1 July 05
Comments on infantry weapons from a friend currently deployed:
“I may be waxing nostalgic, but I think infantry weapons reached their zenith in 1946 with the Garand, the 1911 pistol, and the Browning MG. These represent the most powerful and longest range weapons ever issued to individual infantrymen, before or since. We captured two M1919A6s in Baghdad, and the consensus was ‘Thank God they didn’t have ammo for these,’ followed by ‘Where can WE get some?’”
Comment: In 1946 American infantrymen were “fighters of the enemy,” not merely “finders of the enemy.” When I went through Marine OCS in 1967, we learned (with pride) that the mission of the Marine Infantry Squad was to:
(1) Locate, (2) Close with, and (3) Destroy the enemy, by fire and close combat.
In the interim, the last two items have been dropped, and magnificent status of infantrymen, now equipped with impotent personal weapons, has thus been diminished in importance in the minds of modern war planners. As we learned in Vietnam, and are now relearning in Iraq, American Infantryman provide the critical, war-winning capability that cannot be supplied by all the high-tech gadgets in the world. Without him, no war is winnable.
5 July 05
On RRA, from a friend in the DEA:
“A year ago, my agency (DEA) took delivery of 2000+ Rock River Arms (RRA) LAR-15 rifles. I am responsible for the distribution of one hundred of these carbines over five states, as well as the training of the special agents concerned. Thus far, ninety have been issued to agents and are currently in full service. We are issuing the balance as fast as we can get our agents trained.
Our three-day training program involves the consumption of 1,500 rounds/student. Upon successful completion, each agent is issued the rifle he trained with, confident that it will work. Of the ninety rifles that have been through our training, only two have developed problems. One had a burr inside the bolt carrier which damaged the gas rings when the weapon cycled. This particular weapon was subsequently hand delivered to Rock River Arms, was repaired immediately, on the spot, and the weapon reentered service the same day. The second broke its hammer within the first fifty rounds. This copy was sent to RRA via FedEx on Wednesday, and was repaired and returned to us on Friday. Like the other, it has since reentered full service. Aside from those two, all others have digested 1,500 rounds with no complaints.
Issues arise with all weapons. The way a company takes care of these problems when they occur is what is important to us. No denial. No delay. No quibbling. No excuses. At this point, we are pleased with the product and delighted with RRA’s customer service. Problems are minimal, and the ones we have had have been corrected in record time.”
Comment: Good marks for RRA! I’ve found equally good customer service with DSA, Krebs, and Robinson Arms. Wish I could say as much for the rest.
6 July 05
Mounting Optics on Serious Rifles:
Every sedulous rifleman needs to know how to use iron sights effectively, both Western style (peep rear) and Soviet style (open rear). However, optical sights do offer advantages which may be critical under some circumstances. Battery power, excessive bulk, and frailty are among the inherent disadvantages.
For serious purposes, my favorites are the EOTech, Aimpoint, ACOG, and the Leupold Scout Scope. Others may be fine too, but these four stand out as having the fewest disadvantages.
Here are the most common problems/mistakes with rifle optics:
1) Optic mounted too high. Common on AR-15s, the optic sits atop the “carrying handle.” For most users, this makes a useable and consistent cheek weld impossible. In fact, the shooter’s head usually just hangs in space, hovering above the stock. A consistent cheek weld is important, indeed, critical, to fast and effective shooting. Without one, critical time is squandered “fishing” for the sights.
2) Optic mounted too close to the shooter’s eye. Close eye relief may be fine for hunting non-dangerous game, but it dangerously restricts overall view on ostensibly serious rifles. With the optic within a few centimeters of your eye, you will be tempted to “live in your scope.” In so doing, you’ll fail to notice danger to the sides. Living in your scope grievously limits your field of view, even with the EOTech. It is like sitting in traffic directly behind a large truck! There is just too much you can’t see. Serious optics need to be forward-mounted, rendering eye relief of at least fifteen centimeters. That way, you can look AROUND your optic, without surrendering your cheek weld. In addition, the lens won’t fog due to your heavy breathing.
