I have never had any problems out of either one of my M&P's. I do know that some agencies will switch to a different make and switch calibers also.
I think if I am not mistaken (and I believe I read this too I will find the link in a few) that part of the reason was the ability to switch stuff to help out left handed shooters, and also the different palm swells to fit the different hand types allowing the shooter to feel more comfortable thus producing more accurate results.
Edit: Found the link
North Carolina HP Converts to Smith & Wesson M&P Pistols and Rifles
The M&P pistol's reliability, ambidextrous operating controls and three interchangeable palm swell grip sizes were noted by officials within the agency as key reasons for the selection of the new duty sidearm. The North Carolina Highway Patrol added that the polymer pistol's accuracy, reliability during testing and ability to disassemble the firearm without pressing the trigger were all primary factors in their decision-making process.
Last edited by Bulldog; 01-12-2012 at 01:55 AM. Reason: fixed typing errors
There is a certain level of liability with older weapons, regardless of use or functionability. Also, it is easier to train/re-train on a new platform at one time than having to support multiple weapons, not to mention less expensive. My former department went from several different weapons to the Glock 22, period. It allowed a single transition training session, one type of weapon for the armorer, and allowed accessories (holsters, magazines and pouches, etc) to be ordered in bulk at a lower price. Training was also standardized to one particular weapons platform, making training more efficient.
It's still a butt-ton of money to spend, but as I stated earlier, most of the agencies that are switching are coming to the life cycle of thier weapons. Making the switch all at once makes sense, especially if the new company provides incentives to buy thier guns, which S&W is doing. Its all about market share; most police holsters that were filled with Glocks will be refilled with M&P's over the next few years because S&W is making sweet deals.
Government agencies use a bidding process in which the requester establishes various levels of requirements to be met under the contract. The agency works with bidders to make sure they all understand the requirements of the contract. Then they look for the lowest bidder. Sometimes it gets a little complicated but the agency looks at things like support cost and support requirements as well as cost of manuals replacement parts, training and life-cycle. They look at most of the things discussed here. But in the end, other things being equal, they pick the lowest bidder. Most Government procurements are on the are honestly done. They are under careful scrutiny.
A key factor to remember is this, the writing of the proposals for the contract specifications is done by LEO agency personnel. It is usually done after a period of test and evaluation of potential firearms. No LEO I know would put an inadequate firearm in the hands of his brother and sister officers. I am not saying every situation is exactly this way but for the most part the agency writes the proposal to meet their operational standards.
So as a taxpayer, if the contract meets the contract specifications of the agency then I am all for saving taxpayer money.
Last edited by Redhound80; 01-15-2012 at 01:58 PM. Reason: Forgot to add:
from traditional double action pistols in general and a couple for switching away from Sigs specifically. The design of the Sig pistols places the center line of the barrel much higher above the center line of the arm than many other pistols. This results in the gun having more leverage to use against you in recoil, causing more muzzle rise than with other guns with a lower bore axis. Sigs also have a fairly long trigger reach and a heavy double action pull. The long reach coupled with the heavy pull can make it very difficult for people with small hands to grip the gun and manipulate the trigger properly for effective shooting. In my opinion, these are the two strongest arguments against the Sig.
As far as double action pistols in general; they are more difficult to train with due in part to the heavy pull of the trigger in double action, and in part because of the transition from double action to single action for subsequent shots. Add to this the need to de-cock the pistol to make it safe and it turns into a pretty tall order to take someone from ground zero to proficiency in the modest training time that most law enforcement undergo. The de-cocker is one of my biggest complaints when it comes to law enforcement firearms.
I have witnessed and testified with regard to many negligent discharges as a result of an officer failing to de-cock his double action pistol after a firefight. This is largely because the average LEO is not a firearms enthusiast and does not practice enough to make this action automatic. When the adrenaline starts pumping, and the heart rate skyrockets, you WILL suffer a loss of fine motor control. You WILL forget things that seem very simple and natural to do, if you have not done them recently and frequently enough to make them muscle memory. It's easy to remember to de-cock while on the range. Not so much after a gunfight and your mind is racing and your heart is pounding.
I have been involved with training officers through the transition from revolvers to double action autos and then to the "safe action", striker fired autos. I can tell you from experience that it is far easier to train people, in a limited time-frame, with the striker fired pistols than it is with a traditional double action pistol. This, in my opinion, is why so many law enforcement agencies rely on Glocks and other similar designs. In the training arena, KISS is the best answer, ALWAYS.