When Drawing a 1911 - Always Disengage Safety?


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D-Man
August 4, 2008, 03:02 PM
The other thread about carrying cocked-n-locked got me thinking.....

If you have to draw your weapon, are you always disengaging the safety on the draw, or if the threat is either limited or low, would you leave the safety as is until you know for sure a shot may be needed?

Obviously you wouldn't be drawing a weapon unless the threat was real, but it made me wonder if there would be different ways to handle the safey.

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rcmodel
August 4, 2008, 03:06 PM
If the threat is low, you should draw into a low-ready position and leave the safety engaged.

If you know a shot is already necessary when you draw, the safety comes off as the gun comes up into your line of sight.

rcmodel

freakshow10mm
August 4, 2008, 03:09 PM
Disengage safety before you fire. If I'm drawing to immediately fire, I'm disengaging the safety as I draw. If I'm drawing to be ready, the safety is still on and I'll disengage before I shoot if necessary.

Eric F
August 4, 2008, 03:10 PM
I have asked this question on a diffrent forum and discussed this on THR too. The answer is do what you practice. I practice safety off when drawing in transition from gun clearing holster while in forward motion to align the sights on the target. The last safety is the decision to shoot. Its kinda simple but thats it.

Others say my way is not safe. Others prefer to have the target completely identified sights lined up and target reidentified and maybe even a verbal warning, but what ever. Diffrent strokes for diffrent folks.

CWL
August 4, 2008, 03:19 PM
I always swipe the safety during the draw.

If a situation warrants pulling a pistol out, then leaving the safety engaged makes no sense.

My real safety is my trigger finger.

Ske1etor
August 4, 2008, 03:25 PM
The safety automatically gets swept down when I draw. My shooting grip/combat grip depends on the safety being in the down or disengaged position. If I am drawing, the only safety I need is my finger to be outside of the trigger guard.

Safety gets swept back up upon heading back to the holster.

HorseSoldier
August 4, 2008, 03:31 PM
+1 what freakshow10mm and others said. Safety on until you're engaging, then safety back on after you've dealt with the threat. Logical and that's how it's taught by everyone I know of who teaches pistol shooting.

rcmodel
August 4, 2008, 03:34 PM
I interpreted "low threat" as going to investigate a bump in the night, etc.

I would have the gun out, but I sure as heck wouldn't need or want to have the safety off at that point!

rcmodel

Eric F
August 4, 2008, 03:41 PM
Logical and that's how it's taught by everyone I know of who teaches pistol shooting. Some teach that, I was taught dont draw unless you are planning to shoot. If I am planning to shoot then no need for the safety to be on. All being said I hear the bump in the night or imediate danger to my life gun comes out/safety goes off. Thats what I have been taught and practice. Anything else is just brandishing/threatening/bluffing.....to me any way.

From another forum I frequent(names are edited)--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric F
I was asked when do I take the safety off on a 1911 in relation to competing and self defense. My reply was the same for both. I take the safety off at a point between the muzzle clearing the holster and pointing the gun toward the target. More specifically it is off just after the gun starts its forward motion toward the target and before my other hand gets to the gun. Is this correct and safe? Or am I making a dangerous error?

The 99% solution (there are always exceptions ) in FIST-FIRE is we disengage the safety when we roll out from the open guard. Without adding a painful description, put simply you draw, bring the hands together and index, and then as you roll out you disengage the safety.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric F
Is there a time when you would draw and not take the safety off from a defensive point of view?

There are differing schools of thought on this subject. My opinion, based on my one personal experience, is that sometimes the mere introduction of a firearm will help defuse the situation, which is what happened in my one incident. In my case, merely drawing the weapon was enough, and taking the weapon off safe (which I couldn't do anyway since it was a Glock 22 ) would not have been necessary. Some people will suggest that drawing the weapon means you should be completely prepared to use it, and thus the safety should be disengaged.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric F
Is this correct and safe? Or am I making a dangerous error?
Is there a time when you would draw and not take the safety off from a defensive point of view?

Eric, IMO you would be making a dangerous error if you did not take the safety off. If the gun is out the safety is off. Finger out of the trigger guard until your unloading on something/somebody. Competition/Real do it the SAME WAY every time. You will do in an emergency what has become habit in practice.

