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Writing for the steadfastly anti-gun, Bob Owens of reckons police shouldn’t carry GLOCKs. In the grand tradition of such things, he begins with anecdotes. “Timothy Stansbury died in a New York housing project stairwell in 2004 because he startled a police officer. The officer’s surprise at encountering Stansbury caused the officer’s hand to clench and his weapon to fire. The death was ruled accidental by a grand jury, though the officer was later stripped of his gun for the remainder of his career.” Uh, maybe the officer’s finger shouldn’t have been on the trigger? Bob’s anti-“handgun with no external safety and a short trigger pull” rant’s got an answer for that one . . .

If a law enforcement officer, soldier or citizen does exactly what they are supposed to do all of the time with cyborg certainty, there will be no problems with the Glock or other popular pistols mimicking its basic design. Unfortunately, “RoboCop” is only a movie, and humans are liable to make similar mistakes over and over again.

The underlying problem with these pistols is a short trigger pull and the lack of an external safety. In real-world encounters, a short trigger pull can be lethal, in part because a significant percentage of law enforcement officers — some experts say as high as 20% — put their finger on the trigger of their weapons when under stress. According to firearms trainers, most officers are completely unaware of their tendency to do this and have a hard time believing it, even when they’re shown video evidence from training exercises.

I have no cause to doubt Bob’s contention that 20 percent of police officers – or more – subconsciously “register” their gun’s trigger with their trigger finger during a crisis. But his editorial fails to address the critical question: can training reduce or eliminate that number? Because we all know that police training really, really sucks. (If you don’t, click here.)

And then there’s another issue: would a handgun with a longer and presumably harder trigger pull and an external safety be any safer than a standard-issue GLOCK? Because we all know that handguns with really a hard trigger pull – like the GLOCKs issued to the NYPD – dangerously decrease officer accuracy. (If you don’t think so, click here and here.) Bob skates over that one.

Though short trigger-pull guns dominate the law enforcement market, they aren’t the only game in town. A number of major and minor agencies use guns with much longer double-action triggers that are just as easy to fire deliberately but that are much harder to fire accidentally. The half-inch difference of trigger travel may not sound like much, but it can be the difference between life and death.

That’s a heck of a statement: guns with a longer double-action trigger pull are “just as easy to fire deliberately” as a standard issue GLOCK. Again, it’s not only a matter of deliberate fire, but accurate fire.

By the same token, if officers can’t remember to keep their finger off a gun’s trigger in a crisis, will they remember to switch off the external safety? That little mistake could also be the difference between life and death.

We’ll continue to see more Timothy Stansburys, more Akai Gurleys and more Jared Forsyths until law enforcement agencies and city governments quit listening to hype about how wonderful these systems are from the companies selling the weapons, and start caring more about the lives of their officers and citizens.

Payouts to settle lawsuits over accidental shootings with these weapons have cost cities millions of dollars. Washington, D.C., for instance, paid out $1.4 million in a single six-month period in 1998. And the casualties and lawsuits keep mounting.

I’m amazed that an experienced and respected gun blogger like Bob Owens would blame a gun for an officer’s negligent discharge, and insinuate that police departments are providing cops with inherently defective guns. And if you accept his premise that GLOCKs are just too dangerous for cops to carry, they’re too dangerous for civilians, too.

While I understand his desire to prevent bad shoots and his appreciate his hard work and writing talent, this is a great landing at the wrong airport. [h/t TT]

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  1. He also didn’t address that the NYPD has a ~12 pound DAO trigger pull required on duty weapons— that was supposed to be a mechanical means for making this far less likely to occur.

    If this NYPD officer pulled against a 12 pound DAO trigger due to being startled, I don’t think the fact it happened to be a Glock made a damn bit of difference.

    • Yup. The only difference is if you were to require the use of a external safety at all times except at the moment of firing… which isn’t very practical.

      If you put your finger on the trigger and then pull it it’s your fault.

