….these are not only the places where many(most) of the armed criminals who prey upon the citizenry AND are increasingly willing to kill cops are out of control…..and most of the restrictions there began with” permitting and registration processes” for ” safety”.
          I said it before: CARRY whatever you or your department can afford AND you can QUALIFY with….
          Personally,I believe an expanded allotment of training ammo and range time with the current pistols,shotguns and carbines(as well as keeping them in the CRUISER not the freaking TRUNK!) would be a better idea than ” Oooooo! Shiny!New! High Speed Low Drag!”toys for the Gear Queers.

          1. @Wahoon, We are just not sure what registration that you are talking about. For example: I won a pistol in a poker game. I am it’s second owner. That pistol was registered originally when my poker loosing friend bought it. When ownership transferred to me, the registration is lost as Congress intended in 1967. And there is no federal or Texas state requirement for me to re-register it in my name. Also as Congress intended.

            1. So, Wild Bill you are saying , as well as Texas law , that 2nd or further owners of handguns need nor re-register? Why register in the 1st place.? I am a gun owner & all my fire arms must be registered so there is some accountability. I was also an auxiliary police officer & I realize the need for officer protection.

    14. I guess Ammoland censors comments that they don’t agree with, I submitted three comments which you refuse to publish. Apparently you only want comments that agree with the writers of your articles.
      When a bad cop does something to a member of your family and the system refuses to hold them accountable we will see if your opinion changes. And oh Yea for the good cops out there they’re just as bad for covering up and allowing the bad ones to commit the acts they do.

      1. Baloney. Sometimes it takes up to a day to make its way through the filters. I was a cop and I DID go after bad cops even after I left so don’t try and pull that crap. Bad cops are held to a higher standard and are frequently given longer jail sentences because they were cops. When they aren’t I and others will be right there to say it’s wrong. What we don’t put up with are those who whine and complain about the, statistically, very few cops, out of the more than a million and a half, who abuse their authority.

        1. Name one of the officers you went. after personally who received a longer sentence. Should be a matter of public record.
          As far as poor me comment you guys can’t defend your position on wanting more and more fire power to take civilian lives at will. Yes there have been some officers killed this year but statistically the number has been going down for years. There are a lot of occupations more dangerous than being a police officer
          The information provided was to illustrate police work is much safer today than it was in the past. You remind me of those cops that would sit in the break room and talk about putting a cap in their ass or blowing them away and then run down the street and hide behind a car when the shooting starts. You can’t make an argument based on facts you have to resort to insults.

    15. I agree with Kivaari above. I think the real answer is a LOT more training in shooting and gun handling skills with whatever the issue arms may be. Most of the LEO shootings seem to be occurring in situations where the LEO either didn’t follow SOP or wasn’t really competent with his issue gear. As was pointed out before, any officer wearing any reasonable type and amount of daily-wear gear will be vulnerable to a serious sniper threat. That’s a SWAT scenario, and the regular patrol who shows up first is inevitably going to be vulnerable. There is no reasonable solution for that (I don’t consider having regular patrol LEOs in level IV armor, with full military style “battle-rattle” equipment, reasonable). Better skill with current issue guns and gear would be more beneficial, and that suggests spending more time and money on training instead of SBRs, armor, and bigger magazines.

      1. So you will be lobbying your local city/county council for more funds (read: taxes) being made available for officers to obtain better skill with current guns and gear? Ammo and training equipment costs money. Put up or shut up.

