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Thread: 1911

  1. #1
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    1911

    Hello folks. Would like some input from you 1911 guys. When I usually carry my 1911, it is caried in "condition 2" which there is a round in the chamber, the hammer is not cocked. I think it is just a mental thing, but are there any issues with the cocked hammer being released and discharging a round when hit or dropped? (assuming the grip safety is not engaged and thumb safety is in the safe position)

    I have read a few places this is the least favorable way to carry a 1911. Also even decocked and round in the chamber, the hammer is right by the firing pin and something could happen there, but i dont see how unless great, quick force is applied to the hammer (maybe if dropped?)

    How do you carry your 1911?
    I am deciding to carry with cocked and locked, and rather not carry it to where i need to rack the slide to be ready to fire. I am thinking this way in both SAFETY AND READINESS to fire.
    Constantly choosing the lesser of two evils is still choosing evil.

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    meant to be carried cocked and locked

    first and foremost, a 1911 is meant to be carried with a round in the chamber and cocked and locked. I am not sure I understand your first question, but let me say that it is not possible to release a cocked hammer with the safety on. the hammer will only release when the safety is off, grip safety is squeezed and the trigger is pulled.

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    Regular Member DamonK's Avatar
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    Re: 1911

    Carry with a chambered round and lowered hammer is dangerous. When your 1911 is cocked and locked it is just that, locked. I carry a 1911 almost every day. It is in my opinion somewhat safer than some of those no safety double actions.

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    Regular Member SovereignAxe's Avatar
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    I don't carry a 1911 myself, but I'm very familiar with its operation. Before I tell you how I'd carry, first I'd like to point out a couple of things.

    If you carry in condition 2, you have a couple of things going against you, both caused by the hammer being down. You have to somehow cock the gun, because the trigger isn't going to do it. So that means either racking the slide, ejecting your first cartridge-wasting precious ammo, or thumb the hammer back, which is always an awkward manouver no matter which thumb you use. All of these options cost precious seconds which should be in use for aiming and possibly pulling the trigger.

    As for a drop safety? The is entirely dependend upon which 1911 you have. AFAIK most modern iterations of the 1911 have a drop safety. Series 70s and older designs don't.

    However. The 1911 wasn't designed to need a drop safety. It's already got two of them, and JMB designed the gun to take advantage of them when you carry it in condition 1 (hammer back, safety on). This is the preferred method of carry for the 1911 (or any other single action semi-auto, like the Hi-Power) and, unless you have a faulty manual safety, is perfectly safe to do.

    If carrying condition 2 makes you feel more comfortable, do it if you feel like you have to. I just strongly recommend you training a little more than everyone else in drawing, cocking, and then firing.
    Last edited by SovereignAxe; 09-14-2012 at 08:31 PM. Reason: safety ON
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    When I carried a 1911 either full size or 3 inch it was always as designed to be carried. A round in the chamber and cocked and locked.

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    Regular Member mspgunner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 9026543 View Post
    When I carried a 1911 either full size or 3 inch it was always as designed to be carried. A round in the chamber and cocked and locked.
    Ditto, anything else.... YOU DIE!
    If you pull it, you use it. If you pull it and you don't use it, you've done some thing wrong and you might not get another chance. Think about it before you pack it!
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    Campaign Veteran MAC702's Avatar
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    Most of my points having been mentioned already, I'll tell you my biggest problem with carrying a 1911 in Condition 2.

    HOW DID YOU GET IT INTO CONDITION 2?

    FTR, I carry a 1911 every day.
    "It's not important how many people I've killed. What's important is how I get along with the people who are still alive" - Jimmy the Tulip

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    Quote Originally Posted by MAC702 View Post
    Most of my points having been mentioned already, I'll tell you my biggest problem with carrying a 1911 in Condition 2.

    HOW DID YOU GET IT INTO CONDITION 2?

    FTR, I carry a 1911 every day.
    What I was getting at; In condition 2, the thumb safety is not engaged, because the thumb safety just cannot be engaged when the hammer is de-cocked.

    I loaded my magazine, chambered a round and de-cocked the hammer is a safe direction.

