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SAO, one in the tube, hammer down?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by bowfita, Oct 28, 2009.

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  1. bowfita

    bowfita Member

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    Does anyone make a 1911 style SAO .45 compact, say similar to the EMP in style/size, that can be carried safely with the hammer down, one in the tube? It would then require that the hammer be pulled back in order to fire the first round.

    Thanks.
     
  2. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    All true 1911 designs are safe loaded with the hammer down.

    They use an irertia firing pin that is shorter then the hole through the slide so it cannot contact the primer unless the hammer hits it a driving blow.

    rc
     
  3. rellascout

    rellascout member

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    So many things wrong with this concept where to start?

    Having to cock a hammer on an SAO gun under stress is not a good idea.
     
  4. hammerklavier

    hammerklavier Member

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    I assume the gun has a decocker. If not, then NO!
     
  5. Echo9

    Echo9 Member

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    There are plenty of 3" barrel 1911s -- Para, Kimber, Springfield, etc. Springfield has one in .45; it's under "loaded" in the 1911 menu, and they call it "micro compact" I think.

    I'm curious, though. Why do you want to carry in condition 2?
     
  6. RobMoore

    RobMoore Member

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    You CAN do it with most any 1911, but SHOULD you? No

    Cocked and Locked is the way to go. Trying to draw a 1911, thumb cock, regrip it, then shoot is an action which can be performed enough times to get "comfortable" with it, but I'd hate to see what happens under stress. The safety is there for a reason. It works. Chamber the gun, put the safety on, and holster it. Your grip out of the holster should naturally put your thumb on the safety, so disengaging it is a smooth, effortless, and natural motion. Its not something you have to think about. It just happens.

    If you don't trust the safety, carry the gun around cocked and locked but chamber empty for a week. If you ever look down at your hip and find the hammer down, you have justified your reasoning. My guess is you will find the hammer still cocked every time you look. The thumb safety might click off if you have a poor holster, but the grip safety is still there as a backup.
     
  7. rbernie
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    rbernie Member

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    We've discussed Condition 2 carry here TO DEATH in the past. I have stated an opinion in these prior threads that Condition 2 carry has merit, if/when you cannot control the pistol but still feel the need to carry it loaded. An example of that might be when using off-body carry. It's slower in deployment than Condition 1 carry, but Condition 1 carry (to me) requires appropriate control and retention (e.g. the pistol should be holstered) that may not always be feasible.

    As was stated by rcmodel, any 1911 can be carried in Condition 2.

    Decocking a loaded pistol is a skill worth developing, does not require a mechanical device (decocker) to be accomplished, and is reasonably safe *if* done properly. Both the traditional wide-spur hammer of the original 1911 and the currently vogue 'skeletonized rowel' hammer give excellent gripping surfaces for decocking, and you'd truly have to work to boob up decocking a 1911 equipped with either design hammer.
     
  8. bigfatdave

    bigfatdave Member

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    Sort of defeats the purpose of SA with safety.
    There are a lot of good DA-SA guns out there with decockers, but I wouldn't want to attempt to get a pistol on target safely while:
    -drawing
    Xtaking off safety (whoops, forget this line!)
    -cocking
    -lining up sights
    -getting the cocking thumb out of the way of the slide

    I suggest you see how fast you can do all that with snap-caps before planning on carrying that way ... or get a pistol that doesn't have the SA trigger the 1911 should have.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2009
  9. RobMoore

    RobMoore Member

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    You can put the safety of your 1911 on with the hammer down, dave?
     
  10. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    This just goes to show how much misinformation persists about the 1911.

    If you carry hammer down, there is no safety to take off, because the guns design won't let you put it on.

    If you carry cocked & locked, you only need to press the safety down when the gun comes to hand. It is an instinctive movement of the thumb.

    No, you won't forget to do it, unless you forget to zip up your pants a lot too.

    Yes, it is safe to lower the hammer with your thumb if you want to de-cock it.

    You can even do it safely with one hand if you practice doing it.

    John Browning weren't no fool.

    rc
     
  11. bowfita

    bowfita Member

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    I appreciate the responses, fellas, and I apologize because I should have worded the question differently. What I should have asked was "in view of the fact that condition 2 carry is considered unsafe, have any 1911 manuf's come out with a hammer block?"

    I'm not an engineer, but is it that hard to design a hammer/pin block in the event that the gun falls on the hammer?
     
  12. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Please read post #2 again.

    I don't think you fully understood what I said, or missed reading it.

    A hammer down 1911 cannot fire from a blow to the hammer, period.

    rc
     
  13. rbernie
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    rbernie Member

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    The Colt Series 80 design has a firing pin block, to prevent movement of the firing pin unless the trigger is also pulled to the rear. ParaOrd 1911 pattern pistols also use the Colt 'Series 80' design for a firing pin block for their pistols. The Kimber 1911 pattern pistols also use a firing pin block, although theirs is activated off the grip safety.

    All of these designs will help prevent the hammer from pushing the firing pin forward should the hammer accidentally fall during decocking.

    Springfield Armory, Armscor (RIA/Citadel), and most 'custom/semi-custom' 1911 pistols will not have a firing pin block. I do not know if Taurus 1911s have a FP block.

    Once the hammer is down, it is resting on the firing pin stop (on the back of the slide, effectively). Hitting the hammer cannot drive the firing pin forward, since the hammer cannot smack the firing pin.
     
  14. bigfatdave

    bigfatdave Member

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    RobMoore, dammit, you're right there.
    I only shoot the 1911 platform occasionally, as I don't own one myself - I'd forgotten that

    I still think it adds unnecessary actions to presentation, and is less safe due to fumbling around with the hammer when you are drawing under stress
     
  15. RobMoore

    RobMoore Member

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    Agreed there.

