LA Sheriff’s Dept. Struggles to Adjust to Smith & Wesson Pistols

Is this a case of a poor workman blaming his tools?

Is this a case of a poor workman blaming his tools?

The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department is undergoing a rocky transition to their new Smith & Wesson pistols, with a spike in negligent discharges that have led to injured Sherrif’s Department employees.

According to Los Angeles County Inspector General Max Huntsman, these injuries are a result of inadequate training and in some cases, bad habits. Currently, no one outside of the department has been injured, although Huntsman is concerned about the safety of bystanders.

“There is a continued risk that either LASD employees or civilians may be seriously wounded or killed by an unintended discharge,” Huntsman reported. Deputies transitioning to the M&P pistols are given an 8-hour course on the new pistols before they can make the switch.

Problems with their new handguns date back to 2013 after the department began the changeover from the Beretta 92FS to the M&P 9. The department has added about 6,100 M&P pistols to their inventory.

The two guns have different manuals of arms and field-strip differently. Huntsman’s report draws the conclusion that more training is necessary.

“The vast majority were people trained on the Beretta,” said Assistant Sheriff Todd Rogers to the Los Angeles Times last year. “There is a correlation, no doubt about it.”

“We welcome the IG’s input as to some things we can do better,” said Rogers in response to the report. “But we saw this coming before any outside pressure caused us to respond.”

Rogers added that negligent discharges have been down in 2015, in part due to the LASD taking extra steps to ensure that their staff understands better how to handle and use their new guns.

According to the report, in 2014 15 of the total 16 cases involved M&Ps, and so far this year involved 14 out of 18 negligent discharges.

Like many law enforcement agencies and police departments across the U.S. the LASD decided to adopt the M&P 9 because of it’s simple controls, light weight, low cost and striker-fired action. The M&P’s interchangeable backstrap system also accommodates a wider range of hand sizes which can promote shooter accuracy.

The lighter trigger pull is cited as contributing to many of the discharges that have led to injuries. The M&P trigger offers a constant 6- to 8-pound pull while the double-action trigger on the Beretta has a 10- to 12-pound pull followed by a much lighter 4-pound pull after the first shot.

Still, this means that some of the injuries were caused by users putting their finger on the trigger on the draw, a basic violation of gun safety. These types of discharges are realistically a result of poor gun handling skills and are not caused by the gun in any way.

The IG also highlighted the lack of manual safeties as a potential factor contributing to these discharges. While a manual safety would prevent a discharge caused by putting a finger on the trigger on the draw, it is still a bad practice and something that can be mitigated with more training.

{ 60 comments… add one }
  • S. Velez January 7, 2016, 4:26 am

    I am Sgt. in P.R.P.D . yes one of the last colony of U.S.A. Here we have glock and sweet my. And we don’t have any of these problems of the LA County and believe me the majority of the officers don’t practice outside the job. The common sense rule , finger out of the trigger until you have to shoot .

  • Carter December 29, 2015, 6:34 pm

    LEO’s get to take their duty weapons home, even in CA. Regardless of how much training on the job they get, there is no excuse for not spending several hours of their personal time each month performing dry fire and safe handling drills at home. When issued a new gun, they should be doing this (with an unloaded gun) every day until they know they are proficient.

    The other part of the problem, as the author pointed out, is that several officers obviously developed bad habits with the M9 that violated basic gun safety rules, but may not have produced ND’s thanks to long, heavy triggers and manual safeties.

  • Steven Kaspar December 26, 2015, 3:54 pm

    Just goes to show you cops shouldn’t be trusted with guns!

    • Bill December 28, 2015, 2:32 pm

      The most dangerous thing a cop carries is a pen.

  • Johnny December 26, 2015, 1:30 pm

    As many have pointed out, the word “accident” gets used way too much with negligent handling and lack of training with s firearm. I personally thank Assistant Sheriff Rogers for calling it what it is. Not enough training, and NEGLIGENT discharges. As officers or, anyone who has received professional training, if that gun goes of unintentially, there’s no “accident” about it. Accidents happen to people who don’t know better. Negligence happens when an operator gets distracted or, breaks one of the cardinal rules of gun safety. Many agencies blame the gun, the same could’ve been said here but, I feel simply by A.S. Rogers calling it what it is, the department recognizes the need for more training and experience with their new firearms and if they require it, no more negligent discharges for the LASD. Well said Assistant Sheriff Rogers and best of luck to all LA deputies in your transition. We’re ALL in need of more/continuous training!

