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Perspectives and Questions from a beginner.

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by DannyZRC, Mar 2, 2010.

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  1. DannyZRC

    DannyZRC Member

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    Greetings everyone, occasional listener first time caller.

    I've been nursing a growing interest in firearms as a tool of personal security, and as an enjoyable hobby, and I've spent a lot of time reading about different pistols, and different ideas about their implementation.

    (longer, more boring post lost due to computer skulduggery)

    I've come to the firm and unshakable belief that a manual safety is a better design ideal than a "trigger only" gun. the consequences of an unintentional discharge are every bit as severe if not moreso than the consequence of a safety-induced FTF, and the opportunities for it to occur are vastly more frequent. a side benefit is the manual safety's tolerance of a "more shootable trigger"

    this has helped greatly in my search of pistol.

    my 2nd question though is decidedly less cut and dry, due to cost factors.

    Autoloading pistols are, these days, all fed from removable box magazines, and it is the design of the magazine release which I am pondering. Most pistols use a push button type magazine release, and I have found this type of release to be fairly easy to operate just by gripping the pistol in my left hand, or either hand on those models equipped with ambi releases. I have heard of a few accounts of gloved hands dropping magazines, but I don't know how common an occurrence it is in bare hands or, more saliently, in stress situations. This has led me toward a preference for the HK style paddle mag release, or even the heel catch, over the current standard push button release. my thinking is to promote magazine retention to be able to rely more on that magazines contents, than to worry about promoting the reload process which has a more remote possibility of being relevant.

    but, as I said, there is a cost factor. pistols with manual safeties and conventional push button releases are ~5-600$, but something that meets the manual safety req and has a paddle style release is basically an HK P30S/USP, and those guns are closer to 900-1k$

    so the likelihood of unintentional mag drop is the 500$ question.

    any comment on my philosophical position on manual safeties and mag releases is more than welcome, I look forward to all comments.

    Thanks!
    -Danny
     
  2. IdahoSkies

    IdahoSkies Member

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    When I looked at the manual safety issue You will find two schools of thought on why carry weapons should not have a safety (1) A safety is what is between your head and if you can't keep you finger out of the trigger guard you shouldn't be carrying anyway and (2) Safeties are an added layer of complexity in trying to bring your firearm to bear in an emergency situation where every second matters.

    As you stated the big plus for a safety is, well, that added layer of complexity to send the flying piece of metal at hundreds of feet per second on it's journey.

    Personally I like safety's. They help me makes sure that the bullet goes only where I want it to and not somewhere else. I have small kids and despite my instruction to them and care having a manual safety on my carry piece (which is always loaded and always on me or in my safe) helps my piece of mind when I am carrying them in my arms, or they are unexpectedly grabbing me as kids do with their dad. Safeties are all about the operator and the environment. If I did not have kids or lived by my self, I probably could care less if my DA had a manual safety. But I don't, so I do care. Its not about how the pistol operates, its about how *I* operate. And I am fine with that.

    Of note it is very interesting that of those who feel the need to have a safety on a firearm that need is applied generally to pistols and not to revolvers. (even among the anti's I know.) I have always wondered about that apparent dichotomy and I can only assume it must have something to do with the "comforting" look of the revolver as the weapon that was used when the west was wild.
     
  3. BigO01

    BigO01 Member

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    Welcome Dan and hopefully welcome to the wonderful world of safe gun handling and shooting for the rest of your life and that you pass it along to any children you may have now or in the future .

    As far as your thoughts go the trigger safeties "ALA Glock style" are all based on the simple prioncipal of that if you dont want the gun to fire keep your finger off trigger or don't squeeze it until it has traveled to its full length to make the internal parts do their thing and and propel the firing pin into thew the primer , much like the revolver except you're not seeing as much of the action/movement of parts as it happens .

    Not realy a bad concept actually and it usually does indeed work rather well , and is indeed very safe . Fact is people are always blaming someone or something else on their mistakes and dodge the responsibility for their action whenever they can and have most likely been doing this since the beginnings of speach and the the craetion of the first liar with idea to do so .

