Off-Duty handguns.

Author:Ayoob, Massad

At the Springfield Armory booth, while many police instructors drooled over the company's fine 1911 pistols, Springfield's L.E. Coordinator Lexi Strode told me the company's young line of XD-S pistols--slim, polymer-framed, striker-fired and available in 9mm or .45 ACP--are now their most popular off-duty guns.

I recently visited a good-size city's police department, and found their range master carrying a 9mm XD-S as his primary weapon. Indeed, Strode told me the XD-S has become the company's best-selling pistol overall. Sales are split about evenly between 9mm and .45.

S&W's Keuhn said while their little .380s are selling well, their slightly larger single-stack Shields in 9mm and .40 are selling even better--to police as well as to the armed citizen sector. Gun-savvy people, he thinks, simply prefer something more powerful than a .380 when a small, lightweight pistol is going to be their primary weapon. Keuhn also notes his company's classic J-frame .38 and .357 revolvers are still huge factors in the police backup/off-duty market.

SIG SAUER's Tommy Cochran, L.E. sales regional manager, notes while his company's tiny single-action .380--the P238--is a bestseller...

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