Infallible Humans and Safeties

This is a discussion on Infallible Humans and Safeties within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; In another thread a poster asked for proof that "EVERYONE forgets to drop the safety sometime and it's not just a training issue it's also ...

View Poll Results: If you have ever fired a gun with a safety have you ever forgotten to take it off?

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  • Of course, I am human.

    153 85.96%
  • Never, I have always trained on this step and will not permit myself to make this mistake.

    20 11.24%
  • I have never fired a Rifle, Shotgun, or Pistol with a manual safety and I am not sure why I am responding to this poll.

    5 2.81%
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Thread: Infallible Humans and Safeties

  1. #1
    Member Array NC Buckeye's Avatar
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    Infallible Humans and Safeties

    In another thread a poster asked for proof that "EVERYONE forgets to drop the safety sometime and it's not just a training issue it's also a stress issue."

    I believe that since we are not infallible this is a true statement (Human Reliability)

    So the question remains, if you have ever fired a gun with a safety have you ever forgotten to take it off?

    If you say No, please give us some view on your experience. For example, I know a 10yo that has never forgotten because the 10 rounds he fired were from my 10/22 off a bench and I didn't put it on for him as I didn't want him fumbling with the rifle. He doesn't really count.

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Array RebelRabbi's Avatar
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    Thanks for the follow up on this one.
    I have forgotten the safety during a qualification run, not often but it happens. It's usually that very first shot when it happens to someone on the range BUT in a real fight that First shot is THE most important shot! I also have observed that errors increase substantially with fatigue. Boloing the safety counts as an error. I have also done quite a bit of hunting in my life. I'd like to know what hunter has never missed a shot because they were slow on the safety or forgot it altogether, I danged sure have!
    Experience has taught me to appreciate a quick controlled first shot and the simple DA/DAO Pistol/Revolver does this well. The 1911 is a great gun but like you said, I am imperfect plus I get worse under high stress.

  4. #3
    Member Array Striker543's Avatar
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    Not with a self-defense pistol. However, I do quite a bit of bird hunting, and have forgotten quite a few times to take the safety off before shooting. Myself, and anyone I hunt with, make a habit of always having the safety on until actually shooting, meaning the safety is on until the gun is in motion to being shouldered and shot.

    When teaching beginners and in a situation where we are sitting still in a blind, I'll have them take the safety off as we see birds approaching that are more than likely going to give us a shot. However, with anyone experienced, the safety does not get taken off until the gun is on the way to the shoulder to be shot.

    With that said though, it's inevitable that there will be a time or two when you forget to take the safety off while bringing the gun to your shoulder and miss out on a shot. I'm more than willing to put up with this minor inconvenience though as it is MUCH safer, for obvious reasons.

    With self-defense pistols, I would not recommend carrying a pistol that has a safety with the safety disengaged. I say this because the chances of having an accident due to the safety being off are far greater than the chance of not being able to defend yourself because you fail to flick the safety off before shooting. If someone feels differently, they should purchase a gun with no external safety that is designed to be carried in such a condition.

  5. #4
    Distinguished Member Array nutz4utwo's Avatar
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    Sure, more than a few times on my 10/22. That silly thing is always in the wrong place.

    AR as far as I can remember. The AR safety is so natural that my thumb always seems to know what to do with it.

    All my handguns are DA with no manual safeties so nothing to add.
    "a reminder that no law can replace personal responsibility" - Bill Clinton 2010.

  6. #5
    Member Array Laser Sailor's Avatar
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    I did it once, got reamed by a USMC Gunny who used words that'll get me banned from this site to describe my error. Left me with an impression, from then on when I carried (M9) I was always safety OFF.
    MA2, USN

    When only cops have guns, it's called a "police state". Love your country, but never trust its government.
    -- Robert A. Heinlein.

  7. #6
    Member Array Ananael's Avatar
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    If I could, I'd rephrase the "no" option to "not yet", but so far so good. My main carry, a S&W M&P40f has the thumb safety on it, so it is an issue for me, and one I train as much as I can.

  8. #7
    Member Array Rabbitcreek's Avatar
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    I will never have that happen with my P226. Oh yeah, there is no safety.