    Being new to the game "and I being old to it" I suggest that you start out with a revolver as your first weapon , lets live in the real world and all understand the fact that the chances of needing to use even 6 rounds in a defeensive situations is very very rare and that double action trigger pull around 10+ lbs will indeed help to prevent you from mistakenly firing a round at anything you don't want to .

    I suggest a quality Double action 357 such as a Smith & Wesson , Taurus , Ruger , Colt and a few others that can be had for say around $400 or less so as to leave you with plenty of money for practice ammo .

    Don't neglect "Dry fire practice" either this is where in your home you make 100% certain that the gun is unloaded and have all ammo away from you so you can't perhaps make a mistake and load the gun and practice "Shooting" things in you home like say a picture on the wall all the while paying attention to the small things that make you a good shot when the gun is loaded such as keeping both eyes open , breath and trigger control , and of course following trough with each shot .

    Now as to your thoughts on accidentaly dropping your magazine when you have gained skills and feel confident with your revolver move up to a 1911 and I doubt you will have problems accidentily dropping a magazine when you don't want to , but should this be a problem , with a simple screw driver and the skill needed to open a door you can if you need to change the magazine release spring to one that is heavier and make it much less likely this could happen but after a few months with the gun I bet you will want to do the exact opposite and install a lighter magazine release spring rather than a heavier one .

    You can get many things that you will need or may eventually want here
    http://www.midwayusa.com/ including those springs for less than $10 in the gunsmithing section of their website .

    Once again Welcome and good luck I hope you will enjoy the dickens out of your new interst/hobby of guns and shooting as most of us most certainly do .
     
  4. mgmorden

    mgmorden Member

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    I own handguns of both types - 3 with no safety and 5 that do have them. Doesn't bother me much either way whether it's there or not. The reality is, if you practice the #1 rule of shooting - always keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction, then you're good, no matter what.

    A big point to stress though (and something that a lot of people fail to do, even when being concious of the muzzle direction), is to never, EVER put your finger on the trigger until you're ready to pull it. If I ever give a person a gun to examine, and I see their finger go into the trigger guard, I immediately stop and explain what they did wrong. If you're handling the weapon and not intending to shoot it, then your finger should be resting along the side of the frame - NOT in the trigger guard.

    Put it this way, if the manual safety is EVER what saves your bacon, then count your lucky stars, but then sell the gun and don't buy anymore. If that's what makes the difference then you're not being a safe gun owner. Mere luck just prevented a serious accident, and if you're planning on handling a deadly weapon, you need something besides luck on your side.
     
  5. lilidiot

    lilidiot member

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    In a high adrenaline situation of self defense, a safety can get you killed. That is why the best selling and most copied military service pistol in the world today is the Glock Safe Action where the safety in in the trigger.

    That was also the reason why revolvers are so popular. It only requires one action to use......pull the trigger. Safety is between your ears. Just keep your booger hook off the boom switch until you need to shoot and all is well.
     
  6. Zerodefect

    Zerodefect Member

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    I prefere Glocks. Trigger only, no safety on them (It's a drop safety, "safe action trigger" is marketing speak).

    As long as you have a good holster like a Crossbreed Supertuck or MTAC Spartan, then your perfectly safe.

    Dare I say that the manual safety guns are getting obsolete??? Glocks, Walther PPS, SW Mp, Springy XD, all seem to outperform my 1911's and M9 or Ruger style semi autos. My Glock 23 is way easier to bring on target from a draw from concealment than my 1911.

    My point is don't over look the Glock 19/23/32/26/27/33 or Walther PPS, Kahr PM9, etc for CCW.
     
  7. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Member

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    All we can really say is the same thing we tell all of the guys who are wondering about any design. Get to a rental range and try it. I've shot a lot of guns, including guns with ambi releases, I can't recall ever accidentally dropping one.

    As for the trigger issue, this is one of the never-ending arguments we have in here. Some say that a fighting gun should be as uncomplicated as possible. Others say that fighting guns should have exposed hammers and manual safeties. (Apparently the military agrees with the latter right now.) Several years ago I dropped the Glock for a 1911 and I have never 'forgotten' to take it off safe when I wanted to fire. AT THE SAME TIME, if I were allowed to pick the sidearm to issue and train my soldiers with to take to war, I would give them Glocks for the simplicity and durability.
     
