PDA

View Full Version : Military side arms



Del
01-24-2007, 08:47 PM
In my WIP I have a 12 year old girl that acquires a gun and shoots a man that hurt her badly.

In a military environment what handgun would be most likely?

If a 12 year old girl shot this gun how would it effect her? Would it knock her down? Could she hold it?

Have any of you gone shooting with your kids? How did they take to it?

I took my son out when he was about 6. I've only owned a .22 pistol and I helped him hold it. He liked the big BANG :D. The experience isn't much help to me here.

Thanks!

alleycat
01-24-2007, 08:54 PM
What's the timeframe and locale?

The most common US Army sidearm since WWII has been the 45 automatic (later, the 9MM Browning, I believe). However, the 45 auto is a bit awkward to fire because of the safety features. The girl would almost have to learn to use it, not just pull the trigger. Still, it's "doable" in a story. Or you could have her use the Browning auto.

Another thought is just to have the girl use whatever gun she manages to get her hands on. A revolver would be a good choice. Say, her father has one in his desk, or one of her friend's father has a old revolver in his bedroom nightstand. Whatever.

If she's never fired a gun before, she might let go of a large caliber handgun after firing it (supposedly Clint Eastwood dropped the 44 Magnum the first time he fired it); as much for the "surprise" and "bang" as anything else. It wouldn't knock her down however.

Kate Thornton
01-24-2007, 09:06 PM
Everyone I know carries a 9mm Beretta. It's pretty big for a little girl to get her hands around - it was big even for me, and I carried a Beretta .380 instead (smaller grip).

The old .45's were a little easier, but I haven't seen one since the early '90's.

The recoil and bang of a 9mm would probably cause her hands to jerk and might startle her into dropping the weapon or falling down.

Kate - CW3 US Army (ret.)

Del
01-24-2007, 09:46 PM
MPs have taken this gun from a soldier (wrongly accused). The gun is set aside during a confrontation that becomes a tad physical (a couple of ranting women, and the antagonist who is railroading the soldier). That is when the girl picks up the weapon, unnoticed.

Near future in the southwestern US.

Would a 9mm be exclusively an army model or could I expect commercial models also? If I found an appropriately sized gun in a gun shop could I expect it to be believable to military personnel? The model won’t be relative to the reader but it is to me. I have to see it and know it works in order to write it.

alleycat
01-24-2007, 09:50 PM
Yeah, there would be a comparable civilian model. Kate said they were using Berettas 9mm now, you should be able to find a similar model in any larger gun shop.

I did a little research, apparently the Beretta model they're using is the 92F (the Army designates it the M9). Here's a link to the Beretta catalog online with that model: http://www.berettausa.com/product/product_pistols_main.htm

They's somewhat expensive, so they're not all that common, but many are around. A good gun shop should have it.

Cav Guy
01-24-2007, 10:06 PM
MPs have taken this gun from a soldier (wrongly accused). The gun is set aside during a confrontation that becomes a tad physical (a couple of ranting women, and the antagonist who is railroading the soldier). That is when the girl picks up the weapon, unnoticed.

Near future in the southwestern US.

Would a 9mm be exclusively an army model or could I expect commercial models also? If I found an appropriately sized gun in a gun shop could I expect it to be believable to military personnel? The model won’t be relative to the reader but it is to me. I have to see it and know it works in order to write it.

The Taurus is a Beretta clone, as are a number of firearms (to include a fair number of pellett/BB guns). Should be easy to find a look-alike to handle.

Jerry CL
01-25-2007, 12:30 AM
The standard US Military sidearm these days is the M9, a militarized Beretta 92F. Personally, I believe it would be rather difficult for a young girl to steadily hold it since the double stacked magazine is rather wide. The 9mm cartridge produces a rather violent "kick" when fired (as oppose to a steady strong "push" of a .45 ACP). What would most likely happen is that the barrel end of the weapon would jerk upward after a shot has been fired, and probably tumble out of a young gal's hand.

