Why would anyone want an external "safety" on a Glock?

Not open for further replies.


Dec 29, 2002
Brooklyn, NY
The Glock is an extremely safe gun and simply cannot fire unless the trigger is fully squeezed. Yet, there are always comments about the Glock and its lack of a "safety."

I don't understand this need to lock the trigger. Personally, I think external switch safeties are extremely dangerous. There are too many videos, on those reality shows, of store owners being shot because they couldn't shoot first (had the safety on.) And every once-in-a-while you get a gun that discharges when you release the safety. That's not very safe.

Glock got it right. If there is a finger squeezing the trigger, then someone *must want* the gun to go off. That's how they designed the gun. If you don't want the gun to go off, don't squeeze the trigger. And if there are little fingers on the trigger....well, that's a whole different problem, and one that a switch safety will solve for only 5 seconds.

The grip safety is a good system. However, that safety is turned off when you grip the gun. With a Glock, all safeties are active until you start to turn them off, one by one, by squeezing the trigger. So why would anyone want another safety?
Some folks just like having a manual safety. Some agencies won't allow a pistol without a manual safety to be carried, unless it's a DAO, or Glock with NY trigger. It's surely a liability thing.

Then I think about this - how safe would I feel carrying a Browning Hi-Power, cocked, but without a safety? Or a 1911, pinned grip safety, and no manual safety, or manual safety off? It wouldn't feel safe to me. Glocks are pretty much "single-action only", and as such are cocked and unlocked (no manual safety). This doesn't cause a problem until somebody holsters it with his/her finger on the trigger and shoots themselves in the thigh (we've all heard numerous incidents like this).

Me, I carry a pistol that has a manual safety, and I carry it with the safety on. With proper training, it doesn't cause a problem.
Last year, one of the big rumors was that in order for Glocks to make it back into CA market, they would have to design an external safety. Glock passed the drop safety tests & got approved for sale in CA w/o that safety, but I'd think Glock would add some sort of safety device just to stay in some civilian markets.
Not having to worry about external safeties was one of the reasons why I bought a Glock as my first (and for the next years only) handgun. I use my Glock 17L for two purposes:
- Competition, where NO loaded gun leaves the hands of the shooter.
- Home defense, where the last thing I need is a safety that I might forget to deactivate before I have to shoot.
Why would anyone want....
Because not everyone thinks like you do, and not everyone feels as comfortable with a short trigger stroke pistol that fires simply by pulling the trigger.

Personally, I too think the Glock is fine "as is", but I like to point out whenever I see someone saying "Why would ANYONE in their right mind want anything so stupid as a ...." that, if everyone were just like you, you wouldn't have anyone to yell at in traffic!

Freedom of Choice is a WONDERFUL thing!
If you lived in Florida where T-shirt and shorts are the uniform of the day and concealment is a little more difficult than in the cooler climes, you might as I have,sometimes opted for Mexican carry to minimize bulk. Then you might feel a little aprehensive with the Glock's lack of a manual safety and nothing but that little trigger safety and a 3or 5 pound pull keeping your lower regions intact.

Before you fire back with reasons why I should always use a holster, let me say that 9i0 percent of the time I use an IWB Galco to hold my Para-Ordnance C7-45,and for those times I could certainly carry a Glock comfortably, but for the other 10 percent of the time I just Prefer a manual safety that disables to trigger until swiped off during the draw.

Now, fire away!!!
A manual safety means that should you be dumb enough to let someone take your gun away from you, the person might not know how to work it. (this is a bit of a long shot but it's one people cite as a bonus)

A manual safety also allows mexican or pocket carry safely.

Glocks are just fine open carry holster pistols, but they're not as good for CCW use as some other types, primarily because their safety is a holster. (in addition to their extra bulk because they're double stack).

there are lots of occasions where a trigger can be pulled without human intervention, and a manual safety prevents that.
Why not just put a grip safety on a glock like the Springfield's XD series?.........little safer, and that would stop a lot of the critics...
Strange - Some people are worried that the trigger of a gun without an external safety might be pulled if they'd carry it Mexican style, in their pocket or without a holster.
But the same people aren't worried that the external safety of a gun carried without a holster might first be pushed off and the trigger could be pulled then. :confused:
Andrew hit on the weapon retention use of a manual safety.

