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Thread: Safety vs. Decocker?

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    Hey y'all,

    I'm relatively new to the gun world, I just turned 18 a few days ago, so I'm actively looking into what I want to get. My main question, is should I go with a safety or a decocker? I lean more towards the safety, but I guess I don't know enough about how the 2 different options make the gun shoot or handle... Are there any members near OKC that might be able to let me shoot a bit or something so I can get a better idea? I'd pay for the ammo I shot... :P Thanks

    Daniel

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    its all personal choice..DO RESEARCH...i had a crash course in pistols as my first was a 1911 style..and cocked and locked is a scary concept to a newbie...i went from that to a hk usp compact in 45...so i had a decocker and saftey at the same time..so i carried it safe till i got used to it..then all i did was decock it and leave saftey off once i got used to the idea that only way to fire it is with a finger on the trigger. from there i went to a glock 17 as ammo was getting higher and it was cheaper to shoot..but striker fired and no manual safety..i knew it would never fire on its own but i got chills every time i holstered it...and after 3 months i sold it...(sorry all..i do not like glocks..one of the best guns in the world hands down..but not for me)..so now three years and several other pistols later i carry an hk p2000 v3 with the decocker and no manual safety..as it should be......and i could not be happier...well i would be with the new hk p30 with the LEM trigger...but thats another day...so in the end...there is no perfect gun...only the gun perfect for you...try out a bunch..hammer fired..striker fired...what ever...and to be truthful...maybe a good solid revolver to start with...a taurus 605..s&w 60..ruger sp101 my personal favorite...all 357mag..but can shoot lighter recoil 38 spl...so i hope i havent overwelmed you with info...and i hope you got something outta it...feel free to ask any questions..im still a newbie as i have but three years under my belt...many people here have more years carrying then we are old...

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    I dont mind carrying cocked and locked (1911) but id rather have a decocker that way when i draw, i shoot. After practice drawing enough times i found the safety really slows me down. But then again it is a hard safety to click off

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    i agree..and i have carried 1911's since that time and feel very comfortable doing so....yeah that whole thing where the safety is a bear to get off...but i have to say that there really is no better feeling then the one you get with a nice loud positive click from the 1911 safety as opposed to a sloppy loose safety:shock:...but hindsight is 20/20...a 1911 should not have been what i bought to learn with...my original idea for a first was going to be a ber 92f or a g19..and as i was shopping for the best prices on one of those i came across the .45 1911 and well it was cheaper then either of the beretta or the glock...so i thought i was a badass with my 45 and didnt know a thing about the gun..took me a few months to carry it with a round chambered and hammer back..went from empty chamber..to hammer half cock to full cock and lock..again a really safe gun..but unless you have proper instruction..as i did not...i cant say thats a good gun for wet behind the ears.....

    a last bit of advice for any newbies haunting the site...

    for Heavens sake...dont buy the gun your friend/dad/hero from some shoot em up movie has just because it looks cool or they say you gotta get it or your a pansy...buy the gun that you feel comfortable with and serves your purpose safely. whether its a .22lr or a .454 Casull...


    oh and welcome barike



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    I concealed carry an H&K USP DA/SA. The safety's positions are SAFE-FIRE/DECOCK, with spring return to FIRE from DECOCK. I use the SAFE position only during administrative procedures and carry it in FIRE with a round chambered and the hammer down.

    My OC is a SA1911 that I carry in Condition One. The safety does not engage with the hammer down.

    ETA After NavyLT to avoid hijacking; I CCW'd in SC for about ten years. OC is implicitly legal in WI and explicitly legal on my land.

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    ballester wrote:
    for Heavens sake...dont buy the gun your friend/dad/hero from some shoot em up movie has just because it looks cool or they say you gotta get it or your a pansy...buy the gun that you feel comfortable with and serves your purpose safely. whether its a .22lr or a .454 Casull...
    defiantly! personally i wouldnt mind carrying a .22 for defense. those little guys can make a mess of your insides when it goes in and doesnt come out. just gotta aim for the right spot

