Sniper Country Duty Roster collective wisdom

Safety - Negligent Discharges:

Vindication: I was walking by a DC policeman the other day and noticed he was carrying a 9mm Glock. In my opinion the most dangerous well made gun on the market, dangerous to the shooter and not the victim. As I spoke to him about his perception it became clear he was not very well trained in regard to it's use. He also didn't demonstrate any knowledge of it's drawbacks, but assured me it had been thoroughly tested, you know the same old stuff 500ft drop from a helicopter on a cement slab, drug through the dirt and water and worked flawlessly. I grant all this but what about shooting yourself in the foot. Doesn't happen he said, well maybe once since they started using it a couple of years ago.

A friend who I was walking with that night thought I was full of it.

3 accidental deaths and 120 (reported) accidental discharges later the Washington Post newspaper said yesterday in it's #1 headline the Glock has had the police department settling several lawsuits in DC.

This didn't make me feel any better but it is nice to know that safety tips from old timers are useful and several old timers like my brother said in a moderately trained hand the glock is more deadly to the user than the perp.

By the way this is the second time in DC I had this type of experience. My wife asked me during a vacation day in DC what to see since I had been there before. I told her I don't know anything about DC other than you can't flight over the Whitehouse. My wife turned around and said that isn't true look. Sure enough a plane flew right over it. That night it was on the news... for that one I felt good.

tom <>
here &, there USA - Thursday, November 19, 1998 at 11:29:05 (EST) 

My blurb on the Glock was not intended as a hit on Glock's, they are great for the professional. But here are the facts: In 10years >120 accidental discharges, 1 citizen dead 9 wounded, 19 officers shot themselves or other officers, 8 law suits, $1.4Million in settlements so far.
tom <>
USA - Thursday, November 19, 1998 at 14:45:43 (EST) 

What is your point about venting your "vindication" here? I don't see how it is relevant to Sniper Country per se.

Even if your conclusions are all correct (and I would argue some of them) I would like to know how you think this should impact Duty Roster readers. Should they all throw out their Glocks? Should they write their Congressmen about this issue?

I think the matter of what handgun a large police department decides to issue and why the officers of said department continously violate Rule 3 is an unlikely topic for this forum. But correct me if I'm wrong, please.

Dave <>
San Jose, CA USA - Thursday, November 19, 1998 at 15:32:53 (EST) 

Tom: Talk about stirring the pot, any discussion of the merits of the Glock as a police sidearm can probably get comments from even the most passive of site readers. Depity Dave and I have had several "discussions" about this very subject with the conclusion that we will never agree. His position is that it is inappropriate for police use, while remaining an excellent military weapon; mine is that it can be both, but only with proper training. I am sure there have been a number of "accidents" with a Glock that can be directly traced to the individual's failure to heed proper handling procedure with this pistol. It is true that a Glock with a loaded chamber can be safely handled and carried without discharging. However, one should never forget that if a finger is placed on the trigger, depressing the "safety", the pistol is ready to fire. The pistol WILL fire if the trigger is pulled. This is the reason it is a great combat weapon. Unless proper training is administered, this very feature can lead to unfortunate circumstances for those who do not become intimately aware of this pistol's method of operation. The key here is training, but I do not believe there is enough, and of the proper type, to minimize the chances for disaster. Only by constant review of procedures and range time can an individual get to the point that the Glock's special handling requirements become second nature. Most police departments and the individual officers are seldom willing to commit to this level of training. I do not think it is reasonable to blame the weapon, this is an operational problem.

Fred Fischer <>
People's Rep. of, MD USA - Thursday, November 19, 1998 at 16:21:26 (EST) 

I just couldn't resist throwing this in while it is timely.
If you can remember the footage from the Siege at Waco. One of those highly trained assault shock troops shot himself in the foot when he was climbing up the ladder to the bedroom window. One hand on the ladder, one hand on the pistol in his holster, Pow, then a slight stumble. before continuing onward, I'll bet it was a glock. And I'm just about willing to give odds that it was the first shot fired in that conflict. Rick, did you train these guys? :-)
If anyone doubts me on this just remember, who was the guy who first reported the FUBAR rifle in SPR?

