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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been thinking about posting this since it happened about six weeks ago, it's the main reason I upgraded my CCW pistol from a .380 to a 45ACP! (I also posted this on Marlin Owners forum.)

It was a sunny fall afternoon about 4:30, I realized I was out of milk, and drove to the local Quickie-Mart to get more. As I pulled off the lot, I remembered that my .380 Bersa was in the compartment on top of the dash, and I wanted to make sure I took it inside when I got home, lest it get stolen out of the car. So I got it out and tucked it under my right leg to remind me.

Two blocks later I approached a stop sign, and as I got closer two salty-looking miscreants walked out in front of me in the intersection, and as I stopped for the stop sign, the taller one began to approach my door, while the other one stopped in front of the car on the passenger side. Both had their hands in their pockets, and I hit the door locks on instinct as they got closer. The passenger window was up, so I wasn't too worried about the second guy, but the taller one walked toward me, smiling. He said, "Gimme a dollar, man!" and I said, "I don't carry cash, pal, sorry." He didn't stop smiling but he moved closer and his left hand started to come out of his pocket. "I need a dollar, man!" As his hand came farther out of his pocket I could see he had a long table knife, and as he leaned in closer and reached toward the door handle, his face was only a few feet away. I don't remember putting my hand on the gun, but as I raised it, it bonked into his forehead, right over his eyes, and I hissed, "No cash! Now BACK OFF!"

He did exactly that, his eyes wide, the knife in his hand, his buddy apparently frozen in place in front of my car, and the taller one practically yelled, "Yo! Be Cool, Be Cool!" I yelled back, "I'm fine....but you need to stop screwing with people you don't know, now BEAT IT!" I watched as he darted back across the intersection the way he had come, his buddy was already out of sight. I checked my mirrors and swiveled my head to make sure he wasn't still around, then punched the gas and got the heck out of there.

About two more blocks towards home, I realized I was shaking like a leaf, the gun still in my hand. I pulled up in front of my building, sat for a few minutes to compose myself, then went inside. My 15-year old son was staying with me at the time, and as soon as I walked in he looked up, tossed the Playstation controller on the floor, and said, "Jesus! What happened?" I just shook my head, went to the kitchen to put the milk away, and grabbed a beer. He followed me out there, waiting and watching me, and saw my hands were still shaking. I finished the beer, grabbed another, then we went into the living room and I told him what had happened. The gun was in my waistband, and when I took it out to put it away, I noticed the hammer was at half-cock, NOT hammer-down, the way I always carried it. In other words, I'd pulled the trigger hard enough to get past the half-cock notch without realizing it. Another pound or two of pressure, and I'd have blown that idiot's brains all over the street. I decided as I put the gun away it wasn't the right caliber to count on in a pinch, and decided to upgrade ASAP.

It's funny what you remember about stuff like this. Everything went into slow-motion (Tachypsychia) as I watched his hand coming out of his pocket, I remember realizing that he was left handed, and that it wasn't a hunting knife, it was a long butter knife. It would still have severed an artery if he'd jammed it into my neck, but it was almost funny at the time. I heard a muffled THUNK when the muzzle of the gun met his forehead, and it left a ring when he quickly backed away. His eyes were about the size of Alaska, and he was wheezing as he yelled at me to Be Cool.

I've played it back in my head about a million times since, some people I've told about it said they'd have run one or both of them down, but I'm not sure how that would have turned out. Several have said they'd have pulled the trigger, maybe several times. I was perfectly legal in my state to have the gun in the car, but I'm glad I didn't fire, I did what I've always trained others to do.....extricate yourself from the situation, if at all possible.

I never did calll the police, I couldn't give a very good description, just two hoodrats in jeans, tennis shoes and dark hooded sweatshirts. That describes about 90% of the people who live in that neighborhood. I still drive through there on occasion, but you can bet I'm on full alert, and armed, when I do. And these days, there's a 45ACP close by, not a .380!

Papajohn the Extricator
 

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WOW! Scary stuff. What neighborhood was that? The 45 is a good idea.

Cheese
 

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I'm in the process of upgrading myself. It's fine to look at ballistics and read articles and get other opinions, but in the end the setup that you have confidence in is the one you need to have.

I'm glad that it worked out the way it did. Just as your good scare caused you to modify the way you do things, perhaps the scare those two guys got will cause them to rethink their career choices.

Glad to hear you're okay.
 

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Papajohn - now you have to be extra careful. If you had unknowingly squeezed the trigger on the Bersa hard enough for it to come off 'hammer down' and go into half-cock you would have squeezed the 45 hard enough to discharge it. Just going to a larger caliber doesn't really matter at point blank range.
 

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Glad that turned out to be something we can all learn from. It reminds me of a time my girlfriend was driving through a bad section of Denver late one night. See stopped at an intersection and a large black guy started across the street in front of her. She locked her doors, and hearing the click, the guy turned toward her and said "no body want you!" I teased her about that for years after. ;D
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Mikey, the triggers on the 380 and 45 Bersas are the same, both DA and fairly stiff, ten pounds or better. I think I was in the process of pulling the trigger through when Miscreant #1 backed away, and I relaxed. If he'd have kept coming I would have finished it, at muzzle contact distance.

Cheesehead, the area was near Gravois and Jefferson, a bit south of there. I've heard it said that if you're white and drive through there at night, you get shot at just on General Principal. I'm just glad I had the gun close to hand, if I'd had to retrieve it from the dash, I'd have been scrod.

And yes, I'm hoping those two Model Citizens decided on a career change. Following their present course through life could be risky!

Papajohn
 

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Am I reading that right? You had the muzzle against his forehead :eek:

That does not sound good for either of you!
 

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papajohn > It looks like somebody is on your side. That couldn't have been just a coincidence. I'm glad it turned out good for you, and hopefully those two thugs will make a turn around with their lives.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
EdK said:
Am I reading that right? You had the muzzle against his forehead :eek:
Yeah, I was raising the gun toward him as he leaned in closer, and we met in the middle. It sounded like a ripe melon, then he put it in reverse pretty fast, I'm sure that .356" hole looked like a howitzer as it swung up past his eyes. That's one reason I got the stainless slide, that big black hole in the end of the barrel looks like a manhole without a cover!


PJ
 
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