Cantilevered mounts I’ve seen do not hold the optic solidly enough. Even mild hand pressure from the side will move the scope several millimeters left or right.
3) Flimsy mounts. Anyone mounting optics on a serious rifle, upon which lives may depend, needs to understand the task. Even good optics on flimsy mounts routinely get knocked off or knocked out of zero when the rifle sees heavy use and it, and its user, participate in rigorous fighting. La Rue mounts are among the best, but even they can be installed poorly by someone who doesn’t understand what he is doing.
4) Inability to rapidly default to iron sights. When your optic breaks, dies, fogs, frosts, is knocked out of zero, or is otherwise rendered incompetent, you need to be able to default to iron sights without delay. In my opinion, you need to be able to get the entire optic off the gun quickly, without tools. “Co-witness” rear iron sights are fine, but the ones I’ve seen stick dangerously high into the air behind the optic. A modest palm heel strike would break most of them off at the base.
5) Too much magnification. On utility rifles, optic magnification should not exceed 2.5X. High-magnification scopes will always be out of focus at close range. Without a sharp image through the scope, making adjustments to the point of bullet impact is an exercise in futility. In addition, high-magnification presents a jolt to your brain as your eye tries to adjust coming in and out of the scope. You tend to lose orientation at a time when you desperately need it.
8 July 05
Comments on cheek weld:
“Your recent point about the necessity of a proper cheek weld as driven home today, at the sporting clays range:
I was shooting with a master-class sporting clays practitioner, and I was having problems with a particular pair of targets. After each miss, my shooting companion told me that I wasn’t fully ‘into the gun,’ meaning that I hadn’t completely brought the shotgun up to my cheek before the shot broke, causing me to habitually miss below the target. Yet, I was sure that the gun was touching my cheek before touching the trigger. Confounding!
I was right, but he was more right! I was bringing the gun to my cheek, 95%. When I subsequently made sure that the stock was firmly WELDED to my cheek, the problem disappeared, and consistent hits were effortless after that. In wingshooting, proper technique requires no reference to sights. The entire shotgun, mated to your body, IS the ‘sight.’ If your technique is not consistently immaculate, you will miss, because there are no sights to fall back on.
With a serious rifle, even without a proper cheek weld, you can hit, so long as you align your sights. However, a sloppy, casual, and unstable cheek weld must still be avoided, because it will slow you down as you invariably ‘fish’ for your sights. Anything less than a reproducibly solid cheek weld will result in slow hits in rifle shooting, complete misses in shotgunning. But in the latter case, you usually don’t die when you’re too slow!”
Lesson: It’s not occasional “great shots” that separates the live professional from the dead amateur, the pretender from the virtuoso. It is rather all the “little mistakes,” blindly committed by the former, skillfully avoided by the later.
8 July 05
Grand and gratifying comments from an LEO friend with the Capetown Traffic Police and one of my instructors. Perhaps the trips I’ve been taking to South Africa for the last eight years are finally paying off:
“Today I took part in the shootout for a place on our team for the National Police Sports Day. Sixty officers took part, a majority of which were City Police Officers. Significantly, by the end of the second round, just a handful remained. At the end of the final round, only Traffic Officers were still in contention. Extremely significant was the fact that the four officers finally selected for the team are all Farnam students, myself and three of my officers. If ever I needed to see prove that the Farnam Method works, I saw it clearly today!
Range officers all commented on the safety, accuracy and general gun competence of Traffic Officers who had passed through my, and, by extension, your hands. Officers who had not received training in the Farnam Method stuck out like sore thumbs. All failed to maintain any kind of convincing presence, ie: nonchalantly dropping the weapon after shooting (relaxing too soon), subsequently pointing it at their own feet and legs, guns casually pointed in other unsafe directions, indescribable permutations of incorrect reloading technique, ‘unloading’ with magazines still inserted, holstering empty pistols, and more!