Brad is right in that sometimes the mere introduction of a firearm will diffuse the situation, but don't count on it. And you don't want to be pulling the trigger against an on-safe safety; which is what will happen if you get in the habit of having the safety on any time your gun is out.

Years ago when I first started riding a motorcycle I had borrowed a buddy's KZ-750 to use until my brand new 1200 Suzuki Bandit came in. I had 2 things happen to me that really opened my eyes and almost killed me at the same time. The 1st was I got in the habit of shutting the bike off using the key instead of the kill switch like I should have. This is a bad habit and here's why: I had the throttle stick one time and overrev the engine. When I had to pull the clutch in the extra time it took me to take my hand off the handlebar (not stable when the engine is screaming!) to reach across and turn the key off was not good for the engine or my safety. I trained myself to use the kill switch AT ALL TIMES whenever I turn the bike off after that. That's why it's there.

The next one was even more hair raising. I had gotten in yet another poor habit of using only the rear brake when I was slowly coming to a stop like at an intersection. One day I was rolling along at a good clip and the light changed, and being the green dumbass I was I had centered myself (even though I knew better) on the grease line in the center section of the road. I hit the rear brake (only- as was now motor memory) and the bike just slid right into the intersection just as the light was changing. Fortunately for me the drivers were alert and did not run over my stupid ass. I went directly to a parking lot to practice panic stops using the FRONT brake. I never brake without using the front brake anymore unless that tire is flat or something.

I have had many many close calls on motorcycles over the years since then and have come out unscathed for the most part. I could tell you more stories about why you need a full face helmet- and protective gear, why you don't get in the habit of grabbing too much throttle why the bike is laid over etc. etc. but that would be for another forum. My point is here: you can't have 15 different ways to do something in an emergency or you will suffer the consequences.
MW

AndrewGWU
August 4, 2008, 03:51 PM
Like others I practice clicking the safety off on the draw. It has become instinct.

M1911
August 4, 2008, 03:55 PM
The answer is do what you practice. I practice safety off when drawing in transition from gun clearing holster while in forward motion to align the sights on the target.That is how I was trained and how I practice. I also keep my thumb on top of the safety at all times.

Black Majik
August 4, 2008, 03:58 PM
I also disengage the safety as part of the draw motion. And also would agree that any situation that warrants the gun to clear the holster would be a good enough reason to disengage the safety. Keep that finger off the trigger and you'll do fine.

I haven't forgotten to click the safety off since I'm used to snicking it off on the draw. I can guarantee that if I keep the safety on...

I'll disengage before I shoot if necessary

I'll definitely forget to take the safety off when the gun is most needed.

Train one way and keep to it. I'm used to clicking it off on the draw, and only engaging the safety back upon reholstering. Everything else in between the draw and reholstering, the gun is ready to fire.

brighamr
August 4, 2008, 04:00 PM
Different situations require different responses:

If I'm going outside to see what the dogs are barking about, I'll probably leave the safety on.

If someone's broken into the house, and is walking toward me with a knife/gun... safety and all bets, are off.

Vonderek
August 4, 2008, 04:22 PM
Muscle memory. If the gun gets drawn the safety is wiped off instinctively.

Frank Ettin
August 4, 2008, 04:35 PM
As I've been taught, I disengage the safety as the gun is pointed down range (at low ready or pointed at the target), BUT the trigger finger stays outside the trigger guard until I've made the decision to actually fire. I shoot with a high thumb -- always riding the thumb safety.

Walkalong
August 4, 2008, 04:38 PM
The safety is not swiped off automatically unless I plan on fireing immediately, or expect to do so almost immediately.

If I don't expect to fire immediately, the safety stays on, my finger goes on the trigger,(some would disagree) with my thumb over the safety.

At least for me. :)

I practice it both ways.

Rustynuts
August 4, 2008, 08:10 PM
If I don't expect to fire immediately, the safety stays on, my finger goes on the trigger,(some would disagree) with my thumb over the safety.

Yes, I would think this is unsafe. Many times the other fingers can move sympathetically to other finger movements. Either by the subconscious or by mechanical interaction from the tendons, muscles. When you go to move the thumb to sweep the safety off, it's possible for the trigger finger to move as well, esp. in a stress situation. If you use this technique ONLY to use the safety when actually firing, but not to sweep the safety just to get to a higher level of "alertness".