    • Was that 12 lb trigger a requirement in 2004? Because that does seem unlikely.

      • did anyone else note that the 12lb trigger pull is what is required to fire a service revolver? the type weapon in use for NYPD before they got fancy guns? wonder what the accuracy problem was like then.

      • Larry,
        I believe that the 12 lb trigger requirement has been around since the early 90’s because the officers were having problems with NDs shooting themselves and perps. I personally believe it was because they received poor training during the transition from DA .38 cal revolvers. Probably no active NYC Cop still on duty that remembers the old revolvers.

    • I think NYPD should carry 3″ stainless revolvers in .38 SPL. With one round in the shirt pocket and two speed loaders in the car trunk.

      That said, the real problem with the NY trigger is NY cops who try to maintain 10# on the trigger whenever the gun is drawn so they can fire it with a little extra pressure.

    • Sounds like the guy was really scared and already had a fair amount of pressure on the trigger.

  2. If you cant safely use and carry a Glock you shouldn’t be a police officer, you should be enrolled in a basic safety class

  3. I don’t agree with everything he says, but there are legitimate points there. People say “the only safety you need is the one between your ears” but that’s just not true. Human beings are human, and make human errors. Increase the stress and you increase the likelihood of those errors. A gun with a lower trigger pull weight, shorter travel distance, and no external safety gives the smallest possible margin for error.

    As far as external safeties, I understand the concern about remembering to flip it off but has there ever been a documented case of an officer whose gun didn’t fire and it was confirmed the safety was still on?

    • +1 According to WIkipedia, the Harrier had an accident rate 3x that of the F/A18, yet the number one cause of accidents was pilot error. So were Hornet pilots 3x better than Harrier pilots? Maybe they should have transferred some of them.

      • Of course not. The Harrier was simply a much more complicated and unforgiving aircraft to fly safely – and most of those accidents occured during the transition between forward flight and hovering, and vice versa – something that an F/A-18 can’t do. The accident rate for Harriers was later reduced by only letting experienced pilots become Harrier pilots.

        • I haven’t followed all the different military maneuvers for a while, but last time I looked, only Marines flew Harriers, and that was about all they flew. So how do you get experience before being assigned to a Harrier? Do they put Marines in F-18s now, for experience?

        • The Marines fly a lot of different birds, including the FA-18 and the Harrier. Been flying them for a long time now.

      • That’s not a very good comparison.

        Harriers are comparatively more complex to fly and harder to land. their mission profiles require NOE flying close to obstacles, and fighting in the dirt compared to Hornets that are only below the cloud cover when it’s time to take off or land. It’s hard to have an accident when there’s nothing to hit more solid than an uppity cumulus.

        • And as you can probably guess, hitting something qualifies as “pilot error”.

      • Aside from pilot training issues, you’re comparing a V/STOL versus a CTOL aircraft that also flies off of CVNs, a single versus a twin-engine aircraft, a subsonic ground pounder versus a supersonic jack-of-all-trades fighter, and an aircraft with a mostly mechanical flight control system versus one with programmable fly-by wire. Apples versus bananas. Once the Harrier’s miserable single-string flap control system was replaced with a digital one and the Pegasus engine was improved, its accident rate got a bit better. Also most of the Harrier’s design dates back to the 1960s.

      • following the drumbeat….if you train properly, enough, you can eliminate all possibility of ND. if you always, everytime, under all conditions, follow the 4RULES, you can eliminate all possibility of ND. if humans are prone to human error, we can eliminate that propensity through proper training and following the 4RULES…and eliminate all possibility of ND. human error is a condition that needs to be eradicated. we can’t have humans acting like humans, if they are under stress or not.

    • Yes, there have been documented cases where an activated safety prevented someone from shooting in a firefight. I was at one. It wasn’t me, but it did happen to someone I’ve known for 14 years.

  4. This also seems to assume that he wouldn’t have turned off the safety. If he registered the trigger than he almost certainly would have turned off the safety too.

