The FBI Has Spoken: It’s Time to Return to The 9mm

Several media outlets have reported that the FBI, once again, is changing the caliber of choice for their agents. Beginning as early as 2016, FBI personnel will be carrying 147-grain Speer Gold Dot G2 ammunition and a yet-to-be-disclosed firearm. The question is: “So what?”

Before jumping on the FBI band wagon, I suggest that you consider the long and often circular path that cart has taken.

1986 – Following the infamous Miami shootout, the FBI abandoned the 9mm citing in part its after action report, which claimed the rounds were ineffective in stopping the two gunmen. Oddly enough, the interim “fix” was to continue using 9mm Luger ammunition but in a different, deeper-penetrating, configuration – Winchester’s 147-grain subsonic.

9mm Ammo1988 – Despite earlier concerns, the FBI selects a new sidearm, the SIG P228, which is also chambered in 9mm Luger. Experts countered critics who questioned the continued use of 9mm by claiming the SIG P228 was lighter and more reliable- attributes which would allow agents to increase proficiency and allow for better shot placement.

1989 – The FBI adopted the .40 caliber as the official duty ammunition; problem was, the “.40 caliber” they selected was actually a 10mm. Few firearms were even available in this caliber and those that were available were heavy, produced extreme recoil and were almost impossible for undercover concealed carry. They again returned to the 9mm Luger in the form of SIG P226 & SIG P228

1997 – Adoption of the Glock  in .40 caliber resulted in the 9mm again being returned to the shelves and a general acceptance of the .40 by law enforcement agencies across America. Despite many years of reliable service, the powers that be in the FBI have now decided to again return to the 9mm, in the same general configuration previously considered a “stop gap”.

Many law enforcement agencies nationwide tend to follow the FBI’s lead when it comes to ammunition selection, which has many experts wondering if the days of .40 S&W are soon over. But why is this? Given the FBI’s history of flip flopping on this subject, why would anyone follow their lead? Chances are if you wait a bit it will simply change again.

Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.

Tom Burrell

Tom enlisted in the US Marine Corps Reserves in 1987. Following service in Desert Storm, he transitioned to active duty with the US Coast Guard. In 1997 he left the USCG to pursue a position in conservation & maritime law enforcement. Tom is currently a Captain and he oversees several programs, including his agency investigation unit. He is also a training instructor in several areas including firearms, defensive tactics and first aid/CPR. In 2006 Tom received his Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Harrisburg Area Community College and in 2010 a Bachelor’s Degree from Penn State University.
Tom Burrell
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