Teams protecting principals who face a substantial threat have traditionally had long arms available for breaking an ambush, mass assault or countersniper employment. The problem when operating in most environments, however, is keeping the weapons covert until it’s time to employ them. The US Secret Service employed the Uzi in this role for years and London’s SO14 and SO16 have used HK MP5Ks. In the case of the Secret Service and members of the SAS augmenting SO14 or SO16, heavier weapons have been carried in a support vehicle, which accompanies the principal’s vehicle. Recent conditions in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as some other parts of the world, have dictated heavier armament for security teams. In many cases, the weapons are not carried covertly but are openly displayed as a deterrent.

big-guns2.jpgWhether carried overtly or covertly, FNH offers four weapons that lend themselves especially well for use by close protection teams. Probably the best known is the P90 PDW (Personal Defense Weapon). The Secret Service and various other close protection or special ops units have adopted the P90 with good reason. At only 19.7 inches overall, the P90 conceals well beneath a jacket, especially with the excellent sling available from BlackHawk. On full auto, the P90 spits out 900 rounds per minute (rpm) of the 5.7x28mm cartridge. Loaded with Armor Piercing rounds, the P90 offers excellent penetration against body armor or ballistic helmets, items likely to be encountered by security teams in a war zone. Another real advantage of the P90 is that its magazine holds 50 rounds. The fact the magazine rides atop the P90’s receiver also eliminates a protrusion from the bottom of the weapon making it easier to conceal and less likely to catch when deploying. A problem can be carrying the rather long spare magazines for the P90, but I’ve found that the SCOTTEVEST Classic 4.0 has a pocket that works perfectly for carrying a spare 50-round magazine. The SCOTTEVEST is an excellent security team vest in other ways since it covers a handgun and/or P90 as well as offering pockets for cellphones, radios, and other gear. It is even equipped with channels to run wires for microphones and earpieces.

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Teams protecting principals who face a substantial threat have traditionally had long arms available…