Tuesday, June 22, 2010




As long as we are on the subject of shooting people . . . I know you talk about the Model 1911. In the 70's I had one once, it was my Uncle's from WWII. I think it was a Colt; it jammed a lot - probably operator error. The Man took it away from me because I was too young and they didn't think I should have it . . . I think I was 12. Back then we were called plinkers. Today I would probably be arrested and put on military tribunal for terrorism. Times sure have changed a lot since then.

In the 80's I had a Smith 4516 and I really liked it. The Smith was built very well but didn't fit me well, seemed awkward in my hand.

Recently I bought a Beretta PX4 9mm Sub because it really felt like it fit me and I could actually hit something with it; I actually tried out some different guns at the local gun shop / range.

The problem is I have some mechanical issues with the thing. For one thing the trigger mechanism gets confused if you are cocking and dry firing it. It happens when you manually cock the hammer back to half-cock. Anyway that is one issue that apparently is not a concern when you have it loaded and you are actually pumpin' caps into someone's cranium. But it does tell you something about the engineering of the thing.

My main concern comes after one night I stuffed the thing in my belt (ghetto style, in back, no holster) and went to the beach late at night. Normally I don't carry it around but I do if it is dark. When I got back to my car and pulled it out the slide was jacked back about a half inch and hung there. After playing with it for awhile I realized it can get pulled back and sticks when a round is chambered. It cannot get stuck if empty chamber. I have tried lubricant, changing bullet type, and just plain jamming it back and forth to loosen it up.

So my question to you is why? Do you think it is a defect? My Smith never did this. I believe the main slide springs may have been stronger on the Smith, but I not sure. Maybe it is a problem with the shorter spring since the frame was originally designed for longer barrel. Maybe just another case of operator error? I am certainly no firearms expert . . . maybe I know a little more than the GANGSTA down the street, but not much more.

Keepin' It Real,


Dear Jaeger -

First of all, while I know a lot about handguns - 1911's and Beretta 92FS / M9 pistol's in particular, I do not consider myself an expert. In fact, the way it was explained to my is there aren't ANY experts in ANYTHING - only serious students. Anybody who calls himself is an expert, well . . .

Beretta makes good guns, I cannot fault them. They are the oldest firearms manufacturing company in the world and I owe my life to them, so I can't think of any better endorsement than that for their products.

The Italians do three things right:

. . . their guns . . .

. . . their cars . . .

. . . and their women . . .

. . . and not necessarily in that order.

The problems you seem to be experiencing may be due to a couple of conditions. I have experienced the half-cock situation with the 92FS (a.k.a. the M9) and it is not advertised as a design safety feature - it appears to be somehow related to the double-action. Because the pistol is double-action, you don't need a safety - any more than you need a safety on a double-action revolver; think about it. We were trained to carry the Beretta loaded, hammer down, off-safe. All the safety served for was a de-cocking lever.

The problem with the slide pushing back is a symptom of your pistol being constrained between your too-tight waistband and your dunlap luv handles. The solution is two-fold: A) invest in a nice, polymer pancake concealment holster, and B) lose weight because you are what we in the Airborne call a Heavy Drop.

Let me know how it goes, my friend . . . Cheers!

- Sean Linnane



  1. Well, I have to admit, Sean, I never experienced that problem with my Glocks or 1911s when I had to shove one in my belt. But absolutely - whatever pistol should be in a holster.

    BTW I'd take the babe and the pistol. I figure with them I could get a decent truck.

    Heck I prolly could get anything I wanted, haw haw.

  2. Why carry in your backside?
    You can't sit in a seat and draw, plus it hurts. And prints when you bend over. Dumb.

  3. Fallschirmjaeger is no dummy...he'd rather have an AD carrying tucked behind and be called half-assed, than have an AD while Mexican-carrying and be called half-cocked!

  4. All methods of carry, OPEN AND CONCEALED, have their drawbacks just like every firearm has it's weaknesses. Just have to figure out what the best options are for your general circumstances.

    There are no perfect answers, but some are better than others, except when they are not...the general standard-ish solutions and ideas have become such because they tend to be good compromises for most people in most contexts.

