Condition 3: Guess who? Jeff Cooper..What!!


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Mad Magyar
September 15, 2007, 06:05 PM
I find it strange that some time ago the father of “cocked-n-locked”, Jeff Cooper in an article advocated Condition 3, chamber empty, magazine full, while describing the best means of home defense if you only had a lever-action carbine available. Look at what he says and tell me why this is any different with a 1911 in a similar home scenario or CCW in a Wally World parking lot.
“From the standard ready position, it is loaded as it is mounted---which it accomplishes somewhat more easily than if it were thumb-cocked. The lever is fully racked open, and the piece comes up into the shoulder as the lever is closed, in one smooth, simultaneous motion. You can rack it as fast as you can mount it.”
I’ve underlined the portion that I’ve preached & practiced for years with a 1911A1. What makes the circumstances different between Jeff’s take on a long gun vs. using a pistol? Are you shocked that Jeff actually wrote something like this? Condition 3: are you kidding me?:rolleyes:
What say you?:confused:
BTW, He agrees, like many, that the sound of a rack is more advantageous as a chilling deterrent vs not giving one’s position away while seeking cover. Yelling to an intruder that you are armed is somewhat different than letting the S.O.B. hear it for himself.:)

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Vern Humphrey
September 15, 2007, 06:25 PM
For one thing, the rifle is in the firing mode , with hands on the firing position as you mount it -- not so with the M1911. You must shift your grip to load and fire.

Secondly, you are in a red zone in your home, and fully justified in chambering a round. Out in the streets, chambering a round might be seen as a threat and make you the bad guy.

Third, the chambering position with the M1911 puts you in a poor position for weapons retention if the bad guy is very close.

Jim Watson
September 15, 2007, 06:27 PM
What makes it different?
You are unlikely to be shooting a rifle one-handed.

Charles S
September 15, 2007, 06:48 PM
Look at what he says and tell me why this is any different with a 1911 in a similar home scenario or CCW in a Wally World parking lot.

I have not read the article you reference. It does sound interesting and I am sure it is quite valid. I cannot however evaluate the article since I do not have it. To me there are a number of very valid rational for keeping a lever action rifle (not my first choice) or a shotgun in condition three in a home defense situation.

Have you read the esteemed Col. Cooper's book The Art or the Rifle?

In The Art of the Rifle contextually Col. Cooper is referring for the appropriate manual of arms with a lever action rifle without a safety in a hunting situation. Col. Cooper does not (in his book) address self defense with a lever action rifle. Again it sounds like a good article.

The two afore mentioned weapons have a completely different manual of arms, and a completely different designed purpose.

The 1911 is equipped with a safety that can be engaged when it is cocked. The lever action rifle Col. Cooper is referring to is not.

A handgun assumes you can utilize it with one hand. A rifle is a two handed weapon.

A handgun is for reaction where time is essential....A rifle is for action where you have a chance to prepare.

Again concealed carry versus home defense.

Try butt stroking a bad guy with your 1911.

Try retention drills with your lever gun.

I’ve underlined the portion that I’ve preached & practiced for years with a 1911A1.

Again I will ask, what professional instruction have you had that makes you an expert? Again I will ask, what professional instruction have you had that makes you believe that condition three is an appropriate carry method for the civilian in self defense?

Again I suggest a little professional instruction (e.g shoot one quality handgun course...I can highly recommend Mr. Ayoob and Mr. Farnam) in the use of a handgun for self defense and then let us know what you think.

I do think a long gun is a better choice for home defense.

Albatross
September 15, 2007, 06:55 PM
Jeff Cooper also commented on having a secured dwelling. Not the case at the Wally World parking lot.

Locked and loaded on the street so you can use your weak hand to fend the attacker off you while you use your strong hand to draw/fire your weapon is a good idea.

DevilDog0402
September 15, 2007, 07:58 PM
The 1911 was meant to be carried with a round in the chamber and the safety on (Cocked and Locked). To my knowledge, there aren't any leverguns that can be carried in this manner.

Chris Rhines
September 15, 2007, 08:23 PM
You would waste a lot less time cycling the action on a levergun (or pump-action shotgun, etc.) then you would racking the slide on a pistol. Fact of life.

Have you ever tried drawing in Condition 1 versus Condition 3, against a timer?