    • Bill December 28, 2015, 2:31 pm

      An accidental discharge is when a grenade goes off next to you, tossing your firearm (and forearm) into a wall where your finger twitches reflexively one last time and accidentally shoots the guy who tossed the grenade.

      THAT’S an accidental discharge.

      Or when you’ve been in a fierce shoot-out for 15 minutes and your last two rounds cook off from the hot chamber. Not only is that an accidental discharge … it is also extremely sucky timing.

      If your (still attached) booger flicker finds its way to the bang switch when it shouldn’t be there … that’s just the Bozo (or Bozette) in you coming out for everyone else to see.

      Hang your head — there’s a flashing neon arrow above you pointing down and flashing the word “IDIOT … IDIOT … IDIOT” over and over again.

  • jm December 26, 2015, 10:26 am

    The S&W is a POS compaired to the Beretta 92, Who ever got the kick backs for buying the S&W maybe needs an accidental discharge.

    • Carter December 29, 2015, 6:26 pm

      I have both guns (M&P and 92FS). I only carry subcompacts, but if I was going to carry one or the other, I would prefer to carry the M&P for several practical reasons. They are equally accurate and reliable, but the M&P is lighter, thinner, and faster to operate (I can maintain sufficient accuracy at a higher rate of fire).
      There are a lot of reasons the M&P is less expensive than an M9 which have to do with the materials and manufacturing process. Its price doesn’t make the M&P perform any worse than than the M9.
      Also, unlike the two Glocks I own, the M&P has never malfunctioned. the Glock failures seemed t be due to faulty factory mags. The M&P mags have all been fine so far.

  • Mopig December 26, 2015, 9:56 am

    This is nothing put pure old lack of good handgun safety. Keep your finger off the trigger until you are on target, have decided to shoot, and have a legal right to shoot. If some of you will recall some law enforcement agencies had the same issue when transitioning to the glock in the early 90’s. Higher ups were trying to make it appear it was the weapon just like they are here. This was when the 8 plus pound trigger pull became available for the glock and it became known as a New York trigger. This was because of the unintentional discharges there and the police department wanting a heavier trigger pull to keep them from happening. Now maybe LA will get a trigger named after them by S&W.

  • norm December 25, 2015, 11:33 pm

    I’m not a cop, but the thought of poorly trained deputies out there with low-level gun skills is scary. The Sheriff’s dept should mandate a sufficient number of hours for a deputy to become proficient, and pass a test thereto; anything less is a disservice to the public, and obviously leads to deaths, injuries, and lawsuits.

  • jimmy December 25, 2015, 9:34 pm

    Wow, I really don’t even know where to start with this one…my God, what a true and sad disgrace!! I guess this is what happens when you continue to hire these incompetent idiots, because they are non-white and well you know whites are evil and all the gov’t wants to do is hire blacks and mexicans and on and on as long as they are not white. This country is destined to fail and I think there is no other way to fix what this horrible mess has become. When people were actually hired before based on performance and experience it sure is funny how things were so much better and way more competent staff members, but now look at what gov’t wants to hire from the post office to ever other local, state and federal agency in this sad country. . . . . . . . . .

    • Bill December 28, 2015, 2:18 pm

      Time out. Who said anything about race? Unless it’s actually relevant, why bring it up?

  • RJ December 25, 2015, 6:34 pm

    My gun club host weekly tactical matches which consist of shooting CF pistol, AR-15 carbine or Tac-shotgun. We do not hold 3-gun match as our gun venue changes weekly as does our stages. Our club facilities just are not big enough to allow shooting all three gun at the same match. We often have law enforcement officers come and compete in our matches. I’ve yet to see more then a sellect few score well and mostly the one who do are SWAT. Many everyday law officers have to be called for poor gun handling practices, mostly muzzle control and finger inside the guard when moving to engauge targets. I’ve observed many repeatly hitting no-shoot targets.. From what I’ve observed a person being held in a hostage situation would be far safer without most law enforcement officers on the scene. We often joke about not having to worry about coming in last as long as there is a law enforcement officer shooting. That being said I still feel a debt of gratitude for the thankless job they perform daily. But I do wish most of them were better trained in handling and shooting their firearms.

