My Favorite Gun - Tactics and Weapons -

My Favorite Gun

4 of our columnists share their personal preference in law enforcement firearms



Dale Stockton | Dave Grossi | Dave Spaulding | Jeff Chudwin | Ralph Mroz | From the January 2008 Issue Sunday, December 30, 2007

When it comes to rating the importance of tools of the trade in law enforcement, guns are at the top of almost everyone s list. If you want to start a spirited discussion, just try asking a group of cops an open-ended question about their favorite firearm.

I thought it would be interesting to do this with some of the most experienced and opinionated people around four of our regular contributors. These guys have well over 100 years of law enforcement experience between them, and each has earned a well-deserved reputation as an expert.

I asked them to name without constraint their favorite law enforcement firearm. Read their responses below. Interestingly, they all differ. Dale Stockton, editor

Simple & Reliable

By Dave Grossi

When Dale tasked me with this challenge, a whole bunch of thoughts raced through my brain. Wow! Under what scenario? The street? The range? Undercover? Personal carry? Holy cow, my favorite firearm.

Man, I ve had a bunch over the course of my 20 years on The Job. During my narc days, my favorite sidearm was a Raven .25 caliber semiauto. For many reasons, really. It didn t look like a typical cop gun if I got caught with it. Plus, I wanted something centerfire, and it was also easy to conceal. When my agency went to semiautos, the chief liked Sig Sauers, so that s what we went with.

When I thought about this topic, I said to myself, Why limit it to just sidearms? Why not include long guns, too? Initially, I was going to go with the Remington 870 pump-action shotgun. Why? Quite simply, it s the most versatile police firearm made. Loaded with traditional law enforcement double 00 buck, it s a terrific short- to medium-range tactical weapon. Loaded with rifled slugs, it s a fantastic medium- to long-range gun. And when loaded with bean-bag rounds, it can serve to prevent the use of deadly force in certain threat situations. Oh, and I forgot to mention that just the sound of chambering a round upon exiting the squad car can often serve as a real effective behavior modification tool.

I guess I ve had a lot of favorites, and I own a lot of weapons: long guns, revolvers and autoloaders, in just about every make and caliber. Just so I m not accused of bad-mouthing any particular make, I m going to keep the makes of my personal weapons a secret.

When I was training private security, I carried a wheel gun because that s what they mostly carried. During those sessions, my trusty six-shooter was my favorite. It never malfunctioned, and with 148-grain wadcutter ammo, it was super accurate.

But after dwelling on the matter for more than a few minutes, I did settle on one favorite. So here it is, gang. My favorite police gun? The 9mm Beretta 92F.

Yes, yes, I know I m dating myself, but when I think of all the old troops who ve gone before me carrying this reliable sidearm into battle, it almost makes me tear up.

I ve trained a lot of cops on the range, and I ve used a lot of sidearms during those classes. If there was one pistol that was the most forgiving when it came to shooter deficiencies, such as weak wristing, it was the Beretta 92F.

When you seriously evaluate the concept behind this incredible weapon, it s a marvel of working simplicity. The ambidextrous decocking/safety lever, the extra-wide ejection port, the huge trigger-guard opening for those of us who must shoot with gloves on and the other ergonomically placed controls (i.e., the magazine release and slide lock), not to mention the lightweight alloy frame, make this, in my humble opinion, the perfect police sidearm.

I ve probably put thousands of rounds through this handgun. A ton of NATO ball, hundreds of wide-mouth hollow points from every major manufacturer and thousands of reloads (some factory, some hand loads). I can count on one-hand with a few fingers left over how many malfunctions and stoppages I ve encountered with this weapon. It s chambered just about everything I ve fed into it.

The only addition I ve made to this gun since the purchase has been a modified take-down lever and a LaserMax pulsating sight.

So that s it, sports fans. Ol LT carries a 92F.

Dave Grossi is a retired police lieutenant from upstate NY now residing in southwest FL. He is a certified law enforcement firearms instructor in the handgun, shotgun and long-range rifle and has trained more than 165,000 professional law enforcement officers all across the United States and Canada.

New & Improved

By Ralph Mroz

Probably the single most important trend in pistols in the past quarter century has been the emergence and ultimate dominance of the polymer-framed, striker-fired pistol. Glock, of course, made such pistols hugely popular in the 1980s by offering the two key features that quantity buyers cared about: low cost and ultra-reliability. The fact that it was more than accurate enough for all manner of handgun work from defense to duty to competition and was easy to shoot further enhanced its popularity in the individual-buyer market.

Since then, every major manufacturer and most of the minor players have followed with a design of their own. I bought one of the first Glocks sold in the Northeast and have carried a polymer-framed striker-fired pistol as my primary duty and off-duty handgun ever since. And just about every serious person I know, from domestic, high-end instructors to guys who spend lots of time overseas in classified assignments, also either carry one of these pistols by choice or agree that they are superb choices, with the former outnumbering the latter by a wide margin.

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Dale StocktonThe editor of Law Officer Magazine, Dale Stockton is a 32-year-veteran of law enforcement.


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Dave Grossi

Dave Grossi is a retired police lieutenant from upstate New York now residing in southwest Florida.


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Dave SpauldingDave Spaulding, the 2010 Law Officer Trainer of the Year and Law Officer's Firearms columnist, is a 28-year law enforcement veteran who retired at the rank of lieutenant.


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Jeff ChudwinJeff Chudwin is the 2009 Law Officer Trainer of the Year, serves as chief of police for the Village of Olympia Fields, Ill.


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Ralph MrozRalph Mroz is a police officer in Western Massachusetts, currently assigned to his county's drug task force. He is the co-founder and training director of the Police Officers Safety Association (POSA). The POSA provides free force-training video programs to police officers. To obtain them, visit


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