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1911 hammer lowering ideas?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by el Godfather, Dec 1, 2012.

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  1. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    We're all aware of what the manuals say. Some of them advise us not to even load the gun until we're ready to fire it...and we all know why. The fact stands that the hammer has checkering or serrations for a reason, and that reason is for cocking and de-cocking...and regardless of the warnings...somebody will do it.

    And many will agree and have adopted that practice...but this isn't about what you choose to do.

    el Godfather has presented this question before, which indicates that he's looking for a way to safely lower the hammer because he chooses to carry in Condition two, which is an option and his choice...and barring a radical redesign of a century-old pistol, which ain't gonna happen...and the only other option is the Safety Fast system, which overcomplicates the pistol and leaves much opportunity for a malfunction...instruction on how to safely lower a hammer is in order.
     
  2. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Member

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    Even if you do it very rarely, it is disingenuous to own and shoot a 1911 not knowing how to decock it. If you NEVER do it, then you may wish you were more adept at it if you one day NEED to do it.
     
  3. Skribs

    Skribs Member

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    I've manually lowered the hammer on a revolver and had it go off real easy before. Luckily it was pointed downrange. So I wouldn't ever lower the hammer on a single action pistol. I'd clear it and pull the trigger.
     
  4. el Godfather

    el Godfather Member

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    1911tuner

    Thank you for a detailed response.

    I will practice this and then evaluate where I stand. I dont buy the advice of looking for a different platform. Albeit the lowering of hammer is not my cup of tea, and I dont much care for cocked and locked either, I do like the 1911 platform. I have many handguns and I will not discard 1911s simply due to my inexperience - I much rather learn the technique and experiment with cocked and locked method as well.
     
  5. tipoc

    tipoc Member

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    The hammer on a 1911 can be lowered safely for condition 2 carry or temporary storage. As Tuner and others have said it's a matter of attention, practice and confidence.

    tipoc
     
  6. Fiv3r

    Fiv3r Member

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    I actually tried a lot of the techniques presented in this thread last night on my 1911, and I didn't find it nearly as scary. That said, I would always use two hands. I also have the "benefit" (depending on who you talk to) or having a series 80 style 1911 for an added degree of safety to lower the hammer.

    Having said that, I don't think I could ever carry my 1911 in Condition 2. It has NOTHING to do with feeling that I couldn't get the gun into action quickly and everything with having to get the gun into action SAFELY. I don't have overly large hands, so gripping the gun, drawing it, and thumbing back the stock hammer causes my shooting finger to dance around more than I would like. I feel much safer just thumbing down the safety with my trigger finger riding the frame.

    Still, it's nice to know how to lower the hammer. Thank you all for the information.
     
  7. MICHAEL T

    MICHAEL T Member

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    C&L has not always been the ONLY way to carry a 1911. Its been the way pushed by Cooper, Taylor, and others since the 1970's same as the 2 handed shooting .
    I have a old 1911 mag from early 80's That has a story on lowering you hammer for carry or night stand duty. So C&L wasn't always the main way to carry a 1911 . It was one of the ways. Ive been lowering hammer on a 1911 since the 1960 's and never had a problem.. I was taught that was the way to carry a 1911 back then .
     
  8. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    Indeed. Before the rise of Cooper's Modern Technique, most people who carried the big Colt carried it in C2 or C3...or on half-cock...and never gave it a thought. A few who had a genuine need to carry a gun and have it instantly at the ready carried cocked and locked...but they were in the minority.
     
  9. hentown

    hentown Member

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    Can't believe so many words written on such a rudimentary subject. Why would you lower the hammer one-handed, unless you don't have but one hand? This ain't rocket science, guys! :evil:
     
  10. g_one

    g_one Member

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    If I have a 1911 that serves as an all around gun - bedside, truck, etc. - I would want to leave it cocked and locked all the time too.

    But here's my question, if I leave a 1911 cocked for extended periods of time (say, months in a row), is that going to wear out the spring?
     
  11. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    No.

    Using (compressing & uncompressing) a spring wears it out.

    Leaving it compressed has very little effect on it after it takes an initial set.

    Same as the springs holding up your car.
    The springs would last forever if you left it parked in the driveway and never drove it.

    rc
     
  12. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    Not much reason or opportunity to do it these days, but the reason for the redesigned grip safety that allowed one-hand lowering was for the US Cavalry before they requested the manual safety.
     
