Why do SAO handguns need manual safeties, but striker fired ones dont?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by MemeMagic, Feb 26, 2017.

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  1. roscoe

    roscoe Member

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    Under stress, with adrenaline roaring through the bloodstream, folks make a lot of mistakes, even when trained. Police routinely hit ~10% of fired shots in a officer-involved shootings. Adding a safety doubles the complexity of the mechanical motions required and doubles the probability of an error. That is why I prefer DA/SA hammer down (CZ 75), since there is less to think about, and the first shot is less likely to be inadvertent. Unfortunately, there are no subcompact DA/DA single-stack pistols, so I carry a 9mm Shield and am very careful with the trigger.
     
  2. danez71

    danez71 Member

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    Naw... just pointing out that despite that you admtted that you knew what I was taking about, you chose to argue using an alternate interpretation. And then go on to grossly exaggerate what I did say in effort to continue arguing.
     
  3. bsms

    bsms Member

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    FWIW, and maybe not relevant...but on my Beretta 92, I tend to click the safety off while it is still in the holster as my hand moves over the gun. That is OK since it is still a DA with a significant trigger pull, and clicking off the safety then gives me the equivalent of a revolver - which is what the vast majority of my shooting time involves. I think - guess? - that is the idea behind the Beretta safety moving UP to fire instead of DOWN.

    My first (and last) striker fired gun is a S&W Shield, no safety. Apart from having a trigger like a water pistol - or worse - I find I really miss my habit pattern of putting my thumb over the HAMMER as I holster the gun. I realize millions have carried Shields and Glocks safely, just as millions have carried "cocked and locked" safely. But 40 years of revolver shooting make ME uncomfortable with a hammerless gun & no safety. My Pico is fine - has a hammer and a long, significant trigger pull. I'm as comfortable with it as with my J-frames. The 92 is fine. I think of it more as a range gun or home defense gun anyways, and typically carry it, if I do, with the safety off. But the Shield? No thanks! It is reliable, but it is now a reliable piece of polymer sitting unused in the house. It's future lies as a trade-in for another revolver...

    But that is ME, based on how I have done most of my shooting. I think the biggest problems with ND & Glocks/Glock-clones is that so many idiots buy one and think they are ready to go. "Out of the box" shooters to go with their "out of the box" guns! Just buy and shoot!

    A few years back, I was riding a horse in the desert and came under fire from 3 such idiots, shooting at a target they hung in a small tree - and behind the tree was a trail running directly along their line of fire. The trail I was riding along when they opened fire. That sort of newbie stupidity is not the fault of Glock, S&W Shields, etc. And that sort of stupidity undoubtedly leads to a significant number of accidental shootings.

    I strongly disagree. If someone is going to lose their mind before pulling the trigger, nothing is safe. That is how a SWAT team near where I live managed to fire rounds into 5 HOUSES while supposedly shooting at one person in a hallway! One might as well complain about holsters because the loss of motor skills results in people dropping guns. If you can't keep your head, don't carry. Cops get a lot of slack when shooting wildly. Average citizens do not. The "Must shoot FAST" mentality is based in a total misunderstanding of what happens after the other person is hit. We carry defensively in the sense that nuclear weapons are defensive - Mutually Assured Destruction. Once deterrence fails, BOTH sides in a shoot-out are at serious risk. Saving 0.75 seconds in getting rounds out will not help. Moving is probably better, and then getting a GOOD shot off. IMHO.

    In spite of the S&W name for a water-pistol triggered but popular gun, no handgun is a "shield"!
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2017
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  4. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    No. That is patently false. It theoretically adds another possible point of failure. It does not "double" the odds of failure. That is absurd. If that were the case, among those shooting involving a safety-equipped gun, for every gunfight "failure" due to all other causes (such as bad judgment, missing the target, missing vital areas of the target, a dropped gun, etc.), there would also be a "couldn't make the gun go bang because of safety and lost gunfight as a result."

    Instead, critics of external safeties are generally at a loss to provide an actual, real-world example of a user of a safety-equipped gun losing a gunfight because of it. (Conversely, there are documented cases of a gun-grabbing criminal being unable to figure out a safety and shoot the gun-grab-ee.)
     
