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Carrying a 1911 without the safety on?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by CPshooter, Dec 25, 2008.

  1. CPshooter

    CPshooter Well-Known Member

    I've recently stepped into the world of 1911s, and with the purchase of an ultra carry II I am now going to be carrying one exclusively in place of my other guns. Carrying with a safety on is very comforting as far as accidental discharges go, but some will argue that a manual safety is a bad thing when crap hits the fan. I don't know how I feel yet, since I'm still transitioning into the 1911 platform. Then I started thinking, why is the manual safety even necessary?

    On a Glock (which I currently carry), if something pulls the trigger intentionally or even unintentionally, it will go boom without a doubt. A 1911 on the other hand won't go off unless you have the grip safety depressed. Why is the Springfield XD considered safe for carry with no manual safety and the 1911 isn't?

    Obviously 1911s have a shorter trigger pull being single-action and all, but doesn't the grip safety add a significant safety element to the design?

    Also, I realize that IF this was to be done, extreme caution would need to be taken when reholstering the gun.

    What do you guys think? (Sorry if this has been covered before, but hey, bandwidth isn't a real concern these days anyhow:))
  2. denfoote

    denfoote Well-Known Member

    JMB just spun!!

    You aren't insane are you??
    Cocked and Locked is the way the 1911 was designed to be carried!! :what:
  3. Kind of Blued

    Kind of Blued Well-Known Member

    The XD has a 5.5-7.7 lb. trigger pull. I believe it also requires more trigger travel for a discharge.

    Absolutely do NOT carry a 1911 with the thumb safety disengaged. Figure out the internals of the gun if you want a well-substantiated reason.

    Disengaging the thumb safety during the draw is (to me) extremely "natural" feeling. I've never failed to disengage it during a draw. That being said, I went through 500 rounds drawing while disengaging the safety, shooting a pair, and reholstering after re-engaging the safety.

    I'm sure you'll be able to get used to it, likely even to the point where you "swipe" your Glock when you draw should you practice with the 1911 enough. You might not even notice that you're doing it though.

    If you can't get used to dis-engaging the thumb safety, go back to the Glock, or something else. It's that important in my opinion.
  4. RON in PA

    RON in PA Well-Known Member

    Actually the 1911 was carried by the military with an empty chamber, condition 3.
  5. notorious

    notorious Well-Known Member

    Yep, military carries it condition 3 but the police do it in cocked and locked fashion.

    I wouldn't try it unlocked, but that's just me.
  6. AirForceShooter

    AirForceShooter Well-Known Member

    I've carried my 1911 for over 40 years in condition Zero.
    It's just like a Glock.
    Maybe even better. There are still 2 safety's. The grip and the trigger.

    In 1960 try finding an ambi safety. It's what I started witH and just stayed with.

    I've never considered it unsafe.

  7. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

    Myth. Browning designed the gun to give the user a choice in the mode of carry. According to military doctrine, Cocked and locked was doable "When action is iminent."

    The thumb safety wasn't even part of Browning's original prototype. It was added on request from the US cavalry just prior to the final design that went on to beat Savage's offering in a 6,000 round torture test.

    Here's a picture of the 1910 model that was examined by the Army Ordnance Board before the thumb safety was added.

  8. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Well-Known Member

    Also for the record, all of Browning's .38 pistols that preceeded the 1911, and well as all of the prototype .45's made from 1904 to 1910, and the Colt commercial model 1905 .45 pistol - didn't have manual safties - nor did they have grip safties. :eek:

    He didn't think they were necessary on a pistol that had an external hammer, but the Army did.

    From 1900 to after World War Two the common practice was to carry the Colt pistols (and most others) with the chamber empty and magazine loaded, or in the case of the 1911, with the hammer down on a loaded chamber. Cocked & locked carry didn't become popular until Jeff Cooper came along during the middle-late 1970's.

    These days, when cocked & locked carry is considered the only way to go, the safety lock/manual safety should be "on". There is plenty of time to push it off between the time the pistol is drawn, and when it it presented and pointed. The Old Fuff is aware that some people carry the piece with the manual safety off, but I don't think that they pick up any speed in getting the shot off, and they do take an unnecessary risk.
  9. Treo

    Treo member

    Which makes sense considering they were carrying it on the back of a half wild horse.

