1 June 01

From a friend in the publishing business. This trick may be widely known, I, for one, didn’t know about it!

“I have a solution to the problem glasses fogging on the range. It really comes in handy here in the damp Pacific Northwest.

Always have on your range a pump bottle of Dial Liquid Hand Soap or a bottle of liquid dish detergent. Add a drop to the lenses of your shooting glasses, spread it around and wipe it clean with a soft cloth, NOT a paper towel. This treatment will prevent fogging for and entire day.

If too much detergent is applied, one may experience streaking. If it happens, simply breath on the lenses and then wipe them off.

It solves the fogging problem here. You students and colleagues may find it helpful in other parts of the Country.”



1 June 01

From an LEO friend and trainer in South Africa:

“I’m on the carpet again for suggesting that the department convert to the manually decocking version of the old-style CZ-75 we all carry. As you know, most of us presently don’t carry this pistol cocked and locked, because the garbage holsters the guys are issued routinely rubs the manual safety into the ‘off’ position. Of course, this ‘empty-chamber’ carry method assumes that one’s weak-side hand will always be available for the next emergency AND that there will be no feeding problems. Heaven help us when we have to draw and shoot immediately, and our weak hand is not available. It’s one of many critical issued that are continuously ignored by management.

On another subject, we had a fatal vehicular pursuit here yesterday. Local police were giving chase to a hijacked vehicle. They radioed ahead, and the police from the adjacent precinct were standing by to assist as the hijackers entered their area. As the suspect vehicle sped past the boundary, one of the officers called upon to assist stepped out into the road and fired a number of shots from his pistol at the vehicle after it had passed. This officer was then struck by one of the pursuing police vehicle and was fatally injured. He died at the scene.

Over here, we still have officers who think they can influence the motion of a car by shooting at it with a pistol, and, of course, we don’t have ‘Stop Sticks’ or any of that stuff you guys take for granted. We’re doing the best we can, John”



2 June 01

From another LEO friend and trainer in South Africa on inoculating people against unexpected circumstances:

“I recently trained a local police unit in hostage rescue techniques, door entry, movement, close quarter engagement techniques, etc. These guys were really good and performed way above average for a team of this kind. When I deemed them ready for operational duty, I decided to give them a final readiness exercise.

It was like most of the other simulation exercises. The only difference was that I had taped a woman screaming for help. She screamed over and over in utter panic. Upon the team’s initial entry, I played this woman’s screams over a communications system, so it was loud.

The result was grotesque. Their performance dwindled, actually becoming amateurish! Their ‘brilliant’ shooting became barely average, and two hostage/non-targets were struck, something they had NEVER done before. Their ‘finely tuned approach’ sputtered and unraveled!

During the debriefing, their unanimous comment was that the screaming of the woman had been unexpected and upset them all to the point of distraction. None had ever experienced it before.

Needless to say, all rescue teams train now with ‘inoculation sound’ as a regular part of the program.”

Lesson: The ability to govern your own emotional response to circumstances is as important as any individual fighting skill you may have. Confusion leads to hesitation, and hesitation leads to panic. All information must be run through the logical filter, not the emotional filter.



2 June 01

NTI 11, Harrisburg, PA, 29 May-2 June 01

Those of us who participated in NTI 11 are now back home. It was a good one, albeit the smallest one yet. This year’s participants were all competent gunmen who are willing to test themselves and expose themselves to risk and pain in the process.

This year’s challenges were difficult and complex. A third of it was Simunitions/roll-playing, and two-thirds were live-fire scenarios, including three separate shoot houses. I found it exciting, but neither easy nor comfortable. As Greg Hamilton pointed out, you can’t validate a system within the system itself. It should come as no surprise that we’re all very good at passing our own tests. Testing yourself in another system requires that you leave your ego on the door on your way in, and be prepared to learn that there are things you need to change.

As valuable as the exercises themselves were the classes and group discussions. Greg Hamilton, John Holschein, and Mike Schurtz were there from Insights, as was Andy Stanford from OPS, Chris Dwiggins from Gunsite, Skip Gochenour, and me. I came away knowing a good deal more about what is being currently taught than I did a week ago.

Skip and his crew surly deserve a great deal of credit for all the work in designing and putting together the exercises and well as running the program and evaluating and coaching the participants.