You don't have to be stupid to have your gun taken away from

you and shot with it. It has happened before and it will happen

again. A manual safety is one more thing that can help to save


For all of those that think no one can remember to wipe a

manual safety off: If you can't do that what makes you think you

will remember how to line up the sights and press the trigger

correctly? It all can be done, it's just a matter of training.

Don't knock something just because it isn't for you. We each

have our own needs, level of training, past experiences, ect. and

we need to pick what is right for us, and let others pick what is

right for them.
The only safety on a Glock is a trigger safety. So the gun won't fire unless the trigger is pulled. Barring unusual circumstances like a mechanical breakage, this is true of <i>every</i> gun, trigger safety or no.

Many people have glocks with very light triggers, i.e. 3 to 4 pounds. They do this because lots of folks like Glocks, but hate Glock triggers. A light trigger helps mediate the horribleness of it. Unfortunately what this means is that if anything gets caught in that trigger guard unexpectedly, you may not realize it before its too late. This is also why a good holster that covers the trigger guard is a necessary safety device for a Glock during carry.

Just from non statistical evidence from Glocksters who have confessed to having NDs, the three most common times to have an ND seem to be holstering, unholstering, and cleaning. Cleaning because the trigger must be pulled to clean the gun (but this is not uncommon). Holstering because something (finger, top break, whatever) can get in the trigger guard while holstering and cause an ND if it manages to depress the trigger safety (entirely possible). Unholstering because an improper grip on the gun can cause an ND if a finger lands where it shouldn't (example I remember from TFL was a baby glock carried in thunderwear which had shifted after a days carry).

Incidentally Glock does make versions of their guns with manual safeties for someone in Austria, but evidentally does not import them to the US.
Another opinion....

If you buy a Glock then you probably wouldn't be interested in a manual safety but as to reasons why I like a manual safety,

I carry a DAO, striker fired, heavy trigger and manual safety engaged.

I use Glock as the example but this refers to all weapons that have no external safety.

1. Easy carry as mentioned earlier: Mexican style, in my backpocket, in my wife's purse, in a soft Smart Carry, etc.

2. Again, BG roadblock: As the Glock owners suggest, Glock owners are not sure they could handle a weapon with a manual safety under stress. I take them at their word so, I am sure I would get agreement that the BGs would be just as inept.

3. Handle all weapons: Learn with a manual safety and you still can handle a Glock in a pinch. Learn with a weapon without a manual safety and you pretty much have limited yourself to one manual of arms and again, the famous "Glock Owner Confusion" over manual safeties.

4. One in the pipe: Is it true that the Glock Manual recommends not putting one in the pipe when carrying?

5. More forgiving: Read recently about a six year veteran of carrying a Glock putting a 10mm round through the floorboard of his truck while trying to holster while sitting down. Had the training and the holster yet got the shock of his life. We are not perfect. Could have happened to anyone but if a safety had been engaged, probably no discharge.

6. Little hands: Regardless, I like having my home defense weapon with a manual safety. If I do screw up there's a better chance the little one won't suffer the consequences of my stupidity.

I would probably buy a Glock if it had a manual safety. That's how important it is to me and I know Glocks are good weapons.

To each his own.
Glock has its own niche in the pistol market.

If I wanted a manual safety in my polymer pistol, I'd take a USP (DOH! :eek: Already have one... :D)

But, if I were to own a Glock, the manual safety is its HOLSTER. Would not pull it out unless I need to. ;)
Since human beings commonly make mistakes, the argument that Glocks are perfectly safe provided no one makes a mistake, falls of its own weight. Carrying the Glock with a round in the chamber is basically going around cocked and unlocked. The numerous accidental discharges with Glocks, often with fatal consequences, suffered by people who are trained to use them, indicates a real problem. In New York, I believe, the Glock trigger pull was made heavier to help prevent unintended discharges. But the hardcore Glockists will say: "Just hire policemen who never make mistakes!" I don't own a Glock, primarily because I consider tham less safe than either double action/single action pistols or single actions with manual safeties.

If Glocks can be made with manual safeties, why not do so while continuing to produce the less safe models for the daredevils?

