…it’s a good idea to make sure it’s staying within factory safety specs.

For instance, I’ve lost count over the years of how many criminal cases and lawsuits were hung on the hook of the defendant “negligently modifying the firearm in question.”  Most common among these is the “hair trigger” allegation.  You wouldn’t think a lawyer “out to get you” would allege that you did it by accident, but it happens.  In criminal cases, prosecutors know it’s easier to convince the jury that someone made a reckless mistake (a key ingredient for Manslaughter) than that they were filled with malice (the key ingredient for a Murder conviction).  In civil lawsuits, there’s a different motive: a homeowner’s insurance policy most likely won’t pay for a “willful tort” – your deliberate, intentional act which harmed another – but WILL have to pay off for negligence, which is exactly what liability policies are for.

Here’s an article I did on modification of GLOCK pistols for GLOCK ANNUAL. It appears in the current issue.  Note that the popular expedient of installing a 3.5/4.5 pound trigger in your GLOCK pistol is forbidden by the manufacturer. The article, and indeed the whole magazine, can be found here, thanks to the generosity of GLOCK, publisher Bang Media, and editor Shirley Steffen: 


  1. Question is.. how many court cases where the firearm had a ‘hair trigger’ and this allegation didn’t come up?

    Quite a few 1911s by most makers have 4.5 lb triggers. So do S&W revolvers. So do Ruger revolvers. FBI 1911s have light triggers to.

    • The key here is manufacturer specifications. If Glock “forbids” a lighter trigger, the opposing attorney/prosecutor’s argument will be that you thought you knew better than R&D budget of Glock, and recklessly modified the the pistol to the point where it was unsafe.

      Is it a load of hooey? Maybe. But too many people have had gone to jail or been bankrupted by legal hooey to take the chance.

      With a pistol that has a lighter trigger off the production line, this argument is not present. An opposing lawyer could still argue about a lighter trigger, but most lawyers who’d take that angle aren’t “gun guys,” so it’s less likely to be brought be up since the trigger isn’t outside of manufacturer specs.

    • You never know what you will get from a factory gun. I’ve had firearms will terrible triggers right out-of-the-box. Most, however, are quite serviceable.

      On the other hand, I have a Charter Arms Undercoverette stub-nose revolver in .32 H&R Magnum. I have not modified or tuned this revolver in any way. All I have done is put some green sight paint on the front sight to give some contrast with the matte stainless finish of the fixed rear sight.

      Yet, as this revolver came from the factory, it has a single action trigger pull of 2.25 lbs., a slick double action trigger pull of 10 lbs. and a cylinder gap that measures about 0.004 inches. There are a lot of tuned, custom revolvers that will not match those specifications.

      That is the luck of the draw. Tell me, if I carry this revolver could I be accused of the grave sin of having a “hair trigger” firearm?

      Even if it is so, I am not sending this revolver back to the manufacturer to be “fixed”! 🙂

  2. One thing that seems to be going on, that gun writers don’t seem to be covering, is the demise of the concept of the “double-action” trigger.

    Before WW2 most handguns were fired single-action. Most revolvers and a very few pistols provided a double-action capability only for “emergencies.” After WW2 it increasingly became the norm for double-action to be the standard way of firing a revolver. This led to S&W overtaking Colt in popularity, and a trend began to eliminate the single-action capability completely. That was when the police transition to auto-pistols began.

    Few departments were willing to have officers carry “cocked-and-locked” and refused to issue pistols unless they were double-action — at least for the first shot, but many demanded it for every shot. To some degree, this was because so many officers had been trained on double-action revolvers; for others it was the fear of firing unintentionally.

    The trouble is that the geometry of double-action triggers on pistols was inconvenient; double-action triggers on pistols tended to be horrible.

    Then someone realized that recoil-cocking of the trigger didn’t have to be all-or-nothing. You could design a pistol in which the recoil of the slide left the pistol half-cocked, so the trigger would have only half as much work to do as a full double-action trigger. Gears and levers could spread that shorter distance over the full motion of the trigger to design whatever pull weight was desired.

    But I think that nowadays the concept of even partial trigger-cocking has fallen by the wayside. In order to get quick trigger resets, striker-fired pistols are being designed as essentially single-action — the trigger merely releases to striker or hammer. But instead of incorporating a manual safety, they design it to be a relatively heavy single-action trigger with long take-up — and rely on good holsters and trigger discipline.

    Essentially, the world is moving towards carrying pistols cocked-and-UNlocked.

    I’m just surprised that so little is being mentioned in the gun press about this trend.

    • Right on. To the point.

      I carry a S&W 442 with 20lbs double action trigger in the pocket, a Sig Sauer P238, which is basically a baby 1911, cocked and locked, and a Sig Sauer P365, which is a striker fired pistol.
      I shoot a S&W 625-8JM revolver in competition, and a Sig Sauer P320 X5 Legion in Carry Optics. For home defense and the zombie apocalypse I have a Heckler & Koch USP 45, which is DA/SA plus decocker. I love all my children, none of them are perfect, but they have all their good and not-so-good sides.