Although I am happy to have come in first, there is no doubt the next guy in line would also have been one of your and my students. We’re making progress here, my friend!”
Comment: Progress indeed. Good show, Mike!
12 July 05
From a friend in Israel:
“As bombs were going off in Netanya and Shavei Shomron, EU’s foreign policy chief, Solana, was gleefully telling Israel that the EU would like to be a ‘third-party presence’ in the Gaza Strip, once Israel leaves. The Jerusalem Post’s front page reports that the EU is open to ‘assuming security responsibilities.’ Perfect timing! EU’s offer comes on the anniversary of the Srebrenica Massacre. EIGHT THOUSAND murdered in yet another UN-protected ‘safe zone.’
Leaving your security to someone other than yourself is suicide.”
Comment: The foregoing applies to nations and to individuals. Allowing someone else to do “for” you what you ought to be doing for yourself is a foolish capitulation that will come back to bite you in the butt… sooner than you think!
16 July 05
Our last Instructor Course for this year will be in Columbia, SC on the weekend of 12-13 Nov 05. Those interested in attending need to get hold of me or Rich Wright at Labrador@usns.net. Effective instructing is more art than science, and this program is designed to advance the Art!
16 July 05
The Necessity of Unconscious Competence:
In our journey as warriors, most of us, with reasonable effort, attain a state of “conscious competence” with mostly manageable grief. It is at that point that we all experience an exceeding temptation to pause, to take a breath, to look back and admire ourselves for how far we’ve come. Such tendencies are natural and not entirely unhealthy, but the trek from “unconscious incompetence,” through “conscious incompetence,” to “conscious competence” represent only ten percent of the distance that must be traveled. Slogging through numberless repetitions lies ahead!
So long as you are only “consciously competent,” you’re at the mercy of your own attention span. When your attention span lapses, you, in turn, lapse into incompetence. Conversely, a warrior who has attained a state of unconscious competence is a wakeless, seamless whirlwind of motion, able to continuously process information and effectively address short-term challenges at a subconscious level, leaving his conscious mind available for extended-term, strategic planning. This enables him to spin his OODA faster than most opponents, continuously setting the agenda, dividing their focus, disrupting their plan, and leaving most adversaries confused, overwhelmed, and with the uninterrupted prospect of playing “catch-up.”
It all takes longer and requires far more dedication and effort than most of us imagine at the beginning. If we knew in advance, few of us would ever start!
“The belief in the possibility of a short, decisive war appears to be one of the most ancient and dangerous of human illusions.”
17 July 05
The “OODA Loop”
His nickname was “Forty-Second Boyd.” John Boyd was the most famous and capable American fighter pilot in a generation, seeing significant action in the skies over Korea, and greatly influencing me and my contemporaries, both in and out of the Air Force. He got his nickname from the fact that no opponent ever lasted more than forty seconds with him during air-to-air combat. Most didn’t last ten seconds!
Boyd had an intrinsic understanding of himself and his aircraft that went far beyond what even the very engineers who designed the craft knew or began to comprehend. He understood the Art of aerial combat at a vastly higher level than any of his contemporaries. In the sky, no one was a match for him. Few were even in the same league.
He had a special talent; no doubt. Like Mozart, Patton, Mac Arthur, and others of note, he was a true genius. But, unlike most virtuosos, he made a study of his own genius, so that we mere mortals could benefit. Unlike most masters, he had an abiding involvement in the genuine advancement of the Art.
As is the case with all geniuses, the dunces of world continually formed a conspiracy against him, mostly out of fear and petty jealously, but his influence upon the Art of War and his place among significant military intellects of our age is secure, as high as ever, because those who would pull it down never stand quite tall enough to reach it. At his funeral in 1997, more Marines were in attendance than were Air Force folks!
