Daily Digest: Gripless Pistols Edition


The headline reads “Officer’s gun fires during arrest of Big Lots suspect” and leads off with “A police officer’s gun went off during a dangerous encounter,” so this was originally going to be yet another post about passive-voice, responsibility-free reporting of gun incidents. But it turns out in this case, this wasn’t just another example of a cop (or anyone, for that matter) dodging responsibility for their own negligence. It seems that during the arrest of Jason Clark, accused of stabbing someone outside a Big Lots, once officers had him out of the house, under control and handcuffed, 23-year-old Brittany Blenker charged into the mix attempting to prevent the arrest of Clark. She grabbed at an officer’s drawn gun, causing it to fire. The bullet grazed a woman . . .

inside the house, a minor injury for which she refused treatment. Blenker was also arrested at that point, and charged with felony assault, felony reckless endangerment and obstructing government administration. She was also found to have an open warrant for prior aggravated harassment. So see? Sometimes “the gun fired” is really the only way to write the headline.

Pinellas County, Florida schools will have a new, four-legged addition starting next week. A pair of Labrador retrievers, Macy and Roo, will begin making rounds at Pinellas County schools. The dogs are trained specifically to sniff out chemical residue on guns and shell casings, “even ones that haven’t been fired in years.” The dogs will be used at events such as high school football games, and will survey each school at least twice during the academic year. “This is a really proactive and visual way to show that there’s no reason why there should be one gun on campus,” said Superintendent Michael Grego on Wednesday at a press conference. The dogs can even tell the difference between real guns and airsoft or BB guns, which means they won’t panic at the sight of anything vaguely gun-shaped. I think that makes them smarter than your average human.

Silencerco Saker 762. Do want. Note that 140 db (if I recall correctly) is considered ear safe.

According to the Governmental Accountability Office, the Department of Homeland Security cut its spending on ammunition by more than 43% from 2009 to 2013. The GAO reports (pdf) that DHS spent $33.8 million on ammunition in 2009, and that amount fell to just $19.2 million last year. In the same period, the raw number of rounds purchased fell from 133 million to 84 million. According to the report, there are about 70,000 Homeland Security employees who carry firearms, and the need for ammunition is “driven primarily by firearm training and qualification requirements.” Most DHS employees who carry firearms are required to complete qualification programs four times a year. DHS told the GAO that the 159 million rounds currently in inventory would last about 22 months.

Criminals in Senoia, Georgia are celebrating with the news that the Senoia Police Department is switching from the clearly superior .40 S&W round for duty use to the tiny, anemic 9 mm. “Heck, I’ll just stick some cardboard inside my shirt to stop those little things,” one repeat offender was overheard saying. [Not really.] The reason for the switch, according to Senoia Police Chief Jason Edens, is the lack of availability of the .40-caliber round (which makes sense, because all the smart kids want it). “Over the past year we have had serious … difficulties finding .40-caliber ammunition,” said Edens. “We have been experiencing anything from six to eight months lead time” getting their full orders. In addition to the higher availability, Eden points to the advantages of larger magazine capacity and lighter recoil with the 9 mm. Also, “we want to build a firearms program that concentrates on precision and accuracy with the shots, as opposed to just having a big chunk of lead,” Edens said. Sounds like a good goal.

Fireside Chat with Dugan Ashley – The GLOCK-brand GLOCK 17. Perfection.

380 thousandths of an inch. That is all.

I don’t speak revolver at all. It’s on my list to learn, but I haven’t made it there yet. This video reinforces that interest, because I’m a firm believer in go big or go home.

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comments

  1. avatar Rocky says:

    Senoia GA is where AMC’s Walking Dead is filmed. Maybe they decided 9mm is enough to take out the walkers. 🙂

    1. avatar Matt in FL says:

      Really? I didn’t know that. Pretty cool.

