2 Apr 99

This just in from a friend in the Philippines:

“In countries like ours, where you may have legal access to only one or two guns for ALL your shooting pursuits, an equipment failure, even during training, may leave a person unarmed for months, while paperwork is processed. This is why we put a premium on good equipment here. It cannot and must not fail, even during training. For example, when my Glock went sour, I had to walk around with nothing more than a Spyderco for a month and a half, until the paperwork could be sorted out, and a new gun could be had. It was not a matter of money, but of bureaucratic legality. As such, the serious people (and you had better be “serious” if you live here!) in my area are very deliberate in selecting a defensive firearm or a modification thereto.

The “trendy” have, of course, gone the high-tech route, only to see their gear fail repeatedly. Ambidextrous manual safeties on 1911s break routinely. Trick recoil spring arrangements and polymer “buffers” recurrently disintegrate and jam guns hopelessly. With monotonous regularity, half-baked “trigger jobs” result in hammer-follow in autoloaders and non-ignition in revolvers. If we have learned anything here, it is to refrain from installing any gadget on a defensive firearm without EXTENSIVE testing.

This type of carelessness characterized the recent injury of a cop here. He had trouble managing the trigger on his S&W Model Ten (revolver), so he decided to have it “smithed.” The so-called “gunsmith” to whom he entrusted his service sidearm simply chopped off a generous portion of the mainspring and rebound spring. When the shooter subsequently tried it out, he got three shots off and three “duds”. Not wanting to indict the gunsmith or admit to his own foolishness, he simply blamed the (practice) ammo and continued to carry the gun around. With new, American ammo, he confidently boasted that his gun would work just fine. Of course, he never tested his theory.

Shortly thereafter, he got called out on a bank robbery in progress. He was shot at by the robbery suspects, and, when he attempted to return fire, discovered, to his astonishment, that he was holding a gun that could not be made to fire, American ammunition not withstanding! He suffered several, permanently disabling gunshot wounds as a result.

I hope none of your students makes the mistake this person now lives to regret.”