    • Carrying cocked and unlocked/single action triggers is not true with Glocks. The Glock trigger, called safe action, works similar to a conventional double action only trigger. The firing pin (striker) is NOT cocked (single action) until the trigger is pulled far enough to overcome the trigger and firing pin safeties, then finally as the rear trigger bar moves down and separates from the firing pin lug, the firing pin is realeased. (See Glock Armorer manual, page 18

    • fsilber,

      After reading your comment, I don’t think anyone else has much more to say about the move away from double-action triggers and carrying, “cocked and UNlocked.” You covered the subject VERY well.

  3. Sage advice from an old guy I attended class with in Harrisburg, PA, in MAG classes. The old guy emphasized how keeping your gun stock, outta the box if it is for defensive purposes. Competition guns ONLY used for competitions, modify till your hearts content.

    Personally my carry guns are also my competition guns, so none have been modified, with the exception of adding ambidextrous safety’s to the 1911’s.

    Thank you old guy!

    • I’ve heard that advice, too. You want to avoid the accusation of having modified your firearm to make it “more deadly/dangerous” … which seems to mean whatever the prosecutor or plaintiff wants it to mean at that moment.

      Carrying and using a gun tuned to factory specs and/or manufacturer’s recommendations, squashes that line of argument.

      I’ve heard it extended to ammunition choice, as well. “Try to find out what your local police department loads their sidearms with, and carry that.” Then they cannot accuse you of carrying double-plus-extra-deadly-murder-bullets without also accusing the police of carrying them. This argument could go both ways, though, because they could also claim you’re some kind of cop wannabe if you’re carrying “cop bullets”, and we’re back to that “whatever the prosecutor or plaintiff wants it to mean at that moment” from earlier.

      The long and short is, an unscrupulous prosecutor or plaintiff will use whatever he/she can to paint your actions and decisions in the worst possible light. It’s up to you to make that as difficult as possible, and if you can start by making reasonable and justifiable choices now — before you ever find yourself in a life/death encounter — so much the better for you.

  4. The whole point of “better” triggers (crisper, lighter, whatever…) is to enhance accuracy. What lawyer or jury member is for less accurate firearms when everybody knows you are responsible for every projectile you “send”? Hair trigger is a lost art term. You must make the argument that it was provably “unsafe”.

    • Most jurors are going to be at least gun illiterate if not outright gun ignorant. Your argument wouldn’t hold water with them, the conversation to explain it to them would put them to sleep or just make them P.O’d.

  5. This is old news but always worth a revisit periodically especially for the new shooters that can go an entire certification course without being told this. Thanks Mas.

  6. I’d be interested in your opinion on factory-modified guns, such as CZ Custom, which is CZ’s official custom shop. I purchased an almost new, CZ Custom Pro-tek I at the Cabela’s used counter. Cabela’s had it marked incorrectly as a CZ P-01 Compact and I picked it up for $450. I carry it in the winter in the decocked position with a DA trigger pull of approximately 6lbs and the subsequent SA trigger pull of 3.5 lbs. In the summer I carry an unmodified Springfield Hellcat in my pocket. I feel adequately and safely armed with both pistols.

  7. @Deaf: Critical issue is the manufacturer’s spec. I’ve never seen one for the 1911, although it may exist somewhere.

    • I also have never seen a spec for the 1911 trigger. I assume that they exist somewhere since 1,898,742 M1911A1 pistols were produced during WW II alone. Uncle Sam would not have purchased anything in that quantity without having specifications put on it! 🙂

      My own impression is that a typical, modern 1911 pistol will have a pull weight between 4 and 6.5 lbs. My own 1911 clone has a trigger that breaks between 4.25 and 4.5 lbs. (depending upon how I apply the trigger pull gauge). It feels lighter however because I have shot this pistol a fair amount and the trigger has “smoothed up”. No real creep or grit in it.

      I have not modified this trigger. I have “tuned” the triggers on a few of my bolt-action rifles but have left the triggers on my pistols and revolvers alone with one exception. I bought a S&W Sigma in 9mm some years ago. It had the worst trigger I ever felt on a pistol. I don’t even know what it originally measured since it exceeded my trigger pull gauge. It must have been 15 or 16 lbs. Plus it had creep, grit and stacked badly too! I simply had to do something about it!

      I took it apart, polished it some and installed an aftermarket spring kit. When I was done, most of the grit and stacking was gone and the weight was down to about 10 lbs. Still not a great trigger but you can at least shoot it.

      Even now, no one can say that it is a “hair trigger” with a straight face. The phrase “S&W Sigma with a hair trigger” is an oxymoron!

