Thursday, February 13, 2014

QotD: Only Human Edition...

In yet another good post on firearms safety, ToddG wrote:
Ever see a $10M/year top athlete blow a play he’s practiced twenty thousand times? Yeah, I have, too. There’s a clue there if you’re willing to accept it.
It's a hobby horse of his, but frankly it should be the hobby horse of a lot more people.


Ed said...

A major argument of those purchasing Glocks instead of SIGs is the lower cost of the Glock. It appears that the total cost consideration must involve more than cash, as it must include the higher accident rate from those who clear and clean the pistols. No one ever plans to have an "accident", but many fail to consider the possible failure modes with a any particular system. Designs that eliminate or reduce possible failure modes while maintaining functionality are preferable.

Scott J said...

He has very valid points but he writes

"It’s no accident that just about every major gun manufacturer that’s produced a new striker-fired gun since Glock has eliminated the need to pull the trigger on an in-battery pistol as part of the disassembly procedure"

I just checked the manuals for my SW9VE, XD9 and PT745 and every one has "pull the trigger" as part of the procedure and none of them will "click" without the slide in battery.

Old NFO said...

Good points, and multiple checks ARE a part of my cleaning, along with NO distractions (like TV or computer, or anything else)...

Boat Guy said...

It's one thing to have a negligent discharge; many of us have (guilty); the question really is "How many of the other rules did you violate?". My negligent went into a box rather than anything more animate.

Tam said...

Scott J,

The Stigma is an almost bitwise Glock copy, so of course it works like that. (And don't take this the wrong way, but I'm not sure the Croats or Brazilians crossed Todd's mind when he was thinking of major manufacturers. ;) )

There is a very specific reason that, for instance, Smith designed the M&P to be able to be disassembled without pulling the trigger, and I'd bet dollars to donuts that at least one Smith LE sales rep has looked for a hole in the wall at a cop shop to use as a melodramatic selling point for his wares. I like my Glock 19, but it's just plain koolaidery to not acknowledge the takedown procedure as a design flaw in the gun.

The Raving Prophet said...

The only thing that might be more annoying than the "safety is between the ears" crowd is the group that says "there's two kinds of shooters- those who have had a ND and those who will."

The first group isn't wrong, but their sanctimonious attitude doesn't help. I agree with Todd that redundancy is a good thing where safety is concerned.

The second group always comes off to me not as warning us to be careful, but as excusing poor practices. Negligent discharges are NOT inevitable. But because humans aren't perfect they do happen.

I fully agree that better designs leave room for the operator to do something boneheaded without resulting in total failure. That's the lovely thing about the four rules- you have to violate more than one before even a ND hurts somebody. Applied to a firearm, there needs to be a means by which takedown can be done without launching a bullet out of the muzzle from a live round left in the chamber. As much as some people complain about takedown of the 1911, you can field strip it with a live round in the chamber. I'm not saying that's an ideal or acceptable way to do things, it just has tolerance for human failure assumed into the design.

Scott J said...

Taurus I can see but I view M&P, Glock and XD as the "big three" like Ford, Chevy and Dodge when it comes to tactical Tupperware.

But where I was going is that I think the "pull the trigger as part of field strip" flaw is the more common design.

Other than the M&P series what striker gun doesn't strip that way?

Anonymous said...

Do they allow cross checking during gun cleaning? Do 50,000 fans boo if you pick the wrong size patch? Are you tired after long 162 game season including night games and double headers and you just broke your favorite bore snake? Does some guy from another pistol company bump you when you do a chamber check?

Kind of a stretch there Todd.


Tam said...

Hey, Todd has a comments section, too. He might even read the ones left over there. Hint. ;)

Scott J said...

"Hey, Todd has a comments section, too. He might even read the ones left over there. Hint. ;)"

Yeah but I figured your years as merchant of death better qualified you to know what all striker guns come apart without pulling the trigger. :)

Also on topic (and verifying Todd's point) one of the scariest moments of my life was field stripping my Bersa Thunder and seeing a live round in the chamber after I pulled the slide off.

Anonymous said...

You think I want Larry Vickers after me?


Noah D said...

And in other news, two guns is now an 'arsenal'! 'Heavily armed'!

Two. A pistol and a semi-auto AK clone.

It's the Indy Fishwrapper, I know, but this is a new low boundary for 'arsenal'.