My theory is if the gun is out, whether low/medium/high threat, the safety is OFF and the trigger finger straight. If the SHTF, I just want to point and shoot no matter which gun I'm carrying at the time. A 1911 with safety off should be viewed no differently than a DA revolver or semi with no manual safety, even though the trigger may be much lighter. Finger should be off until shooting anyway.

RobMoore
August 4, 2008, 08:20 PM
Safety off on the draw. Thumbs forward grip, right thumb riding the safety.

The safety is there to keep the gun from firing when its not in my hands.

My finger not on the trigger keeps it from firing when its in my hands.

Zach S
August 4, 2008, 08:47 PM
I always swipe the safety during the draw.

If a situation warrants pulling a pistol out, then leaving the safety engaged makes no sense.

My real safety is my trigger finger.Same here.

Not just for 1911, but my shotgun and ARs as well. If they're in my hands, they're off-safe and my finger is off the trigger. Back on safe when they're holstered or slung.

dmazur
August 4, 2008, 11:27 PM
While IDPA is obviously not real-life, it is intended to provide practice for real-life events. (For those who may not be familiar with IDPA, it's pistol competition without race guns and trick holsters. Courses of fire are supposed to represent something you might encounter in real life.)

I'm just a beginner with IDPA. What I've learned so far is that there are time penalties assessed for procedural violations like leaving your finger on the trigger while moving. (Called "Finger" by the SO) If you do it often enough, you can be disqualified.

I always swipe the safety during the draw.

If a situation warrants pulling a pistol out, then leaving the safety engaged makes no sense.

My real safety is my trigger finger.

This practice is in keeping with IDPA. Especially if you keep you trigger finger parallel to the slide until you actually shoot, then back outside again until engaging another threat.

This is very practical, with practice. If you stumble while moving, you probably won't shoot yourself in the foot, and it's not as burdensome both in time and dexterity as flicking safety on/off each time you engage & fire.

Of course, when the CoF is finished, you put on safety and reholster. I believe you have to unload and show clear before leaving that area.

IDPA rules are consistent with the Four Rules.

Other than their paranoia about loaded weapons at a match, IDPA is pretty close to real life. Something to consider, anyway.

VHinch
August 4, 2008, 11:30 PM
On target = finger on trigger, safety off.
Off target = finger off trigger, safety on.

AZ_Rebel
August 5, 2008, 12:19 AM
On target = finger on trigger, safety off.
Off target = finger off trigger, safety on.

+1 One of the few who got it right!

Eric F
August 5, 2008, 12:22 AM
+1 One of the few who got it right!
there is no wrong answer here. Its a personal prefrence issue:banghead:

So if you cant get it wrong every one here is right

RobMoore
August 5, 2008, 09:41 AM
http://www.handgunsmag.com/tactics_training/HGcombatg_100206D.jpg

Its not easy to get the safety on without giving up the grip. I don't give up the grip unless I'm going back to the holster (with the exception of reloading, or having to do something one handed, like point at someone or dial a cell phone...and then I'm still goong to keep my one handed grip, thumb riding safety in off position)

1911 guy
August 5, 2008, 09:55 AM
I disengage the safety on the drawstroke every time. Trigger discipline is the last word in safety, not a metal lever.

Quote:On target = finger on trigger, safety off.
Off target = finger off trigger, safety on.
+1 One of the few who got it right!

Except it isn't right. Your finger should be on the trigger when you've made the deicision to fire, not just because there's a target there. I can think of a dozen "no shoot" situations that would have my muzzle on someone for at least a short time. Sympathetic reflex has caused a lot of people to get holes in them due to lack of trigger discipline.

Ske1etor
August 5, 2008, 03:12 PM
there is no wrong answer here. Its a personal prefrence issue

So if you cant get it wrong every one here is right

Absolutely. If my firearm is drawn from a holster for any reason, it is about to be used. Notice that the question is "When drawing from a holster"... If I am carrying my XD, the safety is always off... if I draw, it is ready to go, same idea with the 1911. If it is in my hand in a situation where I am preparing to use it in defense of myself or others, the safety is off.

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