    • Yes. The type of dumbass to go around with his gun in his hand and a finger on the trigger jumping at every noise is the same type of dumbass who would have disengaged the safety the moment he drew his weapon just so he’d be “ready.”

      Idiots still OD even with child-proof caps on bottles. Morons still get their fingers chopped off in the garbage dispose-all. And every damn year a crapload of people kill themselves running generators indoors, painting with poor ventilation and even using a grill in the house.

      No amount of warnings, regulations or safety barriers will ever prevent an idiot from being an idiot.

      • I knew a guy that cut his finger off reaching under the deck of a lawn mower because the blades on this particular mower continued spinning after the engine was shut down. He screamed and when somebody asked what happened, he showed them and cut off another finger.

        • Michael, I knew a guy over 40 years ago that did that with a hedge trimmer. With the difference that he went to the hospital and was treated for the first amputation before he returned home and showed a friend how he did it, costing him another finger. This guy was a college grad, and Air Force officer and an instructor pilot in USAF pilot training. Which, of course, went away after these escapades, discharge city.

        • Gee, Larry.

          The guy asked him how he did it, and being a good instructor he demonstrated the maneuver *exactly*…

          I’m having a problem feeling bad for the guy.

          And he earned a permanent reminder of his dumb-ass-ery…


      • In a significant amount of training, removing the safety is practiced as a part of the draw. I don’t think external manual safeties will make a significant difference in the type of shootings the article is discussing.

      • Sorry, any officer with any type of realistic weapons training will tell you that the safety is the trigger. Don’t pull it and it won’t go bang. The safety on any pistol, don’t care about brand, model, whatever, as soon as it’s pulled from the holster, the safety goes off. It goes back on as you holster. Only reason that weapon is drawn is in lethal force instances and your not going to keep the safety on in that situation. The range officers should decimate any officer that has their finger inside that trigger guard prior to wanting to put rounds down range. Continued training and action up to taking their weapon away and sitting them at a desk till they either pass or termination if thats warranted.

  5. I like my sig, fairly deliberate double action trigger pull for the first round, shorter lighter more accurate single action pull for the following rounds.

    • Exactly why I love my CZ 75 Compact D. No forgetting of safety when you have de-cocker. No unintentional shot with DA. No problem to put the hammer back for SA if I want to.

    • I used to hate DA/SA because of the invariably crap SA pull , but I’m certainly coming around to the idea it might be the best compromise between strikers and external safeties for a duty weapon that is rarely used outside of qualification.

    • The Pennsylvania State Police are dumping their Glocks and going to the SIG DA/SA. They’ve had too many unintended discharges with the Glock.

      Just because cops carry a gun doesn’t make them gun experts. I’ve seen a cop fumble with a Colt 1911 he took off a suspect unable to retract the slide to check the chamber. He gave up and handed it to his partner who had sense enough to disengage the thumb safety and eject the live round.

  6. I happened to be looking at the LA times website today and saw that. I assumed that to get published there he must be a FUDD but his site seems to be pretty strongly pro-rights. Personally do not and would not carry a Glock brand Glock, and in the absence of a massive increase in realistic training, I am not so sure that the cops should either. It seems like most of the time when a cop gets shot it is either an ambush or a breakdown of the OODA loop on the cop’s part. In neither of those scenarios does having a short, single action (or “striker fired” if you prefer) gun with no external safety really help.

    • I have been checking in on Bearing Arms long before I found TTAG. Most of Owens’ articles leave me shaking my head. At least the ones that are not so grammatically deficient that they are incomprehensible.

      • I agree about Bob. Reminds me of Bill O’Reilly, yes he makes some valid points, but there is an infallibility complex. “My way, and “My” opinion are as it needs to be.”
        Those of you that think outside “My” bubble are simply,,,,well,,,, just wrong.
        They never have a change of perspective, or a “that’s a good point I wasn’t aware of” moment.

