Accidental discharge 1911.....Help...Killed the stuffed bear on the bed.


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awfulkanawful
October 8, 2012, 03:34 PM
Im sure Im going to catch hell , but Im coming here to clarify a safety issue on my new 1911 Ruger. Im very familiar with double/single action pistols with decockers.....never a problem....ever. But I just bought my very first SR1911 and cocked and locked just plain bothered me. Also carrying a unchambered , uncocked weapon just didnt seem right either.......so........I decided the best for me was to put the hammer down on a chambered round , so when needed all I had to do was cock aim and fire. Well......after practicing alot , and still not really feeling great about it my finger and thumb slipped !!! Long story short hole in bed , dead stuffed teddy bear , and fresh spackle on the wall. I feel so bad , just terrible.I want to hear others opinions on *** gives . Im very safety conscious , just maybe too careful and uncomfortable with a 1911's function...........Help.:banghead: Have others had similar reservations about cocked and locked ,and if so how did you get over it or what decision did you eventually come to ? Im beginning to think maybe cocked and locked would actually be much safer as lowering the hammer on a chambered round just may be asking for trouble at some point even if its been done millions of times ? Am I right ?

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Sam1911
October 8, 2012, 03:42 PM
Glad you weren't hurt.

While the "Condition 2" carry mode you were trying to employ is relatively safe (once the hammer is lowered), putting the gun into that mode by lowering the hammer does carry exactly the risk you discovered.

So I guess you have to ask yourself which you are less comfortable with, carrying cocked-and-locked, or having to re-spackle walls. (Er...and other potential negative outcomes which might be worse...)

Then maybe ask yourself how fast you think you could employ a pistol you have to thumb-cock, vs. just swiping off the safety, and whether you think it is possible you could have another accidental discharge while cocking it, especially in a hurry, with sweaty hands, under pressure, etc.

There are some good reasons why most folks who carry a 1911 do so cocked-and-locked.

Derek Zeanah
October 8, 2012, 03:47 PM
Research the 1911 platform more. Understand its design features.

I think you'll reach the conclusion most of us have -- condition one (cocked 'n locked) is the safest carry method. Perfectly safe, even though it feels weird coming from the world of (what Cooper used to call) crunchentickers. ;)

dprice3844444
October 8, 2012, 03:48 PM
exactly the reason i don't carry a 1911 or use one for self defense in the house.

holdencm9
October 8, 2012, 03:49 PM
Wait...you were practicing drawing with a loaded chamber? That is your first mistake.

Practicing drawing and COCKING....that is your second mistake.

There's a reason people highly discourage decocking a gun with your thumb. It requires you to put your finger on the trigger (violates one of the rules right there) and your thumb can slip off and you have your result to show for it. You are just lucky you didn't hit anything REAL valuable.

Do not be afraid to carry cocked and locked. The 1911 is meant to be carried that way, and unless you have a faulty safety lever, it will not disengage on its own. And even if it DID disengage the safety, you still have the grip safety to prevent a discharge while it is in your holster. When you draw your finger should be off the trigger anyway, ready to go.

Not trying to berate you. I am lucky enough to not have a ND yet (knock on wood). Just learn from your mistakes as well as the mistakes of others. Don't worry, there are plenty of other negligent discharge stories on THR.

Sam1911
October 8, 2012, 03:53 PM
The 1911 is meant to be carried that wayActually, as 1911Tuner and others have patiently pointed out to me before, no, the 1911 was not actually designed to be carried "Condition 1." In fact, the original version didn't even have a thumb safety.

Coming hot on the heels of the single-action revolver days, thumb-cocking was an acceptable method back in the day, and the inertial firing pin design meant that hammer down on a loaded chamber was perfectly safe.

However, many practitioners soon discovered the benefits of "cocked and locked" carry, and that is now the far and away preferred method.

Arp32
October 8, 2012, 03:55 PM
If you're worried about condition 1, try carrying it cocked & locked unloaded and on an empty chamber for a while just to satisfy yourself that it won't actually go off by itself.

Glad you're ok.

awfulkanawful
October 8, 2012, 03:55 PM
I have 3 Stoger cougar 9mm pistols stashed in the house for home defense. Im very very familiar and comfortable with those , just like second nature. NO....I wasnt practising drawing , just lowering the hammer. My main concern about the 1911 before I even bought one was the safty flips down.....that always concerned me if needed in a hurry. All my others UP is on ! My thumb and finger just slipped while lowering the hammer to put the gun back in my holster , I guess I was nervous....too nervous. I practiced with it unloaded at least 200 times right before. I learned on a S&W 4006 and its my car gun. Also have various Berettas that are also decocker DA/SA that come to me like second nature. I only bought this gun because being an AZ native , Ruger made in AZ , and our Az state centenial is this year....nostalgia. I had reservations because I had become so familiar with decockers that a change worried me.......and now right off the bat Ive blew it. I would like to say the lesson learned for me was to go with my initial gut instinct and PASS on a 1911 , only because it initially made me unconfortable because cocked and locked seemed ominous to me , and because I was breaking my pattern of leaned safety/comfort , for something shiny and new. No pun to the 1911........It was my initial fear of its operation that caused me to be very nervous of it........I will keep it , but Im not going to EVER carry it. I think it just became my Camping van gun stashed in a permanent mounted holster behind the bed......in condition 3 as you call it.

holdencm9
October 8, 2012, 04:01 PM
Do not be afraid to carry cocked and locked. The 1911 is meant to be carried that way


Actually, as 1911Tuner and others have patiently pointed out to me before, no, the 1911 was not actually designed to be carried "Condition 1." In fact, the original version didn't even have a thumb safety.

Thanks for that Sam. I never knew that. However, history lesson aside, I could still (and will, dangit!) argue that the 1911 is "meant" to be carried condition 1, nowadays, in its current form, with current, up-to-date design, and experts' carry philosophy and methods. :)

I.e. the way something was initially designed 100 years ago, and common practice today, differ.

2wheels
October 8, 2012, 04:11 PM
Very glad no one was hurt!

That's exactly why I hate decocking a 1911 on a live round. It can be done safely, but screwing up means a negligent discharge.

As others have pointed out, for several reasons most of us 1911 guys prefer to carry cocked and locked. If you're concerned about forgetting to flip off the safety when you need to use it, you need to practice.

BHP FAN
October 8, 2012, 04:17 PM
buy a Glock.

awfulkanawful
October 8, 2012, 04:27 PM
NO THANKS ! I ruled out Glocks a long time ago.......Im even more uncomfortable with them than a 1911......Im sticking with what I know. If it doesnt have a cylinder , or a decocker and a hammer.......I DONT WANT IT !

Old Shooter
October 8, 2012, 04:27 PM
If you are comfortable with the decocker pistol operation and already have several examples at home, and concidering your experience with the 1911 pattern, I vote to sell the 1911 and stick with what you are comfortable with.

Your muscle memory is set for the decocker and sooner or later you will pull the 1911 out to try it again,mayby even at the range instead of the living room, and a similiar incident may happen and mayby not just able to be fixed with some spackling.

awfulkanawful
October 8, 2012, 04:43 PM
That was my initial mistake......not trusting my gut instinct and initial intimidation that something different could cause a problem. My friends just kept touting a "bad Boy" .45 1911 as the ticket to have........BS. Gut instinct said NO ! Thank god I was aware and had it happen at home while practising in a safe area , instead of at the range or somewhere else out of the clear blue. I DO wish I had learned on a 1911 platform though , things would probably different in what I carry/use. Habits are very hard to break.

Derek Zeanah
October 8, 2012, 04:49 PM
Habits are very hard to break.
Yep. More than that, though, we're talking about comfort level with the basic design of the pistol. It's been seeing a lot of use for over 100 years so there's quite a bit of collective knowledge on the platform you can access.

I'm a 1911 guy generally, and much prefer it to the alternatives I've tried (though the XDM has some serious potential.) If you're not comfortable with the idea of condition one carry, then at best the 1911 will be a range toy for you.

There's no "best" here; there's just what works best for you, in your hands, and in your particular situation. I'd argue that a 1911 in condition one is safer than a revolver or a Glock, but if your gut is screaming "oh my GOD this thing is UNSAFE" then don't carry it.

Or, try again in 10 years. You could also take it to Gunsite 250 or the equivalent and learn to trust it. Of course, you could take your favored weapon instead and work on gun skills rather than basic trust issues. :)

*NOVA*
October 8, 2012, 05:13 PM
I've had one ND, so I feel your pain.

Except for the gun I use for home defense, no other weapon is loded in the house (and yes of course I always treat every gun as if it is loaded) You shot the bed and a teddy bear. Was there any direction in the room that the gun could have been pointed that would cause less damage? I'm just saying - you called your bedroom a safe area to practice with a loaded gun. I'm thinking at the range with gun pointed downrange might be safer?

I sold a gun because I wanted to use it as my EDC but did not feel safe carrying condition 1. Sure miss that CZ 75 Compact, but I'll get a decocker version one day.
Condition 2 for that type of gun just makes sense to me. For a 1911 - I think if you choose to use that as your EDC, it seems the redundant safeties built in should be safe to carry condition 1. Agreed, habits are hard to break, but part of situational awareness, especially when you are carrying, is having the mental image of dis-engaging the safety.

