The thumb safety

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Brubz, Apr 25, 2021.

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  1. Brubz

    Brubz Member

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    I am certain that there have been many debates here about whether or not to have a thumb safety on a semi-automatic pistol so I won't ask you to go over that again.my complaint is that there is no standardization as to which is safety on and which is safety off.
    On my Kimber micro 9 and my S&W M&P Shield the safety is on in the up position but on my Walther P22 the safety is off in the up position.
    Is it asking too much that the handgun industry arrive at a standard?
    And then there's my Ruger LCP 2 that doesn't have one at all!:cool:
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2021
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  2. JTQ

    JTQ Member

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    Most frame mounted safeties are like your M&P, which are copies of the 1911, down to fire, up for safe.

    On the other hand, most slide mounted safeties are copies of the Walther P38, which are up to fire, and down for safe.

    I think some of the problem is folks misunderstand how to use a slide mounted safety. Since most of the slide mounted safeties are on DA/SA guns, these devices are also used to decock the firearm, and that is their primary use. Most of these guns are not designed to be carried with the safety engaged, but rather with the hammer down and the safety off. The safety is there for administrative handling of the gun.

    Many of the guns with frame mounted safeties are single action guns, and are intended to be carried with the safety engaged.
     
  3. frogfurr

    frogfurr Member

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    I wonder how many other auto loaders have the safety's set up like the Walther.
     
  4. .455_Hunter

    .455_Hunter Member

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    A lot of them...

    Most Beretta 92 series
    Most S&W Gen 1 to Gen 3 series
     
  5. JTQ

    JTQ Member

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    Lots.

    It's not currently in fashion, but there were all those Walther's P38/PP/PPK/etc., all those Beretta's M9/92FS/PX4/etc., all those S&W's 39/59/4506/etc., all those Ruger's P89/P90/P95/P97/P345/etc., etc...
     
  6. frogfurr

    frogfurr Member

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    Thank you. I did not know that. No wonder everyone is going to double actions with no safety. I have always had autolcoadders with up for safe and down to fire.
     
  7. jar

    jar Member

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    Some of us still like double action with at least one safety.
     
  8. JTQ

    JTQ Member

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    Like I said above, if you're carrying your gun with a slide mounted safety, with the safety engaged, you're probably doing it wrong.

    You can do it, but it is the equivalent of somebody carrying a Glock with an empty chamber, or a 1911 in Condition 2. Sure people do it, but nobody is going to teach that.
     
  9. Mike J

    Mike J Member

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    I understand many people say to just leave the safety off. The problem is it can get knocked on without the carrier realizing it. It happened to me once with a Ruger P-series. I didn't need the gun right then but if I had the safety would have been on when I thought it was off. If carrying a firearm with the safety off I believe one should still drill to always swipe it off when they draw. I might still carry that old Ruger if it had been decock only.
     
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  10. zaitcev

    zaitcev Member

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    Early automatic pistols had a ton of crazy safeties on all sides of the gun. Fortunately, all that zoo fell by wayside.

    The ergonomic thumb safety comes from the 1911, where it was a last-minute addition, ironically. The U.S. market or 1911-inspired handguns have it "down to fire" and on the frame. There has been a lot of experimentation with details over the years, and a number of guns have safeties that are only remotely similar (e.g. Rugers or SIG P320).

    The inverse thumb safety originated with Walther P38, which was the standard German sidearm during the WW2. It ended there because the earlier German standard gun, the Luger P08, had a thumb safety that worked that way, so Walther had to make it like that too. This is where Beretta got the idea. A ton of later Walthers have the same arrangement, which is traditional for them. Unlike the heel magazine release, it's taking its time to die.

    The most unfortunate example of inverted gun for me is Ruger P22. That would be a great little pistol if only they didn't reverse the safety on it. It's even on the frame!
     
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  11. JR24

    JR24 Member

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    Not too many of those are still in production though. Good or ill, the slide mounted safety is going the way of the dinosaur in modern pistol design.

    I could not agree more. If it has a safety, I gotta be darned sure I'm training to disengage it every time.
     
  12. JTQ

    JTQ Member

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    A valid point, but there are probably still more in production than there are those that have used the SIG style decocker. Also neither good or bad, just a data point, and something to consider.
     
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  13. edwardware

    edwardware Member

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    An oft missed point, and precisely why your manual of arms needs to address all the controls, even the bass ackwards upsidedown slide-mounted switch if you choose to carry one.

    In my opinion, a thoughtfully designed safety is switched off as you close your grip towards full firing control.
     
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  14. frogfurr

    frogfurr Member

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    I could never figure out the confusion of the inability for some to use a safety and the progression to double action only without a safety. I guess it was the world before Glock. Sounds like something else gun related stupedited down.
     