The OODA Loop is one of the models produced by Boyd. It dissects the mental process involved in emergency decisions. “Observe,” “Orient,” “Decide,” “Act.”
The most important of the four steps is the second. As we view the universe, we look at it through the veneer of the totality of our lives’ experiences. All our prejudices and biases, our knowledge and concerns, are continuously displayed on our “map,” and we judge everything we perceive according to it. However, the problem with all maps is that they’re obsolete the day they’re printed! Our personal “map” must be continuously updated, but the universe contains so much information, our map can easily become obsolete.
Boyd pointed out that any delay, any speed bump, in “spinning” one’s OODA Loop will slow his response, perhaps fatally. The most common delay is when a conflict develops between what one observes and one’s expectations upon orienting the information. Thus, one of Boyd’s rules was:
REALITY ALWAYS TRUMPS EXPECTATION! REALITY IS ALWAYS “RIGHT.”
It is when warriors cling to outdated expectations, dear falsehoods, even when confronted with stark reality, that they begin to dither and are then outmaneuvered and defeated. You can’t get to the “Decide” stage until you break through the “Orient” stage, which, as noted above, functions as a roadblock for the unsophisticated.
When a marksman continually fails to hit the target, it is never the fault of the target! When your expectations conflict with reality, the problem does not lie with reality! It is your map which must be updated, and the middle of a fight is a poor time to do it!
All aspiring warriors should be familiar with the OODA Loop model and with Boyd and his contributions to our Art. It is selfless heroes like Boyd, often unsung, who boldly and fearlessly advance our Art, making it possible for us to influence an entire new generation.
21 July 05
Friend, Bob Willis, pointed this out to me yesterday: If you’re a uniformed, police officer, your duty belt needs to be divided into “Tactical” and “Administrative” sections (we already classify firearms procedures that way). Generally best to declare the front portion, the half in front of your hips, the “Tactical” area, and the back portion, the “Administrative” area.
The tactical part of your belt needs to hold all the stuff you need to protect your life and good health, ie: your weapons: pistol, spare magazines, OC, Taser, baton, backup pistol, blades, flashlight. Less important “administrative” items: handcuffs, radio transmitter, keys, pager, spare batteries, cell phone, etc need to be in the less-accessible, rear portion of your duty belt, the “administrative” area.
Organizing your duty belt correctly helps you organize your thinking correctly, which assists you in a coordinated and efficacious response to threats. Placing items on your duty belt haphazardly, with scant thought to their relative importance, is a foolish mistake, and one that is easily avoided with a little critical thought.
Good show, Bob!
22 July 05
Good comments from a colleague in OH:
“(1) John, you’d need a sixty-inch waist to carry all that stuff (don’t take that as a challenge)!
(2) Be sure to remind everyone, no matter how much junk they have loaded onto their duty belt, to avoid having a hard object (like a cuff case) directly over their spine. Hard objects over the spine are an invitation to serious injury.
(3) If officers are carrying both a Taser AND a handgun on their duty belt, how do they defend either/both from a gun grab? If a suspect goes for an officer’s Taser, does he draw his sidearm and shoot? Does he employ a weapon-retention technique (involving both of his hands) that will leave his sidearm undefended? Does he put a hand on both and then head butt his opponent?
I have asked these questions of agencies who carry both, and have never received a credible answer. It is apparent to me that they have put the latest technology in the field and had not yet thought the issue through.”
Comment: Good points, and I don’t have good answers either!
23 July 05
More excellent comments, this time from a friend in the Philippines, where it is hot and sweaty most of the time!
“While your last post was geared towards officers in uniform, the same advice should be heeded by those who regularly carry concealed. Given all the stuff with which we routinely burden ourselves, keeping everything on the belt is not easy. Both the inventory and layout need to be thought out thoroughly.