Glad no one was hurt.

awfulkanawful
October 8, 2012, 05:38 PM
I had actually just came from the range. A couple Chip McCormic mags had arrived in the mail and I was swapping them out for the factory ones (reloading them) when it happened. ALL my firearms are loaded in the house . There are no children EVER here , and my GF is firearms safety trained. One gun just doesnt do it for me......multiple throughout the house area acessible.(you never know when the "bad man" might arrive , and I dont body carry at home.
By saying I was in a safe area , what I should have said was pointed in a safe direction towards a wall outside the back. I was dry practicing , then loaded and was lowering the hammer for the final time when it slipped between my thumb and finger.....BANG.
One more thing......just having one gun in the house isnt enough ! I was robbed 2 years ago in a vicious scenario and it was horrifying.....it lasted 15 minutes and happened so fast initially that even if I was carrying , there was NO time to react. Had I placed several firearms in my house as they are now , the ending would have been quite different than the terror we experienced. Yea.....nobody died the night we were robbed , but the nightmares will last forever. Too many people have a false sense of security just because they carry one gun , they feel protected , yet reality dictates far differently........it happens so fast !

rcmodel
October 8, 2012, 05:42 PM
when it slipped between my thumb and fingerTheres your problem right there!

Lower it by placing your whole thumb over the hammer spur and let it down slowly.

Even if it starts to slip, the pressure of your thumb on top of the spur will slow it down enough to keep it from firing.

I have been decocking 1911's one-handed that way for about 50 years and never had one go off negligently yet.

If you are especially paranoid or clumsy?
Stick your left hand finger between the hammer & slide until it's almost all the way down.
Again, even if it slips out from under your whole thumb, which it really can't, it won't go off.

rc

gspn
October 8, 2012, 05:57 PM
Im not trying to flame you...but why were you practicing this with a round in the chamber?

You could learn the same thing with no round in the chamber...with a lot less risk.:confused:

Just One Shot
October 8, 2012, 06:10 PM
Glad no one was hurt! :eek:

IMO cocked and locked is the only way to carry a 1911. I like the 1911 and don't have any concern carrying in condition 1. I'm actually wearing my S&W 1911 PD in a modified belly band as I type.

Just a side note, in the owners manual of my old Kimber Pro Carry II it warned against riding the hammer down (even on an empty chamber) because, as they claim, it's possible to damage the sear when doing so. First time I had seen this but it didn't really matter to me as I always dry fire my handguns after unloading them anyway.

If you like the platform then practice with it until you feel comfortable carry it in condition 1, if you don't then, as it's already been stated, go with what you know.

Thanks for posting, we can all use the occasional reminder to handle our firearms safely. Chalk this up to a lesson learned and be safe brother!

rcmodel
October 8, 2012, 06:14 PM
If the trigger is pulled and held back to lower the hammer, it won't damage the sear.

If it isn't released as soon as the hammer is released?

Some 1911 hammers will stop on the intercept notch and others will hit the "speed bump" on the hammer and slow it down enough to prevent it firing.

In either case, it will not damage the sear, and it won't go off.

rc

Fishslayer
October 8, 2012, 06:31 PM
I'd be a little worried about the slide taking my thumb off if the hammer slipped while decocking...

awfulkanawful
October 8, 2012, 06:35 PM
I wasnt practising lowering the hammer on a live round chambered. It was after I loaded a replacement mag and lowered the hammer the final time i discharged......read the whole post.....#8

Fishslayer
October 8, 2012, 06:44 PM
Wait a minute...

...you keep a stuffed bear on your bed?:evil:

awfulkanawful
October 8, 2012, 06:52 PM
Come on you guys....lol. Yes...there is a big stuffed bear on the bed in one of our extra rooms. I actually threaten to use it for target practice on occasion , but my GF gave me that real nasty look....
now hes got a hole where his "junk" should be.....and GF is NOT happy!

Just One Shot
October 8, 2012, 06:58 PM
Tell her he went and got a vasectomy. :D

Just One Shot
October 8, 2012, 07:02 PM
If the trigger is pulled and held back to lower the hammer, it won't damage the sear.

If it isn't released as soon as the hammer is released?

Some 1911 hammers will stop on the intercept notch and others will hit the "speed bump" on the hammer and slow it down enough to prevent it firing.

In either case, it will not damage the sear, and it won't go off.

rc

Just relaying what the manual stated, didn't say I believed it. :)

awfulkanawful
October 8, 2012, 07:05 PM
he got more than that ! One more thing.....Remington JHP suck ! A bear , a bed , and a wall.....then carpet....NO EXPANSION AT ALL ??

Fishslayer
October 8, 2012, 07:12 PM
he got more than that ! One more thing.....Remington JHP suck ! A bear , a bed , and a wall.....then carpet....NO EXPANSION AT ALL ??

I believe that HP require a wet medium to expand. Soak the teddy bear in water and try again.

Post video of GF during ammo test

Profit.:D

awfulkanawful
October 8, 2012, 07:23 PM
Yeah....I will go right out and do that ! lol Then I may as well go get a vasectomy cause either way Im never going to see any "real" action again.

sirgilligan
October 8, 2012, 07:33 PM
I do not have a "real" 1911. I have a Browning Hi-Power, a CZ 85B, and a Browning 1911-A1 22, and had a SIG P238.

On all of these firearms I can take hold of the hammer, pull the trigger, and when the hammer starts to lower release the trigger, and then continue to lower the hammer to half cocked. There is no way for the hammer to hit the round.

I have never tried to lower the hammer on a live round inside my house. Go to the back yard and point it at the dirt. :-)

All of my semi-auto's are Condition 3. On my BHP's the hammer spring is so strong I often cock the hammer before racking the slide. If a mess up racking the slide and jam the thing, it is something I will have to deal with at the time.

dfsixstring
October 8, 2012, 07:43 PM
Actually, I empathize with you. I've been around semi-auto pistols for the past 25+ years and I don't like "cocked/locked" either. I chose an LCP over the Sig P238 for this very reason. It is all what makes you comfortable. My EDC is a Ruger SR9c - striker fired pistols seem to give me the comfort of a single action auto with a bit stiffer trigger.
Imagine you are in a stressful, attack situation - you will be more prone to make mistakes. I'd hate to think that I was in that situation with a pistol I didn't feel intimately comfortable with. Some, on this forum may suggest more repetitive training. This is good - however, don't beat yourself up if this isn't the style of pistol for you. There are tons of pistols to choose from. You may like a .45 for range/pleasure over EDC.
Just my opinion - take it for what it's worth.


Dfsixstring
SR9c
LCP
RST4S

Blackstone
October 8, 2012, 07:49 PM
I would carry cocked and locked all the time. From a competition point of view though, in IPSC Production division, all SA/DA capable guns must start decocked. For my CZ 75, this means I have to manually decock the gun with my thumb prior to starting. Surely this is an incredibly unsafe thing to do, and you shouldn't ever decock a gun that doesn't have an actual decocker?

kyletx1911
October 8, 2012, 07:53 PM
glad you arent hurt i had one when i first got my 1911 its on here under my name title i almost shot my wife hard lesson JUST DONT DO THAT C/L IS SAFE I CARRY A 1911 ALL DAY NOT A PROBLEM

GLOOB
October 8, 2012, 08:06 PM
If for some reason you have the desire to decock a modern (half cock doesn't lock) 1911 on a loaded rd:

1. Point muzzle in a safe direction.
2. cover the back of the slide with your off hand wrapped around the back of the slide and your firefinger jammed between the slide and hammer.
3. Keep muzzle pointed in a safe direction.
4. Remove manual safety.
5. Put your shooting hand thumb on the hammer and simultaneously pull down on the beavertail safety with same thumb.
6. Keep muzzle pointed in a safe direction.
7. If all 6 of the above criteria are met, only now should you place finger in trigger guard and pull the trigger.
8. After lowering the hammer a fraction of an inch, remove finger from trigger.
8.5 If you pinch your finger, don't pull it away. Remove your finger from the trigger, first!
9. Only after you have removed your finger from the trigger, now you can remove your offhand from blocking the hammer.
10. Lower the hammer to the half cock notch.
11. Point muzzle in a safe direction.
12. Control hammer by pinching it between thumb and forefinger of the off hand.
13. Pull trigger and gently lower all the way down to the back of the slide.

If your thumb ever slips, the gun (in good working order) will not fire as long as either A)trigger is not pressed or B) you are blocking the hammer with your other hand. As long as you keep the hammer blocked while you're actually pressing the trigger, you will not have an ND, even if the hammer slips. All that will happen is A) hammer is intercepted by halfcock notch, or B) you pinch your finger, remove finger from trigger, then let the hammer fall to the halfcock notch.

If this seems like a lot of steps, I agree. Better to leave it cocked and locked and secured in a good holster - or chamber empty. FTR, I have practiced this many times on a 1911, but never with a loaded round. After practicing cocking the hammer (with an unloaded gun), I have come to the conclusion I have no reason to have a 1911 in that condition. (Particularly one with a protruding, target-style rear sight!)

awfulkanawful
October 8, 2012, 08:16 PM
I have been reading ALL afternoon for 2 days now and have come to 3 conclusions.Please remember...Im new at 1911's.
Condition 3......Useless for me as everyday carry , too slow readiness time IF needed. Pointless for serious self defense mode. (I dont want to have to rack a round first before firing)
Condition 2......Not much better than condition 3 , point being cocking and decocking on live round in chamber prone to problems (safety if hammer slips)in self defese readiness. If I used this way would be sure to only go half cock/stop position , not all the way down.
Condition 1......Very ominous to me , but I believe this truley is the way to go for immediate self defense readiness for everyday carry.