    • Bill December 28, 2015, 2:16 pm

      I taught adult education for three years. For an officer to NOT be intimately familiar with their primary firearm seems to me like an instructor not knowing which end of a piece of chalk to use.

      That said, the state prison guard living next door to me openly admits to only firing his weapons (pistol and shotgun) during annual qualifications and then only the minimum necessary to re-qualify.

      I thought he might like to join me at the range as my guest, so I invited him. He said he doesn’t like to shoot and only carries a firearm because his job requires it.

      Even though he is a Deacon in his church, I still think he is relying too much on prayer and not enough on preparation.

  • CLAUDE INGERSOLL December 25, 2015, 5:43 pm

    A manual safety on a gun used to stop someone from killing you may be a bad idea. I guess, God forbid, that we get data where officers got shot due to fumbling with a safety versus not getting shot due to draw and fire guns, will tell. As said before – everyone must practice so much that flicking the safety off and keeping the trigger finger on an indexing point until target aquisition becomes much more than automatic. All I did was repeat everyone else, didn’t I! SORRY!

  • paul December 25, 2015, 5:40 pm

    Since the state of Ca has a roster of safe handguns, matbe the PDs should be limited to it. It other handguns are too unsafe for the public, why should we make LEOs use them?

    Civil police should not have any weapon that is not available to the general public. SWAT, Military, maybe, but not regular LEOs.

  • KMacK December 25, 2015, 4:05 pm

    As I live in Los Angeles County (the city of Glendale, to be precise), I can attest to the fact that some of the most under-trained cops are in the Sheriff’s department. Note: Under Trained, not incompetent or stupid. I’ve seen more than one instance where a Sheriff’s Deputy has been gesturing with his pistol, finger on the trigger. It’s like they don’t realize the danger they create – which I put down to a lack of training. They go through the same startup education as the LAPD, but the Sheriff”s department has a much smaller continuing education (training) budget.
    Add in that some of the Deputies have the “I don’t need to read no damn instruction book” attitude and the problem becomes pretty obvious. They are under trained and this has created a systemic attitude problem. One suspects that the Sheriff’s department will continue to deal with the problem by letting their insurance carrier pay the people they shoot in error rather than invest in training, since TRAINING would mean admitting that there was a deficiency in the Department, and Sheriff Vaca won’t own up to the fact. Ever. I just hope none of those Deputies points a weapon at me, that’s all. I can’t drop as fast as I used to.

  • John Nicholson December 25, 2015, 3:33 pm

    I’m an old dude (was a deputy sheriff back when revolvers and speedloaders were the norm) and I prefer DA/SA automatics. I’ve shot striker fired guns and the triggers on such guns have improved greatly in the last thirty years. But this trend toward lighter and lighter trigger pulls has me somewhat baffled. With a good trigger on say a S&W 586 you had about a 10-12 lb double action pull (smooth though) and about a four pound single action pull. The qualification scores for many departments plummeted in the early days of striker fired weapons since the pulls were generally quite high and not smooth like a good revolvers. Now that the smoothness of the pull has been worked out and the trigger pull lightened, why are the manufacturers so reticent to put manual safeties on them? I’ve carried a 1911 on duty cocked and locked and drawing and working the safety was simple and easy. It’s right under your thumb, no problem, no delay if you need to fire the weapon. But the light trigger pull isn’t a safety issue. The way they’ve gotten now is very close to carrying a single action automatic cocked and with the safety off. Bound to be trouble. What’s wrong with adding a manual thumb safety?

  • Cold Dead Fingers December 25, 2015, 2:51 pm

    Welcome to Glock World. Strike Fire Weapons might have their but it is NOT with Law Enforcement where SAFTEY is supposed to take precedence to cost .

    • Kivaari December 26, 2015, 10:37 pm

      Glocks and clone like M&Ps are not a problem. A failure to train and demand high levels of skill is all it takes to get a high level of safety. I carried a Glock for over 10 years and so did everyone else. The only time we had NGs was with one new recruit that had only carried a revolver 30 years before. He couldn’t keep his finger off the trigger. He did not make it out of the qualifications and had turned his uniform into a chick magnet. When we found out he was spending hours in a nearby restaurant trolling for women, he was canned. Unsafe with guns and trolling showed his character. The only other NG I remember is one female officer never learned to safely handle an M4 carbine. Unlike LA and most big agencies, we demanded training in firearms, law and medical care. In-service training took place monthly. Gun quals were done monthly where we fired 350 rounds of pistol and carbine or SMG. Big departments just wont invest that much time, and time is money. There are too many lazy cops out there, and no leadership to make it right. A department is like a fish, it rots from the head down.

