Many of you that check in to my blog know that I am an avid outdoors person and teach many classes that involve hunting and gun safety. I am not a gun nut or an expert in any way, but I do get out there and work with a lot of people on safety. I can’t stress safety and training enough. Guns (and knives and bows as well) do not cause injuries – unsafe use of them is the problem.
In addition to teaching safety courses as a certified instructor, I also love to read. Now, if there were an expert title for book readers, I would rank in the top 2% of the world. In many fiction and non-fiction books, guns are mentioned. Our heros and heroines pull out their trusty XXX gun and blow away the bad guys, the attacking bear, the snake threatening our child; even at times, to blast the links to the chains holding our victim! I am going to critique, with absolutely NO expert qualifications, some of the guns used by the characters we find in our books. Many authors have probably had people ask them what type of gun their character uses and want to know more about that choice. How fun to take some of my favorite authors & characters and explore their choices! I give credit to the authors where credit is due and only am expressing my thoughts, good or bad, as to why or what in specific I like about this gun. I do not intend to insult any author or manufacturer, but I am sure I will generate some controversy and discussion. I am an open minded person and you are entitled to your own opinions, whether they differ from mine or not. My mind can also be changed if the facts are there to contradict me, but again, these are just my own personal feelings on the issue. I’ll start with a very easy one, as follows. Please enjoy this new series, ‘Heros & Guns’
One of our favorite adventure/thriller authors, Clive Cussler, has a book released in 2008 titled, ‘Arctic Drift’, I noticed the main character has had a change of his hand gun of choice. Maybe he had made the switch in an earlier book, but I was surprised to see a main character pull out his trusty new Five-seveN, a hand gun manufactured by a company called FNH. Last year I worked with the NRA as a Pistol Instructor at an event called the Women’s Wilderness Escape. My task there was to help teach women a taste of the softer side of shooting. The event I worked with was hand guns–a revolver [S&W .22] and a semi-automatic called the Five-seveN. We’ll focus on the 5-7 (my abbreviation for it, not its true name).
This photo courtesy of the web site: www.fnhusa.com
The 5-7 has many good features, but I want to point out from the start that I think this is the wrong gun for our hero nor would I recommend it for personal protection or for our protectors on the streets to carry this type of gun. There are two basic types of ammunition available for these guns – a restricted military/police type ammo and the over the counter civilian version. The m/p version has a bunch of lethal stopping & penetration power. With Dirk’s resources, in his make believe world, of COURSE he has the lethal, vest and helmet penetrating version, or anything he wants manufactured in their handy dandy workshop! In the real world, the civilian version of ammunition is all he would be able to acquire. This version of ammunition, well, renders the gun slightly underpowered as far as stopping power goes; maybe just a bit more lethal than a .22. If you are reloading your ammunition, you will find the shell casings extremely difficult to work with. So, Dirk – put away your 5-7 in the gun safe and bring back something more efficient for this role, say a 9mm?
On the other hand, the 5-7 has some great selling qualities. The gun is easy to disassemble, clean & reassemble with only 3 basic parts. In the thousands of rounds we put through these guns, not a single misfire, jam or other incident occurred. The magazine release is on both sides of the grip as is the slide lock, making the gun easy to use with either hand. The magazine is relatively quick and easy to load, although the spring gets very tight when you are trying to squeeze the last round or two inside. You almost cannot load the magazine incorrectly as the ammo will spring back up and jump out if you are doing it the wrong way. The weight/balance ratio of the gun made for ease of holding for long periods of time and the gun’s grips are extremely well situated so that there is little chance of injury should you grip it incorrectly and the slide doesn’t jump back to attempt to slice your thumb web or knuckle. (Several guns in the past, with just the slightest inattention or lack of familiarity have caused battle scars on both hands). The recoil is very light. As for accuracy? Fresh out of the box, about a dozen guns had great aim with no need for any adjustment from the factory setting of the sights. Even the smallest, most timid woman out of 50 students had no problem mastering this gun with relatively good accuracy. It is a very fun gun to shoot and easy to learn to use.