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Q&A

This is a LooseRounds.com Q&A session.  If you have a firearms related question please email it to QA@LooseRounds.com. We will post the your questions anonymously and give you our answers.

1.  Which Night sights for a Glock 19 would you recommend?

Duncan: There are several high quality sights on the market. Since Trijicon makes the Tritium lamps for most high-quality night sights you can’t go wrong with a company that has Trijicon labeled on the side of the sight. I have used several sights and recommend the following:

For all around general use that’s easy on the pocket book, Meprolight, Trijicon or Glock factory standard three dot night sights work fine. I have carried all three on different duty Glocks and they are very close in function. I prefer the Glock factory out of this group as they have lasted the longest and are quicker to acquire in low light. There is a down side that the Glock night sights have that the others don’t.  Sometimes if you are back lit, the angle of the rear sight can reflect light, washing the rear sight out.  This is rare but something to consider. Out of the three, the Glock factory sights have traditionally been the lowest in cost.

If price is something you are concerned with but you want to upgrade from the standard night sights, Ameriglo is a great option. Trijicon makes all of the laps for Ameriglo, and the Pro Operator or I-Dot Pro would serve you well.  For the price these sights are hard to beat and will outperform the standard night sights.

If you want to step it up, my favorite sights currently are the Trijicon HD night sites. I have these on a Gen2 Glock 19 and I can tell you they are great. One of the best sight I have ever used. They have a serrated rear operator sight and photo luminescent orange ring front sight. The profile is higher and the sights are faster and easier to acquire for me. You will pay for these but they are worth it.

Howard:  I personally prefer the Trijicon night sights, I like the sight picture and they have good customer service should you manage to break one.  The downside to Trijicon sights is that the white ring around the tritium vials will wear away quickly.  Meprolight sights will not lose the white rings, however they have less gap between the sides of the front sight and the rear sight.

2.  Shotgun or carbine , which is best for general patrol work for police?

Duncan: There are so many factors that come into play when thinking about what would be the best long gun in your patrol vehicle. Both a shotgun and a carbine have their place. What patrol environment you are in, (metro, small city, rural, or county), will also play a factor. Price is also a point you might want to look at, but when your life is on the line, price is not a real factor for me.

Shotgun: The old pump action shotgun like the 870 is a great shotgun. I can tell you the intimidation factor of a pump action shotgun will beat all other weapons. It’s awesome for felony stops or an alarm call on a house/business at night. I don’t know what it is but bad guys fear the shotgun. I have had suspects tell me to shoot them or come running at me when I had an AR-15 or handgun pointed at them. The downside to the shotgun is that it is heavy, large/cumbersome, has a limited range and it only holds a few rounds. Used properly it is very effective but after four rounds you have to reload or transition.

AR-15: The trend over the last decade has really been moving toward the AR-15 type patrol rifles. I think this probably is the best all around choice. My department replaced the Remington 870 with the Colt M4/LE6921 in about 2003. The availability and ease to obtain body armor and the increase in the number of high profile incidents where suspects were heavily armed, are both driving factors in carrying AR-15 patrol rifles.  It is light, small, easy to maneuver, accurate, has a large ammunition capacity and will defeat body armor. As a police officer you can use the kind of ammunition you want, unlike soldiers in the military. Open-tip match bullets and bonded bullets have made the AR-15 platform more accurate and effective with improved terminal ballistics.  The AR-15’s range will exceed what the average law enforcement officer will need. Six inch steel target at 100 yards, no problem. With the ability to put multiple accurate rounds on target in quick succession, it is the preferred choice. Add an Aimpoint and this is an almost unbeatable combination in my opinion.

These are only some of the factors that you must consider when looking at your patrol shotgun or carbine. For general patrol work I feel an AR-15 variant is best. For patrol work I would go with a 14.5″ or 16″ barrel. If you are a part time tac-team member or well trained officer, I would go with an 11.5″ barrel. One thing to think about is a good 870 is only a few hundred dollars, so if your department approves it why not have both.

3.  What is the best technique for shooting a pistol with a handheld flashlight?

Duncan:  The best technique is the one that gives your firearm the most stable shooting position with the light you’re using. There are so many lights out there that this all depends on what particular hand held light you have.  For me, I always carried a larger flashlight. I really liked the Streamlight SL20X and Stinger series.

I found with most lights The Harries Technique works extremely well: Hold the flashlight in your support hand, like an ice pick.  Come underneath your firearm/dominant hand, then hook your wrist up and put the back of your hands together. Now your weapon hand is resting on your support hand wrist and the back of your hands are together. Apply a little pressure by pushing the backs of your hands together to make a stable shooting platform.