        I could throw Obama in there as a valid comparison also, but I digress.

        P.S. What was that movie?
        “What About Bob?”
        Good analogy. Great landing, wrong airport. Will have to remember that one.

  7. ++++ Bob Owens. Handguns are inherently dangerous, Glocks and clones more so. Locked, then cocked greatly reduces NDs. There is a reason revolvers are DA first (like it or not, billions sold…ok, overstatement.). There is a huge diff between cops and civies: civilian SD with a gun should be last resort. Don’t most gun owners practice much more than cops? Shouldn’t we be more proficient with less sensitive triggers?

    • “there is a huge diff between cops and civies: civilian SD with a gun should be last resort.”
      What is the difference here?

      Also, cops are civilians. In the army, I could, and did, kill people that were not an immediate threat to me. Cops should never be allowed that level of authority.

      • Thinking that for cops, SD is not a last resort because they should be “running to the guns”, while civvies should be fleeing from the guns. Civvies should have some inhibits to firing due to stress induced malfunctions of the brain and/or fine motor skills. On the other hand, because cops have less training, they should also have some resistance in their firearms to prevent the same thing. My take was that just because civvies like light triggers and short pulls doesn’t mean it is a good thing to have when they should first be vacating the scene.

        In short, pulling the trigger on a firearm should require a completely voluntary, deliberate and conscious act, not a flinch.

  8. If you can’t handle the built in safety of a Glock, you have no business of being anywhere a gun or in law enforcement.

  9. An “extra half-inch” trigger pull? Using my thumb from knuckle to tip as an inch, I estimate the entire length of the trigger pull on my P-64 is only about a half-inch. I gather this guy actually knows about guns, but his “length of trigger pull” stuff sounds a lot like Shannon talking about ” ten rounds per minute”. Am I missing something?

      • Well, the nit picking in me calls striker-fired pistols “safe action” because DAO’s reset themselves when the trigger is pulled where a striker fired handgun needs the slide cycled to reset the trigger. Further, DA/SA’s & DAO’s are usually heavier than the 5 – 7 lbs (ish) for the average striker fired. For example, my 92f is somewhere around the 12+ lbs range for the DA pull. I don’t want to start some sort of off topic debate. That’s just how I see it. My attempt at humor was meant to say that the NYPD might as well be issuing DAO revolvers again.

  10. Complicated issue, both sides have valid points and I’m not enough of an expert to weigh in. I do think it is good that we in the armed community, civilian and law enforcement, be willing to discuss important issues like this. We need to ‘police’ ourselves so that after thoughtful, passionate debate, we can use best practices. Lets not give the gun haters any unnecessary ‘ammo’ to use against us and lets show to the undecided in this country, that we are serious about this matter, we are always willing to improve what we do and why, and that we can be trusted, unlike those lying gun grabbers.

  11. I’m a police officer in Austria. We carry Glocks. The Glock pistol is not the problem, the users are the problem, just like with any other tool.

    • And I’ll bet you’ve never shot any people-or a dog. Amazing how many American cops are trigger-happy…BTW I am a fan of manuel safeties.

  12. I read that article earlier today and found it unconvincing. But first …

    During my thirty year career I started out carrying revolvers and ended up with a Glock 22–which at the time I thought was the bee’s roller skates. In between I carried a variety of Smiths and had some exposure to Sigs.

    I’m not a Glock fanboy, but I fully understand why people like them. For now, I choose Springfields and would recommend them to Newbies as somewhat more secure. Not safer per se, but perhaps more likely to save one from negligent discharges in two situations: holstering, and field stripping.

    Two points: 1) any time a LEO draws his weapon, in the nature of things he should have the safety off–if his gun is equipped with one. Why would you draw your weapon and leave the safety on? If you do, can you articulate a reason for drawing the weapon in the first place? And at that point, how is a gun with a safety safer than a gun without one?

