Sometimes the hardest lessons to learn are the ones that hurt us the most. Pain is a valuable teacher, but you have to be willing to listen.

Nothing is Free in Life

I have made my feelings known on aftermarket triggers that significantly reduce pull weight. You have to accept nothing is free in live. In order to get them to this super lightweight they had to do other things. In some cases, those other things have to do with the internal safety mechanisms. I have seen many of these drop-in kits malfunction. They override the internal safeties resulting in negligent discharges. At what point do you draw the line. Do you have to see the gun completely fail. Do negative outcomes weigh heavy on your mind or do you disregard them for a perceived advantage.

Treat the Cause, not the Symptom

That’s what we are talking about here. A perceived advantage. Something that you feel makes you shoot better. In all likelihood it only masked your shooting errors. It deals with the symptoms and not the causes. As an educator, you want to focus on the causes. What is causing the shooting errors and what are the corrective strategies. Why would you continue to aim high to mask poor trigger management. The answer is complicated, but it involves ego, pride and ignorance. Your ego is too big to admit there’s a problem. Your pride is to big to seek help. And ignorance is a matter of not knowing what you don’t know. No matter what the motivation, treating the causes is the only true answer.

Don’t Be That Guy

On top of all this is seeing unsafe actions that are quickly becoming more “acceptable” or termed “modern”. Neither of these justify forgoing safety, yet we see it all the time. Case in point. Putting your hand in front of the ejection port to manually cycle the action. Everything works until it doesn’t and when it doesn’t bad things happen. If these bad things happen the hope is we learn. If not, they continue to happen until bad things happen or you win the lottery. The above ramblings point to an event that happened at a recent class. More importantly, they happened to me. I’m sharing in an effort to remind people that safety is free.

Life Lessons

On day one of class a student was having consistent problems with his gun/ammunition. As per procedures we try to trouble shoot the problem by removing one variable at a time. The problem continued and eventually I took the gun for closer examination. My first mistake was in not clearing the gun. However, the problem was only visible live fire. I attempted to replicate the problem through other means and came up bingo. As I observed the cycling I noticed a pattern that had to do with the slide’s movement. In an effort to replicate the pattern I had to retracted the slide a fraction of an inch to get it to fire. With the trigger depressed and no audible or tactical reset the gun would fire when it would return to lock up. I moved my hand slightly forward of the ejection port thinking I had identified how far back I needed it to move to replicate the action. Nope, it went off sooner. My hand was close enough to the muzzle to get slight burns.

I was lucky. The student put away the gun and he was lucky to have a fellow student loan him a gun to finish the class. My lesson was re-learned and shared in an effort to avoid future problems.

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