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AUSTIN, Texas -- New Texas troopers will be issued lighter pistols that experts say have less recoil and can carry more ammunition.

Department of Public Safety spokesman Tom Vinger said Smith & Wesson M&P 9 mm handguns will be issued to troopers finishing their training in January. Current troopers will be allowed to carry their .357-caliber SIG Sauer pistols while DPS expands availability of the new handgun.

The Austin American-Statesman reported Sunday that the Smith & Wesson handgun can carry 17 rounds, plus one in the chamber. The SIG Sauer carries up to 15 rounds. The Smith & Wesson weighs 24 ounces, compared to 34 ounces for the SIG Sauer.

Sgt. Gary Chandler, who's president of the Department of Public Safety Officers Association, says the Smith & Wesson is a great gun.

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