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New 1911 owner

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Chinaman, Nov 1, 2011.

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  1. Chinaman

    Chinaman Member

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    Hello all.

    I'm a proud new owner of a Sig 1911.

    My question for you all is whether or not other new 1911 owners are nervous carrying condition 1. I'm used to carrying a da/sa gun so the the thought of having my carry piece one flick of the safety away from firing is unnerving. I know that carrying "cocked and locked" is normal , but it again still a bit unnerving.

    Your thoughts.
     
  2. JTQ

    JTQ Member

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    Not an uncommon feeling. Many will carry their 1911 around the house for a couple of days with the pistol unloaded (empty magazine inserted) with the hammer cocked and the safety engaged just to verify the safety is not going to get disengaged and the hammer won't drop. Just to get a warm fuzzy.

    For what it's worth, most people that carry a DA/SA don't carry their pistols with the safety engaged, and if you are talking about a Sig DA/SA there is no safety. For a DA/SA pistol to fire in that condition, all you have to do is pull the trigger.

    For your 1911 to fire (in Condition 1) you need to disengage the thumb safety, then make sure you have gripped the frame correctly to disengage the grip safety, and then you have to pull the trigger. That is a lot more coincidental actions that need to occur (and the grip safety and trigger pull need to happen at the same time even) than with your DA/SA pistol.

    The 1911 is a very safe pistol. It just seems scary to see that hammer cocked.

    For a point of reference, you may want to measure the single action trigger pull weight of your DA/SA pistol and compare it to the trigger pull weight of your 1911. My guess is your 1911 has a heavier pull weight than you DA/SA pistol in single action mode. Yet another safety feature.
     
  3. Japle

    Japle Member

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    No. The gun was designed to be carried in condition one.
     
  4. EddieNFL

    EddieNFL member

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    ...and here we go...again.
     
  5. Bobson

    Bobson Member

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    Deleted.
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2011
  6. ugaarguy

    ugaarguy Moderator Staff Member

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    Think about it this way - a decock only DA/SA pistol (like a SIG) simply needs to be drawn from the holster & the trigger pulled to fire. A 1911 needs to be drawn from the holster, gripped properly to depress the grip safety, have the thumb safety disengaged, and then have the trigger pulled to fire. With a quality holster that covers the trigger, and a user who keeps his finger off the trigger it could be argued that a 1911 is safe to carry cocked & unlocked.
     
  7. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    The pistol was designed to be carried with a round in the chamber and the hammer down. It was then to be placed in the flap holster.

    So many accidental discharges happened when Soldiers lost control of the hammer that by the time you get to WWII the standard operating procedure was to holster the pistol with the safety on.

    Vietnam veterans have stated for them, SOP was not to have a magazine in the pistol until they were in the helicopter and then they were not allowed to chamber a round until they were on the ground in the combat area.

    Because the Cooperities were all reading from WWII manuals, they just make the assumption that the pistol was designed to be carried cocked and locked. It was not.

    With today’s beaver tails blocking access, thumb cocking is not the option that it used to be.

    After having the safety wiped off carrying a M1911, I decided I did not like carrying a gun cocked and unlocked.

    To each his own. :rolleyes:
     
  8. Chinaman

    Chinaman Member

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    I'm referring to the M9 for army use and my little Bersa. Since the M9 is an issued weapon I have to carry saftey on. If it were my choice I would carry off safe.
     
  9. 2wheels

    2wheels Member

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    3 of my 4 carry guns are single action 1911 (or 1911 style) guns. I carry all of them condition 1 without any fear whatsoever. IWB, pocket holster, hip holster, whatever.

    I've often wondered if there's something wrong with me because that's the way I've been since day one. My first handgun was a 1911 and I've NEVER been afraid of having a cocked and locked gun by my side, yet many people I talk to are nervous (to say the least!) of walking around with a cocked and locked 1911 or similar handgun.

    Treat it like you would any other gun. Obey the rules of firearms safety, use a proper holster in good condition, and I promise you'll be fine.
     
  10. Redneck1911.45

    Redneck1911.45 Member

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    I've had a 1911 for quite a few years,never worried 'bout it going off. So thanks thats 1 more thing to worry about. Just kidding... Carry your weapon as you feel safest. Doesn't take long to insert mag and rack a round. I carry in #1 but i feel safe with it...use whats works for you-Redneck
     
  11. lono

    lono Member

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    I have three 1911s, I do not carry them every day but I have carried them many times. I always carry them cocked and locked with no problems. Don't forget you always have the thumb safety, grip safety as well as the trigger, all have to be engaged before it goes boom.
     
