Can you let the hammer down on a 1911 with one hand?


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WickedXD
October 14, 2006, 11:21 PM
I can't seem to do it because of the grip safety...I have to use my other hand to do it. Can anyone let down their 1911 with one hand? if so how?

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RS2
October 14, 2006, 11:29 PM
I don't ever do this on a live round - and do not recommend anyone else try it - but if you thumb the hammer back enough to depress the grip safety, then - while holding the hammer - press the trigger, the sear is released, and the hammer can be slowly let down.

REPEAT - do NOT do this with a round in the chamber.

The Good
October 14, 2006, 11:40 PM
I wouldnt do it at all.

albanian
October 14, 2006, 11:54 PM
What RS2 said.

I don't see it being anymore dangerous than letting the hammer down on a revolver myself. Point the gun in a safe direction and do it and you should be fine.

Geronimo45
October 14, 2006, 11:58 PM
RS2's got it. It works just fine.

hksw
October 14, 2006, 11:58 PM
I don't ever do this on a live round - and do not recommend anyone else try it - but if you thumb the hammer back enough to depress the grip safety, then - while holding the hammer - press the trigger, the sear is released, and the hammer can be slowly let down.

REPEAT - do NOT do this with a round in the chamber.

It is quite a bit easier when you have the regular -A1-type grip safety. A little more difficult to do if you have on a beavertail or extended/upswept safety.

Zonamo
October 15, 2006, 02:23 AM
Just out of curiosity, why would you want to thumb the hammer down on a 1911? :confused:

Skpotamus
October 15, 2006, 05:11 AM
I think a lot of people don't want to dry fire their 1911's for fear of damaging them somehow. Hence thumbing the hammer down. I really hope no one is trying this with a round under the chamber as that practice IS NOT SAFE to do, and not a good idea for carry IMHO.

XavierBreath
October 15, 2006, 09:25 AM
Thumbing the hammer down on a live round is one of the major causes of negligent discharges with a 1911. Why would you want to do this? There is no reason. Either engage the thumb safety, or drop the magazine and eject the live round. Whether one handed or two handed, it is dangerous.

It does less damage to constantly dry fire a 1911 than to constantly be thumbing the hammer down on an empty chamber. So, why not dry fire it if the chamber is empty? You did check it, right?

shermacman
October 15, 2006, 09:32 AM
Perfectly safe, I saw Jack Bauer do it while pointing it at a bad guy's head.

Glockman17366
October 15, 2006, 09:37 AM
I had my only ND with a 1911 dropping the hammer. Nope, won't do that again!

wally
October 15, 2006, 01:09 PM
Why would anyone who understands the 1911 want to lower the hammer except to fire the gun? Its designed to be carried cocked and locked or else left unloaded. If you aren't comfortable with that, buy something else!


I do wonder why the 1911 design blocks the slide from being racked when the thumb safety is engaged. I'm sure JMB had a real reason for doing so, but I've never really understand why. I've an EAA Witness that is a cocked and locked gun and it can loaded or slide racked to unload with the safety on -- a feature I really like, Beretta 9000S is the same way.

--wally.

MICHAEL T
October 15, 2006, 05:17 PM
You lower hammer on a leveraction rifle,SAA pistols ,some shot guns but heaven forbid on a 1911. Get serious People have carried hammer down or lowered hammers long before the 1911 Even 1911 Turner has and does. He has so stated. Befor the 1911 became THE gun. People carried both ways along with chamber empty. I have a gun mag that even gives instructions on how to do. for ,carry, drawer or night stand duty. Mag is from early 80's .
Now its a lot eaiser with the SPUR hammer that was the orginal type befor these bob off commander types and surf board grip safetys. But both can be done safely IF a person wishes to.
Most of this has come about in last 30 years once the 1911 and Cooper became the end all in gunfighting. Befor that people carried how they wanted and no body jumped up and down about right or wrong. I carry L&C but their are times I also have hammer down.

1911Tuner
October 15, 2006, 06:53 PM
Wally wondered:

>I do wonder why the 1911 design blocks the slide from being racked when the thumb safety is engaged. I'm sure JMB had a real reason for doing so, but I've never really understand why.,
**************************

To keep the gun from being pushed out of battery on reholstering, and possibly failing to fire when re-pulled is why. (And now ya know...)

On lowering the hammer on a hot chamber...

The hammer has serrations or checkering for a reason. Lowering it on a hot chamber...on any gun...is an inherently dangerous practice, but it can be done safely if one only learns how and remembers to keep the gun pointed in such a direction so as not to cause blood to be spilled. There are very few times that Condition 2 would be more appropriate than Condition 1...but they do exist, and to neglect learning how to lower the hammer is to ignore one of the gun's functions.

And...just for the record...the original wide-spur hammer was much safer to effect Condition 2 with than the narrowed design.

Wesker
October 15, 2006, 07:00 PM
I was always afraid of doing this on 1911's or any gun without a decocker. I imagine my thumb slipping and the hammer hitting the firing pin firing the gun with my hand and such still right there behind the slide. What pressure is a slide under when it's blown back? A few thousand? Yea, that'd probably turn your hand into mince meat.

TexasRifleman
October 15, 2006, 07:02 PM
There are very few times that Condition 2 would be more appropriate than Condition 1...but they do exist, and to neglect learning how to lower the hammer is to ignore one of the gun's functions.

OK, I'll bite. When would that be? Not being a smarty, just genuinely curious because I can't think of any reason at all to do that.

