Texas DPS Dropping SIG for S&W M&P

Smith & Wesson M&P9

The Texas Department of Public Safety is phasing out the current issued SIG Sauer pistols chambered for the .357 SIG cartridge.  Smith & Wesson M&P9 pistols will replace the SIG handguns beginning with the academy class starting training this month.  Troopers already issued the SIG pistols will transition to the M&P over time.

While the department could have transitioned to another SIG product in 9mm for less recoil, the department stated the selection of the M&P was based on several reasons:

  • the M&P is lighter than the SIG Sauer
  • the palm swell grips allow the department to better fit the gun to the officer
  • testing showed the M&P exceeded the performance of the SIG

While I personally like SIG Sauer products, I generally agree with the Texas DPS decision.  Fitting a gun to the individual is extremely important and with the classic line of SIG Sauer pistols, this is very difficult.  Even with the E2 upgrades and a short reach trigger, the trigger reach on a P226 can be difficult for shooters with short fingers and/or small hands.

Texas DPS is not the only department that has transitioned from the SIG to the M&P.  While not the only reason, I suspect that this was at least one of the reasons SIG decided to launch the new P320 line of striker-fired handguns this year.

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Richard Johnson

An advocate of gun proliferation zones, Richard is a long time shooter, former cop and internet entrepreneur. Among the many places he calls home is http://www.gunsholstersandgear.com/.


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  • nester7929

    I’m very surprised that they went to a 9mm. Don’t hear about many departments going from a .40/.357 down to a 9. Hopefully this means I can get me a cheap Sig.

    • Don’t Drone Me Bro

      Actually many departments are switching to 9mm for the lower cost ammo, less wear on the guns, higher capacity, and the ease of training. It’s not 1990, 9mm JHP has made huge improvements in the past few years. Speer Gold Dot, Federal HST, 124gr loads are quality loadings.

      • buzzman1

        Hope they teathto keep their damned finger off the triggers!

  • Michael

    Do they need to change guns so frequently? Or is someone getting a free gun.
    Nothing wrong with 9mm

  • Brian in Seattle

    I didn’t think they allowed men to carry 9mm in Texas.

    • FourString

      hahahahah

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Alex C.

      Here is a really cool factoid: My uncle is a detective for the Dallas PD and he said that there are 5 or 6 old school guys who still carry revolvers! If they never opted to change over to semi autos in the 90s, they can still carry a wheel gun and it is seen as a badge of seniority and honor.

      • Rich Guy

        Very true, three officers in my coffee stain on the map sized town (under 900 population) carry Ruger GP100′s and Security Six’s. One of them is a woman too.

        Still in Texas, BTW.

        • John Dalton

          The Ruger GP100 is the AK47 of revolvers…indestructible!

      • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

        Hate to admit it but they had to pry my 686 out of my hands when we switched to Glocks

      • Beju

        You get something similar in the Chicago PD. CPD also have to buy their own equipment, so most of the officers hired before the semi-auto transition in December 1991 still carry their 38/357 revolvers (only 38 Special ammunition is allowed due to nonsensical over penetration fears).

        • buzzman1

          Which makes this change over even more stupid. 9mm is for its lack of stopping power because of over penetration. The .357 may over penetrate at close range but it does some serious damage as its pacing through but the 9mm doesnt.

    • allannon

      Of course we can; even we occasionally need pocket pistols.

      Even in Texas, six guns and leather don’t meet business-casual requirements.

  • noob

    hmm are they going to allow troopers to install their own apex trigger systems?

    • floppyscience

      Thankfully, new production M&Ps have much improved triggers, similar to the Shield line. You can actually feel and hear the reset now.

      • Mark Horning

        Feeling and hearing the trigger reset does not equal improved. It’s just more “Glock like” and encourages the bad habit of riding the trigger reset.

        • floppyscience

          How is “riding the reset” a bad habit? The takeup in a trigger is non-functional, there’s no reason to let it all the way out before pulling again.

  • vamtns

    anyone know what duty ammo they plan on carrying?

