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Safe to keep chambered?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by B yond, Sep 28, 2006.

  1. B yond

    B yond Well-Known Member

    Here's the deal:

    I'm looking to get a new auto-loader, but I want to be sure to get one that I can keep loaded and chambered safely. I'd like to be able to just flip off the safety and pull the trigger, but I don't want something where there's tension on the firing pin without some kind of second safety to keep it from going off should the sear fail.

    I've wanted a 1911-style pistol for awhile now but must admit that I don't know much about them. How does the grip safety prevent accidental discharges?

    I was told I should be looking for a Glock to meet my safety requirements. Someone told me there's a piece of metal that actually blocks the firing pin from striking the primer as a safety, is this true? I really don't like the look and feel of Glocks but if they're as safe as I've been told they are they just might win me over.

    I'm also open to suggestions of any other semi-auto pistols that are very safe to keep loaded and chambered.

    Thanks in advance guys!
  2. rich52us

    rich52us Well-Known Member

    Glocks are safe to carry with one in the chamber as long as you keep your finger out of the trigger guard until you are ready to fire the weapon (this rule applies to the safe handling of all firearms). You must also carry in a proper holster that covers the trigger guard and does not have straps that will go inside the trigger guard. Glocks are designed to be carried with one in the chamber and ready to fire.
  3. Wesker

    Wesker member

    Ask around and I'm sure 99% of us will agree its SAFER to carry with one in the pipe than not to.

    Scrap the Glock, get a Springfield XD. It has the same trigger safety but an added grip safety as well. Gun won't fire unless both are depressed.

    XD > GLOCK
  4. possum

    possum Well-Known Member

  5. ugaarguy

    ugaarguy Moderator Staff Member

    B yond, you'll have to get a 1911 expert to explain the technicalities of how the grip safety works, but I know it works. For a 1911 to fire when it's "cocked & locked" - round in the chamber, hammer back, thumb safety engaged - three things must happen. The thumb safety must be flipped off, the grip safety must be depressed, and the trigger must be pulled. 95 years of use have proven the system is safe. Glocks, no way it's gonna fire unless the trigger is pulled. Basically any modern firearm from a reputable manufacturer that's in proper operating condition will be safe to keep with a round in the chamber. None of them are going to fire until the trigger gets pulled.

    I hope that didn't sound like I was talking down to you. I want to make it clear that as newer shooter you raise a valid and honest concern. Luckily its a non issue on modern handguns. If you've always wanted a 1911 of some type you should go for it. You only live once so have fun while you're here. Keep asking questions and we'll answer to the best of our abilities. Enjoy your time here at THR and have fun pursuing your shooting hobby.
  6. Larryect

    Larryect Well-Known Member

    If I am not mistaken MOST modern handguns have a firing pin block. Not sure about 1911 styles. Sigs, Glocks, XD,s and I am sure many others.
  7. Bazooka Joe71

    Bazooka Joe71 Well-Known Member

    I only have one 1911, a series II kimber, and it has a Firing Pin Block.

    I would also definately say it is safe to carry cocked and locked.

    1911tuner will see this post soon enough...Then you'll get your detailed, over your head answer :)
  8. SigfanUSAF

    SigfanUSAF Well-Known Member

    OK, I'm not an expert, but the grip safety has an arm, if you will, that blocks rearward movement of the trigger bow. When you depress the grip safety, the arm is raised. All series 80 Colts, and Kimber, Sig, and S&W 1911 clones to name a few have the firing pin safety.
  9. B yond

    B yond Well-Known Member

    Thanks for all the info guys.

    I didn't take it that way at all, but I'm not exactly a new shooter. I just haven't had the funds to acquire a high-quality pistol yet and upon discovering how my Hi-Point (I know, I know:rolleyes: ) uses the firing pin as an ejector I've decided it's time to invest in a higher-quality pistol that I can keep chambered without having to worry about the pot metal sear breaking under stress or the gun going off when extracting a live round. Not that either of those things has happened, but the possibility is disconcerting.
  10. warmrain

    warmrain Well-Known Member

    Please don't carry a semi-auto for self defense without a chambered round. You will probably never have the chance to chamber that round. You will need two hands and precious time.

    Most modern auto-loaders have a firing pin safety to make the pistol safe if it is dropped.

    Single action pistols have a safety.

    Double action only (DAO) pistols don't need one any more than does a double action revolver...

    Double action pistols need a safety (or better) a decocker (e.g.Sig P229).

    Get some familiarization with the various options and a little training and I think you will come to this conclusion yourself.

    You really need to have someone experienced demonstate each action to you. For instance a Single Action (1911) may seem daunting at first, but once you see the operation you know it is safe. For example there is a:
    firing pin safety
    grip safety
    manual thumb safety

    Then there is the "safe action" Glock. It has:
    a trigger

    So get a knowledgable buddy or trainer to take you through the various actions and options. The NRA "Pistol" or "Home Firearms Safety" classes go through all of the actions of every pistol (the HFS class also does rifle and shotgun).
  11. Powder_Burn

    Powder_Burn Well-Known Member

    Definitely have to be careful when you are using a gun w/o a manual safety.

