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Old 10-16-2013, 08:37   #1
PVQ
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My Thoughts on Glock vs M&P after M&P Armorer's Course

I wrote this email to some friends that wanted my opinion on the Glock vs M&P. I thought I would post it for your thoughts as well.


This is nothing more than my opinion so take it for what it it worth. So you know where I am coming from, my focus with regard to all my guns is long term durability and ultra reliability. I want guns I can count in in a zombie apocalypse. I don't particularly care if they are pretty. I attended an M&P armorer's course primarily because I wanted to learn how to detail strip and repair (should the need arise) my newly acquired S&W Shield 9mm. I have been VERY taken with the Shield, and that hasn't changed. I don't think there is a better single stack 9mm on the market as of this writing, though there are STRONG rumors that a Glock will introduce a single stack 9mm at next years shot show. Many of us have been wishing for that for years, if not decades, but I hear that Glock has moved production to the US, which makes the appearance of a slim 9mm more likely since import restrictions would no longer be a barrier. A Glock equivalent of the Shield would most assuredly be a "must have" for me. So here are my thoughts:

The M&P is basically a Glock, with the internal parts moved around. One of the consequences of moving the parts around is that it is somewhat more difficult to detail strip, but it has some positive aspects as well.

One area where I think the M&P is clearly superior to the Glock design is in the frame. The M&P frame is constructed of a similar polymer, but has stainless steel inserts to stiffen/strengthen the frame in critical areas. I own a 24 year old (low round count) Glock 19 that suffered a cracked frame for reasons unknown. I have wondered ever since whether or not that was just a bad batch of polymer, or the frame was subject to some unknown trauma(I had bought the gun used), or if polymer just becomes brittle with age, and therefore has a service life? I have no answers to those questions, but the added steel in the M&P frame is comforting to me.

The M&P also has a grip angle and (low) bore axis which I find to be outstanding. I also like the Glock grip angle and bore axis, and frankly I see little difference between them, but it seems a great many people despise the Glock grip angle. To me, its a wash between the two pistols. The (full size and compact) M&P comes with three interchangeable back straps. I know the Glock Gen 4 has interchangeable back-straps as well, though I have never handled one. I never had any serious issues with the Gen three frames, and in the M&P I am satisfied with the "medium" back-strap, so I suppose I am as average as average can be and either/or will do just fine. If the back strap is important to you then you will have to judge for yourself.

Another area where the M&P excels is the trigger. This appears to be a positive consequence of moving the parts around as I mentioned earlier. It seems to me that, the interplay between the connector and trigger bar on the Glock is inherently less smooth than the M&P system. Again, I am not an expert...just my opinion. The M&P trigger by contrast is outstanding, very smooth with a strong reset. On the flip side, and again, just my opinion, I think the Glock trigger system is more robust, especially with the NY1 trigger which I prefer. The NY1 trigger is virtually unbreakable and offers the most positive reset available which is something that is most valuable to me.

The M&P is available with or without a magazine disconnect, external safety, and key lock. I wouldn't want any of those features, but they are an option for those that are so disposed so I thought I would throw it out there.

In terms of the ease with which each respective pistol can be be detail stripped and repaired, Glock wins hands down. An orangutan can detail strip a Glock pistol. It's that easy. The M&P is an order of magnitude more difficult. That is not to say that it is difficult per se, just more so than a Glock.