  • FourString

    WHOA Any deets on this new Sig P320?? :D
    I just Googled it and there is not yet that much info out there on it o.o

    • http://www.bluesheepdog.com/ Richard

      The new P320 are supposed to be striker-fired, polymer guns in 9mm, .40 S&W, .357 SIG and .45 ACP. They will use interchangeable frames, like the P250, to give users options in hand size and overall size (full, compact, subcompact).

      It will be an interesting pairing with the new modular rifle they will be selling.

      • FourString

        excited to see the full details when the pistol does fully come out :D
        and the rifle, that’s the first time I’ve heard of that one

        pretty rad

        • Scouse

          Re bigger in Texas? Once at an IPSC Match nr Chicago, I met a young guy with a ball cap that said, West Texas.
          He was about 5’8″ tall, I said I thought every one from Texas was over 6′. He looked me in the eye, and said “I am a Texas midget”
          Broke me up.

          • Blaser270

            Now that was good!

  • 2wheels

    It’s rather shocking that Texas is dumping .357SIG for 9mm…

    • WuzYoungOnceToo

      Not shocking at all, considering the cost and availability differences.

      • 2wheels

        Although I understand the practical reasons behind the switch, it’s Texas we’re talking about, I would think they’d be the last to switch from something like .357SIG to 9mm.

        • CJS3

          I never really understood why they went from 45ACP to 357Sig.

          • 2wheels

            As I understand it, they missed the ballistics of their old .357 Magnum revolvers and .357SIG wasn’t around when they made the switch from revolvers to autos, so they went with .45ACP at that time.

  • oldguy

    While the explanation seems plausible, more likely is the S&W gave them a deal they couldn’t refuse. When my old department switched from Sigs to Glocks it was because Glock offered us a trade in for the Sigs and we got the Glocks dirt cheap. That happens a lot. It is also likely that the cost of 9mm is less than .357sig so in the long run they save money.

    • http://www.bluesheepdog.com/ Richard

      I’ve seen Glock give some very favorable deals. At my old agency, Glock did a 1-for-1 swap: new G22 for our old G17 at no cost. It’s hard to beat that kind of deal.

      From what information I have about other S&W deals, they terms are favorable, but nowhere near free.

      • PatrickPM

        It does make you wonder where the money ends up coming from. Anyone with an MBA who’d like to chime in? And don’t say suing anyone who uses right angles :P

      • Blaser270

        I read an article some years back that said the Glock handgun cost $27 to manufacture. No idea if that was accurate or what the current cost is but they were able to trade out their new Glocks many times for old pistols, some old revolvers, etc., and then wholesale those guns to the open market for much more than they had in those new Glocks. And in return they could advertise to the regular consumers and those officers that buy their own that ‘such and such department had gone to Glocks’. It worked very well for them as they gobbled up the police market. They were still inferior but the budget office didn’t care as long as it didn’t cost them anything….

  • MZupcak

    I think that, aside from reliability, the fit of the gun to the shooters hand is what’s most important here. A lot of people have small hands. I’m over 6′ tall but anything fatter than a G17 grip (like a G20 or 21) feels like I’m holding a heavy toy; I have no confidence in my ability to shoot a weapon I can’t grip tightly. Grip tape and overmolds only do so much. Pre-E^2 Sig 226/8/9′s have notoriously fat grip

    • Blaser270

      Exactly. Way too big for the average hand. I have large hands but relatively short fingers. By NFL standards my hands at 9.5″ but the Sigs are hard to grip and do not feel right.

  • Clint Notestine

    i thought they made everything bigger in texas

  • Lance

    Not surprised .357 SIG was always a oddball caliber that never caught on and has hefty recoil for inexperienced shooters. I do like the M and P its lighter can swap out some of the grips for a better fit for the shooter and is made here in America. its a good pick.

  • Closet Gun Nut

    Thats interesting. Here in N.C. the Troopers are doing the exact opposite. They are switching back to the Sigs since they are having occasional problems with .357 brass getting stuck in the M&P barrels. Texas could wind up making the same about-face as NC just went through.

    • CJS3

      They are switching to 9mm from 357sig. I think the switch has as much to do with politics as with tactical reasons.