  8. Excellent column and article, and a good reminder that modifications to carry and defense guns should be very few indeed and well thought out.

    Back when I was president of the Glock Collectors Association, my friends Tim Mullin, Leroy Thompson and I ran an extensive test on shooting performance with various weights of Glock trigger springs when combined with the various trigger bars.

    Bottom line: shooters at ALL skill levels did best with the roughly 8 pound trigger weight, and the worst was a virtual dead heat between NY-Plus at 11 pounds and the match weight of 3.5 pounds.

    That was an eye opener as conventional wisdom AT THE TIME was that everyone, including police, would do better and benefit from the 3.5 pound weight on a duty or carry piece.

    As a result of our test, none of those participating were ever tempted to put the match weight of 3.5 pounds on a carry pistol.

    Shawn McCarver
    Farmington, MO

  9. in MA, all triggers must be 10 lbs or higher, even if the manufacturer does not normally use that.

    So essentially, you have to pay an additional “tax” of having your firearm modified so it’s actually usable (my wife could not use her pistol until we got the trigger pull lowered).

    Any thoughts on that?

    • Steven Schveighoffer,

      Now that I have calmed down a bit after reading about MA’s 10-pound trigger law, I will just ask you one simple question. Do the police show up at MA ranges and test trigger pull weights?

      • @Roger: I’ll let Steven answer for sure, but if MA is like any other state, the police probably don’t perform spot checks at ranges.

        That said, if you ever have to use your defensive pistol, it will be taken into evidence and thoroughly examined, including weighing the trigger pull. Should that happen (Heaven forbid!) and your pistol has a “light” trigger, expect to be in even more hot water for having an “illegally-modified” gun.

        Freedom-hostile states will use anything they can find, no matter how small, to punish otherwise-law-abiding gun owners.

      • Archer (@Roger:),

        Of course, you are totally correct. I wanted to tell Steven Schveighoffer about civil disobedience, but I was afraid to bring that topic up on the Internet. I shouldn’t be, because the Left participates in a lot of civil disobedience, and so did the Founding Fathers and The Sons of Liberty.

        Here are some recent examples of civil disobedience, just from memory. Either Connecticut or New York state had a law, in the last several years, which was not obeyed by the populace. It might have been a law banning .22 caliber rifles that hold more than 10 cartridges, or something similar to that. For sure, in New Jersey, a few years ago, the law went from allowing 15-round magazines to 10-round magazines. The state instructed citizens to turn in magazines which held more than 10 rounds, but no one did. Now, some time has passed since the law was enacted, so maybe a few dweebs have turned in banned magazines, (possibly as part of a “buy-back” scheme) but for a long time no one did.

        I try to be careful about what I type on the Internet. At what point am I being wise, and at what point am I being cowardly? (Rhetorical question, you don’t have to answer that).

    • @Steven: I’m no expert on MA law, but they have an “approved” list of pistols that may legally be sold in the state, right?

      Is a factory-set 10+ pound trigger part of the criteria for being “approved”?

      And is that law written so that a pistol must have a 10+ pound trigger to be sold, or that all pistols must have 10+ pound triggers? IOW, are you allowed to have it lightened after purchasing it with a heavy trigger, or must all pistols have a heavy trigger?

      I know, these things get into the weeds of legal verbiage, but those distinctions mark the difference between a legal or illegal gun.

    • The only purpose served by so-called “Gun Control” laws is to disarm the American Citizen as a means of reducing the status of the individual from being a “Citizen” to being a “Subject” or even a “Serf” of the all-powerful State. Leftists are Statists. They all believe in the supremacy of the Rights of the State over the individual Rights of the Citizen. An armed population is, by definition, an uncontrollable or, at least, a problematic element that mitigates against total State control. As totalitarians, they chaff at such restrictions.

      Indeed, they ultimately must reject the ideas and principles of the U.S. Constitution since it is a document specifically crafted to empower the Citizen and place limits on the Power of the State. Therefore, the Constitution, as written, is opposed to their purpose and ideals. Every time a Leftist is elected to Office and raises his/her/its hand to take the Oath of Office, they speak a lie. Is it any wonder that they break their oath starting on their first day on the job?

      No Leftist can be true to the U.S. Constitution since, to do so, he/she/it must abandon their most cherished ideals regarding the supremacy of the State. Thus, one can be true to the U.S. Constitution or be true to the Left-Wing Worldview. One cannot be true to both. Logically, therefore, no leftist should ever be elected to public office since they can never be expected to uphold the Constitution. That is a fundamental flaw that makes any Leftist unqualified to hold any public office in America. Unfortunately, the voting public has never realized this truth and has continued to elect leftists to public office. This explains, at a single stroke, how we have arrived at the terrible national conditions, and utterly sorry and sordid government, that we find in Washington, D.C. today (AKA The Swamp).