Now as I have learned the hard way....lowering the hammer for condition 2 must be done with the whole thumb rolling very carefully , not with the other thumb and forefinger pinching it.Had I fully understood EVERYTHING first , I would have also known that after pulling the trigger to release the hammer I should have let off and only gone to the stop position.
For me its going to be 1 or 3..........forget about 2

Sam1911
October 8, 2012, 08:19 PM
For my CZ 75, this means I have to manually decock the gun with my thumb prior to starting. Surely this is an incredibly unsafe thing to do, and you shouldn't ever decock a gun that doesn't have an actual decocker?

The CZ75s do indeed play in USPSA "Production" or IDPA "SSP" starting hammer down, and they have no decocker.

It is not incredibly unsafe to do, at all. After all, you're at a range, pointing at the berm, under the control of a Safety Officer, and you'll shortly be actually firing that weapon exactly where it is now pointed. So there's no real risk. Layers of safety, for a reason.

awfulkanawful
October 8, 2012, 08:25 PM
We posted about the same time.......thanks man. Im actually understanding the whole concept now of the 1911 design......this pistol really is interesting in the way it can be used 3 diffrent ways. Its condition 1 or 3 for me , just still hard looking at it cocked......somehow it still doesnt seem right.....lol
BTW...half cock works on my SR1911...its modern ?

fastest45ever
October 8, 2012, 09:12 PM
The other issue is between the hammer being cocked, and the stupid new age beavertails you have stuff that want's to stick you in the body when you sit down.

I have a Detonics that I carry, and I put the hammer down, or put it on the safety notch. I'm real careful doing this, but it doesn't really give me the warm and fuzzies. The Detonics was designed for this kind of carry, with the front site moved forward, and room on the top of the slide to easily catch the hammer with your thumb, cocking it.

I realize this is different from a home protection issue. I'm with you on everything, but never been robbed at home.

That said, my 1911 is under the pillow, cocked and locked.

scaatylobo
October 8, 2012, 09:16 PM
When I first carried a 1911 I did carry it in 'condition 2' as you were attempting to do.

Shot a hole in my mothers living room floor and missed the dog by about 2 feet.

I decided that if I was going to EDC a 1911 that it was either in 'condition 1' or not at all.

I carried a few of them in C-1 for many decades and still do on occassion.

I got comfortable and trained with that till I was VERY happy with the results.

Good luck with your training,or the new gun you buy.

rcmodel
October 8, 2012, 09:21 PM
IMO: A 1911 is safer hammer down against the slide then on the "half-cock" safety intercept notch.

All 1911's use an inertia firing pin.
It is shorter then the hole in the slide it resides in.
Without a hammer blow to drive it out of it's hidy-hole, it can't touch the primer.

So with hammer down against the slide, you cound pound on the hammer until you broke the hammer off and it simply could not go off because it could not get a running start at the firing pin.

On half-cock, it could get a running start, and it could go off, if enough parts broke when you dropped it on the hammer.

rc

TennJed
October 8, 2012, 09:47 PM
Glad you are ok. If you don't mind me asking, what were you carrying before and why do you want to change. I love the 1911 platform and also have a CZ Rami with no decocker, but they are range toys. I prefer to carry long DOA triggers (Revolvers, Sig p290, Sig P250).

Like I said I am a fan of 1911, but I carry what I am comfortable with. Why change from a decocker (which you said you were comfortable with)?

awfulkanawful
October 8, 2012, 10:12 PM
Everyone is gonna laugh...........Ive had several different revolvers a S&W 4506 , 4006 , ruger P94 , Beretta PX4 , Beretta centurion , and a Beretta 92 and 96 A-1......... Ive had .38's , 357's , .40 smiths and a .45....my favorite of ALL of them is a Stoeger cougar ! In 9mm of all things !!! I own 4.....ALL the same.....thats it. It just feel right and is right for me.
For me the Beratta (Stoeger) Cougar.....fills the bill for everything ! Period.
I sold everything else (except the Cougars)............and bought the Ruger SR 1911 , its the only other pistol besides the 4 Cougars. Oh.....the 4006 is the truck gun , but its getting replaced soon by another Cougar. Should the SHTF Im also my own parts supplier....lol
I have NEVER had any kind of misfeed , or jam in theese 4 Cougars and they have been shot......ALOT ! Not too bad for a pistol costing 400 bucks each.

gyvel
October 8, 2012, 10:17 PM
If you absolutely have to lower the hammer on a live round, place your little finger between the hammer and slide when you do it.

OilyPablo
October 8, 2012, 10:40 PM
How are your ears?

tarosean
October 8, 2012, 10:55 PM
Wait a minute...

...you keep a stuffed bear on your bed?


LoL this was my reaction reading the story..

awfulkanawful
October 8, 2012, 11:00 PM
And its a big one ! I mean like 3' tall.......and not only that it is a Christmas bear....lol In the spare bedroom of course....lol:what:

ArchAngelCD
October 8, 2012, 11:16 PM
That gun is obviously defective so I am willing to take it off your hands.
Of course since it's defective I will have to pay you less than you bought it for! :evil:

I'm glad no one was hurt...

sirgilligan
October 8, 2012, 11:17 PM
And its a big one ! I mean like 3' tall.......and not only that it is a Christmas bear....lol In the spare bedroom of course....lol:what:
So, you come up with this elaborate story just because you hate the bear and shot it. It might work with "her", but not with us.

Dave P.
October 8, 2012, 11:38 PM
I guess I'm the odd one. I carry either a Glock 36 or a little Ruger LCP.
Own both a older Gold Cup and a single action only CZ75, but don't
carry them....too big for the most part.
What always scares me are actually the decockers, something
about that hammer snapping down just bugs me. I know they're
safe but I just can't get used to the idea. Must have trust issues.
It's great we have lots of choices.
Dave

awgrizzly
October 9, 2012, 01:15 AM
I agree with Sirgilligan.

Come on, who decocks a hammer between his thumb and finger? You 'just happened' to hit the bear in the sweet spot... yeah, right. People all over the world have been decocking guns... and if that was such a dangerous thing the frontier men would all been killed from discharges of their Winchesters and Colt .45s. No sir... you shot the bear and now are using this shoddy story on us to convince the GF to let you back into bed. I feel sooo used.

dmazur
October 9, 2012, 03:18 AM
I looked up the manual for my Colt 1991A1 (which is a 1911 with the Series-80 firing pin block) and it's interesting that Colt describes the following -

NOTE: This pistol may be carried in any one of the following three modes
according to your needs:
Mode 1: - MAGAZINE EMPTY, CHAMBER EMPTY.
- Pistol cannot be discharged.
- Use Mode 1 for storage, transporting, cleaning, repair,
demonstrating and dry practice.
Mode 2: - MAGAZINE LOADED, CHAMBER EMPTY, HAMMER DOWN.
- Pistol cannot be fired until slide is cycled and trigger is squeezed.
- Use Mode 2 when CARRYING THE PISTOL READY FOR USE.
Mode 3: - MAGAZINE LOADED, CHAMBER LOADED, HAMMER
COCKED, SAFETY ON.
- Pistol can be fired when slide lock safety is off and trigger
is squeezed.
- Use Mode 3 when you MUST BE PREPARED to use the pistol
IMMEDIATELY without warning.

I believe that Colt's "Modes" translate to Cooper's "Conditions" as follows -

Mode 1 = Condition 4 (aka "Embassy Carry")
Mode 2 = Condition 3 (aka "Israeli Carry")
Mode 3 = Condition 1 (aka "Cocked and Locked")

In another part of the manual, Colt emphasizes the danger of trying to put the pistol in Condition 2 (which is conspicuously absent from their suggested modes of carry), because even in a pistol with a firing pin block, you defeat that particular safety when you pull the trigger.

While this topic has been covered thoroughly many times, some points might be worth mentioning again ...

The tendency toward extended thumb safety levers makes the safety easier to sweep off during deployment, which is a good thing. However, you need a proper holster to protect the safety from inadvertent operation. If the 1911 you have does not have an ambidextrous safety, you might consider the relative merits of having another lever on the side unprotected by the holster before installing one.

"Commander" style hammers and extended grip safeties prevent hammer bite, but make it extremely difficult to cock a 1911 carried in Condition 2 one-handed. What used to work in the old days worked on the original 1911, not the "improved" ones sold today.

As long as you don't try to "improve" the sear or hammer, the hammer isn't going to drop by itself. The thumb safety blocks the sear, which blocks the hammer. And even if the hammer hooks shear off, there is another wide shelf that will catch the hammer before it hits the firing pin.

There are considerable risks associated with "administrative handling" as you change from Condition 1 to Condition 4 for cleaning or inspection. Many police ranges have bullet traps for this. Every once in a while some officer gets the adminstrative procedure backwards and racks the slide before dropping the magazine...then he points the muzzle into the bullet trap and proves the weapon is clear before entering the range. Bang. In addition to this lapse in attention, you can experience setback if the same round is repeatedly chambered, and this can cause a dangerous increase in pressure.

As someone pointed out already, it's a good idea to practice with an unloaded gun, or perhaps with dummy rounds. Dummy rounds aren't that expensive. Or, perhaps you know someone who reloads .45 ACP. They could make you 7 or 14 dummy rounds in a couple of minutes.

