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Old April 12, 2005, 05:10 PM   #1
smince
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Running With A Strange Gun

This has probably been a thread before. The last match I was in, the last stage had a "dummy" laying with an unknown weapon under a cloth. After running the next to last stage, we had to holster and get the "downed man's" gun to finish the course. Lucky me! I drew an HR break-top 9-shot .22 with about a 20lb trigger.

This got me thinking. When I first got into handguns (early 80's) the most exotic handgun I might run into would be an HK VP70Z, P9, or P7.

Questions: Are we familiar with all the different weapons we might encounter? LE especially needs to know how to unload/make safe any weapon they might encounter. And do we know how to make them fire if we need to use one for self-defense?

I'm not sure I'm familiar with surplus handguns such as CZ52. I'm going to have to study more.
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Old April 14, 2005, 07:29 AM   #2
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An interesting thought.
I've considered the possibility of that before after seeing so many people (including a police officer who was trying to clear my weapon at a traffic stop) have trouble with finding the safety on my 1911.
I know I'm unfamiliar with a lot of firearm styles.
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Old April 19, 2005, 05:33 AM   #3
LAK
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Although there are exceptions, in the realm of pistols one can learn to recognize most double-action and single-action pistols in the general sense. Some have more than one mode or may be double-action only or variations are available for some make and models. Learning to operate and shoot them all would be a tall order for anyone. If the pistol is unfamiliar and the goal is simply to clear, a starting point would be;

With muzzle maintained in a safe direction/finger maintained away from trigger, find the magazine release and drop the magazine.

Pull back the slide to eject / check chamber. If the slide will not draw back, it is probably a mechanical safety locking it which can be located and released.

Some revolvers may provide a bit of a puzzle to open. In fact although most revolvers are single, single and double, or DAO - there have probably been a great variety of ways revolver cylinders are "unlocked".

If you find yourself picking up a pistol or revolver impromptu during a fight let's face it; if you do not immediately recognize it you may of may not have a chance to look at it closer before using it. Even if you think you recognize it, it may be a variant. Some companies are making the same pistols available with different trigger modes. So although they might have different controls, it may not be immediately apparent which one you have in your hand.

If the need to fire is immediate I would suggest just to aim and pull the trigger. If nothing happens one is left to methodically run through a process of elimination - as quickly as possible.

If you are pretty sure it is primarily a DA/SA or SA pistol then you know the hammer must be cocked unless it is DAO - in which case there is usually no useable hammer spur. Nearly all frame mounted safeties are thumb "down" to fire; an exception would be the Browning BDM which is "up" to fire - "down" acts as a decocker IIRC unless it is set in DAO mode.

Slide mounted safeties can be "safe" or "fire" in the "up" or "down" - or "back" and "forth" position as one might view some of them. If you are not sure of any particular model it is going to a case of attempting to fire, and if necessary moving the safety to "the other position" - whatever that "other position" happens to be - and try to fire again.

Then there are the single shots (antique and modern), the derringer-types and the various (mostly antigue) gadget guns.

Then there are rifles ... and shotguns.
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Old April 19, 2005, 07:10 AM   #4
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In Defensive Handgun II and one of their other more advanced pistol classes, the folks at Thunder Ranch had students shoot the guns of other students. In fact, we were to set up the gun with a malfunction, set it down, then the line moved down a few spaces and we were then ordered to retrieve the gun currently in front of us and shoot the target. We only had semi-autos, but we all got to shoot pretty much every type of gun there and one that was intentionally set up not to run properly. We did mags not fully inserted, bad rounds (dummy in chamber), stove pipes, double feeds, etc. It was the task of the shooter to make the gun run as quickly as possible.

Why? The folks at TR posed a good question. So you are in a gun fight. What makes you think you will be fighting with your own gun? They gave numerous reasons why you might not have your own gun at some point such as being in a secure area where you can't carry your own gun and you end up retrieving that of a downed shooter (cop or bad guy), gun breaks, out of ammo, gun taken from you, etc. During the course of action, then, you may be involved in a battlefield 'pickup' and hence be fighting with a gun that isn't yours. The gun you pick up may be discarded because of a problem that can be fixed, such as a malfunction. At the North Hollywood shootout, the first gunman to die had discarded his AK because it malfunctioned. He apparently did not know how to fix the problem and he discarded the gun. This was lucky for the LAPD as it was a simple stovepipe.
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Old April 19, 2005, 02:02 PM   #5
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Give me about 30 seconds with most any handgun made in the last 120 years, and I can figure out how to use it
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Old April 19, 2005, 02:38 PM   #6
OBIWAN
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I have run the same drill

The only time I ever got in trouble was with a little Kahr pistol.

My big fat fingers got sideways
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Old April 19, 2005, 02:49 PM   #7
XavierBreath
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Quote:
Are we familiar with all the different weapons we might encounter? LE especially needs to know how to unload/make safe any weapon they might encounter.
The one thing that bothers me as a CCW holder is letting a LEO disarm me temporarily. I feel much safer letting him do that with a 1911 than a Glock or Kahr though..........
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Old April 19, 2005, 10:27 PM   #8
perception
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Yeah, that bothers me too. Like the video posted a while back, I really don't cherish the thought of someone else trying to clear my gun. If the LEO has an ND while handling it, things could go south.
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Old April 20, 2005, 05:30 PM   #9
smince
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Quote:
Give me about 30 seconds with most any handgun made in the last 120 years, and I can figure out how to use it
That was my point. What if you don't have 30 seconds?!
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Old April 21, 2005, 02:19 AM   #10
LAK
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smince
Quote:
That was my point. What if you don't have 30 seconds?!
This depends on whether you recognize the piece right away, as opposed to a piece you do not, or one that might have possible variations.

I guess the bottom line is that if you are not sure - don't stand there facing someone while you figure it out. Dive or zig zag for cover. Nothing to stop you pointing it their direction while you do and pulling the trigger as you go. It may fire right off, or having it pointed at them might send them looking for cover too.
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