  8. BigO01

    BigO01 Member

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    In all my rambling I forgot to add this thought at the end of my post .

    Once you pick up a loaded gun you now quite litterally have the power of life or death over you and eveyone withing range of the respective power of that caliber.

    It doesn't matter if it's the jerk neighbor who let's his dog mess in your yard and you hate then both , the punk kid who you think wants to steal your car , or the girlfriend/wife you love more than life itself one stupid second of carelessness and you can cause their life to end .

    And my friend thats forever there are no do overs or take backs , when you picked that weapon up you took on the responsibility for the lives of all the people around you and like it or not you were playing by the "Big Boy Rules"
    .

    If you cant fully accept that then do yourself a favor and forget owning or even handling firearms this isn't a kids game .

    Trigger safety , manual safety , or none at all the power you now have in your hands is all the same and it needs 100% of you attention once you become involved with it .

    As I learned as a young lad there are NO such things as accidents there are instances of carelessness for one reason or another , and someone will have to pay a price for them almost 100% of the time .
     
  9. DannyZRC

    DannyZRC Member

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    I appreciate the responses so far.

    on the responsibilities of lethal force; Everyone who drives a car, myself included, is at the controls of something with more ft-lbs than even the mightiest rifle. I take very seriously the responsibilities of gun handling, but I hope everyone takes all of the other things in their life with equal consequences equally seriously, as I do.

    as to the manual safety and safety in general; I have other hobbies, as all of you do, and one of those hobbies is flying RC aircraft. These devices can be dangerous, and have fairly rigorous safe practice standards and a fairly low tolerance for poor behavior. In the last 10 years or so, there have been multiple technological advances in this hobby to improve safety, and those improvements have lead to fewer accidents. If your preflight routine and inspections are perfect, you would never need any of these safety features, and yet even experienced fliers can report an occasion or two where they failed to behave properly, and either they had a feature save them or they suffered a consequence.

    simple trigger operated pistols like glocks and revolvers are, I believe, suffering from the trap of perfection. they are "safe" as long as their operator is "perfect". I don't mean to be trite or cliché, but nobody is perfect. sometimes I shift my car into 1st in the garage instead of reverse, just today walking home from uni I wasn't attentive enough and slipped in some mud.

    I want the number of mistakes I need to make to unintentionally discharge the gun to be high, because I want the probability of me making all of those mistakes simultaneously to be astronomically small, and I feel this way precisely because I am serious about being a safe firearm operator, not to prevent my need to train to be one.

    side thought; a glock car would probably have.. no ignition, no shift lever, just a gas pedal and a brake/reverse pedal. I don't think anybody could look at that paradigm and call it safe, not "horrifyingly dangerous", but certainly not safe.
     
  10. Baba Louie

    Baba Louie Member

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    Well sir, I can say that, in over 40 years of shooting I have yet to suffer an unintentional magazine drop... but thats just me and my own few semi-autos (mostly 1911 style, but a couple o' others as well). Of course I do try to avoid stressful situations when I'm out a'shootin, so there's that to consider I guess.

    I do know that CZ has a mag release brake in their 75 series... some people don't like them and tweak as req'd for speedy mag changes, but just in case you didn't know that little fact, you do now.

    Safety is your mind and hands working together, conciously at first, later it becomes automatic (4 rule moment: 1. gun is assumed to be loaded, 2. don't point muzzle, 3. finger off trigger till sights on target, 4. know what's behind target). Mechanical safeties can break or malfunction, revolvers typically have no safeties except your brain/finger and they seem to continue to work well for some (old timers, eh?). Violate one of those 4... oops.

    Magazines... can be an issue unto themselves at times, so buy the best you can afford and keep em clean.

    BTW, Welcome to THR Dan. Let us know whatcha do get when ya get it. Also consider taking a couple of GOOD training classes once you do.
     
  11. dmazur

    dmazur Member

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    I have experience with both types of magazine release. I prefer the 1911 style.

