Work-alike guns


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Kendal Black
March 26, 2011, 08:27 PM
In a pistol course I took a few years back the instructor brought up something that I hadn't thought of. He said all your defense handguns should work just alike. It avoids confusion at a bad moment.

I think that makes sense. A buddy of mine likes a Walther PPK for his small pistol and a 1911 for his big one. This is an example of what not to do, for the Walther's safety turns upward to fire and the 1911's turns downward. I can see how this could be a problem if you are jolted straight from a sound sleep into adrenaline dump at 3 AM. Heck, I can see it being a point you could muff even if only moderately terrified.

What do you think? There are various families of firearms in which you can get various sizes and calibers and one manual of arms: DA revolvers, lever rifles, DAO autos, etc.

Do you think this an important issue? (Hope this isn't a duplicate of something already discussed. I looked around and didn't see a thread about it.)

.

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PcolaDawg
March 26, 2011, 08:31 PM
Technically, he's probably right. But, dang it, I can't help myself. I love all types of guns with all kind of calibers, so I end up carrying - depending on what I'm wearing and the situation - revolvers, 1911s, polymer guns, etc., etc.

On the plus side, this forces me to practice a lot with all of them. :)

Remo223
March 26, 2011, 08:36 PM
As far as buttons and levers go, I think sig has it right.

ColtPythonElite
March 26, 2011, 08:44 PM
All of my guns have a trigger. As long as that works, I'm good.

Hoth206
March 26, 2011, 08:46 PM
I came to basically the same conclusion and sold a perfectly good XD9 (kept the 1911 though).

I feel that this is true to a certain extent, though not necessarily 100% commonality. I.e. if my thumb swipes down for a safety on the LCP that doesn't exist there...no biggie. however, my thumb kept hitting the slide lock on the XD when held where it would for the 1911...so it got sold off.

earlthegoat2
March 26, 2011, 08:47 PM
Everyone should use Glocks or revolvers then.

Black Knight
March 26, 2011, 08:51 PM
Most of my HD handguns are DA revolvers or a SIG SP2340. The only other semi-auto pistols I have available for HD or personal defense are a Beretta 92F (duplicate of my Beretta 92FS duty weapon) and a Colt Series 70 MKIV Gov't Model 45 ACP. The 45 is in the safe and the Beretta I am extremely familiar with. The idea of the guns operating the same or similiar is a sound theory. You don't want to be familiar with one type and use something different when the chips are down.

hso
March 26, 2011, 09:12 PM
Agreed, but that doesn't mean that all your guns have to work alike, just your defensive handguns.

Jeff82
March 26, 2011, 09:15 PM
"Beware the man who owns one gun." (He can probably use it very well.)

Kendal Black
March 26, 2011, 09:56 PM
Agreed, but that doesn't mean that all your guns have to work alike, just your defensive handguns.
True, but I think there's some useful overlap in this principle to other guns. If your usual rifle is a .30-30 lever, maybe you should be looking at a big bore lever, not a bolt action, if you're in the market for a bear defense rifle, and so on, and vice versa. But if you shoot a 12 gauge shotgun all the time, maybe you'd be best served by getting some slugs for it, etcetera.

I'm sure the principle can be overdone, but building on commonality of skills is an interesting idea; it's a case of less is more.

HorseSoldier
March 26, 2011, 11:58 PM
In a pistol course I took a few years back the instructor brought up something that I hadn't thought of. He said all your defense handguns should work just alike. It avoids confusion at a bad moment.

I definitely agree, especially when you start talking about back up guns. If you end up going for a second gun you carry you are already having a real, real bad day and you're possibly working that thing at punching distance, while getting punched by the bad guy, possibly shot or cut already, etc. Something that would never catch you up under ideal circumstances can easily become a potentially lethal issue when your blood pressure is up in the black, your thinking is further eroded by trauma, etc. That's not the time to be trying to work your way through a different manual of arms.