    16. Wow, I guess that I should have expected the overwhelming approval for this idea.
      As for me, let me say that I’ll need to think about this idea for a while, before I agree.
      First thing that occurs to me is that a great many Officers go their entire carriers and never
      fire their carry weapon at anyone. The gun is there in case it should be needed, it’s not generally
      intended to be in the face of everyone an officer encounters. I’m thinking here of the intimidation factor
      in the non criminal involved encounters which constitute 99% of an Officer’s working life. Just how does one
      convey the idea that I’m your friendly approachable public servant, with a machine gun in your face?
      Next there’s the retention issue. One’s ability to retain one’s firearm when it’s hanging from a tactical sling
      is vastly more challenging. than if it’s in a holster with a retention device.
      Then, there’s the issue of having to work around the weapon that’s hanging from a tactical sling when the
      weapon is not in use. And will the officer need to take the weapon off when getting into the cruiser, and put
      it back on when getting out?
      Then there’s the wounding or killing issue. Over 80% of all gunshot wound victims survive being shot. Any
      Trauma Surgeon will tell you that it’s because wounds from a handgun are usually much less likely to kill,
      then wounds from high powered rifle calibers. Do Police Departments want to be in the position of having a whole lot
      more fatal police shootings, and the aftermath from that. Do you want the public to feel that whenever an Office
      shoots at a suspect, it’s not to “stop”, but rather to Kill?
      Lastly, there’s the fact that the Officers killed in the recent ambushes were mostly killed from concealment. The shooters
      never offered a target to shoot back at. In the Baton Rouge Ambush, an Office is heard on the radio yelling that they are
      under fire, but have no idea where the shots are coming from. Being armed with a shoulder fired CQB rifle likely would
      not have not affected the tragic outcome.
      As much as I want Officers to be safe, I’m not yet convinced that arming every Officer with a tactical carbine is a good solution.

      1. You’re offering up too many variables and “what if’s”. There was only one thing I was concerned with when I was on the street and that was going home at the end of the night. When my partner was killed and I got hurt and and started a second career doing executive protection I was still concerned with going home in one piece. The difference was this time I wasn’t under dept confines and could and did carry what I wanted which sometimes included two handguns, a shotgun and a carbine. And if someone didn’t like it, well that was just tough.

        I get awfully tired of this “oh the perception isn’t very nice”. With 37 cops killed so far this year who gives a damn about perception? As far as lethality, you’re kidding, right? When someone is using deadly force against me I want to stop the threat as quickly as possible with the fewest shots fired as possible. A handgun is notoriously less efficient than a long gun but don’t get caught up in PC BS. A 223 round IS NOT a high powered rifle round. It’ll do the job but if you really want to talk high powered we can discuss 7mm Rem Mag. But that’s probably best left for another day.

    17. As a retired LEO I’m all for it AS LONG as law abiding citizens have access to the same. Police are not the “chosen few” who should be the only ones entrusted with this or that and be able to carry anywhere they want. My life is just as important and valuable (as a civilian) as anyone else’s. ALL lives matter!

      1. As an alleged retired LEO you have an issue with cops being able to carry anywhere they want? Methinks you are full of B.S. Since when do CITIZENS take an oath to ‘serve and protect’ the public?

    18. It isn’t going to happen. The pistol will remain king. I was issued an MP5A2 for about 10 years, there is no way I would want to pack that on every call. The replacement of a handgun with an MP7 would be a neatie, since it can not be brought into play as fast as a Glock 17.
      Packing s SMG/PDW makes sense in the front seat of the patrol car. It just isn’t going to fly slung over the shoulder or carried in a thigh holster. It sure isn’t going to fly at a domestic violence call, where every officer shows up with an SBR.
      It’s ot like we were anti-gun since we caried 5 guns with us. A Glock service pistol, a S&W Centennial back up, an MP5 or M4 carbine up front, an 870 in the trunk with rubber baton loads and a .22 rifle for animal control.

    19. Unfortunately the concept of adding gear and weight greatly decreases the officer’s speed and flexibility. I agree wholeheartedly with the PDW concept, but the effective solution will always be a compromise. In hot and humid Southwest Florida when dressed for comfort (CWP) we have to always decide between the best concealment and most logical level of protection. Yes, I would like to carry an Uzi pistol for function, power, and capacity, but wearing shorts and a t-shirt won’t work with it. So a NAA .22 magnum carried in a pocket becomes the weapon of choice. I want LE to have every tool they need at their disposal to protect the public and themselves, but having them stomp around like Robo Cop just won’t work most of the time. While a Taser, Mace, and a high capacity handgun will handle the majority of situations, how will any officer EVER be safe when targeted by a sniper? Until some type of flexible full head and body protection is designed and available, every LE officer will still be fully exposed when leaving an armored vehicle.

