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Old 03-03-2008, 10:18 PM   #41
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Hello again Defender.

The post I did earlier was apparently too long. Too bad, as it detailed the testing process for our agency sidearm at Aberdeen proving Ground in the mid 1990’s. Since the contract was quite large (16,000 units) every .40 S&W semi-auto manufacturer submitted bids along with 10 weapons of each model for the trials.

Testing note:The testing at Aberdeen included reliability, durability (10,000 rounds), accuracy, parts interchangeability, cold temperature (-40F) testing, high temperature testing (+140F), sand and dust tests, drop tests, salt water immersion tests, plugged chamber tests as well as non-destructive testing and compliance with specifications checks.

In short, the first and second years all models that were submitted, failed. The third year one semi-auto passed and was adopted for service with a total of 32,000 units ultimately being purchased. (Beretta 96D Brigadier)

Several years after the INS National Firearms Unit went into operation I stopped by the armory and posed a question to the armorers who were doing LTI’s (Limited technical inspections) of the thousands of newly arrived 96D Brigadiers. I asked, “What in your opinion is THE most reliable handgun in existence for law enforcement duty carry?

I didn’t expect an immediate answer, but I turned to leave they said in concert, just as if they had somehow practiced together, “The Ruger GP-100!” I thanked them and left knowing that I had heard from men who had experience as armorers working for the FBI, Secret Service, Glock, the USMC and who also had years of experience working for the INS.

A good friend of mine wrote a book entitled, “The Snubby Revolver” in which he states,

Quote:
A few years ago the New York City Police (NYPD) did a study of a 10-year period during which officers of the department were involved in 6,000 armed confrontations. They could not document a single instance in which an officer’s revolver failed to fire during one of these confrontations. Given the endless variety of things that can go wrong in a gunfight, I take great comfort in such information.

When I transferred back to the field after my first nine years at FLETC they stated that we (25 Instructors) had trained over 70,000 students from all federal agencies except FBI (and later DEA when the moved from FLETC to Quantico.) I can only speak from experience when I say that we never heard of an IA drill until semi-auto pistols showed up on our ranges. The time allotted to run a qualification course nearly doubled with the semi-autos due to alibis. One of our Assistant Chiefs, Bill Jordan, used to say, “There’s no such thing as an alibi in a gun fight.” To that I say “Amen.”

The was one exception we encountered during that period when all agencies were trained with revolvers was a very dirty +P+ .38 special round called, “The Treasury Load.” That load required weapon cleaning after every 30 rounds during a qualification.

So, the question is why did we, and other agencies switch to semi-autos? Discounting the marketing pressure we encountered, the reason was the perception that the bad guys were upping the anti with full auto weapons and our Agents felt out gunned with only six shots and then having to reload. The Agents who purchased and carried their own semi-autos during the government testing process had no doubt that they trading reliability for more fire power and a more rapid reload capability. How do I know? Because they said so.

Respectfully,
Kent
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Old 03-04-2008, 08:34 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by USBP1969 View Post
The post I did earlier was apparently too long. Too bad, as it detailed the testing process for our agency sidearm at Aberdeen proving Ground in the mid 1990’s. Since the contract was quite large (16,000 units) every .40 S&W semi-auto manufacturer submitted bids along with 10 weapons of each model for the trials.

Testing note:The testing at Aberdeen included reliability, durability (10,000 rounds), accuracy, parts interchangeability, cold temperature (-40F) testing, high temperature testing (+140F), sand and dust tests, drop tests, salt water immersion tests, plugged chamber tests as well as non-destructive testing and compliance with specifications checks.

In short, the first and second years all models that were submitted, failed. The third year one semi-auto passed and was adopted for service with a total of 32,000 units ultimately being purchased. (Beretta 96D Brigadier)

Several years after the INS National Firearms Unit went into operation I stopped by the armory and posed a question to the armorers who were doing LTI’s (Limited technical inspections) of the thousands of newly arrived 96D Brigadiers. I asked, “What in your opinion is THE most reliable handgun in existence for law enforcement duty carry?

I didn’t expect an immediate answer, but I turned to leave they said in concert, just as if they had somehow practiced together, “The Ruger GP-100!” I thanked them and left knowing that I had heard from men who had experience as armorers working for the FBI, Secret Service, Glock, the USMC and who also had years of experience working for the INS.

A good friend of mine wrote a book entitled, “The Snubby Revolver” in which he states,


When I transferred back to the field after my first nine years at FLETC they stated that we (25 Instructors) had trained over 70,000 students from all federal agencies except FBI (and later DEA when the moved from FLETC to Quantico.) I can only speak from experience when I say that we never heard of an IA drill until semi-auto pistols showed up on our ranges. The time allotted to run a qualification course nearly doubled with the semi-autos due to alibis. One of our Assistant Chiefs, Bill Jordan, used to say, “There’s no such thing as an alibi in a gun fight.” To that I say “Amen.”

