Are Manual Safeties on Striker Fired Handguns Heresy??

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by BobinNC, Jul 28, 2021.

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  1. BobinNC

    BobinNC Member

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    Or are they? Why not have a manual safety on a Glock, or a Sig (Wait Sig does have them, as does S&W) or whatever polymer wonder pistola you carry. Except Glock of course, cause Gaston won't let you have a choice, right??

    If you don't need them, then why does the US Military buy them in the 100's of thousands and insist their Soldiers, Sailors and Marines must have manual safeties on their pistols??

    Yes, I know SOCOM buys Glocks and other stuff without them, but how many of us has anywhere near their skill and training?? Damn few...

    Also how many have no use for their manual safeties on the PCC's or their AR15's, AK's, Mini 14's, shotguns, et al??

    Here's a nice article to get the debate going to a good clip.

    https://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/the-truth-about-manual-handgun-safeties/

    Be gentle, be respectful and make cogent arguments.

    Gentlemen, Start your engines......
     
  2. Buzznrose

    Buzznrose Member

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    Glock gives you a choice…take it or leave it.

    The US Military is not necessarily to best folks to go by for handguns.

    Very few folks have them on a daily basis unless deployed. when deployed, the handgun is carried with an empty chamber unless of base (beyond the wire).

    Vast majority rarely fire them more than 60-300 rounds every couple years. Some less than that.

    I use safety switch on rifles. Sometimes shotguns depending on the use.

    Even when I carried a Shield with safety, I didn’t use it.

    And the folks who set the firearm as contract award criteria are NOT firearms people.
     
  3. BobinNC

    BobinNC Member

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    So your assertion is that the military are idiots, when it comes to purchasing pistols they are buying something they a) don't need, b) don't really want or c) have no earthly use for d) and are too stupid to know otherwise.

    I can assure you that I've carried a pistol in military combat actions, boarding parties RVN 1970, and mine was always fully loaded with the safety on. But perhaps you know better......

    OK, if that's the hill you want to metaphorically die on, and no other rebuttals on the other items I mentioned.

    Next.....
     
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  4. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    In my opinion, and with that and $5.00 you can get a designer cup of coffee...

    Law enforcement and soldiers in a war zone, a pistol without a manual safety is probably a good thing. They need to have the firearm available at a moments notice. The needs to an immediately functioning firearm out weights the other risks.

    A private citizen, I feel the risk of unintentional problems is great versus the actual need for self protection. A manual safety provides an additional level of safety. Disengaging a manual safety reliably is a training issue and once mastered it becomes an automatic response when drawing the pistol.

    I get conflicted with DA revolvers and DA/SA pistols. Even though the DA trigger pull is heavy, it is still not locked by a safety. The gun could still go off with improper handling, it just takes more effort over a striker fired gun or SA gun with the safety disengaged.

    I prefer a DA/SA semi-auto and have trained with it to make the first DA trigger pull effective. But, the little voice in the back of my head is worried about the risks of unintended consequences.

    I feel safeties on guns are like wearing a seat belt in a car. The seat belt protects the wearer during a crash as opposed to expecting to be able to exit the vehicle quickly after the crash by not wearing the seatbelt.

    I know this thinking is counter to what many feel is the way to carry a firearm.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2021
  5. BobinNC

    BobinNC Member

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    cfullgraf,
    Good points all. I don't really have a counter point, but rather some things to consider. A manual safety does not have to be used. A S&W M&P or SIG M18/M17 has a manual safety that can be used or not used.

    There are two times when a manual safety is invaluable. One is running around under fire for a LEO or Military is a dangerous time. And no matter how many times your drilled about keeping your digit off the trigger, slips trips and falls do happen, as does stuff happening. So a manual safety engaged before scampering about the landscape with loaded pistol in hand may be a good thing, no??

    The other time is holstering. You maybe watching other things like a suspect, or a shooter, or a body, and you don't look when holstering. That's one of the most dangerous times for any user of a striker fire pistol, when any hunk of clothing, string, rope, shock cord, et al gets in your trigger guard while in the act of holstering. A manual safety engaged when doing so and then disengaged once the trigger guard is fully covered may be good insurance.

    Let's discuss....
     
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  6. Buzznrose

    Buzznrose Member

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    You are a rude poster and a lousy reader, because I never said any of the things you claim.

    And I DO know how firearms are carried these days in the military…I should…since I’ve been working for DOD pretty much nonstop since 1982, first 28 years in uniform and deployed to combat zones 4 times. I carried an M4/16 and a M9. The guns were ONLY loaded when we went beyond the gate to off base missions and when traveling between sites. I wasn’t a combat troop, but I spent a lot of time in downtown Baghdad.