      As an aside, BO seems intent on pardoning criminals who commit felonies using a handgun. In his latest rationale, he let a 38 year old out (after serving 20 years) for using a handgun in a robbery. BO’s reason was that although the kid had a handgun, he didn’t use it. There’s nothing like crafting a law that hopefully would deter criminals from using guns in potentially violent crimes and then reversing course and letting the mutt go free — and we all know the high odds of recidivism. What sense does it make to seek stronger gun control laws when you refuse to honor and enforce the laws already in force? And why does BO have the executive power to over-rule the judicial branch? I thought that ours was a system of checks and balances. If you are going to commute someone’s sentence, pick someone who got caught smoking pot instead of a criminal using a gun. Very frustrating!!

    20. I always wore a rifle plate with my concealable vest, that is what the pocket in the front of the vest is for. The large SBR would be a hindrance in a foot pursuit, I can’t see anything larger than a mini Uzi or the MP-7 to be practical for full time carry. Adding more weight and bulk will make many tasks more difficult. Besides foot pursuit do you want to be wrestling with an actor with an SBR across your chest. Will you train in gym clothes or with all your gear on? While a bit more reach would be nice in some situations you may be making the job more difficult in many other situations.

    21. God bless ALL the thin blue line who take the Oath to Serve and Protect us.
      Living in perilous, evil times, we citizens and protectors of family have primary jobs too. Can we- sleep safe relying on rough men standing ready to visit harm on those who would do us harm? Few can afford personal security 24-7… Identifying the Threat is a chore. The police will arrive- 911, in the thick of it well armed, after the carnage to clean up and to assert laws. So, one must choose to go well armed for self preservation reasons- alone. Protecting ones self and family is an option only for sheepeople. Selecting tools available, particularly PDW’s for preservation, must be our CHOICE too. The Ugly and the Bad do. so must we- the Good armed citizen. Citizens please, train with your PDW like you will fight for life with it- w/o back up nor police assistance at the ready. Ones Skill must match the tool, lest it be taken away and used offensively. It is sad to see our police and civilians appear paramilitary but, most of us have served and get it… Pray common sense prevails and Law Enforcement understand these truths when things go bad, id friend or foe and all-stop. Until the next time…

    22. Police get them, absolutely… But then so do “the criminals”, best way to keep our Police safe is to disarm or incarcerate the scum, however in this PC-gone-wild era that will not happen.
      Remember the Police ARE the public, willing to put their life on the line for a perfect stranger. As they will most often be the second responder – it is our duty to protect our own families – ergo – all “the good guys” should be suitably armed – no different from our Police.
      Thanks for the article – a good read!

    23. I’m another who has absolutely no problem with upgrading or expanding the equipment/weapons available to the police ,but ONLY IF and WHEN the department/agency in question supports a removal of restrictions on the same for the rest of the citizenry….. YES,in many situations there is a need for it. NO,your paycheck does NOT grant special privileges in lieu of the recognition of rights.

      1. Hate to break it to you, amigo, but one gives up ZERO of their Constitutional rights when one become a police officer. And by the way, POLICE DEPARTMENTS DO NOT SET GOVERNMENT POLICIES. Grow up.

    24. I understand M60s are nearly obsolete. With tires instead of treads, they could be issued in cities with high crime rates. That would protect cops who were inside them. And provide added firepower.
      I’ve never been a cop, and the danger is part of the reason. But enough with the heavy weaponry! If you don’t like your profession, go find another one. More firepower is not going to increase public safety. As some of the police in Baltimore, MD, put it when MD eliminated the sale of cheaper “Saturday night specials”, “Now we’ll face better-armed criminals.” They were right. They now typically face (usually stolen) Glocks and Sigs, etc., in 9MM and .40 S&W. The criminals keep up, and the public just becomes less safe.

