M&Ps blamed for accidental discharges

Image from Smith & Wesson Forums.

Image from Smith & Wesson Forums.

An article posted by the Los Angeles Times has come out with a review of the increase in accidental discharges by Los Angels County Sheriff deputies, saying it doubled since 2012 when the agency switched over from Beretta 92Fs to the Smith & Wesson M&P. The article has alot of typical firearms terminology errors, such as calling an accidental discharge a “misfire”. Nonetheless, the department is officially saying that they are blaming the new pistols and the lack of training involved for the trend in negligent discharges.

In 2012, there were 12 accidental discharges, none involving the M&P. In 2013, there were 18, eight of which were M&Ps. Of the 30 incidents in 2014, 22 involved M&Ps.

Assistant Sheriff Todd Rogers attributed the increase to deputies still adjusting to the lack of a safety on the new gun.

“The vast majority were people trained on the Beretta,” Rogers said. “There is a correlation, no doubt about it.”

I’ve got some problems with this on a variety of different levels. One of them is that it seems that many of the guys seem to have had their fingers on the triggers when they shouldn’t have, and that makes me wonder how many of these guys constantly had their fingers on the triggers with Beretta, simply because the weapon was on “safe”? One of the quotes from the article was one of the instructors they had with “On target, on trigger”. Excuse me? I’ve been taught and do teach, the finger goes on the trigger when “Ready to Fire”, which only occurs when the shooter is completely ready to let a round go regardless of the target and the sighting process. In addition I see this ever trending theme of the handguns allow the recruits and officers to score better on their marksmanship qualifications. I see the same problem with the Marine Corps and issuing out RCOs at the recruit depot because it simply raises the shooting scores. I’m sorry, are we in the business of teaching the proper fundamentals of marksmanship or do we just want to hand out expert badges at the cyclic rate? The article keeps mentioning police departments trying to have heavy trigger jobs and safeties in an attempt to prevent negligent discharges. Are these changes not taking into account that the human factor is the most important factor in any of this? Another thing I’d like to point out is that Law Enforcement and the military are often put at fault for not having the best firearms, the best firearms procedures, etc. Although competency with firearms is certainly apart of the job, it absolutely isn’t the whole job. Just something to keep in mind with this kind of thing. And finally, a pet peeve of mine, no unintended discharge is accidental, it’s negligence for not clearing a firearm or not handling it properly. Finger off the trigger until ready to fire…

In addition, someone in the comments section pointed out that of course M&Ps are offered with thumb safeties. If the transition from manual safety Berettas to M&Ps with no manual safety was so rocky, and all their training/drills revolved around a manual safety on the handgun, what could have gone so wrong with manual safeties on the newer polymer M&Ps? The less weight is still there and you keep all the training that revolved around a manual safety. Perhaps the best quote of the article was this one-

If you still have your finger on the trigger when you put it in your holster, you’ll end up with a stripe on your leg



Miles V

Former Infantry Marine, and currently studying at Indiana University. I’ve written for Small Arms Review and Small Arms Defense Journal, and have had a teenie tiny photo that appeared in GQ. Specifically, I’m very interested in small arms history, development, and Military/LE usage within the Middle East, and Central Asia.

If you want to reach out, let me know about an error I’ve made, something I can add to the post, or just talk guns and how much Grunts love naps, hit me up at miles@tfb.tv


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  • Esh325

    It’s fairly obvious there would be more discharges with a pistol that has a heavier trigger.

  • hikerguy

    Agreed. Definite lack of training and procedural change needed here. They shoud have purchased the manual safety version since that was what the deputies and others were used to.

    • Patrick M.

      Exactly. Its not like S&W couldn’t accommodate a manual safety. Even considering that you still have law enforcement officers with their finger on the trigger of a gun that they do not intend to fire. That is the heart of the issue. Also, that implies that they were all keeping their finger on the trigger with their Berettas. This is an institutional failure to promote gun safety more than anything.

  • sam

    A poor musician blames his instrument.

    • iksnilol

      Yeah, but (legit) accidents happen more often on a firearm without a safety than with one that has a safety.

      And before someone mentions revolvers, there is a reason they usually kept one chamber empty (or used those safety notches that were later made).

      • Curious_G

        Explain what a “legit” accident would be?

        • iksnilol

          An actual accident. As in something snags onto your trigger and tugs it. Just because your finger is off the trigger doesn’t mean a piece clothing or a branch or something can’t catch the trigger.

          • Ethan

            If only there was like a solid loop of material around the trigger to keep that from happening… I should try and patent that. Maybe we could call it the trigger protector or trigger guard or something like along those lines..

            There are already systems in place that have reduced true “accidents” to the point of statistical irrelevance.

      • There is no need to keep the charge hole under the firing pin empty on a modern double-action revolver.

        Also, if you could share the source of your statistics for the statement of “but (legit) accidents happen more often on a firearm without a safety than with one that has a safety” I would appreciate it.

        • iksnilol

          No, but on old ones it isn’t a bad idea.

          Nobody has done any studies on it because it is really obvious.

          • “Nobody has done any studies on it because it is really obvious.”

            I disagree completely. You might think this is so, which is perfectly ok, but your beliefs have no impact on reality. Nor do mine. Hence the reason I am looking for facts.