      These leftists know that a bald statement of “Let us disarm you so that you may properly be serfs of the State” will not fly with most American Citizens although there are Sheeple who will (gratefully) accept that bargain. So, the Left cloaks their disarmament plans in the camouflage of being crime and violence control measures.

      The real purpose of all such regulations is to make firearm ownership so difficult, expensive, time-consuming, onerous, and legally problematic that the average citizen will just throw up their hands and say “fine, I just will not exercise my 2nd Amendment Rights because they are too much trouble”.

      The plan is to gradually squeeze the number of gun-owners down to a small minority of people. When the minority is small enough, then they will just disarm the remainder, by force, and live with the resulting tiny squawks of protest. By that point, their Statist Power will be so great that the trampling down of a small minority of individuals will not matter anymore. Those who truly protest will be killed or sent to “re-education” camps and everyone else will shut their mouth out of fear.

      Such are the plans of our current totalitarian leaders. The State of Maryland is already well down the path outlined above. If anyone doubts this, then they may be disillusioned by casting their eye over the status of gun control laws in Maryland today. See this link:


      • Sometimes I think that I am a lone voice crying, unseen and unheard, in the wilderness.

        However, it is not so. Occasionally, I see evidence that other people also see the truth. This article arrives at the same conclusions as I reached above but by a different path. There are many paths that lead to the truth just as there are vast numbers of narratives that push falsehoods.

        That is the core difference between myself and a typical leftist. I do believe that there is such a thing as THE OBJECTIVE TRUTH. Leftists believe that truth, like our Rights, are subjective. In their minds, the truth is whatever they say it is in their latest narrative. They can have THEIR TRUTH which may differ from MY TRUTH.

        To them, truth is something that comes and goes in a ghostly fashion. It shape-shifts and can take one form today and another form tomorrow depending upon the political needs of the moment. Truth is nebulous in their hands as are our Rights as Citizens.

        This is why they are so dangerous and, as this article makes clear, they should never be put in power. I have small hope of this SCOTUS nomination failing but it would be great for AMERICA if it did:


  10. I had the trigger on a 1911 Colt Combat Commander modified by a now-late expert gunsmith who was earlier a Marine Armorer. He also throated the pistol. I made the mistake of selling it. I don’t remember what the exact trigger resistance was, but the gun’s excellent performance spoiled me for life. That Colt never went full auto, either. The next pistol that I get will likely be a Ruger 1911 in 10mm. After studying the thread above I am motivated to try to make the best of the stock trigger, but I will always keep possible changes in mind. For concealment I already carry a small 9mm Parabellum Ruger with a Safe-Action type trigger that is pretty good as stock, with a very secure slide lock safety. Thumbing the safety off pretty much does equal cocking a hammer.

  11. Hmmmmm suppose I were to buy a used gun from a gun show or retail store and have no way of kjnowing whether it has been modified or not? Then suppose I were involved in an “incident” and some hotshot attorney tris to make the claim that I modified it or had it modified. What PROOF could they bring to bear that I had any knowledge of what was/was not done to that weapon since manufacture and prior to my owning it? Particularly if that firearm had been bought under circumstances where a NICS check and record of sale was involved? There WOULD be no proof either way. Did that poawnshoo sold me the gun run any tests on it after it came into their inventory?

    Strange how often lawyers attempt to prove the unprovablelll My turn on the stand, I don’t know what might have been done prior to my ownership, nor do I have any previous experience with arms of this model, so how would I have known whether it had been modified or remained as built ex-works? Its an old gun, so who knows what has been done to it in its fifty plus years of existence?

    • Tionico, it would be analogous to driving a defective used car whose defect caused a fatal accident. The “driver of the gun,” like the driver of the vehicle, is presumed to have a responsibility to make sure their machine is in safe operating condition.

  12. All the striker fired handguns I’ve personally fired have some degree of striker cocking as part of the trigger motion. Granted, the degree might be slight, but it’s still there. Special competition grade factory stuff possibly excepted.

    I have to agree with the gist of Mr. McCarvers comments above. Somewhere in the 6-8 lb range is a very good place for defensive/service weight triggers. This is particularly true if you’re dealing with a short travel trigger. The weight is less important than the trigger travel being smooth. Obviously, if you’re dealing with documented physical disabilities, things change, but best to have the work done by certified armorers for that brand.

  13. I’ll simply echo what has been said above. When I was new to guns, I got them modified. It was a learning process. Looking back, I should not have done it, and some modifications were restored to stock. Looking forward, any defensive guns I buy in the future will remain stock.

    The only modification I would make is to remove part of a revolver’s grip so it doesn’t interfere with a speed loader.

    The consensus seems to be, for defensive firearms, use stock, or only slightly modified guns, and factory ammo. The reasons for that are, first, you will defend yourself against a criminal, or a group of criminals. Second, you will defend yourself against the legal system. Train and be ready for both fights.