  • John

    Just curious, what do they mean by performance? Sounds vague and whitewashy

  • Mike

    Buddy is a Trooper, he told me the .357 SIG round was too expensive to allow the practice they wanted.

  • Buckshot

    Texas DPS is going to egret their decision in the long run. Atlanta PD had M&P .40′s and ended up changing over to Glock within a few yeas because S&W had horrible customer service and there were quality control issues with the M&P. Maybe the issues have been resolved with the 9mm and I wish them well. Officer safety is the most important issue here.

    • Don’t Drone Me Bro

      That’s funny. Now Glock is the one with terrible customer service, and issues and everyone thinks of S&W’s great CS. I get the feeling Atlanta going to Glocks was also politically related considering the proximity of Glock. Doesn’t look good if you lose a contract in your backyard.

      • Blaser270

        Agree. Nobody has better customer service for police officers than S&W. They have always taken care of the officer’s guns. I’ve seen S&W request an officer’s gun be overnighted to them and 2 days later the repaired or replacement is there. Glock on the other hand is a joke of a company that built one gun and rode it to the finish line. They haven’t accomplished squat in years but building knockoffs of their original model. NO imagination and no R&D for the future. Plus as noted in other comments they usually took pure junk in trade for their new Glocks. They needed the advertising that it gave them to claim that such & such PD was carrying their junk. Before the Glock lovers go nuts I’ll say that their gun works and goes bang. It can be tricked up to shoot really well. But it has been surpassed by newer and better technology.

  • Dragonheart

    Americans buying American made products, what a novel idea.

  • Don

    Mistake, these guns are not half the weapon the Sig is and 9mm is only going to cost some LEO his life in a fire fight with a meth head.

    • scotchflavoredchewablevicoden

      Please explain how the M&P is outperformed by the SIG by even one metric?

      The real, on the street difference between a quality 9mm slug and .357 SIG is negligible. Please, provide some examples and back up your statement. Thanks.

      • Blaser270

        He doesn’t have any. He’s just convinced Sig is the best thing since sliced bread. 10-1 he’s never even fired a M&P pistol!

  • Paul White

    Also, they’re not chambered in an expensive propitiatory round.

  • supergun

    The M&P is a very fine gun. So is the SIG. I have a M&P 357 sig with a 40 cal. barrel. My wife took it from me. She shot it with the 40 cal. barrel and said it shot better than the Taurus model 92 9mm. The 40 cal is one bad boy. Hope no one messes with her.

  • Tim Foutz

    .357 SIG is too expensive to shoot regularly. But 9mm is trash. Good plan.

    • Blaser270

      You might want to check the German use of the 9 mm during WWI and WWII. And that was using ball ammo btw. The new rounds are bad to the bone. Only a guy with a little bitty wiener needs a 45 to make up the difference. I’d rather hit someone with 2-3 rounds in the time it takes to get that first 45 out of the gun and reset for the 2nd shot.

  • Robert

    Politics plain and simple. Example the military adoption of the Beretta M9 over the Sig. While Elite forces are allowed Sigs, the rank and file have the M9.
    It’s awfully difficult to compare the two.
    Switching over to the 9MM is crazy. I could understand it better if they bought the
    .40 S&W. I can see troopers asking to pay for their own and you will see a lot of 1911′s on the hip of the DPS.

  • Aaron E

    I agree with many here that the switch probably has a lot to do with a sweet deal from S&W. The M&P line has made some noteworthy inroads to American LE over the last few years, and with the revamped trigger it is a nice pistol. The grip selections are also a great addition for better fitting the pistol to different sized shooters.

    I am surprised that they are switching to 9mm over a .40 S&W. With the .40 you still get a very high capacity magazine (15+1, as opposed to 17+1 for the 9mm), and the .40 has a much improved ballistic wound channel – close to twice that of a 9mm.

    http://www.xdtalk.com/forums/ammo-can/137544-ballistic-gel-test-pic-varied-calibers.html

    Troopers are often working in remote areas with little or no back-up. The majority of police shootings are within 10 feet, and last less than 5 seconds. In those critical times stopping power is a more important factor than magazine capacity.

    http://www.theppsc.org/Staff_Views/Aveni/OIS.pdf

  • Law_dog1

    It’s a great gun I give it 4 out 5 stars, but I think they are looking to save money. Like other PD’s around this country. I know some switched to SW MP’s here in this state.

