Perspectives and Questions from a beginner.


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DannyZRC
March 2, 2010, 04:10 PM
Greetings everyone, occasional listener first time caller.

I've been nursing a growing interest in firearms as a tool of personal security, and as an enjoyable hobby, and I've spent a lot of time reading about different pistols, and different ideas about their implementation.

(longer, more boring post lost due to computer skulduggery)

I've come to the firm and unshakable belief that a manual safety is a better design ideal than a "trigger only" gun. the consequences of an unintentional discharge are every bit as severe if not moreso than the consequence of a safety-induced FTF, and the opportunities for it to occur are vastly more frequent. a side benefit is the manual safety's tolerance of a "more shootable trigger"

this has helped greatly in my search of pistol.

my 2nd question though is decidedly less cut and dry, due to cost factors.

Autoloading pistols are, these days, all fed from removable box magazines, and it is the design of the magazine release which I am pondering. Most pistols use a push button type magazine release, and I have found this type of release to be fairly easy to operate just by gripping the pistol in my left hand, or either hand on those models equipped with ambi releases. I have heard of a few accounts of gloved hands dropping magazines, but I don't know how common an occurrence it is in bare hands or, more saliently, in stress situations. This has led me toward a preference for the HK style paddle mag release, or even the heel catch, over the current standard push button release. my thinking is to promote magazine retention to be able to rely more on that magazines contents, than to worry about promoting the reload process which has a more remote possibility of being relevant.

but, as I said, there is a cost factor. pistols with manual safeties and conventional push button releases are ~5-600$, but something that meets the manual safety req and has a paddle style release is basically an HK P30S/USP, and those guns are closer to 900-1k$

so the likelihood of unintentional mag drop is the 500$ question.

any comment on my philosophical position on manual safeties and mag releases is more than welcome, I look forward to all comments.

Thanks!
-Danny

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IdahoSkies
March 2, 2010, 04:39 PM
When I looked at the manual safety issue You will find two schools of thought on why carry weapons should not have a safety (1) A safety is what is between your head and if you can't keep you finger out of the trigger guard you shouldn't be carrying anyway and (2) Safeties are an added layer of complexity in trying to bring your firearm to bear in an emergency situation where every second matters.

As you stated the big plus for a safety is, well, that added layer of complexity to send the flying piece of metal at hundreds of feet per second on it's journey.

Personally I like safety's. They help me makes sure that the bullet goes only where I want it to and not somewhere else. I have small kids and despite my instruction to them and care having a manual safety on my carry piece (which is always loaded and always on me or in my safe) helps my piece of mind when I am carrying them in my arms, or they are unexpectedly grabbing me as kids do with their dad. Safeties are all about the operator and the environment. If I did not have kids or lived by my self, I probably could care less if my DA had a manual safety. But I don't, so I do care. Its not about how the pistol operates, its about how *I* operate. And I am fine with that.

Of note it is very interesting that of those who feel the need to have a safety on a firearm that need is applied generally to pistols and not to revolvers. (even among the anti's I know.) I have always wondered about that apparent dichotomy and I can only assume it must have something to do with the "comforting" look of the revolver as the weapon that was used when the west was wild.

BigO01
March 2, 2010, 05:03 PM
Welcome Dan and hopefully welcome to the wonderful world of safe gun handling and shooting for the rest of your life and that you pass it along to any children you may have now or in the future .

As far as your thoughts go the trigger safeties "ALA Glock style" are all based on the simple prioncipal of that if you dont want the gun to fire keep your finger off trigger or don't squeeze it until it has traveled to its full length to make the internal parts do their thing and and propel the firing pin into thew the primer , much like the revolver except you're not seeing as much of the action/movement of parts as it happens .

Not realy a bad concept actually and it usually does indeed work rather well , and is indeed very safe . Fact is people are always blaming someone or something else on their mistakes and dodge the responsibility for their action whenever they can and have most likely been doing this since the beginnings of speach and the the craetion of the first liar with idea to do so .

Being new to the game "and I being old to it" I suggest that you start out with a revolver as your first weapon , lets live in the real world and all understand the fact that the chances of needing to use even 6 rounds in a defeensive situations is very very rare and that double action trigger pull around 10+ lbs will indeed help to prevent you from mistakenly firing a round at anything you don't want to .

I suggest a quality Double action 357 such as a Smith & Wesson , Taurus , Ruger , Colt and a few others that can be had for say around $400 or less so as to leave you with plenty of money for practice ammo .

Don't neglect "Dry fire practice" either this is where in your home you make 100% certain that the gun is unloaded and have all ammo away from you so you can't perhaps make a mistake and load the gun and practice "Shooting" things in you home like say a picture on the wall all the while paying attention to the small things that make you a good shot when the gun is loaded such as keeping both eyes open , breath and trigger control , and of course following trough with each shot .

Now as to your thoughts on accidentaly dropping your magazine when you have gained skills and feel confident with your revolver move up to a 1911 and I doubt you will have problems accidentily dropping a magazine when you don't want to , but should this be a problem , with a simple screw driver and the skill needed to open a door you can if you need to change the magazine release spring to one that is heavier and make it much less likely this could happen but after a few months with the gun I bet you will want to do the exact opposite and install a lighter magazine release spring rather than a heavier one .

You can get many things that you will need or may eventually want here
http://www.midwayusa.com/ including those springs for less than $10 in the gunsmithing section of their website .

Once again Welcome and good luck I hope you will enjoy the dickens out of your new interst/hobby of guns and shooting as most of us most certainly do .

mgmorden
March 2, 2010, 05:06 PM
I own handguns of both types - 3 with no safety and 5 that do have them. Doesn't bother me much either way whether it's there or not. The reality is, if you practice the #1 rule of shooting - always keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction, then you're good, no matter what.

A big point to stress though (and something that a lot of people fail to do, even when being concious of the muzzle direction), is to never, EVER put your finger on the trigger until you're ready to pull it. If I ever give a person a gun to examine, and I see their finger go into the trigger guard, I immediately stop and explain what they did wrong. If you're handling the weapon and not intending to shoot it, then your finger should be resting along the side of the frame - NOT in the trigger guard.

Put it this way, if the manual safety is EVER what saves your bacon, then count your lucky stars, but then sell the gun and don't buy anymore. If that's what makes the difference then you're not being a safe gun owner. Mere luck just prevented a serious accident, and if you're planning on handling a deadly weapon, you need something besides luck on your side.

lilidiot
March 2, 2010, 05:08 PM
In a high adrenaline situation of self defense, a safety can get you killed. That is why the best selling and most copied military service pistol in the world today is the Glock Safe Action where the safety in in the trigger.

That was also the reason why revolvers are so popular. It only requires one action to use......pull the trigger. Safety is between your ears. Just keep your booger hook off the boom switch until you need to shoot and all is well.

Zerodefect
March 2, 2010, 05:32 PM
I prefere Glocks. Trigger only, no safety on them (It's a drop safety, "safe action trigger" is marketing speak).

As long as you have a good holster like a Crossbreed Supertuck or MTAC Spartan, then your perfectly safe.

Dare I say that the manual safety guns are getting obsolete??? Glocks, Walther PPS, SW Mp, Springy XD, all seem to outperform my 1911's and M9 or Ruger style semi autos. My Glock 23 is way easier to bring on target from a draw from concealment than my 1911.

