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What is the absolutely safest way to DE-COCK a 1911?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by MidnightHour, Oct 20, 2004.

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  1. MidnightHour

    MidnightHour Member

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    I've searched the forum and I couldn't find a straight answer. The threads wer either downtalking SA pistols, recommending other pistols, etc.

    I would like a straight forward answer, without giving me suggestions on other pistols/trigger-actions. What is THE safest way to de-cock a 1911? If there is a thread or link that I didn't find, please direct me to a place where I can learn this information.

    Brandon
     
  2. Darkmind

    Darkmind Member

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    Assumeing were talking about a loaded 1911.


    Other than unloading it and then dry fireing it, there is no such thing as a safe way to de-cock a loaded 1911. Just my .02 cents.
     
  3. FPrice

    FPrice Member

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    What Darkmind said.
     
  4. drf

    drf Member

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    Take out magazine and eject the round in the chamber and either drop the hammer manually, or point the gun in a safe direction and pull the trigger dropping the hammer....drf
     
  5. cordex

    cordex Member

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    Safest way to decock a loaded 1911?

    Get a tube of super-glue or good epoxy and carefully squirt it all around the firing pin. Get as much as you can around the pin so as to affix it within the channel. Next, carefully fashion a small block of material to place over the firing pin stop. Be sure to drill out a hole where the firing pin is so your block itself doesn't touch it. Superglue/epoxy this to the firing pin stop so even if the hammer falls nothing can happen. Next, submerge the entire weapon in a thick tar and while it's submerged carefully place an off-hand finger under the hammer and thumb it back with your strong hand. Carefully disengage the manual safety and press the trigger while still holding the hammer back. Very slowly let it forward a slight amount and release the trigger. Now carefully let it the rest of the way down until it catches on the half-cock notch or the hammer-block you glued to the gun.

    Of course, you could always just grab the hammer with a few fingers and pull the trigger while hoping for the best.

    I think I'll stick to carrying cocked and locked and only dropping the hammer on an empty chamber or when I want to fire it.
     
  6. middy

    middy Member

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    If you absolutely have to drop the hammer on a live round, and I wouldn't make a habit of it, the safest way is probably to make sure your thumb is between the hammer and the firing pin when you lower the hammer. That way, if you slip, all you get is a sore thumb. Hopefully.

    In reality, hardly anyone carries hammer down on a live round in a SA autoloader for just this reason. Cocked and locked is safer, as counterintuitive as that may seem.
     
  7. Carlos Cabeza

    Carlos Cabeza Member

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    DROP THE MAGAZINE OUT OF THE WEAPON !, pull the slide back to eject the live round, do it again and visually inspect there is no cartridge in the chamber, do it again and stick your little pinkie finger in the chamber to feel if there is a round chambered, then, after you are positive there is not a round in the chamber, POINT THE FIREARM IN A SAFE DIRECTION and pull the trigger.

    Notice how I was screaming the first part of the lesson ? This is the part that many Darwin Awards forget to do. Oh the last part is very important too !
     
  8. WT

    WT Member

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    Assuming firearm is loaded, with round in chamber, hammer back and thumb safety engaged.

    1. Point firearm in safe direction.
    2. Disengage thumb safety.
    3. If right handed, stick left thumb between hammer and frame.
    4. Pull trigger releasing hammer, then immediately take finger off trigger.
    5. With thumb gently lower hammer to full rest position.

    The Series 80 Colts have a firing pin safety which locks until the trigger is pulled. The Series 70 and earlier Colt models did not.

    I knew some old codgers who routinely carried a Colt 1911 with the hammer down on a live round. They lived to ripe old ages.

    Go to the Texas Rangers Museum in Waco and you will see 1911's without trigger guards.
     
  9. FPrice

    FPrice Member

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    WT...

    "I knew some old codgers who routinely carried a Colt 1911 with the hammer down on a live round. They lived to ripe old ages."

    One of the reason they were old codgers is that they probably knew how to conceal their ADs after the fact.
     
  10. Black Majik

    Black Majik Member

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    Safest way to decock a 1911 is on an empty chamber.

    Most unsafe way to decock a 1911 is on a loaded chamber.
     
  11. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    De-Cock a 1911?

    First...

    It's a gun. It's NOT safe!

    Second...If the chamber is hot, the hammer should be at full cock, and either readied to fire or the safety engaged. It is no less safe in condition one than in condition two.

    That bein' said, proceed to...

    Back in the bad ol' days when the 1911 was still Uncle Sugar's
    issue sidearm, the MPs and SPs who were returning their weapons to the armory at the end of their daily/nightly tour, the clearing procedure was thus:

    Drop the magazine first. Not second, not later...First.

    Rack the slide twice, and visually inspect the chamber to insure that a live round didn't escape your notice.

    Point the pistol at a 55-gallon drum that was about 2/3rds full of sand and pull the trigger.

    Want to take a guess at how many hits a month that drum averaged?

