CCW - Do you use the safety?


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Guy de Loimbard
December 3, 2012, 02:09 PM
I am curious on the viewpoints of other people who CCW. My wife's aunt thinks I am some kind of a nutcase for not having the safety on when I carry a gun (At the time, I was carrying a P64 with stock springs - it has something like a 22lb DA trigger pull). I am not trying to "prove" myself to anybody, but I think this would be a good chance to explain that not all guns are created equal - some have safeties, some have decockers, some have neither, and out of those which have safeties, not all of them work the same way.

I am pretty young but have had been exercising my right to carry for a few years now and I have pretty much settled on developing a carry method (if you can call it that) around the gun, as much as you would buy a holster for each different gun you would carry.

I thought I would share some of the different guns I carry and how I have done so:
P64 - This gun is a DA/SA semi-auto. Hammer down, safety off. The safety is the same as the decocker-safety on the Walther PPK. This gun has a 22lb. DA trigger pull.
CZ-82 This is also a DA/SA semi-auto, but it does not decock when you apply the safety. I also carry this with the hammer down and safety off. On this gun you can't apply the safety with the hammer down. I have in the past carried cocked and locked, but decided at some point I liked hammer down, safety off better with this particular gun.
1911 - Cocked and locked. "nuff said.

I have also carried revolvers, which for the most part don't have safeties (none of mine do).

Some guns I just would not carry in the first place - I have a Tokarev (with the goofy import safety) that I won't carry.

Does anyone else carry certain guns in one condition and certain guns in another condition, or am I just plane crazy?

On a side note, after I took my wife and her cousins shooting, her aunt expressed that she wanted to go shooting sometime. Hopefully, I will be able to use that opportunity as an educational one.

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rcmodel
December 3, 2012, 02:16 PM
I carry SA autos like the 1911, Colt Woodsman, S&W Model 41, etc., safety On.

I carry DA autos like S&W, & Walther safety Off.

I carry my SIG's hammer down de-cocked, as they don't have safetys in the first place.

Thats how they were all designed to be carried.

rc

Skribs
December 3, 2012, 02:18 PM
It really depends on what you carry as to whether or not you should have the safety on. General rule of thumb - DA, no safety needed. SA, safety needed. SFA, they usually have passive safeties; I shy away from SFA pistols with the addition of a manual safety. DA/SA, depends on which mode you carry in.

If your pistol has a 22 lb trigger pull, that is way over the limit where I'd say manual safety is not required. I'd place that limit around 6 pounds or so with no trigger safety.

ETA: Personally, I carry striker-fired pistols with about 5-6 lb. trigger pull, with only passive safeties (such as trigger and possibly grip safety).

M-Cameron
December 3, 2012, 02:20 PM
I am curious on the viewpoints of other people who CCW. My wife's aunt thinks I am some kind of a nutcase for not having the safety on when I carry a gun (At the time, I was carrying a P64 with stock springs - it has something like a 22lb DA trigger pull). I am not trying to "prove" myself to anybody, but I think this would be a good chance to explain that not all guns are created equal - some have safeties, some have decockers, some have neither, and out of those which have safeties, not all of them work the same way.

i also have a P64 and i ALWAYS carry with the safety ON.

even though its a heavy trigger pull, and pulling it by accident is likely not going to happen......it is a hammer fired gun,you dont have to pull the trigger for it to go off.

if you drop your gun, you run a good chance of setting a round off.....

also,if your coat/shirt/ ect. gets hung up on the hammer, it can pull it back slightly where it can fire a round if the hammer drops.

or you can also accidently cock the hammer while carrying it....in which case you are carrying a gun cocked and locked with a <3lbs trigger pull...with no safety.

when you carry with the safety on, the firing pin is shrouded, and the trigger is disconnected, which means the gun CANNOT fire.

jmace57
December 3, 2012, 02:21 PM
I carry my da/sa loaded with the hammer down and the safety on. But, i'm a "belt and suspenders" type.

PRM
December 3, 2012, 02:24 PM
I have also carried revolvers, which for the most part don't have safeties (none of mine do). :what:

:-)


Keep your booger hook off the bang switch until your ready to shoot...

MCgunner
December 3, 2012, 02:38 PM
What safety? No, on my DA Radom. My DAOs and decocker and revolvers have no manual safeties. Just tell her that, most defensive guns don't even have a safety. Of course, If I carried an SA gun, I'd have the safety on condition one.

