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how safe is the decocker?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by silverlance, Jun 14, 2006.

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  1. silverlance

    silverlance Member

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    Heard about a guy NDing off a CZ decocker lever the other day.

    How often does this happen? Should I be extra careful (yes, always keep guns in safe direction) when decocking? I didn't know that it was even possible for that to happen.

    thinking about it, of course, I suppose it's still a hammer drop after all..
     
  2. mikeb3185

    mikeb3185 Member

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    i am a glock guy so now decocker. but i read in a previous combat hadguns article it is ALOT safer than using your thumb to slow the hammer to decock your firearm
     
  3. Azrael256

    Azrael256 Member

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    The CZ-52 is known to discharge when decocked if the decocker is worn. I don't know of another gun that has this problem. As you astutely observe, it is still a good idea to exercise appropriate firearm caution. I guess if you're really worried, you can use the decocker to release the hammer and then thumb it down.

    Hey! Post #1911!
     
  4. yhtomit

    yhtomit Member

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    speculative reply :)

    I've read (and that's all!) that CZ-52s are notorious for that very thing (firing when the decocker activated -- spooky thought). Was it a 52 that went bang?

    I have two pistols with decockers (a Ruger and a Browning) and though I do certainly try to keep them pointed in safe directions when using the decocker, I've never had the decocker fail to function as expected, and I've never heard of such a failure associated with any CZ besides the 52.

    timothy
     
  5. cuervo

    cuervo Member

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    It would depend on the firearm's design.

    Most pistols have a firing pin block that is disconnected only by pulling the trigger. Pulling the trigger to thumb the hammer down deactivates this safety and allows for the possibility of an AD if the hammer is lowered too quickly or if it slips out of the fingers.

    Since the decocker is (should be) independent of the trigger, it lowers the hammer while this safety is still engaged, so the pistol can't fire.
     
  6. 06

    06 Member

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    Just cannot stand the things. Buddy has a hole in his floor for a moment of carelessness or malfunction. I never use a decocker but everyone to his own demise/surprise--or someone elses.
     
  7. shooter94

    shooter94 Member

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    Decockers are for the Military. The Military recruits, and trains vast amounts of people monthly.

    For those who are familiar with "The bell curve" most are not that bright, and nearly all have no firearms training or experience. As they progress and become more confident, the nessesity for a decocker becomes less.

    I started out at 9 years of age with a 1911A1 which does not have a decocker. Train with dummy rounds...
     
  8. MikeJackmin

    MikeJackmin Member

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    Given the current civil liability climate, I'd be pretty confident that a decocker on any modern pistol from a major manufacturer is going to be just about bombproof. Old combloc surplus stuff is another matter entirely.

    If a good, modern pistol has a decocker, use it instead of thumbing the hammer down. When the hammer is lowered manually, it may end up in a different position (relative to the other parts) then if it was lowered with the decocker. This might compromse the function of other safety features.

    Personally, I like decockers, and I think the three-position safety of the Taurus 92 is an awfully good design. Just remember that rule two always applies.
     
  9. panzermk2

    panzermk2 Member

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    DITTO modern decockers are Lawyer proof. About the only modern CZ's that could have a De-cocker problem would be the manual type. But it does not sound like he was talking about those.
     
  10. Trebor

    Trebor Member

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    Generally speaking, if a pistol is designed to be decocked using a decocker, then use the decocker to decock the pistol. If you try to "thumb decock" by pulling the trigger and easing the hammer down with your thumb, you are bypassing the safeties built into the pistol and are more likely to have an AD.

    Now, there are some pistols with know decocker issues. The CZ-52 is a good example, as are wartime P-38 pistols. With those, while you still should use the decocker, you should also control the hammer fall with your thumb to ease the hammer down. This is the best of both worlds.

    It is very rare for a modern production pistol to fire when the decocker is used. I believe Ruger had a problem with this with some of the P-series pistols years ago, and they were recalled and the problem corrected. Because of that small chance of mechanical failure, you should always keep the firearm pointed in a safe direction when decocking.
     
  11. evan price

    evan price Member

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    I use my Sig P239's decocker all the time. Keep gun pointed safe and decock. No troubles. I rather like the decocker. It is nice to be able to chamber a round and decock and then carry with hammer down and yet still be able to draw and fire.
     
  12. Soybomb

    Soybomb Member

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    On the P99 the firing pin block doesn't move when you use the decocker so I'm pretty trusting of it. The CZ however...
     
  13. CAnnoneer

    CAnnoneer Member

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    I consider the decocker an essential component in overall safety.

    Also, pardon me but it is silly to say that the decocker is more dangerous than "expertly" dropping a hammer on a live round. Even if there is a trigger disconnect, why would the disconnect be safer than the decocker?
     
  14. Bob R

    Bob R Member

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    As most have said, the newer guns with decockers are "probably" fail safe.

