Brazilian LE agencies shopping abroad for pistols


    After long decades of mainly using pistols locally made by Forjas Taurus, Brazilian LE agencies have been turning their attention to products from overseas manufacturers, mainly in the wake of multiple reports of technical/safety issues with the “bull brand” weapons. It should be recalled that IMBEL – Indústria de Material Bélico do Brasil has been a longtime supplier of pistols for the armed forces and  some police forces, but, somehow, their single-action M1911-based guns are not so popular in the local LE scenario, although some models have been adopted by local agencies.

    The DPF – Departamento de Polícia Federal (Federal Police Department) was probably the first organization to go abroad for new pistols, the 9x19mm Glock G17 entering service back in 2006 and later acquisitions involving G19, G26 Gen 3, and G17 Gen4 MOS models . The Austrian pistol has also been purchased by some State police forces to equip SpecOp units, as in the case of PMERJ – Polícia Militar do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (Rio de Janeiro State Military Police), the G17s being used by the BOPE – Batalhão de Operações Policiais Especiais (Special Police Operations Battalion).

    A Glock G17 as delivered to Rio de Janeiro’s Military Police (note PMERJ markings on slide). User is BOPE, the SpecOps outfit.

    A holstered G17 carried by PMERJ’s General Commander in April, 2016.

    PMMT – Polícia Militar de Mato Grosso (Mato Grosso State Military Police) is another Glock G17 user, whose BOPE (yes, they also have one!) started employing the type in 2016, with an initial acquisition of 110 examples. PMBA – Polícia Militar da Bahia (Bahia State Military Police) has recently been reported as having made a substantial purchase of G17 Gen 4 pistols.

    A Glock G17 in the hand of a Mato Grosso State BOPE operator, the PMMT markings being clearly visible. (Photo credit: Lenine Martins/Sesp MT)

    A PMMT G17 in a locally-made Maynard’s holster. (Photo credit: Lenine Martins/Sesp MT)

    A PMMT BOPE agent and his Glock G17. (Photo credit: Lenine Martins,Sesp MT)

    But the Austrian pistol is not the only “foreigner” chosen by Brazilian LE agencies. Sig Sauer has just joined the list with the announcement of an order for .40 S&W Model W320-F-40-BSS and 9x19mm W320-F-9-BSS pistols recently placed by Ceará State’s SSPDS – Secretaria de Segurança Pública e Defesa Social (Public Security and Social Defense Secretary). This initial purchase covers 4,140 guns, 2,000 for the Civil Police (.40 S&W models) and 2,140 (9x19mm) for the Military Police, but  additional orders are expected to total up to 13,000 pistols by the end of 2018.

    The Sig Sauer .40 S&W Model W320-F-40-BSS (top) and 9x19mm W320-F-9-BSS (bottom) pistols recently ordered by Ceará State’s Civil and Military Police agencies.

    Higher-res pix:

    Ronaldo Olive

    Ronaldo is a long-time (starting in the 1960s) Brazilian writer on aviation, military, LE, and gun subjects, with articles published in local and international (UK, Switzerland, and U.S.) periodicals. His vast experience has made him a frequent guest lecturer and instructor in Brazil’s armed and police forces.