The Definitive Firearms Thread
Nice to know… BTW, where did you order the ammo from? I need to add another case to the stuff we’ve got so far. I picked up a case of corrosive ammo earlier this year and want to replace it with non-corrosive as soon as possible.
Out of curiosity, why do you want to replace it? Did you have problems with corrosion? Most of the cheap non-corrosive ammo I have found seems to have steel core and unfortunately the ranges near me will not allow you to shoot any ferrous metals.
With Mosin Nagants, I don’t worry much about the corrosive ammo. They are pretty easy to clean of any corrosive residue. For my AK and SKS, the gas tube makes it a bit more difficult to clean. After our last range trip, I found rust on the gas piston in my AK and I’m guessing it’s from not being cleaned well enough after the previous range trip two weeks before. Since then, I decided that it would be better to just buy non-corrosive ammo when available and use the corrosive stuff for target practice when I have the luxury of time to clean.
In our area (Indiana), there are no restrictions on steel core ammo. The corrosion is the only reason I’m moving away from it if I can.
Glock just announce a voluntary recall swap for recoil springs on the Gen-4 pistols.
You need to look at the back end of the recoil spring to see the numbers engraved there.
The G19 originally issued with "0 3", then later with "0 4" and after that "0 4" with a third digit below the other two. Current is "0 4" with a "3" below.
The G17 issued with "0 1" and then "0 2". Current is "0 2" with a "4" below.
The G23 is similar with "0 3" variations.
There are other models listed (G26 and G27 apparently are ok) but I only remember the info for 9mm.
Todd Green made a blog post on 9/6/2011 about this on his pistol-training.com. According to Todd you call 1-877-745-8523 with your serial number and they will mail you the latest spring and an envelope to return you old one.
How to detail strip and assemble your 1911 without tools.
Good article covering some of the realities of pistol calibers, and more important, an embedded lesson in mindset;
"Fixation is the way to death, fluidity is the way to life. This is something that should be well understood."
-Miyamoto Musashi, Go Rin No Sho "Gripping the Long Sword"
[quote]In my last book, Combat Focus® Shooting: Evolution 2010, I took some space to talk about the importance of Evolving. I think one very important contributor to your ability to evolve is your ability to look backwards and see what you were wrong about… or, at least, being able to recognize the things that you have changed your mind about!
In the section of the book where I talked about how important this process of evolution was, I listed a few things that I had “changed my mind about”. What I did not do was explain specifically which way I felt on the topics today… Honestly, I thought at the time that my current position would be obvious. Many readers have asked my to clarify my position on a couple of the topics. The number one request is to clarify whether I prefer the 9mm or the .40S&W for personal defense. In the mid-90’s I became convinced that the 9mm was an anemic round not well suited to defensive duty. Now, I don’t think you’ll find any articles or even forum posts were I rant about how only a fool would carry it, but I personally considered it a great compromise. Particularly when I moved into a county that required anyone applying for a CCW permit to qualify with either a .38 revolver or a 9mm pistol. At the time considered the 1911 in .45acp a great choice for personal and home defense (another thing that I have notoriously changed my mind about dramatically in the past couple 15 years!) and was very frustrated by this restriction. I begrudgingly bought a Taurus PT series firearm in 9mm, which allowed me to carry “cocked & locked” in the manner I generally trained during those years. Luckily for me, and the other residents of the state of Tennessee, that restriction was lifted not too long afterwards and I was able to carry any firearm I wanted for personal defense. During that time, I had come to decide that the Glock 23 with 13+1 rounds of .40S&W ammunition was about as close to perfect a defensive pistol as someone could want… and I considered its rounds significantly superior to 9mm. This is definitely something that I now look back and I think I was wrong about.
