Safe to keep chambered?


PDA






B yond
September 28, 2006, 08:13 PM
Here's the deal:

I'm looking to get a new auto-loader, but I want to be sure to get one that I can keep loaded and chambered safely. I'd like to be able to just flip off the safety and pull the trigger, but I don't want something where there's tension on the firing pin without some kind of second safety to keep it from going off should the sear fail.

I've wanted a 1911-style pistol for awhile now but must admit that I don't know much about them. How does the grip safety prevent accidental discharges?

I was told I should be looking for a Glock to meet my safety requirements. Someone told me there's a piece of metal that actually blocks the firing pin from striking the primer as a safety, is this true? I really don't like the look and feel of Glocks but if they're as safe as I've been told they are they just might win me over.

I'm also open to suggestions of any other semi-auto pistols that are very safe to keep loaded and chambered.

Thanks in advance guys!

If you enjoyed reading about "Safe to keep chambered?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
rich52us
September 28, 2006, 09:37 PM
Glocks are safe to carry with one in the chamber as long as you keep your finger out of the trigger guard until you are ready to fire the weapon (this rule applies to the safe handling of all firearms). You must also carry in a proper holster that covers the trigger guard and does not have straps that will go inside the trigger guard. Glocks are designed to be carried with one in the chamber and ready to fire.

Wesker
September 28, 2006, 09:41 PM
Ask around and I'm sure 99% of us will agree its SAFER to carry with one in the pipe than not to.

Scrap the Glock, get a Springfield XD. It has the same trigger safety but an added grip safety as well. Gun won't fire unless both are depressed.

XD > GLOCK

possum
September 28, 2006, 09:51 PM
Scrap the Glock, get a Springfield XD. It has the same trigger safety but an added grip safety as well. Gun won't fire unless both are depressed.

XD > GLOCK

+1

ugaarguy
September 28, 2006, 09:56 PM
B yond, you'll have to get a 1911 expert to explain the technicalities of how the grip safety works, but I know it works. For a 1911 to fire when it's "cocked & locked" - round in the chamber, hammer back, thumb safety engaged - three things must happen. The thumb safety must be flipped off, the grip safety must be depressed, and the trigger must be pulled. 95 years of use have proven the system is safe. Glocks, no way it's gonna fire unless the trigger is pulled. Basically any modern firearm from a reputable manufacturer that's in proper operating condition will be safe to keep with a round in the chamber. None of them are going to fire until the trigger gets pulled.

I hope that didn't sound like I was talking down to you. I want to make it clear that as newer shooter you raise a valid and honest concern. Luckily its a non issue on modern handguns. If you've always wanted a 1911 of some type you should go for it. You only live once so have fun while you're here. Keep asking questions and we'll answer to the best of our abilities. Enjoy your time here at THR and have fun pursuing your shooting hobby.

Larryect
September 28, 2006, 09:57 PM
If I am not mistaken MOST modern handguns have a firing pin block. Not sure about 1911 styles. Sigs, Glocks, XD,s and I am sure many others.

Bazooka Joe71
September 28, 2006, 10:05 PM
I only have one 1911, a series II kimber, and it has a Firing Pin Block.

I would also definately say it is safe to carry cocked and locked.

1911tuner will see this post soon enough...Then you'll get your detailed, over your head answer :)

SigfanUSAF
September 28, 2006, 10:10 PM
How does the grip safety prevent accidental discharges?
B yond, you'll have to get a 1911 expert to explain the technicalities of how the grip safety works, but I know it works

OK, I'm not an expert, but the grip safety has an arm, if you will, that blocks rearward movement of the trigger bow. When you depress the grip safety, the arm is raised. All series 80 Colts, and Kimber, Sig, and S&W 1911 clones to name a few have the firing pin safety.

B yond
September 28, 2006, 10:28 PM
Thanks for all the info guys.

I hope that didn't sound like I was talking down to you. I want to make it clear that as newer shooter you raise a valid and honest concern.