    I've also tried both lighter and heavier (compared to factory) magazine release springs and prefer the heavier spring. As I'm not trying for an IDPA competition gun, I prefer the security of that stiff spring, however real or imagined that security might be.

    As long as you don't change the stock release for an extended or "competition" release, you shouldn't have any trouble with the 1911 style mag release.

    (By the way, I also replaced the base pin latch spring on a Ruger SBH with a heavier one. It makes it harder to disassemble/reassemble, but it doesn't shoot loose under recoil. I must like heavy springs... :) )
     
  12. shockwave

    shockwave Member

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    If you ever get a chance, watch the James Fox movie Performance some time. Classic example. The thugs are in your house, they've stripped you naked, they're smashing and destroying everything for vandal laffs. You've been beaten, clubbed, kicked, and for a single moment their backs are turned since they've written you off already. You have once chance left and you make your lunge for the gun they don't know you have.

    Ain't gonna be no time to be fooling around with no safety. Get your hand on that .357 and and point and all you have to do is pull the trigger. Plan for the absolute worst case scenario. For a carry piece I might consider a 9mm but a safety on the HD weapon? No way.

    My "safety" for the 12 ga. is an empty chamber and the mag tube loaded. Slide lock disengaged and safety off. All I have to do is rack it once and it's ready to go.
     
  13. Hatterasguy

    Hatterasguy Member

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    Correct me if I'm wrong but I beleive SOP in the military for carrying the 92 is one round in the chamber, safety off, hammer decocked. The first trigger pull on the Beretta is heavy and double action.

    Frankly it all comes down to the gray matter between your ears. If you don't trust yourself to properly handle a loaded pistol than you really shouldn't have one.

    Love them or hate them, Glock makes a damn good pistol, that is used all over the world. Their design has been proven over the years to be safe and reliable, beyond any doubt at this point.

    But if you don't like the Glock manual of arms pick a 1911 or something like a Sig 226. The 1911 is a bit more complicated, and will require more training than a Glock.
     
  14. DannyZRC

    DannyZRC Member

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    ... pure fantasy, IMO.

    the criticism I've heard of safeties rarely condemns their speed of action, but rather that there is the chance it will be forgotten. of all the draws of all the pistols in all the history of the world, the one you described is IMO the least likely to have the safety forgotten.

    but beyond that, the scenario requires so many things to be neglected in your home, it begs disbelief.

    no alarm, no dog, the invaders don't wake you, and somehow they've gotten all the way to you without waking you and then beat you out of bed instead of killing you.

    it's just seems... so remote.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2010
  15. lilidiot

    lilidiot member

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    Glock and Beretta handguns are killing bad guys as we speak in the ongoing war with Islam. What better testimony than that do you want. We take raw 18 year old kids and make them proficient with a M9 Beretta 9 mm pistol in less than 7 weeks then we send them out to kill bad people. Seems to be working don't you think.
     
  16. mgmorden

    mgmorden Member

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    I'm beginning to think there is more to this inquiry than simple curiousity. A person obsessed with safeties on a gun who dismisses scenarios when you'd have to use the gun defensively as "pure fantasy" sounds like an anti looking for some good quotes to use elsewhere.
     
  17. DannyZRC

    DannyZRC Member

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    Morden, I'm not an anti, I'm not here for laughs, I promise.

    I just believe in sober and honest appraisals, and making decisions that yield the highest likelihood of the best result. I just believe the scenario that was presented was an extremely unlikely scenario to which the solutions exist way before the pistol safety being an impediment becomes a factor.
     
  18. MrCleanOK

    MrCleanOK Member

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    Danny,

    Welcome to the forum. My thoughts are that you're overthinking both issues (manual safeties and magazine releases).

    First, with regard to manual safeties, that's a personal decision, but I don't think it's accurate to categorize a lack of a manual safety as a deficiency. "Point and shoot" guns have internal safety features built in, and they are awfully hard to discharge unintentionally. That's not to say it can't be done, but if people were out shooting themselves in the leg because their gun didn't have a manual safety, all guns would have manual safeties. Guns without manual safeties generally have trigger pulls that are long and/or heavy, so even if a user has terrible trigger discipline and lets their finger hang out inside the trigger guard, it still takes a rather intentional pull to discharge the weapon. It sounds like you have the correct mindset to instill good trigger discipline in yourself, so I doubt you'd be putting yourself or anyone else at risk with a weapon lacking a manual safety.