Dummy rounds should be conspicuous (!) You don't want a live round to look at all like what you are using for dummies! Some drill a hole through the case sideways. Others file a notch in the rim. I paint my bullets black and use fired primers, so I can see a difference if I look at either end.

If I had to get "comfortable" with carrying a 1911 again I think I would try the method of carrying it around with a loaded magazine, hammer cocked, safety on. (This isn't to be found in the listed "Conditions" by the way.) If you do this for a month or so and notice that the safety never moves itself to "off" and the hammer never falls, it should help build the confidence needed to carry it the same way with a round chambered.

I believe I read of someone who did this and found his safety was being bumped off. So he got a different holster.

Good luck.

fastest45ever
October 9, 2012, 06:55 AM
That would be me with a Detonics Mark VI.
:o

Doc3402
October 9, 2012, 07:03 AM
Im sure Im going to catch hell , but Im coming here to clarify a safety issue on my new 1911 Ruger.

I'm sorry to point this out so bluntly, especially since your intent is to help prevent others from doing what you did, but the safety issue was with you, not the Ruger. You violated at least one safety rule with your finger on the trigger, you ignored the advice of several 1911 experts that strongly advocate carrying in Condition 1, and you attempted to learn how to use an unfamiliar weapon while it was loaded. Thankfully you didn't ignore the rule about pointing the weapon in a safe direction. Blaming the firearm for user error just doesn't fly.

So you don't feel all alone, my brother once forgot about the chambered round while trying to show me how a 1911 grip safety worked. If he had been pointing the weapon at the wall instead of the floor he would have killed his wife. As it was he ended up with a convenient hole to run CATV cable through.

wildehond
October 9, 2012, 07:20 AM
I carried Cocked and Locked for over 10 years. first with a CZ75 Pre-B then a Colt Series 70 1911 in stock trim. Never Once did I have an issue.

I had the same concern as you in the beginning, but after a month it was very natural.

I now carry a G22, but some days I really miss my old 1911.

45_auto
October 9, 2012, 08:57 AM
The OP really needs to take a quality training class.

340PD
October 9, 2012, 10:13 AM
I compliment you for having the guts to post your ND. To make your self comfortable storing a gun in the mode you feel safe, you may need a different firearm. A great house gun that is very effective is a SIG, Beretta, and FN make a great reliable guns and have manual decockers on them.

1911Tuner
October 9, 2012, 10:26 AM
Come on, who decocks a hammer between his thumb and finger?

I used to do it quite a bit when I had a pistol with a wide-spur hammer...which is what the wide spur was for. It provides a positive purchase with thumb and index finger, pretty much ma king a slip impossible as long as you're careful. Since I do have a few pistols with that wide spur, I still do it...even when lowering the hammer on an empty chamber.

I rarely even carry a 1911 any more. When I did, I most often carried cocked and locked, but out in the boonies, I carried in C-2 because that protects the lockwork from dirt and debris. A cocked hammer leaves a fairly wide opening between hammer and frame...and my old friend Murphy is on my heels everywhere I go.

Lowering the hammer carries more risk than cocking it. You don't pull the trigger and try to catch the hammer. You get full control of the hammer before you touch the trigger. While cocking it...if it moves far enough for the hammer to have the momentum to light the primer off...a slipped hammer will stop on the half-cock notch unless you pull the trigger while you cock it.

The correct way to cock the hammer is to thumb it back as your hand finds it, but while it's still in the holster...not drawing and then cocking it.

Lowering or cocking the hammer isn't nearly as dangerous as some would have you believe as long as it's done correctly and with the pistol pointed in such a direction as to neutralize any unintentional discharge. An old pilots' dictum states that any landing you can walk away from is a good landing. As long as nobody gets shot, the only injury is to your pride.

But it does carry some risk. Of course, so does driving a car, using a chain saw, and whittling on a stick with your Old Timer Stockman. The end result of doing something risky depends completely on you and how careful you are...and your attention to the task at hand. Like the other risky endeavors mentioned above, you don't want to get distracted and you don't want to get in a rush.

Pilot
October 9, 2012, 12:15 PM
Tuner,

When you carried a 1911 in the boonies in C-2 was it on the half cock notch?

1911Tuner
October 9, 2012, 01:16 PM
Pilot...no. It was with the hammer all the way down, resting against the firing pin stop.

It was also usually in a flap holster to afford the gun maximum protection from the crud and the knocks and bumps.

Pilot
October 9, 2012, 02:19 PM
Thanks. I think I'd do the same thing.

Mainsail
October 9, 2012, 03:05 PM
I carry and keep my 1911s cocked and locked, and am comfortable doing so. I had a holster that, due to the ill fitting thumb strap, would disengage the safety. That made me pretty nervous and that holster was returned and very promptly fixed; I've not had that issue again.

If for whatever reason I need to decock with a live round, I place the finger of my off hand between the hammer and the frame. If my thumb slips (and hasn't yet) I'll just get a thump on my finger.

oldbear
October 9, 2012, 03:25 PM
The 1911 may be one of the best if not the best combat handgun ever, but they are not for everyone. They will not tolerate any mistakes, as the O/P and many others have found out.

To me the simplicity of a quality revolver overrides any drawbacks it MAY have. At 64 I really like the ease of a wheel gun.

To the O/P, I'm glad the only thing hurt was your pride. You learned a valuable lesson one I'm sure you will remember for a long time..

1911Tuner
October 9, 2012, 04:22 PM
I had a holster that, due to the ill fitting thumb strap, would disengage the safety. That made me pretty nervous and that holster was returned and very promptly fixed; I've not had that issue again.

It makes a lot of people nervous, but there's really no reason to be. Ya still gotta depress the grip safety and pull the trigger to fire the gun.

TonyT
October 9, 2012, 05:15 PM
I shoot sevearal 1911's in the ususal pistol games but for self defense I go for a pistol without external hammer or safeties.

allaroundhunter
October 9, 2012, 11:21 PM
Im beginning to think maybe cocked and locked would actually be much safer as lowering the hammer on a chambered round just may be asking for trouble at some point even if its been done millions of times ? Am I right ?

A 1911 carried cocked and locked with a 4 lb trigger is safer (against ND's and AD's) than any striker fired design that has a 6 lb trigger and no manual safety.

You really were asking for a whole lot more trouble trying to lower the hammer on a loaded chamber than just carrying condition 1. I personally get the heebie jeebies just thinking of doing that, because as you found out, it is just an AD/ND waiting to happen...

Mainsail
October 10, 2012, 12:24 AM
It makes a lot of people nervous, but there's really no reason to be. Ya still gotta depress the grip safety and pull the trigger to fire the gun.

You're right I know, but it's still unnerving to pull the gun out at the end of the day and find the safety off. Partly because it's off and partly because it makes one wonder if it was ever put on.

I was racking my brain all day trying to remember why I would ever need to lower the hammer on my 1911s, as mentioned in my previous post. Then suddenly it occurred to me... I don't! The time when my finger is between the hammer and the frame is when I'm unloading the gun; when I release the safety I have this weird apprehension that the hammer will suddenly fall and discharge the chambered round.

So, yes; I'm a bit of a wuss. Leaning a bit toward the over-safe side isn't bad though because I've never even had a close call, much less an ND. (One AD when a 1911 discharged with the safety ON, but the gun was pointed downrange at the time)

All that aside, I would never make the act of lowering the hammer over a live round to be a standard or regular practice.

rcmodel
October 10, 2012, 12:28 AM
One AD when a 1911 discharged with the safety ON,You got some 'splainin' to do!” there Lucy!

I just ain't buying that!

rc

Mainsail
October 10, 2012, 12:50 AM
It went down thusly:

I was in Flight School at Altus AFB down in Oklahoma. At the time I had an AMT Longslide Hardballer (wait, do you need more than that?) that I used to polish with AF Nevr-Dul- it was beautiful. One day one of the other students mentioned that he had never fired a handgun, and was nervous he would wash out back at his home base when he couldn't qualify. I offered to take him out and let him shoot my AMT.

Once there and with the gun unloaded I went over the basics. Then I loaded it up and flipped the safety up, then realized that he would try to fire it and it wouldn't go off- I'd forgotten to explain the thumb safety. So since the gun was already loaded (and safely pointed downrange) I pointed to the safety and said, "This is the thumb safety, the gun won't fire with the safety in the up position."

So I knew that, and he now knew that, but the gun apparently wasn't listening. So to show him how the gun wouldn't fire with the safety in the up position, I extended my arm and pulled the trigger. BANG!

The thumb safety sheared off and flew off to parts unknown and our day was done. There was a gunsmith in Lawton that just so happened to be an AMT repair station, and he performed the autopsy. He told me that all the internals were in spec, but they were all at their lowest allowable tolerance, and that combination allowed the gun to fire with the safety on. This was 1986 so work with me here, my memory ain't so great.

The epilog to that story is he called AMT and they overnighted all new internals, and it got fixed for free. As an aside, I bought my first Glock there- 1986 so it was a Gen 1 Model G17.

allaroundhunter
October 10, 2012, 12:56 AM
I was in Flight School at Altus AFB down in Oklahoma. At the time I had an AMT Longslide Hardballer (wait, do you need more than that?)

Nope. That was all I needed before I could rest easy and stop reading :neener:

All kidding aside, glad you and your friend weren't hurt....and that is a very interesting event.