I have heard many an instructor say that they are “always a student” or that they “never stop learning,” but over the past couple of years, I have had the opportunity to ask dozens of professional instructors to identify some specific things that they have changed their minds about. Often, I have been disappointed with the trouble that so many have had with the question. At one point during the taping of our second season, I even considered giving the topic up as a “Question of the Week” on the S.W.A.T. Magazine TV show because it was so difficult getting guests to answer the question directly. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t think that my peers are being insincere where they claim the badge of “student” or say that they are “open minded,” but I have seen enough stuttering, confused looks and awkward body language to know that this question strikes a nerve. Let me give you an idea of how it often goes:
Me: “What is one specific thing that you have change your mind about since you’ve been instructing?”
Instructor: (after a pause and settling back into their chair a little) “oh, well…we are constantly evolving.”
Me: “Can you think of anything specific?”
Instructor: (often with a look of relief, like they found the exit hatch…) “Well, there’s been a lot of things.”
Me: “Of course, but is there any one thing that you can look back on, which you actually used to teach, that you would now say is ‘wrong’”?”
Instructor: (shifting glance or two, more settling) “I wouldn’t say that anything was “wrong”, but some things are better than others.”
Me: “What are some of the things you’ve actually taught in the past that you now believe are ‘worse’ than other things?”
Now, certainly, that isn’t verbatim for any dialogue, nor would it be fair to characterize ANY of the instructors I’ve posed the question to as being evasive. There is a huge difference in someone who is trying to hide the fact that they have been wrong and someone who has simply not thought about it that way and is not used to being asked to articulate it. Especially with a camera in their face or standing in a group of peers at a conference! I have come to realize that the many of these guys, including friends of mine, have trouble articulating the fact that they once taught something that they do not today believe is the best information… or, put more simply, they aren’t used to publicly admitting they were wrong about something specific. It is very easy to admit that you have been wrong in general or that you are open to changing your mind, but there is definitely a stumbling block for many people when we try to get to a detail level.
For me, while it may be frustrating and/or disappointing to find out I was wrong about something, I have learned to balance that negative with what I think is a much more significant positive: Learning Something Better. While this isn’t always the case, at the very least I can celebrate the intellectual experience of knowing that I need to seek out a new answer when a theory or technique has been rendered invalid. Some instructors have articulated to me that they feel like changing what they teach is somehow a disservice to those whom they have taught before. While I understand that gut reaction, it is at least as much of a disservice, combined with an integrity issue, to not teach your future students things that you believe with conviction are the best options.
So, why do I think the 9mm is a better choice for personal defense than the .40 S&W?
1. The Myth of the “One Shot Stop”, Part 1: Faster Strings of Fire are Better.
I don’t believe that it is likely to take only one shot to stop your next threat. With this in mind, the “data” that we collect (and sometimes obsess over) about the difference in potential terminal performance from one bullet to the next or the relatively few examples we have of single pistol hit results in human beings suggests to me that we should plan on multiple shot strings of fire. If we are planning on needing more than one shot and we know that we want to stop the bad guy as soon as possible, then it makes sense that we should seek the fastest string of fire possible. Physics dictates that the 9mm is going to be a more manageable round (lower recoil) than the .40 S&W out of any particular firearm. So, no matter how much you train and how much you practice, everyone should be able to shoot a string of Combat Accurate 9mm rounds faster than they can fire a string of .40. Of course, if you consider a 4×8 sheet of plywood your “combat accurate” area, you’re going to have to go to a relatively long string of fire to be able to measure a difference in time, but if you stick with a probable target size (high center chest) at a plausible distance (10-15’), it shouldn’t be hard to see a difference at a reasonable number of rounds (3-6).
2. The Myth of the “One Shot Stop”, Part 2: Higher Capacity is Better.
Again, keep in mind that we are counting on needing more than one round. In any given size package, 9mm firearms hold more rounds than their counterparts chambered in .40 S&W. This gives you a greater potential for defense against one or more targets for the same practical cost in size & weight.
