cocked and unlocked


March 30, 2003, 07:34 PM
I have only had my 1911 for about a month now. not entirely comfortable with the "cocked and locked" condition. Usually wear a sweater or sweatshirt on the weekends. How many of you, if anyone, has ever looked down and realized that your "cocked and locked" had become "cocked and unlocked".

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March 30, 2003, 07:39 PM
I have never had it happen. Some guns have loose saftey catches. Im sure it could happen. If your gun is in a holster and your thumb safety gets knocked off, you still have the grip saftey anyway. I wouldnt worry to much about it.

March 30, 2003, 09:34 PM
Don't recall if it was here or on another forum, but I've read theads where cocked & unlocked was mentioned as a preferred form of carry. The thinking being that if the beavertail safety is working properly the gun is safe :eek:

Standing Wolf
March 30, 2003, 09:53 PM
If it unlocks by itself, there's something wrong. I'd recommend a competent model 1911 gunsmith.

Old Fuff
March 30, 2003, 11:53 PM
If you want to carry "cocked & locked" but are worried I suggest you get a holster (inside or outside the waistband) that has a thumb-break safety strap that goes over the slide and blocks the hammer from falling. So long as you keep your finger off the trigger while drawing the safties will be a moot point.

March 30, 2003, 11:58 PM
Just curious, why did you choose this type of pistol for carry? Cocked and locked doctrine is almost the soul reason for carrying a 1911.

You can get the caliber, accuracy, blah, blah out of many guns, so how did you end up with a carry gun you don't trust the carry method of?

March 31, 2003, 05:53 AM
Two of mine have the "wide tactical" ambi's on'm. They wipe off on my clothing, car seat, whatever, all the time (I don't really ever see it happen, so I don't know where it happens). It doesn't worry me at all, really. I've got to where I don't even put in back on when I see it's wiped off.

I know my grip safeties are good working condition, and still check'm every morning/evenin with the daily load/unload. If you are sure of your 1911, you'll find the manual safety is just an extra.

Just like a Glock really (:what: WHAT DID HE SAY??!!!!!! ). Keep your fingers where they're supposed to be on the draw, that's really all the safety you need. Jerk, pull, push, front sight, finger on the trigger, slack, shoot.

March 31, 2003, 06:37 AM
got the pistol because its an American Classic that I had to have for my collection, then I found out how well it shoots.

March 31, 2003, 10:41 AM
Michiganfan: No, my safety has never wiped off. If you are concerned about it, for the next two weeks, carry around the house chamber empty but cocked and locked. See if your safety wipes off. If it does, you either 1) need to get your gun to a gunsmith or 2) need to get a different holster.

In addition, what if the safety actually does wipe off? So what. Your gun won't go off unless you 1) depress the grip safety, 2) remove the gun from the holster, and 3) pull the trigger.

Is it possible that the cocked hammer has you spooked? If so, consider carrying a different gun -- there are plenty of good alternatives for those who are not comfortable with a 1911.

March 31, 2003, 12:59 PM
My first 1911... a Llama... would get unlocked if I holstered it... The safety was way too loose, but since it was my first pistol, I didn't know better.

Now I've had a few SA pistols through my hands, I notice how positively the safely locks up. My new Milspec is almost a pain to disengage, but it gives me confidence that it will stay locked, even with some rubbing.

If you have one that does not positively click into lock, and stay locked, you may want to replace the safety!

March 31, 2003, 01:27 PM
"I have only had my 1911 for about a month now. not entirely comfortable with the "cocked and locked" condition. Usually wear a sweater or sweatshirt on the weekends. How many of you, if anyone, has ever looked down and realized that your "cocked and locked" had become "cocked and unlocked"."

That's the #1 gripe I have read from LE's who carried 1911's for duty. The thunb safety gets wiped off very easily. I would never carry a 1911 because I don't like that.

