Tag Archives: Self Defense

Meet No. 24

Not to toot my own horn or anything, but back in 2015, I was one of the first people in gun media– or any media for that matter– to cover the story of Alabama Congressman Mike Rogers’s effort to include an amendment to the NDAA while the Pentagon spending policy bill was in the House Armed Service Committee. Rogers, who represented the district of Northern Alabama that included the Annison Army Depot and CMP’s headquarters operations, found out that the Army had 100,000 surplus World War II-era M1911s in long-term storage at a cost of $200,000 per year, or about $2 per gun.

The amendment: save Uncle Sam the cash by transferring the guns to the CMP for sale to qualified members of the public, with the funds generated used to support worthwhile marksmanship projects ranging from JROTC to 4H and the National Matches.

I continued to cover the story, which grew legs and captured the imagination of– no joke– millions according to the analytics. Over the course of the next half-decade, I would file at least a dozen updates for a couple different publications. In 2017, after an initial batch had been greenlighted for transfer by the Obama administration (!) on a visit to the “Army’s attic” the Army Museum Support Center at Anniston Army Depot, I was shown crates packed and filled with M1911s pulled from the military’s museum stocks that were in excess of the service’s needs, pending shipment to the CMP once the handgun program got underway.

The thing is, 19,000 people got excited enough about the first round of M1911 sales from CMP and submitted packets for the first 8,000 guns transferred. With that, I felt I had little to no chance of getting one for myself, so I did not wade into the deep waters of trying to get one of these old warhorses through the program.

C’est la vie, right?

However, as CMP announced their Round 2 of the M1911 program earlier this year, I cautiously allowed myself to get optimistic that, perhaps, my chance had come as the really rabid collectors had already shot their bolt– CMP only allows an applicant to get one of these pistols– in the initial go-round.

So I spent a day getting my packet together, sent it in during the open window (January 4 to March 4, 2021), and sat back to wait. On 6 April, I got an email saying I had a randomly generated number (20581) and found out that the current batch of orders was going to start at 20,000.

Nice.

Then, on 20 April, I got the call. All three grades (Service, Field, Rack) were available, so I selected Service– the best– and asked politely for a Colt.

The very next day (after a mandatory two NICS checks!) I walked away from my FFL with this:

The M1911A1 has a Colt GI Military frame, SN 904594, of 1943 production with GHD inspector’s stamp (left) complete with a dummy mark (!) and ordnance wheel/US Property/M1911A1 US Army stamps on the right.

Rather than the original slide, it has a “hard” GI replacement slide with FSN (Federal Stock Number) #7790314 M (magnaflux inspection) TZ (IMI Israeli, who supplied such slides under contract to the U.S.) with a minty chrome-lined barrel marked with FSN #7791193 91. The plastic grips have “24” rack number.

Although I could find no arsenal rebuild stamps, I am theorizing that the gun was reworked at Anniston late in its life, probably in the 1980s, then put back in storage.

I’m totally happy. It was worth the wait.

The 7791193 series barrels have a good reputation for accuracy. I’ll let you know…

So I have been carrying the Beretta 92X Compact for 2 months…

I’ve have been shooting and carrying one of Beretta’s newest versions of their iconic Model 92, the 92X, and have a few things to report.

While the standard/full-sized 92X uses a 4.7-inch barrel to produce an 8.5-inch long handgun that tips the scales at 33.4-ounces while unloaded, the smaller Centurion is a more Commander-style offering with a shorter 4.25-inch barrel which boils down to a 7.75-inch overall length.

Going even shorter, the 92X Compact has the Centurion-length slide and barrel on a shorter frame (5.25-inches high, versus the standard 5.4-inch) to produce a handgun more suited for concealed carry. This puts the Compact in roughly the same class, size-wise, as guns such as the Glock G19, Sig Sauer P229, and S&W M&P M2.0 Compact.

I have carried it for over 400 hours and ran 2,000 rounds in it drawn from a selection of loads from Winchester, Federal, CCI (Blazer), Wolf, and PMC in weights between 115- and 147-grain with a mix of various training and self-defense ammo in standard commercial, military, and +P velocities.