    Cops carry guns far more than most military troops. They carry a lot of striker fired guns without manual safety’s. Even Sig Sauer sells more P320’s without a manual safety than with.

    So yes, I have a clue what happens in DOD these days, and it bears little resemblance to the DOD of the Viet Nam war. That is NOT a statement of good or bad, just different.
     
  7. derek45

    derek45 Member

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    I grew up shooting my grandfathers 1911

    I carried 1911's and shot lots of USPSA/IPSC and IDPA with 1911's 2011's

    I have built muscle memory from the time I was 8 years old.

    I like the extended 1911 safety, and continue to look for guns with the 1911 grip angle and thumb safety

    I really don't care what anyone else thinks about it. :)

    da09iT1.jpg

    RrVf56Y.jpg

    I really like the CZ P-09 also, it's a hammer fired tupperwear gun that feels right

    jdd45ia.jpg

    also, before somebody says that a thumb safety will slow you down, . . . not if you've built up muscle memory




    STI 2011 180gr 4.7grWST from draw, two in steel 1.54sec. ( major power factor)



    nZlUb8B.jpg
     
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  8. BobinNC

    BobinNC Member

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    How else should have I interpreted your post with things like : "The US Military is not necessarily to best folks to go by for handguns." and "And the folks who set the firearm as contract award criteria are NOT firearms people."

    It certainly was not an sterling endorsement of the militaries selection of pistols by you, that's for sure. And sorry, I was not rude, nor did I call you names. And if I didn't interpret your post correctly, then rephrase it, rather than call me lousy reader for codifying what your appeared to intend by alleging the military as a less than competent small arms procurer.

    An you also changed your post, after I made my rebuttal. But I didn't quote you, so my bad.

    I'm sorry if I offend your delicate sensibilities.
     
  9. mcb

    mcb Member

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    None of my carry guns and very few of my handguns in general have manual safeties. The manual safety in my carry strategy is the holster. If the gun is in the hoister there is almost zero chance it goes bang. Once drawn from the holster the safety resides completely between my ears. No manual safety that I fail to disengage, accidental gets engaged, or malfunctions.

    I use manual safeties on my rifles and shotguns since they don't have a holster to make them safe.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2021
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  10. Hartkopf

    Hartkopf Member

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    I will only carry what I’ve trained and practiced with. I’m not going to practice for years with a Glock and then just start carrying a 1911 one day. I know I would flub that under stress.

    I don’t like manual safeties but I don’t judge those who do. There are scenarios where a forgotten safety could get you killed and possibly scenarios where a safety could stop a negligent discharge. Pick one, train and practice as much as possible.
     
  11. Boomholzer

    Boomholzer Member

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    OP; Why? Good bait. What's the means to the end? Research? Application? Super bored? Making words, enlisting in the AF? Did you figure out subtension?
    The questions you have are easily solved within your own means.
     
  12. commygun

    commygun Member

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    If it doesn’t have a truly double-action trigger (DAO or DA/SA) I like to at least have the option of engaging a manual safety.
    As for muscle memory, in the one self-defense draw I’ve made in my life, I don’t remember disengaging the manual safety and yet I did. On a gun I had shot exactly twice prior to the incident. The downward-sweeping 1911-style safety is very instinctive.
    Not sure why folks find them so objectionable on pistols with a light trigger pull. But that’s just me and I understand that experience teaches different lessons to different people.
     
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  13. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Moderator Staff Member

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    No, they're not heresy. There is certainly a place for manual safeties.
     
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  14. UncleEd

    UncleEd Member

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    Safety on a Glock type gun heresy?

    No. It's an extra margin of safety for
    the user and also for those around
    the user.

    Where safeties have been mandated,
    ask why from those who have mandated
    them. Get information from those
    agencies, gun instructors.
     
  15. Sarge7402

    Sarge7402 Member

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    First unlike the other gentleman that thinks you are rude, well I don't.

    That said, I too was deployed to the ROK and when I drew my sidearm (mine or the military's ) it was always carried with a round up the pipe.

    Jon Browning did not design the 1911 with a safety other than the Grip safety. The manual safety was added at the request of the US Army. The logic being that that was the safest way to keep a pistol from being accidentally discharged in tense situation (remember in 1911 every calvaryman carried in addition to his carbine a pistol. keeping a pistol safe while on horseback with a pistol that after firing a single round is always cocked. Unlike the SAA or the 1909 New Service which once you pulled the trigger, the pistol was safe to be reholstered.

    Granted that's all 110 years ago, but think about it in today's environment. the current sig (220 series), Beretta's (92) and other side arms now have a decocker to serve the same function
     
  16. JR24

    JR24 Member

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    Heresy? No. Needed? Not for my purposes, the #5.5 trigger and longer length of pull is sufficient for my needs and one less thing in the way is a good thing, eventhough I've shot and carried 1911s my whole (shooting) life and don't find the safety an issue.

