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Thread: Purchasing a new gun based on condition status

  1. #1
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    I've become rather fond of safetyless guns (I lump anything that doesn't have a manual safety in here, Keltec's, Glocks, XD's, etc). I like not having to fuss with a safety when fractions of a second count and I also like not having a feature I don't use on my gun. But I'm looking for something new to get. Right now I have an XD and love it, but my wife is looking for something a bit bigger than her P3AT (so I'm doing my part my asking for advice on here).

    So here is what I've got:
    1911 style - From what I understand you need to have that safety engaged but it's rather ergonomical to disengage when drawing.
    DA/SA style - From what I've gathered it seems that most decock the gun and do not engage the safety. This is very similar to our prefered method (safetyless) but I don't like having something that you don't use and that can accidentally get engaged when you least need it too.
    Safetyless - What we've got now. Just aren't enough out there that really cover the specifics of what she needs.

    So what are thoughts on these different methods of carry? I've heard of people carrying a 1911 cocked and not locked, but I've also heard that they lack some internal safety to prevent the gun from firing if dropped (or something along those lines, basically there is a reason to carry cocked and locked).

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    Well, you never have to engage an external safety if you don't want to. As for the 1911s, AFAIK, most have inertial firing pins, so they will go off if dropped from some critical height. Most also have a half-cock safety to limit this, although the pin itself is still free to move and can still smack the primer if handled very roughly, even with the hammer not touching it.

    I'm not a fan of cocked-and-locked, for my own part. I carry my single actions with one chambered, hammer at half-cock, safety off.

    -ljp


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    My $.02...

    I'm far from an expert on "safetyless" firearms, and am much more comfortable with 1911 styles (to include the M9 Beretta)... My personal carry is a 9mm Ruger P95 decock only,which come to think of it, kinda falls into the "safetyless" category since it's ready to fire long as there's one in the pipe...

    I'm sure you may have already checked with gunshop owners, but my suggestion is to talk to either Henry at Parro's in Waterbury, or Jay at Water N' Woods in Morrisville, depending on where you are...

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    If you like the "manual safety-less" DAO, then why not give the Kahr's a try. I've had 5 of the different models, and still own/carry two of them. I've never had a malfunction with any of them and they are more accurate than any gun of their size has the right to be. My stainless K9 w/lasergrips and meprolight night sights is my favorite handgun (I own Kimbers and Sigs as well). Kahrs' DAO trigger is very smooth and around 6-7lbs. Great guns.

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    Legba wrote:
    As for the 1911s, AFAIK, most have inertial firing pins, so they will go off if dropped from some critical height. Most also have a half-cock safety to limit this, although the pin itself is still free to move and can still smack the primer if handled very roughly, even with the hammer not touching it.
    This is true of the Series 70 Colts and Series 1 Kimbers, as well as others of the "older" 1911 models. All of the current "defensive package" 1911's that are sold now, have an internal firing pin block safety that prevents this "inertia firing" from happening. Any Kimber that has a "II" at the end of it's model designation or a Colt that is a "Series 80" have this feature.

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    For a bit bigger (maybe more than a bit) the Sig P229 in DA/SA or if you don't mind used, the beloved to many P228, have a decocker and no external safety. The Sig "P" series DA/SA pistols have a firing pin block integral to the design. The block is physically moved out of the way with a pull of the trigger. Unless you pull the trigger, the firing pin cannot hit the primer. Besides that the only "safeties" are the decocker and the 10 lb DA trigger pull (IIRC SA pull is about 4-4.5 lbs factory). All the women who have shot my P228 love it and my fiancee has practically adopted it for her own.

    I typically carry either an XD or the P228 and I also prefer to carry with a pistol having no external safeties as that is one less thing I have to be worried about in a life or death situation. I just have to draw and shoot. While I very much want a 1911, I am hesitant to have one in my carry rotation as it would be the only one with a manual safety I have to remember to disengage and I am concerned that my brain may not shift gears between manual safety/no manual safety in a crisis regardless of the excellent ergonomics and design of the 1911 safety.