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    ballester wrote:
    its all personal choice..DO RESEARCH...i had a crash course in pistols as my first was a 1911 style..and cocked and locked is a scary concept to a newbie...i went from that to a hk usp compact in 45...so i had a decocker and saftey at the same time..so i carried it safe till i got used to it..then all i did was decock it and leave saftey off once i got used to the idea that only way to fire it is with a finger on the trigger. from there i went to a glock 17 as ammo was getting higher and it was cheaper to shoot..but striker fired and no manual safety..i knew it would never fire on its own but i got chills every time i holstered it...and after 3 months i sold it...(sorry all..i do not like glocks..one of the best guns in the world hands down..but not for me)..so now three years and several other pistols later i carry an hk p2000 v3 with the decocker and no manual safety..as it should be......and i could not be happier...well i would be with the new hk p30 with the LEM trigger...but thats another day...so in the end...there is no perfect gun...only the gun perfect for you...try out a bunch..hammer fired..striker fired...what ever...and to be truthful...maybe a good solid revolver to start with...a taurus 605..s&w 60..ruger sp101 my personal favorite...all 357mag..but can shoot lighter recoil 38 spl...so i hope i havent overwelmed you with info...and i hope you got something outta it...feel free to ask any questions..im still a newbie as i have but three years under my belt...many people here have more years carrying then we are old...
    I was raised on Single Actions. My instincts are to thumb the hammer. I carry a 1911-A1... which is a single action auto. I do not carry 'cocked and locked' as my instincts are to thumb the hammer. Thumb break holster straps also tend to 'hang'. The 1911 was not designed for thumb break holster straps... or any straps at all.

    I carry onhalf-cock notchwith a round in the tube. This requires a two handed manual decocking effort which many consider unsafe. It's my opinion Browning designed the pistol to be used this way. The slide lock (safety) was only for interrupted firing... not for general carry. At the time of the pistol's introduction... soldiers 'n lawmen were used to SAA... thumbing the hammer. The grip safety ensures the bang switch won't function 'til your thumb is out of the way of the slide.

    I've carried 'cocked 'n locked'...but I can thumb the hammer faster than disengage that slide lock w/o thinkin' about it.

    We carried this way in the Navy... BeforeI (or anyone else I knew)ever heard of 'Jeff Cooper' or his 'Conditions'. I get a LOT of argument on this from those much younger than myself of 'what if'? I've never had a 'what if'... or known of anybody sober who had a 'what if'. Yes... you are lowering the hammer onna live round and then decocking it. 'Do the same thing with any Winchesterlever rifle or wheel gun if you change yer mind. Well... I carry my .30-30 on half-cock notch all the time.

    I do not now nor have I ever liked Glock pistols. They are prob'ly involved in more 'accidental' discharges than any other breed of pistol. Personally... I think their trigger pull suxs compared to Sig's and S-A's. For a newb... I'd recommend a wheel gun... take your pick of bore flavors but I don't like any number than is less than .4. Wheelguns are the original 'point and click' interface. IfI was buyin' a new wheelgun for self defense... I'd get the Taurus 'Judge'.

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    Well, I'm getting a lot of answers! Thanks guys! I guess I should of stated in my first post that I am more specifically interested in the CZ line... I'm willing to try other brands, I've just heard a LOT of good about the CZ's... and don't like most of the other pistols I've held (Only shot like 3 pistols, 2 older wheelguns... and a friends cheap 9mm)... The CZ's I've held (75 B and a 2075 Rami) I was very happy with the feel of them in my hand, felt almost as good as a Kimber... (Remember, before I get denounced for saying something incorrectly... I'm Relatively new to shooting guns, having only been able to about 10 times total now)... Is there anyone in the OKC area that'd be willing to take me shooting per se? I'm still pre job, so I can't afford much, I can drive around the OKC area... and maybe a little farther out, but that's about it... I could pay for some ammo (of course I know I couldn't purchase it, but paying for the rounds I used?) But yeah, anyways, thanks guys...

    Daniel

    P.S. I'm out in Harrah, well not in Harrah, but that general area...

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    I carry a Ruger P94 (.40). Its a SA/DA with decocker, no manual safety. I carry with one in the chamber, decocker engaged. I leave the decocker on while carrying because it also is a firing pin block. With the decocker on, the weapon will not fire if dropped on the hammer. I have practiced my presentation to disengage the decocker as I am reaching for the weapon. It suits me pretty well, but you have to carry in a way that works best for you. Try a lot of pistols, find one that fits your hand well, and then practice. Often.

    BTW, welcome to the site!



    Regards,

    Pol

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    CZ series pistols are excellent IMO. Affordable and reliable. Too bad I don't own one.

