Semi Automatic Failure

Merda! or in English, Shit! A semi-automatic failure might be annoying down the range  but in close combat it’s a life or death situation. Fortunately it’s completely avoidable. The only failure I’ve ever had have been deliberate.

The three most common failures with a semi-auto pistol are failure to feed, failure to extract, and failure to eject. The first one, failure to feed, is the most common. Basically, the bullet doesn’t travel from magazine to chamber and the slide only close partially aka “out of battery”,  there are three main reason for this: riding the slide, short sliding and muzzle contact with the target. Riding the slide is simply holding on to the slide as it travels forward, so it doesn’t travel with enough velocity to properly feed the bullet into the chamber. Short sliding is not pulling the slide back far enough, which means it doesn’t have the full range of motion necessary to chamber the round, and muzzle contact with the target has the same effect. All of these are easily avoidable — DON’T FUCKING DO IT!

The other reasons for a failure to feed are a dirty chamber, which doesn’t really apply to modern semi autos, or a damaged magazine. But modern semi auto are designed to be twat proof, so if you have any sort of failure the chances are that pulling the trigger again will resolve the problem.  The other two problems: failure to extract i.e.  the bullet fired, but the extractor didn’t pull the fired case from the chamber and you get a  “double-feed” or another round in the chamber; and failure to eject, which is similar, the fired case is caught in the chamber, which causes the slide to lock, called  “stovepiping”.  these failures can again be linked to a dirty chamber but in all reality you can pretty much guarantee the cause was “limp-wristing” (not holding the pistol firmly enough). Again the solution — DON’T FUCKING DO IT!

So having established that these failures are completely avoidable, why do they happen? Generally speaking, I’d say it was incompetence with the exception of riding the slide and short sliding, which can be the result of poor training. Not everyone is strong enough to pull the slide back with one hand, which is why I advocate the pull and punch method. I’ve yet to meet an able bodied adult who is not strong enough to do this, and in a real life situation when you want to shoot someone it’s all too easy to short slide which is why I advocate carrying Condition One, with the gun all ready cocked.

American Semi Automatic Pistols

According to ATF statistics, 1, 219, 664 semi automatic pistols were manufactured in America in 2007, which is over 3x more than the number of revolvers for the same year. Over 25% of US manufactured pistols were made by American owned companies. Smith & Wesson alone made 302 633 pistols, which is more than Sig Sauer, Beretta USA, Glock, FNH USA and CZ USA put together, and the second largest US pistol manufacturer in 2007 was Strum, Ruger & Co. But neither of these American companies produce competitive semi automatic pistols. Smith & Wesson’s idea of innovation was to bring out a substandard and unlicensed version of the Glock in 1994 — 12 years after the original came out in Austria — and to add insult to injury they called it a Sig! SIGma — a stroke of genius!

The S&W M&P series would have been cutting edge thirty odd years ago, but in 2005 they’re just another Glock wannabe, as is their new SD range they brought out for the civilian market this year. Ruger are even worse. The SR9 they brought out in 2007 can be best summed up as a piece of crap and the 2008 Ruger LCP is a 6+1 round capacity 9mm Corto, which is one round less than the Beretta 3032 Tomcat, but that came out 14-years ago! Whereas the Beretta Px4 Storm subcompact has a 13+1 round capacity in 9mm and shoots as accurately as a full sized pistol and with barely any recoil. There’s just no comparison.

Colt 1911

And the only pistols that Colt, America’s most famous handgun manufacturer, are currently making are more variations of their famous 1911.Their Colt 2000, which came out in 1992 and was supposed to be their pistol for the new millennium wasn’t even still in production in 2000. In fact, the Colt 1911 was the last truly competitive American semi automatic pistol. That’s part of the problem because nearly every American pistol manufacturer makes a version of the Colt 1911. If they were only being made for nostalgia or sport that would be fair enough, I own a couple myself, but the problem is that is still being made and sold as defensive pistol.