            I would be surprised if there was any statistically significant difference in accidental discharges (as you’ve described them) based solely on whether the gun has an external safety.

            Likewise, I would not be surprised to see credible statistical data that would correlate higher incidents of negligent discharges with handguns with an external, manual safety. (Not because a thumb safety is somehow unsafe, but rather, because of the training and attitude of the person handling the firearm.)

          • Axolotl

            Okay, answer me this then: why is it called Glock leg and not S&W leg or Beretta leg?

          • Glock leg is a BS term used by a very few people to blame a tool instead of its user.

            Show me a credible research study that shows me a Glock (or Smith & Wesson, etc.) is any more or less safe than another pistol and we can talk about that.

          • n0truscotsman

            Speaking of research, I would like to see something comparing the accident rates of NYPD before and after the NY trigger sets.

          • Ethan

            That is the first time I’ve heard that term used. The rest of us call it “Negligent discharge”.

          • Kivaari

            Glock leg is perhaps the most used term since they are the most used gun. If 70% of agencies use Glocks, then it is expected. In the last 10 years I worked, I only had one student that simply could not keep his finger off the trigger. At least he only injured the ground upon which he walked. He was scary. I’ve seen several NDs with rifles and shotguns having safeties. Operator error.
            We had a new hire, former Philly PD, that had never been trained with a shotgun. The sergeant went to show the new guy how it’s done. He said, “The first thing you do is make sure the gun is unloaded”. Then he pulled the trigger, blowing a hole in the overhead in the ambulance bay.
            It was bad when shotguns were being used, but zero training took place. When rifles came more popular we saw more NDs, simply because people just will not pay attention.

          • iksnilol

            Also, that “mentality and attitude” thing is male bovine manure and you know it. I keep my finger off the trigger and have the safety on, you keep your finger off the trigger and have no safety. What happens when a branch snags either trigger? Or a piece of clothing snags on the triggers?

            Me? Most likely nothing, I get a bit of a scare and move on with my day. You? You get a major scare and some easily avoided hearing loss.

          • Please re-read my comments and see that I referring to negligent discharges – not accidental – in that part of my statement.

          • Grindstone50k

            “What happens when a branch snags either trigger? Or a piece of clothing snags on the triggers?”

            Then you need to have better control over your weapon.

          • iksnilol

            Because ignoring reality is better than guarding against it. Not all of us can use our firearms in HK-recommended well ventilated rooms without any obstructions.

          • Ethan

            Then poor purchasing decision this is, Design flaw it is not.
            -Yoda

          • Grindstone50k

            Reality of what? Do the various US forces now utilizing Glocks experience an up-tick in NDs?

          • john huscio

            Its why I prefer hammer fired pistols (HK p30sk is just the ticket right now)..just thumb the hammer while reholstering…..if your getting actual branches in your trigger guard….I dunno what to tell you…..

          • Slim934

            “Nobody has done any studies on it because it is really obvious.”

            In other words you really have no basis to draw from to support your assertion.

          • iksnilol

            No, I do have a basis in reality. I have yet to read about accidental discharges with pistols that have safeties. At the same time I see plenty of accidents with safetyless pistols.

            So I have a basis and all that but I don’t have an actual study that’s been done.

            Seems I have struck a fanboy nerve.

          • CommonSense23

            Wow, you have yet to see a ND with a weapon that has a manual safety. Pretty much all of the US military’s pistols have a manual safety unless you are in SOCOM. There is a absolute crap ton of NDs in the US miltary, most of them with the good old M16/M4 and M9.

          • sean

            Did you not just read the article? because in the article that this comment section is under mentioned 12 cases in 2012, 10 cases in 2013, and 8 case in 2014 that where “accidental” discharges that were not M&Ps…the only other gun mentioned is the Beretta which has a manual saftey…and thats just the LA police.

          • Grindstone50k

            “I have yet to read about accidental discharges with pistols that have safeties.”

            So, you’re saying that your entire data is based around anecdotes? Do you know who much of a fallacy that is?

            Also, join the military. Then you’ll see plenty of NDs with pistols that have safeties.

          • iksnilol

            What about your data? Do you have a study that says that a safety on a firearm is irrelevant?

          • Kivaari

            Training is the issue. Where people don’t get training nor practice stuff happens. It all comes down to a failure to follow the rules.

          • Grindstone50k

            I didn’t make a claim. YOU did. Support your claim.

          • iksnilol

            You made a counterclaim, so you should support it.

            Sad truth is that nobody has done any study on the subject matter.

          • Josh

            He countered your anecdote with an anecdote. The problem is you made a concrete truth claim.

          • Kivaari

            You should have been around when there were lots of cops going to M1911s. Poor gun handling results in NDs. Every unplanned firing of the gun is preventable. Either the shooter failed, the firearm maker failed or the training establishment failed.

          • Jake S.

            Given that the proper way to carry an Beretta M9 is decocked, on fire I would say that your assertion is false. A safety is only as effective as the person practicing safe techniques.

            Also, I carry on the job a Glock 19. Would you venture to guess how many external, manipulable safeties it has? I can count on zero fingers the number of times I have had an ND.

            Lastly, I carry every day a S&W M&P with no external safety. Turns out I have also never had an ND with that one either.

