St. Louis Police Want Higher-Powered Pistols


The pistol in every St. Louis police officer’s duty holster is a 9 mm Beretta 92F semiautomatic. It will dispense 16 slugs the diameter of a good-sized pen with as many pulls on the trigger. Those bullets fly with the power to punch through eight sheets of drywall, says the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. In today’s tough crime environment, is it enough wallop to overpower an armed threat? The St. Louis Police Officers Association wants a switch to .40-caliber pistols, which experts say have more stopping power plus less tendency to pass through the target and on to unintended consequences.

“We want to be able to compete with what’s out on the street,” said Sgt. Gary Wiegert, association president. “Right now we can’t. There’s so much violence going on out on the street right now. [] How do you contain someone if you’re outgunned?” Sgt. William Kiphart, who heads the department’s firearms training, said the issue is not so simple as it might sound. He insisted police most often face criminals with common-caliber handguns, meaning officers are rarely outgunned. Officers “want a magic bullet,” Kiphart said. “There is no magic bullet.” David Klinger, a professor of criminology at University of Missouri-St. Louis and former police officer, said, “All else equal, most people want to have a bigger round.”


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