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Glock’s got a new “go LEO!” ad campaign. Sensibly enough, the Austrian armorer’s ad focuses on the brand’s Unique Selling Point: reliability. As in the gun will go bang when you want it to, so you get to go home to your wife and tell her to stop wasting your meagre salary on expensive hardcover books and buy a Kindle already. Fair enough. The website created for this “Serious Trust” campaign takes a slightly different tack. The strapline—“Confidence to Live Your Life”—has a distinctly Viagra-like look and feel. Again, fair enough. What I’m wondering about is the gunmaker’s Safety page. youliveyourlife.com brings forth unto the world the Ten Commandments 2.0. Including a brand new gun safety rule . . .

Train with All You Guns

Every gun is unique in the way it feels, handles and fires, so it’s important to achieve a maximum comfort level with every gun you own by practicing with each one separately at a local dealer or range. Done on a regular basis, this exercise will strengthen familiarity and muscle memory, so each gun feels as natural and comfortable as the next, even in stressful situations.

True but—that’s an odd thing for Glock to suggest. One of the great advantages to the Glock product line is that all the firearms feel, handle and fire the same. Especially the trigger. Your humble correspondent carries a 30SF that fires just the same as his bedside Glock 21 and training-for-newbies G19.

Besides, what happened to all that “beware the man with one gun” mishegas? Is Glock trying to encourage their customers to buy more guns, even if they’re not Glocks? And what of rule 6?

Know your gun’s safety features
While most pistols’ safety features are similar, only GLOCK offers the “SAFE ACTION”® System that works in a unique way. Specifically, every GLOCK pistol is equipped with three automatic, independently-functioning mechanical safeties. All three safeties disengage in sequence as the trigger is pulled, then re-engage when released—delivering superior safety, speed and simplicity.

The cool thing about the Glock safety is that you don’t have to know how it works. It’s point and shoot. Still, this rule certainly applies to anyone who uses a gun with a frame-mounted safety. Again, I find it a bit weird to see Glock kinda sorta acknowledge that there are shooters living outside of the gunmaker’s bubble of perfection.

Anyway, props to Glock to stressing safety and linking it to their brand promise. Now if they’d just make a single-stack 9mm, all would be right with the world. Well, their world. [h/t everydaynodaysoff.com]

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29 Responses to Glock Adds a New Safety Rule: Train with All Your Guns

  1. Except Glock’s safeties aren’t really safe. The Glock safety system places all the mechanisms on a single point of failure — the trigger –so if you pull the trigger for any reason the gun goes bang. Just ask Plexico Burris. All the Glock system does is insure that if you drop the gun it won’t go off. A true “safe action” is one where it takes multiple actions to make the gun fire, e.g., grip safety and trigger safety, or a manual safety.

    • “…so if you pull the trigger for any reason the gun goes bang.”

      Yeah. And?

      “All the Glock system does is insure that if you drop the gun it won’t go off.”

      What other safety do you need?

      • I know you are perfect but many others gun owners aren’t.

        The XD/m system with a Glock-like safe action trigger and a grip safety is superior to the single point of failure Glock mechanism while keeping the gun a trigger pull away from use.

        • If your hand is on the gun, and you’re pulling the trigger, the XD will go off too. That’s the reason the XD is inferior: it teaches people to trust a mechanical safety instead of proper training. And that mechanical safety has been known to malfunction and jam up the gun.

        • All guns have mechanical safeties and it seems like Glock owners put their complete trust in them.

          If Plexico had an XD he wouldn’t have gone to jail because when tried to catch his falling gun his had would not have been on the grip.

        • I want to reply to Jason, but the new software disallows a Reply button on his response.

          “If your hand is on the gun, and you’re pulling the trigger, the XD will go off too.”

          Don’t be disingenuous. You know as well as everyone else that the trigger pull that the responses above refer to on a Glock is the trigger pull that occurs incidentally/accidentally by a foreign object, holster, etc. They are not talking about when “your hand is on the gun” and you’re prepared to fire. Grip safeties can help prevent those incidental, unforeseen NDs.

          “And that mechanical safety has been known to malfunction and jam up the gun.”

          Citation, please.

      • I seem to remember a TTAG post about a man who holstered his Glock and the holster caused a negligent discharge.
        Another about a police woman’s gun discharging in her purse.
        True these people made mistakes but I have yet to meet anyone who has not, or will not again.

        • This is also in reply to Jason’s comment at 10:33.

          I have owned four (4) XDs for nearly ten (10) years.