      1. So why don’t YOU become a police officer and show us all how it SHOULD be done? Put up or shut up, Pete. P.S. My former employer (large West Coast liberal city) even got rid of SHOTGUNS in patrol cars and did not replace them. So much for ‘heavy weaponry’.

    25. I agree with the above but Police should never be allowed to carry anything unless there are no restrictions on it for the people to carry as well. Similarly they should never be allowed to carry concealed unless the people have the exact same ability, They aren’t the first responders, the people are. Police are the second responders.

        1. I actually agree with both of you (above). An armed society is a polite society:) I made that point in the article that the only real solution was a properly armed citizenry with the right training and mindset.

          Jim Pope

          1. @Jim Pope, As you are the author, I would like to take this opportunity to pose this question to you: What orders will you give and what action will you take, Captain, when the elected politicians above you order you and your police department to enforce future state or city statutes requiring confiscation of civilian firearms? Take your time Captain, the readers here know insincere statements when they read them.

          2. Here are the facts. There were 126 on-duty deaths reported among all officers in 2014. There are approximately 1 million sworn officers between federal, state, county and local government entities (and another couple of million employees who are not sworn; that is, they are not officers and do not have arrest powers, such as dispatchers and clerks.)

            This is a rate of fatality of 12.6 per 100,000. Sounds bad, right?

            If you’re a logger, you have a fatality rate ten times that of a cop.

            A fisherman? Almost time times — 117 per 100,000.

            A pilot? 53.4 per 100,000. Yes, really — it’s about four times as dangerous to fly a plane or chopper than be a cop.

            The guy who puts your roof on? 40.5 per 100,000 — about three times as dangerous.

            How about iron workers — you know, the guys who put up the buildings you work in? Yeah, those dudes. Three times the risk of a cop in dying, most from falls, being crushed by heavy materials or welding accidents.

            Your garbage man has a risk of death twice that of a cop. Why? He gets hit by cars or crushed by heavy equipment (yes, it would suck to get caught in that trash compactor in the garbage truck!)

            How about the lineman that repairs your power lines? Slightly less than double the risk of a cop, and of course the means by which they die are falls and electrocution, mostly.

            Truck drivers? Close to double the risk, most from traffic accidents.

            Farmers? Same risk, roughly; getting caught in a combine is a ****ty way to die.

            Or you could just be a construction laborer. Your risk in that profession is materially higher than that of a cop (17.3 .vs. 12.6) as well but nobody cheers for you. Never mind that without said laborers you wouldn’t have a house or an office to work in.

            So let’s cut the crap, eh? Being a cop isn’t particularly dangerous as occupations go.

            1. So the next time your azz is in a jam PLEASE call a truck driver or a farmer to respond. Good luck with that. THINK before you post, Gunnar, because YOUR crap is waist high.

    26. For those of you who would like to read a different view point on this subject, go to the website:


      See what police officers are doing everyday and not being held accountable.

    27. In reality the only people that should be opposed to police officers carrying fully automatic weapons on them at all times responding to every type of call for service from a rowdy student at a elementary school to a car accident are the people who want to kill us
      What an asinine statement from someone who is suppose to be sworn to protect and serve. What happen to the constitutional right of free speech to disagree with police carrying fully automatic weapons capable of penetrating level III body armour?
      What happens when a suspect takes one of these weapons away from an officer? What happens to innocent cilivians including children hiding behind walls thinking they’re safe when these armour piercing bullets penetrates the barrier and kills them. Oh the police can count on one thing for sure they will not be held accountable for killing the innocent bystanders after all it only matters that the officer is voluntarily takes the job as a police officer knowing the risk involved gets to go home unharmed.
      There are more truck drivers killed every year driving trucks than police officers killed in the line of duty.
      Police like to dramatize single isolated incidents for their advantage, people remember they work for us.
      Police work is a lot safer today than it was 10-20 or even 30 years ago. There have been major advances in body armour making it more comfortable to wear and able to stop greater threats. The problem is a lot of officers won’t wear it because it’s hot. Body Armour worn over the uniform like the author is describing with ceramic rifle plates is very heavy and stiff. You combine this with a molded hard plastic automatic weapons holster attached to the chest of an officer how is the officer going to handle a routine wrestling match with a drunk, or a fight with someone who does not want to go to jail, most likely it will end up with more people getting killed by the police simply for resisting arrest.
      A lot of police officers are over weight, how is this additional weight and hard plastic she’ll with an automatic weapon going to work around someone that has a large belly?
      The incidents in Dallas and Baton Rouge were very sad and the lose of life is a terrible trajedy but we should not over react and put more innocent people’s lives at risk by giving every officer a fully automatic weapon with ammunition capable of penetrating level III body armour.
      Just as an FYI I was a police officer for over twenty years and was involved in a life or death incident where I almost lost my life doing my job but I absolutely oppose everyday police officers carrying these weapons as proposed by the author because it will result in innocent people who the officer is sworn to protect loss of life. And no just because I disagree with you I do not want to kill you.


