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Carrying Single Action with Hammer Down

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Drakejake, Apr 6, 2003.

  1. Drakejake

    Drakejake Well-Known Member

    I have a Star PD .45, a single action pistol with a strong manual safety. The safety can be applied with the hammer down or cocked. There is also a half-cock position. The safety cannot be applied with the hammer at half-cock. What about carrying this pistol with a round in the chamber, the hammer down, and the safety on? The gun cannot fire in this position. To fire the pistol one would have to drop the safety, cock the hammer, and pull the trigger. The advantage of this form of carrying is that the pistol is perfectly safe even though there is a round in the chamber, one doesn't lose a round by leaving the chamber empty, there is no hammer sticking out, and the hammer spring isn't under stress all the time. The disadvantages: you must manually decock the pistol with a round in the chamber (chance of AD) and the hammer must be manually cocked before the pistol can be fired (slows getting the first round off).

    Related question for those of you who carry a single action. Do you leave the pistol cocked and locked for days at a time, or do you unlaod the pistol every night?


  2. Edward429451

    Edward429451 member

    My SA 1911 has been cocked & locked for the better part of 18 years. Only really decock it for cleaning and such, then it get reloaded and C&L. I most certainly do not decock it at night.
  3. jem375

    jem375 Well-Known Member

    Carry it hammer down and forget about it........I carry mine hammer down all the time, and have yet to drop it on the hammer and have it go off period......the only reason the LEO's carried it that way was so they did not have to thumb back the hammer in a confrontation........this was brought up on another website and after a few arguments and articles, most of the guys carried it hammer down after that...........
  4. Drakejake

    Drakejake Well-Known Member

    Was that other site Firing Line?
  5. jem375

    jem375 Well-Known Member

    Actually I just looked it up.......this website April 1st......there are pros and cons about carrying in the cocked and locked condition, most of the worry was dropping the hammer when cocked and accidentally shooting the pistol, and the other was cocking the hammer in a hurry........
  6. Al Thompson

    Al Thompson Moderator Staff Member

    IMHO, the issue isn't safe or unsafe carrying, it's pulling the trigger to lower the hammer. One slip and you'll have a loud noise and a hole in something .
  7. Sean Smith

    Sean Smith Well-Known Member

    If you can't cope with carrying a single-action gun in a way that makes it actually useful in a fight (cocked & locked), then get rid of it and get a system that you feel comfortable using to its full potential. Meanwhile, people who have DA semi-autos always seem to be cocking the things, so they don't have to shoot the double-action gun they bought in... double-action mode...



    Rather than coming up with daft ways to use a perfectly good weapon, how about people get a weapon that is meant to work the way they want to use it? Maybe if the people in the "I want to cock my DA gun all the time" crowd swapped guns with the "I don't want to cock my SA gun" crowd, everyone would be happier? ;)
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2003
  8. Drakejake

    Drakejake Well-Known Member

    Sean, see my advice and comments in message in the thread on cocking the D.A. hammer in defensive situations. You may want to consider the possibility there are several reasonable viewpoints on some gun issues and that it may be useful to discuss the options.

  9. Handy

    Handy Guest

    If you can't safely use the other hand to lower a hammer safely, keep away from guns. It is not that tough.
  10. Gerald McDonald

    Gerald McDonald Well-Known Member

    I have no problem with cocked and locked. It stays that way until its cleaned or rotated out of use (I switch between an HP and a Kimber) and put back in the safe. Dont really notice the hammer sticking out anymore than the beavertail does. I really consider it safer to cock and lock than to try to cock the hammer if the poop were to hit the fan. Probably wouldnt be a problem if you were willing to train that way but I dont, so cock and lock for me.
  11. gremlin

    gremlin Active Member

    I'm afraid I sit squarely in the "if you aren't capable of safely lowering the hammer on a live round then you really shouldn't be carrying a handgun" crowd.

    As for carrying a 1911 with the trigger down, I do it frequently. The reason I choose to carry that way is impacted by the terrain. When I'm carrying a 1911 or a CZ-75B in the woods or out hiking, I'm fearful for my footing and that I could disengage the safety accidentally without being aware of it.

