Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by stchman, Nov 11, 2009.
No boots. No friends. If you're shooting your foot while attempting to decock a 1911, you obviously have engaged the Darwinian law of natural selection.
Hard to walk around, let carry a firearm, when you've destroyed a chunk of your foot with 230 grains.
But then, you're pretty good at ignoring anything other than pulling the trigger - like the focus and the backstop mentioned previously.
And frankly, given what's on television these days, you'd be doing the planet a favor with one less idiot box.
cyclopsshooter wrote about going from Condition 3 to Condition 2 when things get "spooky":
With all due respect, if this is a serious concern for you, get some ( or more) training.
I mean, how do you practice going from C-3 to C-2 ? You could make a better case for Condition 3 all the time. But when things "get spooky," you take the gun from your regular state of (un)readiness to a slightly higher state because you're 'spooked.' It seems to me that is an accident waiting to happen, since you seldom (never?) practice that way.
Perhaps find a gun that you are comfortable and competent with to carry chamber loaded and ready to go. (S&W 642 or Kahr P-9, for example) And get training with that one.
If you STILL are worried about shooting your own foot, leave the gun at home and carry a can of pepper spray.
WRONG. It is slower and less consistent. If you're a lefty, then get an ambi safety!
Ok, so what happens when you carry Condition One ? Are you suddenly NOT smarter than the gun? Odd.......
If you're carrying the gun for recreational purposes only, fine. BUT, if you're carrying for defense, then you're needlessly putting yourself at a disadvantage that could easily cost you your life.
And some people STILL think that the 1911 is the only gun the hammer is ever lowered on a loaded round? And that it's just inherently dangerous and unsafe to do so? Unbelieveable. If you can't lower the hammer onto a live round on a 1911, or any other gun, without breaking out into a cold sweat or discharging the weapon, then you have NO business handling firearms. My God, it's not rocket science. Only a fool would try to do it one-handed.
It's been said a while ago, and this is pretty much it. Also, more safeties are inherent if the hammer is back (half-cock notch, thumb safety, etc).
I've done it many times with Marlin and Winchester rifles. One handed.
No, but I think that it does entail an unnecessary risk.
Years ago, I (and according to his writings, Elmer Keith) thought that certain design features made the 1911 less desirable from the standpoint of safety than other, more modern designs. I selected something else at the time.
But the design does have its advantages.
So--why lower the hammer on a loaded round, anyway? If you want to fire the gun, you'll have to cock it. The Army manual says, "Do not lower the hammer on a loaded cartridge; the pistol is much safer cocked and locked." Remember, a large number of the people for whom that was intended were commissioned officers--people with college degrees.
And if you may have to draw it, why have to cock it?
Maybe. For some. Before unholstering, and just before taking the grip, I suppose this is when you'd cock the gun. Again, perhaps as fast, but it just isn't as natural as swiping the saftey off on the draw ... for most of us anyway.
If it works for you, go for it.
Cocking the hammer after the gun is drawn from the holster would be awkward, especially with a beavertail-style grip safety. Afterall, we aren't talking about an 1873 Single Action Army of Ruger Single Six that is ergonomically designed for thumb cocking.
Thing is, I don't quite trust myself to lower a hammer on a loaded chamber, even two handed. It makes me nervous in the same manner that some are nervous about condition one. I carry my 1911, condition one, in a Gary Brommeland Max Con V. It is a leather holster who's sweat shield also serves to complete cover the manual safety. I've never come close to even getting any article of clothing (or anything else, other than air) between the sweat shield and the safety switch.
Also, prior to loading the gun I go through a number of safety tests. All tests are done after I've verified an empty gun, about half a dozen times.
With the hammer cocked, I apply fairly heavy pressure with my thumb several times for around 10 seconds at a time. Next, I load a few of my homemade dummy rounds (no primer or powder) into a mag and I'll drop and rack the slide to again test for hammer follow through (chambering rounds, dud or not, has a cushioning effect - dropping the slide without a round to scoop up can lead to battering of the locking lugs). I'll also release the hammer and test to verify that the half-cock notch catches the hammer before it comes to full rest. With the hammer cocked and safety on, I try pulling the trigger with and without the grip saftey depressed (it shouldn't drop). Then, I swipe off the safety and pull the trigger without depressing the grip safety. Again, the hammer shouldn't fall. I also rack the slide with my finger depressing both the trigger and grip saftey to test for hammer fall and proper disconnector operation.