    Thanks for the input. I was reading alot about cocked and locked is the safer (once again looking at safety first for the point of this conversation) than with a round chambered and decocked, mainly due to the design and function of the pistol.

    Also i have done self training on drawing and cocking the hammer back. no need for the thumb safety since it would be off anyway. seemed to be about the same time from me pulling it and flipping the thumb safety off and acquiring the (paper) target.
    Constantly choosing the lesser of two evils is still choosing evil.

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    Re: 1911

    Quote Originally Posted by kylemoul View Post
    Also i have done self training on drawing and cocking the hammer back. no need for the thumb safety since it would be off anyway. seemed to be about the same time from me pulling it and flipping the thumb safety off and acquiring the (paper) target.
    Carry how you want, but I don't see how drawing from condition 2 can be quicker then condition 1. No matter how much you train a draw from condition 2 takes more movement of your thumb then a condition 1 draw. Not to mention the awkward position you put your hand in to cock the hammer. It seems like condition 2 is just adding more things to go wrong under stress IMO.

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    Campaign Veteran MAC702's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kylemoul View Post
    ...Also i have done self training on drawing and cocking the hammer back...
    Ever try it with one hand?

    If you do insist on this, and find yourself needing to deploy it with one hand, remember it is easier to cock it with your one hand before drawing, in which case also remember that the safety is now off during the draw.
    Last edited by MAC702; 09-15-2012 at 02:37 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kylemoul View Post
    What I was getting at; In condition 2, the thumb safety is not engaged, because the thumb safety just cannot be engaged when the hammer is de-cocked.

    I loaded my magazine, chambered a round and de-cocked the hammer is a safe direction.

    Thanks for the input. I was reading alot about cocked and locked is the safer (once again looking at safety first for the point of this conversation) than with a round chambered and decocked, mainly due to the design and function of the pistol.

    Also i have done self training on drawing and cocking the hammer back. no need for the thumb safety since it would be off anyway. seemed to be about the same time from me pulling it and flipping the thumb safety off and acquiring the (paper) target.
    Hey, it is your life you are protecting, carry it the way you want. But I for one will still carry cocked and locked as designed.

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    Yes I practiced drawing from my Serpa holster and was able to draw and cock the hammer while pulling the 1911 out. Thanks for the input guys. Seems better to carry the way it was designed to be carried, hot n ready.
    Constantly choosing the lesser of two evils is still choosing evil.

  13. #13
    Regular Member WalkingWolf's Avatar
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    I always carry my 1851 colt with the hammer down, there are no safeties on it. I can outdraw, cock, and hit my mark faster than most people with a 1911. I also own a 1911 but prefer my single action revolver for safety and speed. I never cock a gun until I am ready to fire, never ever. I have seen far too many accidents(ND) with guns "with safeties". If people would just learn to keep their darn finger off the trigger safeties would not be needed. The only gun that I carry cocked and locked is my shotgun, and I have thought seriously of trading it for a hammer model. All of my rifles have hammers, except for the Nagant, and I only carry it with a empty chamber.

    Carry the gun how you want and makes you most comfortable, just tell everybody else to buzz off. AND pleas somebody show me the cite that Browning designed the 1911 only to be carried cocked and locked?

    In fact the 1911 was designed with a inertia FP instead of a positive FP which was the most common for firing pins in the time period. That means when the hammer is fully down the FP does NOT touch the primer. And in fact it takes a full hammer strike for the FP to move forward to strike the primer. The hammer WAS designed with a safety notch which would NOT be necessary if the gun was actually designed to be carried cocked and locked. Many guns will fire if it receives a substantial blow that would defeat the design of the gun. A 1911 without a Schwartz safety will fire if dropped on it's muzzle whether condition one or condition two. The FP will be driven forward by the deceleration of the gun, allowing the weight of the pin to drive it into the primer. The drop tests that I saw the 1911 was cocked and locked and fired from a drop.