  13. Skylerbone

    Skylerbone Member

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    My father still carries his C3 as a lefty who has never laid hands on an ambi 1911. One of several reasons that he chose a revolver for duty after leaving Uncle Sam's employ and the reason he's been carrying his Kahr more often of late. Still loves his 1911s but recognizes the drawbacks of his set-up.
     
  14. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    If C3 really is that much of a drawback. Most people imagine that their moment of truth will always involve the need for fast draw. While fast one-hand operation is definitely a plus, I think that the prevailing notion of the pistol be utterly useless unless it's cocked and locked is pretty silly. Besides, it can still be charged with one hand by jamming the rear sight into a belt and shoving down smartly. Of course, if the pistol is equipped with a ramped rear sight, this option is nullified.

    And, then C2 and half-cocked also allow one-hand operation, albeit a tick slower...and proper technique for cocking the pistol isn't at all fumble-prone.
     
  15. BILLG

    BILLG Member

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    What if your attaker has injuried or has control of your other arm how will you rack the slide with 1 hand?
     
  16. Skylerbone

    Skylerbone Member

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    That is where the sights you choose become a factor, and daddy's guns still have their Colt GIs on them to charge against any available surface. Belt, jeans pocket, boot heel, table top.
     
  17. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Like Tuner just said.

    When I was in the service, I was quite adept at drawing from a GI flap holster and racking the slide by hooking the rear sight on the edge of the holster and shoving the grip down hard.

    You can do the same thing by hooking the rear sight on your boot heel, table edge, car door, etc. if you have too.

    Just not if you have one of the new fangled ski-slope rear sights with no foreword edge.

    rc
     
  18. tipoc

    tipoc Member

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    You fight your way free to do so, if that is the situation you're in and your need.

    If a person carries a BHP, a 1911 or similar gun in condition 2 or 3 they have made a decision that they want to have a gun with them but don't think they are in a situation where they need it instantly ready to fire. They have decided that they can take the extra one second to cock the hammer or rack the slide when the need arises, if it does. This is an adult decision based on their assessment of the threat level they face. Or the lack of a threat level. It should also be based on a confidant level of ones abilities and knowledge of the gun.

    It can also be a matter of priorities. Sometimes it's more important for the gun to be protected from the weather and elements than to be instantly ready to fire.

    There are any number of reasons a person may choose to have a gun with them and in condition 2 or 3. If the threat level is high condition 1 is best, no question. But the other conditions are there to use as needed, that is how the gun was designed. Hopefully folks make informed decisions on their use.

    tipoc
     
  19. Ken70

    Ken70 Member

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    Everytime I thought about lowering the hammer, I looked at the butt end of the slide and thought that would really tear up my thumb if I screw this up. I just drop the mag, rack the slide, and then it's safe. On the Left Coast you can't carry, so that's not a consideration.
     
  20. VAPOPO

    VAPOPO Member

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    The only way to safely lower a hammer on a 1911 is with a trigger squeeze at a target you mean to destroy. I have personally witnessed several negligent discharges with the 1911 due to this stupid proceedure all by fairly experienced shooters that by the way that have been carrying them like that for years if not decades. If you cant handle cocked and locked, carry with an empty chamber or better yet move to a differant platform the 1911 is obviously not your cup of tea. Internet stupidity at it's finest.
     
  21. hentown

    hentown Member

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    Internet stupidity at its finiest is writing 10,000 words on a subject that didn't require 10. :evil:
     
  22. mcdonl

    mcdonl Member

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    I told RCMODEL I would not tell anyone he explained to me how to do it (Sorry RC) but he did and the way he explains is confortable and relaxed.
     
  23. slickab

    slickab Member

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    Pinch or hold the hammer between your thumb and forefinger of your left hand,

    pull hammer back the rest of the way with the same, pull trigger and let the

    hammer down slowly with the same. Old man owned a gun shop ever since I

    remember did it this way on empty guns in his showcase. When he sold me my

    first 1911 he showed me to do it this way and I've used it ever since.
     
  24. BILLG

    BILLG Member

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    I want to see you do the 1 handed slide rack in a fight for your life.:eek:
     
  25. Skylerbone

    Skylerbone Member

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