    2) My recollection is that LEO’s are trained to “keep firing until the threat ceases to be a threat.” That concept begins with double taps–at a minimum. Given that kind of training, whatever you may think of it, how does that heavy and/or long first trigger pull help the victim of a mistaken police shooting? He’s likely to collect several holes, not just one. By Owen’s line of argumentation, and given that striker fired pistols typically have a somewhat heavier trigger pull than the single action mode of other types of pistols, wouldn’t that mean that striker fired pistols are at least arguably more forgiving of mistakes? I can tell you from experience that during mixed brand close combat training exercises people with Sig 226s did NOT empty their mags slower than I did with my Glock 22. And once the adrenaline starts flowing the likelihood of firing to lockback is very high.

    All that said, I’d be fascinated to see real, hard stats on negligent discharges. Until someone convinces me otherwise I’ll remain convinced that the most common types involve holstering and disassembling.

    • “Until someone convinces me otherwise I’ll remain convinced that the most common types involve holstering and disassembling.”

      Boy, I’ll agree with that. I’ve been stopped several times while armed, and in Texas we have the “DTI”, duty to inform. Every time but one, the cop has had something cute to say, to put me at ease, we just go on about our business. The one other time, the cop insists on fishing around in my pants pocket (!) while I am spread eagled against my truck, retrieving my LCP, then proceeding to attempt to unload it without any knowledge of how a firearm works, or any respect for the 4 rules. After the third or fourth time he muzzled me while screwing with it, I couldn’t take any more and yelled at him, at which time he wanted to talk about my language, and about officer safety. I finally got him to turn around so he was between me and my gun, so he would have to shoot himself to get to me. All about an expired inspection sticker, no mass murder or bank robbery.

      If he just left my gun in my pocket, it would never “go off”, we would all “be safe”, and if he just held it until he finished abusing his authority, instead of screwing with it, our safety and the safety of those around us in the parking lot would have been enhanced significantly.

      • If she just left my gun in my pocket, it would never “go off”, we would all “be safe”, Sounds like my Wife.

    • I carry a GLOCK 19 and I am very aware of the “problems” with take down and holstering. For this reason I am asking all GLOCK owners to follow this rule:
      Rather than try to be perfectly safe 10,000 times, be perfectly safe each time then repeat the process each time.
      “I know what I’m doing. I’ve done it a thousand times” is an attitude for disaster. Just do it right this time. Then do it right the next “this time”.
      Take down: Remove magazine, lock slide back, verify empty chamber by sight as well as tactile check. Do not set gun down or do anything else. While looking through the port all the way through the empty mag well, rack the slide, point gun in least harmless direction and break the trigger. Do not set the gun down or do anything else. Doing so will require the process to begin again. Take pistol out of battery and pull the take down tabs and release slide. Do this EACH time, not every time. You can only say “every time” when your GLOCK days are over. For now it is “each time”.
      Same with holstering. Each time, make sure nothing is in the way of a clear path into the holster. Even if you have a pullover that has draw strings, you can and you must pull all outerwear up and away from the holster and hold it out of the way and if you need to tactile check that your holster is free and clear, then do it. Each time.

      • Or you could buy a Smith or Ruger, and push down the lever in the ejection port so you never have to pull the trigger.

  13. As had been pointed out, I’m sure, this wasn’t an ND in the holster. This was a cop who drew a gun because he felt there might be something in front of him what needed shooting. Is it not safe to assume that, having gone through the process (drawing) to make the gun ready to shoot, he would have also disengaged any manual safeties? Why wouldn’t he do that? You can’t say “because we’d train them not to”, since we’ve already established that nobody is perfect and they put their fingers on triggers, just like we train them to not do.

    So, what particular type or model of gun – once drawn from the holster (because one thinks one might need to shoot it), with the safety off (because why would you draw the gun but NOT want to be READY to shoot it), and with a finger placed on the trigger (because apparently everybody does that and no training can’t fix it because of robots or something) would be “safe” against a startle reflex and said finger pulling said trigger?