  15. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    I started with 1911's and like the safety design. And while I still like a 1911 for range and target use I also believe it's days as a front line defensive weapon have passed. I also have used a lot of DA revolvers over the years and while I prefer a semi, appreciate a revolver as well.

    I never cared for the reverse type safety like those used on the Beretta 92 and classic Smith pistols. If the gun is DA for the 1st shot there is no more need for a safety than on a DA revolver. If choosing a DA/SA semi I much prefer the decocker only arrangement similar to the classic Sig's. It's not that the other system can't work, but if it's my money being spent on a DA/SA pistol the Sig, or Sig style decocker is where I'm spending my money.

    I don't have a problem with the Glock striker fired system with no safety at all. Technically those are DAO and the Glock and most striker fired guns have a trigger heavy enough, and long enough that I don't feel particularly worried with one not having a thumb safety. I have several Glocks and for years they have been my go-to pick

    But Sig, Ruger, Smith, and others are now offering striker fired pistols with better triggers AND the option of a 1911 style safety. To me this is the best of all systems. Several of these guns have better triggers that I can shoot more accurately than my Glocks. And I feel more comfortable using them with a safety, particularly those with triggers that rival many out of the box 1911's.
     
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  16. JTQ

    JTQ Member

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    I'm only responding because you quoted me, but I'm not sure I understand what you're saying or how it is related to my post.
     
  17. frogfurr

    frogfurr Member

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    Really the thing best 1911's have going for them is their trigger and their thinness for carry. Not to mention their inherent accuracy and reliability. One can buy a 1911 in any size or flavor. There is a need for a safety. Kind of like gun 101. If someone has decided that there is no need for a safety on a gun then they need to study on how the safety devices on lawnmowers and cars are not necessary either.
     
  18. JTQ

    JTQ Member

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    Revolvers
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2021
  19. frogfurr

    frogfurr Member

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    My apologies. I cross posted.
     
  20. barnetmill

    barnetmill Member

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    I can assure you that the issued GI 1911 of WWII up to the 60's was not very accurate, but still at typical combat ranges was good to minute of man; they did the job. You could shake them and they would typically rattle. Mine that I purchased for $17.50 from the old DCM had at least an 8 lb trigger. They could be improved by a gunsmith by working on the trigger-hammer surfaces and 'balancing' the hammer main spring and firing pin spring. Cut the springs around the floating firing pin I think was responsible for some reported discharges upon being dropped. I would guess if they were dropped on the muzzle the floating firing pin might have enough momentum .
    For a combat gun I go with glock system because I like KISS with no manual safety. Just be very careful about holstering it.
     
  21. frogfurr

    frogfurr Member

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    I've tried the Glock system.
     
  22. RETG

    RETG Member

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    I am not going to be the one to tell someone how to set their safety on their slide mounted handgun since it is their decision and if trained that way; most likely not a problem. However, on some guns it is possible to deactivate the safety feature of the thumb mounted safety/decocker lever in about 10 minutes. On my PX4 series F, it is simple as removing a ball; thus making the F series in a G series.

    As for a safety....personally, have never used one on any of my DA/SA weapons and never had one accidentally be placed in the safe mode when holstered.
     
  23. UncleEd

    UncleEd Member

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    The Beretta 92 series is a major example of the
    slide mounted decocker/safety system. Learn the
    manual of arms for it and you'll have no problem.
    Or simply install a "G" decocker only.

    The problem with gun forums is that so many
    posters own so many different brands of guns,
    1911 style, Glock style, SIG style, Beretta/old
    Smith style. Better to be a "one-gun man" and
    by that I mean one style or brand, one style
    of safety or "no safety" in your choice.
     
  24. Spats McGee

    Spats McGee Moderator Staff Member

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    I've never been bothered by the fact that there are so many varieties in possible safety configurations (for lack of a better word). For my range pistols, it doesn't make any difference to me. (Although, now that I think about it, all of my pistols with thumb safeties are "down to fire" models.) For CC, I carry a Shield, no thumb safety. If I were going to carry a model with a thumb safety, it would have to be a "down to fire" safety, not because they're inherently better, but because my first carry gun was a 1911. Accordingly, I have far more experience handling those kinds of safeties than "up to fire" safeties.
     
  25. 5-SHOTS

    5-SHOTS Member

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    The Sarsilmaz Mega 2000 has a thumb frame safety which is up for fire and down for safety. The fulcrum of the Mega 2000 safety lever is also opposite to the classic 1911 safety lever.
    To each his own.
    I think it will never be possible to establish a standard. Semi-automatic pistols have the most diverse characteristics, especially if one includes pistols from the past that are still popular today. This is why it is important that everyone chooses the pistol he prefers and gets to know it thoroughly by first carefully studying the instruction manual. If a person has many guns with different characteristics, it is up to him to learn the operation of the safety devices and the other controls on each of them.
     
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