There are several other advanced techniques, (FBI, Surefire, Neck Index), most of them involve one hand shooting. The Harries Technique gets you very close to two handed shooting and works with flashlights that have end-cap or side pressure switches. The Harries is one of the most common techniques taught in Law Enforcement Academies.

Howard:  Before I learned any proper techniques, I played around with several ways to do this.  I found for me that I ended up using the the Harries Technique.  I also use a similar method for using a handheld flashlight with the AR15, my left wrist is placed on the mag well pulling the rifle into my shoulder and helping support it.

4.  What backup gun for police?

Duncan:  Once again there are so many things to think about when looking at a backup firearm. First you need to pick a quality firearm, el cheapo .25 auto or .32 auto is not going to cut it. Ideally a backup that carries your same duty ammo and magazine capability is best. For example: a Glock 27 to a Glock 22, or M&P compact to M&P full size. The operation/manipulation and familiarity of these compacts are the same as your duty weapon. If this backup is mounted in your patrol car or on your ankle you can use your full capacity duty mags for reloads. This is a huge plus (+) in a prolonged firefight.

I have always been a smaller guy, I tried to carry a Glock 27 on my ankle, but it was just too big and heavy for me. In this case a very reliable J frame revolver is a very good option. For Example: S&W 642 airweight or 340PD airlite. These J frame revolvers can weigh as little as 11 oz. While not compatible with your duty gun, in most cases this is a last ditch emergency pull. I personally would not want to carry anything smaller than a 9mm/.38 special/.357 mag round. If it is an emergency situation I want to make sure my ammunition has the ability to put the threat down. Having said that .380 has come a long way and if you want something small in an automatic this is another option to consider. Example: Sig P238.

I can never state this enough, no matter what you choose, training and practice are key. You must have the ability to put effective rounds on target with your backup, especially if your backup is not compatible with your duty weapon. You might only have those five rounds in the J frame to get the job done.

5.  Please find below an article that we at Onlinecolleges.net think you and your readers would be interested in reading, the post “12 College Campuses Caught Up in the Gun Control Debate” (http://www.onlinecolleges.net/2012/10/03/12-college-campuses-caught-up-in-the-gun-control-debate/). We’d appreciate it if you would take a look at the article and consider sharing it with your readers.

LooseRounds.com:  Sure.

Review: Shooter app for Android Phones

The “Shooter” app is available in the Google App store for $9.99 and is also available for the iOS.  I’ve been using this app for a good many months on my Android phone and have found it very handy.  Shooter lets you plug in the details of your firearms and make multiple ammunition profiles for various loads.  Once this data is entered you can quickly get the adjustment needed for a specified load and wind.

The downside to this is that Shooter does have a learning curve, and that you must input a good bit of information before you get any useful results.  If you need to be able to quickly get rough ballistic information for a firearm and want to quickly change the inputted data, Shooter isn’t ideal for that.  However once you have all the information imputed into this app, you can quickly find the adjustment needed for wind and distance, and you can maintain profiles for a multitude of loads with their own zeros for each individual firearm.  If what you need is the ability to quickly plug in loads data then find a hold over using a reticle, you may be better off with the Strelok app.

Shooter also has many handy optional features such as:

  • A calculator for ranging a target in mils or MOA.
  • The ability to connect to a Kestrel via Bluetooth.
  • Automatic weather input from GPS location.

And many more.

 

I really like the Shooter app, and have found it very handy.  More information about the Android and iOS versions of Shooter can be found here.

What REALLY is the best gun for SHTF?

Mark Hatfield submitted this article.

 

What REALLY is the best gun for SHTF, the Zombie Apocalypse, and the End of the World as we know it.  Maybe it’s not what you think.  A Modest Proposal.

 

Ok, so I stole the ‘Modest Proposal’ line from Jonathan Swift.  Just trying to show that I’m a classy guy.

 

What are the usual concerns?  High ammunition capacity, stopping power, accuracy (But how much?), cost, availability of ammo, cost of ammo, length, weight, reliability, east of maintenance, available of spare parts, iron sights or the $1000 perfect combat optics, and on.

 

Must be a hundred thousand articles ‘out there’ about this.

 

It’s actually tied into another question which always pops up, ‘What if you could have only one gun?’.

 

The late ‘Skeeter’ Skelton wrote about that question using one of his fictional characters, an old Texas rancher whom he called Dobe Grant. Reportedly, ‘Dobe’ was a composite of several real Texan old timers.  When the ‘one gun’ question was posed to the tough old dude (Oops, ranchers aren’t ‘dudes’), he wanted at first 4 guns.  A scoped 30-06, a 12 gauge shotgun, a revolver in 44 magnum, and a revolver in 22 rimfire.