    I believe HK also has DA/SA pistols with similar internal only safeties.
    Bob Owens @ Bearing Arms (paraphrased): "These people aren't against violence; they're very much in favor of violence. They're against armed resistance."

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    Campaign Veteran deepdiver's Avatar
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    G20-IWB24/7 wrote:
    Legba wrote:
    As for the 1911s, AFAIK, most have inertial firing pins, so they will go off if dropped from some critical height. Most also have a half-cock safety to limit this, although the pin itself is still free to move and can still smack the primer if handled very roughly, even with the hammer not touching it.
    This is true of the Series 70 Colts and Series 1 Kimbers, as well as others of the "older" 1911 models. All of the current "defensive package" 1911's that are sold now, have an internal firing pin block safety that prevents this "inertia firing" from happening. Any Kimber that has a "II" at the end of it's model designation or a Colt that is a "Series 80" have this feature.
    I knew that many had the firing pin block but didn't know how they were designated. Thanks for the info on how to quickly make that distinction!
    Bob Owens @ Bearing Arms (paraphrased): "These people aren't against violence; they're very much in favor of violence. They're against armed resistance."

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    deepdiver wrote:
    G20-IWB24/7 wrote:
    Legba wrote:
    As for the 1911s, AFAIK, most have inertial firing pins, so they will go off if dropped from some critical height. Most also have a half-cock safety to limit this, although the pin itself is still free to move and can still smack the primer if handled very roughly, even with the hammer not touching it.
    This is true of the Series 70 Colts and Series 1 Kimbers, as well as others of the "older" 1911 models. All of the current "defensive package" 1911's that are sold now, have an internal firing pin block safety that prevents this "inertia firing" from happening. Any Kimber that has a "II" at the end of it's model designation or a Colt that is a "Series 80" have this feature.
    I knew that many had the firing pin block but didn't know how they were designated. Thanks for the info on how to quickly make that distinction!
    Yeah, I'm not a big 1911/.45ACP user, so I didn't know they had "improved" on that. Thanks.

    -ljp

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    There's lots of DA/SA guns out there that do not have a manual safety. Examples of DA/SA that have variants with a decocker but without a manual safety:

    • Ruger P-series--models ending in "PR" have a decock/safety; ending in "DPR" are decock-only
    • CZ-75BD is a decock-only, whereas the CZ75B has a "cock & lock" type safety
    • Beretta PX4 (Type F with safety, Type G with decocker, Types C & D DAO)
    • The Walther P99 is normally cocked (like an XD, with the same pin indicator), but unlike the XD, it has a button that decocks the striker, and a DA capability. It has at least three trigger variants (QA, AS, and DAO).

    H&K USPs have multiple trigger variants (DA/SA, LEM, etc), with and without safeties. I believe some models of Sig have multiple action variants (DAO, DA/SA, DAK) as well, and the new P250 is DAO with no safety.

    With all these variations, it's unlikely that dealer would have all the options in stock. You might need to order what you want. Good luck.

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    deepdiver wrote:
    I typically carry either an XD or the P228 and I also prefer to carry with a pistol having no external safeties as that is one less thing I have to be worried about in a life or death situation. I just have to draw and shoot. While I very much want a 1911, I am hesitant to have one in my carry rotation as it would be the only one with a manual safety I have to remember to disengage and I am concerned that my brain may not shift gears between manual safety/no manual safety in a crisis regardless of the excellent ergonomics and design of the 1911 safety.

    I believe HK also has DA/SA pistols with similar internal only safeties.
    I carried a XD and a DA revo for a while so I am in the same position you described; that is forgetting the safety even exists. I have unholstered more than once to find I had forgotten to engage the safety. My question to other 1911 owners is, is it safe to carry a 1911 cocked and locked with the safety off. I have myself well trained to keep the gun in the holster and my finger off the trigger, so other than any possible safety issues would be with the gun itself.

