safety issue (half-cocked)

This is a discussion on safety issue (half-cocked) within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I've heard that back when the 1911 was the US military's standard service sidearm, some left-handed soldiers kept their 1911s in half cock, rather than ...

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Thread: safety issue (half-cocked)

  1. #16
    VIP Member Array Blackeagle's Avatar
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    I've heard that back when the 1911 was the US military's standard service sidearm, some left-handed soldiers kept their 1911s in half cock, rather than using the thumb safety, since it was easier for a lefty to bring it into action that way. These days, with ambi thumb safeties easily available, there's not really any reason to.

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  3. #17
    Distinguished Member Array SonofASniper's Avatar
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    He needs to get a holster like this if he is worried about that hammer accidentally falling.

    http://www.tedblockerholsters.com/S18.html The offer a number of holsters that incorparate the restraining strap to inbetween the hammer and the gun.


    I understand his fear about the hammer being all the way back. That s why I don't own/carry a 1911. Walking around with that hammer cocked back and relying on the safety just flys in the face of everything else that was taught to me for gunsafety since I was a little one. Never leave the hammer up, and the only safety is yourself, don't trust the gun to do it for you.

    I have shot them, they are nice, and I will probably get one for shooting someday but never concealed carry because I am not comfortable with them.
    I will support gun control when you can guarantee all guns are removed from this planet. That includes military and law enforcement. When you can accomplish that, then I will be the last person to lay down my gun. Then I will carry the weapon that replaces the gun.

  4. #18
    VIP Member Array havegunjoe's Avatar
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    Disengaging the thumb safety on a 1911 is easier to do and remember to do than trying to cock the gun. In a high stress situation like a deadly attack you want as little to remember as possible. You will rely on muscle memory to take over and I believe disengaging the safety would be easier. Not to mention I think there would be less chance of your finger bing on the trigger and the gun firing as soon as you cocked the hammer.
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  5. #19
    VIP Member Array rodc13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SonofASniper View Post
    He needs to get a holster like this if he is worried about that hammer accidentally falling.

    http://www.tedblockerholsters.com/S18.html The offer a number of holsters that incorparate the restraining strap to inbetween the hammer and the gun.

    I understand his fear about the hammer being all the way back. That s why I don't own/carry a 1911. Walking around with that hammer cocked back and relying on the safety just flys in the face of everything else that was taught to me for gunsafety since I was a little one. Never leave the hammer up, and the only safety is yourself, don't trust the gun to do it for you.

    I have shot them, they are nice, and I will probably get one for shooting someday but never concealed carry because I am not comfortable with them.
    While the concerns may be understandable by one who's not familiar with the 1911, they are in fact unfounded. The 1911's hammer is not going to fall by itself. There are two positive safeties preventing this.

    In my experience and opinion, a thumb-break holster, such as the one recommended, is a liability when used for a defensive firearm in concealed carry. There are lots of great holster options for 1911s, many made by those excellent craftsmen who frequent this forum.
    Cheers,
    Rod
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  6. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timmy Jimmy View Post
    What is half-cock good for on a 1911?

    My best friend lives in PA and he is the one that told me to buy my Kimber Ultra CDP and I do love it. He has 30 or so guns in every caliber you can think of from varmint rifles to a derringer, but he has not been carrying concealed.

    He owns a pharmacy and has a CHL (or what ever they call them in PA) and he has started to carry.

    Tonight he told me he was carrying with one in the chamber but he only half-cocked the weapon. Now when the Kimber Ultra CDP is at half-cock the thumb safety will not engage.

    His thinks this is safer. His plan is if he has to use the gun to pull the weapon and cock the trigger with his thumb.

    This does not sound like a good practice to me, but I was just so shocked that this is what he is doing that I did not know what to say to him.

    So I turn to you experts for advice, once again.
    Your friend has chosen what is probably the most dangerous possible way to carry a 1911, aside from holding it up to his head at all times.

    The 1/2 cock notch is actually a last-ditch safety designed to catch the hammer in the event of a mechanical failure.

    It is not now, nor has it ever been intended as a means of carry. Bad idea. Very bad. Very, very bad. Bordering on utter stupidity, actually.

    Kimber is pretty specific about this in their manuals as well.

    Please do whatever is necessary to keep your friend from carrying like this before he has an ND. It's not a matter of if, but when.

    Matt
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  7. #21
    VIP Member Array Redneck Repairs's Avatar
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    OD explained it better than i could have , thanks OD
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  8. #22
    JD
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    WOW I'm surprised this hasn't been brought up yet...


    The 1911 in half cock is where the saying

    DON'T GO OFF HALF COCKED
    Came from. ( I stand corrected, but I still like this idea better )

    All the reasons why have all ready been posted.


    Friends don't let freinds carry at half cock

  9. #23
    VIP Member Array Blackeagle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jdlv4_0 View Post
    WOW I'm surprised this hasn't been brought up yet...

