The United States Secret Service is a unique law enforcement agency responsible for protecting the most important politicians in the country. It also conducts investigations concerning certain financial crimes, such as counterfeiting and fraud.
Since fulfilling these roles is dangerous, agents are required to carry the best firearms, both for their own protection and for the protection of those under their care.
Secret Service weapons have been meticulously chosen and are loaded with the finest ammunition. While their preferences aren’t as public as other law enforcement agencies, here are the handguns they’ve used:
Sig Sauer P229 DAK: Primary Secret Service Sidearm
Since 1998, the standard sidearm issued to Secret Service agents has been the Sig Sauer P229 DAK (Double Action Kellerman) chambered in the venerable .357 Sig round.
This round was developed to mimic the firepower of .357 Magnum loadings in a semiautomatic pistol. It was done by essentially necking down a .40 S&W case to achieve a projectile like most 9mm ammo loadings.
This results in the .357 Sig round achieving consistent barrier penetration, reliable expansion, and devastating permanent wound cavities.
Secret Service agents also need to be armed with long-range firearms because they’ll never know when they would be caught in a long-range engagement.
The .357 Sig excels in this area because of its flat trajectory. This results in increased accuracy and longer effective range than most defensive handgun calibers.
The ultimate covert-duty pistol is created when these terminal ballistics are combined with the P229 DAK’s twelve-round capacity and compact dimensions.
Thus, the pistol practically disappears in their attire and allows the agents to have more space for other necessary gear.
The specific DAK model used by the Secret Service gets completely removed and is replaced with a consistent double-action trigger pull after every shot.
Having the same 6.5-pound trigger pull takes away some of the guesswork and lets agents know exactly how much force is needed to discharge their weapon.
Muscle memory will always be more reliable than fine motor skills in any adrenaline-fueled encounter.
Do you need a holster for your gun? Which Holster is Right for You?
The FN Five-SeveN is one of the most unique, compact, and powerful handguns on the market today.
It’s the only handgun in this list with a manual safety pin. But because it’s located directly above the trigger guard, it is quickly and easily disengaged.
The FN Five-Seven uses the armor-piercing FN 5.7x28mm and the same ammunition as the P90 submachine gun. Both guns are used by the Secret Service.
Should the agents get short on ammunition, they can easily exchange the same round between their submachine guns and handguns.
The 5.7x28mm chambering also excels in sending a lightweight 30-grain bullet at the speed of 2,500 feet per second.
This impressive speed helps the bullet maintain a flat trajectory in extreme distances.
The Secret Service agents must also be prepared for all types of threats, including suspects wearing body armor.
The extreme velocity of the bullet allows it to effortlessly pass through almost all types of small-arms body armor and deliver a lethal hit to the opponent.
While the specific ammunition used by the Secret Service is classified, FN manufactures 5.7x28mm rounds that are specifically designed to penetrate armor and have even been tested to pierce through two car doors.
This will allow the agents to neutralize a threat hiding behind almost anywhere in an urban environment.
The casing of the cartridge is also small in diameter, allowing the standard FN Five-SeveN magazines to hold up to twenty rounds.
It’s also worth noting that this pistol has a low amount of felt recoil.
Using this pistol, any proficient shooter can effectively hit very small center-mass groups.
Sig Sauer P226: Off-Duty Secret Service Handgun
While the Sig Sauer P229 DAK and FN Five-SeveN are the only handguns authorized for on-duty Secret Service agents, the Sig Sauer P226 is authorized for off-duty carry.
This full-sized service pistol has seen numerous duty roles with both military and law enforcement agencies since its release in 1983.
The P226 has earned its reputation as a battle-proven handgun capable of withstanding extreme situations while maintaining its reliability and accuracy.
Secret Service agents can choose between the 9mm Luger, .40 S&W, and .357 Sig variants of the firearm for their off-duty weapon.
This gives agents more time to train as the .357 Sig round is very costly and difficult to locate.
The full-size P226 also gives agents more firepower in an off-duty situation where they may not get support from more armed allies.
Sig Sauer P232: Backup Weapon
The Sig Sauer P232 can only be used as a backup weapon for Secret Service agents.
Because of its .380 ACP chambering, it is no longer actively issued and is only available when grandfathered in.
Despite this, Secret Service agents who still carry it enjoy this lightweight, small-framed pistol.
Its small size and weight require little effort in concealing this weapon.
Gun size is extremely important for all Secret Service agents, especially those involved in high-profile security assignments. This is because they must carry several communications and defensive gear.
The P232 also shares the same manual of arms as P229 and P226, resulting in very little additional training needed to master the pistol.
While I personally don’t recommend the single-stack .380 ACP as a primary pistol, those extra seven rounds could save your life should your primary firearm malfunction.