Monday, February 19, 2018

What Can *I* Do?

Last week, I read a post shared by Renegade Medics on Facebook. The gist is that everyone in a school setting should be trained in trauma management. Does that mean that secretaries, teachers, and custodians need to be paramedic certified? No.

Credit: Renegade Medics

What it means is that a lot of traumatic deaths (in this case, gunshot wounds) are preventable if people are trained to deal with them. It matters not if a person is pro-gun or anti-gun, we all have the ability to save lives.

I am personally fairly comfortable with treating trauma, as I started my "life" in medicine first as an athletic trainer, then an EMT. Though I currently teach Medical Assistants, I'm still fairly comfortable with trauma. I knew that if something happened at work, I'd be okay handling it, but I was being short-sighted. While I could handle it, could others on our campus?

After reading the post by Renegade Medics, I made up my mind to do something about it, because they are right - everyone on campus should be trained. That's something I can do for my campus - staff and students.

I immediately started texting my boss, telling him that I wanted to place a trauma kit in every classroom and that I wanted to do a staff/faculty training to teach everyone how to use it. I'm not looking at making a full trauma kit - there won't be any IV bags, trach kits, etc. It will be a very basic, oh shit bag, with TQs, chest seals, and packing gauze. You know, basically what I carry in my IFAK. One in every classroom, with all staff/faculty members trained will go a long way toward saving lives.

I know, after every big tragedy, we look around and ask, "what can I do?". Well, this is what I can do.

What can you do? Start by getting training yourself. Here's a great place to start:
Look for free classes near you. Or, if you're an instructor, sign up to teach free classes.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Over Easy, Please

I love me some over easy eggs. It's my go-to order when we go out for breakfast. This morning, I woke up wanting some eggs, so I got out my non-stick pan, some butter, a couple of eggs and a bamboo spatula.

Pic from Google Images

Once the butter was hot, I added the eggs, salt and pepper, and let them cook. When it was time to flip them, I slipped the spatula under the eggs and attempted a flip. Yeah, it didn't work. So I did it again, and it sort of worked. One of my eggs flipped over on top of the other and the yolk broke.

Damn it, I was going to end up with over medium eggs and those are gross.

My eggs were slipping all around the non-stick pan and the broken yolk was quickly cooking, but the whites that needed to cook were not and it was rapidly looking like I was going to have a fried egg sandwich for breakfast instead of my two over easy eggs.

Eventually, I got it sorted out - the whites cooked, while minimizing the cooking of the broken yolk - and got my very ugly eggs onto my plate.

I was grumbling to myself as I sat down to eat my ugly, not-perfectly-cooked eggs, "I wish we had one of those thin nylon spatulas! Then I could have flipped them."

At that point it dawned on me that I was blaming the tool (bamboo spatula) for my lack of skill. I had all of the tools I needed, namely a non-stick pan, but I did not have the skill. My husband is a chef, he never uses a spatula to flip eggs. Why? Because he has the skill to use the pan to flip them.

I have neither the skill, nor the courage, to attempt to just flip my eggs with a flick of my wrist.

As shooters - sometimes new shooters, sometimes old shooters - we can have a tendency to blame the tool. It sure the hell wasn't the bamboo spatula's fault I screwed up my eggs. It's an inanimate object that I put into use poorly. It was my fault. I didn't have the skill. Running out to buy a high speed, low drag thin nylon spatula isn't going to magically give me the ability to make perfect over easy eggs.

A chef, like my husband, may consider the ability to flip eggs in a pan a fundamental skill that all trained chefs should know. Lay cooks, like myself, who can cook well enough to feed themselves and occasionally impress friends tend to find work-arounds for those fundamentals. To an untrained person, my "skill" in the kitchen puts me just slightly above average. To a trained person, I cause much head-shaking, because I don't have the fundamentals down. I know just enough about a very few things in the kitchen to be dangerous - impressive to others who don't know any better, but exasperating to the trained.

Instead of going out to buy a new spatula, I'm going to buy another dozen eggs and have my husband teach me the fundamental skill I'm lacking.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

SHOT Show 2018 – Clay Pigeons and Thumb Busting

Here are a couple of interesting items we found at SHOT this year.

First up is the Crazy Quail clay pigeon throwing system.  The Crazy Quail is an automated system for throwing clay pigeons.  They offer a single, dual and even a quad throwing system.  You can buy their thrower or mount your own.