The was one exception we encountered during that period when all agencies were trained with revolvers was a very dirty +P+ .38 special round called, “The Treasury Load.” That load required weapon cleaning after every 30 rounds during a qualification.

So, the question is why did we, and other agencies switch to semi-autos? Discounting the marketing pressure we encountered, the reason was the perception that the bad guys were upping the anti with full auto weapons and our Agents felt out gunned with only six shots and then having to reload. The Agents who purchased and carried their own semi-autos during the government testing process had no doubt that they trading reliability for more fire power and a more rapid reload capability. How do I know? Because they said so.
You're wasting your time trying to convince me, Kent. Your anecdotal evidence doesn't cut it.

I'm from the Jeff Cooper school of thought, so Bill Jordan doesn't impress me.

Many of today's modern semi-autos can fire thousands of consecutive rounds without a single misfire.

Having worked many gun shows in places like Fayetteville, NC---I've had the opportunity to question Green Berets, Rangers, 82nd Airborne paratroopers, Military Police, civilian police officers, sheriff's deputies etc. on their preferences in handguns.

Semi-autos are the overwhelming first choice. It isn't even remotely close.

The men who guard the President, U.S. Senators, U.S. Congressmen and U.S. diplomats carry semi-autos exclusively.

Your failed argument of "revolvers are more reliable" is still irrelevant, regardless of how many times you repeat it. Single-shot shotguns are marginally more reliable than semi-auto shotguns, but I don't foresee that factoid convincing any professional SWAT teams in the country to go with the single-shot.

There aren't any "alibis" on IPSC and IDPA courses. The semi-auto shooters absolutely dominate the "open" sections of these events, where competitors can carry pretty much any handgun they wish. Look at what virtually every world and national open champion carries---semi-autos.

Semi-autos are THE choice for serious self-defense and competition in the 21st century, while revolvers are passe.
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Old 03-04-2008, 09:07 AM   #43
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Some consider the revolver to be more reliable than the semi-auto pistol. However, a malfunction in a revolver is usually serious enough to prevent its operation pending the services of a competent gunsmith. A bullet can be pulled out of the cartridge case far enough during recoil that it prevents the cylinder from turning. In particular, the cylinder crane is carefully aligned and there are several small delicate parts and springs which won't tolerate abuse. Exercise care when handling and cleaning so that there is no torque applied to the crane. Have any used gun you acquire looked at by a competent gunsmith familiar with that model of revolver. Never snap the cylinder in or out with a flick of the wrist as they show in the movies. After loading, gently rotate the cylinder into battery and safely check that the trigger and hammer are not locked up from cylinder misalignment. The bulge of the cylinder makes the revolver less comfortable to carry near the ribs, and it can hang up a fast draw from the waist or pocket unless a top quality holster is used.
http://www.gunthorp.com/firearm-p.htm
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Old 03-05-2008, 01:49 PM   #44
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I'm not trying to convince anybody that is already experienced,however I still firmly feel that a revolver is best for someone just beginning to learn. I do in fact carry both but revolvers are idiotproof for beginners.

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Old 03-07-2008, 12:41 PM   #45
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Defender:

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You're wasting your time trying to convince me, Kent.
Based on the content and tone of your posts, I would never attempt to change your mind. My purpose in writing is to provide a balanced picture to others who might read this thread.

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I'm from the Jeff Cooper school of thought, so Bill Jordan doesn't impress me.
I knew them both. Bill attended the National PPC championships for many years and hung out with the USBP team as well as frequenting the Bianchi Cup. It was my sincere honor to know him. I first met Col. Cooper at the last IPSC Nationals he hosted at the head if IPSC. I was introduced to him, and then spent time with him at the Nationals discussing firearms training, and yes I was carrying a wheel gun which caused for a hearty discussion. Later I attended his Basic Handgun Class (249 back then). I did use a .45 at the school as that was his stock in trade.

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A single-shot shotgun is extremely reliable. If properly taken care of, many of them can last a lifetime without a single misfire. However, they're a poor choice for self-defense.
A single shot shotgun, with a 18 - 20” barrel is exactly what we recommended to home owners who needed a self defense weapon and had no prior firearms experience. They could be taught it’s tactical use in a few minutes.

