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More on Cocked and Locked

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Drakejake, Feb 22, 2003.

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  1. Drakejake

    Drakejake Member

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    I know this question has been disucssed many times, but not by me!

    I just got my first 1911 style pistol, single action .45 with very effective manual safety which locks the slide.

    I guess these are the main alternative for carrying a single action:

    1. chamber empty (hammer down, no reason to have it cocked).

    2. chamber loaded but hammer down.

    3. chamber loaded, hammer cocked, manual safety on.

    With any of these options, one has to do SOMETHING before being able to fire. I am sure that releasing the safety is the fastest and easiest, but must be done consciously. With option one, one would have to rack the slide and do without that extra round. With option 2, the hammer would have to be cocked by hand, a dangerous procedure on some pistols do not have modern safety features.

    One problem with cocked and locked, on pistols with visible hammers, is that the hammer sticks out the back. It would seem that this makes it difficult to extract the pistol from a pocket or from a waist pack. The hammer could hit something and get stuck. It seems to me just a bit awkward. Putting this issue together with the need to take off the safety, doesn't double action/single action, which can be carried with the safety --if there is one--off, constitute a viable alternative to the traditional cocked and locked single action pistol. Even though the da/sa pistol has a longer, harder trigger pull on the fist shot, the pistol needs merely to be drawn and fired. No extra steps are required. And the hammer is down and out of the way.

    Drakejake
     
  2. pogo2

    pogo2 Member

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    You are right that a DA/SA or DAO (double action only) pistol is a little simpler to get into action than a cocked and locked SA, because you just draw and pull the trigger, without having to remember to release a manual safety. I think the people who carry a 1911 cocked and locked will usually defend their decision by saying:

    1. I won't forget to release the safety because I have practiced this a lot and it is second nature to me when I draw.

    2. I like the short, light trigger pull of a 1911 because it helps me shoot accurately and fast.

    As for your point about the cocked hammer sticking out and creating a snag problem - the uncocked 1911 hammer would be just as much a snagging problem, because of the way it protrudes backwards from the gun, and the beavertail grip safety in common use on 1911's also protrudes back quite a ways and can snag things. Cocking the pistol doesn't really make this any worse, because the hammer usually fits into the beavertail a little and is somewhat shielded by it.

    If you really want a simple pistol that is fairly snag-free, has constant trigger pull on all shots, and doesn't have any safeties to remember, something like a Glock or Kahr would be good.
     
  3. seeker_two

    seeker_two Member

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    ...or a revolver. :cool:
     
  4. 10-Ring

    10-Ring Member

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    It will also depend on your mode of carry & on dedicated practice. Every system whether DAO, DA/SA or C&L will have plusses & minusses. Commit to one that you will master and it will serve you well.
     
  5. triggertime

    triggertime Member

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    Drakejake: With all due respect, you have to stop thinking about things so objectively. ;)

    To animadvert that a cocked hammer will present problems during the draw stroke is equivalent to saying that the exposed hammer spur on a revolver or on a double-action semi-auto will also.

    In reality, it all depends on the technique and the skill level of the operator.

    Generally, reservations about the complexity of an external safety or the extra step that it requires is usually circumvented by devoting yourself to the weapon system and applying generous amounts of daily dry practice until the manual of arms becomes second nature.

    The problem comes in when people switch between different weapon systems with such regularity that what they've unconsciously ingrained into their subconscious mind is no longer applicable to the current weapon of choice.

    Which is why it is always good advice to find one weapon system that you like and then stick with it.
     
  6. Sean Smith

    Sean Smith Member

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    Well, a 1911 is pretty big to keep in your pocket. Trying to impress the ladies? :p

    All handgun designs are compromises. Pick the compromises you can live with.
     
  7. Monkeyleg

    Monkeyleg Member

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    The act of releasing the safety on my 1911 is so ingrained that I have to pay very close attention to not doing so when handling a loaded pistol.

    Also, it's very easy--for me, anyway--to short stroke the slide and have a round not chamber. With a round already chambered, I'm ready to go.

    Lastly, I just can't get used to the DA triggers. It's almost like having one of those nightmares where you can't get the gun to fire.
     
  8. MolonLabe416

    MolonLabe416 Member

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    The 1911 is NOT designed to be carried with the hammer down on a loaded chamber. This is not safe with pre series 80 pistols and serves no purpose with other types IMHO. It should be carried cocked and locked if for defense or hammer down on an empty chamber if you are not concerned with the defensive aspects of carry.
     