  • Steve_7

    I was amazed they adopted the P226 in .357 SIG in the first place, I know all the SIG-Sauer fans are going to disagree with this decision but the P226 in .357 SIG is probably the worst of the “classic” line from SIG-Sauer. They came up with it to meet the DPS request in the first place back in 1996 and it was clearly a rush job. For example the magazine is the same width as the 9mm magazine, so it only holds 12 (same as the P229, which has a wider magazine). The grip panels were too slick for a gun with that much recoil. The sights are way off for elevation. The first batch of guns had incorrectly machined slides that didn’t fit the frames properly. .357 SIG ammunition also has a tendency to stub on the feed ramp because it is a bottleneck cartridge.

    Eventually they got it working but it was still a bit of a botch job. And then they tried botching it again with the E2 grip.

    I have no doubt that S&W gave them a really good deal on the M&P pistols though, that must have played a part in it.

  • Backof Thebusnj

    Smith MPs 40s with upgraded Apex triggers would have been a better choice. 9mm are pop guns at best !

  • Ted Unlis

    The TXDPS transition from Sig to S&W hit a road block a few weeks back and the deal has been put on indefinite hold pending further evaluation and testing after significant malfunctions with M&P’s tested at the DPS Firearms Range.

    Also, all that bull$#it from Steve_7 about problems TXDPS had with the P226 in 357SIG is pure fiction. I participated as a firearms instructor when DPS transitioned from the Sig P220 (45ACP) and P228 (9mm) to the P226 and P229 in 357SIG. The number of malfunctions significantly DECLINED because the necked and more powerful 357SIG cartridges fed BETTER and more reliably. The number of malfunctions and negligent discharges decreased again years later when TXDPS transitioned to the Sig DAK 226/229 in 357SIG. The number of survivors on the receiving end of a TXDPS 357SIG projectile also significantly decreased when compared to TXDPS shootings with 45ACP and 9mm rounds. The 45ACP Speer Gold Dot 200gr HP and 9mm Winchester 147gr Black Talons TXDPS issued didn’t always achieve sufficient expansion and penetration, hence the survivors. The 357SIG Speer Gold Dot 125gr HP cooking at 1350 to 1400fps delivering 450-500 foot pounds of energy worked like a champ equaling or exceeding the performance of the 357 mag revolver’s we carried before 1989. The TXDPS deadly force stats on shootings with the 357SIG provide indisputable proof of just how deadly and effective the round is.

    I own a M&P40 Pro Series CORE and have not have any problems so far, my first two upgrades were the Docter sight and a 357SIG barrel, next comes the $165 upgrade to an Apex FSS kit to get a decent trigger that should already be on every M&P when it leaves the Smith & Wesson factory.

    The now in limbo plan by TXDPS to phase out Sig for S&W was made for two reasons, a bureaucratic response to a good sales pitch by the S&W and a cost cutting measure by bean counter’s comparing the price of 9mm and 357SIG ammo. If TXDPS really wants to get the most bang for the buck (pun intended), they should transition to Glock Gen 4′s in 357SIG.

    Innovation and improvements in 9mm ammo design and performance might inch it closer to the 357SIG, but anyone who claims that the 9mm LUGER will ever equal the deadly effectiveness of the reliable and proven 357SIG round in law enforcement applications is either just plain ignorant or a liar.

  • Ted Unlis

    Excerpt of statement to the Troops from Texas DPS Director Steve McCraw;

    “As you are aware I approved the adoption of the Smith and Wesson M&P 9mm as the Department’s service handgun beginning with Recruit School A14. However, we have been experiencing malfunctions during Recruit School firearms training, which is unacceptable, and I have suspended the transition to the Smith and Wesson M&P 9mm.”