    I'm not sure of the CZ lineup, but the majority appear to be safety only, with some models as decocker only. My first was a S&W M39-2, which had a decocker-safety on the slide. I carry a SIG P226 now which has a decocker only.

    I'd recommend trying to get your hands on a Hi Power, SIG, Beretta/Taurus 92, and a 1911 type. They all have similar grips to the CZ-75 series (save the 1911).

    By OKC I assume you mean Oklahoma City, in which case I'm about 6-8 hours away from you. I haven't been to OK in a long time so I can't help you out much there.

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    I carry a Springfield XD compact .45 and have for a few years now. Before that I carried a Ruger SP101 .357 revolver.

    The XD has NO manual safety lever (passive safety features) and needs no "decocker." I carry it with a round in the chamber, ready to fire. No need to push any levers, rack the slide or anything but point and shoot in an emergency, yet it it is totally safe in my holster.

    If you are just getting started looking and handling guns, don't pass up a chance to handle and try out any of the XD or XDm semi-autos. They carry neat and shoot sweet.

    Just become VERY familiar with whatever you choose before you decide to start carrying it. The more complex the gun, the more true that is.
    I will not knowingly initiate force. I am a self owner.

    Let the record show that I did not consent to be governed. I did not consent to any constitution. I did not consent to any president. I did not consent to any law except the natural law of "mala en se." I did not consent to the police. Nor any tax. Nor any prohibition of anything. Nor any regulation or licensing of any kind.

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    The first centerfire handgun (my wife and) I bought was a Ruger P95DC (decocker only), But it was too scary for her to not have a safety. We eventually bought her the new Beretta PX4 that has the Safety/Decocker on the slide. Now, 2 years later, She has become comfortable and competant enough with handguns; We recently purchased her a Kahr CW9. Thats a striker fired, compact, and has NO safetys on it at all. She still doesnt carry one in the tube unless its dark outside, and shes in the rough area.

    I Sold that Ruger to buy her Kahr, and it was probably the worst move I couldve made. I inhereted the PX4, and though Im comfortable with it; It doesnt fit my hand nearly as good as that P95. I have really long fingers, and It was a much better fit. I was more that fine carrying a DA/SA with no safety, and one in the chamber. (EDIT: Im going to convert the PX4 to a G-type safety, Meaning its a de-cocker only, but its just my preference)

    So, Just as was stated many times before, Do what your comfortable with. When/if you get to the range, Think about the gun, and if your really comfy with it being an inch or less from your body, and if you would be freaking out that it might go off at any time...... That'd be a deciding difference between you carrying it, or not.

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    No modern handgun can "go off" all by itself. The trigger must be pulled. If your holster properly covers the trigger guard, it can't be pulled unless you do so deliberately. This simply means that to carry in condition 1 you must have a good holster.

    The mechanical "safety" should NEVER be trusted totally, of course. You would logically treat the gun ALWAYS as ready to fire with or without one.

    All guns are handled as LOADED at all times. If you make exceptions for the manual safety lever being in use, you are courting disaster.

    The only real "safety" on any gun is the one between your ears.
    I will not knowingly initiate force. I am a self owner.

    Let the record show that I did not consent to be governed. I did not consent to any constitution. I did not consent to any president. I did not consent to any law except the natural law of "mala en se." I did not consent to the police. Nor any tax. Nor any prohibition of anything. Nor any regulation or licensing of any kind.

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    I shoot single action guns much better than double actions so I always carry cocked and locked. There is no way I can cock the hammer or rack the slidefaster than wiping off the safety. I've practiced wiping off the trigger as I draw the weapon so it's ready to fire as soon as I place my finger on the trigger. During my practice sessions I've never dropeed the hammer accidentally so I have complete confidence in the pistl. I normally carry a 1911, or a XD. XD was first pistol and it has no active safety like the 1911 but have as much confidence in it as the 1911.

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    As a southpaw, I prefer the decocker vs safety which, unless ambi, is impossible for me to operate quickly. I love my Sigs. Although I would not be averse to a grip or articluated trigger safety.

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    In the pistol arena, I have owned single actions (still have three), double actions (I absolutely despise the term "double action/single action" since by definition, double action pistols are also single action after the first shot), and double action only (DAO). While I love shooting my single actions, I will not carry one as long as I have a choice because I am personally uncomfortable carrying in Condition One. It's just me.