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  5. Sarge7402

    Sarge7402 Member

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    Would you carry a Davis .380 with a loaded round in the chamber and the safety off? Remember by definition it too is a striker fired pistol
     
  6. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    Of course, there is NO speed tradeoff/loss in having a safety. If having a safety added even one one-thousandth of a second to the time to fire the first shot, 1911/2011's and other guns with manual safeties would not dominate the national and international winners' circles in the USPSA/IPSC divisions where they are allowed. USPSA/IPSC is, after all, a racing game, and competitors will work for dozens or hundreds of hours to shave a tenth of a second from a draw. If safeties compromised this speed one iota, then all the top Limited and Open shooters would be running Glocks or other safety-less guns. Instead, safety-less guns are in the distinct minority at the top levels of that game.
     
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  7. Walt Sherrill

    Walt Sherrill Member

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    Just throwing seemingly arbitrary numbers into the discussion is silly. It seems to add something like a scientific proof, but doing so (without some sort of underlying body of evidence) really adds nothing.

    I'd argue that the only things really being addressed in this discussion seems to be the personal concerns and fears of those advocating for either side of the debate about different types of guns and actions. People try to rationalize their positions, and some do it using very questionable proofs.

    When it comes to religion, politics and guns, most discussions seem to be centered on long-held beliefs and emotions -- and you contest those "proofs" at your own risk. :cuss:
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2017
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  8. Kano383

    Kano383 Member

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    One can turn the question around, and ask: "Why would a SA pistol, carried cocked and safety off in the same holster and conditions as a striker pistol, be less safe than the latter???". After all, it can't go off unless you pull the trigger, can it?

    Yet, as you rightly point out, carrying a 1911 cocked and unlocked will have everyone in the room wanting to beat you senseless with a sock full of your own stupidity...

    I think that tons of arguments have been thought out in order to justify the lack of safety of the nameless plastic wonder that stormed the LE world with an aggressive marketing, and a misleading misnomer, "Safe Action".

    The silliest of the arguments remains "A safety is confusing for the operator under stress". I'm sorry, but if one can't train to remember ONE thing to do to activate his gun, if one gets "confused" by a lever to be switched, he should not be allowed close to any firearm. Or lawnmower...
     
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  9. Ramey

    Ramey Member

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    I prefer my guns to have a manual safety. Some have the opinion that I should not be allowed to carry a gun because this means (in their mind) that I can't keep my finger off the trigger. This is not true. Lucky for me this is a free country and they don't get to make the rules.
     
  10. X-Rap

    X-Rap Member

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    No, wouldn't carry a Davis.
     
  11. X-Rap

    X-Rap Member

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    It hardly deserves an answer but there is no time lost because the safety is off before the gun is on target.
    Secondly those guns sit at the top because of their trigger which is superior in accuracy and speed COMPETITION.
     
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  12. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    Exactly. And the safety (which, by rule, must be applied when the gun is holstered or otherwise loaded & made ready before the course of fire in most such games) detracts from neither speed nor accuracy. There's just no tradeoff between speed (or accuracy) and having an external safety. Or, if there is a tradeoff, it runs the other direction, with a manual safety "allowing" lighter/shorter triggers (which help accuracy and speed).
     
  13. Sarge7402

    Sarge7402 Member

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    Then why wold you carry a striker fired pistol that doesn't have a safety. Glocks are a different breed in that their firing pin isn't fully cocked and the trigger pull brings the striker back to full and releases it.

    Other striker fired pistols, Until I get a chance to look at the guts and or a schematic to see how things function, if it doesn't have a true double action with a real live hammer striking a firing pin, not going to be in this kids arsenal unless it has a safety
     
  14. Sarge7402

    Sarge7402 Member

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    Just so you know the Springfield XD's striker system is exactly like the Davis except for the grip safety.
     
  15. Ed Ames

    Ed Ames Member

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    So, I know this is a bit of a broken record, but: there is no problem with carrying a SA pistol cocked and unlocked if it was designed to be carried cocked and unlocked. The Springfield XD series are very popular (and generally well respected) carry guns that are SAO without a manual safety.

    The problem with carrying a 1911 or similar designs cocked and unlocked is that the use of a manual safety allowed the designers to use a more sensitive trigger. Retrofit a heavier long travel trigger on a 1911 and the concerns would go away. People who have trained in using a manual safety don't see a value in that and want the 1911 style trigger so there is no market for such a retrofit, but it could be done and would be just as safe to carry without a safety as a 1917 Colt service revolver or any of the thousand other guns designed to be safe enough to carry without manual safeties.