Godsgunman
December 3, 2012, 02:49 PM
Basically depends on what I'm carrying. My CZ Rami has no safety so I carry it hammer down (well has the hammer block system). My S&W 6904 I'll usually carry with the slide safety on, its pretty fast and easy to flick off as I draw. The only safety I really trust is my finger.

Centurian22
December 3, 2012, 02:59 PM
I had the same.... Discussion... with my wife. I carry a SA/DA Walther, and due to the safety being "backwards" (flip up for fire, down for safe) I carry loaded in chamber, hammer down, safety off. My reasoning: The DA trigger pull is plenty safe (I haven't measured) and I had trouble with the safety at the range when I had all the time in the world so I won't risk that in a bad situation. My wife thinks as your wife's aunt does.

As to the "hammer could get caught and drop" idea: I was concerned with this as well but the pistol actually has a 'half cock' position and after many many attempts I was not able to cause the hammer to drop with any significant force. This has made me even more confident in my choices than I already was.

Interesting to see all different views on this topic.

beatledog7
December 3, 2012, 03:00 PM
My CCWs don't have external safeties. I'm a one switch = bang sort of guy.

I have a couple of DS/SA guns that I might roll into my CCW rotation. Both have a decocker that allows me to chamber a round, decock, and then move that decock lever back to "fire," creating a DA first shot. So still, one switch = bang.

mooner
December 3, 2012, 03:02 PM
Only handguns I have with a safety are single action so - safety on. I think if I carried a double action or striker action with a safety I would carry with safety on. The reason for this is so flicking the safety off would become part of draw in case it was inadvertently switched on at some point.

rcmodel
December 3, 2012, 03:19 PM
Most SA/DA safety's are slide mounted and are very difficult to operate during the draw because they work backward from a intuitive downward swipe of the thumb to disengage them.

rc

3twelves
December 3, 2012, 03:22 PM
M&P with no safeties, my finger is the safety.

Fixed Sight Training
December 3, 2012, 03:35 PM
With a slide mounted safety I recommend condition 2 which chambered, hammer down and safety off.

If you aren't comfortable carrying with the safety off I recommend Condition 3or full mag but no round in the chamber. I can draw and rack the slide much faster than I can draw and try to disengage a slide mounted safety.

I personally don't think you have to worry about accidently pulling a 22lb trigger.

oneounceload
December 3, 2012, 03:37 PM
My CCW guns don't have safeties

bikerdoc
December 3, 2012, 03:49 PM
My aunt minds her own business and carries a bible.

USAF_Vet
December 3, 2012, 03:50 PM
DA/SA S&W. external slide mounted safety/ decocker. I keep one in the chamber, hammer down, safety off. The DA pull is pretty heavy, and that is safe enough while the gun is under my control.

JEB
December 3, 2012, 04:09 PM
only one of my carry guns has a safety at all; its my ruger sr40c and i carry it with the safety off.

TAKtical
December 3, 2012, 04:13 PM
Yes. I carry a glock and my safety (AKA trigger finger) hasnt failed me yet.

WardenWolf
December 3, 2012, 04:34 PM
It depends on the gun. If a gun has a pull-down-to-fire safety, I'll generally use it. If it has a push-up safety, I won't. Push safeties are virtually impossible to use one-handed under stress. They simply take too much time and effort to operate. I would not carry a gun that could not be carried safely with the safety off, if the safety is the push kind.

psyopspec
December 3, 2012, 04:35 PM
In the past while carrying DA/SA, I carried decocked/safety off but only after I knew the pistol well enough to be convinced that it would not go off without the trigger being pulled (USP, 92FS).

Blackstone
December 3, 2012, 04:36 PM
Push down safety, or decocked if it's a sa/da pistol

smalls
December 3, 2012, 04:42 PM
I wouldn't have a problem carrying my 1911 with the safety off, but I've trained and ingrained it into my brain to flick it off, do it is up.

buck460XVR
December 3, 2012, 04:44 PM
The 1911 is cocked and locked.

The S&W 637's DA trigger is all the safety one needs.

MedWheeler
December 3, 2012, 05:23 PM
I don't have any carry guns that have a single-action-only trigger. My three most-frequently carried guns are two Kel-Tec (9mm and .32ACP) weapons that do not have manual safeties, and a Bersa Thunder .380 that does. That Bersa, when carried, or even stored "at-the-ready" at home, is done so with the hammer at rest on a loaded chamber, and the safety off.

hardluk1
December 3, 2012, 07:47 PM
I carry kahrs , no external saftey , nothing to fiddle with , chamber and ready to go.