I know a lot of Americans thinks that the Colt 1911 is the best semi automatic pistol ever made, and to be fair, when it was first commissioned as a service pistol by the US army in 1911, it was an innovative, greatly admired and often imitated pistol. But now, just shy of a century later: a heavy, overbuilt, single action, 7×1 round capacity full sized pistol is an antique. To be honest it was really starting to show its age before WWII. Even in 1911, it wasn’t the most accurate firearm on the market: the Luger P08, Glisenti Model 1910, and Bergmann Bayard M1910 Mars were all more accurate, even if they were less durable.

The Colt 1911A1, which came out in 1924, and was designated the M1911A1 by the US military was a barely improved 1911. The only differences were a shorter trigger, indents in the frame behind the trigger, no “Double Diamond” on the grip, arched mainspring housing, longer grip safety spur, wider front sight and a shorter spur on the hammer. The working parts of the weapon were unchanged. The Pistola Campo-Giro de 9mm Modelo 1913-16, Astra 1921, Astra Model 900  (1927), Walther PP and PPK  (1929), Tokarev TT-33, Beretta M1934, FN 9mm Hi-Power 1935 and Walther P38, which were all better pistols than the M1911A1 were in production before the outbreak of WWII.

The reason that the M1911A1 was in service from 1924 until it was replaced on the 14 January 1985, by the Beretta 92FS had nothing to do with combat performance; it was because it was over-procured. During WWII the US military procured 1.9 million M1911A1 and didn’t purchase any after 1945 because they had more pistols than men. Although the US military adopted the Beretta 92FS in 1985, the Italian army adopted it in 1980 as a replacement for the Beretta M1951. The Beretta 92FS is was one of the original wonder nines and came out back in 1972 and its proved itself to be far more accurate and reliable.

The US military are looking Now they are looking to replace the Beretta 92FS but after 65-years in the wilderness, manufacturing revolvers, I can’t see Colt getting the contract with a double stacked 1911. If the rumours are right, the US Army want a .45 ACP calibre polymer pistol. So Smith & Wesson better start looking at ripping off the Beretta Px4 Storm SD.

Česká Zbrojovka CZ 2075 RAMI P

CZ 2075 RAMI P

Calibre 9 mm Luger; .40 S&W; 9 mm P.A. Rubber
Magazine Capacity 10(14); 8(10); 10
Trigger mechanism operation SA/DA
Sights fixed, snag free
Overall length 168 mm
Barrel length 74,6 mm
Height 120 mm
Width 33 mm
Weight 665 g
Barrel hammer forged
Surface treatment black polycoat
Safety features manual safety
hammer safety notch
firing pin block

In 1975, Česká zbrojovka based in Uherský Brod, Czechoslovakia (now the Czech Republic) introduced it’s now famous the CZ 75 9mm semi automatic pistol, which is still in production and is still one of them most popular semi autos in the world today. The CZ 2075 RAMI is their subcompact offering which came out circa 2007. The CZ 2075 RAMI P is the polymer version of the aluminium alloy 2075 RAMI and is 30 g lighter, other than that it’s the same gun. I had the opportunity to try out the CZ 2075 RAMI P 9x21mm this week. Don’t worry it comes in 9×19 mm, but that calibre is illegal for civilian use in Italy.

The first thing I noticed was high light it was. At 665 g this has to be the lightest subcompact I’ve ever fired. By contrast, the H&K P2000 SK 680 g and the Beretta PX4 Storm SubCompact is 740 g, although the CZ 2075 RAMI P is actually 5mm longer, 3mm taller and 0.5mm thicker than the P2000 SK, and 10 mm longer than the Px4 Storm Subcompact. So it’s really not a smaller gun — no more concealable — but it has a 10 +1 round capacity in 9mm, whereas the P2000 SK and Px4 Storm Subcompact have a 13 +1 round capacity.

The only problem I had with shooting it is that the trigger is uncomfortable and bites my finger. The ergonomics aren’t as good as the P2000 SK and Px4 Storm Subcompact, but it still was a good fit for my petite hand. Rob finds all subcompacts too small and the RAMI is no exception.