  • Kdog December 25, 2015, 1:39 pm

    C’mon, these are cops. Professional leo’s. There should not be any common service weapon they could not operate with minimal handling time. Plus, what was wrong with Beretta 92?

    • Bill December 28, 2015, 2:03 pm

      That’s the problem … these guys have been told that they are professionals … so they think they should get paid for every gesture, every twitch of an eyebrow, and do nothing on their own time.

      They were lied to. They are not professionals … they are paid amateurs (and not even uniformly goods ones, at that).

  • Maxxx December 25, 2015, 1:27 pm

    I retired after almost 30 years in the Military. I bet in our new politically correct America there are plenty of officers that have no business carrying a loaded semi automatic pistol that has no de cocker or safety. The M&P 9 in the hands of a real shooter is a very safe weapon. In the hands of an officer that is not a real shooter it is an accident waiting to happen.

  • Rob December 25, 2015, 1:06 pm

    The solution is simple. Stop blaming the platform and teach them the 4 rules as advocated by LTC Jeff Cooper. Had the sheriffs learned them from the start, they could move between any platform, (pistol, rifle, shotgun) and ND’s wouldn’t be an issue. This isn’t rocket science.

  • Rob December 25, 2015, 12:56 pm

    Huntsman needs to call these what they are… negligent discharges, (not the sugar coated ‘unintended discharges’). His refusal to call them what they are only contributes to the culture of irresponsibility.

  • Deetee December 25, 2015, 12:29 pm

    Look, just because you are a cop doesn’t mean you are a gun person. We have people who can barely qualify with their handgun, let alone an 870 shotgun. I would lay money that the ones doing the NDs are the ones that the road guys complain about that aren’t really cops… Or they are supervisors. Everyone knows who I am talking about, the ones who run from their own shadows, etc

  • Deputy SoCal December 25, 2015, 11:49 am

    Saw this article and had to respond. I work for this department and can say everyone on my shift knows what they’ve doing and can handle their equipment. There’s about 10,000 deputies with LASD who are working patrol (me), courts and in all the jails (17,000 inmates). In the academy, we had 88 hrs and 3000 rounds of hands on instruction with the then issued 92F (still carry it, along with CT laser grips). We had to have a passing score or you got held back and worse case terminated. I think it’s not the training that’s the problem but the few individuals who have no business doing this job and came here for the paycheck. Everybody here has people like that at their work too.

    • robert December 25, 2015, 12:56 pm

      I worked as a contractor employee as an armed gate guard at Altus AFB for awhile and you had to be thoroughly acquainted with the Beretta 92M. We had to learn to shoot it right and observe all safety rules in doing so. As far as maintenance we had to thoroughly clean the pistol once a week and every time it rained. I got so well acquainted with it I could disassemble, clean and reassemble the pistol with my eyes closed. The military demands,(or used to) that ability also. Good training leads to very few accidents. I love that pistol but can’t handle the size of the grip anymore due to aging factors.

    • ohn December 26, 2015, 10:05 pm

      The big difference is that in the real world, people that cannot do their jobs and / or came for a paycheck are fired and it is not a major project to do it.

  • mauser6863 December 25, 2015, 11:40 am

    My Dad retired from LASD in the 198o’s. He was a “Gun Guy”, grew up in the mid-west, hunted as a kid in the woods alone with his 22lr, back when this was a free country

    His first job was as a New Jersey policeman and he leff to join the LASD, sunny weather, better pay and to him, surprisingly little coruption compared to the criminal behaviour rampant in NJ law enforcement.

    One of his jobs was in the Intelligence Bureau in LASD. His partner, Sam was on the job for many more years and was very good at his job. One day they were told they would be part of the overall security detail to protect Israeli Prime Minister Yidzhak Rabin when he visited Los Angeles.

    My Dad took Sam’s gun home one day and cleaned it thoroughly. His Smith & Wesson Pre-model 36 was evidently never cleaned. The bullets were green and had to be tapped out of the cylinders with a dowel. My Dad detailed stripped the gun, took off the sideplates and made it shine like new. Loaded it up with new ammo and returned the gun to his partner.

