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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. Drail

    Drail Member

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    Last edited: Mar 14, 2017
  2. MTMilitiaman

    MTMilitiaman Member

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    The only self-inflicted handgun injury that I have first-hand experience with was from a 1911. Gentleman I used to work with tried to holster his 1911 and put a .45 round ball lengthwise through his thigh. Do we still call this "Glock leg?"

    I've never used the argument that a safety took too much time or training to manipulate and don't know a single gun owner who has. The only people who seem to be even referencing this argument is the 1911 aficionados. SO, I have a question for the 1911 guys here:

    How come when it comes to the operator having problems with the 1911, it is just the operator needing more training or proficiency, but when it comes to the Glock, it is a mechanical deficiency? You say the safety on the 1911 isn't an issue, you just need to train with it. Then you say no safety on the Glock is an issue. So if a guy puts a hole in his own leg with a 1911, he is just poorly trained and incompetent, but when a guy puts a hole in his leg with a Glock, it's the pistol's fault? No. It doesn't work that way. Either people are responsible for training with their equipment or they aren't. The Glock is not an exception to the rule here. If you are a competent user, it doesn't matter what pistol you use, you're probably pretty safe with it. If you are not competent, then you might put a hole in your leg. Stop treating Glock like it is an exception to well established common sense gun handling procedures. If you treat it like any other firearm and obey four simple rules, it will do bang every time you need it to, and never when you don't. That is a fact.
     
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  3. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    What a magnificent strawman you've constructed. Obviously if someone ND's a Glock, the person who did that bears the responsibility. Nobody contends otherwise. Similarly, if someone ND's a 1911, then the person who did that bears responsibility.

    At the same time, the likelihood of such human-driven mistakes is influenced by the design and features of the items in question. This isn't special to guns - this is called "human factors" in engineering and product safety. The interaction of the way a product is designed with the way humans behave is, or should be, a design consideration.

    Now, let's take your example. "Gentleman I used to work with tried to holster his 1911 and put a .45 round ball lengthwise through his thigh." That's a pretty spectacular display of ineptitude. The only way that is possible is for the user to have made two errors - holstering an un-safed 1911 and pressing the trigger. There is no system sufficiently safe that a truly gifted imbecile cannot defeat it.

    That's not the relevant question. The question is whether, between two systems, is one less prone to accidental/negligent injury. And, if so, is there something about that system that offsets that risk with some other benefit.
     
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  4. Deanimator

    Deanimator Member

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    Different mechanism = different safety measures.

    A cocked M1911 or Browning Hi Power has a light, short trigger pull. It doesn't take much in the way of trigger movement to make it go off. My M1911 had almost no takeup on the trigger.

    A Glock is not fully cocked until the trigger has been pulled, it takes considerably more force and length of pull to set one off. My Glocks have a lot of takeup on the trigger.

    I carry a cocked and locked M1911 every day. It has a MUCH more precise trigger than my Glock 19. At the same time, I would never carry it with the safety off (or indeed in any condition besides cocked and locked). I trade a better trigger pull for the need for a manual safety.

    I have frequently carried a Glock 19 or Glock 22. Even with 3.5lb. Ghost connectors in both, it takes a lot more motion to get either of them to go off than a cocked and unlocked M1911 or Browning. They have no need for a manual safety. I trade a less precise trigger for not needing a manual safety.
     
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  5. MTMilitiaman

    MTMilitiaman Member

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    Gentleman had his finger just curled into the trigger guard and said as near as he could tell, safety was disengaged by clothing, or his side.

    By your logic, if one safety is good, two is better, and three is better still. This is the same logic that leaves us with 8 pound, lawyerized triggers on hunting rifles and half the owner's manual printed on the barrel. So we have you to thank for this?

    There will always be a better idiot. We should not choose our equipment based on what works for the idiots.
     
  6. Pilot

    Pilot Member

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    I'm in the same boat. The only striker fired pistols I own are HK P7's which must be manually cocked before firing, and are not "pre-cocked" like many striker fired pistols. I don't own any other striker fired, nor polymer pistols. I just don't like them. I prefer DA/SA, or a SAO with a manual safety.
     
  7. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

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    Absolutely!

    Exacly.
     
  8. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    The heavy trigger rather obviously has some objective performance-degrading tradeoffs. The large warnings are rather obviously ineffective one way or the other.

    But here's what we know about 1911-type safeties - they are ubiquitous on the highest performance handguns made and at the top levels of shooting competitions. They obviously do not degrade performance. We also struggle to find any instances in which the presence of such a safety actually negatively impacted the outcome of a gunfight.