3. Negligible Difference in Practical Wounding Potential.
Pistol bullets really aren’t great stoppers. There is a reason that hospital emergency rooms successfully treat Gun Shot Wound patients on a regular basis. Having talked to many EMTs and trauma doctors, and examined a significant amount of pictures/medical reports, there is a negligible difference between the wounding capacity of the 9mm and the .40 S&W. The idea of “energy transfer” is misplaced in regard to wounding potential because the net amount of energy contained in a pistol bullet is pretty low when we think about really having dramatic effect on a human body (knocking someone down, for example). The damage that is done is created through cutting and crushing. The difference of a few grains of weight, a few feet per second of speed or a millimeter (literally) of diameter are not worth giving up on the faster strings of fire or the higher capacity mentioned above. While the .40 S&W round, especially in heavier versions, has more potential for penetration of intermediate barriers, the data on actual personal defense shooting suggests overwhelmingly that there are not likely to be any hard barriers to be penetrated. (Law Enforcement Officers face barriers much more often, presenting a stronger argument for the .40 in the role of police duty gun). Tom Givens’ Lessons From the Street DVD is a great example of real world self defense shooting data of the type that should be influencing our choices.
There is also a large body of testing evidence that modern bonded hollow points in 9mm will penetrate an adequate amount of tissue to cause a maximum amount of damage inside a human body. In fact, manufacturers such as Winchester are now designing their defensive rounds to have consistent performance across the most common defensive calibers (9mm, 40, .45, .38). I recently participated in a ballistic gelatin demonstration of that company’s PDX1 line of ammunition and saw for myself that they are achieving this goal.
It is important to note that I am not arguing that a single .40S&W bullet doesn’t hold more potential to stop in any event, rather I believe that the small increase in potential is not worth the absolute known detriments in recoil and capacity. As I discussed in point number one, for all shooters, at some point, there will be a moment when they can fire one more round of 9mm in any given period of time. That extra round’s capacity to wound will far outweigh the miniscule difference in potential for any individual bullets.
4. Lower Cost, High Value Practice
It is significantly less expensive to shoot 9mm in training than it is to shoot .40… that means more reps and more training in general for any given budget. This is the last reason I’m going to offer here, but there is no doubt that it is a factor in favor of choosing the 9mm. This is not an argument for training with loads that aren’t what you actually carry just because of budget (training with a .22lr, for example), it is an argument for training with your actual carry caliber and carry gun as often and as realistically as is practical.
There you have it. Those are the four primary reasons that I now recommend 9mm as the personal defense round of choice, have been converting my own personal .40 S&W firearms over to 9mm and would never purchase a .40 S&W firearm for personal defense if I were starting all over today. I let anyone who asks me about defensive guns or bullets know how I feel today, despite years of recommending the .40 and talking about how it was a great compromise between the 9mm and .45. In the mid-90’s I was wrong about the advantages of that round and I have definitely changed my mind about the inadequacies of the 9mm. Acknowledging that I was wrong in the past, is the only way that I can share what I now believe is the best recommendation I can give.[/quote]
Good article, but it’s even better to see you posting again. I was afraid we’d lost you. I look forward to more posts.
I really like it when a profesional is willing to admit they flip-flopped. There is nothing wrong with changing your mind after having walked the path of life and realizing "I never thought of it that way before". I agree with the author that a 9mm is plenty of weapon for every day carry, and self defence.
I agree you will get better accuracy with strings of fire with a 9mm but I am not sure you will want to take that many shots in a self defence situation. I have been taught to double tap all of my targets, assess the situation and proceed as necessary (this is totaly dependant on the situation so don’t try to hold me to for all possible events.) Part of the reason for this is to limit civil and criminal liability in the event I use my weapon for self defence. You don’t want a prosecutor telling the jury that you shot a guy 6 times and that it was your intent to kill him, not to just defend yourself. The number of times you shoot someone will definately be taken into account during the investigation, they will use this as a way of determining your mindset during the incident and it may make a difference as to whether you are charged with a crime or not.
The problem I see with many instructors is most have no actual gunfight experience, and so place way too much emphasis on the 1%, equipment.
Personally, I cannot tell enough difference between my .40 cal and my wife’s 9 mm to make a justification to move to the 9mm, although Mike’s arguments are compelling. My strings are quick and fighting-accurate with both, and for whatever reason, to .40 caliber feels more "right" in my hand.