All thinks considered, If I were looking for a full size or compact double stack pistol, I would stick with the Glock. All of the aforementioned in addition to parts availability makes it a winner. I never much cared for the stubby feel of the baby Glock which is why, for concealed carry, the slim 9mm Shield can't be beat. If Glock introduces a single stack 9mm...that may be a game changer (in my opinion.)
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Old 10-16-2013, 09:42   #2
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This is a serious question. When did the M&P's get trigger a reset? I've only handled one M&P that I can say had a decent trigger rest after Apex parts replaced the stock parts. At one fourth the cost, most Gluck trigger jobs felt just as smooth and hadve a very positive and very short reset. The trigger has steered me away from the M&P's. Everything else about them I like. But as by growing Block family increases, the trigger feels the same and is miles ahead of the M&P straight out of the box.
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Old 10-16-2013, 09:45   #3
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The Shield has an excellent reset. The weapons we worked on in class were not as stout in terms of reset but still decent. I remember reading that the improved Shield reset was supposed to work its way into the rest of the M&P line, but I don't know how long that will take.
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Old 10-16-2013, 10:28   #4
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I've taken both armorers courses also.I think Glock is way easier to detail strip than the m&p you only need one tool whereas you need a hammer and roll pins for the smith.I own a shield and an m&p 45 the shield has a way better trigger than the 45.If Glock comes out with a single stack 9 it will be bye bye shield.I own 2 19's and a 26.I prefer carrying the 19 over the 26.I know a couple of guys who have been carrying their gen2 19's as a duty gun for 20yrs now none of them have had a problem with the frames.
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Old 10-16-2013, 10:39   #5
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Originally Posted by PVQ View Post
One area where I think the M&P is clearly superior to the Glock design is in the frame. The M&P frame is constructed of a similar polymer, but has stainless steel inserts to stiffen/strengthen the frame in critical areas. I own a 24 year old (low round count) Glock 19 that suffered a cracked frame for reasons unknown. I have wondered ever since whether or not that was just a bad batch of polymer, or the frame was subject to some unknown trauma(I had bought the gun used), or if polymer just becomes brittle with age, and therefore has a service life? I have no answers to those questions, but the added steel in the M&P frame is comforting to me.
Replace $5 RSA at indicated interval, no cracks. Either platform.
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Old 10-16-2013, 11:59   #6
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I have had the Shield 9mm it was a fine weapon never any problems at the time I owned one. The Shield was a very comfortable gun but at the time I thought it to big for the pocket carry I wanted so I sold it and bought the BG380. Now I was looking for a 9mm pocket gun, was looking to purchase another Shield and give it a second try but after looking at all my option I went with the G26 it was just a little shorter than the shield but had just a little longer barrel which did not bother me. I really like the G26 I really like the fact that it has 10 round magazine and that I can buy a g19 magazine and an x-grip and it is just like the shield magazine extension but with 15 rounds. Perfect gun. The only thing that I worry about the G26 is that the G26 has no external safeties and a 5.5 pound trigger pull. If I carry it without a holster in the pocket I am afraid that the trigger might get snagged. I ended up purchasing the Siderlock trigger for it. The gun is just a little to big in the pocket with a pocket holster but carries really good with out the holster. I should receive trigger next week.
Just my 2 cents
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Old 10-16-2013, 12:15   #7
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Congrats on being able to take a M&P armorer class.

I remember waiting on looking at a M&P until I'd had a chance to take my first M&P armorer class back in '07. I was curious about it, having already been through Glock and SW99/P99 armorer classes. I bought one soon after the class.

Now I have M&P armorer manuals of 3 different printings and some experience with them. I've also been through 3 (each) armorer classes for the Glock & SW99/P99 series, so I have something against which to make some basic comparisons.

I'm in agreement that the M&P pistol line is very good. (As are the Glock and Walther 99 series, of course. )

As an owner of a couple of M&P's I like their grip, overall ergonomics, accuracy & ammunition tolerance. I've run several types of hollowpoints through my own FS45 & 40c and have yet to find one made by a major ammo company that didn't reliably feed & fire in my guns.

As an armorer I like some of the interesting M&P features, such as the stainless steel sub-chassis; the beefed up slide spring box (what Glock calls a guide ring); the robust MIM extractor; the frame rails incorporated into the steel sear housing & locking blocks; the frame's "beaver-tail"; the revolver-like trigger shape; the second spring in the striker assembly (striker return spring, like is used in the 99 series); the stainless steel guide; and, of course, the replaceable grip inserts that allow adjustment of both the backstrap and the palm swell dimensions ... just to name some off the top of my head.

The blackened stainless steel sub-chassis straps molded into each side of the frame not only reinforce the frame, but they anchor the steel sear housing & locking blocks via the use of steel coil pins, lending strength to the frame and seemingly helping mitigate stress from recoil forces.