I'd say either identical mechanics of function or, at the very least, a back up should have no required mechanics except pulling the trigger -- double action revolvers, or no safety back ups like the baby Glocks, Walther PPS, etc. at least minimize what you could have to remember under duress.

Fumbler
March 27, 2011, 12:53 AM
I've thought of this before, which is why all of my defensive handguns are DAO or DA/SA with no manual safeties.
I own all sorts of handguns but won't keep a handgun for defense unless all I have to do to make it go bang is pull the trigger.

toivo
March 27, 2011, 01:33 AM
I own all sorts of handguns but won't keep a handgun for defense unless all I have to do to make it go bang is pull the trigger.

I agree with this. All the defensive handguns I own can be fired from their carry condition with only a pull of the trigger. This includes DAO revolver, DAO semi-auto, striker-fired semi-auto, and DA/SA semi-auto.

I have some SAO handguns, but they are strictly for targets or plinking. Don't get me wrong: there's nothing with with SAO in a defensive handgun if that's what you train with.

clance
March 27, 2011, 02:03 AM
Very similar situation to Kendal Black's friend who carries a PPK and 1911. Thank God! I ran into the very problem in question on the training range and not on the street.

I had for years carried a BHP as my primary carry gun but decided to sell and go with the lighter, more concealable S&W 3913 just days before going off to a training school. And no, I hadn't taken it out and practice with it prior to going to training figuring that I would just get familar with the pistol during training seeing that we would be going through a little over a 1000 rds. during a couple days training secession.

The training (Executive/Dignitary protection) was offered by the then Mayor of Detroit Security Detail Leader, Ron Fleming, while the firearm portion was headed up by the City of Detroit PD Range Master, Michael Blount at the Academy's River Rouge range.

Starting out, we spent half the day in the classroom going over basics, range rules, etc... Towards the end of the classroom portion we were instructed that each one of us would be call out of the classroom and not to discuss what we did upon return.

What happen was that each of us was taken to the firing line and place approximately 3 yards from our target. The instruction was that upon the target turning to present a full profile, we had 2 seconds to draw our weapon, aim and fire one round into the center mass of the target before it would turn back. Simple right?

As the target turned, I drew my pistol and out of habit flip the safety down to take it off as I would my BHP only to engage the safety of the S&W. By the time I realize what I had done (pulling the trigger a couple of times and nothing?) and flip the safety the other way the target turn back and my 2 seconds was over. The only question that I was ask by the range officer was: "Where would you like your remains sent?"

Point taken!

Owen Sparks
March 27, 2011, 02:55 AM
Or be so different that they are hard to confuse like a revolver and a 1911.

hardluk1
March 27, 2011, 03:06 AM
I carried revolvers for 20 years and now semi-auto pistols but all do have the same basic double action trigger pull with no levers to play with. I do think that does work to keep things the same as much as possible for CC.

wanderinwalker
March 27, 2011, 04:01 AM
"Beware the man who owns one gun." (He can probably use it very well.)
I know this is a commonly repeated phrase, but my experience with people who only own one gun is that generally they're not "into" shooting and typically don't practice much or shoot well.

For a defensive pistol, I want to be able to just draw and squeeze. So I have Glocks and DA revolvers. At the same time, I am comfortable shooting a 1911 on a static range against a timer, but I find I have to remember to let the trigger reset. Odd it's not the thumb safety that gets me in trouble, but the lack of return pressure on the trigger. But there's no danger in swiping the imaginary thumb safety on a Glock or S&W K-frame.

Ringer
March 27, 2011, 04:05 AM
Mine all function the same. No manual safety or SA capability. Glock, M&P, Kahr, DA revolver. I own one DA/SA pistol but it rarely leaves the safe.