      1. avatar CharlesT says:

        Yes, the main street is what they used for all the exterior scenes of Woodbury. They also used some of the surrounding woods and homes for a few scenes. I was there back at Christmas (I have a lot of family that lives in Peachtree City, the next town over). There were a lot of sets and backdrops still in place. I also worked on restoring a circa 1880’s house one block over from the main street when I was in college. Senoia is a small sleepy town with maybe 5000 residents. There is literally like one or two traffic lights within city limits, hardly a crime haven. The city has been used quite a bit in recent years as backdrop for a number of productions because of the authentic small town look and feel. Many of the homes were built before 1900 and are on the National Historic Registry. They only have 13 officers in the department. Given their tiny budget, cheaper ammo makes sense to me.

        1. avatar Loyd says:

          And school used in the beginning of season 2 is the nearby the Newnan High School. Rick’s sheriff uniform is the Coweta County SD’s uniform with slight modifications.

        2. avatar knightofbob says:

          “Senoia is a small sleepy town with maybe 5000 residents. There is literally like one or two traffic lights within city limits, hardly a crime haven.”

          I loathe to depict the towns I’ve lived in as Mayberry, but you’re describing a metropolis compared to some of my former addresses. Residents in four digits? Traffic lights?

  2. avatar Ralph says:

    Switching to 9mm because there’s a shortage of .40 cal? That’s news to me. When nobody had any 9s available, I had no problem getting my 40s. Still don’t.

    Methinks that the Chief just wanted to buy hisself some new guns. Because . . . guns.

    1. avatar Anmut says:

      No you are missing the huge conspiracy here. See actually, the chief and all his officers like the .40 so much that they want to have the department change to 9mm so they can get buy and keep all the old 40 models for themselves. It’s so transparent of them…

    2. avatar Rokurota says:

      Right on, Ralph. Shelves and shelves of glorious .40 I see, not a box of 9×19 there be. Makes we wish I hadn’t sold my .40 in the name of “caliber consolidation.”

      1. avatar michael nieto says:

        I laugh all the way to the range even when I lived in California during the ammo crunch I was still able to shoot my M&P 40

      2. avatar Steve Truffer says:

        Here in central VA, you can buy ammo cans of 1000 9×19 rounds. Walmart has a limit of 5 cans per customer per day.

        1. avatar Rokurota says:

          Where in central Virginia are you? And how much are these cans?

    3. avatar Sixpack70 says:

      Even during the worst of times right after Sandyhook, and living in MA, I could get .40. I think you are right in that the chief wanted new toys to play with.

    4. avatar Tomy Ironmane says:

      Me, I woulda gone to .45ACP. When 9mm and .40S&W wereall screaming off the shelves, you could still find .45ACP.

    5. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      I second Ralph’s comment.

    6. avatar peirsonb says:

      You realize you’re judging the .40’s worth by the fact that no one wants to buy it, right?

      1. avatar A samurai says:

        No, just because there is no 9mm on the shelf where you are does not men demand IS high. It means that sometime, somewhere, demand WAS high. Probably four to six months ago.

        Actually, Retailers have to buy their rounds from manufacturers to sell to the public. So, retailers typically wait until they can get huge lots of ammo to sell, so they can get them for the lowest price per round. This means that when demand changes rapidly, as it always seems to in the firearms industry, it can take months or up to a year for retailers to respond to that demand, depending on their inventory system. Because the firearms market typically involves long lead times and sharp demand fluctuations there tends to be more bullwhipping in the supply chain than other products experience. Then there is also national distribution to consider. Walmart for example, does not just call Remington and order 6 boxes of ammo when the shelf at Walmart X gets empty. Walmart waits until Remington will agree to sell them a huge bulk deal, then that bulk shipment is received back at their home base in Alabama, THEN the Walmart trucks with boxes go out to Walmart X and Y to refill the shelves.

      2. avatar A samurai says:

        Maybe I should have said, “Just because there is lots .40S&W on the shelves where you are does not mean demand for it IS low. I forgot it was other posters talking about 9mm. The shelves take months and months to respond even though demand can change with every TTAG article.

