2 Apr 05

I’ve been asked to add two, desperately needed items to the list of things to ship overseas:


Again, all items are being accepted by Capt Anderson (address below) for distribution. Best way to ship is via USPO.

Captain Ryan L Anderson, USMC
MWSS 371 Engineer Operations Company
Unit 43041
FPO AP 96426-3041



2 Apr 05

Disney World, from a friend and student who lives in FL:

“Just returned from a trip (with the family) to Disney World. We stayed at the Disney Coronado Springs Resort. Upon arrival, I asked at the guest services desk about the official policy for concealed carry while at the park. Much to my surprise, the clerk didn’t have a clue! The reception desk clerk didn’t have any idea either. I concluded this topic does not have a high priority, and I quickly dropped the line of questioning.

We visited several parks over five days. All had a ‘security checkpoint’ at the entry. However, all they examined were carried bags, and the ‘examination’ was cursory indeed. There were no metal detectors. People without bags were allowed to proceed unhindered, even those with fanny packs. ‘Security officers’ were, of course, unarmed and seemed interested only in keeping a back up from developing.

Time after time, I nonchalantly entered with my S&W Scandium 1911 in a Comp-Tec concealment holster under my CCC vest, spare magazine, Surefire flashlight, Fox OC bottle, and a Cold-Steel blade in a front pocket. Not even a word about the blade, which was easily noticeable with the belt clip on the outside of my jeans.

I concluded that these ‘security checkpoints’ are little more than a hollow charade, mandated by an insurance carrier and designed only to mollify grasseaters, who like to play ‘let’s pretend.’”

Lesson: Even in Disneyland, you’re still on your own! Only a fool would look to these people for protection.



2 Apr 05

Beretta coming back?

Beretta is producing a self-decocking pistol with a short, light trigger, in an effort to compete with Glock’s SA, SIG’s DAK, and H&K’s LEM:

It is obvious that Beretta sees the handwriting on the wall. American police departments are not buying pistols with manual decocking levers and manual safeties, nor are they buying heavy, long DAO triggers. So, we now have the new, polymer-framed Beretta Storm PX4 pistol in 9mm, 40S&W, and 357SIG.

Like S&W’s P99 series, it features interchangeable backstraps to accommodate a large spectrum of hand sizes. It is more compact and less cluttered than the 92 series and uses the rotating-barrel lock-up. The Storm uses its own magazine, which not compatible with Beretta 92/96 series pistols

They’re making it now in the “D” version (DAO), but later this year we’ll see Beretta’s “CA” (“Constant-Action”) trigger. I’m told it will remind one of SIG’s DAK. Too bad they didn’t have a copy at the SHOT Show, but I’ll be anxious to see it in any event.

I am told retail (w/ night-sights) will be under $500.00/copy. Priced right. Who knows? Beretta might become a player once more!



2 Apr 05

Post 9/11 “leadership,” from an LEO friend in WI:

“Last week, there was a fire in a building adjacent to one of the state’s office buildings. This particular state building is occupied by three different state agencies. All had mandated ‘emergency response plans.’

The fire was quickly brought under control, but there was lots of smoke, and it got sucked into the state office building via the ventilation system. There was a definite smoke odor on every floor. Most people found their eyes watering and had difficulty breathing.

So, the question came up, what to do? Various state administrators and managers showed up, and we explained the problem. Breathing smoke is unhealthy, and there was a high concentration of carbon monoxide. We gave them more than enough information to make a decision. But no!

They frantically started leafing through various ‘disaster plans,’ apparently looking for inspiration. They ‘conferenced’ with each other, trying to reach a ‘consensus.’ Presumably, that’s how they do business every day, and they were utterly incapable of shifting gears.