    And here's what we know about the safety-less designs: They can be and are operated safely by the majority of users, but they are more susceptible to a certain type of accident. No gun is accident proof, but there is some amount of incremental risk associated with a safety-less design (concentrated around times of handling when no discharge is intended/anticipated, such as holstering).

    People can make their own judgments as to how to weigh out those facts. I'm perfectly OK with you choosing something different than I choose.
     
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  9. MTMilitiaman

    MTMilitiaman Member

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    Do we know they are more susceptible to a certain type of accident? I realize that some police departments have had an increase in NDs going to striker-fired guns. I'm pretty sure you could go back to the 1920s and find research indicating a similar increase in NDs going from revolvers to the 1911. And later from the 1911 to the Beretta, ect. There is always a rough period transferring from one system to another until training and discipline issues are worked out. As far as I am concerned, Glock has always been a polarizing design, as those who challenge conventional thinking often are, and are so common now-days I attribute such stories to 2 things;
    1. There are more of the striker-fired guns out there and thus, numerically more incidents occur even while the proportion of incidents to firearms remains comparable to established single-action designs.
    2. The polarizing nature of the Glock means that every time one breaks, KBs, has an ND, or malfunctions it ends up sensationalized on the internet on gun boards like this. It's like having to hear about it for two-weeks on the news any time anything bad happens with an AR-15.
     
  10. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    Yes, we bloody well do. There is a kind of accident that can occur with safety-less guns with a single user error that cannot happen without an additional, second error on safety-equipped guns.

    How large is this population of marginal accidents? That's the harder question to answer.
     
  11. MTMilitiaman

    MTMilitiaman Member

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    How? How do we know? All I hear is the normal internet chat room hysteria and supposition. I haven't seen a single piece of hard evidence presented that supports your theory.
     
  12. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    This is not supposition: "There is a kind of accident that can occur with safety-less guns with a single user error that cannot happen without an additional, second error on safety-equipped guns."

    That's a fact. You may not think that's significant, or that it is worth it as a tradeoff, but that is not supposition. And I don't see anyone on this thread being hysterical.
     
  13. MTMilitiaman

    MTMilitiaman Member

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    Okay, well where I come from, if it isn't supported by this thing called "evidence," then it is supposition, not fact.
     
  14. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    I think maybe you're confused about what that "evidence" word means.

    The fact that a 1911 with a safety on will not discharge because pressure of a few pounds is applied to the trigger is evidence. Are you disputing that fact?
     
  15. MTMilitiaman

    MTMilitiaman Member

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    No. I am simply stating the fact that a Glock will not discharge with just a few pounds of pressure applied to the trigger either.
     
  16. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    How you figure, sports fan?
     
  17. pblanc

    pblanc Member

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    There have been many reported incidents of negligent discharges occurring with striker-fired pistols lacking external safeties during re-holstering, when a foreign body entered the trigger guard unnoticed. Clearly, these would not have occurred with a similar pistol that had an external safety, assuming the safety was engaged.
     
  18. danez71

    danez71 Member

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    What's a few? Glock says 5.5lbs

    Many of Springfields 1911s are advertised at 6+lbs
     
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  19. Kano383

    Kano383 Member

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    When an aircraft crashes, hundreds of people may die at once. This deeply affects thousands of relatives, creates a lot of bad publicity, and is generally found to be a very annoying thing by lots of people. So, crashing aircrafts are severely frowned upon.

    For this reason, whenever there is an aviation accident, an extremely detailed inquiry is made, until the deep causes are known and understood. More often than not, it is found that the design of the human-machine interface is such that it is too easy for a pilot to make a mistake. Confusing levers, switches, or procedures, poorly placed controls, attention-grabbing small things, and so on.

    Whenever such a design lacune is found, everyone in the industry is quickly alerted to the danger, and the design is modified so as to be more compatible with human nature.

    If Glocks were aircraft, they'd be grounded - till a suitable modification has been approved, and implemented.

    No amount of religious fervor (because conversations on this particular firearm, just like on Blaser rifles, usually turn into a religious war of words) will really sweep the inconvenient reality under the carpet.
     
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  20. Deanimator

    Deanimator Member

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    If those who killed the Bristol M1 were around today, they'd be trying to ban the Glock.

    If you're dumb enough to shoot yourself with a Glock, you're dumb enough to shoot yourself with a Reichsrevolver... with the safety on.
     
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  21. Ed Ames

    Ed Ames Member

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    Ummm. Huh.