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    FogRider wrote:
    deepdiver wrote:
    I typically carry either an XD or the P228 and I also prefer to carry with a pistol having no external safeties as that is one less thing I have to be worried about in a life or death situation. I just have to draw and shoot. While I very much want a 1911, I am hesitant to have one in my carry rotation as it would be the only one with a manual safety I have to remember to disengage and I am concerned that my brain may not shift gears between manual safety/no manual safety in a crisis regardless of the excellent ergonomics and design of the 1911 safety.

    I believe HK also has DA/SA pistols with similar internal only safeties.
    I carried a XD and a DA revo for a while so I am in the same position you described; that is forgetting the safety even exists. I have unholstered more than once to find I had forgotten to engage the safety. My question to other 1911 owners is, is it safe to carry a 1911 cocked and locked with the safety off. I have myself well trained to keep the gun in the holster and my finger off the trigger, so other than any possible safety issues would be with the gun itself.
    The only "real" safety on any weapon is the one between the user's ears. That being said, "Condition Zero" (which would technically be cocked and UN-locked) would be as safe as you are. So long as there isn't any pressure exerted on the trigger, you're OK, and, even if there is, there is the grip safety to add yet another layer of safety. Most AD/ND's happen while holstering or unholstering, and during that time, one would normally have a "firing grip" on the weapon, which would automatically defeat the grip safety, so you're back at "keep your booger hooker off the bang switch!"

    If you are that well-trained on the DA guns (revos and/or autos) then stick to those for serious work. There's nothing to say that you can't have a SA auto as a range gun. I was originally trained on a 1911, so as part of my draw, I have muscle memory that directs my thumb to disengage the safety.My thumb makesthat same motion while drawing a GLOCK or a Kahr (DAO autos), only there's no "safety" there to disengage. No big deal, I'm still ready to go. What Ican never carry is a DA/SA auto w/a manual safety (Beretta 92/96, 3rd Gen S&W auto, etc). I'd never be able to fire the gun if I "forgot everything" in the heat of the moment. Doesn't mean I can't and don't own them, I just use what my hands know best when my life is on the line.

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    Legba wrote:
    Well, you never have to engage an external safety if you don't want to. As for the 1911s, AFAIK, most have inertial firing pins, so they will go off if dropped from some critical height. Most also have a half-cock safety to limit this, although the pin itself is still free to move and can still smack the primer if handled very roughly, even with the hammer not touching it.

    I'm not a fan of cocked-and-locked, for my own part. I carry my single actions with one chambered, hammer at half-cock, safety off.

    -ljp
    As for being dropped from some critical height, it seems to me that many of you have forgotten that 1911s have a grip safety. In order for them to fire, whether hammer is half cocked or fully cocked and not locked, the grip safety still has to be pressed in order for it to fire, something that is highly unlikely to happen if it is dropped.

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    Springfield has now put out the option of having a ThumbSafety on their XD's. If that's what your looking for.



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    Smith & Wesson M&P. Thats all you need

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    tattedupboy wrote:
    Legba wrote:
    Well, you never have to engage an external safety if you don't want to. As for the 1911s, AFAIK, most have inertial firing pins, so they will go off if dropped from some critical height. Most also have a half-cock safety to limit this, although the pin itself is still free to move and can still smack the primer if handled very roughly, even with the hammer not touching it.

    I'm not a fan of cocked-and-locked, for my own part. I carry my single actions with one chambered, hammer at half-cock, safety off.

    -ljp
    As for being dropped from some critical height, it seems to me that many of you have forgotten that 1911s have a grip safety. In order for them to fire, whether hammer is half cocked or fully cocked and not locked, the grip safety still has to be pressed in order for it to fire, something that is highly unlikely to happen if it is dropped.
    I meant that the pin itself is still free to move even with the hammer arrested, absent some internal pin safety setup. It would require a hell of a whack to set off a round, but it can be done.

    -ljp

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