This year, I used a Glock 32 (357SIG caliber) with Cor-Bon 115gr HP ammunition. It was carried in an Elderton (Ky-Tac) IWB holster (the “Braveheart” model), which I find extremely comfortable and fast. My backup gun was a Kahr P9 (9mm), loaded with Cor-Bon 115gr HP rounds. It was carried in a Ky-Tac pocket liner which I comfortably carried in my strong-side, front pocket.

In addition, I carried a bottle of Fox OC, a Cold Steel Scimitar in my left pocket and a Cold steel Culloden in a pendant scabbard around my neck. I also wore my Second Chance Ultima Body Armor in a T-shirt carrier. It was both comfortable and comforting.

Both Glock and Kahr worked like a champ. Cor-Bon 115gr 357SIG rounds flow through that pistol like a river! It is very smooth. There is almost no muzzle movement during shooting, and I found myself shooting multiple rounds as if I had a machine gun. It is a great fighting pistol. Last year, I drew my backup gun but never fired it. This year, despite the fact that I had two, 14-round LEO magazines for my G32, I ran it dry twice, drew my backup Kahr and nearly ran it dry! Several of the shoot-house stages were exciting, to say the least.

Here is what struck me as important:

At least half of my shooting in the live-fire shoot houses was, of necessity, one handed. My left hand was constantly occupied with opening doors, holding doors open, and manipulating door and window locks. We don’t practice one-handed shooting nearly enough.

Any confrontation, potentially lethal or otherwise, is a time-based competition for limited resources. Several people are trying to take possession of the same commodity simultaneously. As with sharks, human predators usually “bump” before they “bite.” We need to recognize the “bump” for what it is. Bad guys will probe first to be sure you are safe for them to attack before committing to a strike. The last chance for one’s deselection strategy to succeed is during the “bump.”

Predators can distinguish a deliberative pause from indecisive dithering. When you make eye contact with them and then go into a deliberate and practiced repertoire, like moving laterally, issuing a verbal address, and simultaneously scanning all around, it always troubles them and forces them to reevaluate. In most cases, such deliberate action will cause you to fail your audition. On the other hand, prey behavior on the part of the potential victim always elicits predator behavior on the part of the predator.

When a predator abruptly goes from outwardly aggressive to quiet, he is about to explode into his attack. He is mentally transitioning from domineering behavior (within his own clan) to hunting behavior (outside his clan). He is deciding that you are not in his clan and that you are therefore fair game. That is the moment when you must get distance and be ready.

We must move when we are evaluating, not just when we’re contemplating the use of deadly force. As soon an any species of danger is perceived, we need to start moving. Most of us now move laterally during the draw, but we must do the same thing when we see a threat and our gun is already out. Lateral movement upon perceiving a threat legitimately applies in both circumstances.

Verbal addresses and commands must be practiced to the point where they are, in effect, a “tape loop” which can be played on demand. Trying to think of something clever to say on the spur of the moment is usually fruitless.

Often the best way to get distance from a potential attacker is to actually move toward him at an angle and then step (sometimes push) past him. He expects you to back up. He therefore often chooses a place for attack where retreat to the rear is impossible. Pushing past him usually takes him by surprise and befuddles his attack plan.

Predators who select you for victimization believe you have neither the ability nor the will to shoot them. If they did, they would pass you by. Therefore, often the best strategy is to let them see what they think they want to see. Lock them into that way of thinking and then surprise them by explosively counterattacking.

ANY tactic will be successful against someone who doesn’t want to fight. Warrant service tactics should not be used against active and committed gunman. A number of police officers, who have been on many successful “raids” (read that: “unresisted warrant service”), discovered their unresisted arrest tactics unsuccessful in the shoot-houses. Good results often reinforce bad tactics. Just because you achieved a good result doesn’t necessarily mean that everything you did was appropriate. In most cases, it just means you were lucky!

Disarms are sometimes the best option, and often the only viable option, when people threaten you with guns at close range. In the force-on-force exercises, I was able to disarm two armed robbery suspects who rushed up to me and shoved guns in my face. Through pseudo-submissive behavior, I was able to lure them close enough to disarm. I then move rapidly to take their pistols away from them. In both instances, they were completely astonished and unable to react before I had their guns.

Most common mistakes:

Fail to disengage and exit when you have the chance.

Everyone needs a disengagement and exit strategy, the crux of which is the ability to abruptly break away and create distance when the situation starts going in the toilet. Out of politeness, we often stay involved in personal or phone conversations when danger is present. The effect is to keep us in close proximity to danger.

