Wednesday, June 10, 2009


While I worked for the Department of Corrections (Division of Probation and Parole), I carried a revolver. Well, actually, several revolvers. All Smith and Wesson, all stainless steel. Originally, I was issued a SW Model 66, with a 2 3/4 inch barrel. They were made especially for us by Smith and Wesson and they carried an LAPP roll mark from the factory. Over time, I acquired my own revolvers. First a 4" Model 66, then a 2" Model 60.

When I retired, both of those pistols retired with me. The Model 60 is carried sometimes as a concealed piece. The Model 66 rides on my hip when I'm in the woods. A 4" revolver is a great carry weapon for rural exploring.

Just about the time I joined my current department, I happened to buy a 1911A1 pistol, a Kimber Eclipse. My current department let me carry it, so I qualified with it and have carried it as a duty pistol. I love my Kimber, and I'm one of the very few officers in this department who carry a 1911 on duty.

The Kimber has been a good companion. It's rock-solid dependable. The only change I made to it was to take out the full-length guide rod and install a GI length rod. Otherwise, it's bone stock. I love my Kimber.

Our new Sheriff decided that an officer shouldn't have to purchase his/her own duty weapon and one of the campaign promises he made was that he would purchase and issue a standard weapon to the department. He's made good on that promise and when officers go through their annual retrainer, they're issued a pistol and duty belt with accouterments.

Next week I do my annual retrainer and I'll be issued my pistol. Not a Glock. A Smith and Wesson M&P in .45 ACP. Folks who have them, like them. They come with three grip inserts, small, medium, and large, to fit varying hands. The instructors tell me that it's interesting to see which grip insert the different deputies choose.

There are a lot of good reasons for a department to use a common firearm, not the least of which is agency liability. With a common weapon, common leather, common training, it's sure easy to keep the officers supplied, but individuality takes a back seat. Having a department issued firearm is a good thing. Good for the deputies, good for the department. I'm surprised that this agency waited this long to make the switch.

The point of this is that I'm having to put the 1911 into retirement. For the past six years it's ridden in a Safariland 6280 holster, but that time appears to be over. I'll be looking for other leather to coddle it. I've always like pancake holsters as a personal preference. I guess I'll have to start hitting the catalogs and find something stylish for my old friend to ride in.

Might my few readers have any suggestions?


be603 said...

Buffboy said...

There is a huge selection of good pancakes for 1911s but I've grown quite fond of the Bianchi Model 82
CarryLok I was given by another officer that sold his 1911. Secure, comfortable, good speed, and not too hard on the wallet if you buy it. I'd buy another one if this wore out.

DiamondD said...

You can't go wrong with the EPS Allegiance.

I also like Robs CID holster for the 1911. Simply Ruggeds site has already been listed above me.

I have both and really couldn't pick between them.