    Another note is to watch the video of the female police officer negligently firing her 1911 into a prone suspect. Had the hammer NOT been back it would not be possible. Also note the "I just ##### shot myself video" again a accident that would not have happened if the gun had the hammer down. In fact the carry mode for years for the US Army has been condition three, wonder why. Why would the army not carry the 1911 as it was designed

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    Notice something missing on this J. Browning designed 1910 colt?

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    Also missing on this colt 1905.
    Last edited by WalkingWolf; 09-15-2012 at 01:14 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WalkingWolf View Post
    I always carry my 1851 colt with the hammer down, there are no safeties on it. I can outdraw, cock, and hit my mark faster than most people with a 1911. I also own a 1911 but prefer my single action revolver for safety and speed. I never cock a gun until I am ready to fire, never ever. I have seen far too many accidents(ND) with guns "with safeties". If people would just learn to keep their darn finger off the trigger safeties would not be needed. The only gun that I carry cocked and locked is my shotgun, and I have thought seriously of trading it for a hammer model. All of my rifles have hammers, except for the Nagant, and I only carry it with a empty chamber.

    Carry the gun how you want and makes you most comfortable, just tell everybody else to buzz off. AND pleas somebody show me the cite that Browning designed the 1911 only to be carried cocked and locked?

    In fact the 1911 was designed with a inertia FP instead of a positive FP which was the most common for firing pins in the time period. That means when the hammer is fully down the FP does NOT touch the primer. And in fact it takes a full hammer strike for the FP to move forward to strike the primer. The hammer WAS designed with a safety notch which would NOT be necessary if the gun was actually designed to be carried cocked and locked. Many guns will fire if it receives a substantial blow that would defeat the design of the gun. A 1911 without a Schwartz safety will fire if dropped on it's muzzle whether condition one or condition two. The FP will be driven forward by the deceleration of the gun, allowing the weight of the pin to drive it into the primer. The drop tests that I saw the 1911 was cocked and locked and fired from a drop.

    Another note is to watch the video of the female police officer negligently firing her 1911 into a prone suspect. Had the hammer NOT been back it would not be possible. Also note the "I just ##### shot myself video" again a accident that would not have happened if the gun had the hammer down. In fact the carry mode for years for the US Army has been condition three, wonder why. Why would the army not carry the 1911 as it was designed

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    Notice something missing on this J. Browning designed 1910 colt?

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    Also missing on this colt 1905.
    I had no problems pulling and cocking the hammer and was able to before I even got the muzzle on target in front of me. I am unsure what firing pin safety mine has I guess all models are different. I can say between the grip safety and thumb safety on most 1911, unless being dropped I dont see much that can discharge the firearm (not saying it can never happen).

    Now the nagant...no real safety there. Best rifle for the money there.
    Constantly choosing the lesser of two evils is still choosing evil.

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    Campaign Veteran MAC702's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WalkingWolf View Post
    ...A 1911 without a Schwartz safety will fire if dropped on it's muzzle whether condition one or condition two....
    Not necessarily true. A Ruger SR1911, for one, does not have a Schwartz safety and yet passes the drop tests. There are other ways to provide the inertial safety.

    Training is involved with all firearms. What you can do with one gun compared to what an average person can do with a different gun is irrelevant. Training and political issues are far more likely to determine how the military does things, so they should never be used as an example of how we should do things in the real world.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kylemoul View Post
    I had no problems pulling and cocking the hammer and was able to before I even got the muzzle on target in front of me. I am unsure what firing pin safety mine has I guess all models are different. I can say between the grip safety and thumb safety on most 1911, unless being dropped I dont see much that can discharge the firearm (not saying it can never happen).

    Now the nagant...no real safety there. Best rifle for the money there.
    The problems are not with the safeties, or even the firearms. The problems arise with the operators, who do not have the matter between the ears to follow safety procedures. Cocked and locked is safe, IF the person carrying is safe. But the ND's are always blamed on the gun instead of the operator. The thumb safety works as intended as long as it stays on and the booger finger stays out of the trigger guard. But people make mistakes, and those mistakes cause ND's. Just people do not like admitting they were distracted or trained wrong. IMO a lot of people carrying 1911's do not have the skill required to safely use them, or are not willing to get the skills or change bad habits.

