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"Many law-enforcement agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, do not want a magazine safety. Their reasoning: that being able to fire the bullet remaining in the chamber could save the life of an officer who changes his magazine or accidentally releases it in a gunfight.
But some firearm experts who have looked for such cases say they have found few. Instead, experts like Massad Ayoob, a police captain who is director of the Lethal Force Institute, a training academy in Concord, N.H., say they have found more instances where officers with magazine safeties avoided being shot with their own guns by ejecting the magazine during a struggle.
''It acts as a kind of kill button,'' preventing the gun from being fired, Captain Ayoob said."
http://www.nytimes.com/1999/03/19/us/gu ... .html?_r=0
For one, the S&W Sigma pistol they laud so much is widely regarded as garbage. It was Smith's first foray into polymer pistols and is not only regarded as a failure but they were also sued by Glock for copyright violations because they copied some of the parts so closely, they would drop in and function in the other manufacturer's pistol.
For another, if you need a magazine disconnect to stop a kid from accidentally shooting themselves, then you have already done something really really stupid and probably should never own guns.
Plus, I don't consider anything Mas says with any credibility. He has been proved wrong many times, and his "Ayoob" method of holding a flashlight has been widely ridiculed as a dumb solution to a non-existent problem. (Hold the flashlight at an upward angle in your hand so you blind the bad guy just before you shoot him ... assuming the bad guy is standing in EXACTLY the right spot ... is EXACTLY the right distance away ... is fortunate - or unfortunate - enough to be EXACTLY the right height ... and, incidentally, is standing perfectly still.)
He is considered FAR from an "expert." His studies on terminal ballistics have been widely discredited by the entire firearms industry.
I'm pretty far from an expert either, but I have this one theory in life about stories and using anecdotal evidence to guide firearms design or training techniques:
Just because an incident happened once and then the story was retold a thousand times, does not make it happen a thousand times.
In 25 years in this business, I have never seen ONE documented incident where an officer's life was saved by a magazine disconnect. I have heard lots of anecdotal evidence, but nothing confirmed.
On the other hand, I can show you the WEIGHT of evidence that the major police firearms manufacturers do not consider this a good feature. Glock and Sig refuse to equip their firearms with this questionable feature. Beretta won't, unless required by the contract, and even then, only in a very small number of cheap service pistols that no one else seems to use beyond one federal agency in Canada. That leaves S&W as the ONLY major manufacturer of police sidearms who think this is a good feature, and even then, many of their models don't come with it. The (highly rated) M&P will come either way, depending on how an agency wants it configured.
Let's go to the RCMP, who are the only major police force in Canada who think it is a good idea. Even they acknowledge that it might not always be a good solution, as their K9 and ERT officers have pistols WITHOUT a magazine disconnect.
So that means that, statistically, 85% of police agencies in Canada agree with me. I happen to know that Glock will never sell a pistol with that "feature."
wicked_police wrote:Calling a magazine disconnect a 'safety' feature is like calling a cement barrier an emergency brake.
As to evidence where a magazine disconnect may have contributed to an officer's death, as the FBI states, I can point to an officer who was shot and killed at point blank range through the window of his police vehicle as he desperately tried to fire the one round in his chamber, without realizing his magazine had fallen out. No one can ever say if that one round would have saved his life, but because of the magazine disconnect, we can be assured that it DIDN'T, that night.
By the way, my heroes in life are not sports stars or athletes. My heroes in life are ones who survive insurmountable odds and never give up. One of my personal heroes is RCMP Cst Brian Auger (now retired) who returned fire from the other side of the car, while being pinned down by rifle and shotgun fire from two murderers, as their girlfriend passed them loaded rifles and urged them to "Kill him! Kill him!" as her boyfriend walked up to the police vehicle and murdered Cst Dennis Strongquill at less than arm's length away.
So, now you know why I do not consider a magazine disconnect to be a good feature, and never will.
By the way, that murdering girlfriend is now walking the streets. She was released in 2010. Rot in hell, Laurie Ann Bell.
Well over 100 years ago, steamships began to replace sailing ships, but people were too afraid to make long voyages on ships without sails. People thought that if the engines quit, and without sails, the ships would just be dead in the water. So shipbuilders put masts with sails on steam ships. The masts and sails that were pretty much useless because the ships were made of steel and the sails were not big enough to do any good. But having the sails just made people feel better.
LAWDOG wrote:I'm torn on the magazine disconnect. If the magazine is not seated properly, no bang. If you are in a fight and you are losing your firearm, dropping the magazine may prevent the one round from being used against you.
I simply challenge people to show me ONE documented situation where an officer was able to hit their magazine release in the middle of a struggle, and it saved their life. I have heard this story a thousand times. I have never seen documented evidence that this "plan of action" has ever actually worked.
Just because this myth has been told ten thousand times over does not mean it happened ten thousand times.
Plus, the premise of the article is that all handguns should have magazine disconnects to prevent kids from having more accidents with handguns. Well, if a magazine disconnect is the only thing that prevented an accident with a kid and a handgun, that parent should NEVER BE ALLOWED TO OWN GUNS.
Firearms carry with them the inherent weight of responsibility 24 hours a day. Some people may think they have that, but they don't. They just shouldn't have guns, period. Sometimes, a good guy with a gun ... is just not all that bright.
This is why I have always believed that we don't change attitude problems or address training issues with mechanical solutions.
As for the no bang issue, the fact is that ANY handgun can no go bang, if the mag is not seated after a reload; a round misfires, or - far more common - an officer forgets to chamber a round. This is why I will always believe that one should spend less time worrying about training people to do some dumb move in an effort to try a technique that has never actually worked in real life, and more time on immediate action drills and training officers to ALWAYS load their pistol from the slide-back condition, holster it, remove the magazine, and top up one more round. After the P.R.O.V.E. procedure, that pistol is already slide-back. Insert the magazine, close the action with a proper overhand grasp, holster it, remove the magazine, top it up, and reinsert.
This accomplishes three things:
#1 - It ensures one can't forget to chamber a round;
#2 - it provides an extra double-check that the round is chambered; (No "press-check" needed. If you can't fit one more round in the mag, then you have forgotten to chamber the first one.)
#3 - it reinforces the action of chambering the round with a proper overhand grasp to the back of the slide.
As for sails on steam ships, all I can is point out that just because they thought it was a good idea at the time, didn't make it right. I see people on TV chambering a round by using the slide stop all the time. That doesn't make it right either.
So, yeah, I'm anal, humourless and often clueless.
But, dammit, I want to bury that old myth once and for all.
A magazine disconnect has never worked to prevent a bad guy from shooting someone. It should never have been installed, it should never be relied upon and it should never be taught as a technique.
Training works. THAT is what should be relied upon, not mechanical "solutions."
To continue my friend's analogy, perhaps they should have realized at the time that a couple of sails on a steam ship would have done nothing and dropped the idea a lot sooner.
But, as I said, always an interesting debate nonetheless.
As for chambering with action open and topping up - we at CBSA would get disciplined for topping up. Could you write to CBSA management about this issue?
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