I am putting some thoughts out there as to some considerations in regards to patrol carbines/ rifles (LEO side). I don't want to get into what I think is what is best or bias someone's opinions if it is not a consideration or doable for their location or state laws. I am not an expert and do not pretend to be one. I just figured having a starting point for some basics would be good.
1.) Justification and Use of Force. This might sound kind of strange to a non-LEO, but it is pretty much a basic throughout the country and what laws are based upon as far as the level of force used and what a normal person would consider reasonable. Department policies will differ from agency to agency and it would be a good place to start if interested having patrol carbines/ rifles for use in daily patrol duties.
2.) Training/ Qualification.
Again, LE departments policies and procedures will determine what is need. Each one is different. How many times does qualification or training occur within a calendar year? What is required to be qualified? Speak with the officer in charge of training and firearms instructors. There might already be requirements in place to determine what is allowed or not allowed for a patrol rifle/ carbine.
Liability and department procedures also fall under training as well.
3.) Department Issued vs. Personally Owned Patrol Rifle/ Carbine This would be a big one to check on. Some departments may be more liberal than others as far as what is or is not allowed. The liability involved with a personal weapon is far greater and I would believe it would be prudent for the LEO wanting a personal patrol carbine/ rifle to check with the department armorer to certify the weapon and conduct the needed follow ups( chain of command) to be allowed to carry the patrol carbine/ rifle while on duty.
4.) Selection of Patrol Carbine/ Rifle I think breaking this down into what type of carbine/ rifle, familiarity, caliber of the weapon to be used would be useful.
- What kind of weapon is going to be used. Is it going to be a semi-automatic or another type of weapon? Placing an AR15 type weapon platform in use might not be economically feasible for some departments due to pricing. It maybe decided to use a pump action carbine such as the Remington patrol rifle: http://www.remingtonle.com/rifles/7615.htm Or does the LEO agency want to stay with one caliber and purchase a carbine that can use the duty pistol magazines and ammunition? http://www.kriss-tdi.com/products/kriss-smg-45-acp.html (Kriss Super V uses Glock G21 magazines)
If an AR15 type weapon platform is to be used, do the firearms instructors know how to use it or how to train people to use an AR platform. I have known experienced instructors to ask me certain questions in regards to the AR platform weapons before (my mil. experience).
Familiarity goes hand in hand with what type of weapon is to be used. If you have LEO's trained with a Remington 870M 12ga. shotgun, they will be familiar with the Remington 7615 patrol rifle and it's manipulation and function. They are very similar aside from the 7615 having a detachable magazine.
-Caliber of the weapon would also be a consideration as well. I don't want to get into what is best, as you are here on this forum, we all know that a certain caliber does very, very well. I am sure that the .223/ 5.56mm is going to be the norm for most LEO departments, but if correct and factual information is presented in the right way, I am sure people in charge can be persuaded to a different caliber.
-Vehicle carry. I think this is also an important consideration as to the selection of a patrol carbine/ rifle as well. Is it going to be carried in the trunk or in the passenger compartment of the vehicle? If carried in the trunk, how accessible is going to be? Will it be carried in a soft or hard case bouncing around in the trunk or will be carried in a quick release rack mounted somewhere in the trunk. Food for thought on this one, how many times have you seen an accident involving a patrol vehicle and the patrol vehicle is struck from the rear destroying the patrol vehicle. Would you want a patrol carbine/ rifle, whether it be department issued or an allowed personal weapon to be in the trunk of a patrol car with the possibility of it being destroyed?
If it is to be mounted inside of the passenger compartment, how will it be carried? Will the type and size of the weapon allow you to carry it in the manner that you want it to be? Vertical or horizontal? Behind you, beside you, in front of you? Quick release mount or a keyed mount?
Last of all, I think what should be addressed is what should be on the patrol carbine/ rifle. At the very least, a sling, iron sights and a powerful light.
I think most people here are intelligent enough to figure out what they need verses a desire or the tacticool factor. In my humble opinion, a powerful compact light that is easy to manipulate and iron sights should be on a basic patrol carbine/ rifle. Trijicon replacement sights is a worthwhile investment as well for low light or night time conditions.
Training with the use of iron sights, low light and night fire should be incorporated into training.
I know this is pretty general, but I would not be comfortable saying this is what you should or shouldn't do. The end user is going to be the one that will have to stay within department policies & procedures and they are all different. I think that what I listed will at least give some LEO's a starting point to help them along.
I deal with about 5%-10% of the population 80%-90% of the time...