Well, I personally use my Glock 26 as a trail gun and like to keep a Glock Block in the trigger guard when the gun is riding around in my backpack. Even though it's holstered, and even though I have the holster tucked into a pocket of the backpack, I still like to know there's an added measure of safety. But that's just my own personal comfort level.
I believe in the early 90's, something like 40 percent of all police officers killed in the line of duty were killed with their own gun. :what:

A manual safety is designed to slow down the bad guy, hopefully allowing the officer to get to his BUG.

I never was confortable with the "safe" action, sold my G22 even though it was reliable. If I got one again I might well put the external safety on it. Glocksters would laugh, but it would then work almost as well as my 1911's :neener:
External Glock Safety is here!

Ok I did a Yahoo.com search for "Glock external safety" and this site popped up.

If you were like me and looking for a glock external safety modifacation then visit:


They also have a long list of gun smiths who can install this modifacation for you. If you were leary about a glock not having a manual external safety this will fix that and there is no reason not to own a glock now.

Happy shooting.

BTW make sure to visit http://www.glocktalk.com that's where I found this information.
Where do I start with this one?

1. Don't buy a Glock if you don't like the idea of a handgun without an external safety.

2. Human error is the cause of all NDs for all types of guns (not ADs that happen due to a defective firearm).

3. I consider mexican carry of any firearm far more dangerous than a loaded Glock in a proper holster. I would never stick a chambered 1911 in my pants. Mexican carry is an ND looking for a place to happen (IMHO).

There is concern about human error causing an ND with a Glock in a holster but no concern about human error involving a ND when mexican carrying?

4. Manual safety to prevent getting shot by your own handgun? If you have time to activate the safety then you had time pull the trigger. If a bad guy got his hands on your gun then you already failed to stop the threat. I would hate to bet my life on whether or not he bad guy can figure out how to turn the safety off. Heck, if you encounter a bad guy why not just unload and disassemble the gun before said bad guy can use it against you?

5. Stock triggers on Glocks are well over 5 lbs. I never tested mine but I have to guess the pull is around 7 lbs. The trigger also has a long pull. Not as long as a DOA or revolver but much more than a 1911.

6. Why do we never have this discussion over revolvers? No external safety to speak of. Do people mexican carry revolvers? What happens if a bad guy takes a revolver from you?

7. We really do have a lot of choices when it comes to firearms. We need to make choices that are right for ourselves.
A Glock without an external safety is perfectly safe provided you are "the only one in the room professional enough to carry one." ;)
Take all the safeties off the 1911 and you basically have a glock. No thanks. I don't want one for CCW. However, I might have one for playing games like IDPA or something. Out in the real world, though, I want either safeties or a long and heavy enough DA/DAO to make carrying the gun and holstering it plenty safe. My preference is for DA/DAO guns for CCW. I also like revolvers. I don't care much for the trend in single actions without safeties, which is what I consider "safe action" and other guns with 4 lbs triggers and now way to lock the seer.

I've got no problem with 1911 condition one and that's what I'd carry if I couldn't shoot a DA gun effectively. I know all about the safety rules, no finger in the trigger guard, so don't pull all that on me. I taught pistol classes for a while and had a NRA instructor certification. I believe in a good blend of safety hardware and safety software.

The more redundancy in safety, the better, so long as it doesn't interfere with the purpose of the gun, self defense. A 1911 grip and thumb safety doesn't interfere with its effectiveness and a revolver or true DAO doesn't either. It does take training. Departments seem to think Glocks need less training because of their simplicity, but I think that's a mistake from a safety stand point or you wouldn't have stuff like that idiotic DEA guy shooting himself in the leg with a Glock in front of a bunch of kids in a friggin' classroom. :rolleyes: No, Glocks need just as much training as any other gun IMHO.

"the only one in the room professional enough to carry one."

Yeah, that's the guy I'm refering to....ROFLMFAO!!!!
The only safety on a pistol should be your trigger finger. These pistols are designed for life/death situations. In those situations you want to be able to unholster your weapon and lay into your adversary. In such a scenario, a safety is only a hinderance and potential death warrant. The best way to be safe is to be a safe shooter.
Not open for further replies.