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Posted: 6/1/2003 6:21:12 AM EDT
A Houston PD Officer was killed a while back, and there was lots of speculation about how his weapon, which apparently malfunctioned, may have been responsible. There was also the usualy round of Glock-bashing The weapon is back from the lab now, and the weapon was functioning correctly. It was not a Glock; it was a Browning Hi-Power. The malfunction was most likey caused by limp-wristing, likely induced by the fact that the officer was shot in the soulder at the start of the encounter. Sort of brings home the point about practicing 1-handed engagements and recognizing that target fixation and related wounds to weapon hands and weapon-side arms which are "normal" in real world gunfights. A link to the article is below. [url]http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/metropolitan/1931957[/url]
Link Posted: 6/1/2003 6:23:03 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/1/2003 6:23:24 AM EDT by natez]
[i]Here is the full text[/i] May 30, 2003, 10:29PM [b]Slain officer's gun ruled out in tragedy[/b] Tests show weapon OK during shootout By PEGGY O'HARE Copyright 2003 Houston Chronicle Tests on slain Houston police Officer Charles Clark's gun, which jammed moments before he was killed, indicate the weapon was in good working order after the tragedy, a Houston Police Department report shows. The findings mean Clark's gun may have malfunctioned for other reasons, possibly human error, a problem with the ammunition or perhaps even because the gun banged against something or was grabbed by its barrel, firearms experts say. But the weapon itself cannot be blamed for the tragedy, they said. HPD officials declined to comment on the report to avoid jeopardizing the case because the people charged in Clark's death have not gone to trial. Clark, 45, died April 3 when he entered a southeast Houston check-cashing store by himself, trying to stop a robbery. Store clerk Alfredia Jones, a 27-year-old single mother of two working alone that day, also was killed. After he was shot in the shoulder, Clark returned fire with one round, but his gun jammed. One of the robbers then shot him in the head, police said. But Clark's gun -- a high-powered Browning 9 mm semi-automatic handgun -- functioned as designed during tests conducted a month after his death, according to a firearms laboratory report recently released by the department. Clark's shoulder injury may have caused him to hold the gun improperly, in a manner that gun enthusiasts call "limp wristing" -- not locking his wrist before firing the gun, one expert said. That could have caused the gun to jam. "People close to the case believe Clark may have been shot, and as he was shot, he fired his pistol without holding it in a rigid, ready position," said an officer close to the investigation, who asked to remain anonymous. "Because of his injury, he might have accidentally touched the round off -- it went up in the ceiling. "We took Clark's gun and fired it, and it works fine in the lab. He had qualified with that gun two months prior to the shooting, so we know it was working then," the officer said. Another gun expert who reviewed the department's report agreed Clark's weapon was not faulty. "Looking at this (report), there was nothing wrong with the gun," said C.E. "Chick" Anderson, a longtime firearms examiner who retired from the department in 1998 and now is Brookside Village police chief in Brazoria County. "From everything it shows, the gun was in good condition." That does not necessarily mean Clark did anything wrong, Anderson said. There could have been a problem with the ammunition or perhaps even interference by the robbers during the confrontation, some said. "They could have grabbed the end of the barrel of his gun, and that would cause it to malfunction," Anderson said. "When adrenaline's pumping like that ... there is never anything perfect in a shootout." Houston police do not provide guns and ammunition to its officers. Rather, officers bring their own guns to the job and must qualify with their weapon once a year in order to keep their certification as peace officers, as required by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards. Officers such as Clark, who worked for the department before it narrowed the list of approved weapons in 1997, were grandfathered in and allowed to continue using the weapons they'd relied on for years, as long as it was a .38-caliber weapon or bigger. The type of weapon Clark was carrying the day he died is not one commonly used by officers, said Hans Marticiuc, president of the Houston Police Officers Union. "You don't see too many officers carrying the Brownings. It's an older model single-action -- many officers are carrying some type of double-action semi-automatic at this point," Marticiuc said Friday. Despite that, Marticiuc doesn't believe the tragedy of Clark's death should prompt a policy change within HPD. "The officers who have been here a while, they carry what they feel comfortable with. I think it's just one of these flukes. It's a mechanical thing, and sometimes things go wrong," he said.
Link Posted: 6/1/2003 6:32:03 AM EDT
That just makes me sad. I hate to think limp wristing a semi auto got him killed. Can glocks be limp wristed to cause a maulfuntion ? I have tried to get my p220 to maulfuntion and cant.
Link Posted: 6/1/2003 6:40:43 AM EDT
Originally Posted By u-baddog: That just makes me sad. I hate to think limp wristing a semi auto got him killed. Can glocks be limp wristed to cause a maulfuntion ? I have tried to get my p220 to maulfuntion and cant.
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Yes, in fact Glocks are somewhat notorious for it. While I have never had a problem, I have seen it happen many times. A recoil operated pistol has to be given something to recoil against. It sounds like the limp writing has more to do with the fact that the officer had been shot in the shoulder than anything else. It is sad when officers get killed, but it also very, very important to rationally and clinically disect what the heck happened to get them killed to serve as lessons learned for the rest of us, so we won't get killed.
Link Posted: 6/1/2003 12:53:07 PM EDT
Originally Posted By u-baddog: That just makes me sad. I hate to think limp wristing a semi auto got him killed. Can glocks be limp wristed to cause a maulfuntion ? I have tried to get my p220 to maulfuntion and cant.