    I do not care for double actions because of the dreaded first-shot-to-second-shot trigger action. Once again, it's just me. I have owned a number of double actions over the years, most of which have had decockers. But it's the two different trigger "actions" with which I have a problem.

    This leaves DAO (Double Action Only). This action type meets all of my criteria for a defensive carry sidearm and I have own many of these as well and currently still own a bunch. While my primary carry piece is one of my Glock 23's, the DAO action type is best represented by my Kahrs.

    Really the best friend someone has when trying to narrow down their choices for a carry sidearm is to do a lot of reading and research, ask questions, visit gun shows, and try to shoot as many different types as possible. But learning about a carry gun that fits your needs and your desires is most important. So many times it's the little things you don't think of when buying a gun that come up later when you are carrying it.

    Gun people seem to be constantly in search of the perfect gun and since there is no such thing, a lot of time and money gets spent in this effort to find that which does not exist. I know, I've done this for years. So get the one that seems to best suit your needs and fits your situation, then practice both at the range for shooting, and in your home for drawing it and getting on target.

    As for safeties and decockers, I have come full circle on these items. None of my carry guns has either of these. The fewer things that are on the gun (switches, levers, buttons, etc) the better for me. All I want to think of if I have to use it is to get it out of my holster and on target, ready to fire. Once again, that's a personal thing.

    In the final seconds of your life, just before your killer is about to dispatch you to that great eternal darkness, what would you rather have in your hand? A cell phone or a gun?

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    Indeed, the fewer levers and nonsense to get the gun into action, the better. I spend a LOT of time with new students who buy a complicated gun and yet expect to leave the CC class ready to carry it!

    Those novices who work with me to choose a gun are encouraged to get a simple DA revolver to start with. They can carry it safely right away, and then go on to train seriously. When they are ready for an autoloader, they will then be much more able to evaluate whether or not they want levers and other things to deal with.

    Personally, the LONGER I carry the less I want anything like that. I had to shoot once to save my life, and a forgotten safety lever or needing to rack a slide first would have meant death for me instead of survival.
    I will not knowingly initiate force. I am a self owner.

    Let the record show that I did not consent to be governed. I did not consent to any constitution. I did not consent to any president. I did not consent to any law except the natural law of "mala en se." I did not consent to the police. Nor any tax. Nor any prohibition of anything. Nor any regulation or licensing of any kind.

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    If you like the CZ style of pistols, you might also want to look at EAA Witness. They are a CZ clone and cost a little less. I have one and it is great.

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    With regards to the Rugers, the above post with a .40 is not described correctly...and may be confusing...the P94 is SA/DA.....it has a slide-mounted lever...if, when you press that lever down to drop the hammer safely, it STAYS down, until you thumb it back up...it isa SAFETY...if it returns to the up position under spring pressure, allowing you to simply pull the trigger to fire again..that is a DECOCKER...the poster is describing a safety-equipped model, not a decocker model...because he's saying the lever stays down and he puts it up as he draws... a safety de-cocks, but a de-cocker is not a safety...but the pistol won't fire when dropped on a decocker model, either, because of safety designs built into the internal parts....

    So the model described DOES have a manual safety...it is the lever that also drops the hammer...when it is down, the trigger is disengaged...I have several Rugers and much prefer the Decocker models...perfectly safe to carry and all I need do is draw, aim, and squeeze...

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    MamaLiberty wrote:
    No modern handgun can "go off" all by itself. The trigger must be pulled. If your holster properly covers the trigger guard, it can't be pulled unless you do so deliberately. This simply means that to carry in condition 1 you must have a good holster.

    The mechanical "safety" should NEVER be trusted totally, of course. You would logically treat the gun ALWAYS as ready to fire with or without one.

    All guns are handled as LOADED at all times. If you make exceptions for the manual safety lever being in use, you are courting disaster.

    The only real "safety" on any gun is the one between your ears.
    This is the best advise so far...thanks Mamaliberty, good stuff!