CZ223
March 27, 2011, 04:07 AM
and have been trying to apply it ever since. At one point the only guns I had for defence were two revolvers, two Glocks and a Smith 4516-1. The Smith was carried with the safety off, used only as a decocker with the first shot being fired double action. So all guns worked basically the same way, point and pull. I was proficient with all. Then I bought a couple of 1911's along the way and decided right away that they would not be used for self defence. This turned out to be a good choice because neither worked well. both were sold and all was right with the world. I wouldn't own another 1911 for another 15 years.

Practice, practice, practice with what you carrry. Don't let games get in the way. Along the way I started Cowboy Action shooting. Doing things the same way every time, with the same equipment, was what made for a good score. Muscle memory became evident to the point if you changed from a Marlin to a 73 rifle you would inevitably short stroke the 73. The model 97 Winchester was my shotgun of choice and I was so proficient with it that one went into the closet for HD. About threee years ago I went to the range with my daughter with my self defence guns, including Glocks and AR's. Just as we started practicing, I drew my Glock and went to a two handed stance. Just as I was about to pull the trigger, I realized that my left hand thumb had just tried to cock the hammer and was now right behind the slide.:what: Muscle memory had reared its head.

After that I started shooting less and less Cowboy action and started practicing more. I have also switched over to the 1911 as my primary defensive sidearm with two Glocks also still in the lineup. I practice primarily with the 1911 so, when I do change over to the Glock, my thumb still snicks off the nonexistant safety. Not a problem.:p Accuracy is better with the 1911 but I can still hit quiclky with the Glock. I also carry an LCP as a back-up but have never had any problems transitioning. The only competition that I compete in now is IDPA. When I go to a match I do not do anything different from what I do on a daily basis. My 1911, usually a KImber Tac-Pro II, is on my right hip in a Milt Sparks VM-II. On my left hip is a forward canting Double mag pouch made by HBE leather with two KIM PRO or Wilson 47D's. Even my clothes are the same. I will not change gear or caliber just to gain a perceived advantage.

The Lone Haranguer
March 27, 2011, 04:21 AM
There is some merit to the idea, but I carry and shoot multiple types of handguns and don't have trouble remembering how controls operate at the range. Much of it is psychological. If you think you might forget or be confused in a serious situation, you probably will, and should select your handgun(s) based on the KISS (Keep It Super Simple:)) principle.

merlinfire
March 27, 2011, 04:24 AM
I'm no expert, but I think its also important that you can tell instantly tell how any particular defensive handgun works as soon as it fills your hand, instinctively and naturally.

Kendal Black
March 27, 2011, 10:49 AM
...I drew my Glock and went to a two handed stance. Just as I was about to pull the trigger, I realized that my left hand thumb had just tried to cock the hammer and was now right behind the slide. :what: Muscle memory had reared its head.

I thought it quite strange when Gunsite added a defensive course for the cowboy revolver (http://www.gunsite.com/main/course-offerings/specialty-classes/defensive-revolver-single-action-2/), but in light of what we are talking about, maybe it makes sense. If the thumb buster is what you shoot constantly, your muscle memory is going to be biased that way: To get the bang you first crank back the hammer.

The SASS boys can shoot, no question about it, and someone absolutely familiar with the single action, to the point the weapon becomes second nature, might actually be making a mistake if he straps on a more modern pistol to defend himself. Could be! :confused:

wgp
March 27, 2011, 11:36 AM
I believe in the idea that your various carry guns should work alike. I rotate among various 1911s and a Hi Power, as well as a Beretta .380, but all share a manual safety that is in the same place and works in the same direction. My one "stray" is an occasional Glock with no thumb safety. These are the pistols I have used for years and the existence of the safety, and the way it works, have become second nature.

I recently took a defensive class with my Hi Power, everyone else was using XDs and Glocks. The instructor made a point of almost being critical of my choice of a pistol with a manual safety -- but he did pull me aside at the end of the class to note that he had been watching me and observed that not once did I miss the safety or fumble with it.

wally
March 27, 2011, 11:47 AM
Rule one of a gun fight is have a gun. So if I can conceal it adequately or not counts a lot more than its operational mode.