Fail to “stack” threats.

We need to train ourselves to always move to a position where we are only confronting one potentially dangerous person at a time. Allowing them to array themselves against us makes it difficult for us to observe all of them simultaneously. It also make it easy for them to “gang up” on us.

Fail to scan all around, constantly.

Predators will allow you to scan in their direction when they are hidden. Then, they will then approach you quickly from that same direction. Scanning must be frequent and continuous, even when some particular thing has your attention.

Forgetting about OC

Many participants forgot that they had OC spray on their person. OC is great for abrupt disengaging, but you have to have it out and use it at the right moment.

Fail to unburden hands.

You need your hands to fight! This year, participants in the force-on-force exercises had things in their hands, like groceries, dry cleaning, etc. Many tried to disengage, exit, and fight as their weak-side hand (in some cases, both hands) were occupied with bulky objects which had little value. We need to free our hands immediately when danger threatens.

Telegraphing intent with clenching of fists, trembling, starting a movement then hesitating.

The more unexpected a move, the more likely it is to be successful.

Firing more than a few shots from one place.

Bad guys quickly figured out where a shooter was and where to hold their sights. Those who moved around an object of cover and moved from cover to cover rapidly presented the most difficult challenge to bad guys.

Shooting and moving simultaneously.

Trying to shoot and move at the same time seldom produces desirable outcomes. What it does do is (1) put bullet holes in everything EXCEPT the bad guys and (2) quickly run one’s pistol dry.

Fail to look through screens, windows and doors, taking them as barriers.

I failed to see several targets simply because they were beyond a door or window, because my mind had already written off that area. When there is a conflict between your map and reality, it is your map that is at fault. Reality is always right.

Fail to pie corners completely.

Many of us pied corners only half way, only to discover (too late!) that a bad guy was scrunched in a corner.

Gun extended too much and too far forward in close environment.

It is so tempting to extend one’s pistol into a normal stance while in a building, but we have to train ourselves to practice the “compressed ready” position any time there is significant danger of a disarm attempt.

Fail to shoot at “alternate center of mass” or “center of exposed mass”

Several bad guys were exposed only partially, as they leaned out of windows and doorways. It’s always tempting to wait until you can get a round into the center of his chest, but you may never get the chance. We must, without delay, take whatever our best shot is, the instant it becomes available.

Fail to “reverse pie”

When someone with a gun is pursuing you through a built-up area, you can “reverse pie” as he tries to pie a corner, looking for you. This tactic often lures him out into the open.

Misjudging threats and potential threats

Only twenty-seven percent of murders take place during armed robberies. The rest take place during confrontations with disgruntled employees and former employees, mentally ill persons, burglary suspects, and current and former wives, suitors, and husbands. Sometimes, we think that inadvertently walking into an armed robbery is the most likely time we will be confronted with deadly force, but that is not true. Many other circumstances are just as dangerous and we must think of them as such.



5 June 01

More sage NTI 11 comments and observations. This from my friend and colleague, Claude Werner

“1) At non-contact distances (>3 feet), chances of getting a decent hit on a moving human without using the sights is pretty slim. Point shooting is pretty much worthless when shooter or shootee is moving. ‘Body indexing’ completely falls apart.

“2) If you have the physical capability and the situation permits, running laterally or obliquely makes you a difficult target even for a good shooter.

3) Target fixation (not checking behind you) is a habit that builds very easily on a flat range and requires a lot of deliberate practice to overcome. I am going to incorporate it into my dryfire routine as another necessary aspect of gun handling.

4) Integrating firearms and vehicles is more difficult than you think.

5) Use OC early and often. I was glad I had it and glad I used it as much as I did.”



5 June 01

Another sad story from South Africa. This is where the antigun people are taking us:

“A month ago, I was directed to take possession of a lady customer’s CZ 75 Compact (9mm). The government had declared her ‘unfit to possess a firearm’ and ordered her to surrender it. She had drawn her pistol and shot and killed a dog that was attacking her young child as the two were walking in a local park. This incident happened in a ‘town area’ where carrying and discharging of weapons is prohibited. All the appeals to common sense naturally fell on the deaf ears of the bureaucrats, who yawned their way through the entire appeals process, which was an exercise in futility from the beginning. In the process, I got to know her fairly well. She was a good person.

Last week, she went for a walk up the mountain (near George, SA). She never returned. Her body was found yesterday. She had been bound, slashed with knives and sexually mutilated. She was, of course, unarmed. Local government officials expressed ‘deep, personal concern.'”