The frame rails tabs are referred to as "rocker rails", and are designed to remain self-centering as normal wear occurs, which we were told will help retain inherent accuracy. Having the rails incorporated into the steel modules of the sear housing block & locking block allow for the quick replacement of a broken rail (if it were to occur) at the armorer level, without having to trash the frame and get a new one just because of a damaged frame rail tab.

The beefed up spring box (dustcover, guide ring, etc) is handy if you imagine a bunch of cops standing around a cleaning station, and a slide being dropped onto a hard surface, muzzle end first. Ditto the dimensions of the rear of the slide rails, BTW, which are pretty robust on the M&P slides.

The rear serrations are odd looking, but make for a good grasping surface, even under very wet conditions. (I remember one time when using my 40c on our outdoor range when it was raining so hard I was pouring water out of the magazines after loading them, and the ammo in my shooting jacket's outside pocket was submerged in the pocket as it filled with driving rain.)

The MIM extractor has a tall and robust hook, for a solid grasp on cases, and the engineers managed to come up with a design that allows a single extractor design to be used across the entire pistol model/caliber line. Nice trick.

The front of the extractor hook is heavily beveled and beefed up, too. We were told this is to help resist damage should the slide (and extractor) have to be run forward to try and grab a stuck case rim (although S&W still teaches to load the chamber from the magazine, NOT by dropping a round into the chamber and letting the slide & extractor run forward as a normal practice).

Sure, S&W engineers have been making some revisions and refinements to some of their parts & assemblies, which naturally involves the vendors making many of those parts & assemblies. There's been an occasional issue with some parts, too, like the plastic trigger molding issue reportedly involved in the Shield trigger recently, an occasional "walking" coil pin, mag follower & spring revisions, an extractor over-molding issue, etc.

Not uncommon for such things to happen with other gun companies, though. (I remember learning of a trigger bar machining issue with another major company's .40, where the first couple hundred of new duty guns received would decock instead of fire when the trigger was pulled, and it took several weeks for the company to get some new TB's to correct the problem.)

I'm not all that interested in the "audible/tactile sear & trigger reset", myself. I think it's an overblown issue. As a firearms instructor for a number of different pistols (and shotguns, rifles/carbines and DA/DAO revolvers) I tend to use the "reset" as a familiarization tool for someone to become familiar with function & operation, but I train & teach to actually shoot to trigger recovery.

This allows a couple of advantages. One is being able to shoot different handgun designs without ending up "short-stroking" the trigger. Another, and arguably more important consideration, is that it may also help reduce the potential for an unintended discharge under the stress & duress of a dynamic shooting situation by losing control of the trigger.

I've seen far too many instances on qual & training ranges of folks ending up "doubling" due to trying to keep their finger staged on the trigger during recoil, and then "rocking" the trigger under recoil, firing another shot without expecting it. Other influences that may result in an unintended trigger press (of a "staged trigger" held at the "reset point") can include a muscular tremor (or yip), a startle response, loss of balance (clenching hand/fingers) or hand (finger) confusion under stress.

Imagine trying to explain to some jury panel how a shooter was trained to keep their finger on the trigger after an initial intentional shot, but before a subsequent intended shot, trying to hold the trigger at the "reset point", and how an unintended shot which injured or killed someone didn't violate one of the basic rules of safe firearm handling.

Anyway ... I've handled and used some Shields and some of the latest production M&P's with the new parts. Some have more noticeable "reset points", and some don't. My own 40c (2010 production) has a distinctly more noticeable reset point ... if I stop and slowly look for it in dry-fire ... than a brand new production 9c that one of the guys just bought. Well, parts is parts, and the M&P has a tolerance in the trigger press of +/- 2 lbs.

The owner of that particular 9c forgot all about trying to look or feel for some "reset point" when I pushed him through some fast-paced demanding drills. This was after he'd experienced short-stroking a trigger being put through a course-of-fire by another instructor, not letting his trigger recover sufficiently for the gun to fire when he wanted it to fire.

After some additional instruction, demonstration and range time, he was shooting his new 9c faster and more accurately, letting the trigger recover, instead of trying to separate out some tactile or audible "reset" point under the stress of all the different shooting drills. (His well used G26 now apparently sits in his safe.)