There are a number of other tests I do, but these are the ones relating to the cocked and locked part . Again, I do these each time before loading up the weapon; only takes a few minutes.
In the end, I usually carry a S&W revolver of some sort, so this is all moot most of the time.
Rondog; you are so correct. There are plenty of weapons where lowering the hammer is the norm. And there's no increased risk; if you know what you're doing. You are also correct, that if a person breaks out in a cold sweat even thinking of lowering the hammer, then they have no business even with the gun.
David; you have no place on the planet to tell me I'm wrong; and to SHOUT IT (WRONG); that I can cock the hammer back on my 1911A1 just as easily and quickly as thumbing the safety. You have absolutely no idea what I'm capable of. And NO; I should not have to buy an ambidextrous safety. I've been shooting 1911A1 45acp variations for more than 30 years. And for more than 40 years, I've been shooting cowboy single action revolvers. Single action guns are so second nature to me, that I feel a little out of place with my Sig P220. I sometime find myself cocking the hammer on the first shot; even though it's a double action pistol. So; if you want to shout (WRONG); shout it to yourself in a mirror. Now; if you carry it cocked and locked, are you NOT smarter than the gun? No. That's you interpretation of what I said. Grow up and learn to interpret words instead of allowing your biased emotions to get in the way. But any weapon; from a ruger six single action; to an M1 garand and M16; requires learning the weapon. And I don't care who the person is, or what guns they've shot. You need to learn your weapon. And it doesn't take long. And just like kleanbore was saying; dropping the hammer down on a marlin/winchester 30-30 is the NORM. So is every single action revolver out there.
I CAN cock the hammer back on a 1911A1 JUST AS FAST as I can sweep the safety off. And if you say it's not possible; then YOU my friend are the one that is wrong. Just because YOU CAN'T, doesn't mean it isn't possible. It's is completely possible. And lowering the hammer can also be 100% safe. And with gravity on your side, a lowered hammer is ALWAYS safer than a cocked hammer. ALWAYS!!! Just because you don't think so; or you don't know how to lower a hammer safely; doesn't mean it can't be done properly. It simply means that YOU can't do it properly. And with modern guns, there is no danger of the hammer resting on the firing pin, thus resting on the primer, and firing the weapon.
Now; anyone is free to carry their 1911A1 any which way they choose. I am not here to tell anyone that the way they are doing it is wrong. If you are more comfortable a certain way, then have at it. That's the way it SHOULD BE. But when people say that the 1911 was INTENDED, DESIGNED, MADE TO, etc... be carried "Cocked and Locked"; then they are the ones that are wrong. It was never intended to be carried that way, except in direct military battle confrontation. And even then, when not in use, it was in a holster "ORIGINALLY" with a flap over cover. The gun was never intended to be worn concealed; pancake holsters; ankle holsters; inside jackets; etc.... That is not how it was "Originally" intended. It was built for the military; in a holster; on your belt. But if you want to carry it cocked and locked; go for it. I won't say that's bad, wrong, etc... This is a free country. If you swing a golf club 50 yards further by crossing your hands backwards; screw what others say. Do it that way. But I'm here for the novice. For the rookie. For the noob who comes lurking on these forums because they truly don't know. And I am here to tell you right now; it is perfectly fine to carry the 1911A1 in "Condition 2" with the hammer down. It can definitely be done safely, and drawing the hammer back can be done just as quickly as turning off a safety. Even the Israeli military figured that one out. So, if you are like me, and don't trust mechanical devices; but I trust gravity and know that the hammer can't cock itself; and you learn how to safely decock and cock the hammer; then you can carry condition 2 just as safe and effective as condition 1. And it's not wrong to do so.
Maybe you should share with the group the proper procedure for safely letting the hammer down on a live round. I can just imagine one of the novices you are advising on this forum shooting his foot off. On the way to the hospital he'll be telling his wife, "But I read on the internet it was safe to let the hammer down on a live round.
I will agree that you should practice until you can comfortably and quickly cock the hammer if you NEED to. Just because it isn't how you carry doesn't mean that you can assume that it will never be necessary to do it.