1911Tuner
October 10, 2012, 05:49 AM
You got some 'splainin' to do!” there Lucy!

I just ain't buying that!

rc

Easy.

As part of my 1911 workshops, in order to dispel with the belief that the thumb safety locks or blocks the hammer, I install an old safety that's had the sear blocking point of the lug cut to allow the sear to escape the hammer hooks when the trigger is pulled.

I get some interesting reactions and facial expressions when they see the hammer fall and wipe the safety off faster than they can do it with their thumbs.

But then, the question looms:

I can understand testing the safety for proper function with the pistol empty. Pretty much SOP as part of a routine function test.

But...

Who would chamber a round...engage the safety...and then start yanking on the trigger? Why would anybody do that?

There was a gunsmith in Lawton that just so happened to be an AMT repair station, and he performed the autopsy. He told me that all the internals were in spec, but they were all at their lowest allowable tolerance, and that combination allowed the gun to fire with the safety on.

You'll have to excuse me for being skeptical. If the gun fired with the safety engaged, the parts weren't in-spec, and if the hammer had dropped with the safety in the ON-SAFE position, the hammer would have pushed the safety into the OFF position as it fell as per my workshop demo described above. It'll do it every time.

Halal Pork
October 10, 2012, 06:15 AM
For anyone uncomfortable with using a 1911 the way it is intended (cocked and locked) they might do themselves the service of moving on to a different style handgun.

1911Tuner
October 10, 2012, 06:42 AM
For anyone uncomfortable with using a 1911 the way it is intended (cocked and locked) they might do themselves the service of moving on to a different style handgun.

There was never any intent by Browning or anybody else to continuously maintain the 1911 pistol in Condition One. It can be carried that way, but it wasn't designed, nor was it intended specifically to be carried that way.

If Browning had any intent at all, it was to use the half-cock as a safety since that's how he designed all his other hammer guns.

1911Tuner
October 10, 2012, 06:57 AM
All that aside, I would never make the act of lowering the hammer over a live round to be a standard or regular practice.

What do you do with a cocked hammer on a revolver and lose the opportunity for the shot? Or a lever-action rifle for that matter?

I'm not advocating lowering the hammer on a 1911 pistol. Just saying that it can be done safely as long as we're careful and do it correctly. I've often said that when the day comes that I no longer have the manual dexterity or the presence of mind to manipulate a hammer without shooting myself in the foot...I'll sell the guns and take up golf.

Halal Pork
October 10, 2012, 07:19 AM
There was never any intent by Browning or anybody else to continuously maintain the 1911 pistol in Condition One. It can be carried that way, but it wasn't designed, nor was it intended specifically to be carried that way.

If Browning had any intent at all, it was to use the half-cock as a safety since that's how he designed all his other hammer guns.
I'm curious as to the purpose of the thumb safety then.

1911Tuner
October 10, 2012, 07:47 AM
I'm curious as to the purpose of the thumb safety then.

In 1910, eight pistols were submitted to the Army Ordnance Board for evaluation. None of those pistols had thumb safeties. They were returned with a request from the US Cavalry for the addition of a "Manual, slide-locking" safety. Six of the eight were so modified...returned...and the rest is history.

Why did the cavalry ask for a manual safety?

So that a horse-mounted trooper could safely reholster the piece when he found himself trying to hang onto a frightened, unruly horse. Even in those unenlightened days, the thinking heads understood that a man under stress stood a good chance of leaving his finger on the trigger when jamming the pistol into the holster.

"Slide Locking" because jamming a pistol into a holster under battlefield conditions could push the slide out of battery, possibly not returning when the pistol was redrawn, leaving the embattled cavalryman with a non-firing weapon.

"Cocked and locked, the way that JMB intended!" has become a popular mantra. Unfortunately, it has no basis in fact.

Here is a picture of one of the remaining two original 1910 Colts in existence. Photo courtesy of Charles W. Clawson.

http://i40.photobucket.com/albums/e243/1911Tuner/1910.gif

45_auto
October 10, 2012, 08:01 AM
In 2010, eight pistols were submitted to the Army Ordnance Board for evaluation. None of those pistols had thumb safeties. They were returned with a request from the US Cavalry for the addition of a "Manual, slide-locking" safety. Six of the eight were so modified...returned...and the rest is history.

Dang, I didn't even know the US Cavalry still existed in 2010, much less that they had a competition for a new pistol! I thought the last time they had any influence was a century or so ago.

Halal Pork
October 10, 2012, 08:01 AM
That's very interesting. I've read the FM from 1912 (revised 1914) which advises against carrying the pistol cocked and locked "except in an emergency" or "if it is desired to make the pistol ready for instant use and for firing with the least possible delay.." That leaves a certain degree of ambiguity but the source is a US Army field manual (rather than John Browning) and came later than your reference. I appreciate your input and ought to read up more on the subject.

I'll revise my point and say I believe it is safer to carry a 1911 cocked and locked than it is to make a habit of lowering the hammer on a live round.

Doc3402
October 10, 2012, 08:03 AM
I've often said that when the day comes that I no longer have the manual dexterity or the presence of mind to manipulate a hammer without shooting myself in the foot...I'll sell the guns and take up golf.

That has just touched on one of my pet peeves. Are you aware that by the time you have lost the presence of mind to safely manipulate a hammer there is a good chance that you will no longer have enough presence of mind to recognize that fact?

Don't believe me? Look at all the bad senior drivers on the road. I would bet anything I have that at one time or another the majority of them said roughly the same thing about driving that you said about operating your guns, yet they lack the awareness to realize they are now bad drivers.

1911Tuner
October 10, 2012, 08:05 AM
Doc. Step back and take a breath. ;)

OilyPablo
October 10, 2012, 08:07 AM
2010. Now that there is funny.

I never got my question answered. How are the OP's ears? How loud does a .45ACP seem inside a house?

1911Tuner
October 10, 2012, 08:11 AM
2010...Whoops! Good catch. I didn't even notice that.

Corrected.

A .45 going off inside a small room is...Loud. Go shoot on an indoor range without hearing protection to find out just how loud. You won't wanna do it twice.

1911Tuner
October 10, 2012, 08:16 AM
I'll revise my point and say I believe it is safer to carry a 1911 cocked and locked than it is to make a habit of lowering the hammer on a live round.

Probably. Guns "go off" unintentionally when somebody is handling them...not when they're in the holster or laying on a table. The less time spent monkey-fingering a loaded gun, the lower your chances of a discharge. This is why we strive to be mindful of our movements whenever we handle guns...loaded or not.

Or as has been so often noted:

Is gun. Gun not safe.

As an interesting side-note...in the 1910 patents, Browning clearly identifies the half-cock as a "Safety Position" and gives instruction on lowering the hammer to that position with one hand.

1911Tuner
October 10, 2012, 08:23 AM
That's very interesting. I've read the FM from 1912 (revised 1914) which advises against carrying the pistol cocked and locked "except in an emergency" or "if it is desired to make the pistol ready for instant use and for firing with the least possible delay.."

Exactly. As with any other weapon, the protocol has always been to maintain it with the bolt locked on an empty chamber until "Line of departure! Lock and load!" is given. This, whether the weapon is rifle, pistol...or a 105 howitzer.

scaatylobo
October 10, 2012, 02:26 PM
I trust the safety of the 1911's so much that I still carry them "mexican style",meaning in the pants with NO holster.

It is a very good way to fully conceal a full sized pistol in the summer and covered by nothing more than a 'T' shirt.

I wear a 'wife beater' under the 'T' shirt for comfort,and I can honestly say it is hidden from even the best gun checkers.

I normally wear a Skip Ritchie or Lou Alessi [ when he was alive ] holster in cooler weather.

The DOJ or the Askins Avenger style suit me well.

warhwkbb
October 10, 2012, 04:07 PM
A 1911 has at least three safeties that are defeated by putting it IN or OUT of Condition 2. I can't remember if I have EVER lowered the hammer on a LIVE round in a 1911. It either stays locked, or the round in the chamber is ejected without ever touching either the trigger or the hammer.
Following these guidelines, the 1911 is possibly the safest auto pistol in existence!

awfulkanawful
October 10, 2012, 04:19 PM
My hearing is just fine.....for some reason it really wasnt that loud ? I think the furniture , carpet , teddy bear.....lol..... Absorbed ALOT of the decibles.

Creature
October 10, 2012, 04:53 PM
Hearing loss is cumulative. A single gunshot in a average sized room is not going to cause noticeable long-term damage. But do it enough and the damage will irreversible.

Kleanbore
October 10, 2012, 05:31 PM
Posted by Halal Pork: I've read the FM from 1912 (revised 1914) which advises against carrying the pistol cocked and locked "except in an emergency" or "if it is desired to make the pistol ready for instant use and for firing with the least possible delay.." That remained as SOP for the duration of the service life of the pistol.

Note that when one carries a concealed weapon for self defense, one does desire to have "the pistol ready for instant use and for firing with the least possible delay."

I'll revise my point and say I believe it is safer to carry a 1911 cocked and locked than it is to make a habit of lowering the hammer on a live round.Without question.

Might I suggest that it is also safer to carry a 1911 cocked and locked than it is to carry any pistol that lacks both a thumb safety and a grip safety with a round in the chamber.

TennJed
October 10, 2012, 05:48 PM
I trust the safety of the 1911's so much that I still carry them "mexican style",meaning in the pants with NO holster.