    The 1911 wasn't meant to be de-cocked...though many people have done it
    successfully over the years without incident...yours truly included....but it's an inherently dangerous practice, and not recommended without dry-practice..about 500 times without losing control of the hammer should do it.
    One slip, and you need to start over.

    When you move on to lowering the hammer on a live round, be sure to have an adequate bullet trap to point the gun toward. A 2-foot thick stack of dry newspapers will do. Be sure and point the gun straight down into the stack, and expect that if the hammer gets away from you, the slide will
    very likely break your thumb unless you employ the weak-hand pinch method.

    Reach over the top of the slide with your weak hand and grasp the hammer firmly between thumb and index finger. Push the hammer past full-cock as you depress the grip safety...not AFTER. When you're confident that you truly have control of the hammer, pull the trigger and lower the hammer. Note that this method makes the stack of newspapers very difficult to point the gun straight down into, so it's highly adviseable to
    perform this outdoors or in front of a suitable vertical bullet trap such as the type found on indoor ranges.

    Now comes the question...

    Why would you want to lower the hammer on a hot chamber? The pistol can remain cocked and locked for over 50 years without weakening the mainspring to the degree that would cause misfires. Just curious...
     
  12. OF

    OF Member

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    That is the question.

    - Gabe
     
  13. SAMHANE

    SAMHANE Member

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    buy a SIG and you don't have to worry about a safe way of decocking it you can just hit the decock lever with no problems or fears
     
  14. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    Sig

    Howdy Sam...Welcome aboard.

    You said:

    >buy a SIG and you don't have to worry about a safe way of decocking it you can just hit the decock lever with no problems or fears<

    Got absolute faith in those decock contraptions, do ya?
    :uhoh:
     
  15. drf

    drf Member

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    If I were to carry a 1911 and was uneasy about cocked and locked, I would just carry it without one in the chamber...
    Its not completing ready when you need it but its better than nothing...

    As far as decocking a 1911, I dont think I would want the hammer against a live round in the first place...

    I have a 1911 but dont carry it... I carry a SA/DA with a decocker and up until now I always felt safe decocking it....1911 Tuner, do you know something I dont? have you ever heard of an incident when a decocker acted like a trigger????????drf
     
  16. Darkmind

    Darkmind Member

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    I've seen a military baretta 92fs go off in a clearing barrel when the de-cocking lever was used.:eek:


    Military version not new in box, used and used and used and used tell they fell apart then rebulit, repeat that about ten times and see what you get.
     
  17. SAMHANE

    SAMHANE Member

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    I wouldn't put it to my head and decock but I have faith in the decock lever on my Sig and its always pointed away in a safe direction when I do just incase god forbid it doesn't work. But to me it's waaaay more comforting than carrying "cocked and locked" or having to thumb it down
     
  18. Edward429451

    Edward429451 member

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    I dryfire on an empty chamber to decock.

    I operate the slide to cock it.

    I'm not sure I've ever touched my hammer with my thumb.:D
     
  19. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    Decockin' Levers

    I have absoluet faith in that decocking thing as long as I also have my thumb on the hammer.

    Darkmind...About a year ago, I run into this guy down at the range, instructin' his fair lady on the finer points of pistoleerin'...He says:

    "Honey, this here thing is the dee-cockin' lever. All ya gotta do after ya load it is push it down and...BANG! Try as we might, we couldn't get it to do it again.

    Trust'em if ya want to...I'll stand behind ya.:cool:
     
  20. macavada

    macavada Member

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    Anybody ever do a test and decock a sig or beretta repeatedly, and then examine the primer on the round to look for signs of any contact or light strikes? Just curious.
     
  21. LynnMassGuy

    LynnMassGuy Member

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    I don't trust the de-cocker on any pistol. Just paranoid me I guess. If there is a hammer my finger gets in front of it. If it is striker fired I point it in a safe direction, grit my teeth, make a girly dodge ball to the head face and hope for the best.
     
  22. SAMHANE

    SAMHANE Member

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    I think ur right 1911tuner decocking with thumb on the hammer just realized i do the same thing never took notice till i put a snap cap in tonight
     
  23. rbernie
    • Contributing Member

    rbernie Member

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    I do find it ironic that some of us place absolute faith and trust in a hammer safety's ability to kep the hammer from falling inadvertently, but not in a decocker's ability to keep the hammer from falling too far inadvertently. :scrutiny:
     
  24. dsk

    dsk Member

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    HOW is that even possible?!? When the decock lever is flipped the rear of the firing pin turns with it. And the front half is secured by the firing pin safety block. Sounds like somebody had that thing put together all wrong.
     
  25. Darkmind

    Darkmind Member

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    Thats what we were thinking when it happened. We locked it up in a pistol rack right after that. Brought it back to out armory the next morning to show the clerk. He said no its not possible, then we confrounted him about how it was put back togeather. He said no way that would happen we dont make mistakes like that. All i could think was, ya right ya BSen pice of crap.
     
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