The sight of a tactical pistol might be intimidating, but these types of firearms are necessary in some lines of work--especially for those who require reliable personal protection.
Tactical Pistol Details
First, let’s define what the phrase “tactical pistol” means.
Though there isn’t a concrete set of characteristics that makes a pistol “tactical”, the term generally communicates a sense of no-nonsense and reliability. A tactical pistol is a handheld firearm, with straight-forward operation and a high degree of accuracy. They’re an excellent choice for self-defense as they are semi-automatic, without a clutter of features.
The Colt 1911 pistol, for example, is a solid contender for the role of “tactical pistol.” With consistent accuracy and minimal jamming, this firearm can be trusted to perform in all scenarios.
Often known for its iconic looks, the 1911 is highly valued beyond just aesthetics. There are very few, if any, bells and whistles on the base model, which brings its own sense of security. You shouldn’t need to worry about adjusting a red-dot sight or straightening a laser when in a high-stakes scenario. Knowing exactly what to expect from a tactical pistol makes it reliable, and worthy of the “tactical” title.
What Occupations Carry a Tactical Pistol?
Law Enforcement, Security, and Military Positions
Law enforcement officers are in some of the most high-stakes positions requiring a reliable firearm. As individuals who come into contact with dangerous individuals or life-threatening scenarios regularly, having a simple, effective weapon always at the ready is a must.
Glock is the firearm brand of choice for police forces. As a manufacturer with a variety of models and a reputation for reliability, most on-duty individuals carry a semi-automatic Glock.
Active-duty military members are in a similar situation as police officers. Though the self-defense scenarios differ between the two positions, military members must also be ready to employ a tactical pistol if necessary.
The Beretta M9 is the official carry model of the Navy, Army and Air Force while the Marines adopted the M18 as its official sidearm. As far as tactical pistols go, many regard the M18 as offering a more straight-forward firing experience and being more predictable, when compared to the M9.
Drivers of armored trucks often carry in their line of duty as well. Though they employ use of a tactical pistol with less frequency than a police officer, should the need arise, the situation will be serious. As a potential target for robbery, drivers must be prepared to defend themselves in case of a theft or hijacking attempt.
Though it might seem unlikely, armored truck robberies used to be much more frequent. Policy updates that included arming drivers and passengers with tactical pistols have made these raids much less common than those of banks. The specific model that individual employees carry varies, but Brinks--the leading contractor in the field of armored transport--outfits its drivers with a Glock 22.
Private and Civilian Positions
Similar to armored truck drivers, private investigators and security guards often need the reliability of a tactical pistol. The specifics for these groups are even muddier than those for armored truck drivers, since both parties can be employed privately. At that point, the type of firearm comes down to personal preference or requirements of the job.
As individuals who travel across the country--generally alone--long-distance truck drivers may also consider carrying a tactical pistol or even a simple 9mm revolver. In the United States, truck drivers are permitted to conceal carry a firearm with them or in their vehicle, so long as their employer permits it.
Drivers who cross into either Canada or Mexico, however, won’t be permitted to carry a firearm across the border. Once again, the firearm that a truck driver may carry is up to that person’s own preferences, since there are no regulations that set a standard for what kind of handgun they are permitted to carry.
One surprising job category that might consider carrying a tactical pistol is that of real estate agents.
A large portion of the risk involved with this occupation lies with the ins and outs of the job: working alone and driving to unfamiliar locations to meet strangers. The danger may be directly to themselves personally or as collateral in an attempt to steal valuables from homes for sale.
According to a survey of real estate agents, more than half carried some kind of self-defense weapon. This group, often made up of beginner shooters, seems to favor a lighter firearm. Regardless of the type of handgun, they would be advised to carry any reliable weapon they are familiar and proficient with.
Should You Carry A Tactical Pistol?
A tactical pistol has the potential to add a sense of security to an otherwise nerve-wracking situation. You’ll need training and practice to ensure that you can defend yourself, but many find that the peace of mind makes the effort worthwhile.
Carrying a tactical pistol is all about knowing that you can rely on the firearm itself as well as your operation of it. If you do make the decision to carry, ensure you opt for a firearm with high reliability, without a needless assortment of features or distractions. The more no-nonsense your firearm is, the more likely you’ll be able to employ it quickly and efficiently in a moment of need.
And once you've got your tactical pistol of choice, we've got your ammo covered.