It is a very good way to fully conceal a full sized pistol in the summer and covered by nothing more than a 'T' shirt.

I wear a 'wife beater' under the 'T' shirt for comfort,and I can honestly say it is hidden from even the best gun checkers.
.

Have you attempted to conceal it with a good IWB holster? I am sorry but a quality holster will conceal it better and more securely IMHO. You have to leave too much of the gun outside and above the waistband for "Mexican" style, it is nowhere near as good as holstered

Halal Pork
October 10, 2012, 06:10 PM
That remained as SOP for the duration of the service life of the pistol.

Note that when one carries a concealed weapon for self defense, one does desire to have "the pistol ready for instant use and for firing with the least possible delay."

Without question.

Might I suggest that it is also safer to carry a 1911 cocked and locked than it is to carry any pistol that lacks both a thumb safety and a grip safety with a round in the chamber.
I agree with your points. However, when I was issued a 1911 briefly, I carried it cocked and locked any time I left the wire; so as far as SOP goes maybe I did it wrong.

Harvest
October 10, 2012, 06:15 PM
I have loved reading this thread. It has also reminded me of the way I carry my 1911. I have owned and carried several 1911's condition 1 for years. I have practiced draw and carry for years as well - BUT - this is a reality check for one that takes carrying my 1911 as a self defense pistol. I also carry a Glock 22 for primary carry and a p239 for deeper concealment or back up. Lots of differences that I have learned comfort with over some time.

The really important thing I have learned is that shooting large stuffed animals in the nads should be done often and with great glee - but on purpose and outside.

Glad no one got hurt. Tell GD your sorry again and again and again - etc! Smile

PTMCCAIN
October 10, 2012, 06:23 PM
Took a lot of guts to post what you did on a gun forum.

That's a very hard way to learn an important lesson.

Glad you, and nobody else, was not injured or killed.

Kleanbore
October 10, 2012, 06:23 PM
...when I was issued a 1911 briefly, I carried it cocked and locked any time I left the wire; so as far as SOP goes maybe I did it wrong.Friends of mine did the same thing in Viet Nam.

Sergei Mosin
October 10, 2012, 06:37 PM
The part of the field manual that has always amused me, given modern practice, is this (from the 1940 edition):

"If it is desired to make the pistol ready for instant use
for firing the maximum number of shots with the least
possible delay, draw back the slide, insert a cartridge by hand
into the chamber of the barrel, allow the slide to close, then
lock the slide and the cocked hammer by pressing the safety
lock upward and insert a loaded magazine."

Nowadays, of course, we are enjoined not to do that, but rather to chamber a round from the magazine and then top off the magazine.

What JMB intended a hundred years ago, and what practices the services recommend, historically or at present, is not always what a non-military user may want or need.

Sergei Mosin
October 10, 2012, 06:57 PM
Something else to take into consideration is that the 1911 was used by more than one service, and by more than one branch within the respective services. These organizations sometimes had different ideas of how the pistol should be handled. For example, here is what the Landing-Force Manual, United States Navy, 1927 has to say:

Care and Handling

11-42. When the slide is in its forward position and the hammer is full cocked push the safety-lock up to lock the hammer.

11-43. The grip safety at all times automatically locks the trigger unless the grip safety is pressed in by firmly grasping the handle as in the firing position.

When the slide is drawn fully back to its rear position, if the magazine is empty the slide stop automatically locks the slide in its open position; if the magazine is not empty, and there is no jam, the slide when released will spring to its forward position unless it is locked by pressing the slide stop up into the recess on the slide.

When the pistol is fired and the slide remains open, it indicates either that that magazine is empty or that there is a jam.

To relieve a jam it is often necessary to remove the magazine.

To remove the magazine, press the magazine catch.

11-44. To load, charge the magazine with any number of cartridges from one to seven (with five for a string in the Navy courses); insert the magazine into the hollow of the handle with a quick continuous movement until the click of the magazine catch is heard; then draw the slide fully back and release it, thus cocking the pistol and bringing the first cartridge into the chamber. The pistol is now ready for firing.

11-45. With the magazine empty, the pistol can be used as a single loader by drawing back the slide, inserting a cartridge in the chamber, and pressing down the slide stop to release the slide.

11-46. After the pistol is single loaded (and locked as a safety precaution), a filled magazine may be inserted; the pistol then carries eight cartridges ready for use.

It is dangerous, however, to carry the pistol thus loaded, and except in emergencies, the pistol should be carried with the chamber empty. When cartridges are in the magazine, to cock, load the chamber, and fully prepare the pistol for use it is only necessary to draw the slide fully to the rear and release it.

11-47. Pressure must be entirely relieved from the trigger after each shot in order that the trigger may reengage the sear.

11-48. To inspect a pistol to see that it is unloaded, or to unload it, draw the slide to the rear and release it as often as is necessary until it automatically remains in the open position. If loaded, each time the slide is drawn to the rear a cartridge will be ejected.

1911Tuner
October 10, 2012, 07:41 PM
What JMB intended a hundred years ago, and what practices the services recommend, historically or at present, is not always what a non-military user may want or need.

Which brings us back to what I alluded to.

It was designed so that it can be carried cocked and locked, but it wasn't designed specifically to be carried that way.

In short, it allows several modes of readiness, as the user chooses. No more. No less.

As far as modern techniques go, there are many who insist that the slidestop should never be used to release the slide...but it was designed and intended to be used for that. That's why it stands proud of the frame and has checkering...the same reason that the hammer has checkering.(The slidestop actually has five functions, but that's meat for another discussion.)

awfulkanawful
October 10, 2012, 08:45 PM
I thank all of you for your input , advice , concern , and education. I have leared ALOT just on this one subject. I called it an accidental discharge , but understand now it IS a NEGLIGENT discharge. I dont blame the 1911.....I blame myself ! I firmly believe the 1911 IS to be "understood" as far as safety and features.....much more than any other firearm that I have used to date. I blame nothing other than myself , as I made several assumptions that were incorrect as to what it was I was doing during handling. I will feel bad about this for some time , but it has made me realize that complete attention , respect and responsibility.......ALL fell squarely on me........I BLEW it ! But........except for the "teddy"......nobody was hurt.......and I learned immensley from my mistake!

TAKtical
October 10, 2012, 09:04 PM
Might I suggest that it is also safer to carry a 1911 cocked and locked than it is to carry any pistol that lacks both a thumb safety and a grip safety with a round in the chamber.
Care to elaborate on that? Im pretty sure that if you keep your finger off of the trigger until you are ready to shoot, neither would be "safer" than the other.

whtsmoke
October 10, 2012, 09:19 PM
The big issue as I see it and its my own opinion now is did you have the correct license to shoot stuffed bears?

allaroundhunter
October 10, 2012, 09:27 PM
Care to elaborate on that? Im pretty sure that if you keep your finger off of the trigger until you are ready to shoot, neither would be "safer" than the other.

TAKtical, any gun that does not have a manual safety and instead uses a "safety" such as a Glocks will be more prone to a Negligent Discharge. Just as one example, if someone is using a poorly fitting holster and inserts their Glock and a piece of leather gets into the trigger guard, the gun will discharge (and yes, it has happened). If the same situation happens with a 1911, the manual safety will keep the trigger from being pulled.

It isn't just a finger that can cause an ND.

1911Tuner
October 11, 2012, 05:14 AM
ALL fell squarely on me........I BLEW it ! But........except for the "teddy"......nobody was hurt.......and I learned immensley from my mistake

As a matter of SOP, whenever somebody screws up...I ask: "What did you learn?"

As long as you learned something from it, and nobody got hurt...you can put that experience in the "win" box.

if someone is using a poorly fitting holster and inserts their Glock and a piece of leather gets into the trigger guard, the gun will discharge (and yes, it has happened). If the same situation happens with a 1911, the manual safety will keep the trigger from being pulled.

And that is precisely why the US Cavalry requested the manual safety on the 1911.

1911Tuner
October 11, 2012, 05:14 AM
ALL fell squarely on me........I BLEW it ! But........except for the "teddy"......nobody was hurt.......and I learned immensley from my mistake

As a matter of SOP, whenever somebody screws up...I ask: "What did you learn?"

As long as you learned something from it, and nobody got hurt...you can put that experience in the "win" box.

if someone is using a poorly fitting holster and inserts their Glock and a piece of leather gets into the trigger guard, the gun will discharge (and yes, it has happened). If the same situation happens with a 1911, the manual safety will keep the trigger from being pulled.

And that is precisely why the US Cavalry requested the manual safety on the 1911.

ugaarguy
October 11, 2012, 07:16 AM
Actually, as 1911Tuner and others have patiently pointed out to me before, no, the 1911 was not actually designed to be carried "Condition 1." In fact, the original version didn't even have a thumb safety.

Coming hot on the heels of the single-action revolver days, thumb-cocking was an acceptable method back in the day, and the inertial firing pin design meant that hammer down on a loaded chamber was perfectly safe.
And to be truly accurate you can't exclude the fact that those early pistols had a much wider hammer spur with heavy checerking, and a recurve shape to facilitate manual cocking and decocking. Modern 1911 hammers just aren't made for that. Here's an EMC wide spur hammer that's like the old GI hammers for visual reference - http://item.brownells.com/groups/emc-1911-auto-hammers/1911-auto-hammers-wide-spur-hammer-blued.htm

1911Tuner
October 11, 2012, 09:00 AM
And to be truly accurate you can't exclude the fact that those early pistols had a much wider hammer spur with heavy checerking, and a recurve shape to facilitate manual cocking and decocking. Modern 1911 hammers just aren't made for that.

