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  1. #1
    firefitr26 is offline Junior Member
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    Gun for Parole officer

    I am currently trying to get into a job as a state parole agent or county probation officer in Pennsylvania. I am a 30 year old woman and have some experience shooting .45, .357, .22, .25, and .38 handguns. I have not used any in a while and have never purchased one. If I get a job as a PO the training academy includes specifics for handguns you can use. I would assume that the place I would get hired would issue a gun, but I would like to buy and get experience with a similar gun before training.

    This is part of the training page listing requirements for handguns.

    CALIBER: .380 ACP, 9mm Luger (9X19), .38 Special, .357 Magnum, .357 SIG, .40 S&W, .45 ACP, .45 GAP, and 10mm Auto.

    BARREL LENGTH: Revolvers, no less than 2 inches and no more than 6 inches; pistols, no less than 3 inches and no more than 6 inches.

    Pistols and revolvers must have an internal mechanical device exclusive of the sear, that prevents a discharge if the firearm is struck with a sharp blow while cocked or decocked and the safety in the off position if the trigger is not depressed (i.e. a hammer block, drop safety, firing pin safety, etc.).


    I would appreciate suggestions on a gun to buy in the $600 range, if that is possible.

  2. #2
    SaltyDog's Avatar
    SaltyDog is offline Member
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    GLOCK 23 Compact 40 S&W. 4" barrel and you will be able to get the 15/17 round mags. A lightweight handgun which makes it easier for all day carry and it meets the safety requirements listed.

    Do you know if they at least supply range and carry ammo?

    You may have to go with the Glock 19 compact 9mm depending on the type of ammo supplied. It has the same specs as the G23 except you get 2 more in the mag.

    Both run in the range of $499 NIB. With night sights they run $560. I highly recommend the night sights.

    I'm a little biased as I have the Glock 23 and really like it.

  3. #3
    PhilR. is offline Member
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    If you want a semi-automatic, the I would echo the Glock (17/19/26) suggestion. But there are also handguns from FN (FNP9/40), Sig (P250), CZ (75/85), S&W (m&P9/40), Ruger (SR9, P-series), Springfield (XD, XDM), Walther (PPS), Kahr (CW9/40), Taurus (24/7), and Steyr (MA1) to consider as well.

    If you want a revolver, then look at the S&W J-frames such as the 60, or the Ruger GP100.

    Since the numbers of handguns that fit the criteria you posted is probably over 100, we really can't give you any helpful suggestions unless you tell us what type of handgun you want, what type of action you want, which caliber you want, what size you want, how you want to carry, etc....

  4. #4
    firefitr26 is offline Junior Member
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    I will look into your suggestions. I really don't know much about guns other than how to shoot. I am looking to buy a gun and get some practice in before being hired and having to go through training. Always best to be prepared. I do not want a revolver. I am looking for a semi-auto that meets the necessary criteria. I would like a gun with less kick and weight preferably. I have no idea what the .45 is that my bro used to have. I think it was a 1911 style. If I remember right he said the FBI used to use that style. I liked that gun, the kick was a little more than I am looking for, but it was ok. I think I would prefer a shorter barrel, so maybe 3-4 inches rather than 6. As I said before, am looking for something in the $600 range.

  5. #5
    PhilR. is offline Member
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    OK, so ruling out revo's will narrow down your potentials to maybe seventy or eighty. One thing for sure, I would not suggest any type of 1911, unless you plan to devote a whole lot of time to training with it.

    You really need to go rent a bunch of the handguns that meet your criteria. Once you do this, you can let us know if you want single-action, double-action, double-action only or striker-fired, what caliber you want, what frame material you want, what thickness you want. Just setting a price range is not a good enough criteria for anyone to help you with....

  6. #6
    Viper is offline Junior Member
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    Gun for Parole officer

    I would suggest a Sig SP2022 in 9mm or 40 cal. I got one 2 months ago, and it's now my favorite all time handgun, and I've owned a lot.

