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Drop Safe Guns

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by jaguarxk120, Nov 14, 2017.

  1. jaguarxk120

    jaguarxk120 Member

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    Why now in the last few years we have to have drop safe guns?
    For many hundreds of years handguns have not been "drop safe"
    now why do we need this feature?

    Don't people know how to handle a gun, after all most people can walk and chew
    gum at the same time!!
     
  2. Dave T

    Dave T Member

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    Well...for 144 years the Colt SAA has been drop safe if loaded properly. Load five rounds with an empty chamber under the lowered hammer. You can drop it any way you want (why on earth you would want to is a whole other discussion) and it's not going to go off.

    Same could be said for a number of other guns that have been around for close to a hundred years or so. More telling is that a newly designed and manufactured handgun in this the 21st Century, will go off when dropped. That my friend is a curiosity at the very least.

    Dave
     
  3. GBExpat

    GBExpat Member

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    Lawyers.
     
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  4. .308 Norma

    .308 Norma Member

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    You might have a different definition of "last few years" than I. Ruger rolled out their transfer bar safety feature in 1973 - that would be 44 years ago.:)
     
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  5. wally

    wally Member

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    Not quite, bystanders really don't want to get shot when a gun is dropped, lawyers just help with the motivation for making drop safe guns.

    For a "sporting" gun that never gets a round chambered when not on the firing line and firing will be imminent, drop safety is pretty much a non-issue, but not a complete non-issue as a shooter could have a heart attack, stroke, etc. just after getting ready to shoot and drop a loaded, off-safe, gun to potentially deadly consequences for others nearby. Innocents are killed or injured every year when automobile drivers have a stroke or heart-attack -- happened to my uncle, fortunately the passenger was wearing a seat belt and had only minor injuries -- statistically uncommon, but it does happen.

    But for carry guns drop safety is absolutely mandatory unless you are willing to accept chamber empty carry of a defensive gun.

    To me the whole SIG P320 issue had the positive side effect of proving that "industry standard" drop tests had lulled us into a false sense of security and have been proven to have been inadequate in at least one case. I think SIG's response and handling of the situation has been exemplary. Hopefully other makers will revisit their designs to be sure, and take appropriate action if necessary.
     
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  6. CDW4ME

    CDW4ME Member

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    A gun that doesn't discharge when accidentally dropped is preferred over than one that does.
     
  7. Jonesy814

    Jonesy814 Member

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    Cars used to not have seat belts and laminated safety glass windshields, but now they do. S&W put an improved hammer block drop safety in the Victory model during WW2. That's hardly recent history. Sometimes mankind learns there is a better way to do something and to me making something that can kill you a bit safer is not a bad thing.
     
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  8. Sunray

    Sunray Member

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    More about idiot politicians than unelected lawyers(vs the elected ones.). The whole non-issue is just more expectations of inanimate objects to do miraculous things and take the responsibility out of the user's hands.
     
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  9. GunnyUSMC

    GunnyUSMC Member

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    It is also because we have more ignorant people buying guns. The just don't know much about guns and many are not willing to learn. Ask most new gun owners it they read the owner's manual for their gun. I bet most will say no.
     
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  10. hdwhit
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    hdwhit Member

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    Because you now have millions of people who think they need to carry a gun "with one in the chamber" that doesn't have a manual safety.

    Haven't you already answered your own question? When to total cost to the manufacturer of making guns that were not drop safe exceeded the cost of making such guns, manufacturers started making them.
     
  11. Kendahl

    Kendahl Member

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    That's the condition reputable instructors recommend when carrying for self defense. A thumb safety is now considered to be a hazard because, in the excitement of a fight, you may fumble it or forget it completely. I once shot with a retired police officer who had his own backyard range. I handed him my Gold Cup and notified him that it was cocked and locked with a round in the chamber. After he spent a minute tugging harder and harder on the trigger with no result, I reminded him about the thumb safety.
     
  12. Jonesy814

    Jonesy814 Member

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    Knowing how to handle a gun doesn’t mean you will never drop one or do something to cause it to fall off a bench or table. We are human and accidents happen regardless of how well trained we might be
     
  13. Driftwood Johnson

    Driftwood Johnson Member

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    Howdy

    Drop Safe Guns the last few years?

    You might be interested to know that Iver Johnson was granted a patent for the first Transfer Bar in 1896. Yes, 1896.

    The first Lugers had grip safeties on them. It was only in 1908 that Germany specified no grip safety on the Lugers they bought for the German military. And let's not forget about the 1911 Colt with its grip safety.

    Smith and Wesson was making their Safety Hammerless revolvers (Lemon Squeezers) with grip safeties as early as 1887.

    Some folks like to blame lawyers, but these safety improvements were developed long before our present litigious society existed.