And yet, they still have checkering, or serrations that are even more aggressive than the older checkering patterns. People get into trouble when lowering hammers mostly because they don't know how...or they get in a rush...or they get careless with muzzle discipline...or all the above.

kyletx1911
October 11, 2012, 09:15 AM
As a matter of SOP, whenever somebody screws up...I ask: "What did you learn?"

As long as you learned something from it, and nobody got hurt...you can put that experience in the "win" box.



And that is precisely why the US Cavalry requested the manual safety on the 1911.
my lesson learned never drop hammer on a live rd in a 1911 with oily fingers and your wife
on the other side of the wall int he flight path. i blew it just like you.
just like you blessed no one was hurt.

Respect is earned and given, i now respect the power of slipping, that can cause a nd.
and earned that what can happen in the blink of a eye. AFTER I carry a 1911 everyday but i respect it everyday You sir have fessed up NOW CARRY ON

Kleanbore
October 11, 2012, 09:45 AM
Posted by TAKtical: Im pretty sure that if you keep your finger off of the trigger until you are ready to shoot, neither would be "safer" than the other.That would be true except for the issue of interference of shirt-tails or other materials when re-holstering, or the problem of faulty holsters. Both have been problematical.

But it has ben demonstrated that even people who are trained to keep their fingers off the trigger and are convinced that they do often touch the trigger under stress, perhaps to reassure themselves of its location.

Drail
October 11, 2012, 12:44 PM
Every time you handle a gun, Murphy is right behind you looking for an opening. You have to constantly think about what could possibly go wrong. Murphy runs the Universe. (no disrespect intended to anyone's religion) Forgetting about Murphy for just one second can ruin your day.

The M
October 11, 2012, 01:25 PM
I thank all of you for your input , advice , concern , and education. I have leared ALOT just on this one subject. I called it an accidental discharge , but understand now it IS a NEGLIGENT discharge. I dont blame the 1911.....I blame myself ! I firmly believe the 1911 IS to be "understood" as far as safety and features.....much more than any other firearm that I have used to date. I blame nothing other than myself , as I made several assumptions that were incorrect as to what it was I was doing during handling. I will feel bad about this for some time , but it has made me realize that complete attention , respect and responsibility.......ALL fell squarely on me........I BLEW it ! But........except for the "teddy"......nobody was hurt.......and I learned immensley from my mistake!

I like your attitude - it's nice to see someone not trying to place blame somewhere else :thumbup: .

I'm in the camp that has never lowered the hammer on a live round. Too much risk as most of us agree on. The only time my hammer is down is after a shot with a snap cap during failures training. I've never had an issue with years of cocked and locked carrying. Keep up the good research and training!

Steve C
October 11, 2012, 05:02 PM
Coming from a background of SA and DA revolvers, cocking and decocking with my thumb has been second nature. My first 1911 was a Colt Combat Commander and still never had a problem lowering the hammer but it was a 2 handed operation with the hammer being held and lowered with the right thumb while the left held the grip safety down. You can put your off hand index finger between the hammer and the firing pin to prevent the sudden release of the hammer from discharging the gun and remove it as the hammer advances to the finger. I used this method at one time but only use it now on occasions where my hands may be a bit slippery.

One needs to remember to keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction when doing this though, just in case. In times of whimsey when I carry or sit one of my 1911s or similar platform handguns next to the bed for defense it is cocked and locked but usually keep them loaded with hammer down in storage mode.

I do have a couple other semi auto handguns, Browning HP, early Taurus PT92, that occasionally need to have the hammer lowered on a live round using the trigger to release the hammer and a couple P38/P1 Walthers that I always lower the hammer with the thumb when using their safety lever to drop the hammer as their older safety system has been known to fail.

Lowering the hammer safely doesn't require any great skill and the safety part should be mostly pointing the muzzle in a safe direction. If a person is new to a gun that needs to be decocked in such a way, they should do a little practice with the gun unloaded to perfect method and gain confidence before trying it with a loaded pistol.

Kleanbore
October 11, 2012, 05:16 PM
Posted by Steve C: I do have a couple other semi auto handguns...that occasionally need to have the hammer lowered on a live round using the trigger to release the hammer....

If a person is new to a gun that needs to be decocked in such a way, they should.... Why would any semi-automatic firearm with a safety "need" to have the hammer lowered on a live round?

GLOOB
October 11, 2012, 05:19 PM
TAKtical, any gun that does not have a manual safety and instead uses a "safety" such as a Glocks will be more prone to a Negligent Discharge. Just as one example, if someone is using a poorly fitting holster and inserts their Glock and a piece of leather gets into the trigger guard, the gun will discharge (and yes, it has happened). If the same situation happens with a 1911, the manual safety will keep the trigger from being pulled.
My 4 cents is that you're leaving out the human part of the equation. Anytime you add more events and options to a procedure, you either slow it down or make it more prone to error. One or the other.

So yeah, a Glock is more dangerous to holster. But it's also simpler, so you can focus on doing it safely (and slowly - most of the time there are no points for how fast you can get the gun back IN the holster). A 1911 is potentially more error prone to draw and fire. Google Tex Grebner. He focused on speed, rather than safety. Automatically chaining a sequence of events, such as flipping off a safety, then putting your finger on the trigger, in order to precipitate the proper "end result" in a prespecified minimal amount of time, makes things dangerous. Call it a holster design problem all you want, but he was basically training himself to automatically bypass the inherent safety of finger off the trigger by relying on a manual safety and "chaining" a sequence of events in a pre-determined amount of time (that works when things go right), and we ALL as humans do the same thing without deliberate thought and practice. At least with a Glock, the number of manipulations and the proper practice is simplified.

I don't care how many times I've done it. I always pause and consciously think about it when I flip on a safety, otherwise I won't remember if I had done it or not! No different that being conscious of the trigger when reholstering.

To call one safer than the other is making too many assumptions about the person and methods. Both can be safe, both can be dangerous. Glocks have the bad rep because they're used by so many police. And that after they transitioned from revolvers (with which they also had tons of ND's.)

Anyhow, any gun with an EXTERNAL HAMMER is more prone to ND than any striker-fired gun. Polls and posts like this show that without a doubt, manipulating an external hammer is one of the #1 causes of ND's. I've never seen data that suggest a manual safety reduces ND's. For every Glock leg/shirttail/holster malfunction, there's untold number of ND's that DIDN'T happen because the Glock manual of arms is so simple. If you compare Glock leg ND's to "decocking incidents" there's no comparison. The latter is by far more prevalent. And the former is not limited to guns without a manual safety.

1911Tuner
October 11, 2012, 05:29 PM
A 1911 is potentially more error prone to draw and fire. Google Tex Grebner.

If you're gonna use that as an example, you should probably include the holster in that little debacle. The firs one of those things I tried, it gave me the creepin' jeebies because of the release mechanism. I knew that it would just be a matter of time before somebody plugged themselves.

To call one safer than the other is making too many assumptions about the person and methods.

Is gun. Gun not safe. It's not a toy and it's not your friend. It's as dangerous as a rattlesnake, and it should be regarded as hostile any time your hand is on it.

Tunefucious say:

If one desires to master fast-draw, one is advised to practice with honorable pistol empty...many, many times.

GLOOB
October 11, 2012, 05:38 PM
If you're gonna use that as an example, you should probably include the holster in that little debacle.
If the holster is so dangerous, it must be a freaking miracle that the first and only widely reported incident happened years after they hit the market with a vengeance - and with a 1911, at that.

I reckon less than 5% of those kydex Blackhawk holsters are sold for 1911's, and over 50% for polymer striker-fired handguns without a safety.

I also reckon someone has shot himself drawing and firing out of a retention strap holster, before.

I agree, is gun. Gun not safe. Is holster. Not a replacement for safe handling.

Steve C
October 11, 2012, 05:41 PM
Why would any semi-automatic firearm with a safety "need" to have the hammer lowered on a live round?

When the safety doesn't drop the hammer.

Take the older model Taurus PT92 for example. To carry it ready in DA mode you needed to put a round in the chamber and then lower the hammer, otherwise you where left with cocked and locked mode. Personally I carry DA handguns for defense 99% of the time, more revolver like.

Kleanbore
October 11, 2012, 06:12 PM
Posted by GlOOB: Anyhow, any gun with an EXTERNAL HAMMER is more prone to ND than any striker-fired gun. Polls and posts like this show that without a doubt, manipulating an external hammer is one of the #1 causes of ND's.I do not put that much stock in polls, but the answer is, do not manipulate the hammer!

The old War Department and DoD manuals caution against carrying the Model 1911, Model 1911A1, and .45 General Officers' Model with the hammer down on a loaded chamber. That's because it is not a good idea.

For every Glock leg/shirttail/holster malfunction, there's untold number of ND's that DIDN'T happen because the Glock manual of arms is so simple.How does one record events that do not happen?

I've never seen data that suggest a manual safety reduces ND's.A major local PD has found that when persons gain control of the compact "1911" pistols carried for backup cocked and locked, there is less chance of the perp being able to fire them than when striker fired pistols are snatched. Of course, that's a little different from an ND, but the principle is the same.

If you compare Glock leg ND's to "decocking incidents" there's no comparison.Are you referring to historical occurrence, frequency, or what?

