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Thread: FBI lawsuit concerning S&W 1076

  1. #11
    Very Pro Dentist Chuck Haggard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobM View Post
    We issued a 3906 and later 3913s to people that needed them.
    We had people buying their own, which was authorized, and worked well until S&W quit making those guns.
    I am the owner of Agile/Training and Consulting
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  2. #12
    Member DMF13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LSP972 View Post
    Did you experience the dreaded "trigger bar spring drag"? Those early Goodyears had no plastic plate/liners on the interior side, and sometimes the exposed SIG trigger bar spring would drag on the rubber and be impeded. Hogue was made aware of the issue, and began molding hard plastic plates in the proper location so the spring rode against that instead of rubber.
    No, I didn't start in LE until 2003, and that problem with the Hogue grips had already been identified and addressed.
    One wonders why "they" would not allow you to fit a standard trigger to your pistol? The absolute stupidity displayed by some FTU heads, who, refusing to be confused with facts, made it harder than necessary on their people, has always amazed me.
    They were equipping almost 2000 agents, and the decision was made that the only change that could be made to the gun was the grips, to keep everything standardized and avoid having people tempted to "customize" their guns in an unsafe manner. However, the policy wording was vague enough that some supervisors and some FIs would try to prevent even changing the grips. Frankly, some of our "armorers" and FIs couldn't be trusted to make that simple change. I can remember buying my own replacement springs as the armorer/FI at my first office could not understand the need to swap out recoil springs after firing several thousand rounds. Rather than do preventative maintenance his attitude was, "I'll fix it when it breaks."
    That tour of amazement began when I was in the academy in 1978 (revolvers, of course), and I was not allowed to use speedloaders in the firearms training portion. I was welcome to carry them upon graduation, though. True story.
    At that same first job we had a similar policy regarding holsters. At the Academy we had to use a horrible retention holster, I can't remember the brand, on our tactical gear, and a equally horrible leather holster for concealed carry training. As soon as I got my badge and walked off the FLETC property I was allowed to use just about any holster I wanted, but during training (both the FLETC run training and the agency specific training) I had to use the issued crap. Long before I left FLETC I had already ordered new gear, and started practicing with it using our "red guns" that we could have after hours.
    _______________
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  3. #13
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    We initially issues 3906's as needed. This was later changed to issuing the flat grip vs. the humped stock grip.

    We went from the 5906's/6906's to the DAO 5946's/6946's. The DAO guns worked slightly better for smaller handed people, but just slightly. The first three pre-production M&P9's were sent to us for T&E guns (Along with ND Agreements). We've been an M&P9 agency ever since. The M&P9 was the first "One size fits all" issued gun in my opinion.

    We also had a huge issue with the 9mm extractors. They were too small, and broke easily, but that's another topic.

  4. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Haggard View Post
    Ref the 1076, S&W factory armorer dudes of that time tell me one issue with the gun was FBI armorers doing "trigger jobs" on the guns and messing things up, then asking S&W why the guns were unreliable.
    Yeah, but there was more to that story. Disclaimer: I am by no means a champion of the fabled FBOnes, but those Gun Vault armorers weren't entirely at fault here.

    The main problem was that the FBI had insisted on a SIG-like decocking lever on the 1076, and S&W did a half-assed job of modifying the frame to include that. A couple of the parts were quite fragile, and one particular one (don't remember exactly which one, now), once bent, rendered the gun a sometimes-shooter. Some of those "trigger jobs" were actually the result of the Gun Vault armorers trying to restore operation (shooting the gun would bend that afore-mentioned part). This issue was eventually identified, and fixed with a beefier part. This "fix" was indicated on each weapon by two small punch marks on the frame. You will also find examples of the uncommon 5926 9mm pistol, which was a modified 5906 with this SIG-like decocking lever, so marked. S&W made some non-FBI pistols with this system (the 5926 is the only one I've handled, but there were others, in other calibers), but the general weakness and unreliability of that system didn't last long.

    But there is yet more to the story. The above described issue involved the ignition train- getting the trigger pull up to the firing pin. That wasn't the only reliability issue these guns had; there were also enough failures to feed/extract/eject going on to cause alarm. It got so bad, over half of the issued 1076s were recalled to the Gun Vault, where a team of factory armorers were TDY there to figure out what the hell was going on. I never heard what the cause of all that was, but they managed to "fix" most of them... although, once back out in the field, these issues re-surfaced with some agents. It doesn't take an analytical genius to figure out that the problems were a combination of the guns and some users, but after a year or so of this, the straw that supposedly broke the camel's back was when five of the initial contract batch continued to show the feeding/extraction/ejection issues, and the TDY S&W factory armorers finally threw up their hands and announced that they didn't have a clue. That's when FBOne management said okay, time to ditch these things.

    Keep in mind that is all hearsay... but pretty well-sourced hearsay.

