Throughout the long history of the private investigator, the weapons they carry (or don’t) tell a fascinating story. In today’s post we’ll take a look at my very own humble PI, Mac McClellan, and his choice of weaponry. Let’s do some snooping and see what we can turn up. Hmm, where to begin? Ah, the obvious—
Mac is armed to the teeth!
Given his background as a career Marine with extensive combat service, Mac doesn’t take weapons lightly. He wants something reliable and that packs a punch. No pea-shooters for him. That’s why his carry weapon of choice is a Smith & Wesson .357 Magnum revolver. Why a revolver instead of a semi-automatic? Jamming problems. During combat deployments to Iraq, Mac observed many jamming issues with the M9 Beretta, the current standard handgun of the USMC. Kept cleaned and lubed, it’s a fine weapon. But in the dust and grit of desert warfare, that’s not easy to do. The M9 semi-automatic also lacks the punch of the .357 Mag. When Mac is forced to shoot at another armed human being, he wants to make sure the bad guy stays down.
“But semi-autoloaders are much quicker to reload,” you say. “Isn’t the ability to quickly reload a worthwhile tradeoff?”
Well, yes and no. It’s true the semi-autos can be loaded faster. Just click the magazine release and snap in a fresh magazine (or clip, if you prefer). Quick and simple. However, most revolvers (including Mac’s S&W .357 Magnum) have speedloaders available which can quickly replace an empty cylinder. Open the cylinder, dump the empties, line up the speedloader containing the fresh cartridges, and twist the knob. Voila—all loaded and ready to fire. Mac carries a couple of spares in his Tundra, but he rarely packs one on his person. He’s not in a war zone situation with numerous bad guys. If he ever does find himself in such a pinch, he has a backup weapon near at hand.
Allow me to introduce you to Mac’s badass backup for when things really get dicey: the Mossberg Maverick 88 pump shotgun. It’s an inexpensive, no frills, and reliable weapon. Mossberg makes good stuff. You can load this baby with eight double-ought 2 ¾” shells. That’s seven in the tube magazine and one in the chamber. With its 20” barrel, flat black color, and synthetic stock, it’s one helluva whoopass weapon. Mac carried a similar shotgun in Iraq which came in handy while clearing and securing buildings during the close-up combat in Fallujah. Don’t leave home without it.
Up close and personal!
There are times and circumstances when a firearm might be unavailable, out of reach, or stealth is called for to take out a “baddie.” Introducing the USMC KA-BAR combat knife, the choice of fighting knives by Marines since World War II. Mac owns a fancy engraved KA-BAR given to him by his last command during his retirement ceremony at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Although a true KA-BAR with deadly capabilities, it’s for show and memories only. He also has the KA-BAR he carried into every combat situation since he was an eighteen-year-old lance corporal in the First Gulf War. A knife he’s used to survive on more than one occasion. Mac doesn’t routinely carry it, but when called for he won’t hesitate to strap it to his belt or his ankle. It’s a down and dirty weapon, and not for the feint of heart.
So, there you have it, a brief look at Mac McClellan’s personal arsenal. Of course he’s always on the lookout for additional weapons, just in case. Right now Mac’s got his eye on a S&W Model 642 .38 Special revolver. With its small frame, short barrel, and internal hammer, he thinks it would make a perfect hideaway piece to back up the Mag.
What’s your favorite PI packin’?