In Sixguns by Keith, Elmer extolled the safety features of the S&W Model 39. There were two: (1) the DA trigger and hammer drop safety that kept the shooters mits off the hammer; and (2), the magazine disconnect. He predicted that the accidents that occurred with the Colt Automatic would be reduced. I was impressed, and bought one.

But I somehow missed the simple truths that (1) the answer was to not fiddle with the hammer in the first place, and (2) that DA first pull had its disadvantages.

GLOOB
October 11, 2012, 06:40 PM
Are you referring to historical occurrence, frequency, or what?
frequency of occurrence, as indicated by very long threads on this forum where poster's have described their ND's.

The numbers ARE enough to be statistically significant. "Hammer slipped" is one of the leading causes of ND's. Though probably not a leading cause of injury, there are a lot of holes in ceilings and bedroom walls thanks to improper decocking procedures or lapses of concentration. I grant that Glock leg is a much worse outcome than putting a hole in a teddy bear.

How does one record events that do not happen?
You don't. That's what makes them "untold."

The only numbers or statistics I've found are from forum threads/polls. And the numbers suggest that lack of manual safety has very little impact on ND's. If you don't put any stock in those numbers, then find some better ones and share, please.

A major local PD has found that when persons gain control of the compact "1911" pistols carried for backup cocked and locked, there is less chance of the perp being able to fire them than when striker fired pistols are snatched. Of course, that's a little different from an ND, but the principle is the same.
There's a very big difference, here. A manual safety on a handgun is indisputably a very good way to make a gun NOT fire when you actually wanted it to. That's good if you are disarmed, of course. But the only numbers I have seen show that the overwhelming majority of ND's happen because someone pulled the trigger deliberately, expecting either a click or a safe lowering of the hammer, but getting a boom instead. The manual safety has no bearing on these ND's, because once you figure out the safety is on, you take it off and pull the trigger again.

Fishslayer
October 11, 2012, 06:46 PM
And its a big one ! I mean like 3' tall.......and not only that it is a Christmas bear....lol In the spare bedroom of course....lol:what:

So.... as one with actual experience...

How do you rate the .45ACP cartridge as a bear defence round?:evil:

Kleanbore
October 11, 2012, 07:20 PM
Posted by GLOOB:

"Hammer slipped" is one of the leading causes of ND's.

But the only numbers I have seen show that the overwhelming majority of ND's happen because someone pulled the trigger deliberately, expecting either a click or a safe lowerring of the hammer, but getting a boom instead.

Which it it?

The manual safety has no bearing on these ND's, because once you figure out the safety is on, you take it off and pull the trigger again.Just how would that constitute a negligent discharge?

1911Tuner
October 12, 2012, 07:41 AM
If the holster is so dangerous, it must be a freaking miracle that the first and only widely reported incident happened years after they hit the market with a vengeance - and with a 1911, at that.

No. I said that if you're going to use Grebner's leg shot on the draw as an example how dangerous the 1911 is on the draw, you should include the holster...because that was a major factor. Did the holster fail to release because Grebner fouled the draw...or because the release malfunctioned? Probably the former, but we really have no way of knowing. The fact stands that it was involved.

If drawing and reholstering the 1911 was that inherently dangerous, it would likely have disappeared long ago...but many hundreds of thousands of people have drawn and reholstered the pistol without incident.

The M
October 12, 2012, 10:36 AM
No. I said that if you're going to use Grebner's leg shot on the draw as an example how dangerous the 1911 is on the draw, you should include the holster...because that was a major factor. Did the holster fail to release because Grebner fouled the draw...or because the release malfunctioned? Probably the former, but we really have no way of knowing. The fact stands that it was involved.

If drawing and reholstering the 1911 was that inherently dangerous, it would likely have disappeared long ago...but many hundreds of thousands of people have drawn and reholstered the pistol without incident.

As I recall, Grebner stated that he pressed the holster release with his right index finger and continued to hold finger pressure during the draw. Then as the gun left the holster his finger slipped onto the trigger, firing the gun.

460Kodiak
October 12, 2012, 10:52 AM
Dicipline and practice........

Accidents will still happen. Muzzle direction, focus, and treating every gun as if it were loaded are key aspects of being around guns. Gun model and caliber don't really matter in this regard, unless the integrity and quality of the gun is in question.

Every type of handgun can be carried safely, or unsafely. Take the time to figure out the best carry method [U]for you[U] that will reduce the chance of accidents. This means proper holster, chambered or unchambered, revolver or semi, location on the body for carry, circumstances of carry....... These things can change depending on the situation.

One other item to consider: Everybody has their own quirks, ticks, and habits. I think a lot of people ignore this factor when choosing a gun and carry method. Think about your own habits, and if you know you have a tendency or habit that may create an unsafe situation based on how you carry, then think about changing your carry method. If you can't get around that concern by carrying different, then maybe a change in weapon is needed.

Keep practicing, stay safe, and remember that 1911's have been carried for defense for 101 years. If you look at how many ND's there have been in that time frame, and how many ND's that resulted in an injury as compared to say "the number of carry days" in total, I'd bet the statistics would reflect that 1911's are very safe. Three safety mechanisns (counting the trigger), even when carried cocked and locked versus only one on other guns..... that kind of speaks for itself.

I'm glad no one got hurt OP. Don't beat yourself up over it. Accidents happen. Just learn from it and don't do it again.

Queen_of_Thunder
October 12, 2012, 11:14 AM
Personally I will not manually lower the hammer on a gun with a round in the chamber. I see it as an unnecessary risk and an accident waiting to happen. While my HK45 has a decocker I dont trust it. Yes as I've been told time and again its safe to do it but I just dont feel comfortable allowing the hammer to drop on a chambered round if I'm not actually in the process of shooting the firearm. Decocking or manually lowering the hammer on a chambered round is something I wont do. Yes you may say its silly but its just how I feel about things. That said the weekend is coming up so have a fun and safe weekend folks. I will as I have a pistol match Saturday and a Trap match on Sunday so I will be one happy camper.:D

Kleanbore
October 12, 2012, 11:36 AM
Posted by Queen_of_Thunder: Personally I will not manually lower the hammer on a gun with a round in the chamber. I see it as an unnecessary risk and an accident waiting to happen. That's generally pretty good advice, but if one is in the field with a Marlin or Winchester lever action rifle without one of the new safeties, an old hammer-type slide action rifle, or a Winchester Model 97 shotgun, it would seem prudent to lower the hammer when one is not about to shoot.

Also, it may be necessary to lower the hammer on a DA revolver at the range.

One must exercise extreme care.

awfulkanawful
October 12, 2012, 08:28 PM
I wouldnt recommend a .45 as a very good bear stopping round ! Hes still sitting on the bed waiting to attack......with a silly grin on his face .

JayDT
October 13, 2012, 07:00 PM
Thanks to all of you on the High Road. My hands are steady now. First ND this afternoon (1911). Got lazy/forgetful after cleaning and lubing my pistol. Nice hole in the basement wall and yes it was very loud. Ears aren't ringing any more. Thanked God many times. I didn't keep the full magazine in the other room and I absentmindedly inserted the mag and racked the slide. Next thing-- BOOM! God does look after idiots.
Thanks for my confession. A lesson learned that I hope to never forget (or repeat).

Kiln
October 14, 2012, 05:18 PM
At least we know that the .45acp is adequate for defense against bear of the stuffed variety.

In all seriousness though I'm glad nobody got hurt. I'm sure you'll be much more careful in the future.

CommanderCrusty
November 8, 2012, 04:21 PM
Lots of good answers here. Here is how I handle a 1911.


I carry it cocked and locked. When I draw the weapon, or perform routine handling, I get a good grip on the handle, lock my finger into that spot where the trigger guard meets the frame and push my thumb UP into the underside of the safety lever.
If I'm pointing the gun at something, anything, that I haven't decided to shoot, my finger is outside the trigger guard and my thumb is pushed UP against the bottom of the safety.
If I ever have to hold someone at gunpoint, or move with the gun out in a public place or at a match, I hold the gun with my finger out of the trigger guard and my thumb pushed up against the bottom of the safety.


If I need to or choose to fire the weapon, I push the safety down and put my finger on the trigger. There is plenty of time to do that while bringing the gun on target. If I were to hold someone at gun point, I can take off the safety and put my finger on the trigger in about the same time it would take me to just put my finger on the trigger. I gain a considerable amount of safety and confidence in handling the weapon, and loose virtually NOTHING in terms of speed. Try it yourself at the range and see if it works for you.

Mello
November 11, 2012, 09:59 PM
awfulkanawful
my finger and thumb slipped !

Im beginning to think maybe cocked and locked would actually be much safer as lowering the hammer on a chambered round just may be asking for trouble at some point even if its been done millions of times ?
Glad you did not have your thumb ripped open or off.

Your experience should illustrate why many chose not to carry a 1911 in condition two; as it requires the lowering of the hammer on a live round. Sometimes we make mistakes or our nerves do not function in a optimal manner . . . oops!

I have been carrying a 1911 in condition one for the last thirty years. No negligent discharges . . . . . yet (knock on wood). That is pretty close to 100,000 hours of carry and tens of thousands of round of practice. Safe enough?

TonyT
November 11, 2012, 10:37 PM
I shoot 1911's in competition in 9mm, 40 S&W and 45ACP but I would never carry one for self defense. For that I want a pistol wthout any external hammers or safeties.

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