Lesson: We are all “beans.” Every bureaucrat knows two things about beans. (1) Beans all look alike, and (2) You can always get more beans. When we look to them for protection, the foregoing is what we can expect.



10 June 01

“Albanian Weekend?” Benito Mussolini’s ill-fated invasion of Greece, November 1940

By September of 1939, Hitler was flirting with a simultaneous war against Britain, Poland, and France. Both Stalin in Russia and Mussolini in Italy believed that Hitler had foolishly painted himself into a corner. Mussolini, for one, was determined that he would not go down in flames along with Hitler’s failed dreams. However, Hitler was to prove as tenacious as his enemies were incompetent.

In a surprise invasion in the fall of 1939, Germans smashed Poland’s defenses within weeks. By May of 1940, Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Belgium had all fallen to Hitler. By June, Britain’s pathetic and halfhearted effort at an expeditionary force was blunted, humiliated, and isolated on a beach at Dunkirk and avoided complete destruction only because of a heroic evacuation involving nearly every seaworthy craft in England. Before June was over, France would also be overrun. Hitler was on a roll. Stalin was troubled. Roosevelt was distressed. Churchill was desperate. Mussolini saw an opportunity!

Born in 1883 in Italy, Mussolini was, from the beginning, attracted to radical politics. As a journalist he produced a constant stream of inflammatory rhetoric. Following World War 1, Italy’s streets were filled with vicious brawls and gunfights between Communists and Fascists. One camp would be backed by Hitler. The other by Stalin. Both sides attracted thugs and terrorists along with ideologues. Mussolini was in the middle of it all on the Fascist side and soon rose to a leadership position, organizing his street fighters into the hated “Blackshirts.” With his Blackshirts behind him, Mussolini boldly marched into Rome in October of 1922 and seized control of the government from King Vittorio Emmanuele. Mussolini was made “prime minister” by the King, but, within a few years, he was the defacto dictator of Italy.

In an interesting side note, Mussolini’s Blackshirts tried unsuccessfully to create an elite force within the Italian army, much as the SS had within the German Army. Unlike the SS, however, the Blackshirts failed completely and were looked upon as little more than nationalized criminals by friend and foe alike. They may have been successful street fighters and terrorists, but they made poor soldiers, and their reputation for cowardliness and incompetence was widespread.

Anxious to make his mark on the world stage, Mussolini actively looked for territory to invade in an effort to upstage Hitler, whom he regarded as both an ally but a rival for world attention. In October of 1935, Mussolini launched a massive invasion of Ethiopia to avenge the lingering stigma of Adowa. By May of 1936, the conquest was complete. Ethiopian fighters were no match for Mussolini’s tanks, aircraft, and poison gas. Ethiopian soldiers and civilians were slaughtered wholesale. Italian forces in Ethiopia then put British forces on the defensive in Sudan and Kenya. Soon after, British-held Egypt would be invaded by Mussolini’s forces.

In 1936, Mussolini’s troops became actively involved in aiding Fascist General Franco in Spain during his civil war. In March of 1939, Franco’s opposition collapsed. A few days later, on Good Friday, 1939, Mussolini invaded Albania with a mere four divisions. Tiny Albania was wholly outclassed, and victory was complete before the start of the following week. The invasion was known in Italy as “The Albanian Weekend” from that point forward.

However, a nation can fight too many wars for too few reasons. Mussolini’s run of good luck was about to end. When he sent troops to fight with Hitler during the invasion of France, they, for the first time, faced well-trained solders using modern equipment. Repeatedly, Italian infantry was recklessly thrown into World-War-1-style, frontal assaults. They repeatedly ran into a buzz saw created by French infantry, machine guns, and tanks and were rudely roughed up. Over and over, they were forced to retreat with heavy losses. The days of easy, almost casual, victories had come to an end!

During a meeting with Hitler in October, Mussolini inwardly seethed as he politely listened to Hitler boasting on and on about his conquests. A large and robust man, Mussolini did not enjoy being reminded that his troops were embarrassed whenever their equipment was compared with that of the Germans, particularly from the mouth of this weedy, gaunt, sickly looking Austrian. He became determined to upstage Hitler in a way that everyone would notice!