Also, please take this into consideration: During peace time, usually only the MPs would be walking around state with a weapon, much less a loaded one. Also, the standard procedure following any confiscation of a weapon is to drop the magazine and clear the weapon (eject the round in the chamber), so right after a weapon has been confiscated by the MPs is when it is most unlikely to have a round in it.

In your scenario, it is much more likely that the weapons confiscated from the soldier by the MP would be a personal weapon, and usually we'd buy anything BUT a Beretta 92/Taraus knock-off if we're spending our own money on pistols.

Del
01-25-2007, 12:44 AM
The standard US Military sidearm these days is the M9, a militarized Beretta 92F. Personally, I believe it would be rather difficult for a young girl to steadily hold it since the double stacked magazine is rather wide. The 9mm cartridge produces a rather violent "kick" when fired (as oppose to a steady strong "push" of a .45 ACP). What would most likely happen is that the barrel end of the weapon would jerk upward after a shot has been fired, and probably tumble out of a young gal's hand.

Also, please take this into consideration: During peace time, usually only the MPs would be walking around state with a weapon, much less a loaded one. Also, the standard procedure following any confiscation of a weapon is to drop the magazine and clear the weapon (eject the round in the chamber), so right after a weapon has been confiscated by the MPs is when it is most unlikely to have a round in it.

In your scenario, it is much more likely that the weapons confiscated from the soldier by the MP would be a personal weapon, and usually we'd buy anything BUT a Beretta 92/Taraus knock-off if we're spending our own money on pistols.

Personal weapon. I think that is what I was trying to get at earlier. So a soldier could carry a side arm of his choice? More than one?

At this stage of the story, armed personnel will be common.

Thanks for the replies. Everything adds to the foundation.

Histry Nerd
01-25-2007, 01:49 AM
Hey, Delarege. Soldiers can carry personal weapons (POWs), but if he lives on post his access to it will be very limited--at Fort Hood we kept soldiers' POWs in the company arms room, which meant they could not just go get them--they had to coordinate with the armorer and their chain of command, and they had to have a reason to need it. I think they also had to specify when they would return it and make sure they actually returned it at that time. Basically, the regs were so tight it almost wasn't worth having a gun on post.

If the soldier lives off post, he or she can have a gun. I don't know of any law or military regulation that would prevent a soldier from lawfully carrying a personal weapon out of uniform (but he still could not carry in uniform).

I know of one exception to the no-personal-weapons-in uniform regulation: in the National Guard, my First Sergeant, a county sheriff in the civilian world, carried his duty sidearm and his badge (in accordance with Texas law) under his uniform. I let him keep them.

I think you've gotten some good advice on the gun. If there's a shooting range near you, you might try to see if they have a 92F you can rent and shoot. Then you can judge for yourself if your 12-year-old could handle it.

HN

Tiger
01-25-2007, 02:05 AM
1911 Colts are heavy, but have fairly skinny grips. Recoil on a .45 is slightly heavier but not as sharp as a 9mm.

The Berretta would be more likely be shootable with less fiddling because chances are that it might be stored loaded with a round in the chamber and the safety on.

The 1911 would most likely not be stored with a round in the chamber because, being a single action weapon, it would have to be left cocked. Even if your 12 year-old happened upon it with a loaded magazine, she'd have to rack the slide to make it shootable.

As a weapon of opportunity, I'd go with the Berretta.

Just my $.02

Del
01-25-2007, 09:27 PM
Well, after close consideration of the scene and your comments I've decided that there is no believable way to have the child shoot the monster with the elements that would exist. I'll find another way.

Thanks.

*slunking off to write* :e2bummed:

alleycat
01-25-2007, 09:35 PM
I don't see that you have a problem. You said the MPs take the gun away from a guy . . . just have the gun in question be his own personal weapon that he's brought on base for whatever reason (I assume this is against army regulations, but people do all sorts of things against regulations). Then the girl uses that gun. Make it one a 12-year could easily fire, such as a smaller caliber revolver.