    So the point of this story, is just like in the military, most are not “Gun Guys” and carrying a weapon, qualifying and maintaining it, is just part of the job and sometimes viewed as a pain in the butt.

    This is typical of any large organization. LASD shold gave allocated 60 hours for transition training and supplemental pistol training. The “Brass” should have been trained first and the time and money should have been allocated to do it right, so every deputy was proficient with the new weapon. The savings from avoiding the cost of just one wrongful death lawsuit, would have paid to do this right. Hopefully leadership will wake up.

    For those wondering, my Dad was carrying a S&W Model 59 with two extra mags and during Rabin’s visit grabbed a department owned Riesing SMG, to take along that day. Same story with the dept. owned Riesing, completely filthy and the mags were rusted. Dad went and bought “New” mags with his own money for the Riesing and new 45ACP ammo.

  • Tom Benton December 25, 2015, 10:58 am

    It is incredible to think that professional law endorcement officers cannot run a double action only pistol safely.
    The design of the pistol eliminates a great disparity between first and second discharges. It eliminates de cocking levers
    and other safeties interfering with swift deployment during emergencies. How many out ther are accurate with a handgun
    under duress with a 10 to 12 pound trigger pull. And how many fail to realise the next discharge will be 4 -6 pounds when their
    heart rate is 120 with a blood pressure of 200 systolic. The takedown procedure in an M & P utilizes moving a wire with any
    device, pen, key, etc to prevent having to activate the trigger to remove then slide, thus eliminating accidental discharge when
    cleaning the weapon. Glocks do not have this feature. I have owned a M&p 9mm , without safety, for years and consider it a
    very safe weapon. It shoots when you pull the trigger, just like a revlover. How can it be any simpler to understand. I think the
    intracasies of single/double actions with multiple levers/safeties and vastly different trigger pull weights are much more dangerous
    In emergency situations. I can understand that those who trained on these systems may have a learning curve to adapt. This issue
    must be resolved before officers are allowed to carry a weapon on duty.
    demonstrate safety and competence.

  • pete December 25, 2015, 10:44 am

    Not surprising, given the decades of muscle memory that allowed folks to ‘safely’ put their trigger fingers on their M92’s knowing it’s not cocked for their first shot. That’s kind of why a double action auto is said to be in a way better for non-gun people, which a lot of LE are. Many have never fired a gun before academy. Training!

  • fritz bousigschouer December 25, 2015, 10:41 am

    the ca police is not eaven well trained (or smart) enough to save use, carry, strip and clean and reassembly a simple sw mp pistol? that dont give me much trust in them. maybe they will be saver for the public armed with slingshots. if they had like say the bavarian police the hk p7 pistol then that really would be a disaster.

  • highwl December 25, 2015, 10:40 am

    I hold hardly agree with Cea. How embarrassing for the LASD. This is a professional LEO in a major US county and you are telling me they do not know one of the basic safety rules? What are the requirements for employment? Do they not have a a large percentage of former military in there ranks? Maybe they can give them some extra training. Camp Pendleton is right down the road, I am sure the Marines can teach you basic weapon handling skills. How “Keep your finger straight and away from the trigger until ready to fire” is not second nature is mind blowing.

    • Oliver Klozzoff December 25, 2015, 3:14 pm

      I wholeheartedly agree with CEA also. I’m guessing, being LA, that that have seriously dumbed down admission standards to the force for diversity reasons. I own this pistol in 9mm and 45ACP and it is the easiest pistol to shoot and field strip. It can also be ordered with a manual safety for those who feel the need for one.

  • DG December 25, 2015, 10:24 am

    They need to be taught to keep their finger outside the trigger guard until ready to fire. The only way to discharge this is to pull the trigger. Never point at anything you don’t want to destroy, keep your finger outside the trigger guard until ready to shoot, always check to make sure the firearm is UNLOADED before attempting to disassemble. They need to spend more time with their new gun, unloaded and handle it, take it apart, put it together, practice on your own time. Get good “habits” drilled into your head…

  • Cea December 25, 2015, 9:49 am

    What a bunch of crap!!
    I own several different brands, and types of semi-automatic pistols, and I can operate, shoot, take down and put them all back together without hardly thinking about any piece of the act. All that is required, to operate and care for any firearm, is to have at least SOME interest in the weapon. That’s it! Just some forethought. After 8 hours of training, they should be able to perform almost any operation blind folded!
    Maybe they should be issued a stick. But then again, that may prove to be a bit too complicated, also.
    What a joke! These are adult, professionals. Getting to know, and to know how to operate a handgun, is not rocket science.