As for how to decock it, you should know how to do it one-handed just like you should know how to draw, clear a stoppage, and reload one-handed. Know how to run your gun. Now, the way that's regarded as the safest is going to be with two hands. (Clear the weapon before you practice these, and continue to observe all four safety rules.) Pinch the cocked hammer with your weak hand, pull it slightly to the rear, pull the trigger, and ease the hammer forward with the weak hand. OR, pull back on the cocked hammer with both thumbs. Pull the trigger, and ease the hammer forward.
As someone pointed out, if it wasn't meant to be decocked, why does it have a rough surface to grip? Or for that matter, why have a hammer spur at all? It would have had a flush hammer like a DAO auto.
I know 1911s quite well, inside and out- I am well practiced in de-cocking a 1911 one handed (wide spur hammer and gi grip safety)
I have no intention of shooting myself in the foot and do not fear that I will- I apologize for the misleading joviality of my earlier posts... At the time I had the impression that this thread was a friendly community, gathering for discussion- Had I known that this was a court setting I would have deferred to my lawyer.
condition1 is proven safe and trustworthy. no extra steps. wanna clear weapon? simply drop magazine, drop safety, rack slide to clear chamber.
wanna engage threat? simply draw/disengage safety and fire with intent.
that is JMB's golden child singing it's sweet song of instinctiveness.
*disclaimer* the SA 1911 platform comes naturally and intuitively to ME. wanna see me fail to fire at a target? maybe shoot my own foot off? send me out with a striker fired pistol with a trigger safety.
*edited* to add: if i ever see you 'uncocking' your SA 1911 on a stuffed pipe, we aren't shootin' buddies anymore.
christcorp, you're changing the parameters.
You originally pronounced: It is JUST AS quick to bring the gun into action should the need arise.
I was addressing this pronouncement, stated as fact, when I said "WRONG!"
NOW you say: I can cock the hammer back on my 1911A1 just as easily and quickly as thumbing the safety. And: I CAN cock the hammer back on a 1911A1 JUST AS FAST as I can sweep the safety off.
As for your personal statement, about what YOU can do, I'll take you at your word. But I have some questions.
1) How do you know you're "just as fast?"
2) If you are "just as fast" either way, then you need more practice time with the thumb safety.
3) How consistent is your first fast shot after cocking the hammer with the gunhand thumb?
Then again, I guess we'd need to define "fast" so we're on the same page. Let's say 1.5 seconds, starting with hands at sides, gun holstered, reacting to the beep of a shot timer, to draw and fire one shot in the "A" zone of an IPSC target at 7 yds.
I haven't changed any parameters. You said the words: "Bring the gun into action". I define those words to mean: DECIDE to pull the weapon out of the holster; take aim; and fire. Now; depending on whether the weapon is in condition 1, 2, or 3; determines any extra steps. And I am saying that I can draw the weapon, pull the hammer, aim, and fire; just as quickly as draw the weapon, turn off the safety, aim, and fire. And no, I don't need more practice.
Do whatever you want. That is the difference in our debate. You are saying that it's condition 1 or the person is WRONG. That statement is wrong. It is quite safe to lower the hammer on a 1911A1. Just like it's quite safe to lower the hammer on most every other gun with an exposed hammer. And most modern guns have no risk of the hammer physically resting on the firing pin/primer. So that's not even an argument. But again; do whatever you want. I know, and have seen, for a fact, issues with 1911A1s when they are carried concealed, inside clothing, IWB, etc... But again, it doesn't matter. One thing I've known for years about people that own guns. Different personalities will have different opinions. And most times, there isn't a single thing that anyone can say that will make them even consider another position or opinion. And that's fine. I just hope noobs reading this or a similar thread, realize that there isn't some hard written law by Browning or anyone else, that says cocked and locked is the "Way the weapon was DESIGNED" to be carried; or that any other method is wrong...
Noooooooo, I'm saying that cocking the hammer is slower and less consistent than wiping off the safety.
Maybe you can.........but again..........how do you know ?
ah this is the number 1 rule!
I am of the STRONG opinion that manually lowering the hammer on any loaded autoloader not specifically designed to do so is extremely dangerous. Your also asking to get your thumb bit pretty good by the slide when the hammer slips under your thumb. Probably end up injuring yourself bad enough, that shooting isn't going to be an option for a week or two.