There are plenty of real gunfights on video, more than enough to turn your stomach. If you want to know how most pistol fights ACTUALLY go down, watch as many as you can handle. To save you the pain, here’s the common threads-
1. Aggression usually trumps everything else. A "controlled rage" is your friend.
2. If you stand still or move directly backwards, you get shot.
3. One handed shooting is an instinctive default.
4. If you get shot, you don’t return fire or don’t hit the bad guy.
5. Bullets that don’t hit the target can still useful as suppressive fire.
I know, there are exceptions to all of these, but they appear over and over again, regardless of the actors involved. The major changes in philosophy I’ve seen are related to these facts, i.e. training for one-handed shooting on the move, drawing while moving, moving away from double taps toward "zipper" style strings. Of course, not all instructors embrace these changes, but guys like Gabe Suarez have been preaching this stuff for years.
Rich, depending on where you live, unless it is CLEAR CUT that the shoot was justified, you WILL BE charged, regardless of number of shots fired. Firing 2 or 12 won’t make much difference until you get to sentencing. Bear in mind, I’m in the People’s Republic of CA, I hear Florida is a totally different situation.
I have to agree that there is little difference between a 9mm and a .40 to me either. My wife and several other woman and smaller men have told me they can tell a difference, this could be because my Beretta weighs more than my Glock. I think what feels right in you hand may not be the caliber necessarily but the size, balance and weight of the weapon. I personally train with a 10mm and have found that at 5-7 meters my strings are better with the smaller caliber after about 4-5 shots. Under 4 shots the difference is not enough to even mention.
I am not sure I agree with you about the one handed shooting. I am a true believer that how you train is how you will perform. Videos on the net may show reality (sometimes) but they do not show the background or training of the participants. I have never had to use my firearm to defend myself however I have been in many altercations where I have used my martial arts training(once I was carrying concealed but never drew). Most of all confrontations are face to face or less than three feet apart, almost never more than ten feet apart. You should never need to "string" shots at an opponent that close (if you do are you really thinking about where your strays are going, overpenetration, innocent bystanders?).
I live in both ID and NV. Both states are gun and self defense friendly. If you use deadly force in a situation you need to prove you THOUGHT your life was in imminent danger, which shouldn’t be too hard if you really know when to use your firearm. I think in Texas if you shoot someone the person you shot has to prove they didn’t deserve it, lol. I also thought you were charged in Kalifornia for even thinking about owning a gun
Having done a good bit of force on force, been engaged by small arms, and having had to employ weapons as deterrants, I can say without a doubt that Gabe Suarez is full of shit. Pincus has worked in .Mil, LE and EP – as have a significant number of instructors and mentors I’ve had over the years. Suarez has taken material from competent instructors and plied it off as his own, vetting his "experience" as an officer, which is shifty at best.
…Conveniently forgetting to mention he started his company on fraudulent grounds and was charged with felony fraud as a consequence is also a component that should be acknowledged.
As to the "focus" on the 1% equipment, if you check I.C.E., Shivworks, Viking Tactical, Insights, or any other "legit" trainer, you’ll notice he doesn’t sell "Guerilla Sniper" books, "Jihad interdiction bags", "Advanced Combat Glocks", "Grab and Stab" knives or any of that other nonsense you’ll find pervasive with Suarez International.
In short, and to paraphrase a friend, "While we’re digging deeper and deeper, they’re still discussing the shovel". Suarez is a businssman, and he has no interest in anything other than selling you an image, and a mentality.
His marketing and technique are based entirely on "viciousness" – which in and of itself isn’t wrong. But your ‘points’ read just like a rhetorical "warlord infidel" newsletter, with no deeper understanding. I mean no disrespect towards you, but hope that you’ll consider what most of the training industry has already realized – Suarez is a "niche" market, a sham, and steals his material from well vetted, intellectual instructors who’ve plied the skills in combat.