    • Roger, removing a section of the revolver’s left side stock for speedloader clearance could be proclaimed by a sleazy prosecutor, in case you wind up in court after a defensive shooting, that you had modified the gun to make it possible to murder more innocent victims faster.

      I may start carrying my Thompson Center Contender after increasing it’s trigger pull to 20+ lbs so it can be considered “safe” from a legal standpoint. Now to decide which caliber barrel it will be equipped with. The .38 Special is good because the police used it for a long time, but the .25 ACP looks better because it’s not overly deadly, especially with ball ammunition.

  14. Having tried a Glock, Ruger, S&W, and the gambit of imports I don’t know why a non-competition shooter would want a “hair trigger” on most of the offerings of today. On the other hand, the 1911’s are kinda like an old Harley Davidson. They like oil, TLC and it’s hard to resist modification, upgrades, and accessorizing the thing. (The Dremel tool is a dangerous thing from what I hear).

  15. Having been a sport shooter before I spent decades in a profession that required being armed with issue firearms, I expect there’s several factors involved in modifications. I will note that back when revolvers were “the” defensive firearm, factory trained armorers were taught how to optimize the products to the factory specifications. Most products leaving the factories weren’t optimized. Despite that, if one puts in the effort, one can do well.

    A lack of formal training and the willingness to put in the effort to learn the tools are major factors in wanting very light trigger weights. I believe the latter being dominant. Hollywood imaging certainly comes into play, possibly being part and parcel of not really understanding the real world problem. Then there’s the Walter Mitty factor, often expressed as “What if I have to make a 25 yard hostage rescue head shot?” Or, “But (name of famous competition shooter) uses a (pick a number) trigger/technique”, neglecting the effort that person put into training and that they’re playing a game.

  16. This crazy situation with overzealous prosecutors trying to crucify defendants using handguns modified to where they can shoot them with a degree of accuracy in protecting themselves is why I carry lawyer proof guns.

    Yes, there are people who carry defensive guns with trigger pulls of three pound or less which I believe is dangerous. Most folks who carry handguns for protection are not expert shooters and don’t practice enough to control a much lighter than factory trigger. Glock triggers are the worst and weight much more than what they are supposed to be. Their standard trigger is claimed to be 5.5 pounds, but actually come in at 7-7 1/2 pounds according to my RCBS trigger pull gauge. Replacing the factory connector with the popular 3.5 lb model brings it down to a long squishy 5-5 1/2 lbs. Of the striker fired pistols I’ve handled, the best seemed to be the Walther PPQ. I had a used one which measured about 5 pounds, but broke very clean with a short reset and was very accurate up to 25 yards. However it was ugly and a 9mm so I got rid of it after a few months.

    My carry pistol is an alloy framed Kimber 1911 in .45 ACP with a trigger pull set at 5.0 lbs. All my other 1911 pistols also have 5 pound triggers, except for a Kimber 1911 with 6″ barrel in 10mm which I set at 4.0 lb. as it will never be used in a defensive situation, and the Springfield Armory models have titanium firing pins which makes them even safer if dropped. My primary backup is a Kahr P45 modified to take a 5 round magazine and it’s double action only, while my secondary backup is a S&W 442 with no infernal safety. All three of these guns are about as lawyer proof as reasonable. I wish S&W would chamber their 442/642 without the “Hillary Hole” in 9X19mm as it’s ballistically superior to the .38 Special.

    I understand that most jurors are not very firearms savvy, and a “Hair Trigger” is not clearly defined and just used carelessly by gun ignorant prosecutors. Maybe jurors in shooting cases should be chosen more carefully as the defendants are supposed to be judged by their “peers’ and some Yuppie or rap listening college student majoring in gender studies may not qualify.

    I just received my copy of Combat Handgunnery 7th Edition ordered from Amazon and look forward to reading it.

    • Tom606,

      I am assuming juries are more stupid than judges. Therefore, maybe we should scrap the jury system, and have criminal trials held before three judges. These judges would all have to be educated on crime, criminals and weapons used in crime. There are different courts for different subjects, like family court and tax court, so there should be judges who specialize in criminal court. Maybe that would help, but optimism scares me. At least these judges would have more experience judging criminal matters than the vast majority of jurors.

      I suppose we have juries of our peers because Kings used to influence the judges. That could still be a problem again, not with kings, but with politicians influencing the judges. Now do you see why I fear optimism?

      • @Roger: Juries can be more stupid than judges, or they can bring a breadth of experience and knowledge than any single judge — or even three-judge panel — is capable of having lived and learned. I’m not ready to consider giving that up.

        What I would consider is more narrowly defining what a “jury of one’s peers” means.