Del
01-25-2007, 10:05 PM
By this time the world as we know it is gone. Everything above ground is dust. In the face of an unknown grand scale catastrophe the soldier would not be carrying a small caliper weapon even if he had access to one. The MPs would not set it down loaded and ready to fire and the girl would not likely know how to operate it beyond pulling the trigger. If something draws a reader from believability it also draws them from the story.

I could make the little girl the world champion child sharp shooter! :e2sling: :e2hammer: :D

I cannot in good conscience write something that I believe is inaccurate. I catch little things like this when I read and it ruins it for me. If I ruin it for anyone then I've not done my job.

I'll rewrite it. Words are free.

Thanks again!

alleycat
01-25-2007, 10:14 PM
By this time the world as we know it is gone. Everything above ground is dust. In the face of an unknown grand scale catastrophe the soldier would not be carrying a small caliper weapon even if he had access to one. The MPs would not set it down loaded and ready to fire and the girl would not likely know how to operate it beyond pulling the trigger. If something draws a reader from believability it also draws them from the story.

I believe you are wrong (there are a hundred plausible reasons a soldier in that situation might have a small caliper weapon, and for it to fall into the hands of the girl with it loaded . . . ), but it's your story and you should do what you think works best and I wish you well with it.

Good luck.

Gary
01-26-2007, 02:45 AM
Just to throw another tidbit out there. During the Cuban missile crisis, the Air Force allowed us to carry a privately owned sidearm at all times when we were on duty. It was an emergency situation, since we were on the brink of war and there weren't enough military .45s available to arm everyone. The only restriction was that it had to fire either .45 or .38 caliber ammo. One old MSGT carried an ancient Colt Peacemaker in a black, 1870's style military holster.

There were a lot of strange looking weapons being carried by guys in uniform, but rules usually do change when the situation becomes serious. A few days after the Russian ships turned around, we went back to the old regulations.

Jamesaritchie
01-26-2007, 06:43 PM
I've seen nine year old girls handle handguns far more powerful than the 9mm. Go to a shooting competioin, and you'll find them firing .44 Magnums.

If the girl has never fired a handgun, she probably isn't going to be afraid of the recoil. The handgun may fly out of her hands, or it may not. It's certianly not going to knock her down or harm her.

Now, in any potentially serious situation, most carry handguns ready for action. A .45 is carried combat ready, the hammer cocked and only the slide safety on. A handgun not ready to fire quickly is no better than a stick.

The 9mm is the most common in the world, and there are an infinite number of commercially available handguns that use the 9mm round.

To have this girl pick up the handgun and simply pull the trigger, you might want to give her a Glock. It has no external safety to mess with.

You might also give her a father who has taught her about handguns. My kids could all hand half a dozen types of handguns, as well as rifles and shotguns, by the time they were nine.

Del
01-26-2007, 09:18 PM
I found this on epinions.com regarding the Glock 19. Thanks James.

"my biggest, problem with this gun is the ‘Safe Action System’ that is offered. The Glock is a SAO (single action only) firearm meaning that once you pull back the slide and feed a round into the chamber the gun is ready to fire - but unlike traditional SAO’s, there is no external safety available. In other words you’re now carrying a gun cocked, ready to shoot and the trigger only needs 5 pounds of pull to fire it. Most other SAO guns have an external safety that you operate with your thumb to prevent accidental firing. The Glocks ‘Safe Action’ is a system which prevents the trigger from being pulled unless another lever is pulled in also. Where is that other lever? It’s actually in the center of the trigger! In other words if the trigger gets snagged or your finger grabs it as you’re drawing the pistol you could discharge it unintentionally."

It would be easy enough to have a scuffle, the gun drop and be kicked aside. I have no doubt that a 12 year old could fire it at least once. I want her to keep holding it, keep pointing it at the dead man.

