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How safe are 1911's to carry cocked and locked?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Topgun121, Jan 2, 2009.

  1. Topgun121

    Topgun121 Active Member

    I see that most everyone on the board carries their 1911's cocked and locked. The reason I am asking of how safe they are, is that I just bought my first 1911, a Kimber, and in the manual it says to never carry it cocked, and never carry a round in the chamber. I realize for SD purposes that a round not in the chamber is in essence me carrying a brick. But as far as it being cocked, why would Kimber say not to do this? Is it really a safety issue, or is it just legal reasons for them having to state that?
  2. geronimo509

    geronimo509 Well-Known Member

    Use the search function, there are a million topics on this.
  3. orchidhunter

    orchidhunter member

    Topgun121, That is Kimber looking out for Kimber. It is as safe as you are, to carry a 1911 type pistol cocked and locked. orchidhunter
  4. exflatlander

    exflatlander Well-Known Member

    "why would Kimber say not to do this"

  5. General Geoff

    General Geoff Well-Known Member

    Cocked & locked, THREE separate actions must happen for the weapon to be discharged.

    1. The manual safety switch must be disengaged.
    2. The grip safety must be engaged.
    3. The trigger must be pulled.

    That seems pretty safe to me. Millions of others over the past 100 yards would probably agree.
  6. CrankyOldGuy

    CrankyOldGuy Well-Known Member

    I've never carried a 1911 any other way but condition 1.
    It is designed to be carried in this manner.
    Otherwise you have an awkward club.

    There is enough delay presenting from a holster, particularly if the presentation is from a concealed carry location. If you need to draw a handgun, someone is in imminent danger of grevious bodily injury, extra time may not be a luxury you can afford.

    You do need to learn and practice how to properly draw the 1911, and at what step to disengage the manual safety. (as well as how to re-engage and properly holster)

    As far as why Kimber says this, I've never seen any firearms manufacturer recommend a chambered round for carry. The lawyers win on this one. But common sense dictates otherwise.
  7. wtfd661

    wtfd661 Well-Known Member

    I always carry mine cocked and locked, in my opinion there is no other safer gun out there if you are going to carry for SD. As it has been said you have to disengage the thumb safety, grip it to disengage the grip safety, put your finger on the trigger, and then pull it before it will go off. Now you will find some people who argue against carrying a 1911 for those very same reasons, stating that it takes to many things to happen before you can shoot the gun and that is why they won't carry one and instead carry other configurations ie, DAO,DA/SA, etc. Go out and shoot the crap out of your new Kimber and become familiar and confident with it. If you can try to take a firearms course from a reputable trainer to further educate and become more proficient with your gun. Good luck to you.
  8. FoMoGo

    FoMoGo Well-Known Member

    The 1911 was actually designed WITHOUT a thumb safety.
    The thumb safety was added at the request of the cavalry.
    Cocked and locked didnt become popular till Jeff Cooper started advocating it.
    I carry mine C&L too tho. ;)

  9. dmazur

    dmazur Well-Known Member

    I have Colt Commanders from two different "generations" of manufacture. The first one is a "pre-80" and it came with an owner's manual that included instructions on how to detail-strip it. There is a caution, "When the pistol is loaded, do not allow the hammer to remain in the Safety (half cock) notch." There is a great explanation of how the 1911 works, including delayed blowback. There is nothing about modes of carry, and, while the various safeties are described, there is nothing describing when the Safety Lock (thumb safety) should be used.

    The second is a Series 80 Commander. Its manual is quite a bit different. There is no description on detail-stripping. In fact, the manual says, "Do not strip your pistol further than previously described." There is a new section, "Carrying Modes", that describes

    Mode 1: Magazine empty, chamber empty
    Mode 2: Magazine loaded, chamber empty, hammer down
    Mode 3: Magazine loaded, chamber loaded, hammer cocked, safety on

    Colt advises the owner to use Mode 2 (Condition 3) when carrying the pistol ready for use, and to use Mode 3 (Condition 1) when you must be prepared to use the pistol immediately without warning.

    I also like the repeated warning

    "Warning: When you squeeze the trigger, you must expect the gun to fire and you must take full responsibility for firing it. Your care can avoid accidental discharge, and you will thereby avoid accidental injury and death."