As the gun comes up I swipe off the safety with my thumb, if its a Kahr or XD or whatever that lacks a safety, it still shoots when I pull the trigger.

I despise DA/SA operation but as long as its a decocker, and not an actual safety they still work fine as above when decocked.

jaysouth
March 27, 2011, 11:51 AM
I'm no expert, but I think its also important that you can tell instantly tell how any particular defensive handgun works as soon as it fills your hand, instinctively and naturally.

Merlinfire got it right:

If you can't figure this one out, you need to become more familiar with your guns or take up golf.

When my nephew was in his senior year of ROTC, I gave him a Smith 5904 to learn to shoot with. When he graduated, his carry piece became the M-9 which exactely the same control as the 3d generation Smith.

Maybe I'll get it back someday.

Carl N. Brown
March 27, 2011, 12:10 PM
I have two go-to defensive weapons: 2" .38 revolver and 4" .357 Security Six, with similar stocks, both usually loaded with +P .38 Special.

I have a number of different handguns I consider target guns or collectibles not even weapons for defensive use, but weapons should be kept simple and sweet.

Kendal Black
March 27, 2011, 12:45 PM
^^ That's what I ended up with too, a .38 snub and a .357 full-size. Both guns are the same brand, so the cylinder releases work in the same direction on both, and I got the same brand of speedloaders for both, so all the knobs work the same.

Before my shooting school epiphany I used the .38 snub and a famous brand .45 automatic. You know what? If you've shot a revolver empty a tap-rack-bang drill doesn't put it back online. :D

Manco
March 27, 2011, 12:52 PM
In a pistol course I took a few years back the instructor brought up something that I hadn't thought of. He said all your defense handguns should work just alike. It avoids confusion at a bad moment.

Makes sense to me. The rule in my household is that defensive handguns all go bang when the trigger is pulled, with nothing else to fiddle with--that's utter simplicity in addition to consistency.

danprkr
March 27, 2011, 01:00 PM
True for less experienced shooters like my wife. Which is why I'm transitioning to all Glocks. She loves hers and won't consider anything else. So while I'm not selling my 1911 or GP 100s, I'm getting multiple copies of the Glock 19 to scatter about the house so no matter where she is she can grab that which she is comfortable with.

Remo223
March 27, 2011, 01:48 PM
Makes sense to me. The rule in my household is that defensive handguns all go bang when the trigger is pulled, with nothing else to fiddle with--that's utter simplicity in addition to consistency.
That's why I removed the lawyer lock from my brand new S&W.

leadcounsel
March 27, 2011, 04:18 PM
I think you are best suited to become expert with your DEFENSIVE weapons, but proficient with all common guns. One never knows the situation he may find himself in - such as using an attackers handgun after a struggle. Would be a bad time to try to figure out why a Browning HighPower won't fire without a magazine, for instance.

Cosmoline
March 27, 2011, 04:26 PM
I think when you're just starting out you should try a wide array of handguns, rather than immediately sticking with the first one you use in training. But once you get to know what works best for you, it's good to focus on training for that platform. And it's not a bad idea to have extra copies of the same. Plus .22 rimfire versions, red training guns, and so on all geared around the same basic platform.

toivo
March 27, 2011, 04:40 PM
I think you are best suited to become expert with your DEFENSIVE weapons, but proficient with all common guns.

That sounds like good advice. For example, I don't own an AR and I have no immediate plans to get an AR. But I was just thinking the other day that it might be a good idea to ask some of the AR owners at my club to give me some basic instruction on the AR. Knowledge is never a bad thing, IMO.

Dr.Rob
March 27, 2011, 06:30 PM
I only have one DA/SA pistol (FEG 380) and I find transitioning to it after shooting multiple single actions to be 'actively thiking' about how to make it work. Lack of an external slide stop, 13 pound DA pull make it VERY unlike my other choices.

