USBP Weapons, Part 1
The United States Border Patrol is the single most
dangerous job in US federal law enforcement anywhere in the world.
Certainly, each Border Patrol Agent in the field
must have the ability to protect himself and others. Most Agents
are on duty alone and often in remote and dark border country
far from any backup or support. They must be armed. The United
States Border Patrol Agent is usually armed only with a pistol.
By the way, it has been found that the best marksmen
are not necessarily the best Agents in the field. It has also
been found that those with a solid early association with guns
often make the best field Agents.
There is nothing mysterious or powerful about a
pistol. Those four pounds of steel, powder, copper, brass, and
lead are simply a tool. The Border Patrol Agent is issued that
tool. The tool is used to "stop someone" from causing harm to
At present the US Border Patrol Agents are issued
the Berretta 96D "Brigadier" pistol. It can contain as many as
12 rounds of ammunition (11 in the magazine and one in the chamber).
The "96" is essentially an older Berretta model (the
92) with some modifications.
Berretta 96D is what is called a double action pistol. This means
that as you squeeze the trigger the hammer is also moved rearward
and at some point the hammer will finally fall and the weapon
will fire. A single action pistol would require that you manually
pull the hammer rearward to the point at which it engages a stop
and then use pressure on the trigger to release it.
Pistols are not very good at doing even what they
have been designed to do. They do not have the stopping power
to halt someone quickly. A pistol is really something to use for
fighting your way to a rifle. Unfortunately, Border Patrol Agents
do not carry rifles and usually have no access to a rifle or even
a shotgun. They have only that small, underpowered Beretta and
they risk their lives in any confrontation where it must be put