        1. avatar peirsonb says:

          Thank you, I needed a good caliber war this morning 🙂

        2. avatar jwm says:

          Yeah, it’s been so long since our last caliber war that the scars on my ass are starting to heal. Not.

    7. avatar neiowa says:

      HIring copchicks that need a popgun.

  3. avatar MAX PARS says:

    That Dugan Ashley guy is a serious retard!!!!Under what stone did he crawl out from???

    1. avatar Matt in FL says:

      I know you mean that in a good way.

    2. avatar Paladin says:

      Carnik Con is intended for mature audiences with a firm grasp of both fantasy and reality.

      Viewer discretion is advised.

      1. avatar A samurai says:

        Sorry, the humor was lost on me too. I can’t believe he cut up a gen 1 case like that.

  4. avatar Hannibal says:

    The gun still didn’t fire by itself… some idiot licked the trigger.

    I hope if some kid decides to shoot up the school he sneaks a gun in and leaves it in his locker on one of the two days a year the dog is there… because that’s the only way it’s going to do anything but screw with kids who don’t wash their jacket after shooting.

    “we want to build a firearms program that concentrates on precision and accuracy with the shots, as opposed to just having a big chunk of lead,”

    Yeah… seems like having both would be better. “Sure, it’s small, but I know how to use it!” is also a rationalization, along similar lines.

    1. avatar Larry says:

      About those dogs… So when your daughter goes to the range with you before changing into her cheerleader togs for the big game, you can count on her being chewed on and arrested when she shows up at school, or perhaps cavity searched by local PD? I see trouble coming.

      1. avatar Matt in FL says:

        Most detection dogs don’t chew or scratch or even bark. They sit.

        1. avatar Dennis says:

          I thought he was referring to the cops.

    2. avatar A samurai says:

      +!

      “We want to build a shooting program that focuses on accurately placing big chunks of lead.”
      There we go, fixed it.

  5. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

    Welp, Senoia PD just committed group suicide…

    Why don’t they just trade their guns out for French Ticklers?

    Probably be more effective.

    1. avatar CharlesT says:

      There are 13 officers in that town and I can’t remember the last time there was a shooting of any kind in or near Senoia. I don’t know about the availability factor of .40, but when your town is as tiny as that, you have to save money any way you can and 9 mm is cheaper.

      1. avatar Defens says:

        Hey Andy, I got my bullet!

      2. avatar BR549 says:

        I’m still not sold on the 40 cal. As one commenter conveyed in the following blog, he could put three rounds on target using a 9mm, faster than two rounds of a 40 cal. And I would have to agree.

        http://shootersdigest.blogspot.com/2012/03/9mm-vs-40-s.html

      3. avatar Ralph says:

        9 mm is cheaper.

        No, it isn’t. Not anymore.

        1. avatar Werewolf1021 says:

          It is if you buy bulk online…. just not by very much. Maybe 1-2 cents per round difference for decent quality ammo (aka not tula 🙂 )

        2. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

          Everyone talks trash about Tula and all the other Commie stuff, but I’ve never had any issues with them.

          I took a Low Light Defensive Firearm class in ’12 and used Tula 9mm exclusively at the class.

          About 800 total rounds in one day with not one problem. That’s just one example of the good luck I’ve had with the cheap stuff.

    2. avatar JAS says:

      I don’t think it’s a bad idea to switch to the “right” 9mm system. A lot of people find it hard to shoot .40 S&W in Glocks because of the gun’s light weight. A Glock 22 weighs a half a pound less than a Sig 226.

      Statistically, the most effective round seems to be a .35 caliber 125 gr hollow point pill traveling at or in excess of 1300 FPS. There is some speculation that this might be due to the creation of a larger temporary expansion cavity leading to a momentary (or longer) shutdown of CNS function.

      Regardless, 9mm +P, .357 Sig, .357 Magnum all meet that statistical envelope with the right ammunition. My favorite is the .357 Sig

      1. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

        Don’t worry too much about velocities, temporary cavities, or statistics…

        If I cannot protect myself or family with my 9mm, I probably did not lack a different round or caliber, I probably lacked having a rifle handy.

