Austin has been shopping around for a new, department-wide sidearm for some time now. Up until switching over to Smith & Wesson handguns, the Austin PD have used officer-purchased firearms off a list of approved pistols. This is the first time Austin’s had a standard-issue firearm, and they picked the M&P40.
Everyone in the entire department is being issued the guns, along with three magazines. “We view the department’s selection of our M&P40 as an endorsement of the winning attributes of the pistol. The Austin Police Department now joins hundreds of other agencies that have selected the M&P for use in the line of duty,” said Mario Pasantes, Senior Vice President of Marketing for Smith & Wesson.
The pistol was selected for its good ergonomics, including interchangeable back straps sized to fit most anyone’s hands well, not to mention its significant capacity. Even in .40 S&W, the guns hold 15+1. They are getting all 1,775 with night sights.
In San Antonio, there’s a little more go big or go home; the PD there are putting in a batch order of individual officer purchases, 550 shiny new M&P15A carbines. These rifles are being custom-made with personlized engravings on them, including each officer’s badge number.
“Throughout our company’s history, Smith & Wesson has focused its attention on meeting the high performance standards and specialized needs of military and law enforcement professionals. Our law enforcement support services are structured so that departments can hand pick those elements that directly meet the needs and qualifications of their particular agency. As a result, within the San Antonio Police Officers Association, officers were able to customize the M&P15A rifles to meet their personal preferences, while still conforming to the list of standard specifications required by the agency.”
The M&P15A is very much an M4-style semi-automatic AR rifle with the barrel cutout for, oh, let’s say Tazers. Or whatever, it’s all fun when you’re legally allowed to use the barrel mount. It meets mil-spec requirements, comes with a Troy rear flip-up iron sight, standard M4 buttstock and A2 flash hider, and has your standard 7lb AR trigger. It’s at the lighter end of the stock AR weight spectrum at 6.5lbs dry.
Oh, by the way, that up there really is a barrel-mounted Taser launcher. Made by none other than Metal Storm, to boot.
It’s good to be a cop in Texas. (It’s pretty good to be S&W, too.)