March 31, 2003, 01:57 PM
Bounty: If their thumb safety gets wiped off too easily, then their gun needs to go to a gunsmith. And are these the LEOs now carrying Glocks instead? In other words, are they comfortable carrying a Glock, but worried about carrying a 1911 with the safety on?

I just don't get it.

March 31, 2003, 02:07 PM
I've never had one come "unlocked". If I carry close to body, i.e. IWB, I like to have a small shield that covers the safety. This feature comes on most quality holsters. If I'm carrying on my strong side OWB, I don't care if there is a shield or not.

March 31, 2003, 03:18 PM
Nope. But I don't use ambi thumb safeties. And I probably wouldn't worry about it if I knew my grip safety is working properly.

March 31, 2003, 03:53 PM
I've had it happen when using a holster with a thumb snap. It's one reason I stopped using one. If you get a IWB kydex, like Blade Tech makes, with the guard between you and the gun, it wont(well hasnt) happen. If your safety isnt "snug" when on, a dremel with a small ball grinder can make the detent deeper making it more secure. Just dont go overboard. This is how my gunsmith fixed one I had that didnt want to stay off when I was shooting. It didnt "click" off and on before, it does now.

March 31, 2003, 05:33 PM
"Bounty: If their thumb safety gets wiped off too easily, then their gun needs to go to a gunsmith. And are these the LEOs now carrying Glocks instead? In other words, are they comfortable carrying a Glock, but worried about carrying a 1911 with the safety on?

I just don't get it."

I wouldn't carry a Glock either. But, most Glocks in service have the LE spring which makes for a pretty stiff trigger pull. At least you've got that as a "safety" of sorts. If you have a 12# pull, that's the same as the old revolver that most LE's used to carry anyway and the long Glock trigger pull is harder to accidentally discharge. The 1911 only has a typical 4.5# pull with a very short trigger movement.

As for needing repair? I don't know about that. The safeties on all the 1911's I've handled could definitely be knocked down pretty readily if bumped into something.

March 31, 2003, 07:08 PM
Correct me if I'm wrong, here:

The grip safety only blocks the trigger. The hammer, if the manual safety is off, is only being held by the spring pressure on the sear. If the gun is dropped, safety off, the grip safety won't do anything to prevent the sear from bouncing off the hammer.

Hopefully, the half-cock notch would hold. But I wouldn't bet on it.

If you carry a series 70 cond. 1, that manual safety REALLY needs to stay on.

March 31, 2003, 09:42 PM

Once I draw the gun from the holster, I turn off the safety. If I drop it on the muzzle after that, yes, it could go off. I do, of course, keep a fresh firing pin spring in the gun to reduce that likelihood.

If the gun is in the holster and the safety somehow gets wiped off, how am I going to drop the gun? It's in the holster. If I draw it at this point, how, exactly, is it different than if I draw it normally?

When i draw the gun, within a second of drawing the gun, I lower the safety. So, if the safety somehow got wiped off while in the holster, the only extra "danger" is if, in the short period between the gun being removed from the holster and half-way through the draw stroke, I dropped the gun. Of course, at that height, it would be unlikely for it to off if dropped anyways....

bounty: How are you going to bump the safety into something? Assuming you are right handed, the safety is on the left side of your gun, between your holster and your body. Many holsters also have sweatshields that help lock the safety in place.

And if the 1911 safety is too loose, then take it to a gunsmith and have him fix it.

I've carried 1911s for several years. With and without an ambidextrous safety. My safety has never been wiped off.

Folks, if you don't like 1911s, don't carry them. But they can be carried perfectly safely. If the cocked hammer scares you, then carry something else. Or carry a Series 80 1911.

Sorry, Handy, but I still just don't get it.

March 31, 2003, 09:50 PM
The most likely time to drop a gun is during the draw. The moment it begins to clear the leather but before you have a complete firing grasp on it (yes, most holsters cover a portion of the gun that you will eventually be holding) and before the safety is removed. This is why you wouldn't want to remove the safety as the first step in the draw, but rather the last.