            The bottom line is that there is no substitution for operator proficiency.

          • iksnilol

            Again with the anecdotes.

          • Anon. E Maus

            I can think of one, story about a guy who Mexican-carried a 1911 pistol.
            Went to the bathroom, hung his gun on the clothes-hook through the trigger-guard.

            When he was done, he grabbed for the gun, the safety rubbed up against the wall and slipped off, hook pushed up against the trigger, and the gun went off, bounced against his hand, went off again, and did this until the magazine was empty, bump-fired all 7 rounds into the ceiling.

            Then there was General Patton who had a negligent discharge with his 1911 in a bar, which is why he switched to a single-action revolver (ironically a less safe design).
            Also, there are no accidental discharges, only negligent discharges, operator error, guns do not fire by themselves.

          • iksnilol

            Uh, what about a case where the trigger does get pulled but it isn’t by your finger? What if a branch snags on the trigger while you are going through the forest?

          • Zebra Dun

            Hypothetical situation, how often does that happen?

          • iksnilol

            In a densely forested country, more often than I would like to admit. That’s the reason many hunters in Norway consider a bad safety (as in hard to reach or awkward to use) a deal breaker. Heck, I see many even cup the trigger guard while carrying the gun to prevent anything from falling in. I see no reason to not be just as careful when I am using a pistol.

          • Zebra Dun

            OK, Handgun use since I was 16 and I’m an Old Man now, I have never had an accidental discharge with a revolver, I follow the rules with the ones without transfer bars and load five rds.
            My pistols that are auto’s all have safeties.
            Which I use.

          • Josh

            Argument from ignorance. Just because you haven’t read about it doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened. I personally know a guy who negligently discharged a Beretta, but I’ve never heard of anyone doing it with a SIG so same thing right?

      • stephen

        I call… BULLSH|T!

        This is not about legitimate accidents – thats so stupid. So your saying when the officers shirt, jacket, etc when they try to holster the firearm its NOT the officers fault? That its not their responsibility to clear the holster of obstructions before they holster?

        Seriously? I guess its easier to blame the equipment which is inanimate and amoral rather than the person who has a brain?

        The reason these ‘accidents’ (more bullsh|t) happen is because people do not do what they are supposed to! If you clear obstructions away from the holster and keep the booger hooker off the trigger until your muzzle in on target, you would not see these ‘accidents’.

        I know, the truth hurts.

        You seem to forget the officer/s are ultimately responsible when they handle the gun. Now if they had been an increase in negligent discharges around the rest of the country due to a defect then I would agree. However the problem is with this department is lack of no training with the new equipment.

        I can say with about 99% certainty that if they are experiencing high volumes of stupid… err negligent discharges that means they had their fingers on the triggers on the old guns. We have to remember that best safety is following the safety rules.

        Stupid is as stupid does and only people can do stupid so don’t make excuses for them.

        😀

        • iksnilol

          Uh, you do know that reholstering isn’t the only time something can snag on the trigger?

          • Stephen

            Uh, you do know that the person is responsible for the firearm no matter what they do right?

            Apparently you don’t.

            I just find it interesting that numerous toher departments and Lord knows how many civies who have these firearms have no problems whatsoever – I guess they are just those lucky few?

            Seriously?

            I do see your point though, if your not smarter than your equipment you have to blame something right? I mean why on earth would we want to take responsibility for anything, especially those that are hired to protect and serve.

            Opps!

            😉

          • Xaun Loc

            “Uh, you do know that the person is responsible for the firearm no matter what they do right?” Unless the person is a LEO, and the accident is investigated by his department — then if MUST be someone/something else’s fault.

          • Slawburger

            might just as well blame something else than one’s self … the prez does and gets away with it.
            WAKE THE HELL UP AMERICA !!
            Pay attention and learn to take responsibility for your actions and take actions that will end up with the results that you’re looking for … like TAKING BACK OUR COUNTRY from hammerheaded power mongers.

          • Zebra Dun

            I always look at my pistol/revolver when I holster it. For Safety.

        • Xaun Loc

          “your saying when the officers shirt, jacket, etc when they try to holster the firearm its NOT the officers fault? ”

          Hell! “shirt, jacket, etc” is BS — the extraneous thing that fouled the trigger was the finger of the idiot holding the gun.

      • Nicks87

        Sorry but you are wrong and wrong again.

      • Bear The Grizzly

        I think you’ve watched too many John Wayne movies if you’re concerned about about a revolver going off. Transfer bars have been the standard for quite a while and you’d have to almost go out of your way to get one that didn’t have it.

        • iksnilol

          I wasn’t worried about revolvers, I just used old revolvers as an example of the simple fact that you’ve always had safeties on firearms (going further back: Do you think flintlocks were carried cocked?).

          • Bear The Grizzly

            Actually, safeties are a pretty modern thing when it comes to the history of firearms. Lever guns went a hundred years or so without them until the damned lawyers found it necessary. Like everyone else has said, blaming the gun is a scapegoat. If I crash into a car I can’t blame the steering wheel, but people have been tricked into thinking guns just go off. Have all the safeties you want man, but don’t blame an object for someone else’s ignorance.

