Service pistol

A Soviet officer, armed with a Tokarev TT-33 service pistol, urges Soviet troops forward against German positions during World War II

A service pistol is any handgun issued to military personnel.

Typically service pistols are revolvers or semi-automatic pistols issued to officers, non-commissioned officers and rear-echelon support personnel for self defense, though service pistols may also be issued to special forces as a backup for their primary weapons. Pistols are not typically issued to front-line infantry.

Before firearms were commonplace, officers typically carried swords instead.

Contents

History

Prior to the introduction of cartridge-loading firearms, there was little standardisation with regards to the handguns carried by military personnel, although it had been important for officers, artillerymen, and other auxiliary troops to have a means of defending themselves, especially as it was not always practical for them to have a full-length rifle or carbine.

Traditionally, soldiers (infantry and cavalry alike) and officers had carried swords for both personal protection and use in combat. The development of firearms in the mid-14th century changed the way battles were fought, and by the late-15th century it was no longer especially practical to close to hand-to-hand combat range to engage one's opponents, owing to the prevalence of pikes and musket-fire (pike and shot) on the battlefield.

Training was also a factor—it took a very long time to train new recruits in the use of longbows and swords—whereas the basic operation of an arquebus could be taught in a comparatively short time. As a result, swords were retained only by officers (who were less likely to be at the front of the pike-and-musket hedge) and by cavalry, for whom early single-shot handguns were of limited use.

The invention of the revolver in 1836 finally made a service pistol practical, as prior to this pistols had largely been single-shot weapons usually of no particular standardized pattern.

Although officers traditionally had been obligated to buy their own weapons, non-commissioned officers (NCOs) and other enlisted personnel were generally issued their weapons (which they were then expected to either pay for or return to the quartermaster if they were promoted). Service pistols, on the other hand, were generally issued to officers, NCO, and others who needed to carry personal weapons as part of their duties. Hence, it was quite common for officers to carry government-issued service pistols in combat.

The first service handguns were revolvers, but the development of Semi-automatic pistols (the first practical example being the Mauser C96 "Broomhandle") gradually led to their replacement by Semi-automatic handguns, such as the well-known German P08 Luger, the first Semi-automatic service pistol to be widely adopted by an industrialised nation. Nowadays, service pistols are almost exclusively self-loading.

The British Army was the last major military service to adopt a Semi-automatic service pistol as a standard sidearm, phasing out their Webley Mk IV, Enfield No 2 Mk I, and Smith & Wesson Victory revolvers in 1969,[1] after which the Browning Hi-Power became the Army's official service pistol.

Modern issue

Special operations soldiers often carry a handgun as a secondary weapon to serve in a supplementary capacity to their primary weapon (a rifle, carbine, submachine gun, or shotgun); this practice is not as prevalent among conventional soldiers. Soldiers who do not serve in a direct combat role are often issued a pistol (such as officers, artillery crews, and other rear-echelon personnel), but conventional riflemen are not generally issued a pistol as part of their standard kit. However, drivers are often issued a handgun since while driving, their rifle will be stowed on a rack and thus difficult to make ready quickly in an emergency whereas a handgun is more easily accessible.

The tradition of issuing pistols to officers as a primary weapon is being phased out by many nations. The United States Marine Corps, for example, recently began requiring all enlisted personnel and all officers below the rank of LtCol to carry the M4 Carbine as their primary weapon. British officers on combat duty are also normally issued with the standard rifle but are not required to carry it with them at all times, for example while operating as support staff the rifle would be stored in the base armory though this is the same for most support staff.

Issue by nation

Angola

Firearm Type Calibre Service
Browning Hi-Power Semi-automatic 9x19mm Parabellum 1935–present

Argentina

Steyr-Mannlicher M1905 pistol
Firearm Type Calibre Service
Steyr-Mannlicher M1905 Semi-automatic 7.65 mm Mannlicher 1905–1916
M1916/M1927 Semi-automatic .45 ACP 1916–1945
Ballester-Molina Semi-automatic .45 ACP 1938–1985
Browning Hi-Power Semi-automatic 9mm Parabellum 1935–present