I didn't take it that way at all, but I'm not exactly a new shooter. I just haven't had the funds to acquire a high-quality pistol yet and upon discovering how my Hi-Point (I know, I know:rolleyes: ) uses the firing pin as an ejector I've decided it's time to invest in a higher-quality pistol that I can keep chambered without having to worry about the pot metal sear breaking under stress or the gun going off when extracting a live round. Not that either of those things has happened, but the possibility is disconcerting.

warmrain
September 28, 2006, 10:36 PM
Please don't carry a semi-auto for self defense without a chambered round. You will probably never have the chance to chamber that round. You will need two hands and precious time.

Most modern auto-loaders have a firing pin safety to make the pistol safe if it is dropped.

Single action pistols have a safety.

Double action only (DAO) pistols don't need one any more than does a double action revolver...

Double action pistols need a safety (or better) a decocker (e.g.Sig P229).

Get some familiarization with the various options and a little training and I think you will come to this conclusion yourself.

You really need to have someone experienced demonstate each action to you. For instance a Single Action (1911) may seem daunting at first, but once you see the operation you know it is safe. For example there is a:
firing pin safety
grip safety
manual thumb safety

Then there is the "safe action" Glock. It has:
a trigger

So get a knowledgable buddy or trainer to take you through the various actions and options. The NRA "Pistol" or "Home Firearms Safety" classes go through all of the actions of every pistol (the HFS class also does rifle and shotgun).

Powder_Burn
September 28, 2006, 10:57 PM
Definitely have to be careful when you are using a gun w/o a manual safety.

Matter of fact, last year an off-duty officer in San Antonio was doing security work and was on "the can". He tried to catch Glock .40 falling from his waistband which resulted in 2 shots fired and 1 wounded man washing his hands in the sink. The city settled for $24k today.

http://nl.newsbank.com/nl-search/we/Archives?p_action=doc&p_theme=saec&p_topdoc=1&p_docnum=1&p_sort=YMD_date:D&p_product=SAEC&p_text_direct-0=document_id=(%20112B2B21B50B0E48%20)&&s_dlid=DL0106092902444622174&s_ecproduct=SUB-FREE&s_subterm=Subscription%20until%3A%2012%2F14%2F2015%2011%3A59%20PM&s_subexpires=12%2F14%2F2015%2011%3A59%20PM&s_username=safree

http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/metro/stories/MYSA092806.02B.shoot.settle.2c93d4a.html

Cousin Mike
September 28, 2006, 10:57 PM
Glad you've decided to upgrade, but I'd agree with the others that you could probably use a basic course or two. The fact of the matter is that all modern quality pistols that I'm aware of are safe to carry with a round chambered, provided that you are safe enough to keep your finger off the trigger (until you need to shoot it).

There are a lot of different variations of safeties and safety systems. I prefer no manual safety on any of my pistols, others prefer their guns to have them. It's all personal preference and what you're comfortable with.

ETXhiker
September 28, 2006, 11:19 PM
True that any well made pistol or revolver is safe if you keep your finger off of the trigger. I also agree that keeping an autoloader with an empty chamber is too slow in a crisis. If you want the safest, yet still quick to deploy method, choose a traditional SA/DA pistol like a S&W 6906, 4006, 3913, et al. With a round in the chamber but safety on, you merely flick the safety off and perform a long double action pull for the first shot. I dislike the transition between the long first shot trigger and the following single action for all subsequent shots, but it is a very safe system - no chance of an accidental discharge because the trigger dragged on something going into the holster.

abarth
September 29, 2006, 03:41 AM
If you want the safest way to carry in a autoloader, you should look into a DA/SA with a decocker, firing pin block and a manual safety. Here is how it works you rack the slide, which load one round in the chamber then you push on the decocker to put the hammer in the 1/4 cock position, then you push up on the safety which lock for sear. When you are ready to fire, all you have to do is to unlock the safety then pull the trigger. The disadvantage of the DA/SA is that the first pull in DA is heavy and long travel not great for accuracy, the second pull onward in SA is light and short. Pistols such as Sig 2xx, HK USP, some CZ 75, Beretta 92, Taurus, and many other have those features. Another option is DAK from Sig. It is a DAO has a lighter trigger pull but not as light as SA. But remember a gun is only as safe as the operator. If you handle your gun carefully, you will find most modern pistol are safe to carry with one in the chamber.

