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L.A. Sheriff Selects S&W's M&P9 Duty Pistol

August 26, 2013  | 

Photo courtesy of Smith & Wesson.
Photo courtesy of Smith & Wesson.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department will begin issuing its deputies Smith & Wesson's M&P9 9mm service pistol as it moves away from Beretta's Model 92 9mm pistol.

The nation's second-largest law enforcement agency signed a five-year contract with S&W for the 13,000 sworn and non-sworn personnel who are issued duty guns, the company announced.

"It is the goal of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department to provide our personnel with the highest quality law enforcement equipment available," Sheriff Leroy Baca said in a press release.

The agency will receive "a duty handgun with modern attributes and capabilities critical to enhancing the safety of our sworn personnel and the communities we serve," Baca said.

Agency testers said the M&P pistol provides "high-grade professional features and ability to accommodate individual officer preferences." The agency will begin issuing the M&P9 pistol after the completion of the department's transitional requirements, according to a company release.

Smith & Wesson will also provide armorer classes and transitional training. The M&P9 pistols supplied to the LASD include customizable grip inserts, ambidextrous operating features, and the ability to disassemble the firearm without pulling the trigger.

Composed of over 9,000 sworn deputies and 8,000 professional staff members, the LASD provides law enforcement service to 3 million residents in 43 municipalities.

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Comments (22)

Displaying 1 - 22 of 22

walkintrails @ 8/26/2013 5:38 PM

I think they'll like them for the most part. I've had a 45.for several years and bought a new 9.recently. About 500 rounds so far and no malfunctions or breakage.

Sam Johnson @ 8/26/2013 5:41 PM

Nice news release: didn't even indicate the caliber. It is a much better sidearm than the Beretta. The Beretta has the ergonomics of a piece of lumber and the stock is too big for all but the largest hands. The idiotic choice of Beretta was one of the factors in the plummeting shooting scores at the LAPD academy, because it was so klutzy and the stock so large.

Capt. Crunch @ 8/26/2013 6:42 PM

This dept. issue is ok but it would be better to have not only dept. issue but also let the officer carry what he/she is comfortable with that has good take down power.

Brian @ 8/26/2013 7:08 PM

M&P9 in LA? Not a whole lot of stopping power. They shoulda did at least a .40 if not the .45

Ryan @ 8/26/2013 7:12 PM

Brian tell me more about "stopping" power regarding pistol caliber rounds.

D. Edward @ 8/26/2013 7:29 PM

About six years ago, Smith and Wesson decided to go after Glock with the M&P series of handguns. So far, it seems as if S&W has done a good job with providing a quality product with their M&P series of handguns. I have used an M&P 9 and its little brother the M&P 9c compact for the past two years, and they have been good performers.

LASD has decided to go with the M&P 9mm mainly for cost savings of the 9 mm caliber as compared to .40 S&W or .45 Auto. They issue a good quality 9 mm load that should provide a good level of stopping power, and the low recoil of the M&P 9 should raise overall qualification scores over time.

Remember, shot placement is so much more important than caliber size. If you can hit a suspect where it counts, you can bring him down in a hurry.

Brian @ 8/26/2013 7:36 PM

Ryan, you know that people have debated this for a long time. 9mm is easier to shoot. Less kick, so therefore it's more accurate and repeatably so. Yes the 9mm has a higher muzzle velocity than a 45. But, in certain conditions, I think a flying ashtray is better to use. The mass of the 45 round is greater. Yes it's overall velocity is slower which could be advantageous when shooting at someone on a city block. Less likely to penetrate a wood framed home. If you can control your 45 (shoot well with it) I think you could do more damage with the right round in your weapon because the bullets expansion is greater.

Brian @ 8/26/2013 7:59 PM

All good points Edward. Cost saving etc. I think I still would rather use a 45 in Close Combat. But, that's my preference.