    He wasn't talking about the action, he was making a dig at Davis (a company with a reputation for poorly made firearms).
     
  16. X-Rap

    X-Rap Member

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    Sarge, my striker fired carry guns are Glocks.
    I had a Springfield but no more.
     
  17. X-Rap

    X-Rap Member

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    We're using the same argument to opposite ends. Above you are talking about games, I'm talking about a life on the other end. I'll claim a light, short SA trigger is a ND waiting to put a hole in someone you might be covering with your muzzle and you'll say I might shoot myself in the leg reholstering.
    In between all that we can switch safeties on and off and be real careful with our trigger fingers and snags in the holsters but we won't convince each other or probably anyone else.
     
  18. Walt Sherrill

    Walt Sherrill Member

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    I've found that it's hard to get schematics or parts diagrams for some of the more popular guns -- you can find them, eventually, if you look hard enough, but not always from the gunmaker. Many owner's manual no longer contain a
    exploded parts diagram or a parts list.

    A true double action? There are fewer of that design available. Many of the hammer and striker-fired guns available now seem to be DA/SA, but really have what some call a "modified double action" and the first and following trigger pulls all feel the same.

    Why is that? It's because the slide must move a distance to partially tension the hammer or striker spring before the trigger can complete the process. If you have dud round, you've got to rack the slide. (Many of the Third Gen S&Ws were like this, as ARE many of the smaller Rugers and Kel-Tecs, now. That said, some of the other MDA guns, striker or hammer-fired, do have safeties, or safeties are available.)
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2017
  19. danez71

    danez71 Member

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    Whats the trigger travel distance on a basic 1911?
     
  20. pblanc

    pblanc Member

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    Depends. You can put an adjustable trigger in a model 1911 that virtually eliminates take-up (pre-travel) and as soon as you put pressure on the trigger you are at the wall. The sear engagement depth might be no more than .023". There might be a slight bit of play between the trigger stirrup, the disconnector and the sear, but in a well-tuned pistol it won't be much. And with an adjustable trigger you can pretty much eliminate over-travel as well. So the total trigger travel can be very short indeed.
     
  21. danez71

    danez71 Member

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    Thanks but I was asking for a basic model factory 1911.
     
  22. pblanc

    pblanc Member

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    There will be some variation even there as model 1911s from different manufacturers are made to different tolerances. But as an example, the trigger on my Rock Island Government model 1911A1 .45 has about 1.5 mm of take-up before the wall with very little resistance. The resistance during the take up is provided by the middle leaf of the sear spring only. The trigger moves about another 1.5 mm during the break plus a small amount of over-travel. So overall no more than 3 mm (less than 1/8").
     
  23. danez71

    danez71 Member

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    Thank you very much.

    Would you happen to know what it is for a BHP?
     
  24. Sarge7402

    Sarge7402 Member

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    Right and the striker in the Glock is only partially cocked and requires you the shooter to pull the trigger to get the striker all the way back to the release point. Just like the 1907 Roth Styer .

    No I'm not old enough to have carried one into battle, but grew up around a very wise gentleman who had seen one in use
     
  25. pblanc

    pblanc Member

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    Purely from a safety standpoint, I really don't see any great distinction between striker-fired pistols that have the striker partially pre-tensioned versus completely or nearly completely pre-tensioned. When it comes to reducing the likelihood of an accidental or premature discharge, what matters is the length and weight of trigger pull required to make the pistol fire. And from my experience with striker-fired pistols, this does not necessarily correlate closely with the degree to which the striker is pretensioned. I don't own Glocks, but I understand that they can be modified pretty easily to make the trigger pull quite light or quite heavy. Some striker-fired pistols that are categorized as SAO do not seem to me to have much shorter or lighter trigger pulls than others categorized as DAO. And some pistols categorized as DAO have the striker completely or nearly completely tensioned by slide action. I understand this to be the case with the SIG P320, yet I have heard some complain that the P320 trigger pull is too heavy.

    So lets say you have a Glock that is modified to have a relatively light trigger pull. What safety is conferred by the fact that the striker is not completely pretensioned by the slide? You pull the trigger, it is still going to go off.
     
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