 

When pressed to get to one, the first dropped was the shotgun, then the rifle.  The rancher was skillful enough that he could use the 44 to hunt big game and to deal with predators upon his livestock.   The 22 revolver was just so useful for just about everything that he would not give up that option.  But that is still two guns.

 

He later returned to Skeeter and said ‘If I could have only one gun, it would be a 22 rifle’.

 

Now obviously, the 22 rifle is not going to be carried concealed unless you go about wearing the ankle length coat as do most of the pseudo-serious make believe ‘tough guys’ in the current trend of movies and television.  In a major societal breakdown, having a concealed weapon may be a very wise thing, but for the moment, let’s just think about defending your home.

 

What about the common 12 gauge shotgun?  Definitely powerful, can ‘do the job’, but limited ammunition capacity and the individual rounds are big relative to other types of ammo.  More important, the recoil is too much for many people, perhaps most people.  Perhaps fine for us macho kind of guys but for the wife or the older kids?

 

The deer rifle, or hog rifle.  Again limited ammo capacity, possible recoil concerns.  The bullets may penetrate too many walls and end up places where you didn’t want them to go.

 

What about those Evil Black Rifles, such as the AK and the AR.  Truth is that they are pretty much designed for this type of thing.  These seem to be the preferred rifles for those people who have decided that they and their loved ones will not become victims.  But cost?  That’s variable, and most owners tend to modify these rifles and add accessories, then there’s the price of ammo.

 

Perhaps you’re an exSEAL, Special Forces, SWAT, or some other thing which too many people falsely claim to be, or maybe you just really know your gun, it does what you want it to do, and you can make it perform, but can your spouse use it, or the older kids, or the relatives who are sheltering with you?  (And yes, the rest of the family really should be prepared as well as yourself).

 

Rather than one ‘almost perfect’ $1000 rifle with an attached ‘superest ever combat sight’ for another $1000, couldn’t you get several 22 rimfire rifles and a whole lot of ammunition?

 

If I was a violent criminal offender who had decided to invade an occupied home and I know that the owner had the civilian version of the AK-47 I would be a lot more careful, especially if I thought the owner actually knew how to use it.  If I knew that instead of one defender with a good gun, that daddy, mommy, and the 2 older kids might be defending their home, together, all with minimally adequate but adequate weapons, that home would not be worth my trouble, too much risk to me, even if I had some helpers.

 

At the ‘mart’ stores, 500 rounds of 22 rimfire ammo is less than 25 dollars.  The ‘shelf life’ of 22 rimfire ammo is not as good as centerfire ammo but generally will not start to experience misfires until it is over 10 years old or more.  The cost of the rifles is far less than military style rifles.  The useful distance for use of these rifles for defense is much less than a military style rifle but it is long enough and longer than that of most shotguns.

 

Hand the untrained person a modern defensive handgun and have them try to hit a man sized target at living room distance, not so easy for many people.  But give them a 22 rifle, and they can quickly be good at 50 yards and beyond.

 

Does this mean that I will give away my accessorized customized military style rifle which is outfitted with super optic sights in exchange for a 22 rimfire, heck no.  But if I had to equip several friends or family members who have  limited funds and training, this is worth considering.

Clearing Handgun Malfunctions

Mark Hatfield submitted this article.

Clearing Handgun Malfunctions

 

This article is specific to correcting malfunctions (jams) occurring in semi-automatic handguns particularly those which may occur during periods of intense social interaction, such as when you are attempting to shoot someone due to dire need.

 

Not long ago, one of the Loose Rounds founders asked if I might write such an article and I did but they wanted something more technically specific.  ‘No problem’, says me, ‘When do you want it?’  Then just earlier today, I was perusing a hot off of the newsstand gun magazine while seated in the smallest room of my home and saw that there was an article nearly identical to that which I had planned to write.  However I believe that my technique is slighter better and not everyone may see that magazine, so I will continue with my not plagiarized article.

 

Reduce the risk of malfunction by keeping the gun clean and correctly lubricated by whatever means is proper for that model. Many semi-autos will jam if ‘dry’, meaning not lubricated.   Don’t carry a dirty gun.  This can be important as well for legal reasons.  Some situations can occur where the sight of your gun causes the problem person(s) to leave with no shots fired.  If they later falsely claim that you fired at them the official police record of your gun being unfired can be important.  NOTE:  This also means that you never ‘just go home’ after such an event.  ALWAYS report the incident to the police.