Like you, I’ve seen people attempt to stuff mobile phones, flashlights, folding knives, OC cans, and Leathermans into pistol magazine wells during tactical exercises. For this reason, many of us here use this system:
Spare magazines are on the belt and vertically oriented . Leathermans are on the belt, but oriented horizontally. Blades are clipped to pockets or inside the waistband. Phones, keys, OC, and pagers are inside pockets. Flashlights are on the belt too, but horizontal like Leathermans. The only items that are on the belt and vertically oriented are spare magazine(s) and, of course, the pistol. Second pistols are off the belt and away from the waistband.
Down here, we have little usable body real estate, so competent planning on what to carry and where is a real issue. I constantly have to remind students that their equipment inventory must be limited! You’re not going to be able to regularly carry everything you can possibly imagine you’ll ever need.
Ditto the advice about not carrying hard objects over the spine. You don’t have to get knocked on your fanny to appreciate this. A long ride in a car with supportive seats will be an eye-opener!”
Comment: Too many choices can be as paralyzing as too few! Responsiveness and austerity have a direct relationship. Don’t use equipment, or absence of it, as a convenient excuse to lose.
First Rule of Tactics: Do the best you can with what you have. Don’t dither!
24 July 05
From a friend in Europe:
“Knives (at least two, one of them a fixed blade). Laws here don’t favor this, but, like you, I’m past caring. Expandable baton shares a front pocket with one of the blades. Fox OC goes in the left, outer pocket of my concealment garment. SureFire goes into a right-side vest pocket. I’ve yet to find a good place for my cell phone. In Europe, you better be prepared to take care of yourself!
Some French cops on ‘foot patrol’ are now on roller blades! I didn’t believe it myself until I saw it. Fast, but makes for poor footing during an arrest. French National Police (the Gendarmerie) carry new SIG Pro pistols (9mm) in Safariland SLS holsters. Apparently, no European manufacturer makes a holster that compares. European street cops are under-equipped (no Tasers, no OC), poorly trained (particularly with firearms), and generally held in low esteem by citizens. Politicians regard them as highly-expendable, easily-replaceable cannon fodder, just as they have since the days of kings and czars. The only well-armed, well-trained police you’ll ever find here are assigned to politicians’ body-guard staffs!
While in Paris, I watched the politician in charge of local police (a ‘sub-minister;’ In France, one can get elected to public office, and, at the same time, have a government job. Explains a lot about the sorry state France is in) announce that they would stage a ‘raid’ in Paris’ low-rent district, ostensibly looking for ‘contraband.’ The next day, the raid went on as foretold: armed police in black balaclavas being enthusiastically greeted by an army of news cameras and commentators on curb. You can guess what they found: nothing! Policing by media. It’s a brave, new world, or am I waxing cynical?
I left for the USA a few days after the London bombings. There were few changes in airport security. Air Force troopers patrolled in three-man, instead of two-man, teams. Each had a single, rifle magazine on his belt. None actually in the rifles. No sidearms.”
Comment: Euro-weenies still regard terrorism as a British/American problem. I’m sure some day in the not-to-distant future, we’ll have to rescue them- again!
26 July 05
Desert Snake Skin:
My friend, Les Leturno (address below), specializes in camouflage, polymer coatings for service rifles and shotguns. He just completed in applying his “Desert Snake Skin” pattern to my RA-96. It is an excellent, wide-spectrum pattern that is suitable in just about any natural or urban environment.
Les’ attention to detail and devotion to his craft are extraordinary. Good show, Les! Recommended!
Custom Firearm Finishes
PO Bx 773534
Eagle River, AK 99577
907 694 4440
26 July 05
Equipment comments from a friend and instructor in SA:
“A student arrived last week carrying a rusted Beretta 92F, with no spare magazine, propped into a sleazy, chicken-hide holster that was falling apart. His words to me were, ‘… I’ve never needed more than one magazine.’ ‘Never’ ended ten minutes into training! By the end of the first day, his holster had disintegrated the rest of the way. It amazes me to see how many individuals are prepared to bet their lives on JUNK!