    FWIW the sheriff's office here issued 1076s for more than a few years, and they never had any of the issues noted above; that I heard of anyway. They ditched the gun becuase the deputies were complaining it was too heavy to tote around all day, and many of them could not make it through a complete qual course before the recoil began affecting their scores... and that was with the watered-down Winchester Q4242 cartridge. We have several hundred rounds of that stuff here, and it is actually quite pleasant to shoot in a steel-frame 10mm pistol, IMO.

    So... to me, this whole debacle is yet another shining example of worker bees doing their best to implement the edict of a clueless leader, and it blowing up in their faces. You see, the entire 10mm-as-a-duty-gun concept was born out of the Miami Massacre. The director at the time was HIGHLY pissed at the outcome of that epic battle, because his FTU peolple had just convinced him that the 9mm was a viable replacement for the .357 revolver, and here he had two dead agents and five severely wounded ones... and his guys got off the first rounds. Despite the FTU guys trying to 'splain the vagaries of wound ballistics to him, somebody else put the 10mm bug in his ear, and made the announcement at an IACP convention that, due to the recent failure of the 9mm cartridge, the ever-on-the-bleeding edge-FBI was going to the TEN millimeter; because, more power.

    Now the FTU guys were in a panic, because they KNEW the 10mm full-patch round was far too much for most folks to handle. But, So Spake The Director, and now it was holy writ. So the scramble began.

    And that bit of hearsay, sports fans, came from someone who lived that cluster-fuck.

  5. #15
    Fornicates with shovels Hambo's Avatar
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    That's pretty much the way I heard it, LSP972. I remember meeting an FBI dude in the 10mm era. Although they probably had other off duty options, he carried his big 10 off body.

    In S&W trivia there was a civilian 4576? with the SIG style decocker. I saw one and only one in a gun shop after the feds ditched the 1076. This was when S&W was on the mix-and-match parts to make a new model kick. It's the only SIG & Wesson decocker I ever saw in person and it looked flimsy as hell.
    I am Jack's complete lack of outrage.

  6. #16
    It was flimsy. And that was a 5926, not 5929, my mistake. Several of our guys bought them. They were "Buy American at any cost" types, and while they recognized the superiority of the SIG system they couldn't bring themselves to buy a "furriner pistol".

    They soon learned the error of their ways. Of course, when we finally got around to issuing that furriner pistol, they took it gladly...

    .

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by GardoneVT View Post
    3rd Gen full size S&Ws are NOT small/medium hand friendly. Considering my mom cant reach the single action trigger of a 4006 I'm not surprised the 1076's adoption triggered a lawsuit.
    It didn't. As noted earlier, lawsuit pre dated the 1076.

    We had the same issues with small handed people when my agency went from revolvers and personally owned autos to everyone shall carry the Beretta 96D Brigadier.

  8. #18
    The Hansen case was a class action suit involving multiple female agents, some 35 years ago, with K-frame round butt S&W revolvers and .38 +P ammo. I'm not aware of a class action suit involving the 1076. There was an individual lawsuit on the matter, however, Judy Cangealose v. FBI et al . The issues were much the same, trigger reach being too long etc., but malfunctions with the 1076 were also an issue. She had great difficulty working the slide with hammer down, and was not able to cock it to relieve mainspring pressure, which would have allowed her to rack the slide. (The FBI 1076 had a spurless hammer.) In testing, she was able to qualify with other guns she would have been allowed to carry on duty under FBI rules of the period, including the S&W 3913 that then-Director Louis Freeh was said to carry himself, but she was not allowed to do so in training. The Government settled with her at the 11th hour before the case went to trial.

  9. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by LSP972 View Post
    They were "Buy American at any cost" types, and while they recognized the superiority of the SIG system they couldn't bring themselves to buy a "furriner pistol".

    They soon learned the error of their ways. Of course, when we finally got around to issuing that furriner pistol, they took it gladly.
    Ah yes. They reminds me of . . . me. For years I wouldn't but a car or gun that wasn't American. If it wasn't an S&W or a Colt I didn't want it, and I certainly didn't want Euro-pellets. It was either .357 or .45 auto. Then, years after everyone else, I finally bought a Glock (whose trigger I previously had thought, with some justification, seemed like the trigger of a caulking gun).

    10,000 rounds without a single problem got me to start rethinking priorities.

  10. #20
    Member Gadfly's Avatar
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    I have heard stories of the FBI lawsuit from FBI types as well as other agencies. Rumor only. I have been told the root of the suit was under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Basically, the Gov has to make "reasonable accommodations" for those with special needs. If the gun is too big for a small handed female, a "reasonable accomidation" must be made to get them a gun that they can use. Don't know if that part is true, but it sounded plausible.

    This is an interesting thread.

    After owning and ditching a 10mm Delta Gold Cup, I always wanted to try a full size 1006 to see how it would handle.
    A gun is a tool, Marian; no better or no worse than any other tool: an axe, a shovel or anything. A gun is as good or as bad as the man using it. Remember that. - Shane

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