My point is don't over look the Glock 19/23/32/26/27/33 or Walther PPS, Kahr PM9, etc for CCW.

mljdeckard
March 2, 2010, 05:47 PM
All we can really say is the same thing we tell all of the guys who are wondering about any design. Get to a rental range and try it. I've shot a lot of guns, including guns with ambi releases, I can't recall ever accidentally dropping one.

As for the trigger issue, this is one of the never-ending arguments we have in here. Some say that a fighting gun should be as uncomplicated as possible. Others say that fighting guns should have exposed hammers and manual safeties. (Apparently the military agrees with the latter right now.) Several years ago I dropped the Glock for a 1911 and I have never 'forgotten' to take it off safe when I wanted to fire. AT THE SAME TIME, if I were allowed to pick the sidearm to issue and train my soldiers with to take to war, I would give them Glocks for the simplicity and durability.

BigO01
March 2, 2010, 05:55 PM
In all my rambling I forgot to add this thought at the end of my post .

Once you pick up a loaded gun you now quite litterally have the power of life or death over you and eveyone withing range of the respective power of that caliber.

It doesn't matter if it's the jerk neighbor who let's his dog mess in your yard and you hate then both , the punk kid who you think wants to steal your car , or the girlfriend/wife you love more than life itself one stupid second of carelessness and you can cause their life to end .

And my friend thats forever there are no do overs or take backs , when you picked that weapon up you took on the responsibility for the lives of all the people around you and like it or not you were playing by the "Big Boy Rules"
.

If you cant fully accept that then do yourself a favor and forget owning or even handling firearms this isn't a kids game .

Trigger safety , manual safety , or none at all the power you now have in your hands is all the same and it needs 100% of you attention once you become involved with it .

As I learned as a young lad there are NO such things as accidents there are instances of carelessness for one reason or another , and someone will have to pay a price for them almost 100% of the time .

DannyZRC
March 2, 2010, 07:12 PM
I appreciate the responses so far.

on the responsibilities of lethal force; Everyone who drives a car, myself included, is at the controls of something with more ft-lbs than even the mightiest rifle. I take very seriously the responsibilities of gun handling, but I hope everyone takes all of the other things in their life with equal consequences equally seriously, as I do.

as to the manual safety and safety in general; I have other hobbies, as all of you do, and one of those hobbies is flying RC aircraft. These devices can be dangerous, and have fairly rigorous safe practice standards and a fairly low tolerance for poor behavior. In the last 10 years or so, there have been multiple technological advances in this hobby to improve safety, and those improvements have lead to fewer accidents. If your preflight routine and inspections are perfect, you would never need any of these safety features, and yet even experienced fliers can report an occasion or two where they failed to behave properly, and either they had a feature save them or they suffered a consequence.

simple trigger operated pistols like glocks and revolvers are, I believe, suffering from the trap of perfection. they are "safe" as long as their operator is "perfect". I don't mean to be trite or cliché, but nobody is perfect. sometimes I shift my car into 1st in the garage instead of reverse, just today walking home from uni I wasn't attentive enough and slipped in some mud.

I want the number of mistakes I need to make to unintentionally discharge the gun to be high, because I want the probability of me making all of those mistakes simultaneously to be astronomically small, and I feel this way precisely because I am serious about being a safe firearm operator, not to prevent my need to train to be one.

side thought; a glock car would probably have.. no ignition, no shift lever, just a gas pedal and a brake/reverse pedal. I don't think anybody could look at that paradigm and call it safe, not "horrifyingly dangerous", but certainly not safe.

Baba Louie
March 2, 2010, 08:52 PM
...so the likelihood of unintentional mag drop is the 500$ question.
Well sir, I can say that, in over 40 years of shooting I have yet to suffer an unintentional magazine drop... but thats just me and my own few semi-autos (mostly 1911 style, but a couple o' others as well). Of course I do try to avoid stressful situations when I'm out a'shootin, so there's that to consider I guess.

I do know that CZ has a mag release brake in their 75 series... some people don't like them and tweak as req'd for speedy mag changes, but just in case you didn't know that little fact, you do now.

Safety is your mind and hands working together, conciously at first, later it becomes automatic (4 rule moment: 1. gun is assumed to be loaded, 2. don't point muzzle, 3. finger off trigger till sights on target, 4. know what's behind target). Mechanical safeties can break or malfunction, revolvers typically have no safeties except your brain/finger and they seem to continue to work well for some (old timers, eh?). Violate one of those 4... oops.

Magazines... can be an issue unto themselves at times, so buy the best you can afford and keep em clean.

BTW, Welcome to THR Dan. Let us know whatcha do get when ya get it. Also consider taking a couple of GOOD training classes once you do.

dmazur
March 2, 2010, 09:10 PM
This has led me toward a preference for the HK style paddle mag release, or even the heel catch, over the current standard push button release. my thinking is to promote magazine retention to be able to rely more on that magazines contents, than to worry about promoting the reload process which has a more remote possibility of being relevant.


I have experience with both types of magazine release. I prefer the 1911 style.

I've also tried both lighter and heavier (compared to factory) magazine release springs and prefer the heavier spring. As I'm not trying for an IDPA competition gun, I prefer the security of that stiff spring, however real or imagined that security might be.

As long as you don't change the stock release for an extended or "competition" release, you shouldn't have any trouble with the 1911 style mag release.

(By the way, I also replaced the base pin latch spring on a Ruger SBH with a heavier one. It makes it harder to disassemble/reassemble, but it doesn't shoot loose under recoil. I must like heavy springs... :) )

shockwave
March 2, 2010, 09:30 PM
simple trigger operated pistols like glocks and revolvers are, I believe, suffering from the trap of perfection. they are "safe" as long as their operator is "perfect".

If you ever get a chance, watch the James Fox movie Performance some time. Classic example. The thugs are in your house, they've stripped you naked, they're smashing and destroying everything for vandal laffs. You've been beaten, clubbed, kicked, and for a single moment their backs are turned since they've written you off already. You have once chance left and you make your lunge for the gun they don't know you have.

Ain't gonna be no time to be fooling around with no safety. Get your hand on that .357 and and point and all you have to do is pull the trigger. Plan for the absolute worst case scenario. For a carry piece I might consider a 9mm but a safety on the HD weapon? No way.

My "safety" for the 12 ga. is an empty chamber and the mag tube loaded. Slide lock disengaged and safety off. All I have to do is rack it once and it's ready to go.

Hatterasguy
March 2, 2010, 10:47 PM
Correct me if I'm wrong but I beleive SOP in the military for carrying the 92 is one round in the chamber, safety off, hammer decocked. The first trigger pull on the Beretta is heavy and double action.

Frankly it all comes down to the gray matter between your ears. If you don't trust yourself to properly handle a loaded pistol than you really shouldn't have one.

Love them or hate them, Glock makes a damn good pistol, that is used all over the world. Their design has been proven over the years to be safe and reliable, beyond any doubt at this point.

But if you don't like the Glock manual of arms pick a 1911 or something like a Sig 226. The 1911 is a bit more complicated, and will require more training than a Glock.

DannyZRC
March 2, 2010, 10:56 PM
If you ever get a chance, watch the James Fox movie Performance some time. Classic example. The thugs are in your house, they've stripped you naked, they're smashing and destroying everything for vandal laffs. You've been beaten, clubbed, kicked, and for a single moment their backs are turned since they've written you off already. You have once chance left and you make your lunge for the gun they don't know you have.