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There aren't any "alibis" on IPSC and IDPA courses. The semi-auto shooters absolutely dominate the "open" sections of these events, where competitors can carry pretty much any handgun they wish. Look at what virtually every world and national open champion carries---semi-autos.
Yes sir, there are indeed no alibis in IPSC and IDPA and semi-auto shooters do dominate the “open” category. They always have, because the stages were designed from the beginning that way. It became even more so after Col. Cooper’s departure. At my first IPSC Nationals I won the National Revolver Championship title, but was 31st overall. Was my accuracy or speed the cause? Nope, it was the difference in reload speed and the difference in the number of reloads a revolver shooter had to do as compared to a semi-auto shooter. The following year there were no stages with less than seven rounds required and I came in 125th. The stages, both then and now, can best be described as “assault pistol” rather than practical defense. They are challenging and entertaining, but often not realistic.

As to your quote from Gunthorp: After watching millions and millions of rounds fired for training and qualification with a revolver and never seeing / experiencing a revolver lock up due to bullet jump into the throat of the barrel with factory ammunition I have serious doubts about such claims. One of the specifications when writing an ammunition contract is “bullet pull.” That is, the amount of force require to pull a bullet from a factory casing. Besides the bullet / casing friction (and crimp in a revolver cartridge), the jacketed bullets are cemented into the casings by the factory. That adhesive’s primary purpose is to prevent the ingress of lubricant or water. The manufacturers also seal the primer pockets for the same reason. (We did experience “squib” loads, however, from time to time with factory lead ammunition.)

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Your anecdotal evidence doesn't cut it.
There’s an old saying concerning such things. Let’s see if I can do it justice. Something like, “A man with experience is never at the mercy of a man with an argument.” - or - “A man with an argument is no match for a man with experience.”

Respectfully,
Kent
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Old 03-08-2008, 06:53 AM   #46
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This from an experienced shooter who favors revolvers:

"Yes, revolvers can break. Praising revolver reliability would be disingenuous if their unique failure cases weren't also acknowledged: Bullets backing out of the crimp can lock up the cylinder, as can carbon buildup on the cylinder face if there's insufficient forcing cone clearance. The ejection rod can unscrew under recoil and lock up the cylinder. Dirty chambers can make ejecting cases difficult. The rough rule of thumb says that failure in a semi-auto can be cleared relatively quickly, but a failure in a revolver takes it out of action until you can get to a workbench."

http://how-i-did-it.org/revolvers/advantages.html

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Old 03-08-2008, 07:32 AM   #47
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A single shot shotgun, with a 18 - 20” barrel is exactly what we recommended to home owners who needed a self defense weapon and had no prior firearms experience. They could be taught it’s tactical use in a few minutes.
Your antiquated thinking will simply get them killed in virtually any situation involving multiple armed perps.

If three well-armed thugs bust down the door and enter rapidly, your home owner will be "one and done" at best. In other words, even if he does hit one of the perps, the other two will promptly shoot him dead. Facing three armed attackers simultaneously, there's no way he'd have time to reload with a single-shot. Even facing only two armed thugs, his chances would still be virtually nil.

A pump or semi-auto would be his only chance. In the real world, you have to have something that offers fast follow-up shots. Single-shots are the choice of range wonks who have no experience in real life situations.
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Old 04-17-2008, 07:13 PM   #48
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Defender, professionally, have you ever had to teach new shooters who wanted to learn shoot hand guns?

I kindly disagree with your defense of a semiautomatic weapon type being the superior choice for a new shooter.

Also my friend at S&W cannot find any company references to your post on barrels breaking off of revolvers. She is going to check further and get back to me. I forwarded your post text to her. Hope you don't mind. I will post her reply.

As John Travolta would say "weeeeee ain't this fun!"

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Old 04-20-2008, 03:44 AM   #49
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I think Defender has forgot the original request. The man simply wants a handgun to defend himself, mainly for home self defense. I don't think he's a member of an elite military group or SWAT team. He lives in the boonies, so I doubt he'll be facing a heavily armed rebel force. He wants something his wife would feel comfortable using. All these factors lead me to believe he should consider a revolver. Defender has a decent argument if we were discussing the merits of semi-auto v.s. revolver for military use, but we've lost track of the original goal. I own several of both types of firearms. I've been issued a Glock and own several of my own. As much as I love it, it's experienced more malfunctions than any of my quality revolvers. And speaking of SWAT teams, after recently completing a SWAT training course, I noticed S&W introduced a .357 magnum revolver with a light rail. I was told it was designed for use with a SWAT entry shield. It's easy to limp wrist a semi-auto while reaching around a shield, sighting through a small window on the shield. There's a reason they sell both types of guns. For people to choose for themselves. Let's be a little more open minded and let this man make a decision based on what firearm fits his needs the best.

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Old 04-20-2008, 05:58 AM   #50
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Finally some sense........spot on.....

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