The Crazy Quail has a 360 degree rotation so you can throw clays in any direction. 
One of the best features, they have an App so you can control it from your Smartphone or Tablet.  Either program it for a specific pattern or have someone control it for you.

If you are serious about shot gunning and want a serious clay throwing system, then the Crazy Quail system is for you.

Next up is a tool to assist with the fun job of loading magazines.  There have been tools to help load magazines for years.  But I think ETS tactical has come up with one of the easiest systems I have come across.  
They have a universal tool for rifle magazines then the pistol tools are caliber specific.  The tools work with single stack or double stack magazine.  The tool will self center the magazine.  

If you need help loading magazines check out the ETS Tactical tool. 

By: Mez
February 2018

Thursday, February 1, 2018

SHOT Show 2018: Toys, Tools, Guns & Rules

One of the great things about SHOT show is all the celebrities you can see.  This year I was fortunate enough to meet Mrs. Julie Golob.  Julie is a veteran, national and international shooting champion and a great spokeswoman for the shooting community.  

She was at the Girls with Guns booth promoting her new book, "Toys, Tools, Guns and Rules".  TTGR is a book designed to introduce guns and gun safety ideas to children.  It is kept simple so children can understand.   

It is a great introduction for children to the world of guns and gun safety.  Grab a copy and read it with your children today.

"Toys, Tools, Guns & Rules"
Written by Julie Glob
Illustrated by Nancy Batra

Additional resources:

Kidsgunsafetybook - Additional information and companion resources to the book.

Project Child Safe - Gun accident prevention program

Eddie Eagle - Gun accident prevention program

Girls with Guns - outdoor apparel designed by women for women.

About Julie Golob:

Monday, January 29, 2018

Choosing A Self Defense Caliber - Part 1

This is the first of a three part series on caliber selection. The primary focus in the series will be handgun cartridges for self-defense; however, the math and science discussed here also applies to target shooting and hunting as well as rifle cartridges.

Warning, I will attempt to get technical with data in this series posts. I will also attempt to make that less painful than it sounds. No guarantees.

Disclaimer: I am an unabashed fan of the .45ACP cartridge and the guns that shoot them especially the 1911. I also own or have owned and loved guns chambered in .22LR, 9mm, .40 S&W, .357 Magnum and .44 Magnum. It is not the intent of this article to advocate for any particular cartridge as the “best cartridge” for everyone and every situation. The intent is to provide information to help you decide what’s best for you and your situation. I will offer up a personal opinion at the end for what that’s worth.

For those who are not interested in reading to the end, please allow me to sum things up for you right here. All calibers (rifle, shotgun or handgun) are a set of compromises, and different calibers do some things better than others. One size does not fit all. I don’t want to get shot with any of them. No one caliber can do it all (though some get closer than others). Only hits on target count, you can’t miss fast enough to win, and a slow hit beats a fast miss. If you can’t get hits with a particular gun/caliber, it is useless to you. You have to decide what works best for you not what works best for some data crunching gun nerd on the internet. Go to the gun range, beg, borrow or rent one of each caliber/gun combination you are considering (to the extent possible) and try before you buy. You’re welcome.

Now that the disclaimers, caveats, summaries and provisos are out of the way, let’s get busy.

If I had it my way, I’d have a huge collection of guns in every caliber possible with enough ammo to shoot them whenever I wanted. But, since I don’t live in the alternate reality where I won the lottery, I must make “wise” choices about what I do choose to buy. Statistically speaking, they're more people out there in the same boat as me than not. So, chances are good you need just as much help as I do making the best choice of caliber for your own individual circumstances (hint: it’s not the same for everyone).

To that end, the table below has some data points I will be referring to in the rest of the article for three common semi-automatic pistol calibers in use today. If you are interested in crunching your own numbers on different loads or calibers, part three in the series will jump into the deeper waters with the science and equations so you can go math yourself silly. However, some information, like SAAMI Max Pressure and charge weights, must be looked up or measured as opposed to calculated.