    I have heard stories from old timers why Colt added the thumb safety, and it was not, according to them, about carrying cocked and locked. It had to do with the cavalry at the time of Armies switch from revolvers to autos. There is a distant advantage to SA revolvers on a mount. Once the hammer is dropped the gun is not ready to fire unless it is again cocked. Not so for the 1910 colt. Because of the grip safety it took two hands to make the gun safe after firing, and the cavalry balked. The thumb safety was added so the 1911 so the gun could be returned to the holster. This tends to be backed up in the US Army Small Arms manual of 1913.

    Add to the mix that the Tokarov was built on the JMB design with no thumb safety and a positive FP, the gun is only safe to carry with a empty chamber with the hammer down. The cavalry had mostly become obsolete and IMO no safety was needed as the normal carry for many military at that time had took emphasis off of horseback warfare.

    Handguns in those periods of time were mostly built for the military, though they built civilian arms, there bread and butter was the military. The only way I would carry cocked and locked is with a proper holster, that not only covers the trigger, but also the safety, and I hate extended safeties. Would not have a gun with one, they just are not needed for me, the button thumb safety is easy to put on and off, and less likely to be off by a piece of clothing.

    Again safeties are only as good as the operator. And deprogramming bad habits is very time consuming. I would be rich if I had a dollar for every time a shooter disengaged the safety of a 1911 while drawing and then immediately putting the booger finger in the trigger guard. There was even a member here who proudly proclaimed swiping the safety while drawing. One thing most of us SA revolver owners know is you never cock the hammer until you are on target and ready to shoot. Taking off the safety of cocked gun while drawing is unsafe. If I carry with a holster where the safety is exposed the hammer is down, and if I am carrying the star the safety is on with the hammer down. Unfortunately the colt does not have that feature. Needless to say if cocked and locked the safety is not taken off until that moment I decide to fire, if hammer down it is not cocked until that moment I decide to fire.

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    Regular Member WalkingWolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MAC702 View Post
    Not necessarily true. A Ruger SR1911, for one, does not have a Schwartz safety and yet passes the drop tests. There are other ways to provide the inertial safety.

    Training is involved with all firearms. What you can do with one gun compared to what an average person can do with a different gun is irrelevant. Training and political issues are far more likely to determine how the military does things, so they should never be used as an example of how we should do things in the real world.
    Some of the manufacturers are using titanium FP with a stiffer spring to meet drop test CA rules.

  18. #18
    Campaign Veteran MAC702's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WalkingWolf View Post
    ...the gun is only safe to carry with a empty chamber with the hammer down...
    While you were referring to the original Tokarev design (note that some later models did have manual safeties), it is a fact that there are some who prefer to carry with an empty chamber in their semi-automatic firearm, even modern ones.

    In this case, there is a distinct advantage to keeping the hammer cocked over the empty chamber. It is just as "safe," and the cycling of the slide to load it is made significantly easier.

    This would be how I recommend carry in UT for those without permits, for example. Though if I were limited to their silly archaic law, I would be carrying a single-action revolver, which is probably the gun their law was written around.
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    Regular Member WalkingWolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MAC702 View Post
    While you were referring to the original Tokarev design (note that some later models did have manual safeties), it is a fact that there are some who prefer to carry with an empty chamber in their semi-automatic firearm, even modern ones.

    In this case, there is a distinct advantage to keeping the hammer cocked over the empty chamber. It is just as "safe," and the cycling of the slide to load it is made significantly easier.

    This would be how I recommend carry in UT for those without permits, for example. Though if I were limited to their silly archaic law, I would be carrying a single-action revolver, which is probably the gun their law was written around.
    From what I have read the safeties on exported Toks was due to import rules set by BATFE. The safeties were added on after manufacture and before export.

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    Carry it cocked and locked myself.

    I am NOT a fan of lowering the hammer. It has nothing to do with the internal workings of the firearm or the carry of it afterward, it has EVERYTHING to do with the act of lowering the hammer. I have above average hand strength but still find the act of lowering the hammer on a live round extremely dangerous.

