In the Sandbox, Don’t Necessarily Do What the Locals Do


Today’s lesson comes from that informative magazine Soldier of Fortune, issue of March 2005.  It contains lots of interesting articles  including John Farnam’s Combat Weaponcraft column.  His effort for  March 2005 was entitled Expert Gun Handling – Not and is, in part,  reproduced below for your edification.


Weapons Handling in the Mid East from a Friend in-Country:


Gun handling, safety, and storage, as practiced by locals, is horrifying. 


Armed Iraqi nationals, Iraqi National Guard and Iraqi police are all incompetent and utterly unsafe.  We never go anywhere near them.  Muzzle discipline does not exist.  Fingers are always inside trigger guards and in contact with triggers.  Manual safeties on AKs are always ‘off.’  Collapsible stocks are never extended, and fixed stocks are often cut off (‘style points,’ apparently).  NDs are more or less continuous.  People here are shot by accident all the time.  No one cares.


All deliberate firing is full-auto, of course.  I’ve never seen anyone actually aim a shot.  Thus, many more people here are shot by accident than are ever shot on purpose.


Marksmanship is a lost art.  Sights are never used.  In most cases, locals  don’t want to hit the other combatant.  Therefore, they shoot over the adversary, hoping he will return the favor.  In a gunfight (over a parking place) just outside my hotel two weeks ago, I saw and heard over a hundred AK rounds fired between two angry drivers at a distance of 10 meters.  Neither antagonist was hit, but both cars were totaled!


Carrying of handguns is also scary.  Casually stuffed in waistbands, belts, pockets, they fall out constantly.  What holsters there are, are crap.  G19s, Browning HPs, CZs and Makarovs.  Some are loaded.  Some aren’t.  No one ever seems to be sure.  Ammo is shot up as fast as we give it to them in ‘happy fire.’  Consequently, most local cops are only given five rounds at any one time.”


Well, I’ll let you draw your own conclusions on the breaches of gun safety protocol as appearing in the above.  Scary stuff, what?