MTMilitiaman
September 29, 2006, 04:41 AM
A Glock is a pistol. You are the one who is safe or not. The Glock has safeties built into it to prevent it from firing if it is dropped or jarred. But all of the safeties are disengaged at various stages of the trigger pull, so there is no external safety. If you want your pistol to babysit you, and you feel insecure without a lever or a button telling you that your pistol is safe, that is fine. But the pistol is never more safe than the person handling it.

You can call the Glock the AK of the pistol world. Its entire concept is simplicity. It is simple to operate, a true point and click interface. It is simple to maintain. It strips down in seconds for basic maintence, and truth be told, isn't much more difficult to detail strip. This is because its operation is simple. It has only 33 total parts and most of them are interchangeable between other pistols of the same model. The Glock derives its reliability and durability from this fact. So you can claim that adding this or that gizmo makes a better pistol, but in truth, it just makes for a more complex pistol. If complexity determines how good a pistol is, then I am sure there is models much more complex, and therefore, better, than the XD. In the meantime, I really have to disagree that the XD is the better pistol.

warmrain
September 29, 2006, 09:49 AM
Agreed that the stronger first DA pull of a DA pistol, followed by the light SA pull of the same pistol, can be a problem for some. It takes some training and range time to get the muscle memory set.

As a civilian CCW permit holder, what we don't want to get into is a situation where we have stopped the threat with the first shot, but due to nerves, or andrenalin pumping or a loud noise or whatever... an accidental discharge occurs because you got your finger on a trigger much lighter than the one you just fired. The second shot may not be justified. And. if the first shot didn't kill someone and the second one did... well, you get the idea.

Personally I like DAO pistols like the Glock because they have a consistant trigger pull, shot to shot.

Mad Magyar
September 29, 2006, 09:58 AM
"You will probably never have the chance to chamber that round. You will need two hands and precious time."
I know you mean well, unfortunately data doesn't support this at all...If you study law enforcement gun fights, civilian as well, this is the least inconsequential in all the variables...:rolleyes:
Don't want to hijack this thread..If you want further elaboration, you or I can start another thread....

Warmrain, appreciate the replies...In order for me to elaborate might deviate from B yond's safety query, e.g. "tactics, equip, stats, etc."...Another time to agree or disagree....MM

Manedwolf
September 29, 2006, 10:03 AM
If complexity determines how good a pistol is, then I am sure there is models much more complex, and therefore, better, than the XD. In the meantime, I really have to disagree that the XD is the better pistol.

Never heard of anyone AD'ing with an XD yet...

Glocks? All the time. Dropped, badly holstered, wrong holster, fumbled and grabbed...especially the "bathroom stall fumble" that you hear about on the news all the time, (one just happened at a wal-mart near here).

Sorry. I just think that empirical evidence of which design seems to have the most ADs supports the assertion that a grip safety IS a better design.

At one time, they thought only lap belts were perfectly safe for cars too, remember?

warmrain
September 29, 2006, 10:15 AM
Mad Magyar,

I think your post and the issue are germain to the thread, it is the original poster's concern... I'm thinking of the knife weilding feind standing about 20' away, you may not even know he has a knife until he gets closer...

The statistics for that scenario indicates that we probably won't be able to draw the gun and fire before the assailant is upon you... Imagine the same situation without a chambered round... Civilian CCW self defense scenarios may not be well represented in LEO stats...

warmrain
September 29, 2006, 10:32 AM
Mad Magyar,

I re-read your post and see that you also mention civilian stats... Sorry for that omittion in my previous post... Still, my training say there are many scenarios where you will not have the time or the free hand...