Shawn Dodson
December 3, 2012, 08:25 PM
Here's what I recommend:

If the pistol is equipped with a manual safety - use it. This requires you to always disengage it when you've made the decision to shoot. It is a positive action that ensures the pistol is ready to fire when you press the trigger.

Whereas if you carry it with the manual safety disengaged and, for some reason it's engaged when you draw it, then it won't fire when you press the trigger. In carrying it with the manual safety disengaged you've conditioned yourself to expect it to always be in that position. Beware Mr. Murphy. When reality doesn't match your expectations your OODA Loop resets and you will fall behind your adversary. You'll draw and press the trigger and nothing will happen. If you've trained to immediately perform tap/rack, it won't get the gun running. Then you'll have to stop and figure out "what's wrong".

beatledog7
December 3, 2012, 08:40 PM
When reality doesn't match your expectations your OODA Loop resets and you will fall behind your adversary.

That is why I'm a one switch = bang CCWer. I understand that training oneself to respond correctly is critical, but if I can remove a non value-added step, why would I not?

KCSemiAutoBob
December 3, 2012, 09:17 PM
Modern holsters cover the trigger; I have found my 1911 cocked and safety-off several times. The thumb safety is added security against an unwanted discharge. Many firearms depend solely on the best safety- the one between your ears. Many unwanted discharges occur while re-holstering. Oopa!

Ehtereon11B
December 3, 2012, 09:24 PM
Depends on the weapon. Ruger SR9c has a thumb safety and I use it while carrying since the trigger is more or less a single action trigger in terms of weight.

1911, safety on. No surprise there.

P94 has a safety but I don't carry with it on. DA/SA pistol that has a traditional long and heavy DA weight.

Ole Coot
December 3, 2012, 09:29 PM
I don't care for manual safeties. I'm left handed, learned to shoot over 60yrs ago and never felt I needed one on a DA revolver then and with the heavy factory triggers they would only give me something to search for on my carry Glock or Ruger LC9. No problem with ARs either, never issued a left handed anything.

Black Knight
December 3, 2012, 10:00 PM
With over 30 years of carrying a gun professionally the only pistol I have carried with the safety on is my Colt 1911. Every other pistol I have is DA/SA so ther is no need to carry with the safety on. I have also carried my share of revolvers both DA and SA so ther is no manual safeties on them. If she thinks you're nuts she probably would try to have me commited.

Pismopal
December 3, 2012, 10:31 PM
I usually don't use a holster because of my lifestyle. I walk out the door for a trip..local or otherwise I just put the LC9 in my waist band and because the trigger is exposed...yes the trigger travel is long but also a little on the light side, I use the safety. The objection to a manual safety goes over my head but then again so does the devotion to technology from the turn of the century. I also carrried a 1911 on duty so the safety is very natural and not a burden except for my doubts about whether the thing would work in a pinch. Actually I think my manhood is still intact with a pistol that has a manual safety

Reefinmike
December 3, 2012, 11:46 PM
The only safety I use on all my guns is my right index finger. It never goes in the trigger gaurd unless im ready to pull the trigger. Ive seen what manual safeties can do to many newer shooters- "get your finger off that trigger" - "settle down, the safety is on, its empty". Relying on safeties causes complacency in some shooters and they disregard many safety rules.

That being said, I dont know if I could every trust carrying a SAO like a 1911 or a striker fire... I dont know why, I just cant trust em'. I like to see a hammer down before i'll carry it. I usually carry a TCP 380, DAO but sometimes i'll carry a 357 snub. Im looking to get a 1911 soon, but im pretty darn sure it will be a range gun, never carried.

Onward Allusion
December 4, 2012, 12:43 AM
I don't believe in or rely on mechanical safeties on firearms. I only own DA revolvers with heavy triggers, traditional DA hammer fired pistols, true DAO only hammer fired, partial reset DAO hammer fired, & partial reset striker fired (Glock & Sigma). If I carry any of them, they are in a holster. Some have manual safeties, but I don't engage them. The safety is the one between the ears along with my trigger finger. Old school, I guess.

David E
December 4, 2012, 12:54 AM
On a side note, the aunt expressed that she wanted to go shooting sometime. Hopefully, I will be able to use that opportunity as an educational one.

