High Speed Gear
Some issues have surfaced recently that have caused problems both at the instructor level as well as the student. This issue is one where shooters are having aftermarket parts placed into their weapons, race gunning their weapons with everything from muzzle brakes to action jobs.
The issue runs from one of safety, to one of basic courtesy on the firing line. The first incident we recently saw was a trigger that was beyond light. The shooter had the weapon in his holster, pulling the weapon back and forth removing a magazine and the weapon discharged. Three students witnessed the incident and all swear he didn’t touch the trigger. After the discharge, where thank God, no one was hurt, I examined the weapon and found that the trigger was lighter than any I had ever observed on a Glock. Having not observed the incident in question, I think it was a combination of factors, clothing, holster and light trigger and extremely cold hands, all or a combination of several.
Before the same class started, a student called saying that a girl he was bringing to the class was having a terrible time “limp wristing” her pistol. He asked what could be done about this and I responded that having not seen her shooting style it was impossible for me to make a corrective diagnosis over the phone. The student said that he didn’t know if she wanted to take the class because of this issue. As things would have it, she stepped up to the line as one of the first shooters and every shot had a malfunction, which on initial observation appeared to be grip problem. It only took me a second after taking the weapon to see what the problem was, the dreaded “race gun issue”. The barrel had been replaced as well as the usual internal parts. I fired the weapon two handed and didn’t have a problem, as soon as I went one handed, every other round malfunctioned. Guess what, as soon as she was handed a bone stock weapon, her limp wrist issued went away.
We had another weapon that was malfunctioning on the line during this class. When I went to see what the issue was, I observed the shooter ejecting every third round. His malfunction clearing skills were great, and by this time in the class he could “tap rack” better than anyone I had observed before. What was the cause; race gun parts, light connector and striker spring all causing problems. Every weapon that had been played with failed to run!
Although you don’t normally run into compensators in a Level I pistol class we do have them during Carbine classes. Those shooting them grin ear to ear when everyone on the line makes comments how loud they are and that they are blowing everyone’s ear out. Yes, if you are shooting the weapon they aren’t a problem, the angle of the ports pushes the sound out from you and into everyone else on the line. My comment on compensators is this, they are great for competitions, you alone on the line with the hearing impaired RO’s. When you take a class, put the flash suppressor back on. The instructor and other students don’t need to be blasted for two days of training.
Don’t get me wrong, this was a great group of shooters and all good people just miss guided in choice of equipment.
With the above, let me make this statement, “you can’t solve training issues with equipment”. Slapping the trigger will not be solved with a lighter trigger; trigger re-set will reduce the issue as well as more time on the gun. What you do accomplish is turn a combat weapon system into an unreliable, unsafe weapon that can’t be counted on when you need it. I know this statement will piss those in the cottage business of Glock transformations but sorry, as a guy who sees the end result, I beg to differ. There isn’t a new shooter in the world, who needs this on his weapon. When issues arrive he won’t know if it’s the weapon or his ammo that is causing it. If you shoot matches fine, if your weapon craps on you and can’t shoot anything but a specific type of primer because your striker spring is so light, you won’t lose anything but the match, having this stuff on a carry weapon, and you’re playing equipment suicide. I have two play guns with this stuff in them and you know what, they are always giving me problems, a Glock with aftermarket connector and striker spring and a SV that runs for 500 rounds and craps out on me like clockwork. The reality is that few shooters ever are to the level that would save them the hundreds of a second that these types of triggers or muzzle brake will give.
Do yourself a favor and stick to the bone stock weapons until you have the skill set that the weapon is holding you back, then buy the race crap and use that weapon for gaming. These students were so pissed off they went out at lunch trying to buy stock Glocks, thank God for deep pockets.
So my old P9 9x21mm 5 port Jet Comp is no good for my up coming class???
Just kidding ya.
That gun was my back up to a 'Race Class' put on by Jerry Barnhart way back in the day-mid 90's IIRC. My primary P9 failed & had to go to my back up gun for the class. We burned about 3k rounds & my 'Jet Comp' began patterning rather than grouping.
Comp had eroded so much that the bullet was kissing the comp & keyholing the target when I was lucky enough to hit cardboard.
That was then. Now I'm getting ready for a 1day class this weekend w/ Eric Lund & Tod Litt. My primary class & EDC gun is a bone stock Glock G22. So far this gun works every time but I will bring a secondary pistol for class.
Outstanding post and analysis. Thank you for sharing that info.
A few months ago I attended a 2 day shooting course and one young lady was wearing a tactical thigh holster. The instructor basically told her that it was a useless piece of equipment (and it was) for the types of handgun training drills that we were doing. People get fooled by the blinky, flashy lights and Hollywood and sometimes and can't focus or complete the task at hand due to not having the correct equipment..
If any student can come up to me and articulate a reason for some type of gear, movement in a drill or anything related to firearms I am all ears. I will steal from the best and give credit to where I got it from. One of the first drill we do with LE guys is a bullet relay. We place them and their weapons on the firing ling and the 3 loaded magazine 15 yards behind. The first shooter to crawl back and forth and get all hits wins a T-Shirt. We try and video the fiasco and count the number of things left behind in the dirt, guns, pistol magazine, and if it doesn't fall off its slapping them in the nuts.....We had one guy in a basic SWAT School who had heard about the drills we ran, show up with his race gun wrapped in clear plastic, boy was it ugly for him.