Fingers kept pointing, but NOBODY COULD MAKE A DECISION. Finally, our exasperated fire chief swept them aside and, on his own authority, ordered the building evacuated immediately. These state ‘managers’ couldn’t make their own decision, didn’t understand any of the issues, but once the fire department made a decision for them, they were more than happy to abdicate responsibility and trot along like lemmings. I shudder to think what would happen if any of them were ever faced with a real emergency!

They’re called ‘managers,’ but they are perfectly happy when someone else rescues them from the necessity of deciding anything themselves. This must be what Pearl Harbor was like in December of 1941!”

Lesson: The forgoing is an all-too-accurate description of most bureaucracies, private and public. “Management” has been substituted for “leadership.” Unqualified people are routinely promoted into important positions for political reasons. They are far less interested in doing their job than they are in keeping their job. Conversely, competent, decisive, inspirational leaders are smothered and marginalized by stationary, bureaucratic momentum and reams and reams of incomprehensible “policy.”

Once again, “consensus,” “risk management,” ad nauseaum are just euphemisms for lack of leadership and cowardice.



4 Apr 05

Incident, from a friend and instructor in the East Coast:

“All turned out well, but only because it was a false alarm.

I was visiting my sister last week when a frantic call was received from her adult son that ‘someone was breaking into my house.’ He was frightened, because the call came from his wife, who was in the house with their infant daughter at the time. My sister, of course, instructed him to ‘hang-up and call 911!’ He had already.

I was still in my bathrobe at the breakfast table and quickly threw on my pants, so I could support my pistol, extra magazine and SureFire. My sister said frantically, ‘Let’s go. Don’t bother with your shoes; we’ve got to go now.’ So, off we went. I had only my pistol, spare magazine (seven-shot), flashlight and my (out-of-state) badge. My sister was unarmed. Half way there, we both realized neither of us had our cell phones!

We arrived well before the first beat car. All appeared to be okay. I banged on the front door and challenged, ‘WE’RE POLICE. OPEN THE DOOR.’ The startled young mother opened the door, holding her infant child. She recognized me and asked what was going on. I said nothing as I stepped past her, gun drawn, to a defensive position on the inside and had her move to cover outside the house.

The police still had not arrived, and I suggested we all step across the street before they did. By now, my sister was hysterical and of no help at all. A lone officer arrived ten minutes later. We explained the situation, and, satisfied, he quickly departed to answer another call. No backup ever arrived.

This incident turned out okay only because it was a false alarm. Husband got a call on his cell phone that made him think someone had invaded his house. It turned there was a construction site next door, with hammering and other loud sounds. He misinterpreted the sounds as evidence of a break in.

We had no plan. I responded with only bare-essential fighting gear. My sister had nothing, and neither of us had a cell phone.


HAVE A ‘ROLL-OUT KIT,’ ALWAYS IN ONE PLACE AND READY. My daily carry package has all the required material, but it was scattered about my bedroom. There was no time to assemble it. I was taken off my game, departing without essential daily equipment, including backup gun, OC Spray, blades, and cell phone. Better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it!

YOU ARE ON YOUR OWN! It can’t be said too often. The single, responding police unit eventually got there, but no where near quickly enough to rescue my niece, had there been a real home invader. Sturdy doors, good locks, and warning alarms may have deterred him and/or slowed him down, but lethal force is the ONLY WAY to stop a determined attacker.

GET THE REQUIRED TRAINING. Although her protective instincts were commendable, my sister was, with all due respect, worthless! She lacked the necessary equipment and skills to be a credible rescuer. GOOD INTENTIONS DON’T SOLVE PROBLEMS. THE RIGHT EQUIPMENT, THE RIGHT SKILLS, AND RIGHTEOUS DETERMINATION DOES.

LEARN FROM YOUR MISTAKES. Don’t let lessons like the forgoing go unheeded. Incidents such as these are good opportunities to debrief and critique yourself. Just because it turned out alright doesn’t mean you did everything right!”

Comment: Good advice! At least my friend and his sister went forward boldly. They didn’t sit indecisively and dither as would many.