    • Just quickly, since I am not an expert in wide varieties of guns, I’ll say that essentially every model of Sig Sauer pistols would pass your arbitrary test, would you like to try again?

  14. When Glocks first arrived on the scene most every cop was used to a revolver. Thats why so many cops in NYC and other places where shooting themselves in the locker room and suspects on the street. Now that police are started day one on Glocks the trigger has proven to be a menace to the public. Often times when the NYPD starts shooting the safest place is in front of the perp.

    • NYC cops are not proficient. Their qualification is a joke. The 18lb NY trigger elevates them from simply bad to terrible.

  15. Bob Owens should do a little studying on the Law Of Unintended Consequences. Give someone a gun with a long double action trigger? They quickly find out they can’t hit sh*t with the thing. What do you do under stress if you are afraid you can’t shoot your gun straight? Shoot more times. Long double action triggers increase the chances that an officer will miss his target and hit an innocent person instead.

    And another thing. Are police officers taught what we are taught in concealed carry classes? That is, don’t draw your weapon unless you intend to fire it? Perhaps the mistake the officer in question made was in drawing his weapon in the first place.

    • “And another thing. Are police officers taught what we are taught in concealed carry classes? That is, don’t draw your weapon unless you intend to fire it? Perhaps the mistake the officer in question made was in drawing his weapon in the first place.”

      There is a difference – cops are supposed to move towards trouble and danger – we’re supposed to move away from it, or at least wait for it to come to us. So unholstering is warranted when moving into what you believe is a dangerous situation.

    • Interesting thing about my Sig P229, I found that my first shot (DA) was generally closer to the “X” than subsequent (SA) shots. I have no idea why, and it makes no sense to me. but that’s the way it was.

  16. “the lack of an external safety.”

    Carry a HK P8 in ther german military and you guys know how often I use the safety lever…
    Very often, all the time, well cause the safety lever is also the de-cocker.

    But puttin the safety on the gun… Never,

    • I did not buy the FNX 45 as a defensive hand gun because of the safety is the de-cocker “feature”. Under stress, you draw your gun which is cocked and locked. You flip the safety off but oops? Too far, now you have just de-cocked the gun. Why not just go DA only? Why not carry a Glock and not worry about any other buttons except the one that makes it go boom!

  17. I must be missing something here. From what I have read, the officer was pointing his weapon at something he did not identify as an immediate and lethal threat. It seems that he was literraly pointing his gun into darkness, then shot when he got scared.
    Is this proper proceedure, anywhere?
    I’m serious. I have to be missing something, because there is no way this has anything to do with weapon type.

  18. How many “unsafe” Glock pistols does bob own? He sounds like AL Gore a hypocrite who says to give up your car while he keeps his cars and private jets. Bob says give up your Glock while he keeps his Glock collection.

  19. No matter what you do to the gun to make it safer, LEOs need more training. Not just at the academy, but continually. There must be repetition throughout their careers. Does anyone here think they were safe gun operators their first few weeks of shooting? How often did you put your finger on the trigger when you weren’t pulling the triiger? How long did it take to consistently not move the muzzle in the wrong direction?

    Now, how well would you retain your trigger discipline if you only shot once or twice a year at certification? Throw in an actual stress filled encounter. Even if they have force on force training, they never face a real situation during training and so have no real idea how they will behave. Just like most of us.

    The answer isn’t easy. NY City has 40,000 LEOs, most of whom may never draw their gun for real – ever. Imagine the time and cost of proper training. They all need to shoot a few times per month to keep proper muscle memory for trigger discipline. I wonder if the police union would agree that officers need to shoot often at a range, but shouldn’t be paid for it?

    Now let’s throw in that the people making the descisions about all this may have never shot a gun in their life, but instead are using “common sense” rather than experience.

    Depressed yet?