    • Bill December 28, 2015, 1:53 pm

      I’ve seen lots of “professionals” who know exactly the minimum amount necessary to collect their paycheck. The ones who, after 8 hours of training, could not safely operate this firearm are not “professionals”, but “paid amateurs”.

      Then, too, government “training” usually consists of some droning voice at the front of the room reading -word for word- the manual issued to everyone at the start of class. The idea, apparently, is to cover over the fact that a lot of people drawing significant paychecks are functionally illiterate.

      The first CCL class I took was like that … and somehow issued a passing grade on the written exam to someone who could not read at any level.

      That is one of the several reasons my wife and I took the class over from a different instructor in another city. If you are looking for a good CCL instructor, look up Manny Matos in Greensboro, NC. He 1) knows the material 2) knows considerably more than the material requires 3) knows how to convey it.

  • du chicot December 25, 2015, 8:50 am

    LEO are civilians. The only folks in the United States of America who are NOT civilians are are United States military personnel serving in one of the five branches of the armed services. We have to stop the use of this misnomer. It sets up an immediate us vs them mentality and the men and women “in blue” who serve and protect are “us”, i.e. civilians!

  • RYPJR December 25, 2015, 8:01 am

    Imagine… L.A. police shooting themselves. Obviously gun violence. The only way to stop this from happening is to disarm the whole PD.

    • CLAUDE INGERSOLL December 25, 2015, 5:55 pm

      Be sure to include all N D statistics into the gun confiscations databank to show how crazy having guns is. OH, but remember that 300 million people DIDN’T shoot themselves or anyone else yesterday…

  • Dan Miller December 25, 2015, 7:20 am

    Well, they had the same issue with the Glocks! Dah!

  • Mark Severino December 25, 2015, 6:00 am

    30yrs a big city cop and can say confidently its not the gun but the goof in control of it 99.99999% of the time! I carried 2 different SW’s 30yrs and never had a problem, misfire, jam, etc….

  • Mark Tercsak December 25, 2015, 5:52 am

    I once owned a Smith&Wesson M&P 45 , There was a lot of things to like about it, and there were some things not to like,
    I spent a number of hours getting familar with the weapon, after checking numerous times t make sure the pitol was unloaded. The one thing I donot like is the field strip procedure, if you go by the book, you have a tool located in the butt of the pistol, that your supposed to remove , I tried by hand and it was all but impossible to do, I had to get a pair of vice grips, about two years into owning it I was able to remove by hand, You then accutate the slide and lock it back, you use he field strip tool to depress a pin located in the ejection port, lets say your a police officer, and you have a terrorist event, and your using this sidearm and all of a sudden something goes wrong and you need to field strip this piece to fix or clear an issue, and you have to fight to get the fxxking tool out of the butt, and lets say the incident is at night and you to try and depress that lever ? good luck to you ! other than that this pistol is a fairly easy pistol to field strip, I found carrying a pen or a pencil with me did the trick and I did not need the stupid tool ! My pistol had a manual safety, It appears the one at the top does not, these newer Self Lading Pistols have no manual safties and I think that is a very Bad I dea, I understand they are trying to make them like revolvers, but there is no comparrision, I donot like the saftey sitting inside the trigger Idea, that can lead to accidents, I do love the Slide serations on the Smith&Wesson , it makes it very easy to opperate and the pistol was Very Accurate and extermely Reliable, However, in 45 Acp, When I first shot it at least for me, It was like some one took a Rail Road spike and drove it right through the palm of my hand, My 480 ruger is very pleasant to shoot compared to the S&W 45 M&P, I did change the grip pannels and it imporoved only slightly for me, after two years I sold it. I think this department should have stuck with the 92 FS.

    • Kent Nordland December 26, 2015, 1:40 am

      The easiest gun to field strip is my Beretta PX4 .40, type F, ( safety/decocker) which I modified to a type G,( decocker only).
      It’s the softest shooting of my eight .40’s. The next would be the XD40.