1911Tuner
October 15, 2006, 07:12 PM
SIGman pondered:

>OK, I'll bite. When would that be? Not being a smarty, just genuinely curious because I can't think of any reason at all to do that.<
***********

Better to be a smarty than a dummy...:D

I can think of a few that I've been in. 4-wheelin' in the boonies when it's wet and muddy...and you want max protection for the internals...and usually in a full-flap holster that doesn't want to fasten over the gun with the hammer cocked. New, stiff WW2-era leather holsters and even the new Bianchi UM-84 is a bit balky on that. Sure...you could carry in Condition 3, but you negate the ability to manipulate the gun quickly one-handed...and if you have one of those ramped rear sights and a FLGR, it's completely nullified.

Old and creaky now, I don't do much mudhole bustin' any more...but once in a while I do find myself in the great outdoors engaged in activities in which I don't need to have the hammer/sear/disconnect exposed to airborne crud, but still in such a place that I want to carry with a hot chamber and still leave myself the option of one-hand operation.

Just like the old press-check method...It can be done in complete safety if ya just study on it a bit and practice it dry.

Wesker...You ain't supposed to let your thumb slip.

albanian
October 16, 2006, 06:49 PM
"The hammer has serrations or checkering for a reason. Lowering it on a hot chamber...on any gun...is an inherently dangerous practice, but it can be done safely if one only learns how and remembers to keep the gun pointed in such a direction so as not to cause blood to be spilled. There are very few times that Condition 2 would be more appropriate than Condition 1...but they do exist, and to neglect learning how to lower the hammer is to ignore one of the gun's functions."

1911Tuner,
Thank you for a breath of fresh air and logic. I get so sick of the 1911 cult members that think there is only one right way to do anything. It must be a 1911, it must be cocked and locked, it must be .45acp ect.

If you are a true 1911 fan, you will like 1911s in all shapes, sizes, calibers and variations. You may have your favorite but you won't dispise the others. I like 1911s but that doesn't keep me from liking many other guns that are totaly different. For me, the 1911 is a target gun. In this role it is great. As a CCW, it is a poor choice. That is me. I don't think all people who carry a C&L 1911 are idiots. If it works for you, go with it. There is no right and wrong gun to carry. Methods are there to help with your shooting and safety, if they don't do that for you, how can they be the correct method?

There is no one way to shoot that is best for everyone. The same can be said of safety. There are certain basics of safety that must be followed but the rest is up to you. Thumb cocking or uncocking a 1911 may be unsafe you one person and perfectly safe for another. It depends on your skill and dexterity. I personally think uncocking a 1911 while holding the hammer with your weak hand is the most unsafe thing I have seen. I was told this is the correct method of uncocking a 1911. Grasp the hammer between the thumb and forefinger and pull the trigger. I feel much better using the one hand method than the two hand method. I feel I have total control.

I use my thumb to uncock my revolvers on live rounds from time to time. There is no other way of uncocking a revolver so you have to learn how to do it safely if you shoot wheel guns. Why is it a sin to do it with a 1911 but not with a revolver? Sometimes 1911 people make no sense to me. I think they are worse than Glock people.:uhoh:

TX1911fan
October 16, 2006, 07:45 PM
Albanian, I agree with some of what you say. With respect to uncocking revolvers, at least modern ones with a transfer bar, it can be done far more safely than on a 1911 given that you can release the trigger once the hammer starts moving forwards, which drops the transfer bar and preventing the gun from firing even if the thumb slips off. So, that is one argument that it is safer to uncock revolvers than it is to uncock a 1911.

That said, I agree with your distaste with people who have not ability to see that others have different preferences. Live and let live, that's my motto.

1911Tuner
October 16, 2006, 07:52 PM
albanian wrote:

>I personally think uncocking a 1911 while holding the hammer with your weak hand is the most unsafe thing I have seen. I was told this is the correct method of uncocking a 1911. Grasp the hammer between the thumb and forefinger and pull...<

I know of the method and use it frequently...with certain pistols. Look at one with the original wide-spur hammer...study on it a bit...and a light will come on.

So many subtle things that escape our attention...:cool:

SoCalShooter
October 16, 2006, 07:57 PM
You can if you want it to go bang. Always use both hands when decocking a 1911. I have tried to do it when the weapon is clear and its not that easy and you could slip up.

History Prof
October 17, 2006, 02:25 AM
Your questions got me wondering, so I tried it (yes, on an empty chamber). My 1911A1 has a beavertail grip safety. I just put my thumb (right where it joins my hand) on the beavertail and my thumbtip on the hammer and pulled the trigger. No problem. I dropped the hammer about 4 times before I quit. BUT, I would be scared as all getout to try that on a loaded chamber! Too much room for error.

1911 guy
October 17, 2006, 10:53 AM
When I'm getting undressed for the day (I work nights) I'll decock my pistol and put it in a dresser drawer. It goes from CCW duty to nightstand duty pretty often. Here's how I do it.

Place my left thumb between the hammer and FP, pushing slightly on the hammer.
Pull the trigger and slowly ease the hammer down and your thumb out of the pinch point made by the hammer and slide.

There's nothing to slip, as your thumb isn't pulling the hammer to the rear, rather, it's holding it from falling foreward.

If I know I'm not going to CCW for a day or two or going to carry a different 1911 (I don't have any other kinds of pistols) I just unload, verify clear and dry fire. 12ga is then the "bump in the day time" gun.

I have decocked an empty pistol one handed by pulling the hammer back into the grip safety, pulling the trigger and thumbing the hammer down, but I don't have the courage to do it with a loaded piece. Or enough money to buy all the flowers and jewelry it would take to make my wife forget a .45 caliber hole in our bedroom walls.

Vitamin G
October 17, 2006, 03:00 PM
I let the hammer down one handed all the time...

1) Load 1911
2) Chamber round
3) Hold gun in right hand.
4) Aim at target
5) Place finger on trigger
6) Pull trigger.
7) Repeat 4 & 6 (x7)

:D

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