Sweet Kismet, why is this even a question anymore?

- Chris

rosco22
September 15, 2007, 08:53 PM
Sweet Kismet, why is this even a question anymore?


Motioned passed .........................

Comparing an long gun to a hand gun , and the operation thereof is apples and oranges .

joab
September 15, 2007, 08:59 PM
To my knowledge, there aren't any leverguns that can be carried in this manner.
Both of my Marlins can be, a 336 and a 1894 Cowboy

Rexster
September 15, 2007, 09:43 PM
With all due respect to joab, the newer Marlins' crossbolt safety does not "lock" anything. It merely prevents the hammer from falling far enough to contact the firing pin. :) I agree with those who say this whole matter is apples versus oranges. A lever rifle that is not in one's hands should have an empty chamber, generally. The same is true, IMHO, of most sporting long guns.

DevilDog0402
September 15, 2007, 09:48 PM
Both of my Marlins can be, a 336 and a 1894 Cowboy

Didn't know that. My 94 and my dad's (pre-64 94) do not have any safety (other than a half-cock notch).


I do have to agree with Rexster though.

The Bushmaster
September 16, 2007, 10:24 AM
DevilDog...There two safeties on the early Mod 94's (well actually three. One is you). The half cock, as you mentioned, and the lever safety that blocks the trigger. Still I would NEVER carry my Winchester with the hammer at full cock......With the chamber loaded and at half cock and the lever safety engaged?...Yes. For self defence in the home?...Bad choice...Way too much penitration. Bullet wouldn't stop until two houses down the street...

DevilDog0402
September 16, 2007, 11:06 AM
That's right! I totally forgot about the lever safety (like the grip-safety on a 1911 ;))

MCgunner
September 16, 2007, 11:12 AM
Condition three makes sense for home defense where you're sleeping in a locked bedroom, but then so does a loaded shotgun. For Glocks, I'd prefer condition three for carry modes all, but IWB to keep from shooting myself instead of the BG. For CCW with my chosen weapons, no thanks. I want it ready to go, that's why I carry revolvers or DA/DAO autos.

Rifles for HD? Sure, my .357 magnum loaded with 140 grain JHPs or even +P .38s would be preferable to a .30-30 or BLR in .308 or some real rifle caliber, though. That said, a revolver is in my bedside drawer and a coach gun leans against the wall, loaded, safety on. Defend with a gun that you killed hundreds of animals with and know like your own arms, I say! The revolver in the drawer is for if I have to leave the safe room.

joab
September 16, 2007, 12:17 PM
Didn't know that. My 94 and my dad's (pre-64 94) do not have any safety (other than a half-cock notch).


I do have to agree with Rexster though.
I see his point about not locking the hammer back
But the hammer could then be thumbed back like a SA revolver a lot quicker than manipulating the lever

But I don't know when Cooper wrote this piece or when Marlin safeties of this sort came about

MCgunner
September 16, 2007, 12:28 PM
I was never ever a diciple of Jeff Cooper. Sorry, but I don't bow to him or anything. He's just another FOS know-it-all opinionated gun writer far as I'm concerned. I know he's been in war, started IPSC or some stuff, so what? I always preferred reading Skeeter Skelton or Elmer Keith. Unfortunately, none of these guys is still with us. :(

CajunBass
September 16, 2007, 01:09 PM
Sweet Kismet, why is this even a question anymore?

Because people have been so brainwashed by the "but it might just go off" crowd that they're more afraid of their own gun, than they are the bad guy.

El Tejon
September 16, 2007, 01:26 PM
Because a shoulder weapon and a pistol are different platforms.

BTW, Jeff Cooper always wrote about keeping the chamber of a bolt action empty while in hunting camp in Africa.

Owen
September 16, 2007, 03:16 PM
Hammer down/half cock on a lever action requires pulling the trigger on a chambered round. Bad mojo.