  7. #7
    DevilsJohnson is offline Senior Member
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    You have to get your hands around as many that fit within your criteria as possible. Ranges that rent are a huge plus. f you don't have that option then at least go to a shop or few and at least see what fits your hand. you said you had some shooting experience so that might help you with recoil issues when looking at different weapons. No one here or anywhere can say what is going to fit you. We can say that this or that is a reliable weapon because of owning or some past experience with a given weapon but it's not our hands going around the grip, it's yours.

    Once you figure out what fits your hand best you can then look into calibers. Remember lighter weapons and those with shorter barrels will have more felt recoil. So a sub compact .40 will be more to hang no to than one with a 5" barrel. Poly frame weapons are lighter than steel or alloy framed weapons and will have a little more muzzle flip. That does not mean that they cannot be managed. It just means a lighter weapon is easier to move than a heavier one.

    Good luck in your search. Most all the big name gun makers can be a quality weapon for you. It's just a matter if what fits best.

  8. #8
    Pistolero's Avatar
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    I will almost always recommend the Glock 19. It offers high capacity, a likeable grip envelope, incredible dependability, simplicity of function and is recognized, if not required, by most U.S. law enforcement agencies. There's lots of options out there but the compact, 9mm Glock wonder pistol is difficult to compete with.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pistolero View Post
    I will almost always recommend the Glock 19. It offers high capacity, a likeable grip envelope, incredible dependability, simplicity of function and is recognized, if not required, by most U.S. law enforcement agencies. There's lots of options out there but the compact, 9mm Glock wonder pistol is difficult to compete with.
    I agree (Salty and Phil mentioned it, too), Glock 19 for your purposes is perfect, and it comes in under $600. I am hesitant to recommend a Glock 23 (same size, different caliber) because it can be somewhat of a mule in novice hands; nothing major but still noticeable. The Glock 19 however....hell I can shoot that thing all day.

  10. #10
    ThorOdinson is offline Junior Member
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    Parole Officer--armed? Why? Of the states I worked in (LEO) you would have to meet the requirements of Police Officer Standards and Training. That is considerably different than target practice. Of the PO's I've met they had a fixation on the TV show theatrics of wearing a badge on a bead chain around their necks. The badge always swung under clothing and couldn't be seen. Problem was they acted like they were in a uniform and expected everyone else to act like they were recognizable. They weren't. I'd make sure you don't make the same error. Target practice isn't a bad idea but don't you spend a few months in an academy?

    If the .45 worked for you I would go with a compact version of that. If you have to pull the trigger you want stopping power--and that has it. Work in pairs--YOU don't want to supply some parolee with something to use on you. Thor

  11. #11
    VAMarine's Avatar
    VAMarine is offline Administrator
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    PA Probation and Parole officers are issued Glock 26s.

    As an FYI...

    ''Probation Officers heretofore or hereafter appointed by any Court of record of this Commonwealth are hereby declared to be peace officers, and shall have police powers and authority throughout the Commonwealth to arrest with or without warrant, writ, rule of process, any person on probation, intermediate punishment or parole under the supervision of said Court for failing to report as required by the terms of his/her probation, intermediate punishment or parole or for any other violation of his/her probation, intermediate punishment or parole.''
    Firearms Training Requirements

    Firearm Familiarization Training: Prior to issuance of the firearm, the officer must view a familiarization video provided by the manufacturer, Glock.

    Basic Firearms Academy: All officers carrying firearms must attend the initial firearms training course offered by the County Probation and Parole Officers' Firearm Education and Training Commission (See 61 Pa.C.S. 332.1 through 61 Pa.C.S. 332.9). The training course shall consist of a period of classroom instruction and range qualification.

    Requalification: All officers who receive certification by the Commission, must requalify annually and during the time period established by the Commission. The department shall make arrangements with neighboring counties, who have a certified Commission firearms' instructor, to conduct requalification training.

