It’s no secret that our training classes are tough. We run hard, taking advantage of every round, every minute and every opportunity. It takes it toll no doubt and not just on the student, but the gear as well.
We have worked with many industry professionals in a variety of capacities, providing expertise and observations mainly. Many have taken this information and gone on to improve their products for the end users, which is part of our overall business strategy. Some have not.
As we have mentioned before, we always ask folks to define their mission. In the last two classes we had a few folks who didn’t really understand this practice. Part of this practice involves distinguishing between a tool and a toy. In this case, we are talking about firearms. A tool is a hard use duty style weapon, features are proven and tested. A toy on the other hand is less than reliable, built to push the limits of reliability. Both are fine in their own rights, each doing a good job in their respective lanes. The problem begins when you try to pull one into the other’s lane.
You run the risk of falling short of your expectations. We have seen some interesting setups come through our classes, some have worked flawlessly and others have been plagued with problems. Some of the problems we have seen recently as been sights coming off slides, triggers breaking and rounds failing to fire. This last class we saw way too many of these problems. If these are defensive tools then the last thing you want is to have these problems in a gunfight. However, having them in training is not as bad as one thinks. Sure, it sucks you have to work around as was the case with aftermarket springs added to one pistol. Weak primer strikes were the result, which lead to a break in concentration and doubt as to whether it would fire “this round”. The student developed a bad habit of clearing the stoppages in more of an administrative setting. Since the sights in this case were backup iron sights, not the end of the world. Had the MRDS gone down he would have been out of luck, but they didn’t so no use crying about it. However, he did pay a lot of money and we had another front sight fall off on a similar setup in the same class. The trigger breaking was a bit one for me as we have seen several break recently. While this issue technically still allowed the pistol to fire, it deactivated the trigger safety. It was replaced with backup pistol’s lower and training resumed in short order. The student was worried it was something he did to which I assured him absolutely not.
I hear folks mention “my blaster is good go” or “I have fired a bazillion rounds”. That’s great, but sometimes things just have a shorter shelf life and eventually go tango uniform. It just sucks when your tool you are relying goes tango uniform when you need it most.