More Ottawa Shootout Details
Guns, Kevin Vickers, Michael Zehaf Bibeau, Ottawa, Smith & Wesson 5946
The National has a full play-by-play description of exactly how Kevin Vickers took down Michael Zehaf Bibeau.
What Pistol did Sergeant at Arms Kevin Vickers use?
(Dean Weingarten identified it.)
Bibeau was using a Model 1894 Winchester .30-30 lever-action carbine, with a tubular magazine holding six rounds (in addition to a round in the chamber). Retired Mountie Kevin Vickers took from his desk the RCMP standard sidearm: a Smith & Wesson Model 5946 9mm semiauto, almost certainly with a 15-round magazine (plus one in the chamber).
Vickers had Bibeau decidedly outgunned. Vickers could fire 16 shots as rapidly as he could press the trigger. Bibeau had only some portion of seven rounds left, and needed to work the lever to eject the spent cartridge case and chamber a new round before he could get off another shot.
Mike McDaniel doesn’t like the Double-Action semiautos designed for the police market (and I agree).
[M]ost police officers [today] are not gun guys and girls. Many officers shoot their issued handguns only when necessary for qualificationsâ€“commonly only once a yearâ€“and clean their weapons far less often. Many police officers donâ€™t own personal weapons, and many donâ€™t carry any handgun off duty. Skill with handguns, and particularly revolvers requires constant and serious practice. Most police officers arenâ€™t willing to do that.
Police executives were scared to death of the pistols available in the 70s, which were primarily the Colt 1911 and Browning Hi-Power, both single action pistols correctly carried â€œcocked and locked.â€ The sight of those cocked hammers sent shivers up their spine and made their knees weak, so manufacturers developed double action mechanisms so that they functioned more or less like revolvers, except they didnâ€™t. After the first, vague, long and heavy double action trigger pull, the second and subsequent shots have a short, light pull, generally making the impact points of at least the first two shots far apart indeed.
Col. Jeff Cooper called double action pistols â€œan ingenious solution to a non-existent problem.â€ And so they were.
But Kevin Vickers clearly had fired that Smith & Wesson at a range many times in police practice sessions. He was familiar with his weapon and proved quite capable of shooting it accurately at a man-sized target.