    Matter of fact, last year an off-duty officer in San Antonio was doing security work and was on "the can". He tried to catch Glock .40 falling from his waistband which resulted in 2 shots fired and 1 wounded man washing his hands in the sink. The city settled for $24k today.

    http://nl.newsbank.com/nl-search/we...expires=12/14/2015 11:59 PM&s_username=safree

  12. Cousin Mike

    Cousin Mike Well-Known Member

    Glad you've decided to upgrade, but I'd agree with the others that you could probably use a basic course or two. The fact of the matter is that all modern quality pistols that I'm aware of are safe to carry with a round chambered, provided that you are safe enough to keep your finger off the trigger (until you need to shoot it).

    There are a lot of different variations of safeties and safety systems. I prefer no manual safety on any of my pistols, others prefer their guns to have them. It's all personal preference and what you're comfortable with.
  13. ETXhiker

    ETXhiker Well-Known Member

    True that any well made pistol or revolver is safe if you keep your finger off of the trigger. I also agree that keeping an autoloader with an empty chamber is too slow in a crisis. If you want the safest, yet still quick to deploy method, choose a traditional SA/DA pistol like a S&W 6906, 4006, 3913, et al. With a round in the chamber but safety on, you merely flick the safety off and perform a long double action pull for the first shot. I dislike the transition between the long first shot trigger and the following single action for all subsequent shots, but it is a very safe system - no chance of an accidental discharge because the trigger dragged on something going into the holster.
  14. abarth

    abarth Well-Known Member

    If you want the safest way to carry in a autoloader, you should look into a DA/SA with a decocker, firing pin block and a manual safety. Here is how it works you rack the slide, which load one round in the chamber then you push on the decocker to put the hammer in the 1/4 cock position, then you push up on the safety which lock for sear. When you are ready to fire, all you have to do is to unlock the safety then pull the trigger. The disadvantage of the DA/SA is that the first pull in DA is heavy and long travel not great for accuracy, the second pull onward in SA is light and short. Pistols such as Sig 2xx, HK USP, some CZ 75, Beretta 92, Taurus, and many other have those features. Another option is DAK from Sig. It is a DAO has a lighter trigger pull but not as light as SA. But remember a gun is only as safe as the operator. If you handle your gun carefully, you will find most modern pistol are safe to carry with one in the chamber.
  15. MTMilitiaman

    MTMilitiaman Well-Known Member

    A Glock is a pistol. You are the one who is safe or not. The Glock has safeties built into it to prevent it from firing if it is dropped or jarred. But all of the safeties are disengaged at various stages of the trigger pull, so there is no external safety. If you want your pistol to babysit you, and you feel insecure without a lever or a button telling you that your pistol is safe, that is fine. But the pistol is never more safe than the person handling it.

    You can call the Glock the AK of the pistol world. Its entire concept is simplicity. It is simple to operate, a true point and click interface. It is simple to maintain. It strips down in seconds for basic maintence, and truth be told, isn't much more difficult to detail strip. This is because its operation is simple. It has only 33 total parts and most of them are interchangeable between other pistols of the same model. The Glock derives its reliability and durability from this fact. So you can claim that adding this or that gizmo makes a better pistol, but in truth, it just makes for a more complex pistol. If complexity determines how good a pistol is, then I am sure there is models much more complex, and therefore, better, than the XD. In the meantime, I really have to disagree that the XD is the better pistol.
  16. warmrain

    warmrain Well-Known Member

    Agreed that the stronger first DA pull of a DA pistol, followed by the light SA pull of the same pistol, can be a problem for some. It takes some training and range time to get the muscle memory set.

    As a civilian CCW permit holder, what we don't want to get into is a situation where we have stopped the threat with the first shot, but due to nerves, or andrenalin pumping or a loud noise or whatever... an accidental discharge occurs because you got your finger on a trigger much lighter than the one you just fired. The second shot may not be justified. And. if the first shot didn't kill someone and the second one did... well, you get the idea.

    Personally I like DAO pistols like the Glock because they have a consistant trigger pull, shot to shot.
  17. Mad Magyar

    Mad Magyar Well-Known Member

    "You will probably never have the chance to chamber that round. You will need two hands and precious time."
    I know you mean well, unfortunately data doesn't support this at all...If you study law enforcement gun fights, civilian as well, this is the least inconsequential in all the variables...:rolleyes:
    Don't want to hijack this thread..If you want further elaboration, you or I can start another thread....

    Warmrain, appreciate the replies...In order for me to elaborate might deviate from B yond's safety query, e.g. "tactics, equip, stats, etc."...Another time to agree or disagree....MM
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2006
  18. Manedwolf

    Manedwolf member

    Never heard of anyone AD'ing with an XD yet...

    Glocks? All the time. Dropped, badly holstered, wrong holster, fumbled and grabbed...especially the "bathroom stall fumble" that you hear about on the news all the time, (one just happened at a wal-mart near here).

    Sorry. I just think that empirical evidence of which design seems to have the most ADs supports the assertion that a grip safety IS a better design.

    At one time, they thought only lap belts were perfectly safe for cars too, remember?
  19. warmrain

    warmrain Well-Known Member

    Mad Magyar,

    I think your post and the issue are germain to the thread, it is the original poster's concern... I'm thinking of the knife weilding feind standing about 20' away, you may not even know he has a knife until he gets closer...

    The statistics for that scenario indicates that we probably won't be able to draw the gun and fire before the assailant is upon you... Imagine the same situation without a chambered round... Civilian CCW self defense scenarios may not be well represented in LEO stats...
  20. warmrain

    warmrain Well-Known Member

    Mad Magyar,

    I re-read your post and see that you also mention civilian stats... Sorry for that omittion in my previous post... Still, my training say there are many scenarios where you will not have the time or the free hand...

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