5 Apr 05

This handwritten note was received from Capt Anderson today. I’m sure he is trying his best to write personal notes to everyone, but, if you haven’t received one yet, I’m confident he would agree that this one goes out to all who have generously sent supplies to our Marines in Iraq through him:

“We received your package (another followed a few days later) and are thoroughly thankful for all you are doing for us. I assure you the items you sent will be put to use immediately and will go to hardworking and deserving Marines. We often times must go outside the wire and tackle tough tasks such as clearing explosives, IEDs and other harmful items. We also have a group dedicated to co-instruction, utilities support, and heavy equipment operation. We have been on a few convoys, and I assure you they are no fun. A little nerve wracking. The Marines that go out every day are brave men and do a dangerous job.

I will make sure I distribute your items and let them know someone is thinking about them.

Thanks again for your support.

For our engineers: http://groups.msn.com/EOPSinIraq.

Semper Fi, R.

Captain Ryan L. Anderson, USMC”

Thanks to all from me too. Let us keep the supplies flowing!



11 Apr 05

Developments in the serious handgun industry:

The lucrative and prestigious ICE pistol contract has been awarded exclusively to SIG and H&K. All pistols, as expected, are specified to be self-decocking, SIG with their DAK system, H&K with the LEM. Glock was mysteriously frozen out, and is actively trying to get back in.

Wasting no time, SIG is delivering pistols now. H&K isn’t, and it looks as if, once more, H&K is in the process of dropping the ball! I hope this is not true and H&K is able to turn it around, as they need to be a strong force in the industry, on par with SIG and Glock.

S&W’s new, flagship, self-decocking police pistol, which should have been an active competitor and which was supposed to be introduced at the SHOT Show last January, still has not make its appearance. We may have to wait until next year’s SHOT Show! We all want S&W to reclaim its place as the premier American pistol manufacturer, but it obviously won’t happen this year!

Beretta may also recover some market share with their new “constant-action” trigger system, but, plagued by chronic durability and magazine availability problems, they are presently little more than an also-ran. Two top executives have recently been unceremoniously replaced.

So, SIG is in a commanding position right now, and deservedly so. Since robust competition makes for a healthy industry, I sincerely hope the other manufacturers quickly recover from their various blunders and get back in the fight. We need them all, hale and forward looking.



11 Apr 05

I recently had my SIG M229/R/DAK treated with “Diamondcoat,” a hard, polymer coating applied by M&R in Mt Clemens, MI. The M&R folks did a superlative job, and the self-lubricating Diamondcoat treatment is attractive, tough, and slick. Magazines are treated, inside and out. The only surface not treated is the bore.

For a working, concealed carry gun, tough coatings like M&R’s Diamondcoat and the equally excellent NP3 and RoGuard, applied by friend Robbie Barrkman at Robar, make a lot of sense. Dirt and grit do not cling to it. Only minimal lubrication is required, and the material is simultaneously hard, slick, and chemically inert. Treated guns don’t rust, don’t get gunked up, and the coating is extremely durable.

Superior, in my opinion, to electroplating, these coatings are uniform. There are no pinholes, buildup, thin spots, or cracks. Application requires only low heat, so metallurgy is not modified.
Nothing not to like.




12 Apr 05

From a physician friend:

“In his book ‘Freakonomics,’ rogue economist Steven Levitt tells of his experience going to a support group for parents who had lost children. His own son died of meningitis as an infant. He was amazed to find how many kids died of drowning, and decided to look into it. His exhaustive study revealed that there is a one hundred times greater risk of childhood mortality in a house that has a swimming pool than in one that has a gun. And, of course, limiting the study to swimming pools fails to take into account additional drownings in buckets, toilets, and wading pools.

In light of the forgoing, I am astounded that Democrats have not moved to ban private swimming pools, as, in addition to the above, they are mostly owned by the ‘rich people’ whom Democrats claim to hate so vehemently (unless, of course, they work in the entertainment industry). It’s a good thing the anti-gun segment of the Democratic Party continues to steadfastly refuse to let facts cloud their judgment.”