As an armorer, I'd probably consider the Glock to be the easiest plastic pistol to service/repair, followed by the M&P, followed by the 99 series. There are a couple things that can be done incorrectly on the 99 series which can damage the frame, and the sear housing blocks are complex little assemblies of springs, levers and a couple of pins. Also, the previous trigger bar guide (steel post) located in the sear housing has been revised to be a lever in newer guns, which can be adjusted in a couple of the model configurations, instead of having to use different length posts if adjustment was required in earlier designs.

I've never been interested in attending the HK USP armorer class, but I've known some USP armorers. They seem to consider it a bit more complicated than any of the other plastic guns mentioned.


Oh yeah, the newest 9/.40/.4357 M&P's ought to be receiving the "new parts", according to what we were told in my last M&P armorer recert, but the parts for the .45 models is still apparently not going to be done with R&D and ready for production until probably the end of this year. Give or take. Guess we'll see.
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Old 10-16-2013, 12:23   #8
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Now if S&W could resolve the accuracy issues with the 9mm M&P which is well known.
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Old 10-16-2013, 13:01   #9
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Now if S&W could resolve the accuracy issues with the 9mm M&P which is well known.
Yeah, I asked about this at the last recert.

All the guy could tell us was that while the engineers had made some good progress, they were still working on it to tweak it even more.

If the last few examples of the FS9, 9c & Shield 9's are any indication, it appears they're making some pretty good progress in this regard.
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Old 10-16-2013, 13:02   #10
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I'm not all that interested in the "audible/tactile sear & trigger reset"
I am not so much concerned with the audible or tactile feel of the reset, as much as making sure that the gun DOES reset. I had PPS that failed to reset several times. I eventually narrowed it down to a lubrication issue but it did not inspire confidence.
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Old 10-16-2013, 13:03   #11
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Replace $5 RSA at indicated interval, no cracks. Either platform.
For the record, the gun had under 2000 rounds through it, and the RSA less than that
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Old 10-16-2013, 13:08   #12
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I am not so much concerned with the audible or tactile feel of the reset, as much as making sure that the gun DOES reset. I had PPS that failed to reset several times. I eventually narrowed it down to a lubrication issue but it did not inspire confidence.
If you had the chance to look at the armorer manual for the PPS, you'd probably be hesitant to fully strip one down. A surprising number of parts, springs, etc.

It's also prudent to make sure the grip insert is intact, in good condition and properly installed.
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Old 10-16-2013, 13:13   #13
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Now if S&W could resolve the accuracy issues with the 9mm M&P which is well known.
I had accuracy issues with a shield 9mm. And .40. Sold both of them because of the accuracy issues.
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Old 10-16-2013, 13:23   #14
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I had accuracy issues with a shield 9mm. And .40. Sold both of them because of the accuracy issues.
Anything that could be traced to the ammo used or the shooter?

I only ask because the Shield 9's of even the earliest production, and a Shield 40 of new production I recently tried, all seemed to exhibit surprising inherent & practical accuracy.

The first Shield 9 I tried actually acquitted itself, in my hands, as well as my 3913, and the trigger allowed for faster paced accurate hits than I commonly can achieve with either of my G26's (one of which has seen more than 15K rounds over the years).

I was only able to try the Shield 40 with one brand of 180gr duty ammo, but I was pleased (and not a little startled) by how easily its practical accuracy matched (and even slightly exceeded ) that of my well-used 40c. I plan to put in some more range time with it (T&E gun) to see whether that was just a particularly "good day" for me.

Of course, being a long time revolver shooter (and 99-series shooter), I tend to find the revolver-like curve of the hinged triggers very convenient and comfortable, requiring little in the way of adjustment. It was the weirdly downward sloping trigger of the Glock that took a lot of adjustment on my part. (And I'm still someone who appreciates the straight-back movement of the 1911 trigger bow. )

Some handguns do seem to require more adjustment on the part of the user/shooter.
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Old 10-16-2013, 13:29   #15
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Anything that could be traced to the ammo used or the shooter?

