NYPD Set to Retire Last of its Revolvers

    NYPD Officers with a variety of semi-auto pistols (Luigi Novi)

    America’s largest police department is set to finally decommission the last of its service revolvers. The Gun Free Zone blog shared a photograph of a NYPD memo, dated 11/20/17, announcing that all remaining revolvers are to be replaced by department authorised semi-automatic pistols.

    While NYPD have not publicly confirmed the decommissioning program the internal memo sent to all commands states that service revolvers and all equipment used with them including regulation holster, speed loaders and belt will be discontinued. It’s unclear just how many officers still carry revolvers but fellow TFB contributor Richard looks at the Smith & Wesson NY-1 here.

    For decades .38 revolvers were the mainstay for police departments across the country with NYPD traditionally favouring Smith & Wesson Model 10s and Colt Official Police revolvers and later Smith & Wesson 64s. The 1980s saw the beginning of a shift towards semi-automatic pistols and in 1994 NYPD authorised Glock and Sig Sauers.

    NYPD memo (Gun Free Blog)

    The internal memo states that by 31 August, 2018 all of the department’s officers must be equipped with one of three duty pistols: the Glock 17 (gen 4), Glock 19 (gen 4) or the SIG Sauer P226 – all with the infamous 12lb triggers. The transition is slated to begin in January next year with three day transitional courses on semi-automatics scheduled for officers more familiar with revolvers.

    Revolver-armed officers, however, will be allowed to retain their service revolvers “for use as an off-duty firearm providing the UMOs [uniformed officers] does not already have an authorised off-duty revolver or semi-automatic pistol.”

    Matthew Moss


    TheFirearmBlog.com – Managing Editor
    OvertDefense.com – Managing Editor

    Matt is a British historian specialising in small arms development and military history. He has written several books and for a variety of publications in both the US and UK. He also runs Historical Firearms, a blog that explores the history, development and use of firearms. Matt is also co-founder of The Armourer’s Bench, a video series on historically significant small arms.

    Here on TFB he covers product and current military small arms news.

    Reach Matt at: [email protected]