1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

M1a Safety, how to use

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Lucky, Mar 9, 2009.

  1. Lucky

    Lucky Well-Known Member

    Thinking of taking a rifle class this summer. Last time I took an AR class we had to engage safety every time the muzzle went down, and if we moved and weren't shooting. So basically the thumb never left the safety, and it was very quick and natural - rifle goes up safety comes off, and vice versa.

    Is there any way to use the safety on an M1a/M14/Garand similarly? Do you use the trigger finger of shooting hand? Push with tip of the finger or flick with back of finger-nail? Or do you use the right-hand thumb? How do you do it?

    Currently the safety is stiff, unless new info comes along I'm going to polish it until it's light enough to flick off.
  2. wayne in boca

    wayne in boca Well-Known Member

    Flip safety off with back of trigger finger at first knuckle,engage with pad of trigger finger.I would not recommend altering the safety on an M1A.Trying to make it into an AR15 is not going to work,and could result in an unsafe weapon.
  3. madcratebuilder

    madcratebuilder Well-Known Member

    +1 on wayne's statement. M1A and AR are totally different designs. If you have a stiff spot or a catch you could work that out, but it well take more force than a AR.
  4. nbkky71

    nbkky71 Well-Known Member

    Here's a link showing pictures with the safety engaged/disengaged. As with the AR15, you can't engage the safety until the hammer is cocked.


    Don't go overboard polishing anything in the trigger group! The safety does require positive effort to manipulate and shouldn't be loose or super-slick
  5. Lucky

    Lucky Well-Known Member

    Maybe the M1a can simply not be used the same way as an AR15? Sure is different to have to put finger inside trigger guard to disengage safety.
  6. SimpleIsGood229

    SimpleIsGood229 Well-Known Member

    In my limited experience shooting a Mini-14 (same safety --and everything else-- as a Garand), I've used the back/outside of my trigger to disengage the safety. It works quite well. In my opinion, this safety is actually a pretty good setup.
  7. CapnMac

    CapnMac Well-Known Member

    Well, there is a QED in there. M1A & Garand are middling unique in having exactly the same safety. M1 Carbine, M-1903, M-1 Thommy, Reising, Johnson rifles all have different safeties, and actions for using them.

    Well, in the case of the M1/M1A, we presume you are only placing the safety off in a situation where you are able/intend to shoot. Finger near trigger seems apt in that case.
    Always seemed natural to me, you can hook the index finger around the front of the TG until ready to shoot. Or, perhaps it's my time with selector switches with multiple positions.
  8. Polar Express

    Polar Express Well-Known Member

    Mine is brand new, and I'll have to admit, the location is pretty convenient, but the amount of force req'd to dis-engage the safety is pretty high, when you are using the 'weak' motion of extending your index finger. I don't mind the force required to remove the safety, and I don't mind the location and method of activating and deactivating the safety, but I'm not a big fan (so far) of the combination.

    I have been wondering about the method/feasibility of 'massaging' the safety action so it's a little less force req'd to deactivate it. If you are carrying your weapon in condition one, then wouldn't it be a good thing to be able to remove the safety quickly and easily?

    I'd love to see/hear more ideas and attitudes on this please.
  9. lipadj46

    lipadj46 Well-Known Member

    Just keep using it and it will loosen up. Honestly though it is not that bad you just have to get used to it if you have never shot a garand or M14 before.
  10. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Take the trigger housing out, figure out where the friction points are, and put some good grease on them.

    Then use it.

    As noted it will get much better, and instinctive after you use it a while.

    IMO: The Garand type safety is a fast as it gets on a combat rifle.

  11. Lucky

    Lucky Well-Known Member

    I'll keep at it, see if I can keep up with AR15s later.
  12. Coronach

    Coronach Moderator Emeritus

    I don't see how it could be faster than an AR's safety. One may well be able to make the argument that it's not significantly slower, at least on the "off" stroke, but I don't think it's faster. Re-engaging it is not as fast, period. This does not present issues in range use, and may not in combat (don't know), but it would be less than ideal for LE use, as we do a lot of safety-off, safety-on type work. I would not want to use a M14 or Garand style safety for that.

  13. Lucky

    Lucky Well-Known Member

    I'm trying this knuckle thing, and it's more positive than using the tip of my finger as before. But there's still no comparison to the AR safety, which is perfect.
  14. lej

    lej Active Member

    Totally agree with mike, we used mini 14's at one stage (very briefly) but the safety's are a pain, especially if your wearing gloves. i had my guys using the thumb on their master hand to disengage the safety which is slow and takes away from the shooting grip -less than ideal to say the lest, but the result of triping, falling, colliding with a door frame etc as you disengage the safety with your finger inside the trigger guard could be a disaster. This in addition to suffering effects of body alarm reaction in a human conflict situation such as muscle tensing or inter limb reaction are amoung numberious reasons i can think of not to place your trigger finger inside the trigger guard without the specific and only intention to engage the trigger.
    Not as much of a issue if your pointing it towards the enemy in a military setting, but really bad from a LE perspective.

    Fingers do not go inside the trigger guard until you have clearly identified your target and its surroundings and have made a conscious decision to fire after a valid threat assessment.

    My oppinion only , im sure the m1 family of weapons are and have been supperb military rifles, but i dont believe that they make good LE weapons for this reason.

    We use AR's and HK's now.

    Apart from the LE side of things i really like the M1a design
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2009
  15. Lucky

    Lucky Well-Known Member

    ...and a couple times in practice I put finger behind trigger and tried to push it off.

Share This Page