Ain't gonna be no time to be fooling around with no safety. Get your hand on that .357 and and point and all you have to do is pull the trigger. Plan for the absolute worst case scenario. For a carry piece I might consider a 9mm but a safety on the HD weapon? No way.

My "safety" for the 12 ga. is an empty chamber and the mag tube loaded. Slide lock disengaged and safety off. All I have to do is rack it once and it's ready to go.

... pure fantasy, IMO.

the criticism I've heard of safeties rarely condemns their speed of action, but rather that there is the chance it will be forgotten. of all the draws of all the pistols in all the history of the world, the one you described is IMO the least likely to have the safety forgotten.

but beyond that, the scenario requires so many things to be neglected in your home, it begs disbelief.

no alarm, no dog, the invaders don't wake you, and somehow they've gotten all the way to you without waking you and then beat you out of bed instead of killing you.

it's just seems... so remote.

lilidiot
March 2, 2010, 11:28 PM
Glock and Beretta handguns are killing bad guys as we speak in the ongoing war with Islam. What better testimony than that do you want. We take raw 18 year old kids and make them proficient with a M9 Beretta 9 mm pistol in less than 7 weeks then we send them out to kill bad people. Seems to be working don't you think.

mgmorden
March 2, 2010, 11:44 PM
... pure fantasy, IMO.

I'm beginning to think there is more to this inquiry than simple curiousity. A person obsessed with safeties on a gun who dismisses scenarios when you'd have to use the gun defensively as "pure fantasy" sounds like an anti looking for some good quotes to use elsewhere.

DannyZRC
March 2, 2010, 11:57 PM
Morden, I'm not an anti, I'm not here for laughs, I promise.

I just believe in sober and honest appraisals, and making decisions that yield the highest likelihood of the best result. I just believe the scenario that was presented was an extremely unlikely scenario to which the solutions exist way before the pistol safety being an impediment becomes a factor.

MrCleanOK
March 3, 2010, 12:05 AM
Danny,

Welcome to the forum. My thoughts are that you're overthinking both issues (manual safeties and magazine releases).

First, with regard to manual safeties, that's a personal decision, but I don't think it's accurate to categorize a lack of a manual safety as a deficiency. "Point and shoot" guns have internal safety features built in, and they are awfully hard to discharge unintentionally. That's not to say it can't be done, but if people were out shooting themselves in the leg because their gun didn't have a manual safety, all guns would have manual safeties. Guns without manual safeties generally have trigger pulls that are long and/or heavy, so even if a user has terrible trigger discipline and lets their finger hang out inside the trigger guard, it still takes a rather intentional pull to discharge the weapon. It sounds like you have the correct mindset to instill good trigger discipline in yourself, so I doubt you'd be putting yourself or anyone else at risk with a weapon lacking a manual safety.

Second, with respect to mag releases, the button style mag release isn't broke, and doesn't need fixing. If it was, just like with the safeties, all guns would employ something different. I think these instances of gloved hands unintentionally dropping mags are rare, and are coming from people who have light springs in the mechanism, or are using extended "tactical" release buttons. I wear gloves almost exclusively when I shoot (leather/kevlar flight gloves for warm weather, or thinly insulated gloves in winter), and have never unintentionally dropped a magazine. The paddle style release works, I have owned a gun that used it, and I honestly don't have a preference either way. I would steer clear of a heel catch magazine release for a defensive gun. There are reasons nobody's making them any more.

Gungnir
March 3, 2010, 12:07 AM
Glock and Beretta handguns are killing bad guys as we speak in the ongoing war with Islam. What better testimony than that do you want. We take raw 18 year old kids and make them proficient with a M9 Beretta 9 mm pistol in less than 7 weeks then we send them out to kill bad people. Seems to be working don't you think.
No they're not, you don't see Marines or anyone storming buildings armed with their Beretta's (or 1911's). Rifles (or carbines) are used in War, not handguns. Handguns are used only in defense when absolutely necessary, for instance you're rifles disabled, or you're out of ammo for it, and can't get more off one of your squad, at that precise moment.

Glocks aren't used by any major military either Lithuania and Sweden are the only two that spring to mind neither are what I would consider major militaries, other than that it's all LEO.

MrCleanOK
March 3, 2010, 12:17 AM
Glocks aren't used by any major military either Lithuania and Sweden are the only two that spring to mind neither are what I would consider major militaries, other than that it's all LEO.

I have seen photos of American troops carrying Glocks in Iraq. They appear to be units attached to Iraqi National Police for training, carrying the same pistols as their pupils.

Gungnir
March 3, 2010, 01:18 AM
I have seen photos of American troops carrying Glocks in Iraq. They appear to be units attached to Iraqi National Police for training, carrying the same pistols as their pupils.
Which would be LEO.

labhound
March 3, 2010, 02:35 AM
Go with a Beretta 92FS. 9mm with a decocker/safety that decocks gun with trigger and hammer disabled until you flick the safety off.

9mmepiphany
March 3, 2010, 03:01 AM
let me offer what i believe is the safest gun available on the market for a reasonable price...the H&K P-7 PSP. there are currently LE trade-in P-7s on the market from Europe which are very affordable at about 40-60% of the price of a new one.

the P7 has no safety which needs to be pushed off, but it isn't fired by just having pressure on the trigger either. the pistol is un-cocked, as a matter of fact the striker is blocked from any forward movement, until you squeeze the front strap and cock the striker. it can also be un-cocked by releasing the front strap without even unblocking the striker. should you happen to drop the gun, releasing the front strap safetly un-cocks the gun as soon as it leave your hand.

cocking the striker takes about 12lbs and holding it cocked takes about 4lbs...like a compound bow. the gun is extremely accurate (fixed barrel) and has minimal recoil due to it's gas delayed locking system.

it has a mag release mounted on the heel of the frame, which is the fastest design available (it presses in, instead of requiring a push backwards)

it would be an excellent first gun, because you'd never have to wonder it a miss was the fault of you or the gun...it wasn't the gun

diableri
March 3, 2010, 03:13 AM
I think your heavy bent on manual safety mechanisms may just be a case of physical inexperience. Go shoot. Shoot thousands rounds through various guns. Make you choice on what works the best for your hands, eyes and mind together as one processing machine. If that weapon has a manual safety, so be it. If that weapon is a classic double action revolver so be it as well.

As another RC plane enthusiast I can assure you, firearms and RC planes have nearly nothing in common at all and that's including safety steps.

Enjoy this initial learning process with handguns too. You'll only get to have it once. Keep an open mind. It's one of the hobbies/sports/interests where reading about it and doing it have very little to do with each other.

Happy and safe shooting.

NWCP
March 3, 2010, 04:38 AM
You can find HKs that are well under $1000. My last purchase was a full size USP 9mm NIB for $629. The last thing I consider when shopping for a personal defense weapon is cost. I do look to get the best deal I can on the pistol I've chosen, but that is my last concern. I have a hard time putting a price tag on my life, or the life of my loved ones. If the pistol that works well for me and meets all the other criteria considered I'm willing to pay for it. My HKs will be around and serviceable long after my sorry hide is gone. Check with CDNN for the HK you want to carry. They have very competitive pricing and are great to work with. I've purchased several pistols from them and never had an issue.

