31 May 12

“There are things that you cannot imagine, but there is nothing that may not happen!”

Poker-players’ axiom

Last Thursday, in VA, a Deputy Sheriff confronted a shotgun-wielding suspect as the officer responded to a domestic violence call.

When the suspect pointed his shotgun in the officer’s direction, the officer attempted to shoot him with his service handgun, an H&K USP in 45ACP. Brand of ammunition unknown.

The hammer fell normally, but the pistol did not fire. The officer then frantically performed an unspecified stoppage-reduction technique in an attempt to get his pistol running. But, by the time he was back on target, the suspect had complied with commands, and shooting was, in the officer’s judgement, no longer necessary.

Suspect was subsequently arrested without further resistance. No one was injured.

Pistol, and ammunition, in question fired normally, before and after. Up until last Thursday, there was never a hint of a problem. Failure to fire could have resulted from a maintenance issue, or an ammunition issue, empty chamber, slide out of battery, et al. However, subsequent investigation, including significant examination and testing, has failed to yield a clue! The pistol, and ammunition, in question appear to be running normally now.

With modern guns and ammunition, such failures are far less common than they were only a few decades ago, but they still occur, at extremely inconvenient times, as we see!

Now and then, a student will ask why stoppage-reduction drills, and transition-to-backup-gun drills are necessary. The foregoing incident provides the answer. Like all “unusual” events, such occurrences are easy to brush off, until they happen to you!