Greece was selected as Mussolini’s target, even though Greece represented no threat to Italy. Nevertheless, Mussolini immediately began to goad them into a fight with demeaning rhetoric and occasionally sinking one of their ships. The Greeks, under General Ioannes Metaxas, like the Finns facing Stalin a year earlier, saw the handwriting on the wall and initiated total mobilization.

Mussolini foolishly decided upon a land invasion over the Pindus Mountains which straddled the border. Supply lines were long and precarious. It was fall, and the weather was turning characteristically cold and rainy, a far cry from sunny and dry Italy, and the Ethiopian desert, where most of Mussolini’s troops had trained. In addition, his invasion force was perilously small. He didn’t want to commit his entire army, lest the world see the Greeks as worthy of a full-scale war. In another “weekend war,” Mussolini fully expected to casually brush the Greeks aside as he had the Albanians. For a war in the mountains, Mussolini only committed one of his six mountain divisions!

The hastily prepared and ill-coordinated invasion kicked off on 30 Oct 1940. What started with such arrogant expectations quickly deteriorated into a full-scale disaster! Italian infantry columns, cautiously moving down steep, mountain passes, were suddenly ambushed by well placed and precise Greek artillery fire. Horses and mules pulling Italian artillery were rapidly killed, rendering the artillery immobile. As the Italian army continued, entire Greek divisions suddenly appeared out of nowhere and always above the Italians. Their screaming downward charges sent mortified Italians running in every direction.

The temperature dropped steadily. The invasion stalled. A stunned and dejected Mussolini began to panic and authorized a complete withdrawal. However, reversing the invasion forces proved a daunting task in its own right, as Greek forces continued to attack until all Italians were out of their Country. A more humiliating defeat could hardly be imagined. In less than a month Mussolini had suffered over 100,000 casualties, all among his best troops, and had gained nothing.

To make matters worse, Mussolini’s foolish invasion had scared the Greeks enough to persuade them to allow British bombers to use their air bases, thereby allowing the British Air Force to bomb Romanian oil fields that were critical to both Hitler’s and Mussolini’s war effort. Heretofore, the oil fields had been out of range. Hitler was livid! In December of 1940, British forces defeated the Italians in Egypt. Mussolini was on a downward spiral from which he never recovered.

Like the Finns before them, the Greeks had been inexcusably underestimated. Like Stalin before him, Mussolini (and his soldiers) paid a terrible price for personal vanity. For generations afterward, Italian soldiers suffered from the label of coward, unfairly placed upon them by Mussolini’s arrogant bungling. Blackshirts deserved the label, but not Italian soldiers. Unfortunately, it’s a label they’ve never been able to shake.

Lesson: One can only wonder how many innocent bodies have been sacrificed to the god of vanity. Good soldiers deserve better!



13 June 01

A friend and student just sent this to me. It is duplicated below, along with my response:

“I recently attended a defensive pistol shooting seminar. The instructor advocated and taught the Isosceles Stance exclusively, saying that it has been ‘street proven’. He says that the Weaver Stance is by no means junk. It is just less accurate. After two days, I and my student colleagues agreed, and all were previous devout and experienced ‘Weaverists.'”

My reply:

“I know the Isosceles Stance has made a rebound among competition shooters. When instructors talk about how it has been ‘proven on the street,’ they’re usually referring to winning pistol matches. Remember the point I made after the NTI: Good results reinforce bad tactics. The fact that an officer has used a particular tactic on his last dozen unresisted arrests, doesn’t say much about the tactic, good or bad. ANY tactic will ‘work’ against someone who doesn’t want to fight!

The weaknesses I point out with regard to the Isosceles Stance are:

>It gets the pistol too far away from the body with too little strength on the grip, making one vulnerable to forceful disarm attempts. I realize that the further away from the head one gets his pistol, the more precise the sight picture, but I think the cure is worse than the disease. Paper targets don’t attempt to grab one’s gun. For real fighting, the gain in accuracy is insignificant.

>It vectorizes one’s attention too much in one direction. As you know, I teach students to decouple their torso from their neck and head, so that they can be constantly be scanning in all directions. Most Isosceles users roll their shoulders into the ears, locking their torso, neck, and head into one ponderous, sluggish unit, the ‘third eye,’ as they call it.

>Unless one moves his feet, it makes swiveling at the waist difficult. Too much body weight hangs out over the torso for the shooter to pivot quickly.

The only thing the Isosceles technique offers in return is enhanced accuracy, which is why competitors use it, competitors who know, in advance, where all their targets are.