9x19 mm
.40 S&W
.45 ACP
Bullet Diameter
9mm / .355 in.
10mm / .40 in.
11.5mm / .451 in.
Overall Cartridge Length
1.168 in.
1.135 in.
1.275 in.
124 gr. @ 1115 fps
165 gr. @ 1130 fps
230 gr. @ 900 fps
Muzzle Energy
342 ft. lbs.
468 ft. lbs.
413 ft. lbs.
Bullet Area
0.10 sq. in.
0.126 sq. in.
.16 sq. in.
Bullet Momentum
19.75 ft.lbs/sec
26.64 ft.lbs/sec
29.57 ft.lbs/sec
Sectional Density
Recoil Energy/Velocity
6.0 ft.lbs./16.0 fps
9.3 ft.lbs./19.9 fps
7.5 ft.lbs./13.9 fps
SAAMI Max Pressure
35,000 psi
35,000 psi
21,000 psi

So, let’s get the obvious out of the way. Larger caliber bullets are bigger and heavier than smaller caliber bullets. There’s a shocker for you. Thank you, Captain Obvious.

Yes, but, look at the other dimensions for a moment. There is only a 2.5mm / 0.096 in. difference in diameter between the 9mm and the .45 ACP, and there is only a 0.107 in. difference in the overall cartridge lengths between the two. However, those little fractions of an inch make huge differences in the design of the guns that fire these cartridges. From little things like the size of the bolt face to the size and position of the extractors and ejectors, to feed ramp angles, to bigger things like frame size, grips and magazines. Those fractions of an inch add up. For instance, most polymer .40 S&W guns can easily convert to shoot 9mm with a simple barrel swap. You cannot do the opposite conversion because the breech face on 9mm guns is not large enough to accommodate the case rim of the .40 S&W even though they are only 1mm different in size.

So, if versatility and modularity are important to you, a gun chambered in .357Sig (which is essentially a necked down .40S&W case) or .40S&W may be a better choice than a gun chambered 9mm or .45ACP.

Another size related consideration is frame/grip size. Due to the longer overall case length of the .45ACP, guns chambered in .45 generally have a larger frame/grip than 9mm/.40S&W chambered guns. Technology advances in polymer handgun design has mitigated this problem somewhat, but those little 0.096 inch / 0.107 inch dimensional differences require bigger magazines which require bigger magazine wells which adds up to bigger frames and longer trigger reach. Those shooters with small hands/short fingers may find it difficult to hold and control the larger framed guns. It’s one of the reasons the FBI went from the 10mm to the .40 S&W and now back to the 9mm. I have pretty good sized hands with longish fingers, and even I have trouble with some designs (the Sig P220/P227 in has a fat grip/long trigger reach combination that doesn’t work well for me). Bottom line, more people will have an easier time finding a comfortable fit with a 9mm than a larger caliber such as a .45ACP or 10mm.  

Moving on, let’s compare the size of the bullets themselves because size matters or so I’ve been told. If you hang around the gun community long enough, you’ll hear somebody say things like “carry something beginning with a 4”, “a 9mm may expand to a .45, but a .45 will never shrink to a 9mm”, or “I carry a .45 because they don’t make a .46”. My best friend gave me a t-shirt that says “.45 because shooting twice is silly”. While most of these sayings are just hyperbole and ignorant macho nonsense, differences in bullet size may be important to some especially those living in restrictive states or cities that have limits on magazine capacity.

The diameter of a .45 is only about 27% larger than the 9mm, the cross-sectional surface area (think of the flat top of a wad cutter) is 60% larger. In other words, it takes 3 9mm bullets to make entry holes covering roughly the same number of square inches as 2 .45s. Bullets do weird things once they go through things like car doors, clothing, skin, bone, etc. So, there is no precise way to compare wound channels or hollow point expansion except in general terms. Generally speaking, a larger bullet will make a larger wound channel and expand to a larger diameter than a smaller bullet.  So, bigger hole is better. Right?

Maybe. It depends on your intended usage and circumstances. There are situations where quantity can be a quality all its own.

So, let’s take a few moments to discuss size versus quantity in the self defense context. Size and capacity really don’t matter in target shooting unless you are involved in organized shooting sports with rules specifying calibers and capacities. For hunting, size and capacity may have a minimum requirement or be limited by law.

The object of any self-defense weapon is to stop a threat (whether the threat is human, animal, vegetable, vehicular or killer robot). A bullet can do this in one of three ways: 1) turning the lights out by hitting the threat’s central nervous system, or 2) poking holes in the body allowing air to get in and blood or other vital fluids to get out, or 3) wrecking the skeletal structure to the point that further movement is limited or impossible.

