HGR 102 - Handgun Comparison Testing Protocols with Claude Werner, The Tactical Professor

Photo Courtesy of PDN
Photo Courtesy of PDN

Hello and welcome to Handgun Radio! I’m your host Ryan Michad from the wild woods of Central Maine, and this is your home for all the news, information and discussion in the handgunning world.

This week, I’m joined by Claude Werner, The Tactical Professor. Claude is a firearms researcher and analyst who specializes in analyzing use of force incidents and firearms usage. Tonight, we discuss how to compare firearms using testing protocols and how to find out which one will perform best for you.

Brought to you by the Firearms Radio Network

Week in Review:

Ryan: - I can finally say that there is a Volquartsen Custom Scorpion .22 LR on it’s way to me as we speak. The Scorpion is Volquartsen’s custom upper and lower with many enhancements. I opted for the 4.5” barrel with a fiber optic front and target rear sight. I can’t wait to review it! Be sure to keep on the lookout for the link on the Handgun Radio facebook page!

Claude: What did you do this week in the world of firearms?

With that, we will head into the main topic, Handgun Comparison Testing Protocols with Claude Werner

Main Topic: Handgun Comparison Testing Protocols with Claude Werner, Researcher & Analyst

When I attended the NRA Annual Meetings this past April, I had the pleasure of meeting Claude at the Glock Media Event for the introduction of the Glock 43. I had first been introduced to Claude’s work after Grant heard me babbling on and on about how I wanted more small .22 LR’s and that Ruger should make an LCP in .22 LR. His response was “I think you and Claude Werner would be great friends, he likes those small pistols” In speaking with Claude at the meetings, I realized Grant was correct. So, Claude it’s great to have you on the show!

First, for those that aren’t familiar with your work, lets start with a little background on you.

  1. How did you get started shooting and how did that lead into your research & training career?
  2. In what ways do you feel the field of firearms research is lacking?
  3. You place a huge emphasis on repetition and marksmanship in your training drills I’ve seen online. Do you feel like the industry these days focuses too much on hardware (guns, gear, etc.) as opposed to software (training & experience)?
  4. Like I said before, Grant mentioned to me that you and I share an affinity for small pistols. What drove you to work with guns like the small .22 pistols and the SCCY pistols?
  5. What challenges do you think face those people who choose to carry small pistols and how might they overcome those challenges or at least mitigate their impact?

When I took posession of my Steyr C9-A1, Claude wrote me and asked how I would be testing the gun. Admittedly, I do not have a structured plan for reviewing a firearm because I haven’t done it a lot. Personally, I run a number of steel plate drills, noticing how the gun functions, the reliability, accuracy and ease of use. Having far more experience in the field, Claude sent me some materials that he uses when he is evaluating a pistol.

  1. Claude, what do you feel is lacking from most pistol “tests” that you see published?
  2. How did you devise the protocols you use to test a handgun?
  3. In your opinion, what is the worst flaw you can see in a handgun?
  4. I’ve been introducing my wife to shooting very recently. She started shooting a Ruger SR-22 and then finally moved up to 9mm with my Kahr CM9. The Kahr, being a small gun, was pretty snappy for her. My Model 60 .38 Special had too stiff of a trigger pull for her hand strength (GUN SHOP OWNERS WHO PUSH J-FRAMES ON WOMEN TAKE NOTE). The Kahr worked for her, but was a bit snappy. She really enjoys the Steyr C9-A1. We’ve only had one chance for her to shoot it but she found the sights were far easier to acquire than the dot-and-post setup on the Kahr. How can different skill levels help/hurt the testing of a handgun?
  5. What is the one thing to avoid when testing a handgun?
  6. I really enjoyed the “First Shots Drill” that you shared with me. It consists of 48 rounds, so just under a box of ammo. How does this drill work and how can it help someone evaluate the performance of a handgun?

Excellent, and with that, we will head into the wrap up section!


Until next week, have fun and SAFE SHOOTING!