      1. They are not armor piercing bullets. Level III is the lowest rated body arm, it isn’t good for stopping anything more powerful than .38 special. 22LR from a rifle will go through it like it isn’t even there. The general rule is you do not carry a weapon that is capable of penetrating the body armor you are wearing.

        1. Body Armour is rated Level I II III IV
          Level III is the highest level you can wear without adding plates. When either ceramic or metal plates are added to Level III it becomes level IV which is the highest rated body armour.

          1. Education is always a good thing, and in this case educating yourself on NIJ body armor levels before commenting would be advisable.

            Companies don’t bother making Lvl I body armor these days. Improvements in materials have made the higher levels of protection thin enough that the minimal protection of Lvl I (.22 and lower velocity .38) is obsolete.

            Lvl II, IIA and IIIA are all soft body armor rated in order for pistol rounds of increasing power/velocity with IIIA being rated for .44 Magnum (and 9mm at carbine length barrel velocities. It will also stop shotgun shot and slugs although blunt trauma is an issue). Soft armor won’t stop rifle rounds due to their much higher velocity (and the typically smaller tip of the bullet).

            What tends to confuse folks is that while Lvl IIA soft armor provides greater pistol caliber protection against higher velocities for pistol calibers than Lvl II soft body armor, Lvl III is actually the first of the rifle round protection levels and requires a hard plate (ceramic, UHMWPE or steel) and provides greater protection than IIIA which is soft body armor (woven fibers like kevlar etc.) meant for pistol calibers.

            Lvl III and IV are both hard plates meant to stop intermediate (eg. .223/5.56×45, 7.62×39 etc.) and full size (.308/7.62×51) rifle calibers. Lvl IV is rated to stop 1 hit from a 30-06 AP round.

            1. The NIJ STANDARD 0101.06 which is 89 pages still list the standard for Level I body armour which protects against 22 LR LRN and 380 ACP FMJ RN. Those interested in more information on the Body Armour Performance Standards by the NIJ can access the information at

            2. James, while they may still list Lvl I, materials technology has improved to the point where the comfort difference between Lvl I and Lvl II or IIA is pretty negligible, hence manufacturers don’t bother as customers would rather just get Lvl II at a minimum.

      2. James I’m sorry, your statement that Police work today is a lot safer is complete BS. I was an officer 39 yrs ago, and I would not want to be an Officer today! The level of dis-respect and outright hostility to Polce today is unprecented. Your statement that “putting innocent peoples lives at risk by giving every officer a fully automatic weapon’. You do remember that carrying a full auto weapon doesn’t mean that you have to use it in that configruation. As to the penetration issue, most of the ammo carried today even in M-4 carbines is SP or Hollow point ammo not Armour piercing. I hope you go back and read the originall article where the author states that all of the advances we have enjoyed in the last 40 yrs were met with derision and outright fear, because a lot of people were going to be killed, didn’t happen and neither will it this time. Kinda like CCW, was going to be like “Dodge City” didn’t happen! But a lot of homeowners and citizens are alive because they were armed.

