What gun do most police carry?

This article may contain affiliate links. For details, visit our Affiliate Disclosure page.


In the realm of law enforcement, where the responsibilities are as varied as the communities they serve, the choice of firearm carried by police officers plays a crucial role in maintaining public safety. The selection process is a meticulous one, taking into account factors such as reliability, stopping power, ergonomics, and adaptability. Join us as we delve into the fascinating world of police weaponry and uncover the guns that are most commonly entrusted to those who protect and serve.

What gun do most police carry?

The Foundation of Duty: Sidearms

Glock 17 Gen 5

With a history dating back to the early 1980s, the Glock 17 Gen 5 stands as a venerable choice for many police departments worldwide. Combining an optimal balance of firepower, ease of use, and durability, this polymer-framed semi-automatic pistol has become a staple in the law enforcement community. Its lightweight design and ergonomic grip provide officers with the confidence and control needed in high-pressure situations. Equipped with a generous magazine capacity and a proven reputation for reliability, the Glock 17 Gen 5 embodies the essence of a reliable sidearm.

Sig Sauer P320

In recent years, the Sig Sauer P320 has gained significant traction among police forces due to its innovative modular design. This striker-fired pistol offers unparalleled versatility, allowing officers to swap out various components to accommodate different hand sizes, preferences, and even calibers. The P320’s smooth trigger pull, combined with its consistent accuracy and manageable recoil, has won the hearts of law enforcement personnel. As a testament to its reliability, the P320 was selected as the official sidearm for the United States Army, further solidifying its position as a trusted companion on the front lines of law enforcement.

Tools of Engagement: Patrol Rifles

AR-15 Platform

When the situation demands a higher level of firepower and engagement range, patrol rifles based on the AR-15 platform rise to the occasion. These rifles, chambered in intermediate calibers such as .223 Remington or 5.56x45mm NATO, provide law enforcement officers with enhanced accuracy and increased stopping power compared to traditional sidearms. Their semi-automatic action enables quick follow-up shots, ensuring a tactical advantage when faced with active threats. The lightweight construction and customizable nature of AR-15 rifles make them ideal for diverse law enforcement scenarios, from urban settings to rural landscapes.

Heckler & Koch MP5

Renowned for its exceptional reliability, the Heckler & Koch MP5 has become an iconic firearm in the law enforcement realm. Originally designed for close-quarters combat, this submachine gun excels in rapid-fire situations and offers exceptional control and maneuverability. Its compact size, manageable recoil, and exceptional accuracy make it particularly suited for specialized units, such as SWAT teams and tactical response units. With its ability to deliver a high volume of fire accurately, the MP5 remains a trusted companion for law enforcement agencies around the globe.

Specialized Solutions: Shotguns and Special Weapons

Remington 870

The Remington 870 shotgun is a tried and true workhorse that has earned its place in law enforcement armories. Designed for reliability, simplicity, and versatility, this pump-action shotgun can fire a wide range of ammunition, including buckshot, slugs, and less-lethal rounds. Its intimidating appearance and unmistakable sound can often serve as a deterrent, de-escalating situations before they escalate. The Remington 870’s ability to deliver devastating stopping power at close range, coupled with its adaptability in various law enforcement scenarios, solidify its status as a favored choice among police officers.

Less-Lethal Options

In recent years, the emphasis on non-lethal force has led to the adoption of specialized tools that allow officers to resolve confrontations with minimal harm. Less-lethal options such as stun guns, pepper spray, and bean bag shotguns have become invaluable additions to law enforcement arsenals. Stun guns, also known as conducted electrical weapons (CEWs), temporarily incapacitate individuals by delivering a powerful electric shock. Pepper spray, on the other hand, disorients and incapacitates subjects through the use of inflammatory agents. These non-lethal alternatives offer officers the ability to mitigate threats while minimizing the potential for severe injury or loss of life.

In the vast landscape of law enforcement weaponry, the firearms carried by police officers are an intricate blend of form, function, and purpose. From sidearms that serve as a constant companion to patrol rifles that provide a tactical edge, each firearm is carefully selected to meet the unique demands of the profession. Whether it’s the time-tested Glock 17 Gen 5 or the adaptable Sig Sauer P320, these weapons instill confidence and equip officers with the tools they need to protect and serve their communities. By understanding the firearms that most police carry, we gain a glimpse into the commitment and dedication of those who safeguard our streets.


As the custodians of public safety, law enforcement officers rely on firearms as an essential tool in their daily duties. From sidearms that serve as a symbol of their authority to specialized weapons that provide enhanced capabilities, each firearm plays a crucial role in the complex and ever-evolving landscape of law enforcement. By equipping officers with reliable and effective firearms, coupled with comprehensive training and adherence to use of force policies, law enforcement agencies strive to ensure the safety of both officers and the communities they serve. As technology and innovation continue to shape the future, the firearms carried by police will continue to evolve, adapting to the challenges and demands of the modern world.

What gun do most police carry?
Scroll to top