Sigh. I guess it could be worse:

Sport Pilot said...

Todd generates useful material and I agree with Tam if you question his information do so to him. There are no perfect weapons or end users, all have inherent flaws, known or not. Take heed of safety precautions, training and reminders. What you'll find is when, not if, you have an AD/ND the only injury incurred is hubris. I speak from personal experience here from a lifetimes worth of firearms experience, training and LE career.

Anonymous said...

Sport Pilot,

I read Todd's blog once or twice month

I read Tams everyday.

I don't have a problem with his point, only the hyperbole.


David said...

OK, I haven't even read Todd G's article yet (his website is blocked here at my work, because icky guns), but I gather from the comments that there is some sort of brouhaha over pulling the trigger on Glocky-type guns as part of disassembly, and how awful that is?

So I suppose it'd be the acme of foolishness to inquire if anybody does a function check of their pistol, post-cleanin' wise? You know, pulling the trigger and such to ensure that said pistol was reassembled all proper and everything?

Seems it'd be a good idea to make sure all was in working order before one was to go carrying said heater around for personal protection and whatnot...and you might have to pull the trigger a few times to do that.

Of course, I could be wrong.

dave said...'s just plain koolaidery to not acknowledge the takedown procedure as a design flaw in the gun.

As a dyed-in-the-wool 1911 man, who needs not pull the trigger to take the top end off...

...are you saying that nearly every bolt-action rifle ever has a design flaw?

Tam said...


"As a dyed-in-the-wool 1911 man, who needs not pull the trigger to take the top end off...

...are you saying that nearly every bolt-action rifle ever has a design flaw?

Are you saying that you see no difference between pulling the trigger on a weapon that has its action open and chamber fully visible and pulling the trigger on a weapon in battery?

Tam said...


"So I suppose it'd be the acme of foolishness..."

It would be indeed, since you have sprung to an incorrect conclusion without, admittedly, having read the linked post.

Tam said...

Jesus wept, people. I like Glocks. I've owned a bunch of 'em and have a 19 now. When somebody asks me "What handgun do you recommend?" my answer is "Unless you have a really compelling reason not to, you should buy a Glock 19."

At the same time, the disassembly procedure on a Glock is a design flaw and requires special care in handling at a time when a lot of people slack off "I'm all done shootin' and I'm tired, so now I'm gonna relax and clean the guns while watching Scooby Doo reruns..."

There is no dichotomy in these two viewpoints, unless you're some robotized kool aid drinker.

Will said...

"there's two kinds of shooters- those who have had a ND and those who will." " me not as warning us to be careful, but as excusing poor practices."

This is a re-wording of a motorcycle saying:
"There are those who have fallen down, and those who are going to fall down."
(This was to point out to the rider that you dress for the fall, not the ride, or the results could be bad if you do fall.)

In both cases, something is lost if the "bumper sticker" saying is not expanded upon. That makes it somewhat awkward, as the core idea, that needs to be imparted, is not intuitive to the average person.

Wayne said...

The SA XD series does require a trigger pull, but the XDMs do not.
I've got both on .45.

David said...

Tam...just got all swept up in the commentatin'

Anonymous said...

Why you hatin' on Scooby Do?

Geodkyt said...

Wayne -- and that was BECAUSE they realized that the XD had that particular flaw.

Geodkyt said...

I'm an engineer. One who works with very dangerous systems, intended to be used under great stress, with like or death for many people on the line in some of these screw ups.

The preference for reducing a safety risk is ALWAYS:

1. Eliminate the risk by redesigning the system so it cannot occur. (Almost impossible to do, but the preferred option.)

2. Design away the risk so that mishap CANNOT be induced accidentally. (Usually do-able. Usually used in conjunction with #4, below.)

3. Design taround the risk so the mishap is far less likely to occur. (Usually do-able. Usually used in conjunction with #4, below.)

4. Design the system so the consequences of the mishap, once it occurs, are minimized. (See #2 & 3.)

5. Throw up warning signs and establish procedures that, if followed correctly, will eliminate the risk of mishap. (Absolutely LAST CHOICE in the design phase, but often added to earlier options, just in case.)

6. Blame it on user error. (Usually post-incident, and while the design engineers are trying to sneak out of the briefing room. ;-) )