I’m not a firearms expert. I just play one on the Internet. As a playa, I always check my firearms theories with my go-to gun gurus. And then submit them to you, TTAG’s Armed Intelligentsia. When I blow it, I correct the misinfo—be it factual, logical or tactical—and acknowledge my mistake. OK, so, nfuentes86 recommends using a snap cap (an inert round) as the first round in your Glock AND leaving the chamber empty. nfuentes86 reckons that an empty chamber followed by a snap cap at the top of the mag gives you a fighting chance if your antagonist takes away your gun. Here’s why he’s Glocking up the wrong tree . . .
Bringing a Glock (or a Glock-style gun) into a gunfight requires two steps: draw your weapon and shoot. Two steps. Draw. Shoot. OK, aiming’s good, but the point remains: if you’re fighting for your life, an additional step in the process slows you down. Hence Herr Glock designed his gun without an external safety: the trigger safety system makes his weapon as simple to use and fast to bring to bear as possible. Leaving the chamber empty adds the step that Herr Glock removed.
Why in the world would you want to do that? Rack shoot. Shoot. Which do you think is a better recipe for success when you’re fighting for your life? A time when events are happening quickly and your ability to process them may or may not be impeded by your fight, flight or freeze response. In terms of child safety, a loaded Glock (the only kind of Glock worth having) belongs on your hip or locked in a safe. Done.
Putting a snap cap at the top of the mag requires that you rack the slide twice. That’s twice as stupid as having to rack it once. It takes twice as long in a situation where every quarter second counts. If you don’t train this way—rack, rack, shoot—for every magazine you load into your Glock, thousands of times, you’ll get it wrong. Is it possible to lose track of how many times you’ve racked your gun when you’re only racking twice? In the heat of battle, sure.
Failure to Launch
Racking the slide seems easy enough—until your life depends on it. As your bloodstream fills with the Mother of All Adrenal Dumps, your hands become slippery. Your fingers go numb (blood flows to your internal organs under stress). Your attention is diverted (he’s trying to KILL ME). A life or death crisis is not the time to ask anything more of yourself than seeking cover and shooting.
Despite fears about the Obama Administration, no one’s taking your gun. Cops need to worry about this. They’re carrying openly, they’re a symbol of authority and they regularly encounter the stupidest people on planet earth. The odds of a civilian gun grab are so low you can round them to zero. Fuhgeddaboudit. Adapting your weapons system to prevent a hostile takeover reduces your ability to enter a gunfight efficiently. If you’re that concerned, buy a retention holster. I don’t recommend it, but it beats rack, rack, shoot by infinity.
A Glock is a Glock. The gun’s safety is located between its operator’s ears. Back in the day, American police officers killed more than a few people thanks to habits learned on other guns. They weren’t used to the Glock’s “unplug ‘n play” operation. Oh well. Evolution (and lawyers) sorted that out.
If you want an extra layer of safety with your carry or home defense gun, don’t use a Glock or Glock-style gun. Buy a gun with an external safety. And use the safety before and after every string you ever shoot. But always keep one in the pipe (bullet in the chamber). Snap caps are for practice. Period.
If you want the truth about guns, visit www.thetruthaboutguns.com. My name is Robert Farago and I approve this message.