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rosehips
03-14-2011, 01:28 AM
In my current WiP, I have an undercover cop shoot a guy. I've looked up standard issue firearms for CA, and apparently it's a .40 Smith and Wesson. I have two questions:

1) If the cop is undercover, would he still use the standard issue firearm?
2) When the police investigate the shooting, what phrase would they use, in dialogue, to indentify the caliber of the bullets found in the body?

BenPanced
03-14-2011, 01:49 AM
1) Not sure.
2) Usually if there are any casings found at the scene or generally from the size of the wounds, I believe.

WriteKnight
03-14-2011, 01:55 AM
Detective working undercover is going to (Typically) carry a concealable gun. Might be smaller than a .40 Cal.

Shell casings found at the scene are a quick indication. If he's shooting with a revolver, there won't be any casings.

Slugs have to be removed from a body - usually - for identification. That's going to be the ME's job. You might dig a slug out of a softer wall... perhaps it's passed through a couch or something - lodged in a wooden door frame. Still - have to dig it out, and might not be readily identifiable.

Rowan
03-14-2011, 02:14 AM
In my current WiP, I have an undercover cop shoot a guy. I've looked up standard issue firearms for CA, and apparently it's a .40 Smith and Wesson. I have two questions:

1) If the cop is undercover, would he still use the standard issue firearm?
2) When the police investigate the shooting, what phrase would they use, in dialogue, to indentify the caliber of the bullets found in the body?

I can only speak for myself, but I didn't carry my issue weapon or LE ammo when in an UC capacity. You want to carry a piece that's not going to stand out or scream "cop" if you catch my meaning. As for question #2, the correct terminology is "shell casings" and the cops will note the caliber. Shell casings will be present at the crime scene unless the perp used a revolver or policed his rounds (picked up the brass), but the ME will pull slugs from the body or scene (as others have mentioned) to determine caliber, etc.

rosehips
03-14-2011, 04:32 AM
Thank you all for your responses. Could you suggest a different gun? I am not knowledgeable.

For the dialogue, then, would it go something like,

"They found .40 caliber shell casings at the scene," said the detective.

Or substitute the appropriate caliber for the gun you suggest. Please let me know how this would be said realistically.

Thank you again for any advice.

Stanmiller
03-14-2011, 06:07 AM
R,
Caliber isn't a good indicator of the size of the weapon. And a UC officer could very well carry a weapon different from the normal duty weapon, but of the same caliber. Say the duty weapon is a .40 SIG (to make Rowan happy) and the undercover weapon is a .40 Glock (they're everywhere).

As for size of the weapon, there's no difference in size between a 9mm compact Glock and the .40 version other than a thicker slide on the .40 (but it's not that noticeable.)

As for terminology, there's both formal "Six .40 S&W shell casings were found..." and the informal "...they found some forties..." (or nines, or forty-fives). The informal terms would likely be in dialog with another officer, while the formal description, including the full name of the caliber, would be used in a report.

Stan

Rowan
03-14-2011, 02:22 PM
R,
Caliber isn't a good indicator of the size of the weapon. And a UC officer could very well carry a weapon different from the normal duty weapon, but of the same caliber. Say the duty weapon is a .40 SIG (to make Rowan happy) and the undercover weapon is a .40 Glock (they're everywhere).

As for size of the weapon, there's no difference in size between a 9mm compact Glock and the .40 version other than a thicker slide on the .40 (but it's not that noticeable.)

As for terminology, there's both formal "Six .40 S&W shell casings were found..." and the informal "...they found some forties..." (or nines, or forty-fives). The informal terms would likely be in dialog with another officer, while the formal description, including the full name of the caliber, would be used in a report.

Stan
:Hug2: And SM is correct, Rosehips, regarding the rest. Glocks are cheap and very popular with the bad guys and therefore a popular UC choice. Sig Sauers are far superior firearms (;)) though......... On that note, what are the specs of your UC's assignment? Gang? Narcotics?

I was more formal than a lot of my counterparts, but most people will say "cal" v. "caliber" and would just say "casings" v. "shell casings", etc. (or as SM said, "forties or nines..." works too). Depends on your character, you know?

rosehips
03-15-2011, 01:53 AM
It's a minor character who is undercover in the Russian mob in Sacramento. The shooting he commits serves to obscure the investigation of another murder (more the focus of the book).