    I carry my 1911a1 with the tube loaded and the hammer down. It would take a LOT of impact on the hammer to make it go off accidentally, as opposed to the safety getting snagged on clothes (I have seen this happen) and a poorly maintained sear slipping and going off. (which I have also seen happen).
    If you're worried about lowering the hammer on a live round, remember, it takes quite a bit of force to make a 1911 go off, if you have a good grip on the hammer when you lower it, it is perfectly safe. I carry mine with a military hammer (longer style) and the beavertail safety has been clearanced to allow the longer hammer to come back all the way.
    You don't have to practice on a live round, do it with the gun empty until it feels natural to you and you are confident it is safe for YOU to do it live. Then practice with a "snap-cap" or an empty case (no powder, no projectile) with a primer in it. (you may have to hand-feed it into the pistol...
    On a side note, carrying this way also makes people feel more "safe" around you when they see your gun. If the hammer is back, they get the impression you are getting ready for a shooting. Hammer down eases that fear for a lot of people.

    Just my $0.02, of course...
    When the **** hits the fan, ask yourself: What Would Bugly Do?

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    Gordie wrote:
    If you like the CZ style of pistols, you might also want to look at EAA Witness. They are a CZ clone and cost a little less. I have one and it is great.
    I would also recommend these to you. They can be had in a variety of calibers, but were I you I would get the .45 auto for a couple of reasons. The .45 can accept the full line of EAA caliber conversion kits for the Witness lineup. So you can convert the frame to .40 S&W, 9mm P, .380 auto, and.22. THe conversion kits are a lot less than buying a new firearm in each of those calibers. Also the .45 is a very standard caliber.

    The Witness can be carried a number of ways. They can be cocked and locked like a 1911 style pistol. They can also be carried with the safety engaged and the hammer down. or the can be carried with the safety disengaged and the hammer down.

    These also come in both full sized and compact versions. Usually they can be had for more than just a little less that a CZ. They are made by Tanfoglio of Italy, who has been around for a VERY long time. Tanfoglio makes a very good product.
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    My H&K USP can be carried "Cocked and Locked" if I so desire. It also has a de-cocking feature on the same lever as the safety. (Since it's not a Mark 23 Mod 0, the decocker is not a seperate lever.)

    Up is Safe, Middle is Fire, and all the way Down is Decock.

    I have trained toindex as I draw.When using 1911'sI was trained to notonly index, but tothumb the safety down from safe to fire position as I draw. However, with the USP, the risk is that in a highly stressful situation I will push too far down from safe, past fire, and decock my firearm. This would entirely defeat the purpose of carrying cocked and locked.

    Since my pistol can be fired Double-Action or Single-Action, I just carry with a round in the chamber decocked and on the Fire position. My first shot will be double-action and all of my follow-up shots will be single-action. A heavy trigger pull is not an issue in a gun-fight; I'm sure I'd hardly notice the extra trigger pull if my adrenaline is rushing and my heart is pounding.

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    ...I'm not familiar with H&K---if you carry it on "Fire"...cocked...your safety feature would be in the leather strap under the hammer from your holster....and if you accidentally swipe it from safe past fire to de-cock...your first shot will be double action...I'd carry it cocked...leather under the hammer...did so with a Colt Combat Commander for years...the grip safety was a backup....what name did H&K used to sell under a few years back??? Your way is safer if there's no physical block between hammer and firing pin....

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    With my new Taurus 24/7 OSS I can have it in SA with the safety on, or use the DS ie Decocker Safety to take it into DA mode and put the safety back on if I wish.

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    shad0wfax wrote:
    My H&K USP can be carried "Cocked and Locked" if I so desire. It also has a de-cocking feature on the same lever as the safety. (Since it's not a Mark 23 Mod 0, the decocker is not a seperate lever.)

    Up is Safe, Middle is Fire, and all the way Down is Decock.

    I have trained toindex as I draw.When using 1911'sI was trained to notonly index, but tothumb the safety down from safe to fire position as I draw. However, with the USP, the risk is that in a highly stressful situation I will push too far down from safe, past fire, and decock my firearm. This would entirely defeat the purpose of carrying cocked and locked.

    Since my pistol can be fired Double-Action or Single-Action, I just carry with a round in the chamber decocked and on the Fire position. My first shot will be double-action and all of my follow-up shots will be single-action. A heavy trigger pull is not an issue in a gun-fight; I'm sure I'd hardly notice the extra trigger pull if my adrenaline is rushing and my heart is pounding.
    Yeah, I looked at carrying my USP cocked and locked and sometimes under stress Ive noticed like you I go past fire to decock... :/ So hammer down safety on. The way the retention on my holster is set up after I clear my thumb literally ends up on the safety. Ive trained myself to flick it off on the way out.

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