  12. orionengnr

    orionengnr Member

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    When I first started carrying 1911s, I took some very good advice (outlined above).

    Even though I had owned and shot them for years, carrying one was a whole other deal.

    I started out by carrying it around the house, chamber empty, hammer cocked, thumb safety on.

    At the end of the first day, I found that the thumb safety was still engaged and the hammer had not fallen. Imagine that. :) Day two, ditto. And so on. That was reassuring enough, at a certain point, for me to start carrying it. The fact that I shoot a 1911 better than anything else might have had something to do with it, too...

    At a certain point I owned a 1911 with an ambi safety. On several occasions I found that the thumb safety was disengaged...but the hammer had still not fallen. That re-inforced the reassurance.

    I got rid of the ambi safety, but still, once in a while I find that the thumb safety has become disengaged due to my daily maneuverings.

    However, due to the 1911 design, the pistol is perfectly safe in the holster without the thumb safety--the grip safety is functioning, and the trigger is not being pressed. The fact that my 1911 also has an FPS is a third level of safety (although I own another without an FPS and trust it just as well).

    Once you have spent some time with the 1911, and really understand the overlapping levels of safety designed into the pistol, you will be more comfortable carrying one.

    It is just like any other pistol--keep your finger off the trigger and you will have no problem.

    But unlike many other pistols, it has those overlapping levels of safety. It is the genius of the design that has kept it going (and growing) for 100 years.

    Do some searching, reading and learning. Shoot your 1911 and when you are comfortable carrying it, do so.

    There are very few handguns that compare (although that is an opinion, it is one shared by a fair number of people). :)
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2011
  13. ugaarguy

    ugaarguy Moderator Staff Member

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    Another thing to consider is trigger travel, and pull weight. Glocks have a stock trigger pull weight of 5.5 lbs with 1/2 an inch of travel to striker release. Most 1911s have a stock trigger pull weight of 5-6 lbs, but a shorter trigger travel. The 1911 has both a thumb safety, and grip safety; while Glocks lack any external safety. I really think it's the mental hangup of seeing the cocked hammer that makes some uncomfortable with a cocked & locked 1911.
     
  14. KAS1981

    KAS1981 Member

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    It's not "one flick of the safety" from being fired. In order to fire these things have to happen:

    1- flick off safety
    2- depress grip safety
    3- pull the trigger, which drops the firing pin block & the hammer

    Stop worrying. It's fine.
     
  15. brnmuenchow

    brnmuenchow Member

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    My father never got use to it and decided to carry a Sig P220 Compact instead. Some people will never get used to it so they find other alternatives, or just decide to take a chance and carry one without one in the chamber. (and hope they are quick enough in a situation to get one in asap.)
     
  16. iLikeOldgunsIlikeNewGuns

    iLikeOldgunsIlikeNewGuns Member

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    My SW1911 has been my every day carry for two years now. I did my homework on the design of the gun itself before I started carrying it, but I still needed my own experience for peace of mind. For the first two months that I owned my 1911, as others have suggested, I carried it around my home with a snap-cap in the chamber instead of a live round. Also I would alternate between carrying hammer-cocked with the thumb-safety engaged, and carrying it cocked, without the thumb-safety engaged (condition zero?). Never once in that time, nor ever since, did I ever find the hammer had dropped without my intention. Only once in two years have I found the thumb-safety off when I had holstered the gun with it on, but even then it did not lead to a discharge, and that was one time in two years of every day carry, probably from shifting my weight while driving, as I had spent most of that day driving on the highway. Take some time to examine the inner-workings of the 1911 design, there are many of images you can find through google. I feel more comfortable carrying my 1911 in condition 1, than I do carrying any other gun. My other primary carry guns are a S&W 629-2, a Ruger GP-100, and a S&W 5906, and though I trust those guns with my life, I must again say my SW1911 in condition 1 is the one I am most comfortable with, and feel the safest with while carrying.
     
  17. Zerodefect

    Zerodefect Member

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    Check out Wilsons and AGI's detail strip DVD's. Then take your 1911 apart. Every single part out.

    Look over how everything works. You'll quickly see that a cocked and locked 1911 is one of the safest, if not THE safest pistol out there. And you can't turn the thumb safety off, deactivate the grip safety, and pull the trigger on accident. No pistol offers more safety redundancy than the 1911.

    If there is a mechanical failure the 2nd notch on the hammer keeps the gun from fireing. I just make sure to replace the sears in cheap 1911's with a Wilson sear that I trust my life on. Cheap insurance.
     