13 Apr 05

From a department training officer in CA:

“We made a startling discovery yesterday that quickly developed into a significant officer-safety issue here. We just received a shipment of Winchester, low recoil, 1 oz. 12ga slug ammunition, which, for the past five years, has been the standard, issue round for our department’s Mossburg 590 patrol shotguns. As always, we tested several boxes at random prior to general issue.

To our astonishment, our Mossburgs repeatedly experienced feeding failures! Rounds could be seen through the ejection port ‘dangling’ vertically, having ‘fallen through’ the shell lifter. Our hasty investigation revealed that Winchester’s new shells are one-quarter inch shorter than their previous version, and they are not now long enough to be reliably held on Mossburg’s skeletonized shell lifter. Winchester inexplicably made this modification without any change in cartridge designation or stock number. The new shells did feed reliably in our single Remington 870, as it has a solid shell lifter.

Our investigation led to a heated conversation with Winchester’s West Coast distributor, who informed us that Winchester shortened their shells to make it possible to charge a ‘four-round’ magazine tube with five rounds. A laudable goal, but they neglected to publicize this modification, nor obviously, test it in all major manufacturers’ shotguns.

To reiterate, WE REGARD THIS AS A SIGNIFICANT OFFICER-SAFETY ISSUE, and the entire shipment has been returned to Winchester. That this new ammunition will find its way into a Mossburg shotgun, owned by a police department, is inevitable. Winchester needs to recall this stuff and immediately return all production to original dimensions. If all ammunition manufacturers decide to go to this new dimension for 12ga shells, then Mossburg will have to redesign its shell carrier, so that it will reliably capture these shorter rounds.”

Lesson: TEST YOUR EMERGENCY/SAFETY EQUIPMENT REGULARLY! Winchester is a fine company, but a faux pas like this is going to happen every now and then. In this case, the problem was discovered and corrected immediately (at least in this department). Had it gone undiscovered, it may have resulted in an unnecessary injury or death. Serious gear needs serious attention!



15 Apr 05

On the advice of several friends, I’ve made it a habit of running a Bore Snake through all my guns prior to leaving a range after a live-fire session. With autoloading pistols, the correct way to use the Bore Snake is to thread it through the magazine well first and then through the chamber and ultimately out the muzzle. When it is pulled through, it will thus scrub the feed ramp, as well as the chamber and bore. Threading it through the ejection port, as illustrated in the printed instructions, is an inferior method.

Running a Bore Snake through the barrel is, of course, no adequate substitute for thorough cleaning, but it does get the bore and chamber scrubbed free of the residue deposited there during firing.

Later that same day, if there is a shooting incident, and I am not involved, I can easily prove my weapon was not fired, as examination of it will clearly show that the bore has been cleaned since the weapon was last fired. Conversely, with the afternoon’s residue still deposited in the barrel, proving that I did no shooting will be more difficult.

Accordingly, make it a habit to always leave the range with a clean bore and chamber. With a Bore Snake, the necessary cleaning can be accomplished in a few seconds. It is time well spent!



15 Apr 05

A recent armed-robbery-turned-gunfight was filmed by surveillance video. The video is in color, and muzzle flashes of pistols involved are clearly visible. However, resolution is poor, as the camera equipment used was, as always, the chinchiest and cheapest the retailer could find. It is a minute long and can be seen at http://www.big-boys.com/articles/itstoobad.html.

It shows a clerk at a retail store confronted by an armed robber. The robber enters the store and points a pistol at the clerk who acts as submissive as he can. You can’t hear what is being said, but the robber is obviously demanding money. However, when the robber is momentarily distracted, the clerk retrieves his own pistol and points it at the robber, who ducks behind a rack of clothing. Both begin shooting at each other. Range between the two shooters never exceeded two meters. Resolution is too poor for one to be able to tell what kind of pistols are involved.

