9 Oct 98, Friday, 3:28PM

More on the IALEFI Conference:

I conducted a Defensive Shotgun Class for two groups of students on Wednesday.

Since the manual safety on most shotguns does not render the gun drop-safe, I don’t normally employ the safety in most of my instruction, preferring instead to leave the hammer down on an empty chamber until the weapon is mounted. If the shooter must move with the weapon mounted (which we require them to do), I generally have them leave the safety off, unless they must move long distances.

However, many of my students at the Conference Classes had obviously been taught to keep the manual safety on until just before it is intended for the weapon to discharge. I, of course, encourage students to do each exercise using the techniques they would normally use. The result was that I observed, on dozens of occasions, students frantically trying to fire and not being able to do so, because the manual safety was on. Worse, they didn’t seem to know what was wrong, and looked at their shotguns in frustrated amazement, often feverishly pumping all live rounds out onto the ground in a vane attempt to get the gun running. Keep in mind that these were all instructors at police departments!

The obvious conclusion is that carrying the shotgun in the vehicle, or anywhere where it is intended that it be ready for instant use for defensive purposes, with hammer cocked on an empty chamber and the manual safety on (which is apparently a very common practice), is an invitation to disaster. There are just too many things which must be done to the shotgun in order to get it running, and, as I observed, even the instructors who purport to teach it this particular technique, forget what they’re trying to do and get it wrong, time after time.

No thanks! I still think the best technique is to carry the gun in what we call Acarry mode or Atransport mode. That is, hammer down on an empty chamber, manual safety off.

This just in from South Africa:

Head shots (with pistol ammunition) bounce off !!! Another case (Monday) where a civilian defended himself against an attacker, and the bad guy is shot the guy in the head with a pistol round (380 Auto in this case). The round bounced off, causing a scar and a headache only! The bad guy was so impressed, he slowly walked away muttering curses and displaying very little discomfort!

AI have to agree with you that the Cor-Bon 135 grain 40 S+W is THE round to have in your handgun. This round has been used VERY successfully here in SA, and that is the round that I carry in mine.