 

‘Limp wristing’ handguns has nothing to do with sexuality but all to do with your grip, wrist, arm, and stance, moving or standing still.  Basically, for semi-autos, that big heavy part at the top of the gun moves when you fire it.  If you allow the bottom part to move as well, the gun may jam.  Even if you are shooting while walking or running, your grip and wrist must be firm.

 

There are a number of ways that the semi-auto handgun may malfunction.  Instructors used to teach different methods for each type of malfunction, some even involved ‘karate chopping’ empty brass which might be sticking out of the ejection port.  Here is a universal method.  I do not remember which of my several teachers first presented this technique or I would give them the proper credit.

 

GET MOVING.  If you are not already behind something which can stop the bullets coming at you, MOVE. Move to cover, concealment, or if nothing else only to confuse or delay your attacker.  Don’t just stand there.

 

1.  Remove the magazine.

2.  Rotate the gun so the ejection port is facing the ground.

3.  ‘Rack’ (move) the slide fully in both directions several times.  Be certain the slide goes all the way forward and all the way to the rear.

4.  Shake the gun, may be simultaneous with racking the slide.

5.  Return the gun to the upright position and insert a new loaded magazine.  If a new magazine is not available, quickly glance at the old one to see if the top rounds are not out of position or mag is defective, correct if necessary and then insert the mag.

6.  Rack the slide fully to the rear, release it and let it go forward on its own.

7.  Shoot.

 

How does this differ from some other methods?

 

The most common traditional method is currently called ‘Tap, Rack’ and previously known as ‘Tap, Rack, Bang’.  One simply uses the support hand to vigorously slap or hit the bottom of the magazine to ensure that it is fully seated, rack the slide fully to the rear, release the slide, then continue shooting.  This works very well if the round of ammunition was defective and simply did not go off but does not address other problems.

 

On the topic of racking and releasing the slide.  Unless for the specific reason of a drill such as these, normally always allow the slide to go forward on its own, never move it forward or assist it.  Let it go all by itself, malfunction drills can be the exception.  Not letting the slide go forward on its own may result in the slide not going all the way forward.  In that case the gun will probably not fire and if it should fire while not ‘in battery’, damage to the gun, your hands and face may result.

 

A technique previously taught for ‘stovepipes’ is where an empty piece of brass is trapped in the chamber but is mostly sticking out from the side of the gun, was to run the edge of the shooters hand along the slide like striking a blow, to knock out the offended brass while hopefully not damaging your own hand.

 

Another method taught by a major school is:

 

1.  Release the slide (allow it to go forward).

2.  Remove the magazine.

3.  Insert new magazine.

4.  Rack the slide to feed new round.

5.  Shoot.

 

Once while attending a class taught by members of a prominent shooting school, it was repeatedly and firmly announced that the above method ALWAYS works.  The instructors induced a malfunction in each students gun, first to practice ‘Tap, Rack’ and a second time to practice the above method which always works.  It didn’t work.

 

Releasing the slide (assuming it is in the rear position) just moves a new round from the magazine into the place which is probably already filled with rounds competing for the same space or empty brass which does not want to leave.  Removing the magazine first makes more sense.  This allows the offending items to leave the gun through the ejection port or through the magazine well which is much larger and pointing down whereas the port is on the side of the gun.  Releasing the slide or moving the slide forward on rounds or brass which are already wedged in that area may just jam them in further.

 

Another variation is to engage the safety lever (if present) before attempting any action.  Generally, that’s a real good idea.  However, it is an extra step in the beginning and an extra step at the end, removing the safety might be missed under stress further slowing you down.

 

You may have had a defective magazine.  I currently have 7 new Glock factory magazines of several different production runs which refuse to release the ammunition which they so securely hold deep inside.  I suspect that when Glock changed the mags to be ‘drop free’ they made errors on the interior dimensions.  This is another reason to never carry only the one magazine which is in the gun.

 

What is even worse, your malfunction may have been caused by having a bullet stuck in the barrel, a primer which fell out of  the case and into the guns mechanism, mud/snow/water in the barrel or other critical areas, a bullet which became too deeply seated in the case and caused excessive pressure, brass cases which come apart and portions remain in the chamber, broken or weak  ejectors/extractors/springs, and other fun things, even from being clogged with gore from a person just shot at contact distance.   Many things can go wrong which while thankfully rare, cannot be fixed easily or not at all during the hot action of a gun fight.

 

I know people from ‘high stress’ careers who never leave the house without at least two guns.  Accessing the second gun may sometimes be wiser that trying to fix the primary one.  A second gun can be handed to a trained spouse, partner or trusted friend.  The second gun is also handy if the first is dropped or taken from you.

 

All of this is another major reason why is it always better when possible to de-escalate potentially violent situations and avoid trouble when you can.