  9. Al Thompson

    Al Thompson Moderator Staff Member

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    Agree with Steve. Hammer down on a live round is a discharge arrested by your thumb. I've done it before and won't do it again. Cocked and locked or Condition three.
     
  10. Minute_Of_Torso

    Minute_Of_Torso Member

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    I carry cocked and locked. I train for presenting from a cocked and locked carry. If you're uncomfortable with that then I would recommend a DAO pistol or train to rack the slide on the 1911 as you present from the holster (hammer down, empty chamber).

    Either way you go, train as you would carry.

    Have to agree with the other guys: hammer down on a loaded chamber is not the way to go with the 1911. They don't have those nifty Ruger transfer bars to keep the hammer from being slammed into the round accidentally.
     
  11. Drakejake

    Drakejake Member

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    My Star PD has a manual safety that can lock the hammer in the down position. But I understand that having a round in the chamber and the hammer against the firing pin, and no firing pin safeties, can be risky.

    Drakejake
     
  12. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    I've spent a lot of time out and about where I was the only person at risk if I got stupid. This naturally tends to lull a person about safety. I've had zero problems in some forty years of "messing" with a 1911, always carried cocked and locked. This includes truck consoles, holsters, hip pocket or vest.

    Art
     
  13. Alan Fud

    Alan Fud Member

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    Simple rule of thumb (and this applies to any firearm with a thumb safety) ... as you raise the sight toward the target, your thumb should be flicking the safety off. As soon as you start lowering your gun and the front sight is leaving the target, your thumb should be flicking the safety back on.
     
  14. jrhines

    jrhines Member

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    For my nickle, the condition of carry is not as important as the presence of a safety. If, by some quirk, the BG manages to disarm me, he has to know to toggle the safety off before he can fire the gun. If he is not as well trained as he should be, or only familer with DAO pistols, maybe, just maybe, that hesitation will allow me time for my backup to come into action.
    Any bad guy can pick up your Glock and kill you with it. And I have taken into account how much of a bad dude the perp would have to be to disarm you! The world is full of tougher guys than me.
    As for hammer hang-up, if you are not comfortable with your gun handling skills under conditions that you are willing to anticpate/accept, then get a different gun, practice more, or don't carry. I know this may sound harsh from someone in a "shall-not-issue" state, but in another life I did, and would continue to. And it was always cocked and locked.
     
  15. ArmaLube

    ArmaLube Member

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    Cocked & Locked

    As you know, there are many fine quality SA autos. Used correctly, they are excellent fireams.

    In my opinion, carrying cocked and locked is a very dangerous methodology. Empty guns, as everyone knows, have a way of turning out to be LOADED. Safeties have a way of unexpectedly finding their way to the FIRE POSITION. A bullet in the leg or foot would represent the hardest way to learn proper safety procedures.

    Hammer down on a loaded chamber is also potentially dangerous. While thumbing the hammer into the cocked position, a slight slip could fire the gun. Such an event would most likely do a real number on one's thumb. The fired bullet would proceed to 'who knows where?' Keep your fingers crossed and PRAY.

    The smart solution? Carry hammer down on an EMPTY CHAMBER! Jacking the slide back will quickly bring the pistol into play.

    Don't like these options and insist on safety? Switch to a good DA pistol, preferably one with 'non-safety' decocker. The SigArms pistols represent a great choice.

    Stay safe! Stay Happy!

    "Armalube Hits The Mark"
     
  16. Edward429451

    Edward429451 member

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    The problem with condition #3 (hammer down on empty chamber) is that when you need it, your other hand may be busy fending off the attacker.
     
  17. Cthulhu

    Cthulhu Member

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    As an extension to Edward429451's post, your weak hand might be wounded, blown off, broken or otherwise disabled. Better practice all those one handed cycling techniques if you choose to carry condition three.
    If you go the condition three route, also seriously consider the accessories you put on your trusty war horse. Those lowmount snagfree night sights give you a great sight picture, but lack the edge needed to rack your slide against your belt or shoe or what have you.
    No matter, just put the edge of the slide on a convenient horizontal surface and push....wait...Damn those full length guiderods!

    In the 1911, the grip safety, combined with a proper holster that covers the trigger in stiff leather or kydex, will prevent an AD in the event that the manual safety unexpectedly finds its way into the fire position.

    As the others have said before, if feel that you would forget to disengage the safety when the time comes, then the best route is to carry a different style of firearm.
     