The manual safety is a drop safety, of sorts.

And I'm not talking about a firing pin accident. I'm talking about an induced sear bounce from the impact.

If you disagree, when do you think a shooter is most likely to drop his weapon?

March 31, 2003, 10:06 PM
I've never had a safety disengage itself on any of my 1911's.

March 31, 2003, 10:48 PM
My favorite gun type is double action/single action with manual safety and decocker( Rugers, manual safety, and Astra 100s -no manual safety but a decocker). I recently got a Star PD which is single action and has a great trigger. I have therefore carried it cocked and locked a few times. I think the strong manual safety is the only safety on this thing. There is no grip safety and no hammer block. If there is a round in the chamber and the hammer falls, the gun fires. I consider double action revolvers and single action pistols to be the next safest compared to DA/SA. I consider the Glock semi-cocked and unlocked and the least safe of the main choices in handguns. I therefore do not own a Glock.


March 31, 2003, 11:01 PM
How many times have you seen someone drop their loaded pistol?

Maybe I'm more of a newbie, only been around guns for about 25 years now, but I only recall one incident of a dropped gun I personally witnessed. My brother dropped his cocked H&R single shot 20ga when he was following me down a muddy creek bank and slid down into the creek. Gun didn't go off.

April 1, 2003, 02:53 AM
You can have the tension adjusted by a competent gunsmith if you are having a problem. I carried a 1911 for many years and this happend a number of times. It's not as scary as it seems at first if you follow the 4 rules. Here's a review:

Rule 1.

All guns are always loaded.

Rule 2.

Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy.

Rule 3. (THE rule.)

Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on the target.

Rule 4.

Know your target and what is beyond.

IOW, your safety is between your ears, not on the weapon.

April 1, 2003, 08:55 AM
If you disagree, when do you think a shooter is most likely to drop his weapon?I don't know. I've never dropped a gun nor seen one dropped.

April 1, 2003, 10:16 AM
As I understand it, the grip safety prevents the trigger from bouncing back, on impact, and releasing the sear. More important with heavier steel triggers than today's ultra-light triggers.
I assume it would prevent an AD.

Although at what "impact" or "force" is require for the firing pin to rebound and cause an AD regardless of the grip safety, I don't know. I've read several "studies" and they vary from almost impossible to repeated ADs from heights of over 6 feet. Lot's of variables.

I don't know whether anyone has done testing, dropping a 1911, with the manual safety not engaged, XD firing pin spring, properly fitted sear and hammer, to see whether the "jolt" will bounce the sear off and bypass the half-notch. I have seen hammers following the slide down and the half-notch not catch the hammer!

I think I went off topic. The safety can be adjusted for a stiff positive "click" for carry.

IMHO, the best 1911 for carry is the series 80 configuration. It prevents all ADs from dropping, sear's bouncing off, missing the half notch, etc. regardless of whether the safety is on or off. You must pull the trigger for the gun to fire- just like most modern guns!

May 16, 2003, 02:52 PM
Never had a problem with a safety coming unlocked in all the years I've carried (on and off) 1911 type pistols.

This thread reminds me of a little story that was told to me by a retired southern California police officer who carried a Colt Government 1911 as a duty weapon. Don't know how true it is, but it's worth telling for the entertainment value.

Many years ago, this officer and his partner stopped for lunch at one of the local diners in their sector. While seated at the counter waiting on their orders, the retired officer was approached by a woman in her late sixties/early seventies. The conversation went like this...

Woman: "Excuse me officer"

Officer: "Yes, maam"

Woman: "Do you know that your gun is cocked?"

Officer: "Yes maam, it was designed to be carried this way"

Woman: "But isn't that dangerous?"

Officer: "Damn right it is!"

The woman just turned around, mumbled something, and walked away.

(I guess you had to be there when he told the story....)

