Welcome to the first installment of the Police Guns Of The World series, in which we’ll explore the current state of police firearms around the globe. In the first and second editions, we’ll be taking a look at what’s currently riding in federal law enforcement holsters of South America. Seeing as how we’re almost a quarter of the way through the 21st Century, I figured now is a good time to update the history books. Most firearms enthusiasts are familiar with the age of revolvers, the “transition” years from revolvers to semi-automatics, and perhaps even what their local agency carries. However, it’s rare to find even a glimpse of what the rest of the world of law enforcement carries at present, in one place.
INTRO TO POLICE GUNS OF THE WORLD
Trying to sift through every police agency of 193 (give or take) different countries seems pretty daunting, so I’ve set some criteria to help narrow the field.
1. I’ll only be covering national or state police agencies’ issued guns. If no such agency exists, then I’ll focus on the most prominent law enforcement agency in that country.
2. I’ll primarily be focusing on pistols first, since that is the primary weapon of law enforcement for most of the world, and I’ll try to use the most current information available for each country.
Even though I’ve set my own criteria for finding out which guns police use, you are more than welcome to share any information you may have on other localities’ issued weapons, be it pistols, shotguns, rifles or anything in between in the comments section.
Without further ado, let’s explore the law enforcement guns of South America.
Police Guns Of The World: South America – Part 1
My primary sources to find South American police-issued pistols has been Youtube and Facebook. Most agencies want to have a positive social media presence, which has allowed me to peer into their gear, despite every attempt to contact via public and private messages going unanswered. If agencies allow a broader spectrum of pistols to be carried, then this won’t be the most accurate view, but it won’t be wrong either. There’s also a concerning trend I’ve observed from at least two South American countries that we’ll explore in PART 2.
We’ll first take a look at the South American Glock users as seen in the photos below. It’s no surprise Glock would be represented, given Glock’s claim of providing pistols to 65 percent of all law enforcement, and South America has a good representation on the federal level. I should note that with a lack of direct confirmation from the agencies in question, it’s hard to know if they only issue one size, or allow for a mix of full-sized, compact or subcompact Glocks. The Brazilian Federal Police appear to issue Glock 17’s as seen below, while there seems to be at least one Glock 19 in the holster of one of the officers from the Suriname National Police.
Glock @ TFB
BRAZIL (POLÍCIA FEDERAL)
ECUADOR (POLICIA NACIONAL del ECUADOR)
PARAGUAY (POLICIA NACIONAL del PARAGUAY, PNP)
SURINAME (KORPS POLITIE SURINAME, KPS)
URUGUAY (POLICIA NACIONAL de URUGUAY)
VENEZUELA (POLICIA NACIONAL BOLIVARIANA, PNB)
SIG PRO 2022
Before the SIG P320 made a big splash, the SIG Pro SP2022 has been in law enforcement holsters globally since 1999. The SIG Pro was made with law enforcement in mind. With its lighter polymer frame and budget-friendly price point, the SIG Pro won its spot on the list of law enforcement pistols. The SIG Pro’s double-action/single-action (DA/SA) operation was an attractive option for administrators that may have preferred it over striker-fired pistols. The SIG Pro SP2022 has a 15+1 capacity.
SIG Sauer @ TFB
PERU (POLICIA NACIONAL del PERU)
COLOMBIA (POLICIA NACIONAL de COLOMBIA)
FRENCH GUIANA (POLICE NATIONALE GUYANE)
TAURUS MODEL 82 REVOLVER
The Taurus 82 is a six-shot, .38 Special (+P) revolver that will actually show up in another edition of Police Guns Of The World. Given the seemingly strange phenomenon of seeing revolvers still in mainstream use in law enforcement, it should at least come as no surprise to anyone that the Taurus 82 is designed around the quintessential police revolver from Smith & Wesson, the Model 10. The rear sight notch is machined into the top strap for a hassle-free sight alignment, and no doubt keeps the armorers and firearms instructors happy since there’s no extra adjustment for officers to fiddle with. I covered this particular revolver for one of TFB’s Wheelgun Wednesday articles to highlight agencies that specifically issue revolvers to their officers (more real-world photos in the link).
Taurus @ TFB
CHILE (CARABINEROS DE CHILE)
What do you think about the pistols issued to federal police agencies in South America thus far? Were you surprised by any on the list? If you have photos from your travels featuring the guns you saw in police holsters and you’d like to share in the remaining continental Police Guns Of The World series, feel free to email me. Stay tuned to TFB for Police Guns of the World: South America – Part 2.