    Mandatory In-Service Training: In order to maintain state certification, any in-service training mandated by the established County Probation and Parole Officers' Firearm Education and Training Commission, shall be attended by all weapon-carrying officers.

    Failure to Qualify at the Initial Training: If an officer fails to qualify, he/she shall be given a second opportunity to participate in the next available training course. Any officer requesting a third opportunity must receive authorization from the Chief Adult Probation/Parole Officer.

    Failure to Requalify: If an officer fails to requalify, he/she shall be given a second opportunity to participate in the next available training course. Any officer requesting a third opportunity must receive authorization from the Chief Adult Probation/Parole Officer. Failure to requalify will result in the temporary suspension of authorization to carry a firearm. When an officer fails to requalify, then he/she must attend the initial firearms academy.

    Failure to Qualify By New Employee: An officer hired after the adoption of this policy statement and fails to qualify/requalify as set forth in this policy statement, will be offered additional training. Failure to qualify thereafter will result in a departmental inquiry as to the reasons an officer failed to qualify. A recommendation will be made to the court concerning the employment status of the officer.

    Independent Firearms Practice: Officers authorized to carry a firearm may practice with their issued firearm on the employee's own time. The practice must occur only at a firing range, public or private. The department will only issue 200 rounds of practice ammunition to an officer attending the initial firearms training academy and requalification. The officer must purchase all other practice ammunition.

    Training Ammunition: The department shall issue the appropriate number of rounds required for initial qualification and requalification. Approved training ammunition is new, factory-loaded, 124 grain, 9 mm rounds. The department will only issue ammunition to the officer for two attempts at qualification. Any other authorized attempts to qualify will require the officer to purchase the ammunition approved by the department.

    Familiarization Training: All adult probation/parole officers will be required to complete a firearms familiarization course, when available.
    Authorized Equipment

    Authorized Firearm: The department shall issue a Glock Model 26 (9 mm) pistol to each officer authorized to carry a firearm. Personal firearms are prohibited. Only the firearm issued by the department to the officer can be carried and used in the performance of official duties, including all trainings at the firearms academy and other commission-sponsored trainings.

    Authorized Duty Ammunition: The department shall issue thirty (30) rounds of duty ammunition, which is new, factory-loaded, 124-grain hydra-shok, jacketed hollow point. Any other ammunition is prohibited.

    Holsters: The department shall issue a DeSantis Thumb Break Scabbard for each officer authorized to carry a firearm. The holster shall be worn on the officer's duty belt, on the officer's strong side. Cross-draw positioning of a firearm is prohibited. All other holsters including shoulder holsters and weapons are prohibited.

    Magazines and Extensions: Each weapon-carrying officer will be issued two additional ten round magazines fitted with grip extensions.

    Double Magazine Pouches: Each weapon-carrying officer will be issued a nylon double magazine pouch.

    Modifications to Equipment: All equipment issued by the department is standard and under no circumstances will any modifications be permitted. Officers altering or modifying their equipment will be subject to disciplinary action, including suspension of authorization to carry a firearm.
    Cleaning and Maintenance of Firearms

    Cleaning of Firearms: Weapon-carrying officers are responsible for the cleaning and lubrication of their issued firearm after each use, whenever the handgun has been subjected to moisture or dirt or every three months. Cleaning kits will be available in the department and the officer must keep a record of when the handgun was cleaned. Since the department has no designated areas for cleaning, officers will be expected to clean their firearm at their desk or at home. Failure to maintain proper maintenance and cleaning of the firearm may result in the temporary suspension of authorization to carry.

    Safety Considerations: Before cleaning your firearm, make absolutely sure that it is unloaded. All ammunition should be stored away from the cleaning area, with the gun's action open during the cleaning process.

    Damaged Firearms: See Page 14 of this policy statement.

    Inspection: The department shall forward all firearms to a certified Glock armorer for inspection every six months.