A shot to the CNS is the best way to stop a threat. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the hardest shots to make under stressful conditions…like a home invasion, assault or other social unpleasantness. The spinal cord is between ¼ and a ½ inch thick depending on where in the spine you poke it. The medulla oblongata is a little over an inch long, and the other critical areas of the brain are not much bigger than that. If you think you can hit those targets on command when your heart rate is through the roof due to an adrenaline dump, mad respect to you and buy me a lottery ticket while you’re at it. This is the reason people are trained to shoot center of mass because hitting a moving target barely bigger than your bullet borders on the impossible.

For the sake of argument, let’s say you’re a good shot, calm under stress and you want the best chance of hitting the CNS. A .45 with 10 rounds (like, say, a Glock 30s), you have 11 chances (10 rounds in the magazine plus one in the chamber) to turn the lights out. Those 11 chances are slightly more forgiving of less than perfect aim than the smaller 9mm, but not by much. If we change the gun to a similarly sized 9mm (like, say, a Glock 19), you have 16 chances (15 rounds in the magazine plus one in the chamber). 16 chances are more than 11 chances pretty much everyday of the week. However, if you live in a restrictive state that limits magazine capacity to 10 rounds, maybe the bigger bullet makes more sense for you.

Now, let’s move on to bloodletting. It’s pretty much a no brainer that bigger holes let more blood out faster and more force breaks bones easier. Again, if you are in a restrictive state, bigger bullets may make more sense for you than smaller bullets. Outside of restrictive states, some people like to tout the capacity advantage of the 9mm over the .45ACP. As discussed above, it takes 3 9mms to open roughly the same surface area as 2 .45s. So, unless you are successful in a 1 shot stop, the capacity “advantage” of the 9mm is pretty well washed away when you consider the fact that it takes 15 rounds of 9mm to create the same area of holes as 10 rounds of .45.

Bone breaking is hard work. A quick check with Google says it takes almost 900 ft.lbs. of energy to make a clean break a femur which is one of the hardest bones in the body. However, we don’t need to cleanly break the bone; and, besides, that’s not how bullets work. Bullets crush and shatter outward from the point of impact. All handgun cartridges above 9mm are capable of breaking bones. Even the lowly .22LR can poke through some of the thinner bones.

Additionally, the pelvic girdle and the femurs are not bad choices for secondary targets if you can hit them. Even trainer Clint Smith advocates for a first shot to the groin in a self defense situation. 

The femur itself is not very wide (roughly an inch or so…wider at the ends) which will be a tough shot on a moving target at up to 7 yards while amped up on adrenaline. But, the femur and pelvic girdle are also home to the femoral artery and a lot of other necessary circulatory stuff. So, back to our discussion a moment ago about the CNS, do you want a bigger round slightly more forgiving of less than perfect aim, or do you want more chances to hit the target?

Another consideration is the weight of the ammunition because ounces equals pounds and pounds equals pain. If you are going to carry a gun for self defense, you have to schlep whatever you choose. A 124 grain 9mm bullet is 0.283 ounces, and a 230 grain .45 ACP bullet is almost double the weight at 0.525 ounces. And that’s before you even factor in the weight of the cartridge case and powder. A little more Google Fu says a 124 grain 9mm case, powder and projectile run about 0.444 of an ounce vs. the .45 at 0.737 ounces.

What does that mean for a typical concealed carry load out of one magazine in the gun and one reload? A 9mm Glock 19 carries 15+1 rounds in the gun. So, gun + reload comes to a total weight of 36.97 ounces. For a polymer to polymer comparison, a Glock 30s (which has 10 round magazines and is close in dimensions to the G19) with an extra reload tips the scales at 37.77 ounces. Less than an ounce difference.

For another interesting apples to apples comparison, let’s compare the Smith & Wesson M&P Shield9 vs. the M&P Shield45. The Shield9 holds 7+1 or 8+1 depending on the magazine, and Smith & Wesson lists the weight as 18.1 ounces (they do not however say whether that is a laden or unladen swallow). The Shield45 claims a 6+1 or 7+1 capacity and a weight of 20.5 ounces. For the sake of argument, we will assume S&W is reporting unloaded weights which makes a full gun and reload 25.65 and 31.56 ounces for the Shield9 and Shield45 respectively. That’s just shy of 6 ounces.