  18. Pendragon

    Pendragon Member

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    C&L is a very safe method of carry on a 1911. I understand that a lot of people are uncomfortable with seeing that hammer hovering over the firing pin.

    A properly functioning 1911 should have a very positive thunb safety. If yours does not, you should get it fixed.

    Should the thunb safety get bumped to the fire position, the trigger of the gun still has to be pulled.

    Should someone bump your trigger or claw at it to depress it, the grip safety will prevent the gun from firing unless it is depressed.

    Some models have additional safeties internally.

    C&L is only as safe as the person practicing it. DA and DAO guns are not necessarily safer, they have their own areas where you have to be careful.

    I did C&L with a BHP clone for a couple of years - the one time I drew it, I was suprised at my own lucidity - draw gun, move it to low ready, disengage thumb safety - trigger finget jutting along the right side of the frame.

    Ah.....
     
  19. buttrap

    buttrap Member

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    Well the cocked and locked drill does work for folks that are practiced and drill in that mode but the gun was not disigned to be used in that mode even though it works well. In my cheep opinion I like the DA action do to the stiffer finger on trigger pull for that first shot when hyped up,much less chance of a round going of when not wanted covering a person.
     
  20. Sean Smith

    Sean Smith Member

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    You people gotta be kidding me. That scaaaaary hammer has got you psyched out again. :rolleyes:

    How safe is cocked & locked?

    Well...

    You HAVE to drop the thumb safety, AND...
    You HAVE to depress the grip safety, AND...
    You HAVE to actually pull the trigger.

    If something fails internally, and the hammer drops without the trigger being pulled, the half-cock notch will still stop the hammer. If the half-cock notch somehow fails simultaneously, on guns with firing pin blocks the gun STILL won't fire. Wow, redundant internal AND external safties to prevent multiple failure modes. Sounds reckless.

    What is so unsafe about that? The answer, of course, is absolutely NOTHING. Meanwhile, people shoot themselves with those "safe" DA/SA guns all the time. Strong suggestion that their relative "safety" is bogus. Maybe because they don't have a positive sign (hammer back) indicating that they are ready to fire? Maybe because you don't have to depress a positive manual safety in order to fire them? Maybe because the whole fear of cocked & locked carry isn't rational at all?

    :rolleyes:

    If you like something else better, fine, but don't expect us to buy irrational dribblings that aren't based in fact.
     
  21. buzz_knox

    buzz_knox Member

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    Yes, it was. At the time it may not have been the primary mode of carry envisioned, but Browning did design it to work in cocked and locked.
     
  22. P95Carry

    P95Carry Moderator Emeritus

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    I have always felt ''uncomfortable'' with C/L .... partly cos have not been up to skill std with 1911 type piece ... and have instead settled for DA first ...... S/A to follow ... thus the P95.

    The D/A pull is something that needs practice .... remembering then the transition to a short and sensitive release for all subsequent rounds. Like most things, familiarity is the deal. I do tho enjoy the comfort level of not being C/L and know that I have the piece totally ready at all times, added to which, if a situation presented the ''luxury'' of time, then a manual hammer cock will set me up just fine.
     
  23. Cthulhu

    Cthulhu Member

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    What really boggles the mind is that we have so many members that are nervous about carrying a 1911 C&L, but wouldn't hesitate for a second to carrying an AR-15, shotgun, or other long gun in the same manner. In ready condition, they all have rounds in the chamber, hammers cocked (although you can't see them) and the safeties on.
    In many cases the redundancy of safety is much less than that of the 1911 type design, yet we don't see countless debates as to their innate safety in this carry method.
     
  24. Master Blaster

    Master Blaster Member

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    You hit the nail on the head, a bolt action rifle is also carried cocked and locked, just like an ar-15 or any pump or semi-auto shotgun. You just cant see or dont think about the hammer.

    Glocks have a 5.5 lb trigger pull, no manual safety of any kind,

    folks have accidents with these safe pistols all the time, police have lots of accidents with them that would never happen with a 1911, because you can see that the hammer is cocked, and it has a thumb safety.

    This is especially true of NDs that happen when the GLOCK is being disassembled, and folks forget there is a round in the chamber before they pull the trigger (required) to dissassemble them.

    You dont pull the trigger on a cocked 1911 to dissassemble it.

    :rolleyes:
     
  25. Edward429451

    Edward429451 member

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    Correct. Also, IIRC, I read that they made JMB add a grip safety for soldiers who wanted to carry it in condition zero (Cocked & Un-locked)!
     
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