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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.
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.
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 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.
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.
Jack Burton started writing professionally in 1980 with articles in "Word from Jerusalem," "ICEJ Daily News" and Tagalong Garden News. He has managed radio stations, TV studios and newspapers, and was the chief fundraiser for Taltree Arboretum. Burton holds a B.S. in broadcasting from John Brown University. He is a 26-year veteran of the U.S. Navy/Navy Reserves and the Navy Seabees.