"also available with a ported barrel (Glock 19C {as in Compensated}) but the recoil is so tame I just can’t see ponying up for that option."

I guess she could easily enough.

Have any of you had or known of a gun discharging when dropped? Just curios.

There are a few other snafus with the story but this is the one that is tripping me up presently. I foresee it working out.

I know I worry too much about the little things but that's just my nature. I'm off to the gun shops to find a Glock 19.

A.M. Wildman
01-26-2007, 09:43 PM
I found this on epinions.com regarding the Glock 19. Thanks James.


Have any of you had or known of a gun discharging when dropped? Just curios.

Yes, I know of a man who was using his loaded .45, round in the chamber, as a hammer. It went off shot him in the shoulder, which caused two things to happen. It cycled the action as it was designed to do, and he dropped it. Upon striking the floor it fired again hitting his wife in the chest and almost killing her.

If the weapon has a round in the chamber, even with the safety on, dropping it could cause it to fire.

Jamesaritchie
01-26-2007, 10:09 PM
Some Colt .45 ACPs also have a grip safety. It works just like the trigger safety on a Glock, but is at the back or the grip, and it's depressed when you hold the grip in a normal manner. But it stops the gun from firing if dropped or banged.

The Colt Gold Cup I carry has such a safety. You can see the Gold Cup part way down this page. http://www.m1911.org/mod_colt.htm

You can see a close up of the grip safety, plus all other features, on this page: http://www.sightm1911.com/lib/tech/custom_mods.htm

Jamesaritchie
01-26-2007, 10:12 PM
It might also be noted that there are cirrently close to 100 ongoing lawsuits because of the Glock's lack of an external safety. An awful bunch of people have been killed, or seriously wounded, because of this.

rugcat
01-26-2007, 10:24 PM
Back in the eighties, some police departments went to a S&W 9mm automatic, which was one of the first (pre Glock ) double action automatics. They were typically carried with a round chambered and the safety on. I have personal knowledge of one discharging when accidentally slammed barrel first into a hard surface, and heard of another which discharged when dropped on pavement. In both cases the officers involved stated the safeties were on.

Jerry CL
01-27-2007, 05:01 AM
"also available with a ported barrel (Glock 19C {as in Compensated}) but the recoil is so tame I just can’t see ponying up for that option."

I guess she could easily enough.

Have any of you had or known of a gun discharging when dropped? Just curios.

There are a few other snafus with the story but this is the one that is tripping me up presently. I foresee it working out.

I know I worry too much about the little things but that's just my nature. I'm off to the gun shops to find a Glock 19.That scenario could work, but a ported barrel would just make things more complicated.

Sure they reduce some recoil (about... maybe 1/4?) but my experience is that it also make it a hella louder, and spray hot air with powder all over the place :D

As for weapon that'd discharge when dropped... The one's I've witness personally are crappy open-bolt rifles/machine guns. MOST modern pistol these days should be able to survive at least a drop, and I have seen a poorly maintained Glock done that at least (fell off an idiot's holster)

Kentuk
01-27-2007, 06:29 AM
I'm reminded of a gun incident from my youth. My father was an army officer and had this WWII vintage Browning Hi-power 9mm. He had recently obtained it and was test firing it when the thing fired on full automatic. He had it aimed at the ground to start but was pointed at the sky when done. We later found the problem was sabatoge and rather common. The gun was made for the Nazi's in an occupied country and reverse quality control was in effect. I mention this because plugged into your story it could cause real havoc and is usually considered impossible for most semi-automatic weapons.

Vincent
01-27-2007, 07:26 AM
Yes, I know of a man who was using his loaded .45, round in the chamber, as a hammer. It went off shot him in the shoulder, which caused two things to happen. It cycled the action as it was designed to do, and he dropped it. Upon striking the floor it fired again hitting his wife in the chest and almost killing her.

