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When Drawing a 1911 - Always Disengage Safety?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by D-Man, Aug 4, 2008.

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  1. D-Man

    D-Man Member

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    The other thread about carrying cocked-n-locked got me thinking.....

    If you have to draw your weapon, are you always disengaging the safety on the draw, or if the threat is either limited or low, would you leave the safety as is until you know for sure a shot may be needed?

    Obviously you wouldn't be drawing a weapon unless the threat was real, but it made me wonder if there would be different ways to handle the safey.
     
  2. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    If the threat is low, you should draw into a low-ready position and leave the safety engaged.

    If you know a shot is already necessary when you draw, the safety comes off as the gun comes up into your line of sight.

    rcmodel
     
  3. freakshow10mm

    freakshow10mm member

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    Disengage safety before you fire. If I'm drawing to immediately fire, I'm disengaging the safety as I draw. If I'm drawing to be ready, the safety is still on and I'll disengage before I shoot if necessary.
     
  4. Eric F

    Eric F Member

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    I have asked this question on a diffrent forum and discussed this on THR too. The answer is do what you practice. I practice safety off when drawing in transition from gun clearing holster while in forward motion to align the sights on the target. The last safety is the decision to shoot. Its kinda simple but thats it.

    Others say my way is not safe. Others prefer to have the target completely identified sights lined up and target reidentified and maybe even a verbal warning, but what ever. Diffrent strokes for diffrent folks.
     
  5. CWL

    CWL Member

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    I always swipe the safety during the draw.

    If a situation warrants pulling a pistol out, then leaving the safety engaged makes no sense.

    My real safety is my trigger finger.
     
  6. Ske1etor

    Ske1etor Member

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    The safety automatically gets swept down when I draw. My shooting grip/combat grip depends on the safety being in the down or disengaged position. If I am drawing, the only safety I need is my finger to be outside of the trigger guard.

    Safety gets swept back up upon heading back to the holster.
     
  7. HorseSoldier

    HorseSoldier Member

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    +1 what freakshow10mm and others said. Safety on until you're engaging, then safety back on after you've dealt with the threat. Logical and that's how it's taught by everyone I know of who teaches pistol shooting.
     
  8. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    I interpreted "low threat" as going to investigate a bump in the night, etc.

    I would have the gun out, but I sure as heck wouldn't need or want to have the safety off at that point!

    rcmodel
     
  9. Eric F

    Eric F Member

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    Some teach that, I was taught dont draw unless you are planning to shoot. If I am planning to shoot then no need for the safety to be on. All being said I hear the bump in the night or imediate danger to my life gun comes out/safety goes off. Thats what I have been taught and practice. Anything else is just brandishing/threatening/bluffing.....to me any way.

    From another forum I frequent(names are edited)
     
  10. AndrewGWU

    AndrewGWU Member

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    Like others I practice clicking the safety off on the draw. It has become instinct.
     
  11. M1911

    M1911 Member

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    That is how I was trained and how I practice. I also keep my thumb on top of the safety at all times.
     
  12. Black Majik

    Black Majik Member

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    I also disengage the safety as part of the draw motion. And also would agree that any situation that warrants the gun to clear the holster would be a good enough reason to disengage the safety. Keep that finger off the trigger and you'll do fine.

    I haven't forgotten to click the safety off since I'm used to snicking it off on the draw. I can guarantee that if I keep the safety on...

    I'll definitely forget to take the safety off when the gun is most needed.

    Train one way and keep to it. I'm used to clicking it off on the draw, and only engaging the safety back upon reholstering. Everything else in between the draw and reholstering, the gun is ready to fire.
     
  13. brighamr

    brighamr Member

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    Different situations require different responses:

    If I'm going outside to see what the dogs are barking about, I'll probably leave the safety on.

    If someone's broken into the house, and is walking toward me with a knife/gun... safety and all bets, are off.
     
  14. Vonderek

    Vonderek Member

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    Muscle memory. If the gun gets drawn the safety is wiped off instinctively.
     
