25 Mar 99

From a friend in a Midwest police department:

“In late 1992, during the test and evaluation phase (of the Glock pistol), the department had two unintentional, negligent discharges about a week apart, both in the cleaning room in the basement range at the City-County Building. Happily, there were no injuries as a result of either incident. Both happened, because officers “forgot” to clear their weapons before beginning the field-stripping process. In both cases, the operators were “experienced” training personnel (of the male gender) who weren’t paying attention. Watch these experts, eh?

Early in February (this year), the same department had another AD, caused by the same problem, which had never been addressed the first time. One of their (female) crime prevention people was in a hurry to get off the range when groups were rotating, and didn’t clear her piece. None of the range crew apparently noticed. She then went into the cleaning room across the hall, pulled the trigger, and fired a round through the wall. She was paying no attention to where to gun was pointed. The errant round passed across a hallway that had been full of people seconds before, went through the open door of the control room (missing one of the range crew by inches) and finally came to rest in the opposite wall.

Finally, last year Chief _______ got national attention for hiding his Glock in the oven, forgetting about it, and subsequently melting it when baking a turkey.”


>Range personnel must personally supervise all gun handling on the range. If range personnel were paying attention, neither of the accidents cited above would have happened.

>When accidents happen, routines and procedures usually need to be modified, so it doesn’t happen again. When accidents happen, and nothing changes, the same accident continues to happen, again and again!

>Any unloading procedure should involve a dry fire in a safe direction as the last step. That alone would have prevented both accidents.

>Glocks are not oven safe!

From a friend in the State Patrol. This happened during a training exercise where officers were required to fire unfamiliar guns:

“The veteran of the bunch, our corporal, picked up a small, single action .22 and fumbled around with it, looking for a way to open it. After I pointed out the loading port, he loaded it, took careful aim and squeezed the trigger at least twice before realizing he had to manually cock it first.

An ex-Marine picked up a S&W .357 “N” frame revolver and attempted to “decock” it by thumbing the cylinder release down. Later, that same officer worked feverishly for several minutes trying to operate the slide of a 1911 Colt Government Model. I finally had to show him that the manual safety locks the slide when it is engaged.

Without exception, all the new guys attempted to load the revolvers while griping them with their strong hand and fumbling with the speed loaders in their other hand. Most were unable to successfully load the revolver using a speed loader.

I heard you talk about it before, but never thought I’d see it, especially with my co-workers. They hadn’t a clue how to handle or operate a revolver! They all got a lesson from me immediately, and they know now.”