For the next few seconds both robber and clerk pop up (the robber from behind the clothing rack, and the clerk from behind his counter) and fire shots at each other. Neither combatant used his sights nor aimed any of his shots. The robber ultimately pops up at the wrong time and is struck in the upper chest. The clerk’s bullet is immediately effective. The robber crumples and falls backwards. The shot that struck the robber was obviously a matter of luck and little else. In fact, this kind of gunfight usually ends with both participants running out of ammunition after failing to hit each other with so much as a single round.

The clerk then approaches the wounded robber and shoots him several more times while he lies on the floor. Bad form, of course, but this robber’s career surely ended there! Confused, the clerk subsequently wanders around aimlessly and ultimately starts to drag the limp body of the robber away from where it fell.

What struck me, among other things, was that both the clerk and the robber considered the rack of clothing to be impenetrable! The clerk could have ended the fight sooner by simply shooting through it, but this option obviously never occurred to him. He could have also gone to prone and shot under the rack of clothing, striking the robber in the legs and/or feet.

What also struck me was that the robber shot it out with the clerk, rather than running away. The latter is the course of action chosen by the vast majority of robbers when they are confronted by deadly force. Not this time! The robber in this instance was there to fight, and he aggressively fired at the clerk and used “cover.”

Finally, both combatants stood stationary once the shooting started. Neither took a single step in any direction, nor did either shoot from any position other than standing..


In a gunfight, USE YOUR SIGHTS! AIM YOUR SHOTS! One solid hit will greatly diminish your opponent’s ability to effectively return fire. Hit fast; hit first, but HIT with every round.
The phrase, “defensive shooting” is actually a contradiction of terms. When your life is threatened, you must, without delay, aggressively go after the threat, neutralizing it as quickly as possible.

Pistol bullets are stopped by multiple layers of sheet metal and nearly anything ceramic. However, they will go through dry wall, most pieces of furniture, and most racks of clothing. Just because your opponent hides behind something he thinks is “cover” doesn’t mean you can’t shoot him through it.

MOVE OFF THE LINE OF FORCE! It is obvious to me that, had the clerk moved laterally, the robber would have become hopelessly confused.

Once the threat is neutralized, at least in the short term, (1) scan, (2) reload, (3) get distance, and (4) get cover. DO NOT APPROACH AN INJURED VIOLENT CRIMINAL FOR ANY REASON. There is nothing to be gained by getting close to a wounded VCA.

Finally, don’t taper with evidence. Leave everything, including bodies, where it is. Detectives will figure out what happened. Tampering with evidence will, without fail, turn you into a suspect!



18 Apr 05

Of Kimber and the USMC:

Kimber 1911s, recently ordered by the US Marine Corps, all have INTERNAL extractors. The Marine Corps specified this, because they believe in the inherent superiority of the original Browning design. They displayed no interest in “modern,” external extractors, nor did they display interest in the (Series-80) firing pin safety, opting instead for the original, Series-70 design.

Most manufacturers currently producing 1911 pistols make them with external extractors. However, external extractors have led to no end of extraction problems; problems that never manifested themselves with the original, Browning design (internal extractor). Kimber 1911s equipped with external extractors have been particularly plagued with extractor and extraction difficulties.

Kimber’s “Warrior” model is currently the only one produced (for public consumption) that comes with the original, internal extractor. All Kimber’s other models have an external extractor. If you want a Kimber, the “Warrior” is the one to get. The USMC is right!



18 Apr 05

Kimber’s grip-safety/firing-pin safety, from a department armorer whose department uses the Kimber 1911 pistol:

“We have had grievous problems with Kimber’s firing-pin safety. It came on some of our officers’ new Kimbers. It is deactivated via the depression of the grip safety. When the grip safety is not fully depressed, the hammer falls when the trigger is pressed, but the gun does not fire! It creates a horrifying situation, as the officer does not know is he has a dud round or an incorrect grip. Accordingly, I’ve pulled all pistols equipped with this device out of service. Friends at Kimber indicated to me that we can thank LAPD for this undefendable ‘safety,’ that never should have seen the light of day!”