Helstrm
September 29, 2006, 12:20 PM
I carry a 1911 every day and it is perfectly safe. It takes some people a while to adjust to walking around with the hammer back. Glocks are great guns. They will fire everytime but I know a few people that have had ADs with them and with kids in the house it is not worth the chance.

Always carry with a chambered round. If you are caught it a situation where the BG has not seen you yet and you have to draw do you really want them to hear you chamber the gun? I would rather have my target lined up before I order him to drop his weapon.

With that being said I do know someone that can draw,chamber and shoot faster than I can reach for my side arm.

ugaarguy
September 29, 2006, 12:25 PM
I didn't take it that way at all, but I'm not exactly a new shooter. I just haven't had the funds to acquire a high-quality pistol yet and upon discovering how my Hi-Point (I know, I know)

B yond, forgive my wrong assumption on your shooting experience. There's nothing wrong with a Hi-Point either - they're inexpensive and they work. Hopefully we've answered your safety question well. Now you need to start a 'help me decide" thread so we can all tell you about our favorite handguns and why they're better than everyone else's favorite. :evil: Err... I mean... so we can... have a civil discussion and help you find a new gun that suits you ... yeah that's it :rolleyes:

edited to correct spelling, but no guarantee I caught everything

Flopsy
September 29, 2006, 01:32 PM
If safety is a major concern to you, I recommend a gun with a manual safety. This could include a 1911, Beretta 92FS, lots of Taurus, Rugers. Not a Glock. I'm not anti-Glock, I have and love my Glock, but if you're really scrutinizing a gun based primarily on safety features then it's not one I'd recommend.

Captain Blasty's of the world, flame away.

BTW, there is another thread in this string containing a poll on whether to carry chambered. There's a lot of disagreement, but most of the people make good points on either side of the argument.

slicknickns
September 29, 2006, 10:45 PM
i dont think dropping a glock would cause it to go off. These things do have drop safeties, the gun can only be shot by trigger pull

GunNut
September 29, 2006, 10:59 PM
If it isn't a SA gun, then a safety should not be engaged on a self defense weapon....

Unless a person is dedicated to training a ton, they should not carry a gun that has a safety engaged. When you need your gun, you will not be ready to disengage a safety and in gunfights seconds count.

Get yourself a Glock or whatever else you prefer and learn to use and trust the gun and guns system.

Steve

JohnKSa
September 29, 2006, 11:26 PM
Don't buy a gun you don't like just because someone recommends it.

Most modern handgun designs have at least one passive safety designed to prevent the gun from discharging as a result of being dropped, etc. Many have more than one.

Handle some pistols--shoot them if you can. When you find a few you want, THEN come back and ask your questions. ;)

warmrain
September 30, 2006, 12:51 PM
"If it isn't a SA gun, then a safety should not be engaged on a self defense weapon...."

Well, it could be a DA with a decocker... and that would be even better. I agree though... and for that reason I am fond of pistols like the Sig P229 a DA that has no safety, but a decocker instead to move it from SA back to DA...

The rule-of-thumb I was trained with was: if you are in control of the (SA) trigger the safety is off, otherwise on. So it's off when it's out of the holster and in your hand... of course I could be starting a whole new topic with that one... :uhoh:

10-Ring
September 30, 2006, 02:04 PM
IMO, it's not the firearm or the action that's important. Any well made, properly adjusted firearm works. IMO, it's about the user & their commitment in training & mastering their platform of choice.
Go w/ which ever one you prefer & train, train, train...invest in classes & don't skimp on practice ;)

warmrain
September 30, 2006, 08:59 PM
10-ring, I think you just put it right in the center of the 10-ring... :D

chonny
October 1, 2006, 08:10 PM
How about a Heckler & Koch P7 (with the squeeze cocker) -- I guess I'm biased because it's my carry gun but there's probably no semi safer than that.

If you enjoyed reading about "Safe to keep chambered?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!