    The Winchester Model 1873 had a lever safety on it as far back as, well, 1873. You could not pull the trigger until the lever was fully pulled up.

    These safety developments were instituted by engineers, not lawyers.
     
  14. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    Because "things" (I'm not allowed to type the word I want to use) happen in the real world. Sometimes, completely outside of the abilities of the user to prevent. I've seen guns "dropped" in combat from numerous incidents (hand to hand combat, explosions, service members taking vertical falls from ladders, fast ropes, and even walking on uneven terrain in the dark, vehicle roll-overs or collisions, and yes- even an EARTHQUAKE in afg, when a rack with several loaded M4 carbines fell over in the operations center ) as well as during realistic training. Weapons get "dropped" every time an Airborne solder jumps out of an airplane and executes a parachute land fall (PLF)- or an approximation of a PLF. Every time a service member or law enforcement officer becomes a casualty, in a gunfight, there is a better than average chance that his or her weapon is "dropped". Similar incidents can and do happen in the LE and civilian communities daily, not to mention hunting. My cat knocked my night stand pistol to the ground once chasing a fly. And sometimes, guns get "dropped" because people are klutzy. Having drop-safe guns makes sense to me, since it can prevent making what may already be a very dangerous situation a little less dangerous. Remember, if you fall down carrying your weapon- even if it is still in your hand or in your holster or slung to your body- still it got "dropped".
     
  15. GBExpat

    GBExpat Member

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    Most folks seem to be answering a different question than what I quoted of the OP. :)
     
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  16. edwardware

    edwardware Member

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    I believe S&W made the Victory drop safe after a USN sailor died as a result of a dropped pre-mod Victory revolver discharging.

    So, definitely political, in the sense that it is politically unacceptable for a weapon to discharge when an easily foreseeable accident (dropping) occurs. That's not stupid, that's improved engineering.

    If the changes used to make a weapon drop safe spoil some other performance, then that's lousy engineering.
     
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  17. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Member

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    It is definitely an old idea. As pointed out above, the transfer bar safety system was introduced by Iver Johnson in the 1890s with their famous Hammer-the-Hammer ads showing the resting hammer of a loaded IJ Safety Automatic revolver being hit with a carpenters hammer. Apparently even in the 1890s some people were worried about dropping their revolver from a pocket or holster and having it go off if it hit the floor on its hammer. (The Automatic referred to automatic ejection of empties when the top-break cylinder and barrel were pivoted down.)

    I think it is a big deal today because some jurisdictions require that guns be certified by them as drop-safe to be sold. The testing fees charged to get certified are seen by some manufacturers as excessive and more of a sin tax, fine or bribe to be allowed to sell in those jurisdictions.
     
  18. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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    I've never dropped a gun before, but my cat did manage to knock my bedside gun off the bedside table. And I'm glad it was drop safe. Some folks get real fumbley under stress also. So there's another reason to desire drop safe guns.

    I don't see why a safety mechanism that doesn't interfere with the function or operation of the gun is a problem or something someone would even wonder about.

    However, the good answers provided so far are because of incompetence, gun control advocates, lawyers, new shooters not practicing enough, people choosing to carry who don't train regularly. There's kind of a lot of good reasons for it.

    However, there is absolutely no good reason for a magazine disconnect, EVER.
     
  19. Tirod

    Tirod Member

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    The industry as a whole has been drop testing guns for safe operation for decades. There is a standard out which requires a specific height and orientation, with machine release, and impact on a specified surface. Guns sold pass that test.

    Here's just one link to the specifications: http://www.saami.org/specifications...s/download/Z299-5_ANSI_AbusiveMishandling.pdf

    When you first read the introductory paragraphs, note carefully that the organizations which had it written always characterize dropping a firearm as
    "abusive."

    Not to forget the even higher standard, that the gun actually go off when we pull the trigger. So, we have two standards imposed on designers - the first, that the gun go bang every time, the second, that the gun only goes bang when we pull the trigger, never any other time. We want to have our cake AND eat it, too. It is the focus of most firearm testing that the gun actually discharge a projectile in all working conditions which has driven firearms design and evolution over the last 500 years. It's the reason for inventing the hammer and trigger, instead of lighting a fuse, for the invention of the metallic cartridge, to safeguard the charge against moisture, and why we as a shooting community have zero tolerance for a gun that just goes "click" when we demand it fire.

    Of recent events is the video of a uncertified tester who simulates a set of conditions which aren't outlined in any recognized procedure, and he was able to induce a discharge in a pistol otherwise deemed safe. The gun was held at a higher level from the impact surface and oriented in one of the potential 144,000 different ways it could drop - not listed in the test specifications. This caused the manufacture to offer a VOLUNTARY upgrade to the military contract parts that are tested and known to prevent that kind of discharge.