  18. msparks

    msparks Member

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    Congrats on your purchase. Which model did you get? I got a C3 (CCO model) for my Christmas present, haven't shot it yet. I am excited to start carrying it as well. Right now I carry a Glock 26.

    AFAIK, the 1911 is no less safe than any other. Like others have said. you have the thumb safety, the grip safety and the firing pin block (Sig 1911's have the Colt Series 80 style firing pin block)

    This is fine by me, and I plan to carry Cocked and Locked after I'm 100% on Function and reliability. Will take it out after Christmas and put a couple hundred rounds through it.

    Now carrying a BHP or a CZ75 cocked and locked that does make me a little nervous since there is no grip safety. But people do that as well.
     
  19. TexasRifleman

    TexasRifleman Moderator Emeritus

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    That's a holster problem not a gun problem. I have had a few crappy holsters that allow that too. But, even then, I've carried it around all day with the safety off, or it's possible anyway since I didn't notice til I took the gun off at the end of the day. Still 2 safeties left then; grip safety and no trigger pull.

    But yeah seeing it flicked down is not comfortable, but it's always been poor holster design when it's happened to me.
     
  20. Chinaman

    Chinaman Member

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    Msparks: I got the the Tacpac. It has the nitron rail, 2 magazines, a holster and laser.

    Thanks to everyone for their replies. I have been carrying around the house to get used to it. Slowly I will get used to it being in condition 1 and once I get rounds through her for fit and function, she will be my daily piece for the winter.
     
  21. jeepmor

    jeepmor Member

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    Safeties are relatively heavy on SA guns for just this reason. Learn to draw and squeeze the trigger and fire with your thumb by releasing the safety. This is what a former swat guy that taught our CCW license class told us. He said they were trained to present and fire the the first round in that fashion. It works great, but takes some getting used to.
     
  22. Zerodefect

    Zerodefect Member

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    That technique works well. But violates the "keep your finger off the trigger rule." And it will lead to shooting yourself in the foot. Using the thumb safety as a trigger on draws is about the only way I've heard of a 1911 owner ND'ing themselfs.

    It's better to fine tune the shape of the thumb safety paddle and sensitise the grip safety for smoother more consistant draws and first shots. The holster may require some work as well. Once setup correctly the above draw technique in no longer needed.

    I do turn my safety off as a draw/grip the gun as my thumb rides over the safety. So my thumb automaticly turns the safety off as I grip the gun and my thumb finds a place to rest. But that thumb safety generally isn't turned off until i'm rotating the gun forward onto target nearing the retention position.

    That techique of getting on target and squeezing everything at the same time is fine, maybe the thumb safety ends up being the trigger maybe not. But as your skill increases you'll get faster, and you'll have plenty of time to get a good grip and flick the safety off, then pull the trigger as a seperate step two. Using the thumb safety as a trigger was a habit that really set my skills back, a serious training scar.

    So it'll be better in the long run to continue practicing keeping your trigger finger out and pointed until your ready and on target. Eventually you'll be just as fast drawing the right way.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2011
  23. Lawdawg45

    Lawdawg45 Member

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    Chinaman,

    I appreciate you posting your concerns. After 30 years in law enforcement I just purchased my first 1911, and I also had some concerns. In my own mind I had to work out a few things so I (with an unloaded gun) tried to fire the weapon without the grip safety engaged, then tried to force the cocked hammer down, and finally tried to fire with the safety engaged. I also practiced drawing the weapon while dis-engaging the safety simultaneously, and I feel pretty comfortable with things now, but I will still refrain from an IWB holster carry with it, but that's just me.;)

    LD
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2011
  24. ET

    ET Member

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    Well, to be precise...your gun is one flick of the safety AND a beaver tail push AND a trigger pull away from a discharge. I carry a Glock 27 IWB Apex position with a round in the chamber. It is aimed precisely at my favorite apendage. It is only one trigger pull away from :cuss:. Yet I don't worry. OK, I've been married for 25 years now so it doesn't get out as much as it used to, but I'd still miss it. The gun is only as safe as the gun owner. I bet if you aim your gun at your crotch all day long that you would find a way to keep the safety on and your finger off the trigger and your palm off the beaver tail safety. Just saying...
     
  25. TexasRifleman

    TexasRifleman Moderator Emeritus

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    Wow. Probably one of the worst ideas I've heard in a very long time.

    And what in the world was supposed to be the advantage of that? Now you have a different method for firing the first round as you do the rest of them. Might as well get a DA/SA if you want that.

    Train your muscles to pull the trigger always and one day you grab a downed officers Glock in a firelight and shoot yourself... Brilliant!
     
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