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April 27, 2005

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The Glocks are dangerous, but I wouldn't want to be fumbling with a safety or yanking a trigger with the safety engaged if my life depended on quick response. I just swapped a Ruger P95 (9mm) for a Springfield Armory XD in 9mm for that very reason. It has the trigger safety, grip safety, full chamber indicator and cocked firing pin indicator, all of which mean it won't fire unless held properly in the hand, but will fire without disengaging a safety. Good mix for me. For police work, they make the same model in 40 S&W and 45 ACP, and they are very reasonably priced (made in Croatia under the auspices of Springfield Armory).

Good point Greg. The grip safety on the Springfield XD gives it a huge advantage over the Glock.

Are Glocks Dangerous? YES. I have grown up with firearms. My dad had his FFL when I was a kid, and I fired many. The Glocks external safety is about the dumbest concept I've ever seen on a firearm. It is not a saftey at all. Glock lovers like to say "it won't fire unless you pull the trigger." Duh! 99% of all accidental discharges happen because someone's finger is on the trigger. The idea that all you have to do is keep your finger off of the trigger is the right idea, but the fact is the Glock (contrary to what some people believe) is not a true double action pistol. It takes less of a pull to fire this pistol that a true double action. I have two double actions, and neither of them have any external safeties. I don't have any problem carrying them. I also have a M1911, and in the time it takes me to move my finger to the trigger (because I don't keep my finger there), I am able to switch off the safety. It is so automatic, that betwee each shot of my 5 round string shots for qualification, I moved the pistol back and forth from safe to live, to safe. I was able to do so as I brought the gun back on target. It annoyed the instructor, but it impressed him to.
So having a safety to fumble with is no big deal either. Drawing and turning off the safety is quite natural too.

I know Glock lovers won't accept this, and they'll blame it all on the users of their fine friend,(and they are right), but their users are human (as are the Glock lovers) and accidents will happen. Unfortuantely, they just happen more often with Glocks.

A Glock might be a great combat handgun, as long as you never had to determine if someone was a threat or not, or you weren't there to take prisoners.

By the way, Glocks have an explosion issue too. go to www.thegunzone.com, and snoop around their glock posts.

"So as an exercise, just watch the news for items about accidental discharges of police officers' handguns. They don't happen too often, but when they do you'll notice a trend. Odds are it will have involved a Glock."

Rather difficult to take anything else you say about Glocks seriously when you write a boner like this. C'mon, this sounds like something the New York Times or Dan Rather would do!

The single most-carried police sidearm in America (estimates run between 40% and 60%) is a Glock of some sort, so yes, odds are a negligent discharge by a police officer is involves a Glock. Check unintentional discharges by police prior to about 1980, I'll bet you'll find that, odds are, most of them involved Smith & Wesson DA revolvers. Wonder why?

By all means, don't grab the Glock, or any other gun, if it falls out of your pants. I've dropped my carry gun too, it scared the hell out me and taught me to make sure I have my gun under control i.e. securely in my hand with my finger off the trigger when I'm "transitioning" in the crapper. Better to drop pants than gun.

Explosion issue? Yes, go haunt thegunzone.com and see what Mr Speir attributes "kBs" to:
- "especially those improperly maintained"
- "Significantly overpressure rounds"
- "Use of personally reloaded or commercially remanufactured ammunition utilizing cartridge cases of indeterminable generation"

Hmmm, back to the user's responsibilities, are we? Anything he attributes in particular to Glocks?
- "Lack of full case support in the critical area over the feed ramp of all large caliber (.40 S&W, 10mm, .45 ACP) Glock pistols. [See Annotation #5]"

Oh, but what is Annotation #5? (Caps mine for emphasis)
- "Do kB!s occur in other guns or just in Glocks?
kB!s do, of course, occur in other guns, but NO ONE APPEARS TO BE KEEPING ACCURATE STATISITICS for most of them. Many 1911-style handguns have partially unsupported case mouths, AND NUMEROUS CASE SEPARATIONS HAVE OCCURED IN THESE GUNS. Early .38 Super barrels were particularly susceptible..." "Respected firearms author Frank James, in 1994, documented a number of kB!s in HK USP .40 pistols, which do have fully supported chambers."

- "The propellant AA#5 [See Annotation #1] has been identified in a disproportionate number of kB!s, NOT ONLY IN GLOCKS BUT IN USP40S THAT DO PROVIDE FULL CASE SUPPORT. A number of Glock-L members have reported kB!s involving this propellant. It is NOT CLEAR WHETHER THESE KBS AE THE FAULT OF THE PROPELLENT OR THE RELOADER, but it is clear that they are occurring in disproportionate numbers. As early as Fall '92 a source inside Glock, Inc. told Speir on background: "A lot of the blown up Models 22 and 23 we've been seeing has involved Accurate Arms #5... and damned if we know why."

Glocks have explosion issues, yes. They just stuff themselves with overcharged or weak cases and let'her rip...