Lesson: You can really put yourself in danger by having too many “safeties” on a serious gun. “Safety” devices that are particularly detrimental to your health are the ones, such as described above, which engender confusion in the mind of a desperate user. Any legitimate “safety” will forestall the entire ignition sequence. At least then the operator may have a clue as to what the problem is. A “safety” which allows the gun to “half operate” is nuts!



19 Apr 05

“Make them kill you!”

“I am a corrections officer here in Florida. This morning I escorted one of our inmates, who was leaving our facility for another in the state. As I was walking him out of the cellblock, his friends all came up to say goodbye and wish him well.

This is not unusual for prisoners. What is unusual is their salutation. Instead of the customary well wishes, his friends recited in unison, “MAKE THEM KILL YOU!” Loosely translated, “Don’t give up and don’t give in, until you put yourself beyond their reach.”

These inmates, most of whom never graduated from high school, have a fundamental commitment to life on their terms and a severe understanding of what it takes to survive that most “educated” people do not. VCAs who have been in and out of prison quickly develop a hard attitude and a mindset for conflict and chaos.”

Lesson: Under the right circumstances VCAs will prevail against all, except serious, hard, heavy hitters. They are dangerous predators in a dangerous world. We need either to be up to the challenge, or cower in fear. You’re on your own!



19 Apr 05

M9 history:

In an article appearing in the current issue of Infantry Magazine (published by the Department of the Army; I’ve been a subscriber since graduating from the Army’s Infantry Advanced Course at Ft Benning, GA in 1978) there is a brief sidebar entitled “Benning Tests M9 Alternatives.”

The author points our that the US Military’s transition from the Colt/Browning 1911 pistol (45 ACP) to the M9 (9mm) consumed thirty years (1954-1984), so the vast majority of soldiers and Marines currently carrying the pistol weren’t even born when the decision was made to adopt it.

As if to emphasize the relative unimportance of this project, the author quotes a current DOD bureaucrat, buried somewhere in the Pentagon, “… we were fighting the Cold War then. Target effect wasn’t a factor. Now it is.”

Let’s translate this curious morsel of bureaucrateese into plain English: “Back then, we considered the lives and health of individual soldiers to be unimportant, so pistols were little more than nonfunctional ornaments. Of course, we still do, but the pitiable foolishness of our decision then has now manifested itself in extreme dissatisfaction among real troops, currently involved in real war, with the M9 pistol and the 9mm hardball cartridge, so we’re being dragged, kicking and screaming, toward a new pistol and pistol caliber, this time, with any luck, one that is genuinely functional.”

“Target effect wasn’t a factor?” How could target effect not be a factor?

“We have met the enemy, and they are us!”



21 Apr 05

Task Vectors

Skip Gochenour and the crew at the NTI have taught me and us all about the danger of ‘Task Vectoring” and why we need to train around it. A “task vector” is the tendency to see a task through to its completion, once it has initialized, regardless of changes in circumstances. In personally threatening circumstances, we thus must learn to interrupt what we are otherwise doing and devote our complete attention to the dangers at hand. Sounds logical and easy, but, in training, we see students stumble over this particular speed bump all the time.

Once a repertoire is started, we tend to recite the entire thing, rather than stop mid-sentence and confront a developing menace. Once we start moving in a particular direction or doing something with our hands, we desperately want to complete the task before altering our focus, even when a lethal threat suddenly appears. It is a natural tenancy, but, in a emergency, it must be manually overridden.

