Firearm Instruction Manuals vs Real Life

By John Farnam

Firearms Gun Instruction Manual Guide
Firearm Instruction Manuals vs Real Life
Defense Training International, Inc
Defense Training International, Inc

Ft Collins, CO –-( The Meaning of Words:

In our liticaphobic civilization, liability has become an object of morbid fear on the part of anyone, particularly any business entity with sufficient assets to attract the attention of sleazy, erstwhile-unemployed lawyers.

This civilization is in desperate need of comprehensive tort reform!

Until that day, pitiable causalities are, of course, (1) truth and (2) frankness, and the foregoing is the reason it is nearly impossible to get a straight answer out of “Instructions-for-Use” manuals and “customer-service” representatives from nearly any manufacturer, particularly gun manufacturers.

Lawyers often use “weasel-words” and “weasel phrases,” more to confuse future litigants than to educate and enlighten current users of guns for which they purport to provide instructions. Unfortunately, precious few of those same lawyer/authors even own a gun, much less carry one as part of their daily routine.

Interpretation (more like “translation”) of gun-user manuals has thus become an art in itself, and when reading them one continuously asks himself:

“What are they really trying to say?”

In April of last year, I wrote that manuals provided with all modern pistols are improved, at least in the realm of honest, frank, and unambiguous language, over what they used to be.

However, starkly confronting the subject of routinely carrying serious guns for sedulous personal security is still almost never undertaken with any degree of honesty, either in manuals, nor in promotional material produced and promulgated by marketing departments.

For example, in just about all user manuals that come with serious pistols, you’ll find language like this:

“Never load our pistol (ie: put a live round in the chamber) until immediately prior to firing it. Unload the pistol immediately after firing.”

That language suggests to me that manufacturers of the pistol in question do not themselves believe it is safe to carry their own product while it is loaded, although they turn right around and heavily market those same pistols to police departments, where they know full-well that pistols carried by police personnel are routinely carried loaded.

And, that offends me, because it smacks of hypocrisy, although I’m sure corporate lawyers smugly insist it is all “necessary.”

In fact, manuals provided with modern guns rarely mention the issue of even occasionally carrying, much less routinely carrying, pistols.

What needs to be said in gun-manuals, but probably never will be, is something like this:

“Our pistols and designed for, and intended for, serious use, by police, military personnel, other security professionals, and private citizens. It is thus appropriate and acceptable that our pistols be routinely carried (openly or concealed) on the person, loaded (live round chambered), with a fully-charged magazine inserted, and hence in a high state of readiness, so as to be effective during personal security emergencies (which is the sole purpose for which they are designed and produced to begin with)

Accordingly, our pistols are designed to be, and are, “drop-safe.” That is, no amount, nor kind, of eternal trauma is even remotely likely to cause the pistol to discharge, even when loaded, absent pressure being applied to the trigger.

While no gun is “perfectly safe” (nor would you want it if it were), our pistols are specifically designed for, and intended for, serious purposes, as noted above. In our design and manufacturing methods, we’ve achieved an acceptable “safety/utility” compromise, though we work on improving our products constantly.

Before considering “going armed,” as described above, we recommend that all new owners of our pistols attend competent, comprehensive training, provided by us or other qualified trainers.”

The foregoing applies to Glock, SIG320, FNS, FN509, H&K VP9, Walther PPQ and PPS/M2, S&W M&P, SAXD and XD/M, Canik TP9SF/Elite, CZ P10C, Kahr, Ruger AA, Beretta APX, all the pistols I recommend for serious use, including routine carrying for personal security.

“The great enemy of clear language is insincerity. When there is a gap between one’s real and one’s declared aims, he turns, as it were, instinctively to long words and exhaustive idioms, like a cuttlefish spurting out ink.” ~ George Orwell


About John Farnam & Defense Training International, Inc
As a defensive weapons and tactics instructor John Farnam will urge you, based on your own beliefs, to make up your mind in advance as to what you would do when faced with an imminent and unlawful lethal threat. You should, of course, also decide what preparations you should make in advance, if any. Defense Training International wants to make sure that their students fully understand the physical, legal, psychological, and societal consequences of their actions or inactions.

It is our duty to make you aware of certain unpleasant physical realities intrinsic to the Planet Earth. Mr Farnam is happy to be your counselor and advisor. Visit:

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Jim Macklin

A similar issue is being fired if you legally carry at work. It is a liability issue for employers who can plan on the cost of an employees death benefit, funeral and insure against such costs as well as losses to the business. But employers don’t have any way to predict the cost or insure against an employee injuring an innocent person. So employers fire employees who arm them selves for self-defense or who just resist robbers and shoplifters. States need to write the liability laws so that employers are shielded from law suits.unless the business REQUIRES or furnishes weapons… Read more »

Herb T

Instead of worrying about lawyers and carrying half-loaded or unloaded firearms (no round in the chamber), a person could simply paint their hand black, dark blue or silver and then, when armed defense is necessary, pull their painted hand out of their pocket and point their finger like they had a gun. Scare the bad guys away and avoid the cost of a firearm, no ammo costs, no training costs, and even better – no money for the lawyers. Of course, if that doesn’t work, TS! (Tough Situation) But you still don’t have to pay the lawyers.


On the contrary it is probably better that lawyers and attorneys DO NOT carry.

Big Bill

“Accordingly, our pistols are designed to be, and are, “drop-safe.” That is, no amount, nor kind, of eternal[sic] trauma is even remotely likely to cause the pistol to discharge, even when loaded, absent pressure being applied to the trigger.”

No maker of any device will ever make such a pronouncement of perfect safety for their product, nor should they.
Murphy is alive and well, and better idiots keep coming down the line.