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Types of Security Officer Firearms

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Security personnel handguns generally fall into one of two types. The first is the “revolver,” which has a cylinder to feed the bullets into the chamber, making the handgun then ready to be fired. The other is the semi-automatic, which depends upon the slide moving backwards to load another round.


Many security companies feel that a revolver is a much safer and easier-to-learn weapon than a semi-auto, and therefore make it company policy to use handgun such as Smith & Wesson or a Ruger. These are usually chambered for either the .38 Special or the .357 Magnum cartridge.


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Some security guards dislike revolvers because of the major disadvantage of carrying only seven to eight bullets compared to many semi-autos, which can carry up to 17. Tools have been developed to overcome this handicap, but many guards prefer that extra, immediate firepower of a semi-auto.


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The Austrian made Glock is the standard issue weapon for many security guards. Glocks come in many different caliber sizes, from 9 mm up to .45 ACP, and many different configurations. A typical security guard Glock would be a G-17, in 9 mm and holding 17 bullets. A slightly smaller version would be the G-19, and a concealable version is the G-26.

Other Semi-autos

Other popular semi-autos among security guards are the Ruger P series, the Sig Sauer P Series, and the 1911 1A made by a number of manufacturers, such as Kimber, Colt, and Taurus.

Safety Issues

One major factor when companies choose a firearm for security guards is whether or not it has an external safety or an internal one. A Glock, for example, has an internal safety, while a Sig Sauer has an outside one. Firearm experts often disagree as to which model is the safest.