Given that points 1, 3 and 4 are patently incorrect (more on this in a minute) I’d encourage you to broaden your horizons by training with someone who has:
a. Multiple, survived engagements under their belt, not a back-alley shooting
b. A reasonable grasp on this material
c. A company that isn’t centered around bigotry and irrational hatred
So, onto the points you brought up:
1. Iniative trumps everything else.
Aggression can be a component of iniative. Suarez’s image of some swollen, testosterone laden beast with buldging eyes and beads of sweat rolling down his face is pure fantasy. The bottom line is no matter how pointlessly aggressive you are, the core component of "winning" a fight is using, stealing or interrupting iniative. Aggression and violence of action can be calculated tools, or unpredictable, clumsy attributes – depending on how you use them. Again, I encourage you to learn from students of instructors who’ve survived engagements – not guys who buy "Jihad interdiction bags" for their trips to the mall, and talk about the merits of the "Ultimate Glock".
3. One handed shooting is not instinctive.
Having trained in Response to Active Shooter scenarios, and after reviewing dozens of videos of shootings, the only trait that is "instinctive" is thrusting the pistol as far away from the face as possible. Training dictates whether or not this occurs ambidextriously or using only one hand. There is nothing wrong with either approach, but again, it’s my opinion that this rhetoric needs to be challenged for validity.
4. Wounds *do not* preclude further, meaningful resistance – if you get shot, you have about a 20% change of dying. If you *do* die, it’ll be at worst, minutes before you’re incapacitated, leaving you with a good amount of time to retaliate, return fire, maneuver and terminate threats. This ties into your second point, which is correct.
Suarez was how I "learned" of a significant portion of the techniques that I practice now. However, once I began training with the progenitors of these techniques, I learned just how far departed his training is from the reality of these conflicts.
The "advantage" of Pincus’s revelation here is that with a 9mm, you can fight longer and faster.
The "Key Concept" is that fighting longer and faster is more important than any other "caliber dependant" inequity.
It’s opinion, so take it for what you paid for it.
Clearly, you know more about Gabe Suarez than i do. I had no idea, "jihad bags"?!? That’s too much. My knowledge of him has been strictly in passing, I’ve read a few of his articles/opinions. I was somewhat aware his material is borrowed, due to my own training, but that by itself isn’t neccesarily a bad thing. Claiming it is his own is a flat-out lie.
However, i stand by my points, for the following reasons-
1. I do not feel you adequately debunked them. In fact, it seems we actually agree, at least in part.
2. My training and real-world experience back them up.
Like a lot of people, i started shooting as a kid. I had my first formal training as a teenager with an Army Ranger who served in Vietnam. He taught me the Fairbairn/Sykes techniques and what I believe is commonly refered to as "quick kill", though I don’t remember him calling it that. As you know, these are instinctive, proven combat techniques. Maybe there’s better stuff out there now?
I then trained in the police academy. This was mostly square-range, no FoF.
I also trained with Roger Philips. I realize he is now associated with Suarez (bummer), but he was not at the time, and he made it clear before we even trained that he was NOT LE, and was "only a conduit for information", his words. I found him very competent as an instructor.
I do like the Shivworks stuff though I have not had the time to train with him.
On point #1, I agree, the OODA loop is everything. However, I feel appropriate aggression is the ROOT of initiative. Thanks for providing a better explanation.
Point #3 is intuitively obvious, IMO. A pistol is designed to be gripped with one hand, most people unfamiliar with them will pick it up and point it with one hand, hence instinctive. Clearly, our training will dictate what we ACTUALLY do, but if your training goes WITH your instinct, and not against it, you are ahead of the game. I recommend people select pistols that inherently "hit where you look" to take advantage of this. I’m NOT saying we should abandon two-handed techniques, but when you watch a Weaver stance trained cop run and shoot one-handed when the SHTF, you gotta think, "shouldn’t we have trained like that a little bit?"
Point #4, I think you are attributing a 100%-type statement to me, it’s not. It’s a "more likely than not", and I believe it’s a statement of fact backed by the FBI’s own exhaustive studies. Of course there are glaring exceptions (Like the Miami shootout). Feel free to correct me with better data if you have it.
I do appreciate your response, and thanks for not blasting me too bad on the Suarez thing…:)