          • iksnilol

            Revolvers were carried chamber empty (new revolvers are DA and have pretty long pulls), shotguns were carried broken open, lever guns were carried with the chamber empty.

            While they didn’t have safeties per se, as in the modern definition they still did have a form of safety. It is only a recent trend to have a weapon without a safety.

          • Ethan

            Modern firearms have 3-4 times the number of safeties as said Old-timey revolvers, scatter-guns, etc…

            What you are suggesting is that guns should be guaranteed against wildly, wildly improbable possibilities. Such guarantees don’t exist in this world – hence the reason most folks don’t carry meteor strike insurance policies.

          • Anon. E Maus

            It’s not about the trigger-pull, modern revolvers have transfer-bar mechanisms, both single-action revolvers and double-action revolvers, making them absolutely drop-safe.

            And it’s absolutely not a recent trend to have weapons without safeties, muskets did not have safeties, there was a hammer and a trigger.

          • iksnilol

            Muskets did not have safeties, though do you really think they carried them loaded and cocked?

          • jcitizen

            I’ve never owned a flintlock – can one rest the hammer flint against the frizzen with out inadvertently opening it and exposing the powder? Just wondering!?

          • Kivaari

            They could be like pre-1936 French Army rifles that lacked safeties. Operators are the most important safety.

        • Kivaari

          Passive safeties are in pretty much anything being made today. Firing pin blocks in semi-autos is expected. It’s too bad people don’t take better care of their own gun safety system, the brain.

      • The 1873 Colts with an empty chamber yes but not modern revolvers.

        • iksnilol

          No, but modern revolvers have transfer bars and most of them have long DA pulls.

          • Kivaari

            Ruger single action revolvers, like Colt SAAs, could fire if dropped and the hammer was hit. It breaks the notch (British bent) allowing the hammer to hit the primer. It is why Ruger makes all the “New Models”. After huge lawsuits cost them millions, they did a good 40 years of advertising to educate the public. They also installed a transfer bar to old models for free.
            Over 100 years ago the passive safeties were added to most revolvers. The old “Hammer the hammer” for Iver Johnson top breaks.

      • Xaun Loc

        “Yeah, but (legit) accidents happen more often on a firearm without a safety than with one that has a safety.” BUT only if you can train the operator to USE the safety — and if you had operators bright enough to learn to use a safety you could probably also teach them to keep their finger off the trigger when they don’t want to shoot!

      • Kivaari

        There are NO ACCIDENTS. They are negligent discharges resulting from operator error. The pistol worked as designed, it went bang when the trigger was pulled. It remains an issue of poor training and officer ignorance.

      • sam

        Well, I don’t think that legit accidents with firearms are a thing in the way you seem to. Call me unrealistic if you like.

      • Zebra Dun

        Yup, I call B/S also, a trained revolver man doesn’t finger the trigger unless he wishes to fire, the same for a Glock man.
        The problem here is training, not the weapons.
        Those notches were not for carrying a revolver safely, on good fall from a horse or a whack by the stirrup and that will set the thing off, it was touted as a safety back then but utterly fails the test today.
        The revolver armed Police of my youth always carried one chamber empty.
        The 1911 has three safeties, Lever, grip and disconnect.
        I’ve seen accidental firings on those and it was all due to human error.
        The RULE written in blood is, Keep those booger pickers off that trigger unless you intend to fire.
        For a non transfer bar safety revolver load five rounds.

        • petru sova

          Take a look at the picture Todd posted. Now what do you think?

          • Zebra Dun

            Oh Man your asking me to Think?
            That’s hard for an old guy to do.
            The video of Bal256?
            If you go for a quick draw you will grab the trigger and shoot yourself.
            Quick draw is for movie cowboys and fantasy actors.
            If your going to quick draw you can expect to shoot something off.
            Range rules and weapons handling are written in blood, don’t play with your pistol/revolver and you won’t get shot.

            Quick Draw Mcgraw here now known as nine toe charlie.

            I personally don’t quick draw, if I need a pistol it is in my hand or drawn safely from the holster after I’ve taken ground or cover.

          • jcitizen

            I think I would use snap caps for quick draw training, then blanks after that. I don’t think I’d ever use live ammo; but at least I’d have the muscle memory to do it right in a pinch.

  • SerenGetter

    Incompetent LA cops?

    You don’t say?

    • Kivaari

      LAPD admits that 100% of their officers don’t have current first aid training. It seems that such training would be good, if they are taking shots from their own guns.

  • andrey kireev

    I find it hilarious. You must be pretty bad to accidentally set off an M&P’s heavy ass trigger. Don’t LE’s know to keep their fingers off the trigger in the first place ?

    • Sianmink

      They were trained on 92’s. So probably not.

    • 277Volt

      That’s what I was thinking too. My M&P 45’s factory trigger pull clocked in at 8lbs and stacked up bad just before the break. From my research before buying it a trigger pull like mine wasn’t exactly a fluke. It has an Apex kit in it now but I can tell you that if I managed to have an ND with that factory trigger all other factors would be way behind a good look in the mirror.

      • Starhoof

        Yeah, I got an apex kit for mine as well. I was about to give up on the gunbefore I got it. But t to these day I got the most accurate group I’ve ever produced thanks to Tue new trigger.