      2. avatar Jacob says:

        Temporary cavitation has been proven to not contribute to a bullet’s effectiveness. That being said, I like the idea of 357 sig, just not the price or availability.

  6. avatar Jandrews says:

    Not sure who’s trolling vs who’s actually caliber masturbators…

    1. avatar Matt in FL says:

      This made me smile.

      Let me introduce you to Poe’s Law: Without a clear indication of the author’s intent, it is difficult or impossible to tell the difference between an expression of sincere extremism and a parody of extremism.

      1. avatar JR says:

        Shoot, and here I was about to get a bunch of links ready to…oh, never mind.

      2. avatar Gyufygy says:

        Do I even need to link Trololol Guy again?

        I laughed, even if you are a damnable heretic for going with the disgusting, profane XDm in .40 rather than the Holy XDm in 9mm.

        1. avatar jsallison says:

          Infidels, infidels all. Only that correctly described as cal. .45 is right and proper in all things. Do no PD’s contract reloaders to lower their ammo costs? I’m sensing an opportunity here…

        2. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

          Probably voiding factory warranties and all that with reloads.
          Almost every caliber is available here. And at reasonable prices.

      3. avatar Marcus Aurelius says:

        One day MDA will announce that it’s all been a performance art piece parodying the anti gun movement. They’ll openly support gun rights. That will seriously jeopardize the movement.

    2. avatar peirsonb says:

      For the record, I could care less. But trolling for caliber masturbators is ALWAYS a good time. 🙂

  7. avatar jwm says:

    You really need to learn revolver. Autos are fine and have their place. But for fun and when you want a truly powerfull handgun the revolver is the way to go. My first .44 mag was a Ruger Super Blackhawk. Back in the day when it was the most powerfull handgun in the world and would blow your head clean off. Well, punk, do you feel lucky?

    1. avatar JR says:

      And then you graduate to real masochism and start shooting rifle calibers in handguns. I’m itching for a 30-30 Win Contender. A friend of mine had a Contender in 45-70 Govt and I said, “No Thanks.”

      One thing I REALLY like about .44 Mag, though…it’s fun in handguns but performs very nicely in carbines, too. Had a another friend that liked deer hunting with a Marlin lever action in .44 Mag, and man…worked quite well.

      As for speaking revolver…I agree. Well worth the effort. Nothing like popping 2L bottles at 250 yards with a 6″ .357 Mag to make those guys shooting rifles at 50 yards to stand up and take notice.

      1. avatar knightofbob says:

        I’m holding out for an Encore, personally. If you’re going to go big, go BIG.

      2. avatar Nathanredbeard says:

        Pics or it didn’t happen…

        1. avatar Larry says:

          Sorry, no pics, but I used to pop 12 oz soda cans 2 times out of 3 with a 4″ Colt Python .357 at 100 yards. My bud did the same with a 4″ S&W .41 mag. That pretty much equates to 2-liter at 250 yards, but we didn’t HAVE 250 yards!

    2. avatar Gyufygy says:

      I had a hankering for a S&W .44 Mag someday, but that Ruger was pretty nice, too. Plus, having the option of breaking my wrist and my nose all at once with the ridiculous loads the Ruger will handle is attractive in a masochistic sort of way.

    3. avatar knightofbob says:

      Growing up, the first handgun I fired larger than .177 smoothbore was my dad’s Model 28. I would have been about nine or ten at the time. We were living in the middle of nowhere, with no cable, and the internet didn’t exist yet, going out back and shooting was just a thing you did after lunch on the weekends. I grew to see full power .357 and 12 GA as “normal.” I was in my teens before I started to enjoy .22 for what it is, and in my twenties before I ever fire a handgun weaker than .38SP +P.

      When it came time for me to buy my first handgun, I picked up a Glock 29 SF. I don’t regret it at all, I love that gun. I was buying it to be an all-around pistol, knowing full well such an animal doesn’t exist, but seeing it as a good compromise. Admitted personal biases: I don’t trust 9mm as a defensive round, I see recoil as one of the more pleasurable aspects of shooting, and I hate grip safeties with the fury of a thousand dying suns. That said, if I can scrape the money together, there is a space reserved in my safe (and heart) for a .454 Super Redhawk. There might even be a spot for a police trade in model 10, if the price is right.

