Why are hammers cocked in pictures?

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1. it takes me no longer to cock the hammer than to take off the safety
2. why would anyone with any sense drop or throw their loaded 1911 down on a floor
3. even if we did invent a new sport, "1911 Throwing of Loaded Weapon", how often could one expect to strike the hammer consistantly?
condition two (2) is safer and just as fast
+1 Jim Watson

How many "dropped Glock" accidents have we seen.

And we know that can't happen, unless somebody pulls the trigger to disconnect all the drop safetys and cock the striker.

If they're DA/SA then they probably just didn't decock after clearing the weapon.
There are many DA/SA pistols that are carried Cocked & Locked. (USP, CZ-50, CZ-70, CZ-75 and variants, various Berettas’ and Taurus’s, Etc.)
Browning designed HIS ORIGIONAL 1911 pistol without a safety. He intended it to be carried hammer down on a live round or with an empty chamber.

Later the Army asked that he put a manual safety on it.

Also as someone else said you can beat on the hammer until the cows come home and it can not fire.
I thought the grip safety was an Army add-on, but I am certainly not a 1911 guru, could be wrong.
Mine are pictured at the half cock, because that's where CZ's decock to. it is a safe place to carry this brand of pistol's hammer, lighter DA pull, still safe, seen here with my PCR and P01...


...and the wife's PO1 with CZ pink grips and Hazel Leather holster.


Hope that helps.
"2. why would anyone with any sense drop or throw their loaded 1911 down on a floor"

I can see you are new to guns.

Sooner or later everyone drops their gun.
Also once the hammer is down the gun is as safe or safer than cocked and locked.

ABSOLUTELY NOT!!! Your newer whiz-bang pistols with with a hammer-block safety maybe, but a gun that is cocked and locked is SAFER than one that has a hammer down on a live chamber... EVEN on a series-80 gun. Want to know why? Mechanically it isn't that big of a deal, but have you EVER tried to cock the hammer under fire? Ever BEEN under fire? I haven't. Heck, IPSC is hard enough.

And, no, you can't train anybody to cock the hammer on a 1911 quicker than they can disengage the safety. You may call safe one thing, I call safe another. A pistol is intended to save your life and/or help you fight to a better gun.
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. . . respectfully, you are wrong. And you are wrong in a profoundly dis-respectful . . . way. Go back and read above what Jim Watson, rcmodel, etc. explained about how the firing system and safeties of the 1911 actually work.

This thread covers the issue well, and several real professionals way in about the function of the gun, safety of Condition 2, and history of it:


The 1911 as issued to the army was designed to be carried in Conditions 1, 2, and 3. The manual of the time goes through them all. It makes no value judgments about which is safer or preferred. If you feel the need to make claims as to which is better, you need to justify them and take responsibility for them as your claims, but you can't reference the army manual or Browning and say they made the claims.

The 1911 prototype (1910) as completed by Browning did not have the thumb safety at all - the army requested it. This is all covered above in other posts, but still people keep ignoring facts and just repeating dogma.

Personally, in certain situations, I carry my 1911 in Condition 2. I did so just last Sunday when mountain riding. And we stumbled upon a black bear. Having my .45 in condition 2 did not make me feel any less safe than if it had been in condition 1.
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Ok, let me get this right. I'm not too familiar with .45's. I have a SA 1911 but have yet to fire it. I will shoot it at our next club shoot.
Now, if I put a full magazine in, it's basically unable to fire until I pull back the slide and I chamber a round, right? Ok, at that point, at what position is the hammer? It's cocked, right? Is this the way a .45 is carried, with the hammer back? Why not close the hammer (carefully) and just cock it when you need to fire? I'm thinking that if you carry cocked, couldn't it go off when you unholster it? (you would have to be a real dumbkoff if it happened)
I don't carry my .45 (too heavy) I carry my .38 AirWeight, much lighter and concealable.

I'm not sure what is entailed in a "club shoot", but if it is anything more than you taking all the time in the world and being completely deliberate with the handling of your 1911, I would pick another pistol for your "club shoot". You really need to have time to understand the manual of arms for the 1911 before competing with that pistol. By your questions I can tell you have a sound understanding of your revolver, which is why carrying around a pistol with the hammer cocked seems so odd/dangerous to you. I wouldn't carry my revolver like that either, but the 1911 with the safeties used properly (and understood), is very safe in such a condition.
1. it takes me no longer to cock the hammer than to take off the safety
Then you don't know how to properly draw a 1911 from the holster, there's no way that's faster. I find it amazing that you have been unable to figure out how to lower a safety as part of your draw stroke in 47 years of 1911 experience.
condition two (2) is safer and just as fast
It's neither. It is no more safe than condition one, and it's less safe to get the pistol into condition two. That requires lowering a hammer on a live round, which generally can be done safely, except for that one time it slips from your grip....
wditto said:
...it takes me no longer to cock the hammer than to take off the safety...
Sweeping off the safety on a 1911 on the draw stroke is an easy, simple gross motor action, especially if you've been trained (as many have) to shoot with the thumb continuously riding the safety. One merely takes his firing grip and exerts some pressure downward with his thumb, and voila, the safety is disengaged. It is easily accomplishes as the gun rotates on to the target (with the trigger finger off the trigger and outside the trigger guard as the good Colonel Cooper taught us), and no time is lost on the safety.

And FWIW, I tend to agree that lowering the hammer shouldn't be too much of an issue. It's a risk, but one ought to be able to manage the risk if he pays attention. And of course we always have any gun we handle for any reason or in any way pointed only in a safe direction.

My primary issue with carrying in condition 2 is the need to then cock the hammer to make the gun ready to fire. The hammer can be cocked with the weak hand when assuming a two handed grips, but as discussed elsewhere, I don't think it's a particularly good idea to rely on having both hands available in an emergency.

Some folks can cock the hammer on a 1911 with one hand. Folks who can do that usually have large hands, and it helps if it's an "old style" 1911 with the more traditional short tang grip safety. But cocking a 1911 with one hand, IME, is not necessarily a quick, easy or sure action, especially under stress. And if the hammer slips while you're trying to cock it, you may or may not get an ND, but you'll at least have a non-operational weapon until you finally do get it cocked. If it's really an emergency and you need your gun, you will have lost valuable time trying to sort things out.

Consider the old fashion single action revolver. The large hammer and grip design make it much easier than a 1911 to cock, especially one handed. Yet in my old Cowboy Action Shooting days, in the moderate stress of competition, it was not uncommon to see someone "short stroke" his hogsleg cocking it with one hand, or even when cocking it with the weak hand.

BTW armoredman, it's also my understanding that the CZ75 and it's relatives are designed so that they may properly be carried at half-cock.
I notice that many pictures that are posted of guns, especially semi-autos, show the hammer cocked. Why is that? Any particular reason? Safety reason?
Just curious

With the 1911 it's kind of traditional to take the picture cocked and locked. Old Slabsides is just more photogenic showing her fangs.
Photos of cocked pistols

Some like to display a handgun in the full-on, ready to roll, carry mode. As abundantly covered above, most single action auto pistols carried by knowledgeable shooters are cocked and locked. It is not REQUIRED to do so, and those who wish may use another mode of transport. There's no use in engaging in argument simply for the sake of contention.

If someone were to ask, "Johnny, why do you carry your .45 with the hammer cocked?" I'd give the clearest explanation I could. I would NOT argue about it. Of course, that would be in another thread, because it would be off-topic for this thread. ;)

With that windy clarification, this thread is closed.

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