Have her pull the trigger on that P-64. That'll calm her fears about it going off accidentally. It's difficult enough to make it fire on purpose.

otasan56
December 4, 2012, 08:43 AM
I carry a Glock 17 24/7. It is a great pistol. See my next post.

otasan56
December 4, 2012, 08:45 AM
I carry a G17 24/7. I have a home-made safety for it, and it works fine. It is a one-inch ring with a pin on it that inserts to the left of the barrel hood, and it holds the slide open by a few millimeters. To pull it out, just insert your finger into the ring and pull the pin out; the slide closes and the Glock is in Condition Zero. Just pull the trigger and BOOM. PM me if you are interested.

pockets
December 4, 2012, 09:52 AM
I rarely carry a gun that even has an external safety.
My primary carry pistols are DAO, hammer-fired, without an extremal safety lever.
.

Steve C
December 4, 2012, 03:23 PM
For CCW I generally carry double action guns, Glock 19, P3AT, Walther PPK, S&W 10 or Colt DS. Most don't have a manual safety and the one that does is carried round chambered, hammer down and safety off. When I did carry a 1911 it was cocked and locked.

Skribs
December 4, 2012, 03:33 PM
The only safety I use on all my guns is my right index finger.

See, whereas I use my left.

That is why I'm a one switch = bang CCWer. I understand that training oneself to respond correctly is critical, but if I can remove a non value-added a step, why would I not?

Yep, KISS principle.

aHFo3
December 4, 2012, 03:49 PM
My aunt doesn't use the internal lock safety on her S&W 340. I don't think she even knows where the key is located :)

I recently added a 1911 to my CCW rotation. I carry it cocked and locked. My other CCW's are revolvers.

It sounds like the OP has made a well thought and personally tested decision.

NavyLCDR
December 4, 2012, 04:05 PM
Taurus PT-145 Millenium Pro - Safety Off.

mavracer
December 4, 2012, 05:07 PM
I have quite a few different guns that have different MOAs, but I've made sure I don't have any conflicts.
If the pistol is equipped with a manual safety - use it. This requires you to always disengage it when you've made the decision to shoot. It is a positive action that ensures the pistol is ready to fire when you press the trigger.
I would agree, I would make the exception for a CZ DA/SA where the gun can be carried hammer down for a DA first shot and in this condition the safety can not be engaged. I've conditioned myself to sweep the safety on my draw, so even if I do carry my CZs DA I invaribly sweep over it.

TrueTexan
December 4, 2012, 05:24 PM
1911 cocked and locked
P220 decoked
Revolvers hammer down
My S&W MP fom 1942 if I did carry would be with chamber empty under hammer.

KSDeputy
December 4, 2012, 05:46 PM
I never carry a semi-auto with the safety on, that can get you killed fast.

David E
December 4, 2012, 07:15 PM
I never carry a semi-auto with the safety on, that can get you killed fast.

Not learning how to take the safety off is what can get you killed fast.

allaroundhunter
December 4, 2012, 07:26 PM
With a slide mounted safety I recommend condition 2 which chambered, hammer down and safety off.

The problem with using the condition codes when referencing anything other than a SAO auto is that they are misleading. Cooper originally stated those condition codes as methods to carry the 1911. That means that in condition 2, if the trigger is pulled the gun will not discharge as the hammer must be manually cocked before it will fire.

What you are describing as "condition 2" would actually be considered "condition zero" by Cooper (and many instructors today).

k_dawg
December 4, 2012, 07:38 PM
The safety that matters is your brain.

Make sure it is properly engaged at all times.

AFDavis11
December 4, 2012, 07:44 PM
No, have one, don't typically use it.

420Stainless
December 4, 2012, 08:25 PM
If it has a safety, I use it. If it doesn't, I don't. My Kahr doesn't and it is what I carry most of the time. When I carry my 1911 or PPK/s, I use the safety. If the Kahr had a safety I would use it. I like safeties, but sometimes the virtues of other features override that preference.

Ehtereon11B
December 4, 2012, 10:51 PM
It depends quiet a bit on the trigger too. On a DA/SA pistol the manual safety isn't much needed. But on a 1911 or SA AMT, you want that safety on. The AMT actually has TWO positive safeties: grip & a thumb safety.

Having/using a safety doesn't cause complacency. That method of thinking is old and antiquated. America's favorite rifle: AR15 has a safety. Most people carry with that safety on. Most bolt action rifles have a thumb safety on the bolt, most people use that. Safeties just add to the manual of arms for a weapon. A safety never makes a weapon "safe" only "safer." None of us here will load up a 1911, cocked with the safety on, waving it around saying "Don't worry everyone, the safety is ON!" That is an accident waiting to happen. The rules are the primary safety, with whatever bell/whistle/mechanic on the weapon as secondary safety.

hso
December 4, 2012, 11:00 PM
Since I don't own any decockers the don't enter into my thinking, but everything I carry is treated as if it has a round in the chamber with the safety on and requiring to be swept off.