        • Ethan

          +1 on that. The APEX trigger in the M&P is hands down the best striker fired trigger I’ve ever laid finger on. Simply superb.

  • Joe S

    Without question training is the biggest factor. That said, it drives me nuts when the striker-fired fanboys all come out with the whole “finger on the trigger” thing. Yes, it’s true that it generally won’t fire otherwise. There’s a reason, however, for drivers to wear seatbelts and climbers to wear safety lines. People are imperfect, fallible creatures and s*** happens. I do own and often carry a G19 but it demands a much higher level of “perfection” from the user than a DA or manual safety.

    • Plumbiphilious

      If I had a Disqus account, I’d upvote you in agreement…but I don’t so all I can do is show solidarity like a pleb via a post.

    • This has more to do with how the transition was handled. Switching someone from a TDA with a safety straight to a striker can have issues.

      These guys learned bad habits on the TDA, and they didn’t have enough time to train that out of them. And vast majority of them aren’t going to spend the time practicing on their own (because if they did they likely wouldn’t have the bad habits in the first place).

      The TX DPS transition to M&Ps, and now likely the Sig P320 is much better. Instead of handing them to people who have a long history with the TDA. They issue them to recruits who will learn from the get go the lighter shorter striker fired trigger.

      Yes it will be a slower transition, but it likely will have fewer issues.

      • This. Completely correct.

  • Joel

    Are they seriously saying that they carried their 92s with the safety on? Who does that!?

    • Pete Sheppard

      Yes. Engaged safeties have saved more lives than they lost. Mas Ayoob has many accounts of officers whose lives were saved when, in a fight, an assailant got their gun but couldn’t figure out how to fire it.

      • Nicks87

        I highly doubt that.

        • Nick he’s 100% correct on that. There are many incidents where having the safety on kept an officer from being shot. That includes the 1911:-)

          • Tim Pearce

            How many incidents were there where the officer was shot or injured because they failed to get the safety off in time to defend themselves with their firearm?

    • Sianmink

      When open carrying (like a cop) it’s not a horrible idea. the one time you don’t particularly want your gun to immediately go bang when the trigger is pulled is when you can have it snatched from you.

      • sean

        LEVEL III HOLSTER

        • Sianmink

          Those aren’t undefeatable.

          • Kivaari

            Many are so good, that an officer could be dragged along the pavement while the perp is trying to get the gun.

    • Grindstone50k

      The military.

      • Nicks87

        IN THE NAAAVYYY!!!! (As performed by the village people)

  • Will

    Having been a firearms instructor and armorer, since 1980, for police and military I have YET to witness a firearm simply “Go off” on its own volition. Every single one was the direct result of human action or inaction.
    Firearms of all types are inanimate objects. They do not just go bang.
    There is a VERY good reason it’s called a “NEGLIGENT DISCHARGE”.

    • s

      Not according to iksnilol. He blames the inanimate and amoral pistol – Forget personal responsibility.

    • Kivaari

      The closest “accident” is from the idiots that leave a loaded handgun in the oven while pre-heating for making a Pizza. But then again, it is operator error, so it is a ND.

  • KestrelBike

    They might be onto something. Turns out, those keystone cops in LA who shot up the newspaper-delivery-pickup-truck with the two ladies in the cab (thinking it was that renegade cop chris dorner) were armed with M&Ps that had 100+ accidental discharges!

  • Ron

    The Marine Corps started did not start using using RCOs at Entry Level Training (ELT) because it raised scores, it did because of the primacy effect, the first thing you learn of a subject is often what you remember under stress. The feedback from the operating forces was Marines learned first how to use irons and tried to use optics like irons. The bottom line was Recruits and TBS Lts were getting their first formal training at ELT on what amounts to them training to use their weapons in the degraded mode of operation. So we were losing 10 days of training that could better be used focusing on the system in the way it would be used in combat.

    • I see that point but I don’t think it helps. Granted the service rifles have optics, but what of the 240s, 249s, M9s, 203s, Mk19s, and the back ups for the SMAW? I can easily envision the day that Marines won’t have a clue what to do with iron sights, fresh out of SOI or ITB.

      • Ron

        The SAW and M27 use the Squad Day Optic, the M240 is the Machine Gun Optic and the M2s and Mk19s have the Heavy Weapon Sights System (a Mk8 and Eotech).
        SMAWs use RCO now.
        Not to mention all the lasers, night vision and thermals for all the weapons we have.

        • Sure all of these are supposed to have optics, the optics themselves are T/O. But of the small arms mentioned, we’ve only ever fully had optics on the M16 and M27 while stateside. Sure we had those sweet MDOs, HDOs, SDOs while on deployment, but that was a very limited issuing, and we only got it because troop strength was going down and RC SW had those optics and gun mounts (M2 and Mk19) to spare. But back in the States? Back to the status quo, we didn’t take the mounts back home. My first deployment in 2011 I didn’t even know what a Leopold HDO looked like we didn’t have any. Regardless, optics fail, zeros wander, glass breaks, tritium needs to be refilled. And thus we have irons, and now we have a whole generation of officers and SOI Marines that have no idea how to use them. Apply the same logic to a map and compass, we don’t issue out GPSs at boot camp/IOC/SOI just because that’s all we use overseas, we issue out a map and compass because teaching people the basics allows them to understand the advanced and revert back to the basics if necessary. Why don’t we issue out GPSs in Land Nav just because it’ll improve land nav qualification scores? It certainly would have helped me passing sniper school because I failed for Land Nav. Optics are changing the battlefield, increasing first round hits, gaining PID, and allowing Marines to be more confident. But I am of the firm opinion that you need to know how to use irons before anything else.