Muzzle energy is pretty much a wash between the 9mm, .40S&W and the .45ACP when you get right down to it. The .40S&W has a slight edge over the 9mm and .45ACP in the energy category and is also available in a wider range of bullet weights; however, it comes at the cost of increased felt recoil. More energy is generally preferable to less energy in any given situation; however, too much energy can be a bad thing too. No one I know seriously recommends a .500 S&W magnum for home defense because of the possibility of over penetration. Since muzzle energy is a function of bullet weight and velocity, we get back to trade offs again. Lighter bullets typically move faster than bigger bullets, but shorter barrels allow for less time for powder expansion resulting in lower velocities. So, a bullet fired from a 3 inch barreled gun is going to have less velocity and correspondingly less energy than the same bullet fired from a 4 inch gun. Go look at the charts on Ballistics by the Inch if you are really interested in digging into this in detail.

That leads us to momentum. Back to physics class. Isaac Newton was a smart cookie. The Laws of Motion state that objects in motion tend to stay in motion unless acted upon by an outside force and objects at rest tend to stay at rest unless acted upon by an outside force. Momentum coupled with sectional density is a pretty good indicator of how well a particular bullet will penetrate. Having said that, most modern self defense ammunition regardless of caliber is designed to meet the FBI recommendations for ballistic gelatin penetration of 12 to 18 inches. There’s some really good information on this done by others out there. Lucky Gunner’s test is pretty thorough and worth a look. 

Back to Newtonian physics, the “at rest” part of the laws of motion is your recoil. That big, fat, happy .45ACP needs a little heftier shove to get going in the morning than the smaller, lighter, zippy 9mm. We also have to pay the piper for one of Newton’s other notions: for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. If you have 342 ft.lbs. of energy exiting the barrel stage right, you also have to deal with 342 ft. lbs. of energy pushing the gun, your hand and everything else stage left. This is where the weight of the gun, the stiffness of the recoil spring, etc. come into play to mitigate recoil, and it’s why no one enjoys shooting scandium or polymer framed, snub nosed .357 magnums. In part three, I’ll give you a link to a recoil calculator you can play with. I think it’s neat, but I’m an admitted data nerd.

Looking back at the chart, .45ACP has the best momentum number, and its recoil numbers are actually better than the .40S&W. If you are recoil sensitive, 9mm is a good choice for you.

Handguns exist as light weight, concealable, personal defense weapons (at least in comparison to rifles and shotguns) to get you out situations you’d rather not be in. I said at the beginning that it was not my intent to advocate for one caliber over another as the best for everyone and every situation. I will, however, offer up the following as my personal opinion:

For the majority of shooters including those new to the sport as well as those people who rarely, if ever, shoot and have a gun “just in case”, the 9mm offers the best compromise of capacity, size, shootability, economy, etc. and is more than adequate for most situations. Bigger, more powerful calibers are more appropriate to “expert” shooters and those knowingly making a trade-off for a specific reason (e.g. living in a restrictive state or in bear country, those that want to shoot major power factor in competition, etc.). Pick the one you shoot the best. Practice as much as you can afford (we’ll talk about the economics in part two), and quit worrying about

Saturday, January 27, 2018

SHOT Show 2018 - People who show up

It is amazing who shows up at SHOT Show.  All sorts of celebrities and even movie actors.

Even Bumblebee of Transformers fame showed up.
Sad news is, we did not get to test fire any of his cool toys.

So many cool things to see at SHOT Show.

By: Mez
January 2018

SHOT Show 2018 - Industry day

OK, we just wrapped up another SHOT show for 2018.  Here are some of the items we were able to test fire at Industry day.
Unfortunately there is never enough time to see everything.  These are just the highlights of what we were able to shoot.

1.    First up, is Springfields famous M1A rifle.  What is new for 2018 is it is now chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor. This is an awesome combination of rifle and cartridge.  The mild recoil of the 6.5 Creedmoor makes the M1A a very soft shooting rifle.  I enjoyed shooting this rifle.  There are currently two variants.  One with the JAE precision stock and the other with the traditional black polymer M1A stock.  Both utilize a medium weight stainless steel barrel.
If you want an M1A but better ballistic performance and less recoil, look to the 6.5 Creedmoor version of the M1A.

