Even in full recoil, the recoil-reducing stock and the Federal Tactical load keep the muzzle on target. Here the author has utilized the recoil to assist in cycling the slide. Jeff Edmonds Photos

Serving an area greater than 12,308 square kilometers, with everything from gangster-infested rat holes south of downtown to celebrity-infested Malibu in the west, the 8,500 Deputies of the LASO know what it takes to get the job done no matter where it may take them. A proud organization that traces its roots back to the wild west of 1850s California, the LASO revels in its old school, hard-nosed mystique. It is not a place where change comes easy, but sometimes change is inevitable. By the turn of the century it became abundantly clear that the department’s Ithaca 37/87s needed to be replaced. As Ithaca was in and out of different ownership, parts were a problem and internal scavenging could only go so far. An influx of more than 600 guns (a gift from the LAPD, who had transitioned to the 870) helped delay the inevitable, but the writing was on the wall. By late 2007, the decision was made. LASO would go to the Remington. With any large department in any large county, the competition is fierce for contracts, especially a department that is surrounded by dozens of local municipalities that base their equipment selection on what the big kid on the block does. This time was no different. Several companies submitted T&E guns, but in the end, the modularity, ease of maintenance, ease of use, upgradeability and ruggedness won out and the 870 was selected above the other entries.

Pistol grips can make it difficult to access the 870 safety. It’s a training issue, not an equipment issue. Jeff Edmonds Photos

A New Direction
Because of the variety of missions that the LASO handles, it was recognized that multiple platforms would be needed for the department. The numbers in the LASO final purchase broke down to 3,000 units for patrol, 900 less-lethal units, and 300 special units set aside for the motor officers. For patrol, it was decided that the 870 would need some enhancements in order to make it more mission capable. The first thing was that the weapons for patrol would all need to be equipped with dedicated lights. LASO went with a dedicated SureFire unit. The addition of a weapon-mounted light vastly increased the deputies’ ability in the low-light environment, but it also added some logistical and training issues.

Notice how the XS Big Dot just jumps out and catches the eye. I found it to be extremely effective, especially at speed. Jeff Edmonds Photo

Up Next


Even in full recoil, the recoil-reducing stock and the Federal Tactical load keep the…