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Designed to be carried Cocked and Locked: Not!

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Slamfire, Feb 3, 2010.

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  1. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    History is constantly being reinterpreted to meet the needs of today.

    Many users of the M1911 justify carrying the M1911 in “condition one” by stating that the pistol was designed to be carried that way.

    Unfortunately this claim is not correct, the M1911 was not designed to be carried cocked and locked.

    The adherents of this theory must be unaware of the evolution of the M1911. I highly recommend reading “The Government Models” by William H.D. Goddard to see the wonderful pictures and progression of Brownings automatic pistol design. I also recommend the “Colt .45 Service Pistols Models of 1911 and 1911A1 Charles W. Clawson”, but the pictures are not as good.

    John Browning’s Models’ 1900, Model 1902, 1903 Pocket Model, Military Model 1905, M1909, M1910 did not have thumb safety locks. There are safeties, early on there is a hammer blocking device. This was the sight safety. The user pushed the back of the rear sight down, and that blocked the hammer from the firing pin. It did not last long. The grip safety was added later and stayed all the way through to the M1911.

    The first thumb safety lock appears on the Model 1910 slant handle. It was added because the Cavalry apposed the adoption of a semiautomatic pistol because of their concerns about multiple accidental discharges while mounted. The Cavalry wanted to stay with their revolvers. As the primary user of a handgun, the Cavalry had the biggest vote at the table. John Browning’s thumb safety lock was needed to overcome the Cavalry's objections against a semi automatic pistol.

    (What you will find when you deal with the User, is that the User likes what he has, wants something better but only a little different, and rejects revolutionary change)

    Based on the serial numbers of some of the earlier models in the book, there must have been tens of thousands of these pistols built without a thumb safety lock.

    These pistols, and the M1911 were designed to be carried in “Condition two”, that is a round in the chamber with the hammer down. The thumb lock safety was to be engaged to make the pistol safe when the user’s other hand was occupied. The manual of arms from 1913 clearly shows that the hammer was to be lowered (using two hands) when the M1911 was holstered.

    Army 1913 Small Arms Manual:


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    If you cannot read the text on the bottom of pgs 91 and 92:

    Italics are in the original.

    So why did the Army change the regulations?:Hatcher’s Textbook of Pistols and Revolvers, page 95, provides the clue:

    It is obvious that accidental discharges occurred trying to put the pistol in "condition two". The Army had to find an alternative, something that did not require redesign of the M1911, and so the Army changed the procedures to reduce the number accidental shootings.

    It was the path of least resistance.

    But the point is, the M1911 was not designed to be carried cocked and locked. Cocked and locked is an after design risk reduction measure.

    The Army also determined that single action autopistols, even those that could be carried cocked and locked , still had too many accidents, so when the M1911 was replaced, the bidder requirements effectively prohibited single action autos from consideration.
     
  2. REAPER4206969

    REAPER4206969 Member

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    You put a lot of effort into justifying carrying your 1911 incorrectly.
     
  3. docnyt

    docnyt Member

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    I agree that's a great research effort. Chossing how to carry the 1911 seems to be a religious thing around here.
     
  4. rellascout

    rellascout member

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    I will remember that the next time I am on the my horse charging with the Calvary.

    :evil:
     
  5. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    It really doesn't matter what the first manual said in it, if, after using it in the field, the Army determined that cocked-and-locked was the best choice -- and that remained SOP thereafter. Field experience beats conjecture set down on paper, every time.

    AFAIK the M9, which is DA/SA and supposedly would solve AD problems with single actions, is now typically carried with an empty chamber by military personnel. That means what, exactly, other than the Army doesn't spend any time whatever on pistol training?
     
  6. silversport

    silversport Member

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    ...and the Military didn't desing the 1911 but they did have a lot of say in certain things...remember the AR-15 was just fine until they "improved it"...;)
    Bill
     
  7. rellascout

    rellascout member

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    Exactly. The Isrealis carry the same way for the same reason. Too many people are issued and carry a pistol under the conscripted army. It is easier and they believe safer to leave train, tell people, to leave the chamber empty because it meets their need. It has nothing to do with the design of the weapon.

    :barf:

    In the end it is your gun and your life so carry it anyway you want.
     
  8. KurtC

    KurtC Member

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    A Field Manual is not a Regulation. It is an intrerpretive study, based on trial and error. FM's are pretty much suggestions that get used for kindling the minute something written in them doesn't work out. They are pretty much the biggest running joke in the Army. Unit SOP's (based on the FM's) are more important, and when the SOP's start dissagreeing in mass numbers with the FM, the FM gets changed.

    It didn't take the Army long to figure out that Condition 2 was a bad idea. I feel sorry for the test subjects. :)

    Our SOP was to carry the 1911 with an empty chamber and the holster taped shut for the jump, then remove the tape and go to condition one on the ground.
     