    So, yes, times have changed. The courts have forced the manufacturers to bend over backwards to try to make a product, and a user's manual, that is idiot-proof. It is not a reassuring development. If you don't follow the user's manual, you are afraid you are doing something wrong. What's worse, you might be afraid it will be used against you at some time in the future.

    Other than the addition of the firing pin safety, there is no functional difference between these two pistols. Yet look at the difference in the manuals!

    Do I carry both in Condition 1? Sure. Do I detail-strip both? Sure.

    (However, I am aware that the older Commander doesn't have a firing pin safety. I replaced its firing pin with a titanium one, duplicating what Springfield Armory did to get its 1911's to pass a drop test.)

    It's a shame to see common sense, useful information being replaced by "fear of litigation" nonsense.
  10. PcolaDawg

    PcolaDawg Well-Known Member

    Hey guys, I know this topic has probably been beat to death, but I'm a handgun noob and this has really helped. I was scared to carry my new Kimber cocked and locked. Meanwhile, I have no worry at all carrying my revolvers with a round in the chamber, even though they have no safety at all other than my trigger finger.

    So, even though many of you are repeating the obvious, and repeating things you've learned ages ago, it's helped me to see the obvious.

    So thanks. :)
  11. nalioth

    nalioth Well-Known Member

    The manual was written by lawyers.

    Welcome to the 21st Century.
  12. 1911shooter

    1911shooter Well-Known Member

    Its a safe as any other type of carry for pistols its the guy behind it that makes it dangerous. i carry a 1911 everyday, and i own a whole lot of them they are one of the finest no i'm sorry the finest fighting pistol ever made. the only reason the Kimber manual states to never ever carry with the hammer cocked and the chamber loaded is that the manual was written by lawyers. this way if you shoot your self they can say see we told them not to bo that. and they are safe from all liability. then again if you shoot your self with it you already broke one of the most impotant safty rules of all. keep your finger of the trigger till you are on target.
  13. rino451

    rino451 Well-Known Member

    Lawyers, and the undeveloped ego's of those who can't admit that they shot themselves and insist that it's the guns fault. I lump this group into the same group as the guy allegedly suing S&W for cutting his thumb off with his .500.:barf:
  14. Topgun121

    Topgun121 Active Member

    Thanks for the relpies. i realize the 'cocked and locked' issue has been debated, it is just the 'legal/instruction manual' part that got me thinking. If I were involved in a shooting, I would hate to be bastardized by the courts since my 'instruction manual' said never to carry that way, therefore, I am negligent or some bull.
  15. Deanimator

    Deanimator Well-Known Member

    That's the ONE thing that I've NEVER seen ANY evidence of, PERIOD.

    You can debate reloads for self-defense.
    You can debate hollowpoints for self-defense.
    You can debate trigger jobs for self-defense.

    I've NEVER even HEARD of cocked and locked being an issue.

    Of course if your firearm isn't in a state where it can be used for self-defense, you'll never be arrested or sued for using it. The guy who murders you might, though.
  16. SSN Vet

    SSN Vet Well-Known Member

    well if you can prevent yourself from doing the following three things ...

    1. depressing grip safety
    2. flipping off the thumb safety
    3. pulling the trigger
    4. pointing the firearm at something you don't want to shoot

    then it should be very safe.
  17. Elbert P . Suggins

    Elbert P . Suggins Well-Known Member

    After sliding one into the chamber do some if not all of you reload another round into the magazine or do you leave it at that? And does a full 1911 magazine under a full chamber cause any problems with the second round? And I have a SA GI.
  18. burningsquirrels

    burningsquirrels Well-Known Member

    millions for almost a hundred years agree - this is a cock n' lock pistol.

    is it safe? read above.

    that kimber manual is probably just for legal crap, before some hippie liberal or brady bunch carries it loaded, shoots self in foot, and sues kimber for not warning him so.
  19. brisendines

    brisendines Well-Known Member

    Been carried that way for 100 years, right? I share the opinion that the 1911 is one of the most safe pistols to carry out there. Plus, they're GORGEOUS!!!!
  20. ModificationVt

    ModificationVt Well-Known Member

    1. The manual safety switch must be disengaged.
    2. The grip safety must be engaged.
    3. The trigger must be pulled.

    Many people carry XD's that only require Grip safety and trigger pull to fire, and MANY people carry Glock that only requires trigger pull, and most of those end up with out incident. 1911 cocked and locked is safe.

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