Your suggestions are all totally what I needed, thank you! Especially the slang used in discussing the caliber and casings. Thank you all!

GregS
03-15-2011, 03:26 AM
What he carries will be entirely dependent on where he has to carry it and how important it is that it remains concealed.

There are dozens of valid .40 deep carry guns (meaning they will pass any kind of normal visual inspection), but they almost all have to be carried around the waist or on the upper body. There are many, many options for doing so, including holsters that tuck inside your belt-line, into pockets, into pouches worn across the groin, in shoulder holsters, in specifically-designed t-shirts that carry like your wearing a shoulder holster, etc., etc.

As a general rule, if you really want to make sure someone's dead you don't want to go a lot lighter than a .40--though with customized ammo he could carry a 9mm, .38, .357, .380, or .32 and still have some level of comfort.

Then there's also the possibility that he goes UP in caliber for his UC gun, rather than down (since he won't be governed by the standard issue policy of his dept). There are a lot of easily concealable 10mm or .45s out there that don't carry a lot of ammunition but do the job with gusto.

My limited experience with the Russian Mob also saw some of them carrying .50 AE Desert Eagle pistols that weren't meant to be concealed: they're meant to let everyone know that you're packing a $@#&ing hand-cannon.

Some personal suggestions, to give you a range of choices and options:

Kimber Ultra-Carry II .45
Kahr P40 .40
Smith and Wesson 442 .38
Glock 27 .40
Kel-Tec P3AT .380

Pick one (or whatever you like) and we'll give you good options to carry it.

BRDurkin
03-15-2011, 06:15 AM
Just a note to add additional color: sometimes "casings" are referred to simply as "brass." As noted by others, usage depends on the person.

rosehips
03-16-2011, 07:42 AM
Greg,
Now you have me pondering... would he go for the hand cannon or the concealable variety? Interesting... I think he'd most likely want to fit in with the gangsters he's infiltrating, so maybe the .50? Isn't there another gun known for being huge? The dad had it in Boyz N the Hood, I think. But I don't want to choose something knowledgeable readers will think is unlikely for an undercover cop to carry. So maybe a Glock .40?

GregS
03-16-2011, 10:55 PM
If you're looking for middle ground between flashy-big and legit, you could always go for a tricked-out .45. A 1911, in its many incarnations, is still the go-to combat pistol for much of the western world--and can be customized to look menacingly gangster. Do an image search for them and you'll find stainless steel or nickel plated frames, grips made from exotic woods, mother of pearl, or even ivory, extended magazines and compensators, engraved or laser-etched finishes, flashlights or visible lasers, red-dots or night sights...the options for that gun are literally limitless.

Plus, it has the benefit of being completely plausible for any cop to carry. They also come in sizes ranging from easily concealable to ginormous hand-cannon.

Summonere
03-18-2011, 05:14 PM
In my current WiP, I have an undercover cop shoot a guy. I've looked up standard issue firearms for CA, and apparently it's a .40 Smith and Wesson. I have two questions:

1) If the cop is undercover, would he still use the standard issue firearm?
...

Maybe. Maybe not. Friend of mine worked undercover for the OSBI (Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation). Their issued sidearm, at the time, was a .357 S&W revolver that had the state seal and OSBI stamped on the frame. The OSBI wanted its personnel to carry that undercover. He didn't. He carried a Browning Hi-Power.

Chase
03-18-2011, 05:30 PM
The OSBI wanted its personnel to carry that undercover.

If true, it's official oafishness at its funniest. The undercover agents might also wear their badges on lanyards around their necks and drive black-and-whites with light bars on top.

Summonere
03-18-2011, 06:12 PM
Although he's an inveterate leg-puller, I believed him. He has two stories about the thinking behind the issuing of the revolver. Both were samples of administrative reasoning. One: Well, since you're undercover, no one will ever see your gun. (Practical experience: Bad guys show off their guns. They like showing off their guns. They want to know, and see, what other bad guys carry.)

I forget the other story, specifically, but rather than explain how he stole the gun out of someone's car (thereby “explaining away” the official stamp) he opted instead for the Browning and its greater capacity, saying of undercover work, “You're always alone and you're always outnumbered.” Thus having more ammunition at the ready, and a non-PoPo branded gun, seemed a smart idea.

rosehips
03-19-2011, 02:31 AM
Thanks for the insight into your friend's experience! I know how silly admin can be in the educational setting. Sad to see it isn't limited to that.