Shooting wise, it is a fantastic gun. I fired 300 rounds with no failures and that was with no cleaning or lube. The gun is designed to be accurate to 50m and it is. But what really interests me is rate of fire, recoil and accuracy over 10m in a dark room. The CZ 2075 RAMI P does all of those things well: it has illuminated titanium three-dot sights and it’s sleek shape is great for point shooting and there is very little  recoil. However, despite being a great little female friendly gun. I still prefer the P2000 SK and Px4 Storm Subcompact, so I didn’t buy it.

Say Hello To My Little Friend

Over the weekend we went tactical shooting testing out new handguns we bought. I fired over a 1,000 rounds!!!

I tried the Taurus 856 out with some tactical shooting drills… I hate it. The recoil isn’t too bad shooting two handed, but I really noticed it shooting one handed especially shooting with my off-hand. Six rounds isn’t enough and it’s not as smooth or fast as my semi autos. So I gave it to my little sister and I’m now the proud owner of a H&K P2000 SK. I tried and liked the Sig Sauer Pro 2022 but the P2000 SK  is such a sexy gun, it feels better in the hand, performs as well as the SP 2022 and is a better concealed carry option. It’s 9×21 IMI like my other two defensive firearms, the Beretta Px4 storm and Beretta Px4 storm subcompact.

Amica replaced her Glock 17 with a Bersa Thunder 9, which is a very accurate firearm and she kept her Glock 26, and got the Taurus PT 709 Slim, which really is slim. It also very accurate for such a small gun. You can easily wear it inside your skirt.

Rob already recently bought the Caracal C Quick Sight, and he’s not ready to replace that yet although I don’t like it. But he bought the H&K P30, as a carry weapon, which I love. Neither of us have owned H&K before, but they’re worth the money, unlike SIGs, which I feel are overpriced. Rob chose the incredibly reasonably priced Tanfoglio Force 10 Carry as his third defensive weapon. It’s a 10 mm AUTO, which is usually a target calibre but Tanfoglio seem to offer all their defensive guns in that calibre as well as the standard calibres. The Force Carry 10 might be known by a different name in America, but it’s a great polymer concealed carry gun, the Force series are based on the ČZUB CZ 75 frame.

We’re also all allowed to register 6 sporting firearms each. I’ve got a Beretta 87 Target .22LR, a Tanfoglio Combat Sport 1o in 10mm Auto, and Taurus PT 1911 in .45 ACP. Amica has a Tanfoglio Force 99 Sport and Taurus PT 24/7 in 9×21 IMI, and Rob has an Astra Daytona and Tanfoglio Witness 1911 Custom in .45ACP, and Beretta Stampede Deluxe .357 Mag revolver. We also got 6 shotguns in the house the Benelli M4 Super 90, Beretta Tx4 storm and Franchi SPAS-15 for defence and tactical shooting, and the Benelli M2 Comfortech Camo, Beretta Xtrema2 AP and Beretta AL 391 Urika 2 Camo MAX4 for hunting.

Some people might think we have to many firearms, but I’d rather have too many firearms than not enough because what good is a right of self-defence if you don’t have the means to defend yourself?

Home Defence

The place we’re often at our most vulnerable is the place that we often feel safest: our home. We are all potentially at risk from attack or robbery from an intruder in our home. Actually this is a lot more common than people think. Few girls seem to realise that they are more likely to be raped or sexually assaulted by an intruder in her home, than by a stranger in the street, a car park or an elevator. Lots of other girls I talk to think they’re perfectly safe as long as they’ve got good locks on the doors and the guys tend to be even more blasé about home security. Apart from the fact that locked doors and windows aren’t much of an obstacle for most burglars. It’s unrealistic to think that we will lock every door and window. I know I don’t. I work from home a lot and when it’s a hot day, I’ll open up the balcony doors and my bedroom window for air, and I’ll often go on to my roof top.  How hard would it be for an intruder to break into my house when I’m alone? Not very.

So what can we do about home defence?