  15. Frank Ettin

    Frank Ettin Moderator

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    As I've been taught, I disengage the safety as the gun is pointed down range (at low ready or pointed at the target), BUT the trigger finger stays outside the trigger guard until I've made the decision to actually fire. I shoot with a high thumb -- always riding the thumb safety.
     
  16. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    The safety is not swiped off automatically unless I plan on fireing immediately, or expect to do so almost immediately.

    If I don't expect to fire immediately, the safety stays on, my finger goes on the trigger,(some would disagree) with my thumb over the safety.

    At least for me. :)

    I practice it both ways.
     
  17. Rustynuts

    Rustynuts Member

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    Yes, I would think this is unsafe. Many times the other fingers can move sympathetically to other finger movements. Either by the subconscious or by mechanical interaction from the tendons, muscles. When you go to move the thumb to sweep the safety off, it's possible for the trigger finger to move as well, esp. in a stress situation. If you use this technique ONLY to use the safety when actually firing, but not to sweep the safety just to get to a higher level of "alertness".

    My theory is if the gun is out, whether low/medium/high threat, the safety is OFF and the trigger finger straight. If the SHTF, I just want to point and shoot no matter which gun I'm carrying at the time. A 1911 with safety off should be viewed no differently than a DA revolver or semi with no manual safety, even though the trigger may be much lighter. Finger should be off until shooting anyway.
     
  18. RobMoore

    RobMoore Member

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    Safety off on the draw. Thumbs forward grip, right thumb riding the safety.

    The safety is there to keep the gun from firing when its not in my hands.

    My finger not on the trigger keeps it from firing when its in my hands.
     
  19. Zach S

    Zach S Member

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    Same here.

    Not just for 1911, but my shotgun and ARs as well. If they're in my hands, they're off-safe and my finger is off the trigger. Back on safe when they're holstered or slung.
     
  20. dmazur

    dmazur Member

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    While IDPA is obviously not real-life, it is intended to provide practice for real-life events. (For those who may not be familiar with IDPA, it's pistol competition without race guns and trick holsters. Courses of fire are supposed to represent something you might encounter in real life.)

    I'm just a beginner with IDPA. What I've learned so far is that there are time penalties assessed for procedural violations like leaving your finger on the trigger while moving. (Called "Finger" by the SO) If you do it often enough, you can be disqualified.

    This practice is in keeping with IDPA. Especially if you keep you trigger finger parallel to the slide until you actually shoot, then back outside again until engaging another threat.

    This is very practical, with practice. If you stumble while moving, you probably won't shoot yourself in the foot, and it's not as burdensome both in time and dexterity as flicking safety on/off each time you engage & fire.

    Of course, when the CoF is finished, you put on safety and reholster. I believe you have to unload and show clear before leaving that area.

    IDPA rules are consistent with the Four Rules.

    Other than their paranoia about loaded weapons at a match, IDPA is pretty close to real life. Something to consider, anyway.
     
  21. VHinch

    VHinch Member

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    On target = finger on trigger, safety off.
    Off target = finger off trigger, safety on.
     
  22. AZ_Rebel

    AZ_Rebel Member

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    +1 One of the few who got it right!
     
  23. Eric F

    Eric F Member

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    there is no wrong answer here. Its a personal prefrence issue:banghead:

    So if you cant get it wrong every one here is right
     
  24. RobMoore

    RobMoore Member

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    [​IMG]

    Its not easy to get the safety on without giving up the grip. I don't give up the grip unless I'm going back to the holster (with the exception of reloading, or having to do something one handed, like point at someone or dial a cell phone...and then I'm still goong to keep my one handed grip, thumb riding safety in off position)
     
  25. 1911 guy

    1911 guy Member

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    I disengage the safety on the drawstroke every time. Trigger discipline is the last word in safety, not a metal lever.

    Quote:On target = finger on trigger, safety off.
    Off target = finger off trigger, safety on.
    +1 One of the few who got it right!

    Except it isn't right. Your finger should be on the trigger when you've made the deicision to fire, not just because there's a target there. I can think of a dozen "no shoot" situations that would have my muzzle on someone for at least a short time. Sympathetic reflex has caused a lot of people to get holes in them due to lack of trigger discipline.
     
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