Training for newbies? To use a phrase, "go haunt the posts" of the firearms instructors's sites, or go chat with some of them, and see what do they do when their new gun student's gun fouls up because of it won't fire the ammo, FTF, FTE , can't manipulate the controls, can't rack the slide, or what have you. I'm struck by how often the instructor solves the problem by handing the student a Glock. My local CHL instructor, long time/highly credentialed police instructor, former SAPD and currently DA investigator, loans/rents Glocks to any new student that he takes on, if they don't already have a gun. And if their own gun goes south, guess how he solves it? :)

Most of the criticism of Glocks seems to echo the patterns of those who would ban all our guns, e.g. stating "trends" without substantiation, attibuting to the hardware the sins of the person, smearing a entire type or class of gun("explosion issues") by leaving out key points. Mr. Speir's real beef seems to be with Gaston Glock and how he does his PR, not really with Glock pistols.

The Glock is not a perfect pistol, marketing hype aside, and one can find other guns that surpass it in meeting one specific circumstance or another. Overall though,it is a superb fighting handgun right out of the box in terms of reliability, accuracy, ease of instruction, and safety in the hands of a responsible person. Which I expect is why a lot of PDs use it, and why despite my love of revolvers, and fascination with my Browning HighPower, the go-to-war gun for me and my wife is a Glock 17.

Eric,

I don't know how to dig up the data, but to make a real comparison with other brands, then one would need to make a ratio of accidental Glock discharges to the total number of Glock handguns out there in the hands of citizens or police. And then make a similar ratio for handguns other than Glock. If you think any of the other well known brands, revolvers included, will have a higher ratio, then we'll just have to agree to disagree.

But I value your input and appreciate the comment. And if I didn't know before, I certainly know now that Glock owners are very passionate about the brand.

The year was 1992, I E.T.S. from the military and after returning home I purchased a Glock 23 .40 S&W. I read many gun magazines on how this fine weapon should be carried. All the while forgetting Jeff Cooper's famous statement: Unless a gun has a round chambered in it, it is useless. To think I believed in the 1990s gun magazines over Mr. Coopers statement. I was taught Mr. Cooper's mindset while in the military. 12 years mind you and I qualified expert during each year to boot. Treat all weapons as if they were loaded! Yet, the gun magazines, mostly retired civilian police, who preached civilians should carry a fully loaded magazine and NO round in the chamber, O.K. One day, I went to the gun store and purchased a Hogue slip on grip for my Glock. When I returned home, I retrieved my Glock with the knowledge that it has a loaded magazine with NO round in the chamber. I removed the magazine and proceeded to place the new slip-on grip, done. The grip was awesome it looked and felt nice. I looked at the wall clock and thought to myself, I have time to dissemble, clean and lube my Glock. Now for those of you real gun professionals, gun editors, who preach a lot of good stuff, I think not. I got into the false habit of thinking since I carry NO round in the chamber there was NO reason to check the chamber. I removed the magazine and the second thing one has to do prior to dissembling a Glock is squeeze the trigger. This releases the firing pin, so that the slide pins can be pulled downward and the upper slide removed. After squeezing the trigger and to my surprise, the Glock loudly discharged inside my Condo. I can assure anyone who has never experienced this the mind instantly replays the moment in slow motion, what?! The round made a small hole through the window blind. Yes, the round flatten after making another small hole through the glass window, striking the metal screen window. The metal screen window caused the round to flatten and spiral upward. If I were criminal, I would not have called the local police department to report this as an accidental discharge. Some of you pros call this AD, ya right. I took responsibility for my actions and called the local police department. I won't go into all the police details. I will say this: the police officer, who responded was very level headed and very understanding. I quote him: "we searched the condo complex and found no one injured nor did we find any damages to property, however if someone should call later, you can be charged with reckless endangerment." No one called later. I hear all the gun experts saying: "always check the chamber first." This, after they preached civilians should never chamber a round, only carry the weapon with a loaded magazine, this way is safer than a round in the chamber. Ya, right. Needless to say, I don't read any of today's useless gun magazine anymore, rather I practice military procedure taught to me. So, by now everyone is thinking how did that round get chambered? During the police investigation, my wife was contacted at her work and she was requested to come home. The prior night she had taken my Glock to look at it. While looking at it, she pulled the slide partially rearward peering into the chamber to see if a round were in the chamber, never thinking by doing so, she would chamber a round. Again, to all you expert civilian gun instructors... yes, she had taken a gun safety course. Yes, women are curious and just as fascinated as men are with weapons. As much as I loved my (third) Glock, I sold it to repair the window(s). I purchased a snub nosed revolver should my wife ever need to use it. I don't need to squeeze the trigger as part of the disassembly procedure as is required by the Glock. Plus, I carry it fully loaded and treat it as such. I no longer think the way I learned from the 1990s gun magazine civilians, who wrote civilians should carry a pistol with no round in the chamber, but with a fully loaded magazine. The best training is military training. They are the true professionals.

Glocks can be dangerous in the wrong hands. Most law enforcement agencies drill into the minds of officers of always keeping your finger on the trigger guard and not the trigger, until you are ready to destroy what you are aiming at.
I my self am a police officer and not all guns that SAPD officers carry off-duty are glocks, they can carry just about anything reasonable as long as they qualify with it. Also, maybe you hear more accidents happening with the glock because that is the weapon of choice by most agencies, and for good reason too.

