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Why carry a 1911 in Condition 1 over Condition 2?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by stchman, Nov 11, 2009.

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  1. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    Condition 1 was standard long before Jeff Cooper attended Boot Camp:

    Note that the M1911 was designed for the Army (and specifically the Cavalry.) Browning was an inventor and a businessman, not a soldier, lawman, or gunfighter. His original design did not have a safety -- and was rejected by the Army. Only when he added a grip safety and a thumb safety lock would the Army accept the pistol.

    In other words, the M1911 was designed to be carried cocked-and-locked (Condition 1) at the Army's insistance.
     
  2. LancerMW

    LancerMW Member

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    gah, this is getting old, if your scared of carring in C1 get a revolver or something! id hate to see someone dead because they are fumbling to pull back a hammer.
     
  3. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    The military holster has no such strap. And snaps on straps like you describe are notorious for rubbing against the safety lock and disengaging it.

    The safest carry is cocked and locked, with no strap.
     
  4. Sniper X

    Sniper X Member

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    Depends on how much and how you are willing to train, but just on point, it is far easier, faster and safer to carry cocked and locked when it comes time to put the weapon into use.
     
  5. rondog

    rondog Member

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    I rarely decock my 1911, but when I do I always use BOTH hands to do so. I use the thumb, forefinger and middle finger of my left hand to grip the hammer, I'm not about to let it get away from me. And I always carry in C1, period.
     
  6. 6_gunner

    6_gunner Member

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    I have personally witnessed a ND resulting from someone trying to decock a 1911.

    I was in a local gunshop when I was startled by a loud "BOOM," and turned to see a very embarressed man with a 1911 and a very displeased gunshop owner. Luckily, he had enough sense to keep it pointed in a safe direction, so the only resulting damage was a hole in the floor.

    That was enough to convince me that lowering the hammer over a loaded chamber was an unnecessary risk. I know that many carry that way without mishap, but I'd prefer not to risk it.
     
  7. rondog

    rondog Member

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    And I'd betcha $100 that Mr. Macho was trying to de-cock it one-handed, wasn't he? It's not any more dangerous than de-cocking any other weapon, as long as it's done right. No more so than any Colt SAA, or Winchester, Mosin rifle, Enfield rifle, etc.
     
  8. NMGonzo

    NMGonzo Member

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    I could carry my 1911 without the safety on.

    Still ... have the grip safety, and the proverbial index finger off the trigger.

    One more safety than the glock! (j/k ... not really, don't try it at home)
     
  9. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    Yes...one must not only understand how to perform a risky move safely, he must also be careful while doing it. The hammer can be safely lowered with one hand if one knows how. This assumes that the gun doesn't have an upswept ducktail grip safety. That makes it pretty hinky...but two hands will suffice, if one is mindful of what he is doing.

    The much maligned pinch check can also be done in complete safety...if one knows how.

    Learn how. Be careful. Concentrate on the task at hand, and all will be well.

    If you carry a lever-action rifle or a revolver afield for the taking of game...and the opportuity for the shot is lost...what do you do? You lower the hammer. Right? No? What do you do?

    As far as Condition One goes...Cock an empty gun...holster it...and carry it around all day for a month...with the safety off. If you don't remove the gun from the holster and pull the trigger...the hammer will still be cocked at the end of the month.
     
  10. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

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    Post 51

    Thanks, Vern, that's great.

    I once had a set of early manuals for the M1 rifle, and for the models 1903, 1911, and 1917 Revolver, but they are long gone and I could not begin to remember what was said about carrying the 1911. I do now remember reading the section you posted.

    Mine were given to me by a still-active Army Lt. Col. who once demonstrated firing and reloading the 1911 (he simply referred to it as "the .45") while on horseback--to one Herbert Hoover.

    We never discussed how to carry it. He kept his unloaded at home--he believed that keeping the magazine springs compressed would weaken them.

    I labored under that misconception for almost half a century!
     
  11. christcorp

    christcorp Member

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    vern; you are correct that the military style holsters don't have a strap. I merged two thoughts apparently. There are holsters however that are designed for the 1911A1 that has a strap, similar to a revolver's holster; whereby the strap goes across the weapon and under the hammer.

    And it is very easy, AND SAFE, to lower the hammer on a 1911A1. Are there retarded people out there that aren't safe? Most definitely. But these are WEAPONS!!! No weapon is safe if a retard is handling it. So many people talk about the shooter being the #1 safety. So true!!! But that same argument says they should have no problem putting the gun into condition 2. Think about it; it's not like you have to lower the hammer on the weapon numerous times a day. The ONLY time you need to lower the hammer, is after you've loaded it and chambered a round. When I carried my SA 1911A1, that was about once a month when I took it out to shoot or if I wanted to clean it. Other than that, it was loaded with the hammer down and ready to go.