    • Jeremiah December 26, 2015, 5:49 pm

      Oh, for gawd’s sake! Use a pen knife, a screw driver a pencil, a paperclip or any other “thingy” to operate the little “tang” that releases the slide – – – it’s really not rocket science and, Honest to God …. you really don’t need a pair of vice grips to remove the grip-holder tool i n the handle if you know how to do it.

      With a pen knife and a tiny bit of practice, one should be able to field strip any M&P in less than five seconds.

      I fell compelled to add, I have run tens of thousands of rounds through three different M&Ps without the need to field strip any of them (save for cleaning them before putting them in my gun safe) and I have never had the need to filed strip one in the act of shooting.

  • ED TOOMEY December 25, 2015, 4:40 am

    WHAT WAS WROUNG WITH THE GOOD OLD 6 SHOOTER I know the cute little glocks hold more ammo but they are not a good gun for every one. I HAD A 357 in VIETNAM and only shoot the bad guys and I was only 20 years old.

    • bushrat December 25, 2015, 12:04 pm

      Ed Toomey: If you read the article again, you will notice it’s talking about the S&W M&P 9. Not Glocks. That said, I wonder if maybe you’re right about revolvers. I find they are easier to learn, and simpler to use. In departments across the country ND’s are a serious problem. But regardless of design, you will respond as you were trained. If training is poor, then it will show up in everyday carry.

    • Kent Nordland December 26, 2015, 1:28 am

      I shot wheel guns ’til the early ’80s when I got interested in practical pistol shooting. At that time I shot 1911’s in .45 ACP or .38 Super. I now am concentrating on .40 S&W’s . People say that it’s a “Snappy Round”, though my Beretta PX-4 .40 and my H&K USP 40 have tamed the “snapiness” of the .40 round.
      Revolvers are cumbersome to reload, unless you’re Jerry Miculec!
      How many reloaders did you carrry? The 1911-A1 is easier to reload and has more fire power, ( number of rounds), and in the hands of a properly trained shooter, is a superbly accurate weapon.
      I have two .45 ACP’ and eight .40S&W’s. I like the .40.

  • Kalashnikov Dude December 20, 2015, 12:52 pm

    Unintended discharges do happen. But if there’s a rash of them that can be traced to the mechanism of the gun itself and how an officer interacts with it, then some thought as to whether that particular gun is a good fit within a department seems warranted. Six thousand one hundred guns into the transition isn’t the time to address it. And bad habits are bad habits. In a place like Los Angeles California, where a generations old attempt to disarm the general population, the problem is obvious. Nobody wants to say it though. So I will. This phenomenon is case in point of the very reason behind our 2nd Amendment. “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” The states knew that a population already familiar with arms and their operation would greatly benefit the cause of any call to arms. And now we have at least a generation that doesn’t know any better than to engage the trigger as they draw a handgun and sometimes before the gun clears the holster. A case of bad hand eye coordination and lack of training? Or a fundamental breakdown as a result of ignorant, arrogant, dismissal of the tried and true wisdom of our nations founding principals? People, we need to get serious about taking this nation back from those ignorant, arrogant malcontents who have stolen it away. I cannot stress enough the dangers we are facing from wide and varied sources every moment we allow this abomination to continue. But it will go much further than a police force unable to exhibit basic safe gun handling practices because they have different gun. And that by itself is an extreme embarrassment, as well as a “public safety issue”. Take it back already people………

    • akjc77 December 25, 2015, 3:20 am

      Couldnt said it better or added a single point Kalashkinov Dude!!! Exactly what I was thinking before I ever read the article! Wont take many pandering cities like Los Angeles to finish us off!

      • Chief December 25, 2015, 12:58 pm

        And when we have a herd of rinos rubber stamping anything obama wants it certainly is hurting our Country in a major way .

    • Robert December 25, 2015, 12:42 pm

      Back in 1995 I went to work for an old high school buddy who owned a large security company in the north LA area. San Fernando Valley to be exact. His armed officers all carried 6 shot revolvers as did the sheriff’s department then. Jerry was a trained weapons handler and a trainer for police departments. Every Year his officers would compete with the LAPD and the LA Sheriffs Dept in a shoot-off. And every time his well trained officers would beat them. So after letting a security company whip them several years in a row the departments declined competing anymore. True story. The company is Golden West K-9. No need to wonder anymore is there?