    Any waist oriented carry sucks in a car, but shoulder holsters suck in a lot of ways out of a car...so??? I can cover 10 yards on foot with a knife faster than most people can draw from an ankle holster OUTSIDE of a vehicle. Where are you going to be spending more time? How important is concealment?

    Open carry sure is a LOT easier though. Easier on pretty much every level if you are in a context where it won't freak people out. And then you can argue about the best ways to open carry in different contexts. :-)

  5. Stormbringer, I would add a fourth thing that the Italians do right. Food and wine!

  6. Well since I wrote this I talked to a firearms dealer in Michgan who thinks I should talk to the factory about it; which I have not done yet. He thinks it may be a defect but also may be just tight because it is new. He said to fire a few hundred rouds through it to see if it loosens up.

    I really don't carry it around normally because it is hard to conceal in the summer. In this state, it can't show even if you have a permit, which I do. But I have been mugged at the beach at night before so I am paranoid there. But I am not going to be intimidated by young punks.

    So It's not fat, even though I am. And it's not about the safety (or decocker), I am sure.

    It is a fact that the tightness of the cartridge in the chamber can overpower the tension in the slide spring unless it has the momentum of being pulled all the way back and released.


    Please excuse the dunlap crack I couldn't resist. I know you personally and I know you are not fat.

    I threw that out there because I am on limited time for internet capability these days and couldn't complete my thoughts.

    I believe you are correct, that the gun is tight because it is new. I have had this problem with Berettas in the past, and I have owned several; all of which I broke in, all of which I carried on and off duty, concealed.

    - Sean Linnane

  8. I wrote to Beretta USA in Maryland. I will post the answer if I get one.

    I hope that is the answer. I really like it. If not, maybe I will have to upgrade to .45 which will certainly have a stronger slide spring (think it is called a recoil spring).
    The 1911 Pistol Is Its Own Toolbox!

  9. I got an answer from Beretta today. But it was a question. They could not repeat the problem so they wanted the serial number.

    The Michigan dealer said Beretta would take a very personal interest in any problem I had. He was right...I am impressed they even answered me.

  10. Here is the final answer I got from a guy named Butch at Beretta USA.

    I think I have come up with some things.

    1. Why are you using a half cock? There is no reason to do that. The gun has a de-cock on it to engage the firing pin block while the hammer is at rest.

    2. The slide is intended to move forward by the recoil spring at full throw. If you pull the slide back a half inch, you may have to push it forward because there will be enough friction(esp on a new gun) to not take advantage of the full power of the spring.

    3. I took mine with a magazine & 5 rounds, let the slide forward with my hand and the slide does not go to full battery because of the friction and angle of the round coming out of the magazine. I pulled the slide all the way back and let it go to battery on its own. No problem.

    Tell me if you think this is an acceptable answer. To me...he has told me two things...number one...he agreed that this happens on all 9mm SC PX4's...number two...he stated that this is normal and acceptable.

    I don't know...I paid over $800 for this. My S&W never had any issues whatsoever...it worked...it worked all the time, cold, hot, wet, snow, ice...nothing ever got stuck or jammed. Call me anally retentive I guess.

  11. Hi a bit off topic.....Mayrin Villanueva is the woman in the 3 things Italian and she is a Mexican Actress as per a search on Tin Eye. She is still smoking hot though...
    As for pistols I fondly remember the 1948 Browning Hi Power i used in Canadian Armed Forces in the 1980's.

  12. 1. Buy a holster. Get a decent IWB holster -- it's even more comfortable than stuffing it in your pants, if you get a quality one with a "sweat shield" (actually, it's more of a "don't get gouged by the safety and other edges shield, especially while seated" shield).

    Stuffing an $800 gun into a $10 holster (or wrose, NO holster), rather than something that holds teh gun secure AND still allows one handed reholstering is unacceptable. Like putting $25 retreads on your Corvette.

    2. Place your thumb on the rear of the slide (pressing against the hammer) while reholstering, and you will NEVER have that problem again. The slide is retracting becuase it is working SMOOTHLY, and doesn't have to fight as much resistance as you Smith. Your thumb will provide all teh pressure you need with this OR ANY OTHER pistol, to keep it from going out of battery as you slide your gat into your pants like a gang banging pimp.

    Additionally, the Smith has fewer angles likely to provide purchase so you pants run the slide back.