    Mechanical Problems: Firearms with mechanical problems that cannot be corrected by routine cleaning shall be taken out of service and sent to a qualified armorer for repair.
    Maintenance of Magazine and Ammunition

    Ammunition: Ammunition should be removed from the magazine and rotated daily. This will ensure that striation will not occur on the tip of the bullet located at the open end of the magazine. Failure to rotate ammunition may result in the destruction of the integrity of the bullet and possibly cause damage or injury when discharged.

    Magazine: Ammunition should not be stored in a magazine for any prolonged period of time. Prolonged storage of ammunition in a magazine could destroy the spring mechanism. Therefore, at the end of every shift, the officer shall empty the magazine and store the ammunition in accordance with agency policy (See page 10 of this policy statement).

    References:

    http://www.pabulletin.com/secure/dat...-45/2146a.html
    http://www.pabulletin.com/secure/dat...31-14/584.html


    So you could buy a Glock 26 or larger Glock 19 to either have the same gun or a similar one.

  12. #12
    fiasconva's Avatar
    fiasconva is offline Junior Member
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    Try a S&W M&P. It comes in 9mm, 40cal, 357sig and 45 cal. All have 3 different size backstraps for different hand sizes. Find a range that rents them and try them out. You will be pleasantly surprised. The 9mm holds 17 plus one in the chamber.

  13. #13
    ThorOdinson is offline Junior Member
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    Gun for Parole Officer

    VAMARINE--Thread says you are located in Iowa yet you quoted a lot of "Commonwealth" sources.
    Assume you are not quoting anything from Iowa.
    Never heard of Court appointing any joe-blow off the street to be a peace officer and have it hold any water. Standards and Training when I worked in a state neighboring Iowa was no small matter. Basic law enforcement training consisted of the Rules of Criminal Procedure, basic info regarding probable cause to swear out an affidavit for a warrant, simple crime scene investigation, fingerprinting and photographing suspects and when a weapon could be drawn, when used (can't shoot a speeder who runs off like on TV) and very basic shooting skills.
    Amazing that the information you quoted stated that a POST qualified officer could not shoot his weapon except at a range. There are few "ranges" in states like Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska or South Dakota. Just about every citizen carrys a shotgun in a gunrack in the pickup cab and everyone, (officer, citizen, kid) shoots or hunts where they ****well please. You had a lot of information there but I can garantee you that it sure doesn't apply to Iowa. It was interesting but maybe you got that from a state website on the East coast. If some PO tried to make a warrantless arrest in my state, at the point of a gun, it could well be the last breath they ever took.

  14. #14
    VAMarine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThorOdinson View Post
    VAMARINE--Thread says you are located in Iowa yet you quoted a lot of "Commonwealth" sources.
    Assume you are not quoting anything from Iowa.
    ...
    Yes, it's PA info. If you click on the links below the quoted info, it will take you to the PA bulletin site. As the OP is from PA and trying for employment as a PA P&P officer, I figured the info might be helpful.

    I lived there (PA) for 3.5 years before moving to VA, which was before I moved to IA...I know it's confusing, try it on my end.

  15. #15
    fragger-ks's Avatar
    fragger-ks is offline Junior Member
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    M&P 9 or a Glock 19. The 19 will conceal better. I like the M&Ps better but you should try and shoot both and get which ever feels best to you.

  16. #16
    ThorOdinson is offline Junior Member
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    Gun for PO

    Quote Originally Posted by VAMarine View Post
    Yes, it's PA info. If you click on the links below the quoted info, it will take you to the PA bulletin site. As the OP is from PA and trying for employment as a PA P&P officer, I figured the info might be helpful.

    I lived there (PA) for 3.5 years before moving to VA, which was before I moved to IA...I know it's confusing, try it on my end.
    Thanks for the clarification. Explanation makes perfect sense to me--your info is more pertinent than something from the not so wild wild west anymore. Didn't IA get a bunch of water last year? Roommate in college freshman year was from Des Moines. Thor

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