    And YES, in actual BATTLE, the military would have a 1911A1 in condition 1. But that is NOT how they carried, or were trained to carry, the 1911 when not in battle. And contrary to what the zombie killers want to believe, you are NOT IN BATTLE every second you walk out of your house. It take absolutely no more time or effort to cock the hammer as it does to turn off the safety.,
     
  12. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    But the same argument also says there is no danger in carrying in Condition 1.
     
  13. NMGonzo

    NMGonzo Member

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    Some people can cause a massacre retracting a measuring tape.
     
  14. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

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    Maybe, maybe not. Just because you can do something with a given item does not mean it was the designer's intent for the item to be used in that manner. No doubt the military was involved in the design. That is documented. Missing from the documentation, either in design plans or letters from the military to Browning is any stipulation that the gun be designed in a manner for it to be carried cocked and locked. If somebody has come across said documents, that would be outstanding and put this concept to rest, but otherwise, there is no actual proof that this was a design intent.

    So sure, the military was involved and the gun can be carried cocked and locked. They mention only temporary carrying of the gun in that manner. If the manual above is any indication of intent, then at best the gun was meant only for limited carry in that manner. The manual states that condition 1 is safer than condition 2, but does not state that condition 1 is safe for continued carry. In fact, it is only suggested if it is believed the gun will be needed. In other words, condition 1 poses some risks, but less risk than being killed by the enemy. So you only carry it that way if danger from the enemy exists, otherwise, it is back to an empty chamber. So that is what the manual indicates, but do you think that is what was intended by the design?

    So just because a manual was written after-the-fact does not mean that what is in the manual was a necessary design element. It very well may be that those writing the discovered the capability of condition 1 carry and wrote it into the manual.

    Note that the gun also can be cocked by pressing the muzzle into a hard surface. Was that an intended design feature? Was hammerbite an intended design feature? Was difficulty seeing the sights in low light a design intent as well?

    Some of these things were recognized after production began and the negative ones eventually corrected.
     
  15. 6_gunner

    6_gunner Member

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    He could have been. I was on the other side of the store not paying any attention to him when I heard the shot.

    I'm not saying that it isn't possible to safely de-cock a 1911; I just said that I think it's an unnecessary risk. In most situations, I would personally feel more comfortable carrying cocked-and-locked.
     
  16. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    And such people should not be encouraged to decock a loaded .45.
     
  17. jdh

    jdh Member

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    A properly designed holster for the 1911 will not wipe the safety off. BTDT.

    If the safety is being disengaged in the holster then either the holster is not proper, the safety was not fitted correctly, or the spring in the plunger tube is weak/safety plunger worn.

    Since the military has gone to the M9 for general issue the military flap holster is a moot point. The UM-12 was not designed for the 1911. Those units which procure 1911s do not use WWII vintage flap holsters.
     
  18. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Member

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    I actually use an M-12 for woods carry, but I took the flap off, it won't close over my beavertail safety. (I saw no need to cut a hole to accomodate it.) I did order the optional thumb break, and While it CAN be snapped between the hammer and pin, I usually carry hammer-down, since I am frequently on horseback and ATVs.
     
  19. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    Does that include the Galco Fletch?

    When I carry an M1911 on horseback, I carry it in Condition 1.
     
  20. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    Well now...what little I get on a horse these days...I usually carry a single action revolver. It just seems like the right thing to do. :)

    Hammer down on an empty chamber, of course. I do forego the rolled-up double sawbuck though.
     
  21. Clarence

    Clarence Member

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    Condition 1 because

    It is quicker to bring the gun into action should the need arise.
    It is safer because you don't have to lower the hammer on a live round.
    Col Cooper said so.

    Heck, the last reason is good enough for me.
     
  22. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    You're counting on Social Security to cover your burial, right?:evil:
     
  23. christcorp

    christcorp Member

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    I carried condition 2 because:

    It is JUST AS quick to bring the gun into action should the need arise. (Especially for a leftie without ambidextrous safeties.
    It is totally safe because lowering the hammer on a live round isn't actually on a live round if you know what you're doing. But I admit, you have to be smarter than the gun. And I've manually decocked numerous handguns without a safety problem. Again, I'm smarter than the gun.
    Because I have first hand experience carrying both ways, and I believe in thinking for myself and deciding for myself.

    Heck, the last reason is good enough for me.
     
  24. DougDubya

    DougDubya Member

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    An amateur only practices until he gets it correct once.

    A professional practices until he never gets it wrong once.

    Most people who opt for a 1911 do so from a mindset of professionalism, and consistent training and adherence to the other three of the basic four rules of gun safety will prevent an unintentional discharge from causing harm.

    Mental focus, a safe backstop, and both hands on it do not make it a risk.
     
  25. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    And how many times does he get it wrong before he reaches that level of proficiency? And how many boots, friends, TVs, and so on get shot in the process?

    There is no reason for Condition 2. You gain nothing by lowering the hammer on a loaded round.
     
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