    I didn't think about off-body when the OP said "carried safely". I took that to mean in a holster on-body. Whenever I off-body, I have a loaded mag but empty chamber.
     
  16. rbernie
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    rbernie Member

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    Frankly, I vacillate between whether cocking the pistol or racking the slide is a more effective means of bringing an unsecured pistol to ready. Racking the slide is a gross motor skill that may be more appropriate to high-stress situations, but I can usually cock a 1911 with my weak-side thumb as I bring the pistol to bear (I shoot Isoceles) faster than I can rack the slide.

    In any event - Condition 2 carry is not completely beyond the pale, and can be appropriate for certain circumstances.
     
  17. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Member

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    When I use a fanny pack, I carry hammer-down. The process of drawing from the fanny pack takes enough time that it doesn't make a lot of sense to worry about the time it will take to cock the hammer. I do this with the fanny pack in particular, because once I pulled it out, and found the hammer cocked with the safety off. I have no idea if I forgot to safe it, or if in the course of running around in life it somehow got worked off. Either way, I decided that when I carry somewhere I can't easily access it to verify, I will carry hammer down. When I carry IWB, shoulder, or on the belt, I carry chambered, cocked, safety on.
     
  18. LancerMW

    LancerMW Member

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    i wouldnt, the gun allready has to external safteys. understress i wouldnt want to have to pull a hammer back, dropping the saftey is atleast a natural movement when you draw
     
  19. bowfita

    bowfita Member

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    Thanks, rbernie, that is the kind of information I was looking for. I didn't mean to start another debate on whether condition 2 is acceptable for a defense response. Its obvious that "1" is the best for quick response. But...

    ...I'm a wimp, so DA/SA (PX4 SC) is what I carry now because I like the safety feature of the initial DA, and a blow to the hammer won't cause an AD. But, I rented some 1911 style .45s and fell in love. So seeking some kind of compromise I asked about hammer blocks.

    Thanks.
     
  20. rbernie
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    rbernie Member

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    Glad to help. FYI - the safety that prevents the firing pin from moving until the trigger is pulled is generally called a Firing Pin Safety. Hammer block safeties ostensibly block the hammer from moving when it's cocked or prevent it from hitting the firing pin when it falls. In the case of the firing pin safety, the notion is that even if the hammer *does* hit the firing pin, the pin is held captive and cannot move.
     
  21. dondavis3

    dondavis3 Member

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    Kimber says to not carry in Condition 2 ever.

    S&W made a 4506 that had a decocker safety - several police departments use them because of the decocker.

    Picture of my duty gun:

    DSC_0139.jpg
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2009
  22. David E

    David E Member

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    To perhaps clarify further, the firing pin is shorter than the firing pin channel. What this means is, when the hammer is fully forward, the firing pin does NOT protrude out into the chamber, and it does NOT touch or rest on the primer of the chambered cartridge.

    So, whack away all you want at a fully forward hammer, it's not going to fire.

    It is safer to carry a 1911 with the hammer fully forward than it is to carry the hammer on 1/2 or 1/4 cock.
     
  23. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    It can be safely carried hammer down on a hot chamber. Cocking the hammer on the draw ain't a big deal. Just cock it as your hand finds it...while it's still in the holster...then draw it. Much less fumble-prone that way. The hammer has checkering or serrations on it for a reason.

    It can also be safely carried cocked and locked, assuming that everything is in working order.

    Now for the spark that lights the fire...

    It's not all that wicked dangerous cocked and unlocked, either. The trigger has to be pulled in order to fire the gun. The grip safety blocks the trigger. The gun has to be held in a firing grip in order for the trigger to move. That's two separate actions that one must perform in order to fire it with the thumb safety in the OFF position.

    i.e If you don't want to fire the gun, don't pull the trigger.

    Condition Zero, in a holster that covers the trigger guard and imposes a safety strap between hammer and slide is safe...or at least as as safe as a loaded gun can be.

    Remember that the first ones that Browning submitted for evaluation in 1910 didn't even have thumb safeties. He apparently felt that the grip safety and the half-cock were sufficient.

    So, the notion that JMB intended for it to be carried in C-1 is a myth. The intent was to give the user one of three options, and if the true intent was known...it was probably to carry it with a chambered round and the hammer on half-cock...since that's how all his previous exposed hammer guns were designed.

    Please note that I'm not advocating Condition Zero carry. Only that it's not all that fraught with peril if handled correctly.

    Bottom line:

    It's not a toy and it's not your friend. When your hand is on it...it's as dangerous as a Rattlesnake, and should be regarded as hostile.
     
  24. M203Sniper

    M203Sniper member

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    You can also get a Para-Ordnance with an LDA trigger if you like the idea, I have seen the 6.45 which is an officers size pistol that I liked with a D/A trigger. I have never shot one.

    [​IMG]

    &


    Cylinder and Slide makes a kit with a drop in two piece hammer, called the Safety fast system that allows you to have the weapon in condition one cocked and locked but the hammer externally appears to be down. i have seen this and shot it and i really like it. Especially if you use a purse/fanny pack/smart carry etc.

    http://www.cylinder-slide.com/index.php?app=ccp0&ns=catshow&ref=SFSkits

    Video included
    http://www.cylinder-slide.com/videos.shtml#SFS

    No need to debate condition 2, there are options out there for you. Otherwise I think 1911 tuner is tapping the nail on the head for conventional designs.
     
  25. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Member

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    Kimber also says to only use 230 grain jacketed ammo in their guns. Now, I happen to have followed that rule with mine, but purely out of preference. I would use cast bullets in two seconds if I got a deal on some.
     
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