Personal Defense Weapons (PDW): a solution in search of a problem?

M1A1 Carbine

M1A1 Carbine

Modern armies have faced a small dilemma: what should they use to arm personnel who are not fighting on the front line?  A full-size rifle is too big to let them do their (non-combat) jobs, and a pistol is too weak and too inaccurate to be effective as a weapon in battle.

The answer to this dilemma used to be to chop down the barrel of the primary service rifle, to make a “cavalry” or “jungle” version.  But that made the rifle only a little shorter and a little lighter (and probably a lot louder and brighter).

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Scientific American: “Socialism will stop gun deaths”

Anti-Gun Media

Anti-Gun Media

No, really, that is exactly what a writer for the “science” rag said:

A modest proposal for curbing homicides: Socialism

It goes downhill from there:

Yes, the U.S. homicide rate is much higher than in England, Japan and other nations that severely restrict civilian ownership of firearms.

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DEA ruled not responsible for embarrassing Agent who shot himself

Gun Safety

Gun Safety

Who shot himself while being recorded on video, in fact.

Poor Lee Paige.  A former football player for the Tampa Bay Suckaneers, Paige became a DEA agent and then made himself famous when he shot himself in the leg with his own gun, right after declaring to his audience of kids and their parents that his gun was unloaded and that he was “the only person in the room professional enough to carry the Glock .40”  BANG.

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Quality – SIG and Kahr

SIG and Kahr

Two more brands to consider: SIG and Kahr.

Kahr is a relative newcomer to the gun scene.  Founded by the son of the man who headed the Unification Church (the “Moonies”), Kahr makes small and medium-sized handguns with steel or polymer frames.  They are all single-stack, striker-fired designs.

SIG is…SIG.  They used to be designed in Switzerland, and made in Germany.  Nowadays they make slides and other components in the United States as well.  They have a reputation for quality and precision.  They were late to the polymer frame pistol party, but have been making up for lost time.

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Quality – Springfield XD and S&W M&P

XDM and M&P

XDM and M&P

Next up – tracking the reliability of Springfield Armory’s XD/XDM family of pistols, and the Smith & Wesson Military & Police pistols.  Both are designed to compete with Glock, and like the Glock they are both available in full-size, compact and subcompact versions.

Same method as before: every review in Gun Tests magazine back to 1996.  A gun would be judged as “broken” if it stopped working, shed parts, or physically disintegrated in some way.  A gun would be “unreliable” if it had failures to fire, feed, extract or eject that were not attributable to a documented problem with the ammunition.  An obviously defective part like a single bad magazine would not render a gun “unreliable” if the manufacturer’s regular magazines worked when the bad magazine was replaced like-for-like.

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