If the weapon has a round in the chamber, even with the safety on, dropping it could cause it to fire.


Clever guy, huh? I met a man whose brother found a WW2 mortar shell buried in his garden, got stoned, and decided it would be fun to prop it between his knees and bang the head of it with a hammer one morning. Just sat there, tapping away. He now lacks 2 legs and an arm. Ah, well.

Tiger
01-27-2007, 01:33 PM
I found this on epinions.com regarding the Glock 19. Thanks James.

"my biggest, problem with this gun is the ‘Safe Action System’ that is offered. The Glock is a SAO (single action only) firearm meaning that once you pull back the slide and feed a round into the chamber the gun is ready to fire - but unlike traditional SAO’s, there is no external safety available. In other words you’re now carrying a gun cocked, ready to shoot and the trigger only needs 5 pounds of pull to fire it. Most other SAO guns have an external safety that you operate with your thumb to prevent accidental firing. The Glocks ‘Safe Action’ is a system which prevents the trigger from being pulled unless another lever is pulled in also. Where is that other lever? It’s actually in the center of the trigger! In other words if the trigger gets snagged or your finger grabs it as you’re drawing the pistol you could discharge it unintentionally."

It would be easy enough to have a scuffle, the gun drop and be kicked aside. I have no doubt that a 12 year old could fire it at least once. I want her to keep holding it, keep pointing it at the dead man.

"also available with a ported barrel (Glock 19C {as in Compensated}) but the recoil is so tame I just can’t see ponying up for that option."

I guess she could easily enough.

Have any of you had or known of a gun discharging when dropped? Just curios.

There are a few other snafus with the story but this is the one that is tripping me up presently. I foresee it working out.

I know I worry too much about the little things but that's just my nature. I'm off to the gun shops to find a Glock 19.

Actually, a Glock works more like a DAO Double Action Only. The Colt 1911 is Single Action Only.

Double action means that pulling the trigger serves to both cock and discharge the weapon. Generally, the trigger pull on a DAO automatic is long enough and heavy enough so as to make it safer to carry around with a round in the chamber, even sans external safety. This essentially makes the auto "feel" like a revolver.

Single action means that the weapon can only be discharged when the hammer is back. The trigger pull on a weapon firing single action is very easily accomplished--i.e.: dangerous. That is the reason that the 1911 has both a grip and a frame mounted safety. Since it is impractical to have to operate the slide in an emergency, a lot of people who use the Colts for duty weapons carry it with a round in the chamber, hammer back, with the safety on: "cocked and locked" for short.

There is no internal safety built into the Colt, so anyone you see in the movies gently thumbing the hammer down to decock it is risking his life (or at least his fingers). Also, any Colt that has been decocked that way can fire if dropped because its hammer would be resting right on the firing pin.

To make things more complicated, a lot of autos come in SA/DA. This means that the weapon's first shot is a long double action pull with all of the subsequent shots being single action--the logic being that this makes it more likely that the weapon won't fire unless the shooter's good and ready and we'll just take it for granted that any follow up shots are going to be intentional. This is the most common configuration of the aforementioned Berretta 92F.

The way a Glock works is that it has a sort of trigger-mounted safety--a little trigger on the trigger--which must be depressed or else the weapon won't fire. Although Glocks are DAO, they have a short trigger pull. It's slightly heavier and longer than a SA's, and so it's not like you're carrying around a cocked weapon with no safety.

There are very few ways to discharge a Glock without something releasing the safety and pulling the trigger. The things can be loaded with a round in the chamber and have the crap beat out of them without going off. The problem is that anyone who finds the thing with a round in the chamber just needs to pull the trigger and, bang.

In other words: people can accidentally pull the trigger on a Glock, but the Glock won't accidentally go off by dropping, running over or otherwise subjecting it to shock.

Sorry... This is the result of some research that I did a few years ago.

Jamesaritchie
01-27-2007, 09:30 PM
Actually, a Glock works more like a DAO Double Action Only. The Colt 1911 is Single Action Only.