    The CZ52 isn't. Stick a regular pencil with an eraser, eraser first down the barrel and with the pistol pointed up, or in a safe direction (not towards your face or anyone else) decock using the decocker. If the pencil moves (leaves the barrel) do not use the decocker, ever. If it fires the pencil out of the barrel, it will most likely pop a primer.

    Decocking any gun with a decocker gives me the willies. Every time I use one the hammer falling when decocked always causes a little bit of a pucker factor.

    bob
     
  15. Marnoot

    Marnoot Member

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    I love the decocker on the CZ P-01, in addition to not disengaging the firing-pin block, it "steps" the hammer down, rather than letting it down in one fell swoop. It goes half-way down when you depress the decocker, and the rest of the way down when you let up on it. Even then it only brings the hammer down to a position where it's kind of quarter-cocked, rather than all the way down. While I always have it pointed in a safe direction when doing so, I have no qualms whatsoever about using the decocker. I actually prefer the SA/DA+Decocker to regular safeties.
     
  16. 12 Volt Man

    12 Volt Man Member

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    I too have never heard of a modern CZ missfiring with the decocker. CZ52's are definately another story.
     
  17. Steve C

    Steve C Member

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    In some early semi auto pistols the decocking systems can be problematic. The Walther P38 is one that if worn can discharge so its best to use the decocking safety to release the hammer but use your thumb to lower the hammer slowly like you'd do if lowering it on a non decocking pistol.

    Most modern systems are pretty reliable. The Beretta rotates the firing pin transfer completely so the hammer can't hit it. The Ruger rotates a block in front of the hammer preventing contact with the firing pin. The Makarov is similar. The Sig only has a decocker and it stops the hammer before it can strike the firing pin.

    I've always wondered if your thumb could slip off the decocking lever right as the hammer is dropped allowing the decocking lever to return to firing position and have the hammer set of a round. Never heard of it happeing ...yet.
     
  18. LoadedDrum

    LoadedDrum Member

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    With the modern CZ's the hammer drops to a half cocked position and trigger resets to a long pull when the decocker is used. I like the extra measure of safety this adds (however my SP01 is the one with the manual safety). This system and the one used on SIG's are my favorite decocker methods. Guns like the Beretta 92FS, and my Baby Eagle have the added bonus of functioning as a manual safety but the slide is no place for controls IMHO.
     
  19. birddog

    birddog Member

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    I have a Bersa Thunder and Ruger KP345. It seems I'm the oddity on this thread, but I LIKE the decock. No pucker factor here. As always, if you're obeying the 4 rules, nothing bad will come of a bad decocker. That said, mine have never failed, and I use them all the time.
     
  20. Falconeer

    Falconeer Member

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    IMHO, as a mechanism there is no difference between a safety and a decocker. They are both devices designed to prevent NDs. As with any mechanical device there is always a possibility of wear/malfunction, so the four rules always apply.

    I'm a Sig fan, and one of the reasons for that is the Sig decocker. I like the idea of carrying safely on a loaded chamber but having the pistol immediately at the ready (no safety to switch off) if I ever needed to use it.

    It's definitely a preference thing; I wouldn't feel comfortable carrying 'cocked and locked' even though conciously and logically I understand it is as safe as any other method. I do believe that 'cocked and locked' requires additional training/discipline to do safely. On the other hand, DA/SA requires additional training/discipline to master the trigger pulls. To each his/her own. :) Besides, it's a good excuse to spend more time shooting. :p

    Lastly, I would surmise that a statisticly signifigant portion of NDs that are safety/decocker related (not ADs due to mechanical malfunction) are the result of switching between the two types (thumbing down the hammer on a decocker pistol for example). Again, owning both types of pistol is not inherently unsafe but it's something to be especially aware of when adding a new pistol to the 'stable'. :)
     
  21. armoredman

    armoredman Member

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    Marnoot, +1 on the awesome PO1.
     
  22. Edmond

    Edmond Member

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    I've always wondered about this myself. On my P229, the decocker seems to break in 2 motions and it is slow. Psychologically, I feel safer with that. But with my H&K's, the hammer descends quite rapidly and violently. That kind of scared me at first so I used snap caps until I was convinced that the primer was not struck while using the decocker. But with my P2K, I will still ride the hammer down with my left thumb as I use the decocker.
     
  23. kansas45

    kansas45 Member

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    I've tried the de-cocker on my P89 a few times. Alway's pointed down range. Heck! The darn thing work"s!
     
  24. Average Joe

    Average Joe Member

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    to answer your question, they are very safe.
     
  25. Redhat

    Redhat Member.

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    This guy drops this post and never answered questions on what type CZ.

    Sorta set's my meter off. Maybe he'll get back with more info.

    Decocker or noe, rule # 1 should always be in effect.

    Don't point at anything you are not willing to shoot
     
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