          • Ron

            My Armory is complete full up on optics with an overage as a float block for replacements in case ones need to be replaced.

            Before the decisions was made to convert to RCOs at ELT, the issue was study extensively, and what they found was Marines understood optics better, they learned the fundamentals better and once introduced to the BUIS after the primary training they use them just fine. The use of optics is actually a good craw, run approach to training, they still have apply all the fundamentals. But they don’t have to move to a harder version of sight picture while still trying to learn body position, breath control, natural point of aim and trigger control. The get the chance to learn those prior to having to learn how to focus on the front sight tip, while looking through the rear aperture.

            2011 was a while back, thing have change significantly since then. Should I not use GPS because the first time I deployed to combat in 1991 they were of limited availability?

            As to your opinion the 0302 (all the infantry regimental commanders, infantry advocate and at the time LtGen Tryon), 0306s and 0369s voted for it.

          • Still, I disagree with it, and I see it as a way for the the recruit depots and OCS to spend less time dealing with drops and unks, and more time pushing guys through. Money is king.

            Those 0302s, 0306s, and 0369s that voted for this don’t use rifles as their primaries, they use radios, their weapons are their platoons/companies/battalions. Of course they would vote for an optic to be issued at ELT. Were these the same guys who voted Pmags out of the Fleet? Because that was a stupid decision if I ever heard of one, just as Magpul comes out with Pmags that could fit in the M27. Heck if I had a GPS I could totally understand land nav better than with a map and compass, I’d be getting those fundamentals better than ever, walking up right on top of points.

  • Sianmink

    Shocking if you’re trained on a Beretta 92 and not retrained when issued a M&P you might have an accident.

  • Vitsaus

    To be fair to S&W, they probably mistook their legs and feet for unarmed minorities.

    • Todd

      Ha! No one replied

  • USMC03Vet

    The part I find depressing is there are police they’ve hired that can’t depress a trigger without using two fingers. Seems like the standards need to be reevaluated over there first and foremost.

    • Nicks87

      You are correct. I’ve seen new officers, male and female, use two fingers to depress the trigger. Two fingers on one hand and both index fingers. The middle finger is a common one as well. Unfortunately, finger strength is not part of the evaluation process when hiring new officers.

      • I had a new recruit that had never shot a handgun in her life. She was taught but when she got to the range she complained her revolver was broken. She was squeezing the grip in an attempt to fire the gun.
        No she didn’t make it through recruit school.

        • Todd

          WTF??

      • n0truscotsman

        what the hell did they do growing up? any young adult who had a little bit of initiative and athleticism growing up would have enough finger strength for any gun.

    • Todd

      Really?
      2 fingers on the trigger ? At the same time??
      As in they don’t have enough strength to press a trigger with one finger?
      Come on now!

  • Grindstone50k

    My wife is a new shooter and a new gun owner and has an M&P9. She has never had an ND. My wife is safer than the LA Sheriff’s department.

  • Ed

    Not LASD had to switch over some still carry M-92FSs andits optional to carry one. Overall seems that some officers who switched to a stiker fired pistol have issue with a much lighter trigger pull.

  • Squirreltakular

    Wow. So my M&P is just an accident waiting to happen because it doesn’t have an external safety? Jeez. And here I was thinking that obeying the safety rules and keeping it in a holster that covers the trigger guard were going to keep me safe.

    • petru sova

      Take a look at the posted picture by Todd. Now what do you think?

      • Squirreltakular

        I think that if my Safariland kydex holster gets hot enough that the material folds and gets stuck in the trigger guard, I have bigger problems than bullet wounds. Namely, being on fire.

  • Todd

    lol…. I just f@&$*^* shot myself !

  • Todd

    I just recently read an article where a concealed carry holder’s Glock ( or any other firearm without a manual safety) went off as he sat down in a car passenger seat due to his leather iwb holster bending in on the trigger and discharging the firearm.

    • sean

      It didn’t go off as he sat down, he tried to holster it while sitting down…there is a difference

  • MountainKelly

    This is obviously why the LAPD shot the crap out of a couple of women delivering paper’s truck two years ago. Not poor training and discipline. Or why negligent discharges are occurring more. It’s the tool’s fault,not the operator. Duh.

  • idahoguy101

    One of the features of the M9 Beretta is the trigger disconnect safety. Which Beretta directly copied of the Walther P38. I’d best that most accidental discharges are related to holstering at pistol. Like or dislike the Beretta’s slide mounted safety. But if a cop or soldier applies the safety and disconnects the trigger accidental discharge rates fall. The other benefit is if someone seizes your pistol and doesn’t know to put the safety lever up you have time to get your back up gun out, or to take your pistol back, or your partner has time to rescue you.

    • Tim Pearce

      If every officer was required to practice their draw, including thumbing off the safety, far more than the twice a year they qualify, I might agree that they should be even allowing thumb safeties on LEO guns. However, ~80% of the LEOs I’ve talked to find practicing with their weapon a complete and utter waste of time.