    Ruger did the same for their first Generation LCP, and Glock has had similar issues and offers replacement parts for their woes. The problem isn't that the guns aren't safe for carry, the problem is that some inventive dreamer can create a dynamic circumstance not defined in the official tests that may induce a discharge.

    However, it still requires doing something wrong in the first place. Don't mishandle or drop a gun, and there is no issue. It requires a lack of attention and in many cases removing the gun from a holster when it was unnecessary. A cascade of poor choices and we get a negligent discharge - so accept the blame for being inept before you blame the gun.
     
  20. joed

    joed Member

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    Why wouldn't you want a drop safe gun?
     
  21. joed

    joed Member

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    I have a friend who owns his own barbershop. One day when I stopped I found the shop closed in the afternoon. Next day they were open normally and I stopped for my haircut. When I inquired to why they were closed the day before it was an eye opener. One of the customers had recently gotten a CCW permit and stopped in for a haircut. When he finished the customer went to put on his coat. As he put the coat on his carry gun fell out of the holster and pocket hitting the floor. As it hit the floor it discharged, the bullet went through one of the barbers chairs and struck my friend in the buttocks. He has carried that bullet for 4 years now as the doctors felt it would cause no harm.

    Can't remember what make the gun was but it was some cheap make in a cheaply made holster that did not secure the gun.

    This is why we have drop safe guns, to protect ourselves from ourselves as well as morons that probably shouldn't even have a gun.
     
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  22. Jim NE

    Jim NE Member

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    I agree with this, though I understand that lawyers can sometimes be more of a problem than a solution. Every time the firearms industry makes progress with safety technology, someone complains that it's all unnecessary. Maybe some safety features are ill conceived, but they certainly aren't all ill conceived as a matter of principle. I'm personally glad that I don't have to carry a revolver with an empty chamber.
     
  23. GBExpat

    GBExpat Member

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    I, for one, am deeeeelighted that the efforts of both engineers and lawyers have created such a plethora of drop-safe handguns from which to choose.

    The more one handles & carries handguns, the more of a chance that dropping(s) will occur.

    In my 40+ years since I started carrying, I have dropped one or another of my carry handguns on a number of occasions ... 2 days ago, as a matter of fact (G30s).

    Even though I knew that it would not fire ( and I know better than to grab at it as it falls ) it still felt like my heart skipped a beat while time slowed and I waited for the pistol (in its DeSantis pocket holster) to impact the carpet, :uhoh:

    WHEW! I hate when that happens. :(
     
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  24. TomJ
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    TomJ Member

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    This. ^ I’m always amazed by people who act as if a gun being drop safe is somehow a bad thing.
     
  25. .308 Norma

    .308 Norma Member

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    Absolutely.

    It seems like I’ve told this story here before, but it’s worth re-telling. My brother-in-law’s (Dave’s) birthday is on the 4th of July, and my sister always makes a big deal out of it – lots of guests, a barbecue and fireworks.

    At Dave’s birthday party about 15 years back, one of the older guests, who was somehow related to Dave, was carrying a .25 ACP in some kind of inside the waistband holster. He might have been intending to conceal the gun, but anyone who looked could see it.

    At any rate, as the older guy sat down to eat, the gun fell out of the holster, hit the patio, and went off. The bullet creased Dave’s right wrist and went into his belly.

    Luckily, one of Dave’s daughters, who was an Army Medic just home from Iraq, was there. She slowed the bleeding from Dave’s wrist and stomach until the ambulance arrived.

    They transported Dave to the hospital, where he was treated and released with a patched up wrist and belly. The .25 ACP bullet had disintegrated in Dave’s stomach, doing little damage. The doctors said he’d “pass” the bullet fragments in a few days. I guess he did. But we saw the x-rays from when he arrived at the hospital, and they looked like Dave had a bunch of pepper in his stomach. Naturally, we called him “Pepper Belly” for a long time after that.

    At any rate, it was only by God’s grace that one of the dozen or more children that were at that party wasn’t between the old guy that dropped his gun, and Dave. Dave was standing at the grill, grilling burgers. And he’s tall enough that the bullet, on its upward trajectory, creased his wrist and entered his belly. But if there had been a child in that bullet’s path, it could have easily struck that child in the head. And that child would be severely scarred, minus an eye, brain damaged, or dead.

    The danged news media made a big enough deal out of the accidental shooting as it was. I can’t imagine how much more bad publicity there would have been if a child had been shot.

    There’s no reason for not carrying a drop safe gun. No reason at all. For heck sakes, I’m 69 years old, and even as a child, my dad taught me how to load a Colt single action – load one, skip one, load the other four, cock and lower the hammer. And nowadays there’s no reason, no reason at all, why gun manufactures shouldn’t build drop safe guns.
     

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