Davek1977
March 3, 2010, 06:51 AM
lilmf, no offense, but why are you so hung up on the idea of wars being fought with pistols? Nopt only do you allude to that in this thread, but I've noticed it in another as well. While handguns may be issued to our soldiers, they are NOT whats winning (or losing, depending on who you ask) the war on TERROR (not Islam...some Islamic people may be terrorists, but not every terrorist is of Islamic descent...we even raise some of them right here....). Handguns are tools of last resort, and aren't routinely dropping badguys on the front lines in most conflicts, the current one(s) included. No modern conflict has been won or lost based on what handgun the soldiers were issued.

duns
March 3, 2010, 07:27 AM
On the question of magazine releases, the Walther P99/P99C has an ambidextrous release lever in the trigger guard. I didn't like it at first but now I'm used it, I think it's easier than the traditional button on the left side of the grip.

Nuke8401
March 3, 2010, 07:56 AM
Only you can decide what your comfort level is concerning safety/non-safety.

I personally prefer to carry a manual safety when using a holster that does not "capture the weapon". EX: I carry a S&W CS-45, manual safety in an IWB Don Hume holster. I am confident that even if the trigger becomes exposed using this holster and something pulls the trigger the safety will prevent if from firing. I only carry a safe action auto in a Black hawk serpa or other holster type that “captures” the weapon. I have carried a safe action in an IWB non-captured type holster but was concerned about dislodging the gun and hooking the trigger on something. I shoot both types of weapons in IDPA (SSP MA, CDP EX) and can assure you that with some practice the safety will not slow down your “time to first shot”.

Concerning mag release,,, I have never had an issue with a carry weapon inadvertent releasing the mag. I have only been carrying since 1997 so my experience is limited. In that time I have carried; S&W CS-45 IWB, SIG 226 Blackhawk serpa, S&W M+P full size Fobus evolution, Glock 34 Fobus evolution, 1911 Fobus evolution. I have always gone back to the CS-45 because of its small size for a .45 ACP, manual safety, and flawless operation. I did carry a Keltec pt3at in a pocket holster for a while in my back pocket, I would occasionally find that I had pushed the mag release and ejected the mag. I was only comfortable carrying it without a round in the chamber and decided not to carry it because of these shortcomings.

Those who say as long as you keep your trigger finger off the trigger you don’t have to worry about accidental discharge, I generally don’t buy it. Maybe on something like the XD that has a grip safety in addition to safe action design.

Nothing worse than carrying a weapon and not being confident in your method of carry and safeties you rely on.

lilidiot
March 3, 2010, 08:23 AM
lilmf, no offense, but why are you so hung up on the idea of wars being fought with pistols? Nopt only do you allude to that in this thread, but I've noticed it in another as well. While handguns may be issued to our soldiers, they are NOT whats winning (or losing, depending on who you ask) the war on TERROR (not Islam...some Islamic people may be terrorists, but not every terrorist is of Islamic descent...we even raise some of them right here....). Handguns are tools of last resort, and aren't routinely dropping badguys on the front lines in most conflicts, the current one(s) included. No modern conflict has been won or lost based on what handgun the soldiers were issued.
The Iraqi Security forces just put 270,000 Glock 19's into service. I wonder why?

As you have seen in many an interview with our military members they are always carrying their M9 on their person at all times in a shoulder holster. The pistol has taken on a new value in close combat urban warfare that we have entered into. The Mossberg model 500/ 12 gauge shot gun is also very popular as a Baghdad street sweeper. They work well against the rabid dogs that are set loose upon our troops as well as the M9. I have a 5 tour Light Bird kid over there right now and believe what he tells me. No offense taken.

Gouranga
March 3, 2010, 08:52 AM
I am with you on the manual safety. With kids around, and the risk of doing something stupid like picking up the gun in a hurry (say in the middle of the night when you are jostled awake and someone is in the house) and grabbing the trigger. Even with the safest best gunner I have met accidents happen and we all need to weight the risks in deciding which is best for you and your situation.

That being said, because of that I make sure I consistently engage the safety. This includes at the range. For a fresh clip I always have the safety armed. I have built it so much into my training that disengaging the safety is an automatic reflex I do not even think about it is as natural as pulling the trigger for me. With the thumb safety on my main weapon, it is so fast and easy to disengage the safety I lose no time. Pretty much whichever route you take, do it consistently and train to the point that it is a reflex. You ain't gonna be thinking if someone comes into your home or of you need it out in the world so it has to be as automatic as breathing.

As for weapons, I went with a S&W M&P 40. For the price, it was a good weapon, easy to use, easy to tear down, consistent and reliable. My wife also needed to be able to fire it and handle it, the limp wristing "issue" (a user issue not a weapon issue) with the Glocks gave me concern for this reason. There are better guns out there, worse guns, just try out as many as you can and get the one that works for you.

For the record, I carry mine about 85% of the time with one on the chamber and a full clip. The only exceptions are instances where I am in REAL tight crowds, or around a lot of kids. Folks here will strongly disagree with that, but once again, it is a measure of risk. The risk of being in a situation where someone is going to get the jump on me for the time lost racking the slide vs. the risk of a kid accidentally grabbing something they shouldn't and causing an issue. You also need to learn your weapon well to understand the mechanics of an AD with it. You just need to do what is right for you and do your own risk assessment.

duns
March 3, 2010, 09:32 AM
I don't see any big negative in a manual safety BUT...

My Beretta 92FS has a manual safety. I keep the pistol with a round chambered and the safety off when I am alone in the house so that the gun is ready to fire. But the pistol is decocked so I will need a long heavy trigger pull to fire.

When I have visitors, I don't flick on the safety but I put the gun in the safe. Even a child could operate the safety and reactivate the weapon.

So it seems to me the safety is an irrelevance. Not doing any harm (unless I forget to turn it off when I need to fire) but not doing any good either (since anyone who gets to the weapon can easily turn it off too).

Am I missing something? (As I said in quite a few of my previous posts, I am a newbie and quite often miss the subtleties so I won't be offended if you correct me).

easyg
March 3, 2010, 09:34 AM
Manual safeties:

I prefer a handgun without one.

I have seen way too many folks at the range forget to disengage the safety of their handgun as they tried to shoot.
They draw and aim and squeeze the trigger, squeeze again, take their finger off the trigger, look at the pistol, then (lightbulb moment) duh! Safety is on!
And not just newbies either....I've seen it happen to experienced shooters too.

If you have kids in the house then only a fool would really believe that a child will not be able to disengage a manual safety.
Heck, my 4 year old niece can turn on, load, and play the Wii game system just fine all by herself....I'm sure the manual safety of a handgun would not pose much of a challenge to her.
So if you have children then I strongly recommend locking the gun in a safe when it's not on your hip.

But a pistol without a manual safety does require one to be very careful when holstering the pistol.
You have to make sure that there are strings or parts of clothing that might get snagged as you holster.
And a good holster is a must IMO.



Magazine release:

I honestly don't think it really matters what type of magazine release you use.
The average person is never going to reload during a self-defense situation, so speed of reloading really isn't a concern for the average Joe on the street.

Having said that, I recommend the typical button release.
Here's why:

By choosing the paddle type mag release, or the heel mag release, you're really limiting your selection of pistols quite a bit.
And this might lead you to buy a handgun that does not really suit you so well.