On the positive side, several cops brought Rs (SA’s version of the Kalashnikov). Over-engineered, they are heavy, but reliable. Others brought Winchester Defender shotguns. All worked without a hitch through three days of heavy shooting. Good gun!”
Comment: There is no substitute for good, well-maintained equipment. Even in Africa, it is astonishing to see the casual attitude some still have toward their own safety. How bad does it have to get?
26 July 05
Comments on close encounters, from one of my instructors in Europe:
“Defending against an attempted weapon disarm is defending against a murder-in-progress. No other way to look at it. One should plan on responding immediately with gun or blade. However, autoloading pistols are vulnerable to malfunctions when pressed against flesh (which is why J-frame, snubby revolvers will never go out of style).
Knives don’t suffer from such limitations. It doesn’t matter from which side I get assaulted, one of my knives will cut/stab whatever piece of alien flesh is touching me. Whatever my attacker does after that, he’ll probably let go first. That generates options for me. Sure, it requires determination and commitment, but that’s the point of fighting, isn’t it? My blades are all located so that at least one is available to whichever of my hands is in the best position to respond (whether I have guns on me or not).
Knives enable us to cover the most dangerous of possibilities. We all need to keep them on us constantly and know how to use them effectively.”
Comment: Couldn’t agree more!
27 July 05
A friend and student recently found herself in an awkward and uncomfortable situation while in the company of a “friend-of-a-friend.” She was unharmed, but she found herself in a strange place, with a person who had grossly misinterpreted their relationship.
When she later talked with me, she had this sage advice:
MAINTAIN YOUR CAPACITY FOR INDEPENDENT ACTION.
Be able to transport yourself. Keep track of where you are and, when stranded, what you need to do to get back to a familiar place.
Whenever entering a building, or any confined place, immediately locate exits, find escape paths, identify objects that can be used for cover, and look over the crowd.
Don’t depend on others for your own personal security. Have your weapons with you. Be prepared, and have the personal determination, to use them when necessary. Maintain your good health. You have few options without it.
Have credit cards and cash with you, so that you can function when stranded. Always be able to independently: rent cars, stay at hotels, eat at restaurants, purchase fuel, make airline reservations.
Have a flashlight. When you find yourself in a dark place, your options dry up pretty fast without a flashlight.
Have your own cell phone. Be able to communicate immediately with those who can help you.
Don’t be “trusting.” Beware of people you don’t know really well. Don’t hesitate to abruptly disengage and separate, even when it seems impolite.
What comes through from the forgoing is the necessity of MAINTAINING PERSONAL INDEPENDENCE, maintaining the ability to take effective, unilateral action. Those who are victimized are invariably: naive, adolescent, unobservant, unprepared, unalert, unarmed, counterfactual. Most of all, they foolishly believe someone else cares about them more than they care about themselves. They need to grow up. With luck, they’ll get the chance!
27 July 05
Another Domestic Manufacturer:
JLD in Connecticut is now manufacturing the HK-91 (308) battle rifle here in the USA. I handled a copy yesterday, and it was very nice. JLD has been in business for three years. The first runs of what they call the PTR-91 had feeding problems, because the guns were too tight. They have since been loosened up, and current production copies are good, utility rifles.
The best model for our purposes is the Kurz/Tropical, featuring a short barrel and short stock. Collapsible stock is also available.
Our area’s premier gunshop, Jensen’s in Loveland, CO (address below), has a good supply, and they also have a twenty-round magazines at $2.00/copy! Ask to talk with Dave.
246 E 4th St
Loveland, CO 80538
970 663 5994
28 July 05
Alertness and training pay off for this student of ours in CA:
“This morning I was at my desk in a corner of the lobby, as usual sorting through papers. I noticed a slovenly-looking person approaching my desk from the side. I didn’t know whom he was, but I did know he didn’t belong there.
