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Holster That (Extra) Side Arm!

Angelini Talks Gaming With DEVGRU Operator Craig Sawyer

Tom’s Hardware: So, what’s your opinion on Colt 1911 pistols? It seems like a lot of people have tricked-out 1911s. Would you carry one of these fancy pistols? 

Craig Sawyer: The tricked out 1911s are a total blast to shoot. I've owned several and had a world of fun racing across steel head plates with some of the finest ever made. On the range, they're magic! For me, though, they have no place in combat. I say that only because the basic design of a 1911 is 100 years old, with more controls than are necessary now. Their magazines have less capacity, to boot.

In a close-range confrontation, I want the most reliable pistol money can buy. In the world of Special Operations, if you're down to your pistol, you're either in very tight quarters or your primary isn't shooting, either from a malfunction or a necessary magazine change. In that context, all of a race gun's fancy qualities mean nothing. Reliability is king when you're halfway around the globe, in the dark of night, engaged in a violent fight.

More necessary SEAL equipment: the Tactical MustacheMore necessary SEAL equipment: the Tactical Mustache

Tom’s Hardware: Gamers also have a propensity for running around with two handguns out. Is there any practical scenario where you’d dual-wield side arms?

Craig Sawyer: Take two .45s out to the range and try shooting them together with any speed; that's a no-go in real-world operations. The reason is simple. To effectively manipulate and control that weapon, you need a good grip with both hands and good body mass behind the weapon. When you use one hand, the pistol moves off-target much more with the recoil of each shot. And at some point, you need to conduct magazine changes. That's not a simple task if you're trying to run two pistols like a cowboy. Finally, if you have a malfunction, which can be common in the adverse conditions of a combat zone, you want both hands to get that weapon back up and running as quickly as possible. I like to remind operators that I train: "In a close gunfight, a down weapon is like a total parachute malfunction. You have exactly the rest of your life to fix it!"

Unsung heroes: Helicopter recovery after rigging Iraqi anti-shipping mines for destructionUnsung heroes: Helicopter recovery after rigging Iraqi anti-shipping mines for destruction

Tom’s Hardware: Switching gears here, in a recent interview I did with Jacob Rosenberg, the CTO of Bandito Brothers, he mentioned to me that the team there wanted Act of Valor to put the viewer in the SEALs' boots and talk about the sacrifices they make. Apparently, that project was really well-received in the community. When an elite soldier, like you, sees a movie or game depicting his role—particularly one that cannot be discussed freely—what does he want to see?

Craig Sawyer: Well, I appreciate seeing the sacrifice and dedication that makes these warriors who they are. There's no magic formula for creating Navy SEALs. You can't instantly create them out of thin air. We're guys who feel strongly compelled to go forward and kick the asses out of our country's worst enemies before they come to our homeland and bring harm to our families, or our fellow Americans. We're just regular guys who love freedom enough to go through whatever it takes to become the most capable Spec Ops warriors on the face of the planet. The amount of personal sacrifice that goes into that overall effort is something I appreciate seeing portrayed.

An actor friend of mine, former Army Ranger, Tim Abell, was connecting me to the Bandito Brothers last year, but they were in the heat of filming Act of Valor, so we never fully linked up. I expect we'll cross paths soon with so many common interests. I was glad to see the film do well. At least this time, the story was being told by people who support our troops, instead of those who just want to dishonor them by portraying our defenders as indiscriminate, blood-thirsty killers. Positive is better. Our troops have earned it.

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