The heel release makes it difficult to drop the magazine without pointing your muzzle off target and possibly sweeping bystanders.
Not good gun discipline, and certainly not appreciated by those around you.


Good luck,
Easy

duns
March 3, 2010, 09:55 AM
But a pistol without a manual safety does require one to be very careful when holstering the pistol.
I think that's right. If the trigger catches on something then there could be a discharge. With the safety on, there won't be an accident even if the trigger catches. But that means we have to holster a weapon with the safety on and remember to flick it off when drawing. OK, no big deal, I suppose provided we train that way.

With a proper holster, there should be little chance of the trigger catching on something anyway. Also can't one prevent a discharge (even if the trigger does catch) by pushing on the back of the slide when holstering?

Shawn Dodson
March 3, 2010, 10:37 AM
When handling a firearm your trigger finger should be in one of two places only:
1) off the trigger, completely out of the trigger guard, and on the Trigger Finger Rest position when it's not working the trigger, or
2) on the trigger after you have made the decision to fire.
It's THAT simple. But it does require training and experience to achieve this level of discipline with your trigger finger.

Unless you engage/disengage the manual safety each time you move your finger to/from the trigger it's not going to buy you added safety when handling the gun. Be that as it may, a frame mounted safety better facilitates the practice than a slide mounted manual safety.

As for magazine release type and location, I've carried concealed continuously since 1984. All my handguns are equipped with a magazine release pushbutton located behind the trigger guard. I've never encountered a problem with the magazine release being inadvertantly activated when holstered or handled. The same is true with the Beretta 96FS I carried on police patrol.

Problems I have encountered is a manual safety being inadvertantly disengaged on a cocked and locked S/A automatic while holstered, and the manual safety in my Beretta 96FS being inadvertantly disengaged when I snapped the thumbstrap of my Safariland 0705 SSIII holster.

Depending on my situation I currently carry a Glock 19 or Kahr PM9. I've never noticed either one to have a less "shootable trigger" than other handguns equipped with a manual safety. I'm accustomed to the trigger on each. If "shootable trigger" means one that better facilitates accurate marksmanship, I've never noticed this to be the case.

Good luck with your choice.

easyg
March 3, 2010, 10:44 AM
Also can't one prevent a discharge (even if the trigger does catch) by pushing on the back of the slide when holstering?
I'm not sure how one could push back on the slide while holstering.

It's just easier, and safer, to look and feel to make sure there's nothing obstructing the holster before sliding the pistol inside.
After all, there's never really a good reason to holster your weapon quickly....take your time and be safe about it.

shockwave
March 3, 2010, 11:06 AM
but beyond that, the scenario requires so many things to be neglected in your home, it begs disbelief.

You're free to believe as you like. The case I had in mind was actually that of an Oakland, CA, couple who were attacked as they pulled into their garage. As they were hauled into their home for what would be a day-long home invasion, the thugs kept screaming at them, "where are the guns! where are the guns!"

About 4 hours into the ordeal, the husband recounted that, "At this point, I was wishing they'd just kill us and get it over with." It was much worse than the scenario I recounted. Seems that one of them had a brother who was sent to prison, so they went out hunting for a white couple to attack in retribution. Anyway, that's neither here nor there, except that had they had the presence of mind to have had a hidden gun and kept its location secret, they might have had a chance.

If so, however, in making a break for it there could have been only seconds to secure the weapon and fire it. A safety is the last thing I want to be fumbling with in an emergency. And this is just one possibility among many. So I go with revolvers and shotgun safety off.

Gouranga
March 3, 2010, 11:43 AM
If you have kids in the house then only a fool would really believe that a child will not be able to disengage a manual safety

They certainly can but in the case that the other steps you take to secure your weapon have failed and the child gets their hands on a loaded weapon, that safety delay from a child unfamiliar with the particular weapon may give you the time you needed to discover them and end the situation before someone gets hurt.

Don't get me wrong I would NEVER be dumb enough to leave a loaded weapon out with kids around counting on on the safety to save them, or even to leave it unchambered and suspect they can't rack the slide (which they probably could not). In my world, it is just the final line of safety out of several I take to keep a loaded weapon out of my kids hands.

nitetrane98
March 3, 2010, 12:07 PM
I'll not weigh in on which is "safer" because I'm of the "my finger is the safety" school. I will say that I've practiced and trained extensively with a manual safety. That means I have done thousands of repetitions of drawing, thumbing safety off, firing, thumbing safety on, re-holstering ad nausem. The concept of fumbling for a safety in an emergency is completely foreign to me. I could no more not thumb the safety off before firing than I could not put my finger on the trigger and pull. Some make it sound like they'll be reaching into a box for a gun and have no idea what they are going to pull out.

If someone were to toss me a Glock in an emergency there might be a split second of indecision but I'll guarantee my thumb will swipe the side of the slide. Hell, it's entirely possible I'd swipe a revolver in the same situation. It's that hardwired. But it came with practice.

I suppose if one does not have the time or inclination to become intimately familiar with their gun then you do what you have to do. "Whatever works for you." is my motto.

JShirley
March 3, 2010, 12:53 PM
As you have seen in many an interview with our military members they are always carrying their M9 on their person at all times in a shoulder holster.

Nonsense. Most service members do not have M9s. The ones who do are either support personnel (ie, not primarily warfighters), or NCOs. The NCOs also have rifles.

easyg
March 3, 2010, 01:10 PM
I will say that I've practiced and trained extensively with a manual safety. That means I have done thousands of repetitions of drawing, thumbing safety off, firing, thumbing safety on, re-holstering ad nausem. The concept of fumbling for a safety in an emergency is completely foreign to me. I could no more not thumb the safety off before firing than I could not put my finger on the trigger and pull.
I don't normally quote the Bible, but this one seems appropriate....

Proverbs 16-18:
Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.


I've seen more than one person, even those who have "practiced and trained extensively with a manual safety", still fail to disengage the manual safety when shooting.
Don't think that you are immune from the human condition.

easyg
March 3, 2010, 01:18 PM
As you have seen in many an interview with our military members they are always carrying their M9 on their person at all times in a shoulder holster.

Nonsense. Most service members do not have M9s. The ones who do are either support personnel (ie, not primarily warfighters), or NCOs. The NCOs also have rifles.
The vast majority of military personnel will never even fire a handgun, not even once, in their entire military service.

Even among the ground-pounders (Army and Marines) the vast majority do not have handguns.

IMO, grenades, rifles, and E-tools are much more useful to a Soldier or Marine than a handgun.

nitetrane98
March 3, 2010, 01:35 PM
I certainly didn't intend to be prideful or haughty but we have a saying in Texas, "If you can do it, it ain't bragging."
You can take that however you want. Whatever problem I may or may not have with shooting my gun, getting the safety off isn't one of them. Don't project somebody else's limitations on me. I possibly should have said "exclusively" with a thumb safety gun as opposed to a non safety gun.

I've seen more than one person, even those who have "practiced and trained extensively with a manual safety", still fail to disengage the manual safety when shooting.
Don't think that you are immune from the human condition.

I have too. Usually means they haven't practiced enough.

I'm certainly not immune to any human condition. Let me put it this way. The chance of me trying to pull a trigger with a safety on is roughly the same as not opening my mouth when I put a fork full of steak up to it.

easyg
March 3, 2010, 01:37 PM
The chance of me trying to pull a trigger with a safety on is roughly the same as not opening my mouth when I put a fork full of steak up to it.
I sincerely hope that those words never come back to haunt you.