    Second, with respect to mag releases, the button style mag release isn't broke, and doesn't need fixing. If it was, just like with the safeties, all guns would employ something different. I think these instances of gloved hands unintentionally dropping mags are rare, and are coming from people who have light springs in the mechanism, or are using extended "tactical" release buttons. I wear gloves almost exclusively when I shoot (leather/kevlar flight gloves for warm weather, or thinly insulated gloves in winter), and have never unintentionally dropped a magazine. The paddle style release works, I have owned a gun that used it, and I honestly don't have a preference either way. I would steer clear of a heel catch magazine release for a defensive gun. There are reasons nobody's making them any more.
     
  19. Gungnir

    Gungnir Member

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    No they're not, you don't see Marines or anyone storming buildings armed with their Beretta's (or 1911's). Rifles (or carbines) are used in War, not handguns. Handguns are used only in defense when absolutely necessary, for instance you're rifles disabled, or you're out of ammo for it, and can't get more off one of your squad, at that precise moment.

    Glocks aren't used by any major military either Lithuania and Sweden are the only two that spring to mind neither are what I would consider major militaries, other than that it's all LEO.
     
  20. MrCleanOK

    MrCleanOK Member

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    I have seen photos of American troops carrying Glocks in Iraq. They appear to be units attached to Iraqi National Police for training, carrying the same pistols as their pupils.
     
  21. Gungnir

    Gungnir Member

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    Which would be LEO.
     
  22. labhound

    labhound Member

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    Go with a Beretta 92FS. 9mm with a decocker/safety that decocks gun with trigger and hammer disabled until you flick the safety off.
     
  23. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    let me offer what i believe is the safest gun available on the market for a reasonable price...the H&K P-7 PSP. there are currently LE trade-in P-7s on the market from Europe which are very affordable at about 40-60% of the price of a new one.

    the P7 has no safety which needs to be pushed off, but it isn't fired by just having pressure on the trigger either. the pistol is un-cocked, as a matter of fact the striker is blocked from any forward movement, until you squeeze the front strap and cock the striker. it can also be un-cocked by releasing the front strap without even unblocking the striker. should you happen to drop the gun, releasing the front strap safetly un-cocks the gun as soon as it leave your hand.

    cocking the striker takes about 12lbs and holding it cocked takes about 4lbs...like a compound bow. the gun is extremely accurate (fixed barrel) and has minimal recoil due to it's gas delayed locking system.

    it has a mag release mounted on the heel of the frame, which is the fastest design available (it presses in, instead of requiring a push backwards)

    it would be an excellent first gun, because you'd never have to wonder it a miss was the fault of you or the gun...it wasn't the gun
     
  24. diableri

    diableri Member

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    I think your heavy bent on manual safety mechanisms may just be a case of physical inexperience. Go shoot. Shoot thousands rounds through various guns. Make you choice on what works the best for your hands, eyes and mind together as one processing machine. If that weapon has a manual safety, so be it. If that weapon is a classic double action revolver so be it as well.

    As another RC plane enthusiast I can assure you, firearms and RC planes have nearly nothing in common at all and that's including safety steps.

    Enjoy this initial learning process with handguns too. You'll only get to have it once. Keep an open mind. It's one of the hobbies/sports/interests where reading about it and doing it have very little to do with each other.

    Happy and safe shooting.
     
  25. NWCP

    NWCP Member

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    You can find HKs that are well under $1000. My last purchase was a full size USP 9mm NIB for $629. The last thing I consider when shopping for a personal defense weapon is cost. I do look to get the best deal I can on the pistol I've chosen, but that is my last concern. I have a hard time putting a price tag on my life, or the life of my loved ones. If the pistol that works well for me and meets all the other criteria considered I'm willing to pay for it. My HKs will be around and serviceable long after my sorry hide is gone. Check with CDNN for the HK you want to carry. They have very competitive pricing and are great to work with. I've purchased several pistols from them and never had an issue.
     
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