Vern Humphrey
September 16, 2007, 03:41 PM
Sweet Kismet, why is this even a question anymore?
It's proof all humans are not descended from apes. Some of us are descended from salmon, forever swimming upstream.:p

joab
September 16, 2007, 05:14 PM
Hammer down/half cock on a lever action requires pulling the trigger on a chambered round. Bad mojo.Not bad at all with Marlin's hammer block safety
Besides the fact that not that long ago it was a simple skill that a gunner was expected to master

Sistema1927
September 16, 2007, 05:54 PM
apples...oranges

There is a huge difference in the circumstances in which you might need the weapon, as well as in the handling of the weapon, as well as in the operation of the weapon. These are two dissimilar platforms in many ways, not least of which, and one that hasn't yet been noted here, is the fact that the lever itself gives you considerable mechanical advantage in chambering that first round over the pistol.

shooter1
September 16, 2007, 06:43 PM
Not bad at all with Marlin's hammer block safety
Besides the fact that not that long ago it was a simple skill that a gunner was expected to master

Ain't it the da#n truth. Now days the common thinking is that one can't be trusted to lower a hammer on a firearm safely. I think we all need to keep the lifesaving trigger locks installed, and carry them in locked cases to prevent the evil things from hurting someone. I carry 1911s cocked and locked.
str1

Owen
September 16, 2007, 07:32 PM
aside from safing an already cocked revolver, when is lowering a hammer on a loaded chamber ever required?

If you play with Murphy, Murphy'll play with you.

and I carry my 1911 in Condition 1.

joab
September 16, 2007, 07:53 PM
aside from safing an already cocked revolver, when is lowering a hammer on a loaded chamber ever requiredLowering the hammer on an already cocked lever gun to half cock

Joe the Redneck
September 16, 2007, 09:14 PM
I was never a "true believer" in Cooper either. Made a lot of good points, but I am Applegate man myself, but why get into that? :)

Personally, I have never like "safties", to me, they are just accidents waiting to happen.

If I feel that I will not need the weapon, it is unloaded.

If I feel I will need it, it it loaded, chambered, "safty" disengaged.

There are 3 rules you have have to make peace with:

Guns are dangerouse, they wouldn't be much good if they weren't.

If you need a gun, you are going to need it in a hurry.

The most frightning sound is a "click" when you wanted a "bang."

You have to look at your situation and find a compromise that works for you and live with it.
If all else fails:

Keep you finger off the trigger until you sights are on the target. Some smart guy said that, what was his name? Jeff Something?

Joe

Gun Slinger
September 16, 2007, 11:06 PM
The biggest flaw with Condition 3 carry is the assumption that you will have both hands available to bring your handgun to a state of readiness when you need it.


G/S

Geronimo45
September 17, 2007, 01:26 AM
I always hear that you keep your rifle in condition 3 due to the lack of internal safeties on many long guns. A handgun is considered more likely to be dropped/knocked off tables, and thus has various protections against AD in case you drop your gun (I seem to recall an incident of a soldier in Iraq who dropped his Condition 1 M-4/16/whatever twenty feet or so, and it went off. Don't recall if safety was on). Since it is possible that you will, in fact, knock over your HD carbine/shotgun at some point or other, it's good to keep it in condition 3 to avoid an AD in case it decides to go off when bowled over.

In an HD scenario, Cooper may be saying that you have more time to spare than in a on-the-street handgun scenario - and that the benefits of not having an AD when cleaning your closet outweigh the benefits of saving a half-second or so by not having to load the gun. You should have both hands fully functional in a HD situation where you have time to get to your rifle. You may not in a street-level SD scenario.

Joe, I'm an Applegate man too. :D

Jeff Cooper had many good and useful things to say. Not all his sayings are always useful for all people. His four rules are a great thing, for example... though some folks will take them to extremes. See 'muzzle sweep' nazis - some of which would say you were pointing a loaded gun at them if you had a sewer pipe pointed in their general direction.

what professional instruction have you had that makes you believe that condition three is an appropriate carry method for the civilian in self defense?
Seem to recall the Israelis doing it, with pretty good speed. To the best of my knowledge, it takes more practice, but it can be very fast with practice. Does not require you to change your grip if you fire one-handed (while with Condition 1, you move your thumb).

Condition one is for 1911s and other autos that have the option of safetying when cocked. Condition two is for DA autos and revolvers. Condition three is for SA revolvers and all autos. Perfectly safe, recommended by folks who had BTDT (Fairbairn). Fairbairn pinned the 1911 safeties down, IIRC. He didn't want them engaging at the wrong time, or folks to forget to disengage 'em. Brings up the whole question of why do you need a safety on a gun in a holster? You 1911'ers, doesn't your holster cover the trigger guard? And you probably disengage the safety in the drawstroke? So... the thumb safety is simply an added nuisance, from that perspective. :neener:

Charles S
September 17, 2007, 09:01 AM
Seem to recall the Israelis doing it, with pretty good speed.