Good luck,
Easy

nitetrane98
March 3, 2010, 03:36 PM
Why thank you for your concern. Me too.

DannyZRC
March 3, 2010, 03:43 PM
good comments everyone :).

It seems that the mag release issue I had worried about is not one to be concerned with.

it shifts my final selection group from a P30S or P7 to an M&P9 or FNX-9.

things to think about I guess, !

BCRider
March 3, 2010, 05:27 PM
Danny, "grace under pressure" isn't something that you can practice. But as valid a substitute as you'll find can be found by shooting in IDPA or IPSC matches where you can get a chance to practice a lot of various skills and gun handling while under the stress of a timer. Granted this is small potatoes compared to an actual defense situation but it's as good as you/we will find without going to greater lengths. At least you get to practice with drawing from a holster and other scenarios for grabbing from boxes, tables and drawers while being watched for safety infractions. Do this often enough for long enough and the lessons will be imprinted and you'll do the right things automatically when it really counts. Best of all you'll do them safely since all that will be imprinted from actual practice. The actual shooting is only part of the overall experience.

DannyZRC
April 4, 2010, 11:04 PM
Thought I would pop this thread back up, I've now put a few hundred rounds of .22 down range, and ~150 rounds of 9mm out of : P226, G19, M&P9, SR9, and 50 rounds of .40 out of a USP and G22.

didn't like the .40 at all. AT ALL. haha.

so far, really, I haven't found a 9mm I didn't enjoy shooting. I still have some more range time ahead of me before I'm comfortable buying something, but I've got it narrowed down to 2 pistols (for) now.

1) Springfield XD 4"
2) HK P2000 w/ LEM.

both of these pistols address what I believe is the #1 handling concern, the reholstering process. it is my trepidation about a lifetime of reholstering that leads me to not accept pistol that doesn't have either a grip safety or a hammer to facilitate safe reholstering (no glock, otherwise I find the glock a lovely shooting and enjoyable firearm)

I've reversed course on the manual safety after spending my time at the range. I don't feel I have the opportunity to practice with a safety enough in a manner that would translate to correct ingrained handling practices in the real world, so I'm choosing to instead focus on so called 'automatic' safeties like a grip safety.

the P2000 doesn't require a trigger pull in the course of a field strip, and I appreciate that, and it also has the paddle style mag release which I think poses an advantage (highest likelihood of the mag staying seated over the course of carry), but the XD has fewer points of entry for FOD, is mechanically simpler and possibly more rugged, and has better availability of things like sights etc. (and it's cheaper. cheaper is nice)

I ultimately discarded the P7 as a contender, no rail, not really any sight availability, high price, and feeling like I needed a high dollar coating job to make me feel secure in it's longevity. otherwise a very attractive design. if there were a modernized P7 (capacity and metallurgy/finishing) it would shoot to the top of my list.

so that's where I'm at, I hope others find my thought process useful/ thought provoking.

as always, feedback appreciated and encouraged!

PS: BCRider (Hi, I recognize you from ST:N and ADVRider!) my experience in life so far, between flying models, flying real planes, riding motorcycles and various other acts of youthful carousing have led me to believe that, for better and worse, I'm just not that excitable. I'm "one cool cucumber" as they say.

REAPER4206969
April 4, 2010, 11:27 PM
Glocks aren't used by any major military either Lithuania and Sweden are the only two that spring to mind neither are what I would consider major militaries, other than that it's all LEO.
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2740/4446974144_a76cc35de1_b.jpg
http://glocktalk.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1199301

Tenacious B
April 5, 2010, 02:17 AM
Well I'm shopping for my first handgun too, and got around to actually shooting some for the first time yesterday. Tried out the SW 686 .357, XDm 9mm, HK USP, G17, and Sig P226. I frankly didn't care one way or the other what type of safety or mag release they had. None of the guns had safties/mag release that drew attention to themselves, good or bad.

I think the most important thing is to find a gun that feels really good in your hand. Buy that gun, then learn to use it safely whatever its configuration happens to be.

That being said, my taste in autos seems to lean towards the exposed hammer/manual safety variety. Not because of those features, but because I like full sized metal frames and that is the configuration that seems common to them.

Manco
April 5, 2010, 10:34 AM
The vast majority of military personnel will never even fire a handgun, not even once, in their entire military service.

Even among the ground-pounders (Army and Marines) the vast majority do not have handguns.

IMO, grenades, rifles, and E-tools are much more useful to a Soldier or Marine than a handgun.

Granted, a handgun would be the weapon of last resort and less frequently used than many other tools, but admittedly my mind kind of boggles at the notion of not having a backup weapon while in a war zone. Even LEOs often carry one, and I've been looking into getting one for home defense. What if a soldier's primary weapon malfunctions (especially in the sandy, gritty places they often find themselves in) and can't easily be cleared? I guess they'd usually rely on cover, the cover fire of others, and possibly being able to pick up a spare weapon if it comes to that, but I've read or heard about a few instances of urban warfare in which a backup weapon--even a puny handgun--could have come in handy.

Strahley
April 5, 2010, 12:59 PM
The only safety that matters is the one between your ears. Anything else is a failsafe in case the user does something they shouldn't (ie not follow the 4 rules of gun handling)

Follow the rules and the only ones that are needed are ones that prevent mechanical defects (ie firing pin block)

DannyZRC
April 5, 2010, 01:15 PM
the safety between my ears tells me that the safety between my ears isn't perfect.

glock : 2 mistakes must occur for UD during holstering - Something must be in a position to foul the trigger, and the user must fail to properly clear the holster of that object before performing the holstering action.

XD/LEM HK : 3 mistakes. the 2 that are required for the glock, + failing to place the user's thumb against the rear of the slide during holstering.

I believe I will almost never, maybe once or twice in my entire lifetime, suffer a re-holstering UD with a glock where I make those two mistakes simultaneously, but that isn't an infrequent enough occurrence for me. adding a 3rd necessary mistake means, to me, that I don't think I have a good shot of ever suffering that particular accident.

my priorities are, in order:
1) the gun must not fire unless it is the users intention for it to do so.
2) the gun must fire if it is the intention of the user for it to do so.
3) everything else.

shockwave
April 5, 2010, 01:46 PM
If you understand the 4 rules of firearm safety, then you should understand that in order for someone to be accidentally shot, more than one of the rules must be broken. They are the additional safety layer that explains why the only people who do accidentally shoot themselves or others are those who violate the basic rules of safety.

If you fear that you will be unable to adhere to those rules scrupulously throughout your firearm-owning life, then you need to reevaluate your plan. One way to deal with a trigger-safety-only gun, by the way, would be to carry it in condition 3: chamber empty and hammer down with a charged magazine in the gun.

DannyZRC
April 5, 2010, 03:03 PM
the 4 rules are, IMO, common sense guidelines but they are not perfect because at least one of them, never point the gun at anything you don't intend to destroy, is by it's nature unachievable.

is the gun, when it is holstered, pointed at/along your leg? is this because you intend to destroy your leg, or dig a trench along it?

and some weapons, glock/XD/others, require you to violate 2 rules to disassemble them.
1) you must pull the trigger, which violates a rule because you don't intend to fire the weapon, but you do this because the gun is unloaded. so you're treating the gun as if it isn't loaded, which is a violation of a 2nd rule.

shockwave
April 5, 2010, 03:29 PM
the 4 rules are, IMO, common sense guidelines but they are not perfect because at least one of them, never point the gun at anything you don't intend to destroy, is by it's nature unachievable.