  • Smedley54

    Manual safety or not?

    Once again I’m on both sides of the question, probably because I trained on a 1911 and really believe that if further pistol development had been necessary, JMB would have finished the Browning Hi Power. A mechanical safety is reassuring.

    On the other hand, to quote my PMI, “Keep your booger hooks off the trigger until you’re ready to kill something!”

  • Kivaari

    My department issued Glock 17s, 34s and 19s with the 3.5 # connectors, common to the M34/35.

  • Spencerhut

    Tards! Learn to use the tools of your trade you freaking morons.

    • Zebra Dun

      I once worked House framing in my youth, you could always spot the saw men of a crew, they were missing fingers.
      Even a rotary saw has safeties and yet fingers often fly, from stupidity, carelessness or over riding the safety.

  • sam

    Good example; shot himself… and narrated himself doing so. But he admitted he made a mistake, didn’t blame the machine. Dignified isn’t the first word I’d use to describe it, but it’s more dignified than blaming the machine.

  • JD

    This is an indictment of the lack of follow on training and nothing more.

  • BJ

    I don’t or can’t believe that LASD is/was carrying the 92 with the safety lever activated. When I started in LE, we carried S&W 3rd gen 4566’s and they were carried with the safety in the off position. We have since moved on to Glocks and now M&P 45s. No issues as of yet, but as a state and as an agency we have always trained to keep your finger off the trigger until you are going to fire at a threat. Sounds like a training issue.
    Also, is it me, or has there been a lot of bad press for the M&P lately (Iowa, Texas DPS, etc).

  • Tim Pearce

    Actually, your gun has four safeties. In addition to the two you’ve already mentioned, there’s a firing pin block that is disengaged after the trigger blade, and then the way the sear releases the firing pin makes it impossible for the firing pin to move forward of that position until the trigger is fully rearward.

  • It is the AN/PVQ-31 Rifle Combat Optic, also known as the Trijicon ACOG TA31RCO.

  • Anon. E Maus

    I get the impression that a lot of cops simply aren’t smart enough to securely handle a pistol without a manual safety.
    You hear the same complaint about the Glock and “Glock-leg”, a symptom that nobody with an IQ above room temperature suffers.

  • Leigh Rich

    kalifornia…LOL

  • RPK

    BASIC firearms safety taught at most every military and law enforcement course where weapons are to be a part of the curriculum. NEVER place your finger in the trigger guard and DEFINITELY not on the trigger UNLESS you are INTENDING to discharge your weapon and eliminate a threat…DUH!

  • petru sova

    Human beings are not infallible and to make the statement that “the best safety is between your ears” is the height of stupidity and arrogance. That is why we have safety’s on lawn movers so adults do not back up over their own children. That is why we have anti-lock brakes and shatter proof windshields and seat belts in cars. All of course resisted and ranted and raved against by the ignorant far right.
    I think for the lower rates of accident insurance and lawsuits alone police departments should stick with the heavy traditional double action only weapon with the addition of a manual safety as well. It is a known fact that pistols carried with the manual safety in the on position have often saved police officers lives because it often takes street thugs a few minutes to figure out how to disengage a safety on a pistol and in that time the Officer may be able to get back control of the handgun from the thug that took it off of him.
    Even in everyday handling of a firearm so much can go wrong with a loaded gun that a manual safety in the on position just makes common sense to prevent accidental deaths and wounding’s.
    With a manual safety it is far less likely ordinary citizens would not be accidentally shot by police either as far too many times safety less pistols like the Glock or Glock copy cats have gone off accidentally killing innocent civilians.
    It is easy to arrogantly make statements about better training with unsafely designed pistols but quite another when you have to bury a member of your own family when they could have been saved by a much safer designed pistol. That is reality.

  • GenEarly

    “On Target, On Trigger”, because there are no adverse consequences………………
    for the Polezi.
    “I don’t need no stinkin training anyhows”, the badge and uniform handles 98% of the sheeples, just shoot the remaining 2% for non compliance or “resisting.”
    Just “serving” the people, ma’am; No need to thank me.

  • petru sova

    Think about this scenario and unintended consequences . If you own a handgun but other members of your family do not approve and do not know anything about handguns think what would happen if you were to pass away and the gun was loaded in the home or car. Now a person not familiar with a Glock or Glock copy cat type of gun would be way more likely to accidentally shoot themselves or someone else when picking up this firearm than they would if the gun had a manual safety and the safety was in the on position.

    • Zebra Dun

      Another hypothetical situation.
      Most folks who don’t know firearms will find someone who does to handle it.
      Most folks who have family members with firearms have been shown how to use one or to leave them alone.
      I’ve taught my oldest grandson how to safe check, load and lock safety then unlock safety and shoot my 1911A1. The wife has been fam fired also. The son is a Marine and I expect he’s qualled.

      • petru sova

        My example was reality not hypothetical. People get shot accidentally every day. You ignore reality. Try reading the local newspaper sometime. Everyone is not trained or is an expert on handling firearms. Many who own firearms like Glocks do not even understand how they work. How about the Lady Cop that had her service gun go off because she stuffed it under her pillow when she went to sleep. She did not understand how the gun worked. Would it have happened with a Beretta with a manual safety and a hard 12 lb double action pull. No it would not have but it happens easily with a safety-less pre-loaded striker fired weapon like a Glock or Glock copy cat gun.