Double action means that pulling the trigger serves to both cock and discharge the weapon. Generally, the trigger pull on a DAO automatic is long enough and heavy enough so as to make it safer to carry around with a round in the chamber, even sans external safety. This essentially makes the auto "feel" like a revolver.

Single action means that the weapon can only be discharged when the hammer is back. The trigger pull on a weapon firing single action is very easily accomplished--i.e.: dangerous. That is the reason that the 1911 has both a grip and a frame mounted safety. Since it is impractical to have to operate the slide in an emergency, a lot of people who use the Colts for duty weapons carry it with a round in the chamber, hammer back, with the safety on: "cocked and locked" for short.

There is no internal safety built into the Colt, so anyone you see in the movies gently thumbing the hammer down to decock it is risking his life (or at least his fingers). Also, any Colt that has been decocked that way can fire if dropped because its hammer would be resting right on the firing pin.

To make things more complicated, a lot of autos come in SA/DA. This means that the weapon's first shot is a long double action pull with all of the subsequent shots being single action--the logic being that this makes it more likely that the weapon won't fire unless the shooter's good and ready and we'll just take it for granted that any follow up shots are going to be intentional. This is the most common configuration of the aforementioned Berretta 92F.

The way a Glock works is that it has a sort of trigger-mounted safety--a little trigger on the trigger--which must be depressed or else the weapon won't fire. Although Glocks are DAO, they have a short trigger pull. It's slightly heavier and longer than a SA's, and so it's not like you're carrying around a cocked weapon with no safety.

There are very few ways to discharge a Glock without something releasing the safety and pulling the trigger. The things can be loaded with a round in the chamber and have the crap beat out of them without going off. The problem is that anyone who finds the thing with a round in the chamber just needs to pull the trigger and, bang.

In other words: people can accidentally pull the trigger on a Glock, but the Glock won't accidentally go off by dropping, running over or otherwise subjecting it to shock.

Sorry... This is the result of some research that I did a few years ago.

Well, no to the Colt. It isn't the least bit dangerous to let the hammer down slowly on any modern Colt. This was dangerous on very old single action Colt revolvers, but even the modern version of these have a hammer block built in so they can't discharge when dropped, or when the hammer is being let down by the thumb.

The same is true of many Colt ACPs. The reason a Colt .45 is carried combat ready is only because it's faster, not because it's safer. It's much safer to have the hammer lowered, and this is precisely how you carry a modern Colt ACP if you aren't expecting trouble. Combat ready is ONLY for those time when trouble is imminent. It's perfectly safe to have a round in the chamber, and then to lower the hammer using your thumb. There's no danger at all, assuming you have a clue. You pull the hammer back past full cock before ever touching the trigger. Once you do this, there is no chance of the handgun discharging, even if you let go of the hammer with the trigger pulled.

No can the modern Colt be discharged with the hammer lowered. The hammer is blocked from teh firing pin, and it won't fire, even if you hit the hammer with a a hammer. It can't.

Carrying a Colt Combat Ready, or Cocked and Locked, is called a "Condition One Carry." Carrying a Colt with a round in teh chamber and the hammer lowered is called "Condition Two Carry." It's much safer in every way that cocked and locked. Carrying a colt with no round in the chamber is called "Condition Three Carry." This is usually only done in an environment when there is zero danger.

Condition Zero Carry" is when you carry it cocked and unlocked. Not recommended, but necessary on rare occasion.

Your research must have been on the old Colt 1911s. Modern Colt ACPs do NOT work this way. Neither do later 1911s. Colts have more safety features, internal and external, than any other semi-auto.