Austria

M1898 Rast & Gasser revolver (in the middle)
Firearm Type Calibre Service
M1870/M1870-74/M1882 Gasser Revolver 11.25x36R, 11.2x29.5 mm (Montenegrin) 1870–1898
Gasser-Kropatschek M1876 Revolver 9x26R 1876–1898
M1878 Gasser Revolver 9x26R 1878–1898
Rast-Gasser M1898 Revolver 8mm Rast & Gasser 1898–1945
Roth Steyr M1907 Semi-automatic 8mm Roth Steyr 1907–1945
Steyr M1912 Semi-automatic 9mm Steyr, 9mm Parabellum 1912–1945
Dienstpistole 11,43mm (M1911 pistol) Semi-automatic 11,43mm Dienstpistole (.45 ACP) 1950-?
Walther P38 / Walther P1 Semi-automatic 9mm Parabellum 1938–1995
Pistole 80 (Glock 17) Semi-automatic 9mm Parabellum 1980–present

Bangladesh

Firearm Type Calibre Service
Browning Hi-Power Semi-automatic 9x19mm Parabellum 1935–present
Type 54 pistol Semi-automatic 7.62x25mm Tokarev 1970–present[2]
Bangladesh Ordnance Factories Type 92 Semi-automatic 9x19mm Parabellum 2008–present[3]

Belgium

Firearm Type Calibre Service
Nagant M1895 Double-action revolver 7.62x38mmR 1895–1945
Browning Hi-Power Semi-automatic 9x19mm 1935–present
FN Five-seven Semi-automatic 5.7x28mm 2000–present

Bermuda

Firearm Type Calibre Service
Browning Hi-Power Semi-automatic 9x19mm Parabellum 1935–present

Brazil

Firearm Type Calibre Service
Pistola Parabellum Semi-automatic 7,65mm Parabellum 1908–1937
M1911 Semi-automatic .45 ACP 1937–1984
S&W M1917 double-action revolver .45 ACP 1937–1984
Taurus PT92 Semi-automatic 9x19mm Parabellum 1984–present

Cambodia

Firearm Type Calibre Service
TT-33 Semi-automatic 7.62x25mm Tokarev 1950s-Present
Type 54 Semi-automatic 7.62x25mm Tokarev 1967-Present
Makarov pistol Semi-automatic 9x18mm Makarov 1967-Present
Colt M1911 Semi-automatic .45 ACP 1950s-1975
Browning Hi-Power Semi-automatic 9mm Parabellum 1967-Present
QSZ-92 Semi-automatic 9mm Parabellum 2005-Present

Canada

Firearm Type Calibre Service
Colt Model 1878 Revolver .45 Colt 1885–1902
Colt New Service Revolver .45 Colt 1900–1928
Colt Model 1911 Semi-automatic .45 ACP 1914–1945
Smith & Wesson 2nd Model "Hand Ejector" Revolver .45 ACP 1915–1951
Smith & Wesson "Military & Police" Revolver .38 Special 1939–1964
Inglis/Browning High Power Semi-automatic 9mm Parabellum 1944–present
Browning Hi-Power Semi-automatic 9mm Parabellum 1935–present
SIG Sauer P220 Semi-automatic 9mm Parabellum 1991–present
SIG Sauer P226 Semi-automatic 9mm Parabellum 1991–present

Chile

Firearm Type Calibre Service
Steyr M1912 Semi-automatic 9mm Steyr 1912–1948
Walther P38 Semi-automatic 9mm Parabellum 1938-1980s
SIG-Sauer P226 Semi-automatic 9mm Parabellum 1980s-Present

People's Republic of China

Mauser C96
Firearm Type Calibre Service
Mauser C96 "Broomhandle" Semi-automatic 7.63x25 Mauser, .45 ACP 1927–1953
TT pistol Semi-automatic 7.62x25 Tokarev 1930s–present
Type 51/54 Semi-automatic 7.62x25 Tokarev 1951–present
Type 77 Semi-automatic 7.65x17 1981–present
QSZ-92 Semi-automatic 9mm Parabellum 1996–present

Republic of China (Taiwan)

Firearm Type Calibre Service
Mauser C96 Semi-automatic 7.63x25 Mauser, .45 ACP 1911-1950s
Luger P08 Semi-automatic 9mm Parabellum 1911-1950s
Browning Hi-Power Semi Automatic 9mm Parabellum 1935–Present
M1911 pistol Semi-Automatic .45 ACP 1941–Present

Denmark

Firearm Type Calibre Service
M1861 Danish Navy revolver Pinfire evolver 11mm Lefaucheux 1861-?
1880 Danish revolver Double-action revolver 1880-?
M91 Danish Army revolver Revolver 9mm Danish Army ~1900-~1946
Bergmann-Bayard pistol Semi-automatic 9x23mm Bergmann ~1910-1946
Neuhausen (Sig P210) Semi-automatic 9mm Parabellum ~1950–present

