Trigger Safety Question on Series 80 1911


Mr. Doughnut
December 27, 2011, 10:59 PM

A Series 80 1911 is carried in Condition One mode. The sear fails. Thumb safety and grip safety both fail.

Does the Series 80 trigger safety alone prevent the gun from discharging?

Hopefully this is a yes-or-no question that does not require a lecture from Rube Goldberg.

Mr. Doughnut

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December 27, 2011, 11:08 PM
Yes. The firing pin block will prevent the firing pin from traveling forward if there is movement of the hammer without the trigger being in the rearward position.

December 27, 2011, 11:09 PM
Yes. Now stop reading.


Now there's one caveat. If the trigger is pulled at the same time all these other hypothetical malfunctions occur, then the gun will fire. So if the gun is dropped muzzle up, for instance, the trigger could pull by inertia. If the grip safety does its job, then this won't occur. So it would be acting kinda like the trigger dongle thingie on a Glock in order to make sure the trigger doesn't go back unless it's intentionally pulled.

The Lone Haranguer
December 28, 2011, 01:11 AM
There is an additional safety feature in Series 80: the hammer "safety stop." This is the same intent as, but a different design from, the hammer half-cock of the original design.

Mr. Doughnut
December 28, 2011, 06:21 PM
Thanks to all! That's exactly the level of input I was hoping for.

Background: I'm struggling, carry-decision wise, between a 1911 and my new M&P 45c (with thumb safety).

I've been playing with 1911s since joining the army in 1973 and have owned a few over the years. I bought the M&P 45c new in August and have fired about 1,000 flawless rounds. The M&P is plenty accurate too. And I really like having a modern platform.


I still favor the feel of a 1911. Putting aside the usual mantras about training, safe handling/holstering etc., I'm trying to determine which of the two guns is is inherently safer, for lack of a better term, in the abstract. I'm also trying to wrap my head around the M&P being 98% cocked all of the time. Supposedly, the M&P cannot go bang unless the trigger is pulled. Yes, I'm aware of the sear plunger's role. It is my understanding that the S&W's optional thumb safety only blocks the trigger from being pulled; it does not act on the sear.

A Series 80 1911 has multiple features going for it, at least in my view, hence my increased (albeit perhaps superficial) comfort level with the 1911: Thumb safety, grip safety, firing pin safety, hammer safety stop, PLUS a nice leather thumb break strap all help to set my mind at ease.

I've pored over hundreds and hundreds of posts on various gun forums extolling the inherent safety of the M&P platform, but I'm still torn. I want to feel confident (safety wise) about carrying the M&P, but I'm not there yet.

Your opinions are welcome -- and appreciated.

Mr. Doughnut

December 28, 2011, 06:49 PM
My 2 cents is:

Manual safety:
1911 manual safety blocks the sear. M&P safety blocks the trigger. Tie.
Same deal, since they BOTH have trigger activated firing pin safeties. All the manual safety does in either case is to prevent inadvertent trigger pulls.

1911 has a grip safety. M&P has a trigger doohicky safety. They both prevent the trigger from being pulled from a drop. But the grip safety also prevents the trigger from pulling unless the gun is gripped. At least in theory, anyway. Since it's attached to the beavertail, it could be deactivated if it falls just the right way, I suppose. +0.5 for the 1911?

1911 is fully cocked. M&P is 99% cocked. Equal.

Firing pin safety:
Actually, I think the 1911 firing pin safety is a bit gimpy. It's more complicated and not as sure. I trust the M&P better. So in terms of drop safety, I'd rather an M&P be dropped next to me 100 times than a series 80 1911.

Since the invention of very secure and reliable firing pin safeties, I don't think fully cocked striker fire mechanisms are much of a safety concern. Either one isn't going to go off in a holster, unless you are set of fire and burn for a good long while.

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