On January 26th, 2016, at about 6 p.m., a woman was attacked in a parking garage in Louisville, Kentucky. The man who attacked her had a knife, and demanded “everything you have.” He turned out to be an addict. The attack occurred as the woman was seated in the driver’s seat of her car. She had placed her purse on the passenger seat. Unknown to the assailant, she had a Beretta Tomcat in her purse. From wlky.com:
“And I thought he was going to kill me because he was pushing the knife toward me and before I could talk, my purse was in the passenger seat and he hit me on my left cheek,” the victim said.
The Tomcat is chambered for the .32 ACP round. It’s a handgun sometimes favored by women because it is compact and has a tip-up barrel design that allows it to be loaded without requiring the slide to be pulled back. (Some people have difficulty pulling back the slide on semi-auto pistols.)
The Tomcat is a double action/single action pistol; it can be safely carried with a round in the chamber. The first pull on the trigger both cocks the hammer and releases it. If the first hammer strike does not set off the round in the chamber, another pull on the trigger will result in a second hammer strike. Sometimes a second strike will be sufficient to set off a hard primer. I’ve had it happen, but it is rare. It may have happened in this case. From wlky.com:
Investigators said in January, John Ganobick attempted to rob a woman with a knife.
She shot him, and later told police she thought Ganobick would kill her.
In an emotional interview, the woman said she pulled the trigger to save her life.
“And the first time I pulled, nothing happened. And he put his hand harder on my mouth and shoved the knife towards my face and then I shot again,” the victim said.
That time, the bullet hit its target.
That first shot appears to have hit Ganobick in the neck. The woman is reported to have fired four or five shots. Ganobick was hit twice. Other women who used the garage were interviewed. This was a common response. From wlky.com in January:
While charges are pending against him, many are praising the woman who took control of a scary situation.
“You have to protect yourself, being vulnerable, being a woman, you have to really protect yourself, I felt like it was justified,” said Pam Stiger, who lives in Louisville.
I don’t see many cases where second strike capability is needed and/or worked. Modern ammunition is extremely reliable.
Perhaps it was foreign military 7.65×17, the metric designation for the .32 ACP. I ran some FN military 7.65×17 through a Tomcat that I had, and it worked. Others have said that some of the military 7.65×17 may have hard primers. It might even have been a handload. If the primer is not completely seated, the first strike will sometimes seat the primer, allowing the second strike to fire it.
Is second strike capability something you look for in a handgun?
©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included. Gun Watch