Steve <>
S.C.D.H., Ohio USA - Thursday, November 19, 1998 at 20:33:08 (EST) 

About Glocks and training Police. Glocks like all pistols share the same problem and benifit. If you pull the trigger the gun should go off. Big surprize if you have not ment for it to happen. As to training Police. I have taught Pistol, Rifle, Shotgun, Subgun Driving and Impact weapons for close to eighteen years. All to cops. I will put it in a nut shell for all of you. Ten percent of cops are highly motivated and high speed types who you don't want to mess with. Forty percent are very proficient some of which practice alot and some get by natural ability. Forty percent are marginal no matter what. Ten percent should be bagging groceries and no where near a gun or even be allowed to reproduce. I have carried Glocks, Colts, Sigs, HxKs and most every type of gun. I have not had an AD yet. This does not mean I can relax on handling them just the opposite I am more carefuil now than ever. About "Highly Trained" individuals. Just because a cop is wearing all black or woodland BDUs does not put him in the highspeed catagory. Some of the worst shots are on SWAT Teams.

Berkeley, Calif USA - Thursday, November 19, 1998 at 21:23:27 (EST) 

To: All

RE: Glocks and accidental discharges:

Glocks are available with different weight trigger pulls. The standard trigger weight is about five pounds. The next weight of trigger, called a "New York" trigger, is around eight pounds. There is also a "New York Plus" trigger weight of around twelve or fifteen pounds. Of course, thew use of one of the heavier triggers does not obviate the need for proper practice. I know that when one of PA's law enforcement agencies switched from revolver to semi-automatic, they chose a double - action only weapon with a HEAVY double action only trigger to try to help keep officers from accidentally discharging their sidearm. The realization that adrenaline can do strange things to people was another consideration. Personally, I prefer the Glock system with the standard trigger. My Glock of choice is the 21 with tritium.
Just keep that trigger/trigger guard covered when holstered, or carry it in condition three.

Scott (T.O.O.)
PA USA - Thursday, November 19, 1998 at 23:03:57 (EST) 

Tom- About the Glock- I think that your statistics only go to show how poorly trained our uniformed police are in the use of their sidearms. A close friend is a N.Y. State Trooper and the only time they are allowed to shoot is once a year to "qualify". Unless they have access to a private range, they do not get practice time. I shoot competitive action pistol (USPSA/IPSC). Many competitors including myself, have trigger pulls of 3lbs. or less yet accidental discharges are very rare and are usually due to a malfunction, not operator error.

Dave C. <>
Central, FL USA - Thursday, November 19, 1998 at 23:06:10 (EST) 

All: One other thing I want to clarify, from what I have seen written lately. Proper training helps prevent NDs to some extent, by giving the person knowledge. Being "highly trained" will help somewhat more. NO amount of training will help someone who has the wrong mindset at the time of the ND. SAFETY comes from MINDSET. Do not confuse these issues! Training alone only makes up a relatively small piece of this particular puzzle, mindset is almost everything.

As noted, there are plenty of highly-trained, highly skilled cops (and others, I'm not picking on our LEO buddies here) whose gun-handling would scare the hell out of any reasonable person. Someone on the API email list recently mentioned a photo in the newspaper of some "highly trained" SWAT team members, one of whom had the muzzle of his MP5 resting in the middle of his palm. *shudder*

I've seen several NDs, by friends and others who all knew better. Some were "highly trained". They all got careless and screwed up. All of them were using guns (pistols, shotguns, whatever) that had conventional safeties on them (unlike most Glocks) and they didn't help prevent the ND. Heck, most people who do a lot of shooting have one eventually, I know top-notch people who have had them. Even the guy who wrote Rule 3, Jeff Cooper, has had one! All of these folks plain screwed up at the time. Maybe I'll have one someday. We're all human, after all. But the fact is that training helps but this is not as much a training issue as a mental one.

Maybe Tom had a valid point originally, maybe those 50% of cops that Mike mentioned shouldn't have Glocks (Mike, what the heck are you doing in a place like Berkeley?). But I still don't know what that has to do with Sniper Country.

Dave <>
San Jose, CA USA - Friday, November 20, 1998 at 00:17:59 (EST) 

Tom, don't blame the pistol, it's not the pistols fault, it only does what the human tells it to. NDs are due to bad training but perhaps more so from improper mental state.

Rich <>
WA USA - Friday, November 20, 1998 at 04:37:38 (EST) 

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