And a Glock is dangerous as hell. Far more dangerous that the modern Colt in every possible way. A Glock isn't dangerous if you drop it, but neither is a Colt. Dropping is NOT the worry. The worry is two-fold. 1. Getting teh thing out of the holster without an accidental discharge, and this is one of teh leading reasons for lawsuits against the Glock. The only safety is in the middle of the trigger, and when trying to pull teh Glock free in an emergency, many have discharged because all it takes is a few pounds of presses on the trigger, and this is easily exceeded by the simple act of jerking the handgun free. And God help you if a Glock snags on teh holster. 1. How fast and easily someone can kill you with your own handgun if it's wrestled away from you. Most of the other lawsuits against the Glock came about because all an assailant has to do is "point and pull." Police officers have been killed for just this reason. The assailant didn't have to know a thing about firearms, as long as he was smart enough to point and pull. It's dangerous as hell.

A Colt won't fire until the thumb safety has been released, without the grip safety being depressed, or without a magizine in, even if a round is chambered because there's another internal safety the magazine must depress.

But you are in ZERO danger when lowering the hammer on a Colt with a round in the chamber. Once you pull the hammer back past full cock, the weapon cannot discharge, even if you release it with the trigger pulled. Nor can it discharge with the hammer lowered, no matter what you do to it.

rugcat
01-27-2007, 10:18 PM
And a Glock is dangerous as hell. Far more dangerous that the modern Colt in every possible way. A Glock isn't dangerous if you drop it, but neither is a Colt. Dropping is NOT the worry. The worry is two-fold. 1. Getting teh thing out of the holster without an accidental discharge, and this is one of teh leading reasons for lawsuits against the Glock. The only safety is in the middle of the trigger, and when trying to pull teh Glock free in an emergency, many have discharged because all it takes is a few pounds of presses on the trigger, and this is easily exceeded by the simple act of jerking the handgun free. And God help you if a Glock snags on teh holster. 1. How fast and easily someone can kill you with your own handgun if it's wrestled away from you. Most of the other lawsuits against the Glock came about because all an assailant has to do is "point and pull." Police officers have been killed for just this reason. The assailant didn't have to know a thing about firearms, as long as he was smart enough to point and pull. It's dangerous as hell.Yeah, guns are dangerous.

Military is one thing, but for a police officer on the street, there is no such thing as "an environment when there is zero danger." A “'point and pull" gun is is certainly not as safe as a double action pistol with a safety on and an unchambered round. It’s also not likely to be useful in the two seconds you have to react when an gun is unexpectedly stuck in your face. That’s why revolvers, “point and pull” weapons, were the standard for so many years.

You will get as many different opinions about the relative merits of different firearms as there are people who use them, but most of the officers I know, including swat team instructors, consider the Glock to be the best all around sidearm for police work ever developed.

Tiger
01-28-2007, 12:15 AM
Well, no to the Colt. It isn't the least bit dangerous to let the hammer down slowly on any modern Colt. This was dangerous on very old single action Colt revolvers, but even the modern version of these have a hammer block built in so they can't discharge when dropped, or when the hammer is being let down by the thumb.

Not to turn this into a "gun battle" among gun fetishers, but it is ALWAYS dangerous to depress the trigger on any firearm with a round in the chamber. If you pull the trigger and let the hammer down slowly, where is it traveling to if not the firing pin? If there were safety interlocks to prevent a discharge when the trigger is pulled, then the thing would never fire, even when you wanted it to.[/quote]


The same is true of many Colt ACPs. The reason a Colt .45 is carried combat ready is only because it's faster, not because it's safer. It's much safer to have the hammer lowered, and this is precisely how you carry a modern Colt ACP if you aren't expecting trouble. Combat ready is ONLY for those time when trouble is imminent. It's perfectly safe to have a round in the chamber, and then to lower the hammer using your thumb. There's no danger at all, assuming you have a clue. You pull the hammer back past full cock before ever touching the trigger. Once you do this, there is no chance of the handgun discharging, even if you let go of the hammer with the trigger pulled.