        If I were a construction contractor, and I were accused of cutting corners and building an unsafe structure, a jury consisting of a caterer, a doctor, two baristas, a couple retail workers, a handful of stay-at-home parents, and a few college students, is not likely to understand the construction process or building codes, even if explained to them during trial. A proper “jury of one’s peers” would contain more people at least passingly familiar with construction.

        Likewise, if as a gun owner I were on trial for a defensive shooting, I’d prefer to have at least a few actual gun owners on the jury … and not any gun- and freedom-fearing Moms-Demand types.

        However, under the current voir dire systems, the prosecutor has significant influence and often uses it quite effectively to remove “peers” and replace them with as many contextually-clueless laymen as possible.

        If a medical malpractice claim must pass through a panel of experts on the subject, I think it fair that the jury in a “gun crimes” trial — or any criminal proceeding — should likewise include people familiar with the issues at question.

        Real “peers.” Not randomly-selected laymen.

      • Archer,

        I like your ideas. Real “peers” could do a good job on a jury, as your experience proves.

        I looked up the origin of the phrase “jury of one’s peers.” As I suspected, it pre-dates the Founding Fathers. The article I read traced it to the Magna Carta, signed on June 15th, 1215. However, the article says “peers” meant “fellow nobles,” instead of the king. It goes on to say “peers” means “fellow citizens” today, then explains the voir dire process.

        I like your definition of “peers” better. In our highly technical age, in which workers specialize, it makes sense for jurors to have some background knowledge which bears on the case, and not to be simply fellow citizens. I guess this is where expert testimony comes in, to hopefully educate the judge, the lawyers and the jury.

        Here is the hideously long link to the article I read; https://www.findlaw.com/criminal/criminal-procedure/what-is-a-jury-of-peers.html#:~:text=The%20phrase%20%22a%20jury%20of,a%20jury%20of%20fellow%20citizens.%22

        {Note: At this time the above link has not turned blue. I don’t know why. I am using a Chromebook, and I used the shortcut keys to copy & paste the link, after highlighting it with the touchpad. Obviously you can copy & paste it into your browser if it doesn’t turn blue after I send this to Mas.}

      • Archer,

        In my second sentence above, I refer to “. . . your experience proves.” I was actually referring to the experience of Tome, the woodworker, who posted below. His experience proves the difference between real peers and merely citizen peers, in my opinion.

        I read both of your posts yesterday, then returned to the blog to make this comment today. So, I took shortcuts and got a bit sloppy. At least the link I posted did turn blue after I sent it to Mas.

    • @ Tom606 – ” I wish S&W would chamber their 442/642 without the “Hillary Hole” in 9X19mm as it’s ballistically superior to the .38 Special.”

      S&W Could certainly produce such a revolver. One of my regular carry guns is a Model 642-1 which was produced as a Performance Center revolver. It has these features:

      1) No key lock or key lock hole.
      2) A smooth double-action trigger pull that breaks at 9 lbs. (I just measured it with my trigger pull gauge. It is a true 9 lb. DA trigger.
      3) It is cut for and came with a pair of moon clips. Yet, it is in .38 Special +P caliber. It will, of course, allow one to load and shoot .38 Special cartridges without using the clips. The rims will still headspace the rounds whether the clips are used or not.

      The only advantage of the moon clips, in .38 Special, is that they can act as a speed loader. If made in 9mm Luger, the moon clips would be a necessity.

      As for 9mm being ballistically superior, that is true for the general run of factory ammo. However, Buffalo Bore makes some +P .38 Special ammo that will give 9mm Luger a run for the money. See this YouTube video:


      Observe the kinetic energy obtained with the Buffalo Bore .38 Special +P rounds. It generated 343 Ft-Lbs. out of a snub-nose revolver! I rather doubt that 9mm would do better out of a snubby platform.

      Maybe I should order up some of these Buffalo Bore rounds and pack them in my 642!

      Here is a link to the Buffalo Bore web site for the specific .38 Special ammo tested in the above YouTube video:


      • TN_MAN:

        You are correct about the Buffalo Bore .38 Special ammo being more powerful than standard and even +P 9X19mm loads by Speer, Federal, Remington, Winchester, etc. I believe some of the CorBon .38 Special ammo is pretty hot also. The old .38 Special +P+ “Q” load made for the U.S. Treasury Department was reputed to be fairly warm too. I had two 50 round boxes of this 110 grain stuff made by Federal and from a S&W model 10 would reach almost 1200 fps from it’s 4″ heavy barrel.

        The best .38 Special ammo I have now is the Speer 135 grain Gold Dot +P and their 9X19 version with 124 grain GD +P is ballistically superior to it. S&W could make their 442/642 in 9X19 with a shorter cylinder which would add 1/4″ to it barrel length. I have a Performance Center 442 and it’s a strange looking revolver with black frame and barrel with silver colored cylinder, trigger, thumb latch, and sideplate screws. I replaced the latch and screws with black ones and if I had to use it in a defensive shooting situation, the prosecutor would probably claim this modification made the revolver more deadly and unsafe. 🙁

      • @ Tom606 – S&W dressed up my 642 revolver as well but not as much as your 442. The cylinder and barrel have a plain matte stainless steel finish but S&W polished the cylinder flutes to a mirror finish. The alloy frame is finished in a matching matte grey but the cylinder latch and trigger have been polished (or chromed) to a shiny, mirror finish to match the cylinder flutes.