May 16, 2003, 03:21 PM

When I was a reserve LEO years ago I carried a 1911 cocked & locked almost exclusively, both in a duty rig and concealed carry when not working. I never had the safety disengage with any 1911 used. I would swear by any quality 1911 not to do that--for that matter probably most of the cheaper ones as well. The design just doesn't tend to allow that unless you get ambis or some really big extended lever. As pointed out above, the grip safety is there too just in case. I cannot imagine something accidently depressing the grip safety and pulling the trigger at the same time (unlike the trigger thingy on a Glock). Go ahead and carry it the way it was intended. When you get used to it, you won't want to wear a pistol any other way.


May 16, 2003, 10:00 PM
Safeties are for whimps anyway!!
:D :scrutiny:

May 17, 2003, 07:28 AM
I sometimes carry a Series 80 COLT, and never have to worry, as the trigger MUST be held to the rear to "cam" the firing pin "safety plunger" up and clear of the firing pin...

Alot of people don`t care for the "Series 80" safety as they say it interferes with a lighter trigger job.

I personally think that your carry piece should be a basically "Stock" model, and NOT be your tricked out 1911 with a custom trigger job... (flame suit on)

Two reasons:

1.) If you get involved in a shooting, you will probably lose your piece temporarily, if not permanently. And you may have to "DROP IT", or "Kick it over here" (cringe) if so requested by LEO responding to scene, nevermind the scratches it will probably get in the evidence locker or in transport... Basically don`t carry a gun that you`re not comfortable "Parting" with...

2.) Also keep in mind, that if you are invoved in a shooting, (of course I'm assuming it`s a "Righteous" shoot) It may go before a Grand Jury, or worse, you may have to go to Trial....(this doesn`t include the fact that even if you`re cleared "criminally", chances are that you WILL be sued in CIVIL court by the family of the "VICTIM"...
You can be assured that if your gun has been "modified / customized"(lighter trigger, disabled safeties(pinning grip safety or taking out firing pin safety parts to lighten trigger on Series 80), it may cause the District Attorney to "Take Notice" and accuse you of being an "Aggressive Gun Toting Vigilante", who "Made his gun "MORE DANGEROUS" to the public at large, by modifying it to be "Easier and Faster to Kill People With"...
"Why else would you ALTER the Trigger pull / (and or safeties) of your gun beyond the Manufacturers` Original Specifications...?"
(I`m sure that you can imagine the D.A. trying to twist the facts around to fit their needs...a CONVICTION to clear their docket.)

Anyways, notwithstanding the above mentioned problems, I find that the "cocked and locked" 1911, is just as safe as any other weapon due to the overlapping and redundant safeties inherently built into the 1911 design...(especially the Series 80).



Shaughn Leayme
May 17, 2003, 08:59 AM
When I had my carry gun built (1911 series 70 type) I informed the smith that I almost wanted to hear a "KLACK" when flicking the safety on and off and it just about does it.

I do not expect to have the safety wiped off accidentaly in contact with my person, but it is always possible for something to come between my body and the holster and flick the safety off, but that is why there is a grip safety and a 4.5 pound trigger pull.

It is possible that all the impossible factors could come into play (See Murphy Rule) and an accidental discharge could occur, but I have a better chance getting struck by lightning.

I am not worried about an AD due to a dropped pistol, even with a series 70 type. If I remember the test's about the only way that they were able to cause the Series 70 Colt 1911 to fire was a perfect muzzle to concrete floor impact and this was fom a height of 6 feet or more. If I have reason to drop my 1911 from 6 feet or more, odd's are I have more to worry about than the possible AD that may occur.

Probably it is going to be something along the lines of learning how to fly :what: before I hit the the ground.

May 17, 2003, 09:05 AM
I personally think that your carry piece should be a basically "Stock" model, and NOT be your tricked out 1911 with a custom trigger job... (flame suit on)
No flame here, I agree 200%.

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