    Ok, think about it from a non-bullet aspect. You pointed it into a bullet catcher or another safe direction for the bullet to discharge, if the hammer does slip from your thumb and the bullet safely travels away, what do you think that thumb and hand are going to look like when that slide is done with them?

    I cannot think of any reason that justifies to me a reason to lower the hammer on a live round beyond intentionally firing that round.

    Opinions vary, there is mine.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LMTD View Post
    Carry it cocked and locked myself.

    I am NOT a fan of lowering the hammer. It has nothing to do with the internal workings of the firearm or the carry of it afterward, it has EVERYTHING to do with the act of lowering the hammer. I have above average hand strength but still find the act of lowering the hammer on a live round extremely dangerous.

    Ok, think about it from a non-bullet aspect. You pointed it into a bullet catcher or another safe direction for the bullet to discharge, if the hammer does slip from your thumb and the bullet safely travels away, what do you think that thumb and hand are going to look like when that slide is done with them?

    I cannot think of any reason that justifies to me a reason to lower the hammer on a live round beyond intentionally firing that round.

    Opinions vary, there is mine.
    The unintentional lowering of the hammer has always given me the heebeejeebees by some numpty. I call such unintentional lowering Negligent Discharge of a firearm. The problem of such ND's is whether they are in a controlled environment such as a clearing barrel or pointed in a safe direction or in some part of a human body. Again I have nothing against cocked and locked, when the carrier is doing it safely, but then are the ND's. Unfortunately most people I have seen on the range with cocked and locked take the safety off the moment their hand touches the safety. And then there are the people who feel the need to play with their weapon, putting their grubby hands on it over and over again as they walk about the rest people. This is no problem when talking about revolvers, it is a big problem with cocked and locked.

    Cocked and locked is safe when used safely, the problem is a lot of people are not safe. They buy a 1911, load it, and carry it cocked and locked without the slightest idea of what they are doing. They use bad safety practices, and the very reason cocked and locked is considered quicker is quicker also to disaster. The 1911 is not a firearm for untrained newbies, most people should not be walking around with a firearm with no safety, cocked and a light trigger. And once a safety is off, either intentional or not, it is no longer a safety.

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    1911

    Quote Originally Posted by WalkingWolf View Post

    Carry the gun how you want and makes you most comfortable, just tell everybody else to buzz off.
    None of my guns have safeties on them so this is what I tell my students in class. It's really nobody's business how it's carried.




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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steeler-gal View Post
    None of my guns have safeties on them so this is what I tell my students in class. It's really nobody's business how it's carried.
    +1
    I have nothing against cocked and locked, or condition two, or even three. All are safe mode of carry when done properly. My problem are people who do not get trained and make errors. This is even true for any handgun, but the 1911 is not forgiving to fools. Fingering the trigger on any gun is unacceptable, it is disastrous with a 1911 style gun.


    If anybody's trigger finger gets itchy try fingering something less deadly. Nobody ever died from fingering a nose.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WalkingWolf View Post
    Nobody ever died from fingering a nose.
    Might want to make that clear, finger ones OWN nose or death might be an impending threat!
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    Don't know if this will help, but it is what I worked out for myself:

    I'm using a SA "Champion" model which is, I understand, a clone of the Commander and an ITAC retention holster.

    1. Hand on grip, depress catch with index finger and draw weapon, allowing index finger to align with slide.
    2. Align weapon with intended target, at the same time gripping lower edge of dominant hand with the non-dominant hand.
    3. With thumb of dominant hand (right, in my case) disengage manual safety.
    4. Place finger on trigger and fire.

    This is basically how I practice and have found it possible to interrupt the sequence anywhere short of firing. It also takes a lot longer to type this out than it does to put it in practice.

    Do, please, notice that the very last step is the only one in which a finger is placed on the trigger. Also notice that the manual safety is not disengaged until the weapon is aligned with the target.

    The man who originally trained me on a 1911 was, of all things, a Chief Gunner's Mate (guns), USN. He knew what he was talking about and gave me several tips that stood me in good stead during my career.
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