    So like the first time an AirBus 300 tail broke off, it was during a crosswind landing and the NTSB, FAA, etc. blamed the pilot for using excessive control deflection even though what he did was exactly according to training. Note that this is pretty much like someone driving a car at 25mph, swerving to avoid a pothole, having the steering linkages break so the car immediately runs off the road killing 260 people, and having the response be "the driver should have known better than to turn the steering wheel that much, this is clearly driver error."

    Then the second time an Airbus 300's tail broke off the pilots were blamed for excessive control deflection again.

    Finally, about 11 years and a half dozen additional incidents later, they went back to the drawing board...and installed a flashing sign in the cockpit to remind the pilot not to use so much rudder on an a300.

    This is what you refer to?

    So... I guess if we are following the aviation model Glock should force all Glock owners to pay to have an electronic module installed which senses when the gun is approaching a holster and flashes a light to let the operator know that they need to be careful.
     
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  22. Fine Figure of a Man

    Fine Figure of a Man Member

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    ND's with Glocks and 1911s are caused by pilot error.
     
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  23. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    Right. Nobody here disputes that. What is being discussed is whether one design makes it easier for certain errors to occur.

    Consider two knives:

    [​IMG]
    and

    [​IMG]

    Both are high quality knives. Both will cut stuff... including the operator if they get their finger on the edge and apply pressure/movement. The top knife, however, lacks any sort of stop or hilt or ridge between the handle and the edge. The lower knife has a much more pronounced curve there that serves as a bit of a barrier to a finger sliding forward onto the cutting edge.

    Are both knives capable of being used safely? Absolutely. Would I call either design defective? No, I would not. But given a similar level of care, the risks of self-injury with the top knife appear to be incrementally greater. Maybe not a lot more, but some. Is there some offsetting benefit to that particular design aspect? Maybe. I don't know what it would be, but maybe.

    I think this is kind of equivalent to the discussion we're having about safety-equipped and safety-less semi-auto handguns. Obviously both can be used safely. One poses a marginal increase in risk in one particular dimension. There may be offsetting benefits. Neither is defective, IMO, and nobody here advocates the ban of one or the other. But that doesn't mean we cannot rationally discuss risks arising from how humans interact with tools.
     
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  24. MTMilitiaman

    MTMilitiaman Member

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    Exactly. It depends on your definition of a "few." The factory connector on most non-practical/tactical models is 5.5 pounds, but the connector isn't the only thing that determines pull weight. If you hang around on Glocktalk and other such Glock dedicated boards, you learn the assumed Glock factory trigger usually comes in around 6.5 pounds and gritty, and then wears down to about 6 pounds as squishy, but with a short, pronounced reset.
    Some 1911s come from factory with triggers not far from this, most that I have seen end up closer to the 3.5 to 4 pound range, with almost no take up.
    Technically speaking, the Glock trigger is almost twice the pull weight most 1911s end up being. The Glock trigger gets boo-hissed by the same crowd for being both heavy and squishy, and light and short. And then they wonder why we call their argument supposition and conjecture.

    And again I call into question those accounts of having thumb breaks fire a Glock. With the holster on the hip, it is almost impossible to get clothing or thumb break into the trigger guard. Try it sometime. If the pistol goes into the holster muzzle first it is physically impossible for the thumb break to enter the trigger guard because at that point, they are out of line. I can't even bend the thumb break of my Bianchi Shadow or my cheaper Uncle Mikes Sidekick into my Glock's trigger guard once the muzzle enters the holster. Additionally, the pistol has to be held at an odd angle and almost flat, parallel to the deck, for the thumb break to fit into the trigger guard. So to even get the thumb break or clothing into the trigger guard is an epic fail. A lot has gone wrong to get here. But even then, once you have the thumb break in the trigger guard, it lacks the stiffness to apply sufficient force to the trigger. Again, we are not talking about a short, crisp 3 pound single action trigger here, but rather a squishy 6 pound trigger pull. In order to get the thumb break on either of my holsters to pull the trigger, I have to physically hold the thumb break a fraction of an inch from where it meets the trigger and push the pistol in exactly the right (wrong?) way. Short answer, so many things have gone wrong if you manage to shoot yourself with your Glock using your clothing or holster, you deserve it, and I hope its painful. I watch National Geographic. I know stupidity is supposed to be painful.
     
  25. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    Earlier in THIS THREAD there's a video of an ND from a guy bolstering his Glock. Should he have been more careful? Obviously. Did he appear to do anything particularly crazy? No.
     
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