I only ask because the Shield 9's of even the earliest production, and a Shield 40 of new production I recently tried, all seemed to exhibit surprising inherent & practical accuracy.

The first Shield 9 I tried actually acquitted itself, in my hands, as well as my 3913, and the trigger allowed for faster paced accurate hits than I commonly can achieve with either of my G26's (one of which has seen more than 15K rounds over the years).

I was only able to try the Shield 40 with one brand of 180gr duty ammo, but I was pleased (and not a little startled) by how easily its practical accuracy matched (and even slightly exceeded ) that of my well-used 40c. I plan to put in some more range time with it (T&E gun) to see whether that was just a particularly "good day" for me.

Of course, being a long time revolver shooter (and 99-series shooter), I tend to find the revolver-like curve of the hinged triggers very convenient and comfortable, requiring little in the way of adjustment. It was the weirdly downward sloping trigger of the Glock that took a lot of adjustment on my part. (And I'm still someone who appreciates the straight-back movement of the 1911 trigger bow. )

Some handguns do seem to require more adjustment on the part of the user/shooter.
To be honest it all could be traced back to be being use to Glocks. My wife and I have always shot Glocks. When we got our shields we couldn't hardly hit the target with them. But when we shot our Glocks we shot like pros.
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Old 10-16-2013, 13:36   #16
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If you had the chance to look at the armorer manual for the PPS, you'd probably be hesitant to fully strip one down. A surprising number of parts, springs, etc.

It's also prudent to make sure the grip insert is intact, in good condition and properly installed.
This is one of the reasons I eventually sold the PPS. I like to be able to tear down, inspect and repair my guns
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Old 10-16-2013, 13:37   #17
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To be honest it all could be traced back to be being use to Glocks. My wife and I have always shot Glocks. When we got our shields we couldn't hardly hit the target with them. But when we shot our Glocks we shot like pros.
Understandable. Not uncommon, either.

Among instructors it's not uncommon to hear that the easiest people to acclimate to various handguns are revolver shooters. Folks who had to develop their foundation skillset learning to use DA revolvers can be taught to shoot just about anything. (Talk about weird & thick plowshare-shaped grip stocks, long & heavy DA trigger pulls, heavy guns, etc.)

1911 shooters can sometimes express disdain for anything else, but their somewhat unique trigger design and press/movement doesn't seem to prevent 1911 users from acclimating to other designs.

I tend to like the revolver-recurve of the trigger, myself (even being a longtime 1911 shooter ), and had to do the most work to acclimate myself to the weird slope and press of the Glock Safe-Action design.

It eventually just became an another example of learning & ingraining the trigger so "tactile pattern recognition" effect occurred when I was holding & shooting any of my Glocks.

It's your money and your guns, though, so you're obviously entitled to pick whatever suits your needs best, right? Enjoy.
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Old 10-16-2013, 15:43   #18
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I don't have a Shield but I do have the CORE 9mm. It supposedly has better trigger pull than the standard M&P line. I ain't impressed with the trigger pull and definitely disappointed in the vague reset. This is where the Glock still shines over the M&P family.

I do like the strengthened frame of the M&P though. As far as accuracy goes, I can't say anything about the regular M&P but the CORE is pretty damn accurate.

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Old 10-16-2013, 16:06   #19
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The only thing that I worry about the G26 is that the G26 has no external safeties and a 5.5 pound trigger pull. If I carry it without a holster in the pocket I am afraid that the trigger might get snagged. I ended up purchasing the Siderlock trigger for it. The gun is just a little to big in the pocket with a pocket holster but carries really good with out the holster. I should receive trigger next week.
Just my 2 cents
You should never carry a Glock without the trigger covered.
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Old 10-16-2013, 16:20   #20
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You should never carry a Glock without the trigger covered.
+1
Never Ever.
I can't stress that enough.

The four basic rules of gun safety always apply;
1) All guns are always loaded.
2) Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy.
3) Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on the target.
4) Be sure of your target and what is beyond it.
—Jeff Cooper[1]

But there's a fifth rule for Glock owners.
5) Never carry your Glock without a holster that covers the trigger.

Last edited by barth; 10-16-2013 at 16:21..
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