        1. Phil
          If you were an officer 39 years ago you probably did not have body armour, hand held radio communication, computers in the patrol unit, license plate readers, tasers, ASP batons, high intensity flashlights instead of the old 2 or 3 D cell maglight along with high speed Internet service to get returns on suspects instead of waiting on the teletype to respond.
          How can you say officers are not safer now than they have ever been. There are more officers now to provide backup. I used to work a 700 square mile county on the night shift alone. If I needed backup the dispatcher called the nearest deputy who lived closest to where I was and got them out of bed.
          We had to buy our own equipment including uniform patches, flashlight, leather gear, gun, ammo and everything else we used. Most departments furnish everything including cleaning the officers uniforms now. The pay for being an officer compared to a lot of jobs now is very competitive. The last thing is no one drafts an officer into service, everyone of them choose the job for a lot of different reasons not all of them are noble.

      3. Delusional is what comes to mind, when reading your comment. Safer than twenty years ago? What Planet are You living on. Certainly not this planet, or the United States.

      4. James,

        The authors statement was, “In reality, the only people that should be opposed to this are the people that want to kill us.” It did not include your, “police officers carrying fully automatic weapons on them at all times responding to every type of call for service from a rowdy student at a elementary school to a car accident.”

        The authors statement is not asinine at all. On the contrary, it is a discussion that many, many, law enforcement experts are having. The author briefly discussed the purported public issues when law enforcement moved from revolvers to semi-automatic pistols and the purported public issues when law enforcement began moving from the 12-gauge shotgun to .223/.556 long guns.

        The move from revolvers to semi-automatic pistols began because of the FBI Miami Shoot-Out. But the change didn’t occur overnight. It gradually occurred over several years as more and more data was collected from law enforcement agencies relative to the types of weapons they were facing and taken off offenders on the street. Relative to the change from shotguns to long riffles this change began following the Bank of America Shoot-Out that occurred in North Hollywood, CA., where officers were so out gunned, they had to resort to attempting to obtain adequate weapons from a local pawn shop as the incident was still in progress. However, most departments still had not made a significate change to long guns until Columbine, Aurora, Virginia Tech, and Sandy Hook. But still today many law enforcement agencies still have not made the change to long guns for a variety of different reasons with the leading reason being the cost of re-outfitting their agencies with long guns.

        I recently traveled outside of the U.S. and observed exactly what the author was discussing. Law enforcement equipped with Personal Defense Weapons (PDW), Bull-Pup’s, or Compact Rifles as they are commonly referred to. In fact, these PDW’s were more the norm than the exception. Most of these weapons being used by non-tactical officers are in fact not fully automatic and do not have a selective fire option. However, those assigned tactical duties do have selective and fully automatic transition options as they should.

        Further the author is correct that these PDW’s when applied should be able to defeat at least class IIIA ballistic protection items. This is due to the access individuals both criminal and non-criminal have too ballistic protection items. Aftermarket availability of used ballistic protection items from law enforcement and the military is at an all-time high and yield the individual willing to sell it a handsome profit.

        You posed the question, “What happens when a suspect takes one of these weapons away from an officer?” the answer is simple, the exact same thing that might occur if an offender can obtain an officers ASP Baton, Oleoresin capsicum (OC) spray, revolver, pistol, shotgun, or long gun. Can an offender use one of these weapons against others than the officer they obtained them from? Yes. When these offenders do chose to use them against others what is going to happen? They are going to face criminal and possible civil action. Who will be held responsible if one of these offenders used one of these illegally obtained weapons? They offender will be held responsible. Surely the officer could not be held responsible for the actions of this type of offender.

        You also stated, “Police like to dramatize single isolated incidents for their advantage, people remember they work for us.” Single isolated issues, really? As of Tuesday, November 1, 2016, there have been 403 mass shootings in the U.S. alone ( It is because of these as you termed them “isolated incidents” that law enforcement agencies’ must continuously analyze how to best address the incidents they are confronted with as they work for you.

