When I started my law enforcement (LE) career in 1988, the issued duty gun was a .38 Special revolver. I had no previous LE or handgun experience, except firing one magazine out of a 1911 while going through the U.S. Marine Corps boot camp, so I assumed the .38 was good to go.
FINDING THE PERFECT DUTY Caliber
During my field training, though, I noticed that many officers did not carry their issued revolvers. Rather, they were carrying semi-automatic pistols in either 9mm or .45ACP. My training officer said we had to attend additional firearms classes if we wanted to switch to a semi-auto duty gun. So immediately, once out of training, I did just that and ended up choosing a 9mm semi-auto.