Founded in 1936, the Louisiana State Police (LSP) is a statewide law enforcement agency created to ensure the safety of the population through enforcement, education and by providing other essential public safety services. Today, almost 1,100 troopers, under the capable leadership of Col. Michael D. Edmonson, remain true to the mission of protecting the citizens of the Pelican State.

In 2009, the LSP became the first state agency to adopt the new GLOCK 22 RTF2 .40 pistol. The Louisiana State Police join a long list of agencies who utilize a GLOCK pistol for duty use, including the Highway Patrols/State Police of Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi, Missouri, New York and Pennsylvania. During a recent visit, I had the good fortune of dropping by the LSP’s state-of-the-art range in Zachary, La, to take in some training from their instructor staff.  Instructors were first given the one-day armorer’s school to gain a better understanding of the GLOCK design, which was followed by three days of range training.  All hands I spoke with were very enthusiastic about the switch to the new pistol.

Source of its Success
Since its introduction in 1990, the GLOCK 22 has become the most popular police pistol here in the U.S. Considering the very stiff competition of rival companies, this is no small accomplishment. Clearly, the GLOCK 22 rose to the top of the mountain because it had much to offer. High on the list was the fact that the GLOCK 22 offered big-bore stopping potential in a platform the same size as 9×19.

The unique “Safe Action” trigger system of the GLOCK pistol allows most shooters to reach their full marksmanship potential and achieve a high level of confidence. As a law enforcement trainer, it has been my observation that it is far easier to get new shooters up to speed with the GLOCK system than with competitive double action/single action or DAO (double-action-only) designs.

The new GLOCK 22 RTF2 incorporates a few new features along with the proven qualities of the original design. Most notable is the aggressive grip surface. The new RTF2’s grip surface sports hundreds of miniature spikes or “polymids” on the grip’s front, back and sides for a very positive hold. The polymids prevent slipping even if the hand is wet, and they represent a big improvement over improvised measures such as skateboard type or rubber sleeves. I’ll confess to using a couple of strips of stair tread on my pebble-grip GLOCK 17 which worked fine, but chewed up my hand during long practice sessions. The RTF2 has the same advantage without the abrasion effect.

In addition to the new gripping texture, the RTF2 also features differing slide serrations. Instead of the usual vertical serrations at the rear of the slide, the RTF2 pistols feature a racy, crescent-shaped design. The redesigned grooves feature an even better grasping surface for manually manipulating the slide.

Other qualities are consistent with other pistols in the GLOCK line. They include the very shootable “Safe Action” trigger, cold hammer-forged barrel, lightweight polymer frame, and an accessory rail for mounting tactical illuminators and laser aimers. Not to be overlooked is the tough-as-nails Tenifer finish which holds up very well in the most demanding conditions.
Perfection as a Selection
The LSP’s move to the GLOCK is an interesting journey, to say the least. Prior to the adoption of the GLOCK 22 RTF2, the LSP issued a nine-shot .45 Auto pistol from another manufacturer. They did, however, allow troopers to carry certain pistols from other manufacturers as duty weapons. It is very interesting to note that prior to the switch, more than 30 percent of LSP troopers were already carrying GLOCKs. After an extensive research and testing program, the LSP ultimately settled on the GLOCK 22 RTF2 as the best pistol to suit its needs.

One of the qualities of the GLOCK pistol that the LSP found most appealing was the Tenifer finish. Tenifer is an extremely durable finish and its hardness approaches that of industrial grade diamonds. Much more than a mere coating, it actually penetrates into the molecular structure of the metal to prevent corrosion. During the warmer months, the humidity in Louisiana is very high, and this can play havoc with unprotected metal surfaces. Considering all the other issues and responsibilities of a trooper’s routine, daily maintenance of the duty weapon is not especially practical. The rust-resistant Tenifer finish was a big factor in the LSP’s decision to go with the GLOCK pistol.

Likewise, the slip-resistant RTF2 grip surface was another plus when considering the humid conditions of the region. Rain, sweat or even blood will not compromise a positive hold with this texturing. The GLOCK 22 RTF2 boasts a total capacity of 16 rounds, nearly twice that of the pistol it replaced. Despite the increased capacity, the double-stack grip frame is easily managed by a wide range of hand sizes.

In addition to the GLOCK 22 RTF2, the LSP has also purchased a smaller number of GLOCK 17 RTF2 pistols for troopers who prefer the 9×19 cartridge. The GLOCK 17 RTF2 boasts the same attributes as its sibling, making it the top choice for the users who prefer the timeless 9×19 round.
Tricking It Out
For their new GLOCK RTF2 pistol, the LSP has selected Safariland’s 6360 ALS holster for uniformed duty wear. The 6360 features the Automatic Locking System (ALS) that secures the gun as soon as it is returned to the holster. A rotating hood and locking device that engages the ejection port of the pistol provides very good security in the event a trooper has to go “hands on” in controlling a resistive subject. Despite the enhanced security, draw stroke from the 6360 can be very fast. A large portion of the trooper’s transition training was devoted to working the new holsters to the point where the draw stroke becomes intuitive. Plainclothes officers are issued Safariland’s 528 concealment holster.
For ammunition, the LSP has gone with Remington’s highly rated Golden Saber Bonded line. In .40, the 165-grain JHP gets the nod. From my GLOCK 22, this load averaged 1,051 feet per second (f.p.s.) and expanded to almost twice its original diameter when passing through four layers of denim and into 10 percent ballistic gelatin. The 124-grain JHP 9×19 load hit 1,193 f.p.s. from a GLOCK 17 with equally good expansion qualities. Penetration was to optimum levels in gelatin, and bonded construction helps deliver better performance against windshield glass and sheet metal, common obstacles in police-action shootings.

The Right Choice
In their quest for the ideal police pistol, the LSP have chosen wisely. The GLOCK 22 RTF2 and GLOCK 17 RTF2 will carry them well into the 21st century and provide years of solid service. Considering the many challenges faced by the troopers of the LSP, the new GLOCK RTF2 pistols, combined with the highest professional standards, make for an unbeatable combination.

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