    Should they be an option? Sure, I think so, more options are better.

    Why doesn't Glock offer one? Who knows, but I bet they've researched it and determined the return on investment of development didn't warrant the option. Maybe engineering, maybe production costs, maybe just Gaston being grumpy, who knows.

    But there are plenty of other options out there so the constant "why doesn't Glock have a safety???!!!?" threads do get repetitive.
     
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  17. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    I like 'em. I don't have an issue with a Glock or similar pistol not having a safety as long as it is carried in a proper holster that covers the trigger. On a cop's belt, or any other person carrying in a holster I don't think it matters either way. But that isn't always the best way to store a gun. I won't use a Glock left in a nightstand or a vehicles console/glovebox with a loaded chamber. I tried loaded chamber with the gun in a holster but found it faster to chamber a round than get the gun out of a holster not attached to a belt on my side. It takes 2 hands either way.

    Many newer designs are finding ways to achieve trigger pulls that rival a common out of the box 1911 or other single action pistol. Very few would suggest a 1911 with no safety. I still have several Glocks with no safety, but I'm finding that I tend to carry the Sigs and S&W pistols with a safety more often. The Smith's with Apex trigger kits installed have really light, smooth triggers. I can't imagine carrying those guns without a safety.
     
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  18. Alllen Bundy

    Alllen Bundy Member

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    The argument "But I might forget to switch off the safety when I need to fire." just doesn't cut it.

    If you can develop proper trigger finger discipline, you can develop the necessary muscle memory for operating a manual safety.

    Manual safeties are like circuit breakers. They are there to protect you in case the fit hits the shan.
     
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  19. dh1633pm
    • Contributing Member

    dh1633pm Contributing Member

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    Isn't the no safety part of the Glock design model for striker fired pistols that almost all are based upon?

    As far as the military argument for pistol carry, retired myself, some of those carrying are a danger, while others that are experienced and combat ready are not. Heck my son a data marine carried and a M240, his M4, and a M9 outside the wire in both Iraq and Afghanistan. He had the least experience shooting the pistol.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2021
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  20. CDW4ME

    CDW4ME Member

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    I carry a Glock 19 and a Sig 365 - neither of them have a manual safety and I'd not carry (own) them if they did.
     
  21. Spats McGee

    Spats McGee Moderator Staff Member

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    Heresy? No. Something worth thinking about? Yes.

    The police and military (especially the military) buy guns for different people than I do. The military has to supply thousands of 18-25 year olds. I buy for a stodgy, middle-aged paper-pusher. I get to carry what I want & train how I want.

    And let's be honest: 18-25 year old men do dumb things. Maybe the women, too, but I used to be an 18-25 year old man. I've never been a woman of any age. So when you're buying firearms for thousands of people with a history of stupidity, you need to keep safeguards in place. Let me also add that, fortunately, most of those young men grow out of their stupidity.

    Also, the military is slow to change. It has required a thumb safety on its pistols for over a century now, and likely doesn't see any reason to change. I know of few (if any) examples of soldiers being killed because he or she had a thumb safety. Doesn't mean there aren't any examples, just that I don't know of any.

    For non-military, non-police people, and purely IMHO, it's a matter of choice and training. Years ago, I carried a 1911, and I was comfortable with the thumb safety. When I decided to move on to carrying something different, I had to decide between a 1911-style thumb safety (up for safe, down to fire) or no thumb safety. A thumb safety that operated in reverse (up to fire, down for safe) was not an option for me. I chose none. That was ~8 years ago. So far, so good. (knocks on wood)
     
  22. kidneyboy

    kidneyboy Member

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    My thumb goes to click off the safety whether the pistol I'm shooting has a safety or not. It's not about heresy, it's about training.
     
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  23. WestKentucky

    WestKentucky Member

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    A way to make them safer is the name of the game. Each type of pistol has morphed a bit and now has a built in safety for that purpose. The blade safety on a lot of striker fired guns, manual safety on double actions, grip safeties, magazine disconnects, all serving the purpose of making the firearm safer for the user in some mechanism. My preferred safety is a decocker/manual safety like is found on my Taurus PT99. It lowers the hammer to a safer position and if needed I can lock the trigger at any moment.

    The question to me is this. After you realize that almost all guns have some form of safety built in, what is the reason you have for each style of built in safety device? Carry guns with blades on the trigger are very popular right now because they are very quick to action. Decockers had their heyday, but mixing in a manual safety for a duty gun seems to have ran customers off by slowing down the time to be in action because if it has a safety then the safety should be on. Ridiculous triggers have worked for DA revolvers and are now used on some ultra compact semiauto designs which are popular for front pocket carry. Pick your poison, but figure out why you chose what you chose. Hell even picking a SAA as a sidearm your safety is going to be hammer down on empty, so why do that?
     