I don't know where to begin on this... First of all, not all 1911s are Colts, and aside from those made by such makers as Para Ordinance, they are all SAO, and not ever meant to be carried with the hammer down and a round in the chamber. This is why the external safety on all 1911s will only engage when the hammer is back. As for not carrying duty weapons in condition one, have you checked out duty holsters that are made for 1911s? Most of them are made so that the retaining strap fits over the back of the weapon with the hammer back. Disengaging the safey is much safer than thumbing back the hammer. If your thumb slips, the weapon fires. The same holds true if your thumb slips when you're decocking the weapon.


No can the modern Colt be discharged with the hammer lowered. The hammer is blocked from teh firing pin, and it won't fire, even if you hit the hammer with a a hammer. It can't.

Please call your local gun dealer and tell him--he probably doesn't know.


Carrying a Colt Combat Ready, or Cocked and Locked, is called a "Condition One Carry." Carrying a Colt with a round in teh chamber and the hammer lowered is called "Condition Two Carry." It's much safer in every way that cocked and locked.

Condition two is only recommended for other autos with dedicated decocking mechanisms--such as the Berretta.


Carrying a colt with no round in the chamber is called "Condition Three Carry." This is usually only done in an environment when there is zero danger.

Well, they must not have used them much in WWII because that's the condition they were carried in.



Condition Zero Carry" is when you carry it cocked and unlocked. Not recommended, but necessary on rare occasion.

I agree with this of course.


Your research must have been on the old Colt 1911s. Modern Colt ACPs do NOT work this way. Neither do later 1911s. Colts have more safety features, internal and external, than any other semi-auto.

ACP stands for Automatic Colt Pistol, and refers to the ammunition more than the weapons themselves. The reason they are called 1911s comes from the year of the design. Aside from better materials there is very little difference between the modern weapons and their WWI ancestors.


And a Glock is dangerous as hell. Far more dangerous that the modern Colt in every possible way. A Glock isn't dangerous if you drop it, but neither is a Colt. Dropping is NOT the worry. The worry is two-fold. 1. Getting teh thing out of the holster without an accidental discharge, and this is one of teh leading reasons for lawsuits against the Glock. The only safety is in the middle of the trigger, and when trying to pull teh Glock free in an emergency, many have discharged because all it takes is a few pounds of presses on the trigger, and this is easily exceeded by the simple act of jerking the handgun free. And God help you if a Glock snags on teh holster. 1. How fast and easily someone can kill you with your own handgun if it's wrestled away from you. Most of the other lawsuits against the Glock came about because all an assailant has to do is "point and pull." Police officers have been killed for just this reason. The assailant didn't have to know a thing about firearms, as long as he was smart enough to point and pull. It's dangerous as hell.

Yes, guns are dangerous. Putting the Glock back in the holster is more dangerous than yanking it out. Nobody pulls their piece with their finger on the trigger. With the design of most duty holsters this is usually difficult to do. Putting it back in, however, opens the possibility of a retaining strap--or something--getting into the trigger guard and pressing both triggers. Mas Ayoob says it very succintly: "The good news is that Glocks are easy to shoot. The bad news is that Glocks are easy to shoot."


A Colt won't fire until the thumb safety has been released, without the grip safety being depressed, or without a magizine in, even if a round is chambered because there's another internal safety the magazine must depress.

A 1911's or a Browning High Power's safety won't engage until the hammer is back in the first place, so that kind of negates that issue. Magazine safeties can be good. If a cop thinks he may be overpowered, he can drop the mag and render his weapon harmless. If he accidentally drops the mag, well... There are complaints on both sides.



But you are in ZERO danger when lowering the hammer on a Colt with a round in the chamber.

I would call this an extremely dangerous thing to say on a public forum.


Once you pull the hammer back past full cock, the weapon cannot discharge, even if you release it with the trigger pulled. Nor can it discharge with the hammer lowered, no matter what you do to it.

I repeat: if a weapon cannot fire when the trigger is pulled and the hammer released, it is not much good.