    It's just me being overly cautious, I'm sure. In thirty years of hiking and hunting, however, I have fallen or slipped or done something akward crossing a fence line about a thousand times.

    In thirty years of hiking and hunting, I have yet to be encountered by a coyote or fox or whatever that didn't afford me time to pull the hammer back--threats don't seem to be that imminent in the woods...
  12. Al Thompson

    Al Thompson Moderator Staff Member

    If you can't safely use the other hand to lower a hammer safely, keep away from guns.

    Hmmm.... Maybe it's just the instructor in me, but advising someone to violate a cardinal safety rule goes against my grain.

    Fine by me if you want to do it, but certainly not a great idea. Which other safety rules should we ignore? :confused:
  13. Handy

    Handy Guest

    Al, should all revolvers be discarded since they can't possibly meet your safety criteria? How do you recommend carrying a 30-30 on the hunt?

    What rule are we violating, anyway? No one is suggesting doing this with the gun pointed at the kids. I wouldn't use a Sig decocker unless there is a safe direction to point the weapon at, as well.

    And I'm not being cavalier about this. There is a right way and a wrong way to lower the hammer on all firearms. A 1911 is not unique. There is a safe procedure, and if it is followed there will be no accident. That is true of any firearms handling method, just like cocked and locked carry.
  14. Al Thompson

    Al Thompson Moderator Staff Member

    Safety rules..

    Jeff Cooper's Rules of Gun Safety





    Looks like a clear violation of rule III to me. Why drop the hammer on a loaded round when you have a safety?

    As regards the .30-30 - either engage the safety or drop the hammer to half cock with your weak side thumb between the hammer and firing pin.

    And yes, I know that jillons were made with no safety. So what - my first car didn't have a shoulder belt either. I haven't removed the ones in my current vehicle out either.
  15. Handy

    Handy Guest

    This is exactly what I advocate, and what the CZ manual says to do.

    Don't you think Rule 3 is about shooting, not carry prep? Glock takedown also violates this rule. Or can we just look at the sights while we do it?
  16. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Well-Known Member

    The M1911 was designed in the days when horse cavalry was a serious combat arm, and the pistol was a serious combat weapon.

    Now, what do you after a pistol attack, when your horse is excited and possibly wounded and in pain? Do you clear a cocked and loaded pistol one-handed while trying to control the horse with the other? Do you lower the hammer one-handed?

    No, you put the safety on and holster the pistol, and get the horse under control.

    I designed an IWB holster that keeps the safety on when the pistol is holstered. Go to http://paul.desertskyone.com/gunstuff.html and look for instructions for making my holster about 2/3s of the way down the page.
  17. Handy

    Handy Guest

    You're right Vern. I think we're talking about the normal, stress free prep for carry, rather than decocking in a tight spot.
  18. Gerald McDonald

    Gerald McDonald Well-Known Member

    When I need to decock its pretty simply. Drop the mag, slide the safety off, rack the slide to remove the live round, decock on an empty chamber. I really see no reason to decock on a loaded chamber when I have a safety. In years of carry I have never had a safety move to off.
    I edited this to add the only way I would carry hammer down would probably be on an empty chamber. If you train that way it would be as easy as cocking the hammer.
  19. samualt

    samualt Well-Known Member

    I think Vern Humphrey has nailed it on the head. The most imortant thing is to first get your horse under control. :D

    The 1911 was designed to operate and be handled a certain way. I will use it the way it was intended with it cocked-n-locked. It is the safest method. The only reason someone wouldn't use it that way is if they are simply scared of the way it looks in that mode. Carry it a few days cocked-n-locked and that fades away.
  20. jem375

    jem375 Well-Known Member

    I will still carry mine with the hammer down.......after many years of carrying it that way in the woods and etc, I still haven't shot myself and don't intend to........many demos show that you can hit the 1911 hammer in a vise with a big hammer and it still won't go off.............I would like to see the report of a 1911 dropped and it went off with the hammer down..........

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