That's close to the idea, but the rules have to understood in context. For instance, rule one says to assume that any gun is loaded. That goes until you know for a fact otherwise. So to clean a gun, even if you remember unloading it last night, you still check the chamber before pulling the trigger (if cleaning requires this or you are doing a dry-fire drill). Smart owners will check twice and maybe again just to be triple sure.

At that point, you are clear to disassemble, look down the barrel, etc. Still, it's a good habit to keep the muzzle of a gun you know to be empty pointed away from people, pets, etc. You follow rule 2 because this is how safety is layered.

So to holster a gun, you follow rule three and be certain your finger is off the trigger. When I do this, I look at the holster. There's no worry about snagging it on something because you watch what you're doing. The spirit of the rules is that when you have to break one of them, extreme caution is warranted and it's harder to make a mistake when you're paying extra careful attention. Anyway, I think you'll find that once you have a good amount of range time in and have worked with your weapon for a while, you'll be comfortable in handling it correctly.

In fact, your concern over these issues strikes me as evidence that you won't be a careless owner.

Nushif
April 5, 2010, 05:31 PM
Call me odd, but from your previous responses I really don't think you'd feel comfortable around firearms.
I understand your concern for safety, but let's face it, you're going to be doing an activity which inherently will raise your "risk factors." And you don't seem like the kind of guy to want to do that.
So my advice would be to not purchase a handgun, or at least try and get very thoroughly acquainted with them, before you buy anything permanently.

DannyZRC
April 5, 2010, 05:44 PM
I am willing to accept any risk factors _that I have to_ to be a responsible gun owner and eventual CCW holder, viewing them as the consequence of a free society, but that does not mean that I would not seek to maximize my benefit while minimizing my costs and exposure to risk.

I own a motorcycle, but one that is equipped with ABS brakes. same thinking.

Manco
April 5, 2010, 08:36 PM
the safety between my ears tells me that the safety between my ears isn't perfect.

Yet your belief in the superiority of having a manual safety is "firm and unshakable" even though the device is there to merely ameliorate the risk (and only part of the time, at that) of the hair trigger that many, albeit not all, such handguns have. :scrutiny: The bottom line is that ultimately you cannot rely on mechanical safety features, which are only there to supplement the so-called safety between your ears, or rather your discipline in handling firearms. There are tradeoffs involved with virtually everything you do. For instance, I would submit that for some people making the operation of a handgun simpler would help improve the consistency of their firearms discipline and reduce the number of mistakes they'd make. The main reason that people sometimes forget to take a gun off the manual safety when ready to fire is that they're so intensely focused, and rightfully so, on following the safety rules rather than operating a mechanical device. Of course, such a mistake can be made exceedingly rare through training, but it is still merely an aspect of operating a specific machine, over which the fundamental safety rules always take precedence.

I realize that your intention is to layer different types of safety measures on top of one another as reinforcement, but in your original post, you implied that you'd be fine with the very light, short trigger pulls that many handguns equipped with manual safeties have. This is not unusual or wrong in any way, but I'd like to note for the sake of perspective that it marks a specific level of risk that you are willing to accept, and that there are other people who take even more precautions than you're envisioning, such as combining a manual safety with a "safe-action" (trigger safeties) pistol, which is probably the most popular configuration of the Smith & Wesson M&P in law enforcement currently, to take one example. There is no absolute way to prove that a gun that has a single-action hair trigger and a manual safety is safer overall than a gun that has trigger safeties. For one thing, you can't know for certain at any given moment whether the manual safety is still on--that you remembered to activate it and that nothing has accidentally deactivated it since then--so you still have to keep your finger and other objects away from the trigger. Having a longer, heavier trigger pull is arguably just as safe overall, provided that you follow the same fundamental rules. And once you deactivate the manual safety, then all of a sudden you have to rely more than ever on that fallible safety between your ears that seems to make you so nervous. That's what I find somewhat disturbing about your faith in the superiority of manual safeties and possible lack of faith in your own firearms handling discipline. Under the tremendous stress and adrenaline rush of a gunfight, would you really be safer with that hair trigger or a gun that has some safety built into the trigger at all times until you deliberately squeeze it with some force over some distance? I'm not just talking about your own safety here, but also the safety of those who may be present but should not be shot. I'm not trying to tell you what's right for you or even what's really better--I'm just putting things into perspective.

Now let me give you my personal perspective. When I started the process of buying my first handgun, I had pretty much decided ahead of time that I wanted a single-action-only or double-action/single-action semiautomatic pistol with a manual safety so that it could be kept in Condition 1 (i.e. cocked & locked). After trying a bunch of different pistols, including revolvers, while keeping as open a mind as I could, I ended up with a safe-action polymer pistol with no manual safety, and I consider myself a very conservative type of person when it comes to safety. I found that the trigger pull has no affect on combat shooting except to make things just a little safer and more deliberate on my part, I liked the fact that the safeties are always on except when I deliberately pull the trigger (and trigger discipline is one of the fundamental rules), and the simplicity of operation gives me one less thing to worry about, making that fallible safety between my ears a little bit more reliable. This sort of system has worked fine for double-action revolvers for many decades, and it works fine for semiautomatics and me, too. I'm not saying that you have to agree and change your mind, but do learn to rely on yourself before relying on a manual safety--it's only there because some triggers are unforgiving of even the most minor of accidents, not because it's inherently necessary for the safe handling of all firearms, or superior to all manuals of arms in general.

DannyZRC
April 5, 2010, 09:27 PM
Manco : <3!

you may/may not have noted in my previous postings that I've moderated my position on the manual safety, so much for "firm and unshakeable" (I'm given to hyperbole).

I didn't mention another thing I've come to believe, on the topic of "shootable triggers" which is that I think that, basically, the glock type lightened double action trigger is my most favorite. I can shoot accurately on the DA shot of a sig, I can shoot accurately (and faster) with a glock-type trigger, but I can't shoot for beans with the single action trigger of either a USP or P229.

you're right about wanting to layer safety, but my current thinking is that I'm more interested in what I would call 'automatic' safeties, the squeeze cocker is probably my favorite safety paradigm that I've come across, but the P7's cost/capacity/longevity attributes don't add up for me, despite my infatuation with the squeeze cocking mechanism and it's self-safing nature. I still believe a manual safety is a good addition to a firearm, but I wouldn't call it a deal/no-deal feature unless I were in an open-carry type situation (such as an LEO is)

what I consider the most high risk periods for unintentional discharge of a firearm are : holstering, cleaning (if and only if the firearm is of the type to require trigger operation in disassembly) and post-shooting scenarios.

based on that, I'd prefer a gun which doesn't require the trigger be pulled for disassembly, a gun whose trigger does not have a short/light resting state (like the SA on DA/SA guns or a 1911 trigger), and a gun which facilitates a holstering procedure which is capable of enduring a trigger snag without discharge, and a gun which does not require a control operation to be placed into a safe holstering state (gun must not require the use of a decocker/safety to be holsterable).

so that's the path I took that led me to the XD and P2000.

XD: I can be flexible on using the trigger for disassembly, and the grip safety allows for secure holstering when the thumb is placed against the back of the slide to not depress the grip safety, and the gun has an appropriately resistant trigger.