        How about the Police Chief that reached across his desk and pulled his Glock towards him. The unsafe trigger safety that does not work tripped off and he shot his finger off. Great safety system eh? It would not have happened with a gun with a manual safety in the on position.

        How about the unsafe Glock take down system that some idiot of an Engineer designed which requires you to pull the trigger with the slide forward. Brother is that an accident waiting to happen and it does happen as people shoot themselves because all they have to do is forget to check the Glocks chamber just one time and its all over. Contrast this to the Beretta that requires you pull the slide back for a take down and you can also put on the manual safety as well.

        Now try and tell me some guns like the Beretta are not safer to handle and use than the safetyless Glock system.

        • Zebra Dun

          You ignore reality.

          Oh I understand and pay attention to reality very well thank you.
          All of these are hypothetical situations or war stories with more than a little fantasy and few facts.

          • petru sova

            If you bothered to watch the news some time you would have known every example I gave to you was taken right from the evening news. That is not hypothetical or a war story and as a matter of fact if you had read my post and understood it there was no mention of a war story anywhere.

  • pismopal

    There is no excuse for ADs but there is a huge difference between handling a pistol at home while loading unloading , cleaning and practising in front of a mirror and the daily use by police officers during extremely tense situations that take most years to become accustomed to. Having said this…keep your finger off the trigger until ready..especially if you are the nervous type.

  • GNewman

    LMAO I carry the M&P 40 daily, never had an supposed accidental discharge so I will call the LACSD full of crap.

  • sliversimpson

    I see a ton of debating in the comment section, which is somewhat surprising.

    This is an obvious case of negligence in training by the department. We would love to believe that every person who handles a firearm knows to only touch the trigger after the conscious decision to fire has been made, but that is not the case. Everyone, including LEOs, should be trained and retrained on the fundamentals constantly.

    Full disclosure – I have an M&P 9c that has been loaded for almost 6 years. It has never discharged without out me making the conscious decision to fire and intentionally pulling (pressing; whatever) the trigger.

  • cwolf

    1. It is helpful to read the original article.

    2. Several variables: manual safety, DA trigger pull, holster design, procedures, and training.

    3. The FBI has now gone to qualification shooting in street clothes with a draw from the holster. In addition, they also have collective shooting exercises (some % of police shootings are fratricide).

    4. The reality is much “training” is low fidelity with poor transfer to the real world. Available data says LE miss their targets 70+% of the time (realizing there isn’t good data on why and if it can be improved). For example, one military study took “expert” shooters (expert on a KD range) and put them on a moving target range; hits dropped dramatically.

    5. Obviously, old single action pistols had no transfer bars, etc. so the firing pin was basically resting on the primer. In any case, shooting requires cocking the hammer, then pulling the trigger.

    6. I’d move to ‘blue gun Simunition” training and qualification in high-fidelity scenarios leading to a live fire shoot house exercise. IMO live fire KD static qualification is an inefficient use of resources.

  • Finger discipline in real-world events enters into the same category as many sub-conscious “responses”. Video recordings prove that during lethal force training exercises, the finger often enters the trigger guard without the operator having any recollection and many deny doing it. Only when shown the video, are they made aware that it did.

  • Dave

    It’s a training issue period! The M&P is a safe striker-fire weapon. Unfortunately, with 8000 sworn personnel in the LASD there are bound to be unfortunate mishaps from unsafe weapons handling (finger out of the trigger guard until ready to fire). The LASD should have adopted the Sig P226 as it has a actual hammer and a heavier double action trigger pull to prevent accidental discharges in the event they lower their hiring standards again.

  • Josh

    If you use a manual safety as your preventative measure for discharges, then the way you handle guns scares me. Give me a striker fired gun, or a DA gun with a decock lever any day of the week.

    I actually prefer a gun without a manual safety. I would rather have the procedure be simpler when I really know I want to shoot, I’m assuming I’ll be stressed out in that moment.

    Iksnilol: you seriously leave a chamber empty on a revolver? Meaning you have to have 2 double action pulls before you start shooting? Seems like a good way to slow yourself down and get killed.

  • petru sova

    you can lead a man to knowledge but you cannot make him think

    • Squirreltakular

      Says the man trying to contradict the firearm preferences of literally thousands of experienced shooters from around the world. =)

      • petru sova

        A lot of people yes, going with the herd mentality, but this is because they do not understand how these weapons work or the consequences of an accidental shooting until they themselves are caught up in the nightmare.

  • Mark

    Whatever training the deputies had on the M&P, the bulk of it should have been on indexing the trigger finger until on target and making the decision to fire. With the old double action first pull of the Beretta you just have to think they rested their trigger finger…well, on the trigger. A complete violation of Coopers 4 rules of gun safety!

  • William C Powell

    newish shooter here. “lack of safety” was the cited reason for problems, correct? I wonder if the change was from da/sa to striker fire. Not lack of safeties. It is just harder to misfire with your finger on the trigger (inappropriately) with a da/sa pistol.