    The 1911 in half cock is where the saying

    DON'T GO OFF HALF COCKED
    Came from.
    Not really. The phrase "go off half-cocked" has a much longer history than the 1911. It originated with flintlock firearms (as did the half-cock position itself).

  10. #24
    Senior Member Array Timmy Jimmy's Avatar
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    Thank You all!

    You made my point for me and I appreciate it!
    Timmy Jimmy

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  11. #25
    Distinguished Member Array SonofASniper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rodc13 View Post
    While the concerns may be understandable by one who's not familiar with the 1911, they are in fact unfounded. The 1911's hammer is not going to fall by itself. There are two positive safeties preventing this.

    In my experience and opinion, a thumb-break holster, such as the one recommended, is a liability when used for a defensive firearm in concealed carry. There are lots of great holster options for 1911s, many made by those excellent craftsmen who frequent this forum.
    Like I admitted, it is a mental block with me because it goes against two primary firearm safety rules. Also, while the safeties are good and I am sure there has not been documented cases of them failing, lets face the fact that sometimes safeties do fail. Otherwise, why would follow the rule of "Do not put your finger on the trigger until you are ready to fire." I have always understood that as universal, regardless if the safety is on or not. I have always believed that the only true safety is the person in control of the firearm.

    While that holster style may not be the best for defensive carry, the reason why I suggested it was so that the person in question would learn to become more comfortable with carrying the 1911 properly. I think we all agree here that the "half-cocked" position is far more dangerous. The little bit of delay this person might experience with a thumb-break holster is far better than how he is currently carrying, considering the odds are by far against him ever having to use it in self-defense. The person in question, may soon learn how to trust his gun the way it is intended and then switch to a much better holster as well. I look at it as a baby step.
    I will support gun control when you can guarantee all guns are removed from this planet. That includes military and law enforcement. When you can accomplish that, then I will be the last person to lay down my gun. Then I will carry the weapon that replaces the gun.

  12. #26
    OD*
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    lets face the fact that sometimes safeties do fail
    Yes they do, and on a 1911 style pistol two (three if you have a Series 80 or Swartz FP block) would have to fail simultaneously AND you still have to pull the trigger.
    "The pistol, learn it well, carry it always ..." ~ Jeff Cooper

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  13. #27
    Senior Member Array DMan's Avatar
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    Holy Cow - ONLY Cocked and Locked
    "Gun Free Zones" is where only criminals carry guns.

  14. #28
    OD*
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    it goes against two primary firearm safety rules
    Which two safety rules are you breaking by carrying condition one?
    "The pistol, learn it well, carry it always ..." ~ Jeff Cooper

    "Diligentia Vis Celeritas"

    "There is very little new, and the forgotten is constantly being rediscovered."
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  15. #29
    Distinguished Member Array SonofASniper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OD View Post
    Which two safety rules are you breaking by carrying condition one?
    What I am referring to is any firearm that has a hammer cocked back. 1911's are the only ones that I am familiar with that features the hammer back as the primary mode of carry. I have never seen any other weapon (revolvers, rifles, and autos), that anyone recommends as safe to carry with the hammer cocked back.

    I want to stress that my concerns are merely personal choices and cautions. I suspect that the person in question for this thread has similar fears and has incorrectly understood that half-cocked is an acceptable safety, much like half-cock is on a lever action rifle. I have had people tell me the reason they will never carry or trust a glock is because there is no external safety that they can touch and feel, even though I feel that carrying a glock loaded and ready is perfectly acceptable.

    Don't think that I have made my choices based on misinformation. I am quite familiar with the weapon, and there are many reasons that I haved deemed it inappropriate for me as a CCW. It is simply a matter of personal choice for me. I am not going to debate the merits of the 1911 any further, because you and I will just end up agreeing to disagree.

    The main point in this thread is this: The person in question here needs to be corrected and have the dangers of what he is doing explained to him. I recommended a thumb break holster simply as one solution that he could employ and still have the piece of mind that if the hammer "were" to fall, the gun would not fire. Eventually, this would help him build confidence in his weapon and he could employ a better holster.

    But first and foremost, he needs to quit carrying half-cocked. Period.
    I will support gun control when you can guarantee all guns are removed from this planet. That includes military and law enforcement. When you can accomplish that, then I will be the last person to lay down my gun. Then I will carry the weapon that replaces the gun.

  16. #30
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    All major military rifles are carried "cocked and locked," when in harms way (or they should be!) The M16/M4, AK, et cetera are all normally carried charged (cocked), and with the mechanical safety engaged.

    That being said, pistols are not rifles, and they conditions they are exposed to during 'normal' carry are very different. I don't like external safeties on pistols that are carried with their triggers entirely protected, but that's just me. There is no way to carry a rifle in such a manner (at least that I'm aware of), so I strongly believe in (and use) the mechanical, external safety on all my duty rifles.
    A man fires a rifle for many years, and he goes to war. And afterward he turns the rifle in at the armory, and he believes he's finished with the rifle. But no matter what else he might do with his hands - love a woman, build a house, change his son's diaper - his hands remember the rifle.

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