  20. I have a glock theory.

    Person walks into the LGS who couldn’t tell you the difference between a shotgun and a rifle points at a Jimenez or Raven and says “show me that glock”. Resident glock fanboy/mall ninja/gun counter commando says “that’s not a glock let me show you a real glock brand glock, because you NEED a real glock “. Two weeks later a negligent discharge from an “unsafe” glock makes the news and everyone says it’s the fault of that unsafe gun.

    Anyone know which gun had the record for most negligent discharges before the 80’s, because I heard it was the 1911 (something about fingers being on triggers when the safeties were being disengaged).

    One last thought about guns with manual safeties, I was always taught to never ever ever ever trust a mechanical safety because mechanical safeties can fail. The only 100% reliable all the time anytime safety is to follow the four rules.

  21. we all know that handguns with really a hard trigger pull – like the GLOCKs issued to the NYPD – dangerously decrease officer accuracy.

    The links cited to support this didn’t mention trigger pull that I saw; my speed reading could have missed it. A Glock armorer installed the NY-1 trigger in my model 30. It is stiff but still short to pull. My training experience has me shooting ‘minute of bad guy’ with this pistol.

    It’s not my 1911 bullseye pistol trigger but then neither is it a bullseye gun.

  22. Keep your stinking finger off of the trigger until you’re ready to destroy someone or something! A simple rule to follow. That goes with every pistol made.

  23. This all boils down to a matter of process. Choose a manual of arms, then commit to training appropriately for it.

    All ND events (and any subsequent injuries) can be avoided by following the four laws of firearms safety. Always approach firearms handling with purpose, don’t jack around with your gun out of habit.

  24. This dipstick got savaged in the comments at LA Times. He’s pandering to somebody, who it is one can only conjecture. 1) Dude, finger off trigger. 2) Cops in these big cities are woefully undertrained by modern standards. And 3) the growing number of self-appointed firearms “experts” with websites is starting to sink us. This is the kind of nonsense we get….

  25. that police departments are providing cops with inherently defective officers.

  26. Bob Owens claims to carry a Walther PPQ as his EDC. Not saying anything negative about the PPQ, but how is the Glock more dangerous.

  27. Bob is a writer. He is entitled to his opinion. Just like RF.

    You know what they say about opinions.

  28. Owens may have his own firearm’s radio show but that does not qualify him as an expert. I have found the first so called expert about firearms that I disregard is the guy behind the gun counter.

    The bottom line is the four basic safety rule apply off the range as they do on. You can violate one rule and not have a tragedy. In every firearms tragedy two rules where violated, not just one.

  29. I for one would like to see stats on accident rates regarding moves by police departments from Glocks to Sig DA/SA guns, and vice versa.

    I think safeties on handguns can get one killed in a DGU situation, fumbling around for it. I hate them.

    Don’t buy the longer first pull decreases accuracy BS. If true, then the secret service navy SEALS FBI fighter pilots and even the folks on NCIS, plus thousands of police departments must be missing the boat with their Sigs. Right?

    • Its called TRAINING. Force the officers to practice firing DA every round at the range. The natural bio-mechanics of squeezing a long hard trigger makes people have a natural tendency to pull off and to the right. Only training will overcome that.

  30. In the standard duty holster, there is nothing wrong with a glock. Are they “less safe”? absolutely but the statistical difference when you factor in a duty holster is negligable.

  31. My response that I just posted to the original article:

    Mr. Owens, in reading your blog and this article, I noticed that you are a proud Gunsite graduate, and use same to lend authority and credibility to your pontifications on the subject of defensive handguns and shooting – so, I got to wondering which pistol you used for Gunsite 250?

    Oh, a Walther PPQ – ummmm, that looks a lot like one of those “unforgiving” polymer-frame, striker-fired pistols with a short trigger pull and no external safeties…

    Wonder what the trigger’s like on that pistol?