2.    Next up is the new 911 pistol.  This is Springfields version of the old Colt Mustang Pocket .380 pistol.  You will notice it is very similar to the Sig 238. The main differences are the 911 has a larger trigger guard, slightly larger ambidextrous safety and the slide contour is uniquely Springfield.  Otherwise the two pistols are similar in size. 
Overall, I enjoyed shooting this pistol.  It is pleasant to shoot, mild recoil, good texture on the grips and shot where I aimed it.  Even though it is a Johnny Come Lately entry into the pocket .380 market, I think it is a welcomed addition to the Springfield line of pistols.

APO is a maker of high end precision rifles and accessories, including rifle receivers, Tripods and mounts and even rifle chassis for your existing rifle. 
What caught my eye was they had bolt action rifles chambered in the new .224 Valkyrie cartridge.  So I had to stop by to see what the hype was with the 224 Valkyrie. 
APO had their 224 rifled dialed out to 960 yards.  So that is what we shot.  The APO rifle was a joy to shoot.  Very nice, everything was smooth with an excellent trigger.  I would say if you are looking for a high end precision rifle, APO should be on your list of manufacturers to look at. 

The 224 Valkyrie cartridge performed as intended.  Tagging the 960 yard plate was easy.  With the extra light recoil of the 224, I was able to spot my own hits in the scope.   I think the extra light recoil is what will make this cartridge popular amongst 1000 yard shooters.  There are many cartridges out in the market that will do everything the 224 Valkyrie will do, but with more recoil. 

What makes the 224 Valkyrie unique is that it was designed to fit into an AR15 rifle. This makes your AR15 a true 1000 yard rifle.  Something other AR15 cartridges such as the 6.5 Grendel or 6.8 SPC can do, but the 224 Valkyrie does better.  The 224 Valkyrie stays supersonic out to 1300 yards (at sea level).  This is why it is a better 1000 yard cartridge for the AR15 platform.  Combine this with the low recoil and you have a unique performance cartridge. 
Factory ammunition is readily available from Federal.  Federal has 4 loadings from 60 grain to 90 grain projectiles designed for hunting to long range target shooting. 

Check out the new 224 Valkyrie if you want use your AR15 for 1000 yard shooting.  And if you want a matching bolt action rifle to match your AR15, look at Ashbury PrecisionOrdnance. 

If you like precision shooting and you like shooting with a suppressor but don’t like your suppressor vibrating off the end of the barrel.  Then look to SWS.  What they do is take a match grade barrel and machine the suppressor as part of the barrel.  Barrel and suppressor are one unit.  This allows SWS to make light weight cuts in to the barrel and increase the overall volume of the suppressor by utilizing the entire barrel length as part of the suppressor.  Which increases sound attenuation a few decibels.  Recoil can be reduced up to 40%. 
Overall weight is kept to a minimum and the rifles still balance very well. 

If we can get the stupid gun laws repealed in this country, I see this being the future of rifles.  The barrel and suppressor being one unit. 
Until the laws are change, you still need to get the tax stamp to own one.  Otherwise I love this idea.  

Here is another entry into the Combat Tupperware game.  The Archon Type B. 
At first I was skeptical because there are so many variations on the Glock style.  But I was pleasantly surprised when I fired this pistol.  It has a low bore axis.  Good texturing on the frame.  Much better than a stock Glock.  The frame was comfortable to grip in the hand. 
Overall, the Type B shot very well. 
If you are looking for a striker fired pistol and don’t like the typical options, take a look at the Type B from Archon Firearms. 

Here is a unique pistol from Hudson Manufacturing.  The Hudson H9 is a unique pistol.  The best way to describe it is a Glock and a 1911 had a mutant child.
It is a striker fired pistol, similar to a Glock with the frame angle/shape and single action trigger of a 1911.  Essentionally combining some of the best features of each pistol. 
I found the H9 to be comfortable to grip and to shoot.   The H9 does have a unique trigger design.  The trigger press is a nice single action similar to a 1911, but the trigger is hinged from the bottom.  Something I have not seen before in any other pistol.  I had no problems with the trigger hinging from the bottom.  But some of our team members expressed they did not like it. 
The current model is a steel frame and slide.  In a few months they will be shipping an aluminum frame model which will be approximately 10 oz. lighter than the steel frame model. 

By: Mez
January 2018