        You describe officers as being safer than they ever have been while in the line of duty and the issues with soft body armor as opposed to over the uniform body armor in concert with a possible PDW molded containment system. We should applaud advances in law enforcement technologies because it has saved both the lives of law enforcement and offenders alike. The technological advances in ballistic plate protection utilizing materials that weigh a fraction of traditional ballistic plates is very much appreciated. You ask, “with a molded hard plastic automatic weapons holster attached to the chest of an officer how is the officer going to handle a routine wrestling match with a drunk, or a fight with someone who does not want to go to jail, most likely it will end up with more people getting killed by the police simply for resisting arrest.” First let me clarify that there is no such thing as a “routine” anything when it comes to policing and the incidents officers encounter many times during their daily shifts. So, I would argue that based on historical data relative to officers involved in close quarters hand to hand combat the outcome would be very similar no matter the type weapon the officer is equipped with. This is where specialized police training comes into the equation. You train your personnel to a level of proficiency where the can safely, effectively, and efficiently carry, protect, and operate each of the non-deadly and deadly force tools they are equipped with. If an individual chooses to engage in physical combat with a police officer, they do so at their own peril.

        You pointed out that many law enforcement officers are overweight and asked, “how is this additional weight and hard plastic she’ll with an automatic weapon going to work around someone that has a large belly?” the answer to your question is the use of ultra-light weight high strength polymers. The same as you see police officers equipped with today. Yes, many of these weapon systems still appear to be leather when in fact they are injection molded high strength polymers with a micro layer of artificial leather or simply a molding process that resembles traditional law enforcement leather products, so the holster weight should not be an issue. As for the physical fitness of the officer that falls upon not only the individual officer but the department to best address fitness for duty.
        I agree that the attacks on police officers were indeed horrible but no less than the incidents where officers made the split-second choice to use deadly force against our citizens, or the massive losses of life we see every day to gun violence in the United States (

        I too have been in service as a law enforcement officer for more than 3 decades and have not only been involved in life and death situations but have been both stabbed and shot by offenders while in service to my community. I don’t think that we need worry that we will soon see a mass rush of departments moving to PDW’s because as a former law enforcement officer you understand that law enforcement agencies tend to follow the trends set by federal law enforcement agencies that have completed extensive testing and training utilizing these types of tools.

        Mine is not a position of agreement or opposition to the author but more of an observation of the state of law enforcement around the world. I believe that we have a duty to protect those that we serve and must be adequately equipped to do so no matter the tools necessary to effect that objective.

    28. Patrol officers should NEVER be outgunned by criminal turds ! Many times patrol will call in SWAT for just that reason and that needs to change. The old school mentality of just your service weapon and a shotgun are over.

    29. I agree completely Captain Pope. Common sense has to enter the fray at some point. Criminals and thugs have zero respect for law enforcement. Criminals have become more brazen. Society, politicians, and law enforcement have to be more proactive, instead of reactive after the fact.

      Our society has done a masterful job of dumming ourselves down, and we have allowed it to happen. Never in my lifetime have I lived in a more hypersensitive society as we do today. We as citizens, are not safe anywhere, anymore. I want our law enforcement to be the best trained, best equipped, and most knowledgeable anywhere. When the thugs and terrorist come around to kill and mame, they won’t be using the smallest weapon around.

      Overwhelming force will protect and save more lives with proper training and equipment.

    30. I agree. The fact that police face an ever growing threat to the their safety and the public they protect is reason alone to give them these tools. This would also give them a fighting chance in active shooter situations. Because the police are a reactionary force. They could potentially save lives because they don’t have to wait for a SWAT or tactical team to arrive or go into a battle out gunned. I welcome it and hope to see officers with the tools and equipment needed to protect the public and fight the terrorists that are lurking amongst us.

      1. They already have enough.Handguns,rifles.shotguns,armored vehicles, hell they have drones they strap explosives to and execute you with without a trial. They do not work in Afganistan for crying out loud. And they can do with a lesson in diffusing situations not just heavy handed approach to everything.

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