We tell our students “you need your hands to fight.” If one or both hands are occupied holding something nonessential, the extraneous item(s) need to be jettisoned without delay. We often neglect to remind students that the same principle applies to unhelpful thoughts. You need your entire mind, unencumbered and focused, to fight effectively. When it is filled with unhelpful thoughts, called “clog and clutter,” your can’t concentrate to the degree necessary for victory. In an emergency, unhelpful thoughts, like unhelpful objects, must be jettisoned. You have to be able to control your own mind.

When we have plenty of warning, getting prepared is measured and deliberate, but it is sudden emergencies that test our mettle. Thus, in training, we must practice decisively breaking out of (relatively) unimportant vectors and immediately getting into the serious business of protecting ourselves. On a national scale, it is called “mobilization.” On a personal level, “drop what your doing, and get into the fight!”



22 Apr 05

Tactile Chamber Check, from a friend in the Philippines:

“Hornady and TTI Armory are now loading cartridges with ‘low-signature’ casings, ie: black-colored brass. The idea is to camouflage ejected brass cases on the ground, so one’s position is not revealed by a pile of shiny brass to the side of his position. I’m not surprised that it has come to this, but I would think the propagation of such ammo will demand a back-to-basics approach to chamber checks.

‘Low-signature’ brass will provide a genuine advantage to only a few, but many others will buy the stuff just because it is trendy. That being the case, it’s only a matter of time before some folks discover that nothing beats a tactile chamber check.

People who’ve had NDs will, of course, continue to do so. What may happen is that guys who are normally careful but rely on visual checks will now be rolling the dice. Either they’ll think the gun is empty, when it isn’t, or worse, they’ll assume the gun to be loaded when it’s not.

Because the tactile chamber check is designed to work in the dark, it doesn’t depend on visual confirmation. Since you’ve taught me to do this, I’ve used it on rifles, SMGs, shotguns, and handguns. In all cases it provides certain feedback as to the weapon’s true status. A friend implemented it in classes he does for government units, and the rate of NDs has since dropped to zero.”

Comment: All serious gun handling techniques must work in the dark. Relying on a visual reference is flirting with disaster.




22 Apr 05

On Kimber pistols, from a friend and Kimber armorer:

“I don’t speak on behalf of Kimber, but I do work on a lot of their pistols, and I can say this, with much confidence. The pistol(s) in question, where the hammer will fall but the gun will not discharge, is not working properly. It/they need to go back to the factory or be examined by an armorer like me. What you described is NOT possible on a pistol that is working properly.

With a round in the chamber, thumb safety off, grip safety fully depressed, the plunger goes up through the frame, lifting the collar off the firing pin and allowing it to travel forward. If the grip safety is depressed, to any degree, and the hammer falls without the plunger fully lifting the collar off the firing pin, then the pistol needs to be fixed, period.”

Comment: I appreciate the clarification. The grip-safety-deactivated-firing-pin-safety, or “Swartz” system, has been around for a long time. Kimber has adopted it for some, but not all, of their 1911 pistols, because it renders the pistol mechanically drop safe. With the original Browning design, the pistol can discharge if dropped on the muzzle on a hard surface. While never a significant issue, this technical absence of “drop safety” prevents sales to some police departments, and, in the case of California, and entire state.

Personally, I prefer the original Browning design. Like Browning himself, I see little need for external extractors and firing-pin locks. However, I may be wrong, and these two additions may eventually prove to be genuine improvements. I doubt that the final verdict will come in during my lifetime.



25 Apr 05

On the 1911, from a friend in the MC:

“The US Marine Corps never gave up the 1911. We’ve continuously issued them to our Force Recon Folks. The ones still in the system are admittedly old, periodically rebuilt by Marine armorers. Rude and crude in comparison to modern, custom 1911s, they still work well. The recent purchase of Kimbers is intended for the new USMC Special Operations Command Detachment. Unfortunately, issuance is not yet system-wide. The Kimber “Warrior” is the civilian version of what Kimber is now delivering to the Marine Corps, ie: the original Browning design.