          My wife and I carry XDSC as our EDC guns. For the past ten (10) years we have practiced with all four (4) at least every other weekend without a single failure of any kind.
          No FTF, FTE, stovepipe, multi-feed, ND, failure to lock, failure to battery and no grip safety issues. Nothing.
          Also I have never had an issue with a Colt 1911 safety.
          Are there any owners of guns with grip safeties ( any make / model ) who can attest to a failure of the safety?
          Also the grip safety does not impede proper training.
          The beauty of a grip safety is that it is completely oblivious to the user.
          No thought is given to the grip safety and none is needed.
          The gun is handled exactly in the same manner as an XD without a grip safety would be.

          You are certainly are entitled to your opinion but when you state that XDs are inferior because they have a grip safety, teach improper technique and are less reliable, you show your ignorance.
          I doubt that you have ever handle, much less fired an XD.

    • so if you pull the trigger for any reason the gun goes bang.

      I don’t pull the trigger for ANY reason. I pull the trigger for only ONE reason.. with the intent to make it “go bang.” That’s true of ANY gun, regardless any superfluous external safeties. I don’t ever even put my finger on the trigger until I’m ready to make it go bang. Simple! I have 3 Glocks and 12 other non-Glock guns. I don’t use the external safeties on the other guns… ever.

      • But if something else pulls the trigger, such as a bit of a clothing, or bit of a worn holster, or anything at all, then those safeties that Glock is advertising merrily disengage and the gun goes bang. There are a lot of cases of that happening, and the Glock design is completely useless for preventing of problem.

        Aside from being polymer and striker-fired, the design of the XD is actually quite similar to Browning’s original concept for the 1911. There was no thumb safety in his initial design, just the grip safety. The thumb safety was added later. Like Ron mentions above, a grip safety requires no effort from the user. There’s nothing to remember and it works automatically. If you’re holding the gun with anything remotely resembling normal grip (and I mean remotely), the gun will work.

  2. I disagree with the concept that all Glocks are the same. To my hands, every firearm feels slightly different, to the point that a grip which gets accurate hits with one weapon will cause misses and such with another. A G17 may not point or handle the same way as a G21, even though they look the same and were made by the same company.

  3. “[…]only GLOCK offers the “SAFE ACTION”® System […] every GLOCK pistol is equipped with three automatic, independently-functioning mechanical safeties. All three safeties disengage in sequence as the trigger is pulled, then re-engage when released[…]”

    While certainly a candidate for IGOTD, or maybe just a candidate for incredible bad luck, this story seems to counter the hype around those three automatic, independently-functioning mechanical safeties.

    http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/54103699-78/gun-police-law-ogden.html.csp

    • There is at least 1 and I believe 2 failure of the rules.

      The first one is obvious, Never point the muzzle at something you do not plan to destroy. The firearm was pointed at her.

      Second, and this is my guess, is that his finger was pulling the trigger when it went off. His finger might have slipped and pulled the trigger, but my guess is the finger was on the trigger.

    • Yeah, thanks soldier. That’s fabulous up until the point a D-ring on some gear, or a branch, who knows WTF what gets in the trigger guard and your rifle does a mag dump in some random direction. Murphy’s law is pretty unforgiving.

  4. I believe Glock’s claim that, if you pull the trigger, their guns will always fire and, unless you pull the trigger, they will never fire. However, you don’t have to have your finger on the trigger to pull it. There was an incident where a Glock fired as a guy returned it to his holster. The basic problem was that the holster was so old that the leather was soft. A piece folded over and caught the trigger making the gun fire. Many other designs either have a heavy trigger pull, a separate safety, or a hammer that must be cocked before they will fire. They are far more forgiving.

  5. Isn’t the point of pulling the trigger, that the gun goes off?
    What is the matter? If you pull the trigger it goes off and if you don’t, it doesn’t… duh!
    I mean, If you can’t live by the 4 safety rules, maybe you shouldn’t be playing with any gun. In fact if you think you can’t live by these simple rules maybe you shouldn’t drive a car, use a chain saw, etc… either.

    • But if its your jacket’s drawstring pulling the trigger, like it was for at least two cops, do you still want the gun going off? With external safeties, it’s much less likely these guys would have shot themselves:

      http://www.thegunzone.com/mos/ad.html

      Glock fans act as if there’s no circumstance other than a finger pulling a trigger that causes guns to fire, but reality says otherwise.

  6. It all goes into how you treat each gun depending on handling characteristics. For my SIG P290 I use a leather holster and keep my thumb on the hammer while reholstering to avoid the off-chance of the holster depressing the trigger. I do the same with my P226.

    If I carried a Glock I’d use a kydex holster with leather backing so that there would be no possibility of an all-leather holster folding and depressing the trigger. It all has to do with how each gun works, not which gun is superior to any other; I set SIG’s, Glocks, Xd’s, Berettas, HK’s, and CZ’s in the same category of dependability. The rest is up to what the user feels most comfortable with.

