Thursday, December 1, 2011

Packin' eighteen rounds of .357 magnum...

After listening to some law enforcement officers talking after church about how there isn't any room left on their duty-belts for anything else with the S&W M&P 40, magazines, taser, handcuffs, ASP baton, rubber gloves pouch, pepper spray, radio, and other assorted items that even Batman wouldn't have thought of for his utility belt... I was thinking about way back to the good ol' days when I worked for a few years in law enforcement.

In the mid-1980s the military had adopted the Beretta M9 and Mel Gibson was shooting smiley faces at fifty yards in Lethal Weapon with the Beretta 92F.  Our department was still carrying .357 magnums... you know... six-shooters... wheel-guns... either the S&W Model 66, S&W Model 686, or Ruger GP100 in stainless steel with four-inch barrels firing Federal 158 grain Hydra-Shoks.

Those revolvers were reliable, built like a brick outhouse, and there was little argument about the stopping power of the .357 magnum cartridge.  We carried six in the cylinder and two HKS speed-loaders for a total of eighteen rounds.  Yeah, there was an extra box of ammo in the cruiser along with a Remington 870 shotgun loaded with 00-buckshot, but our force continuum was limited primarily in range from our gift of gab to our hands or PR-24 and finally to the .357 magnum.

It's funny how I wouldn't even consider an open/uncovered trigger holster today and the only vest we wore back then for protection was a sweater in cold weather.  In the late 1980s the department entered the future when they issued everyone S&W 4516 semi-autos in .45ACP.  With three magazines of .45ACPs and one in the chamber... we were packin' firepower with 25 rounds at our disposal.

That good ol' GP100 has had somewhere north of 20,000 rounds through it over the years, six at a time, and has never failed me yet... but looking back, we must have been just a step or two ahead of Barney Fife's one-in-the-pocket...

We were packin' eighteen rounds of .357 magnum...


  1. Nice looking weapon. I really like the GP100, and I've shot my share of .357. BUT...I really wish Ruger would come out with a GP100 or Redhawk cut to shoot .45 ACP in moon clips similar to the S&W 625.

  2. I carried a Colt Python every work day from 75 to 83 with 3 speed loaders. Still have it and would not feel terribly undergunned if I had to go back to it.

  3. @Mike: a Colt Python .357 with a six-inch barrel is on my bucket list of guns... I have no need for one... but I'd love to have one...

    @Tango: I would definitely agree...

    Dann in Ohio

  4. Memories. I started my police career in 85. My first issue gun was a 4 inch 66. I'd go back on the streets today with that gun and 2 speedloaders.

  5. If you can shoot, I do mean SHOOT, a good six gun will do fine.

    And if you can't shoot much better than Barney Fife, then won't matter what you carry.

    But it is those in between the two extremes that one finds the simi-auto has benefits that are worth the effort.

  6. Colt Python. . Oh yes. I have my Mom's badge, but she died when I was pretty young and well before I got interested in pistols and I don't know what her service weapon was.

    Excellent post Dann.

  7. All of this is very familiar as my hubs is in law enforcement.

  8. those revolvers (the gp100 and 686) are still the guns i would prefer over any other handgun. finally got another gp100, now i just have to save up for the 686 i've been eyeballing 8D

  9. Python still is my main carry gun w/3 speedloaders. Undergunned? Hardly.