Long story short: one malfunction in shooting, some belly skin lost in carry. Other than that, not bad. Not bad at all.

In the end, the 92X gives the modern shooter a reliable handgun that stands on 40+ years of legacy while having a lot of features– DA/SA hammer-fired action, all-metal construction, slide-mounted safety/decocker– that you aren’t going to find on the average plastic fantastic.

Further, it does it all in three available sizes with a ton of aftermarket support. The 92X series may not get people to drop their polymer striker-fired handguns, but it does give those who are familiar with, or prefer, the 92 families a more contemporary pistol that is both fun to shoot and dependable.

See the full review with more context in my column at Guns.com

Fighting Marines, 75 years on

U.S. Marine Corps Photograph. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.

Offical caption: “How to disable an armed opponent is demonstrated by two girl Marines in training at Camp Lejeune, New River, North Carolina. The Marines with their backs to the camera are watching another display of feminine skill in the art of self-defense, June 18, 1943.”

By the way, the Marines have had females enlisted since 1918– 100 years.

The best smart gun on the market is easily hacked

The German Armatix iP1 pistol, a personalized handgun design (smart gun), has gotten a lot of flack since it was introduced. While I bumped into the inventor (a guy who came up with a bunch of innovations while working for HK over the years) at a range a couple years ago, and have called, written and emailed Armatix at both their California office and in Germany for months, they won’t talk to me. Also, even though I have tried my best, I have never been able to handle one.

I did talk to a guy who had one in his possession for a long time in 2015 and he wasn’t impressed– telling me with an RF detector he could find the signal, turn it on and off, replicate it and do it all remotely as well as straight up hot wire it by taking the rear portion of the grip off and bypassing the electronic lock altogether, so that if someone who steals the firearm can simply take the back strap off, splice two wires, and the entire “smart” mechanism is disabled.

Well, low and behold, fast forward two years and a security researcher told Wired he was able to jam the radio frequency band (916.5Mhz) and prevent the gun from firing when it should, extend the authentication radius of its RFID puddle, and even defeat the electromagnetic locking system altogether with a simple $15 magnet placed near the breechblock. (More on that here).

So I sent that to the trade organization for the firearms industry to find out what they thought of it.

Their response in my column at Guns.com

Language added to NDAA to speed up 1911 transfers to CMP

An Alabama Congressman has managed to pass an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act out of committee aimed at moving surplus Army pistols to the public.

In a statement from his office, U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers, a Republican that represents the Anniston area in Congress, announced his amendment to the NDAA has moved out of the House Armed Services Committee and is headed to the floor. The measure is designed to speed up the now two-year saga of transferring a stockpile of 100,000 surplus M1911 .45ACP handguns from Anniston Army Depot to the Civilian Marksmanship Program.

More in my column at Guns.com

Bringing the Second Amendment to the hood

The Black Lives Matter movement has embraced gun control and allied with anti-gun groups while their leadership has very publicly painted the group as non-violent and non-confrontational.

Not affiliated with the Black Lives Matter movement, 29-year-old community leader Maj Toure is a gun owner and a card-carrying member of the National Rifle Association and believes that the right to keep and bear arms is fundamental. And he is bringing that message, without any outside support, to the black community through outreach and free firearms training conducted by certified instructors.

I had a chance to talk with Toure this month about his Black Guns Matter group, his vision, and why it’s needed. In short, he wants to replace more gun regulations, buybacks and rhetoric with firearms training, education, and concealed carry permits.

black guns matter

“Charlton Heston said it – you basically got to pry this out of my cold, dead hand. I’m not going down that way because we are citizens, Americans,” Toure told me. “We are citizens. We have the right to exercise the Second Amendment and anyone that’s tryin’ to infringe on that is not only in violation of the Constitution but they’re also just a dick.”

I told him he needed to put that remark on a T-shirt.

More in my column at Guns.com

The Army’s surplus gun pipeline may be fixing to run dry

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Last week the U.S. Senate overwhelmingly passed the 2017 defense authorization act– but hidden inside its pages is a section that could destroy the military’s current stock of surplus rifles and pistols.