      1. avatar jwm says:

        K of B. The model 10 should be in every gun owners safe. It’s a basic, no frills gun that works way beyond its price point. If there’s someone in your circle that’s a non gun person the mod 10 is the perfect gun to give them in an emergency and it’s near perfection for training noobs.

        You can probably tell, I’m a fan of k frames. Hoping the new mod 66 makes it to CA.

    4. avatar Ardent says:

      Since they’re basically on the set of the Walking Dead maybe they should all have Pythons.

  8. avatar Model66 says:

    So…the dogs can smell residue on a recently (years) fired gun. Won’t these dogs be handled by officers that….wait for it…..carry GUNS!? The dogs will just freak out and pee in the corner.

    And then the teachers will freak out and pee in the corner.

    and then the parents will……

    1. avatar jwm says:

      Avoid the corners! At all costs!

    2. avatar Paladin says:

      I foresee a significant increase in job security for Pinellas County school janitors.

      1. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

        Confuse them. Make the rooms round.

    3. avatar Ardent says:

      If the dogs are that good then they are too good for the real world. That is, if it indicates on a concealed gun that hasn’t been fired in years then it will indicate on coats, gloves, hats and shoes (things that don’t get washed much or ever) constantly.

      Experimentally I’d like to see what they make of my belts, since I don’t own one that hasn’t been used to support a holster.

      Also, couldn’t they be defeated by carrying a new gun that has never been fired or a gun that has been cleaned insanely? If so, they still can’t guarantee that no one is carrying.

      Either they are too insensitive to locate guns reliably or they have to be very prone to false positives.

      1. avatar A samurai says:

        You are completely correct. What you forgot is, you and I see false positives as a bad thing. The school board does not. In the name of the children’s safety its not innocent until proven guilty, its guilty until proven innocent. They don’t see any problem with having some kid arrested and his life ruined over a empty casing lost in the bottom of a bag from the range or a belt or coat with residue on it from perfectly legal activities. ITS FOR THE CHILDREN DAMMIT! so what if we have to ‘break a few eggs’ by ruining innocent peoples’ lives and creating a culture of fear and suspicion?

      2. avatar A samurai says:

        I forgot one thing myself. Here in Florida. Coats, hats, gloves, and (arguably) shoes are things people don’t often wear at all more or less to and from the gun range. So, the residue on clothing is probably less likely unless you wear the same shirt to the range and class or you don’t wash your hands and come straight from the range to class. Not trying to debunk you, just pointing out. I’d be more worried about an innocently lost spent case. I have seen them work their way into some strange places.

        1. avatar Ardent says:

          I was admittedly thinking more about Ohio than Florida because dumb can spread fast. On the casing thing, I have found them in the darnedest places; pockets, cuffs, top of my hat, and in more nooks and crannies inside and out of my vehicles than I can describe or recall even.

    4. avatar Ralph says:

      Nobody puts Baby in the corner.

      1. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

        I made that reference the other day and no one in the room got it.

        Made me feel old… And kind of homo.

  9. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

    Seeing as you can buy about a third more rounds of the practice ammo in 9mm than you can in .40, and the reputation police have for proficiency with their weapons (or lack thereof), I’d say they all should be packing 9mm and they should use the savings to spend more time at the range.

    It’s downright eerie how accurate my .44 Blackhawk is. I’m by no means an expert marksman, and I have very little time shooting heavy recoiling pistols, but shooting at silhouettes at 50 yards from an unsupported weaver stance I can make head shots every time. I’d have a hard time doing better with an open sighted rifle. I don’t know about shooting .44s ‘all day’ though. I usually run 4 or 5 cylinders through and look for something a little softer to shoot. The Redhawks have been changed somewhat significantly. They now all have rubber grips and the rear scope mount attaches to the top-strap and the frame extends out around the barrel for a couple of inches with the front mount attaching to the frame. Looks even beefier.