If you’re going to keep weapons for home defence, they need to be kept ready to use and where they’re immediately accessible. Each of us has 3 handguns. I have a Beretta Px4 storm, Beretta Px4 storm subcompact and Beretta 21 A Bobcat; Amica has a Glock 17, Glock 26, and Beretta Px4 storm subcompact; and Rob has Beretta Px4 storm SD, Beretta Px4 storm compact and Beretta 3032 Tomcat. So if Rob and Amica take their firearms to the range and leave me in the house alone (they do that they’re mean😦 ) I’m down to 3 handguns. I keep my Beretta Px4 storm in a fixed place, where I know it will be if I need it and walk about with either the the Beretta Px4 storm subcompact or Beretta 21 A Bobcat.

Why do I do that? Because I might be on the roof or balcony, in my bedroom, taking a shower or relaxing in the bath when someone breaks in, and the intruder might be between me and my main handgun. So carrying a firearm or keeping one with me within reaching distance just makes sense. It’s no more difficult than carrying a mobile phone.

Rob and Amica do the same, although they usually both carry 2 handguns and several knives. Amica has 2 shotguns, 4 tactical folding knives and a decorative knuckle duster in her collection of weapons, and Rob has 3 shotguns, 14 tactical folding knives, 11 combat knives, 5 traditional Italian fighting knives, 3 machetes, 5 sticks, 4 maces,1 stun baton, and Christ knows what else in his weapon collection. But it never hurts to be prepared. We’ve also got a big mastino napoletano who guards the house at night.

One of Rob’s shotguns the Franchi SPAS-15 is designated for house protection, and never leaves the house unless he leaves his Benelli M4 Super 90 at home as a substitute. Why do we need a combat shotgun if we’ve got handguns? Good question, a shotgun has more stopping power and is hard to miss with even in the dark.

But where we’re most vulnerable is the the first point of entry into our homes: the front door. How many people get attacked on their doorstep or in their house by someone they’ve pissed off, like the angry ex-boyfriend or neighbour? I never answer the door to strangers when I’m home alone, and I’ll know if it’s a stranger because I have a concealed CCTV camera and an intercom at the door. But we’re also vulnerable to attack entering our homes. Rapists will often try to force their way into the house when a girl has just opened the door.

Ridiculous Bodyguard Training

Some bodyguard training is so monumentally stupid. This video is absolutely hilarious.

What sort of moron thinks you can openly reach for your gun at the first sign of an autograph hunter?

Drills have to be realistic! If the attacker is supposed to be attacking with a knife, then for heaven’s sake attack with the knife.

Carry not so concealed

Lesson one: if you’re carrying concealed make sure it’s actually concealed.

I'm drawing my weapon with no provocation

You’re not going to last long as a bodyguard if you openly reaching for your firearm at the first sign of an autograph hunter with an ear piece.

stab, stab....

This is where he would have got stabbed.

stab, stab, stab...

And stabbed again.

This types of bodyguard training is a complete joke and will probably lead to a career guarding supermarket shelves.

The Benefits of Crossdraw Holsters

In the ten year period between 1999 to 2009, 44 American cops were killed with their own weapon whilst on duty. Here are two examples from 2008 that illustrate the problem:

  • A Chicago cop, wearing body armour, was shot and killed while attempting to arrest a woman causing a disturbance on a bus. The woman resisted arrest and during a struggle they both fell to the ground and the woman grabbed the cop’s police .38 revolver and shot him in the front of the head, then fired at other cops attending the scene.
  • A New Orleans female cop, again wearing body armour, was shot and killed with her own handgun. She approached a suspicious man, spoke to him and then grabbed his shoulder. The man knocked her hand away, she again tried to grab him. They struggled and fell to the floor. The man was able to removed her baton from her belt and beat her over the head with it. He then removed her .40 semi-automatic and shot her 15 times at close range.

In both of these examples the cops were engaged in a struggle and unable to draw their weapons, their retention duty holsters worn on their dominate side did them no good whatsoever. By way of contrast, in Italy, over the same ten year period, not one single cop was murdered with their own weapon. Why is this?

Italian cops wear crossdraw holsters.