By doing so I default to one set of movements that I don't have to think about.

I always sweep the safety after the firearm comes out of the holster, whether there's a safety or not, DA or SA or not. You're not going to remember to change your draw stroke details when your frightened out of your mind for you or someone else's safety so always carry what you've trained to do and keep the variations of that training to a minimum.

orionengnr
December 4, 2012, 11:35 PM
Some guns I just would not carry in the first place
Yep...and anything with a 22-lb trigger pull falls squarely in that category. :)

Lawdawg45
December 6, 2012, 09:03 AM
A 1911 in condition 1 warrants a safety. Modern striker fired ones like the Ruger SR line, it's idiotic and unnecessary........in my opinion.;)

LD

just for fun
December 6, 2012, 03:17 PM
Own one auto that does not have a safety. Would never concider carring it untill I installed a NY 2 triger spring. Now trigger pull is what you would expect on a double action revolver, aproximately 12lbs. AD's and glock leg is what these guns are best known for. Well that and "prefection" if you drink the Kool Aid.
Daily carry is a Smith snub.

NavyLCDR
December 6, 2012, 08:38 PM
Own one auto that does not have a safety. Would never concider carring it untill I installed a NY 2 triger spring. Now trigger pull is what you would expect on a double action revolver, aproximately 12lbs. AD's and glock leg is what these guns are best known for. Well that and "prefection" if you drink the Kool Aid.
Daily carry is a Smith snub.

AD's? You mean the guns go off without the trigger being pulled all the way to the rear? That is scary....

orionengnr
December 6, 2012, 08:47 PM
A 1911 in condition 1 warrants a safety.
Actually...If the thumb safety on a 1911 is not engaged, it is, by definition, not in condition 1...

Ala Dan
December 6, 2012, 08:54 PM
YES 1911 safety on~!

guyfromohio
December 6, 2012, 08:59 PM
Carry Rotation:

Primary - Sig 239 carried as designed ...chambered and decocked
Secondary- 642.... it be what it be
Occasionally- PPK... chambered, decocked, safety OFF

PPK safety is too stiff for purposeful use.

k_dawg
December 6, 2012, 09:12 PM
And ...

Browning did not design the firearm with a thumb safety. It was added upon request of the Army. And not for preventing a discharge. But rather, to 'lock' the slide while the calavary soldier was reholstering.

Teachu2
December 7, 2012, 12:07 PM
I'm in the process of transitioning from carrying 1911s to Glocks, and have decided to go exclusively with the Glocks - it sure simplifies things. Currently carrying a G30, just picked up a G26, and have a G36 on the way. So my answer was yes, now it's N/A....

mavracer
December 7, 2012, 12:27 PM
I always sweep the safety after the firearm comes out of the holster, whether there's a safety or not, DA or SA or not. You're not going to remember to change your draw stroke details when your frightened out of your mind for you or someone else's safety so always carry what you've trained to do and keep the variations of that training to a minimum.
IMHO this is the best practice if your going to rotate MOAs, It also serves to eliminate some MOAs from being acceptable. For myself safetys must go down to fire up for safe so most slide mounted safetys are out.

Rexster
December 7, 2012, 12:57 PM
I carry my 1911 with the thumb safety engaged. My other handguns are DAO autos, or revolvers, without safety levers. I learned handgunning with a 1911, and have never forgotten to engage the 1911 thumb safety as necessary.

I can only speculate whether I would reflexively engage a 1911 thumb safety, had I started with a different weapon system; I can be fairly clumsy and absent-minded. Notably, I did not carry a 1911 from mid-2002 to early 2012, just DA handguns and Glocks, but as soon as I tried the 1911 again, all was well with safety manipulation, immediately, for which I am grateful.

I did try a Third-Generation S&W auto, the 3913, in the 1990s, which has a safety lever that operates in the reverse direction, compared to a 1911, and while I never forgot the safety, I worried about it, and soon sold the 3913. I could carry it off-safe, but worried about actually thumbing it down while drawing, which would actually put it on safe when I needed it to fire.

mdauben
December 7, 2012, 01:38 PM
None of my SD guns have safeties (Glocks, Kahr, Revolvers) so I obviously don't use them. I prefer to keep my "manual of arms" as similar as possible bewteen SD guns. If I carried a SA semiauto like the 1911 or Hi-Power it would be Condition 1 with the safey engaged.

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