Pistols updated 2/16/2002
If you are a police officer who wants to
lower the load you must carry all day, and you keep your gun strapped in
a genuine holster at all times, a Glockmight
be a good idea for you provided you really, really, really have trained
to keep your finger off the trigger until you are about to shoot.
The same might apply to someone carrying a concealed gun in a holster all
day, and you really are properly trained. It seemed like so
many Cops accidentally shot people when they switched to Glocks that there
were law suits filed. NYC even had Glock make a "NY" version with
twice the normal trigger pull to be "safer."
If you are a plain Joe (or Jane) and will
keep a pistol on a top shelf, or in a desk drawer, or tucked behind the
car seat -- don't get a Glock. No matter how much hype you
might read from Glock and the members of the Glock religious cult, it has nothing like a manual safety. Reach
up on that top shelf, pick it up the wrong way, and off it will go -- Bang! Get an auto pistol with a true safety
system -- a Beretta, a Sig, or an HK. Leave the potential death-traps
to the professionals.
Another option pointed out to me by a reader
is get the Glock, but never leave it with a round in the chamber.
If that sounds OK to you, that would be safe. Just be really sure
if you have a round chamber or not, and don't forget to chamber a round
if you need to use it!
Now don't get me wrong, especially
all you Glock owners out there -- a Glock is a fine, well made, excellently
performing pistol. It just doesn't meet minimum safety standards.
One last point though. If just read
the previous sections and you're saying to yourself, over and over, but
it does have a "safety", it does, it does -- I'm sorry, it really doesn't
have a manual safety. I design industrial control systems
for industrial machines like presses and machines that use robots.
If there is any other Controls Engineer out there that wouldn't laugh hysterically
at the idea of an Arming button sticking straight out of the middle of
the Fire button, so both can be pushed with a single finger stroke (or elbow
poke), drop me a line.
from CNN Headline News: A police officer was visiting her daughter's
school today when she dropped her Glock 9mm pistol and it went off wounding
a ten year old student. "This is the same pistol that has been abandoned
by many Police Departments due to problems with its safety." (Other
reports indicate she pulled the trigger while re-holstering, much more
This is a very interesting
story. The Glock fans have already condemned the officer as 100%
to blame, "should be an IQ Test", "the dumb broad", etc. Yes, she
must not have been properly trained, because we all know the gun is perfect,
therefore any and all accidents are blamed on lack of user training.
But consider this --
this was a trained person. Not a homeowner who had some 4 hour
course and tried the gun at the range twice. A trained police officer
with full supervised training by a police firearms instructor, and an officer
of many years who has practiced and requalified many times with her Glock.
Are certain are you that your training with a Glock will be even more extensive?
How much training does one need to be safe? Can you be certain all
you need is "proper" training, that the gun itself is a safe design to start
with? Bet your life? Your child's?
So to repeat this in a little different way,
let's say your pistol tucked away somewhere like this:
You really need it someday, so you
reach in and grab it. No, it's not in a holster on your hip,
this isn't written for the police, it's for you, for that gun you keep
stashed away somewhere. Now let's see what could happen with different
types of gun safety systems.
- Any auto without a round
chambered? Safe. If it really doesn't have one in the chamber --
- How about an H&K P7M8?
You'd grab it by the grip, but you'd likely not apply the 15 pounds needed to cock it. Even if you did,
that wouldn't fire the gun. Hopefully you wouldn't put your finger into
the trigger guard by mistake, but even if you did and pulled the trigger,
that wouldn't fire the gun. Accidentally do both, and it would be
bad news, but that's not very likely.
- How about a Beretta 92 with
the safety on? Hopefully you wouldn't put your finger into the trigger
guard by mistake as you quickly grabbed for the gun. Even if you
did and pulled the trigger, that wouldn't fire the gun. I suppose
you might accidentally knock the safety off, and it could fire if you did
that and managed to apply 12 pounds
to the trigger and pulled it quite a long way. So it's pretty safe.
- How about a S&W revolver?
Keep that finger off the trigger when you reach in their blindly!
Apply more than around 10 pounds, and it will
I already know the Glock cult reply.
Well, if you're trained properly... blah blah blah... act calmly when that
prowler breaks in... blah blah blah blah... Yes, and a portable circular
saw doesn't really need a guard on the blade if you think about it -- just
proper training and careful use. For more along that line, see Good Guns -- Bad Users.
- How about a Glock 17?
Really keep that finger off the trigger when you grab for it!
Apply just 5.5 pounds of force, a tiny
travel, and off it will go! With some Glocks, as low as 2.5 pounds.
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