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Which Thumb?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Guns_and_Labs, Jun 29, 2005.

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  1. Guns_and_Labs

    Guns_and_Labs Member

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    I'm playing around with a new S&W 4506, amazingly my first traditional double action (a.k.a. DA/SA). I'm noticing it has the most unergonomic thumb safety/decocker possible.

    So, my question for those more DA/SA savvy: when you're drawing from a holster, do you thumb off the safety with the strong hand when establishing the grip, or do you thumb off the safety with the weak hand when establishing the support? And, if the former, can you also use a retention holster?

    I've been running dryfire practices both ways, and neither seems compelling.
     
  2. pax

    pax Member

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    If you always, always use your strong side thumb, you will be at less of a disadvantage if you ever need to shoot quickly one handed.

    pax
     
  3. 1911 guy

    1911 guy Member

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    Might help

    I always disengage the safety with my right thumb, drawing right handed. I use a single action auto, but the safety issue is the same with C/L.
     
  4. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    The whole point of a DA/SA pistol is that a manual safety is not necessary. Draw and yank, crunch-tick; what Jan Stevenson called "the convulsive response." I use the S&W lever only as a decocker, returning it to "fire" position before holstering. My Sig-Sauer HAS no safety and I am comfortable with it. They are as safe as a revolver that way.

    If you fear you are subject to a gun grab (by a criminal, not a politician), the Ayoob technique is to hit the lever with your strong thumb on the draw. You cannot depend on your weak hand being available in a gunfight.
     
  5. Aahzz

    Aahzz Member

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    I carry S&W third-gen autos...I find the safety quite conveniently placed - guess it all comes down to what one is used to. That having been said, I use my strong-hand thumb. I also keep the safety off when carrying, but have conditioned myself to move my thumb past that area when first grasping the gun. That way, if something happened to bump the safety and flip it into the "on" position, I can sweep it off easily.
     
  6. migoi

    migoi Member

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    I've always considered...

    that lever on the slide of my 5906 to be a decocker and not a safety. It is always immediately returned to the ready to fire position as soon as it has allowed the hammer to drop back to the double action position.

    While maybe not technically correct I use the following criteria to decide whether a lever on a handgun is a safety or a decocker. If you have to push it in an upward motion with the nail side of your thumb in order to put in in the firing position then it is a decocker. If you push it down with the non-nail side of your thumb to put it in the firing position then it is a safety.

    My criteria is based on, at least with my thumb, the upward to the fire position motion being awkward and cannot be done reliably under stress. The downward to the fire position motion is a natural motion that occurs as you are moving you firing hand thumb down to the proper grip position as you draw from a holster.

    I've been told you can have a spring installed in the S&W's so that the decocker automatically pops back into the ready to fire position after decocking, just like the SIG's do.

    Just my thoughts on differentiating between decockers and safeties.

    migoi
     
  7. wally

    wally Member

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    Be careful, ones that lack a trigger activated firing pin block are usually safeties that also block the firing pin when engaged, thus like a cocked and locked 1911 *may* not be "drop safe" if the slide mounted decocker/safety is disengaged. The Mak, Walther P38, and S&W Model 59 amoung others comes to mind.

    --wally.
     
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