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      you can buy about a third more rounds of the practice ammo in 9mm than you can in .40

      Maybe where you live, but in these here United States of America, 40 is available and cheap while 9 is unavailable and expensive.

      1. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

        Walmart here has been keeping Winchester white box 100 round value packs for (I think) $26.50 on the shelves. Used to be $2 cheaper. Anyway, present shortage notwithstanding, 9mm will always be cheaper than .40. Of course .22LR will always be cheaper than both, so you probably do have a point.

    2. avatar JR says:

      Push that .44 out to 100+ yards. It’s a tremendous lot of fun shooting a handgun at “rifle” ranges. Have a good spotter to help you get the holdover in a couple of shots, and you are good to go.

      1. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

        I will. The only reason I haven’t yet is because it’s been to damn cold to go shooting.

  10. avatar lolinski says:

    140 db is the limit (140 and higher causes ear damage). This applies to impulse sounds.

    1. avatar Dan says:

      Not only that, the supersonic crack of the projectile alone is near 160db. Even if the muzzle blast was totally silenced to 0db, the projectile would still be well above OSHA limits.

      there’s no way to silence a supersonic projectile after it’s left the gun. supersonic is supersonic.

    2. avatar dlj95118 says:

      …careful, anything above 90dB can cause hearing loss. Check page 7 of the following presentation from Shure at MIT:

      http://web.mit.edu/cohengroup/safety/hearing101409.pdf

      Ear protection is paramount any time one shoots a firearm.

      1. avatar lolinski says:

        The sonic crack varies due to bullet diameter. The sonic crack is usually 135 db, not comfy but your ears wont ring if you shoot a suppressed rifle with supersonic ammo (wouldn’t recommend it for us with sensitive ears). You can see this when people measure suppressor effectiveness, a 5.56 suppressed rifle is usually around 135 db. With subsonic ammo it is usually around 115-120.

        The 90 db applies to continuous sound, like a jackhammer or engine. Impulse sounds like gunshots have a treshold of 140. Still, it isn’t a good idea to shoot too much.

        1. avatar Dan says:

          ringing is a terrible threshold to use for hearing “safety”. ringing ears is absolute certainty that permanent damage has occurred, but lack of ringing is not proof that permanent damage has not occurred.

        2. avatar lolinski says:

          Tell me about it, there is a reason I rarely shoot without plugs and muffs (+ a suppressor if I can),

  11. avatar peirsonb says:

    I’m a firm believer in go big or go home

    And yet, .40 S&W……

    1. avatar lolinski says:

      I expected the .40 to be a backup to the Deagle, sadly not. I don’t really understand what is so good about .40 SW, I tried it and didn’t like it (snappy, low capacity compared to 9mm and it is in the same power class).

  12. avatar Larry says:

    Naw, subsonic .300 BLK 220 g is not harmful indoor or out with a good suppressor. OOoops, I mean to your hearing, I still don’t wish to be hit by it!

  13. avatar dxbandit says:

    I would like to point out that the Coast Guard falls under DHS, and they use a LOT of ammo for LE

  14. avatar Gregolas says:

    Poor Macy and Roo. Because their school system doesn’t have a sensible, armed guard and/or teacher policy, when the next Adam Lanza strides into their school, the last thought to go through their loyal canine brains wins will be, “I KNEW it!”.

  15. avatar neiowa says:

    70,000 Homeland Security employees who carry firearms

    Significantly more than the number of infantrymen in the Obuma military.

    1. avatar jwm says:

      A bunch of barry’s pistol packing puds vs. the US military. Barry ain’t stupid enough to want to take that epic ass whipping.

  16. Everyone who is a student of the gun simply must experience the thrill of shooting a big old wheel gun. It’s just fun and is sure to put a smile on your face, unless of course you didn’t grip it right, and then in that case, it will put a cast on your wrist after you break it.

    Seriously….it is awesome.

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