    “Quick Defense Trigger: Smooth, light 5.6 lb trigger pull for all shots. Short .4″ trigger travel and .1″ trigger reset for fast, accurate second shots. Facilitates double-taps. Superb trigger feel aids accuracy.”

    By Jove, that sounds an awful lot like…a Glock or a S&W M&P. But, since it’s a *Walther*, it must be OK…

    So, how did you do at Gunsite with your “NotAGlock” Walther PPQ?

    “Yes, I “died” three times at Gunsite.

    In two runs on different indoor simulators I got tunnel vision. I cleared the rooms with deliberate intent, focusing so closely on every interior corner and angle that I simply failed to notice solitary bad guys standing outside the windows as I passed by.

    My third “death” was simply mortifying. I successfully cleared a room, and then encountered a target almost right on top of me in the narrow hallway beyond. I pointed, instead of looking at the front sight, and yanked the trigger instead of pressing it. I missed twice at five feet.”

    Golly gee willikers, you went to some of the best defensive handgun training in the world, and during a run in the Gunsite Funhouse – still regarded as one of the premier facilities for police gunfight and CQB/house-clearing training – you STILL ganked a couple of close-range shots with “a polymer-frame, striker-fired pistol with a short trigger pull and no external safeties.”

    Guess “the brutal reality that short trigger pulls and natural human reflexes are a deadly combination” worked out somewhat differently for you……/11/13/gunfighter-school-n1914586

    If only you’d been using one of those “DA/SA handguns like the Sig Sauer “P”-series, the Beretta 9 series and PX4 series, CZs, Smith & Wesson’s metal-frame semis,Ruger’s SR series, etc.” “with much longer double-action triggers that are just as easy to fire deliberately but that are much harder to fire accidentally,” as the founder of Gunsite, the late Col. Jeff Cooper advocated – oh wait, here’s what Col. Cooper ACTUALLY said about DA/SA pistols:

    October 1973–“Double action in an auto pistol seems to me an ingenious solution to a non-existent problem.”

    “In reflecting upon a recent all-cop pistol session we conducted over in California, it is apparent once again that cops, as a group, are pretty hard to train. Those who are stuck with the crunchenticker – and these are many – will persist with the slow-crunch technique in spite of all advice to the contrary. This system is almost universal in the law enforcement establishment. If it is done accurately it is too slow. If it is done rapidly it is inaccurate. It is possible that I am paying too much attention to unrealistically high levels of performance, which are really not necessary in gun fighting. Still, I like to see people do as well as they can. It is bothersome to see them make no effort to do so.

    There has never been much question about it, and it is indisputable after decades of observation that the single-action self-loading pistol – the Colt 1911 and its clones – is the easiest, heavy-duty sidearm with which to hit. The crunchenticker is the most difficult, and the Glock is somewhere in the middle. Shooting a Glock is simply shooting a single-action self-loader with no safety and a very poor trigger. If real excellence is not the objective, this is a satisfactory system to employ.”

    Perhaps Buz Mills should consider revoking your Gunsite 250 certificate for “blatant public hypocrisy unbecoming of a national gun-rights advocate,” or at least requiring you to repeat the course with a Beretta or SIG DA/SA pistol “with much longer double-action triggers that are just as easy to fire deliberately but that are much harder to fire accidentally” – and you yourself might want to read Matthew 7:1-5 before attempting to pander to low-information readers again…

  32. I have come to the conclusion that manual safeties, while useful for some things, do not make a gun safer against negligent discharges. I compete in USPSA matches with a DA/SA pistol that has a frame mounted manual safety, and it is so second nature to take it off now, that the gun barely has to clear the holster, and I am not even aware of having done it. Of course, in doing this activity, it also becomes second nature to keep your damned finger out of the damned trigger guard until one is on target.

  33. Isn’t it odd that despite Europe being a lot more densely populated (packed in like sardines) dense death by officer firearms either on purpose or accident is very very low? (almost none) and the firearms specialist team keeps order.

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