Egypt

Firearm Type Calibre Service
Helwan Brigadier Semi Automatic Pistol 9x19mm Parabellum 1955–Present

Estonia

Firearm Type Calibre Service
Makarov pistol Semi-automatic Pistol 9x18 Makarov 1951–Present
Heckler & Koch USP Semi-automatic Pistol 9x19mm Parabellum 2007–Present

Finland

Lahti L-35 service pistol
Firearm Type Calibre Service
Pistol M/19 Semi-automatic .32 ACP 1919–1971
Pistol M/23 Semi-automatic 7.65mm Parabellum 1922–1980
Lahti L-35 Semi-automatic 9mm Parabellum 1935–1980
Browning Hi-Power Semi-automatic 9mm Parabellum 1935–present
9.00 PIST 80-91 (FN HP-DA) Semi-automatic 9mm Parabellum 1980–present
9.00 PIST 2003 (Walther P99) Semi-automatic 9mm Parabellum 2003–present

France

Lebel M1892 revolver
Firearm Type Calibre Service
Chamelot Delvigne French 1873 Revolver 11mm 1873–1892
Lebel M1892 Revolver 8mm Lebel 1892–1945
MAB D Semi-automatic .32 ACP 1923–1984
Modele 1935 Semi-automatic 7.65x22 Longue 1935–1950
Modele 1950 Semi-automatic 9mm Parabellum 1950–1988
PAMAS Semi-automatic 9mm Parabellum 1984–present
Glock 17 Semi-automatic 9mm Parabellum 1992–present

Germany

Luger P08 service pistol
Firearm Type Calibre Service
M1879 Reichsrevolver Revolver 10,6 dt. Ordonnanz (10,6x25) 1879–1918
Luger P08 Semi-automatic 9mm Parabellum 1904–1945
Mauser C96 "Broomhandle" Semi-automatic 7.63x25 Mauser, 9mm Parabellum 1914–1945
Mauser 1914/1934 Semi-automatic .32 ACP 1914–1945
Walther PP/PPK Semi-automatic .32 ACP, .380 ACP, 9mm parabellum 1929–1970s
Walther P38 Semi-automatic 9mm Parabellum 1938–1960s
Mauser HSc Semi-automatic .32 ACP 1939–1945
Walther P1 Semi-automatic 9mm Parabellum 1957–present
Makarov PM (East Germany) Semi-automatic 9x18mm 1951–1991
Heckler & Koch P8 Semi-automatic 9mm Parabellum 1993–present

Hungary

Frommer Stop pistol
Firearm Type Calibre Service
Frommer Stop Semi-automatic pistol .32 ACP 1919–1948
M48 Tokarev Semi-automatic pistol 7.62x25mm 1948–1963
PA-63 Semi-automatic pistol 9mm Makarov 1963–1996
FÉG Model P9RC Semi-automatic pistol 9mm Parabellum 1996–present
Heckler & Koch USP Semi-automatic pistol 9mm Parabellum 2004–present

Italy

Beretta M1934 pistol
Firearm Type Calibre Service
Bodeo M1889 Revolver 10.35mm 1889-1945 (?)
Glisenti M1910 Semi-automatic 9mm Glisenti 1910-1945 (?)
Beretta M1923 Semi-automatic 9mm Glisenti 1923-1945 (?)
Beretta M1934 Semi-automatic .380 ACP 1934–1951
Beretta M1951 Semi-automatic 9mm Parabellum 1951–1981
Beretta 92FS Semi-automatic 9mm Parabellum 1981–present

Iran

Firearm Type Calibre Service
SIG P226 Semi-automatic 9x19mm Parabellum 1990s-Present

Iraq

Firearm Type Calibre Service
Tariq pistol Semi-automatic 9x19mm Parabellum 19??-

Japan

Nambu Type 14 pistol
Firearm Type Calibre Service
Meiji Type 26 Revolver 9mm Meiji 1893–1945
Nambu Type 14 Semi-automatic 8mm Nambu 1915–1945
Nambu Type 94 Semi-automatic 8mm Nambu 1934–1961
Nambu Model 60 Revolver .38 Special 1961–Present
SIG P220 Semi-automatic 9mm Parabellum 1985–present

Jordan

Firearm Type Calibre Service
Helwan Brigadier Semi-automatic 9x19mm Parabellum 19??-