The Israelis did teach a condition three reactionary draw in the past (this was largely due to the large variation of handguns in their defensive inventory). It is no longer their mode of carry. I don't believe any group teaches a condition three draw currently. The U.S. Military still teaches condition three as a primary mode of carry administratively, but also recommends changing to condition two (for the M9) if action is imminent.

I still believe the question is valid. I do not believe there is a single instructor who teaches condition three as the primary mode of carry for a civilian for self defense use. There is a reason for that!

In an HD scenario, Cooper may be saying that you have more time to spare than in a on-the-street handgun scenario - and that the benefits of not having an AD when cleaning your closet outweigh the benefits of saving a half-second or so by not having to load the gun. You should have both hands fully functional in a HD situation where you have time to get to your rifle.

I agree. Further an individual with training has retention options with a rifle that are not available with a handgun (e.g. a solid butt stroke).

You may not in a street-level SD scenario.

Ultimately that is exactly my point. An individual may not have both hands and/or may be quite pressed for time in a self defense scenario.

My other point regarding the training and instruction is that again (Mr. Cooper's quote) "owning a gun no more makes you a gunfighter than owning a Stradivarius violin makes you a concert violinist." Col. Cooper also stated: “Having a gun and thinking you are armed is like having a piano and thinking you are a musician.”

Magyar states he preaches to us that condition three is a viable method of carry for concealment. I am simply inquiring about his expertise and training so I can honestly evaluate it.

When I make an assertion (since I am not an expert) I typically reference that assertion.

easyg
September 17, 2007, 01:52 PM
The biggest flaw with Condition 3 carry is the assumption that you will have both hands available to bring your handgun to a state of readiness when you need it.
Exactly.

I keep my pistols in condition 3 around the house, but never when I actually carry.
Then it's cocked-and-locked.

scbair
September 18, 2007, 07:27 AM
Operating the lever on a rifle is part of the shot-to-shot process, anyway. It's a gross motor skill, less prone to "slippage" than thumbing the hammer as the rifle is mounted.

Now, having grown up using an old single-barrel shotgun to obtain meat for the pot, I have no problem thumbing the hammer while shouldering the piece, and find it a lot quieter than racking the lever.

Logan5
September 19, 2007, 11:43 PM
It's not meant to be an apples to apples comparison between the 1911 and a lever action. Suppose your left arm has been amputated at the shoulder, and you're right handed; you'd probably carry your 1911 cocked & locked, and you wouldn't bother owning a lever gun. At any rate, it's where you want to be with the 1911.

Now, enter the levergun, remove the constraints. In condition 3, as long as you have a left arm, windowsill, rock, tree, etc, to support the forearm, when you compare the 1911 to the levergun the mechanism is letting you rack and fire with one hand, very quickly.

If the levergun were a 1911 in condition 3, you'd have your right hand on the grip, your second right hand on the slide, and your left hand would be dialing 911/using pepper spray/holding the flashlight.

It's not really a valid comparison, in my opinion.

Geronimo45
September 20, 2007, 10:07 PM
If the levergun were a 1911 in condition 3, you'd have your right hand on the grip, your second right hand on the slide, and your left hand would be dialing 911/using pepper spray/holding the flashlight.
You can rack the slide of a 1911 one-handed, without much trouble. Put the rear sight against the top of your belt and push down (with the gun). Or use the back of your shoe, or any similar surface.

Charles S
September 29, 2007, 08:16 PM
What no reply.

Megar we are all breathlessly awaiting your opinions.

Erik
September 30, 2007, 07:11 PM
It is a three part argument:

1. What is safe? ALL 1911s are safe to carry with a round chambered. SOME lever actions are safe to do so.

2. What is effecient? Pretty clear for the 1911. Not so clear for lever action rifles.

3. What is common practice? For pistols, chambered. For rifles? The debate is still out in some circles, but I believe it is fair to claim most begin their duty in condition 3.

Which is why Cooper stipulated what he did, if I may be so bold.

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