The only time you should decock any autoloader is when it has a decock feature built into it, like the Beretta 92FS.
Because I've been shooting 1911A1 variations for more than 30 years. And I don't just take it to the range and practice plinking at a piece of paper or tin can. I've practices with it in the military; practiced in "Hot House" setups. Just as you are so sure that it can't be done, I am telling you that it can.
As for safety in lowering the hammer, it most definitely can be done safely. Especially with modern 1911A1's (Last 20 years). If you can't lower the hammer safely, then it's a problem with the operator. Not the weapon.
But go ahead and continue with the conversation. I think I've said all I wanted to. If your position is that condition 1 is the "ONLY" safe method; or if you contend that the 1911A1 was "DESIGNED/INTENDED" to be carried in condition 1; as the ONLY method; then I will simply say that you are wrong. And hopefully some people who read these forums and threads and have questions, will investigate and see the mechanical pros and cons of each condition. That they will look into the history of the weapon. And that the next time they go to the range; they will experiment (With an empty magazine) with their 1911A1 and realize what you can and can't do with it; and the safety capabilities of the gun; and the possibilities of each condition.
I'm not sure you're getting what he's driving at. Perhaps you are, indeed, much faster than the rest of us would be cocking the hammer, and perhaps you are faster cocking the hammer than you are wiping the safety, because you have practiced thousands and thousands of draws from condition two, and this has been so thoroughly trained into your muscle memory that it's totally automatic for you now, and is also smooth and fast. But have you really spent an equal amount of time drawing and firing from condition one? Have you incorporated that into your muscle memory to an equal degree? Probably not, since you are an advocate of condition two, and clearly favor that method, and I would guess that you have devoted the bulk of your training time (in drawing from the holster) to that method.
Now if you had devoted an equal time to both methods, you would be faster in condition one. You would have to be. You would have to be, because given that your reflexes, reaction time, basically your neuromuscular speed are the same, then if you are equally proficient in both methods, the fact that wiping off the safety is more economical in terms of motion would allow you to be quicker using that method. And it is indisputable that wiping off the safety has greater economy of motion. When you take a firing grip on the weapon, your thumb is right there at the safety lever. The hammer, on the other hand, is not so naturally placed (unlike the hammer on an SAA which is naturally placed), and you have to shift your grip slightly in order to reach up and around the grip safety tang, and then reassume a firing grip after you have cocked. This is far less economical of motion than simply wiping the thumb down the side of the frame and leaving it where it rests at the end of that motion. Therefore all other factors being equal, wiping the safety off WILL be faster than cocking the hammer.
None of this is to say that you can't train yourself to be very fast and very deft cocking the 1911 on the draw. If you say you have, I'm quite prepared to take your word for it. But there are easy ways to do things and hard ways to do things. You have to train a lot harder to master the hard things. In martial arts, for example, Aikido can be a very effective means of self-defense, but it takes a longer time to learn because so many of its techniques are rather involved, and some are rather counter-intuitive, and you have to spend hundreds or even thousands of extra hours in training to make executing them automatic. Jeet Kune Do (which is also a different art -- a striking art rather than a throwing and locking art), on the other hand, uses much simpler techniques, which build on one's intuitive reactions, rather than requiring one to train out of them and "reprogram" oneself to do something else, and thus can be mastered more quickly, and a student can become better able to defend himself in a shorter amount of time.
If you've become extremely proficient in drawing from condition two and can do it, great. If it works for you, and you're most comfortable with it, you're probably right to carry that way -- for you. But I'd advise anyone else trying to make his mind up to carry cocked and locked. It's at least as safe, if not safer, and it's quicker, more economical of motion, involves less use of fine motor skills (important under stress), and more intuitive to learn.
From Col Cooper's perspective, which I happen to respect immensely:
I don't know what condition it is but I carry prepared for the Israeli draw. That is hammer cocked and no round in the chamber. That way the piece racks easily and rapidly. I just do not like the idea of keeping a round always chambered. As a purist I do not want to "punish" the gun by not ejecting an empty. My way is a trifle slower and requires two hands. But there is always a trade-off of some kind. Just my two thousand (inflation adjusted) dollars.
If the 1911 wasn't designed to be decocked, why is there a spur on the hammer at all?
That's why SNCOs exist; to explain it to them.
Because handgun hammers always had them?
Condition 1 for me.
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