I am sorry at this very moment I am carrying my Glock 30 in 45 acp. Ok where to begin. First, my 357 magnums have no external safety on them at all. They all would go off under the same conditions, although some older smiths have the grip safety. It really comes down to this for me, it is the firearm's operator who is ultimately responsible for whether the weapons discharges, and what it is pointing at. I do not think a new shooter should carry a loaded firearm of any type until they understand the safety requirements. That being said, from a civilian stand point, Glocks are an excellent tool. Are Glocks dangerous? Yes i would not be carrying the blasted thing if it was not dangerous. The key is, I understand that. The problem with the people that you mentioned previously in this post is that they forgot that they have the responsibility to treat the weapon with respect. The DEA agent in the classroom had the too much pride believing that an AD could never happen to him. The officer in the bathroom should have secured his weapon prior to attempting to complete the rest of the necessary steps involved. On a side note, someone can easily grab your weapon under the stalls. Part of your responsibility in carrying a firearm is to make sure you control access to it. You are always morally, and in some case legally responsible for everyone your weapon injures. He should have given the weapon to another officer, or removed it from his waistband prior to loosening his belt. The safety is mechanical and can fail. Also, many people carry double actions with the safety off. I was taught to carry this way. And still do in weapons with safeties. The bottom line is guns are supposed to discharge when you pull the trigger. You need to always be aware of this fact in order to responsibly carry a weapon.

SAre Glocks dangerous. Certainly!!! As are any weapon not treated with respect. I have been a police Officer for over 17 years and have carried revolvers and automatics. As type this, my left hand still sting and aches from the three stitches I recd' only an few hours ago from an injury I recd' from an AD with my issued Glock 22 .40cal. I make no excuses for my error but I must admit that when I carried a S & W 5906, I loved the fact that the weapon would not discharge with the magazine removed. Our Department spent time of the range today and after the shooting course, a range instructor asked each shooter to count the remaining rounds they had as a means to score your course. I removed the magazine and all the rounds and advised the range instructor that I had nine rounds plus one in the chamber for a total of ten. I returned the nine rounds to the box from which they were taken and returned to the office with the intention of cleaning the weapon when I returned for the mid-night shift. Several hours later, I returned, prepared or my shift and sat down to clean my weapon. Again, I make no excuses as the resposibility is mine and mine alone to ensure a safe and empty weapon. As mentioned, there was no magazine in the weapon. As I performed the act of pulling the trigger and pulling the slide back to release the slide pin, the weapon discharged causing to injury to my left hand. I relay this story not as a means to place blame of the design of the weapon which will still fire without a magazine, but as a means to remind all of my brother and sister Police Officers that we are proffessionals. Be safe and never ever forget the basics of your weapons skills.

The DEA agent in that video was a complete TOOL! I've never seen anyone so arrogant, incompetent, and dangerous with a gun in my life. I surely lost a great deal of respect for the DEA after I saw that. I was certain the DEA's hiring criteria was much more stringent than it apparently is. I guess I had wrongly assumed that because someone worked for a govt agency they had to be fairly well vetted and well trained. I guess I should learn not to make assumptions.

Jim A, there's a long list of law enforcement officers who have unintentionally fired off a round. The vetting process probably weeds out the very careless, but there doesn't seem to be a way to detect the occasionally careless.

Yesterday I purchased a Glock 30, my first autoloader. After looking it over and seeing how the trigger safety works I came to the conclusion that is the sorriest excuse for a safety thre ever was. There is nothing safe about it! All guns are dangerous especially in the wrong hands, but this gun is more dangeous without a thumb safety. I would feel so much better if it had a different type of safety,and I am wishing that maby I had gone with something else. Safe shooting, Bob

When I was in the academy, in 1992, we were taught what to do with a weapon, when using the restroom. We were also taught to NEVER try to catch a dropped weapon. That is a recipe for disaster. I am also left to wonder, exactly what type of holster the SAPD officer had, if the Glock fell out of it so easily. We need to examine the training this officer received in addition to the type of holster he had and whether or not he violated agency policy by attempting to catch a falling weapon.

As far as the DEA dunce goes, he violated a several firearms safety rules that are taught to young children in hunter safety classes, every day, all across America. Always treat all weapons as if they are loaded at all times. Triple check with both visual and manual inspections. Never trust your memory to tell you if a weapon is loaded. Keep your finger outside of the trigger guard unless your sights are on target and you are ready to fire. Lastly and most importantly, never point a firearm at anything you don't want to see permanently destroyed! If the DEA dunce had followed, just the last rule, he would not have been shot. He is an embarrassment to every responsible gun owner, in America.

"With an unforgiving handgun like a Glock accidents happen even to the most experienced shooter. Just ask that San Antonio police officer." So your saying just because he is a police officer that he is an experienced shooter? Obviously he wasnt experienced enough to avoid that situation (Could have easily been avoided). Unless you are an armorer or gunsmith you shouldnt be able to write articles like this. Plus it seems like your suggesting that new shooters rely on manual safties, when anyone who knows anything about firearm safty knows that safties fail and your primary safty is your brain.

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