The Senate’s version of the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act authorizes some $602 billion in spending and despite President Obama’s threat to veto the annual policy measure over issues including a ban on closing the Guantanamo Bay military prison, saw widespread support, passing 85-13 last Tuesday.

While many have noted the measure includes such items as requiring females to register for the draft beginning in 2018, others have been lost in the almost kafkaesque layers of the bill.

In short, within 90 days of the bill becoming law, the Army would transfer almost all of the surplus guns it held at Anniston to Rock Island for meltdown. The only exceptions would be for up to 2,000 M1911 pistols and 2,000 M14 rifles that could be donated to military museums for preservation.

This could mean the death knell for surplus guns for CMP, the 1033 Program which supports some 8,000 local police agencies, and the Ceremonial Rifle Program which provides guns for veterans’ groups such as the VFW and DAV.

More in my column at Guns.com

CMP may get into the 1911 business

remingtn 1911 with knuckleduster1918
An add-on to the upcoming National Defense Authorization Act that passed committee includes a plan to transfer the U.S. Army’s remaining stock of .45 ACP 1911A1 pistols to the Civilian Marksmanship Program.

Added as an amendment by Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Alabama, while the NDAA was in debate in the House Armed Service Committee, it could see potentially the largest remaining stock of military surplus World War II-era handguns in government hands sold to the public.

The lawmaker disclosed that the military currently spends about $2 per year to store 100,000 Model 1911s that are surplus to the Army’s needs. While 8,300 have been sold or disposed of in recent years – largely through the controversial Department of Defense’s 1033 Program, which offers eligible law enforcement agencies up to one pistol per full-time officer – the guns still on hand have in many cases been stored since the 1980s when they were withdrawn from service in favor of the then-new Beretta 92F (M9).

More in my column at Guns.com

So you’ve been involved in a defensive gun use, now what?

It has happened. That event that you always hoped would never occur under your watch: having to use a firearm in self-defense. Whether you had to pull the trigger or not, you now have several things to worry about. Will you be charged? Go to jail? Stripped of your guns? Sued?

As a firearms instructor for both concealed carriers, security and law enforcement over the past couple decades, I spend a lot of my time talking about the proper use of force. Now, force can be anything from just being there and looking at someone all the way up to taking a life. First off, to keep on the side of right, you are never the aggressor. By definition this puts you behind the 8-ball of having to respond to an unjust threat presented to you by no reason of your own. Yes, it sucks, but that’s self-defense.

A good test of if self-defense is justified is the old 3-legs of ability, opportunity, and intent.

Let us talk about that.

Springfield XD Sub Compact 40cal

Read the rest in my column at X  D  Forum

Want to own a gun in Puerto Rico?

While writing a piece on a federal indictment of a police detective lieutenant in Puerto Rico for Guns.com, I took some time out and read the 20-pages of gun laws in the Commonwealth as well as talked to some folks back and forth down there.

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Here’s what I found out:

The island territory requires those who want to legally own a firearm first obtain a weapons license or “Licencias de armas,” which costs $125 and has to be renewed every five years. This permit allows the holder to possess a maximum of two firearms, which have to be registered with the police, for which they can only purchase ammo in the same calibers as their declared firearms. Ammunition purchases are limited to just 50 rounds per calendar year per firearm.

Then of course you still need to buy a hunting permit if you want to use your guns for sporting purposes.

Those who want a concealed carry permit must already have a weapons license, become a member of a gun club recognized by the police, obtain an additional $25 Target-shooting permit (“Permisos de tiro al blanco”), which allows the possessor to purchase larger amounts of ammunition and then file an application to appear before a judge to argue their case for a CCW. This typically requires using a lawyer to expedite the process and obtain additional training.

The process costs upwards of $1,000 and the number of permits issued are so low as to classify Puerto Rico as a “No Issue” jurisdiction when compared to such notoriously strict “May Issue” handgun permit states as New Jersey and Hawaii.

However, the Commonwealth also suffers from a crime rate that is seven times higher than that found in the rest of the U.S. despite strict control over legal firearms.

The elusiveness of legal permits on the island has led to a burgeoning black market in illegally procured permits.

Hence the indictment for bogus permits…

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