        In addition, the revolver came with a set of hybrid carry grips. The grips are made of black rubber and absorb recoil fairly well. However, each grip has a fancy wood panel (rosewood?) inserted into the sides. So, like I said, it is a hybrid grip made mostly of soft rubber but with smooth decorative wood panels on each side.

        The combined effect of matte finish with polished bits, black grips and fancy wood panels is fairly pleasing. At least to my taste, I find that the gun has decent esthetics.

        The hybrid grips work well for concealed carry and they fit my hand acceptably. They are carry grips and don’t really have a place to set my pinky finger but I can curl it up under the grips and get a decent hold.

        very often I will change out the grips on a revolver but I have not changed a thing on this gun. The only thing I did was put (as is my custom) some green sight paint on the front sight to give contrast to the stainless matte fixed rear sight.

        That was all I deemed necessary. This is not a target revolver. It is a carry gun to be used for self-defense at fairly short ranges. It works fine for that purpose.

        A prosecutor would have a hard time finding fault with this gun since, except for a dab of front sight paint, it is exactly as the S&W Performance Center produced it. I also only carry factory ammo in it. If I shoot reloads in it, it is strictly for range practice.

      • A friend of mine has been looking for a small revolver for concealed carry. He has had a carry permit for some time now. He has been carrying a little .380 semi-auto pistol but has had occasional jams and does not really trust it. He has been thinking that a DAO revolver would be more reliable.

        He liked my S&W 642 Performance Center revolver but did not want to spend the money for one. As you can see from this link:


        MSRP for this model is $616.00. That is “too rich for his blood” to use an old phrase that seems oddly appropriate. 🙂

        He went with a Charter Arms version instead. See this link:


        MSRP for this one is $420.00 and he actually got it for about $350.00 NIB.

        I went with him today to pick it up at the FFL. We looked it over and it seems like a decent carry gun. Alloy frame so it will be light to carry. I checked the gun out for him. Brand-new, it has an 11 lb. DA trigger pull that is fairly smooth. The cylinder gap measured more than 0.007 but less than 0.008 inches. Fairly typical for one of these little .38 Special carry revolvers.

        I expect that it will serve him adequately as a carry gun. He won’t have to worry about being accused of having a gun with a “hair trigger” with this set-up. It is DAO and no one can say that an 11 lb. trigger is so light as to be unsafe or prone to accidental discharge! 🙂

      • TN_MAN:

        My 442 also has the polished cylinder flutes and came with black polymer stocks which I replaced with a set of Crimson Trace stocks. I set the red laser for 30 feet. I normally don’t carry spare ammo for the S&W 442 as it’s my secondary backup gun, but when traveling outside of town, I would slip a Bianchi Speed Strip of 6 rounds in a pocket, just in case.

        Taurus makes a 5 shot small frame revolver in 9X19mm called the model 905 which I would consider having but it has an exposed hammer which I don’t care much for. I have an old S&W 37 which I removed the hammer spur from and had it Teflon coated with Uncle Mike’s Boot Grips that I carried on and off duty as a backup for many years, but it’s semi-retired now as a dresser draw gun.

  17. May I suggest folks… if you intend on carrying handguns with ‘light’ triggers then do this..

    Make a video of yourself explaining WHY you carry such a weapon (modified or not.) Show you are aware of the weapon’s good points, bad points idiocies, etc…

    Explain how you draw, where your finger is while drawing, where it is while holding suspects, and any skills you have (like IDPA/IPSC competition, schools you have attended, standards you have met, etc.)

    Make sure the date and time is recorded for this video.

    If, by some chance, the trigger becomes an issue, you have proof of ‘due diligence’, proof of your skills, and maybe even a demonstration of those skills on the video. Thus showing it was not an ‘accident’ you used lethal force.

  18. This is a bit off-topic but I recently read an interesting article over at Reason.com. Here is the link:


    As the title denotes, requiring a handgun permit transforms, in theory, a “Right” into a “GI Privilege”. Of course, this point is old news to the readers of this blog.

    The recent expansion of “Constitutional Carry” States shows the tension between this Right Vs. Privilege debate.

    This is really an old debate going back to the foundations of the Republic. Leaving aside the U.S. Constitution, let us consider the Constitution of the State of Tennessee. It went through three (3) versions:

    1. The original 1796 version
    2. A revised 1835 version
    3. An 1870 (Post-Civil War) Version which, with some revisions, is still in place today.