  7. I find it rather entertaining that folks who attack the Glock internal safeties as less-safe because they “automatically” disengage when you press the trigger, somehow find the concept of a grip safety comforting; you know, the grip safety that disengages AS SOON AS YOU GRIP THE WEAPON.

    The vast majority of the accidental discharges during holstering or other gun handling would NOT be prevented by a grip safety, because the users were almost certainly gripping the gun normally during the activity in question. Even the doofus that dropped the weapon down his sweat-pants leg and shot himself as he tried to catch it could have shot himself with a grip-safety-equipped gun; if you’ve put enough rearward pressure on the trigger to fire a weapon, that force has to be resisted in the opposite direction by the frame, otherwise the entire gun would move instead of just the trigger moving. If that resistive force is applied to the rear of the frame, the grip safety may deactivated, just at the time you wish it hadn’t. If the motion that fired the weapon could be described as “grabbing” at the gun as it fell, then a grip safety could just as well have been deactivated by the opposing digit of the one that hit the trigger.

    Personally, I’ve seen far more accidental and inadvertent discharges with thumb- and grip-safety equipped guns than with striker-fired no-manual-safety guns. People who depend on grip safeties for THEIR safety may find themselves severely disappointed someday.

    • It’s extremely easy to activate the grip safety when holstering: simply move your thumb to the top of the slide. This takes the web of your hand off the backstrap and therefore off the grip safety. Problem solved. With the Glock, there’s nothing you can do but take your chances.

      Your hypothesis about momentum defeating the grip safety sounds interesting, but far fetched. It would be interesting if someone could do some testing to see if they could ever achieve that result. What we do know is that a Glock would fire every single time. As advertised.

    • DJ the point is the XD grip safety is not used instead of a trigger safety, it is use in addition to.
      It is an additional safety measure that requires no more thought or effort than a trigger safety alone.

      If Glock added a grip safety to their product and made no other changes would it become less safe? Of course not.
      It would have the same safety features it has now and would operate in exactly the same manner as before.
      It would be the exact same gun you have now. Look the same, feel the same, same ergonomics, accuracy and reliability, but with an ADDITIONAL safety feature.
      One that helps to prevent the gun from firing unintentionally, yet requires no thought or effort on the part of the user.
      What is wrong of undesirable about that?

      • If a grip safety is “an additional safety measure that requires no more thought or effort than a trigger safety alone”, as you state above, then every time you grab the gun, the grip safety must automatically go “off safe” with no additional effort on your part. If the safety is “off safe” every time you handle the gun, then a grip safety cannot prevent almost any of the discharges that occur during handling of the weapon, such as the incident you posted about 10 posts from the top of this comment thread (Glocker shooting himself during reholstering). If, for the grip safety to prevent this type of accidental or unintended discharge, the shooter/handler is required to change the way they handle or use the gun (such as changing their grip to release pressure on the grip safety during holstering), then it no longer functions as “an additional safety measure that requires no more thought or effort than a trigger safety alone.”

        Grip safeties would also add: unneeded complexity to otherwise simple mechanisms, increased weight, the potential for stoppages and malfunctions related to the grip safety (Google “XD grip safety problem” and do a little reading), as well as changing the feel of the weapon in the hand. In fact, from the list you posted above, I find it rather stunning that someone would actually claim that a gun with a grip safety added would look the same (obviously not), feel the same (hardly), or that it would operate in the same manner (or are you just unaware that the grip safety must be depressed to operate the slide for loading and/or clearing on an XD?). Not to mention that many modern, sit-really-low-in-the-hand designs just don’t have any space in the rear grip area for any additional parts related to a grip safety.

        Finally, if the grip safety is so wonderful and useful and unobtrusive, then I suppose you’ll have no problem listing a number of handguns that have had a grip safety added to an existing successful design. No? How about just listing the guns that have had grip safeties added to an existing design, successful or not? Still no? How about just ONE handgun design that has had a grip safety added to it (not a NEW gun or design, just a grip safety added to an older one)?

        So, let’s see; added complexity, added weight, change in look/feel/operating characteristics, increased potential for malfunctions or operator error, and won’t prevent the vast majority of user-induced accidental/negligent discharges. Yeah, sign me up for that. Not.

  8. [Your humble correspondent carries a 30SF that fires just the same as his bedside Glock 21 and training-for-newbies G19.]

    You have no patrol rifle or shotgun? 😉

    [Know your gun’s safety features
    The cool thing about the Glock safety is that you don’t have to know how it works. It’s point and shoot. Still, this rule certainly applies to anyone who uses a gun with a frame-mounted safety.]

    The rule should be Know your gun. As in safeties, slide stops, magazine releases, slides, triggers, everything that needs manipulation. To the level that you know when it locks open empty by the feel, not because you counted shots or looked.

    And the first rule should be Point the muzzle in a safe direction.

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