This was a fun question to get asked. The answer is because the author who writes him is old-school and carries one!
My military career spanned the late 80’s and early 90’s. This was a time when the “9mm wars” were taking place and every manufacturer was competing to be the new military-issue handgun. In the end, the Beretta 92 won out and was issued as the M9.
This was a terrible choice.
It looked good on paper. It was an American-designed-and-made pistol aimed primarily at law enforcement service and civilian use and had the requisite 15-round magazine and full metal frame. The large ejection port in the slide reduced feed jams and it was accurate enough to meet the military’s standards.
Until you took it to the field. Nothing against the police, I’m friends with many of them, but they don’t often get down in the dirt for extended periods or live in the field for days on end. In other words, they stay clean. Their weapons do as well. So the 92 worked fine for them, it was even highlighted in the Lethal Weapon films by Mel Gibson.
But that giant ejection port on the 92 was nothing but a dirt funnel for grunts low-crawling through mud and sand, and although they had no way to predict it when they chose it, the grunts of the 90’s and 00’s saw a lot of dirt and sand. The 92 soon became a one-shot-and-jam weapon, and soldier confidence in its reliability plummeted. Many of the soldiers I served with kept it wrapped in plastic until they might need it, reducing it to an annoying burden.
I grew to hate it, so I looked for the best alternative.
After trying several I was steered toward the Browning BDM by a respected armorer. The BDM stands for Browning Double Mode and that translates into it having two trigger actions. It’s a little complicated, but I’ll try to make it simple here.
Along the top left-rear edge of the slide, there’s a round drum with a screw-slotted head offering two options; “P” and “R”. (P=Pistol mode and R = Revolver mode) Turning the screw to align with a “P” on the slide adjusted the lockwork to make the BDM behave like a Double-Action/Single-Action trigger system. When the shooter sweeps the trigger back, the hammer cocks back and releases firing the first shot. The slide then cycles in recoil, cocking the hammer and resetting the trigger to the rear for a crisp single-action pull for the next one. This is how most other pistols of that time worked.
But the BDM had another option. Turn the selector to align with an “R” (for revolver) and the gun behaved somewhat like, well, a revolver. There was no multi-chambered cylinder of course, but the trigger pull was now the same long, smooth stroke as a revolver. And, like the same revolver, you can thumb-cock the exposed hammer for a crisp single-action pull. This is approximately the same trigger action as most DA/SA revolvers in police service use. There was also a safety that doubled as a decocker when the BDM was in pistol mode.
The magazine had a flathead screwdriver tab that the shooter could use to adjust the mode they wanted.
I liked the versatility, durability, and the accuracy. I also noticed that while there were several options out there many of the operators I worked with were quietly buying BDM’s for field use. I still saw the flashy 10mm and .40’s at the range, but when it was time to suit up the BDM was their go-to weapon of choice. (That and the 9mm round can be found just about anywhere in the world, which was a factor for some of us)
So I now have one that’s been to several countries. I beveled the well a bit for easier mag swaps and outfitted it with tritium sights, but other than that it’s the same as the day I bought it.
It never let me down.
So when it came time to outfit Jack it was an easy choice. These days the polymer frames and trigger safeties of the various Glocks rule the land, but I’ll take my full-size all-steel 15+1-round field-proven workhorse over them every day.