  24. Homerboy

    Homerboy Member

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    The poster starts this post by typing “are safeties in striker fired pistols heresy?” I hear this all the time. On virtually every YouTube video with a striker fired pistol with a safety, the reviewer says that. Hickok45, hrfunk, MAC, and others, they’ve all said it. Why does the type of pistol matter? Why is it somehow ok on a hammer fired pistol, which has a longer, heavier, and less likely to have an ND trigger? I go the other way, I can comfortably carry a DAO pistol with no safety, or a TDA gun with safety off, but on a striker, I insist on them. Paul Harrell reviewed the Sig 365. He said the trigger is so light that he wouldn’t carry it without a safety. And this guy is no amateur

    Why? 5 pound trigger instead of a 10 pound trigger. No hammer to thumb as I holster, which is where the majority of ND’s happen.

    The argument is always the same stupid mall ninja nonsense. “A safety will get you killed”. “My safety is between my ears”. “Keep your booger finger off the bang switch”. “Train to always keep your trigger finger off the trigger”. If you can train to keep your trigger finger off the trigger, as you should, why can’t you train to automatically disengage the safety? If you’re so supremely confident that your finger will NEVER touch that trigger because you’ve trained for that, why would you be worried about forgetting to disengage the safety? The stress of the life or death moment could make you forget? That same stress that could screw up touching the trigger before you meant to?

    When the LASD went from the Beretta 92 to the M&P, they experienced a 500% increase in ND’s. They had always been taught to keep their finger off the trigger with the Beretta, just as they had been taught to on the M&P, so it’s not like cops only started putting their fingers on the trigger when they got the M&P, so how did this 500% increase happen? The report that was issued stated more training is necessary with the striker fired pistol. Assuming that’s gonna happen, and it won’t, not by any real means, how much more is needed? Should they go from 20 hours to 40? What is that gonna do? How much training do 99% of gun owners get? Certainly WAY less than what cops get. At the very least, it is obvious that striker fired guns are less forgiving of human error, and more training is needed to safely use them, so why wouldn’t it be more prudent to have a safety? Oh, that’s right. Safeties will get me killed and my safety is between my ears. All I have to do is keep my booger hook off the bang switch and I’ll be fine. Got it.

    https://ktla.com/news/local-news/new-handgun-issued-to-lasd-deputies-coincided-with-increase-in-accidental-shootings-report/

    Holster is your safety? Ok. They work pretty well. I say pretty well because there are many trash holsters out there. I saw a guy walking around with an M&P Shield in a nylon holster flopping around on his belt. And even if it’s a great holster, you still gotta get it in and out of it, and that is where a lot of the ND’s happen.

    Are striker fired weapons easier to shoot more accurately? I would say so. Light trigger pulls will do that. I took my S&W M&P 45 and my S&W 4566 to the range a few weeks ago. I gotta say my groups are tighter with the M&P than my shots fired in DA on the 4566, but it’s not like I miss the target. If it was a person instead of paper it would be just as dead. But the benefits outweigh the drawbacks.

    This aversion to safeties is a pretty recent development. And it’s usually repeated as nauseum by guys who started shooting after Glocks came along, because they’ve been brought up to believe they’re the only way to go. Before Glock graced the world with his product, millions of people carried weapons with safeties. Somehow, they managed to survive to tell their tales.

    “A former Los Angeles Police Department officer who was paralyzed when his 3-year-old son shot him with a Glock has sued the gun manufacturer and others, alleging that the light trigger pull and lack of a safety mechanism contributed to the accident”

    A trigger that a 3 year old can pull is nice for gun games but not so nice to carry around. Yeah, the kid should never have been able to get his hands on it, but the owner made a mistake. Who here hasn’t made a mistake? It might have been a one time 2 second mistake, but it happened and the consequences are permanent.

    https://www.foxnews.com/us/idaho-woman-accidentally-shot-and-killed-by-2-year-old-in-walmart

    I remember this one. The article I read had a picture of the weapon. A S&W Shield. Don’t recall if it was the safety or non safety model, but I can guarantee if it had the safety, it wasn’t on, because I don’t believe a 2 year old figured out how to flick the safety off on that pistol. Either way, a 2 year old was able to pull that 5.5 pound trigger. And who knows if the gun had one of those popular 3 pound aftermarket triggers installed? Gotta take the grittiness and mushiness out of that 5.5 pound trigger, right?
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2021
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  25. amd6547

    amd6547 Member

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    Somehow, the British military was able to safely transition from the Browning HiPower to the Glock 17…a country where virtually no one has handgun experience or training prior to joining the military.
     
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