I quickly drew my flashlight as I stood up. I directed the beam at his face as I arrested his forward progress with a strong, verbal challenge. I then moved off the line of force. He started to ask a question, but never completed his sentence. As he fumbled, I informed him he was in a restricted zone and directed him out of the area. He turned around and left, mumbling to himself.
My training with Dave Manning, Larry Nichols, and you really worked! Even in daylight, my Surefire simultaneously disoriented him and forced him to look away. When he recovered and attempted to resume the conversation, he found himself addressing empty space! I was no longer where he expected me to be. As he searched around trying to find me, I seized the initiative and announced (loud enough for everyone to hear) that he needed to leave. All this happened within a space of five seconds. It was a ‘natural’ reaction for me, because I have repeated it so often in training.
Some people at work used to tease me about being ‘over-prepared.’ Today, after the incident, several of them came over and asked me if I would train them!”
Comment: Many of the protective/interactive skills we teach don’t even involve firearms or weapons of any kind. Alertness and preparedness should always be “turned on,” regardless of the circumstances. People who think they will be able to perform as smoothly as my student did in the forgoing scenario without ever thinking about it in advance or exposing themselves to serious training are naive fools.
One of my instructors puts it this way: “I expect myself and all my gear to be the toughest in the fight, and I am determined to keep going until I win. Toughness, durability, preparedness, and personal competence matter. I don’t plan to have to worry about myself, my equipment, or anyone with me falling apart when things get exciting.”
WILLINGNESS IS A STATE OF MIND. READINESS IS A STATEMENT OF FACT!
Good show, my friend!
29 July 05
British police have apparently made an addition to Safety Rule #3 . The rule now is: “Keep your finger off the trigger and keep your non-firing hand in front of the muzzle until you have decided to shoot.”
It has been too long since the Brits have been routinely armed!
30 July 05
Self-inflicted accident in OR:
A Salem, OR deputy sheriff was shot in his leg when he exited his patrol vehicle last week. The injury was “substantial,” and he will likely suffer permanent disability as a result.
An internal investigation revealed that the bullet in question came from the officer’s own pistol, and that the pistol was still fully seated in the holster at the moment of discharge (Glock pistol, model, caliber, and brand of ammunition, all unreported. Brand of holster was also unreported). Investigators say that the AD was not the result of mishandling of the handgun. The deputy was wearing a jacket with drawstrings and cylindrical, plastic toggles around the waistband. It is believed that one of the toggles worked its way into the holster and became entangled within the trigger guard. When the deputy subsequently extended his arm to push open the car door, his coat became taut as the waistband pulled up. As a result, the drawstring apparently tightened around the trigger with sufficient tension to discharge the pistol.
We can talk about the inadvisability of wearing jackets with drawstring and toggles while carrying a pistol in a waist holster. And, we can also talk about being careful upon holstering a pistol, and routinely performing a “Push; Pull; Sweep” drill to assure that articles of clothing are not inadvertently jammed into the magazine well or the holster itself. Both were obviously contributing factors in the foregoing incident, but I’d like to also address the subject of Glocks and NY Triggers.
The installation of a NY Trigger will increase the trigger pull weight on most Glocks from five to eight pounds. Equally important, the weight of trigger take-up is increased from a nominal two pounds to six pounds. In practical use, most shooters barely notice the difference. I’ve timed myself and many students drawing and firing with and without the NY Trigger, and I’ve consistently discovered the difference in time to be statistically unmeasurable.
What the NY Trigger does is make the operator aware that his finger is in contact with the trigger. I have NY Triggers on all my Glocks and highly recommend them for any Glock used for serious purposes, particularly those carried in holsters.
Of course, I can’t be sure the installation of a NY Trigger would have made any difference in the foregoing incident. However, in my informal tracking, departments with NY triggers installed on their Glocks consistently experience fewer accidents than do those with standard triggers. If you own and carry any Glock pistol for serious purposes, it is my recommendation that you install a NY Trigger without delay!