13 June 01

From a friend who is a range officer with a large, metro police department. He is also a seasoned martial artist, one of the best I know:

“It is usually Isosceles shooters who need to ‘prove’ the superiority of their method. That kind of intellectual fixation on stance reduces the psychological adaptability of the shooter. Convulsive tensing of the body tends to induce a similar condition of the mind, with all the characteristic occlusion that follows. As William James wrote a century ago, ‘We don’t so much run away because we are scared, as we are scared because we run away.’ Posture influences attitude. A cramped, tensed, and inflexible posture engenders a similar condition in the mind.”

Well said!



14 June 01

From a close friend who is an instructor and range officer with a large department:

“I just finished a rifle class with nineteen of our officers. We had a mixture of rifles and ammunition. Here is what I found:

> One Daewoo, fired thirty rounds normally; would not extract afterwards.

> One Eagle Arms AR-15 clone, fired 150 rounds normally; Would not extract afterward.

>Surplus M-16s (Colt) ran well.

>Bushmasters ran well.

>Colt 9MM subguns ran well and produced shot three-inch groups at 100M. Accuracy surprised us all!

>Wolf 223 ammunition produced extreme velocity spreads, in excess of 350f/s. The stuff is cheap, but erratic and not recommended for any serious application.

>Federal Premium, Hornady, and Black Hills 223 consistently shot the best groups. Winchester was fair by comparison. Remington was poor by comparison.”



18 June 01

I’ve just completed a Rifle/shotgun Course in Pennsylvania. We had one Colt AR-15 chambered in 7.62X39. The student who brought it had two, five-round magazines. However, he also brought several twenty-round 223 magazines. He indicated that he had loaded the 223 magazines with 7.62.39 ammunition, and they “worked just fine.”

This is the fifth AR-15 in 7.62X39 caliber I’ve had at a course, and the fifth one that did not work! This one would not fire more than three rounds in a row without some kind of feeding problem, with either kind of magazine.

After twenty minutes, in utter frustration, we pulled it off the line, and the student finished the course with a Bushmaster AR-15 in 223. It worked for the rest of the weekend with no problems.

The Soviet 30 caliber ammunition works in Kalashnikov and SKS rifles, but not in the AR-15.

Highly not recommended!



19 June 01

This from an LEO friend in the Midwest:

I had to spray someone with my Fox OC tonight. My sister and I were on our way out (still inside the festival grounds) after attending an outdoor music festival, when a pan handler (selling M&Ms) approached us tried to get me to buy some.

I told him politely that we weren’t interested and continued walking. He jumped in front of us blocking our path and, in an angry tone, told us that we had better buy some if we knew what was good for us. We tried to walk around him, but he grabbed my sister’s arm and started yelling at us incoherently. My OC bottle (Fox) was already in my hand, and I sprayed him in the face.

The effect was dramatic! He dropped to the ground instantly, choking and convulsing. My sister and I then walked away as fast as we could.

Three uniformed officers approached quickly and asked my sister and I if we were okay. They said they saw what happened and told us it was all cool and that we were free to go. They then took the pan handler into custody, and I have no idea what happened to him.

I’ll never be without OC! It got us out of an ugly situation with no permanent harm to anyone”

Lesson: OC is a potent fight stopper, particularly the Fox brand. Don’t leave home without it!



21 June 01

News from South Africa:

“In a surprising move, the son of our late Minister of Foreign Affairs, Alfred Nzo, has indicated that he is leaving South Africa. Mr. Nzo is a psychiatrist and has come to the conclusion that the astronomical crime rate here is mentally devastating the population. In his practice, he treats twenty-seven people every month for post-traumatic-stress as a result of crime. This from a black South African who is known for his support of the new rule in South Africa. How bad does it have to get?”



26 June 01

Last weekend we completed a Basic Defensive Handgun Course in the Southwest.

One of our students came to us with a mini-Kimber 1911 clone. It checked out functionally, but someone had ground down the surface of the trigger so much that one had to push the surface area INTO the frame in order to persuade the pistol to fire.

Several times the student tried to fire, pressing the trigger as hard as she could, and was unable to get the hammer to fall. In frustration, I pulled the pistol out of service. She used another pistol for the rest of the day.

The following day, she brought the Kimber back, this time with a new trigger. It worked fine from then on.

Lesson: Just when I think I’ve seen everything, an amateur “gunsmith” comes up with something new. Don’t let amateurs grind on your gun!