Recognizing that the majority of law enforcement agencies use autoloading pistols as the issued duty weapon, the federal National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center reports on its recently performed series of tests on four calibers of such weapons produced by eight manufacturers.
The tests were performed in accordance with the requirements of the revised version of Autoloading Pistols for Police Officers, NIJ Standard-0112.03 (Revision A), dated July 1999. In order to comply with this standard's requirements, two representative samples of a pistol model must pass all informational, functional, and test requirements defined in the standard. The four calibers tested were the 9mm Luger, .357 SIG, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP. These are the four calibers that are commonly chosen by law enforcement agencies as their primary duty weapons. Testing was performed between August and October 1999. Test results indicate that 17 of the 23 pistol models complied with the standard. Three models failed to comply with two or more of the critical test areas of the standard, making them ineligible for retesting. Two models failed one of the test requirements; however, each model was eligible for limited retesting in its respective areas of failure. Both models failed to comply in retesting. No attempt was made to rank the pistols according to their test results, except for compliance and noncompliance with the standard. NLECTC envisions that this first round of testing will establish an ongoing voluntary compliance testing program for autoloading pistols, under which pistol manufacturers will submit for testing other models sold to law enforcement agencies. Results for each testing category are presented in tables.