    Now my Walther PPK/S is another story. I am still working on that one. I have been ready to shoot and it was on safety. My thumb sometimes forgets to go there. That is why my next purchase will be a P239 SAS.

  9. #8
    Member Array Sleipnir's Avatar
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    I could never get used to my airsoft gun's safety (modeled after a Beretta 92SF) and that translated to firing Model 92 Berettas. Saftey goes up to fire, down to safe it.

    Other than that they only other time I can remember that I've forgotten the safety is on my range trip to fire my 1911 for the first time and on the .22 rifles I used to get the rifle badge for Boy Scouts.

  10. #9
    Senior Member Array GlockJS's Avatar
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    When I had my Bersa Thunder .380, I forgot to take the safety of when I first got it(at the range, not an actual encounter). But now that I carry a Glock 26 and a S&W 637, thats not an issue any more.
    Glock 26 9mm, Ruger LCR .357mag

    "Protect yourself at all times."

    "Don't forget, incoming fire has the right of way."-Clint Smith

  11. #10
    Member Array Ronny's Avatar
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    Yes I have failed to take safties off of my rifles and shotguns. I have also tried to fire the wrong barrel of an over under shotgun many times. I have also clicked my handgun a few times with no round chambered... I have never had this problem with a handgun because I've never owned a handgun with a manual saftey. My buddies browning high power I've been conciously aware of the saftey and disengaged it. I'm sure that if it were mine, that I'd have tried to fire it with the saftey on several times.

    My HD shotgun, I keep loaded but unchambered and saftey off so no mishaps, hopefully. My carry piece, my S&W 642 of course has no saftey to disengage, so in a SHTF scenerio, I should hopefully be ok.

    I think it's natural to be forgetful with safties. I've been deer hunting in the field and ready to take a buck and the safties on. Especially at the firing line at the range it's happened a lot with my rifle. Better safe than sorry if my motto. I'd rather have a gun not go bang than go bang and not intend it. With my defensive arms it's a not issue because I don't allow them to be in the condition it could occur, and my carry weapon has such a heavy DAO pull that a saftey isn't necessary.

  12. #11
    Senior Member Array DIABLO9489's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ananael View Post
    If I could, I'd rephrase the "no" option to "not yet", but so far so good. My main carry, a S&W M&P40f has the thumb safety on it, so it is an issue for me, and one I train as much as I can.
    Same here
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  13. #12
    Member Array 120mm's Avatar
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    You know, it's kind of funny, but for all the times I've carried and fired a weapon (I always carry with safety on, unless it's with an Beretta 92 series) I've only left the safety on once, and that was with a Mossberg shotgun.

  14. #13
    Member Array helodriver's Avatar
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    The wording of your responses leaves something to be desired as it is too easy to see what side of the fence you are on - a simple Yes/No without any editorial comments would have been more effective. As I have only shot my handguns at a range (like 99% on all non-LEO handgun carriers) I have yet to pull the trigger without first switching off the safety - on the two handguns I have with external safeties. I hope to never find out how I will respond if I have to utilize one of those two handguns under duress. Those two are my nightstand guns, while my carries are all DAO.

  15. #14
    Member Array mech's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by helodriver View Post
    The wording of your responses leaves something to be desired as it is too easy to see what side of the fence you are on - a simple Yes/No without any editorial comments would have been more effective. As I have only shot my handguns at a range (like 99% on all non-LEO handgun carriers) I have yet to pull the trigger without first switching off the safety - on the two handguns I have with external safeties. I hope to never find out how I will respond if I have to utilize one of those two handguns under duress. Those two are my nightstand guns, while my carries are all DAO.
    Same here.
    My Bersa is always locked safe until I get to where it is I am shooting. The XD45 doesn't have a safety I can lock, which is why I never carry it with a round chambered. (I've had an unintentional discharge due to carelessness on my part)
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  16. #15
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    I answered "NO" (which is true) however, early on when transitioning "forth & back" from SIG P220 to Colt 1911 I used to goof up under stress occasionally.
    It is years later now though...and I'm so ingrained and familiar with both formats that it no longer happens and that "whoops!" has not happened for many, many, moons.

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