    • Bryan December 26, 2015, 9:53 am

      As much as i hated admitting it to myself a few years ago, there’s really nothing an armed public can do anymore. 100 years ago, maybe, but not now. I don’t think people realize the amount of power our government has now. They fully control all computer networks in our country, and by extension, all infrastructure as well. The NSA has backdoors in literally everything and can use it to their greatest advantage any time they choose. How long do you think any sort of armed resistance would hold out against the most powerful and advanced government entity the world has ever seen when it starts cutting off power and water, puts a stop to internet communication in relevant areas, jammers kill your down-home CB communications, drones are flying overhead performing recon with thermal and infrared imaging when you’re building your fire trying to keep warm. Make no mistake my friend, the time of being able to “take it back” is long passed, and from what i see, most of today’s generation doesn’t mind at all.

      • Kalashnikov Dude December 26, 2015, 11:34 am

        Bryan, what you say makes sense on paper. It sounds like we no longer have any say in the destiny of our nation. But you fail to see the sheer number of holes in your theory. A government can control all of the computers and infrastructure. But they cannot control the will of the people. With all the power governments have, they are made up of people. America is no different. Bureaucracies, police, military, even elected officials are “the people”. In the real world you might be hard pressed to find a soldier who will follow an order to make war on his old neighborhood. I am certain you would not find a force of police officers willing to go door to door and round up 350,000,000 firearms from people absolutely unwilling to give them up. Let alone one that could actually achieve it. We see how these registries have gone after the Connecticut shootings. The people just said no. In places like Afghanistan, Vietnam, we have seen a bunch cave dwellers give Russia and then America, Britain before them, giving us all fits. Using mostly our own arms against us. I recall reading somewhere one of the most feared weapons by the Russian forces in Afghanistan was the British .303 rifle round. That one can hit a soldier before anybody could see where it came from or even hear it before it hits. Military history is on the side of defenders with a life and death cause. It always has been, regardless of technology, weapons and sheer numbers. Here, on this continent, the American people have so much more going for them. Governments here would do well not to count us out. And the fact of the matter is, they haven’t. That’s why there’s still such a mad dash to disarm us all. They know this.

      • Al Joy December 27, 2015, 6:33 pm

        Your argument is so persuasive you should explain it to the Taliban and ISIS.
        After “losing” to the high tech government for a dozen years they are stronger than ever.
        The Viet Cong never did catch on we had them beat hands down.
        In an all out war with the Government, the insurgents have one great advantage, they won’t have congress, the senate and a president that’s afraid of offending China, Russia or France to hold them down.

  • Dustin Sanchez December 18, 2015, 8:50 pm

    I like how they point out that it was mainly due to training. I’m sure they will get this under control. I mean really…how many of us have carried S&W for years without any problems? Surely LA Sherriffs will figure it out.

    • Robert C December 20, 2015, 9:51 am

      Figure it out? Nice thought. Like maybe when that accidental discharge kills someone. ILL TRAINED. As in many other fields of their job. ANYONE putting their finger on the trigger creating a discharge (when not meant to) , is an idiot and should not handle a weapon period. Cops not knowing how to handle a gun, what a lovely scenario for the citizens there. SMH

      • Mal Cap December 25, 2015, 3:28 pm

        One day people will stop using the term accidental discharge and call it what is it an unintentional or negligent discharge. Accidental means no one was at fault. Soon they’ll be calling the defensive firearms “weapons” and the discharged rounds “shell casings” a redundant malapropism. Let’s stop listening to the media’s mis-directed terminology and Hollywood script calls.

        • tweedmus August 19, 2017, 9:10 pm

          This is a huge problem that no one has been addressing -SEMANTICS.
          We have been letting the opposition define the terms of the debate for far to long. Just a few of the misused terms:
          “Gun Violence” – inanimate objects cannot be violent; they have no volition.
          “Gunman” – always get an image of a 1911 walking around on 2 legs.
          “Assault weapons” – one of the few misnomers that gun rights people have been complaining about. “Scary military-looking rifles” would be a lot more accurate.to show what the real issue is with gun control advocates; it’s all about appearance and emotions, not function. Logic doesn’t enter into it.
          The problem is that if we allow the opposition define the terms, there is no way we can win the argument by peaceful means.

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