Republic of Korea

Firearm Type Calibre Service
M1911A1 Semi-automatic .45 ACP 1945–1989
Daewoo Precision Industries K5 Semi-automatic 9x19mm Parabellum 1989–Present

Kuwait

Firearm Type Calibre Service
Helwan Brigadier Semi-automatic 9x19mm Parabellum 19??-

Lebanon

Firearm Type Calibre Service
Helwan Brigadier Semi-automatic 9x19mm Parabellum 19??-

Libya

Firearm Type Calibre Service
Helwan Brigadier Semi-automatic 9x19mm Parabellum 19??-

Norway

Firearm Type Calibre Service
Lefaucheux M1864 Revolver 11mm Lefaucheux 1864–1930
Nagant M1883 Revolver 9mm Nagant 1883–1894
Nagant M1893 Revolver 7.5mm Swedish Nagant 1893–1940
Kongsberg M1914 Semi-automatic .45 ACP 1914–1945
Browning Hi-Power Semi-automatic 9mm Parabellum 1940–1988
Walther P38 Semi-automatic 9mm Parabellum 1948–1988
Glock P80 Semi-automatic 9mm Parabellum 1988–present

Panama

Firearm Type Calibre Service
Browning Hi-Power Semi-automatic 9x19mm Parabellum 1935–present

Peru

Firearm Type Calibre Service
JO.LO.AR. Semi-automatic .45 ACP 1924–1935
Browning Hi-Power Semi-automatic 9x19mm Parabellum 1935–Present

Portugal

Firearm Type Calibre Service
Pistola m/1908 Semi-automatic 7.65x22mm Parabellum 1908–1961
FN P35 Semi-automatic 9mm Parabellum 1935–present
Pistola m/943 Semi-automatic 9mm Parabellum 1941–1961
Walther P38 Semi-automatic 9mm Parabellum 1961–present
SIG P228 Semi-automatic 9mm Parabellum 199?-present
HK USP Semi-automatic 9mm Parabellum 200?-present
Glock 19 Semi-automatic 9mm Parabellum 2009–present

Russia / Soviet Union

Tokarev TT-33 service pistol
Firearm Type Calibre Service
Smith & Wesson No. 3 Revolver .44 Russian 1873–1895
Nagant M1895 Revolver 7.62x38R 1895–1950
Mauser C96 Semi-automatic 7.63x25 Mauser 1917-19??
Tokarev TT-33 Semi-automatic 7.62x25 Tokarev 1933–present
Makarov PM Semi-automatic 9x18 Makarov 1951–present
Stechkin APS Selective-fire 9x18 Makarov 1951–present
Yarygin PYa Semi-automatic 9mm Parabellum 2003–present

South Africa

Firearm Type Calibre Service
Browning Hi-Power Semi-automatic 9x19mm Parabellum 1935–present
Vektor SP1/SP2 Semi-automatic 9x19mm Parabellum 1992–Present

Spain

Firearm Type Calibre Service
Bergmann 1903 Semi-automatic 9mm Largo 1905–1914
Campogiro 1913/1916 Semi-automatic 9mm Largo 1916–1921
Astra 1921 Semi-automatic 9mm largo 1921–1946
Star Super A Semi-automatic 9mm largo 1946–1986
Star B Super Semi-automatic 9x19mm Parabellum 1970–1986
Llama M82 Semi-automatic 9x19mm Parabellum 1984–present

Sweden

Husqvarna m/1907
Firearm Type Calibre Service
Revolver m/1887 Revolver 7.5 mm Swedish Nagant 1887–1945
Pistol m/07 Semi-automatic 9mm Browning Long 1916–1988
Pistol m/39 Semi-automatic 9mm Parabellum 1939-19??
Pistol m/40 Semi-automatic 9mm Parabellum 1940–1988
Pistol 88 Semi-automatic 9mm Parabellum 1988–present
Pistol 88B Semi-automatic 9mm Parabellum 1988–present

Switzerland

Model 1882 revolver
Firearm Type Calibre Service
Ordonnanzrevolver 1872 Revolver 10.4mm Swiss rimfire 1872–1878
Ordonnanzrevolver 1878 Revolver 10.4mm Swiss centrefire 1878–1882
Schmidt M1882 Revolver 7.5mm Swiss 1882–1946
Luger pistol Semi-automatic 7.65 Parabellum 1900–1949
SIG P210 Semi-automatic 9mm Parabellum 1949–present
Walther PPK Semi-automatic .32 ACP 1965-19??
SIG P220 Semi-automatic 9mm Parabellum 1975–present

