Left to Right: Heckler &Koch P7M8, Glock 17 Gen4, Manurhin MR73
I suspect that if you had an accidental discharge with a revolver, you had cocked the gun so that it took little pressure on the trigger to release the hammer and fire it. Otherwise, the length of the trigger pull and the normal amount of trigger pressure required to fire an un-cocked revolver mitigates against accidentally firing it.
I know you think semiautomatic pistols don’t require manual safeties, and various arguments continue to be made by those who like the “ready to fire” semiautomatics.
However, I could send you links to many stories about these guns firing when they might not have if only there had been a manual safety engaged on them. Some of these incidents involve highly trained law enforcement officers who shot a colleague! Other incidents, many of them, involve somebody picking up a pistol that was in plain sight or because they knew where they were stored, and which was loaded and ready to fire. Tragically, many of these incidents involve very small children as well as others who don’t know how guns function but have it discharge because they put some amount of pressure on the trigger.
When someone gets shot in these incidents, it often makes the news. When no one gets shot it doesn’t appear to merit mention in the news, and I suspect that law enforcement often does not get notified. This suggests that perhaps more such accidental discharges occur than get documented.
Any “highly trained” person who is proficient with a handgun should have no problem disengaging a manual safety when they deliberately want to fire the weapon. And having such a safety engaged would be additional insurance against a child (especially) or an untrained person firing the gun if they happen to get their hands on it.
No, in fact it was double action on the revolver. There it is again that typical mistake, assuming AD (or ND) occur because a trigger is too light or a gun too easy to shoot or it doesn’t have a safety or it doesn’t have enough of them. Don’t get me wrong, I understand that hair trigger isnt the best idea for a combat handgun. But even in single action, with modern, quality guns they still shouldn’t go off unless the trigger is actually pulled.
What happened to me with the revolver was pretty typical. I was practicing dry fire with the revolver. Got distracted for a second, I think it was a phone call that I got, reloaded the gun and went back to dry firing…
These accidental or negligent discharges, they rarely are a mechanical flaw. 99% its someone dropping the hammer without realizing there’s a live round there. Even in the cases where too much pressure is put on a trigger without realizing it during a stressful situation, at the end of the day it’s still a trigger being pulled and the gun doing what it’s supposed to do. That finger had no business inside that trigger guard in the first place.
As I mentioned in the previous post, there’s a reason why you see so many of these incidents involving Glocks… its because Glocks are everywhere! If Glocks make for over 60% of the guns issued to law enforcement, police and government agencies, then obviously they will be the ones used when AD or ND occur. Now what would be really interesting would be to get our hands on some data comparing current accidents and accidental discharges with those of a few years ago when Glocks weren’t in the scene.
On the same line, a handgun that ends up in the hands of a child unsupervised means there’s terrible negligence by the owner of such weapon. Can the safety save the life of a kid? Maybe, but kids these days will figure out in seconds how to disengage the safety. Guns with safeties have been involved in their fair share of tragedies.
The only upside I can see in them is in the case of a struggle where the gun ends up in hands of the attacker, who may not have time to figure out the safety. This is along the same lines of mag release safeties, where a cop manages to drop the mag in the struggle before losing the weapon and the gun simply wont fire without the magazine (FN Hi Power). Then again, a safety may end up being forgotten during the fight and get the good guy killed, or the inability to shoot without the magazine inserted may prove as well fatal. At the end of the day law enforcement voted with their issued weapons and it clearly points towards Glocks or similar handguns.
Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”