Customs and Border Patrol, which existed for decades before they were merged Post-9/11 as the Dept. of Homeland Security’s CBP, loved six-shooters. Legendary smokewagon skinner Bill Jordan cut his chops as a Border Patrol officer/inspector in the 1930s and 40s before he helped invent the S&W M19 and M66 to give the .357 Magnum room to move.
Christine Davis (Gee) was the first female agent hired by US Border Patrol. She was a member of class 107, and graduated the academy on July 31, 1975. Note her S&W M19, which remained standard for another 20 years after this picture was taken
Therefore, it was no surprise that the agency was among the last federal law enforcement groups to ditch the wheelgun when in 1995 they adopted the Beretta 96 in .40S&W to put their M66’s to pasture. Then, in 2004, they moved from the all-metal Beretta to the polymer-framed HK P2000.
Dig those M14s tho (HK P-2000s in holsters)
Now, 15 years after the move to HK, the guns are still in frontline use, but have been passed up by a new generation of combat handguns and are as much of a throwback as the .357 six-shooter was in 1995.
Which compelled CBP to seek a replacement last year in a tender that specified an optics-ready handgun. This week they announced Glock got the nod to the tune of $85 million smackers, which is a lot of polymer (CBP has 45,000 LE officers and agents across all of its agencies).
The interesting thing about the move is that it appears they are the first adopter of the as-yet-to-be-announced Glock G47, which looks to be a G45 with a G17 MOS Gen 5 slide fitted.
I will be sure to check in with Glock for more info on that in the coming days.
Until then, check out my article on the move at Guns.com.