Carabinieri in action

It always amazes me that American police fail to acknowledge that they have a problem with gun retention. A very significant problem given that nearly 12% of cops murdered with a handgun will be killed with their own weapon. They resolutely refuse to entertain the idea that there may be advantages to wearing a crossdraw holster. They mainly dismisses it because the crossdraw holster is slower to draw from because you reach across your body. Admittedly, this is true if you’re firing down the range facing your target from 10 meters away but how often does that happen? It’s actually quicker to draw and shoot a target to either side or directly behind you from a crossdraw holster, and in a seated position. You can also draw with both hands, which is absolutely vital if you’re in a struggle and can’t draw with your dominate hand.

Cross Draw Holster

Another criticism American police have of the crossdraw holster is that the firearm is presented to any would-be attacker if they’re facing you. Again, this is true, but so what? Remember its the American cops carrying their duty holsters on their dominate side hip that are the ones getting disarmed and killed with their own weapons. They abjectly refuse to recognise that wearing a holster on the dominate side hip presents it to anyone behind you or to the side of you. Also in a struggle, the wearer of a holster on the dominate side would have to clamp down her dominate hand on it to prevent her weapon from being snatched. If she was wearing a crossdraw, she can clamp down her other hand on the holster and reach for a back-up weapon with her dominate hand. This is why the crossdraw holster is preferred for civilian carry in Italy.

Handgun Point-Shooting

Although there are lots of different methods of combat handgun shooting, they’re all either sight-shooting or point-shooting methods. The most common sight-shooting method is the front press method that only aligns the front sight and ignores the rear sight to save time, the most famous front press method is Cooper’s “modern technique” (MT), which is the method usually taught in America to the police and in gun clubs. It uses the staggered stance and weaver grip.

There are also several of methods of point-shooting — some better than others — but the basic premise is not to use the gun’s sights; instead the shooter aims like he’s pointing his finger and the gun becomes superimposed on the target in his field of vision. William E. Fairbairn, Eric A. Sykes and Rex Applegate were proponents of point-shooting. The FSA shooting method is the basis of a lot of modern point-shooting system,  including the very effective Israeli instinctive shooting method, developed by Leonard Hector Grant-Taylor.

Even though proponents of the MT argue that point-shooting is less accurate at distance, most deaths by shooting occur within a distance of under 5m, and point-shooting is just as accurate over distances of under 10m. From 5m away, Muhammed Ali wouldn’t miss, and I wouldn’t even trust him to bring over a round of drinks without dropping it. So it doesn’t matter unless you’ve got a 30m drive and you plan to take potshots at any Jehovah’s witness, who steps on it. 

Whilst both methods have their advantages and disadvantages in combat handgun shooting, when it comes to civilian personal defence, in my opinion, there’s no contest: point-shooting is superior. For a start, it’s instinctive — that matters in a combat situation.  When you react to a life or death situation, your body will act instinctively. Trying to align the front sight with the target isn’t instinctive. It’s easy down a range but not so easy in real life. Even crackshots trained in the MT can shoot like Stevie Wonder in real combat.

The reason people miss from that range in real combat is that when they panick technique goes out the window and they do what’s isntinctive. A good example of this is the attack dog drill I use when I’m training bodyguards. Let a dog off a chain at 5m and see if they can kill it. The MT soon goes out the window but trained point-shooters will get the rounds off and kill it without hesitation. MT shooters are slower and less accruate. 

Down the range, the MT isn’t much slower than point-shooting, but in real combat, reaction space matters much more than reaction time. What I mean by that is that if a man attacks a girl from 1m away, pushes her into the wall and sticks his hand up her skirt, she won’t have the chance to use the MT because she didn’t get the space to react but if she point-shoots, she can shoot him even with his finger up her fanny.

In my experience, two-handed drawing is dangerous in an up close situation because although it’s easy to draw and shoot one-handed if you’re grappling, it’s nye on impossible to draw and shoot two-handed, and it’s also a lot harder to have a gun taken off you if your using your free hand to fend them off. In my opinion, it’s as important to learn to grapple with a gun as it is to learn to shoot because that is often the situation you’re in when you’re going to try and draw a gun. I also believe in training to shoot with your weak hand because I’ve taken a gun off someone with my left hand once.