The Army, which has the lead on the purchase of all military small arms, is currently expressing insouciant interest in going back to a 45 caliber pistol, upgrading from the discredited 9mm. We fully expect the final product to be impossibly fat, heavy, bulky, maladroit, user-hostile, and laden with a plethora of dubious ‘safety’ features designed to prevent the gun from firing under all circumstances (matched, of course, with a holster that won’t let go of the gun anyway). We’ll probably have to have our armorers get rid of all that extraneous junk in order to make the gun at least marginally useable for serious purposes. We’ll console ourselves with the thought that it will be in a serious caliber!

I suspect 1911s that remain in the system will continue to be highly prized indeed!”

Comment: With Pete Pace now chairman of the Joint Chiefs, maybe the rest of the armed services will become infected with some of the enthusiasm and unapologetic audaciousness for which the Marine Corps so famous (mightily evident from the foregoing)!



29 Apr 05

On pistol performance, from one of our instructors in SD:

“We responded to a shooting here yesterday. Ex-husband went to the home of ex-wife’s new boyfriend. The two argued, and the ex-boyfriend was shot and killed. Suspect used a G23. Ammunition was some kind of commercial HP, but I don’t know the brand.

Victim was hit five times, abdomen and chest. Only one exit wound. Total number of rounds fired, as near as we can tell, was eight, judging from the number of holes we found in the room. Bullets that struck the victim all expanded normally. Should have been a done deal. No such luck! The victim got into a spirited, protracted, physical struggle with the perp, after being shot. The room was a mess, indicating a lively, physical fight. Both victim and perp were soaked with blood. Perp took quite a beating! Victim eventually bled out and lost consciousness. He was DRT when we arrived. Perp was gone but was arrested, without incident, a short time later. Two black eyes and covered with cuts and bruises.

I was astonished with the amount of physical damage the (unarmed) victim was able to inflict upon his attacker, AFTER he was thoroughly shot up with 40S&W high-performance rounds. As you say, ‘all pistol rounds are puny.’ Why the perp stopped shooting after eight rounds is unknown, but I’m sure he now wishes he had continued firing.”

Lesson: It is difficult to overemphasize: all pistols are, at best, only marginal fight stoppers. Even when surgically accurate, we still need to shoot people the way they vote in Chicago: “Early and often!”



29 Apr 05

Letter of appreciation from USMC Capt Anderson, now in Iraq. These guys are real heroes, and he (and I) thank all who have helped so generously. His address is below if you want to jump in:

Captain Ryan L Anderson, USMC
MWSS 371 Engineer Operations Company
Unit 43041
FPO AP 96426-3041

“Marines and Sailors of MWSS-371 (Marine Wing Support Squadron 371), and the many other Marines we support, would like to thank you for thinking of us, as well as sending the packages we have received from you recently. It is not easy being away from our families, but it is our duty, and we serve proudly. You packages are a tangible reminder of home and an example of the great support we have received from communities across the USA.

Cold Steel, Gerber, and Emerson Knives, Surefire flashlights, Leatherman Tools, OEM Beretta magazines, comfort items, cleaning gear, and other items have been distributed to Marines who conduct engineer operations, infantry operations, EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal), security details, and convoy escorts at diverse and remote locations where MWSS-371 is on duty. Let me assure you that I take pride in giving these items Marines who really need them and put them to immediate use. From our base to our most remote outpost, Marines and Sailors are eternally grateful for your generosity, thoughtfulness, prayers.

Thomas Paine wrote, ‘If there must be trouble, let it be in my time, that my child may live in peace.’ It is great Americans, like you, who support me in the field that make the dangerous and grueling job we do worthwhile. We are all together as Americans, and we all want a tranquil world for ourselves, but especially our children.”

Comment: It is unlikely any of us will see a tranquil world during our lifetimes. In the interim, we need strong men with guns guarding the wall. Keep supporting these guys!