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Yes. A jewelry store owner here in Tucson sued Glock because his pistol jammed after the first round. He was subsequently shot several times by a perp using a .357 revolver. He survived. He lost the suit.
Link Posted: 6/1/2003 3:02:23 PM EDT
What a shame. But what's your opinion on this: Even if he'd had a single/double, wouldn't a wound - caused 'limp wristing' have still required him to work the slide to remedy the situation, whether stovepipe, total FTE, loading jam or whatever? Any info on which one it was? BTW, revolvers don't have this issue. But do any have more capacity than 6-7?
Link Posted: 6/1/2003 4:01:17 PM EDT
Very tragic, I imagine several lessons were learned. He evidently thought he needed to get in fast, without backup. Browning is a well proven design. Natez, do you emphasize "stress training" with your guys?? (Is it you that's the trainer, or johninaustin?))
Link Posted: 6/1/2003 4:06:02 PM EDT
I think there is an 8 shot wheelgun, not sure on the specifics.
Link Posted: 6/1/2003 4:13:25 PM EDT
Link Posted: 6/1/2003 4:13:36 PM EDT
Originally Posted By prk: What a shame. But what's your opinion on this: Even if he'd had a single/double, wouldn't a wound - caused 'limp wristing' have still required him to work the slide to remedy the situation, whether stovepipe, total FTE, loading jam or whatever? Any info on which one it was?
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Yes. Like Natez said, any recoil-operated autopistol - no matter what the action type is - must be held solidly in order to function.
Link Posted: 6/1/2003 5:50:31 PM EDT
Yes, I am a "part-time" trainer. I am fixin to go back to the streets with a promotion and will probably not being helping with the tactical training anymore. Yes we do stress training. Primarily with Sims. I find that it is alot easier to show a doubting Thomas why his theory doesn't hold up than to try and explain it to him. Eventually, with enough Sims, folks get past the startle response and start using their sights again, and start to get good COM hits. Eventually. We have had few real life shootings to work with since we started using Sims several years ago (thankfully), but they have all worked out. In this case, I don't have the exact mechanics of what went down inside of the store. It probably happened too quickly for the officer to do anything other than draw and try to fire, and he had probably already taken a hit by then. He could have tried to tap rack and ready using his duty belt and the rear sights, but that is tough to pull off, even without lots of practice and a hole in your shoulder. He was doinf well to even get off the single miss that he did manage to fire. My best guess at a better approach would have been to wait outside for backup, and engage the BGs as they attempted to flee. Putting yourself, alone against in a store against one armed robber is dangerous. Against multiples it just doesn't make sense. Heroic, yes, but good tactics can often prevent you from having to be heroic. A hero is often somebody who screwed up and had to dance their way out of it (no offense intended). It also would have probably saved the clerk's life if he wouldn't have gotten into a confrontation inside the store. To put it bluntly, gunning them down in the parking lot is safer, more tactically sound and endangers fewer people, responding officers and the general public particularly. Nothing wrong with a Browning HP, though I personally prefer a double-action in a slightly stouter caliber. For the deceased officer, it was a crappy situation, and the odds did not break in his favor. Prayers to him and his family. He died protecting others, which is pretty darned noble, despite any second-guessing we do a month after the fact.
Link Posted: 6/1/2003 5:54:21 PM EDT
Since the officer was injured and couldn't hold the gun correctly, and the Glock shouldn't be blamed. I once took anti-gunner type person to the range, and he constantly limp-wristed my Mustang 380, and of course it constantly suffered FTE. Switched him to a revolver and everything is well.
Link Posted: 6/1/2003 5:56:42 PM EDT
I'll add that you (at least officers) are likely to get shot if you ever get into a shooting, and are also very likely to take a hit in the weapon hand or arm. Keeping that in mind, there are several things we emphasized in recent training: 1) Do you carry a back-up gun? 2) Can you get to it quickly? 3) Can you draw with your reaction (weak) hand only? This is [b]especially[/b] important if you have one of those Level III or other high security holsters, or a spare tire. Moving the holster forward a couple of inches may help alot with this. 4) Can you reload with one hand only? 5) Can you clear a stoppage with one hand only? Practice, practice, practice these tasks. As always, use a safe and clear weapon, or at least use some dummy rounds. Wear your vest, because that dramatically changes your cross-body reach and mobility.
Link Posted: 6/1/2003 11:39:33 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/1/2003 11:40:14 PM EDT by prk]
Recently tried using the weak side. Results: 1) Accuracy - got to work on that 2) Inserting mag - OK 3) Refilling empty mag with two hands reversed - very slow, last round was a killer. 4) Refilling empty mag with one hand - [ROFL2]
Link Posted: 6/1/2003 11:47:27 PM EDT
This story reinforces my choice of a Ruger GP100 for bedside duty in my home.
Link Posted: 6/1/2003 11:55:06 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/1/2003 11:57:12 PM EDT by FishKepr]
Practice, practice, practice these tasks. As always, use a safe and clear weapon, or at least use some dummy rounds. Wear your vest, because that dramatically changes your cross-body reach and mobility.
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Message received. Thanks man. I'm sorry that it took this tragedy to finally get it through my skull. It's kind of late now and I obviously don't want to mess with a weapon while my brain is fuzzy. Starting tomorrow however, I'm adding a few more drills to the regimen.
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