It's become a range toy rather than a night stand gun. if I practiced with it like I do with my BHP clone or 1911s I'm sure I could develop the muscle memory to 'not have to think' to make it work.

Don't seem to have that issue when I pick up a revolver.

danprkr
March 27, 2011, 06:35 PM
I think you are best suited to become expert with your DEFENSIVE weapons, but proficient with all common guns.

That would be ideal of course, but in the case of my wife I have a hard time getting her to the range more than 3 or 4 times a year, and so a gun she can operate is better than no gun at all.

Jim in S.A.
March 29, 2011, 05:14 PM
I have both. The PPK isn't problematic because I use the safety only to decock the pistol. Once a round is chambered, I decock, which lowers the hammer, then flip the safety off, relying on the DA trigger pull for safety. It's not really prone to an AD/ND because of the long pull so I find the safety superfluous.

I guess it's conceivable that in a moment of extreme duress, I could flip the PPK safety down due to my 1911 training, but if you have ever tried the safety on the PPK, you're not likely to confuse that long 90 degree throw with the short arc of a 1911.

The other thing is that I practice a lot, so my hand "knows" which weapon I'm holding. That said, I know it's not everyone's cup of tea, but I'm not concerned about it personally.

essayons21
March 29, 2011, 05:34 PM
Whats most important is making sure that you train your muscle memory one way, and that way works on all of your defensive guns.

For example, I usually carry a 1911, which is the platform I am most comfortable with. My grip has the firing thumb resting on the safety, with my support hand thumb over top of the firing thumb, so the safety comes off when I grip the pistol. My other carry guns are a xD subcompact and a P3AT, and with the same grip there are no problems. I have a Stoeger Cougar, which is my fiance's nightstand gun. Even though it has the Beretta-style controls, which are opposite from the 1911's, it sits with a round in the chamber, safety off, decocked (hammer down). The slide mounted safety is so high that my thumb doesn't hit it when I go to swipe of a 1911 safety, so there are no issues.

You don't need to go out and buy all Glocks or all 1911s for defensive handguns. Train one way, then make sure the guns you have all work in that way. Most will, with some exceptions. Even though I like some HK handguns, the funky magazine release turns me off of them for defensive use.

NoirFan
March 30, 2011, 02:40 AM
This is a major reason I have only S&W and Ruger revolvers, the controls are in the same places and they all work more or less the same way.

I also like to have one sighting system for all my rifles and shotguns, so those which don't come with aperture or ghost ring sights get aftermarket parts.

birddog
March 30, 2011, 11:23 AM
When I first started carrying, I thought that was a good idea, too. Now I have a few regular carry guns, and only a few of them are similar. I think it's imperative to become familiar with whatEVER or however many guns you are carrying.

I'm also a guitarist, and find that my hands remember just fine when switching from a thin-necked Les Paul, to a fat-necked Strat, or to a high-stringed acoustic. The key is to practice with all of them.

Your muscle memory is much more expansive and capable of variety than you might think.

gatorjames85
March 30, 2011, 11:47 AM
The rule in my household is that defensive handguns all go bang when the trigger is pulled, with nothing else to fiddle with

+1 They are all either DA/SA Pistols, DAO Pistols or DA Revolvers

HGUNHNTR
March 30, 2011, 11:58 AM
Originally Posted by Jeff82
"Beware the man who owns one gun." (He can probably use it very well.)
Actually, its probably rusting away in a sock drawer.

tazbigdog
March 30, 2011, 10:53 PM
Depends on the person. I trained with different guns (revolvers and semi-autos) at tactical shoots. I got comfortable with using anything that went boom.

KnightHawk67
March 31, 2011, 05:23 PM
I carry a 1911 when I can, and a CZ RAMI when I need something a little smaller profile. They have identical grip angles, safeties, slide locks, and mag dumps. I figure if I need to use them, I will probably revert to my most basic training & not have to try to remember how this one or that one operate. I have others, but those are my constant companions.

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