    My two cents to the thread, I personally don't carry my 1911 anymore in favor of a CZ75B in DA mode. I chose the Z ( or more accurately the mode I carry it in) because I don't trust myself to remember to swipe the safety ( If you do that's fine, I don't and I'm not going to bet my life on the difference) I would never consider carrying any weapon in SA with the safety disengaged, that only has to go wrong one time.

    My vote is W/ the guy that said either train yourself until you're confident W/the safety on the 1911 or go back to your GLOCK.
  10. Dr_2_B

    Dr_2_B Well-Known Member

    AFShooter, I'm actually shocked. Do you really carry it chamber loaded and without safety engaged? Scares me to death to think of it. I haven't ccw'd my 1911 because it has an ambi safety and I know that could be disengaged inadvertently. Do you know anyone else who does this? What make do you carry?
  11. FoMoGo

    FoMoGo Well-Known Member

    It isnt hard to train yourself to wipe the safety on the draw.
    Unload it, check to see that its unloaded... check again... look in the chamber... make sure the Mag is out... then practice your draw.
    Some wipe the safety on the draw, some wipe it on presentation.
    I honestly have to make a conscious effort to NOT wipe the safety when pulling the pistol from the holster.
    It becomes muscle memory and an automatic part of the draw.

  12. FoMoGo

    FoMoGo Well-Known Member

    Mine has the ambi safety also... and it is going away for a left side safety, due to the ease of accidentally disengaging it.
    However, I carry in a retention holster that covers the trigger... so it doesnt bother me THAT much.
    I would just rather be the one who makes the conscious decision on if the safety is on or not.
    A 1911 in condition zero, cocked and unlocked, is like a glock with a lighter trigger.
    I know it is not going to go off on its own, and I stay off the trigger till I am on target.

  13. Geno

    Geno Well-Known Member

    Sitting here, just returned from the gas station. I carried my Colt Commander .45 ACP, loaded, chambered, and the manual safety off. I carried my Glock 26 on my ankle as a back-up. So, which was more "safe"? Neither, it's the same, and both perfectly safe. I've never had an accident with any pistol, because I understand that fingers-off-triggers is the not only the best safety, it is the only true safety.
  14. possum

    possum Well-Known Member

    if you don't feel comfortable with the safety on the 1911, you need to train on that weapon system. I own a 1911, but i don't carry it, if i was to transition to the 1911, i would do alot of extensive training with it, to get to where knocking the saftey off is second nature and natural like it is on my ar when i shoot it.
  15. PO2Hammer

    PO2Hammer Well-Known Member


    Personaly, I think you're trying to yank our chains, I can't believe you would actually re-holster a 1911 with the safety off on purpose.
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2008
  16. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

    Repetition is the key. You do it until it becomes an autoresponse to placing your hand on the butt of the gun. I find that my thumb goes through the motions even when I'm handling a revolver...and if I unholster a 1911 to clear it, I have to make a conscious effort not to wipe it off until the gun is pointed in a completely safe direction and the magazine removed.

    As far as being safe in Condition Zero...The trigger is still blocked by the grip safety, so as long as the gun is holstered and your hand clear of it...it should be okay. As Treo noted...it was added in order to enable the mounted cavalryman to place the gun on-safe and reholster when on the back of an unruly or frightened horse. Incidentally, that's also why a slide-locking safety was required. It kept the slide from pushed out of battery during reholstering...and possibly not returning to battery under dusty or muddy field conditions.

    Like the much-maligned pinch check...it can be safely done if one gets control of the hammer, and remembers to keep the web of the hand clear of the grip safety. In that respect, it's safer than reholstering a Glock...which has no grip safety and no hammer to control. There are many activities which carry potential risk...but that risk can be negated or even neutralized if one is careful, and maintains focus on the task.
  17. MythBuster

    MythBuster member

    Once you get used to the 1911 system you are no more likely to forget to push the safety off as you are to pull the trigger.
  18. withdrawn34

    withdrawn34 Member.

    The XD has a grip safety, which is why it is considered "safer" than a Glock, despite still not having any external safeties (although some mdoels have thumb safeties).

    Both pistols are plenty safe though if you keep your finger out of the trigger. Both still have trigger safeties.
  19. Deanimator

    Deanimator Well-Known Member

  20. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator



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