  9. earplug

    earplug Member

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    Since the pistol was designed with a safety to be used cocked and locked. That is all I need to know.
    The 1911 safety is much more secure and blocks the firing device better then many rifles and shotguns I have carried. Few people worry about rifles like a Savage 99 or many O/U shotguns in the field with simple safeties.
     
  10. ClickClickD'oh

    ClickClickD'oh Member

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    The military has a fabulous history of using things in manners not intended by their designers. Simply because a military manual tells a person to do some thing one way, does not at all mean that's how it was intended to be done or that it should be done at all.

    I'm pretty sure the first time the Air Force LAPES'd something Lockheed had a collective fit.. no matter what the newly written procedures manual said.
     
  11. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    What's funny is that now we carry guns "cocked and locked" all the time. Or even just "cocked." Many people think the XD's grip safety is superfluous, even. I personally think the XD grip safety makes a lot of sense, but look around this site for posts about it.

    What did gunmakers learn from this? Just hide the hammer inside the slide, and suddenly nobody feels weird about it.:)
     
  12. EddieNFL

    EddieNFL member

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    Talking with a Force Recon Marine a few weeks ago about the 1911. He told me when not on a mission they are required to carry with an empty chamber cocked and locked. The logic is the safety must always be engaged. I thought about for a bit and decided to stick with condition one.
     
  13. EddieNFL

    EddieNFL member

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    Head in the sand syndrome.
     
  14. Ron James

    Ron James Member

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    The military has never carried the 1911 cocked and locked, even in combat. That is a myth. Any Military personnel whose duties require them to carry a 1911 ( and that includes the Military Police ) carried the gun hammer down on a empty chamber. Slamfire, you are fighting a losing battle using facts. Too many self proclaimed expert gunfighters/gun writers have ( who have never fired a gun in anger and I have my doubts abut old Col Adkins, he was a bullshi**r from way back, most of his exploits can not be verified ) written that, a real gun fighter always carried it cocked and locked. Bull. Cocked and locked is a modern (1960's) invention. Even the old famed Rangers carried it uncocked ( they did carry a round in the chamber ). I will also make a statement, all documentation shows that the 1911 was never meant to be carried cock and locked , plus, no one in the military legally carried their 1911 other than , hammer down on a empty chamber.:banghead:
     
  15. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    Exactly,

    Billions on Major Weapon System Acquisitions, pennies on training.

    Those are the priorities.

    The highest priority goes to those who get the money.
     
  16. ClickClickD'oh

    ClickClickD'oh Member

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    Well Ron, if you want to go by military procedures... then it's plain as day for all to see that the M9 and M16 were not designed to be carried with magazines inserted... or even for ammunition to be carried on the soldier... after all, that's what the military does.
     
  17. ljnowell

    ljnowell Member

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    So the mounted ccavalry had to decock the pistol while riding? You were there, and saw this right? Your qualifications for making the absolute statement:
    are what?
     
  18. SSN Vet

    SSN Vet Member

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    :uhoh:

    and I thought it was only the navy :(

    Upon having a failure to eject (stovepipes were quite common with our 54 year old 45s) our top side sentries were instructed very carefully to....

    raise their right hand! :eek:

    so that the TMC could come and clear it for them. :barf:

    Clearly our procedures left something to be desired.

    Which is why I purchased my first 1911, being determined that at least one guy in the duty section was going to be able to
    1.) shoot straight, and
    2.) clear a stove pipe

    Fortunately for me, all I could afford was a used Thompson Auto. Ordinance, which stove piped every other magazine. So I got lots of practice clearing them :(

    It only took me 15 years.... but I finally, just recently, got the Colt Commander I wanted way back then.
     
  19. REAPER4206969

    REAPER4206969 Member

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    .....
     
  20. M2 Carbine

    M2 Carbine Member

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    In the USMC in 1956 we carried the 1911 with the hammer down on an empty chamber.

    Now I carry my Kimber with a round in the chamber cocked and locked.
     
  21. easyg

    easyg Member

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    Not true.

    When I was in the Army the SOP was not cocked-and-locked....even in the field.

    This is 100% true....per the SOP.



    Of course it's not unheard of for soldiers to totally ignore SOP. ;)
     
  22. Shawn Dodson

    Shawn Dodson Member

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    It is also an obsolete, faulty philosophy in regard to battle carry and battle-readiness that has evolved since then.
     
  23. REAPER4206969

    REAPER4206969 Member

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    What?
     
  24. KurtC

    KurtC Member

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    FM 23-35, Page 19, paragraph l and m. Originally published April, 1940.

    http://www.sightm1911.com/manual/manual.htm

    Sorry, to call you out on this, but I was in the Rangers back in the 1980's. ;)
     
  25. X-Rap

    X-Rap Member

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    I know that in the late 50's the AP units that my dad was in carried hammer down on an empty chamber. He said they would practice drawing and using the sights to snag on their pants or belt and cock the gun using one hand. This was not sanctioned but done while on guard duty late at night when nobody was looking I would guess.
    He never has gotten comfortable with the cond. 1.
     
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