Thailand

Firearm Type Calibre Service
FN M1900 Semi-automatic .32 ACP 1940–1945
M1911 pistol Semi-automatic .45 ACP 1943–present
HK USP Semi-automatic .45 ACP 2003–present

Turkey

Firearm Type Calibre Service
Mauser C96 Semi-automatic 9x19mm Parabellum 1896–1945
Fabrique Nationale M1903 Semi-automatic 7.65x17mm SR Browning 1912–1955
Walther PP Semi-automatic 9x19mm Parabellum, .32 ACP 1945–2000
ZIGANA T, C45 Semi-automatic 9x19mm Parabellum, .45 ACP 2000–Present

Tuvalu

Firearm Type Calibre Service
Browning Hi-Power Semi-automatic 9x19mm Parabellum 1935–present

Ukraine

Firearm Type Calibre Service
Nagant M1895 Double Action Revolver 7.62x38mmR 1895–1952
TT pistol Semi-automatic 7.62x25 Tokarev 1930s-1951
Makarov PM Semi-automatic 9x18mm PM 1951–present
Fort-12 Semi-automatic 9x18mm PM 1997–present
Fort-15 Semi-automatic 9x19mm Parabellum 2006–present

United Arab Emirates

Firearm Type Calibre Service
Browning Hi-Power Semi-automatic 9mm Parabellum 1971–2007
Caracal F Semi-automatic 9mm Parabellum 2007–present

United Kingdom, British Empire and Commonwealth of Nations

Webley Mk VI service revolver
A Webley Mark I Revolver, circa 1887, from Canada, cal .455 (Mk I) Webley
Firearm Type Calibre Service
Beaumont-Adams Revolver .450 Adams 1853–1880
Enfield Mk I & Mk II Revolver .476 Enfield 1880–1887
Webley Mk I-VI Revolver .455 Webley 1887–1947
Enfield No 2 Mk I Revolver .38/200 1932–1963
Webley Mk IV Revolver .38/200 1932–1963
Smith & Wesson M&P or Victory Model Revolver .38/200 1940–1963
Browning Hi-Power Semi-automatic 9mm Parabellum 1940–present
SIG P226 Semi-automatic 9mm Parabellum 1995–present

United States

Colt M1911A1 (left) and Beretta M9 (right) service pistols
Firearm Type Caliber Service
Harpers Ferry Model 1805 Flintlock .58 caliber 1805-?
Colt M1851 Navy Cap and ball revolver, single-action .36 Ball 1851–1873
Colt Army Model 1860 Cap and ball revolver, single-action .44 Ball 1860–1873
Remington Model 1858 Cap and ball revolver, single-action .36, .44 Ball 1862–1875
Colt Single Action Army Single-action cartridge revolver .45 Long Colt 1873–1892
Colt M1892 Double-action revolver .38 Long Colt 1892–1911
M1911 Semi-automatic .45 ACP 1911–present
M1917 Revolver .45 ACP 1917–1953
Smith & Wesson Model 10 Revolver .38 Special 1935–1972
Browning HP Semi-automatic 9mm Parabellum 1935–present
M9 pistol Semi-automatic 9mm Parabellum 1985–present
M11 pistol Semi-automatic 9mm Parabellum 1985–present
SIG P229 DAK[4] Semi-automatic .40 S&W 2006–present

Vietnam

Firearm Type Calibre Service
Makarov PM Semi-automatic 9x18mm 1951–present

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Stamps, Mark, and Ian Skennerton, .380 Enfield Revolver No. 2, page 118
  2. ^ Type 54 pistol on Bangladesh Military Forces website. Retrieved on April 16, 2010.
  3. ^ Type 92 pistol on Bangladesh Military Forces website. Retrieved on April 16, 2010.
  4. ^ Coast Guard only; replaced M9

References

  • Howdah To High Power (2002) Maze, Robert J, Excalibur Publications, Tucson AZ (USA) ISBN 1-880677-17-2
  • Small Arms Identification Series No. 9: .455 Pistol, Revolver No 1 Mk VI (1997) Skennerton, Ian, Arms & Militaria Press, Gold Coast QLD (Australia), ISBN 0-949749-30-3
  • .380 Enfield Revolver No 2 (1993) Stamps, Mark and Skennerton, Ian, Greenhill Books, London (UK) ISBN 1-85367-139-8
  • 1942 Basic Manual of Military Small Arms (Facsimile Edition), Smith, W.H.B, Stackpole Books, Harrisburg PA (USA), ISBN 0-8117-1699-6

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