    All three versions included a right to keep and bear arms. However, there are differences. For example. The 1835 version restricted the right to free (non-slave) white men. The 1835 version also allowed slavery elsewhere in its language.

    The 1870 version changed the State constitution to eliminate slavery. It also revised the RKBA as follows:

    “That the citizens of this State have a right to keep and to bear arms for their common defense; but the Legislature shall have power, by law, to regulate the wearing of arms with a view to prevent crime.”

    Note that it removed the limitation of the right to “free white men” and expanded the right to all citizens (male or female and irrespective of race). However, it also added a new limitation that the legislature shall have power to “regulate the wearing of arms”. I wonder., was this a “back-door” written into the Constitution to give the option, to the Legislature. to write laws that limited the firearm-carry rights of freed slaves?

    Also note the language of “wearing of arms”. Consider that one does not wear a long gun. Rifles, shotguns and other small arms are borne not worn. It is only small defensive items (such as pistols, knives, tasers, etc.) that are worn (carried on one’s person).

    One could interpret this language as allowing open carry of long arms but giving the legislature power to regulate concealed weapons and/or other defensive weapons that are worn on one’s person. In fact, it is not used that way. If one walks down the streets of Nashville with his or her AK-47 slung over the shoulder, the Police are going to question it and there are provisions in Tennessee Law that would allow them to do so and to make an arrest for such behavior. I don’t know if anyone has ever challenged these long-gun carry restrictions as “unconstitutional” in Tennessee. I don’t feel like making that legal challenge myself! 🙂

    Anyway, the 1870 version was adopted and that language is still in effect, today, in Tennessee. So, for the last 150 years, the right to bear arms has not been unlimited under the State Constitution.

    The Tennessee Legislature used the above language as justification when they moved to a “Shall Issue” model some years ago. It is only recently that they changed the law to allow for Constitutional Carry too. Even so, there are still limits. One must be able to legally own a handgun (not a felon) and be 21 years or older.

    I just wanted to make the point that the whole “Rights” vs. “Privilege” issue is not as clear-cut as theory would make it.

  19. In the immortal words of Kamala Harris: “Guns are big things that shoot bullets that are little things, so guns are bad, unless they’re not because the bullets could be bad too, except when the pull thing on the big gun isn’t the one it should be, so don’t do it unless you think it’s good to do the bad thing because someone is mean to you, like really mean, not a little mean, like, you know with Covid.”

    I think that pretty much sums it up.

    • I honestly don’t know if that is an accurate quote or if you just being “tongue-in-cheek” with your comment.She is certainly stupid enough to gargle out such a messed up set of random thoughts.

      If accurate, please give a reference.

      If you are just poking fun at our sorry VP, then there is no need for exaggeration. She is terrible enough in her natural form. As proof of this truth, I give the following reference:


      • I just saw on TV that Aunt Kamala said on a recent interview with one of the fake news programs, something to the effect that a town in the USA has a long history of American history. What a brilliant observation that few people in this country had never realized before. Sheer genius!

    • I’m sure that Aunt Kamala would also have proclaimed that lead is an evil substance and not only when made into bullets, but is toxic to ingest by stupid people like her. She could probably claim her mental deficiency was due to eating paint flakes containing lead when she was a just a little girl in the People’s Democratic Republic of California being bused to school against her will by racists like Crooked Joe. It’s a good thing Aunt Kamala was personally mentored by a honest politician like Willie Brown who benevolently compensated her for services rendered.

  20. Mas, if one were to replace the slide end plate with the Tau DevGroup striker control device, how would that affect said issues?

    • The SCD doesn’t change trigger pull characteristics. It only provides a barrier to trigger pulling when the shooter’s thumb is firmly on the back of the slide, as in holstering.

  21. Archer
    I sat on a jury several years ago where a home owner was suing a cabinet maker for bad work. The rest of the jury was in favor of the cabinet maker until I explained some things. You see, I’m a woodworker.
    The home owner won the case. Whoever sets on the jury can make a world of difference.

    • Tome:

      Quite true! I was on a jury between jobs with two police departments in a case concerning an enforcer for a drug dealer. Besides myself, a female deputy working at the jail was selected, after we advised the lawyers of our law enforcement backgrounds. After both sides presented their cases, the members of the jury turned to us and asked our opinions about the guilt of the defendant. The deputy and myself both thought the state made a better case and explained our reasons and I had a little bit more credibility because of street experience which the jail deputy did not have.

      The defendant was a large B/M who carried a huge bible to court every day which he never opened, and two of the jurors were older B/Fs who believed he wasn’t guilty on a couple of the charges and was being set up by the state. After listening to the deputy’s and my opinions, the jury in less than two hours came to an unanimous decision – guilty on all counts.

      The defendant may have been eventually found guilty if the deputy and I weren’t on the jury, but it probably would have taken much longer to reach that decision.

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