RetrCHP @ 8/26/2013 8:48 PM

It sounds like a cost cutting measure to me. I think we went down this road before when we first did the change over to AUTOs. Most large dept. moved to the .40 or .45 for the stopping power, and with some of these new drugs in LA, the guys on the street will need that stopping power. Just an observation from an old retired guy.

wm louie @ 8/27/2013 9:59 AM

There is "cost savings" and then there is "performance improvement" ! Lot of the "perps" being stopped nowadays tend to be "on the gelatinous side" and in urban areas, thus a good compromise would be along the lines of the .357 Sig. Check out the outstanding track records of it from New Mexico State Police and the Texas DPS troopers. For a 100 year cartridge, it's effiency is just about maxed out. The .357 Sig is a logical outgrowth of the .357/45 Bear Cat round of the 1970's & 80's for the Ruger Super Blackhawk S/A revolver.

Brian @ 8/27/2013 10:12 AM

There is nothing like the 357 mag. I carried a Model 66, but a lot of departments went away from that round for the plus p. In Suburb shootouts, those things would penetrate brick homes then through inside walls. Not good for innocent people inside a residence.

Troop @ 8/28/2013 12:06 AM

9mm? I guess they don't want to hurt anyone in LA.

Brian @ 8/28/2013 2:08 PM

Not a scientific test, but interesting.

Jay. @ 8/29/2013 7:59 AM

"Stopping power", last I heard you could die from a 22. In today's world it's not how big the bullet is, it's how its designed, hollow points have made the gap from 9mm to 45acp much smaller.

terry @ 9/4/2013 12:22 PM

Interesting why everyone is going to the 9mm while the Marines went back to the 45.

Frank Laflamme @ 12/2/2013 6:55 PM

This debate will never end most likely. If one proceeds from the premise that all handgun rounds that are controllable enough to be combat effective (rules out hunting calibers like 357 mag and 44 mag), then repeatable shot placement with medium caliber modern design bullets is the key. The best LE tactical team operators, as well as the best military operators, have differing opinions on the issue as well as civilians. Last I heard, US army Delta uses the 9mm Glock, while SEALs regularly use the H&K .45. LAPD SWAT uses the .45 while LASD SEB (SWAT) tested the .45 against the 9mm and opted to go with the 9mm. A lot of other units split the difference and went with th .40 cal. In the end, it's the skills one obtains that will make the difference in how well you pistol does the job.

Frank Laflamme @ 12/2/2013 7:01 PM

P.S. As to the Marines going back to the .45. If a unit is limited to hardball only, the .45 1911 starts looking pretty good. Hollow points close the gab significantly, but don't close it. However, I am to understand that the 1911 (.45) pistols suffered malfunctions about every 150 rounds, while the Beretta 92 (M9) pistols were fired for thousands of rounds and the testers grew tired of waiting for malfunctions to occur. In combat handguns, reliability is the top priority. Anyone who says otherwise has a far different outlook on life than any that I know who have been there.

James @ 2/3/2014 10:28 AM

If you want more stopping power with your 9mm, just use a good hollow point

JB @ 2/4/2014 12:16 PM

Cost cutting? How would that be since LASD only used 9x19? Purchase of a new gun in an already issued caliber makes perfect sense. The LASD is a huge machine & multiple calibers/weapon= logistical nightmare!

The caliber debate is all opinions & conjecture! Hit what you aim at. Bobby Kennedy killed by .22, Israeli Mossad killed a lot of tangos with .22's.

I saw a Vic get center punched with a 230 gr .45 Starfire JHP right under his sternum. DUDE LIVED TO TESTIFY against his attacker. I was the second officer on scene. & thought for sure he was done, nope! He was shot from 6 ft, center mass. It was all on tape at a gas station. Meanwhile, victim is alive & well & perp is in the pen.

LT. MP @ 5/18/2014 8:47 PM

all valid points raised, in reading this article It looks like all deputies on the department will be issued these new weapons. If this is the case then you will have guys that have carried the same duty weapon for 5 -20+ years and will now be forced to carry a new weapon system. This seems to be a huge officer safety issue. I understand that they are offering transition courses but how is that going to overcome years of muscle memory? I would like to see them allow currently employed deputies the option of staying with the same weapon that they were trained on and have put thousands of rounds through.

Dep RB @ 3/27/2015 12:09 AM

LT. MP, just to put you at ease about your concern. All deputies have the option to continue to use their issued 92f. If they so choose. There is a list of approved weapons and both the m&p and 92f are on it. I do agree with you.

John Jons @ 4/20/2015 9:54 PM

What are they traing with in the academy

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