P2000: the LEM model hammer returns forward when the trigger is released, so the thumb can be placed onto the hammer on the way into the holster, preventing the trigger from being cycled. Does not require trigger pull for disassembly, and I believe the magazine release lever is less likely to unseat the magazine during course of carry(I would promote reliability of the first magazine load over any potential advantage in deploying a second magazine load).

P2k also fits my "weird overly practical german stuff" sensibility, but the XD has it's charms as well.

Cookie45
April 6, 2010, 02:56 AM
An older family friend got me shooting back in the '50s. One of the first things he told me was that "the ultimate gun safety is between your ears"! The second was to not "mess" with a gun you don't know about. ASK!! Much later, another person who was teaching me combat shooting, told me to thoughly know the gun you use for defence - to the point that it is second nature. Target shooting, etc. can be more deliberate. Pick the pistol you like best and learn everything -good or short comings- about it. Happy shooting!

DannyZRC
April 8, 2010, 09:01 PM
Just as an update, looks like it'll be a 4" XD 9mm for us.

looking forward to picking it up when time allows.

Zerodefect
April 9, 2010, 08:22 PM
Good choice. Only you can tell us what you need safety wise. Each type exists for a reason.

I prefere striker fired no safety guns like Glock, XD, M&P. (trigger and grip safeties don't count IMO, and I am quite opinionated) I prefere these for CCW, because they're quick, easy, and reliable. And your never in an hurry to reholster when your CCW is your primary defense.

I still approve of manual safety guns 1911, M9 etc for secondary weapons when a rifle is a primary. Because you constantly transition from primary to secondary during training, and a safety gun is a little nicer for that.

CPshooter
April 9, 2010, 08:56 PM
To the OP:

I think you are overthinking it, but if it makes you feel any better my H&Ks have been worth every penny!

I personally don't want a safety on my dedicated CCW, which is why I carry a H&K P2000sk with LEM trigger (no safety). However, I like manual safeties for other situations (ie Home-defense and range duty).

For me, the logic comes from the answer to the question, "Is it going to stay in a holster 99.99% of the time?" If the answer is yes, then you probably don't need a safety. For example, if it's a dedicated CCW it will live its life in a holster UNTIL you have to pull it out and use it. If that's the case, then why would you want a safety to slow you down? With a quality holster that fully shields the trigger, you don't have to worry about an AD/ND while it's holstered. Why would you ever want to pull out your holstered CCW if you aren't planning on using it to defend your life? If that same pistol is going to the range for practice, simply keep it unloaded unless you are actively sending lead downrange. And if that's the case, you should be alert and using your brain as a safety anyhow.

If the answer to that question is no, then a safety might be a good idea. Dedicated truck and night-stand guns come to mind here. These guns will more than likely be laying down somewhere with the trigger totally exposed. A manual safety in this situation is probably a good idea.

The best answer is that both active and passive-type safeties have their place. That's why everyone needs more than just one pistol!

Dean407
April 10, 2010, 11:04 AM
You have too much analysis and too little practical experience to judge properly.

Even if you have a manual safety you must remember to put it on. Nothing is fool proof.

Your trigger finger in on the rail of the weapon until you point it at something you are OK with destroying. Period.

The weapon will be in a holster which precludes one from pulling the trigger when you aren't shooting it.

The reality is that the most popular weapons out there are glocks, xd's and M&p's. Manual safeties can be had on the XD45, but there's no reason other than 1911 guys being used to a manual safety.

You need to own a weapon a while before you become comfortable with it.

There are negligent discharges with guns that have a manual safety.

I started out with DA/SA systems and generally prefer them over striker fired weapons.

Regardless, it is important you feel comfortable with what you get.

The P30 just came out with a manual safety version. The grip is awesome and it's a great weapon. I had the P2000 but have shot a friends P30.

There aren't any problems with people accidentally hitting the mag release. Maybe (?) if you had really meaty hands, but in practice....it would be a rare issue.

If you like the non manual safety guns and they fit you, get it and spend the other $400-$500 on solid training. That's by far the best road to safe handling and good shooting IMO.

EDIT: COOL deal...didn't get to page 3 of the thread. I like the XD myself.

buck460XVR
April 10, 2010, 12:10 PM
Pick the pistol you like best and learn everything -good or short comings- about it. Happy shooting!

I agree. It's your decision to make, and your life/safety on the line. You're the one that has to live with your decision. Don't let others bully and/or strongarm you to make a decision that you're uncomfortable with. I have guns with and without manual safeties, and they all have their place. If one is familiar enough with their firearm, taking off the safety is an unconscious act. I hunt upland game and cannot remember the last time I had to "think" about taking the safety off before I shoot, it has become an ingrained instinct. I would never consider walking around in the woods without the safety on for fear that I would forget to take it off in the heat of the moment. Now, with a new gun, I may fumble for a while, but then again, practice and becoming familiar with your firearm takes care of that. Yes, I know hunting upland game is not the same as fighting off a hoard of zombies, but the principle is the same. I apply the safety on my 1911s at the range, everytime I load a mag and again, cannot remember the last time I had to "think" about taking the safety off before emptying the mag. If one is considering a handgun to protect their life and the lives of their loved ones, they must practice enough to be proficient enough to hit what they are aiming at....that is no easy task. By the time one can consistently hit the target, the action required to take the safety off should be natural and automatic. If one feels comfortable without a safety so be it. It is one less thing to worry about, mechanically and mentally. Apparently to some, this is a big deal, to some it's a non-issue. Again, it's your decision to make.

harmon rabb
April 10, 2010, 01:32 PM
you sound like the type of guy who would put on a condom to get a blowjob.

DannyZRC
April 10, 2010, 02:02 PM
you sound like the type of guy who would put on a condom to get a blowjob.
good looks *and* a razor sharp intellect. my my, I am very intimidated.

harmon rabb
April 10, 2010, 05:08 PM
:evil:

just felt like giving you a hard time, because i think you're overanalyzing things. ;)

DannyZRC
April 11, 2010, 12:23 AM
<3, I may be, but I'm ok with overanalysis.

side note, shot the XD today at the range, not a good fit for the GF, felt good handling it but was having problems with failures to eject/feed, not getting good purchase on the top of the backstrap with the web of her thumb.

did some more handling in the gun case armed with a better sense of what to look for, the 2 best fitting pistols were the beretta PX4 and USP compact, the beretta I discarded due to it's manual of arms, the USP compact brings us right back to the P2000 in LEM.

I wish I could say I'm sad about getting the gun I truly wanted, but I'm not. a little more basic research, a little trying to track someone down with a P2k/LEM USPc in my neck of the woods (or a range with a rental, ha ha ha), but yeah, looking like an hK kinda household.

zombie1210
April 11, 2010, 02:47 AM
Glocks are good weapons because they are pretty much idiot proof. And everyone know there is no shortage of those.

For the rest of us, there are 1911's.

:)

Settle down....its a joke.

Bovice
April 11, 2010, 03:04 AM
A manual safety is a good idea. If you're proficient with the gun, it's not going to matter. Some people just get too tied up trying to be "high speed, low drag". I also don't agree with people who think you SHOULD NOT carry a gun if you aren't going to carry it with a round in the chamber. The Israelis don't carry pistols with a hot chamber. And we all know how often they're in real gunfights.

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